A surge in home construction has prompted Idaho-based Building Materials and Construction Services to expand its Colorado Springs-area operation by adding a second location on South Academy Boulevard.
BMC has agreed to lease 43,500 square feet in the Bally Plaza Shopping Center, northeast of Academy and Chelton Road, said Jay Carlson a broker with Front Range Commercial in the Springs and who markets the center.
The company will take a portion of a 100,000-square-foot building at the shopping center that most recently was used for storage by Sealy Mattress, and use it for retail and warehouse/distribution operations, Carlson said.
It's a boost for the South Academy corridor, which city officials have labeled as a troubled area because of numerous retail losses and other problems over the years. Mayor Steve Bach also has targeted southeast Colorado Springs - including South Academy - as an area ripe for economic development efforts.
"It's very important, especially with the retail component, to generate business in these shopping centers that have big boxes available," Carlson said of South Academy. "It's one thing to get a church to take a big space or a call center or non-retailer. But when you can get a user in there that will pay rent on a large amount of square feet and generate (consumer) traffic, it's win-win for the shopping center."
BMC, one of the nation's largest building material suppliers, has a design/selection showroom, along with a storage and distribution facility for lumber and other materials, northeast of Powers Boulevard and Platte Avenue in unincorporated El Paso County.
The South Academy location will house a retail showroom that will include displays of fireplaces, windows and kitchen cabinets, said John Rodgers, an industrial and land specialist for Peak Commercial Properties, who represented BMC in leasing the site.
BMC also will use the South Academy facility for storage and distribution of doors, as well as construction of customized doors, Rodgers said.
"It's the homebuilding industry that has picked up," said Rodgers, who added that BMC is probably the largest supplier of lumber in the Springs. "The business has grown so much that they needed additional space to handle the workload."
Single-family home building permits, a measure of construction activity, have dipped each of the last two months on a year-over-year basis, according to the Pikes Peak Regional Building Department. However, through the first nine months of 2013, permits are up 30 percent over the same period last year and have rebounded from the depths of the recession that began in late 2007.
"When you build a home, you hire BMC to deliver the lumber for that construction," Rodgers said. "Sometimes, in addition to that, some of it is trusses, framing and sometimes they'll bring windows, doors and stairs - anything you're using to build the house."
BMC hopes to open its South Academy facility in February, although the storage and warehouse portion could open sooner, Rodgers said.
He didn't have details about how many people BMC employs now or the number that might be added as a result of the expansion. BMC officials in Colorado Springs and Idaho didn't return phone calls Thursday.
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