Construction Today - September/October 2017 - 49
noting that these can range from a $2 million lobby renovations to
a $75 million high rise.
The company is also heavily involved in many adaptive reuse
projects like renovating an office building into a hotel or turning
a hotel into a timeshare development. "That has been a very big
segment for us," he says.
One such project is the NoMad Hotel location in downtown
Los Angeles in which R.D. Olson is converting a bank building
originally built in 1923 into a 240-room, five-star property for The
"This project is probably one of the most anticipated in the West
Coast hospitality market today," Wilhelm says. "We're looking to
have heads on beds this fall."
Better and Better
R.D. Olson's recent initiatives include updating its technology. Last
year, "I took a step back and looked at everything," Wilhelm recalls.
While the company was ahead of the industry in many areas, it
insisted on staying innovative which meant improvements.
"We invested heavily across the board," he says, explaining that
the company improved all of its platforms. "Our objective is to have
a complete collaboration between all our different departments,
from daily construction operations to accounting to our ongoing
execution of contracts."
The company also aims to go completely paperless on its job sites.
"Our associates are building their projects on the mobile platforms
they have available to them," Wilhelm says. "They pull up plans,
they pull up RFIs and have real-time information at their fingertips."
These changes have made R.D. Olson more efficient in its work,
Wilhelm says. "We're able to respond quicker, and the software available to us keeps getting better and better."
R.D. Olson is focused on managing
the quality of its resources, especially
when selecting subcontractors.
company's markets, "Work will continue," he asserts, noting that the
contractor will see its amount of renovation work increase.
Wilhelm also predicts more new build construction for R.D.
Olson. "I definitely see that market continuing to have some steam
and continue to provide opportunities for companies of our type,"
Strong and Steady
R.D. Olson is coping with challenges managing the quality of resources, especially when selecting its subcontractors. "The industry
has been crazy for the last number of years," Wilhelm says. "We're all
busy and we're all very careful with our selections because we have
limited quality resources."
Additional market conditions have made work more challenging.
"Our clients are experiencing that financing is getting a bit tougher
to get," he explains. "The hotel industry is being cautious about
how many more products of a certain type they allow in particular
"Everyone is trying to balance the scale of supply and demand," he
continues, adding that he predicts the market will get less intense in
the next two years. "What I'm now starting to see is that things could
start to slow down a little bit."
The company sustains by partnering with customers earlier on
projects. "It's a way to start the negotiation process and keeps it in
check until everyone gets a pulse on what's actually going to happen," he says.
Despite these conditions, Wilhelm predicts much future success
for R.D. Olson. Although conditions have plateaued in some of the
SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2017 CONSTRUCTION-TODAY.COM