As the housing market swings back in its favor, a Midlothian-based business is expanding across the river.
Capitol Granite, which designs and installs kitchens and bathrooms, has chosen the West End for its third retail location and opened at 9663 W. Broad St. on May 12. Owner Paul Menninger signed a five-year lease for the 2,800-square-foot space at the West Park Shopping Center.
“With the housing market on the increase, we are seeing an increase in demand for our services,” Menninger said.
Most of Capitol Granite’s work is done at residential sites. With the market getting healthier, the company now has 90 employees, up from 75 a year ago.
“I think there’s pent up demand since the recessionary times,” Menninger said. “You can tie this business directly to how a customer feels about economic conditions. … They’re feeling better about things. It’s almost back.”
Before launching Capitol Granite in 2002, Menninger was a salesman for Nalco Chemical. He said he’d flipped houses for a long time and thought the market needed another granite business. Menninger said he also likes seeing the fruits of his labor.
“I’ve been a woodworker,” Menninger said. “I was looking to get into … the work of creating something for the consumer.”
Menninger launched his business out of a 5,000-square-foot property in Midlothian. When the lease finished, he designed and built a 30,000-square-foot facility at 1700 Oak Lake Blvd. in Midlothian. The Midlothian property, which he owns, is both a manufacturing site and a retail spot. In 2006, Menninger opened a second location in Williamsburg.
Menninger said it cost about $100,000 to open the new Capitol Granite shop in the West End. It’s financing the expansion through Sonabank.
He moved into the West Park Shopping Center, Menninger said, to be near Short Pump, where many of his customers are. He’s already making friends in the neighborhood. Products from The Tile Shop, also in the West Park Shopping Center, will be sold at Capitol Granite and vice versa.
The West Park Shopping center will soon be getting another new face when a Norfolk-based outdoor retailer moves into what is now a Hallmark shop that is set to close May 23.
Capitol Granite’s jobs typically cost about $2,500, Menninger said.
Commercial jobs make up about 15 to 20 percent of the company’s work. Its granite and marble come from all over the globe, including Brazil, India and Italy.