Northridge Lumber selling its business to Ganahl Lumber in Anaheim

Northridge Lumber Co., a business that has served Southern California contractors and homeowners since 1938, is selling its family-owned lumber yard to Anaheim-based Ganahl Lumber Co.

The sale is expected to be finalized in about two weeks. The selling price was not disclosed.

Ganahl operates 10 lumber yards throughout Southern California but this will be the company’s first San Fernando Valley location. It will operate under the Ganahl name.

Brad Satterfield, Ganahl’s chief operating officer, touted the move in a recent interview with the industry publication LBM Journal.

“We have been shipping millions of feet of lumber and other building materials to our customers in the San Fernando Valley for over a decade using our other locations,” he said. “And providing our customers a convenient location to pick up materials has been something we have been working toward for a long time.”

Patrick Hawthorne, who co-owns Northridge Lumber with his brother Tim, said they knew what they were looking for in a buyer.

“I’ve known the Ganahl family for 45 years, and I know that they share our business philosophy,” he said. “We’ve had our business in the family ever since our dad, Dick, purchased the yard from the original owners. We know the value of a legacy, and the Ganahls share that understanding.”

Tim Hawthorne said it was the right time to sell.

“I’m going to be 62 and Pat will soon be 70,” he said. “We really didn’t have any future plans, but we knew we needed to determine the future of the business soon. We were lucky enough to have an interested party come forward that wanted to buy it.”

Hawthorne said Ganahl plans to retain all of the 20-plus Northridge workers, which made the offer even more appealing.

“Many of our employees have been here for more than 20 years,” he said. “There is a bit of sadness in selling the business because we have a lot of memories here.”

figuresGanahl Lumber Co. has 10 locations in Anaheim, Buena Park, Capistrano Beach, Corona, Costa Mesa, Laguna Beach, Lake Forest, Los Alamitos, Pasadena, Torrance. The Northridge lumber yard will be its 11th, and its first San Fernando Valley lumber yard. (Photo courtesy of Ganahl Lumber Co.)Ganahl has locations in Anaheim, Buena Park, Capistrano Beach, Corona, Costa Mesa, Laguna Beach, Lake Forest, Los Alamitos, Pasadena and Torrance.

The company, which has been in the Southern California market since 1884, has about 1,000 workers, including 150 who have been with the company for 20 years or longer.

Some history

Northridge Lumber, now located at 18537 Parthenia St., was originally operated by Ernie Merritt and Leon Gillaspie in 1938 on land leased from Southern Pacific Railroad. Harold Hawthorne worked as the company’s accountant during that time and his son, Dick, helped with the books.

In 1952, after serving in the Korean War, Dick Hawthorne returned to work in the yard. In the 1970s, he began the process of buying the company from the heirs of Gillaspie while also negotiating the purchase of the yard’s land from the railroad company.

Hawthorne’s sons Pat and Tim joined the family business in the 1970s, and when their father died in 2005, they assumed operation of the company.

The lumber yard has survived two major earthquakes — the 6.5-magnitude Sylmar quake in 1971 and the 6.7-magnitude Northridge shaker in 1994.

The Northridge quake’s epicenter was just blocks from the lumber yard, but the business was up and running again after a few weeks of intense cleanup and repair.

Pandemic price hikes

The lumber industry has seen its share of ups and downs during recessions and other economic downturns. But few events have impacted the industry as dramatically as the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting supply chain backups.

During the first year of the health crisis, prices of processed wood products, such as softwood lumber and plywood, nearly quadrupled. Wholesale prices for plywood jumped from $400 to $1,500 per thousand square feet, according to data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

That’s roughly the equivalent of plywood prices increasing to $48 from about $12.80 per sheet.

“Prices really went crazy,” Tim Hawthorne said. “But we actually became much busier than we would have anticipated during the pandemic. Many people were doing remodeling or refinancing their homes.”

Prices have since retreated to more reasonable levels.

“A 4-by-8-foot piece of half-inch plywood was going for $77, but now it’s just slightly over $25,” he said.

Related Articles

Business |

Why Twitter is rolling out gray ‘official’ check marks

Business |

Facebook parent Meta cuts 11,000 jobs, 13% of workforce

Business |

Election 2022: LA Measure LH, authorizing 75,000 low-income housing units, cruising to win

Business |

Proposition 29: Dialysis industry defeats challenge at ballot box, for the third time

Business |

Propositions 26 & 27: Sports-betting ballot measures defeated

Speaking Tuesday, Satterfield said wood prices have returned to near-normal levels, although prices for steel, epoxy powder coatings and other products used in the construction industry are still high.

And where is the industry headed?

“It’s very cyclical,” he said. “We’ve had a long run since 2010 where things have been good, but Chapman University has predicted a possible recession for next year.”

Still, Satterfield figures they’ll get by.

“We’ve been around since 1884,” he said, “so I think we know how to go through cycles.”

Share the Post:

Related Posts