A furniture store building in Sherman may soon see new life as a heavy machinery dealership.

The Sherman City Council unanimously approved a Chapter 380 incentive agreement with Berry Companies for a new Bobcat construction equipment storefront. The property, located at 4612 Texoma Pkwy., was the home of Havertys Furniture until June of last year when it was announced the furniture store would be closing permanently after 30 years of operations in Sherman. It was later announced that Holiday Powersports planned to move into the location, but the plans were later cancelled, representatives said.

“Sherman faced heavy competition from other local cities, both in Grayson County and southern Oklahoma,” Nate Strauch, Sherman community and support services manager, said via email. “So the fact that this incentive can be utilized to put Sherman over the top when it comes to these corporate decisions, that’s the real key for us. We want these businesses in Sherman because they provide long-lasting benefits to our citizens.”

Developers with Berry Companies said during the council’s recent meeting the company planned to renovate the former furniture store to serve as a showroom and storefront for Bobcat equipment and accessories. The site will primarily focus on new equipment, but the company has worked with used equipment and rentals in the past.

Randy Vickers, representing Berry Companies, said plans call for about 12-15 full-time employees at the site and about $3.5 million in inventory on site. Vickers estimated the store would have between $6 million and $8 million in sales each year. Of that income, Vickers estimated about 75 percent to 80 percent is taxable.

In addition to the inventory, Vickers said the company plans to invest up to an additional $500,000 to renovate the site to meet the company’s needs. Over the course of the next three to five years, Vickers said he expects the business to expand to about 25 to 30 employees.

The Chapter 380 incentive agreement will be a sales tax rebate that will allow the company to receive an annual payment from Sherman equal to 50 percent of its sales tax revenue for the next two years.

Bill Wastoskie, representing CenterPoint Commercial Properties helped serve as an agent for the deal with Berry, and also was involved with the proposed move for Holiday Powersports. Wastoskie said the initial deal fell through when owners for the powersports dealer decided to sell the division.

“They (the buyers) probably had a different direction than the original owners did,” he said.

While many new developments often seek prime real estate along U.S. Highway 75, Wastoskie said there is a steady supply of second-generation buildings along Texoma Parkway. The demand for these properties, and unique and nontraditional uses for them, will only grow larger as the region continues to expand, he said.

“Sherman and Denison have an interesting challenge and opportunities and you are starting to see interesting developments pop up from it,” Wastoskie said.