CodeBlue closes fire sale business

A Springfield water mitigation company recently closed a retail store in downtown Springfield that specialized in selling discounted items recovered from damaged businesses and homes.

CodeBlue, with offices in Springfield and Eau Claire, Wis., recently allowed the lease to expire at its Firesale Warehouse at 122 E. Main St., said Wayne Sharrah, president and CEO of the company. The store had only two employees who will take other positions within the company, Sharrah said.

The store was typically stocked with items from insurance companies. After a fire or flood, insurance firms often replace appliances and other items, even in cases in which the items can be saved. Those items were taken to the Firesale Warehouse, where CodeBlue sold them and split the proceeds with insurers. The store was open to the public, but most of the items were sold online at sites like eBay, Sharrah said.

Instead, CodeBlue is placing more emphasis on the inventory services side of its business, and no longer needed the storefront, Sharrah said. The building is owned by the Turner Foundation.

“They had an immediate need to utilize the space and there was a mutual agreement that instead of a storefront, we’re going to do more of the inventory services aspect of it,” Sharrah said.

In inventory services, CodeBlue works with insurers and their clients to provide more accurate values for items damaged in a flood or fire.

“We found that the real interest is in the inventory services, not so much the repurpose side of the business,” Sharrah said.

The vacant space will be divided into three distinct storefronts, said Daren Cotter, chief financial for the Turner Foundation. At least one new tenant could be in place by January, although negotiations are ongoing, Cotter said.

The Turner Foundation also recently built four apartments in the upper floors of the building, all of which are occupied. The next step is to build three additional apartments in a separate portion of the building, for a total of seven apartments. Those will be finished by the end of December, and all could be occupied by January, Cotter said.

There are also plans to remodel the exterior of the building.

“We think that will be really attractive coming up Spring Street headed south into downtown,” Cotter said.

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