New owners reshape Miller Marquart Lumber
An article on buffalonews.com reported that Miller Marquart Lumber, brought back to life last year, may have another growth spurt.
The North Tonawanda, N.Y., pro dealer was formerly operated as R.A. Miller, but it closed during the downturn. Owners Thomas Marquart and Thomas Trathen bought the closed dealer and brought the business back to life, according to the article.
About 40% of the company’s sales are international sales — Germany, Italy and Japan included, according to the article. But the company is optimistic that sales will pick up domestically, particularly in architectural moldings and cabinets.
Milgard adds to its ADA-compliant doors lineup
Tacoma, Wash.-based Milgard Windows & Doors has introduced Fiberglass ADA French Doors, providing a solution to ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) compliancy throughout a project.
"The idea for this door came from our customers. They were looking for an ADA door that had the aesthetics of a traditional door and could match the color and style of our standard windows and doors," said Jim Sheehan, product manager for Milgard. "This door helps eliminate a barrier in buildings for people with disabilities and gives the ability to have matching ADA and non-ADA doors throughout the project."
Milgard is known for its popular door models, such as the WoodClad and Ultra Series In-swing and Out-swing Doors. This nearly identical door meets ADA requirements with a 32-in. clear opening, 10-in. bottom rail and 1/2-in. sill for universal access. It is sold as a complete pre-hung door system.
The ADA Fiberglass Door is available in all fiberglass Essence, WoodClad and Ultra Series exterior colors. This makes it easy to use both standard and ADA doors in the same project and achieve a similar look, the company said.
Milgard is a division of Taylor, Mich.-based Masco Corp.
PCBC sets stage for good, bad and ‘ugly’
San Francisco — Gov. Jerry Brown, mired in the biggest battle of his new term as governor of California, took time to stop in at the PCBC show here to deliver a keynote address that touched lightly on housing but staked out his determination to pass a balanced budget for the nation’s largest state.
“We must continue to retrench, but it’s going to get ugly,” Brown said.
Brown vetoed the state budget on June 17, blaming both Democrats and Republicans for not making enough concessions on cutting spending and raising taxes. Legislators are now working without paychecks as a result of missing their balanced budget deadline.
Brown’s tenure as mayor of Oakland, during which he helped revitalize the city’s urban core, taught him some land-use lessons, he said. “I found out that every project is opposed by somebody,” Brown dryly observed. The governor also transformed himself from homeowner to renter as he encouraged “people with disposable income” to move into downtown Oakland.
“Now I’m an investor in apartments, and I’m determined to make sure that this [industry] goes well,” Brown told an audience of more than 125 people at PCBC’s Multifamily Trends Conference.
Other speakers at the one-day event were, for the most part, upbeat about the future of apartment building. “I think the next three to five years in multi-family are going to be the best ever,” said Constance Moore, CEO and president of BRE Properties. A number of young adults are finally leaving their parents’ houses and coming into the rental market, Moore said; occupancy rates are rising, and rents are starting to soar.
At a session called “Market Drill Down,” a panel of executives from property management firms talked about the best-performing markets, providing a roadmap, of sorts, for multi-family builders. San Francisco, San Jose and parts of Oakland topped the list, followed by the Seattle and Portland areas. Austin and Denver were also cities where rents were steadily rising. The one common denominator between the cities was job growth, they all agreed.
One big surprise, however, was Phoenix.
“Phoenix has come back a lot stronger than many of us expected,” said Jay Parsons, national market analysis manager for MPF Research. He singled out Chandler and Tempe, just outside of Phoenix, as the most desirable areas for renters and profitable for rental housing owners.
A report published by Marcus & Millichap, a real estate research firm that co-sponsored the conference, claimed that the housing market collapse added 2.5 million households to the rental market. The multi-family sector, financed in part by public REITS, has been ramping up construction. A recent uptick in multi-family permit issuance will require another 12 to 18 months before the new units come to market — good news for LBM suppliers and their customers.