STAFF PICK: Lost in the acrimonious debate revolving around the question of Big Box retailers and the potential opening of yet another Home Depot Intergalactic Superstore is the fact that central Tucson is already the home of a more than adequate rival: Grant Road Lumber has been a longtime supplier to both professionals and weekenders. What's more, it's the last incarnation of a beleaguered relic: a locally owned and operated lumber yard -- and the last one in town, at that. Unlike our homegrown bookstore operators, Grant Road Lumber has been able to survive building boom and bust, lumber storage rack fire, and the omnipresence of the Payless/Home Depot cabal that's driven lesser lights into Chapter 11.
In addition to all sizes and grades of construction lumber and materials, sheet goods and some hardwoods, Grant Road carries tools, plumbing and electrical supplies, hardware and paint -- in short, virtually all the goods the big boys stock, minus the mind-numbing drive, sparse, snotty service and milling crowds. The real shocker is when you go to price out your new addition. You'll find, contrary to popular mythology, that Grant Road Lumber often comes in equal to, if not cheaper than, their colossal megastore competitors. Save the windshield time, the dough and the aggravation by keeping your business local.