MONROE, MI- La-Z-Boy announced today it is exploring options to build a new world headquarters in its hometown of Monroe, MI. The furniture manufacturer said the move is contingent upon the approval of state and local incentives and the purchase of land from the Immaculate Heart of Mary religious order in Monroe.

Kurt Darrow, La-Z-Boy chairman, president and CEO, said the company hopes to finalize the decision by the end of the year. In addition to Monroe, La-Z-Boy also considered other sites in southeast Michigan and northwest Ohio.

"This project would be a large undertaking for La-Z-Boy and will only be feasible in Michigan with financial support and assistance from the State of Michigan, Monroe County, the City of Monroe, Frenchtown Township, and others," Darrow said in a statement.

The 85-year-old La-Z-Boy said it plans to develop a landmark campus for the company's estimated 500 employees at headquarters. "The World Headquarters project is the start of an exciting new chapter for La-Z-Boy, and we are enthused about our potential purchase agreement with the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, and with the possibility of staying in Monroe," Darrow said.

La-Z-Boy said the new world headquarters would be a LEED-certified building. Although it has not been fully decided, the company said it would explore options to redevelop its current facility and grounds "that would be beneficial to the community."

"The La-Z-Boy project will demonstrate that sustainability incorporates economic, social and environmental and spiritual values. That is why this project is so appealing to IHM," said Sister Janet Ryan in a statement.

 La-Z-Boy to Acquire Nine Furniture Galleries

In other news, La-Z-Boy announced earlier this week plans to acquire nine La-Z-Boy Furniture Galleries stores and a distribution center in southern Ohio. 2011 combined revenue for the stores was approximately $30 million.

The transaction is expected to close in October.

La-Z-Boy said the stores and distribution center would become part of the corporation's retail operations, bringing the number of company-owned stores to 94, out of 312 La-Z-Boy Furniture Galleries currently operated.

A leading producer of residential furniture, La-Z-Boy's Upholstery Group companies include Bauhaus, England and La-Z-Boy. The operating units in the Casegoods Group include American Drew, Lea and Hammary, as well as Kincaid.

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