(L-R): Jeff Sturla, vice president of Wohlson Construction; Joe Amabile, executive vice president, Power Systems, Foley Inc.; Jim Kolakowski, executive vice president, CFO, Foley Inc.; Angela Martin-Moushon, executive vice president, product support, Foley Inc.; Jeff Merle, executive vice president, sales and rentals, Foley Inc.; Jon Souliere, vice president, service operations, Foley Inc.; Kim Foley, chairman of the board, Foley Inc.; and Jamie Foley, CEO of Foley Inc.
New Jersey-based Foley Inc. is planning to add to its roster of branches by building a new 57,000-sq.-ft. sales and service facility in the Lehigh Valley of Pennsylvania.
The company held a groundbreaking for the construction project Oct. 11 in Breinigsville, southwest of Allentown.
Officials with Foley Cat and the builder, Wohlsen Construction in Lancaster, Pa., were on hand for the ceremonial first shovel of dirt at the building site, situated in a rural area off Interstate 78. Among the many invited guests was Wohlsen Vice President Jeff Sturla.
Lehigh Valley Facility Part of Expanding Market
Jamie Foley, CEO of Foley Inc., said his namesake company regards the new building as essential in keeping Foley Cat on an upward success curve.
"One of our critical success factors has been, and will continue to be, growing the business," he said at the kick-off event. "We have a responsibility, and a commitment, to Caterpillar, to our customers, and to our company to make sure that we are living up to that excellence in terms of continually getting better. Part of that comes with bricks and mortar — to put facilities in territories that meet our customers' needs."
Headquartered in Piscataway, N.J., Foley currently operates two other Eastern Pennsylvania dealerships, in Bensalem and Whitehall, as well as New Jersey branches in Monroe Township and Hammonton, and another in Bear, Del. However, the new Breinigsville facility, once completed, will replace the Whitehall facility.
Foley explained that the dealership chose the Breinigsville site for its next full-service store, in part, to cater to many of the company's larger customers in the Lehigh Valley and he feels Foley Cat will have the burgeoning market well covered.
"When we looked at the footprint of this location once we acquired Ransome Cat in 2018, we recognized that there was a need to have a facility that was a little more south and west of Allentown," he said. "As we looked, we realized this footprint in Breinigsville was going to be a terrific place for us to meet our customers' needs."
Foley to Open Its First Super Service Bays
One of the top features of the new Foley Cat branch is sure to be its four super bays for servicing Caterpillar construction equipment.
Sturla noted that since they are designed to be twice the size of regular service bays, their presence will give Foley the equivalent of eight work areas for the dealership's technicians. In addition, four more service bays will be built to handle rental equipment.
Foley said he believes being able to provide larger and better service capacity will be a boost to that aspect of the company, and likely contribute to its growth and success.
"Caterpillar has been encouraging its dealers to grow their businesses, particularly when it comes to parts and service for customers," he said. "So, comparing what we were able to do for our customers in Whitehall versus the capabilities that we will have in Breinigsville, in terms of the rebuild opportunity in the territory, to be able to have customers bring their larger equipment to this facility to have that done completely changes what we had been able to do before, and what we will be able to do once it is open."
To assist technicians in performing work on large construction equipment, Foley Cat's four super bays will each have overhead cranes, while another two will be installed within the rental service bays.
"This is the first time Foley has had super bays, and they are relatively unique because we are installing radiant floor heat in them," Sturla said. "The people that work inside are going to love them."
Other building details at the Lehigh Valley branch include a large parts department, dedicated workspace for sales and rental specialists, and an ancillary building for Foley Cat's wash bay, hydraulic shop, and weld shop.
Foley Branch to Be Built Off Interstate 78
Sturla said that construction on the previously undeveloped 11½-acre parcel of land began in earnest the second week of October, with a projected finish sometime late next summer.
"One of the interesting things here is that we are scraping the topsoil off and when we did the geotechnical borings, we learned there is a soft area in the soil right underneath the building site so we will be doing dynamic compaction to take care of that," he said, adding that, of course, Cat machines will be used. "And then, we will perform cement stabilization outside the building to try and accommodate Foley Cat's heavy equipment."
He added that the branch's main building will be a steel-frame structure, and 10-in.-thick concrete aprons will be installed inside and outside the facility.
"It will have a dock area and several diesel tanks, plus a large one-megawatt generator that will supply power because there is no public water or sewer here," he said in describing the extensive site package for Foley Cat. "The project also will have a huge, underground fire pump, and a 150,000-gallon water tank underneath the parking area to supply water for the fire-suppression system. Additionally, an underground storage basin will accommodate the offsite storm water here, along with three other basins to take care of the onsite storm water, and a leach field for the sewer because that is not currently here either."
Multiple equipment yards are slated to be built at Foley Cat's Lehigh Valley branch, according to Sturla, including a two-acre display area facing I-78, and a pair of smaller machine yards fronting the road leading to the building itself. Room will be cleared for several equipment and parts storage areas too, he said.
Foley Cat, Wohlsen Each Strive for Best Service
Foley transitioned itself from an automobile dealer to Cat distributor when it became a heavy equipment dealership in Newark, N.J., in 1957. Ten years later, its rapid growth led to its moving to a larger facility in Piscataway. Now in its third generation of family ownership, Foley Inc. has kept its commitment to giving customers high-quality products backed by excellent customer service.
Wohlsen is a respected contracting firm that builds elite projects in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states. Besides its central office in Lancaster, Wohlsen has eight branches spread across the region, in the cities of Harrisburg and Berwyn, Pa., Parsippany, N.J., Hamden, Conn., Wilmington, Del., Baltimore, Md., and Vienna, Va.
Sturla described his company as "an institutional commercial builder," with a portfolio of finished projects that range from industrial, to healthcare, to higher education, to senior-living facilities. CEG
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