Heyl & Patterson division moving to Southpointe

Patty Tascarella
Pittsburgh Business Times 

A 130-year-old Pittsburgh engineering firm that was sold out of bankruptcy last year to an Ellwood City-based manufacturer is moving back to town.

The Heyl & Patterson Equipment Division of Hall Industries is taking 8,000 square feet at Southpointe with an option to triple that space as it grows, confirmed Vice President Len Walnoha. The move of 20 employees to 701 Technology Drive is expected to occur by mid-October.

The division employed just 13 when Hall bought Heyl & Patterson’s bulk transfer assets for $1.6 million and relocated it to Hall’s facility in Ellwood City from Carnegie.

Heyl & Patterson had filed for protection from creditors under Chapter 11 in April 2016 in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania, pushed by a difficult five years of partial payments by some large customers and a slowdown in the coal industry. Heyl & Patterson wound up selling off assets in an auction last December.

But the division, which specializes in engineering and equipment design for the bulk materials handling industry, has thrived. Business grew rapidly in 2017, requiring additional employees, spurred by a renewed interest in coal-fired power, pent-up demand for equipment improvements and the release of capital spending in heavy industry, Walnoha said. Heyl & Patterson also pursued new markets and customers, both domestic and international.

“We outgrew the existing office space available in Ellwood City,” Walnoha said. “Southpointe was an attractive location due to its convenient proximity to Pittsburgh and the airport, as well as closer to the talent pool of technical personnel needed for this type of business.”

He expects staff to double by the end of 2018.

“We will be looking for engineering, drafting, project management, marketing, sales — pretty much all positions as the business grows,” Walnoha said.