May 30, 2010 – Phoenix Business Journal
Roofing Wholesale opening high-end design center in Scottsdale
Despite the housing slowdown, Phoenix-based Roofing Wholesale Co. has identified a demand for upscale products and is opening its first high-end design center in Scottsdale next month.
RWC provides roofing, stone flooring and stucco materials to commercial and residential builders and designers. The 50-year-old company has three other locations in Arizona, but the new facility will target a different customer base.
The new center, at Williams Drive and Scottsdale Road in North Scottsdale, cost $250,000 to build. The company renovated a former warehouse into a 6,200-square-foot showroom to display materials for high-end custom-home builders, designers, renovators and owners. RWC Vice President George Keeley calls it “revolutionary.”
RWC spokesman Robert Brennan said the facility will feature opulent mosaic work, inlaid tile floors and an indoor fountain. It also will have private consultation rooms where architects and contractors can meet with clients to review larger-scale examples of various products.
“We can literally lay out an entire floor, if need be,” said Brennan.
The showroom, which will provide five new jobs initially and up to 20 as business increases, will be central to the company’s growth, Brennan said, adding it could lead to other upscale design centers in years to come.
RWC has been on a growth course. Brennan said the company had $100 million in revenue last year, and executives expect the new design center to help RWC exceed last year’s sales.
Even with the slumped housing market and weak economy, Brennan said a market remains for high-end homes and products — especially in Scottsdale, which has an abundance of architects and contractors looking for high-end work. Business is picking up again, he said.
“We are getting lots of back orders,” said Brennan. “Primarily residential, but even the commercial side is beginning to take off.”
Mark Candelaria, principal architect at Phoenix-based Candelaria Design, said the Valley’s luxury-home building business has been slow since 2006, but he is beginning to see more work in remodeling. Renovation jobs make up about 80 percent of Candelaria’s current work load, and he said guest houses are becoming increasingly popular.
Candelaria said it might be a little late to start up a design center focusing on new builds in the high-end market, but if it also worked in renovation materials, it could pay off.
RWC also operates designer showrooms mainly for builders in Nevada, California and New Mexico.