Alvin H. Butz Inc. Celebrates 175 Years of Serving the Lehigh Valley
By Colin McEvoy on November 5, 2018
The Butz family has a long, storied tradition of completing high-quality projects in the Lehigh Valley, from the first covered bridges the family constructed in the mid-1800s all the way to the Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem and the PPL Center hockey arena in Allentown.
Those accomplishments were highlighted as Alvin H. Butz, Inc. celebrated 175 years in the Lehigh Valley during a dinner event at the PPL Center on Oct. 25, which was attended by about 250 people.
“The relationships we and our employees have built with our customers is what means the most to us,” said Greg Butz, who became President of the company in 1997.
“We’ve worked hard to provide exceptional CM services and develop long-term relationships with our customers,” he said. “In addition to our relationship with our customers, we owe our longevity and success to our past and present employees. Your honesty, integrity, reliability, and enthusiasm are what made us successful.”
The event included remarks from three generations of the Butz family. Lee Butz talked about the history of the company, his son Greg talked about the growth of the company during his tenure as President, and Greg’s sons Steven and Mike Butz spoke as well.
“The landscape and economy has grown and changed substantially over the past several decades, and the Butz family has been there every step of the way,” said Don Cunningham, President & CEO of the Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corporation (LVEDC). “They’ve played a major role in the economic development we’ve seen in the region, and we’re very pleased they call the Lehigh Valley their home.
The company has been continuously owned and operated in the Lehigh Valley by the Butz family, with the sixth generation in line to preserve the company’s long-standing reputation of providing comprehensive construction management services through strong values and complete customer satisfaction.
The event highlighted the history of the Butz family, which dates back to 1842, when the first Butz builder, Solomon Sr., built Bogert’s Bridge, which was moved from its site in Little Lehigh Parkway in the 1950s to preserve it.
In 1907, his youngest son Solomon Butz Jr. joined George Clader in forming Butz and Clader. Solomon Jr.’s son Alvin H. Butz joined the company in 1920 and, while he was in his mid-20s, founded Alvin H. Butz, General Contractor, out of his Allentown home.
Alvin’s son, Lee Butz, changed the business model in 1972 from general contracting to construction management. Sacred Heart Hospital Tower was the first project completed under this approach. Lee became president of Alvin H. Butz, Inc. after Alvin’s death in 1973.
More recently, the company has been integral to the revitalization of downtown Allentown, becoming one of the first developers to move their operations to the city and build new office product.
In addition to the $182 million PPL Center complex, which served as the anchor or development in the downtown, the Alvin H. Butz, Inc. in 2016 completed the Butz Corporate Center Phase III, bringing another 70,000 square-feet of class A office space to the market.
“Our company was founded on doing the highest quality of work, hiring the best subcontractors, and doing anything to satisfy the customer,” said Mike Butz, who joined the company in 2011 as an Assistant Project Manager following graduation from Penn State University.
“Those principals drive the company today,” he said. “It’s never about focusing on volume of work, our profit, or increasing revenues year after year; those are just by-products of doing things the right way.”
Looking to the future, Steven Butz discussed the technology the company uses on projects and how it is constantly evolving. This includes 3-D modeling and virtual reality, which can be used to find and eliminate clashes between the infrastructure of a building before construction even begins.
“The culture of our company has always been about teamwork, innovation, and creativity,” he said. “We’re dedicated to always being the best, and to do that, we are and always have been on the leading edge of technology in our field.”
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