NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Local News

November 16, 2011

New life for vacant Eastern Lumber site

Jackson Lumber to renovate, open in spring

AMESBURY — A Lawrence-based lumberyard chain is expected to open its newest location in Amesbury next spring at the site of the former Eastern Lumber Company.

A deal in principal has been reached by the Torrisi family, owners of Jackson Lumber & Millwork, to purchase the 3.5-acre site and the 14,000-square-foot store on Route 110. Eastern Lumber — a lumberyard that also sold hardware, gardening supplies, household items and milk — shuttered its doors for good at the end of June after more than 61 years in business.

Jackson Lumber & Millwork president Al Torrisi announced yesterday that his agreement with current landowner Anthony Matrumalo should be completed by January. Neither Torrisi or Matrumalo would comment on the sale price.

"It would take something of an extraordinary nature for this deal not to follow through," Torrisi said.

Once the deal is complete, months of extensive renovations and new racking is expected to take place before the store and lumberyard opens in spring 2012.

"We're not going to open on the day we close on this transaction. We want to update it and upgrade it to the way we want the location to look," Torrisi said.

Torrisi said his company had searched for several years for the right location to expand its business to the northern portion of Essex County, the beaches and Southern New Hampshire. Once learning of Eastern Lumber Co.'s closure, Torrisi approached Matrumalo and asked if he would interested in selling to him.

Another attractive aspect of the Eastern Lumber Co. site was its proximity to major highways and its access to neighboring communities. Negotiations began roughly three months ago and were completed recently.

"Oh, we're very excited about this move. We have a lot of friends in the beaches who have talked to us over the years that if we had a location closer, they would come by. We think this is a very positive move for our family and for the 140 people who work at the company presently," Torrisi said.

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