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Home Depot sues Los Angeles

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Home Depot has filed a lawsuit against Los Angeles, claiming that the city revoked a remodeling permit for political reasons after the company had almost completed a Kmart conversion project. The Atlanta retailer is seeking $10 million in damages and compensation, as well as a lifting of the stop-work order and reinstatement of its permits.

The lawsuit, filed on Nov. 9 in Los Angeles Superior Court, involves a vacant Kmart store in the Sunland-Tujunga community, on the northern edge of Los Angeles. Home Depot took over the lease for the store in 2004 but faced stiff community opposition to its plans to raze the site and build a new unit. In 2006, the city’s building department issued permits for Home Depot to remodel the store instead, but citizens still opposed the project because of concerns over traffic, air quality, noise and possible effects on local businesses.

This past July, the Los Angeles City Council revoked Home Depot’s remodeling permits, saying the project needed an environmental review. The store was 90 percent complete, according to the company.

Home Depot claims that it was singled out for unfavorable treatment and that the city’s action was illegal. It also alleges that the campaign against it was aided by city councilmember Wendy Greuel and a local competitor, a chain of hardware stores called Do-it Centers.

Neither Wendy Greuel nor Do-it Centers, a 10-unit chain based in Chatsworth, Calif., could be reached yesterday for comment. But in a press release issued by her office on Aug. 15, Greuel stated that the Kmart remodel was a “project” involving structural alterations and therefore required a building or change-of-use permit.

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Stock Building Supply makes further acquisitions

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Wolseley, through its United States-based subsidiary Stock Building Supply, has acquired new businesses in several pro service areas in the United States.

Most recently, Stock acquired the assets of KBC Construction, a turnkey framer and wall panel manufacturer based in Albuquerque, N.M. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but KBC had revenue of $16.6 million last year, with assets of $2.9 million.

“This acquisition complements Stock’s existing businesses in the Albuquerque area, enabling it to provide a complete range of added value services to its customers,” Wolseley said in a statement.

Additional acquisitions recently announced by Wolseley include:

• The acquisition of Architectural Building Supply, a fabricator, distributor and installer of doors, hardware and access control devices for commercial and industrial markets, by Stock Building Supply. The company, which has operations in Utah and Idaho, had revenue of $36 million with assets of $9 million in 2006.

• The acquisition of Jacobi Hardware, based in Wilmington, N.C., by Stock Building Supply. Jacobi also is a fabricator, distributor and installer of doors, hardware and access control devices for commercial and industrial markets. The company had revenue of $3.3 million last year and assets of $400,000.

• The acquisition of Pagosa Springs, Colo.-based J.D.’s Wholesale Plumbing & Supply by Ferguson, another pro dealer subsidiary of Wolseley. J.D.’s Wholesale had revenue of $700,000 last year, with assets of $500,000.

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Canfor closes panel and fiber mill

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Canfor, the Vancouver-based forest products supplier, has announced it is permanently closing a panel and fiber mill located in New Westminster, B.C., effective Jan. 8, 2008, after fiber inventories were used and mill equipment decommissioned.

The mill employs 126 people and makes specialty products, including hardboard panels, erosion control wood mulch and baled fiber.

Canfor has interests in 33 facilities in B.C., Alberta, Quebec, Washington state, and North and South Carolina. It produces softwood lumber in Canada and oriented strand board (OSB), plywood, remanufactured lumber products and specialized wood products.

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