It’s one big vacant lot — 42 acres — that’s been sitting empty for five years, ever since apartment buildings there were torn down and the recession prevented anything from being built in their place.
But “the time is now right to develop it,” says Jerry Jackson, vice president of development at Dallas-based Provident Realty Advisors. His firm owns the north Dallas property, along with Missouri-based Kroenke Group.
And there’s a lot that’s going to go on it: 75,000 square feet of retail space, 60,000 square feet of office space, three 7-story residential towers housing more than 500 units, and a 900-spot parking garage.
It’s been a long wait, and the end date is a long way away, but suddenly Provident, the developer and general contractor, has a tight timeframe. “We got hit with the usual permitting delays at the beginning, but we’re back on schedule,” Jackson says.
With the way the economy climbs and dips, keeping any business afloat is difficult. Even when things are looking up, the unexpected can happen. Last year, despite predictions that “Mexico’s Moment” was finally going to arrive, the country failed to meet analysts’ expectations as the economy recorded its worst year of GDP growth – only 1.2 percent – since the 2009 recession. A hurting construction industry was partly to blame. However, Grupo Perse founder Gabriel Pérez Gómez Dávila remains confident in the future of his company and the future of the country. He has reason to be – Grupo Perse has grown to become five times the size it was a few years ago.
As the umbrella company for four strong businesses, Grupo Perse provides services that span several components of the construction industry. The original business of the group, Constructora Perse, has what might be the most humble beginning in the history of construction. In 1991, when Pérez Gómez found his first client, he was hired to build a house. He couldn’t believe his luck. He had never built an entire house and here was his chance. However, when he met with the client, he found out some surprising news about his new job – the house was for a dog. Nevertheless, he finished the project, which turned out to be a sophisticated 7-by-10-foot brick-and-cement dog house, complete with a drainage system.
Kaspar Fetzer arrived in the United States from Germany in the early 20th century, and in 1909 he started a small woodworking shop with some of his friends. Although his experience was primarily as a draftsman, Fetzer wound up taking over the entire operation when his partners left the business. Over time, the company became known throughout Salt Lake City and the Southwest for its high-quality work, and Fetzer’s great-grandson, Erik, continues that tradition as CEO of Fetzer Architectural Woodwork.
In the 105 years since the company was founded, Fetzer Architectural Woodwork has become a trusted name and one of the nation’s largest millworkers. The company’s projects include The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints Conference Center in Salt Lake City, the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Las Vegas and Radio Shack’s corporate headquarters in Fort Worth, Texas. Its sister company, Fetzer Retail Solutions, builds retail fixtures for customers around the world, including in Chile, China and throughout Europe. According to Erik Fetzer, the company has made its name by going above and beyond what is typically expected of a millwork shop.
“We’re really good at the complex and the not necessarily run-of-the-mill-type stuff,” he says. Thanks to the company’s in-house capabilities, wealth of in-house experience and focus on large projects, Fetzer Architectural Woodwork has the strength and momentum to carry its founder’s legacy well into the next century.
As the fifth-busiest airport in the United States, Denver International Airport (DIA) is continually looking at ways to provide the best passenger experience possible. It is enhancing its offerings with its new hotel and transit center project, Program Director Stu Williams says.
Located in Denver near the Rocky Mountains, DIA originally opened in 1995, replacing Stapleton International Airport, which the city had relied on since the 1930s. “It was the first real airport in Denver,” Williams recalls.
When the city chose to build DIA, it invested $4.9 billion, gaining its financing from a combination of airport bonds, federal aviation grants and funds generated by Stapleton. DIA covers 53 square miles and served 53 million passengers in 2012.
“Next year, we’ll celebrate our 20th anniversary,” Williams says, adding that the airport’s location in the center of the continent contributes to its success. “We [can offer] four-hour flights [or less] to anywhere in the United States, Mexico and Canada.”
Boston Valley Terra Cotta has grown into a specialized architectural terra cotta manufacturer in the country. Its diverse terra cotta lines include architectural terra cotta, roof tile and TerraClad rain screen systems. The company employs a team of artisans, architects and engineers that is focused on craftsmanship, quality, innovation and service in historical restoration and new construction.
The company has been based at its manufacturing facility just south of Buffalo, N.Y., since its founding in 1889. It has provided ceramic materials to the construction industry ever since. Boston Valley Terra Cotta was originally a brick manufacturer and later became a clay pot manufacturer.
It has been working in the architectural terra cotta restoration market since 1983, when it made a name for itself working on the restoration of Louis Sullivan’s Guaranty Building in Buffalo. Ever since, Boston Valley Terra Cotta has expanded and upgraded its manufacturing lines and collaborated on research and design initiatives with artists, scientists and architects.
Working in the job order contracting world for more than four decades, Alpha Building Corp. remains committed to its core market serving educational institutions even as it expands to serve hospitals and other medical facilities.
“We have been in the industry over 40 years and maintain strong relationships with our partners,” President Kathleen Acock says. “We are a well-known name in the community and deliver projects on schedule.”
Alpha Building Corp. takes on small jobs valued at $5,000 to over $1 million in institutional settings such as colleges, school districts, military bases and hospitals, as well as other work. Examples of its work have included converting offices into laboratories, building tennis courts or reconfiguring parking areas.
Since it works on smaller projects, the firm has a broad portfolio with dozens of construction delivery orders in various stages of work planning, construction or post-construction pipeline underway at any given time. Over the course of a year, it completes more than 1,000 projects. Since 1998, Alpha has completed more than $600 million worth of delivery orders.
A good deal of Alpha’s success stems from the dynamics of contracting. Many of its competitors shy away from small projects. They prefer the “clean” of new construction, not the “messy” of remodeling and repairs, Acock says. Managing a lot of projects can be prohibitive for some companies, but Alpha Building Corp. has been doing it for so long it has the process down pat, she says.
The last three years have been extremely busy for A&D Supply Co. Co-owner and President George Hughes III. Under his watch, the company has transitioned leadership from one generation to another, consolidated functions into a central headquarters and closed two offices, all while maintaining the personal service for which A&D has been known for nearly 40 years.
“We needed to step up our sales effort and become more organized,” says Hughes, who took over the company in January 2013 following the formal retirement of his father, George Hughes Jr. “The recession caused us to really clean up our act and get better at what we do. We have sophisticated competition, so we need to be sophisticated, as well.”
In fact, changing and enhancing the function of the door is the most basic function of door gasketing, Wexler explained in a recent interview. “That’s the essence of what we do,” he says. “Doors by themselves primarily fill the space of their openings, but effectively sealing perimeter gaps is what it takes to enable those doors to perform their intended function, whatever that might be – such as blocking air, weather or light. Other specialized seals are needed for labeling doors for blocking fire and smoke – or to achieve STC ratings that will deliver specified levels of sound control.”