Construction Today - October 2009 - (Page 14)
REGIONAL SPOTLIGHT Commercial FEELING THE HEAT Arizona builders look forward to the impending economic upswing. BY BROOKE INFUSINO W hen you have to play the waiting game like most builders are today, what better way to spend your time than planning for the future? At least that’s what Arizona Builders’ Alliance (ABA) Executive Director Mark Minter is doing. Although he says the distressed market has prevented optimism in the marketplace, “the long-term prospects are good because of population trends, pro-growth political attitudes and lots of open spaces,” he notes. In a discussion with Construction Today, Minter shares his view on the long-term benefits of building in the state, impacts of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) and the organization’s plans to partner with the American Institute of Constructors. Construction Today: Explain the unique format of the ABA. How has your membership changed over the years, and what is the core mission of the organization? Mark Minter: The ABA was formed in 1994 with the merger of the Associated Builders & Contractors and the Associated General Contractors Building Chapter. We are only one of two such mergers in the country. The major change over the years has been the growth of general contractors and subcontractors into larger and more sophisticated business operations and the arrival of many national firms in Arizona. The ABA’s core mission is to increase the productivity and profitability of the industry through management education, work force development and lobbying. CT: We hear a lot of doom and gloom about the state of the industry given the economy. What are some of the more positive developments in the region as they relate to the industry? MM: This is a tough one. If you are a project owner, the industry can build it for you faster and less expensively today than two years ago. In the industry, it is hard to put a positive spin on 28 percent unemployment and declining profits. CT: What factors are unique to the region that have helped contractors maintain work and business? MM: In the short term, the Arizona market is suffering along with the rest of the country. In the long term, the population growth projections indicated that Arizona will be a high-growth market for many years to come. Also, we have done a good job of laying the foundation for future growth with our projects, such as the urban freeway system, three state universities, light rail, the Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport ( see page 64) and other initiatives. CT: How do you describe the construction climate regionally? MM: People in the construction industry are very positive about the future of Arizona and the United States. Despite the hard times we are currently enduring, this is a vibrant state and nation that will rebound from this period and go on to new levels of prosperity. That prosperity will be enjoyed by people up and down the economic spectrum. The construction industry is especially optimistic about the future. We are an industry populated by men and women who can look at an empty piece of ground and envision a school, apartments or a high-rise office building. They know how to make that vision a reality. CT: You have been a part of the ABA since 1977 and the executive director since 1994. How have you seen the industry evolve? MM: We are now seeing larger, more sophisticated businesses in the local market. There is a greater use of technology, such as building information modeling, to help deliver projects faster, smarter and less expensively. There is an increased presence of large national firms here. At one time, 30 of the 100 largest general contractors in the United States were working in Phoenix. The technological solutions used by a few 30 years ago are now employed by everybody. There is better communication between businesses. There are fewer disputes that end up in court. As a result of lobbying efforts from ABA and others, we have improved a number Arizona’s statutes impacting construction. We have better payment laws, lien laws and our public work procurement codes are among the most modern in the country. CT: What sectors of the construction industry seem to be outperforming others? Mark Minter has served as the executive director of the Arizona Builders’ Alliance since 1994. With offices in Phoenix and Tucson, ABA represents 350 contractors, suppliers and professional service firms serving the needs of the commercial construction industry. He can be reached at 602-274-8222. CONSTRUCTION-TODAY.COM OCTOBER 2009
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Construction Today - October 2009
Construction Today - October 2009
Regional Spotlight: Southwest
Ledcor Construction Hawaii LLC
C.H. GUERNSEY & Co.
First Gulf Development Corp.: Meadowvale Corporate Centre
Jacobsen Construction: Workers Compensation Fund Headquarters
Novak Construction Co.
Affordable Concepts Inc.
HBD Construction Inc.: Edwardsville Crossing
Ledcor Construction: Napa, Calif.
Mared Mechanical Contractors Corp.
Myers & Chapman Inc.
Summit Contractors Group Inc.
Wilcox Construction Inc.
Special Focus: Mergers & Acquisitions
Hensel Phelps: Phoenix Sky Harbor Intl. Airport Sky Train
Circle Construction LLC
Electrical Contractors Inc.
Everett, Wash., Department of Public Works
Imco General Construction Inc.: Arlington WWTP
New Prince Concrete Construction
R.N. Rouse & Co. Inc.
Stanek Constructors Inc.
Fort Lewis: New Barracks, Army Growth Complex and Support Battalion
Torcon Inc.: Brookhaven National Laboratory’s National Synchrotron Light Source II
Bovis Lend Lease: FBI Denver HQ
Stuart Olson: University of Lethbridge Markin Hall
Bird Construction Co.: Shearwater Helicopter Base
Carbon Constructors Inc.
Consultants & Builders Inc.
Emerick Construction Co.: Rock Creek Middle School
Broadmoor/Boh Brothers Construction Co.: U.S. Coast Guard Integrated Support Command
Cahill Contractors Inc.: The Oakland Museum of California Phase 1
Flintco Inc.: Germantown Women & Children’s Pavilion
Gamma Construction Co.
Kreizenbeck Constructors: BSU Student Union
Pizzagalli Construction Co.: FAHC Radiation Oncology
Robins & Morton: Lincoln Hospital
Steele & Freeman Inc.
Tenderloin Neighborhood Development Corp. (TNDC)
W.G. Yates & Sons Construction: Armed Forces Retirement Village
BBL Construction Services LLC: The Glen at Sugar Hill Apartments
Chelsea Investment Corp.
Affirmed Housing Group
Westland Construction Inc.: Bridges at Citifront
Product Showcase: Plumbing Equipment
Hunzinger Construction Co.: Johnson Controls Headquarters
B.L. Harbert International LLC: S.O.F. 5th Special Forces Battalion Operations Complex
Duke Construction: Monarch Beverage Co. Headquarters
Irish Construction Co.
TMU LLC (Triune)
Last Look: Consultants & Builders Inc.
Construction Today - October 2009