- Written by: Molly Shaw
- Produced by: John Carioti
- Estimated reading time: 4 mins
As one of the oldest foundation and flatwork concrete contractors in the greater Detroit area, Amalio Corporation (Amalio) has been setting the tone of projects and delivering expert execution for almost 50 years. The company specializes in new construction across a range of sectors, from commercial and industrial buildings to health care facilities, federal government and higher education edifices, parking structures, multiuse high-rise buildings and particularly projects that require full adherence to a strict construction schedule.
“As one of the first trades on the construction jobsite, it’s imperative to be able to expedite submittals and fabrication of materials in order to set the tone of the project,” explains Eric Steck, vice president and 21-year Amalio employee. “One of our core values and strengths is actively participating in upfront design, development and scheduling, working with construction managers to shed light on logistic feasibility. We help point out potential pitfalls and areas that could provide scheduling constraints and do our best to perform value engineering, which delivers schedule reductions and cost savings.”
Building a solid reputation backed by family ownership
“We recognize that if we deliver and make it a successful project, other trades and managers will want to work with us again,” adds Steck. Amalio has been building a reputation as solid as its foundation and flatwork over the course of 50 years, since the Amalio family formed the company in 1965.
“The company originated with Sam Amalio as a small residential contractor,” recalls Steck. “His son, John Amalio, formed a spin-off company, creating a commercial division and formed Amalio in 1965. The Amalio family still owns the company today.”
Since its inception, Amalio has become a trusted name in southeast Michigan serving clients from Detroit to Ann Arbor, West Bloomfield to Rochester Hills. “We’re a union contractor with approximately 100 employees from carpenters to finishers, laborers to operating engineers,” shares Steck. “In the past, we’ve gone out of state to Texas and Oklahoma for design-assist opportunities.”
Strength in diversity
When the recession hit Amalio the hardest in 2008, the company relied on its diversity in various markets and reaching beyond Detroit for work. “We were fortunate to have work going through 2008 and on because we’re not dependent on public clients,” explains Steck. “Projects for the University of Michigan, Wayne State, Michigan State and private hospitals kept going strong.”
Steck and several crews also ventured to Texas and Oklahoma to build technical assist maintenance facilities in conjunction with the Army Corps of Engineers. “We had to step outside of our normal range to keep the work flow steady through the downturn,” he notes. “We were involved with extensive Advance Individual Trainee facilities [AIT] and the 31st ADA Tactical Equipment Maintenance Facilities with the Army Corps of Engineers. Our success in this area has fostered the possibility of a new location in the southwest.”
Filling a tall order at the Cobo Center
By 2012, Amalio was back at home in Motor City, retracing its roots at the city’s iconic Cobo Center. Located downtown with sweeping riverfront views, the Cobo Center was one of the first major jobs John Amalio landed back in the 1980s. The company returned for more work in the 1990s and in January 2012, Amalio returned for a welcomed homecoming and major $279 million expansion project.
In conjunction with Turner Construction and the Cobo Authority, Amalio went to work on the major conference center, delivering 75-foot-tall concrete columns to frame and support the facility’s signature 30,000-square-foot light-filled atrium. Amalio installed the massive columns using 85-foot-tall articulating Skyreach lifts for optimum mobility.
Below grade, the company poured 114 concrete pile caps for Hardman Construction, a local geotechnical bridge contractor. The multitask contract also included epoxy-coated re-steel and a new structural concrete deck for the Washington Street Parking Garage. All in all, Amalio completed the sizable job in time for the center to host the North American International Auto show in January 2014.
Amalio executed another landmark project at Oakland University in Rochester. “The new $64 million Oakland University Human Health Building is the first LEED-certified Platinum building on a university campus in Michigan and the project has been awarded Project of the Year by the Construction Association of Michigan [CAM],” reveals Steck.
Competing against numerous area concrete contractors, Amalio won the bid on the 160,260-square-foot, five-story facility. “We were working under the Chrisman Company and they have their own concrete division that we competed against with great mutual respect for the work,” shares Steck.
Furthering the future of the industry
It was an honor to be recognized by CAM as Steck has served on the association’s board of directors for three years and will reside as chairman of the board for 2014. “CAM addresses the issues that affect Michigan and its 2,400 members from contractors to suppliers and designers; the whole gamut,” imparts Steck. “Right now, we’re dealing with an unhealthy construction industry across the board, from getting paid on time to getting change orders timely and closing out projects, what goes on here affects everyone on a national level.”
Steck says the goal is to launch round-table discussions to open the dialogue amongst professionals. “Our first one is scheduled for the end of March 2014 with 20 to 30 industry leaders on board,” he notes. “At Amalio, we’re thinking beyond ourselves here and about what’s best for the industry, as well.”
It is evident that Steck is proud Amalio is about to hit its 50-year mark. “We’re going to figure out a way to make it another 50,” he assures. Amalio Corporation continues to set benchmarks as an industry leader and first-on-the-job contractor.
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