New name, new location

January 31, 2002 12:00 am
MORE ROOM: Shelves in the 6,000-square-foot warehouse at KIE Supply will be filled with products when the store opens at its new location Monday. (Observer photos/PHIL BULLOCK).
MORE ROOM: Shelves in the 6,000-square-foot warehouse at KIE Supply will be filled with products when the store opens at its new location Monday. (Observer photos/PHIL BULLOCK).

By Ray Linker

Observer Staff Writer

Moving day is here.

And how about a new name while were at it.

The firm that has been known for some years as Trico Supply and located at 1507 Jefferson Ave. in La Grande is packing up and moving to a brand-new building in Island City.

Well be closed Thursday (today), Friday and Saturday and open in our new building Monday, said Gary Bottger, surveying a basically empty warehouse of a building at the new site.

Bottger is the manager of the plumbing and electrical supply store that will now operate out of its new expansive building on the west side of Island Avenue where Walton Road terminates.

He said the firm, which was bought in December 1999 by Kennewick Industrial and Electric of Kennewick, Wash., will be known simply as KIE Supply. For a while the La Grande store was called KIE/Trico Supply. The corporation owns four stores, in Hermiston, Walla Walla, Kennewick and now Island City.

Weve got a 6,000-square-foot warehouse, 3,000 square feet of space in the front of the building for offices and retail display area, Bottger said.

And there will be an acre of fenced yard in the rear of the building. That will be used mainly to store irrigation pipes and some plumbing supplies, he said.

The Jefferson Avenue store had only 6,000 square feet of space, Bottger said, and there wasnt much room for displaying items in the front of the store.

The new site is a better location, offering better visibility, he said.

The paved parking lot, poured by Valley Concrete Pumping, should provide for at least 20 parking spaces although the spaces havent been marked off yet, said Wayne Overton, who is directing the construction of the huge metal building for owner Mike Becker Construction.

Workers were putting the finishing touches on the building early this week, while others put together the huge shelves inside the warehouse.

Becker will own the well-insulated building, with the company leasing it from him, Bottger said.

The business is primarily a wholesale distributor, selling to electrical, plumbing companies, irrigators, general contractors and other builders, Bottger said.

But we welcome walk-in retail business, too, he said. Well have more displays in front than we had on Jefferson Avenue plumbing, electrical, lighting fixtures, things like that.

Well have a lot more inventory for the contractors, too more pipe, expanded plumbing, electrical and irrigation inventories, Bottger said.

The local store employs four people, including Bottger, who said he didnt plan to add any more.

The local phone number will remain the same, 963-4622, and the company is adding an 800 number as well. Its 1-800-519-4622.