Lumber outlet setting up shop in Gainesville


Published: Tuesday, January 7, 2003 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Monday, January 6, 2003 at 10:43 p.m.

Land is being cleared for an 84 Lumber outlet and an office/warehouse complex at the corner of NW 13th Street and NW 53rd Avenue in Gainesville.

The property is the former location of the Gainesville Livestock Market. 84 Lumber will occupy about 10 acres and will be located parallel to the railroad tracks that run alongside NW 13th Street, and a series of office/warehouse buildings built by Larry H. Cheshire will be located on about 5 acres on NW 53rd Avenue.

A 16,500-square-foot warehouse facility leased to University Press of Florida, a printing/publishing company operated by the University of Florida, will be complete by April and will be the first of four buildings developed by Cheshire. Three other structures that total about 32,000 square feet will be built in subsequent months as leasing arrangements are finalized.

"We're industrially zoned on that property, so we'll be looking for future tenants who need storage or warehouse space, along with accessory office space," said Cheshire, who also owns and operates other commercial properties near the site. "There are a lot of possibilities, but they'll probably be small and midsized businesses that need industrially-zoned space."

Cheshire sold the adjoining 10 acres last year to 84 Lumber. As part of his agreement for initially buying the property, the former owners demolished the old Gainesville Livestock Market and performed an environmental remediation on the land.

The market has been closed for about seven years, Cheshire said, and was initially built in 1958. It served as a place for local farmers and ranchers to bring cattle and other livestock for auctions.

84 Lumber is a Pennsylvania-based seller of lumber and building supplies that has 434 stores around the country. The company has eight locations in Florida, the closest to Gainesville being in Lake City on U.S. 90.

84 Lumber was last located in Gainesville on SW 34th Street, but shut down at least 10 years ago, Cheshire said. The company did not return phone calls for comment on the NW 13th Street project.

The bulk of 84 Lumber's sales are to professional building contractors, but the store also sells lumber and supplies to consumers. Paperwork filed at the city's planning offices shows that 84 Lumber will build eight structures - four buildings and four sheds - at a total of 70,858 square feet on the property.

It wasn't known Monday when 84 Lumber plans to open the Gainesville location. John Anderson, a project estimator with Andrews Paving, said his crew would be clearing land and preparing the site until the end of April, but he didn't have a construction schedule for the actual project.

Joe Coombs can be reached at (352) 338-3102 or coombsj@ gvillesun.com.

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