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News

Levin Furniture's Avon Store Closed Permanently

May 2020 | The Chronicle Telegram | Dylan Reynolds

The Levin Furniture store on Nagel Road in Avon has closed permanently. A sign posted on the door said the store will not reopen, and Avon Planning Coordinator Pam Fechter said the city is aware the business is leaving the building.

"We didn't get any forewarning, but we did hear the rumblings," she said. The building housing the store was specially built for Levin to open there in 2016.

All Levin Furniture stores have suspended sales operations in their stores and the company closed its Smithton and Bellwood, Pennsylvania, warehouses for customer pickup, according to the company's website, because of the coronavirus pandemic and its parent company Art Van Furniture's economic issues.

The building sits in one of the most desirable areas in the city, due to its proximity to the Interstate 90 and Nagel Road interchange and a wealth of available area nearby, Fechter said.

In fact, the 4.5-acre property last sold in December 2017 to Phoenix-based Vereit Real Estate for $17.7 million, becoming the largest transfer in Lorain County of 2017 when it happened, according to The Chronicle-Telegram archives. Lorain County Auditor Craig Snodgrass said at the time transfer was a "sale-lease-back agreement," a deal in which an entity sells an asset and then leases it back.

The seller in that transaction was 1801 Nagel Road LLC.

Avon officials are not aware of any interest yet from outside businesses looking to move in, but Fechter said the city administration is thinking creatively about what kind of uses would best suit the two-story, 75,000-plus-square-foot building.

In 2017, the Levin Furniture company was acquired by Art Van Furniture, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy March 8. The company's plan was to close most of its stores, liquidate inventory, sell certain stores as going concerns, pay down debt and wind up their operations, according to a posting on the Levin Furniture website.

On April 7, after COVID-19 became a pandemic, the Chapter 11 cases were converted to Chapter 7 liquidation cases. Now, Chapter 7 Trustee Alfred T. Giuliano will collect Art Van Furniture and its related companies' assets, sell them and pay creditors' claims, according to the website posting.

The company says its operations teams are working to finalize customer service policies and other details. Customers who think the company may owe them money are encouraged to file a proof of claim form with the clerk of the Bankruptcy Court, which is accessible from levinfurniture.com.

Customers who paid for merchandise with a credit card and did not receive the merchandise should request a credit from their credit card company. The sign posted on the Avon store says inquiries regarding open orders with deposits can be directed to Kurtzman Carson Consultants at (888) 249-2695.

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