CAC Industries

NEW YORK CITY FIRM WITH A “FAMILY ATTITUDE” SPECIALIZES IN LARGE, COMPLEX INFRASTRUCTURE JOBS

Oct 12, 2010

Quality Komatsu equipment and support

CAC Industries is a leading site-development/ utility contracting firm in New York City, but it didn’t start out that way. When originally founded in 1991 by Michael Capasso and his late father Carl Andrew Capasso (for whom CAC is named), it was a rental company that supplied trucks and equipment to contractors.

“Within about a year, CAC Industries did its first subcontracting job for curb and sidewalk,” recalled Capasso. “A couple of years later, we subcontracted on a sewer project. Then, in 1995, we did our first job as a prime contractor, doing all the site work for a high-profile joint venture to upgrade the National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows.”

Today, CAC employs about 150 people and does a wide range of infrastructure-related work including underground utilities. The company specializes in large, long-term projects that often consist of multiple phases taking a year or more to complete. It works almost exclusively within New York City, primarily for various city departments including the Port Authority. Projects range in size from $500,000 up to $60 million or more.

“We believe we’re at our best on complex projects that take a lot of planning and foresight, yet also demand talented hands who are able to adapt on-the-fly out in the field,” said Capasso. “We have a very experienced and dedicated crew. Many of our managers and operators have been with us almost since we started doing heavy construction. There’s a lot of togetherness among our guys. Our work force is like a family. We all do our best to take care of one another.”

Big jobs, pride in work

In addition to the National Tennis Center, CAC Industries has worked at a number of other well-known addresses in New York City

“We just completed a small job at the new Yankee Stadium,” said Capasso. “We’re working on the reconstruction of Harrison Street, a historical landmark area of Tribeca in lower Manhattan. We’re also doing a lot of work including landscaping at High Line Park, an elevated park that runs along 10th Avenue from 20th Street to 30th Street on the west side of Manhattan through the Meatpacking District, West Chelsea and Clinton/Hell’s Kitchen.”

The company’s largest job to date is a $60 million, multi-year, three-mile project along Liberty Avenue in Jamaica, Queens. CAC’s work includes putting in a new 48-inch steel water main, plus associated sewer, road and sidewalk work.

“There were some challenges including relocating or working around existing utilities and maintaining traffic flow on the busy street, which we originally thought would be detoured,” said Capasso. “But we like big, complicated jobs like this one. One reason is because we’re able to stay in the same area day after day, which improves our productivity. The other thing is, we take a lot of pride in our ability to do difficult jobs like this. It’s very satisfying to overcome problems and deliver for the project owner.”

CAC expects to complete the Liberty Avenue job late this summer.

Quality equipment and support

To help CAC complete jobs like Liberty Avenue in a timely and cost-effective manner, the company has turned largely to Komatsu equipment from Edward Ehrbar, Inc. CAC has about 20 Komatsu units including PC300 and PC400 excavators.

“We like the Komatsu excavators a lot,” said CAC Lead Mechanic Tony Caccavale. “The hydraulic system is really nice. It’s a smooth machine. The operators like the performance of the excavators and the mechanics appreciate the serviceability. We also like the KOMTRAX system that’s standard on Komatsu units to help us locate machines, as well as diagnose issues and monitor machine operation.”

“Beyond the equipment itself, we enjoy working with Ehrbar,” added Capasso. “Our Ehrbar salesman Chris Thompson goes above and beyond to get us what we need to make informed equipment decisions. We also have a great relationship with the Ahern family which owns Ehrbar. They’re a family business like we are, and they run it in a way that says their customers are important to them — not just as numbers but as friends. They’re a great family and we appreciate the way they treat us.”

Expansion plans

Despite a difficult construction economy, CAC Industries has been able to maintain a steady work flow.

“We work hard to try to maintain a consistent work program with a backlog of jobs,” said Capasso. “We bid a lot of work and we bid aggressively. We always try to deliver the highest-quality work so the agencies we work for are happy to see us on a job.

“We’ve come a long way in the last decade and we’re still growing,” he observed. “Right now, we’re taking steps to expand our list of services. While the vast majority of our work is for and in the City of New York, we’re beginning to bid more jobs in New Jersey and Long Island. We’re also looking at new markets like plant work, landscaping and even painting. Infrastructure work may always be our bread and butter, but if we can augment that with some new markets, it will help stabilize us and help us grow in the future.”