Case Studies

Dakenna Development

Starting from the ground up

Back in 2009, Daniel Kane and Morris Adkins found themselves in a situation that was both unfortunate and problematic. The recession during that time caused the contractor that Kane and Adkins were working for to go out of business, leading both men to reevaluate the current circumstances and find a new course of action.

Through perseverance and strategy, Kane and Adkins developed a new company, Dakenna Development. “The one active segment at the time was retail construction,” Kane says. “We printed out a list of the 200 fastest growing franchises and started cold-calling.”

This process lasted for three months before Dakenna Development got its break. “Our first project ever was for one of the top five fastest growing chains in the country: Jimmy John’s Gourmet Sandwiches,” Kane explains. “We were fortunately awarded the job and my partner and I self-performed a portion of the work to make ends meet.”

To date Dakenna Development has completed over 100 projects for the chain.

Dakenna DevelopmentCompany growth

As a result of hard work and a dedicated team of employees, Dakenna Development is now a premier commercial construction company that also provides design-build, general contracting and construction management services. Dakenna Development has experienced significant growth since its first project in 2010, primarily due to the company’s fast growing retail division.

The project mix of Dakenna Development has also matured into building ground-up restaurants and commercial strip centers. “What we are seeing now is that our clients are trending toward developing their own real estate and being their own landlords, not just a tenant,” Adkins says. Dakenna Development is developing land, building strip centers and also performing the interior construction for the restaurants or retail stores, providing a full-service, turnkey approach.

Branded services

Dakenna Development has a wide-range of unique construction solutions for all types of projects, including the single business owner to the multibillion dollar corporations managing complex capital programs. The company strategically developed three branded services.

“Our branded services highlight our core project delivery system, Race2Revenue, as well as our other services specifically designed to manage national construction rollouts,” says Adkins.

By delivering on clients’ needs and expectations, Dakenna Development has secured a strong, loyal client base and has received repeat business over the years. The company aims to keep the owner’s involved and informed during the decision making process, from conception to completion. This approach allows Dakenna Development to strengthen the relationship between the contactor and the owner.

“We help our clients facilitate good deals and more importantly, prevent bad deals,” Kane promises. “Through providing that value through our pre-construction services, it keeps us in front of the client early on in their process.”

Dakenna Development has worked on many notable projects over the years. Recently, the company constructed the Mizzen Plaza in Miami, Florida. The ground-up commercial retail center required the company to work on the project through every phase, from site-development to interior construction of tenant space. The process for this project, sequencing vendors and coordinating all aspects for the entire project, utilized the company’s impressive list of skills.

Geographic location

Dakenna Development has established a wide range of clients over the years as a result of the company continuing to grow geographically. “We’ve done limited business development; our growth has all been through word-of-mouth and repeat clients, which has been very fortunate for us,” Adkins says. “We started in Florida and then received licensing in all of the Southeast. Now five years later we operate in 40 states.”

By 2015, the company hopes to obtain full nationwide licensing. The subcontractors the company uses are found locally to the project, as well. “We do like to hire local subcontractors in those markets,” Kane details. Using a local vendor or subcontractor lowers the cost for the client and the subcontractors will know the right codes for that area.

After only five years in business, Dakenna Development is well on its way to meeting its growth goals. The company has received attention from many journals over the years and has been recognized for its continued growth and success. Dakenna Development ranked No. 184 in 2014 Inc. 500 Fastest Growing Private Companies in America; No. 5 in 2014 Inc. 500 Fastest Growing Contractors in America; and No. 4 on the 2014 Jacksonville Business Journal’s Fast 50 list of private companies.

Dakenna Development has a long and exciting road ahead. The company will only continue to grow geographically and economically, as well. Kane and Adkins knew long ago that this was the work that each was meant to do; the hard work and perseverance paid off. Dakenna Development has a promising future.

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