As commercial construction news reports say business continues to pick up, we are happy to see some new faces around the office at Englewood Construction.
That’s right; we are adding staff to our national commercial general contracting firm in what has been a very robust period of activity. I’m proud to say that after several flat years in the commercial construction industry, Englewood has fought through and is heading in the right direction. The activity level that we saw in the fourth quarter of 2012 in new retail, restaurant and hospitality construction projects is double what we saw a year earlier.
As a result, we filled five commercial construction job openings recently to handle the inflow of bid work. If a lot of this business pans out, which we believe it will, we also expect to double our field staff this year. We’ve also promoted several hard-working members of our team who have helped make Englewood one of Chicago’s best general contracting firms.
This is all punctuated by the recent news thatMichael Podgorny joined Englewood Construction as our new director of construction. Mike is a retail and restaurant construction expert with more than 30 years of experience. And his luxury hotel construction is some of the best in the business. He has a thick book of clients that includes both national and local brands. This infusion with Englewood will bring us into new sub markets and elevate our status as the best national general contractor for high end retail, restaurant, and luxury hotel construction.
Of course, I believe our recent good fortune is more than just market forces. There are several reasons as to why Englewood is seeing this increased activity and becoming a commercial construction industry leader, but it really boils down to one thing: we stayed true to ourselves and our relationships throughout the entire downturn.
No one hit the panic button at Englewood when the business waters were a little rough a few years ago. At the start of the downturn, we saw a lot of commercial construction firms abandon their business models and cut staff. Bigger firms started going for niche work, residential builders waded into the commercial construction market and some general contractors started to abandon their tried-and-true asset classes.
We focused on what we did best–retail construction, restaurant renovations, and hotel retrofits–stayed with our clients through the tougher times and maintained relationships. We also retained 100 percent of our staff during this time. We realize that our employees are the main reason that we are successful and for that we are committed to them in good times and bad.
That approach is bearing fruit now. As many of our clients are ramping up their business they need to work with the best commercial contractors and they are looking our way first and foremost. We continued to harbor our relationships even though many commercial construction budgets were tabled and as a result, we are receiving an increase in negotiated bids.
Maintaining relationships with old clients and offering our advice and pre-construction services has also introduced us to new clients. As many of our client contacts shifted commercial construction jobs in the downturn, they are landing with new companies and thus creating new opportunities for us.
If I’m completely honest, while our business practices are a big reason for our recent surge, luck does have something to do with it as well. I always say, the definition of luck is when preparedness meets opportunity. We’ve stayed sharp through this economic ordeal and now that the opportunities are rolling out, we are ready to take Englewood to the next level as the best national commercial contractor available.
We have some exciting upcoming commercial construction news to announce. Once the dust settles, we can’t wait to share it.
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