ACY Contractors LLC
In 2004, three experienced construction management professionals came together with the entrepreneurial vision for a service-first contracting firm to serve clients in Orlando, Florida, and the surrounding areas. Founding partners Michael Young, Michael Arrington and Andre Collins, had all been working regionally for other contractors when they joined forces and started ACY Contractors, LLC (originally named after the founders’ last initials). More than 10 years — and dozens of successful projects later — ACY Contractors LLC is a successful, full-service construction company providing construction manager at risk, general contracting, trade contracting, design-build and bid-build services for diverse, small and large commercial projects.
“We had always talked about how we wanted to have our own company someday,” says Young, president, CEO and owner of ACY Contractors. “Finally, one day we were able to put a little money together to actually start the company. Our first job was a small project. It was only about $1,900. It was cutting open an access hole in a wall. From there, things got started. We started to partner with other firms on schools. Construct Two Group gave us one of our first large projects; it was the Westbrooke Elementary School in Ocoee, Florida. Lindell Mems of Mems Construction gave us opportunity to partner with her in south Florida. With those opportunities, we were able to start our company.”
While ACY Contractors is primarily known as a general contractor, the firm combines both construction management and trade contractor services all under one roof. The team often oversees projects from conception to completion, but works as a subcontractor under other general contractors when a project is a good fit for the crew’s capabilities. “Our team performs rough carpentry, drywall, acoustical ceilings and wall paneling as well as accessories and specialties,” notes Young. “On certain projects as a general contractor, we will self-perform. And some of our clients are larger construction managers we work with providing sub-trade services.”
Young and his colleagues are able to perform a range of trades in-house, but for projects where the firm serves in a project management capacity, he turns to a network of subcontractors with whom he has long-term working relationships. “It’s absolutely essential to have a network of subs,” Young explains. “A good contractor or supplier calls as much as a bad one. It’s not always the lowest bidder; we have to make sure they are qualified to do the work in line with our standards.”
The company currently operates throughout the state of Florida, though Young says that is about to change. “We are actually working on getting our license in Georgia, South Carolina, Louisiana and Texas,” he explains. “We currently operate from one office location, but next year we will be opening up a second office in Gainesville, Florida.”
Over the last year, the company’s work has been a good mix of construction management and subcontractor work, with an estimated 60 percent to 40 percent respectively. Projects range from $25,000 to $6 million and include both new construction and renovation projects. As the construction industry remains in recovery mode, Young says the balance still leans heavily on the renovation side, but new construction is looking up. While the firm’s target market has been historically a majority public work, such as government agencies and public schools, Young says he is looking forward to building more relationships with private sector clients in the years ahead, such as the hospitality and health care markets.
Young and his colleagues have taken on a number of challenging projects throughout the company’s history. One of the most complex in recent history was ACY Contractors’ work on the HCA Poinciana Medical Center vertical expansion project. “This is the toughest job we have ever had,” says Young. “We just finished up, working for Robins & Morton. We added two floors to the existing hospital, which was occupied the whole time.”
With significant logistical planning, ACY Contractors and its partners turned around a high-quality, efficient project with little disturbance to hospital operations. The business served as the general trades and specialty trades contractor on the project, self-performing carpentry and working with trusted partners to perform the systematic demolition of the roof, mechanical systems and structures on the roof to make room for the structural steel to be placed.
ACY was responsible for numerous tasks affecting the operations of the hospital and areas abutting or within the patient-occupied areas. Specifically, ACY performed infection control risk assessment (ICRA), setting up the separation barriers between patient-occupied areas and construction locations, including negative air machines and ducting. ACY also performed demolition and staging to make access for mechanical, electrical and plumbing installations, followed by put-back and finishes. The team performed reframing for walls, installed gypsum wallboard, finished, painted, installed fixtures, cleaned up, removed ICRA barriers and demobilized, turning completed areas over to the hospital.
In addition to this project, the team has also taken on a number of school projects — both for public K-12 applications and higher education. Over the last year, the firm has worked with a slew of general contractors as well as several Florida School districts, the University of Florida, commercial office buildings and the Orange County Convention Center. ACY Contracting also has a continued relationship with Disney World, where the team has completed numerous projects over the years and received consistent, positive feedback.
Core values come first
Because of ACY Contracting’s dedication to quality, efficiency and its core values, long-term relationships come naturally to the firm. “We hold true to our core values,” explains Young. “First of all, that is to make sure we are customer-relationship focused. We want our clients to receive the service they need. We try to make sure we don’t have any bad references. We also believe in giving back to the community and contributing to different organizations in the community or religious organizations.”
ACY Contractors is actively involved with UCP Central Florida, a well-known organization that supports children with physical and developmental disabilities. “We do a lot with them,” Young notes. “This month, we are doing a walk for an employee who has an autistic child. There was another event recently that a nonprofit had giving awareness of human trafficking and bullying; we were one of the sponsors for that event. I also sit on the board of the National Association of Minority Contractors.”
Young reinforces that there is no magic, silver bullet when it comes to building a successful business. For him and his team, it all comes down to adhering to the company’s mission and staying true to their word as professionals. This team-oriented and community-focused approach to business has made the company a leader in the Florida construction market, a position ACY Contractors LLC is proud to maintain in the years to come.
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