Hardware, equipment rental business going in former Art Van’s in Norton Shores

MUSKEGON COUNTY, MI – A former Art Van Furniture store in Norton Shores is expected to be converted to a hardware and construction equipment rental business.

Equipment Share recently was granted a special use permit from the Norton Shores City Council after an earlier proposal didn’t pass muster.

The national firm plans to renovate the former furniture showroom and employ 10 to 15 workers, according to information provided to the city.

The building located at 3455 Tanglewood Drive is visible from Seaway Drive. After closing as an Art Van store, it briefly operated as Loves Furniture.

Art Van filed for bankruptcy in March 2020 and Loves Furniture acquired the assets of 27 of its stores, including the Norton Shores location. However, Loves went bankrupt less than six months after reopening the furniture stores.

Equipment Share, headquartered in Columbia, Missouri, was founded in 2015 and has more than 80 locations. It focuses on serving construction contractors, providing them construction equipment rental sales and tracking services.

The building in Norton Shores will have a fuel island and three new overhead doors will be installed on the south side, according to information provided to the council.

The site will include a retail hardware store and rentals of lawn and garden tools, hand tools, air compressors, generators and the like. Primary storage would be inside the building’s warehouse, council members were informed.

A key aspect of Equipment Share’s business is software that allows contractors to keep track of their equipment and vehicles and monitor their fuel levels and maintenance, according to information provided to the planning commission.

The property is zoned planned unit development and designated for “regional commercial” uses. The city council approved the special use permit April 19 after the planning commission unanimously recommended approval at its April 13 meeting.

A prior proposal that would have rented and serviced heavy construction equipment at the site was rejected by the planning commission and city council in November 2021.

That proposal involved the outdoor storage of 50 to 100 pieces of equipment, some of which the company believed, perhaps erroneously, it could also store on adjacent leased properties, according to a memo to the city council from the city’s planning and zoning administrator.

Planning commissioners concluded that that plan wasn’t “harmonious or appropriate” with the surrounding area and were concerned about roadway wear from the heavy equipment as well as the removal of trees.

The company’s proposal was approved after it dropped plans to lease heavy construction equipment, instead keeping leased equipment to a size that can be transported in a pickup truck.

The later proposal that was approved by city leaders states that the “existing extensive wooded area of the property is to remain unchanged.”

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Hoffmaster State Park’s crumbling roads finally getting much-needed love

https://www.mlive.com/news/muskegon/2022/04/hardware-equipment-rental-business-going-in-former-art-vans-in-norton-shores.html

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