The new owner will use one part of the site as incubator for fledgling Christian businesses.
By CYNTHIA VINARSKY
VINDICATOR BUSINESS WRITER
YOUNGSTOWN -- Nelson Bedding, a longtime merchant in the city's Uptown district, is consolidating its mattress production and retail business in a new location at 6414 Market Street, Boardman.
Meanwhile, the mattress maker's former factory and store building at 2733 Market Street has a new owner and a new purpose.
Warriors Inc., the nonprofit agency that leases the former South High School to the Eagle Heights Academy charter school, is renovating the building to house its offices, a preschool and a planned incubator for small Christian-owned businesses.
Brett Pomeroy, Nelson Bedding owner, announced earlier this year that he was moving out of the Uptown and selling his 37-year-old mattress factory and store.
Reasons for move: Because the Uptown has been attracting large bar crowds on evenings and weekends, he said it was hard to attract suburban shoppers to the neighborhood, located just south of downtown. The production facility was also inadequate for several reasons.
Pomeroy said the new 7,000-square-foot store and factory space the business is leasing across from Beeghly Medical Park on Market Street is ideal, even though it's only about one-third the size of his original plant. "It's a dynamite fit," he said.
The company also closed its other Boardman store, which was located on California Ave., and has consolidated the inventory from both stores in the new building. Pomeroy expects to have a grand opening for the store in about two weeks.
Production delay: It will take longer to get production started at the new site, however, because the business will likely have to secure a zoning variance from Boardman Township to allow light manufacturing. He hopes to have production under way by year's end.
The mattress maker has contracted with another manufacturer outside the area to continue its production temporarily, Pomeroy said. He would not divulge the name of the company but said he may decide to continue some parts of the mattress making work there indefinitely.
Nelson Bedding employed 13 when Pomeroy first announced plans to move, but layoffs mainly because of the closing of the California Ave. store have dropped its staff to 7, including the owner.
Eagle Heights growth: The continued growth of Eagle Heights Academy was a major reason for the Warriors Inc. decision to move its offices out of the school, thus making room for more classroom space.
Stephanie Jones, assistant director, said Eagles Christian Preschool and Childcare will also be relocated from the school to the building. Three other agencies -- Jubilee Homes, Choice Homes and the Greater Youngstown Coalition of Christians will have offices there as well.
Jones said that Warriors plans to open a section of the building as an incubator for lease by fledgling Christian-based businesses.
Warriors has already begun a major interior renovation at its new Uptown facility, which will include a decorative facade instead of the large store-front windows.