- Written by: Molly Shaw
- Produced by: Jack Porter
- Estimated reading time: 4 mins
C.E.G. Construction (CEG) has risen to the top of the industrial building and development market in southern California. The company was founded in 1993 by Trace Chalmers, president of CEG, who was a prominent industrial real estate broker in the greater Los Angeles area prior. After years in industrial real estate, Trace saw an opportunity to fill a void in California’s southern marketplace for a quality design-build construction company.
With more and more real estate clients desiring specific building requirements, Trace realized the need for a firm that could deliver a turnkey solution. Therefore, he founded CEG as the go-to developer and contractor for all industrial building types.
CEG is capable of delivering a fully functional facility. “We are a turnkey operation in the fullest sense,” explains Trace. “We don’t just build the buildings; we help with site selection, purchase negotiations, complete design and engineering, entitlements, securing permits, construction and even assisting with loan funding. We retain complete control over the entire process.”
From the company’s home base in Pico Rivera, Calif., CEG supports southern California’s strong industrial economy. “We’re one of the few remaining companies to specialize in design-build construction,” remarks Trace. “We’ve also developed an expertise in building food-processing and cold-storage facilities. Food plants require a great deal of coordination and attention to detail to comply with all the current food safety, sanitary and environmental requirements.”
CEG’s in-house design team, OC Engineering, has the experience to design not only the building, but also all of the equipment layouts and packaging systems needed to process food according to health regulations, thus keeping consumers safe.
Built to Suit
As the general contractor on the majority of its projects, CEG oversees coordination and supervision to ensure each and every job comes in on time, on budget and meets the client’s specific needs. CEG has established itself as a one-stop provider for custom building solutions. In return, the company has won a slew of high-profile projects, including a contract with retail giant Lucky Brand Jeans (Lucky Brand). “We had a piece of land in the city of Los Angeles arts district that we owned for about a decade and we intended to build loft properties, but with the economic downturn that wasn’t going to happen,” explains Trace. “Instead we offered it as a design-build parcel and we leased it to Lucky Brand for their new corporate headquarters.”
CEG broke ground on the Lucky Brand 50,000-square-foot creative office building in February 2011. “Lucky Brand wanted to achieve a 1940s retro-style building,” elaborates Junior Vargas, project engineer for the Lucky Brand job. “As the project estimator and general contractor, CEG completed the project in record time to meet Lucky Brand’s fast-track schedule.”
More recently, CEG is in the works of a 630,000-square-foot design-build project in the city of Commerce on Garfield in conjunction with KTR Capital. “We started the demolition about eight months ago,” notes Trace. “We had to do some significant environmental cleanup and grading before we could secure the building permit, which we received in August 2013.”
The company has also tackled a $20 million design-build renovation for Golden West Trading, a food distributor and ready-to-eat manufacturer in Vernon, Calif. “We bought some property and sold half of it to Golden West Trading,” Trace continues. “Then they hired us to do all of the design-build improvements and what is now about 200,000 square feet of food-processing and cold-storage space.”
However, Trace says one of the more interesting jobs recently for CEG was an indoor rock climbing facility for Sender One Climbing in Orange County. “We took the roof off a tilt-up building and raised the roof an additional 50 feet,” he explains. “We installed European-style rock climbing walls inside. It’s a pretty unique and interesting project. Our in-house design and engineering capabilities allow us to handle complicated projects like this.”
Aside from general contracting, CEG’s development business, Chalmers Equity Group, remains healthy in a less than desirable economy. “We bought two buildings in Vernon, both were significantly remodeled for multi-tenant food processing, and then leased to Culinary Brands, La Brea Bakery, Lusamerica Foods and Penguin Foods,” adds Trace.
CEG remains one of the few general contractors in southern California to concentrate on industrial buildings. The company’s expertise in food and cold-storage buildings has allowed CEG to prosper during tough economic times.
“The demand for industrial space in this area is starting to come around again,” claims Trace. “I think we’ll continue our build-to-suit operations and keep on doing what we do best.” After 25 years of filling an industrial niche, C.E.G. Construction continues to support southern California with one-stop shop design-build engineering solutions.
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