GSBDC Finances Building Purchase for Landscape Business

Posted 06.01.11

Loan: SBA 504

Mojo’s Lawn & Landscape Service, Inc. (MLLS) recently relocated to its new property located at 5990 Court Street Road, Syracuse, NY.  Purchased from Haun Welding Supply, Inc., MLLS expects to gain efficiencies needed to become more productive, and have greater visibility.

Prior to the move, equipment was stored at a vacant lot in East Syracuse, and materials were stored at two different locations on James Street in Syracuse.  Each of these sites was visited many times per day to access needed machinery, equipment and supplies.  Having everything related to the operation in one location will save a great deal of time which they will use to take on more projects.  They also expect to purchase larger quantities of materials at better pricing due to the additional yard space.   Included with the 3,760 sq. ft. building was a drive thru garage which will make it much easier to clean and maintenance the three trucks and snowplows owned by the company.

The business was started in 1998 by Kevin Morgese as a sole proprietor.  As the business grew, Kevin established Mojo’s Lawn & Landscape Service, Inc. in 2006 with his mother Ann Morgese.  MLLS provides landscape design, installation and maintenance for commercial and residential properties including hardscapes and water features.  They also provide full snow removal services.  Approximately 60% of their customers are residential with the remaining 40% being commercial.

Kevin attended SUNY College of Environmental Science & Forestry with coursework in the Landscape Architecture Program, and holds an A.A.S. degree in Horticulture from SUNY College of Agriculture and Technology, Morrisville, NY.  He is certified by the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation as a Commercial Pesticide Technician.  He also holds certifications as a concrete installation contractor and retaining wall installer.

GSBDC provided a $52,000 SBA 504 loan to a new LLC formed to purchase the facility which is owned by Kevin, Ann and Vito Morgese.

The SBA 504 program provided a 20-year fixed rate second mortgage on 40% of the project cost while minimizing the company’s equity injection.  Community Bank, N.A.  provided 50% of the project financing in a first mortgage position.  According to David Reaske, Vice President, Commercial Loan Officer, “We were pleased with the opportunity to assist Mojo Development with financing for their new building. Utilizing the SBA 504  economic development program permitted a win-win for both the borrower and the bank as the borrower was able to fix a portion of operating costs for 20 years and the bank was left with a more secured asset.”

MLLS currently has one full time and 3 part time employees.  They expect to create at least one job over the next three years.