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US DeveloperS JoUrnal


Developers Journal

The magazine for construction executives

Fall 2008



Fall Edition 2008


SimPly “lAni”


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Editorial Editor in Chief: Anthony S. Jacobs

Managing Editor Rebecca Czarnecki


Shelley Seyler, Senior Staff Writer Kathleen Schmitt Rebecca Czarnecki Shannon O'Neill Suzanne Mason

Editorial Department: Brandon Roberts Hanim Samara Hayley Gold Jacob Skeeters Jennifer Mallis Kelly Rice Matthew Tropea Richard Callahan Suzanne Mason Todd McNann Todd Rogers

Vendor Relations: Hayley Gold Mike Richards James Tingley

We are witnessing a restructuring of our country. The economy continues to struggle to emerge from the rubble of the banking industry and Wall Street. Businesses from small retailers to the big automakers are all trying to dig their way out. In the midst of this mayhem, there has been a presidential election. No matter what side of the political fence you stand on, it is undeniable that this is a proud and historic moment for our nation. During this time, it is important to draw strength from the United States’ ability to rebuild, restore and redirect. Therefore, for the Fall issue of the Journal, we have chosen to highlight companies who reflect these concepts. Rebuilding J Levens Builders in Mississippi knows something about weathering storms—real and economic. They have been a critical part in rebuilding areas affected by Katrina, Rita and Wilma. In addition to projects that will help breathe economic life back into these places, they also give back to victims by participating in affordable housing projects. Staton Companies in Oregon is rebuilding by tearing down. Many of their demolition projects involve recycling the steel from these old buildings; steel which will be used to re-shape the landscape. Restoring

Published by Bull Run Media LLC Kalena Alston-Griffin, Partner Keyla Carr, Partner Alonzo Ellis, Partner


Kalena Alston-Griffin, Partner

Copy Editor:

Keyla Carr, Partner Shelley Seyler, Senior Staff Writer

Design Department:

Philippe Duquesnoy, Design Director Karyn Dowty, Senior Designer Sheryvonn McDonald, Senior Designer Ashish Kansara Jay Vandewani

Advertising Sales & Marketing Department:

In the heart of the nation’s capital, two companies are actively preserving pieces of American history. Monarc Construction Inc. has recent projects that include the renovation of St. John’s Church across from the White House and the Swedish embassy, nestled in the historic neighborhood of embassy row. Renovations Unlimited, Inc. also has a long list of both exterior and interior renovations they have done for numerous ambassador residences. Their work reminds us that we must remain grounded in our country’s heritage. Redirecting During these tough times we continue to be impressed by the number of companies who continue to invest in our nation’s future, whether through community projects or embracing sustainable practices. Synergy Construction in Washington works with a non-profit to develop affordable housing. Along with many of the companies previously mentioned, Tyler 2 Construction is trying to reduce their carbon footprint. From having a Smart Car for errands to having their project managers become LEED certified, they recognize that being eco-friendly will ultimately cut business costs and benefit generations to come. Stanford-Carr Development also strives to be green and reduce energy costs but they indulge something else very important: dreams. Located in Hawaii, their luxurious resort and beautiful homes embody many people’s idea of a perfect getaway. At US Developers Journal we have faith that the tenacity and vision of the American people will persevere and we cannot wait to see what transpires in the coming months.

US Developers Journal

Bjorn Michals William Lee Yin


Making It Easy To Be Green

This revolutionary non-profit organization is helping the construction industry become more environmentally conscious. LEED


Construction of a Backcountry Ski Lodge

Building a ski lodge in six months at an elevation of 5,250 feet is no easy task. Mission Impossible


The New Medieval Architecture

Jumping Hurdles and Landing on Their Feet Carpionato Properties, RI


Holding a Vision and Fighting On FireDEX of Pittsburgh, PA


Benefitting from Uniqueness Hunter Company of West Virginia, WV


Across the nation there is a renaissance of corbels as a decorative touch.

Historical Roots for a Present-Day Success

Trend-setting Across America

Neighborgall Construction Company, WV


The Return On Investment Decision

This ever-present debate about how to get more ‘bang for your buck’ is even more important in today’s economy. New Or Used Construction Equipment

The Product of Choice For Millions of Consumers


Orleans Homebuilders, PA

Piazza Brothers, Inc., NY


As member of the industry become more aware of their carbon footprint, sustainability becomes more of a concern. p.22

Fall Edition 2008


Proactive and Ready to Grow Vartan Group, Inc., PA

The Future of Commercial Development

Us Developers Journal

Getting Back to Basics

Dedicated to Public Service

Solar lighting is an increasingly popular and practical source particularly as it becomes more affordable and available.

Sustainable Construction



Solar Residential Outdoor Lighting




Fall Edition 2008


Rooted in a Diverse History VMJR Companies, LLC, NY


Cover Story Simply "Lani" Stanford Carr Development The luxurious resort featured in the movie "Forgetting Sarah Marshall" is none other than Stanford Carr's Turtle Bay Resort. The Hawaiian company specializes in serving up a slice of paradise.

page 125

The Growth Factors Albu and Associates, Inc., FL

Offering the Complete Package p.50

Trinity Group Construction, Inc, , VA

Staying Grounded with Community Services

Staying Ahead of the Pack

C Perry Builders, Inc., MS

Tyler 2 Construction, NC


Working Through the Storms J Levens Builders, MS


Broeren Russo Companies , IL

Guided by High Values

McKee Construction Company, FL

Chicago Heights Construction Company, IL


Serving The Nation's Capital p.65


Corporate Contractors, Inc., WI


Ellis Stone Construction, WI


Proactively Forging Ahead p.75

A Hands-On Approach Structure Services, NC


Built From the Ground Up

Problem Solving With Experience Phillips/May, TX


Trend-Setting with Special Service

Historic and Modern Renovations Unlimited, Inc., DC


Stretching the Benefits

We Structure Our Business to Build Yours

Monarc Construction, Inc., DC


Vintage Development Group, OH


Vision and Spirit p.78

Volk Construction Company, MO




Fall Edition 2008 Spirited Building

Renovating and Designing Across Hawaii

Behr Building Company, Inc., CA


US Pacific Development, HI


Construction Giant Fuels Business One Espresso at a Time

Holding Onto Their Vision Hassen Development Corporation, CA

Western Construction, WA

Success Slopeside J L Viele, CO


Prime Electric, NM


Simply "Lani" Stanford Carr Development, HI


Wrecking Their Way Through Today's Tough Economy Staton Companies, OR


Blending the Keys to Their Success Synergy Construction Inc. , WA


Resolved to Quality Service TBI Construction and Construction Management, Inc., CA p.139


Us Developers Journal

Fall Edition 2008


Renovating Their Way to Success Wolcott Architecture Interiors, CA

Lighting New Mexico




Making It Easy To Be Green By Shelley Seyler In Context According to a study conducted by the Environmental Information Administration (EIA) in 2008, buildings are a significant player in energy consumption and pollution annually in the United States. Though this is a seemingly obvious statement, the statistics are not necessarily as well-known: buildings are responsible for 40 percent of primary energy use, 72 percent of electricity consumption, 39 percent of CO2 emissions, and, according to a US Geological Survey in 2000, 14 percent of potable water consumption. The EIA also reported in 2006 that buildings are in fact the leading cause of green house gas emissions in the country, with the transportation and industry sectors taking second and third place respectively. In response to this and to the international call to salvage the environment, the U.S. Green Building Council, a non-profit organization established in 1993, started Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, known by many simply as LEED. Their purpose is to serve as a third-party certification program that acts as a benchmark for the design, construction, and operation of green buildings. The LEED Green Building Rating System™ utilizes universally accepted tools and performance criteria to encourage and measure the global adoption of green building practices.

"LEED encourages the global adoption of green building practices."

Š Renaude Hatsedakis




New Construction

Guides and distinguishes high-performance commercial and industrial projects

Existing Buildings: Operations and Management

Provides benchmarks for owners and operators to measure improvements, operations, maintenance

Commercial Interiors

Gives tenants and designers power to make sustainable choices for improvements

Core and Shell

Aids designers, builders, developers, and owners in implementing sustainable design for new core and shell designs


Addresses unique needs of K-12 school spaces


Addresses unique needs of retail spaces


Promotes sustainable planning, design, and construction for high-performance


Promotes design and construction of green homes

Neighborhood Development

Provides first national program for green building in neighborhood design

figure one

LEED has endorsed a “whole-building approach� to sustainable developments by recognizing performance in five key areas of human and environmental health: sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection, and indoor environmental quality. These rating systems extend into all sectors of the construction industry, see figure one for a detailed list. Why LEED? In today’s globalized and politically-charged world, the environment is an issue that crosses all borders and reverberates throughout all of human kind. While this has been the case for years, it is recognized today as a vital crisis. In this context, the American construction industry is in the thick of this fight to save the environment while still maintaining economic development, at home and abroad. The movement continues to spread like wildfire and is enveloping every industry. Projected growth in the green building market is staggering. In 2006, the entire green building market value for new construction was


Us Developers Journal

Fall Edition 2008

$12 billion. McGraw Hill Construction predicted in 2007 that this would grow to an impressive $30 to $60 billion by 2010. Renovations are just as impressive, comprising $130 billion in US market value in 2006 with a projected growth to $240 billion by 2010. The commercial and industrial sectors grossed $4 billion in 2006; this figure is too expected to skyrocket to between $10 and $20 billion by 2010. The residential market was at $8 billion in 2006 and is estimated to grow to between $20 and $40 billion. After absorbing what this landscape looks like, it is perhaps that much more desirable to jump on the LEED bandwagon. LEED-certified buildings provide many functions that are considered green: lower operating costs and increase asset value; reduce waste to landfills; conserve energy and water; are healthier and safer for occupants; reduce greenhouse gases; qualify for tax rebates; zoning allowances and other incentives in many cities; and demonstrate a commitment to the environment and society as a whole. The Process LEED has a Rating System Checklist that provides a checklist for a project. The total point system varies among the sectors and can be found on the LEED Web site at: http:// The first step to certifying a building with LEED is to register the project at A proj-

ect is considered LEED certified if it meets all prerequisites required for the respective sector as well as the minimum number of points necessary to earn the certified level. Silver, Gold, and Platinum levels are the higher certifications available based on number of points earned for the project. LEED Professional Accreditation As of 2008, The Green Building Certification Institute is managing LEED’s professional accreditation services. Since this portion of LEED was launched in 2001, more then 60,000 professionals have earned their credentials. LEED Accredited Professionals (LEED APs) are required to the LEED Professional Accreditation exam and demonstrate their knowledge regarding the LEED certification process.

Additional Education Services USGBC is an approved continuing education provider of many national professional organizations such as AIA, CSI, IDEC, BOMI, CoreNet, and IFMA, reporting directly to AIA and CSI. Aspiring LEED APs can find countless resources on the LEED Web site, particularly online courses and webinars on some the most pressing topics: Energy Efficiency Strategies for Schools Webinar Series, LEED for Existing Buildings: Operations and Maintenance Webinar Series, LEED 101: Green Building Basics, among many others. Beyond these programs, LEED has an Education Provider Program that aims to drive the green market transformation through the necessary education programs. These courses cater to those professionals that wish to go beyond LEED in their knowledge of green build-

ing theories, techniques, and business trends. Greenbuild365 creates a year-round approach to USGBC’s Conference, bringing an online green building portal. Those who might have otherwise been unable to attend due to location now have access to the same educational opportunities. There are four main categories available through Greenbuild 365: Course Catalog, Green Bytes, and Greenbuild Expo Media Library. Conclusion Saving the planet is indeed a daunting task and one that takes participation from all its inhabitants. LEED is one way in which the construction industry can play its role in this endeavor, giving companies a structure to attain this increasingly-important green status.


Mission Impossible:

Construction of a Backcountry Ski Lodge By Lachlan Brown How can a 9200sq.ft. ski lodge be built in just six months when it took over three months to finish your downstairs bathroom? Now, place the project at the 5250 ft elevation in the Canadian Rocky Mountains, 90 km from the nearest paved road, and it’s easy to think, “Mission Impossible” In July 2002, the four owners of Chatter Creek Mountain Lodges faced a plot of cleared land and a pile of almost 300 green spruce logs, 100 of them having been peeled by hand. By the end of December 2002, the owners were welcoming 24 clients to their new lodge. The beds were made, the larder was full, the bar was stocked and the hot tub was steaming. Vertebrae Lodge was open for business!

© Sara Moses

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Chatter Creek Mountain Lodges is a snowcat skiing and snowboarding tour operator based in Golden, British Columbia. Chatter Creek offers full-service backcountry skiing experiences for powder snow skiers and snowboarders. Intermediate and advanced skiing groups are expertly guided throughout the 130 sq. km operating area. Guests ride in comfortable heated snowcats to experience skiing and riding on a high glacier, through open alpine bowls and down gladed tree runs. For two years, Chatter Creek hosted groups of 12 clients in their original Spruce Lodge. Guests enjoyed dormitory style accommodation, outdoor plumbing and a very close

relationship with one another and with staff. The “Spruce Goose” became a special place to many guests who fondly remember their early cat skiing days at Chatter Creek. The new Vertebrae Lodge, named after a spectacular nearby ridge, accommodates 24 guests in 12 comfortable bedrooms, each with private bathroom. The lodge boasts well-furnished sitting areas, and a large dining hall with a vaulted ceiling. It has a well-equipped commercial kitchen, a large drying room for boots and outside clothes, a massage room, a games room with a pool table, a well-stocked bar and an outdoor hot tub, complete with bar service. Quite a step up from Spruce Lodge! The Chatter Creek building site posed a challenge. The only building material within easy reach was green spruce from the surrounding forest. There was no sand, no gravel, no cement and certainly no neighborhood lumberyard. The nearest town is Golden, a 120 km drive to the south. The nearest paved road is 90km away, at Donald. Access from Donald is first by logging road and then by a rough, boggy summer road that climbs the last 17 km. to the lodge. Four wheel drive pickup trucks can make the trip in summer, when the access road has dried out but, in the spring, only tracked vehicles can get through, unassisted. The owners, all ex-loggers, were prepared for the challenge. They had already brought a small Alaska-style sawmill to the site, to build Spruce Lodge. The “Spruce Goose” had been completed following a two-year part-time effort. It was built of 5in. x 10in. square-sawn spruce beams. The new lodge would be built of round logs, with much longer and higher walls than any in Spruce Lodge, and with a much, much larger roof. The Chatter Creek cat skiing business had proven so popular and guests were so enthusiastic that the partners knew that they could expand to 24 clients. Certainly, they had the terrain for it: 50 sq miles of glaciers, alpine slopes and bowls, and huge forested ridges. They already had a good network of winter roads for their snowcats, a good basis for an expanded operation. These roads extended from below the lodge site, about the 4900-ft elevation, to the top of Vertebrae Glacier at just under 10,000 ft. They traversed both sides of the Chatter Creek watershed and the numer-

© Peter Suneson

ous ridges that provided thousands of acres of prime tree skiing. The challenge was to build the new lodge in one short summer. This was not just to be a scaled up Spruce Lodge, but a large comfortable building with a reliable water system, multiple sets of plumbing, a commercial kitchen, fire suppression and a septic system that would meet all the environmental codes. Could they do it in one summer? Financial constraints required it. All through the early spring, partners Dale and Dan selectively logged the trees they would need, using snowcats to


skid them to the lodge site. Friends were brought in to help hand-peel logs with drawknives and peeling spuds. These logs would form the major walls. The remaining logs would be milled to provide beams and dimensional lumber for inside framing and the massive roof structure. Meanwhile, partner Dave buried himself in plans and cost estimates and fretted about environmental and health and building codes, and lined up suppliers for the mechanical systems. The planning seemed to take forever. There were so many questions!

© Christopher Mazzoli

The common space includes a large drying room and a games room and bar on the first floor and a kitchen, dining hall and sitting area on the second floor. It was clear from the beginning that some new equipment would be required to assist the construction. The building would have two floors topped by a large attic space. A crane was needed to lift the heavy logs into place. Other techniques were far too slow. Also, the existing mill was far too small and too slow for the job. A much bigger more accurate mill was needed. A brand new computer-controlled Wood-Mizer sawmill was purchased. Its 45’ deck would handle the big logs and the cutting rate would

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provide the needed throughput. For the heavy lifting, a used 20 ton ex-army mobile crane was found. With a 90 ft boom, it would give plenty of clearance for the roof. Getting this equipment to the site in late spring was a challenge. The road was still wet and boggy in many places. The sawmill was loaded onto a Ford F450 that was towed by the bulldozer. With it’s 6ft. diameter tires it was hoped that the four wheel drive crane could travel on it’s own. An excavator stood by to help.

Fall Edition 2008

It took three days to go just 14km. The crane got stuck time and again. The excavator repaired the road and dug out the crane when its great wheels sunk in the mud. It also offered the odd tow, pulling the crane along as it struggled through the deep mud. The long line of equipment inched its way up the road to the Chatter Creek building site. Getting the equipment to the site was one challenge, keeping it running would be another. The project relied on continuous operation of the crane, the mill and the venerable excavator. The sawmill was brand new and very reliable. However, the mobile crane was an unknown with limited parts available and the excavator was a doddering geriatric having had constant use for many years. The partners could rely on no one but themselves to keep these machines in operation.

The work advanced through the summer and became a race against the weather.

By the second week of July the site was clear and level and the logs were ready. The foundations could be set. No other materials were at hand, so the largest available spruce butts were used, set upright in pits. By mid-July, the walls were started and the outline of the lodge could be seen. There would be two bays, a 40ft x 40ft bay for two floors of bedrooms and baths and a 40ft x 50ft bay for the common space. The common space includes a large drying room and a games room and bar on the first floor and a kitchen, dining hall and sitting area on the second floor. A flat ceiling spans the kitchen to create a mezzanine sitting area overlooking the dining hall. The large attic space over the guest bedrooms provides massage and staff rooms with entry from the mezzanine. An open cathedral ceiling spans the entire second floor dining and sitting area. The walls would require seven logs per floor. There would be seven long log walls. This meant at least 100 logs to peel by hand. Backbreaking work! Well over twice that number of logs would be needed for milling the interior lumber.

The construction crew included the four owners, two of their “significant others”, and old school friends from nearby Golden. The women worked along side the men operating chain saws, falling trees and running the sawmill. Milling went on continuously, day after day. Posts and beams, 2x6’s, floor joists, and decking materials were all needed in large quantities. Although none of the crew was yet 30, their skill with equipment and their construction knowledge was remarkable. They had developed their logbuilding skills the prior summer on a small bathhouse and a staff bunkhouse and now they were facing an immensely larger challenge with tight time constraints. The progression of the construction is far too much to report here, but the Chatter Creek Web site contains many photographs taken throughout the construction period. In addition, the “Chatter News” photo journal contains a detailed description of the construction process. The work advanced through the summer and became a race against the weather. Could the roof be completed before the first snow? It was a close finish, but nature won and the first snow came just days before the roof was completed. Valuable

days were then spent shoveling snow and chipping ice from the floor of the dining hall. Late September, and the roof was on at last. Finishing the interior became the next race against time. There were 14 bathrooms and a kitchen to plumb, electrical systems to install and the entire septic system had to be installed. Rooms had to be framed and wallboard installed. Windows had to be put in and ceilings insulated. The building had to be equipped and made livable and endless details awaited attention. The first clients were to arrive on December 27, in just three short months. Nearly everything had to be done by the same small crew of about 12 workers. For the first year or so, wallboard would remain unfinished and only plastic vapour barrier would cover insulation. Wood paneling for ceilings and roof gables would have to wait. Except for the kitchen range, there would be no open fire within the building. Also, no chimneys were to pierce the roof of the building. Heating would be provided by an external European-style hahsa, a freestanding, self-contained, external wood-burning furnace. Heat is transferred to the building by a 200ft underground glycol loop. Heat exchangers create hot water for bathing, cooking and the hot tub and hot air for convection heating. A 1,000 gallon hot water tank buried in the crawl space acts as a heat sink. This maintains an even building temperature as the hahsa fire burns high or low. Small electric heaters in the bedrooms, along with opening casement windows allow guests good control over bedroom temperature.


Chatter Creek President, Dale McKnight, was heard to comment, “Thank goodness we never really understood at the start just how big and how difficult this project was going to be. We probably would never have started. But we did, and now it’s done!” Others in the team had thoughts of their own. Jevan recalled the time he sunk the D4 bulldozer in the mud while working on the road. “Right up to the seat. It took the excavator to dig it out.” Lori and Isabelle remembered the bugs. “There were ‘mossies’ around the building and bugs and beetles around the sawmill. We went through boxes of ‘Croc-bloc’, but we were still being bitten.” The finishing phase brought new diversions. Large quantities of materials now had to be brought from Golden. Limited local supply meant many trips to Calgary in search of furnishings and special materials. Four valuable hours lost each way! The tight budget required tireless shopping for bargains. Everything had to be brought to the site by road. Helicopters were far too expensive. Using a four-wheel drive farm tractor and a 22ft highway trailer, Dale spent many autumn weeks bringing materials to the site. Rising very early each frosty morning in Golden, Dale would tow the loaded trailer the 100 km. north to the base of the Chatter Creek road, hook the trailer to the tractor and crawl the last 17 km to the site. Arrival by noon was critical. The uphill trip could only be made with the road still frozen and hard. If he got stuck, the excavator would have

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to stop work and crawl off down the road to provide a tow. Hours of work would be lost. As Dale hove into sight, all hands would appear to unload the trailer and Dale would head off, down the road and back to Golden to assemble the next day’s delivery. Almost 30 loads were delivered in this weather dependent operation. In the end, the impossible was done. On December 27, 2002 the last sawdust was swept up, the dishes were washed, the last bed was assembled and made, the bathrooms were stocked and the bar was made ready. The first guest helicopter arrived at Vertebrae lodge at 3:30pm. By 4:30pm, 24 admiring guests were roaming the lodge in awe. A photo journal of the construction of Vertebrae Lodge can be found at:

Fall Edition 2008

Vertebrae Lodge stands as a testimony to the hard work, perseverance and ability of the Chatter Creek partners and their crew. It’s a magnificent structure that was built under difficult conditions and in a very short time. It represents not only a feat of construction, but also a feat of coaxing some very tired equipment into steady operation. The excavator, in particular, was in constant use feeding logs to the sawmill, leveling ground, digging pits and trenches, burying tanks and piping, clearing the septic field, moving heavy loads, towing stuck vehicles up the access road and building winter roads for the snowcats. Both the excavator and the crane had had their cranky moments but, under Dan’s tender care, both these mechanical relics stood the course and, with the sawmill, continue to be used to this day.

Trend-setting Across America: The New Medieval Architecture By Patricia Tomaskovic

Corbels, or decorative brackets, are one of the most versatile decorative ornaments that can be used to enhance the architectural beauty of any room . Corbels are growing in popularity and can be used just about anywhere. By definition, a corbel is an architectural bracket or projection from a wall. They often support a cornice, or moldings, an arch, or some other type of overhang. In Medieval architecture, a corbel was the name given to a piece of stone which jutted out from the wall whose purpose was to support any weight lying on top of it. A ‘tassel’ or ‘bragger’ was the name given to a piece of timber extending out from the wall instead. The word corbel actually originates from the Old French and is derived from the Latin corbellus meaning raven, referring to its beak-like feature. Corbels are made

© Timothy Smith

Decorative corbels can be used to adorn cabinets, furniture, pilasters, and door panels or as brackets for shelves and mantels. from wood, plaster, marble, stone and polyurethane. Corbels are used interiorly as well as on a home’s exterior. Decorative corbels can be used to adorn cabinets, furniture, pilasters, and door panels or as brackets for shelves and mantels. While Romanesque corbels were often plain in appearance, occasionally they were also carved into heads of humans,


animals and other patterns. Sometimes they were carved into imaginary beasts. Structures built during the Early English period were frequently decorated with elaborately carved corbels. Corbels of great size and beauty, with rich carvings, carried balconies in Italy and France. These were

some of the greatest examples of the Italian 16th century style. In England, wooden corbels bearing window-sills or oriel windows flourish. Gothic Revival style homes and buildings are often built with oriel windows. Corbels occasionally end with a point that looks like it is growing

into the wall or forming a knot. These are many times bolstered by angels and other figures. In later periods, carved foliage and other ornamentation was adopted. Corbelling, which has been used since Neolithic times, is a technique where rows of corbels support a parapet or a projecting wall. Between the supporting corbels of the battlement, was an opening in the floor called a machicolation. Stones, burning objects or hot liquids could be released onto enemies or attackers at the foot of the defensive wall. Common in Medieval architecture, corbelling later became a decorative feature without the openings of the machicolations. Corbelling which supports upper stories and corner turrets became typical of the Scottish Baronial style during the 18th and early 19th centuries. Today, decorating with architectural corbels has been adopted by homeowners, interior decorators, builders, millworkers and furniture designers. Use corbels with crown molding to add flair and style to any home restoration project. Create lasting impressions and beautiful architectural designs that reflect anyone’s personal style. Decorative brackets are great accents to use on furniture, walls, as art, or even on the exterior of a home. They truly are setting trends across America!

Š Samuel Ascaso

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New Or Used Construction Equipment The Return On Investment Decision By Chris Warren It has always been a debate whether to buy new or used construction equipment. Smaller fleets prefer to buy used construction equipment as they attract less capital investments. Another reason for people to opt for used construction equipment is that they are sometimes as good as new and come at a very heavy discounted price as compared to that offered at the showrooms. Moreover, Associated Equipment Distributors (AED) and TradeYard, Inc, have jointly announced an alliance that shall provide certified inspection of used construction equipment that can also be sold online. This has been done to boost the business-to-business sales via online medium. It gives better promotion to the sale of used construction equipment and buyers to be confident about their purchase. Usually buyers buy the used construction equipment only upon the preliminary inspection done by the technical agent from either the buyer or the seller side. Since a neutral

Large construction companies that carry huge fleet of construction equipment can also strike a good bargain at onsite purchase of such certified used construction equipment.

Š Keith Syvinski

and unbiased inspection report shall be available it would lead to increased sales and more profitable bargains to small investors. Small fleet owners usually opt for used construction equipment sold from earlier projects. Large construction companies that carry huge fleet of construction

equipment can also strike a good bargain at onsite purchase of such certified used construction equipment. There had always been a skeptical attitude towards the economies in the Indian sub-continent, Russia or Latin America.

But over the past years these economies have shown a constant and steady growth. The demand to construct new projects or to renew the old ones has been always in demand. Since these countries are not as cash rich and affluent, they usually have constructors who have smaller fleet. Moreover, they also do not have enough capital to be invested in developing a large fleet. They are always on a look out for used construction equipments. Along with this these constructors take on projects in the neighboring countries and shifting heavy and used construction equipment is also not feasible. Thus sales of such equipments is constantly in demand


Apart from the projects in these countries, bigger companies take up their projects in the continent of Africa and also the Gulf countries. Thus they opt to buy used construction equipments available locally from the companies or constructors who wish dispose off their fleet. The used construction equipments are also on the sale due to the feasibility reasons that lie on the seller’s side as well. The construction companies who have finished off their projects in foreign lands and take up projects in other countries, for such large companies it is more feasible to dispose off their used construction equipment and assemble a new fleet at the onsite location rather than carry them to the new land. This is due to the reason that various countries have different rules for export and import of heavy equipment required for infrastructure development. Some countries impose heavy taxes and import duties to restrict import of used construction equipment.

Š Ajay Kumar Singh

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This is done to prevent the domestic markets and small construction companies with limited resources. Further, export of such used construction equipment requires various documentation procedure, inspections and other legal formalities. All such activities are not only tedious but also time consuming. These formalities also require lot of duty fulfillment at both the ends. Moreover clearance at the ports and damage caused in handling and shifting these equipments is also very tedious job. Thus construction companies prefer to buy new or used construction equipment locally. Only Large construction companies or companies who have strategic partnerships in the local market for a company prefer to import a part of their used construction equipment for their ongoing projects.

Solar Residential Outdoor Lighting Is Becoming The Product Of Choice For Millions Of Consumers By Kavar Peter

Residential outdoor lighting is a billion dollar a year industry in the United States. It is getting so popular, there is now a corporation that franchises individual businesses dealing only in exterior landscape lighting design, supply, and installation! Line voltage systems used to be the only option for outdoor lighting but in recent years, low voltage lighting systems and solar powered lights have made exterior decorative lighting available to every home owner –not just the rich ones. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 67% of adult Americans are homeowners (2004 statistics). Renovation, remodeling and home improvement are massively popular activities that only reflect the priority that consumers give in making their property as comfortable and pleasing as possible. Gardening has always been a past time homeowners enjoy in beautifying their property, both for themselves and to raise the “curb appeal”, but up until a decade ago, beautifying the nightscape was not a mainstream idea.

© Daniel Nielson


Even so, solar powered landscaping lights are becoming extremely popular although this was not always the case. Hotels, resorts and similar type commercial properties have always used light to create beautiful atmospheres on their grounds, but given the cost of an outdoor lighting system, residential lighting applications were mostly limited to basic security needs. Landscapes were enjoyed during daylight hours but when the sun went down, the outdoor portion of a homeowner’s property was not used. Low voltage outdoor lighting systems Low voltage lighting systems and solar powered lights are changing this. A low voltage lighting system plugs into a transformer and takes household current down to 12 volts. This means real energy efficiency and eliminates the building code requirements for burying cables 18 inches for line voltage systems. The lights can be used for any outdoor lighting application, although they still need to be wired together. Trenching and some cable burying will also probably be required. Additionally, the capacity of the transformer must be sufficient to cover the combined power draw (watts) of every light in the system.

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The solar option



Solar powered lights are not wired to anything and require no transformers. Installing them is as easy as sticking them in the ground, or mounting them wherever you need them. The draw back is that the photovoltaic charging panels (usually mounted on the top of the light fixture) that capture the sun’s energy need direct sunlight during the day to charge the batteries that provide power to illuminate the light at night. And in higher latitudes where the period of darkness is longer in winter months, there is a good chance that the lights will not get enough sun during the day to be able to illuminate for the entire period of darkness. Even so, solar powered landscaping lights are becoming extremely popular although this was not always the case. Up until two or three years ago, solar lights were not as bright as many consumers wanted, didn’t illuminate for long periods and too often, did not operate longer than a year or two before becoming defective. Today however, solar lights are bright enough for almost any outdoor

Fall Edition 2008

application, will illuminate for the entire night and –provided you get quality models – will last 20 years without maintenance or defect. These dramatic increases in solar outdoor lighting reliability are due to recent advances in two areas of technology: photovoltaic cells and the introduction of the Light Emitting Diode (LED) bulb. The photovoltaic cell is the technology that “captures” the sun’s energy. In the 1980’s, these cells could absorb only about 5% of the sunlight they were exposed to. Today this figure is moving past 15% and as further development of the compounds used in these cells continues (they are now silicon based but other compounds are being studied) they will only get more efficient. Perhaps even more exciting has been the introduction of the solid state LED bulb. This technology involves manipulating electrons and moving them in a certain direction so that photons are produced. This creation of photons is the visible light. Unlike the traditional incandescent bulb, there is no excited gas, no burning filament, and therefore next to no heat production. Almost all of the energy produced is used as light. The bulbs last for 10,000 hours, require no maintenance and draw on average only three to five watts. Today’s solar lights are excellent value One of the biggest critiques of solar lights in the past has been the

intensity of brightness they produce. This was a fair comment, but today’s solar lights are much brighter. Many mistake the term watt as a measure of brightness, which of course, it is not. A watt is the measurement of the power required to operate something. If talking about only one type of light bulb, then there is a relationship; a 40w incandescent bulb will not be as bright as a 60w bulb. But when dealing with different technologies, this comparison is not fair. Indeed, one LED bulb drawing between three and five watts will produce the same brightness as a 40w bulb. And many solar lights are now manufactured with multiple LEDs, therefore producing light much brighter than the glow of a traditional 40w incandescent product.

More and more consumers are realizing that outdoor accent lighting really does have an enormous effect in creating a beautiful nightscape environment. Some prefer a low voltage lighting system because they will illuminate for the entire period of darkness and are reliable and energy efficient. Other consumers prefer the solar outdoor lighting solution because these lights are now just as reliable, are far easier to install and can be moved around at whim when trying different effects. There is also a satisfaction in getting free energy from the sun! But whatever the choice, there is no denying that residential outdoor lighting systems are becoming a standard feature on millions of properties.

Š Attilio Ivan


Sustainable Construction

The Future of Commercial Development By Tony Seruga, Yolanda Seruga and Yolanda Bishop Sustainability is a significant issue of our times. Considering the social as well as the environmental benefits resulting from sustainable development, it is a no-brainer to direct all concerted efforts towards this notable cause. Sustainability can be defined as the ability to fulfill today’s needs without affecting the ability to fulfill tomorrow’s needs. Sustainable development is recently being actively pursued by several developers and planners; the following are the primary factors that have contributed to its relevance, awareness and prominence: * Some countries have made it a legal requirement and included sustainable development in the regional and local policies.

The UK government has made some remarkable progress in light of the recent trend towards sustainable development. It has defined a set of indicators that measure the quality of life; these include social, economic and environmental issues. The ratings on these indicators help measure how well a project is faring on the sustainable development scale.

The major factor that drives people towards or away from a sustainable development project is the cost

* Agencies are setting standards for sustainable development and are making efforts to promote it. * The UK government has included sustainable development in its policy among other environmental issues like carbon dioxide emission reduction.

Sustainable development is not an option for high-profile projects alone; efforts are being made to make it increasingly more feasible for all project types and budgets. Sustainable development includes the use of sustainable materials, resources, and design which includes the location, orientation, structure, systems, construction, use and also the eventual disposal of waste. All these elements are significant and in order for sustainable development to initiate and flourish, all or at least a few should be sustainable. Sustainability does not indicate that the elements should simply have the “recyclable” label. Each person involved at every step of the process should work to ensure that the recyclable products actually get recycled. Design of a project is the chief consideration that establishes whether a project will really meet the sustainable development requirements. The various decisions

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© Patrick Moore

involved throughout this comprehensive and cumbersome process will determine the quality of products and resources that will be available to the project team. As we are still early in the course of sustainable development, an approach of trying and learning from the results is needed to arrive at the “perfect� combination for a sustainable development project. The following are among the various considerations for sustainability:

* Resource extraction and depletion * Land use * Waste disposal * Contamination of ground water and surface water * Global warming * Pollution of air, water, noise etc. * Economic development * Impact on communities * Environmental degradation * Habitat destruction

Our current method of construction and approaching a development project is taking a toll on the environment. To name a few impacts: * Extraction of required materials consumes the rapidly-depleting non-renewable resources * Waste generated is disposed into the sea or landfills * Resulting pollution affects the atmosphere and the quality of life * Waste of energy due to poor construction and rapid failing designs The major factor that drives people towards or away from a sustainable development project is the cost. In an attempt to compete and win a contract, builders offer extremely low prices. This strategy, however, has some very adverse affects and, if not checked immediately, can lead to extremely harsh consequences for the environment and for the people. Solutions to this problem have been ascertained and the implementation of these solutions requires a strong will and a commitment to improve the conditions and thereby, make a difference in the world. Although the economic cost of alternatives to sustainable develop-

ment is low, the costs to the environment and the people are much higher. These costs include a reduced quality of life, dangerous health impacts, polluted air and many more. The sooner we realize the relevance of sustainable development, the better we will be at taking steps to flip the situation in our favor. Either we choose to get away with the monetary costs and pay the environmental costs or we learn to take responsibility and consequently, pay the economic costs for a better and healthier environment. Soon, the costs shall disappear into a better and healthier quality of life. Another way to look at the costs might provide the required motivation to commit oneself to this approach. The economic costs that seem additional at present will transform into nothing. In a matter of a couple years, sustainable development will be the norm and the way of life and at this time, the owners of sustainable projects will be enjoying the edge. The extra costs will become savings then. Realizing the potential and benefits of sustainable development is an asset in itself and those who act intelligently on the available information will benefit. The sustainable development solution is a choice at the moment but soon enough, this choice will turn into a mandatory obligation. And perhaps, then might be too late to reverse the damage that has been done and to correct the actions. We should take responsibility for our actions and should follow the sustainable development approach as this is a decision we will be proud of. Acquiring this approach is not just the rightful decision that will prove rewarding for ourselves but it is also the selfish decision. In no time, sustainable development will become the required standard for urban, suburban, residential as well as commercial development. About The Authors Tony Seruga, Yolanda Seruga and Yolanda Bishop of specialize in commercial and investment real estate. As of May, 2006, they and their partners are managing over $600 million dollars worth of new projects.


Carpionato Properties Jumping Hurdles and Landing on Their Feet Produced by Jacob Skeeters & Written by Shelley Seyler For 50 years, Carpionato Properties Inc. has been a premier development company for the New England Real Estate market and is currently powering through the economic storm with optimism and plans for immense growth. Completing the majority of their projects in Massachusetts and Rhode Island, their portfolio

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boasts 1,300,000 square feet of retail space, two award-winning hotels, a 48,000 square foot conference center, 500 conventional apartments, and over 2,000 units of retirement housing. Their clients range from Wild Oats to InterContinental Hotels, exemplifying their broad range of relationships that have helped them thrive in today’s economy.

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They handle the management, leasing, and construction for their own portfolio and with 573 employees Carpionato has grown from a small multifamily-focused company to the reliable and ambitious business it is today. With the current leadership of Senior Vice President Kelly Coates, Carpionato Properties’ current focus is on commercial construc-

tion, some examples being mixed-use facilities, hotel, office, and high-end condominiums. Projects Carpionato’s hotel projects are luxurious examples of some of their high-end projects. They own and manage the Crowne Plaza at the Crossings Hotel and the Holiday Inn Express.

"You just have to have a good project before you build." -Kelly Coates These 200-room hotels are some of the most successful in the state of Rhode Island. Carpionato has also been selected by the City of Providence as the designated developer of a 17-story hotel, retail, and condominium project in the downtown area. Anchoring this project will be the world-famous Intercontinental Hotel that will contain 200 rooms. Civil & Structural Engineering Land Planning Land Surveying Landscape Architects

An exciting future project for Carpionato is the Providence Place Development in Providence, Rhode Island. This LEED certified project will provide Providence with a mixed-use, 400,000 square foot development containing office, hotel, and retail space. The Economy

Garofalo & Associates, Inc. 85 Corliss Street P.O. Box 6145 Providence, RI 02940

Carpionato Properties’ emphasis on large, commercial projects had helped insulate them from the crisis currently sweeping the markets; however, the most recent downturn has resulted in six canceled Starbucks projects. They

have also had cancelations from retailers such as Sam’s Club and Wal-mart who each canceled two new retail store projects. “Retailers get wishy washy when the market declines like this,” said Coates. Carpionato is still lucky: many retailers have limited their expansion to New England and California because these remain highdemand markets. “Because New England has money, high interest, and high density,” it is one of the strongest markets in the country, added Coates. There is reason for Carpionato to remain optimistic but that doesn’t mean they are completely immune from today’s crisis. The inescapable, rising cost of goods is another factor Carpionato has learned to work around. In particular, the rising cost of steel and concrete has posed the largest problems, making building very expensive. “You just have to have a good project before you build,” said Coates.

Phone: (401) 273-6000 Fax: (401) 273-1000 Email:


design build install maintain

Poyant Signs has enjoyed a long relationship with Carpionato Corporation which began over 15 years ago as the client began improving and developing older strip centers in Rhode Island and then expanding into developing brand new sites. Our initial project took place in Johnston, RI and has grown from there to include most recently the Shoppes at Greenwood Center in Warwick, RI. The client has allowed us to contribute our creativity along with our fabrication capability to enhance the brand image for each center.

POYANT SIGNS Creative Visual Imagery Since 1938

Poyant Signs is a third generation family business located in the Southcoast region of Massachusetts. Poyant has grown to have the largest sign manufacturing facility in New England and the largest installation and service fleet in the region. The company has offices in Boston and Nashua New Hampshire to enhance service levels throughout the New England region. Clients include KGI, W.S. Development, Saxon Properties, National Development and Linear Properties.

www. poyantsigns . com

National 800.544.0961

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Northern New England 603.546.2005

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Greater Boston 781.444.1500

Fall Edition 2008

To learn more about the company, visit our web site at

GZA GeoEnvironmental, Inc. Designing foundations for a solid future

Other Challenges The planning board in New England also poses hurtles for Carpionato, making barriers to entry increasingly difficult to overcome. The competition that Carpionato faces: the permit, not necessarily fellow businesses. “They haven’t softened at the planning board. Tomorrow it will be tougher than it is today,” Coates added. Another challenge for Carpionato is the battle with the “not in my backyard mentality” of many New Englanders. Local communities often protest new retail projects breaking into their towns. “People love retail experiences but they don’t want them in their towns. They have this idea that it will bring a lot more traffic and pollution,” explained Coates. When a project is completed, however, the community often finds that these fears were not completely recognized. Carpionato’s Approach One thing Carpionato does to overcome these issues is to buy a site many months in advance, signaling to the community that they cannot be scared away from a project. Carpionato is also dedicated to hiring the best experts possible so the communities trust them. “You have to do the right thing,” Coates added. Carpionato has also found that it is very important to control their supply chain. They made a decision to hold prices and improve quality, getting the best vendors possible who want to perform tasks at a reasonable cost. Generally using the same people, Carpionato remains dedicated to the “right guy for the right job,” ensuring cost, quality, and availability. Full-Steam Ahead Carpionato maintains a level of optimism: “we are going to weather the storm, come out of it, and projects will be ready for leasing in the next two years. [The economy] always comes back,” said Coates. Carpionato is largely in a market of their own, and they

Geotechnical and Environmental Consulting Geotechnical & Geo-Civil Engineering, Environmental Studies & Permitting, Environmental Investigations & Remediation, Environmental Regulatory Compliance, Facility Management Support, Water Resources & Dam Engineering, Contractor Support Services, Solid Waste Services, Occupational Health & Safety, Litigation Support Services, and In-House Laboratories

GZA is Proud to be a Part of the Carpionato Team

530 Broadway Providence, RI 02062 401.421.4140

Service. Solutions. Satisfaction.

21 Offices Nationwide For more information, please visit

remain relatively unaffected by the current crisis that is sweeping world markets. Their plan for the future remains mainly unaltered, as they forge “full-steam ahead” with aggressive expansion. Carpionato only vies for top-credit tenets to help protect themselves. Reluctant to take on high-risk adventures, Carpionato also prefers to buy where there is a demand, ensuring the project will produce the revenue necessary. To expand in the future, Carpionato plans to purchase finished real estate that others have built but are having difficulty maintaining because of the economy. Carpionato anticipates purchasing some portfolios, not of troubled assets but rather of troubled developers. “The current downturn isn’t because of overbuild, it’s because of foolish financing activities that have left [the purchasers] with billions in short-term debt,” analyzed Coates. By avoiding the trap of faulty loans, Carpionato has been able to remain successful, catering to a market with high demand and high-end tenets. The future promises to get even brighter as Carpionato remains optimistic in their insulated, New England market.


FireDEX of Pittsburgh

Holding a Vision and Fighting On Produced by Suzanne Mason & Written by Shelley Seyler Fighting storm, water, mold, fire, or smoke damage? Just call FireDEX of Pittsburgh. FireDEX of Pittsburgh is locally owned and led by vice president Dave Hood and serves as one of the largest full service

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restoration contractors in the Pittsburgh area with offices in Allison Park and Bridgeville. With the staff and equipment to provide restoration of any residential or commercial property, FireDEX of Pittsburgh has been in business since 1980 and is still going strong.

Fall Edition 2008

The company also offers a 24-hour emergency service allowing them to respond immediately to any property claims in Southwestern Pennsylvania. Their staff, of over 100 employees, equipment, and facilities gives them the capacity to restore any residential or commercial

property including structure cleaning, contents cleaning, and complete construction services. Over the past 28 years, FireDEX of Pittsburgh has fought against hurricanes, tornados, frozen pipes, fires, and wind. Their numerous restorations speak wonders for their ability to transform badly-damaged buildings. Their Allison Park facility is 18,500 square feet and allows for on-site deodorization and cleaning. This warehouse also offers a three-story high bay and overhead crane which provides storage space large enough for the contents of up to 12 average size homes at one time. Their expertise has been certified by both The Restoration Industry Association (RIA) and the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration (IICRC). They also have on staff Certified Restorers (CR), which is the highest designation awarded within the restoration industry by RIA, Certified Graduate Remodelers certified through the National Association of Home Builders, and Certified Mold Remediators (CMR) certified through the Indoor Air Quality Council for residential or commercial mold issues.

When tragedy strikes, FireDEX of Pittsburgh is there; and this dedication goes beyond home repair. Their Restorations “Before” and “after” photos are perhaps the best representations of the magic FireDEX of Pittsburgh works on their projects. The company offers both quality and quantity, completing about 175 projects each month. One of their most recent projects was the restoration of the Church of Summerset that was damaged by a fire. A typical project for FireDEX of Pittsburgh is the complete rebuilding of a home damaged beyond recognition from a fire. With not even the frame completely intact, the roof completely gone, crumbling walls, windowless frames, falling chimneys, and destroyed wildlife, FireDEX of Pittsburgh restored the home to brand-new condition. The design brings comfortable angles, bay windows, and an intriguing roofline. FireDEX gave this home back to the family in perfect condition, a true gift for those who have lost so much. When tragedy strikes, FireDEX of Pittsburgh is there; and this dedication goes beyond home repair. In 2007, a local 20-year-old had a bone marrow transplant for leukemia. His home had been left to decay when he was diagnosed in 2005, with no parents alive to help care for him. A local police officer noticed the disrepair in the house that would contribute to an unhealthy environment for his recovery. The water leakage, sewer line blockage, and poor carpet conditions were perhaps the most threatening. FireDEX of Pittsburgh, along with other local businesses and organizations, donated time and material to this restoration effort and made a vast difference in the life of a young man who had faced challenges beyond his years.


Fighting the Economic Battle Working in the residential sector, FireDEX of Pittsburgh has seen people’s properties taken away thanks to the mortgage crisis. “People have to use their money for gas,” added Hood. The 18 to 36 percent decrease in the home business is just another result of this calamity and is forcing businesses to do remodeling rather than selling. With more than 60 trucks out on the road, the cost of gas and materials is another financial challenge that FireDEX of Pittsburgh has had to face. In this context, FireDEX elevates the importance of

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managing their supply chain. With the labor force not what it used to be in the 70s and 80s this is more difficult than it used to be. People are more into technological aspects of home building. Thanks to their 25-plus years of experience, FireDEX of Pittsburgh has a book of subcontractors and vendors who they know are reliable to make sure they are competitive. They look at each contractor’s price, service, cleanliness, appearance, and honesty before deciding. Planning to Strive “People don’t plan to fail, they fail to plan; owning a business plan, you have goals that you aim for,” Hood said.

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With this realistic mindset, Hood has been able to bring FireDEX of Pittsburgh into the restoration industry as a leader, not just a business. They were recently awarded the Excellence in Achievement Award in 2006 and the Performance Excellence in the Northeast Region in 2007 from the Crawford Contractor Connection Program. With their reputation as “Specialists in Insurance Repair and Restoration,” FireDEX of Pittsburgh is sure to power through the current economic crisis and remain a leader in the industry. It is their hope that they will be able to expand their commercial projects, which have already grown in recent

years. With the objective of also managing their resources better, FireDEX of Pittsburgh does not necessarily want to grow: “We are one of the largest restoration businesses in Pittsburgh but bigger is not always better. We just want to provide services and not lose our niche,” Hood added. It is not as if FireDEX of Pittsburgh has not come out fighting before. In fact, one could argue that this is what they do on a daily basis. They fight damage that can throw some into despair. It is perhaps this ability to envision the “could-bes” of a project that will propel them into a profitable future regardless of the economic damages that may wait around the corner.

Hunter Companies of West Virginia Benefitting from Uniqueness Produced by Brandon Roberts & Written by Shelley Seyler Breath-taking views that are both environmentally sensitive and ready to be developed; that’s what Hunter Companies’ parcels of land offer. It is a unique option for those who yearn for a place for retirement, vacation getaways, or residential development.

ing interested in the forestry business but wanting to be involved in something new.

Founded in 1993 by current president Hunter Wilson, Hunter Companies of West Virginia offers lands from Charleston, West Virginia, all the way to the northernmost parts of the state. In 1992, Wilson retired from the Patton Corporation and started the company, remain-

Starting with three employees, Hunter Companies has grown to 25 with an annual revenue of $20 million. Their unique niche is to find properties that have waterfront and mountain views that can be developed to become an escape for those who are looking for a quiet retreat. Subcontracting their trades, Hunter Companies makes acquiring land in West Virginia easy; and it is their hope that it will enrich people’s lives and be passed on through the generations, giving the company a legacy in the beautiful forests of West Virginia. Bluffs on the Potomac Bluffs on The Potomac is a property offering that includes all the goals of Hunter Companies. With a protection of 20-acre minimums that provide the utmost privacy to their purchasers, these properties are the only large acreage options in the area. They include mountain views and exclusive use of a private park on the South Branch of The Potomac River. Picnic areas, barbeque grills, and direct access to the river enhance the attraction of these land options, in case private islands, cascading creeks, and waterfalls were not enough.


The success they have seen so far certainly indicates that this new niche will only allow Hunter Companies to touch more people with their services. These Economic Times Hunter Companies’ niche business has brought them out of the mainstream and allowed them to have an extremely strong second quarter, putting them, financially, “close to where they should be,� as Wilson puts it.

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Hunter Companies focuses on those with a disposable income and has therefore remained relatively unaffected by the mortgage crisis. Their customers understand that land has remained relatively stable while the stock market has greatly fluctuated. The increased cost of gas, however,

Fall Edition 2008

has affected Hunter Companies and they find it all that more important to control their budget and supply chains. Not relying on mortgages to stay afloat, Hunter Companies know they are in a uniquely safe situation. The

Hunter Wilson, Industry Leader and most recent stock market tailspin is unfortunately impossible to escape, and Hunter Companies has had to work extra hard to ensure success. “Everybody has to work harder. We offer something a little different, so we are lucky; but it is all about attitude, if you listen to the negative it will bring you down. We are going to pull through this and make it work,” said Wilson. Looking to the Treetops Aside from annual growth as a whole for his business, Hunter Wilson plans to incorporate the timber business as another avenue for Hunter Companies. With a background in forestry, this is natural growth for a company that reveres the beautiful mountains of West Virginia. The success they have seen so far certainly indicates that this new niche will only allow Hunter Companies to touch more people with their services.

My Bank Customer since 1992

Every day My Bank’s Small Business Specialists deliver financial solutions to industry leaders. For experienced, personalized guidance suited to your unique circumstances call My Bank today.

L. Hunter Wilson

President, Hunter Company of West Virginia



Neighborgall Construction Company Historical Roots for a Present-Day Success Produced by Jacob Skeeters & Written by Shelley Seyler

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Neighborgall Construction Company, founded in the 1920s by current president C.R Neighborgall IV’s Great Grandfather, today remains one of the most respected commercial construction companies in the state of West Virginia. Throughout their history they have worked in Washington, DC, Maryland, Virginia, Ohio, and Kentucky. At present, they focus the majority of their work within the 200-mile radius around centrally-located Huntington, West Virginia, including southern

Ohio and eastern Kentucky.

Their Place in History

With 75 employees and $30 million in annual revenue, Neighborgall performs foundation, concrete, and carpentry work in-house and subcontracts the rest of their trades. Neighborgall also provides construction management services during both preconstruction and construction phases. The Company has prospered through tragic historical moments and economic crises, and is still making their mark on the industry and history.

Neighborgall is rooted in the country’s past, beginning in the 1920s when C.R. Neighborgall IV’s Great Grandfather, C.R. Neighborgall began doing residential work in the Huntington area. He moved the company into some small commercial projects and by the 1940s the company was involved in war-time projects. The state of West Virginia played a larger role in World War II than


might be assumed. Due to their chemical-rich river valleys, West Virginia was home to many companies that produced compounds for explosives and other materials. In this context, Neighborgall also became a part of the war effort. Their involvement began with the conversion of the Greenbrier Resort, located in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia, into Ashford General Hospital, which was created to service returning veterans. They also constructed a prisoner of war camp for Italian and German prisoners on the airfield beside the resort. Parts of the original resort were reserved for Japanese Diplomats who, as the war raged on, had

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An ongoing project for Neighborgall is their work for Cabell Huntington Hospital that began in the late 1970s and continues today. been gathered, brought to West Virginia, and placed under guard. In 1944, Neighborgall (then Neighborgall & Leach) was chosen for the first large-scale operation to relocate publicly financed war housing. The project required the relocation of 120 dwelling units from a closed TNT plant in Point Pleasant, West Virginia to Camp Breckenridge, Kentucky. Neighborgall towed the units 577 miles down the Ohio River.

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Today’s Neighborgall Though the 1950s and 1960s brought many projects that were post-war efforts, the 1970s and 1980s gave Neighborgall more diversity and expanded their project range. Today, they

provide general contracting, construction management, and design build services for commercial building projects. The majority of their work is in the healthcare sector, giving Neighborgall unique challenges.

In today’s volatile market, Neighborgall remains protected, thanks, in part, to their long-term relationships, both with their clients and subcontractors. Ever-changing and complex technology, emergency power systems, critical services for people whose lives rely on their maintenance; these are only some of the challenges Neighborgall faces with each and every healthcare facility. Because many of these projects are renovations rather than new facilities, systems and technology that need to stay operating are worked around rather than removed.

Unlike a straight-forward Wal-marttype building, healthcare projects require operating rooms, medical gasses, safety considerations, power air-flow, and filtration systems, among other things. An ongoing project for Neighborgall is their work for Cabell Huntington Hospital that began in the late 1970s and continues today. They began

adding new floors to the south wing and have also completely renovated different parts of the hospital, such as the OBGYN wing. In the early 1990s, The Marshall University Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine provided Neighborgall with the unique opportunity to build a facility that would provide one campus for the Cabell Huntington Hospital and the Marshall Medical School. “This was interesting from the standpoint of being there at the inception of marriage between the hospital and the university,” said C.R. This project was not without its challenges, however: the university and

We’re ALL About You The ALL Family is committed to providing you outstanding equipment and service. Our fleet includes the latest and most technologically advanced cranes, aerial units, boom trucks, material handlers, and other construction equipment. Equipment is maintained in our own shops and our technicians undergo rigorous mandatory training, grounding them in current service and safety techniques. Our expansive new parts inventory—at all our yards—ensures we are equipped to resolve problems, increasing productivity.

the hospital were sometimes unsure of the administrative and political questions that arose, each pointing fingers at the other to take responsibility for different payments, for example. This put Neighborgall in a sometimes difficult position, not being certain how to proceed. Luckily, such a relatively simple hurdle is an easy obstacle to jump for such a seasoned company.

year, they will have two LEED certified project managers. The School Building Authority that funds public schools in their jurisdiction is also working to bring LEED projects to West Virginia. As a result, Neighborgall hopes to increasingly work on LEED certified projects. Neighborgall is also planning to expand their design build services.

Neighborgall is currently in the planning stages for the Clinical Pavilion, an addition to Thomas Memorial Hospital in South Charleston, West Virginia. This $69 million project, $59 million for construction alone, will provide private rooms for its patients, an important improvement for the hospital that currently has almost all semi-private rooms. They will also build a new cafeteria that will serve the patients and staff, and a new central sterile supply room.

For a company that sees competition as a force that “keeps them sharp,” Neighborgall is moving into the future with optimism. Not daunted by their losses along the way, C.R. sums up their years of experience well: “you live on to fight another day.”

Managing the Challenges In today’s volatile market, Neighborgall remains protected, thanks, in part, to their long-term relationships, both with their clients and subcontractors. Because they rely so heavily on their subcontractors, it is very important that they closely manage their supply chain. Always looking to build new relationships, Neighborgall is meticulous when choosing new vendors, bringing them in, spending time with them, and ensuring that they are on board with their timeframe and project plans. This insulation does not leave Neighborgall completely immune, however; they are most concerned with the lack of available credit. “We have a couple years of work ahead, but I am just concerned that people are going to tighten up and it will be harder to get projects,” said C.R. With the price of copper and steel through the roof, Neighborgall has seen projects come in over budget, sometimes resulting in redesign or cancellation. “I am afraid that next year, with credit drying up, there just won’t be as many projects to pursue,” C.R. added. Moving Ahead Staying with the trend, Neighborgall is currently working to become more involved with LEED. By the end of the

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It is this optimism, experience, and dedication to professional service that has kept Neighborgall thriving for over 80 years. These intrinsic traits are precisely what will ensure their success in spite of the economic challenges that may lie ahead.

Orleans Homebuilders Getting Back to Basics

Produced by Brandon Roberts & Written by Rebecca Czarnecki


A Seasoned History Home ownership is something almost every American dreams of. Loving details from the white picket fence to the moldings and the kitchen fixtures are conjured up in soft sighs of ‘someday.’ Since Alfred P. Orleans established the company 90 years ago, Orleans Homebuilders has specialized in making dreams

is thriving under the seasoned, third-generation leadership of Jeffrey P. Orleans. In 1999, the company decided to spread its wings, and therefore its boundaries, and acquired Parker Lancaster in Virginia. They have since expanded into six other states and are now in Florida, Illinois, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South

In 1999, the company decided to spread its wings, and therefore its boundaries, and acquired Parker Lancaster in Virginia. come true. The company prides itself on “personalizing the home buying experience.” Allowing the buyer to be involved in every step of the way puts a fresh face on the buying process and is a pattern that continues to bring Orleans Homebuilders success. Orleans Homebuilders sprang up in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1918 and became a major regional builder. Today, Orleans

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Carolina, and Virginia. Tom Gancsos, president of the Virginia division, makes it clear that the goal of Orleans Homebuilders is to simplify the home building and buying processes. “We aim to get back to the basics, get back to the fact that the home is somewhere to raise a family,” he said. Even with $85 million as their annual revenue, Orleans Homebuilders never forgets the most important component of home sales: the individual or family purchasing the home. The company Web site asserts, “From condominiums for first-time buyers, to townhomes with leisure lifestyles, to luxurious single-family homes for move-up buyers, the tradition of superior value

has held through the building of each of over 75,000 homes.” Throughout his career, Gancsos has been involved in every level of the sales process, going from a sales representative, to manager, then division manager and so on—all the way to the top. The experience gives him a personal perspective and he emphasizes, “I wouldn’t build anything that I wouldn’t live in myself.” Orleans Homebuilders maintains quality control through close management of their supply chain and the relationships they develop with subcontractors. They are a tightly run company with only 47 employees and they sub out all of their work. As

a result, there is an extra emphasis on the importance of having contractors they can trust. The company engages in a three bid process that analyzes multiple contractors, low costs (not low bid), quality, and service; however, some subcontractors who historically worked well and who were very cooperative became something like ‘partners,’ in the words of Gancsos.

Orleans Homebuilders has been listed in the top 50 fastest growing homebuilders in the nation by “Builder Magazine.”

Projects Some of their recent projects have included the Preston Square Townhome Community in Richmond, Virginia and Elm Crest in Westchester, Virginia. Preston Square breaks away from the residential homes Orleans typically builds and introduces their first line of townhomes. Gancsos notes that Preston Square stands out among other townhomes because of its traditional style, but is striking with full brick exteriors. Elm Crest, on the other hand, is a small neighborhood built to “accommodate the contemporary lifestyle with flair and ease.” With only 46 home sites, Orleans Homebuilders designed it to be a quaint and exclusive community. Projects are also underway in North Carolina and Pennsylvania. The Orleans Homebuilders Web site boasts that Brookshire Estates in Pennsylvania is located on about 72 wooded acres situated in the excellent Pennsbury school district. Crafted with commuter convenience in mind, it has quick access to State Highways and Pennsylvania Turnpikes. In Raleigh, North Carolina, Orleans is taking the opportunity to continue expanding its offering of townhomes. The Grove will offer townhome living in Weldon Ridge featuring homes that will offer front load garages, two story family rooms, and open kitchens. Hunkering Down Unfortunately, given the current economic climate builders, Orleans Homebuilders included, are taking a hit. Gancsos says that, “[The] biggest impact is the jumbo financing; the rest is not our buyer profile.” However, the

sales—or lack thereof—is troublesome. When asked about the direction of the company, Gancsos smiles and says he looks forward to being able to expand. For now, they are hunkered down in survival mode.

Considering Orleans Homebuilders has been listed in the top 50 fastest growing homebuilders in the nation by “Builder Magazine” and as America’s 52nd largest homebuilder in the nation in the Builder 100 List, it is clear that the company will weather this latest economic storm. Ninety years in the business, Orleans Homebuilders has clearly hit upon a recipe for success. It won’t be long before they are able to expand again and get back to doing what they do best: making dreams come true.

Piazza Brothers, Inc Dedicated to Public Service Produced by Jennifer Mallis & Written by Shelley Seyler works in both the commercial and residential industries, the former constituting 90 percent of their projects and the latter being 10 percent. Projects Piazza Brothers’ range of projects reaches across various types of buildings: new construction and renovation of commercial offices, airports, correctional facilities, sports, health care, educational, institutional, residential, mixed use, retail, hospitality, mass transportation, entertainment, research, and laboratory facilities. Piazza Brothers, Inc. was founded in 1982 by current CEO Nick Piazza and his father Joe Piazza and today is one of the most trusted construction companies in Westchester, New York. Nick’s brother, John Piazza, joined the firm as president in 1992 and nephew Joseph Piazza, representing the third generation, joined the firm in 2001 and is soon to be vice president. Nick Piazza started the company with a public-service foundation, dedicated to creating buildings and facilities for each community that would benefit and serve its residents. With a long history in construction, Nick started Piazza Brothers, “making mistakes, learning, and listening to his father,” he says proudly. The conglomeration of his experience and ability to learn and grow, allowed for Piazza Brothers to become the success that it is today. Their projects have touched Orange, Ulster, Duchess, and Westchester Counties in the state of New York with this publicservice-oriented foundation. Since their founding, they have grown to eight in-house employees and 40 subcontractors with annual revenues between $40 and $42 million. They hold 15-20 carpenters in-house and subcontract steel, excavation, roof, concrete, plumbing, electric, and heat. Piazza Brothers

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Because their goal is to participate in public-service projects, they have incorporated numerous aspects of what this can include. Constructing libraries and schools, among other projects, that are “green” helps to serve the immediate community as well as the greater society. One example is their production of the LEED certified Orange County 911 Emergency Services Center and renovations to the Fire Training Center. This $21.6 million contract was one of the largest in Orange County in recent years and provides the community with a 3-story, 9,000 square foot building for emergency services. This building is now home to an auditorium, cafeteria, a 911 dispatch center, and emergency operations center that assist all towns in the county as well as surrounding counties. Some government agencies have also moved into the building, adding to the benefits this building brings to the community. Piazza Brothers is also responsible for the new Ossining Library, a $4 million project for the Ossining New York community. This contemporary, three-story building offers breathtaking views of the Hudson River and includes state-of-the-art electrical and mechanical systems. The materials and procedures used on this project also allowed it to be “green” and LEED certified. The

project offers the community a café, theater, Young Adult room, and reading room, all encapsulated in the walls of the library. Conquering the Challenges

however, they have been able to maintain their company despite this inescapable effect from the market. Relying so heavily on subcontractors, they always use the same people, ensuring the unchanging quality and reliability for each project they complete.

The current market is causing financial crises that are reverberating across the world. No industry is an exception. Piazza Brothers have a set of criteria they stick to in order to stave off the crisis: pay attention to the details, stay organized, know your limits, and only take what you can control. Perhaps also working to their advantage is the fact that 25 percent of their employees are family.

Other cost-saving strategies include brainstorming sessions throughout the life of a project on ways to reduce costs without sacrificing the goals of the client or the quality of the project. Working with all people involved, Piazza Brothers has found this to be an effective way to cut costs and maintain their ability to deliver across all spectrums.

The rising cost of goods, 50 percent in some cases, has been a challenge;

Piazza Brothers also elevates the importance of safety for their workers. This

not only helps keep costs low and within budget, but also exemplifies their emphasis on worker protection. Looking Ahead Fighting against the financial crisis, Piazza Brothers plans to grow into developing real estate and shopping centers, focusing their eyes on properties off the interstate. Financially, everything remains stable for Piazza Brothers and their “dayby-day” approach to the current crisis it not changing a thing. “We can’t stop now,” said Nick Piazza. It is precisely this attitude that has brought the company to where it is today and will allow it to continue on its highly-aimed trajectory into the future.

Vartan Group, Inc.

Proactive and Ready to Grow Produced by Hanim Samara & Written by Shelley Seyler A History Founded in 1975 by the late John O. Vartan in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania at a time when urban Harrisburg was depressed, the Vartan Group, Inc. began as a small engineering firm and has matured into a multi-disciplinary real estate investment company. Overseen by its current chairman Ralph Vartan, the founder’s son, since 2004, Vartan Group has a staff of 20 and is one of Harrisburg’s largest developers and landowners. Working together, they have developed

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millions of square feet of real estate in Harrisburg’s commercial sector. Their array of services includes architecture, construction, design, development, engineering, finance, maintenance, and property management. Despite the diversity of their real estate and management activities, Vartan Group subcontracts many aspects of their business in order to commit extraordinary focus to the design and development disciplines. Vartan has found that it is more economical to focus their energy on design and development rather than dividing their attention among the many complexities of the real estate business. “We are better off doing more projects instead of juggling too many things all in one project,” said Vartan. Projects The Vartan Group adopted a commitment to environmental stewardship five years ago. They decided to complete only LEED® certified projects, exemplifying their dedication to build not only for those directly affected by a project but also to benefit the community as a whole.

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Vartan also benefits from the work of other development companies in the Harrisburg area. “Smart design and development is better for society, both environmentally and economically. It is not about throwing money away and calling it green; the objective is thoughtful allocation of resources where they are the most beneficial,” said Ralph. One of these new LEED® projects is being called the 1500 Project. Located

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in Midtown Harrisburg, it “is the right project for the right place,” said Ralph. Vartan intends to dedicate a $13 million budget and 92,000 square feet to this mixed-use residential and retail project. A five-story building will include restaurants and retail shops on the ground floor and over 40 residential units on the top floors.

The surrounding area is an important and heavilytrafficked area of the city with great potential for urban infill. It is also the hope that the economic investment in this area will help revitalize the neighborhood. “It is an investment in the neighborhood but it is also an important thoroughfare for the city and it deserves a smart use of the land,” said Vartan. Though this project is only the first phase in a master plan that has been in the works for thirty years, for Ralph, “this is a project of a lifetime and must be done in a systematic fashion.” They hope to

begin work in late November or early December, avoiding the challenges posed by the frozen ground of winter as well as the muddy ground that would pose a problem in the spring. Vartan is also working on a residential development on the face of a mountain about seven miles from the steps of the State Capitol. Located along the beautiful Susquehanna River, this project is also being planned under the LEED® design approach and is an exciting new project that will serve as a model development for the Harrisburg area. Competing in Today’s Economy “[The question in today’s economic crisis is] not if the economy will affect business but rather how and when it will,” said Ralph. One of the many challenges in today’s hostile climate is extreme volatility in commodities. Fluctuating prices underscore the

need to enforce cost discipline. The Vartan Group approaches this challenge with the integrated design approach: assembling the project team early in the design process and investing heavily in flexible and efficient systems designs that can meet both the program and quality criteria.

Vartan also benefits from the work of other development companies in the Harrisburg area. Rather than suffering from competition, companies thrive on the mutually improved livelihoods of Harrisburg neighborhoods. “If someone improves a property, the entire neighborhood benefits; we want as much investment as possible in order to complement each other’s work rather than compete for it,” he said. What the Future Holds In the next five years, Vartan plans to undertake multiple projects and move them from the development phases and into the construction and stabilization stages. With their dedication to LEED® projects and the integrated design approach, the Vartan Group is positioned to uphold their mission to improve life and work in the Harrisburg area through real estate investment.


VMJR Companies, LLC

Rooted in a Diverse History Produced by Brandon Roberts & Written by Suzanne Mason Victor Macri, Jr. began his career as an employee of Sweet Associates, dedicated to doing his job well and bringing a strong work ethic that today helps to run, not just one, but two companies.

management firm in the U.S. Today, the company is located in Glen Falls, New York and is part of VMJR Companies along with Adirondack Construction. Together, these companies provide a broad range of services for their clients.

Sweet Associates was founded by Ansel Sweet in 1951 in Schenectady, New York. In the 70’s, Sweet was the third-largest construction

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Founded in 1947, Adirondack Construction focuses on the design/build aspect of VMJR’s construction projects. They also provide services in general construction, construction management, and project management. Their experience in historic and adaptive reuse of existing structures, commercial renovations, and reconstruction have created the foundation with which VMJR was able

to successfully stretch their services into these sectors. Sweet Associates, today known as Sweet Constructors, has been an intrinsic part of Upstate New York and the Capital Region’s economic growth projects. Their history of projects throughout the northeast has lent its hand to VMJR’s institutional and industrial success.

Marci acquired Adirondack Construction and Sweet Constructors in 1991 and proceeded to found VMJR as the parent company of the two. VMJR’s corporate headquarters are still Glen Falls, New York. Although VMJR is the holding company, Adirondack and Sweet have a history of their own, bringing decades of expertise to their clients.

the challenging environmental conditions, the project was also completed six months ahead of schedule.

“I think the beauty of both companies is that we’re very diverse,” says Macri.

Overcoming Challenges

Projects This diversity is exemplified in the different projects that both companies have worked on. They recently finished a large power plant facility for GE in Schenectady. In addition to retail and office space, the company completed a five year restoration project of West Hall at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York. One of VMJR’s more interesting projects was serving as the general contractor in the expansion of Albany International Airport. This new state of the art facility has “transformed the Capital Region, serving as a “gateway to the world,” as their Web site puts it. This 260,000 square foot project had a $22 million budget which was not completely fulfilled. Despite

Most of VMJR’s clientele are repeat customers. This is due to their dedication to build lasting relationships with their clients. They also complete projects on time and under budget, ensuring their clients’ needs are met.

Over the years, VMJR has faced its challenges and today’s economic downturn has certainly posed new ones. The rising cost of steel and other petroleum-based products is a result of this crisis that VMJR has had to deal with. Both suppliers and vendors ended up adding a fuel surcharge to the company. That doesn’t stop VMJR with its agenda for the future. They would like to scale back in the competitive market and focus more on private contracts. “Depending on the market, we hope to be in a position to continue to grow in the private sector and development market,” Macri added. Given the extensive history of the VMJR companies, there is no doubt their plan for growth in the future is an attainable goal.

Albu & Associates, Inc. The Growth Factors

Produced by Richard Callahan & Written by Shelley Seyler With the current economic crisis as a backdrop, Albu & Associates Inc. has had one of their “best years ever,” according to Vice President Jason Albu. In today’s economy, this deserves praise and is credited to numerous factors that make Albu & Associates unique.

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Based in Winter Park Florida, Albu & Associates, Inc. was founded in 1994 by George Albu. George, a graduate of Villanova University and professional engineer, has been in the construction industry since 1970. The company began providing construction consulting services to

owners, developers and architects. Due to its strong relationships with these original clients, the company began performing more general contracting and construction management work. In 2000, the Albu & Associates, Inc. became certified as a Minority Business Enterprise in several municipalities in Florida, and became more involved in public projects. Today one of its major projects is the Orlando Events Center. Their business, however, does not start or stop with the construction phase. The range of services Albu & Associates, Inc. provides can assist each client with every aspect of the construction process. Beginning in the planning stages with program management and budgets, the

"Diversification in the construction industry is very important for maintaining and growing in today's market place." - Jason Albu company can continue to work with clients through the design and construction phases of a project. Growing Against the Odds: The Secrets to Success Albu & Associates, Inc. specializes in constructing new and renovating existing retail, office, industrial, church, and public projects. Projects are completed for a wide range of private and public owners, managers, and developers. As stated by Jason Albu, “Diversification in the construction industry is very important for maintaining and growing in today’s market place.�


This team work and cooperation between the owner, contractor, and vendors guarantees success. The People Factor “It is also very important to cultivate relationships with all our clients, and to fully understand their needs. Keep the headaches away from the clients.� Jason said. Keeping the clients happy may seem obvious, but it is a very important aspect of how Albu & Associates, Inc. plans to continue to grow.

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Employees are also a key part of the company’s business. Loyal employees that know the company’s work ethic is what keeps our clients coming back. The company uses experienced vendors and subcontractors who also are in tune with the Albu & Associates, Inc. company philosophy. This team work and cooperation between the owner, contractor, and vendors guarantees success. Computer Aided Project Management and Accounting A Custom-Made Integrated Software allows Albu & Associates, Inc. to be on top of every detail of a project. Close coordination between estimating, project management, and accounting allows timely communications between all parties involved in a project. This, in turn, addresses all issues in a timely manner and provides detailed project controls, which result in profitable projects completed on time and within the client’s budget.

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Gateway 7 & 8 - Kissimmee, Florida – General contractor for two shopping centers with over 60,000 square feet of retail space.

Although we have a new name, our commitment hasn’t changed. We enable the systems that power everyday life in Florida and across the U.S. Systems powered by sharper thinking, progressive engineering and backed by the services and resources of one of the largest and best electrical and communications contracting companies in the country.

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Washington Mutual Bank – Throughout Florida - Through the years, Albu & Associates, Inc. has maintained a strong relationship with Washington Mutual Bank by constructing over fifty branch banks. Church of Christ - Winter Garden, Florida – General contractor for a 25,000 square foot addition. Staying Optimistic Amidst Worries Jason’s greatest concern in today’s economy is the desperate reactions of his competitors in underbidding projects in their efforts to continue in business. The rising price of gas,


the crisis in the sub-prime market, and the problems in financial markets also create difficulties for everyone in the construction industry. With the economic downturn on the forefront of everyone’s minds, it seems Florida is still a great place to be in the construction business. In Central Florida, for example, the city government has authorized over a billion dollars for the construction of the Doctor Phillips Performing Arts Center, the Orlando

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Events Center, and the expansion of the Florida Citrus Bowl. In addition to these high profile projects, there is also a new medical city being built at Lake Nona that will generate $9 billion in new construction. All of these promising prospects are reasons to stay optimistic. Looking to the Future “As is the goal for all businesses, Albu & Associates, Inc. is on a very controlled growth schedule,” Jason said. “We are in a good place. We are all about

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quality. We are committed to provide our business owners with professional construction services to maintain our rate of growth.” There are also some changes ahead for Albu & Associates, Inc. For example, Jason hopes to expand the business into the owner representative, development, design, and building maintenance side. He also intends to focus on larger projects. Diversification, strong relationships, and profes-

sional management are all reasons for Albu & Associates, Inc.’s successes. To say that a business grew in a market as fragile as today’s seems nearly impossible, but as Jason and his company have demonstrated, it is indeed possible, provided you have the right tools and attitude. Special thanks to George Albu

C Perry Builders, Inc.

Staying Grounded With Community Service Produced by John Fitzpatrick & Written by Shelley Seyler Carroll Perry doesn’t consider himself successful. He works hard, surrounds himself with people he cares for, and has a history in the industry that serves him well as current president of C Perry Builders, Inc. His life reads like an American Dream. His father was a preacher and a contractor, introducing Carroll to the business at a young age. With childhood

dreams of working in an air conditioned office, he was laying pipes in Alaska in his twenties and has been working in heavy construction since. With a natural inclination for the work, he learned the business quickly and eventually took his aspirations and lessons to start a business of his own. Always giving 110 percent whether working for himself or someone else, Carroll

started C Perry Builders in 1973 in Sumrall, Mississippi. For the 34 years since, the company has truly made an impact on the community and has survived numerous hurricanes as well as economic storms. With a revenue of $10 million and 25 employees, C Perry began in residential building and later expanded into commercial, industrial, and institutional. When

vice president Todd Perry came aboard in 1996, the company expanded their reach into new areas of Mississippi. Serving the Community As a general contracting company, C Perry bids on churches, banks, schools, universities, and medical buildings all within a 90-mile radius. Their projects consist of structural


like Hurricane Katrina that ravaged homes, and caused flood damage.

buildings that serve the industrial and advanced technology, as well as county schools and parks. They have completed projects for the Allied Health Center at Pearl River Community College, the Vardaman Buick Showroom, the Petal Family YMCA, and the Lumberton City Hall. They are currently completing the Summerall Auditorium in Summerall and the Mount Olive MultiPurpose Center. One of their most recent projects is the Advanced Technology Center at Jones County Junior College. The seeds for this project were planted 10 years ago with an important purpose: to serve as a training center for Mississippi’s workforce and as a catalyst between the college and private sector. As the largest project C Perry has completed, it boasted 60,000 square feet and a $7.3 million budget.

real-world applications to its users. C Perry constructed concrete floors with high store fronts and readied this project to have all the horns and whistles: computer labs, industrial bay for manufacturing, meeting spaces, and a 288-seat auditorium with state-of-the-art audio and visual equipment. Not Without Challenges In its tenure as a general contractor, C Perry has overcome high gas prices before. They have even survived natural disasters

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Looking Ahead

After Katrina, C Perry has seen increased costs of labor, materials, and gas, forced to “go with the flow and see what becomes available,” Carroll added.

Family is another lynchpin for C Perry Builders. As a family-run business, Carroll gives credit to his relatives for their support and says that they are a reason for C Perry Builders being where they are today.

Carroll predicts that the industry will slow down but this does not necessarily concern him. He watches the market every morning to see what the trends are, plans ahead, and makes the right move. The Perry’s also work in a meticulous manner,

“I am just a part of it. It has to do with having people around that you care about. If we make money, they make money. Treat people how you want to be treated,” said Carroll. “If the wife is upset, how can you do your work?” asks Carroll. With this foundation, C Perry hopes to grow to a $20 to $30 million company. This American company rests on the important pillars of hard work, family involvement, and treating each other well. Thanks to these values, C Perry has certainly weathered the storms and will no doubt have the strength to remain standing in the face of future challenges.

The center now offers the latest technologies and

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“We aren’t always going to have good times. In the last 15 years, we have had some lean years and some good years; we just survive the lean ones and use money wisely. We are lucky to be as experienced as we are,” Carroll reflected.

doing nothing spur of the moment. “I build the job in my head, daydreaming how to get it done. It is always there in the back of my mind,” admits Carroll. It is perhaps this preparation that allows C Perry to keep clients satisfied.

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J Levens Builders

Working Through the Storms Produced by Jacob Skeeters & Written by Shelley Seyler Levens Building (JLB) is locally owned and operated in Long Beach, Mississippi by President Jimmy E. Levens III, a Gulf Coast native, with 25 years of design build and management experience.

Founded in 1994, JLB has local and national government contracts, and private company contracts in Mississippi, Louisiana, and Alabama. JLB is a family of companies and partners with JEL

Investment, LLC to design, build, and operate office and industrial warehouse spaces. Between the two companies, JLB and JEL own and operate approximately 160,000 square feet of warehouse

space and approximately 50,000 square feet of office space on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. The company employs 85 full-time employees with revenues in 2006 exceeding $32 million.


The company also works in agricultural land shaping and large commercial structure construction. Specialties JLB specializes in general contracting, with their greatest experience in civil, structural, and municipal construction. JLB often utilizes subcontractors for mechanical, electrical, and interior finishing but completes their civil work and some vertical construction in-house. J Levens Builders is equipped to take a project from its inception stages through completion. Their reputation

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glows with their ability to consistently deliver on schedule for small, medium, and large-scale projects. They provide a broad range of services, from large subdivision developments, to the overhaul of municipal water and sewer systems. The company also works in agricultural land shaping and large commercial structure construction. Projects After Destruction The destruction that followed from Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, and Wilma left many Gulf Coast residents and businesses in shambles. The Gulf Opportunity Zone Act of 2005, also known as the GO Zone, is a government-sponsored bill that offers several tax benefits to companies building properties in the designated GO Zone regions devastated by these hurricanes. These incentives are intended to bring life back to the affected areas and rebuild the economies of these states.

“A good product for a fair rate makes a difference. Our company maintains its focus to offer both to our clients.” -Jimmy Levens JLB utilized GO Zone tax credits when building a new $6 million dollar office building in the Long Beach Industrial Park. By bringing a new tenant to the park, it is the hope of the owner, the investment will bring an improved economy to the Long Beach School District as well as aide with rebuilding the city of Long Beach and Harrison County. GO Zone bonds also assisted JLB with the construction of two new Gulf Coast area hotels, the Residence Inn by Marriott and Hilton Garden Inn. They are strategically located on the north side of Airport Road opposite the main entrance to the Gulfport-Biloxi International Airport. This development was the first in the region to utilize Go Zone bonds. The addition of the two hotels has also helped the Gulfport-Biloxi International Airport achieve its’ goal of becoming a tier one airport. In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, JLB was employed by FEMA to construct temporary housing for families that had been left homeless. At over 12 locations along the Mississippi Gulf Coast, JLB installed drainage, utilities, and roadways to help accommodate temporary housing for the victims of the storm. Continuing its effort to help displaced Mississippi Coast residents get back into their homes, JLB has partnered with South Mississippi Housing Development, a non-profit agency, to construct a 345-acre mixed use development. The development will include 145

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homes providing lease-to-buy options for affordable work-force housing. The development will also offer a 150-acre nature preserve with walking trails around the perimeter. How to Maintain in the Mortgage Clampdown The current economic crisis has affected JLB, particularly the soaring cost of goods and insurance. To help mitigate the problem, they have privatized their job budget, but this has not completely solved the problem. JLB was most affected in the warehouse aspect of their business. The depreciation factor has proven to be their greatest problem. By keeping a cap on the amount that can be spent on design/build projects, JLB has been able to stem some of the financial hit. However, the cost of insurance and goods continue to be a concern for JLB.


“The reputation of a business is a key factor for maintaining, even growing, in today’s economic environment,” stated Jimmy. “A good product for a fair rate makes a difference. Our company maintains its focus to offer both to our clients.” Jimmy gives the government credit: “They provided financial assistance to rebuild our infrastructure, but they can do more. The government needs to make a more long term commitment to the local community, by moving government jobs to Mississippi, offering local residents job opportunities with good pay scales, and securing long term leases in the area. ” For JLB, maintaining quality service also requires close management of the supply chain. The company takes pride in being a fair general contractor. JLB utilizes vendors they have interviewed and feel comfortable with. “Fuel after the storm is also a factor in the overall big picture,” he said. Prices are escalating in the three states JLB has licenses in, southern Mississippi, southern Louisiana, and Alabama. The rising costs make it that much more important to cut costs where possible. For a market economy, competition can be a good thing and JLB views improvement in their competition as a sign that JLB is also doing well. “I am of the opinion that if our competitors are doing better, we are doing better,” said Jimmy. Future Within the next five years, JLB plans to be more involved with operations in rail and water ways. Utilizing rail and barges as alternatives to trucking goods will help expand the company’s scope of work in the construction business. There is also the possibility that JLB will grow more into industrial work. Keeping with current trends, JLB also plans to pursue becoming a LEED certified business.

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McKee Construction Company

“We Structure Our Business to Build Yours” Produced by Hanim Samara & Written by Shelley Seyler Whether you are looking to repair a leaking roof or build a brand new structure, McKee Construction Co. can provide services “from conception to completion.”

“We make a commitment to you, and go the extra mile to see that your job is completed. The McKee way, the only way,” boasts Von Herbulis.

Founded in 1973 as McKee Development, the company is led by president and owner Robert Von Herbulis. They have 22 employees and an annual revenue between $12 and $15 million. In 1983, McKee Development became McKee Construction Co. Von Herbulis began his career with McKee in 1985 doing architectural drafting. Since Von Herbulis’ acquisition in 1996 the company has grown more than 700 percent and expanded into the commercial sector. Prior to his time, the company focused on residential and small commercial projects.

Examples of Success

Located in Central Florida, McKee Construction holds their metal roofing division, design build, project management, and construction management trades in house, relying on sub contractors for individual trade. Many of

these relationships go back as many as 20 years, exemplifying McKee’s dedication to maintaining strong ties with the people they work with and within their communities. With a niche in negotiated design build services for the commercial and industrial sectors, McKee also prides themselves on their good

connections within local permitting agencies. From new facilities to general repairs, upgrades, office additions, and Tenant renovations, McKee has 35 years of experience behind them that ensures quality delivery. A testament to this is a 20-year manufacturer’s warranty that accompanies each project McKee completes.

Perhaps one of McKee’s largest projects was their work on Galaxy Aviation’s new facilities at Orlando International Airport. This $6 million project included a 26,000 square foot hanger and 8,800 square feet of office and tenant space. Galaxy Aviation is a chain of Fixed Base Operators (FBOs) who offer special services for private jets that land in their featured airports. McKee constructed this space that includes many luxuries for the pilots of theses private planes, whether they are coming home or visiting: large, lighted and secure ramps, hangar space, pilot lounge, flight planning room, and a conference room. McKee has also been involved with some unique projects such as a crematorium where they spent


McKee Construction has earned several awards and recognitions in the community and nationally. numerous hours learning how it actually operates to make sure their building design is customized for their needs. They are also looking forward to their work with a local fire sprinkling company. Rather than building additions to the current complex, McKee decided it was beneficial to remodel the office they already have to make more efficient use of the space. After redesigning the entire interior, they are also planning to utilize trailers to help provide more operating space while the construction is underway. This unique approach will allow their business to stay in full operation until the construction is complete. McKee Construction has earned several awards and recognitions in the community and nationally: NAIMA Insulation Quality Award from North American Insulation Manufacturers Association, five consecutive years in Top 20 Builders by United Structures of America, three consecutive years of winning the Best Builder and General Contractor in Best of Seminole County, and just recently received an award from Servants of the People acknowledging 10 years of support. A Unique Business Sleeping with a note pad next to his bed just in case he wakes to a flash of inspiration for a new design, Von Herbulis is dedicated not only to the success of his company but also assisting those in need. As a member of the board of “Open Door Haiti,” a missionary program that assists the struggling country in various ways, Von Herbulis has traveled to the country six times and built three buildings for a local community church there.

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This service-centered spirit extends to his business and is seen in the company’s “commitment to service and dependability.” McKee hopes to maintain their level of revenue in the foreseeable future, Von Herbulis not wanting to grow the company to a size that he cannot control. With 35 years of experience behind them, McKee is certain to retain their expected level of success, thanks, in part, to the strong leadership found in Von Herbulis.

Monarc Construction, Inc. Serving The Nation’s Capital Produced by Brandon Roberts & Written by Shelley Seyler


Monarc Construction Inc. is a full-service General Contractor operating in the Washington Metropolitan area providing a wide array of services from constructing high-rise office and residential buildings to tackling the challenges of historic renovations. Their mission is “to provide the best product and workmanship for the best value in the industry” and this product stretches to a wide range of construction avenues. The company, originally called Monarc Inc., was founded in 1987 by current president John Bellingham and the Trammel Crow Company. In 1992, Monarc Inc. became Monarc Construction Inc. when it separated from the Trammel Crow Company. In 1999, Monarc Construction purchased and merged with Boulder Construction Inc. and became Monarc Construction Inc. Specialties With an annual revenue of $60 to $65 million and a staff of 97, Monarc specializes in historic renovations and work with foreign embassies. They also provide preconstruction, demolition, carpentry, multi-family renovations, and new construction services. Though they subcontract many aspects of their business, they do hold some labor and concrete aspects of their work in-house.

economy, delivering within budget and as promised poses an even greater challenge; however, Monarc has remained relatively unaffected thanks to various strategies they have employed in the midst of this crisis. “Some jobs have been delayed or canceled, but it is not affecting us too much,” said John.

Organizations and Awards Monarc belongs to various organizations: The Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC), the DC Preservation League (DCPL), the National Trust for Historic Preservation, Washington Building Congress (WBC), and the DC Building Industry Association (DCBIA). They have won numerous awards for their work, among them the “2007 Award of Excellence” from the Associated Builders’ and Contractors of Metropolitan Washington (ABC) for their Charles Retreat Clubhouse, House of Sweden’s Embassy and Events Center, and 14th and Q Street condominiums in our nation’s capital. Current Market Woes “Letting people down, not keeping my promises or being able to deliver what I say I can,” is what worries John most. In today’s

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Limiting the type of work provided to their clients and being more specialized has also proved effective for maintaining Monarc’s success. They also make it a priority to manage their supply chain. Often using the same subcontractors and vendors to do business helps Monarc control costs, though they occasionally have to find someone who is a little less expensive to save money wherever possible. When deciding on new contractors, Monarc looks for those that have the ability, expertise, and price that Monarc requires. The problems posed by the rising cost of goods have led Monarc to buy earlier to be able to provide an accurate price in order to avoid negotiations. Recent Projects One of Monarc’s recent projects includes the renovation of St. Johns Church in Lafayette Square across from the White House. They also recently completed renovations of the Embassy of Sweden which houses the representatives of Swedish commerce

in the United States. This building is considered the “crown jewel of the Swedish presence in the U.S.” The Tivoli Theater in Washington, DC, originally built in 1924, was once one of DC’s most elegant theaters until its closing in 1976. For Monarc, this proved to be one of their most interesting projects, giving them the opportunity to renovate both externally and internally. The building had been neglected since its closing and suffered extensive vandalism and weather damage. They completely replaced

the roof, restored the woodframed windows, stucco, and cornices. The theater’s original canopies and lighting were restored to be as they were originally, reusing the original canopy frame and a majority of the original metal trim to make the renovation truly authentic. Today, Tivoli Square is a part of historic renovation and economic development happening in the nation’s capital. Monarc also renovated Glen Echo Park located along the Potomac River just north of Washington, DC. Since the 19th century, the park has

MAJ MAJ Construction has served the Greater Washington Metropolitan Area for over a decade. From it’s beginning as a small commercial services company with 3 brothers filling out it’s entire staff, it has grown into a Mid-sized Drywall ACT Contractor averaging $4,000,000 to $5,000,000 annually in sales. And though it may have transformed itself from a “Service Company”, service and quality, best describe the Companies philosophy, in addition to an unwavering commitment timely project completion for its clients. MAJ stands ready to work, in partnership, to complete your next project. Find out what Sub-Partnership really means. For more information and a complete project and client list contact Dan Rossi at: (571) 237-5081

R.W. Kibler Inc.

is a family owned and operated firm working in Maryland, Virginia, and the District of Columbia. We have been in business for more than 45 years. As a roofing contractor we contract for all types of roof systems: shingle, flat and metal roof replacement and repairs on all new and old construction. Additionally, the company repairs, replaces and maintains all types of gutters and downspouts. We are certified installers on all GAF, Firestone, and Certainteed products. We consider our craftsmen to be an invaluable part of each project. We specialize in historical restoration on residential and commercial buildings. The company has done such historical properties as; Slovenian Embassy, The Woodward Building, Avalon Theater, Atlantic Building in Washington DC, 926 F Street Building, just to name a few. We understand the importance of properly maintaining the historical integrity of your building. Our motto is no jobs are too small or too large. Our goal is to provide quality roofing replacements and repairs at competitive prices using quality warranted products. We will provide our customers with full written estimates. We conduct all our service activities with integrity and openness. We will remain a friendly oriented company that provides our associates an environment where everyone can contribute and grow to their potential.

One of Monarc’s recent projects includes the renovation of St. Johns Church in Lafayette Square across from the White House. provided the surrounding community with an artistic outlet and today is home to a beautiful park, children’s theater and artist and dance studios. The Future is Green Keeping with current trends, Monarc plans to expand their business by doing more “green” work, constructing sustainable buildings. They will first bring this evolution to their own headquarters with their plan to build a “green, zero energy building” for their new offices in Falls Church, Virginia, said John. The building will be powered by solar panels, with heat and air conditioning provided

by geothermal ground source heat pumps. It will be a “fully sustainable building.” This building will also be LEED Platinum certified. In fact, in 2007, this project had already gained Monarc recognition with a Merit Award from James River Green Building Council for their “green plans.” Despite the current economic crisis, there is no doubt that Monarc will continue to serve the Washington Metro area with their historic renovations and creative service to foreign governments and the surrounding communities in our nation’s capital.


Renovations Unlimited, Inc. Historic and Modern

Produced by Hanim Samara & Written by Shelley Seyler

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In the capital of this great nation there are numerous historical monuments and buildings that look deceivingly new, and are a treat for the eyes and imagination. Renovations Unlimited, Inc. is an important part of the fabric in these historical streets specializing in high-end residential historic renovation and restoration. Founded in 1984 by president Don Malnati as a remodeling contractor, Renovations Unlimited has since grown into a full-service general contractor specializing in custom and historic construction with an annual revenue of $10 million and 15 employees. For nearly a quarter of a century, Renovations Unlimited has helped bring new life to the DC landscape because of their strong relationships with local clients, architects, subcontractors, and craftspeople throughout the District of Columbia, Maryland, and Virginia.

Their Collective Works Renovations’ portfolio reads like a list of historic buildings and international bodies in Washington: The Residence of the Turkish Ambassador, The Residence of the Ambassador of Egypt, The Embassy of Argentina, and The Residence of the Ambassador of the Netherlands, and the list goes on. The complete interior and exterior renovation of these buildings attracts the eye with their elegant appeal. Renovations Unlimited and MMG have proven their expertise in their respective fields over the course of many projects, one of

these being a new condominium project in Logan Heights, located near the exciting U Street corridor of DC that thrives with jazz clubs, international cuisine, and antique shops. This high-end development offers spacious and lightfilled condos equipped with luxury appliances, creating modern yet elegant living space. Together, these partners have designed, restored, and developed over 30 single- and multi-family projects in some of the most historic and trendy districts of the city such as Dupont Circle, Logan Circle, Woodley Park, Columbia Heights, Mount Vernon Square, Capitol Hill, and Brookland.

The expertise that comes with their 300-plus projects has not only garnered numerous awards and national praise, but has also led Julio Murillo and Don Malanti to join forces, forming the Murillo Malnati Group (MMG) in 2001. Murillo, also president of Group CTI, brought with him expertise in large-scale construction. Together, the two blend very different sectors of the construction industry to capitalize on the residential renovation and condominium conversion market in Washington, DC. In the relatively short period of time since its inception, MMG’s revenue has grown to a range of $18 to $24 million per year.


When the DC economy was met with the expertise of MMG and Renovations Unlimited, success was sure to follow. Their Woodley Wardman project features the renovation of four townhomes and is a perfect example of the conglomeration of their expertise at its best. The project is located in the Woodley Park neighborhood near the National Zoo, Uptown Theater, and Rock Creek Park with access to the red line Metro station and is scheduled to be completed in 2010. The townhomes will be converted into 39 condos. Seventeen of the units between the two buildings will require complete renovations along with an additional 22 units in a building located directly behind the others. Contemporary European kitchens and baths are just the beginning of the elegance;

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views of the capital, private balconies, hot-tub ready penthouse units, and state-of-the-art audio visual equipment will welcome their residents home each night.

that they have stayed somewhat insulated from the current crisis. In an urban market, space is a commodity and capitalizing on this has helped them maintain growth.

Building for the Future

“You have to be willing to accept where the market is when selling condos‌ what sells is space, planning, and design,â€? said Malnati. Setting their work apart, many of their projects have featured architectural details and impressive floor plans with sliding glass and aluminum doors.

Today, their volume of work may be less than what they have done in previous years; however, this is not due to the economy but rather the success of a $15 million dollar project that took three years to complete: the renovation of the Turkish Embassy. They recently saw 12 of their 19 condos sell, a sign

Trending toward the same subcontractors has also proved to be

important for MMG and Renovations Unlimited. “Lay your scopes properly to make it clear what they are responsible for,” added Malnati. Given the two companies track record of success, there are no plans to slow down anytime soon. For both companies, the vision is to establish a headquarters and increase the volume of construction and third party work which will improve the service for both. As a full-service real estate construction business, MMG and Renovations will be better equipped to “navigate the process effectively

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in the ever-changing and complex DC market,” Malnati stressed. When the DC economy was met with the expertise of MMG and Renovations Unlimited, success was sure to follow. With a clear vision and an understanding of this one-of-a-kind market, the companies are sure to continue moving ahead at a time when many have been forced to stop in their tracks.

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Phillips/May Corporation

Problem Solving With Experience Produced by Jennifer Mallis & Written by Shelley Seyler Founded in 1990 to provide interior build-out services, Phillips/ May Corporation (P&M) has since expanded into a full service general construction firm built on a strong foundation of traditional construction values: to be cooperative problem solvers.

Headquartered in Dallas, Texas, they focus their energies on the Dallas, Fort Worth, and Fort Hood areas in Texas and occasionally Oklahoma. P&M services have grown to include groundup construction, construction management services, and finish-

out projects in the areas of education, retail, corporate office, transportation, and health care. Interior and building demolition, street, and infrastructure projects, such as utility installation, are also offered by P&M.


One of the unique aspects of P&M is their additional expertise that accompanies certain projects. When working in the transportation industry, for example, they provide the necessary traffic control and signage installation to ensure smooth execution of the project with minimal impact on the area and its people. Benefits of P&M Built on a rock-solid foundation of customer and employee service, their emphasis on problem solving extends to each and every project and has contributed to their reputation as being “easy to do business with.” This simple statement is a testament to their detailoriented approach to projects that ensure client satisfaction. With their experienced staff, many of whom have been with the company for years, P&M takes pride in their teams in the field as well as their

professionals in the office who work together to complete projects on time and within budget. P&M also mentors minority-subcontracting firms which helps build their base of contractors while assisting new businesses. This list of qualified people is an intrinsic part of P&M’s success in bringing varied expertise to their numerous projects. Using the latest technology in the industry for each project also allows P&M to stay with the trends and provide the most efficient tools available. Projects For each project, P&M offers years of experience that often bring clients back for more. A list of clients perhaps best demonstrates P&M’s ability to cater across many platforms: Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, Dallas Independent School District, Parkland Health System, City of Dallas,

With 50-years experience

in the commercial & private estate plumbing construction industry we have developed a reputation for

Total Quality Continuous Improvement.

Public Service Plumbers, Inc. Is proud to be associated with the quality work performed by

PHILLIPS / MAY CORP ORP.. Frank H. Fehmel, Jr., ME

Director of Commercial Construction 214.363.4477

√ √ √ √ √

Complete Plumbing Design Professional Installations Quality Controls Warranty/Insured After Market Service (HUB & M/WBE Certified)

Always on the lookout for unique projects, P&M is currently working on the Uptown Theater in the city of Lancaster. Built in 1950, the city wanted to replicate the exterior to be exactly as it was in the 50s. AT&T/Southwestern Bell and University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, and the Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART). The Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport provided a new challenge for P&M. They were contracted to renovate the exterior as well as one of the terminals on the interior. The new terminal sparkles with shiny tile, ceiling-to-floor windows, and a modern, eye-catching appeal.

Always on the lookout for unique projects, P&M is currently working on the Uptown Theater in the city of Lancaster. Built in 1950, the city wanted to replicate the exterior to be exactly as it was in the 50s. Each challenge increases the level of experience and expertise P&M is able to provide to their clients, and because of this the future is sure to be a bright one for P&M. Their ability to provide special services for their clients while still maintaining the level of expertise that can only come from years of experience, is what will solidify their place in the industry for years to come.

Phillips / May Corporation, Congratulations on your success and this award. Your company is most certainly worthy of any excellence award. Public Service Plumbers, Inc. has always enjoyed its professional relationship with Phillips / May Corporation and in particular Gilbert May, III. In addition to the professional attitude of Phillips / May there is also an ethics code they strive to maintain with all of their subcontractors. Oh, by the way, thanks for always paying your bills on time! Gratefully, Joseph M. DiFrancesco, III Director of Corporate Operations Public Service Plumbers, Inc.

Š Herman Brinkman


Structure Services A Hands-On Approach

Produced by Richard Callahan & Written by Shelley Seyler Marshall Fitzgerald started his career in the construction industry in the Washington, DC metropolitan area, working for Charles E. Smith, at the time one of the largest real estate companies in the area. Relocating to Charlotte, North Carolina in 1994, Fitzgerald founded Structure Services, Inc. in 2004 with two partners, Chris Herman and William Cowperthwait, and today serves as the company’s managing partner. With two offices in Winston-Salem and Charlotte, the company has an

annual revenue of $10 million and 15 employees. Herman and Cowperthwait’s previous experience with BB & T Bank lent its hand to Structure Services holding their on-site supervision in house, thanks to their previous service as developers and facility managers. Projects The company specializes in corporate executive and class-A office spaces, banks, health care, and financial insti-

tutions, often providing upfit services for these sectors. A recent renovation for HSMM Architects in Charlotte was a LEED certified project. This 15,000 square foot renovation of occupied space took six months to complete. After demolishing each structure to its concrete core, Structure then rebuilt the entire interior with the latest technology to achieve the LEED certification. Everything from the electrical to the mechanical systems was replaced with environmentally friendly alternatives. Structure Services has also worked with the world-famous Fluor Power, one of the largest publicly owned engineering, procurement, construction, and maintenance service companies in the world. A leader in the energy sector and involved in the range of energy sources, from gas to coal, they turned to Structure to perform interior renovations on their 75,000 square foot office in Charlotte. Their niche in the health care sector has continued to provide Structure with new projects, one of their prominent clients being Carolinas HealthCare System. This client has repeatedly come to Structure Services with upfit projects, posing new and exciting challenges for its team. Given the sensitive nature of these work sites, Structure has learned how to work around equipment and occupants.

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Their level of commitment and ability to accommodate in any situation is a big reason they continue to have repeat business. They are willing to work over night and on the weekends to make these necessary accommodations more attainable. Also in the healthcare sector, Structure completed a remarkable project for a nursing home: faux brick walls and street scenes were created to make it look like an exterior walkway. Staying Hands-On The foreseeable future is sure to bring new and continued challenges in the economy. Structure has stayed somewhat insulated from this crisis thanks, in part, to their niche in the commercial sector. Having escaped the mortgage crisis, one of the first signs of our nation’s economic decline, Structure is still able to provide competitive pricing and top-notch customer service to ensure the company is able to stay successful. Managing their supply chain has also helped with their endeavor to stay ahead of the game their subcontractors having a similar corporate philosophy to their own: a relentless customer-service orientation. With this as a joint foundation, Structure’s

subcontractors have been an important compliment to their business. Another of the unique aspects of the company that has contributed to its success is the way in which the three owners stay involved. Taking a hands-on approach has helped propel Structure into the position it holds today in the construction industry. Looking into the future, Fitzgerald plans to maintain this approach and will focus most on operations and customer service. This foundation has led to Structure’s client base being comprised of 60 percent repeat business, a testament to their ability to successfully complete projects in a fashion that truly caters to their clients. “We just want to service our customers. We don’t want to get too big, spread ourselves too thin, and end up losing a customer or two. That’s what can happen,” said Fitzgerald. Structure also plans to stay diversified in the types of projects they take on in the corporate office, medical, and financial sectors. This aspect of their company has, too, added to their ability to remain successful despite the challenges in the faltering economy and are sure to ensure their influence for many years to come.


TRINITY Group Construction, Inc. Offering the Complete Package Produced by Jacob Skeeters & Written by Shelley Seyler

Founded in 2002 by CEO Mil L. “Flip” Wallen III, TRINITY Group Construction, Inc. is headquartered in Herndon, Virginia and works within a 50 mile radius of the nation’s capital. The company’s niche is in medium to large-scale office buildings, data centers, industrial, retail, and interiors. With a combined 75 years of experience among the principals, the company offers a full-service package for their clients: representation, consulting, management, contracting, and design/build. In the beginning, TRINITY remained small and Flip intended to keep it this way having worked at a company that was much larger in size. 2004 brought change to this expectation, however: TRINITY landed a $23 million dollar project that catapulted them into the next level. Since the success of this project, TRINITY has completed numerous projects that have solidified their place among the big players in the Washington metro area. TGC’s growth won them the Vanguard Award for the Fastest Growing Service Company by the Virginia Chamber of Commerce in May of 2008.

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Today, TRINITY’s annual revenue is $60 million with 50 employees, self performing some of their masonry and dry wall needs in-house and relying on subcontractors for the remaining work. Projects TRINITY’s work on interiors is perhaps best seen in their own headquarters. With an image of the classic modern style combined with an industrial aesthetic, TRINITY’s design team set out to create an innovative vision with open transparent space, free of unnecessary distractions. The first floor contains 9,200 square feet of office space and 2,000 square feet of warehouse while the second floor offers an additional 3,400 square feet of office mezzanine.

In today’s economy, perhaps the most important aspect of TRINITY’s continued success is their relationships with their clients, subcontractors, and the TGC Team.

The reception area sets the tone for the rest of the office with its stack stone wall and elevator tower. The apparent wood flooring is deceiving: it is actually porcelain ceramic tile. This durable flooring was chosen as a practicality, acknowledging that many visitors and workers will have come from construction sites. The receptionist sits behind a custom desk of wood grain laminate and stone, another aspect of their modern lodge design theme. High ceilings, accent lighting, a custom monumental stair case, and new hydraulic elevator exemplify TRINITY’s attention to detail. Other intricate details include second floor windows that stream light into the open reception area below, industrial metal pendant light fixtures with high-bay lights, and indoor balconies that allow for communication between floors. Together, these details continue the modern appeal with a touch of office functionality. TRINITY has also incorporated environmentallyconscious additions, staying with industry trends. Motion-activated lighting, low-flow plumbing fixtures, Energy Star-rated appliances, recessed direct/indirect fixtures that use T5 energy saving lamps, and recycling bins all contribute to their ability to go green. One of TRINITY’s unique niche markets is their work for data centers. “They like to be very cutting-edge with techie designs,” said Flip, which is what makes


these projects so interesting. Their work for Equinix at Beaumeade in Ashburn, Virginia, included 99,966 square feet, 77,394 of which were already built plus an addition of 22,572 square feet. This data and file service center is comprised of a steel column roof, bar joists, an insulated metal deck, and joist girders. Over 30,000 square feet of the first floor was removed, and excavated down four to six feet to allow for a new conduit for the electrical infrastructure. The interior is divided into a security check station, customer service area with workstations, conference rooms, file server area, emergency power generators, and UPS modules. The interior design included low lighting with blue high-tech accent lights, an open ceiling grid that uses multiple background colors, and combinations of stone and porcelain tiles, carpet, and vinyl flooring. Steel secondary structure and wire mesh were featured to enhance the high-tech appeal of the office. Looking Ahead With Optimism In today’s economy, perhaps the most important aspect of TRINITY’s continued success is their relationships with their clients, subcontractors, and the TGC Team. “It’s plain and simple; maintaining, building, and finding new relationships is the bottom line,” said Flip. Paying their subcontractors on time or ahead of schedule, they truly know the importance of this aspect of their business.

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With the ever-changing price of goods and the rollercoaster economy, it is difficult to predict what challenges may wait around the corner. “We have to move fast to get a project…I am not worried about the lack of work, just the risk from the work,” Flip said. “Throwing the economy out of the equation, we hope to have $100 to $150 million in revenues. We might even be there next year; we would already if it had not been for jobs that were pushed back because of the economy,” Flip added. Planning for the future may be unpredictable but TRINITY is strategizing and strengthening their interior division. Recognized as number 24 out of the top 25 general contractors by the Washington Business Journal, TRINITY is sure to prevail, regardless of the economic challenges that may still lurk in the future.

Tyler 2 Construction

Staying Ahead of the Pack Produced by Hanim Samara & Written by Shelley Seyler In Charlotte, North Carolina in the 1980s, a new commercial development boom was underway with Tyler 2 Construction leading the way, becoming one of the first interior commercial contractors for retail and commercial space. Founded in 1983 by President Katie Tyler, Tyler 2 Construction is an interior contractor serving the 100-mile radius from Charlotte into North and South Carolina.  Their capabilities quickly evolved from their beginning stages to include large renovations, expansions, and mid-size exterior construction.  With revenues of nearly $30 million, Tyler 2 has 31 qualified associates with the expertise to anticipate and service the ever-changing needs of the commercial construction marketplace. All Positive For Katie Tyler, the industry is quite different today than it was when she founded Tyler 2.  In her beginning days, it was predominately male.  Katie Tyler was often one of the only, if not the only, women in the room.  Even then, she saw this as a positive thing: “being female was a distinct advantage because when I would go to a bid, people would remember me as the only woman in the room.”  Today however, the face of the industry is changing.  “It is not a novelty anymore and that is a great thing,” she said. 

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however, upfitting requires a different skill set and a keen attention to detail. It poses many challenges that are quite different from being in the field with large equipment “hauling dirt,” said Katie.  In addition to some shell construction, Tyler 2 focuses on the intricate details of interior work, measuring to a quarter of an inch, or less, to ensure quality standards.

© Sean Busher

Running with the Big Dogs Since the beginning, Tyler 2 has been proud of their ability to “lead the pack” as evidenced by their pioneering start as an interior contractor at a time when this was a unique specialty. Thanks to this trend-setter appeal, they are among the preferred vendors for Bank of America, Wachovia, and Carolinas Healthcare System, as well as other major commercial real estate management and development companies in their area. Specialties To the public, both interior and shell construction are one in the same;

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Their unrelenting dedication to quality and service begins with the preconstruction phase. Tyler 2 recognizes the importance of planning for a major project and has a customized range of services for each client’s needs.  For the Design/Build client, it begins with a site review. Tyler 2 analyzes the space to determine the feasibility of the project.  They develop and adhere to a budget and construction schedule set in conjunction with the Owner and Architect.  In close coordination with these professionals, Tyler 2 leads the client through the documenting and final planning stages of the design build process. For Katie Tyler, their renovation projects are some of her favorite.  “Instead of tearing a building down or completely demolishing a space, we are able to make it better than it was,” she said.  For the older buildings, there is often the challenge bringing the space up to code; a challenge Tyler 2 enjoys. 

Projects A challenging and interesting project for Tyler 2 came from their loyal client, CB Richard Ellis, Bank of America’s construction management partner. Since the completion of this project, CB Richard Ellis and Bank of America have awarded Tyler 2 numerous other opportunities.  The initial project was a unique request: a prototype office environment that Tyler describes as “a cross between Starbucks and the Starship Enterprise.”  Challenged with a limited

Tyler 2 leads the client through the documenting and final planning stages of the design build process. budget and short time-line, Tyler 2 delivered success and brought their own unique implementation concepts to the table. Another recent project involved the renovation of the YWCA of the Central Carolinas.  This facility is one of two facilities in the metro Charlotte area where women in need of help can

seek safety and counseling, while being provided with clean and affordable housing. This project posed a particular challenge because the building had been under-maintained for decades.   After 12 months of floor-by-floor renovations, the YWCA once again provides a place of safety for women in need and will continue to do so for years to come.



is one of the South’s oldest and largest full service glass companies. Founded in 1872 by Samuel Binswanger, the company’s motto is “If you offer quality service at a fair price, the customer will come back again and again.” From auto glass to custom shower doors to storefronts and multi-story curtainwall systems, Binswanger does it all. Locations throughout the Southeast and Southwest. Call 1-800-9514527 for information.

Setting the Tone for Green Business Call it what you will: greenbuilding, eco-friendly, alternative energies, the bottom line is the same. One of the greatest challenges in the construction industry today is how to make their business more “green,”  not only to potentially save money, but also to participate in the international movement to save the environment. To that end, Tyler 2 is playing a role in decreasing the harm today’s booming society places on the environment.  They are currently researching the use of alternate methods of transportation for associates.  The jury is still out on the best alternative, however, Katie is “paying attention and asking questions” about the options.  “Hybrid technology, eco-fuels, biodiesel; we just don’t know what the best alternative is yet,” she said. Tyler 2 has also ordered a Smart Car for running errands.  Saving energy wherever possible can truly make a difference, not only for the environment but also for Tyler 2’s budget.


"We have kept a green design in mind from day one." -Katie Tyler Having LEED certified project managers is also intrinsic to running a “green” construction business. Recognizing this, Tyler 2 is organizing study groups to obtain LEED accreditation for all of their project managers.  Tyler 2 has one LEED accredited associate and they also recognize the importance of working with the project team to provide the documentation necessary to be granted LEED certification for their clients’ construction projects.  With manufacturers now producing materials that make it easier to get green certification for projects, this is more feasible than ever. 

Serving the Carolinas since 1994! We Make It Happen! Industrial Services

Machine automation Motor control centers Power Distribution Power Analysis PLC installation and troubleshooting Plant maintenance Lighting upgrades Emergency generators Industrial Services Machine installation and relocation

Commercial Services

Commercial Services

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Office/Warehouse up fits Retail spaces Restaurants Medical facilities Churches Lighting upgrades UPS and emergency generators Lighting and service maintenance Design build services Signs and parking lot lighting


Tyler 2 is also discussing the process of certifying their own headquarters: “Our office was designed to make the most of natural light and we have kept a green design in mind from day one,” said Katie. Maintaining Among Economic Challenges Tyler 2 is lucky to be a specialist in the renovation business: “when the general construction market is down, renovations are up,” said Katie. To maintain or even grow in today’s economy, it is important to know your core business skills and stay dedicated to them.  Remaining within budget and being aware of “the bottom-line dollar” is also important.  “Don’t be afraid to make quick decisions,” she advises other business owners. Tyler 2 is certainly not immune to the effect of the economy, however.  One example of this that is often over looked is the increased amount of paper work required for each project.  This has only exacerbated the rising costs associated


with individual projects and increased the financial burdens for businesses.   From accounting to tax papers, a contract’s paper work now stretches beyond simply signing the contract.  This not only requires more paper but also requires qualified people who can address the accounting and other aspects of this new challenge.  To help counter this increased use of paper, Tyler 2 has employed document imaging processes, digitizing paper and other necessary documents to save wherever possible.  Another efficient technology that Tyler 2 takes advantage of is teleconferencing to cut down on travel expenses. Full Steam Ahead In the context of today’s economic challenges, Tyler 2 projections are to maintain their current revenue level.  Their ability to earn the loyalty of their clients will certainly continue to serve them well, as will their commitment to maintaining the same level of service, quality, and innovation that has brought them to where they are today: ahead of the pack.

Broeren Russo Companies Stretching the Benefits

Produced by Brandon Roberts & Written by Shelley Seyler


Broeren Russo is the result of two long-time friends joining forces to create a highly-respected construction company with a reputation for excellence in craftsmanship and service. Stuart Broeren began his career as president and CEO of S.W. Broeren, Inc. in 1977. Broeren partnered with John Russo in 1989 to form Pinnacle Consultants. Two years later, the two companies merged and began down their road of success with Broeren Russo Construction, Inc (BRCI). With specialties in fast track construction and design build, Broeren Russo also offers services in general contracting, construction management, equipment rental, carpentry, and finishes. They hold carpenters, laborers, iron workers, cement masons, and painters in house, relying on subcontractors for the rest of their trades. When deciding on which subcontractors to use, Broeren Russo considers two simple factors: if they have the man power to meet their schedule and if they are able to provide service in the capacity that the company requires. With offices in Champaign, Illinois and Boca Raton, Florida their geographical scope extends far beyond these two states and into Tennessee, South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia, Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana, Indiana, Colorado, Oklahoma, Virginia, and West Virginia. Broeren Russo’s innovative spirit has taken advantage of technological improvements, utilizing Primavera, Constructware, and Timberline to streamline project estimating, scheduling, and workflow management. This also assists the company with controlling costs and eliminating waste in daily operations. Clients are assigned a password for a secured Web site and can view photos of their project while also tracking its progress and schedule, all from the comfort of their own home. Broeren Russo is guided by four main principals: ethical values, fiscal responsibility, quality, and teamwork. Together, these pillars have allowed the company to successfully complete projects in the healthcare, commercial, retail, multi-family, institutional, industrial, and food service industries. Bringing the owner’s point of view to each project Broeren Russo prides itself in its ability to “meet and exceed customer and company expectations;

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to anticipate change and respond appropriately; and to use innovative thinking to enhance BRCI’s value for [their] customers,” as their Web site states. It is known as the Illinois Renaissance Project and is revered as one of the most ambitious in University of Illinois’ history. The renovation of University’s Memorial Stadium in Champaign, Illinois, originally built in 1924, is set to lead the Illinois Football into a Big Ten position, leading the nation in this popular college sport. The $130 million project required 24-hour shifts to be completed by the commencement of the season’s first football game. With the goal of improving game experience, Broeren completed the interior renovations that provide each fan with a completely new experience. Some of these include improved viewing ability for fans, wider public concourses, a portal entryway system, new restrooms, improved concessions, permanent additional seating in the north end zone, a state-of-the-art press box, and luxurious hospitality features. The culture of University of Illinois football has been truly revolutionized with this project, providing

"I love this business. It is in my family's blood" -Stuart Broeren luxury seating areas where the community and families can come together. The entirety of the project is a spectacular feat that creates a modern appeal while still preserving the historical significance of the Memorial Stadium. Broeren Russo also completed the I Hotel and Conference Center. Strategically located near campus, it is the perfect place for visitors to the University of Illinois. August 11th of 2008 saw the official opening of the project that includes 124 rooms and two luxury suites, all of which feature granite counters and walkin showers, among other amenities. I Hotel is also impressively green, incorporating many environmentally-friendly features into their design and offerings without taking away from its high level of comfort. Some of these include low consumption plumbing fixtures, recycled

construction materials, regionally manufactured materials, lighting sensors, energy efficient heating and cooling systems, and the use of low volatile organic compound materials. With their niche in healthcare, Broeren Russo has also performed numerous projects for various clients in the sector. Their work for the Provena Covenant Medical Center, also in Urbana, Illinois, constituted 13,000 square feet of stateof-the-art space for their Cancer Center. Broeren Russo was responsible for the coordination of all the trades and installation, excavations, foundations, structural steel, drywall, painting, millwork, and equipment installation. This project also required a 700-cubic-yard concrete pour for the linear accelerator. Included in the long list of healthcare projects is their work for the Christie Clinic in Champaign, Illinois. This

included many construction projects: a stand-alone Cancer facility, Radiology and Cardiac Department, Internal Medicine, and the off-campus Sleep lab. They also renovated and remodeled the MRI Department, the Urgent Care unit, and the Danville, Illinois Clinic. With many people deeming these economic times as the worst since the depression, it is perhaps improbable that any business will escape unscathed, especially those in the construction industry. With their diverse proj-

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ect base, Broeren Russo is lucky to not be directly tied to the mortgage crisis; however, the other flailing aspects of the economy have posed some challenges. “There is a trickle down effect. Some things were on the back burner and they aren’t going to happen now, at least not until the market picks up again,” said Broeren. To help battle this war, Broeren makes it a point to focus on their past clients and complete projects they may have put off in the past.

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Having a genuine passion for one’s career is helpful in any field. “I love this business. It is in my family’s blood,” said Broeren. Broeren brings this enthusiasm with him to work each morning and this, too, has trickled down throughout the company. With a dedication to each employee, Broeren Russo encourages open communication and collaboration in their business. The company also invests in their continued education to keep their staff apprised of the latest trends in the industry.

Broeren Russo has a dedication to their community that influences not only each project but also their encouragement of community service. They make their mark on the markets in which they work both through their construction services and in their ability to extend a helping hand and stay focused on their mission, which their Web site states best: “to embrace a spirit of shared Responsibility within our community for the benefit of all.”

Chicago Heights Construction Company Guided by High Values

Produced by Richard Callahan & Written by Shelley Seyler Recognizing that each individual’s core belief’s are the foundation for how he or she lives, Chicago Heights has resolved to conduct business with a “well-grounded set of principles” to ensure quality for each and every client. In its one hundred years since incorporation, Chicago Heights Construction Company (CHCC) remains guided by its founders, dedicated to seven core values: honesty, integrity, fairness, accountability, sincerity, pursuit of excellence, and reliability. With this foundation, Chicago Heights remains one of the Chicago area’s strongest contracting firms. They never fail to make each decision with these beliefs at the forefront of their mind, still being lead by those who started the company so long ago.

In 1908, Daniel P. Bergin began Chicago Heights. Since then, it has grown from a local building contractor to serving projects worth millions of dollars. In the early to mid 1940s, they also provided a number of custom homes for the Chicago area, increasingly trending toward industrial work. In 1950, the company was handed down to second-generation Bergins and, since the 1970s, has had second- and third-generation Bergins involved in the company’s success. Current president Daniel Bergin, Jr. and his brother Tim, who also works for CHCC, both began their construction careers working in trades, doing surveying, estimating, and blue print reading. Through this work, they gained practical skills in the field that they would later translate to CHCC’s successful trajectory. Today, Chicago Heights holds an impressive amount of trades in-house: laborers, carpenters, cement masons, bricklayers, iron workers, painters, and tapers. They subcontract only structural and excavation.


A Wide Scope It is quite remarkable, the historic events and economic challenges that CHCC has survived. They credit this, in part, to their diverse projects and participation in both the public and private sectors. Since 1910, CHCC’s work has focused mainly on the industrial, commercial, and institutional sectors, serving a wide range of markets and industries such as manufacturing, retail, restaurant, research and development, office, recreation, hospital, and financial institutions. A major part of their work is also in state-funded school code compliance work. “The architect(s) knows us and will seek us out and ask us to bid” on the project, said Daniel. One of CHCC’s largest projects was a 400-door Fedex transfer station in 2000. The $15 million project provided Fedex with a transfer station where they could exchange tractor trailers.

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They have an on-going project with the Argonne National Laboratory, one of the Department of Energy’s latest research centers and the nation’s first national laboratory. Incorporated in 1946, this was originally Daniel’s, and later Daniel Jr’s, account but is now in the hands of Tim Bergin. As a self-sufficient community likened to a college campus, Argonne has tight security, rigid schedules, and even its own zip code.

Their Work in Today’s World

For CHCC, quality control is the most important aspect when selecting vendors.

Commitment to Community CEO Daniel Jr. has a long history as a charter member of Lions Club International. This club supports Lions Club International Foundation which aids the humanitarian division of the United Nations, assisting nonprofit, arts, educational, and humanitarian aid efforts. This commitment exemplifies the greater philosophy of Chicago Heights: to benefit their employees,

communities, and, most importantly, their clients. Involvement with their local communities is another aspect of their business. CHCC as a company dedicates financial assistance, time, and materials to local organizations that need assistance. Some of these projects include the Chicago Heights Leadership Council, Southland Chamber of Commerce, South Suburban Family Shelter, South Suburban Builders Association, and Prairie State College Foundation.

Their scope of projects has helped keep CHCC booming, despite the context of today’s economy. As their Web site states, “large or small, chances are that we’ve helped someone like you with a similar project.” Their experience is certainly appealing and stretches across sectors to give Chicago Heights a wide portfolio. Because CHCC is not tied directly to the housing market, they have been saved from the worst of the housingrelated crisis. This protection does not permeate into all aspects of the market, however. The price of goods has negatively affected CHCC with the cost of oil skyrocketing and bringing the cost of other goods with it, including liquid petroleum and asphalt deliveries of concrete. Controlling their supply chain is perhaps more important than ever.


not something that CHCC wants to risk. There is no telling how many more decades Chicago Heights will continue to improve the

Keeping vendors who can perform and meet schedules while still providing quality work are an intrinsic part of success. For CHCC, quality control is the most important aspect when selecting vendors.

For CHCC, competition is not a challenge: “they probably don’t have the finances we have,” said Bergin. Perhaps their greatest competition comes with the first freeze.

The storm in the financial markets perhaps pales in comparison to the challenges CHCC faces in the midst of bitter Chicago winters. Their staff of 40 to 50 dwindles to 15 when summer comes to a close. This is one challenge that keeps Daniel Bergin awake at night: “the days are so precious in the summer,” he said. The weather in this industry can be a serious detriment to productivity.

Looking Ahead

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A good move for CHCC and a good sign for the country would be an increase in Chicago Heights’ institutional projects and increased sales in the industrial market. CHCC also hopes to increase seasonal and summer workers, seeing safety risks in supplemental labor. With their sparkling safety record, this is

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lives of their clients and communities. One thing is for certain: there will always be room for their projects and generosity in Chicago communities.

Corporate Contractors, Inc

Trend-Setting with Special Services Produced by Brandon Roberts & Written by Shelley Seyler When Ken and Diane Hendricks founded Corporate Contractors, Inc. (CCI) in 1982, they set the tone for an important aspect of their company by one, simple statement: “To find out what’s really going on in your company, talk to the man who sweeps the shop floor.” This is exactly what CCI did. By listening to their associates, CCI has developed special programs and evolved the company as a whole into a service-centered company providing construction solutions in design/ build, construction management, general contracting, renovation/ adaptive design and reuse, property management, demolition, excavation and commercial roofing. Their specialties include design/build and renovations of commercial, industrial and institutional buildings.

greater control over quality, schedule and cost.” “Not For the Faint-of-Heart” Renovation of historical, dilapidated buildings is truly an art and it is one that CCI conquered years ago. CCI’s passion for preserving rather than demolishing is just the beginning. Their abilities include restoring warehouses, hotels, offices, restaurants, hospitals, churches, and factories into rejuvenated and functioning buildings. Their “facelift magic” is well respected and exemplified in their work on ABC

Supply Company National Support Center (NSC) in Beloit, Wisconsin. Prominently located parallel to the Rock River, the concrete structure was left to deteriorate and remained an eyesore for more than 30 years before CCI initially renovated and adapted it for re-use in 1995. Their goal with this project was to convert the 80-yearold heavy manufacturing building into contemporary office space. This 139,000 square foot building took 16 months to renovate and posed special challenges, such as accommodating 30-inch concrete columns that were only 25 feet apart and managing the reality that no two window openings were the same shape, size, or even

President Brad Austin has been with the company since 1990 and has helped expand CCI to a business with 83 associates and annual revenue of $49 million. Headquartered in Beloit, Wisconsin, CCI works throughout the continental United States. They have the resources to self-perform multiple trades including: carpentry, excavation, demolition and roofing. They subcontract trades “based on client preference, workload and resource availability,” explains Austin. “Our self-performing capabilities allow us


square. To accommodate, they creatively encompassed the columns into the office areas and meticulously took individual measurements of each window, ordering dozens of various sizes and shapes. CCI also cut through two levels of 10-inch concrete floors to create a lobby and stairwell. The dynamic transformation of this world-class facility later included the addition of a GreenGrid modular green roof system. This past summer, CCI completed additional renovations to the ABC NSC facility. A vacated warehouse area in the North end of the facility was recently transformed. What was once a vast open space with a 26 inch ceiling, now consists of two floors. The lower level was also updated together providing an additional 55,200 square feet of modern space for offices, workstations, and conference rooms. Designed for sustainability and energy efficiency, CCI applied current technologies and also upgraded the entire

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building’s heating and cooling systems. An innovative, 180-ton thermal energy ice storage system was installed, outdated boilers were replaced and a new, state-of-the-art control system is being utilized to efficiently program the mechanical systems. In recognition of their commitment to incorporating sustainable construction methods, CCI received a prestigious environmental leadership award for energy efficiency from the Wisconsin Green Building Alliance.

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Collaboration and Communication CCI works well with commercial, industrial, institutional, and manufacturing clients, being cognizant of their time constraints, delivering on-time and within budget. Their multi-service abilities provide the sector with a broad range of experience and cost-effective solutions. They place a great deal of importance on consistent client communication and personal attention. Working with clients

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throughout the planning stages of a project not only gives them the flexibility to meet aggressive schedules, but also creates a partnership with the build team that leads to client satisfaction. One manufacturing project included the restoration of the American Construction Metals (ACM) in Beloit, Wisconsin. CCI intelligently transformed this unsightly, underutilized 1940s-era warship engine manufacturing building into a technologically advanced,

370,000 square foot metal roofing production facility. The shop interior was etched with rust, and the murky windows gave testament to the filth inside. After thorough pressure washing and applying more than 16,000 gallons of white paint, the interior was transformed and brightened. Riddled with cracks and pits, crews had to replace portions of the cement floors to support the manufacturing equipment as well as a wireguided racking system. CCI

added ten loading docks to the north side of the building and two at the south end to make the receiving of raw materials and shipping of finished goods more efficient. Along the building’s east side, CCI constructed a two-story office addition that includes an atrium and modern office, training, and break room spaces. Soon after, the dismal olive-colored exterior was covered in white siding and red trim. The building’s energy efficiency was increased

through lighting, mechanical, and insulation modifications. Over 700 dated lights were replaced with 447 new high-efficiency fixtures and motion sensors were added. The heating, ventilation and fire protection systems were restructured and 140 obsolete Modine heaters were replaced with 11 highly efficient directfire heating units. CCI also installed more than 38,000 square feet of Gallina panels on the façade to further boost the building’s efficiency and longevity. For their work on this project, CCI won the “2007 Projects of Distinction

Award” in the “restorationrenovation category” from the Associated Builders and Contractors, Inc. of Wisconsin. Specialties for Associates CCI is steadfastly dedicated to maintaining “engaged associates.” Indeed, this is one of their goals for the future of the company. They believe their associates are their strongest competitive advantage and most valuable assets. One of the unique perks to being an associate is the opportunity to take part in career training and

opportunities available through CCI University and their Learning Library. Each program is created to meet the specific needs of the company and their professionals. “This is not your typical bag of generic seminars, but a customized group of programs that provide immediate tools to use in the associates’ daily work,” says Austin. CCI University was specially designed to do just this: provide their associates with educational opportunities that will better their productivity, career goals, and CCI as a company. This dedication to their associates does not stop there: safety is another cornerstone of their special services. CCI’s Safety and Health Program provides training that is often conducted by guest speakers who are experts in the field. CCI requires that their contractors meet safety, quality and insurance standards and are pre-qualified before they work on site. They emphasize that accidents are preventable and the responsibility of each individual on site. From 2001 to today, CCI has consistently earned awards for their Safety Program from the Associated


Builders and Contractors (ABC) of Wisconsin. They also won the “No Lost Time Accidents Award” in 2003 and the “Safety Award of Merit” in 2002 from ABC. Looking Ahead Staying ahead of the economic crisis has been a challenge for CCI, but thanks to their expertise and practices, has been possible. Brad Austin mentioned they have not been adversely affected by the mortgage crisis but rather the rising cost of goods. With increases of sometimes 60 percent, CCI has locked in contracts to prevent this from affecting each project. CCI’s partnerships with their subcontractors are also a part of their continued success. One of CCI’s current undertakings is for Siemens Power Generation in Ft. Madison, Iowa. CCI initially aligned with Siemens in 2007 to convert a dismal, former semi-trailer manufacturing facility into a dynamic manufacturing plant, their first in the U.S. Less

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than a year later, CCI is now managing their latest facility expansion. “We are honored to partner with Siemens once again and plan to exceed their expectations” Austin remarked. Under a tight schedule and adhering to stringent safety requirements, CCI is constructing an additional 280,000 square feet of office and manufacturing space for increased production of their 148 inch long wind turbine blades. As the renewable energy market continues to grow, this expansion will allow Siemens to meet the increased demand for wind energy. An impressive roofing project CCI completed this summer was the “Going Green Innovative Roof Project” at the recently constructed Beloit College Center for the Sciences. Being a LEED certified green building project, the roofing system also had to contribute to a healthier environment. CCI’s roofing skills and experience were successfully put to the test. Crews first installed a TPO roofing membrane over the entire roof and had to make numerous cut-outs for

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the mechanical systems and components, yet still maintain a leak-proof barrier. Later, CCI installed 6,000 square feet of GreenGrid, a modular roofing system filled with drought-resistant plantings. The superior insulating properties of this system help reduce the need for air conditioning along with the associated energy use and cost. In fact, it also reduces storm water run-off, and lengthens the roof’s life by protecting it from UV radiation, extreme temperature changes, punctures, and other damages. These projects exemplify two of CCI’s goals for the future: continue to build honorable, trustworthy relationships and further emphasize the significance of incorporating sustainable construction methods on all construction projects. Though they have created new roofing, demolition and excavation divisions, steady growth and engaged associates are perhaps their top priorities. With goals like these, CCI is sure to continue to make their mark on the industry and uniquely cater to the needs of their clients and associates.

Ellis Stone Construction Built From the Ground Up

Produced by Richard Callahan & Written by Rebecca Czarnecki An All-American History The history of Ellis Stone Construction is the epitome of the American Dream. Four Swedish immigrants began the company in 1932 during the height of the great depression. Leasing a quarry in Ellis, Wisconsin, they carved from the quarry not just stones but their dreams of a better life. Seventy years later the company is in the capable hands of

structural reinforces concrete, among others. They still rely on subcontracting some trades, however, and the relationships they have with their vendors is something they are proud of. “We have a long history with relationships,” Anderson added. They look for people who can perform to a high standard, like doing “a price cost history sketch on a bar napkin,” Anderson joked. In reality the partnerships are crafted from good communication. The company works diligently to ensure that subcontractors are given a budget as the project develops; the budget moves from something generalized, to line by line itemizations of costs, to a hard write-up of costs. Projects These solid relationships are building blocks to establishing good business and when asked about current projects, Anderson has no problem reeling a list off. One of Ellis Stone’s most recent projects is the construction of the AIG

the Jim Anderson and Erik Carlson, the second and third generation of their determined founders. The company that began by providing stones for churches, schools, and homes is now flourishing as a full construction company. Though they still build churches, they have also branched out into the commercial and healthcare sectors. The company is home to 70 employees and holds an impressive amount of trades in-house: concrete foundations, drywall, steel studs, rough carpentry, finish carpentry, and


world headquarters in Stevens Point. They have been working with the developer and owner for about a year and are excited to fast-track the project. They are at the critical point of being ready to erect the structural steel for the building. In addition, footings and foundations for a total of 130,000 square feet have been completed for three other bid packs. There is also a $5 million medical building in the works, a small bank branch, and a 72-unit, 4 story multi-family rental property that is in the final stages of completion. Overcoming the Challenges Like so many other businesses, the recent rocky economy has had an impact on Ellis Stone Construction. The rising cost of metal is a burden but the company feels fortunate that lumber and drywall prices are stable. Of the economy, Anderson has a Zen-like attitude: “Why should I worry about the things I can do nothing about?” Instead, he says Ellis Stone focuses on what they can control— prioritizing their relationships. Anderson comments “take care of your customers; take care of your people.” This philosophy has led the company through the last seventy years and Anderson doesn’t envision much change. Anderson can’t imagine scaling back saying with a smile that the company is not engaged in any “frivolous activities at this time.” He muses, however, that the company is looking to

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develop design-build services but otherwise he seems happy with Ellis Stone’s trajectory. This optimism is well warranted, seeing that Ellis Stone’s foundation is as solid today as when it was originally crafted from the Wisconsin quarry so many years ago.

Vintage Development Group Proactively Forging Ahead

Produced by Jacob Skeeters & Written by Shelley Seyler Since the beginning, Vintage Development Group has believed that real experience and progressive thinking are fundamental aspects to the success of their business.

Vintage Development Group was originally started in 1980 by brothers Chip and Scott Marous as a small-scale carpenter contracting business. They began their busi-

ness framing walls, installing doors, and setting windows. By 1983, their efforts were recognized and the business was off


Their specialties are mostly rooted in the urban sprawl of the area, especially residential neighborhoods.

and running with projects to develop an old, neglected building in Willoughby, Ohio. Vintage Development Group renovated the building and converted it into their headquarters. This marked the beginning of the Marous’ Brothers work in the downtown Willoughby area. After nearly 30 years, Vintage Development Group is still family owned and is credited with the development and management of several multi-million dollar projects including multi-family units, retail and office space, and new construction and residential subdivisions. Underlying every project is a dedication to the belief that practical experience and working as a team are “the driving force” of their success. Today’s Business With annual revenues of over $40 million and 45 employees, Vintage Development Group hold no trades in house. They mainly focus on the development and management of their projects. Among them are multi-family units, office and retail spaces, as well as new construction and subdivisions, all in the Cleveland and surrounding areas.

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Their specialties are mostly rooted in the urban sprawl of the area, especially residential neighborhoods. They pride themselves particularly on their ability to manage multi-family and mixed-use buildings. This is especially relevant as there is a national trend of residents moving back into urban areas. “Like any big city, we have a lot of land that is not developed in Cleveland; there are, however, a lot of restaurants and entertainment in the warehouse district,� Chip says. Projects For Vintage, their Battery Park development in the Detriot Shoreway neighborhood is currently one of their most exciting projects. With more than 300 residential units that offer sparkling views of Lake Erie, breath-taking sights of Cleveland, and overlooks Edgewater Park, this unique design is a project that has been a dream for years. The development will benefit the new community as well as the surround-

ing area, with plans to renovate the historic Eveready Powerhouse and its landmark smokestack into a restaurant, market, and community meeting place. The Flats East Bank neighborhood project, with its 24-acre site along the banks of the Cuyahoga River and Lake Erie, is one of Vintage Development Group’s largest projects. This mixed-use development project will include approximately 300,000 square feet of retail space such as shops, restaurants, and entertainment venues. It will also offer a luxury LEED-certified boutique and 150-room hotel, 400 residential units available for sale, and 200 available for rent. This project will truly create a new, vibrant, and amenityfilled neighborhood for its residents and visitors. The Economic Times Despite these exciting projects, Vintage has not escaped unscathed from the mortgage and credit melt-

For Vintage, their Battery Park development in the Detriot Shoreway neighborhood is currently one of their most exciting projects.

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down. “When you have a lot of plans and something like this happens, of course it affects us and forces us to change our plans,” said Chip. With signs of foreclosures popping up in the area and 27 closings last year, there is not much that can be done except to look forward. “It will rebound. The question is when and how much. It’s going to take a while. It’s not going to correct itself,” he predicted. To try and abate the rising cost of goods, Vintage has resolved to be more efficient and flexible, controlling their design costs as much as possible. To maintain in the midst of this crisis, they have remained dedicated to their quality service and design, and benefitted from their urban location. Vintage also tends to use the same vendors who understand their method and motto which helps them control their supply chain and cut costs. Working in a competitive industry can by daunting but Chip puts his faith in the public: “buyers are smart and understand quality,” he added. That said, Vintage sees competition in the industry as a benefit for the people and surrounding areas of a project. “I don’t


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mind competitors, I welcome other projects, especially in the urban market, that exist in old neighborhoods and help everyone involved,” he said. Future Expansion In five years, Vintage hopes to expand their reputation as an urban developer, not only in the city of Cleveland but also in urban settings all over the United States. In particular, they have their eyes set on Detroit, Chicago, Pittsburgh, Indianapolis, and Atlanta. Along with this massive growth, Vintage also intends to scale back management of their properties and instead manage third-party properties. They may also begin leasing their own properties. With massive expansion ideally on the horizon, Vintage certainly have their work cut out for them. For a company that has been around for nearly 30 years, it is perhaps their approach to the industry that will ensure this success: “we believe in getting our hands dirty, working as a team and learning from each other,” as their website states. This “proactive approach to life and work” will certainly propel them to the horizons they are aiming for.


Volk Construction Company Vision and Spirit

Produced by Richard Callahan & Written by Shelley Seyler The year: 1967, the place: St. Louis, Missouri; R David Volk Sr. had a vision for the construction industry: to build a company on quality, integrity, and a dedication to client satisfaction. After 20 years of experience in the field, Volk Sr.’s entrepreneurial spirit launched him into the founding of Volk Construction Company. Today, Volk Sr. serves as chairman while his son, David Volk Jr., is president and chief executive officer. Volk Jr. has spend the last 20 years working in the company and is leading Volk into a bright future. For more than three decades, Volk’s philosophy has been guided by this vision and today the company has an annual revenue of $30 million and 50 employees. With carpenters and laborers in house, Volk relies on subcontractors for the rest of their trades. They use the golden rule mentality for their relationships with their subcontractors “treating [them] as you would wish to be treated,” added Volk Jr. Services Volk’s service includes construction management, design build, major renovation, and new construction. Encompassing all of these services is their unique “Volk System” that meets the challenges posed by the often daunting processes of renovation and construction that many clients find difficult to follow. This client sensitive approach is grounded in the idea that an integrated team approach and intensive management are intrinsic to successful completion of any construction project. This has not only proven effective for Volk’s success but also provides honest and open lines of communication between the Volk team, subcontractors, and clients. Each team is comprised of a principal of Volk, a senior project manager or team leader, one or two project managers, and an esti-

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© Luka Rister

mator or project assistant. By covering all their bases with experienced professionals, Volk promises that each project, regardless of size, will be provided with the individual attention it deserves. “It is part of our commitment to quality and service you can depend on,” says their Web site. Projects In the beginning days for Volk Construction, David Sr. garnered relationships with numerous well-known companies in the St. Louis area: Southwestern Bell, the BJC Health System, Boeing, and the St. Louis Children’s Hospital that not only provided for historic projects for Volk and their communities but also continue to bring new projects for Volk today. Their extensive list of clients ranges from Barnes Jewish Hospital to Imo’s Pizza and Holiday Inn. Underlying many of Volk’s projects is a dedication to the development and redevelopment of the City of St. Louis in both the private

One of Volk’s largest projects was for Southwestern Bell’s 1010 Pine Renovation of 500,000 square feet of their office headquarters and telephone equipment building dating back to 1927. and public sectors. With today’s ever-advancing technology it is often a necessity that buildings be not only restored but completely renovated or even demolished. One of Volk’s largest projects was for Southwestern Bell’s 1010 Pine Renovation of 500,000 square feet of their office headquarters and telephone equipment building dating back to 1927. As the general contractor, Volk worked with the owner and architect creating a team that led to tremendous results. Each phase was done on time and within budget with a mere two percent in change orders. After $30 million of construction and virtually no disruption of service, the scope of the project is even more impressive: five demolition packages, six interior renovation packages, one HVAC modification package, one Elevator Upgrade package, and one Exterior tuck-pointing package were all included in this renovation. The designs were done during the demolition phases so that hidden conditions were minimized. When design drawings were completed, Volk Construction distributed bid packages to subcontractors and material suppliers that resulted in 80 to 85 percent of the project being competitively bid. As if this is not enough, Volk also won the 1995 CNR Readers Choice Award for Commercial Rehab for the completion of this renovation. Volk has facilitated the first LEED certified projects in the City of St. Louis, one for the “Human Genome Sequencing Data Center,” a $1.5 million, 15,000 square foot project


that will be a center for mapping the human genome. They are also planning for a LEED certified project on the Washington University Medical School Campus. Awards Their success is perhaps best measured by their extensive list of awards. They have received the American Institute of Architects Award for craftsmanship; the Construction News and Real Estate Reader’s Choice Award for Commercial Rehab, and the Associated General Contractors Award for Safety. Volk is also a proud five-time winner of the American Subcontractors Association’s “General Contractor of

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the Year Award,” most recently in 2007. This highly competitive award is based on many factors such as ethical bidding practices, fairness, jobsite supervision, scheduling, and safety issues. For five consecutive years, Volk has been honored with this award, a testament to their all-around quality of service.

In the changing construction industry, Volk plans to stay with current trends, increasing their involvement in LEED projects. Recognizing the importance of technology, they also hope to utilize Building Information Modeling in 3-D and stay aware of other technologies as they develop.

Staying Ahead

Is there a plan for expansion in the future? “Expand the list of clients! Expand the list of large jobs!” exclaimed Volk Jr. while also “scaling back the small jobs!” No doubt their experience, optimism, and visionary nature will lead them ahead into the future with their goals of expansion within their grasp.

Volk has remained relatively insulated from the mortgage crisis and have been most adversely affected by the high energy costs and the ever-increasing price of steel. Combating this challenge to the end, Volk remains steadfastly dedicated to the pillars of their founder’s vision: golden rule, quality, integrity, and customer service.

Fall Edition 2008

Behr Building Company, Inc. Spirited Building

Produced by Richard Callahan & Written by Shelley Seyler The word “team” resounds throughout the Behr Building Company, serving the community, producing successful projects, and bringing team spirit to their soft ball team, “Bad News Behrs.” Behr Building Company, Inc. was founded in 1975 by CEO Chris Behr with the objective

of setting a standard for the industry and completing projects with the utmost quality at an affordable price and in a timely manner.

company for those in the La Canada, California area. It is today jointly owned by Linda and Chris Behr, Kurt Knechtel, John Mills, and Jeff Baker.

Since its early days, Behr Building has grown to an annual revenue of $13 million with 42 employees performing carpentry, sheet metal, framing, and dry wall in-house. Their wide variety of projects and years of experience truly make Behr Building a go-to

Since 1996, Behr has been considered one of the top-500 remodelers in the country thanks to the national magazine The Qualified Remodeler. This fact is even more impressive in the greater context of the industry: there are 7,000,000 contractors in the United States. With 3,000 projects behind them and a combined 90 years of experience among the four-member corporate team alone, Behr Company truly has the expertise and unique ability to deliver for each and every client.


Behr Company, as a member of the U.S. Green Building Council, is constantly trying to improve their projects and the industry by improving their efficiency in green building. A Wide Reach Behr Company has expertise in a variety of areas and can deliver on a wide range of projects. Their homes range in size from 1,500 to 10,000 square feet; their projects, equally diverse, can be valued as low as $500.00 or as high as $10 million. These services stretch across many sectors and into unique areas of the construction industry, including: construction of new residences; major remodels or remodels of individual rooms;

kitchen and bathroom remodeling; specialty-related projects such as decks, parking lots, and swimming pools; flooding and fire damage reconstruction; real estate development and construction management; tenant improvements; expert witnessing and consulting on construction issues for homeowners, law firms, and insurance companies; and completion of default projects where a breach of contract has occurred or where the prior contractors have been terminated. After attempting to absorb this extensive list, it is equally impressive to learn about specific projects Behr Company has been involved in. In the works now, Behr is teaming up with a national magazine that deals with green construction. Behr bought the land and will build the project with the magazine providing the products. They recently completed a $4 million remodeling project of a private home in La Canada. This Tudor-style home value climbed from $8 million to an impressive $14 million after Behr’s work.

Community Spotlight Behr Company, as a member of the U.S. Green Building Council, is constantly trying to improve their projects and the industry by improving their efficiency in green building. Though the State of California requires that 50 percent of construction and demolition materials be recycled, Behr has committed to recycling 75 percent of their debris. Perhaps more impressive, is their ability to recycle 90 percent of their mixed inert materials such as concrete, asphalt, rocks, and dirt. Chris and Linda have brought this devotion to the environment into their own home with most of their electricity being provided by solar and wind power. Their high standards for recycling are not their only community involvement, however. Behr Company funded an Eagle Scout Project in La Canada Valley that renovated the Roger Barkley Community Center Office. The scouts, with the help of their parents, cleaned and painted the interior of the build-

ing, installed storage cabinets, a wall board, and a mail slot in the center. Most impressive, is the number of community groups they are involved with. Writing the complete list would perhaps bore the reader. Nevertheless, here are just a few: Abused Child Network, Avon Breast Cancer, Boy Scouts of America, Children’s Institute International, Fiesta Days Run, Pasadena Pops Orchestra, Veterans of Foreign Wars, World Wildlife Foundation, and the Young Mens Christian Association; and the list marches on. Fighting the Good Fight Behr has, perhaps inevitably, felt the effects of the crisis in financial markets that are now resounding around the globe. The mortgage clampdown affected their sales, with business falling about 30 percent. Though the rising cost of gas has also caused increased financial burdens, the price of goods has, surprisingly, helped counter this: “less demand due to the slow down has caused some goods to hold steady or even go down,” commented Chris Behr. “We have a resilient demographic here. People are very communicative, working harder when times are tough and negotiating with more energy,” added Behr. This resilience is also reflected in Behr Company with their ability to find techniques that have allowed them to maintain or even grow in today’s economy. Behr advertises in specific markets that remain a lucrative part of their niche. They also network with charitable causes, finding work that needs to be done and serving the community at the same time. Their history in the La Canada Valley has also assisted them during this economic downturn, allowing Behr to rely on their pre-established relationships with clients, vendors, suppliers, and subcontractors. In an atmosphere of quality, affordability, and timeliness, Behr is certain to come out of this crisis fighting. Looking ahead, Behr Company plans to stay with residential and new homes contracting, maintaining their business with fewer than 50 employees. Perhaps a good mark of a company’s quality is how long their employees stay with them. For Behr, this average is 15 years. Behr also plans to expand their work with green technology.


Hassen Development Corporation: Holding Onto Their Vision

Produced by Jennifer Mallis & Written by Shelley Seyler Led by a Visionary Born in 1946 in Aleppo, Syria, Ziad Alhassen had a dream: to immigrate to the United States in search of higher education and opportunities that his own country could not provide for him. In 1968, this aspiration came true when he moved to California and attended California State Polytechnic University in Pomona. He obtained a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering in 1972 and quickly began work with Standard Precision, a ball bearing slide and rubber seal producer for the automotive industry. He progressed up the ladder to undertake management responsibilities and eventually left to begin his own business. A mere ten years after emigrating from Syria, Alhassen began Hassen Development Company with his two brothers, Tarek and Tarif. “From day one we had a vision to do first-class development, to bring Beverly Hills quality east of LA,” said Alhassen. Today, the company has an annual revenue of $15 million and 50 employees, many of whom have been with the company for 20 to 25 years. “We operate like a family,” Alhassen commented. Under Alhassen’s leadership as president, the company began developing, building, and managing commercial office buildings, neighborhood shopping centers, multi- and single-family residences, and auto dealerships. The conglomeration of these first projects alone brought hundreds of acres, thousands of square feet, and hundreds of millions of dollars in Covina and West Covina, California and to the Hassen portfolio. As a partner with West Covina Redevelopment Agency, Hassen has pumped new money into communities through investment in local business. This directly assists the beneficiary while also filtering through to other parts of the community, increasing property values and sales tax which in turn boost the entire economy of the area. It is precisely this kind of ripple effect and innovative thinking that Hassen development has pioneered in their industry.

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Setting the Standard The Alhassen vision is still a tenet that the company reveres to ensure their continued success. Hassen Development is credited with some impressive “firsts” for the communities in which they work: they were the first to introduce subterranean parking, which preserved the land by using only an acre and a half for a project that originally required seven acres. They were also the first to construct million-dollar custom homes in their particular market. Their projects are diverse, however, and do not stop with parking lots. They have completed various kinds of real estate development, partnering with quasi-development agencies to make the projects more economically viable for both the public and the businesses involved. Hassen has also converted car dealerships into mixed-use projects and worked on medical offices, multifamily residences, and shopping projects. Because of this level of expertise the local government has continuously renewed their contract with Hassen, promising more projects for the years ahead. Alhassen’s business sense extends into another sector: auto dealerships. He owns and operates five separate dealerships which have four and a half acres underground, another “first” for the local community.

When Tragedy Strikes August 2003 posed perhaps one of the greatest challenges for the Alhassen Hummer dealership: an eco-terrorism attack inflicted $2.2 million in damages after a torch and vandalism spree. “We rebuilt,” Alhassen said simply. The old saying, “whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger,” certainly applies to Hassen. With a tragedy like this behind him, Alhassen is prepared to lead his company into the future, despite the rollercoaster economy and the affects it may have on business. Fighting With Years of Strength Hassen Development has already seen three housing slumps during their tenure in the industry and feels prepared to weather the ominous storm in today’s economy. By truly understanding the needs of each client, Hassen

is able to deliver above expectations. The company also has certain criteria that help keep them ahead of their competitors, even in today’s economic context: “I believe customer service is key. We have to treat them well; everyone, from the customer to the tenant to the employees,” added Alhassen. Hassen is waiting on the economy to come full circle, planning to maintain their current revenue until this happens. Underlying their dedication to service and businesssavvy practices is the intrinsic aspect on which Hassen was founded: Alhassen’s vision for high class living at an affordable price. The company continues to let this be their guide, never wavering from their resolve to better the market in which they work. Partnered with their survivor spirit, they are sure the come out of this current market crisis fighting and stronger than they were before.

JL Viele

Success Slopeside Produced by Matthew Tropea & Written by Rebecca Czarnecki Nestled in the Rocky Mountains, along the s-curves of I-70, is a skier’s paradise—the glittering resort town of Vail, Colorado. Helping to craft the face of the area that is loved by thousands is the wellestablished JL Viele Construction. Jim Viele, drawn to Colorado by a

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passion for skiing and the out-doors, began the company in 1978. Jim has been in the area for 40 years and his company for 30 so it’s safe to say that he and the company are considered ‘locals.’ The company began by securing a line of credit from a local construction

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company and operated with a budget that fluctuated between $5 and $15 million. In 1990, Jim Viele bought out his partner and ran the company until his son, Dave Viele, took over in 2002. The exuberant 32-year-old loves being a part of the family business and today the

company brings in $25 to $35 million annually in construction and $45 million in development. Some of their most prominent projects, to name a few, include the Gerald R. Ford Amphitheatre, Vilar Pavilion, the Country Club of the Rockies Club House, and Bishop Park Condominiums.

“Our management staff is very familiar with the specific and often peculiar demands of mountain construction.” - Dave Viele Dave credits the company’s success to a couple of key elements—and it’s not the white stuff that keeps the out-oftowners coming back year after year. One is the strong relationships they have built. Dave states, “We believe relationships are the key to success in construction

services. Our mission has always been to maintain successful relationships with each team member involved in the construction of a project.” Part of maintaining this strong relationship is to hold each of their partners and their own company to high stan-

dards. JL Viele has a qualification and rating system in place for their subcontractors. The criteria includes things like safety, attitude, quality of work, and the ability to complete jobs on schedule. Subcontractors are rated on a scale from 1-5 and Dave maintains that the system creates the

accountability needed to maximize performance. Dave says in return, JL Viele makes certain that they are fair and upfront with their subs so that everyone knows what is expected. JL Viele is also well respected in the community. Their long-term

status means that they have cultivated strong ties with local consultants, building officials, and architects. Most of their staff belongs to Vail so they pride themselves on being a part of an “honest, ethical, quality-oriented general contractor.” This integrity extends to how JL Viele views its competitors. Dave sits on the development planning commission and says, “It’s great to see things being done, I respect the work that is being produced.” Good relationships are vital but long, cold winters

mean short building seasons so the company has evolved to be a model of efficiency. JL Viele’s schedule involves fasttracking projects before the first snows start to cap the peaks and droves of winter sports enthusiasts flood the mountain. “Our management staff is very familiar with the specific and often peculiar demands of mountain construction.” While Dave jokes that his biggest concern is about how much powder the mountain is going to get, and as an avid skier that is a top issue, there are

industry troubles. In the face of the flailing economy he worries about the saturation of talent in the Vail Valley versus the number of jobs available. The impact of the mortgage clampdown is slowly working its way up the valley. A significant amount of speculative building has gone on in Vail and according to Dave the farther you are from the “beach” the more you feel the effect of the market flux. The company also feels the pinch brought about by the rising cost of goods. Dave remarks upon the

cyclical nature of how these issues infiltrate every level of the industry: “Inflation works in a cycle and the credit crisis makes everyone worried.” However, as an experienced business person he adds, “Businesses that have a good balance and good fundamentals have planned for this and they are prepared for this part of the cycle.” At the end of the day, Dave proffers these words of wisdom: “Work very hard. Have good people and manage your money from the start. It is really important to have strong leadership with a good grasp of market dynamics.” It is clear that JL Viele possesses all of these qualities. Whether you are popping the buckles on your ski boots and heading into the Mid Vail Restaurant for a cup of coffee between runs, attending a wedding at the Beaver Creek Chapel, or falling into a soft bed at the Hotel Gasthof Gramshammer remember JL Viele—the company responsible for making your amazing getaway a bit more remarkable.

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Prime Electric

Lighting New Mexico Produced by Hanim Samara & Written by Shelley Seyler Attention sports fans: New Mexico’s “Sports Lighting Specialist” is here. Prime Electric (PE), founded in 1998, is located in Albuquerque, New Mexico and is, among other things, the electrical contractor of choice for the state’s Cooperative Educational Services. President and one of three founders, Dale Phagan, has helped lead Prime Electric to have a revenue of $12 million and 50 employees. They offer electrical, construction, maintenance, electrical testing, and preventative maintenance in-house and rely on subcontractors for voice data and other special systems. Prime Electric is proof that good can come from misfortune: the three founders worked together for Hughes Electric and were without jobs when the company closed. Together, they took over the operations that remained from Hughes and formed Prime Electric. Who They Benefit PE’s list of services stretches across many spectrums including Design/ build, commercial, UPS Systems, high voltage terminations, fiber optics, custom residential, government contracts, solar-photovaltaic systems, and prime contracts, among others.

They are currently finishing work on a 600-bed prison in Clayton, New Mexico and have also recently worked on a church in Santa Fe. Their history with Hughes Electric has also helped PE land projects in addition to the ones they garner on their own. When with Hughes Electric, Phagan worked on the state capital building in Santa Fe. It is thanks to this connection that PE is currently completing improvements for the building. Perhaps best known for their work on multi-use sports facilities, PE has completed well over 25 fields throughout the state and makes a unique promise to all of their clients.

PE was honored with New Mexico’s Best of 2001 “Outstanding Private Building Project” award for their work on the Sandia Casino and Resort. With a capacity for more than 8,500 visitors and 3,400 vehicles, the casino is truly a work of art. Their “Constant 25” Warranty and Maintenance Program guarantees users constant light levels and group lamp replacements at the end of rated lamp life, along with reduced energy consumption, monitoring, maintenance, remote on/off control


services, and system structural integrity. “In essence, the ‘Constant 25’ allows for 25 year of unprecedented, troublefree and maintenancefree operations,” boasts their Web site.

Award-Winning PE was honored with New Mexico’s Best of 2001 “Outstanding Private Building Project” award for their work on the Sandia Casino and Resort. With a

capacity for more than 8,500 visitors and 3,400 vehicles, the casino is truly a work of art. The 210,000 square feet include a 3,650-seat outdoor amphitheater, separate dining and gaming areas, and 68,000 gallons of water in 23 different fountains. The $80 million project is not only the largest Native American casino in the state, but is also one of the largest non-public projects in Albuquerque. In that vain, the casino was made with many natural materials such as pealed pine timbers and stacked sandstone that was quarried in New Mexico. In Good Shape Thanks to their flexibility and dedication to green building and energy efficiency, the future is still shining for PE. They are pursuing their LEED certification and hoping to become more involved in the alternative energy market. Recognizing the importance of these trends will only solidify PE’s abil-

We are in pretty good shape and have been able to expand and maintain as needed" -Dale Phagan ity to grow their business even in today’s turbulent economic context. “We are in pretty good shape and have been able to expand and maintain as needed,” added Phagan. This is certain to remain the case, promising light to keep New Mexico’s sports stadiums lit and their landscape sparkling.

Stanford Carr Development Simply “Lani”

Produced by Jacob Skeeters & Written by Shelley Seyler An Inspiring Moment If you have seen the movie “Forgetting Sarah Marshall,” it is impossible to forget the breathtaking scenes that will leave you yearning to get on a plane to Hawaii. The luxurious resort featured in the movie is none other than Stanford Carr’s Turtle Bay Resort. Carr currently serves there as Interim Management Officer, providing asset management and readying the property for development.

This is only one of many services Stanford Carr offers on the Hawaiian islands of Maui, Oahu, and The Big Island. Their wide breadth is an impressive break from where Stanford Carr began: as a “me, myself, and I” company. As the sole founder with no previous track record or reputation, Stanford Carr has built his success on an obvious hole in Hawaiian neighborhoods. With a long-established interest in architecture and design, a seemingly routine visit to California sparked a desire in


Some of Stanford Carr’s projects are named to depict their strong appeal, being called Maunalani and Kulalani, “lani” meaning “heavenly” in Hawaiian. Stanford Carr to bring the beauty of the architecture to his home state of Hawaii. Before the development of Stanford Carr, Hawaiian land was controlled by the “big five” plantation companies: Amfac, Castle and Cook, Alexander and Baldwin, C. Brewer and Company, and

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Theo Davies. Since the 1800s, these companies played an important role in the history of Hawaii, employing immigrants from around the world on their farms and controlling the land until private enterprises were able to attain acreage of their own for development.

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The early days for Stanford Carr were met with some good timing: the state was lacking affordable housing and acquired 600 acres for development, 160 of which went to Stanford Carr. With a taste for what Hawaii needed, Stanford planned and developed two villages that he built

with a refreshing vision for what residential architecture could be in Hawaii. Taking into consideration the culture, climate, and lifestyle of Hawaiians, Stanford used this opportunity to design communities that would transform the architecture across Hawaii.

Today, the company has 30 employees and an annual revenue of between $100 to $180 million relying on subcontractors for their trades. Stanford Carr works solely in Hawaii, sticking to the areas they know. They are a diversified company in their scope but remain dedicated to “their own backyard,� confident they can serve this area best, said Stanford. Their Wide-Reaching Hand Though their niche remains in the residential sector, they work across

all avenues of construction including commercial, industrial, entry-level for sale residential homes, single and multi-unit family homes, luxury resorts, and light industrial office. An example of a signature Stanford Carr development: The Colony at the Peninsula on the island of Oahu, a luxury condominium development at the Hawaii Kai Peninsula. Granite counter tops, nine-foot ceilings, lanais, and air conditioning are just the beginning. A combination of Hawaiian and Mediterranean influ-


Stanford has an optimistic philosophy of the current crisis: “it separates the best from the mediocre.”

ences are brought together in the interior courtyards, offering a place of serenity for their residents. The Colony “is truly a renaissance in condominium living.”

that will provide 80 units for families with children. With rent increasing by 200 to 250 percent in the last five years, this is a much-needed project for the community.

Among their community service projects is a transitional homeless shelter

The island of Maui is also benefitting from a new Stanford Carr project that

will offer 2,400 homes and 20 acres of neighborhood commercial land. With 1,005 units complete, the project is nearly half done and has recently sold its first unit. In typical Hawaiian fashion, Stanford Carr did not open the units for show until a blessing had been performed to get the “good spirits in,” insuring the success of the development. Some of Stanford Carr’s projects are named to depict their strong appeal, being called Maunalani and Kulalani, “lani” meaning “heavenly” in Hawaiian. This 1,500-unit residential community is still in the planning stages and will take 15 years to complete on The Big Island. “I will be an old man by then,” Stanford joked.

“Hawaiian Dredging Construction Company is Hawaii’s oldest and largest full-service general contractor. Founded in 1902, the company has built many of Hawaii’s most significant projects and has expertise across a wide range of project types including housing, resort hotels, highrise condominiums,



shopping centers, transportation, waterfront, and industrial. We always appreciate working closely with Stanford Carr and his quality team on their outstanding developments.”

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It’s Better for the Consumer Stanford is the first to admit it: they have caught the flu. They are not immune from the economic crisis but they have benefitted from some unique aspects of the Hawaiian housing market. Unlike much of the mainland, Hawaii “didn’t get ahead of themselves,” remarked Stanford. “We don’t have excess inventory. We have one of the lowest foreclosure rates in the country and one of the lowest unemployment rates in the country at 4.2 percent, about 2 percent lower than the national average.” Be that as it may, the very nature of the state poses a problem: as an island they import everything. This has, naturally, been a challenge as they watched the cost of oil rise for months on end. “Freight costs are more expensive than the product itself. We are very cognizant of space planning and how we use materials,” added Stanford.

"It's the best place in the world. I wouldn't live anywhere else!" - Stanford Carr

Stanford has an optimistic philosophy of the current crisis: “it separates the best from the mediocre.” Perhaps more importantly, though, he believes industry-wide crises can be good for the consumer. Twenty years ago, when the market was strong, “businesses could put up anything and it sold. The bright side today is that it forces developers to be more creative and do a better job,” Stanford said. Strive to Be Better Looking ahead, Stanford Carr plans to become involved with LEED though they have practiced green concepts for years. They have used double-insulated

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green windows since 1992 and also insulate their homes to help reduce energy use. Hawaii has a benefit from the north western trade winds that can bring a cross ventilation to homes that are positioned correctly, another feature Stanford Carr takes advantage of to decrease energy costs. “It’s the best place in the world. I wouldn’t live anywhere else!” exclaimed Stanford. This genuine and home-grown love for Hawaii is translated into the designs and projects that Stanford Carr offers the islands. Their goal for the future: to keep getting better.

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Staton Companies

Wrecking Their Way Through Today’s Tough Economy Produced by Suzanne Mason & Written by Shelley Seyler

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A Success is Born Shopping malls, schools, steel and concrete bridges, highrise hotels, chimneys, water towers: leave it to Staton Companies to make demolishing this wide range of buildings look easy. Gripped by unemployment and a desire to start a new demolition business, the newly married Leonard and Jeanne Staton capitalized on his skill with equipment and connection to a general contractor to attain their first demolition project in Eugene, Oregon in 1971. From this point on, the Statons worked to grow what would eventually become one of the most reputable demolition companies in the North West, stretching from Oregon into Washington, California, Utah, and Idaho. With an annual revenue of $10 million and a staff of 38, Staton now provides demolition for steel, wood, and concrete structures, as well as hazard removal services.

Jeanne, currently the president of Staton, is the first to admit that their business was born, in part, out of luck: “It goes back to timing. Eugene was undergoing urban renewal when we were trying to start the business. The stars and planets just aligned.” Having been with the company since the beginning, Jeanne sees it as both a challenge and an asset to be a woman in an industry that is predominately male. As the first female president of Associated General Contractors, Oregon Columbia Chapter, Jeanne has certainly made her mark on the demolition business, especially in the Eugene area. “I have wrecked half of Eugene,” she joked, referring to the amount of work she was able to be involved with during the urban renewal in Eugene. Projects That Set a High Standard Though their specialty is with concrete bridges, the recent boom in the demolition of old paper mills have helped Staton fight the downward-spiraling market that is posing challenges for all businesses. The timing was perfect for Staton: when the price of steel went up, so did their number of their steel projects, the paper mills being the majority of these projects. For a company that is paid to recycle steel, this was truly serendipitous. Their demolition of an International Paper mill site was one of the first of these projects. Staton took a risk that the price of the metals would pay for the price of the demolition. Another part of this project was the implosion of the King Dome structure, the 12-story power plant of the building. Staton hired Controlled Demolition Incorporated to do the implosion. In a mere eight seconds, the building was a thing of the past. This project helped put Staton “into a different realm,” said Jeanne. One of the more challenging projects for Staton was a recent bridge demolition that was completed over a nine-hour night shift. Unlike typical bridge jobs, this one was very dramatic: working in a very confined space, Staton workers demolished the bridge in nine hours and then immediately watched a brand new bridge slide into place. After this Friday night job, traffic was moving smoothly by Monday morning rush hour. Typical bridge demolitions are done in stages and can


ABATEMENT SERVICES take two or three years to complete. Staton certainly put a new time-frame on this precedent. Environment as a Priority Staton made a dedication long ago to think green. They do everything they can to prevent bringing their waste to landfills, even taking on extra expenses to separate concrete from other metals and ensure they will be recycled. Remarkably, they are able to recycle 99 percent of the concrete and steel from their demolitions. During their work with the International Paper mill, Staton went the extra mile to bring attention to the development of wave energy that is being researched at Oregon State University. The day before the demolition, they invited local businesses and politicians to the site to promote economic development and wave energy research and use in the area. Though this has not yet come to fruition, private businesses are interested in the project and wave energy remains a hope for the future.

times. In 2003, the State of Oregon passed a $2.4 billion bond to finance repairs in the state, mainly targeting bridges. Staton knows they are not immune, however, and the company is concerned that government-funded transportation may come to a halt and put more financial burdens on businesses. Despite today’s often challenging market, Staton is in a unique situation, benefitting rather than hurting from the increased price of steel. There is no doubt Staton will continue to make an impact on the demolition industry.

Their Economic Future Staton has a comfortable backlog of work that allows them to stay calm during these volatile economic

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Asbestos - Mold - Lead Paint

Expert Removal • Reliable • Efficient • Safe


“TOP 10�




– ENR Magazine



COMPLEX SERVICES Developers considering the cleanup and re-use of brownfields need to engage a contractor skilled at the complex tasks needed to complete the project competently. Lead abatement. The most common lead abatement method is chemical stripping. Other methods include using mechanical stripper, forms of pressurized blasting, and electromagnetic radiation systems. Asbestos abatement. Work may begin with a detailed look at building records. Abatement methods use anything from traditional hand scraping to the latest in 40,000 psi water-jetting. Industrial cleaning and vacuuming. Cleaning and vacuuming services are frequently combined with abatement of asbestos or heavy metals or mechanical/HVAC hygiene services. Mold remediation. Extensive mold growth may be present in buildings which are abandoned and therefore damp. Services to remove mold range from mechanical and chemical disinfection, wet-wiping of surfaces, as well as HEPA vacuuming. Soil and groundwater remediation. Many brownfield projects involve cleanup of contaminated soil, water, and vegetation which may result from, over-filling of petroleum storage tanks or accidental spills of storage tanks. Structural decommissioning and demolition. Preparing structures for alternate uses can involve: decontamination, dismantlement, abatement and waste handling and disposal. Demolition is sometimes the only solution. Storage tank management. As prime sources of hazardous materials releases, damaged and leaking tanks can cause fires, health hazards, explosions, and can contaminate soil and groundwater.


Synergy Construction, Inc.

Blending the Keys to Their Success Produced by Brandon Roberts & Written by Shelley Seyler

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Built on a foundation of “Quality with Integrity” and the synergy of many important ingredients, Synergy Construction Inc. serves the states of Washington and Oregon, specializing in retirement housing and special needs centers. Synergy is defined as “the combined effect of two or more forces working together to create a product that is greater than can be achieved separately.” For Synergy Construction this conglomeration includes many intrinsic keys to their success: management, quality, timeliness, communication, and, most importantly, a shared trust by all. Founded in 1990 by Pamela and Larry Stewart, Synergy was formed to fill a gap in the construction industry that the couple was able to capitalize on. Larry’s career in the construction industry met with Pamela’s experience in retail banking and as head of the technical services department in a large bank; together, these skills promised success for their new business. For nearly 20 years, the two have worked side-by-side and their leadership has grown the company to have an annual revenue of $45 million and 115 employees. In house they have the resources to perform many of the work items in the projects they do. They can perform concrete, rough carpentry, steel erection, finish carpentry, hardware, door, and window installation, relying on subcontractors for the rest of their trades. Their Services They take pride in their dependable staff and strive to ensure that the entire construction process is enjoyable for all involved, taking each client through the sometimes stressful stages of creating something new or renovating something old. Starting with the pre-construction phases, Synergy assists with permitting and architect consulting, allowing a smooth start to the project. Synergy’s subcontractors and engineers assist with design build in an area such as electrical, mechanical, and plumbing, among others. When it comes to costs, Synergy has a long history in cost estimation and can through pre-construction services, plug any holes in the budget after initial estimating. Synergy then employs their value engineering services that can reduce costs and make projects happen

that might not have otherwise. Throughout the entire construction phase, Synergy works with each client to ensure that the end product will bring satisfaction for years to come. With a focus on non-profit clients and a specialty in retirement centers and special needs housing, Synergy does not stop there. Their work extends into new commercial construction, residential remodeling, historical renovations, and multi-family residential development, “and everything in between.”

Synergy offers their services into many diverse arenas, adding to their portfolio as well as their impact on the community. Community-Centered Projects Perhaps what best exemplifies Synergy’s resolve to better their communities is their work with the Housing Development Consortium (HDC), a Seattle-based nonprofit trade association with members from nonprofit housing developers. Together, the members of this group have constructed nearly 10,000 units of affordable housing for those who would not otherwise be able to afford housing. As an Associate Member, Synergy Construction provides core services for this group, employing their expertise in construction to benefit the community. Synergy has completed farm worker housing from Mount Vernon to Centralia as well as in Eastern Washington. Given the intended client-base for this project, Synergy knew they had to take cultural differences into consideration when planning and building this development. Synergy offers their services in many diverse arenas, adding to their portfolio as well as their impact in the community. The soothing sounds of birds and waterfalls, a warm, sandy shoreline, all in the center of a subtly-lit forest; this is the home of the jaguar at the Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle. The $4.3 million project quadrupled the size of the previous


Picture of Pam and Larry Stewart, the owners of Synergy, and their dog Lexie. Lexie is our office mascot and comes to work with them every day.

jaguar exhibit and transports zoo-goers to their natural habitat: the tropical rain forests of Central and South America. As the general contractor on this project, Synergy was presented with a unique challenge to provide a space for the jaguars that live up to the zoo’s dedication to preserve the natural habitat of the jaguar. They created the complex exhibit which also includes a 2.5-acre Tropical Rain Forest and fallen trees that are natives of the jaguar’s natural habitat. The tree stumps and vines were all created with concrete by highly skilled artistic craftsmen and, as part of the zoo’s Long Range Plan, the project won international praise for its revolutionary landscape exhibits. Conquering the Challenges The recent mortgage crisis has slowed down some projects but has currently had no adverse affects on the company. Synergy’s management of their supply chain and their focus on quality, cost control, and schedule has helped them maintain in the current economy. Just as Pamela saw opportunities in the special needs housing industry, she also views healthy competition as a good thing.

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In the next five years, Synergy plans to stay dedicated to their service of the nonprofit sector as well as expanding their commercial markets. For a company built on such strong ideals, they are certain to grow in the years ahead.

TBI Construction and Construction Management, Inc Resolved to Quality Service Produced by Jacob Skeeters & Written by Shelley Seyler Their Roots Toeniskoetter & Breeding Construction, Inc. (now TBI Construction and Construction Management, Inc.), was founded by Chuck Toeniskoetter and Dan Breeding in 1983, and in the 25 years since has completed close to one billion dollars in commercial, industrial, retail and institutional construction projects in the San Francisco

Bay Area and Santa Cruz County, with their primary geographical focus in the Silicon Valley and surrounding communities. Dan Breeding is still with the company and serves as Executive Vice President, Chief Operating Officer and Vice Chairman of the Board. His tenure with TBI has allowed him to plan and supervise over $15 million of interior and renovation construction projects, and to develop and manage over 600,000 square feet of interior space. Today, celebrating their 25th Anniversary, TBI has an annual revenue/volume that ranges from $40 to $60 million and they have close to 60 full-time employees. In house, they hold carpenters and laborers and subcontract the rest of their trades. Current Owner, President and CEO, Tony Mirenda, joined TBI in 1987 and brought with him an expertise in historic renovations, seismic retrofitting, and construction management in the public sectors. In his time at TBI, he has overseen countless construction and renovation projects in the Santa Clara Valley. Diversification TBI brings teamwork and a negotiated/bid approach to the construction industry. TBI has a sister company, Toeniskoetter & Breeding, Inc. Development, which specializes in real estate investment and partnerships, development of commercial and industrial properties, and property management. Between the two firms, they offer a full-service, turn-key approach to development and new construction. “From finding a piece of dirt,


Working in unique and diverse markets, TBI has even catered to high-end leases and apartments having completed several highend residential suites at Santana Row in San Jose. to developing, to designing, to building, and to property managing, we can do it all for our clients”, says Mirenda. “Our mantra has always been ‘Client Service is our business, and construction is our best by-product.’” TBI Construction & Construction Management, Inc. has worked for a wide range of clients such as non-profits, corporate headquarters, churches, banks, private and public schools, medical buildings, and retail, among others. They are especially known for their renovation and restoration work on historic buildings as well as their high-end tenant improvements throughout Silicon Valley. TBI broadened their scope with their preservation of St Joseph’s Cathedral and Basilica, as the centerpiece for the Catholic community in San Jose. This was an accomplishment that touched many lives and was, for TBI, a true “labor of love,” as their Web site states. The present St. Joseph’s building was originally constructed in 1877 and desperately needed structural repair and strengthening. TBI also renovated and restored the interior of the church along with another adjacent 1909 historic building that serves as offices, a hall, and priest residences for the Parish. When the total project was complete, they had transformed St. Joseph’s into one of the most impressive worship spaces in the state. This is no small feat considering California’s ranking as the third-largest state in the country. TBI is also there when disaster strikes: they salvaged the 1866 Old Santa Clara County Courthouse after the 1989 Loma Prieta Earthquake, nearly resulted in its razing. Like the Cathedral, the building is also on the National Registry for Historic Places. Six years, 5,000,000 pounds of concrete, and 240,000 pounds of steel later, the project

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was completed ahead of schedule and under budget. To the community, the courthouse holds historic significance and TBI was recognized for their work on returning this landmark to the county. For this project, they received the “San Jose Interior Restoration of the Year” award in 1994 and the “Governor’s Award,” among others.

“Congratulations! TBI Construction on your many years of success. It’s been a great partnership.”


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Having built or remodeled numerous schools, both private and public, over the past 20 years, TBI was also able to serve as construction manager for the innovative Don Callejon School in Santa Clara, CA. This kindergarten through eighth grade building is designed around a central courtyard with an outdoor theater, grassy knolls, and “historic walkways” that display important moments in history. The courtyard also includes a “geography court” with a map of the world, geology walls

that depict the earth’s layers, animal footprints, monuments showing conversions from metric to English measurements, and an outdoor, covered lunch area. Some Concerns Working in unique and diverse markets, TBI has even catered to high-end leases and apartments having completed several high-end residential suites at Santana Row in San Jose. But they have stayed away form the single family home market.

© Craig Jewel

Because of this, they have stayed mainly insulated from the mortgage crisis. This does not mean they have not seen its effects, however. “In general, we see lending institutions that are more and more conservative and that can lead to delays in the start of some of our projects,� says Mirenda. TBI has also stayed dedicated to sensible practices such as concentrating on a geographic work area no further than 90 minutes from their headquarters, allowing them to concentrate on the quality of their

Š Nihan Aydin

"It wasn't just a trip to fix homes; it was also a trip helping to fix lives" -Dan Breeding workforce and subcontractor/vendor base while also becoming involved in many Community organizations and committees.

businesses, the industry as a whole might start to lose sight of some of the ethical challenges they face.

Managing their supply chain is also a key to their success. “We consider our subcontractors and vendors as our clients nearly as much as we consider the owners with whom we contract,” added Mirenda. “They have to know and live up to our expectations and provide the same high level of quality and service that we demand of ourselves. To that extent, we spend a lot of time and effort in qualifying those subcontractors and vendors before they are allowed to participate on our projects.”

The cost of labor and particularly materials is something that TBI constantly tracks and is also one of their greatest challenges because of global impact on construction resources. Due to the financial crisis and a lack of consumer confidence, TBI has to jump through more hurdles to move some projects forward. There is a general sense that the economy is suffering and that is enough to make any business uneasy.

In the industry as a whole, Mirenda is concerned with business ethics being compromised by a larger work force. For a company that reveres customer and community service, it is worrying that with increased numbers of

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Despite the distressing economic predictions and conversations, TBI is keeping their sights set straight ahead, with plans for future success. Community Involvement Community work and dedication has been a cornerstone of TBI’s company since its inception. One

Us Developers Journal

Fall Edition 2008

of the strongest similarities between the founders and today’s staff is their resolve to stay involved in their communities. TBI recently donated money and manpower to help build a new art loft for the Children’s Discovery Museum in San Jose. Mirenda has also individ-

ually been involved with a variety of committees and professional organizations such as Little League Baseball, CYO Basketball, Boy Scouts of America, San Jose Silicon Valley Chamber of Commerce, San Jose Convention and Visitors Bureau, USGBC, American Society of Civil Engineers, and Construction Employers Association, among many others. One of the more rewarding recent community endeavors taken on by Mirenda and his firm

© Marcelo Terraza

included a trip to Pascagoula, Mississippi back in September 2007 for the purpose of Katrina relief. During this trip, TBI, in conjunction with and under the leadership of one of their great clients Dave Henderson, put together a coordinated workforce of family, employees and volunteers and went back for a six day period working on 15 different homes with the goal of getting at least some of these families back into their homes that were ravished by hurricane Katrina some two and a half years previous. “I was absolutely taken back when over 1/3 of my company volunteered to be part of our team. This was an incredible journey for those that were involved and those that benefitted from the fruits of our

hard work. It wasn’t just a trip to fix homes; it was also a trip helping to fix lives. We have made many life-long friends and can’t even begin to describe the emotions we all shared together. It was a very special trip, and we hope to do it again soon.” The founders set a high standard for those that are now at TBI. In fact, Dan and Sheila Breeding received The San Jose Silicon Valley Chamber of Commerce’s “Leadership Excellence Community Award” and are this year’s recipient’s of the prestigious “Distinguished Citizens of the Year” award. The Breedings alone have participated in more than twenty different service organizations and serve as board members of thirteen of these organizations.

For the Future This generosity and dedication to helping local communities is a value that reverberates throughout the company. TBI will certainly remain active in their communities, both as a company and on an individual basis. Just as important, their ability to provide quality service for their clients comes even before volume of projects. They hope to continue their diversification of projects as well, as long as they do not sacrifice their dedication to their customers. Whatever the future holds both economically and otherwise, there is no doubt that a company founded on an allegiance to customer service and improvement of community will continue to thrive.


US Pacific Development

Renovating and Designing Across Hawaii Produced by Richard Callahan & Written by Shelley Seyler and Suzanne Mason Picture it: private 7’ by 7’ whirlpool spas, rooftop gardens, private lanais, built-in outdoor kitchens, and a skydeck with a pool, cabana grill, and a bar. These amenities are just the beginning for US Pacific Development’s new Vanguard Loft project in the center

of Honolulu. With 32 units, 23 different floor plans, ranging between 835 and 2,274 square feet of living space, these loft condominiums are truly a dream come true. This new residential creation is due to the company’s forward thinking which has also put them among the best in their industry.

"We always work to make things better through design." - Chris Deuchar

US Pacific was started in 2004 by Bill and Chris Deuchar, Chris being the current president. Bill has over 30 years of experience in construction and development business in Hawaii while Chris had worked in the retail development business in Phoenix, Arizona. The company focuses on mixed use and multi-family development in both the residential and resort sectors of Hawaii specializing on urban-infill, in Honolulu. Projects US Pacific is a trend-setter. This is exactly what they have done with The Vanguard Lofts in central Honolulu. The company is renovating and expanding the old National Cash Register (NCR) office building into a modern mixed-use urban loft development. Original

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Thank You for making


May God Bless Bill Deuchar


US Pacific Development


Architect Vladimir Ossipoff, who is revered for bringing an international style of architecture to Hawaii, has also left his mark on the Lofts. Though his influence began 1932, his legacy lives on with the Vanguard Lofts as he was responsible for the expansion of the original Von Hamm-Young building (later purchased by NCR) that is now a centerpiece of this project. With 32 residential lofts and 3,470 square feet of commercial retail space, this is the first such renovation in Honolulu’s history. The Vanguard Lofts will also include a new six-story building that will connect to the original NCR building. Symbolizing Hawaii’s progressive living and respect for the history of the building, The Vanguard Lofts will also provide their residents spacious living with ceiling heights between nine and 16 feet. The Lofts are perfect for entertaining with their private urban outdoor retreat areas, resident bar, and pool cabanas. Scheduled to be complete in May 2009, The Lofts are certain to set a model for a new kind of living in Honolulu: blending the new with the Historic. “We always work to make things better through design, both in terms of quality of product and details of the architecture,” says Chris. In addition to The Vanguard Lofts, US Pacific is also working on several other developments. The first is a 95-unit project called Skyline Honolulu on the slopes of

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the Punchbowl, which will be similar to The Vanguard Lofts. The four-story mid-rise building sits on a 1.62acre property and will feature a pool, recreation room, a community roof-top deck, and underground parking. Punchbowl, also called Pu’owaina Crater, was known as the ‘Hill of Sacrifice’ to the ancient Hawaiians. It is also the location of the National Memorial Cemetery of the

"Whether times are good or bad you've got to manage your projects and your team members day to day" -Chris Deuchar Pacific, which was created in 1949 as memorial for veterans that lost their lives in the Pearl Harbor attack in 1941. A resort sector project that US Pacific is working on is The Royal Palms at Poipu Beach. The 22-acre property includes 164 for sale units in six buildings, recreation building and two swimming pools. This

Resort Condominium Development is in the Poipu Beach Resort area on the southern shore of the Island of Kaua’i, also known as The Garden Isle. It is conveniently located across from the Poipu Shopping Village with shops and restaurants, and adjacent to the Robert Trent Jones Jr. designed Kiahuna Championship Golf Course. The resort condominium building will “embrace resort-style living” a

Resort-style pool with water slides and sandy beach, a recreation area with a gym, a game room, and an outdoor dining and bar area are just some of the community amenities this new development will provide. A recent renovation project for US Pacific is The Windsor in Waikiki, Honolulu. This project converted the 612-room Hobron Waikiki Hotel into a 180-unit condominium development. The total building renovation stripped the hotel to its skeleton to provide for the new amenities and offerings of The Windsor. The hotel operated during the planning and permitting stages but was closed in January 2003 and reopened with the completed renovations in February of


2004. Total sales for this project were approximately $80 million dollars. Economics and Looking Ahead For US Pacific, their niche market in Hawaii has helped insulate them from the economic crisis. They are also very scrupulous about managing their supply chain and maintaining their relationships with their subcontractors: “whether times are good or bad you’ve got to manage your projects and team members day to

day” added Deuchar. As a leader in their market of multifamily and mixed use development in Hawaii, US Pacific is still looking to expand. In the next five years, US Pacific Development hopes to begin projects in California and Arizona. Their goal is to continue creating unique and interesting projects, while strengthening their niche in the state of Hawaii. “We’re in a good spot right now, and don’t want to grow too fast,” says Chris.

Western Construction Services, Inc. Construction giant fuels business one espresso at a time Produced by Jacob Skeeters & Written by Shelley Seyler Western Construction’s success can be measured by simply glancing at the impact they have had on the American West: their list of well-known clients, their broad geographical scope, and their dedication to working “On Time, Your Way” say it all. Founded in 1980 by Bob Edwards who today sits on the board of directors and is involved in some management, Western Construction Services, Inc. is now led by Bob’s son, Ron Edwards, the current president. Western has grown to approximately 50 employees and an annual revenue of $40 million with an influence that stretches into 12 states: California, Arizona, Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, Utah, Nevada, New Mexico, and Alaska. Their relationship with Starbucks has even taken their projects internationally. Getting their start as a general contractor, Western now focuses on construction management for commercial retail office space. Their sister company, Western Design Group, completes their renovation projects and is under the same ownership as Western Construction. Together, their services comprise of pre design analysis, permits, and zoning and extend into architecture design, and interior design planning. Their commitment to detail and experience in the industry allow them to complete any size project, on time and within budget. Clients You Know Perhaps some of these names ring a bell: Wild Oats, Boston Sox, Borders, Starbucks, Marriott Hotel, and AT&T; these are just a handful of Western’s well-known clients. Delivering “On Time, Your Way” is the motto that has propelled Western into a position of leadership in their industry.

“Construction is about delivering. Especially in restaurants and retail construction, delivering on time is paramount,” said Ron Edwards. Western is also meticulous in their dedication to deliver each detail a client requires, understanding their overall goals for the project as well as the intricate finetuning that make each building unique and personal. Western attains 50 percent of their projects by invitation and 50 percent by hard bid. “We don’t go with the lowest bid. We go with the lowest competent bid. It has to be realistic and not have things left out,” said Edwards. Impressively, 75 percent of their projects are repeat customers while 50 percent of their projects are completed open book allowing owners to control costs. “Owners don’t want to go through a learning curve each time they do a new project. My father recognized [in the 1980s] that repeat business is good for everyone,” Edwards commented. This approach is inherent to Western’s success and is proven by their relationships with Starbucks and Fred Meyer since 1989. Projects Hotel Murano’s lobby greets each guest with a world-class art collection and does not stop there. Every corner is touched by the hotel’s dedication to modern art, specifically glass artists from around the world. The hotel offers countless amenities such as a 24-hour fitness and business centers, and guest rooms that feature the various glass artists. This gift to the nation is located in downtown Tacoma, Washington and is one of five boutique


Provenance Hotels in the country and the first glassthemed hotel in the United States. Western renovated what was a Sheraton Hotel into the luxurious offering it is today. The meeting room, lobby, ballroom, restroom and all of the guest rooms were all a part of this project. This one-year endeavor required open remodeling, schedule milestones, high quality and construction detailing. Provenance Hotels had turned to Western once before for the renovation of their Mallery Hotel in Portland, Oregon, to create Hotel deLuxe, a boutique hotel themed around movies. Western has also worked with Wild Oats, constructing a 53,000 square foot building centered on a five-acre site. Creative building design, high-quality finishing, and energy-efficient systems provide the latest solutions for quality retail space. Western certainly left their unique fingerprint in various ways: entry

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Western has received various awards for their projects. Among them the AIA Craftsmanship Medal and a BIA award for Excellence in Construction.

features to increase store visibility, structural block wall features of interesting patterns and colors, and custom exterior light fixtures and lamp posts to increase and excite night-time shoppers. Other special building features include energy efficient HVAC, refrigeration, and heat reclaim systems that go beyond Washington’s state energy codes. The west-facing storefront is protected by low-e glazing that reduces heat gain from the sun while still allowing natural light to filter into the store. In typical Western-style, this project was completed on time despite navigating through design and tenant criteria changes. Western has received various awards for their projects. Among them the AIA Craftsmanship Medal and a BIA award for Excellence in Construction. They also share recognition with Hotel Murano and Provenance Hotel for quality and design implementation for their renovation with these clients. Facing the Challenges There is no corner of the country that is not feeling the current


economic crisis; with projects in 12 states, Western has certainly felt effects from the downturn. Perhaps the biggest sign of this: their long-term client Starbucks went from building 20 new stores a year in their market to building only a handful. Western continues to monitor their overhead and prepare for when the economy bounces back. Their goal is simple: “we are going to be the best at what we do,” said Edwards. (if you could combine this sentence with the one below- I couldn’t make it work on my computer)“Right now, when competition gets tougher, you have to set yourself apart. Price fair, be honest, deliver great quality, and be a steward of the

owner’s money,” added Edwards. With this as their foundation, Western trusts that they will “get a piece of the pie.”

"We are going to be the best at what we do." -Bob Edwards

It is precisely this dedication to quality and detail that will be sure to serve Western continued success and growth into the future.


Wolcott Architecture Interiors Renovating Their Way to Success

Produced by Matthew Tropea & Written by Shelley Seyler

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Colliers International - A commercial real estate firm for which WAI remodeled 32,000 s.f. over two floors of its downtown Los Angeles Headquarters.

The high percentage of referral and repeat business also testifies to WAI’s commitment to excellence and dedication to staying involved from project inception to completion. client is looking for,” said Wilder. This customer-centered service is an intrinsic part of the company’s success. Wolcott Architecture Interiors (WAI) mission is to perfect each client’s vision for functional and innovative design with a dedication to core values and addressing the aspects of social, financial, and environmental responsibility.

With design and 3-D services in-house, WAI relies on subcontractors for estimating and construction

services. The company focuses 70 percent of its efforts on interiors and 30 percent on architecture; servicing a range of clients such as corporate offices for motion picture studios, advertising and public relations agencies, law offices, and financial institutions. WAI’s hundreds

This “triple bottom-line” approach has served the company well since its founding in 1976, resulting in 32 million square feet of creative, highperformance work environments. Founded by John Wolcott, the firm’s managing principal, A.J. Wilder, is leading the 50+-person company with annual revenues of approximately $8 million. Wilder grew up in the industry with a father who was a contractor - a background he still holds close and that he uses to help guide his decisions. “I am a nuts-and-bolts guy. We don’t miss a deadline and we don’t go over budget. We rely on our experience, know-how, and expertise for each design. We alter and adjust to achieve the concept each

VW/Audi - 25,000-s.f. renovation and expansion of the Volkswagen/Audi Design Center of California in Santa Monica.


of projects exemplify its wide range of skills and speak to the company’s ability to fulfill client needs. The high percentage of referral and repeat business also testifies to WAI’s commitment to excellence and dedication to staying involved from project inception to completion. WAI’s impressive list of services includes: architecture/planning , programming /building evaluation, space planning /conceptual design, design development, sustainable design (LEED), construction documentation, bidding/ negotiations and award, construction administration/observation, and post-construction. Projects Among the company’s many clients is the International Cinematographers Guild. Commissioned by the guild to design the project, WAI designed an innovative building for its client that inspired others to renovate surrounding buildings, bringing new architectural interest to the area. The 14,000square-foot project transformed a radio station structure with no design

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profile into a bold architectural statement with exterior lighting providing dramatic appeal, day or night. Using new materials, textures and colors, the building truly energizes the space for the guild as well as the passerby. When the British Government needed a new space in Los Angeles, they turned to WAI. The consulate acquired 29,000 square feet of space within a west LA high rise and was looking for a comprehensive design that could accommodate the unique requirements specified for the space. The design incorporated the need for employees to have direct sight of exterior windows and also provided highlevel security through the use of modern protective glass and armoring to the public facing areas. For a different client, the prestigious Colliers International, WAI was engaged to remodel 32,000 square feet over two floors of the firm’s downtown Los Angeles headquarters. The new design, which realized the firm’s corporate cultural and business objectives, involved an impressive lobby with spectacular views of downtown Los

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Land Development Surveying & Mapping Construction Management Project Management Water & Wastewater Natural Resources GIS Transportation

Balancing the Natural and Built Environment

w w w. p s o m a s . c o m California | Colorado | Arizona | Utah | Nevada | Mexico BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT


WAI stays abreast of the trends. With its history of client satisfaction, WAI will certainly hold its own through any new market changes that may occur. Angeles, warm and vibrant staff gathering areas, and traditional private offices within an open-space concept. WAI’s signature is felt throughout the newly energized office— from the dramatic stair and transparent confer-

ence room, to the details and the warm tones used throughout the office. WAI delivered exactly what the firm needed: a distinctive and contemporary showplace that embodies the bold attitude of the client.

Working in Today’s Economy The cost of goods and services has put some of WAI’s projects on hold. “The economy is hard for everyone,” Wilder conceded. In this context, WAI

finds it even more vital that the company maintain strong relationships with its subcontractors. “It is a marriage of the minds that depends on a healthy mutual respect, communication and reliability. You only have your word,” said Wilder. Reputation is also something that WAI relies on for the company’s success and a criterion it also considers when deciding on subcontractors. “Reputation is huge. We want to work with forward thinkers and the entrepreneurs in the industry,” Wilder added. While the economy may still dictate how much the company can grow in the next five years, with its expertise and quality services, WAI’s sights are still set on expansion throughout the West Coast. Responding to public demand, WAI staff is also in the process of earning LEED accreditation to enhance its ability to complete more green projects.

International Cinematographers Guild - A 15,000-s.f. building in Hollywood for the movie industry labor union, for which WAI performed a full interior renovation and complete update of the exterior.

WAI stays abreast of the trends. With its history of client satisfaction, WAI will certainly hold its own through any new market changes that may occur.


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Fall Edition 2008

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US Executive Journal  

US Executive Journal has a readership profile is comprised of business leaders (CEOs, Partners, Investors) who have demonstrated long term s...

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