Crawford Electric Supply Co. (CESCO) plans to move its Dallas headquarters to a new 80,000-square-foot facility in November. The electrical distributor began construction in early January. With better highway access, the new facility will be located just half a mile from its existing location, which CESCO leases.

“In our current location, we're out of space, and we're out of parking — we just need more room,” said Craig Levering, CESCO chief executive officer. He added that he looks forward to building equity rather than paying rent.

For more than a decade, CESCO operated as a single-branch distributor after Levering purchased the company in 1990. In the last few years, CESCO has added three additional locations. In January 2002, CESCO opened a branch in Houston. In 2004, it acquired Cain Electric Supply's Fort Worth branch, and in July 2005, CESCO opened a 40,000-square-foot location in San Antonio.

As the company grew, the Dallas location added lease space piecemeal. “We've kept adding on and knocking through walls,” said Levering. The Dallas location now encompasses what used to be four 15,000-square-foot single-lease spaces. As a result, the space is not that efficient, said Levering.

“This is an opportunity for us to own our own building, and make it just the way we want it,” he said. The new Dallas facility will include 60,000 square feet of warehouse space and 20,000 square feet of office and training space.

CESCO is also building a new facility for its Houston branch. The distributor has purchased 8 acres of land located about 3 miles from its current Houston location. The new 80,000-square-foot Houston location is scheduled to open in January 2007.

CESCO has grown from six employees and $2 million in sales in 1990 to $175 million in sales and 190 employees at four Texas locations today. It ranked No. 45 on Electrical Wholesaling's most recent Top 200.

“We've never seen the market stronger,” said Levering. “The Texas market is exceptional.”