Anchorage company invests in new Juneau construction

Posted: Sunday, January 14, 2007

Growth of area mines and construction of big box stores is good news for at least one local company that supplies the equipment to build them.

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Heavy equipment dealership Construction Machinery Industrial finalized the purchase Friday of a building now owned and occupied by Plumbing and Heating Co. near Costco in Lemon Creek.

The Anchorage-based company was running out of room - a telltale sign that business has been good in recent years.

"The new building wouldn't be possible if it wasn't for the Kensington Mine and the sales that we've generated supporting the mine in their startup process," said Erik Frazier, CMI's local operations manager.

Ken Gerondale, CMI's president and chief executive officer, said the building is well suited for the company and he plans to maintain both the new building and the current property on Brady Lane. He also expects to hire additional workers.

"The building sale negotiations went very well," Gerondale said. "We'll be occupying the new building in March."

Details of the purchase price were not immediately available, but the list price was $2.1 million.

The commercial area of Lemon Creek also appears to have a bright future. Projects currently under way include Home Depot, which is slated to open in February, and a proposed Costco expansion.

Carlton Smith, the commercial real estate agent who brokered the CMI deal, said he expects to see additional sales and acquisitions in the Lemon Creek area in the coming months.

"When high quality companies like CMI invest in a community, it is an excellent indication of economic health," Smith said.

Rusty Powers sold the heating and plumbing company building and in late 2006 relocated to Airport Blvd. The company, which has eight employees, provides service, repair, and long-term maintenance for both commercial and residential customers.

"We downsized and got out of bidding new construction work," he said.

• Brittany Retherford can be reached at brittany.retherford@juneauempire.com.



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