CONNIE SWINNEY • STAFF WRITER
MARBLE FALLS — A wholesale lumber business is set to cut a new pathway in the Marble Falls Business and Technology Park as economic development officials launch plans to extend infrastructure into a new corner of the property.
Sawmill Partners, a Dallas-based company founded in 1949, has plans to start construction on a sales and information office potentially this summer.
“This is a major move for us. This is our first office outside of the Dallas area,” said company president Lynn Surls, who purchased it from John Richardson in 1999. “At Marble Falls, we’re going to have a sales office so we can reach out to customers all over the Hill Country.”
Surls provided insight into how the business works at its metroplex site.
“We’re a timber fabricator. We bring materials in from Canada and the northwest,” he said. “Everything we do is custom.”
Sawmill customers include McCoy’s Building Supply, Foxworth-Galbraith Lumber Co., and homebuilder associations.
“We’ve been researching for about two years. (U.S.) 281 is a key north/south route for us, and (Texas) 29 is a key east/west route for us,” Surls said. “It is an excellent transportation location.”
Another feature that attracted the owner to the community is a willingness by city leaders to help find an ideal location for the company’s needs.
“One of the primary things is the business-friendly atmosphere of the (Marble Falls Economic Development Corp.),” he said. “They were willing to extend the utility services and street services.”
On March 2, the Marble Falls Planning and Zoning Committee approved EDC plans to begin work on an undeveloped portion of the park eyed by Sawmill Partners.
“We’ve wanted to expand into Phase 3 of the business park for a number of years because it’s really the best property in the park,” said Christian Fletcher, executive director of the EDC. “The issue was just we haven’t had roads and utilities (in that section of the park).
“This provides us an opportunity to make that first extension, and by making an accommodation for Sawmill Partners on one side of the street, we now have property on the other side of the street that we’ll also be able to sell,” he added.
Construction for the roadway extension and infrastructure could begin this summer.
“We would start dirt work on our property as soon as we can,” Surls said. “We hope to be able to build our building while the street is being built.”
With the business comes the promise of additional jobs.
“We’ll start off with about five people and go from there. We’ll have three people in distribution, two in sales and service,” Surls said. “They will be able to bring our customers into the showroom. We will also stock materials there.
“We anticipate future expansion and additional employees in coming years,” he added.
Company officials expect to close on the property in April and possibly break ground shortly after.
Surls said he anticipates hosting events and seminars for homebuilders and contractors at the site as well.
“What we plan on doing is having an outdoor area where we can have customer events,” he said. “The business park is a great location for us.”