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Business Pulse - New door opens for Pioneer Building
Pioneer Building Supply - old.jpg

I’m sure many local residents can’t remember a time when Pioneer Building Supply wasn’t located on Morrison Street in the Westwood area. I am one of those residents.

Pioneer Building Supply had been doing business at that spot for 42 years. It was a mainstay, a monument of sorts, a shining symbol of success.

Those terms still apply for Pioneer Building Supply, but no longer at that longtime location. Pioneer Building Supply has opened the door, a custom- made door if you will, to a new future.

Company leaders have decided to close the location at 1655 Morrison Street and consolidate all their resources at Northgate Center, a store they opened a few years back as an expansion.

“We like being on this side of town so much better,” said Pioneer Building Supply president Amie Hodges. “Everything we had at our old store we are carrying here.”

The store at Northgate Center looks great and it’s remarkably spacious. In addition to retail space inside the shopping center, Pioneer Building Supply has constructed a 13,000-square-foot building behind Northgate Center and it’s packed with lumber, building materials, roofing, insulation and more.

“We offer everything it takes to build a house,” said store manager Kenny Hodges. “People ask us how we’re going to be able to fit everything from the other store into this location and the main reason is we weren’t utilizing all of our space at the other store.”

Tools, paint, windows, doors, molding, trim, and everything in between is offered at the Northgate Center location. The store also carries pool supplies.

The Porter-PPG paint line is a huge seller and Johnny Carter is like a wizard with his unique ability to match paint colors exactly. Johnny is also in charge of ammo and case knife sales, which he says are strong.

One recent point of discussion has been the price of lumber, which is soaring high into the sky with no sign of coming down. Kenny says high lumber prices are the result of the basic principle of supply and demand.

“There’s a huge demand nationwide,” said Kenny. “If you’re not building a home, you’re flipping a home. And if you’re not flipping a home, you’re remodeling one. I don’t see demand going down, which makes the prices through the roof. I’ve been doing this since 1987 and I’ve never seen anything like this.”

As an example, it wasn’t too many months ago you could purchase OSB plywood for $8.99. Now the price is $25 or more.

Amie stresses that the storied tradition of Pioneer Building Supply will continue, even though its longtime location is no longer open.

“With our expanded inventory levels, convenient in-town location, and knowledgeable professionals on staff, we are continuing the Pioneer Building Supply family tradition of supplying our customers with materials and helpful knowledge that they need to be even more successful,” said Amie.

As for what will happen to the former location of Pioneer Building Supply, Amie says nothing has been determined. The immediate use, she said, will be as a warehouse for overflow inventory. As for the long-term use, she said they will be evaluating their options and didn’t rule out selling the property.

Kenny said it wouldn’t take much to get the 100,000-square-foot building ready for an industrial tenant if that opportunity should present itself. If that were to happen, it would require a change in zoning.

Congratulations to Pioneer Building Supply on its move across town. You could say a new window of opportunity awaits.

New furniture Store arrives

When Trey Bain bought the old Bob’s Heating and Air building at 90 Fairgrounds Road, he viewed it as storage space for his home improvement business called Bain Remodeling and Construction.

Little did he know how many vehicles travel along Fairgrounds Road on a daily basis.

“I’ve learned everybody hauls their trash to the dump,” said Trey referring to the county’s largest convenience center just down the road. “This is a busy road, a really busy road, and I never thought that before I bought this building. I figured people just used it once a year to get to the fair.”

With that heavy traffic in mind, Trey has decided to open Dock 75, a unique furniture and home décor store.

Trey’s getting help from his parents, Royce and Jan Bain, who have operated similar stores before, including Granny’s Corner and Busy Bee, and they are very knowledgeable.

“We have a good variety and a lot of merchandise at different price ranges so there’s something for everybody,” said Jan.

Added Royce, “I enjoy doing this type of work. It was time for me to get out of construction and Warren County really needs a store like this. There’s nothing else like it here that’s to this scale.”

New and used merchandise is available at Dock 75. One area I found especially eye-catching is what I would call farmstyle tables and furniture. This is old-timey-looking merchandise that's popular in decorating today.

“Most of the farmhouse stuff is made with solid wood so it’s going to last,” said Trey.

Dock 75 has a 6,500-square-foot showroom that includes area rugs, tables, chairs,

bed frames, dressers, and a neat collection of home décor items.

For those eager to check out the new store, I would certainly recommend it. The only catch is you will have to wait until this coming Saturday. That’s when Dock 75 officially opens, complete with grand opening ceremony.

Hotdogs and bottled water will be given away this coming Saturday, Feb. 27, and the 75th customer will receive $75 cash. I told Trey to expect me in the early afternoon because I want to time it just right to be customer No. 75.

After the store opens next weekend, regular hours will be Tuesday thru Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. The phone number is (931) 304-8118.

As for Bain Remodeling and Construction, Trey says his business is wide open. He’s so busy, he currently has a waiting time of about 3-4 months.

“We’ll do anything from install a ceiling fan to a complete gut out,” said Trey.

Progress continues on MTNG building

Probably the two most frequent questions I've received over the past year are: 1) when will the new hotel be complete, and 2) what's that new building being constructed on Manchester Highway just past The Webb House.

The answer to question No. 2 is the building on Manchester Highway which is pictured below will be the new home to Middle Tennessee Natural Gas. The building is taking shape and the hope is for Middle Tennessee Natural Gas to leave its current location on Chancery Street and move into its new facility this spring.

When that move takes place it will leave the current MTNG office vacant and available for another business. The building has a coveted drive-thru window and it's located on the busiest street in town so perhaps it will be attractive to another company. And by another company what I really mean is perhaps it will be attractive to Chickfil- A.

Hotel developer in hot water

This is certainly not the best news to report, but David Hunt of Jackson who is the developer behind our Hampton Inn hotel on Sparta Street has found himself in legal trouble.

According to the United States Department of Justice, Mr. Hunt has been indicted on federal charges of wire fraud.

The indictment was returned by a federal grand jury last year and was just recently uncovered by the editors of Business Pulse.

According to the indictment, Mr. Hunt was part of a four-person group, that included the executive director of the Mississippi Department of Education, that conspired to defraud the state of Mississippi and the United States by bid-rigging, false quotes, and altered purchase orders. This was done, the indictment states, in order to make money and profit by defrauding the Mississippi Department of Education into awarding contracts and purchase orders at inflated prices, directed to conspirators and their businesses.

In this manner, the executive director received more than $42,000 directly or indirectly from her conspirators, the indictment said.

Mr. Hunt was among a group of three others that, through their respective businesses, garnered over $650,000 from the state of Mississippi, including federal funds granted by the U.S. Department of Education to Mississippi.

It's important to note that these are merely federal charges and everyone should be presumed innocent until found otherwise. It's uncertain how this development may impact our Hampton Inn hotel, which remains under construction with workers on site.

The hotel project is so far along at this point, I think it's fair to say another developer would take it over should anything happen where Mr. Hunt could not continue.

That's all folks

Phone in your business tips at 473-2191 or email them to editor@southernstandard. com.