As published in Toledo Business Journal - June 1, 2019

Rendering of Ohio CAT’s planned facilities in Perrysburg

Rendering of Ohio CAT’s planned facilities in Perrysburg

Ohio CAT investing
$45M in Perrysburg

Ohio CAT, a Caterpillar dealer employing over 1,400 people in more than 30 locations in Ohio, is investing $45 million to construct two new facilities in Perrysburg on 37 acres of land on Eckel Junction Road. Each facility will be 75,000 square feet with one being used for its equipment business – a combination of sales, rental, parts, and service for CAT equipment. The other facility will be used for its truck and power systems business – Northern Ohio Peterbilt, the company’s local dealer for heavy duty, medium duty, and vocational Peterbilt trucks, as well as CAT Power Systems service and parts.

Ken Taylor, president of Ohio CAT, said, “We had hoped back in 2008 to make a move to something new but then the Great Recession hit. That really caused a 10-year delay in our efforts. We started looking again in the last year or so and found this piece of land on Eckel Junction Road, just west of [State Route] 25. That size parcel really gives us an opportunity to expand and grow and be a much more dynamic operation in the same town.”

Bob Mack, CCIM, SIOR, Signature Associates, was the real estate broker for the new location.

Taylor noted that the location and condition of Ohio CAT’s current location on 25, as well as the company’s growth, are fueling the need for a new location.

“The current facility location and condition is one element behind the move. Where we currently are located, we’re right in the middle of significant retail growth across from Levis Commons, which has been going on for 20 years or so. We’re looking to get away from that intense retail activity and away from a pretty old facility and grounds to an area where we have more space, new facilities, and less congestion,” said Taylor. “We’re also growing pretty significantly. The growth is a combination of the CAT Rental Store equipment business and the Peterbilt truck business. Right now there’s no dealer location for Peterbilt in the Toledo / Perrysburg area. We’ll be the new player in northwest Ohio with our new location and we’ll be able to grow there too.”

Construction on the new facilities is slated to begin in July, with an expectation for completion in March 2021. Marous Brothers Construction, based in Willoughby, Ohio, is the design/build construction manager for the project. Taylor noted that Ohio CAT will also be using local contractors for some of the work as well.

When speaking of the new facility, Taylor said, “We will have a state-of-the-art building ventilation and fluid distribution system – fluids being oil and antifreeze and the various things you need in the shop. We will have a standalone dedicated wash facility, which is part of being in the equipment rental business, as you need fast turnaround of equipment in terms of its maintenance and repair and also its condition and cleanliness. That really contributes to a much cleaner and more professional type of rental operation,” said Taylor. “With the EPA regulations these days, you have to take care of things like storm water, so we have water detention on site. Then, as far as any building features, it will certainly be an LED lighting fixture type facility, we will have full standby power on location to back up all of our operations. That’s a product that we sell and service which is CAT power generation.”

Ohio CAT’s facility in Broadview Heights

Ohio CAT’s facility in Broadview Heights

Mark Ricchiuto, project executive for Marous Brothers Construction, explained why Ohio CAT is using the design/build method for this project.

“Ohio CAT is a large company providing services for the entire state of Ohio. Consequently, they wanted a streamlined design and construction process and to minimize the demands of their time. One company responsible for both design and construction with a single point of contact meets that requirement,” said Ricchiuto.

Ricchiuto mentioned that the Construction Industry Institute (CII), in association with Penn State University, completed a study of 351 projects ranging from 5,000 to 2.5 million square feet. The study concluded, when comparing design/build versus a design/bid/build process, the design/build process has advantages in unit cost (4.5% lower), construction speed (6.1% faster), delivery speed (33.5% faster), cost growth (5.2% less), and schedule growth (11.4% less).

“Those factors result in a single point of accountability; integrated design and construction; streamlined communications; early recognition of cost and schedule; improved continuity between design and construction; better management of owner expectations; and fewer changes during construction,” said Ricchiuto.

Taylor noted that Ohio CAT worked with the City of Perrysburg and agreed on a community reinvestment area (CRA) tax adjustment for 10 years, as well as a jobs grant incentive for five years.

Ohio CAT currently has 75 employees at its location and is expecting to create 30 more jobs.

“We’re a locally-owned and operated company with premium, high-quality brands of products. We really have the highest caliber trained and equipped personnel – whether that be sales, rental, parts, or service – and our product support as a CAT dealer and as a Peterbilt dealer is unmatched in the industry, whether that be in Ohio, nationally, or internationally,” said Taylor. “We also support local and statewide charities, providing equipment and generator loaners for equipment needs and power needs around the state of Ohio. Our employees donate time of their own in the local community, and I provide some funding that goes along with that. We’re just a very locally engaged company, not a national, corporate type player. We’re a more local and regional, personal, and familiar type of partner in our community for business but also as an asset in the community.”

Taylor also noted that the company is celebrating its 75th anniversary in February 2020, and this Perrysburg investment is one of multiple investments around the state of Ohio that the company has been involved in since 2012.

“To this point, we’ve spent about $125 million in facility improvements or replacements. This is continuing that investment level in the state of Ohio and continuing to employ more people in our business. It’s both a local and a statewide effort that’s really going on 10 years. It will be 10 years of investment once we are done and 75 years in business come next year,” said Taylor.

“Ohio CAT is a great client with regard to their collaboration, communication, and dedication to their construction projects. This teamwork results in successful projects and a long-term relationship,” concluded Ricchiuto.

 

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