Bexley resident and business owner Jeff Baker is taking advantage of an empty storefront in the Bexley Square Shopping Center to help a New Albany couple downsize from a 23,000-square-foot residence to a 7,500-square-foot home.

Bexley resident and business owner Jeff Baker is taking advantage of an empty storefront in the Bexley Square Shopping Center to help a New Albany couple downsize from a 23,000-square-foot residence to a 7,500-square-foot home.

A professional real estate appraiser, Baker is liquidating the 23,000-square-foot New Albany Farms home of Jim and Kathy Rutherford. The home was filled with European antiques and artwork.

The contents of the home are being sold in an empty storefront at the Bexley Square Shopping Center, next to the Cosi restaurant, Oct. 14-17. Baker is licensing the property from the Casto Co. for six weeks with the option of renewing the short-term lease.

"The location is great for general buzz," Baker said of the Bexley Square space, adding he's already had a lot of phone calls about the estate sale as people noticed him organizing the contents of the Rutherford home.

Baker said the Rutherfords needed a place to sell their belongings because they live in a gated community with a half-mile narrow driveway. They are hoping to take advantage of the serene environment in the shopping space featuring soft lighting and faux painting.

Because Baker is a Bexley business owner and resident, he has an extensive network of clientele to promote the sale. With the closure of the Bexley Monk, there was plenty of onsite parking to accommodate potential buyers, he said.

"We are probably going to get a thousand (plus) visitors," he said.

Rutherford said the New Albany house was built in a different time for a different lifestyle when the couple did a lot of entertaining and had as many as 300 people in the home at one time for entertaining.

They held Homeless Family Foundation fundraisers there and a variety of other charitable or political fundraisers, he said. At the time the home in New Albany was built he was in his early 50s. He's turning 65 and the couple doesn't entertain as much.

"Plus with only two of us, who needs that much space," he said. "Neither Kathy or I grew up in large homes."

Rutherford was the founder of Goal Systems International, a computer software company that was started in the mid-1970s and went public in 1989. He is now retired. The couple is moving to Powell to spend more time with their youngest son and grandchildren. Another son lives in Colorado.

A variety of items from pool furniture to kitchen gadgets, sterling silver to crystal glasses, art by original artists and upholstered furniture will be available at the tag sale.

Rutherford was an enthusiastic sportsman so there is hunting and golf equipment for sale also. Visitors will find an indoor driving range that analyzes a player's golf swing, Baker said.

"They had the best you could go out and buy," Baker said of the estate.

Baker said the merchandise will sell for 25 cents on the dollar. So a visitor could purchase a set of flatware that costs $2,000 per set for $500 a set, or one fourth the cost of retail.

There will be items available for every price point, Baker said, adding "You can come in with $5 and get kitchen utensils."

Baker is extremely excited about a special clock at the front of the store that has a built-in barometer. For specialty items like the clock he researched to determine the value.

Fortunately he is lucky to have six part-time people on his payroll to help with the large estate. Some of his employees have extensive experience in retail merchandising and were able to design the Bexley Square space in the most functional way possible.

Other items from the huge estate were sold in advance, including a 1,300-bottle wine collection that was auctioned off in New York and a vintage pool table.

The New Albany estate was set up to seat 36 visitors for a sit-down dinner, Baker said. The new home will only be able to accommodate 12 for a dinner party.

Visitors interested in art will find a large selection to choose from, with pieces selling from $200 to $2,000. Some of the pieces of art were never displayed at the existing home, Baker said. There are 60 original oil paintings for sale, he said.

The Rutherfords made several trips to Europe to collect the art and antique sterling silver to decorate the New Albany home.

There will be window treatments, seats, pillows and bedding that retail for thousands of dollars available at a fraction of the cost of retail, Baker said.

The estate sale will be held Oct. 14 and 15 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Oct. 16 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Oct. 17 noon to 4 p.m.

tstubbs@thisweekews.com

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