Burle provides ideal spot for Trago Fire Protection Willow Street firm expanding
BY TIM MEKEEL, Business Editor
Color television picture tubes and fire sprinkler systems would seem to have little in common.
But as it turns out, there is one convenient place where they overlap.
The local factory where picture tubes once were made has utilities placed exactly where they're needed to make sprinkler systems.
The happy coincidence is making Trago Fire Protection's move to Burle Business Park a breeze.
"They met our needs before we even told them what our needs were," said Tim Moss of Trago.
Trago has signed a five-year lease, with renewal options, for a 20,000-square-foot space at Burle, the New Holland Avenue property.
The young company will invest more than $200,000, mostly in equipment, to occupy the vacant space formerly used by Burle predecessor RCA.
As luck would have it, the space's electrical hook-ups, compressed-air lines and other features are just where Trago wants them to be.
"Everything we would possibly need is already available, with minimal work required to get it to our equipment. It's ideal," Moss said.
Trago, a spin-off of Trago Mechanical in Willow Street, expects to start operations at Burle in mid-March.
As part of the move from Willow Street, Trago expects to add eight employees to its nine-employee staff.
Moss, who is chief operating officer of both the fire-protection company and its parent company, said the move will have several benefits.
Since Trago was founded in April, it has had to outsource its water-pipe fabricating or do it in the field.
With Burle, it will have a shop for fabricating, shortening turnaround times and widening profit margins.
Trago now envisions fabricating pipe for both itself and its competitors and becoming a supplier of header pieces for a boiler manufacturer, which Moss declined to name.
"We're really excited to get this going," Moss said.
Moss said Burle was brought to Trago's attention by a friend, Steve Messner, who has his JR Transportation there.
Trago makes sprinkler systems for residential, commercial and industrial uses. Though it subcontracts the design work, Trago does the service, repairs, maintenance and installation itself.
Projecting 2013 sales of $1.5 million to $2 million, Trago serves southcentral and southeastern Pennsylvania, southern New Jersey, Delaware and Maryland.
With the Trago lease, the 1.3 million-square-foot Burle complex is 95 percent leased, said Burle's Althea Ramsay Carrigan, vice president of real estate.
Demand for space is expected to stay strong, as seven tenants plan to expand this year, she said.