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Independent store owners manage business risks every day. Successful high-end retailers like James Mohaber understand that investing in their brand pays off in the long run. Feeling that there was an opportunity to improve his store’s curb appeal, Mohaber needed to invest in a bold new look. After decades in the industry, Mohaber decided it was time to renovate his rug gallery. It was time to celebrate his hard-earned success and renew his position in bustling West Hollywood. He envisioned a storefront that demanded to be noticed, and ALPOLIC metal composite materials (MCM) helped him bring his vision to life.

The original storefront of James Royce Rug Gallery did little to stand out among the neighborhood boutiques. The simple, gabled house design of the showroom appeared too washed out in the busy Californian metro area. Shops along La Cienega Boulevard benefit from a consistently high volume of traffic and curb appeal helps businesses compete for those customers. Mohaber charged Cali Architects to deliver a dramatic makeover for increased visibility.

Inspired by the sleek look of a Santa Monica storefront, featuring black and silver panels made with darkened glass, the firm conceived a render with a similar envelope designed to emphasize James Royce Rug Gallery’s elegant, contemporary rug inventory. While the overall look appealed, Mohaber deemed the original choice of materials too shiny and potentially fragile. Cali Architects then turned to ALPOLIC to achieve the desired facade. A perfect partner for retailers across the world, metal composite materials provide the strength and rigidity in lightweight, highly adaptable building material.

 

Lightweight and adaptable, MCM delivers your vision without compromise

“We always experiment with the aesthetics and quality of different materials,” said Albert Hezgiayan, president and founder of Cali Architects, a design leader in contemporary architecture. "We initially experimented with 3-D rendering, using different materials for the building façade. Not only did ALPOLIC seem to be the best material during planning, but after the panels were fully installed, it looked even better than imagined.”

During the specification process, the multitude of color variations and wide gloss range of the finishes attracted Cali Architects to metal composite materials. ALPOLIC’s TOB Black MCM provided the ideal color and level of shine the customer requested, framed with sophistication using ALPOLIC stainless steel composite material. D&R Glass, Inc. fabricated and installed the panels expertly. Richard Scott, president, notes that ALPOLIC is used frequently throughout the retail industry. “We promote it because we love the product, specifically due to the finishes.” The result is a chic envelope that showcases the quality products inside. The renovation, completed in 2020, added approximately 800 square feet to the retail space and incorporated over 1,800 sq ft of MCM in a wet seal cladding system. The new James Royce Rug gallery stands out prominently giving the impression of a multi-storied building.

ALPOLIC storefront.

A new storefront shines bright in ALPOLIC MCM TOB Black and Stainless Steel.

 

Premium ALPOLIC MCM is trusted to look as good as new for decades

D&R Glass, Inc., a veteran fabricator in Southern California, has trusted ALPOLIC often over the last ten years with retail brands both large and small. Scott knew these quality materials could help realize the owner’s vision, providing a look that lasts. “ALPOLIC is known in the industry,” said Scott. “They are a good company.” No one stands behind their building products like ALPOLIC. Backed by an industry-leading warranty, his business façade will continue to look like new for years after lessor materials would have failed.

This project marked the first time Cali Architects has worked with MCM, and the success of the James Royce Rug Gallery retrofit has inspired them to continue to use ALPOLIC MCM on the three-story building behind the showroom. “We are looking forward to using the same material for the new residential extension behind the storefront. The design will allow motorists and pedestrians to see the finishes used from the boulevard.”

ALPOLIC storefront.

Lightweight MCM has little maintenance. Cleaning can be as easy as a freshwater rinse.

ALPOLIC storefront.

An investment protected: ALPOLIC stands behind their product like no other, giving owners peace of mind.

Hezgiayan found that MCM worked well for his design, and the low maintenance became a big selling factor for the owner. Mohaber said the ease with which the ALPOLIC can be cleaned with basic rainwater is a benefit. “Every so often I have a company that comes to wash the exterior. When it dries, it does not leave spots. When it’s clean, it’s beautiful.” The investment in a new storefront has marked his accomplishment.

The process of creating a new space for his business was a trial for Mohaber, but the results proved that it was a risk worth taking. Knowing that his stand-out storefront featuring TOB Black has a 30-year finish warranty, affordable MCM was the right investment. As a premium retailer, Mohaber trusted ALPOLIC metal composite materials to showcase the museum-quality collection at James Royce Rug Gallery. “We ran into many problems growing this business; but the ALPOLIC, that was never a problem,” he said. With over 39 years in the business, Mohaber has developed a successful enterprise focused on luxury and refined culture, and his fashion-forward rugs now have a showroom that speaks to that modern design aesthetic.

 

Yajaida Pacheco is the marketing communications coordinator for Chesapeake, Va.-based Mitsubishi Chemical America's (MCA) ALPOLIC Division. Rigo Vega is the architectural sales manager for Southern California, ready to bring your next vision to life.