• psst … I’m a Realtor! Thanks for stopping by my website. I would love to help you find your dream home and community in the Hampton Roads or Williamsburg area or to sell your existing home. This website is authored by local resident and REALTOR, John Womeldorf. John is known around town as Mr. Williamsburg, for both his extensive knowledge of Hampton Roads and the historic triangle, and his expertise in the local real estate market. His websites, WilliamsburgsRealEstate.com and Mr Williamsburg.com were created as a resource for folks who are exploring a move to Williamsburg, VA , Hampton Roads VA and the surrounding areas of the Virginia Peninsula. On his website you can search homes for sale , foreclosures, 55+ active adult communities, condos and town homes , land and commercial property for sale in Williamsburg, Yorktown, New Kent, Poquoson, and Gloucester, VA as well as surrounding markets of Carrolton, Chesapeake,Gloucester, Hampton, Isle of Wight, Portsmouth Mathews, Newport News Norfolk, Poquoson, Smithfield, , Suffolk, Surry, Va Beach, Yorktown and York County Virginia You can reach John by email John@MrWilliamsburg.com or phone @ 757-254-813

Roper Brothers Lumber Company is closing in Toano

As soon as I finished writing about four new restaurants that are opening in Williamsburg I get the news that Roper Lumber with locations in Toano, Richmond, Fredericksburg, Petersburg, Winchester and Lynchburg Virginia,  is closing its doors after today.

The 100-year-old Petersburg based business was expected to  file papers to liquidate under bankruptcy court supervision.

Roper Brothers Lumber Co. employees said the company planned to cease doing business as of 5 p.m. at its headquarters and its five other locations around Virginia.

Rumors of the pending shutdown began circulating Thursday among building industry insiders, but company officials did not return repeated phone calls seeking confirmation and comment.

Roper Brothers was incorporated in April 1909 by Philip R. Roper Sr. The company was operated for many years by his sons, Leroy, Philip Jr. and Thomas Preston Trigg "T.P." Roper. It played a major role in the construction of Petersburg’s Walnut Hill area, and the family for many years was prominent in local society and politics.

In the past decade, under the leadership of Philip R. Roper III, the company expanded through acquisitions in Virginia and North Carolina. For example, when Roper Brothers bought Taylor Bros., the deal reportedly raised the company’s annual revenue to $190 million and increased its total workforce to more than 500.

However, the downturn in the housing market has taken a toll on the company. According to industry sources, Roper Brothers was the 40th-largest building materials dealer in the nation last year, with $100 million in sales, 95 percent of them to professional builders. That marked a 31 percent drop from $145 million in sales the year before.

Roper reported operating just five branches at the start of this year, down from eight in 2008, with a total of 175 employees.

The company reportedly owns sizable tracts of timberland in central Virginia. According to Chesterfield County property records, it owns at least two parcels there totaling 587 acres, including the Lake Margaret property off Woodpecker Road.

According to Uniform Commercial Code lien filings with the State Corporation Commission, Roper Brothers’ secured creditors include Wachovia Bank, Bank of America, NMHG Financial Services, GreatAmerica Leasing Corp., Mitek Industries Inc., Wells Fargo Bank and Seaboard International Forest Products LLC.

SCC records also show that Philip R. Roper III was listed as debtor on a lien filed Nov. 17 by Patton Holdings LLC of Hopewell. That company is owned by Charles A. Patton, who is listed in SCC filings as a member of Roper Brothers’ board of directors. The SCC’s online lien records do not indicate the amount or terms of the debt.

UPDATE:

Roper Brothers Lumber filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on 12/17/2009 .

The company, which is owned by Phil Roper III, has between 200 and 1,000 creditors and lists assets of $10 million to $50 million and liabilities of the same range.

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