Scholet Furniture - Oneonta, NY
The Scholet family has been selling furniture in New York's Mohawk Valley since 1934 when the grandfather of current owner Arthur Scholet bought a furniture store in Cobleskill that had been in operation since 1882.
Arthur Scholet has spent nearly his entire career in the business, except for the first year following his graduation from college when he worked as a teacher. He assisted his father in managing the daily operations of the business from 1972 to 1984 when he then became president of the company, which has stores in Norwich, Cobleskill and Oneonta.
In 2012, Scholet saw an opportunity he could not pass up. A major competitor, the owner of Drogen's Furniture, was getting ready to exit the furniture business and his property in Oneonta was for sale. The location on State Highway 23, in the middle of the primary commercial district in the city, was ideal for expanding Scholet Furniture.
"The decision to purchase the location of Drogen’s Furniture, a long-time competitor, had several major factors. It was a big investment for Scholet Furniture, but it eliminated its largest competitor in Oneonta and provided Scholet Furniture with a larger and more highly trafficked location," said Ross Pancoe, vice president of NYBDC, who helped secure the necessary financing for the purchase and renovations to the property.
Working with Geoffrey Rightmyer of NBT Bank, Pancoe put together a $3,798,900 financing package for the purchase and improvement of the 32,340-square-foot building.
"The relocation and expansion plans made excellent business sense to us. By partnering with NYBDC we were able to provide attractive financing terms and maintain and expand our longstanding relationship with Scholet Furniture," said Rightmyer. "In partnership with NYBDC and Empire State CDC, NBT was able to provide 90 percent financing for Mr. Scholet’s relocation and expansion, preserving valuable working capital for inventory expansion."
"This project is a great example of how creatively the 504 program can be utilized," Pancoe said. "Arthur Scholet purchased and renovated a larger location with no money down through the use of the 504 program. In lieu of cash equity, ESCDC took a mortgage on another Scholet Furniture store, which allowed it to utilize the equity in that location for the equity needed to acquire and renovate the new location. Without this structure it would have been difficult for Mr. Scholet to take advantage of this great opportunity, let alone have the cash needed to buy additional inventory and grow the business with this new larger location."
Scholet said the experience working with NYBDC and NBT Bank was very smooth. "I would encourage others to pursue a 504 loan through NYBDC. You’re able to fix a very attractive rate for a very long time."
With renovations to the building, including an enhanced storefront with larger windows, complete, Scholet said sales are growing and he’s added seven new employees. "Oneonta is growing as an economic center and we have a great position right next to the mall, so we have a pretty bright future."
Art Scholet of Scholet Furniture