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ONTARIO, CA-Furniture retailer Mathis Bros. plans a 370,000-sf retail outlet on a 14.6-acre site that the Oklahoma City-based chain has agreed to buy from the City of Ontario. Carol Plowman of Lee & Associates in Ontario, who represented Mathis in negotiations with the city, reports that the store would occupy a site at in The Ontario Center on the corner of Inland Boulevard and Ferrari Street adjacent to the 10 Freeway. The furniture superstore would be built at an estimated cost of $27 million and would be one of the largest retail furniture outlets in Southern California.Plowman says the contract between Mathis and the city, which represented itself in the sale agreement, is in the process of being presented to the Ontario City Council for final approval. If approved by the council, the sale is expected to close by the end of this year.Bill Mathis, one of the furniture chain’s owners, says the company was drawn to the location because of the Inland Empire’s continuing growth, which has attracted a number of national and regional retailers in recent years that have opened their first stores ever in the Riverside-San Bernardino region. Ontario’s mayor, Gary C. Ovitt, says the furniture chain’s choice of the city “is another aspect of the ongoing evolution and maturation of the regional commercial real estate market” in the Inland Empire.Mathis says that besides the general growth in the Inland Empire, his company also was attracted by the specific location of the new store at a “prime placement at the interchange of the I-15 and I-10 freeways and surrounded by thousands of planned and existing homes and apartments.” He says the store will offer “furniture for the whole house for the lowest possible price at one location.”Mathis Bros. Furniture Stores was founded in 1940 and operates stores in Oklahoma City, Tulsa and Indio, which is its only California store.

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