Thermo King of Long Island, which makes and repairs refrigeration and air conditioning units for food trucks and other vehicles, will hold a grand opening Friday at its new East Farmingdale location, a site the FBI searched for bodies in 2008.
The move from Amityville lets the business expand; instead of mobile service trucks going to clients’ sites, the company now has about two acres of land so that tractor trailers will have room to turn around.
“It took us for years to find vacant land that wasn’t out east,” said company vice president Denise Rudnick, who runs the franchise with husband and company president Michael Rudnick.
The Rudnicks bought the property years ago but were uncertain about whether to build the business bigger or move on.
Corporate officials from Thermo King had pressured the couple to decide, Michael Rudnick said, and the morning he asked for guidance from God, his wife called to say the FBI was digging up their property and others in the industrial area of East Farmingdale.
Rudnick went over and funnily enough, he gave the FBI site director permission to dig down five feet. But of course, he was told the FBI didn’t need permission. Eventually but not on Rudnicks’ land, investigators unearthed the body of former Colombo family underboss William Cutolo, who had disappeared in 1999 and was believed to have been a victim in a war for control of the Colombo family in the 1990s.
The digging gave the couple time but what saved them money was the delay in construction. By the time Thermo King was ready to build its 12,500-square-foot garage last year, the economy had tanked, China had stopped gobbling up the steel supply and contractors and suppliers were ready to do business at cost, Michael Rudnick said.
“I saved a million bucks,” he said. “I’m blessed. This is definitely something from above.”
The couple is trying to get the $1.6 million garage a Silver LEED certification, the third highest award for green building standards. The garage has plenty of recycled materials, from the doors to the cement exterior, as well as lights and faucets that automatically turn on and off.
To keep the company in the town, Thermo King of Long Island got perks under Babylon Town’s Industrial Development Agency, including tax-free purchases for equipment and décor for two years.
About 200 people are expected at the $10,000 catered grand opening, including Thermo King corporate officials, clients, Babylon Town Supervisor Steve Bellone and many clients. The business is not short on recognizable clients - the Long Island Bus, Boar’s Head trucks, Ryder rental company, Edy’s ice cream deliverers, New York City transit buses, Oak Tree Dairy in East Northport.
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