MOORHEAD - There are points in the life of a business when you bide your time and wait for an opportunity; then there are times when you have to move with authority.
Remodeling and construction firm The Home Authority and its sister Authority companies have done both, and it’s paid off with a roomy new place to do business at the former Muscatell auto dealership on Highway 10 E.
The building is still in the midst of renovations to bring The Home Authority, Cabinet Authority, The Coatings Authority, Studio A and the group’s holding company into the 18,000-square-foot location, Home Authority President and CEO Rachael Boyer said Thursday, Nov. 12.
“It’s just the right location. It’s the perfect building. I believe it was built for us,” Boyer said.
Boyer’s husband, Jeff Boyer, is president of The Coatings Authority. The couple evenly shares ownership of all the firms.
Boyer said they had been looking at the building since 2017, but it wasn’t until November 2019 that they closed the deal with the owner. A refinancing started in March 2020 brought its own headaches, with requirements that forced the couple to tear out the walls and upgrade the electrical, plumbing and mechanical systems - all in 38 working days - to get the building ready to meet the refinancing requirements by Sept. 23.
It was a hectic time, Boyer said, but they’re close to getting their certificate of occupancy.
“I don’t recommend that (renovation timeline) to anyone on planet Earth,” Boyer said.
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The Coatings Authority and the holding company should be operating in the building by the end of November, with a grand opening planned for spring 2021, Boyer said.
The building’s size - much bigger than the 3,000-quare-foot shop the companies had been headquartered out of in far north Moorhead - offers flexibility and room to grow, she said.
“We love the fact that it is in Moorhead, because we’ve always been a Moorhead business,” Boyer said. “It’s very visible, very easy for people to get to.”
The companies have their own addresses within the building. The holding company is at 2809 Highway 10 E. The Home Authority is at 2821, Cabinet Authority at 2815, the design Studio A is at 2827 and The Coatings Authority is at 2833.
The Coatings Authority, which handles cabinet refinishing, interior and exterior painting and custom floor coatings, launched in 1996 as the Brush’s End Painting Co. Concrete FX and Blast FX followed.
Boyer had been working in the medical field and running the companies while Jeff Boyer was in charge of operations for the firms.
In 2016, they rebranded the companies: The Home Authority does primarily remodeling and some new construction; Cabinet Authority is a custom cabinet firm; Studio A offers design and a private collection that includes custom-made tables, shelves and other furnishings and special request items; and The Coatings Authority.
To that point, “we never really found the need to have a central location and/or a showroom” because customers hadn’t asked for one, Boyer said. But the market shifted. Now, potential customers “are more likely to ask, ‘Do you have a showroom?’ They want to be able to touch and feel. They want to be able to see what we have and what we can offer."
A showroom is being built to mimic the experience of walking into someone’s home. There will be a display bathroom, dining room, a full living room with fireplace and TV, a fully functional kitchen, a theater and bar area, and a garage area with the company’s signature shelving. All of it designed to show off multiple finishes, cabinetry, furniture and other goods the companies offer to customize homes.
“We’re going to be constantly changing and evolving. You can have the experience of touching and feeling without being overwhelmed. We want it to be a comfortable, relaxing environment” for customers to make decisions, she said.
There will also be a conference room available for businesses to use for their retreats, with access to a kitchen and the theater and bar area.
The businesses serve a 90-mile radius from Fargo-Moorhead, Boyer said, reaching out as far as Minnesota’s Lakes Country.
A number of finishes in the new building must still be completed and inventory brought in, Boyer said. In the meantime, she said people can call 701-936-5610 for appointments.
“We're really looking forward to opening up. We’re looking forward to being a destination location,” Boyer said.