In the meantime, you can contact our Steinway representative for the Fort Worth for sales and service at 817-665-1853.
Article from Fort Worth Business Press by Tim Tune
On Sunday night, November 11, 2018, the last notes of a student piano recital faded at Steinway Hall Fort Worth, marking the end of an era for the studio at 3717 Camp Bowie Blvd. The showroom had been the Fort Worth home of the world’s most storied piano brand for several decades.
The space had witnessed countless student piano recitals and many appearances by Steinway artists as varied as hometown icon Van Cliburn and John Owings of Texas Christian University, as well as Spencer Myer, Lang Lang, Arlington Jones, Anderson and Roe, George Winston and The 5 Browns.
But Fort Worth won’t be without a Steinway showroom for long.
A new era for Steinway will soon dawn in Sundance Square, where Danny Saliba of Dallas, owner of Steinway Hall, has leased storefront space adjacent to Bass Performance Hall. The property is at 510 Commerce St. in the Wagner Oil Company Building, headquarters of the company for which it’s named.
With the Camp Bowie lease set to expire in October, Saliba said, he started working on the relocation last February.
“The landlord of the store we were in is very kind,” said Saliba, referring to the family of the late Marie Hines Wickman. Her husband, Luke Wickman, bought the building in 1979 for his business, Luke Wickman Pianos.
That same year, Saliba joined Steinway & Sons of Astoria, N.Y., as a regional manager. Luke Wickman, who died in 1998, was one of his dealers.
Saliba, president of his Dallas-based franchise organization, was mentored by John Steinway, the great-great-grandson of the company’s founder, Henry Steinway.
“I think I was 22 when I met him,” Saliba said, “and he took me under his wing and he actually helped me to get in business down here in Texas.”
His first retail location is on North Central Expressway in Dallas, another is in Plano, and two locations are in Houston.
At the time of Luke Wickman’s death, Saliba had already established Steinway Hall Fort Worth in Hurst at Pipeline and Precinct Line roads. A few years after Wickman died, Saliba relocated Steinway Hall to the Camp Bowie building.
“When Marie passed away, the family decided to sell” the building, which “was getting older and it was a lot more space than what we actually needed. It was not something that we could afford. So we pretty much didn’t have a choice. We’re sad to be leaving,” Saliba said.
One of Saliba’s Houston showrooms is within sight of Jones Hall for the Performing Arts and visible to classical music concert-goers who represent one of Steinway’s key customer groups.
“So we looked for the same thing here and we found a space directly across from Bass Hall,” said Saliba. He engaged Bill Behr, a principal of Transwestern, and his son, Gavin Behr, a Transwestern associate, to represent him throughout the relocation process.
“I think what really drove Danny to consider relocation was enhancing the experience that they want to provide their customers. And in order to provide them a real world-class experience when looking at the purchase of a Steinway piano, they really wanted to find a pre-eminent and premier location in the city,” Bill Behr said.
“We looked at every possible opportunity,” Behr said, and “evaluated many, many options over the course of many months, looking very carefully at a number of options, and ultimately decided on the Sundance Square location on Commerce Street for a number of reasons, one of which was the proximity to the Bass Performance Hall. Many of the Steinway potential and current customers also are very involved in the arts in Fort Worth and frequently attend the Bass Performance Hall.”
Another important element Saliba considered was that “the marketing and promotions that Sundance Square does with their tenants and for their tenants to the community is really unsurpassed, I think, among any of the retail property ownerships in Fort Worth,” Behr said.
Saliba has hired Fort Worth architect Randy Gideon to design the 3,616-square-foot space.
“We gave him pictures of stores that we thought were attractive,” Saliba said, “and the one that came to the forefront is the Steinway & Sons store in Beijing, which has an incredible, clean look to it.”
The design of the Beijing showroom is indicative of Steinway’s trend toward “a much cleaner, more modern aesthetic,” said Anthony Gilroy, Steinway & Sons director of marketing and communications.
“Our store has evolved, especially in recent years,” he said.
Casey Saliba, Danny’s son and vice president of sales and marketing for the organization, said the new showroom will feature fewer pianos than the Camp Bowie store. Nevertheless, he said, customers will see a full range of models, including Spirio, a high-resolution player piano, a modern take on the Steinway that is controlled by an iPad.
Spirio is a fully functional Steinway grand piano equipped with a digitally controlled mechanism that replicates actual performances of Steinway artists. Since being introduced in 2016, it’s become one of Steinway’s best sellers.
Spirio “has literally changed our business,” said Casey Saliba. He said the product allows Steinway to “cast a wider net for customers” who may not play the piano but who like to listen to live piano music and take pleasure in the statement a Steinway grand piano makes in their home.
“And you can play it too,” Casey said. “It’s the best of both worlds.”
For Thomas Ragozzino, who’s been manager of Steinway Hall Fort Worth for five years, the move downtown will be “just fantastic,” he said. “We have quite a lot that we do at this space and that will continue once we get the new showroom open. We’ll be hosting recitals for piano teachers and appearances by Steinway artists.
“We’ve built a good legacy of representing the Steinway brand, selling pianos and supporting our piano teachers and other customers here on Camp Bowie,” Ragozzino said.
The move represents “the next logical step with the opportunity to strengthen our established partnerships and other opportunities that might arise from being in Sundance Square. And it can’t hurt being a little closer to the Cliburn and other entities we partner with downtown.”
Andra Bennett House, vice president-communications for the Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce, shared a similar view about Steinway’s move closer to performing arts partners and activities.
“With the Cliburn offices now in Sundance and the plaza offering a year-round venue for music performances, Steinway will be at the center of a growing music scene, attracting the brand demographics as well as exposure to new customers due to the robust foot traffic in the heart of downtown,” House said.
Danny Saliba said his new space is “just perfect for what we’re doing, just absolutely perfect. I can tell you that the accoutrements are just going to be wonderful. We’re working with the sound so that the pianos can be heard clearly and very specifically. As far as its functioning, it’s just going to be wonderful for what we’re doing.”
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