Bucking the trend of flipping commercial/industrial property into housing along Dorchester Avenue, New Bedford-based Plumbing Supply Co. has purchased long-time supply house Ellsworth Plumbing with plans to improve the property without adding new uses on the site south of Glover’s Corner.
The new owners said they hope to build out a new warehouse and live happily on the avenue as a plumbing supply business – even as new housing is being built on commercial land all around them.
Brian Jones is one of six owners of the third-generation company, which at one time had an outlet on Tenean Street in Dorchester and last summer purchased the Ellsworth business at 1334 Dorchester Ave. and its assets from long-time operator Rob Raimondi.
Ellsworth Plumbing had supplied HVAC material and heating supplies to contractors and the public for 80 years from the location.
“This was a great family business that was there since around the 1940s and we are a third-generation family business as well,” said Jones. “We are happy to have a permanent home there…We’ve known Rob (Raimondi) for a long time. “He was looking for an exit plan and he has a great reputation and has been serving contractors there a long time. It seemed like a good opportunity to acquire the business and have a permanent long-term base in the Dorchester market.”
Plumbing Supply filed its plans for a Small Project Review with the Boston Planning and Development Agency (BPDA) on Nov. 1. The company has already begun demolishing the old warehouse and wants to construct a one-story facility that will be about 4,000 square feet smaller.
Jones said they also plan to upgrade the office building facing Dorchester Avenue and beautify the property to provide much-needed curb appeal.
“We’re excited to clean up the site for sure,” he said. “As Ellsworth expanded, they built a series of additions and had more than one floor with a mezzanine. The new warehouse will have one level and that will produce more efficiency in and out.”
Jones said he understands that a lot of property in the area is being converted to residential (a 70-unit housing proposal has been approved for a lot next door to his new property that was owned by Raimondi). Many other examples exist in and around Glover’s Corner, including the large Dot Block development and new projects on Hancock Street.
“Plumbing supply is the business we’re in,” said Jones. “There’s a big demand for it up there. There’s a lot of plumbing and HVAC contractors that need a local supplier of good quality to get in and out from job sites…We plan to be there for the long haul. It’s a family business and I’m one of four people in the third generation.”
Members of the Fields Corner Civic Association (FCCA) noted they have had informal conversations with Jones but are still hoping to schedule a presentation by the company at one of their monthly meetings. The comment period for the BPDA process ends on Nov. 30.
Owners of Plumbing Supply include Jay Jones, Kevin Jones, Mark Jones, Sean Jones, Ryan Jones, and Brian Jones.