Former furniture showroom complex at 400 West English gets new life as Congdon Yards

Facility delivers year-round, multi-purpose use within downtown market area

HIGH POINT – In years past, many in the industry remember the 400 block of West English Road as a place to come twice a year to shop furniture.

The addresses at 410 and 400 W. English – known as Plant 7 and The Factory, respectively, housed showrooms for companies including South Cone, Four Hands, Fine Furniture Design & Marketing and Eddy West to name several, not to mention some 60,000 square feet of space for the Bermex Group of companies that includes Midi, Shermag, Dinec and Bermex, among other brands.

Not only did these companies draw buyers from around the world at the spring and fall markets; the buildings and their tenants also hosted some epic parties and dinners at market, drawing major retailers including Gabberts, Furnitureland South, HOM Furniture and Kittle’s to name several.

This is a view of the Congdon Yards complex as seen from West English Road

Not to mention, country music star Eric Church also performed at the building as part of a rollout of his licensed line with Pulaski Furniture that launched in 2015.

While those days have come and gone, the building has seen renewed vigor as a multi-use facility called Congdon Yards. Its redevelopment was funded with more than $40 million from David Congdon of Old Dominion Freight Line and the Earl and Kathryn Congdon Family Foundation of High Point.

Through that initiative, Business High Point, part of the High Point Chamber of Commerce, then launched HP365 to help revitalize the area not just as a place for showrooms open to the public twice a year, but for year-round business activity. Thus, Congdon Yards was brought to life.

Today the former Plant 7 portion of the building houses year-round tenants including the offices of A.R.T. Furniture and sister company Jonathan Charles, the corporate headquarters of Culp Inc. and the corporate offices of design firm Barbour Spangle Design Group to name a few.

Professionals gather inside The Commons area of Congdon Yards during a recent weekday.

Perched in between these offices on several floors throughout the building are conference rooms and smaller satellite offices for local firms where employees can hold small meetings or zoom calls and perform other work throughout their day.

In addition, the building houses a café and open meeting area on the ground floor called The Commons. There, and in the outside Courtyard area, a crowd of professionals was seen hanging out on a recent weekday to collaborate and spend time together in a welcoming post-Covid landscape, chatting over a specialty coffee or spiced caramel apple tea from Lil’s Coffee Bar.

On the ground floor there is also a display area for a materials samples offered by Material ConneXion, a global materials consultancy that helps companies identify solutions that include a mix of on-trend and sustainable materials to use in their product mix.

There is even an on-site manufacturing workshop called The Generator that produces samples for furniture designers and retailers looking for a quick turnaround for their design studios and sales floors. It includes machinery ranging from 5 and 3-axis CNC machines to large-scale case clamp devices.

These and other machines are available to produce samples quickly for customers that can’t find available capacity elsewhere, Walt Ruffier, executive director of The Generator, told Home News Now during a recent tour of the shop.

The Factory portion of the building, which was recently vacated by Bermex Group, this past summer, is available for lease for permanent space. According to a timeline for the project, Phase 1 retrofitting of this building began in May in order to open the space for permanent tenants. A restaurant is expected to open in December, the timeline stated.

Thomas Russell

Home News Now Editor-in-Chief Thomas Russell has covered the furniture industry for 25 years at various daily and weekly consumer and trade publications. He can be reached at and at 336-508-4616.

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