T.B. Penick & Sons Inc.

After more than 100 years, T.B. Penick & Sons Inc. has stayed strong by consistently performing “good, honest hard work,” Executive Vice President Greg Lee says. He notes that this has allowed the company to earn a great name for itself and create ongoing success.

Based in San Diego, the construction firm specializes in an array of services, including preconstruction, structural engineering, general construction, design/build, LEED/sustainable construction, renovations, historical restorations and seismic upgrades. Lee explains that the Penick family founded the firm in 1905.

One of the company’s first projects was excavation work at the Palomar Observatory in San Diego County. “It was back in the horse-drawn wagon days when the excavation was done with mules,” Lee says, adding that T.B. Penick now has a staff of 400 and additional offices in Las Vegas and Grove City, Ohio. “We’re also doing work in New York.”

The Penick family is still involved with the firm. Marc Penick is CEO, as is his brother, President Tim Penick. According to Lee, the family involvement enables T.B. Penick to stay consistent in its work.

When a client hires T.B. Penick, “You know what you’re going to get,” Lee asserts, adding that the company has nurtured a repeat business rate of 80 percent. T.B. Penick’s repeat clients include the U.S. military, which accounts for the largest portion of its work.

“We also do a substantial amount of civil and commercial work,” Lee says, adding that the company’s portfolio also includes religious facilities. “We’re pretty diversified as far as the building work we go after.”

For the Marines

T.B. Penick’s current military projects include the construction of four bachelor-enlisted quarters (BEQs) at Camp Pendleton, Calif. The U.S. Marine Corps awarded two contracts to T.B. Penick and its joint venture partner, Turner Construction Co., for the BEQs this past August.

“The most recent contract is a $109 million design/build project that includes accommodations for more than 1,500 marines as well as multipurpose community areas and laundry facilities,” T.B. Penick says, noting that these BEQs are scheduled for completion in August 2011. 

The second contract, which carries a value of $104 million, is for the remaining two BEQs, which will house 1,384 marines. “Work on the project is expected to be completed by June 2011,” the company states.

Lee adds that T.B. Penick is currently in the design stage for an $18 million facility project for the U.S. Marine Corps Naval Station in Yuma, Ariz. “It’s a facility that the marines [will] use for instructional [purposes],” he says, noting that the building will feature classrooms, administrative space, a library and a classified material control center.

On the Boardwalk

T.B. Penick also is at work on a reconstruction project at Coney Island in New York City, through its sister company, Triton Structural Concrete. The $13.7 million project involves the reconstruction of portions of the boardwalk for the New York City Parks and Recreation Department.

“Officially known as the Riegelmann Boardwalk, the structure has been repaired and/or reconstructed numerous times since it was originally built in 1923, and is an iconic symbol of New York City and its famous playground, Coney Island,” T.B. Penick says. The boardwalk’s current timbers will be replaced with pre-cast concrete slabs, custom exposed aggregate and hardwood wood decking. Lee notes that the company also will add new street lighting to the boardwalk, which will be finished in 2011. “It’s interesting work,” he says. 

Staying Strong

Lee joined T.B. Penick in 1988. He notes that he has enjoyed the friendships he has formed with people in the company, including Tim Penick. “He and I are the ones that interact the most,” Lee says, adding that he also is proud of the company’s staff.

“We have some fantastic folks working for us,” he says, highlighting the company’s design managers, project managers, field supervisors and estimators. “They work tirelessly and do an expert job.”

He adds that T.B. Penick has coped well with the current economy, thanks to its extensive work for the U.S. military. “There’s also some stimulus money that’s flowing through the military projects,” he says.

Looking ahead, Lee predicts that T.B. Penick will continue to grow while other competitors will not survive. “It’s going to be a performance-based situation,” he says. 

“The strong companies are going to make it, though the weak ones probably won’t,” he says. “We hope to be one of the [strong ones].”

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