Construction Today 2018 - Volume 16, Issue 3 - 176
Institutional | SPENCE BROTHERS
SPENCE BROTHERS IS AT WORK ON TWO HIGHRISE STUDENT LIVING PROJECTS IN ANN ARBOR,
MICH. BY ALAN DORICH
ot many companies last through four generations of
family leadership, but Spence Brothers has continued to
thrive for decades. CEO Herb Spence III explains that the
company has done whatever was needed to survive the
tumultuous construction industry.
Previous generations, he notes, made sacrifices and took advantages of good times to grow the company. And the recent generation
has "been willing to change how we deliver projects and add additional services such as construction management," he says.
Based in Saginaw, Mich., Spence Brothers offers construction management, general contracting, design/build, carpentry and concrete
services. Brothers Matt and Hugh Spence started the firm in 1893 in
response to a fire that destroyed much of the east side of Saginaw.
Together, the two rebuilt homes and other structures that had
burned down. "They grew rather quickly after that," Herb Spence
says, noting that Spence Brothers now employs a staff of 200 and
enjoyed sales of over $180 million last year.
Today, many Spence family members are still involved in the
company, both in leadership and on projects. "About half of them
really love to be out on the job site," he says. "It's a dedicated group of
family members, who do what is needed to make us successful."
Ann Arbor is a 12-story,
with high-end features.
174,663-square-foot building when it is finished this June. Vice
Spence Brothers is at work on its Hub Ann Arbor and Six11 projects,
President Bruce Smith notes that the building will include "highwhich are private developments marketed to University of Michigan
end student housing.
students in Ann Arbor, Mich. The company is serving as the con"There are a lot of features on this project that are pretty cool," he
struction manager on both, which will be finished this summer.
says. Hub Ann Arbor will have a rooftop amenity terrace with a hot
Spence Brothers is not new to student living projects, Herb Spentub, fire pits, terrace seating and barbecue grills.
ce notes. Previously, the contractor built
The first floor will have a fitness center and
developments for Saginaw Valley State
rooms, and the living units will have
University and Northwestern Michigan
quartz countertops, thermostats and stainless
College, among others.
* 2017 ales: $180 million
steel appliances. "A lot of the finishes are nicer
However, "These are the first ones we've
* Headquarters: Saginaw, Mich.
than those in my house," Smith jokes. "It's a
done for private developers," Spence says,
* Employees: 200
pretty cool-looking building that you don't see
adding that both are high-rise buildings.
* Specia y: General contracting,
around every day," he says, noting that Spence
"They're integrated in the downtown
construction management, design/build,
urban setting." The developers on the two
Brothers takes pride in the fact that it completed
carpentry and concrete ervices
all the concrete work on Hub Ann Arbor using a
residential projects are CoreSpaces and
"It's complicated," Smith notes, "given the
Hub Ann Arbor, with a project cost
layout of the building." The east edge of the
around $40 million, will be a 12-story,
Spence Bro ers
"Everybody at works here
kno at we work very
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