Construction Today - September/October 2017 - 50

Commercial | DOWNING CONSTRUCTION

Fields Of Opportunity

DOWNING CONSTRUCTION THRIVES IN IOWA'S BOOMING COMMERCIAL MARKET. BY CHRIS KELSCH

O

ne might not necessarily think
of Iowa as a hotbed for commercial construction, but nevertheless it has quietly taken off in
recent years. "We are very excited about the
Iowa market," Downing Construction Partner Justin Brown says. "Because of its gusting winds, Iowa has a lot of low-cost energy,
and that has led to companies like Apple,
Microsoft and Facebook building large data
centers here." Indeed, all three companies
will soon have large data centers in the
state, all within 25 miles of each other.
Downing Construction has been an active
participant in an exploding commercial
market in recent years, but the company
didn't start out in that sector. It actually began in 1966, when founder Robert Downing
began building homes in the Indianola,
Iowa, community with one employee, two
trucks and one 8-by-20-foot trailer.
His company remained focused on the
residential market until 2001. That is when
Downing brought Denis Frischmeyer on
board to help expand business in the commercial market. Frischmeyer was named
president in 2010.
Earlier, in 2006, Justin Brown and Joe
Butler had been brought on board to
expand the commercial market. "We still do
a limited number of residential buildings as
well, but have really put our emphasis on
the commercial market," Brown explains.

Downing Construction
www.downingconstruct.com
* Headquarters: Indianola, Iowa
* Employees: 35

"We eally try and erve clients
by looking at projects from
eir perspective."
- Justin Brown, partner

50

CONSTRUCTION-TODAY.COM SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2017

has created a niche by
ยป Downing
completing 114 dental health
projects in the last 10 years.

Downing serves an area within a 150mile radius of Indianola for the bulk of its
projects, which covers a majority of the state
of Iowa. And it has expanded its services as
well to include design/build, general contracting, construction management, consulting and a specialty in building senior
housing facilities, medical office buildings,
warehouses and dental clinics.
Although it took some time to build out
the commercial business, Downing did

receive a nice kick-start. "About six years
ago, a senior housing developer hired us for
a project, and that has led to a steady stream
of 12 to 13 of those projects over the past
five years or so," Brown says. "We have also
created a bit of a niche by completing 114
dental projects in the last 10 years."
In addition to dental clinics, knowing
how to build other types of health clinics
has also been a boon for Downing. Since
2013, Downing has completed 17 health


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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Construction Today - September/October 2017

Contents
Construction Today - September/October 2017 - Cover1
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