Building Relationships

It is no surprise that high-profile, multi-million dollar building projects and massive construction companies with full-time advertising and public relations departments dominate the news.
Yet, away from the construction spotlight operates a smaller, quieter segment of the market where job titles are heaped upon “high-ranking” officials and projects are awarded, in part, because of trust.
“A great source of work is the relationships that we have developed,” said David Burgess, salesman, project manager and president of Crestline Construction Co., Inc., a Broken Arrow-based company that focuses on mid-market projects and commercial build-outs.
And a great source it must be, as from 2003 to 2006, Crestline doubled revenues from $4.4 to $8.8 million. Burgess projects the company’s first $10 million year in 2007.
“I anticipate 2007 being our best year ever,” he said. “Right now we have, in the first quarter, a $7.7 million backlog. Almost every bit of that will be completed in 2007. Our total volume for 2007 could be huge as that amount, and that doesn’t cover what we secure the next three quarters.”
Crestline is working to complete expansion projects at Larkin Bailey Elementary School in Owasso ($716,250) and the Duck Creek Casino in Beggs ($754,000).
The company will soon break ground on a $814,600 Veteran’s Museum and a $1.2 million Lighthorse Police Building for the Muscogee (Creek) Nation, both projects that, according to Burgess, were awarded to Crestline due to a positive working relationship between the groups.
“In addition to all the other work we are doing, we just finished the Creek Nation’s Attorney General’s Office, so we have developed quite a relationship with them.”
The company has found a niche working with local school districts, having completed projects for Sperry, Owasso, Claremore and Tulsa public schools.
“There is a lot of work to be done with the school districts right now,” Burgess said, “with all the bond issues passing easily, and all the buildings going up.”
“We like working for school districts,” he said. “That market is competitive, though. Not just any general contractor can get in and compete for those jobs.”
This spring will see Crestline Construction, 2301 N. Yellowood Ave., break ground on its largest project to date, the Sand Springs Community Center, a $4.1 million project scheduled to wrap in May 2008.
“Once we finish it, it will be a showcase item for us.”
“The Sand Springs Community Center job will be a challenge, but it will undoubtedly be a huge boost to our company.”
“We are in the process of growing, from consistently building $1 million jobs to building the $4- or $5-million projects.”
“We are well on the road to consistent $10 million years, and will eventually be in the $15- to $20-million (per year) range,” he said. “But we are controlling our growth because we are a quality-oriented company and we’re not going to go out and grab a bunch of jobs that we can’t handle.” ?

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