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Tiger Lily’s finds updated space

Michael C. Juliano, Staff Writer
Published: 08:11 p.m., Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Tiger Lily’s Greenwich is moving toward a more modern look.

The designer of upholstery, custom furniture and window treatments with 16 workers is relocating after about 15 years at a 3,700-square-foot space at 241 E. Putnam Ave. in the Cos Cob section of Greenwich to a 4,200-square-foot shop with an updated appearance at 154 Prospect St., near Belle Haven.

“It’s more industrial-looking on the outside, and on the inside, reminds you of an old airplane hangar,” saidBetsy Knapp, who started the business in 1992 with her husband, Robert Knapp, in a 1,000-square-foot shop on West Putnam Avenue. “Everybody is getting into new media, more edgy fabrics and away from our comfort zone.”

Betsy Knapp said the new location also has a loft, drop lights and old vinyl flooring to reflect Tiger Lily’s evolving line of products and services, which also include wallpapering, refinishing and interior decorating.

“We probably have the largest selections of fabrics and trim in Fairfield County,” said Betsy Knapp, who handles sales and design with her daughter, Samantha Knapp, while Robert heads production.

The space for Tiger Lily’s is owned by Fareri Associates & West Corp. of Greenwich.

In addition to its modern feel, Tiger Lily’s new location, which carries about 1,000 different fabrics and has its custom furniture made in Manhattan, is in a part of Greenwich that has become home to an Equinox gym and a couple of new restaurants, Betsy Knapp said.

“It’s an up-and-coming area,” she said.

Rental rates for retail space across Greenwich have stabilized to about $25 per square foot, except for on Greenwich Avenue, where rates are from $75 to $100 and climbing, said Ron Brien, director of commercial leasing at M.H. Heaven Real Estate in Greenwich.

“On Greenwich Avenue, the rents were lowered to the lowest point in a decade in 2009 and early part of 2010, but now they’re creeping back up because of pent-up demand and low supply,” he said, adding that Tiger Lily’s future home may be less visible than its current location but it is still a high-quality space.

“For the right use, it’s a great building,” Brien said.



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