Contact Us

Michigan Furniture Giant Art Van Elslander Dead at 87

Bobby Guy
Bobby Guy

Art Van Elslander took a single furniture store in 1959 and built it into an empire, before selling it to a private equity firm in 2017. Van Elslander died early Monday after battling cancer. He was 87.

“My family is heartbroken by the loss of our father,” said Gary Van Elslander, President of Van Elslander Capital, and Mr. Van Elslander’s eldest son.Art Van company Facebook post

The furniture empire allowed Van Elslander to fund charitable donations, including entire hospital units, and to save the Detroit Thanksgiving parade.

“Furniture may have been Art Van Elslander’s business, but Detroit always has been his heart,” Duggan said. “Art’s kindness and generosity seemed to have no limits. There will never be another ‘Art Van.’ -Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan in the Detroit News

Much like Mike Ilitch with Little Caesar’s, Archie A. Van Elslander was born in Detroit, did a hitch in the service, and opened his first furniture store in Detroit at Gratiot Avenue and 10 Mile. The business grew to the point that when he sold the company last year to a private equity firm, Thomas E. Lee Partners, Art Van had 181 stores and is now has eleven stores in the Chicago market and the Detroit News reports Art Van just moved into the St. Louis market last week.

Subscribe to Kalamazoo’s Country on

The Detroit News says Van Elslander was the father of 12 children. Services are pending.

BONUS VIDEO

Subscribe to Kalamazoo’s Country on

 

 

Best of Kalamazoo

Recommended for You

Best of the Web

Leave a Comment

It appears that you already have an account created within our VIP network of sites on . To keep your personal information safe, we need to verify that it's really you. To activate your account, please confirm your password. When you have confirmed your password, you will be able to log in through Facebook on both sites.

Forgot your password?

*Please note that your prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

It appears that you already have an account on this site associated with . To connect your existing account just click on the account activation button below. You will maintain your existing VIP profile. After you do this, you will be able to always log in to http://kalamazoocountry.com using your original account information.

*Please note that your prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

Please fill out the information below to help us provide you a better experience.

(Forgot your password?)

Not a member? Sign up here

Sign up for Country Club quickly by connecting your Facebook account. It's just as secure and no password to remember!

Sign up to have exclusive Country Club contests, events, coupons, presales, and much more delivered to you for FREE.