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Mass.'s Fragale Building Corporation Grows Biz From Humble Beginnings

Thu September 22, 2022 - Northeast Edition #20

Dan Clifford (L), sales representative of Equipment East, and Carlo Fragale of Fragale Building Corporation.
(CEG photo)
Dan Clifford (L), sales representative of Equipment East, and Carlo Fragale of Fragale Building Corporation. (CEG photo)
Dan Clifford (L), sales representative of Equipment East, and Carlo Fragale of Fragale Building Corporation.
(CEG photo) Fragale’s tri-axle dump gets loaded from a Doosan DX140 zero tail-swing excavator.
(CEG photo) In accordance with local zoning regulations, three walls of the original 2,800-sq.-ft. home in Newton, Mass., had to remain intact so that an expanded 6,000-sq.-ft. home could be built.
(CEG photo) One of the workhorses recently purchased from Equipment East is a Doosan DX63.
(CEG photo) A Doosan DX140 backfills aspects of the site’s extensive drainage system.
(CEG photo) The three remaining sides of the original home were jacked up and the original basement of 7.5 ft. was excavated to 10 ft. The new residential area also will have a 10-ft. basement ceiling.
(CEG photo)

Edoardo and Carlo Fragale are very proud of their company's rich heritage.

Their father, Paul Fragale, emigrated from Italy in 1964. He established Fragale Building Corporation in 1971 and incorporated the company in 1992.

When Paul founded the company, it had a primary focus on the masonry trade, which he had learned from his father, Paolo Fragale, in his hometown of Calabria, Italy. During the company's humble beginnings, Paul would work doing construction during the days and then as a dishwasher at night. Edoardo and Carlo joined their father's company after completing their college educations.

Most of the work that the company does falls primarily into one of two categories: masonry or excavation. Edoardo focuses his energies on the masonry side of the company while Carlo focuses on the excavation and civil side of the business. The vast majority of the company's work is in the metro Boston area, and for the past decade or so, much of their work has been in the building segment of the market.

Today, Fragale Building Corporation has diversified its business supplying services at every phase of the building process, adding construction management services, excavation, landscape design and a sister company — Eastern Mass Crushing — which does custom mobile crushing and recycling. They operate today with 20 to 25 employees.

Fragale recently worked on a project located in an upscale historical community in Newton, Mass. Because the homes in the community are deemed historical, building a new home is virtually impossible and reconditioning an existing home is uniquely regulated. In this particular case, a home that was built in the 1800s has been completely torn down except for the bare structure of three original walls and the original roof line. The local zoning rules dictate that you leave three original walls in place but you can do virtually anything you want building and expanding off the home's original footprint.

In the case of this home, an addition is being added to the side of the home, along with a lower-level garage. The structure that was originally approximately 2,800 sq. ft. will exceed 6,000 sq. ft. when completed.

Fragale Building's responsibilities on this project include all the site work, foundation work, civil engineering work, water and sewer drainage and the construction of a pool house for the swimming pool that will be a part of the completed project, along with all the hardscape work.

The terrain of the property has a downhill grade from front to back. The original basement of the home was 7-1/2-ft. Fragale has excavated out the original basement and has excavated in tiers the area of new construction with terraced levels of foundation in a manner that the basement area of the new structure will have a 10-ft. ceiling. To do that, the existing floor and corners had to be jacked up prior to full demolition. After putting shoring staging in place, new concrete walls were poured against the existing walls. Crews then jackhammered out the old wall, lowered the building back into place and demolished the rest of the house.

A significant part of the project is an extensive drainage field, which collects the runoff water from the driveway, as well as water from the courtyard. The overall drainage for the property includes (32) 4x4 galleys. All roof leaders run into a maze of 8-in. ADS N-12.

Most of the earthmoving equipment fleet owned by Fragale Building is made up of Doosan machines purchased from Equipment East. "We started working with Dan Clifford at Equipment East early on when we first started looking at expanding our excavating business," Carlo Fragale said. "Dan actually showed up at one of our projects; his timing was perfect, and he got us to try a Doosan DX225 excavator."

"We were thrilled with that machine and soon after we asked him to send us a DX235 zero tailswing machine that we purchased shortly after," Carlo added. "Transitioning to doing business with a smaller dealership and the Doosan product line was initially a tough sell for my dad. He had always done business with ‘the big guys.' Dan arranged for us to meet the owner of Equipment East, Giovanni Albanese, and that made a difference for us.

"Doing business together, one small business owner with another small business owner who was fully vested in our success just made a difference. Doosan also does a tremendous job putting together the financial packages to make the financing work for us.

"Every time we have shopped the financing, Doosan has been much better than anyone else's. Specifically, great lease programs with great buyouts at the end of the lease. Currently, we own Doosan DX235, DX225, DX140, DX85 and DX63 excavators. We also own two Doosan DL220 loaders."

In addition to the Doosan equipment, Fragale Building has purchased a Wacker Neuson tracked loader, two Wacker Neuson rollers and three Ramfos hammers from Equipment East.

"Once we made the decision to grow with Equipment East, we really have never looked back," Carlo said. "Our business has experienced tremendous growth and we have watched their business grow from a single location to three locations. I know when I pick up the phone and need them, they are almost immediately here. As an example, we were working on a project at Endicott College, and we had a machine blow a pressure relief valve. I put a call in to Dan and literally within 45 minutes they were on our site with the part we needed, and we were back to work shortly thereafter."

For more information, visit and CEG

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