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Merchandise Mart relocates casual furnishings industry tenants

The Merchandise Mart announced it successfully finalized lease agreements to relocate 21 tenants to the casual industry's new dedicated location on floors 15 and 16 of The Design Center at The Merchandise Mart.

All tenants on the 17th floor have been re-leased with new showrooms on the 15th floor beginning in October 2012. Twelve tenants have elected to expand their new showroom spaces, and some have opted to extend their leases through 2020.

"For years, Pride Family Brands has been committed to maintaining a major presence within the Mart and are excited about the renewed focus that is being given to our category with the redesign of the showroom floors," said Steve Lowsky, president of Pride Family Brands. "With the relocation, Pride will hold a prominent position on the newly designed 15th floor and offer our buyers an 11,000-sq.-ft. space with expanded features for showcasing our products."

In addition to the 17th floor showrooms relocating to the 15th floor, the leasing team has a waiting list of new companies interested in opening showrooms.

"We're happy to have the support of our casual furnishings tenants to carry out our vision for one, united destination in the Mart for the finest outdoor/casual products in the world," said John H. Brennen III, executive vice president of MMPI. "Our goal is to better serve our buyers and designers and provide them with the best shopping experience for casual furnishings and accessories."

Currently MMPI is working with award-winning designer Gary Lee on the new casual industry destination floors. By the end of 2012, tenants and visitors to the Mart can expect to see newly-appointed hallways and amenities that are part of the approximately $30 million investment MMPI is making into the casual, design center and gift industries.

MMPI is also working with tenants on the relocation and construction of their new spaces. Visitors can expect to see exciting showroom build-outs from the industry's top manufacturers. Together, these best-in-class showrooms represent some 75 product lines.

The floor changes will not affect the 2012 July ICFA Preview Show, or the 2012 September Market. It is estimated that the construction of the casual/outdoor furnishing floors will be completed by October 2012.

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