When the Friedman Brothers flagship Petaluma store closed in 1976 for rehabilitation of its dilapidated building, owners Benny and Joe Friedman placed this sign in the window: "Closed, but we will be back."
Four months later, the building burned down and plans to reopen were shelved.
Now, after 46 years, Friedman's Home Improvement is poised to return to its hometown.
On Tuesday at the Chamber of Commerce breakfast meeting, Bill Friedman and his son, Barry, unveiled plans for their fourth North Bay home improvement warehouse.
"Their dream was always to come back to their roots," Bill Friedman said of the company's founders, his father, Benny and uncle, Joe. "Well, here is their dream."
Friedman's is set to return to the city of its birth next year as the anchor tenant of Deer Creek Village, the second-largest shopping center in Petaluma. The site will include a 78,000-square-foot main store along North McDowell Boulevard at Rainier Avenue in Petaluma.
Bill Friedman said he and his son hope to bring to the Petaluma store "all the best things from our other three stores" and ideas from other stores they've visited nationwide.
"We want to put it all together and make this the shining star of our fleet," he said.
The front of the store is planned to have two 35-foot-tall "living walls" covered in live greenery that will be fed and watered automatically, changing with the seasons. Two similar 16-foot walls will bracket the entrance to the 20,000-square-foot nursery.
"It just makes it wonderful," Bill Friedman said. "It softens the whole concept of the store."