Naveen Kumar looks through the more than 1,500 toilet-tank lids as he searches for just the one to fit his needs at Gerson's Building Materials, 1811 S. Park Ave. After 30-plus years, the DIY-er's treasure-trove is moving to a new location.


After more than 30 years of operating out of a lot on the corner of South Park Avenue and East Silverlake Road, Gerson's Building Materials is packing up its dozens of toilet lids, air conditioners and floor tiles and heading to a new location farther south.

With piles of curved, clay roof tiles, rows of doors and stacks of cabinets, the 2-acre salvage yard is a do-it-yourself paradise, with items for all types of home or business repair and restoration projects.

The store's inventory is already being moved to the new location at 4726 S. Country Club Road, just north of East Irvington Road.

The move was prompted by differences with the property's landlord, said Dean Bell, who along with a co-owner took over the business six years ago.

Also, the new location will better accommodate Gerson's inventory, Bell said. "This is a bigger and better location for us, it's much more convenient, a much better building, more square footage," he said.

The new site is now open Fridays and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and will likely have regular hours by mid-July, Bell said. A grand opening is planned for Aug. 1.

Until more inventory is moved, the bulk of what's available at the new site includes pottery, security doors and air conditioners, Bell said.

The current location will still be open from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Mondays through Fridays and 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturdays until everything is moved.

To reduce its inventory, Gerson's is offering 50 percent off windows and blinds and up to 75 percent off other "odds and ends" like some pottery, tile and knickknacks.

Gerson's buys items from people who remodel their homes and have old cabinets, doors and other fixtures to get rid of; and from contractors and a warehouse. It sells the new and used goods for about 30 percent less than what other stores charge, said Gerson's manager, Marshall Bates.

Steve Romero, a former Gerson's employee, stops in to what he calls the "huge thrift shop" frequently to sell some of his own materials or to browse for items for personal use or for his work refurbishing houses or to maintain his parents' rental properties.

"Whatever you're looking for, you can usually find it here if you're patient," Romero said.

Ricky Jones, who stopped at Gerson's Wednesday to look for paint, grew up just down the street from the yard and has shopped there many times. But he has no plans to shop at the new location, he said, citing an increase in prices.

Green Valley resident Ann Lamb, who grew up in Tucson, made a trip to Gerson's for the first time in several years Wednesday morning to look for cupboard doors.

The home restoration and antique enthusiast had a plethora of ideas for all of the items she saw.

Doors could be used for headboards or tables, a rolling cart could be fixed up and used in a kitchen or outside, a large shelf with several cubbies would be ideal to hold a knitter's yarn and supplies, Lamb said.

"It's like a treasure hunt, and you just don't know what you might find," she said.

Contact reporter Veronica Cruz at or at 573-4224.