Big-box construction firm files Chapter 11
March Associates, a commercial construction firm that built several Home Depot and Lowe’s stores in northern New Jersey, has filed a voluntary petition for Chapter 11 reorganization. The Wayne, N.J., firm listed assets of $5.9 million and liabilities of $4.8 million in its court filing.
Sloan & Co. of West Caldwell, N.J., an interior finishing company, holds the largest unsecured claim of $1.17 million. Also listed among the unsecured creditors is the Lakewood, N.J., branch of Ferguson, a division of Wolseley, with $190,943 in unpaid debt.
An attorney for March Associates told the Herald News that a dispute over a luxury condo project held up a $6 million payment to March Associates. After subcontractors began obtaining judgments against the construction firm for non-payment, the company was forced to file for bankruptcy protection to keep its creditors at bay, the lawyer said.
In addition to building big-box stores, March Associates was also known for erecting large shopping centers and public works projects such as the 42,000-square-foot municipal recreation center in Fair Lawn, N.J.
Whirlpool earnings down 7 percent
Appliances giant Whirlpool posted third-quarter earnings of $163 million, down 7 percent from $175 million in the same period last year. Revenue was $4.9 billion, up 1 percent from $4.8 billion in the year-ago period.
The company attributed its earnings to lower global unit volumes, higher material and oil-related costs and lower asset sale gains compared to last year. However, these factors were partially offset by an income tax benefit, favorable price/mix and productivity initiatives during the quarter.
“We are in the midst of a rapidly changing and very challenging economic environment,” said Jeff M. Fettig, Whirlpool chairman and CEO. “We have seen a sharp drop in demand in North America and Europe during the third quarter, and we do not expect demand conditions to improve in the near term.”
“We will reduce our global work force by approximately 5,000 positions by the end of 2009,” he added. “In addition to the four facility closures we have announced earlier this year, we are also closing our Jackson, Tenn, facility and transferring production into our Findlay, Ohio, location.”
In addition, sales for Whirlpool’s North American unit were $2.7 billion, down 7 percent from the prior year. Whirlpool Europe had sales of $1.1 billion, up 9 percent from last year. Whirlpool Latin America reported sales of $1.0 billion, up 22 percent from the year-ago period.
Local NADRA chapter breaks ground on deck for soldier
The New Jersey chapter of the North American Deck and Railing Association (NADRA) is set to break ground on its first “Deck for a Soldier” project, the Millstone, N.J.-based chapter announced.
Construction begins the first week in November on a deck in Green Brook, N.J., and is expected to be completed before Thanksgiving. The recipient is Herman Cabeza, an Army ranger who lost a limb in Vietnam and has been living with his son’s family since suffering a stroke in 2001.
NADRA started its Deck for a Soldier program in 2007 as a way to “give back to the men and women of our armed forces.” There have been three projects completed by the Quakertown, Pa.-based organization — in Oklahoma, Pennsylvania and Maryland. The NADRA New Jersey chapter was formed in 2008.
NADRA New Jersey chapter president Gus de la Cruz is the general contractor for the Green Brook project. Volunteers from the New Jersey chapter are donating labor, materials, tools, trucks, dumpsters and food for the ribbon cutting, which is scheduled for Nov. 18 at the Cabeza home.
“In coordinating Mr. Cabeza’s deck, it has truly been rewarding to see all of the manufacturers and contractors from various local areas pull together to donate labor and materials,” said Lainie Sleppin, vp-NADRA New Jersey chapter and a decking specialist team leader at Parksite, a building materials company. “It is only with the help of everyone involved can we make these projects happen.”
NADRA is a not-for-profit corporation that serves as a unified source for the professional development, promotion, growth and sustenance of the deck and railing building industry in North America.