By Jill NAgy
Curtis Lumber is building a new store in Schodack and recently purchased two stores formerly operated by Bellevue Builders Supply, one near Binghamton and the other in the Cobleskill area.
The new Schodack store will be close to an existing store, but nearer Columbia Turnpike and more visible from Route 20, according Rich Keating, vice president for sales and marketing.
The existing store was built in 1971. The new one will contain 25,550 square feet of sales space, some 7,500 square feet larger than the present outlet, said Keating. It will include more showroom space for kitchens, lighting equipment, and windows. The former store will be re-purposed for warehouse use.
Munter Enterprises in Middle Grove is the general contractor. Cotler Architects of Latham designed the new building. If all goes well, the new store will be open for business in early 2021.
Keating expects about 30 employees to staff the new Schodack store. Overall, Curtis Lumber employs 650 people in its various locations. Annual sales are about $215 million, he estimated. About 65 percent of their customers are contractors.
Categorized as an “essential business,” Curtis has stayed open throughout the pandemic. Business was slow during the lockdown period but the company did not furlough or lay off anyone, said Keating. That decision is paying off now with the company going “flat out,” as contractors and do-it-yourselfers try to make up for lost time, he said.
Many of their contractor customers had to furlough employees, Keating said. “Now, we are hearing that they have a year’s worth of work. It’s just a matter of how much they can get done in the balance of the year. Their building season has been abbreviated.”
Keating speculated that now that the vacations have been cancelled, many people are using the vacation money for home projects.
“They’re home all day and they see the projects that they needed to do. It’s been very, very busy,” he said. Particularly, “decks are off the charts right now.”
After 130 years in the lumber and building supplies business, Curtis Lumber is busier than ever and still growing. Jay Curtis, the current president, is the fifth generation to head the company and his son and daughter are the sixth generation to work there.
The company has 22 locations, two in Vermont and the rest in New York state, in locations from the Catskills to the Canadian border.
By Jill NAgy