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Jeweler Shines with Metal Exterior

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When Michael Eller chose to house his thriving jewelry store in a newly constructed building, he wanted the exterior to project a positive image that would enhance his reputation.


After many years as a successful jeweler, Michael Eller decided to own, rather than rent, space for his Findlay, OH, business. He invested in a 7,500-sq.-ft. building that combines an image-setting mix of metal building systems with conventional construction. The building is large enough initially to serve his needs and includes two, 1,700-sq.-ft. spaces he rents to other merchants. The investment in direct ownership could pay for itself in five years, based on the rent he once paid in a strip center and the revenue from the rental space.

A standing-seam, metal roof system from Butler reflects the positive image the jeweler has established.

Millstream Building Systems Inc., Defiance, OH, was selected to lead the design/build program. The jeweler and the contractor had become acquainted during previous construction and renovation programs. However, this project offered an opportunity to develop a facility specifically tailored to the immediate-and future-needs of the jewelry shop. Eller brought a number of ideas to the planning meetings, including the need for strong curb appeal to reinforce an already strong business identity and the need for interior space with distinctive merchandising character.

Craig Spoon, the designer/builder, combined building systems with traditional materials to achieve Eller’s vision within an affordable budget. The project applied a 65- x 117-ft. single-slope Widespan framing system with the MR-24 standing-seam, metal roof system from Butler Mfg. Co., Kansas City, MO. The absence of interior columns enables Eller to absorb the rented space on either side for any future expansion of his store. Gas-fired/electric-cooled HVAC package units maintain a comfortable environment. Because jewelry stores normally have a high footcandle requirement, the air-conditioning system, equipped with economizers, was sized to operate throughout the year. The system gains added energy efficiency from a roof/ceiling assembly that has a total of 12 in. of insulation. The studwalls incorporate 4 in. of thermal barrier.

The split-face block used for the wall construction has an exterior insulation and finish system that achieved the “street presence” sought by the owner. Because local codes limited signage, the diamond shop uses the upper faade as the background for a strong, graphic identity.

Systems construction enabled Millstream to close in the building quickly, despite a late-fall construction start, and to fully complete the project in just six months.

“It was the smartest thing we could have done. We were already the number-one jeweler in Findlay, but the more visible location has helped to increase my sales by 25%. The rental revenue off the leased space finds me paying no more for a building I own than for the space I rented. I’m building equity and have a potential source of retirement income. We even enjoyed some nice depreciation our first year when we were already in a positive cash-flow condition. How could a successful business not afford to do this?” Eller said.