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Plaza Construction Group Florida:
Setting the bar high in the Miami-Dade market Innovative powerhouse Plaza Construction Group Florida forges a reputation for delivering excellence on each and every job Written by Kevin Doyle Produced by Stephen Marino
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hether providing expert consulting services to the financial industry or designing job-specific safety programs, innovation continues to set Plaza Construction Group Florida apart from other firms operating in the burgeoning Miami-Dade County marketplace. Established in 2004, Plaza Construction Group Florida serves as the Southeast Regional hub of New York-based Plaza Construction (est. 1986) and is a subsidiary of China Construction America (est. 1985). The company has diligently forged a reputation for excellence and at the outset of 2018 has approximately $1 billion in various stages of production, almost all within Miami-Dade County. The company employs 265, generates continual repeat business and maintains long-standing relationships with a key core of sub-contractors. As one of the industry’s leading full-service Construction Management/General Contracting concerns, Plaza Construction Group Florida’s portfolio encompasses numerous sectors. President Brad Meltzer says success results from the company’s unwavering commitment to doing business the right way from concept through to completion of every job. “Keeping focused on the bottom line
and staying in constant communication with our clients is crucial. We want them to all feel the excitement and significance of project completion. We help them to stay calm, to stay focused and to be in the moment. I liken it to great athletes and how LeBron James deals with the championship moment. He says he sees people coming at him in slow motion. The folks who are able to that in our business, to stay focused under pressure, become the champions of the industry,” explains Meltzer, who studied pre-med for a year before following his father’s footsteps and
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turning to architecture. He joined the company in 1990.
function one typically associates with contractors.
“You may see our name on a sign at the top of a skyscraper and that’s what you’re aware of. But, we might be providing these services to others all over town. It’s just that it’s under the radar,” Meltzer notes.
The company provides its expertise, Meltzer says, as a way to “to keep an eye on the money and to make sure someone savvy in construction is keeping an eye on the projects and making sure the jobs are going in the right direction. We are seeing an increase in that service area right now.” The service, though not new, is not a
He adds that, since Plaza Construction was born out of a real estate development firm, it understands how the process works from the perspective of both the lender and the developer.
Plaza Construction Group Florida | 6 “It bridges the gap. We like it because it allows our senior staff to really spend time on both sides of the equation. If you spend time helping developers and lenders, when it’s your moment to work for them, you have a greater appreciation of the clients’ needs and you are better suited as to how to service them,” Meltzer says.
A 3D Safety Approach The company’s integration of Building Information Modeling (BIM) has taken its safety program to the next level. “We’re using BIM to help with safety logistics. In addition to fall protection and all the items that go into safety on every job, we’re now looking at projects in terms of the [location of]
Keeping focused on the end
line and staying in constant communication with the stakeholders is crucial. We want them to all feel the excitement and significance of
- President Brad Meltzer www.plazaconstruction.com
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Plaza Construction Group Florida | 8 neighboring buildings and the project adjacency to highways and train tracks. By putting the safety plan into a BIM model we get the 3D aspect of a project and see things with better perspective,” Meltzer explains. The company’s BIM Department works in conjunction with Safety and Scheduling. “The safety needs to be different from where we’re digging a hole in the ground or putting in piles as opposed to when we’re 30 stories up in the air,” Meltzer stresses. “The plan evolves as the job grows and if we know how the project will evolve we can prepare for the proper cost for the safety plan. It’s really been a wonderful process.”
The company’s Corporate Safety Director collaborates with each project Safety Director to develop project-specific safety protocol. “He works with the team to build a custom safety plan. It is our job to determine the risks and customize the plan for each project. He is looking for ways to increase awareness with the staff and introducing technology to make each site safer,” Meltzer says.
Premier Projects One Thousand Museum: This project topped out in mid-February 2018. The stunning vision of the late Pritzker Prize winner Zaha Hadid, this 62-story high-end condo tower rises
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“This is, arguably, one of the most notable projects in the USA. The Pritzker Prize is like their Nobel Prize. She has done only done two projects in North America. She passed away [in March 2016] and this will be a real legacy to her design portfolio,” says Meltzer of Hadid, a native of Iraq who became a naturalized citizen of the UK and part-time resident of Miami. Paraiso Bay Complex: Work on this 11-
Zaha Hadid has done
only done two projects in North America. She passed away in 2016 and One Thousand Museum will be a real legacy to her design portfolio.
709 feet and features an exoskeleton made up of 5,000 pieces of lightweight glass-fiber reinforced concrete (GRFC). This legacy building is the world’s first to use GRFC as permanent formwork.
- President Brad Meltzer www.plazaconstruction.com
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acre site began in 2015 and will wrap up later this year. Upon completion it will include the 55story Paraiso Bay, 53-story One Paraiso, 44-story Paraiso Bayview, and Gran Paraiso. All told, the complex will have more than 1,300 residential units. The Ritz Carlton Residences: Construction on this 126-unit high rise luxury condo development in Miami Beach is nearing completion. Amenities will include two 24-hour attended lobbies, 24-hour valet service, on-site marina, private day
yacht, on-site private car, on-site spa, sauna and fitness center, and a roof-top pool with waterfall and meditation garden. Biscayne Beach/Edgewater: The company has wrapped up its work on the 391-unit, 52-story residential tower, one of five 48- to 52-story towers to be built in a three-block area. It opened with all but four of its units sold. Aventura Mall Expansion: Completed in November 2017, this three-story project provided an
Plaza Construction Group Florida |12 additional one million square feet of parking and another one million square feet of retail and food court space. The W Hotel: Plaza Construction’s capabilities were on full display for this $180 million project that included a tunnel and 35,000 square feet of underground office space completed in 27 months a decade ago. “The materials selected were world-class and the owner was wise in how they spent the money and understood the quality of design. Ten years later the project is still beautiful and looks like it did when we finished it. That’s what happens when you use good materials,” Meltzer notes.
People and Training Under the direction of Human Resources Director Maria Moline, the company has implemented an innovative Plaza Futures rotation program that immerses those with two years or less experience into all aspects of the industry. Participants work 28 weeks in the field, 32 weeks in price management, six weeks in construction control and accounting and six weeks in preconstruction. The first Plaza Futures class completed training in January 2018. “They get a mentor and keep in touch
with that person throughout the program. We have a graduation and then they sit down with their mentors and discuss their best career path. We are excited to see what this does for [the first graduates] careers,” Meltzer says. Additionally, the company provides LEED certification training, Project Management training and safety training and is placing renewed emphasis on its Reinforcing Our Construction Knowledge (ROCK) program, utilizing third-party companies. Plaza Construction actively recruits personnel from universities with Construction Management programs.
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“When someone joins the company, they have a more focused career path. We believe if we invest in them, then they in turn will invest in us. The investment is in our company,” Meltzer explains. As a committed community partner, Plaza Construction takes part in any number of charitable initiatives such as charity bike rides, fundraising for Thanksgiving programs, building classrooms at shelters, and raising money for foster care support groups.
Day To Day At the top, the company’s Operation Managers maintain and oversee a book of business. “They are all extremely senior and
many of them have worked in all of our fields. Consulting can fall under any one of the groups and they are all prepared to provide the appropriate services,” Meltzer explains. Managing multiple start and completion dates that often overlap requires the company to be nimble and flexible. “Cycling people from job to job when projects overlap becomes a juggling act. From a staffing perspective, it is one of the toughest challenges all contractors face,” Meltzer observes. “We have meetings every other week to review start and completion dates and review which ones may change. For example, I may need 15 people to start a project in February that got
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Plaza Construction Group Florida |16 pushed up from May. It’s a good problem to have but to resolve it you need to have a deep bench as we call it. We may have over-qualified people working that we can peel away from one job and put them in a leadership role on another job,” he continues. The company is painstaking in its dealings with subcontractors. “We have a core group that we have been working with and both they and new subcontractors go through a pre-qualifying process for each job that includes financial review and operations review to make sure they can handle the job and are slotted into the appropriate size project,” Meltzer notes.
In recognition and appreciation of those relationships, the company holds an annual Appreciation Night at an area restaurant. The company maintains multiple association memberships, including the Construction Association of South Florida (CASF), the Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC), the Construction Employers Association (CEA) and the Latin Builders Association and Meltzer sits on the board of China Construction America. Relationships developed through the associations, Meltzer says, make it comfortable to occasionally “call my competitors and ask them questions about subs or about issues on a similar job.”
If you spend time helping
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developers and lenders, when it’s your moment to work for them, you have a greater appreciation of the clients’ needs and you are better suited as to
how to service them.
- President Brad Meltzer
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For Meltzer, work is anything but and he welcomes the depth of responsibility that his position as company President brings. “My job can change on a dime. I might be talking to a top developer about their current project, or trying to land the next big job. Or, I might be talking to an intern about their future or one of our people who might some help because they are going through a difficult time. The job can literally be anything at any given moment. We do what it takes,” he stresses.
Company Name: Plaza Construction Group Florida Country: U.S. Industry: Construction Est: 2004 Premiere Service: Construction Management, General Contracting, Program Management, Design/Build and Construction Consulting. President: Brad Meltzer
It’s an approach that clients, no doubt, truly value.
Mr. Meltzer has over 28 years of professional experience in the construction industry since starting at Plaza Construction in 1989. His educational background in architecture, paired with his vast construction experience, gives him a unique perspective within the industry. He brings innovative solutions and informed leadership, successfully meeting clients’ goals with the highest level of quality and integrity. Brad directs day-to-day activities for the firm’s Operations, including strategic development, forecasting, and client management. His portfolio of projects encompasses a large range of project types from new out of the ground facilities to high end interiors. He has managed over $3 billion of construction projects in South Florida including some of Miami’s highest profile and most complex projects such as 1 Hotel & Homes, Biscayne Beach, Aventura Mall Expansion III, The Marquis, W South Beach, Dadeland Mall Expansion, and Icon Bay, to name a select few. Under his leadership, the company is currently constructing the 63-story One Thousand Museum by Zaha Hadid Architects, Ritz-Carlton Residences Miami Beach, The Four Tower Paraiso District in Edgewater, and numerous other projects in South Florida. He holds a Masters of Architecture from Tulane University School of Architecture and is a licensed General Contractor in the State of Florida. In addition to his corporate responsibilities, Brad is an active member of the community currently serving as a Board Member for Voices for Children Foundation, Advisory Board Member for the Tulane University School of Architecture, and Advisory Board Member for the University of Miami’s MRED+U program. He is also a member of the Construction Association of South Florida (Past Board Member),
120 NE 27th St., No. 600 Miami, FL 33137 P: 786-693-8700 E: email@example.com