Case Studies

Dickinson Cameron Construction

A national general contractor for high-end retail

Dickinson Cameron Construction (Dickinson Cameron) has been serving high-end retail clients since 1994. Frank Naliboff, CEO and president, established the business more than 20 years ago, alongside former partner Nathan Morton.

The pair shares a strong background in construction management and worked for firms in a similar field before teaming up for this venture. In 2015, the team of 60 experienced construction professionals serves designer brands, performing construction and fit-outs in clients’ stores from coast to coast.

Naliboff and his team are very relationship-oriented. “We love to build things,” he explains. “We have been very fortunate to work for some very high-end, luxury retailers. They have put a lot of confidence in us over the years. Those relationships are vital to the success of our business. We have grown through these partnerships and that is how we will continue to grow in the future.”

A different kind of construction team

Dickinson Cameron has a small but powerful executive team. Naliboff works closely with Ron Gordines, director of business development; Maryam Samady, director of finance and marketing; James Mather, executive project manager; and senior project managers, Eddy Barth, Chris Nightingale, Roy Rayment and Gerry Harbinson. Team memberes work from three offices in San Diego, New York City and Honolulu, providing coverage for clients throughout the country.

“We don’t have a super corporate environment here,” explains Samady, who has been with the business for seven years. “Whenever we hire someone, we tell them that working here is kind of like working at a startup. There is a lot of passion and a fire. People want to do better, see things grow and really accomplish things. We have been around a long time, but our team still has that fire. We try to hire people like that, so if you have relaxed personality it might be hard to fit in. We have a lot of passionate people in it not for the money but for the work.”

Attention to detail is the true calling card of Dickinson Cameron. The crew manages ground-up construction projects, tenant fit-ups and improvements. The business consistently has several projects going at a time. Long-term employees, including skilled project managers, keep these contracts moving on schedule while providing the quality craftsmanship that clients have come to expect from the company. Strong employee retention means that clients frequently work with the same team time and again and can rest assured that the company strives (and succeeds) to exceed expectations.

Dickinson Cameron ConstructionA brand name portfolio

Dickinson Cameron operates as a construction manager and general contractor. The business works with subcontractors for all trades, such as paneling, woodwork, millwork, elevators, mechanical and electrical.

“We work with whoever the client wants to use,” Samady says. “All of our subcontractors must be approved by the project owner. We also require that these contractors share our passion for quality construction. We have a great network of partners on board, which means we can handle quite a bit.”

Partnerships with qualified subcontractors make it possible for the Dickinson Cameron team to provide services in a broad geographic footprint. “We do a lot of work in Florida, Hawaii, New York, California and Nevada,” Samady continues. “Most of our activity is where the big shopping centers are. We are working in the meccas of fashion, such as Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Seattle and San Francisco. We are also a restaurant contractor with clients, such as Yard House, Fred’s at Barneys New York, Nordstrom Café, Tender Greens, Gordon Ramsey Fat Cow, etc.”

Current projects include work for a number of repeat clients. For example, the team is working on a ground-up project for Burberry on Rodeo Drive in Los Angeles, which will be an enormous flagship store. Also on the West Coast, the company is performing a project for Barney’s in Los Angeles, another iconic building near Rodeo Drive. Other repeat clients include Apple and Chanel, with multiple projects both ongoing and completed across the country.

A growing footprint

Meanwhile, in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, Dickinson Cameron has finished building a Louis Vuitton store in Ala Moana, Hawaii. The company completed the three-story building in 2014. The company has also built two Gucci stores in Hawaii.

“There is a lot going on there,” Samady explains. “I just came back from a trip to the island and we are probably the busiest retail contractor there. People know our team from work on the mainland. A lot of people vacation in Hawaii from the U.S. and countries in Asia such as Japan, Korea and China. The people who go there to shop are very brand conscious.”

The business recently opened an office in New York to better serve clients there. Dickinson Cameron is in the middle of a project fitting up a mansion on Fifth Avenue there. The six story high building is slated to become Cartier’s grand flagship store. “We expect that office to grow exponentially as many of our clients are based in New York,” Naliboff explains. “Expansion is hard and you have to be smart about it.” So far, the new office has been highly successful.

Combined with the business’ signature attention to detail, the crew will continue to captivate shoppers and build relationships with clients over the coming years. Dickinson Cameron Construction remains a premier contractor for discerning retail clients throughout the United States.

Published on: July 9, 2015

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