But as developer Donald Hinks and contractor Tom Overstreet have observed, it's not enough to succeed in Southwest Florida's marketplace today.
"Anyone can make money in the boom times, but you have to be more creative and work smarter and harder in the tough times," says Overstreet, a principal and vice president of Bayshore Construction Group, LLC (BCG).
Based in Port Charlotte
, the general contractor builds primarily commercial and multi-family projects, with a focus on medical office and retail space.
"We've been busy," says Overstreet, crediting veteran developer Donald Hinks and his wife, Nancy, owners of Hinks & Associates in Cape Coral, for helping BCG maintain that status in recent years.
The commercial contracting firm was founded by principals Chris MacNair, Tom Overstreet and Jay Fertig as a subsidiary of Bayshore Land Group, a Miami-based developer with a growing presence on Florida's west coast.
"That's where I see the market going - reusing existing structures," says Overstreet
"I don't see a lot of new construction in the years ahead.
But if we can revitalize and repurpose existing buildings, then I think we'll have successful projects."
To date, much of BCG's success stems from its ability to work with clients and work through challenges such as time and budget constraints.
attributes this largely to providing "alternative pricing" by working with a variety of manufacturers, and using construction methods and materials that meet the architect's specs but are more cost effective for the project.
"Typically, our methods facilitate the construction process (in a way) that makes the labor a lot more efficient than some of the conventional methods that are specified.
The faster we can build it, the less expensive it will be, in terms of labor and materials.
It really all comes down to proper project planning," says Overstreet
employs its "value engineering" approach to all of the projects it has built for Hinks & Associates
, providing more for the money without sacrificing quality.
"Once we've determined the ultimate use of a structure from an engineering standpoint, we'll closely examine the specs to see how we can build it (at the best price)," he
says, noting that the lag time between designing and groundbreaking may also affect a project.
"An architect may spec a product or construction method that's inferior to current industry standards, especially when they're designing two years before the project breaks ground.
Because standards are constantly changing, it's sort of like buying a new computer loaded with software that's already obsolete."
performed nothing short of a miracle when it built the Sears Home Town Store for Hinks & Associates
at Towers II.
Although the 7,300sf project wasn't scheduled to be finished until April, Sears
wanted to open much sooner.
completed the project from start to finish in just six weeks.
"Our architect designed it in three days, we had it permitted in five days and started construction immediately," says Overstreet
Not that they would do anything out of the norm, but that the building department would expedite everything," says Overstreet
"They were very cooperative (because) they knew we were going to build a quality project and that we wanted to create jobs.
Towards that end, Overstreet
hired subcontractors for the project primarily from Cape Coral and nearby.
According to Overstreet
, both companies are helping the other to succeed.
"We're at the point where we can really work together in the marketplace," adds Overstreet