KAI Design & Build has completed the renovation of four former Rothman Furniture stores in the St. Louis Metro area into Art Van Furniture. The stores are located in Bridgeton, O'Fallon and South St. Louis County in Missouri and in Fairview Heights in Illinois.

"The KAI team did beyond an amazing job on this project. From high expectations to short timelines, we really started KAI off behind schedule before they even got onsite. Everything was completed on time, per spec and within budget. Our team couldn't be happier," said Jay Steinback, president and CEO at Art Van of St. Louis.

Steinback commissioned KAI as the general contractor to renovate and convert the existing facilities into newly franchised showroom spaces. The existing stores required updated lighting and finishes, new offices and the salvaging of as much sales floor space as possible, at a total construction cost of $3.5 million.

Because the existing stores were still occupied while planning for the new Art Van Furniture stores was underway, KAI utilized a significant amount of pre-planning, phasing and early budgeting to accelerate the project schedules and complete the four-store remodel in roughly four weeks.

"Daily coordination was key for this project, along with maintaining open lines of communication. Any time work is being completed in phases while the space is occupied, whether its retail or commercial space or a healthcare environment, communication is always one of the keys to the success of the project," said KAI Senior Project Manager Jeremy Lammers.

The UP Cos., which includes Power UP Electrical Contractors and Square UP Builders, provided carpentry, drywall and electrical services on the project.

“It’s not every day that a minority firm is provided an opportunity to construct a major retailer's locations; especially four at the same time," said KAI President Michael Kennedy, Jr. "I would ask everyone who believes in diversity to support Art Van Furniture, which has an amazing, diverse staff and gives opportunities to diverse business owners. In a time where stores are getting black-listed by minority communities for racism in their ads or how their staff treats their customers, we should celebrate Jay Steinback and Art Van for doing great things for the community."