Bayside Contractors Inc.
Raul Betanourt started Bayside Contractors Inc. (BCI) in 2001 after spending 20 years working for another contractor in Puerto Rico. He started working in the construction industry in 1976, moving to his uncle’s company eight years later. Over the years, he honed his skills and gained experience before branching out on his own. Today, BCI is a growing general contracting firm serving Puerto Rico. Betancourt and his team are looking to move into new territory in the continental United States over the coming years.
The team of 25 experienced construction professionals operates from a single office in San Juan. The company provides design and construction management services as well as several in-house trades. BCI has established a niche in commercial and multi-family construction, working all over the island. Lasting relationships with regional developers have offered the team a competitive edge in creating high-quality projects that meet the budgets and schedules of clients.
Diverse construction services
BCI has a broad and growing portfolio, including high-rise apartment buildings, pharmaceutical facilities, office buildings and schools among others. For many years, high-rise construction was the team’s hot spot. The company has constructed apartment buildings, condominiums and parking structures throughout the region.
The company has established strong partnerships over the years, allowing BCO to pick up a wide range of commercial work. The team worked on a major shopping center in Canovanas, Puerto Rico, performing a range of services to complete the $2,100,000 project. Another recent project has been a large parking garage for Hospital del Maestro in Hato Rey, Puerto Rico. The five-story facility was an $11 million project for the team.
When the recession began to hit Puerto Rico hard in 2010, the market shifted. Raul and his team began to seek out new avenues of income. With broad capabilities and a dedicated team, the business was able to remain steady by diversifying. This initiative involved moving into the public sector. BCI picked up a set of three school projects, the largest coming in at around $14 million, the other two at around $6 million. The crew will wrap up the final phases in 2014 and go on to perform a large maintenance project in 2015. Also in the public realm, the company is building a substantial hangar for Border Patrol. The design-build hangar project comes in at $7 million.
BCI has built strong efficiencies in order to deliver comprehensive projects quickly and turn over high-quality end products to clients. The business employs and in-house architect as well as LEED-trained staff. Betancourt’s partner, Ernesto Riefkohl, is an engineer, bringing BCI full circle. “In addition to design and project management, we also perform concrete, site work, insulation, millwork, door and hardware installation,” says Betancourt. “We work with a network of reliable subcontractors who take care of other trades such as electrical, mechanical, plumbing and interiors. We have great relationships with them and they do a terrific job.”
These lasting partnerships create a powerful workforce that developers have come to rely on. “Our relationships are the backbone of this business,” Betancourt clarifies. “The reputation we have with our developer clients is very important. We need them to trust us and maintain a strong give-and-take relationship, especially now that the market is picking up.”
In the private sector, developers, business owners and other potential clients are beginning to warm up to new construction. While the market was rough for Betancourt and his colleagues over the last few years, the crew has seen a big improvement. “We are starting to quote footprints for developers,” he notes. “There are a lot of opportunities coming up for our team in the next few years.”
On the docket is a bid for a major project for a food distribution company. BCI has been putting together a chore list for the project in late 2014 and the business has qualified as a finalist for the project that consists of the construction of a new warehouse. At $60 million, this will be one of the company’s largest projects to date if BCI is selected. With strong in-house capabilities and lasting relationships with a range of subcontractors, the team is more than prepared to handle the work.
Beyond specific bids, Betancourt and his crew are looking to expand in new directions. As the business continues to build its portfolio in Puerto Rico, the management team has identified opportunities outside of the typical service area. “We are looking into expanding into Texas,” Betancourt suggests, though nothing has been set in stone. Regardless of where this continued success takes the team, Bayside Contractors Inc. will remain dedicated to high-quality construction work in Puerto Rico and beyond.
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