The Clark Companies
- Written by: Kadie Jepsen
- Produced by: Eric Colby
- Estimated reading time: 3 mins
Since its creation in 1955, The Clark Companies (Clark) has been growing and expanding its expertise. “In the beginning, the company was just doing concrete work, mainly flatwork,” says Larry Clark, president and owner. “Over time we expanded, specializing in residential and commercial poured walls and excavating.”
According to Larry, there are three different divisions within Clark: Clark Foundation Company, L.D. Clark Excavating Company and L.D. Clark Building Company. “We provide our customers with one-stop shopping, therefore eliminating scheduling problems associated with using multiple subcontractors,” he details.
Clark Foundation Company specializes in residential and commercial excavating, quality poured walls, decorative concrete and flatwork. When customers choose this company for construction needs, the total package is delivered, which includes excavation, quality poured walls, Rub-R-Wall waterproofing, flatwork, backfilling and grading.
L.D. Clark Excavating Company was created in 1975 and offers complete excavating services for residential, commercial and municipal projects. Some of the specialties of the company include excavating and backfilling, site development, trucking and water and sewer. In addition to the company’s specialties, it also delivers screened topsoil, landscape rocks, sand and gravel.
L.D. Clark Building Company offers tilt-up construction, which promotes quick and effective buildings with great durability and design flexibility. The innovative method of construction allows concrete wall panels to be cast on-site and tilted into place. The use of tilt-up as a method of construction is beneficial in numerous ways from faster construction, competitive pricing, higher durability, greater fire resistance and lower energy costs. By combining the tilt-up method of construction with the company’s design-build team, it creates savings for the customer throughout the building process.
Larry says that there have been a couple of projects that have stuck with him over the years. “One of the projects was in Saginaw, Mich., and the other was in Lansing, Mich.,” he continues. “They were great projects, because they were complicated with an interesting design.”
The creativeness of the two projects made them fun to build, according to Larry. The NCG Cinema, which was built by Clark in Lansing, won the 2002 CON/STEEL Building of the Year Award. The project in Saginaw was Glastender’s World Headquarters and won the 1989 Manufacturing Building of the Year Award; Manufacturing Building Addition Award in 1995; and in 2001 Office Space Addition Award.
Furthermore, Clark is currently working on a shopping center that is being remodeled, but all of the projects are blended between the divisions right now. It is evident that Larry is proud of how much the cumulative team is able to accomplish.
When Clark takes on a new project it self-performs all of the work, unless the company needs an electrician or a plumber. “I have an electrician that’s been working for us for 20 years, at least, and plumbers probably 10 years,” Larry elaborates.
Additionally, as far as suppliers are concerned, Clark works with its regular RediMix supplier, which Larry co-founded in 1968. Larry was instrumental in every aspect of the company and was the first to introduce front discharge trucks and convert its fleet over to all front discharge trucks in the Lansing market. “The company was sold about five years ago,” Larry details.
According to Larry, his biggest sense of pride in his company is its longevity. “We’ve done pretty well over the years and I have employees that have been working for me for over 40 years,” he says proudly. In addition to the incredibly loyal employee base, Larry says that his family has been learning the business from him over the years. “I have two sons, Dave and Dan, who are vice presidents of the concrete division and the excavating division,” he continues. “My daughter, Dottie, is my left and right hand lady.”
In the future, Larry says the company will only continue to grow and stand still. With an ever-fluctuating market and with the current success of Clark, it is understandable that Larry would hope for the company to remain stable. After almost 60 years of business, it’s remarkable to see how far Larry has been able to sustain and develop his company. What began as a company focused on concrete has grown into a company with three separate divisions, each with its own specialty and area of expertise. Larry has grown his business and educated his children with incredible success, ensuring The Clark Companies continues to grow and succeed for many years to come.
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