Our Clients Say it Best

Local Paint Company Goes National

Published Sun, May 27, 2012
By Marcus Wright

Special to the Michigan Citizen

DETROIT — Marcus Anderson wanted to expand his painting business, Anderson Paint Store LLC. A commercial painting contractor with a crew of five, Anderson did business in and around Detroit but longed to go national. “I wanted to be more than a paint contractor,” Anderson said.” I thought about it, trying to figure out how to make it happen with hardly any money.”

The Internet! Instead of actually painting structures, Anderson Paint Store would sell paint and perform acquisition services for general contractors. Starting slowly, the paint store supplied paint for Detroit Water and Sewerage Department, Veteran’s Administration Hospital, MGM Casino and local general contractors Barton Malow and Jenkins Construction Company. “Ninety percent of our business is done on the Internet,” Anderson said. “The UCP (United Certification Program) allows anyone from any state to look at the directory and see us.”

Anderson Paint Store has Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) certifications in Arizona, Atlanta, California, District of Columbia, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Michigan, Missouri, Nevada, Ohio, Tennessee, Texas, Washington and the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA). The LLC is certified in 14 states. It is classified as a DBE supplier to the USDOT of traffic-marking paint, waterborne, liquid pavement material and oil base. It also supplies cold plastic tape, long line, legend and crosswalk WR tape that is wet-right retro reflective and concrete surface sealer.

Anderson said he definitely wants to grow. “In three to five years we want to move past $22.4 million,” Anderson said. “Once we do that we’ll no longer be a small business.”

Anderson graduated from Central High School, class of 1979. He attended Randolph Vocational Center and upon graduation joined the Painter’ Union Local 22 becoming a Painter apprentice.

Anderson said his business is designed to deliver the finest product and service available in Detroit as well as the state and beyond. He gives credit to people who gave him a hand up. Anderson said Errol Service, African Caribbean Chamber of Commerce executive director, provided him with the opportunity to experience growth through the mentoring program sponsored by the chamber. “The mentoring program partners with McDonalds — Service owns several McDonalds — using the model multiple teams working as one unit,” Anderson said. “The chamber has allowed me to add value and potential in reaching my core goals in my business opportunities. For that I’m very grateful.”

Anderson Paint Store LLC 18429 W. Eight Mile Road. 248.910.8480 or info@andersonpaintstore.com

Contact Marcus Wright at marcuswright@michigancitizen.com


Metro Announces Major Project to Restore the Eads Bridge

5/22/2012 News Release
Dianne Williams
Director of Communications

Metro today announced it will restore the historic Eads Bridge in what is the first extensive rehabilitation of the support structure of the bridge in its 138-year history. The work is needed to protect this national landmark and upgrade an important piece of the region’s $1.8 billion transit infrastructure so it can continue to serve future generations.The total contract amount for the project is $36 million and is largely funded through $34 million in federal support, of that $25 million is from ARRA (American Recovery and Reinvestment Act) funds. The City of St. Louis, which co-owns the bridge with Metro, contributed a $4.8 million federal grant toward completion of the project. Of the $36 million total, $2.4 million is from local funds.

The Eads Bridge, designed by James Buchanan Eads, was completed in 1874 and was the first steel structure bridge project in the United States. Now, after more than a century of use, it is in need of major repairs and a significant facelift. This structural rehabilitation project will replace support steel that dates to the 1880’s. As many as nine layers of paint and rust will be blasted off the bridge down to the bare metal, and then the bridge will be primed with a rust inhibitor, before the top coating is applied. Combined with regular maintenance painting, the anti-corrosion coating system should extend the life of the bridge another 50 years. After enduring trains crossing the bridge nearly 300 times daily and exposure to the elements for almost two decades, the MetroLink alignment that crosses the bridge will be upgraded with new rail and ties as part of this comprehensive project. Metro is committed to completing all of work by the fall of 2015.

“This project demonstrates the value our Agency brings as a regional builder, an employer of local construction trades, and an important economic engine bringing money, jobs and infrastructure improvements to the region,” noted John Nations, Metro President & CEO.

Metro obtained co-ownership of the Eads Bridge as part of the original MetroLink project. The bridge played a critical economic and structural role in the initial plans for the region’s light rail system. The City of St. Louis owns the vehicle deck of the bridge while Metro owns and maintains the rail deck and remaining bridge structure

Today, MetroLink trains pass over the Eads Bridge, transporting customers to destinations on both sides of the Mississippi River. Because of important planning before actual bridge reconstruction work begins, MetroLink schedules will be largely unaffected by the construction work

The general contractor for the project is St. Louis Bridge Construction Company, a local firm with extensive experience in working on bridges, highway and railroad structures, dams, levees and spillways. St. Louis Bridge is currently working on three other projects on the Mississippi River and is quite familiar with the Eads Bridge, having completed a rebuild of the deck of the bridge in 2003.

The company also recently successfully completed the rail interlocking project on the east end of the bridge. The interlocking project was needed to avoid train schedule delays during this larger project. It included the installation of a new track crossover device just west of the East Riverfront MetroLink Station in East St. Louis to consolidate light-rail traffic to a single track across the Mississippi River. The interlocking will allow restoration crews to work on one track while Metro continues to operate both eastbound and westbound MetroLink trains on the other track. Each track is anticipated to be closed for 12-18 months, as the rehabilitation on that side of the bridge is completed.

Metro’s design engineering firm is TranSystems which is a national company headquartered in Kansas City. It is a top-10 bridge design firm which specializes in inspection and rehabilitation of historic bridges and major river crossings

Subcontractors for the bridge project include: MTC Construction d/b/a K. Bates Steel Services, Thomas Industrial Coatings, Miller Contracting Inc., ABNA Engineering, Gonzalez Engineering, Kelly-Hill Co., Wissehr Electrical Contractors, Western Waterproofing Co., and KTA-Tator. Suppliers include Centrex Electrical Supply, Anderson Paint Store LLC, and Missouri Fabricators.

Over the life of the project, workers from various trade unions including painters, ironworkers, masons, laborers, carpenters and others will use their highly specialized skills to refurbish the national landmark. St. Louis Bridge Construction Company and Metro have committed to working aggressively to include Disadvantaged Business Enterprises as well as workers from every segment of our community, assuring that workers and subcontractors on this project reflect diversity in business ownership and the labor force. They also are working together to ensure that the project is conducted with the safety of the workers, commuters and the environment as top priorities.

The Eads Bridge was state of the art in two ways when it was built: by allowing steamboat commerce to continue on the Mississippi River during bridge construction and by the use of steel, which at the time was a new structural metal. “They broke new ground when they began building this bridge almost a century and half ago, and we anticipate there will be unknowns as we address the rehabilitation of this unique historic landmark,” Nations noted. “We’re confident we have a great team in place and we’re prepared to meet those challenges as we extend the life of the structure for another half a century.”

Paint store seals the deal with Benjamin Moore

Store manager Perry Barnes (l) and owner Marcus Anderson (r). Photo by Eric Campbell

By Eric T. Campbell
The Michigan Citizen

DETROIT— When Marcus Anderson went after Benjamin Moore as a sponsor of a prospective paint store, he didn’t know he’d be setting a precedent. Anderson Paint Store, on Eight Mile Road, is now the only Benjamin Moore outlet in the city of Detroit. It’s the only Black-owned Benjamin Moore retailer out of 178 in the state of Michigan.

Up until June of this year, Marcus Anderson operated a successful paint contracting company—Soft Touch Painting. Soft Touch, established in 1989, was Anderson’s livelihood, specializing in commercial, industrial and residential painting. Anderson soon realized the sensibility of incorporating a paint store in the same location.

“I am, by trade, a paint contractor,” Anderson told the Michigan Citizen. “Adding the paint store doesn’t take away from the service, in fact it enhances it—we’re now more like a one-stop-shop. We can provide a product as well as a service.”

Anderson courted several paint companies, but the superior reputation that Benjamin Moore enjoys in the industry kept them at the top of his list. According to Anderson, Benjamin Moore Paints are considered the highest in quality.

“Benjamin Moore sets the standards for other companies to follow,” says Anderson.

But gaining the confidence of the paint industry giant wasn’t easy. Anderson tells of meetings and discussions that lasted six months. The viability of the Detroit market was the dominant topic in talks with representatives from the Chicago corporate office, but Anderson had an established clientele through his painting company.

“I said there’s a market here for your paint,” Anderson recalls.

Once the decision was made to endorse Anderson’s store, Benjamin Moore wasted no time providing a comprehensive web of support. Three days was all it took before he began receiving paint supplies, according toAnderson.

Paint Store manager, Perry Barnes, has over 14 years in the professional painting business. Barnes says that experience is beneficial to patrons with any type of painting task.

“What we do is ask you the proper questions and get you the proper tools,” Barnes told the Michigan Citizen. “From there we proceed to recommend a product based on the overall look and appearance you’re trying to achieve.”

The store offers thousands of colors to choose from and is able to match colors from other companies. This process is called ‘crossover matching’. According to Barnes, it’s achieved with a computer program whose database includes colors by companies other than Benjamin Moore.

Despite the non-descript exterior, Anderson’s store welcomes walk-in customers with an orderly, well-stocked showroom floor. Paints come in three levels: The premium Regal interior line, the Super Spec contractor line and the Super Craft project line.

The reputation Benjamin Moore carries made Anderson Paint Store a retail option for other paint industry name brands such as Wooster brushes and rollers, and Hyde scrapers and joint knives.

Other tools for wall-patching, wallpaper removal and interior staining are also available.

“We want to make sure that people are receiving knowledge from the time they walk in the door until the time they leave,” says Anderson.

Anderson Paint Store also features over 200 off-white colors and a section devoted entirely to exterior colors often used in historical neighborhoods. Anderson’s also features ECOSPEC, a line paint which is low in odor and VOCs (volatile organic compounds).

“It’s the cheapest way to remodel,” says Perry about the effect a fresh coat of paint can have on a living space, “and in a lot of cases it makes all the difference.”

Despite his relationship with a dominant paint franchise, Anderson is still determined to operate like a neighborhood corner store. He’s attended Detroit area block club meetings and plans a meet and greet event for his neighbors in the 8 Mile/Southfield Road area.

“Solving your problems is going to be a lot easier when you can deal with the owner.”

Anderson Paint Store is located at 18539 W. 8 Mile Rd., four blocks west of Southfield Freeway. Call 313-541-5452 for further questions.

For a free job estimate call Soft Touch Painting at 313-541-8402