How a Green Carpet Cleaning Franchise Found a New Home In a Model Green Neighborhood
World’s largest carpet cleaner relocates to Nashville’s LEED-certified Gulch community
We’ve finally settled into our new offices in Nashville, Tenn. Man, we’re happy to get here and get going, and we’ve found the perfect place to do it.
As many of you already know, we’re so committed to environmentally safe products that every year at our convention, our staff and franchisees toast our success by downing shots of our patented carbonated cleaning solution, The Natural. So when we decided we wanted to open a regional franchise support center in Nashville, we chose a prime spot in one of the nation’s premier, green urban developments.
Our 8,500 square feet of new office space occupies a renovated electric company warehouse in The Gulch, a mixed-use urban community near downtown with housing, retail shops, restaurants and 1.5 million square feet of leasable office space.
We like to say that Chem-Dry was green when green was just a color, before green was cool. We wanted our new franchise support center to signify more than just our business growth, we wanted to make sure it fit our commitment to sustainable practices and development. And it does. Everybody’s happy with the location. It’s a marvelous old building with tremendous character, easily accessible to downtown and Midtown, and it’s sustainable, too. It’s everything we could have hoped for.
Here’s some information about The Gulch: The city and a Nashville real estate development firm called MarketStreet Enterprises started developing the project in 2002 on a decrepit former rail yard near downtown. It was designed along the principles of new urbanism, which stresses connectivity, walkability, diversity and environmentally sound building and transportation. In 2009, the U.S. Green Building Council presented The Gulch with a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design for Neighborhood Development (LEED-ND) designation, the first in the South and only the 13th in the world.
The development blends nicely with one of our founding principles. Since Robert Harris founded us in 1977, we’ve embraced all-natural cleaning agents and processes, steering clear of harmful chemicals and steam-cleaning practices that saturate carpet and breed mold and mildew.
Of course, we opened offices in Nashville mainly to better serve our franchisees and further develop our franchise base east of the Mississippi. We’re well established out West, but we wanted a place that was more convenient for entrepreneurs in the Deep South, Midwest, East Coast and Northeast, and Nashville’s location made it a perfect choice. It’s got a major international airport and lots of entertainment options, too, which never hurts!
So we’ve invested more than $1 million in the new location, creating 30 new jobs. We’ve moved our executives, finance and accounting, franchise development and marketing functions to Nashville; our franchise support and training, research and development and manufacturing functions will remain at our original headquarters in Logan, Utah.
Even with more than 3,500 units around the world, we’re expanding rapidly because Chem-Dry offers one of the franchise industry’s best values at a time when our services are in more demand than ever.
The recession has killed most homeowners’ incentive to sell, which means they’re generally more willing to spend for upkeep, and, with home and business owners installing an estimated 14 billion square feet of new carpet every year, it’s already a business with built-in demand. An entrepreneur can open a Chem-Dry franchise for an initial investment as low as $34,000, and we offer affordable, in-house financing, a rarity and blessing at a time when banks are still wary of issuing small business loans. That’s one reason why we’re especially popular with veterans, primarily ones recently discharged after service in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The move allows us to reach more talented, driven entrepreneurs in search of a great low-cost, high-return franchise opportunity. Setting up shop in a LEED-certified community like The Gulch helps reinforce the message that we’re serious about doing business the right way. Interested in joining us? Download the free franchise information report containing detailed information about our system and the opportunity it presents, including details about our products, systems, financing and more.