Business

Ogden and Adams, Cedar Rapids Lumber merge

Marty Hoeger moves from customer to owner

Conversations between Marty Hoerger and then-Ogden and Adams Lumber owner Larry Paulson “started about a year and a half ago when I heard through the grapevine that Larry was kicking around the idea of retiring,” Hoeger recalls. Above, wood is stacked in the lumberyard at Ogden and Adams in Cedar Rapids. (Liz Martin/The Gazette)
Conversations between Marty Hoerger and then-Ogden and Adams Lumber owner Larry Paulson “started about a year and a half ago when I heard through the grapevine that Larry was kicking around the idea of retiring,” Hoeger recalls. Above, wood is stacked in the lumberyard at Ogden and Adams in Cedar Rapids. (Liz Martin/The Gazette)
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Two Cedar Rapids privately owned lumber companies have been merged under new ownership.

Marty Hoeger, a customer of Ogden and Adams, a 113-year-old business at 144 32nd Street Dr. SE, for about 20 years as a contractor, bought the company from Larry Paulson, who retired after the sale was completed.

Hoeger, 1st District Cedar Rapids council member, at the same time purchased 69-year-old Cedar Rapids Lumber at 902 Second St. SW, from Randy Kelley, who will continue to work at business that also now is branded as Ogden and Adams.

The deal was concluded Feb. 28.

“Our conversations started about a year and a half ago when I heard through the grapevine that Larry was kicking around the idea of retiring,” Hoeger said. “The business has always intrigued me and I’ve always had an interest in the construction world.

“We had coffee one morning and Larry said he wasn’t quite ready to retire, but we should keep talking. Over the next year and a half, we became more and more serious.”

Paulson suggested Hoeger speak with Kelley, Hoeger recalled. They had worked together at Ogden and Adams before Kelley left in 1990 to buy Cedar Rapids Lumber.

“I had hired a business consultant and kind of threw that out to him as phase two of this plan. The business consultant suggested that I should talk with Kelley and do both deals at the same time, which was a pretty daunting task for me.”

Paulson said a number of factors prompted him to sell his company to Hoeger.

“I turned 67 years old in December and I celebrated my 40th year with Ogden and Adams in June of last year,” Paulson said. “I just thought that this was the time to pass it down to a younger generation and let them take it and grow with it.”

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Paulson said he and Kelley have been close friends “kind of like brothers” for many years.

“Shortly before he left Ogden and Adams to buy Cedar Rapids Lumber, I had a very serious accident that left me partially paralyzed,” Paulson said. “Randy really stepped up and worked his butt off to do my job and his for all the time that I was gone.”

As a payback to Kelley when the 2008 flood created catastrophic damage at Cedar Rapids Lumber, Paulson said Ogden and Adams took over the lumber portion of the business.

“We made all of his deliveries and kept his customers satisfied while Randy got everything cleaned up and was rebuilt,” Paulson said. “He and I have been there for each other for years and years.”

Kelley, who saw an opportunity to sell the business, said he is not ready to retire.

Hoeger, who is working at Ogden and Adams full time, has left Graham Construction in Cedar Rapids where he was business development manager.

“I want to give this 100 percent of my attention,” he said. “We have a great employee group at Ogden and Adams. I wanted them to know that the person who bought the company is 100 percent invested in it, not just financially but on a day-to-day basis.”

Cedar Rapids Lumber employed seven people. Hoeger said four will work at Ogden and Adams and the remainder either retired or moved on to other employment.

“We have 23 employees at Ogden and Adams and we are planning to hire a new person for cabinets,” Hoeger said.

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“Our goal is not to compete with Home Depot and Menards because we’re not going to bring in all the plumbing and electrical fixtures,” he said. “We just have to evolve to where we fit in our market.”

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