Contruction Today - July/August 2017 - 62
Commercial | HENSEL PHELPS CONSTRUCTION - PLAINS REGION
development group and we're able to assist
developers on moving a project forward."
Hensel Phelps was founded in 1937 in Greeley, Colo., which remains its headquarters
and the location of its Plains Region office.
The Plains Region, where Bliesmer is based,
covers Colorado, Utah, Wyoming, Nebraska,
Kansas and parts of Iowa and Missouri. The
company has a total of eight regional offices.
Although it's focused on its own projects,
the Plains Region team helps support activity throughout the entire company. The
group participates in monthly face-to-face
board meetings with the other regions and
shares experiences of like projects. If one
region is understaffed, the Plains Region
may even loan out personnel to ensure the
job is completed on time.
Those intra-company communications
extend to how Hensel Phelps builds relationships with its clients and subcontractors.
A client that worked with Hensel Phelps
in Florida but plans its next project for
Colorado may work with a different team,
but those teams share information on the
experience so that they are better prepared
to meet the property owner's expectations.
"You got to listen and understand what
their needs are, understand what their goals
are and become a part of the solution to
their goals," Bliesmer says of clients. "They
have changing needs, changing goals and
CONSTRUCTION-TODAY.COM JULY/AUGUST 2017
70 percent of Hensel
Phelps' business comes from
changing demands, so you have to remain
flexible when you're working with clients."
The flexible approach has worked for 80
years. About 70 percent of Hensel Phelp's
work comes from repeat clients. "At the
end of the day, you have to perform for
them," Bliesmer says. "When you have 70
percent of your business as repeat clients
that says a lot about how you are taking
care of your clients."
Tackling Tough Projects
Hensel Phelps is known within the construction industry for taking on difficult
projects, such as NASA launch facilities
and the decade-long $1.6 billion project to
renovate the Pentagon following the Sept.
11 attack that damaged the U.S. Department
of Defense headquarters. That ability has
earned the company the respect of clients
and subcontractors across the country.
"I think we have a very good reputation
that's really based around strong client relationships," Bliesmer says. "The word we've
used for years and years is 'performance.'
What does that mean? It means we're going
to deliver the goods."
Within the Plains Region, Hensel Phelps'
recent projects include the Colorado History
Center, the Hyatt Regency Denver Convention Center Hotel, the hotel at Ameristar
Casino Resort Spa in Black Hawk, Colo., and
the Denver Justice Center.
Its latest project is the 50Fifty Syracuse
Tower in south Denver. The 12-story project
features a double-height lobby, eight
stories of office space and four levels of
parking - two above ground and two below
grade. The project broke ground in September 2016 and is on track for completion in
The project, which is being developed by
Corum Real Estate, came with several challenges that required the touch of a seasoned
general contractor such as Hensel Phelps.
"No. 1, it had a very tight site that required some different analysis for accessing
the work for vertical hoisting," Bliesmer
says. With only 1-acre of room to maneuver,
Hensel Phelps had to work with neighboring property owners to coordinate the flow
of work on the building and minimize the
impact to surrounding businesses.
The design also calls for a unitized panel
system for the building skin. Unlike most
unitized panel systems, the building will
feature more materials than just glass. The
skin also will have granite and metal to
create a more aesthetically pleasing look - a
tricky combination Hensel Phelps has done
for other projects in the past.