Local contractors have not been overlooked by national chains. In fact, qualified Northern Arizona construction companies are doing business all over the state and throughout the United States for nationally recognized companies. Bed, Bath & Beyond, PETCO, TJ Max, Wal-Mart, IHOP and KFC are just a few of the national chains that prefer Northern Arizona contractors.
“We work all over the country,” said Pete Muscarella, president of Straightline Builders, Inc., which has done work in Arizona, California, Oregon, Pennsylvania, New Mexico and Washington. “We’re able to work in different jurisdictions by putting together teams of local contractors with the people that we bring with us. We can acquire local bids from local contractors via our website. Our management style – with the help of our website – allows us to manage remotely fairly seamlessly.”
Although Straightline continues to be courted by big names like Wal-Mart, Sam’s Club, IHOP, Bed Bath & Beyond and Total Wine and More for out-of-town work, they still have time to do local projects. “Over eight years, we’ve done $38 million worth of work in Williams for Grand Canyon Railway,” divulged Muscarella, whose company has also worked for Best Buy, PETCO and TJ Maxx.
It’s not easy to qualify for big-name projects. “Wal-Mart requires all vendors to go through a vetting process. Once they determine that you are someone they want to work with, they require training courses at their headquarters in Bentonville, Arkansas. Certifications are required for project managers and project superintendents,” said Travis Knoll, project manager at Straightline. Other companies require this rigid examination process and evaluation as well. The Flagstaff-based company has been operating since 1997 and did The Village at Flagstaff Mall and Food Court remodel in 2005-2007.
“We work throughout the state for various retailers and tribes, including the Yavapai-Prescott Indian Tribe. We just completed the Prescott Resort and Conference Center and Bucky’s Casino remodel,” added Knoll.
Brian Anderson of Mad Cow Enterprises Inc. in Flagstaff sends his crews all over the country for remodeling and building new Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurants. “In 2000, we did the Flagstaff Westside KFC, and after that, they asked me if I’d do more. The rest, as they say, is history.” Since then, Mad Cow has been all the way to Colorado, Florida, Michigan, New Mexico, Nevada, and Texas. “We’ve done at least four dozen KFCs,” said Anderson. “Heck, we’ve probably done four dozen in Texas alone.”
“Some years are really good and some not so good. KFC requires remodels every ten years or so – there’s a little bit of job security there. We augment KFC revenues with remodels and new construction in Flagstaff – the crew likes to come home once in awhile,” laughed the contractor, who reported that on good years, 40 to 50 percent of revenues come from KFC projects.
What keeps KFC and parent company YUM! coming back for more? “Our versatility, our attention to detail and our desire to deliver a good product in a timely manner at a reasonable cost,” answered Anderson, who recently completed the bar and restroom remodel at the Monte Vista Hotel.
While Loven Contracting has done projects for national chain DippinDots, president and owner Mike Loven says his company’s strong suit is in health care construction. “We’ve built our business on initial experience and leveraged that into other opportunities. In 1986, we began with doctors’ office remodels, and naturally went into health care and hospital construction from there.”
Loven Contracting is currently working on a series of health care projects, including an 11,000 square foot medical clinic building in Winslow and a 13,000 square foot emergency room addition to Winslow Memorial Hospital that includes a rooftop heliport. “All Loven Contracting employees on the healthcare projects have completed a course in Best Practices in Health Care Facility Construction,” reported Loven.
The Flagstaff company, which earned a Engineering News-Record honorable mention for the Flagstaff Family YMCA, also worked on Sunset Clinic Community Health Centers in Yuma and San Luisa, Arizona. Another Loven project, the Lumberyard Brewery, won a 2011 RED award.
Of course, while contractors from out of town are brought in to work local projects, local construction businesses are being awarded out of town contracts by some pretty big names. FBN
Loven Contracting Inc.
Mad Cow Enterprises Inc
Straightline Builders, Inc.