Shell McElroy Construction Co., LLC

Shell McElroyShell McElroy Construction’s founders are forging their own path in the Atlanta commercial construction market.
By Jim Harris

Jeff Shell and Billy McElroy have long been on the same page when it comes to the way they look at the construction industry. The two, who first became acquainted while working at a Top 100 Atlanta-area contractor in the 1990s, stayed in touch for several years after Shell left the company in 2007.

A few years ago, Shell was working in a management capacity with another general contractor, while McElroy had risen to the rank of general superintendent at the company where the two once worked together. Each felt it was time for a change in his career.

“We were both in situations where we felt we wanted to focus on the principles on which we were raised  within the industry,” Shell says. “Both of our current employers were good companies, but we wanted to do something on our own. With the country coming out of the recession, the time seemed right.”

After a few months of discussion about forming their own company, Shell and McElroy in March 2014 left their respective employers and waited a few months before incorporating their own firm, Shell McElroy Construction Co. Shell serves as president of the company, while McElroy is the senior vice president.

“Our tagline is ‘Building A New Legacy,’” Shell adds. “We want to stay true to the values of integrity and honesty on which we were raised n the business, and take those principles forward into the next generation of the construction industry.”

Building On Experience

Since forming the company, Shell and McElroy and their senior management have applied their experience – which includes building 26 million square feet of commercial space valued at $3.5 billion in several major markets – to projects in the Atlanta region. Shell McElroy is active in the commercial, student housing, multifamily residential and hospitality markets.

“I think the biggest difference between Shell McElroy and our competitors is the fact that our leadership and senior management has the large project capabilities within a small company atmosphere,” Shell says. “Billy and I are intimately involved in every aspect of our projects.” shell mcelroy box

Many of the projects the company works on are owned or managed by developers with whom its principals have long-established relationships. “Our marketing plan was to pursue old relationships and introduce ourselves as Shell McElroy to old friends,” Shell says. “[McElroy] has been around for 30 years, and I’ve been in the business for more than 20 years. We are not new names in the marketplace, just a new company.”

The company takes a similar approach to hiring subcontractors and vendors. “Many of our subcontractors, vendors and downstream customers are people we’re worked with for 20 to 30 years,” he adds. “We’ve had tremendous support from our subcontractors in particular, which speaks to the relationships we’ve established and how we’ve worked with them in the past.”

Surrounded by History

Shell McElroy’s past relationships with clients and subcontractors led the company to two of its largest recent projects.

The company in July completed 200 Edgewood, a $25 million private student-housing complex on the Georgia State University campus in downtown Atlanta. Shell and McElroy had previously worked with the project’s owners as well as with Caliber Living, the property management firm representing the ownership group. Construction on the project began in May 2015. The project was the first contract awarded to Shell McElroy, Shell notes.

The seven-story, 204,115-square-foot building includes a two-level concrete parking structure that also serves as the building’s podium. The top five levels, which house 144 one- and two-bedroom apartments, are built utilizing a heavy-gauge steel frame. The building’s exterior features a combination of brick and stucco, with curtainwall and glazing used on portions of the structure.

The first floor of the building will include retail space. Building amenities include a clubhouse and fitness center. The complex is also located near a stop along the newly constructed Atlanta Streetcar line.

Located within the city’s Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site, 200 Edgewood features portions of a former Haverty’s Furniture location. Portions of other historic buildings, including the former Butler Street YMCA, are located on the same block.

Branching Out

The company’s connections with Greenstone Properties, a developer whose principals Shell and McElroy had worked with on previous projects, led it to work on a large office project in Atlanta’s Cumberland area.

Work commenced in May on Encore Center, a 526,236-square-foot office project. Shell McElroy is building the core and shell of the 14-story building, which will be occupied by industrial distributor HD Supply. The $41 million building – which is projected to be LEED certified – will be completed at the end of 2017.

With these and other projects already under its belt, Shell McElroy hopes to expand its services beyond its home market within the next few years. “When we started, we said we wanted to establish ourselves in Atlanta first before expanding our geographic region,” Shell says. “Now, we’re pursuing opportunities in bordering states.”

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