RL Baxter Building Corp.

RL Baxter pic

Credit: dKol Photography (www.dkolphotography.com)

RL Baxter builds long-term relationships with clients by listening and responding to their needs.
By Jim Harris, Senior Editor at Knighthouse Media

RL Baxter Building Corp. does much more than its name indicates. “We really see ourselves as a customer service business that just happens to do construction,” says Eric Baxter, vice president of the Poughkeepsie, N.Y.-based company. “We believe in providing custom service, listening to our clients’ needs and wants, and executing to their vision.”

Eric Baxter makes himself readily available to clients. “Every client has my cell phone number,” he says. “I’m always available and able to drop anything to go on a work site.

“People enjoy working with us because they know we will do the right thing,” Baxter adds. “We don’t just want to do one job with our clients, we want their next five to 10 jobs.”

The company’s project managers and other executive staff also take a hands-on approach to their work. “We have been able to accumulate a well-versed team that is very well known in the area and very well-respected by subcontractors and clients,” Baxter says.

RL Baxter provides construction management, general contracting, pre-construction, design/build, design, estimating and owners’ representation services to clients in the commercial and residential sectors.

In addition to performing projects on behalf of its clients, the company also develops and builds its own projects. “Being a developer ourselves is a huge value-add to our clients because we know the trials and tribulations they’re going through and that they have a budget they need to hit,” Baxter adds. “We understand how to deliver the project they want in the budget they need.”

Ongoing Projects

RL Baxter in April will complete one of its latest projects, the $10 million Churchill Street Apartments in Beacon, N.Y. The company started work on the four-story, 64,000-square-foot building in early 2017. The structure includes 48 one-bedroom and two-bedroom apartments, Project Executive Anthony Petruzzelli says.

The wood frame building sits atop a concrete and steel platform that includes an underground parking structure. The building’s elevator will go from the parking deck up to its rooftop level, which includes an amenity area with two gas grills, an outdoor shower and a storage unit containing tables and chairs for outdoor dining. RL Baxter box

The building’s façade consists of brick as well as corten metal panels, which will allow it to blend in well with its surrounding environment. “Beacon is an old industrial city with a lot of factories, so our client wanted to keep that look, even with a new construction,” he adds.

The developer had two main goals for the property. “The key points for the building were to make it highly energy efficient and focus on sound control,” Petruzzelli explains.

Meeting these goals involved using spray foam insulation throughout the structure as well as installing an energy-efficient HVAC system. A high-performance sound-rated floor system was also installed.

RL Baxter worked closely with its client to choose materials and fixtures for the project. “This turned into a design/build job,” he adds. “We did a lot of research on materials, provided samples and pricing, and worked through every detail with the client.”

The company credits its subcontractors with much of the success of the project. “We work hand-in-hand with our subcontractors to accomplish the tasks and goals outlined,” Petruzzelli says. “For this project, we might have leaned on them a bit more than usual for samples, mock-ups and final product selection.”

“RL Baxter will soon begin work on several projects, including a multifamily development in Poughkeepsie that will feature a fully passive design.” The company is also working on a four-story mixed-use building in Beacon that will include retail on its first floor. Upcoming commercial projects include building a medical office building in Highland, N.Y.

Constantly Improving

RL Baxter – Eric’s father and the company’s namesake – founded the company in 1983. Eric Baxter joined the company in 2010 after graduating college; his older sister, Amanda, has worked there since 2009 and today serves as its president.

During their tenure, Eric and Amanda Baxter have helped oversee its growth from a 10-person company with less than $1 million in annual revenue to having 70 employees and projected 2018 revenue of $45 million. “A few years ago, our largest projects were valued at $5 million; now, we’re consistently doing projects [valued at] more than $10 million,” Eric Baxter says.

The Baxter siblings guided the company’s growth by hiring additional staff and investing in new technology such as Procore project management software, coupled with a modern approach to social media and marketing. “We brought a business attitude to construction and invested in strong and competent team members who could take us to the next level,” he adds.

Continuous improvement remains a top goal for RL Baxter. “We are always finding ways to better assist clients,” Eric Baxter says. “We want to grow responsibly and take the right jobs. As long as we focus on our internal operations and how we treat our clients and employees, everything else will fall into place.”

Baxter projects can be followed on social media @r.l.baxter or using the hashtag #baxterbuilt

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