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Saturday, Sep 23, 2023

Instead of Expansion, Lumber Firm Opens Antique Shop

The best revenge is living well, the adage that marked the conspicuous consumption of the 1980s, has taken a new twist in Agoura Hills. Mike Tuchman, the owner of Roadside Lumber & Hardware Inc., and his wife Theresa have opened a chichi antique store on the site of Agoura Hills’ old library after trying for months to win approval from city officials to expand the lumber operation onto the property. Kanan Antique Mart, which held its grand opening the first weekend in October, is a collection of some 50 vendors offering selections ranging from the Art Deco to Victorian and Louis XV1 periods. In 7,500 square feet of space, it is one of the largest marts of its kind in the area. The Tuchman’s initially wanted to expand Roadside Lumber onto the property, which Roadside acquired several years ago, in order to accommodate the additional parking and storage space the store needs. But Roadside itself was grandfathered into the city’s current zoning regulations, and officials were opposed to any expansion because ordinances no longer permit such uses in the area. “I spent a lot of time to show them I really did want to beautify both properties,” said Theresa Tuchman. “They started to soften, and when we went through the process again, we won the vote. The problem was what they wanted us to do to the two properties was so expensive, it didn’t make any sense from a financial standpoint.” Instead, Theresa Tuchman spent about eight months scouring antique shows, markets and dealers to bring together the store’s vendors. Kanan Antique Mart includes furniture, collectibles and gift items, mostly from the 19th and 20th centuries, along with a continually changing collection of original art work. The store carries gift items ranging from about $12 to $250 for a pair of Italian chairs. A large brass inlaid Louis XVI armoire that dates from about 1860 sells for about $30,000. And there are cases of collectibles ranging from about $20 to several thousand dollars. For example, a Limoges cup and saucer can be had for $25 and an inlaid Empire style mantel clock sells for $2,200. Also included in the selection were furniture and accessories in Country French, Provence, Arts & Crafts and 19th Century Renaissance Revival styles as well as 20th century Chinese pieces, among others. The first art exhibit, which was held during the opening weekend, included contemporary and California Artists such as Leah Hamilton, Sam Harris, Paul Grimm and Armin Hansen. The paintings, all framed, ranged in price from $650 for some of the least important works, to $26,000. Many of the city’s officials turned up at the grand opening weekend, another irony in the long saga of land use controversies in Agoura Hills. Mike Tuchman was part of a group that supported a measure which ultimately defeated Selleck Development Group when that developer sought to bring a Home Depot into the city. The shop, on Roadside Drive in Agoura Hills, is open Tuesday through Sunday.

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