Tag Archives: mccarthy

Builders, WEB

Confidence Builds: Developers see aggressive optimism in marketplace

Investing in spec buildings may – or may not – be an anomaly in the marketplace. Dan Withers, president of D.L. Withers Construction says he’s seeing risk-taking entrepreneurs coming back into the market.
“It’s been difficult for people to assess the timing in this recession,” he says. “There is enough optimism out there that we are seeing projects starting.”
Kitchell Vice President Dick Crowley is less effusive but still optimistic.
“In our core markets, we’ve noticed limited appetite for our customers to build speculative projects,” he says. “Lenders are still holding on to more conservative underwriting strategies.”
“Developers are being cautious, but we’re seeing more activity,” echoes Bo Calbert, president of McCarthy Building Companies’ Southwest Division. “Some industries are being a little bolder than others, such as hospitality, higher education and renewable energy. We’re building three large hospitals, but most big healthcare projects seem to be in a holding pattern.”
On the design side of the market, Rebecca Timmer, a corporation relations representative for Dibble Engineering says a few companies have broken ground on large spec projects but not many.
“We’re seeing end users dictating the decision,” Timmer says. “If they find what they need in an existing building, it is cheaper to go that route.”
Michael Rauschenberger, DPR Construction corporate office leader for the Southwestern United States, has been asked to look at proposals for a number of large buildings, including office towers, over the past months.
“Maybe about half of those will be built, but even if it’s just half, add it to Hayden Ferry, State Farm, and the number of projects in the southeast Valley, and that’s a lot of big projects coming on the market,” he says.
Many builders kept afloat during the recession with smaller projects and tenant improvements. “By volume, they were a big part of the market,” says Timmer. “As things are improving, we’re starting to see increases in volume for projects of all sizes.”
McCarthy reports that its job order contracting business is busy. “We’ve expanded that division,” says Calbert. “It results in a significant incrase in the amount of work we can do for our longstanding and new clients on smaller projects. To make it work, we have to be efficient and bring personal expertise into the jobs.”
Withers agrees, “There is a definite upturn for small business expansion. The result is existing building expansion and infill of existing buildings. That fuels an overall expansion and optimism in the marketplace.”
Pulling out a proverbial crystal ball, Crowley says, “Kitchell is cautiously optimistic as we see the global and national economy improving. This will impact Arizona and lead to increased job creation. Arizona will be a top job growth market over the next five years.”
“The need has truly increased and, at this moment, it looks good out there,” forecasts Rauschenberger.
“I see continued optimism,” agrees Withers, adding, “Barring other negating factors like our Congress, and world politics and economics.”

(from L to R): Rob Martensen, Christine Nagle, Paul Sieczkowski, Mary Beth Campbell, all with Colliers International

Commercial Real Estate Firms Gets Charitable for Holidays

Arizona Builders Alliance:

Members of the Arizona Builders Alliance, a construction industry association, has collected thousands of toys that will be wrapped and delivered to approximately 300 children in CPS custody (residents of Sunshine Group Homes) and approximately 100 children who live at Sunshine Acres Children’s Home in Mesa. A major toy-wrapping effort will take place on Thursday, Dec. 19, when Santa’s helpers from the construction industry are overtaking Corbins Electric facilities and turning it into gift-wrapping workshop, in preparation for the toy deliveries.
Four companies within the construction industry locally – McCarthy Building Companies, Corbins Electric, Sundt and Wilson Electric – are leading the effort on behalf of the Arizona Builders Alliance to collect, wrap and distribute the toys. More than 100 construction companies are participating in the general toy drive benefiting CPS children in need this year.
“This is my third year serving as chair of our holiday toy drive event, which is very important to me,” said Joshua Marriott, an estimator at McCarthy Building Companies. “The amount of joy that the gifts and party bring to the kids is priceless. The toy-wrapping effort takes a lot of work, but it’s definitely worth it.”
Volunteer elves will be wrapping hundreds of toys at Corbins Electric on Thurs., Dec. 19, and delivering them on Fri., Dec. 20, to Sunshine Acres and Sunshine Group Homes. Members of the media are welcome to attend the wrapping festivities where tons of toys are wrapped and loaded into a box truck for delivery to the children on Dec. 20 where volunteers will pass out gifts to children at Sunshine Acres Children’s Home and they will also get a special visit from Santa. The Sunshine Acres Party is from 6-8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 20.

Colliers/Hines:

Throughout the year, Hines and Colliers International in Greater Phoenix are busy developing and brokering projects.
But each December, they are as busy as Santa’s elves ensuring that needy Phoenix families have a holiday to celebrate.
John Orsak, director of Hines property management, started “Santa’s Sak” in 2011. The program provides the abused, neglected and troubled youngsters involved with All My Children, Inc., with electronics, games, books, sporting equipment and passes for movies and activities.
Hines has helped 100 kids in the last two years and expects to deliver presents to another 100 this year on Dec. 21. The experience touches Orsak, especially Hines’ impact on a teenage girl who said she wouldn’t have had anything to celebrate on Christmas without Santa’s Sak.
Colliers International in Greater Phoenix has been adopting families during the holidays for more than 15 years and also makes time for employees to feed the homeless.
Started by Paul Sieczkowski, senior vice president, about 30 to 50 Colliers employees participate in the adopt-a-family program each year. A former Colliers employee even dresses like Santa and the employees surprise the family.
One year, Colliers delivered presents to a family that lived in a house with a dirt floor. The family cried when Colliers presented the gifts and food.
Colliers will deliver more presents and cheer this year on Dec. 23.
Colliers also helps hungry families. About 30 Colliers employees served lunch at St. Vincent de Paul on Dec. 6.

McCarthy Building Companies: McCarthy Building Companies builds and renovates schools throughout the Southwest, with many projects right here in metro Phoenix. As a result, the education services team hears about many needs within local school districts. Over the years, there has been a consistent request from schools for books that students can take with them to read at home in order to develop reading skills. To meet this need, the members of McCarthy’s education team have worked in tandem with the company’s Heart Hats committee for the past seven years to create an annual Santa Book Delivery.
On Dec. 20, McCarthy Heart Hats volunteers will join Santa, Mrs. Claus & the Jolly Elf (played by McCarthy employees) for the delivery of new wrapped books to every student at Heatherbrae Elementary in Maryvale, a Title I school that serves kindergarten through 5th grade students in the Cartwright Elementary School District. Santa & Mrs. Claus will visit with each child individually, giving away 750 books to students at the school.
McCarthy’s goal is to have a gift for everyone at the school, so gift cards are given to each teacher along with a donation of school supplies from Office Essentials, assisting teachers who are reaching into their own pockets these days simply to provide supplies for their classrooms.
Books and gift cards are provided by McCarthy’s Heart Hats. The new books are chosen based on reading and grade level, with the help ofeducators’ recommendations. Two or three titles are chosen per grade based on popular or suggested reading titles for the age group. The books are not gender specific so they are appropriate for either boys or girls.

WestMEC5_Construction, McCarthy

McCarthy Breaks Ground on West-MEC Campus

McCarthy Building Companies recently began an $18M new construction and renovation project at the Western Maricopa Education Center (West-MEC) Northeast Campus located at 1617 W. Williams Drive in Phoenix.

The West-MEC Northeast Campus is one of four planned projects for the career and technical public school district funded by a $74.9M voter-approved bond. The Northeast Campus will host programs including veterinary assisting, medical assisting, HVAC-R, and auto collision industries. In future years, the district will also provide programs such as construction technology, electrical, plumbing, and pharmacy assisting at the Northeast Campus.

“With the addition of our Northeast Campus, West-MEC will have specialized career and technical facilities to improve the educational experience for our students. Each program offered at this campus will be aligned to industry standards and equip students will technical skills and career certifications that will lead to jobs,” said West-MEC Superintendent Gregory Donovan. “We have a strong partnership with McCarthy Building Companies and the DLR Group; they see the value in developing a skilled, sustainable workforce that is well prepared for high-demand jobs.”

Construction began last month and is set to complete in July 2014. This includes remodeling two existing buildings comprising of 71,000 square feet and 13,000 square feet respectively, as well as, adding two new buildings, totaling 23,000 square feet and 17,000 square feet.

The larger existing building has two stories and will be transformed into classrooms, teacher spaces and technical labs. The smaller building will be remodeled into a new auto repair training facility with vehicle lifts, classrooms and working labs. The new 23,000  SF building will house a veterinarian program with lab space, animal holding rooms, surgery and waiting rooms. The new 17,000 square-foot building will provide training programs for auto collision repair with a paint booth, classrooms, technical labs and workspace.

The campus will be incorporating energy-efficient components to reduce operating costs. An upgrade to a more effective lighting system will increase the light output while decreasing the wattage and energy consumption. The district will be receiving a rebate from APS for its energy-saving efforts.

“This is our third project with the West-MEC and DLR team,” said Justin Kelton, Education Services team leader for McCarthy Building Companies Southwest Division. “We completed West-MEC’s Aviation Training Center in April 2011, and are in the final stages of a new classroom building on that campus. The Northeast campus is a particularly exciting project because one of the programs that will be available at the campus is West-MEC’s construction technology curriculum, so building the venue where our future workforce will be trained is a special opportunity,” he added.

BannerEstrellaMedicalCenter

Banner Estrella Hospital Awrded Top Safety Designation

The Arizona Division of Occupational Safety and Health (ADOSH) Consultation Department awarded McCarthy Building Companies with top safety designation, naming the $161M Banner Estrella Hospital Expansion a “STAR Site” through the state’s Construction Voluntary Protection Program “C-VPP.”  ADOSH representatives conducted an audit of safety and health management systems and practices at the six-story, 279,000 SF tower project, which will serve the west Valley. The expansion project, which is set to open to patients in March 2014, also contains additional obstetrical suites, additional neonatal intensive care unit capacity, new cardiac catheterization labs and a new endoscopy suite. The Banner Estrella Hospital tower expansion is currently the only hospital construction project in Arizona with a STAR approval.

VPP is the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) highest program of safety recognition across all United States OSHA organizations. It recognizes employers and workers in private and federal workplaces who have exemplified effective safety and health management systems to achieve injury and illness rates more than 50 percent below the national average.

“After a two-day audit of the McCarthy Banner Estrella Hospital expansion, which included McCarthy employees and more than 11 subcontractors on-site, we found that all members of the project were committed to a safe working environment,” said Jessie Atencio, assistant director and consultation and training program manager for ADOSH. “This is the second approved STAR site for McCarthy and we would like to congratulate them for a job well done.”

“The safety of our employees and construction crews is a top priority at McCarthy, and earning this designation on another major community project is an accomplishment for which we can all be proud,” said Bo Calbert, President of McCarthy Southwest Division. “Our safety professionals constantly evaluate and enhance safety practices on our job sites, allowing us to share and improve every project, and share best practices with our clients and improve construction safety across the industry,” he added.

To qualify for VPP status, employers must submit an application to OSHA and undergo an onsite evaluation by a team of safety and health professionals. VPP participants and sites earning the “STAR Site” designation are re-evaluated every three to five years in order to remain in the programs. VPP participants are exempt from OSHA programmed inspections while they maintain their VPP status.

McCarthy - Justin Dent

McCarthy Promotes Justin Dent To Project Director, Education Services

McCarthy Building Companies promoted Justin Dent to project director for the Education Services team of the Southwest Division.

In his new position, Dent will oversee education projects in Arizona and will forge a true collaboration with school districts and schools, design teams and subcontractors; serve as a liaison between the office and field team; champion job-site safety efforts and proactively manage project budgets and schedules. He previously served as project manager at McCarthy.

Dent joined McCarthy in 1999 as a project engineer after graduating college. He has a diverse project background; two of his early projects included the Sandia Casino in Albuquerque and Motorola Buildings 93 and 99 in Tempe.

In 2002, he was promoted to project manager where heoversaw numerous projects including Hayden Ferry Lakeside Phase II Parking Structure, Arizona State Behavioral Health Hospital, the Banner Thunderbird Medical Center lobby, tower and surgery expansions and numerous projects at the Mayo Clinic in Phoenix.

“Justin’s leadership capabilities have been proven with the success of a series of projects he’s recently overseen,” said Justin Kelton, vice president of operations at McCarthy. “His strong project management background, and his respect and discipline to McCarthy’s team approach to construction, has enabled him to build strong client relations, which ultimately lead to successful projects.”

Dent has a bachelor’s degree in Construction Engineering Management from Oregon State University.

McCarthy - Bo Calbert - AZ Business Magazine May/June 2012

First Job: Bo Calbert, SW President McCarthy Building Companies

Bo Calbert, Southwest President McCarthy Building Companies, discusses his first job as a caddy and the things that helped him get to where he is today in the construction industry.


Bo Calbert

Title: Southwest President
Company: McCarthy Building Companies

What was your first job?
When I came home from the last day of sixth grade, my father said, “Son, it’s about time you got a job.” We lived right across the street from Hickory Hills Country Club in Springfield, Mo., which is where (deceased PGA star) Payne Stewart learned to golf and where his father was a big golfer. So I walked across the street and got a job as a caddy. It was tough. I’d get there at seven in the morning, had to sweep all the sidewalks to earn the privilege to caddy, and at the end of the day I had to pick up all the balls on the driving range.

What did you learn from that first job?
Working as a caddy at a country club was all about service and dependability, and developing relationships were important. If you didn’t build good relationships with people, they wouldn’t request you to be their caddy.

Describe your first job in your industry.
It was building a high-rise office building in Houston, and I was low man on the totem pole. I was the field engineer, doing all the layout. It was a concrete frame, and I was holding the dumb end of the tape. I got a battlefield promotion because the lead engineer hurt his back. I’d been out of school six weeks when I got that promotion.

What lesson did you learn in your first industry job that still helps you today?
If you’re willing to take responsibility and you’re not afraid to ask for the tough jobs, you will get a lot of recognition early.

What were your salaries in your first job and in your first industry job?
I got $1.60 an hour to shag balls and $3.50 to caddy for 18 holes. My first salary was $22,000 a year in the construction industry.

Who would you consider as your biggest mentor?
Chuck Thompson was the chairman of 3D International, a large engineering construction firm. He’s the one who got me my first interview with McCarthy, and he is the smartest, most talented individual I know. If you had to credit someone with the development of construction management as a process, Chuck would probably get the credit. He’s got a tremendous amount of integrity. In our business, people put a lot of trust in you when they hire you to build their project. You have to have the integrity to make all the right decisions.

What advice would you give to someone starting today in your industry?
What worked for me is that I volunteered for tough assignments that other people might not want to do. Taking on challenges and getting the reputation as someone who is not afraid to take on those challenges is a key thing that people should do early in their career.

For more information on McCarthy Building Companies, visit McCarthy’s website at mccarthy.com.

Arizona Business Magazine May/June 2012

Water Services

McCarthy's Water Services Team Constructing Water And Wastewater Facilities

The Tempe-based Southwest Region of McCarthy Building Companies Inc., Water Services Team, recently began construction on the $7.1M design/build water and wastewater facilities for the Twin Arrows Resort & Casino east of Flagstaff.

The Twin Arrows Casino is currently under construction and is being developed by the Navajo Nation Gaming Enterprise Board. Hunt Construction is general contractor.

Led by McCarthy’s Tempe-based Water Services team, the comprehensive water project includes a masterplan to specifically serve the Twin Arrows Resort & Casino and planned future amenities, including a potential golf course. McCarthy’s design partner is Scottsdale-based WaterWorks Engineers.

McCarthy Water Services team is installing 17,500 linear feet of water and wastewater pipes, a pump station with a storage tank for the casino’s potable water supply, a wastewater treatment plant, two wells and facilities to house the control room and electrical and pumping equipment necessary for the project.

“McCarthy has a long history of working with tribal communities in the Southwest on projects like the Twin Arrows Casino,” said Frank Scopetti, vice president of McCarthy’s Water Services team. “Our design/build team for this project is working closely with the Navajo Tribal Utility Authority to ensure their water needs are met now and in the future.”

The Twin Arrows Casino is poised to be a major gaming facility with a 90-room, 4-star hotel and conference center, located near the Twin Arrows exit off of Interstate 40 between Flagstaff and Winslow.

“Gaming facilities have become a fairly high priority for the Navajo Nation,” said Reevis Bagay, Navajo Tribal Utility Authority representative. “The Twin Arrows Casino will have great economic impact within the Navajo Nation and surrounding community.  We’re pleased to be working with such a trusted name in the commercial building industry who understands the multi-utility needs of the Nation.”

McCarthy Water Services team and WaterWorks Engineers were selected as the design-build team for the project.  The water/wastewater facilities for the casino will be completed in early 2013 with an April 2013 estimated completion of the casino.

Robert Knochenhauer & Frank Scopetti

Robert “Big Job Bob” Knochenhauer Retires From McCarthy After 4 Decades Of Service

Robert Knochenhauer recently retired from McCarthy Building Companies as senior vice president of the Water Services team after serving the company for four decades. He was responsible for all aspects of the Southwest division’s water/wastewater treatment plant projects and served as team lead on some of the largest and most complex projects in Arizona and beyond.

Under Knochenhauer’s leadership, the Water Services team won numerous awards for its work, including the prestigious 2008 National Design-Build Award from the Design-Build Institute of America (DBIA) in the “water/wastewater over $15 million” category for the Lake Pleasant Water Treatment Plant in Phoenix. His vast project experience has garnered him the nickname of “Big Job Bob.” His project highlights include:

  • Lake Pleasant Water Treatment Plant, Phoenix: $215M, 80 mgd water treatment plant
  • Greenfield Water Reclamation Plant, Gilbert: $148.4M, sewage treatment plant expansion
  • ADOA 4,000 Public Prison Beds, Phoenix, Tucson and Yuma: $175M, new 4,000 bed prison expansion at Perryville, Tucson and Yuma prison facilities

As a third-generation Knochenhauer in the construction industry, he followed in his grandfather and father’s footsteps. His father, the late Lloyd Knochenhauer, started TGK Construction Co. in New York in 1944, then moved it to Phoenix in 1950. Bob joined TGK in 1972 as a carpenter, moving his way up to superintendent and project manager after McCarthy bought the company.

Knochenhauer worked closely with Frank Scopetti prior to his departure at McCarthy. Scopetti is now the new senior vice president of the Water Services team and has three decades of experience working in the industrial mechanical construction field. He previously served as vice president of mechanical services at McCarthy.

Public Projects - AZRE Magazine January/February 2012

Public Projects: Keeping Construction Companies Alive

Of the 15 Arizona school districts that asked voters in November to approve bonds to build or renovate education facilities, 11 got the go-ahead despite the lingering recession.

That’s good news for many of the state’s construction companies that have relied on publicly-funded projects to boost business and keep workers employed as private investment in new buildings plummeted with economy.

And for public entities with the need and the seed money, it’s a good time to snag a good deal in a highly competitive market for construction materials and services.  But while public projects have helped, government spending has not been the great savior of the industry, according to Arizona’s construction company leaders.

The recession has taken its toll on public building plans with shrinking tax revenue sopping up funds pegged for new schools, city halls, police stations or libraries.  And as absolutely essential projects get checked off the list, public spending is expected to dwindle.  However, at least some projects are still getting budgeted and built, says Bo Calbert, president of McCarthy Building Companies’ Southwest Region.

“From 2003 to 2007, we probably had our best market in decades, but by 2008, everybody knew we were in trouble,” Calbert says.

“Private (projects) stopped overnight.  Public work continued.”

Citing a recent market outlook report for Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, Calbert says overall construction value slipped 40% in 2008 from its 2007 high, tumbled another 23% in 2009 and 27% in 2010.  The report predicts 2011 value will increase 40% when the final numbers are compiled, but will sag slightly this year (2012) before heading back up in 2013.

Building During the Recession

Much of the 2011 increase is a result of federal stimulus funding for schools, infrstructure, solar-fueled projects and other green upgrades, Calbert says.

Among the infrastructure projects McCarthy landed is construction of the $140M, first phase of the PHX Sky Train, a people mover pegged to connect Phoenix

Public Projects - AZRE Magazine January/February 2012

Sky Harbor International Airport visitors and employees to the terminals, light rail system and parking lots.

McCarthy’s usually packed education division had a 2011 workload values at about $110M, Calbert says.  That’s down from a high of $170M in 2008.  And about 40% of the 2011 business was out-of-state work as McCarthy took jobs in New Mexico to make up for Arizona’s shortfall.

“Public work has kept us going, but we had to go beyond Arizona,” he says.  Among the school projects McCarthy snagged during the recession is  a $20M addition and renovation for Barry Goldwater High School, says Terry Bohl, the company’s education services director.  Parts of that multi-faceted project were completed during summer 2011 break, and other non-disruptive work is still ongoing, he says.

During the summer break, McCarthy completed 600,000 SF of school construction in Metro Phoenix, including the new buildings, renovations and mechanical upgrades. Still in the works is a new, $12M, 80,000 SF elementary school in Chandler, Bohl says.

Chandler is one of the few Arizona cities able to afford other-than-school public projects during the downturn.  The city broke ground on a $74M city hall complex in mid-2009.  After leasing, saving and budgeting for 25 years, Chandler didn’t have to borrow money to build it, says spokeswoman Jane Poston.  Best of all, Chandler’s project came in $10M under original budget thanks to the sagging economy.

“We had significant cost savings building in a recession,” Poston says.  Designing a much-needed firehouse as solar-fueled and LEED-certified helped Gilbert land a $3M federal grant from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, says spokeswoman Beth Lucas.

Maricopa County also saved a bundle by opting to build during the recession, says Thomas Goderre, district operations manager for Gilbane Building Company.

Gilbane teamed with Ryan Companies US on a 700,000 SF superior court tower in Downtown Phoenix (construction value $260M).

“The Maricopa County Court Tower project was big and constructed at the perfect time for Maricopa County, Gilbane/Ryan and the subcontractor community,” Goderre says.  ”The county was able to realize construction cost savings in the range of $15M to $20M compared to a normal construction climate, while Gilbane/Ryan and the local subcontractors were able to put a lot of people to work during a very tough economic downturn.”

The court tower was completed in November.  That, along with a new Phoenix Politce precinct and four ASU student recreation centers, are among the publicly funded projects that “helped us weather the storm,” Goderre says.

Looking For New Opportunities

In Arizona, about 75% of Gilbane’s business has been publicly funded projects, he says, but Goderre sees that changing as public money dies up and private investment returns to the market.

Sundt Construction vice president Jeff Fairman says he also believes privately funded projects will take over more of his company’s resources during the next few years as cities and school districts continue to get squeezed.

Tempe-based Sundt bills about $1B in a normal year.  Business has dropped overall during the recession, but the company’s 50/50 ration of public/private business has so far remained static, Fairman says.

Sundt has about $500M worth of public work in progress right now, but most of that is in multi-year projects, he says.

Both the volume of new business and overall construction value have shrunk as pre-recession plans that weren’t shelved were at least downsized.  ”The bells and whistles went away,” he says.

Besides building the new Chandler City Hall complex, Sundt landed a potpourri of publicly-funded projects during the economic downturn including K-8 and higher education buildings, municipal infrastructure projects, a federal courthouse and a U.S. Marine Corps simulator facility in Yuma.

Mesa-based Caliente Construction has specialized in upgrading or repurposing existing facilities during the downturn, says CEO Lorraine Bergman.  The company is renovating old post office space to accommodate a student center for ASU’s Downtown Phoenix campus.  Caliente has several projects completed or ongoing to make security, technology or mechanical improvements in public buildings from schools to prisons, Bergman says.  ”It’s come down to necessity.  You can’t let the buildings fall apart,” she says.

Kitchell president Jim Swanson says the public sector produces “a sizable piece of our business,” typically employing about 30 percent of the company’s workforce in Arizona and California.

Commercial construction work is down for nearly all Kitchell’s business segments, Swanson says.  And public projects in no way take up the slack, he says.  Instead, he’d give props to the healthcare industry for keeping his business healthy.

For more information on the companies and public projects mentioned in this article, please visit the following websites:

calienteconstruction.com

gilbaneco.com

kitchell.com

mccarthy.com

sundt.com

AZRE Magazine January/February 2012