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Sutherlands eyes Great Bend property
new deh southerlands primus building
Pictures is the Primus Sterilizer Company Great Bend facility at 5520 10th St., the former K-Mart building. It is for sale and there are rumors that it may be the location of a Sutherlands store. - photo by DALE HOGG Great Bend Tribune

The Kansas City, Mo.-based Sutherland Lumber Company has acquired property in Great Bend, a company official confirmed Thursday morning. However, the official couldn’t elaborate on where this property was or on the company’s plans in Great Bend.
The spokesperson said she had to visit with Sutherland management before she could comment further, but those she needed to talk to were tied up in meetings all day.
According to the firm’s website, Sutherland’s is a privately owned, family-run organization founded 95 years ago by Robert R. Sutherland. It is one of the largest privately-owned home improvement center chains in the United States.
It operates a variety of independent retail lumberyards and home improvement centers stores located in 13 states. The stores range in size from small lumberyards to large 140,000-plus-square-foot warehouse stores. 
The company owns 57 stores in Arkansas, Arizona, Colorado, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, New Mexico, Ohio, Oklahoma, Utah, Texas and Wyoming.
The closest stores to Great Bend now are in Wichita.
For more information on Sutherland’s, visit
There were rumors that Sutherland’s was planning on moving into the Primus Sterilizer Company facility at 5520 10th St., the former K-Mart building.
However, the facility has not been sold, said retired Primus President Ron Thompson who owns the building. The Omaha resident said there are people interested in it and a deal may be in the works.
Primus manufactures and sells sterilization equipment for health care, bio-pharmaceutical and animal care markets globally. Based in Omaha, Neb., Primus grew from the founder’s original business Phoenix Medical Services, formed in 1984. Primus Sterilizer was launched in 1990 through the acquisition of an ASME-certified pressure-vessel factory in Great Bend.
In January 2007, Primus and Blue Sage Capital of Austin, Texas, completed a management-led buyout forming Primus Sterilizer Company LLC.
Primus has a location in Omaha and two in Great Bend, at 3709 North Main and on 10th Street. The 10th Street location, built in 1970, contains 55,552 square feet.
The pressure vessels, which are the main chambers of the autoclaves, are built in the 10th Street factory. Piping, controls and electrical apparatus are added at the other Great Bend site or in the Omaha plant.
Both locations are still a part of the Primus operation and North Main site is not involved in any transaction at this time, Thompson said.