A local roofing company, seeing benefits for both its revenues and its employees, is moving from the Landisville area to Lancaster city.
The Exterior Co. recently bought a historic tobacco warehouse next to Clipper Magazine Stadium, said Ryan Hoke, founder and CEO.
In a $2.7 million project, the company is converting the building into a new headquarters for its 20 office staffers, among a total of 80 employees. It’s eyeing a June occupancy.
“This will be a good fit for us. It will be a cool urban environment for our employees,” Hoke said, noting that restaurants and entertainment will be within a few blocks.
He anticipates his company's revenues getting a boost too. Its new facility at 311 Harrisburg Ave. will provide the firm with room to grow as well as exposure to motorists and ballpark visitors.
Hoke, 32, of Lititz, is a graduate of Hempfield High School who attended HACC. He started The Exterior Co. (known as TEC) in 2012.
In 2019 TEC posted revenue of $52 million, he said, up from $36 million the prior year.
The speed of its rise in revenue has placed TEC on Inc. magazine’s annual list of the fastest-growing privately held companies in the U.S. regularly since 2016.
Most of TEC’s revenue comes from installing residential roofing in Pennsylvania, Connecticut and Florida. TEC also installs gutters and siding.
Commercial work now accounts for just 20% of TEC’s total revenue, so Hoke wants to stoke that side of the business in 2020 by hiring at least 10 people dedicated to growing it.
“Every year we’ve gotten a lot of requests for commercial bids but we were too busy to go after them all. Now we’re going to hire people to pursue that,” said Hoke.
TEC’s future headquarters is a three-story brick building constructed in 1886 that in recent decades has been used for storage.
The venture continues a decades-long trend of idle or underused historic city warehouses being converted into productive space — typically offices or apartments.
But the redevelopment of this site faced a significant hurdle.
An unnamed road past the site connected Harrisburg Avenue and Stadium Drive, which rings the ballpark. The road also slashed any potential parking at the site.
Recently though, the county Redevelopment Authority, which controlled the road, gave an easement on it to TEC, allowing it to close the road at Stadium Drive and create 30 parking spaces for its building.
The easement was possible because Harrisburg Avenue and Stadium Drive were connected another way about four years ago, when a West Liberty Street extension was completed.
Pedestrians, though, will continue to be able to travel past the historic warehouse to get between Stadium Drive and Harrisburg Avenue.
Hoke anticipates TEC using the 4,000-square-foot first and second floors for office space, as well a 2,500-square-foot third floor for an employee lounge and game room. A deck also will go on the third floor.
In total, TEC will begin operating there by using 10,500 square feet of space, more than double its leased space at 1200 Corporate Blvd. in West Hempfield Township, near the Hempfield Rec Center. A daylight basement of 4,000 square feet will be set aside for future growth.
Renovations began Tuesday with the start of removing a concrete block addition that was painted white.
Hoke described the historic warehouse as “definitely a fixer-upper.” TEC’s makeover will include replacing its electrical system and roof, adding windows and installing heating, cooling and plumbing.
TEC bought the property for $900,000 as well as adjoining 309 Harrisburg Ave. for $950,000, county records show.
The sellers were the majority owners of the Lancaster Arts Hotel across Harrisburg Avenue at North Mulberry Street.
They had acquired the parcels 13 years ago as a potential future expansion site.
Tom McDermott, president of NAI Commercial Partners, handled the October transactions; the two sites were for sale as a package.
Though the consecutive street numbers imply the properties are side-by-side along Harrisburg Avenue, the tobacco warehouse at 311 is behind 309, home to Cam Automotive.
TEC has no need for 309 Harrisburg Ave., Hoke said, and is offering the half-acre property for sale for $1.1 million; McDermott is the listing agent.