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Construction Managers

July 01, 2002 |

Gilbane content to feast on home cooking

While many of its competitors are subsidiaries of foreign construction organizations, Providence, R.I.-based Gilbane Building Co. finds success in its independent status. "We don't have any particular need for capital, or ambitions beyond what we feel we can handle ourselves," says Chairman and CEO Paul Choquette, Jr. "The family is still very involved, and very interested in maintaining our unique culture and environment." The Gilbane family oversees day-to-day operations of the 129-year-old firm. Choquette, company President and COO Thomas Gilbane and Executive Vice President William Gilbane are cousins.

"Nothing really drives us toward looking at an alternative ownership structure," Choquette says, adding, "Even though we're a family-owned business, we're professionally managed."

Although Gilbane constructed buildings in Saudi Arabia in the 1960s and later in South America, the company has not performed actual construction in a foreign country during the past decade. "Our plate has been full with U.S. projects," Choquette says. "We've always been cautious about overreach, which often occurs in our industry. Appetites can exceed resources."

Gilbane has, nevertheless, handled consulting assignments for international customers, and Choquette envisions the possibility of an expanding foreign construction role on this basis.

Gilbane has traditionally focused on public sector projects. Choquette marvels at the "phenomenal" volume of college and university work, with the company currently active on more than 50 campuses. Reconstruction and expansion of elementary and high schools is also a strong market for Gilbane. Projects for the U.S. General Services Administration include the renovation of a major federal building in downtown Chicago.

The firm has not been active in the commercial sector. "We have not found the developer world to be one we're as comfortable with as we are with long-term customers," Choquette notes.

1 (1) $4,070.00 Jacobs Engineering Group Inc. Pasadena, CA (626) 578-3500, Industrial buildings represented 35% of the company's work last year, and institutional buildings were 5%. Government projects composed 84% of the company's buildings work. Volume reported is for the fiscal year ended Sept. 30, 2001.
2 (—) $3,600.00 Heery International Inc. Atlanta, GA (404) 881-9880, Current projects include school programs in Seattle, New York City and Houston; the Georgia World Congress Center expansion, Atlanta; and the Architecture Building at Southern Polytechnic State University, Marietta, Ga. Government projects were 75% of its 2001 billings.
3 (2) $3,203.20 Bovis Lend Lease New York, NY (212) 592-6800, An eight-story hospital at Jacobi Medical Center, Bronx, N.Y., is among the firm's current work. Data is for the fiscal year ending in June 2002. Company has total staff of 2,789. Nonbuildings projects include the fifth runway at Hartsfield Atlanta International Airport.
4 (4) $2,552.79 Gilbane Building Co. Providence, RI (401) 456-5800, Top jobs include the George R. Brown Convention Center expansion and hotel in Houston; a $54 million classroom/apartment building at George Washington University, Washington, D.C.; and the underground Visitor Center at the U.S. Capitol. (See profile above.)
5 (6) $2,080.32 Tishman Construction Corp. New York, NY (212) 399-3600, Ongoing work includes the $2 billion Chicago Public Schools capital improvement program; a 32-story New York City office building constructed for Morgan Stanley Co.; and the 12-story Claremont Tower, the first new office tower to be built in Newark, N.J., in 12 years.
6 (—) $2,029.30 Parsons Brinckerhoff Inc. New York, NY (212) 465-5000, Now working on the $209 million redevelopment of the Anchorage (Alaska) International Airport terminal; the $500 million new University of California campus in Merced; and a $70 million high school in Belleville, Mo. Company has total staff of 9,200.
7 (7) $2,000.00 3D/International Inc. Houston, TX (713) 871-7000, Prominent projects include the $1.2 billion renovation of the Pentagon; a new construction/renovation program in Newark for the New Jersey Economic Development Agency; and a K-12 school replacement/renovation program in Orange County, Fla.
8 (3) $1,572.00 McClier Chicago, IL (312) 373-7700, McClier's backlog of work includes construction management services for a 30-acre campus in Santa Clara, Calif., for Applied Materials, to be completed by the end of this year; and a 1.2 million-sq.-ft. manufacturing facility in Chicago for Stylemaster Apparel.
9 (—) $923.00 Granary Associates Philadelphia, PA (215) 665-7000, Current projects include a library expansion at Arcadia University in Glenside, Pa.; a medical office building at Community General Hospital in Harrisburg, Pa.; and an ambulatory care/aquatic center at Bacharach Institute for Rehabilitation, Pomona, N.J.
10 (—) $697.27 Barton Malow Co. Southfield, MI (248) 436-5000, Major work includes a $1.4 billion program for the Detroit Public Schools; a $2.2 billion expansion at Detroit Metropolitan Airport; and a $107 million schools facilities project in Lima, Ohio. State and local government projects represented 33% of volume.
11 (—) $675.00 WD Partners Columbus, OH (614) 221-0840,
12 (—) $537.02 Kitchell Corp. Phoenix, AZ (602) 264-4411,
13 (—) $446.76 Carter & Burgess Inc. Fort Worth, TX (817) 735-6000,
14 (—) $354.02 Day & Zimmermann International Philadelphia, PA (215) 299-8000,
15 (—) $317.70 The Facility Group Smyrna, GA (770) 437-2700,
16 (—) $278.10 Hunt Construction Group Indianapolis, IN (317) 227-7800,
17 (—) $266.94 J.A. Jones Inc. Charlotte, NC (704) 553-3000,
18 (—) $254.08 PCL Construction Group Denver, CO (303) 365-6500,
19 (—) $252.00 Jeffrey M. Brown Associates Inc. Huntingdon Valley, PA (215) 938-5000,
20 (—) $249.00 BE&K Inc. Birmingham, AL (205) 972-6000,
21 (—) $246.00 Barr & Barr Inc. New York, NY (212) 563-2330,
22 (—) $234.00 Kraus-Anderson Construction Co. Minneapolis, MN (612) 332-7281,
23 (—) $222.91 The Turner Corp. Dallas, TX (214) 915-9600,
24 (—) $169.20 The Haskell Co. Jacksonville, FL (904) 791-4500,
25 (—) $168.00 PBS+J Inc. Miami, FL (305) 592-7275,
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