November 18, 2011
Reunited – United Boulevard
United Boulevard – Your Furniture Destination
Elation greets finish of new overpass
For the last 18 months, furniture and home accessories retailers along Coquitlam’s United Boulevard have had to endure major construction, which resulted in loss of business. But with the completion of the King Edward overpass last month, they have much to celebrate. “This is nothing but good news for everybody involved,” says Maurice Gravelle, City of Coquitlam general manager of strategic initiatives. “Crews have been working day and night, seven days a week for 12 weeks, on the approaches to the King Edward overpass to make sure it opened on time.”
The new overpass, which replaces the narrow three-lane underpass, is expected to greatly reduce congestion and improve traffic movement between Lougheed Highway and United Boulevard, with four lanes of traffic that pass over Highway 1 and the railway tracks. “The King Edward overpass is part of a larger project by the provincial government, which has been in the works for three to four years,” says Gravelle. “This is part of the Port Mann Highway 1 Project, and as such the King Edward Overpass was funded partially by the city, which contributed approximately $7.7 million towards its construction.”
Originally, to get to United Boulevard residents and visitors had to navigate the Cape Horn interchange – one of the busiest along the Highway 1 corridor – and the CPR railway crossing, which was extremely difficult and frustrating. “Then, if trains passed by, motor vehicles had to sit there for a long time,” Gravelle adds. “Now, with this new bridge, it’s an easy, straight connection to United Boulevard with no delays or waits.”
What that means for the more than 500 businesses in the Pacific Reach area, which include furniture stores, warehouses, restaurants and Boulevard Casino, is that potential consumers from the whole Greater Vancouver region will have a shorter and more efficient commute. Great Canadian Gaming Corp.’s vice-president Howard Blank is thrilled about the changes along the corridor. “For Boulevard Casino’s customers, and for all the businesses along United Boulevard, this is a win-win,” says Blank. “Any improvements that make it easier for everyone to travel along this stretch are very exciting.”
Gravelle says this whole region is part of a long-term development that will enhance United Boulevard’s reputation as a furniture mecca. “There is also work going on at the old industrial site of the Fraser River Sawmills,” he says. “There is a new multi-use development called Fraser Mills Neighbourhood, which once completed will be home to approximately 7,000 residents.”
When the decade-long project is completed, Fraser Mills will encompass 3,700 multi-family units, as well as commercial, light industrial and retail outlets. “This community will be directly connected to United Boulevard,” adds Gravelle.
A true shopping experience in this upscale showroom
Expect white-glove service when you shop at Home Couture, where the furniture lines include some of the world’s foremost designers.
For discerning customers who appreciate the finer things in life, Home Couture, an outstanding new furniture store, has just opened its doors in Coquitlam.
Home Couture is home to finely crafted furniture that will make an impression that lasts for many generations. The same can be said for the outstanding shopping experience you’ll have at this upscale furniture showroom, promises its owner, Ali Assadi. “I want to offer the Lower Mainland a West Coast shopping experience unlike anything they have ever seen before,” Assadi says. “It’s really one-stop shopping for fine home furniture, in a very relaxed and very chic atmosphere.”
Home Couture recently held an opening gala to inaugurate its new showroom on United Boulevard. While the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra performed in the background, more than 300 guests – local dignitaries, family, friends, business associates, and many top name furniture executives from across North America – enjoyed martinis, wine, and an inviting fresh oyster bar. Guests mingled among exquisitely crafted furniture from some of the most exclusive furniture collections, artfully presented in the largest furniture brands showroom in Canada.
Home Couture’s home furnishings lines, created mostly in North Carolina, are from the world’s foremost designers and craftsmen, including Thomasville, Drexel Heritage, Broyhill, Henredon, Hickory Chair and Barbara Barry, as well as lines made in Canada, such as Bermax. “We also carry the exclusive rights to the exciting line by interior designers Steven and Chris, and Cobi,” Assadi says. At Home Couture, customers browse through 27 large rooms to discover dining rooms, bedrooms and living rooms filled with stunning sofas, sectionals, chairs, bedroom suites, lamps and chandeliers, as well as unique accessories for every room in the house. “My goal is to provide white-glove service, from the initial order to delivery and beyond,” says Assadi. “At Home Couture, we’ll make you feel right at home.”
Home Couture also carries an extensive selection of the finest fabrics from all over the globe. “We can literally custom design any size table or sofa that a customer can think of, in any fabric imaginable,” Assadi says, adding that the store carries 5,500 fabric samples. “No longer do people have to head to New York, because we bring New York’s fashion sense to our customers.” Home Couture encourages people to come in, enjoy a beverage at the cappuccino bar and take in the large selection of home furnishings.
Beyond a beautiful furniture showroom, Home Couture offers full interior design services to clients and design trade professionals. Custom furniture, fabrics, finishes, and an in-house interior designer will help create the perfect space. Whatever the scale of the project, the store’s interior design professionals can assist clients from concept through to completion. Home Couture also has a design room equipped with a computer, wireless access and a 70-inch high-definition television. The complimentary room can be booked for clients to create stunning rooms in a private, relaxed and comfortable ambience.
Assadi has been in the furnishings industry for 18 years. He always dreamed of opening a store that catered to the discerning client, one who appreciates furniture as fine pieces of art. Home Couture is located at 1311 United Boulevard in Coquitlam. The store is open seven days a week, Monday to Saturday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., except for Friday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sunday noon to 5 p.m. For more information or to book an in-store design consultation, telephone 604-521-7727, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Open for Business with New Easy Access
Now that construction is complete and the new overpass open, United Boulevard’s furniture retailers anticipate a rebirth of business.
United Boulevard has long been considered the furniture-shopping mecca in the province. Now, with the unveiling of the new King Edward overpass, this shopping district is more accessible and easier to get to than ever before. Besides offering the latest furniture designs for every budget from Canada and around the world, United Boulevard is unique for another reason – all of the furniture and home furnishings stores, with the exception of just one or two, are family-owned businesses.
“That makes this area truly stand out,” says Sandy Senay, owner and president of Sandy’s Furniture, and the granddaddy of United Boulevard. Sandy’s Furniture opened its doors on June 4, 1994, making it the first retail outlet on United Boulevard. “If you look at a geographic map, this area is pretty well the centre of Greater Vancouver,” says Senay. He concedes business was negatively affected during the 18-month-long construction.
“Now, no longer will people have to wait for trains and with the new freeway, it will be much quicker to get here,” says Senay. “As a result of all the publicity and better signage, we will all see increased traffic.” In conjunction with the new overpass, this fall Sandy’s will open its exclusive new showroom, which will carry Italy’s Natuzzi line of high-end leather furniture.
Another early pioneer on United Boulevard is ScanDesigns’ president/CEO Gert Knudsen. Most people associate ScanDesigns with value and good quality contemporary furniture, but the store is also gaining a reputation for its high end lines, such as the recently-introduced Domicil, an elite German collection of leather furniture. In the New Year, Knudsen will also launch New Concept Interiors, an upscale British line of furnishings for apartment and condo dwellers.
Like his fellow retailers, Jordan’s store manager Pat Roney agrees times will only get better. “The new overpass is pretty exciting for all of us, and we are anticipating a rebirth here,” says Roney.
Jordan’s on United Boulevard is one of the family-owned company’s original stores in B.C. The 84-year-old company has a long-established reputation as a leader in floor coverings, fine furnishings and interior design. The store’s dramatic mezzanine houses the Althorp furniture line – reproductions of furniture in the Althorp Estate, where the late Princess of Wales grew up. Jordan’s also is about to unveil the new Christopher Guy collection of handcrafted mahogany furniture, a unique line seen in the Savoy Hotel in London and The Bellagio in Las Vegas, among others.
Twelve years ago, Generation Furniture moved into United Boulevard’s ever-growing furniture row. “We carry many brand names and we also do custom work,” says Don Miller, whose four grown children also work for him. “Right now, we have lots of reclaimed wood furniture pieces, and no two pieces are alike.” Generation Furniture’s showroom also carries a large selection of rugs, lamps, pictures, mirrors and other accessories.Don Miller explained that Generation Furniture is able to furnish everything from a Yaletown condominium to a sprawling country estate.
Robinson Lighting and Bath Centre is celebrating 75 years of luxury lighting, bath and plumbing products. In 2002, the company opened its 4,500-square-foot United Boulevard location. “Robinson is a third-generation family-owned business,” says Julie Halle, the Coquitlam store manager. “We are known for our high-end bath, plumbing and lighting fixtures, especially our chandeliers.” This bath and lighting specialist has recently introduced a number of new lines of high-end bath products, including Vedana, the therapeutic spa-inspired shower by BainUltra, and a line of contemporary bath faucets by Supernova. Like her neighbours on furniture row, Halle believes the new overpass will streamline access to what she calls the best home shopping district in the province.
Meanwhile, La-Z-Boy Furniture Galleries’ owner, Gerald Miller, thinks the overpass will only strengthen United
Boulevard’s reputation as a furnishings shopping mecca. “I think it’s great for the Vancouver consumer to see the best selection of furniture all in one place,” says Miller. La-Z-Boy is much more than simply comfortable recliners. “We decorated and furnished the complete Children’s Hospital Foundation Lottery Home,” adds Miller. “In 80 years of business, we have introduced new and exciting lines, including the Brooke Review, Brooke Shields’ line of furniture.”
The new kid on the block is MJM Furniture, which opened its 23,000-square-foot showroom in Coquitlam just last month. MJM’s flagship store in Surrey
opened in 1987 at the corner of King George Highway and 77th Avenue. MJM owner Jeet Jaswal has been in the furniture business for nearly 25 years and chose United Boulevard for his second location because “it is the centre for furniture shopping and offers diversity of product all in one location.” MJM Furniture offers a large selection of sofas and bedroom sets from lines such as Ashley, Magnussen Home and Elite Sofa Designs.
Now, more than ever, United Boulevard is a one-stop furniture-shopping destination.