Capitalism with a cause

Spirit of new Gallery Furniture in Fort Bend

reater Fort Bend Economic Development Council Consultant Mike Flory (center visits with Gallery Furniture’s 19- year employee Steve Arnold (left) and Steve Salazar, who’s been with Mattress Mac for 27 years.

reater Fort Bend Economic Development Council Consultant Mike Flory (center visits with Gallery Furniture’s 19- year employee Steve Arnold (left) and Steve Salazar, who’s been with Mattress Mac for 27 years.

With a new showroom for Gallery Furniture in the making in Fort Bend alongside the Grand Parkway, the recent groundbreaking this month leads the way to its opening, planned for near the end of the year. Just last week on June 3,Jim “Mack” McIngvale, the store’s owner and no stranger to Fort Bend, stood in front of a mud and dirt site joined by his supportive family, employees, friends and significant others at The Market at Long Meadows Farm in Richmond.  His classic, vocal intonation promising to “save you money” now seems to come with another verbal message – “practicing capitalism with a cause.”  It’s something McIngvale said he will do in Fort Bend, “give back to the community,” a byproduct of making money.  Back in December, McIngvale received a philanthropy award from former President George H.W. Bush for his service to the community, including funding programs in about 30 middle schools aimed at student academic achievement while avoiding gang association, drug use and other harmful behaviors. 

Greater Fort Bend Economic Development President Jeff Wiley, Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Karri Schmidt, and Fort Bend County Commissioner James Patterson behold a chuck of FortBend at the recent Gallery Furniture groundbreaking

Greater Fort Bend Economic Development President Jeff Wiley, Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Karri Schmidt, and Fort Bend County Commissioner James Patterson behold a chuck of FortBend at the recent Gallery Furniture groundbreaking

The new store, representing the third one in the Houston metro area and the largest one, will employ about 150.  This will be the latest place in their business history after both McIngvale and his wife, Laura, came from Dallas to Houstonto open their first store in 1981 with what they had, $5,000.

Behind where McIngvale stood on over 100 acres, there will be a 165,000 sq. ft. showroom with an indoor playground and a tree house for the children of those shopping, and even a full service restaurant “with Texas cuisine from around the area,” said one of his two daughters, Laura McInvale Brown.  Together with her husband she currently owns a steakhouse in Austin and will be opening the one locally.

Puttin’ on the hat – Laura McIngvale Brown helps her dad.

Puttin’ on the hat – Laura McIngvale Brown helps her dad.

Speaking at the groundbreaking, Fort Bend County Precinct 4 Commissioner James Patterson said the area is in a county’s assistance district allowing it to collect a penny sales tax from the store’s sales for infrastructure development.  Already the district’s collections have funded a turnaround under West Bellfort and the Grand Parkway, a U-turn under the Grand Parkway, and another lane on a feeder road for preventing traffic congestion, said Commissioner Patterson.

Angelic bell sounds added to the festivities featuring the special appearance of the Brookwood Community hand bell choir. The organization’s disabled adults will have a presence at the new store where they will be selling their products.

As the “ta-dah” of the ground breaking, a captivating airplane skywriter gracefully hovered in the Fort Bend skies over the construction site. His smoke message of a social media hashtag later that day would lead to renderings and information of the new Gallery Furniture.

The Star welcomes all that comprises the family of Gallery Furniture to its new home – Fort Bend!

Short URL: http://www.fortbendstar.com/?p=41003

Posted by on Jun 12 2014. Filed under The StarSpotter. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

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