Construction Concepts Inc.
In 1991 Marc and Kim Dewey founded specialty construction firm Construction Concepts Inc. (CCI). For more than 20 years, the business has grown, developing strong and lasting relationships with clients, subcontractors and employees alike. Kim’s son, Dan Grelle, has recently taken on a growing role in the family business.
“My parents started this company out of the basement of their house,” Dan recounts. “At first, they were doing a lot of facilities type work. They had projects with businesses, such as Storage Technology and Ball Aerospace, where they did tenant renovations for their locations. At one point we got into residential construction, which we did for seven or eight years, building homes in northern Colorado. Throughout that time, we continued the commercial side of the company and continued to diversify as we got into larger projects, including ground-up construction and tenant finishes.”
Now, the company mainly focuses on small business owners. “Our clients are typically entrepreneurs expanding their businesses,” Dan explains. “We offer turnkey design-build services that take the pressure off our clients. They don’t have time to understand what all the different facets are of expanding a business physically, such as finding land, getting municipal approvals and hiring designers and contractors. These things are not easy to do, especially when you are growing a business. We do some hard-bid work, as well, but our niche is in turnkey solutions for business owners.”
Dan is proud to note that CCI has done some in-house development, as well. “We own a few pieces of ground that we have developed into gas stations, commercial, industrial and retail buildings,” he continues. “As the market has changed, we have changed with it. We have developed a strong design-build program, and although we do not perform any in-house design work, we have relationships with local designers and we manage the design process. Our project owners are taken out of a position where they have to figure out who to hire first and how to save the most money. That’s how we operate.”
A few such turnkey projects include a number of retail, commercial and medical spaces. “We just finished the Ghent Chevrolet Dealership additions in Greeley, Colo.,” Dan details. “The owner, Bob Ghent, is using the General Motors image program to update his facility. This has become a $1.3 million design-assist project. We hired all of the mechanical, electrical and plumbing designers, and we managed the civil design aspect. The owner had an architect on board who remained directly contracted with him. The business is really growing and Bob has achieved a number of Bravo awards and Entrepreneur of the Year awards.”
The CCI team also recently completed work on the Northern Orthopedic Center, which is owned by Scott Dhupar. “He is an orthopedic surgeon and one of a few entrepreneurial doctors in the area,” Dan explains. “A few years ago, we did a tenant finish project for him and renovated an existing building to house his business. That was a $300,000 to $400,000 job. Recently, he bought another building and we renovated about 7,322 square feet. This one ran between $400,000 and $500,000, with two stories. He is running a growing business, so we have done what we can to make it easy for him to expand. The new facility has allowed him to add physical therapy, as well as exam rooms and administrative space for his orthopedic practice.”
Changing With the Market
CCI is experiencing steady business and growth now; however, the business has been recovering from the effects of the recent recession. “We had to downsize,” Dan elaborates. “We survived, which is good, and now we are back on an upswing. The phone is ringing again. Early on, when my parents were more involved with the business, we were doing a lot more hard-bid work. At that time in the market, those jobs were more profitable than they are now. That has become a difficult market to compete in in today’s world. The margins are low and the risks are high.” Therefore, the company distanced itself in 2007.
Nonetheless, CCI is not slowing down. “Now we are in growth mode,” he continues. “In next few years, we will double in size. We are focusing on the same clients, small business owners, as well as bigger national clients, such as 7-11, Circle K, Goodwill and McDonalds. These national clients are a fairly new market for us. It’s a big step, but I think we will see a consistent volume of work.”
The business continues to adapt to the ever-changing market. As the company diversifies, Dan is taking steps to ensure that the most important components of the operation stay the same: values. Construction Concepts Inc. continues to offer leading construction services through building relationships, offering fair and honest work and maintaining perspective in a changing market.
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