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Building 9 to move to Copley Township in spring

10/10/2014

Discount supplier to relocate to Copley Twp. to make room for Akron highway interchange

Building 9, a popular discount building materials supplier in downtown Akron, will be moving to Copley Township next spring.

The supplier didn’t want to move from its location of 31 years at 945 S. Main St., right off the Interstate 77 interchange. But it is among 30 other properties — mostly commercial, some residential — that are slated to be demolished as the Ohio Department of Transportation builds a new $96 million highway interchange at South Broadway and South Main.

The new location will be at the former 84 Lumber yard at 3895 Copley Road, right off state Route 21 and the Copley Road (state Route 162) exit. That location has been vacant for 10 years.

Building 9 President Brennan Dunn said he and his partner, Shane Haumesser, had no choice but to look for a new location. Since they were leasing their existing building, they needed to qualify for a loan for their new location.

“The only part of this whole deal that really bothers me is you’ve taken these businesses that weren’t prepared to move. It’s not like you go and stick money in a separate account to get ready to move. You’re asking them to move, go purchase another building or lease something — and that’s a lot of financial stress on a small business,” he said.

Still, Dunn said ODOT and Copley Township officials have been good to work with.

Copley Township Trustee Helen Humphrys said the township was pleased to finally fill a vacant lot.

“It’s just the perfect fit for Building 9. They’ll be able to use all of the buildings on the site,” she said.

Dunn said a purchase contract is in place to buy the property from Akron businessman Paul Thomarios, but declined to reveal the purchase price. He hopes to close on the sale in December and move in May.

For Dunn, it’s a little bit like going home. He was hired at the 84 Lumber Copley Road location in 1990 and went to work for the company for five years in Austintown. Then he was hired at Building 9 and eventually purchased the business from the former owner in 2006.

Dunn said he did not look at any Akron locations because he knew the upcoming interchange project would create “a traffic nightmare.”

“I needed to get west of Akron so my customers can get to me. With [state Route] 21, it’ll make it a lot easier on my customers,” he said.

And it’s a straight shot down Route 21 about 30 miles south to Building 9’s Massillon location, he said.

Because Dunn is a tenant at the Akron location, he will not receive any compensation from the state for losing the use of that property. The state will, however, be paying his moving expenses.

The square footage of the new location and the current location is about the same. But with 9 acres and big outdoor covered sheds, Dunn said he jokes that “if we ever fill all these buildings with product, we’re doing great.”

Dunn said Building 9 is geared toward do-it-yourselfers and contractors. While he competes somewhat with big-box home improvement stores, “we’re sort of a little niche, and we don’t try to butt heads with anyone.”

As a discount supplier, he can custom order building materials as well as purchase liquidated A-grade materials at discounted prices, he said.

Louis and Sharon Colagross of Willowick were making their first visit to Building 9 on Friday at the recommendation of their son-in-law, a Building 9 customer who is redoing their kitchen. The Colagrosses were looking to pick out their kitchen cabinets.

Another longtime Building 9 customer, Nate Dennison, said the new Copley location will be good for Building 9.

“By him moving there, it’ll be a better geographical location and closer to Medina, which is growing,” he said.

Dennison, owner of general contractor Dennison Construction, first went to Building 9 about 13 years ago to get siding for a weekend project for his house and said he found Dunn so helpful.

After he completed his home project, a neighbor asked him to side their house. Eventually, his side hobby turned into his full-time business, and he quit his job as an engineer.

Dunn said he’s not looking forward to moving, but he’s glad he found a location.

“One of the biggest problems with the whole thing is we’ve got customers thinking we’re going out of business. We’re jut moving because of that central interchange [project], not going out of business,” he said.

Betty Lin-Fisher can be reached at 330-996-3724 or [email protected]. Follow her @blinfisherABJ on Twitter or www.facebook.com/BettyLinFisherABJ and see all her stories at www.ohio.com/betty.

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