Published on October 5th, 2015 |0
Aaron’s company headquarters leaving Buckhead for Cobb after 55 years
In what may be a history-making move, the furniture and electronic rental retailer founded by Atlanta native and Buckhead civic and business leader Charles Loudermilk, is selling its office
tower across North Fulton Avenue from the Buckhead Atlanta development.
It reportedly has signed a lease for space at the Atlanta Galleria Office Park with Childress Klein as the landlord, but neither Childress Klein officials nor The Wilbert Group, that represents Aaron’s, would comment to Bisnow.
The deal means the company, formerly known as Aaron Rents, will leave its headquarters at 309 East Paces Ferry Road for the first time in 55 years, since it was founded in 1955 by Charlie Loudermilk.
Loudermilk borrowed money and purchased surplus folding chairs and rented out the chairs to auction houses and parties for 10 cents each, according to information in his biography at the time of his 2012 retirement.
As a child, Charlie Loudermilk sat on the western side of what is now Charlie Loudermilk Park in Buckhead and sold Coca-Colas for 5 cents each to earn money to go to the movies at the Buckhead Theatre, which he spent millions of dollars to restore just a few years ago. The Buckhead Theatre is just a couple of blocks away from the Aaron’s building where he later established one of Buckhead’s leading local companies.
From the humble beginning of renting folding chairs, the lease-to-own Aaron’s company first grew along with the Atlanta population, and then grew nationally through franchises operations. Today, the company has some 2,000 stores across the nation with 1.5 million customers.
Both Charlie Loudermilk and his son Robin Loudermilk, a Buckhead business leader in his own right and former president of Aaron’s, left the company and their ownership of the building through the company in the past few years to concentrate on real estate development projects.
The Loudermilks no longer control Aaron’s nor do they own what has been the Aaron’s headquarters building in Bucklhead. It is owned by the company, but has been on the market for sale.
The family controls many parcels in Buckhead as well as in Midtown, and most recently filed a permit with the City of Atlanta to begin redeveloping 359 East Paces Ferry Road into a 12-story, 125,000-square-foot spec office building in Buckhead Village.
This past year, Aaron’s purchased Progressive Finance to help it expand further into the virtual rent-to-own business, catering to “credit-challenged customers” with furniture, appliances and electronics.
Company officials say going forward Aaron’s plans to focus on same-store revenue growth and further online market share grab with a new e-commerce platfor