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Echelon expands to downtown

A decorative dog at the Echelon furniture store in downtown Boise. Photo by Anne Wallace Allen

Echelon Fine Home, a furniture and design store, has opened its second, larger location in downtown Boise.

Co-owner Amy Foster Davis started the furniture store in a small, 1,000-square-foot shop inside Budget Blinds in Meridian in 2010, but demands for more space led first to opening some warehouse space on Locust Grove Road before renovating an 11,000 square foot space at the corner of Main and 14th streets in Boise.

“Everybody wants to see more furniture. We weren’t able to show very much at the small store,” she said.

Foster Davis said the new location also opens up the furniture store to people in Boise that may not want to drive out to Meridian.

“The whole vibe downtown was  too cool to pass up. A lot of our clientele lives in this part of town as well,” she said.

The new store, much of which was formerly a First National Pawn shop, has five designers that can work with clients. Foster Davis said the furniture business can follow the housing industry, though since opening Echelon in 2010, she’s had many customers looking to change or upgrade their furniture.

“It’s people that are tired of what they have and starting over. It’s a lot of those clients that kept us going during the slow building times,” she said, adding that based on recent store traffic, she thinks the housing market will continue to improve.

“I think we’re getting ready for a huge boom,” she said. Echelon has also provided furnishings for several Parade of Homes displays.

RRC Contractors in Nampa did the renovations, which had a permitted value of $80,000. Work included removing a wall on the north side of the project, which expanded showroom space. Foster Davis said she’d originally considered a different use of space in the building.

“We were going to cut a giant hole through the center of the store so you could look down into the basement. We’d have more square footage for not as much (rent) money, but then we would have to have an elevator lift to get our furniture down there.”

About Brad Iverson-Long

Brad Iverson-Long is a reporter for the Idaho Business Review, covering banks, financial services, technology and new business.