An Oklahoma City lumber company is putting down roots in Richmond, and its first move was to strike a deal on a 19-acre property in Chesterfield County.
Cedar Creek, a wholesale lumber and building supply distributor, this month closed on the $3.85 million purchase of a lumberyard and warehouse from Richmond mainstay N.B. Goodwyn & Sons Lumber.
Meanwhile, Cedar Creek is working quickly to open its Richmond location on the property that will serve as the home base for its expansion into the Mid-Atlantic.
The company will officially open for business in Richmond next month with a team of 20 employees.
Founded in Oklahoma in 1977, Cedar Creek’s customers are retail lumberyards of all sizes, including such big-box retailers as Home Depot. The company buys lumber by the truckload from mills and sells the wood to dealers who then sell it to builders.
Boston private equity firm Charlesbank Capital Partners bought the company in 2010.
Cedar Creek Vice President Jim Shalvoy said that backing allowed the company to set up lines of credit with major lenders at a time when, thanks to the bursting of the real estate bubble, many building supply companies were seen as damaged goods in the eyes of banks.
“Anything in the building industry, banks were shutting off lines of credit,” Shalvoy said. “It has given us a real opportunity to grow the business with a nice infusion of cash and the ability to grow when many of our competitors have been going by the wayside.”
Those casualties included some longtime Richmond lumberyards.
Builders Supply Company of Petersburg announced this year that it was closing after taking too heavy a hit from the housing downturn.
Roper Brothers, another century-old local lumber company, went bankrupt in 2009.
And the sale of the property at 2510 Bellwood Road off Jefferson Davis Highway to Cedar Creek came amid some downsizing at N.B. Goodwyn & Sons.
But NB Goodwyn President Russ Beck said the company, which was founded in Richmond in 1938, would stay in the neighborhood.
“It worked out great,” Beck said of the property sale to Cedar Creek. “It should be a good mutual arrangement.”
Shalvoy said Cedar Creek would eventually look to sell the property, which includes a 70,000-square-foot warehouse, 6,000-square-foot office and a lumberyard, and then lease it back from the buyer.
“We’ll sell it to somebody who is the business of buying warehouse property,” Shalvoy said.
To run its new Richmond operations, Cedar Creek lured Bob Rue away from Blue Linx, a competitor wholesale distributor in town.
Rue, who will serve as general manager in Richmond, said Cedar Creek will ship to customers in Northern Virginia, east to Hampton Roads and the Outer Banks and west to Appomattox.
His eventual team of 20 will include salespeople, drivers and warehouse workers.
Shalvoy said the company chose Richmond because of its proximity to the Washington and Tidewater markets. Richmond is also a good middle point to help it reach Virginia customers that were having lumber shipped from North Carolina.