PRESS RELEASE – Locally owned lumber and construction materials supplier J.H. Dowling, Inc. plans to break ground on a new and expanded facility this summer. The company recently closed on 6 acres of land at the corner of Jackson Bluff Road and Chipley St., which houses two vacant buildings. The footprint of the new property is more than three times the size of Dowling’s current location on Madison Street, where it has operated since 1954.
Commercial developer North American Properties (NAP) purchased the Madison Street property from Dowling and will remodel the buildings on Jackson Bluff to accommodate Dowling’s corporate offices, lumber yard, storage warehouses and a 7,300 square-foot hardware store – the largest locally owned hardware store in Tallahassee. The project will create approximately 40 local construction jobs and allow Dowling to establish a handful of new, permanent positions. The new location is slated to open this fall. “This move has been a long time coming,” said Jim Dowling, president of the company. “This is an amazing opportunity for growth and will provide a more efficient space to meet staff and customer needs.” NAP plans to convert Dowling’s current property into a five-story, 414-bed, student housing development called The Lumberyard – a subtle nod to the third-generation, family owned business that has occupied the space for more than 60 years.
The Lumberyard – which will incorporate elements from the original lumber yard in its decor – will be NAP’s fifth project in Tallahassee since 2013 and bring their total investment in the area to $154 million. The project will create approximately 250 construction jobs and 45 permanent, ongoing jobs, and is expected to open for students in June 2018.
NAP’s purchase of the Madison Street parcel has been in the works for nearly three years, as the company offered to help Dowling identify and secure a new location before closing on the property. After assessing two other prospective sites, the companies determined the Jackson Bluff property was best suited for Dowling’s business. NAP and Dowling closed on their respective properties this past April, and NAP will continue to assist Dowling throughout the transition. “We wanted to do this the right way,” said Shawn McIntyre, NAP Florida partner. “I deeply admire the Dowling family. They take great pride in what they do, and they care about their employees. We’ve enjoyed helping them find the perfect fit in a new location, and we’ll be right there celebrating with them when they open the doors.” Having turned down previous offers from other developers to purchase their property, the Dowling family acknowledges that NAP’s efforts to help them relocate are atypical. “We would not be in this position without the foresight and assistance of Shawn and his team at NAP,” said Jim. “We didn’t have the manpower or the resources to relocate, and we didn’t want to close our doors.
ABOUT J.H. DOWLING, INC. Founded in 1946, J.H. Dowling, Inc. is the oldest lumber yard in Tallahassee and the surrounding region. The third generation, family-owned-and-operated business supplies residential, commercial and road and bridge construction materials to customers throughout Florida. For more information visit www.jhdowling.com.
ABOUT NORTH AMERICAN PROPERTIES Founded in 1954, North American Properties is a privately-held, multi-regional real estate operating company that has acquired, developed and managed more than $5.5 billion of retail, multifamily, mixed-use and office properties across the U.S. The company has invested more than $150 million in large-scale, mixed-use developments in Tallahassee since 2013, specifically in the Gaines Street District. These projects have collectively created more than 800 construction jobs and nearly 200 permanent ongoing jobs, with a total annual economic impact of more than $17 million. For more information visit www.naproperties.com.