After almost 40 years in enterprise, a New Kensington household is able to transfer its contracting enterprise out of the basement of its founder’s dwelling and into its first places of work with a brand new facility in Arnold.
Along with a headquarters for the enterprise, Shawn Whalen, the second technology proprietor of Michael F. Whalen Contracting, needs it to be a spot the place he can introduce younger folks to the opportunity of a future within the trades.
Whalen, 34, a 2004 graduate of Valley Excessive College, grew up swinging a hammer on job websites together with his father, who started his profession as a carpenter within the Seventies and began the contracting enterprise bearing his title in 1982.
“Rising up, academics inform it’s important to go to school to make any cash and have a very good high quality of life. That by no means suited me. I used to be by no means good at sitting at a desk all day,” Shawn Whalen mentioned. “You may study a commerce and you can also make nice cash. I’ve a reasonably good life and it’s due to this.”
The property, a few half acre consisting of a number of tons, is in Arnold’s commercial-light industrial zoning district, the place any use has to go earlier than metropolis council for a public listening to and approval, group growth Director Rick Rayburg mentioned. The listening to is scheduled for six:30 p.m. March 9 on the public security constructing, 601 Drey St.
Rayburg mentioned the town tore down homes on the property in hopes of business growth.
“The town would like to have this. We might positively wish to encourage building within the metropolis, completely,” Rayburg mentioned. “No person needs to chop grass on vacant tons.”
Council may vote on the use when it meets at 7 p.m. the identical night time at 1702 Fifth Ave.
“I welcome them to the town,” Mayor Joe Bia II mentioned.
A 50/50 accomplice together with his father, who’s now retired from the trades, Shawn Whalen has been working full time within the household’s enterprise since 2011.
As a normal contractor, Shawn Whalen mentioned most of their work is residential roofing, siding, home windows and additions reminiscent of rooms and decks. They constructed an addition for Arnold’s No. 2 fireplace division final yr.
The corporate has six staff. Along with being run out of Michael Whalen’s New Kensington dwelling, Shawn Whalen mentioned they lease storage within the Parnassus space.
“We’ve hit a degree of progress the place we have to rent extra folks,” Shawn Whalen mentioned. “We have to rent some administrative and workplace personnel and we want a spot to place them. We’d like to try this in our hometown and convey extra jobs to the realm.”
Shawn Whalen mentioned that they had checked out properties in different cities, however transferring out of the New Kensington-Arnold space didn’t sit effectively with them.
“We wished to remain right here. We waited and waited and located that place,” he mentioned. “We’ve held off on pulling the set off on different properties when the necessity was there and we may have as a result of we wished to remain native.”
Shawn Whalen mentioned the constructing would come with places of work, a buyer showroom, and the coaching space. It will be about 5,000 sq. ft plus the outlying storage. Some storage models could be accessible to the general public to lease.
He mentioned they might function throughout daytime hours, and no manufacturing could be finished there, in case neighbors are nervous about noise.
Shawn Whalen mentioned they would be the normal contractor on their very own constructing. If permitted by the town, he mentioned they have already got funding in place and want to break floor by April. He expects building to take three-to-four months.
“It was my dream to get thus far. It’s superior to see it come to fruition,” he mentioned. “It’s slightly overwhelming. It’s nervous vitality there. It’s crucial. We’ve hit the purpose the place we will’t develop any extra the place we’re at. We’d like a facility to permit us to broaden and do all of the issues we have to do.”
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