Cherry Hill Construction Inc.
Cherry Hill Construction Inc. (CHC) is a family-owned and -operated construction business based in North Branford, Conn. Ivan Sachs founded the company in 1974; CHC is approaching its 40-year anniversary in April 2014.
The Sachs family has a long history in construction. Ivan began his career with his father and brothers, performing excavations and commercial building work. When he set out on his own, Ivan named the business after the family’s home on Cherry Hill Road.
Today, Ivan’s sons, Robert, Lou and Howard Sachs, operate the business together. “My title is demolition estimator, but we run the company together,” Lou explains. “Our father, Ivan is still company president, although he is less involved with the business these days.” The Sachs brothers oversee a team of approximately 150 people from a single office and headquarters in North Branford.
A diverse portfolio
The company specializes in retail and commercial construction, performing site work, clearing, demolition, excavation and crushing. CHC caters to a diverse range of clients, including major retailers, as well as developers and general contractors.
“We have a niche market in big box retail stores with the ability to work on a fast-track schedule,” Lou notes. “We do everything from land clearing and blasting to the paving and curbing, but not the building itself. We also do our own real estate development.” The team performs nearly everything in-house, except land clearing, flat concrete work and blasting.
CHC has attracted some major-name clients, including Home Depot, Target, Walmart, BJ’s, Sam’s Club, Lowe’s and Costco. For the most part, the team works in Connecticut, covering the entire state as required by clients.
“We try not to take too much out of state work because it is harder to manage breakdowns and any issues that can arise on a jobsite,” Lou explains.
Recent work includes an expansion on a Walmart store in Manchester, Conn., where CHC performed the excavation work and site expansion. The team is also working on a similar expansion project for a Sam’s Club in the area. “We did a huge rock excavation for a retail site in Lisbon, Conn., for the Target and Lowe’s as plaza anchors,” Lou adds. “We had to do major rock cuts, as well as blasting and crushing.”
One project that stands out to Lou is the company’s current work on Fieldstone Village, a 55 and older community. “This is a 150-unit retirement community,” he notes. “The layout is very interesting because it is a mountainous site, so there were a lot of retaining walls and roads to be built. We left the landscape natural.”
Like many contractors, Lou is happy to see the economy in recovery mode. The recession presented new challenges for the team. “We had to try some new things such as road work, municipality and state road improvement work to offset the recession,” he notes. “We downsized a little by cutting 25 employees. In the winter months we do a lot of commercial snowplowing, which helps keep our employees working.”
CHC focuses on building long-term relationships, a factor that has kept the business stable even throughout the economic downturn. “We have many long-term relationships with general contractors, commercial developers and shopping center owners,” says Lou. “We have established a reputation of getting the job done properly and on or ahead of schedule. Generally speaking, we strive to do whatever it takes to get the job done right.”
Lou takes great pride in the fact that the company’s reputation is getting better as the years go on. “We’re aging well,” he laughs. “We have become known as a leader in the industry for large projects and fast-track projects that not every company is willing or capable of doing.” In the coming years, Lou and his team are looking to tackle new challenges in the commercial construction sector.
CHC is entering its third generation of family involvement. John, one of Lou’s nephews, has been with the business for about 10 years. “It is nice to see the business continuing through the generations,” says Lou.
Furthermore, the team has a strong lineup of projects in the pipeline. In the coming years, Lou and his team expect continued growth. After 40 years, Cherry Hill Construction Inc. has a strong foundation, supporting a team of dedicated and professional colleagues who work hard to perform safe, high-quality work.
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