Carter Lumber will open a lumberyard and manufacturing facility in Franklin, Ind., south of Indianapolis, company COO Jeff Donley confirmed today.

Donley told ProSales he expects Carter's facility will be open by June 1. Aside from selling building materials, the operation also will produce components, wall panels, and millwork, and will have a door shop, he said. According to the Indianapolis Star, which first reported the news, the operation will employ 80 to 100 people.

The new facility marks a return to Franklin for Carter, which had had a retail facility only in the community until January 2008. This time, it's moving into a location that Davidson Industries ran until June 2005, when Stock Building Supply acquired it. Stock then closed the yard last year as part of a Chapter 11 reorganization in which it decided to leave Indiana.

Donley noted that Carter also has a facilty in Noblesville, Ind., just north of Indianapolis, so with the addition of the Franklin yard it is in position to serve Indiana's capital city from the two sides where the market is growing most. He added that Carter has hired a number of sales reps from dealers that have left the Indianapolis region.

Based in Kent, Ohio, Carter ranked ninth on last year's ProSales 100, with sales in 2008 of $628 million. Its nearly 200 facilities are based primarily in the Midwest, a region that Donley says hasn't been appreciated enough by other LBM operations. For instance, he said, the company has increased its market share in Columbus, Ohio, and Detroit, in part by hiring people who were dropped by dealers that had abandoned those cities.

"There are a lot of markets that many dealers have pulled out of," he said. "We like to look at things in the long term, and feel this is a good time to invest. ... We're in a growth mode during this downturn."