Woehler and Shanahan work to reinvent Peters Township site into recycling center and business park

Tim Schooley
Pittsburgh Business Times

David Woehler is wading through long hours, giant piles of brush and thousands of gallons of waste oil.

As he works to lead the clean up of the former Federouch Landscape Supply operation, Woehler said he is working 110-hour weeks as he takes over the business, which was purchased from the estate of the former owner, who passed away.

“A year from today, this place will be completely different,” pledges Woehler, who has already had 1,000 old tires removed and is setting up new hoop housing to be able to put various waste materials under roof to keep them dry so various contaminants don’t leach out of them into a nearby creek when it rains.

“In the long run, it will all be worth it,” he said.

Look for big changes, new investment and expansion to come at the 15-acre site on Buckeye Drive in Peters Township as Woehler and partner Brian Shanahan, owner of Pineapple Payments and the Cool Springs Sports Complex, work to clean up and revamp the operation after closing on buying it in May.

Both partners took on a project that overlaps with their other businesses.

Woehler knows the former Federouch complex well as it is a short distance from his Woehler Landscape Design & Garden Center, a business he operates along with his Woehler Landscaping business located on Streets Run Road in the city.

Shanahan is long familiar with the Federouch site as a South Hills native who has become a major customer of landscape supply through his Cool Springs Sports Complex in Bethel Park, as well as for other facilities he owns, and for which Woehler has become a key service provider.

Shanahan described the strategic value of the property, which is zoned for light industrial, and is designated as a center to accept construction materials and debris for recycling, for which it is broadly used by contractors from throughout the region.

The plan calls for cleaning up the site, expanding its recycling services, and using an approximately five-acre portion of the site on which to add a new industrial park component, building out 40 or 50 garages to be leased out to small contractors.

Expecting to invest between $2 million and $5 million in new equipment and upgrades to the facility, above and beyond the investment to buy the property, Shanahan sees a business formula needed elsewhere in the region.

"There's a huge demand in Pittsburgh for this type of center," he said, adding he hopes to eventually "perfect this model" and expand it to as many as three other locations in the region.

Shanahan started partnering with Woehler before this by investing in new mulch trucks used by the Woehler landscaping business.

Noting a number of other parties pursued buying the property, Shanahan hopes to take a business operation that now currently generates about $4 million in annual revenue into one that can reach between $10 million and $20 million per year by creating a repository for recycling needs of all kinds.

That comes with new equipment to be able to recycle concrete and glass, a new offering Shanahan said he hopes to begin employing next year, noting how may municipalities have stopped glass recycling.

He describes a venture working to be a green resource to the community that will be a key contributor to the local tax base and employ up to 40 to 60 people, many in well-paid trucking jobs.

By next year, both Woehler and Shanahan expect the property to become an integral resource.

"It's going to be a real asset to the community," said Woehler.