Fall 2009
Industry News

New Mexico Stone Importer Grows With the Popularity of Porphyry

According to industry reports, there is a growing demand in the United States for porphyry, a volcanic rock found in many parts of the world that has been used in construction – particularly for paving projects – since the Roman Empire.

With homeowners looking for affordable luxury now more than ever, and U.S. cities seeking construction materials that combine aesthetic appeal with long-term value and virtually no-maintenance, porphyry sales have been steadily increasing. At approximately $15 per square foot, porphyry is an affordable option for residential projects, such as driveways and patios; commercial developments, such as shopping centers and tourist attractions; and civic projects, such as streets and crosswalks.

One company reaping the benefits of this growth is Santa Fe, N.M.-based Milestone Imports, the nation’s leading importer of porphyry. The company has exclusive rights to the largest porphyry quarry in Mexico. Milestone’s president and founder, Miles Chaffee, expects to nearly triple his annual revenue this year (over 2008 sales). Currently, he is selling approximately 5,000 tons of porphyry stone per year in the United States and Canada.

“Builders, architects, developers and consumers are catching on to porphyry and its numerous advantages in paving and other projects. It’s more than just a pretty stone,” said Chaffee. “Porphyry and its enduring, and endearing, qualities of old world beauty, hardness, impermeability, chemical resistance, resistance to freeze/thaw, ‘green’ attributes and long-term affordability is making this material a major player in the multi-billion dollar stone-paving industry.”

Chaffee said he began to see significant increases in the sale of his imported stone in 2002, and the market has yet to slow down. He said city planners and university architects are increasingly learning about the aesthetic and sustainable benefits of porphyry, and they’re calling on his company to provide the material.

With the Mexico porphyry quarry being a mere six hours from Laredo, Texas, Milestone Imports has the crucial advantage to provide porphyry faster and more economically than most competitors, Chafee says.

“With exclusive rights to the quarry in San Luis de la Paz, Mexico, Milestone Imports provides clients with superior product and expertise, as well as affordability that is unrivaled from porphyry importers that are getting their stone from quarries in Europe, South America or the Middle East.”

Having already contributed to high-profile porphyry projects for Stanford University; Hong Kong Disneyland; Ritz-Carlton Palm Beach; Santa Lucia Preserve in Carmel Valley, Calif.; and the Hyatt Regency Denver, Milestone is helping to build a solid reputation for porphyry – and his company.

“Our mission at Milestone Imports extends beyond the selling of porphyry to the task of educating consumers and building professionals that porphyry is a beautiful, sustainable and cost-effective option for paving and construction needs.”

For more information on Milestone Imports, please visit www.milestoneimports.com . To learn about a free educational opportunity (with professional credits) presented by Milestone Imports and AEC Daily, visit www.aecdaily.com. MD