Eckard Commercial Construction Inc.
Eckard Commercial Construction Inc. (Eckard Commercial) has been a commercial and industrial general contractor for Arizona and central California since 2008. Founded by Troy and Claire Eckard, Eckard Commercial is primarily a design-build firm, building everything from cold storage, freezers, to office buildings, to airport hangars.
Finding a niche
Troy first joined the construction industry after leaving a position on a nuclear submarine in the Navy. He began working for a developer building hotels in Hawaii. This step into the industry proved to be a fateful one, as the developer became a resourceful mentor for Troy.
“He basically set me down when I was 22 years old and gave me an outline of what my career could be,” Troy chuckles.
After 18 years in the business, Troy decided to branch out and start his own company, focusing on the commercial and industrial market. Troy and Claire began building a company that focused on design-build and versatility, with a target on a mid-range demographic.
“I wanted to keep a company that was middle-sized; where I can stay in contact with my customers, but have the capabilities of a larger company,” Troy explains.
The effort to keep the company’s size in check has allowed Troy to tailor Eckard Commercial into a construction business that performs with the personal connection of a smaller company, on a more competitive, yet larger scale.
“We still self-perform our work,” Troy details. “We stay in the format of the more traditional contractor. If I am self-performing and competitive, then I can do the job at a better price than the contractor who subs out all of the work. It also gives me control of the critical path of the work.”
Based out of Yuma, Arizona, Eckard Commercial employs approximately 45 people. It operates across southern and western Arizona, reaching into central California, as well. The team-like atmosphere helps keep the company strong.
“I try to make work as friendly and enjoyable as I can,” he continues. “I hire responsible people and empower them. I do not micromanage. I find that if people know the philosophy and expectations then work can be fun.”
With a staff that still includes employees who joined the company during its first year, Troy has built a family within Eckard Commercial, encouraging low turnover and genuine loyalty.
Eckard Commercial works on a sundry range of projects. “We do everything from cold storage, freezers, food processing facilities, office buildings, medical, hangers and retail work,” Troy details.
The variety of projects keeps the company competitive in the market, and has allowed for growth, even during the lull of the economic downturn. “We have always stayed diverse,” says Troy. “The agricultural component of our business keeps us busy when the economy is going south overall.” Newer projects with cold storage facilities and warehouses helped the company build through the recession.
In 2014, a project with Western Precooling Systems had Eckard Commercial acting as general contractor in addition to self-performing much of the building erection and site demolition.
Located in Oxnard, California, the 100,000-square-foot space was built to cool shipments of strawberries. It included five pressure coolers, as well as office space and 14 recessed truck pits. “It was about 60,000 feet of cold storage, plus another 30,000 feet of everything else,” Troy explains.
Another key job for Eckard Commercial was in 2013, when the company was contracted as builders on the Yuma International Airport in Yuma, Arizona. Working with several other companies, Eckard Commercial performed the bulk of the construction. The 45,000-square-foot facility was selected as Best of the Hangar category in Star Building Systems’ 2013 Master Builder Contest.
With major projects under its belt, Eckard Commercial has targeted a unique range of clients throughout the commercial and industrial sectors of the industry. Still, the company has a dedication to its community that is just as key to its success.
Eckard Commercial is involved in a variety of local projects and services. In addition to the construction of the Humane Society of Yuma, outreach through the donation of labor and material to construct playgrounds at local elementary schools, the annual support of Community Food Bank and Salvation Army all connect to Eckard Commercial’s core of family values.
Keeping good company
While most of Eckard Commercial’s work is self-performed, the company has found success by working on a regular basis with the same core group of subcontractors. “To be successful, you need to work with good quality subs,” says Troy. “It’s part of our mission to always try to find good local subs.”
The focus on local has helped the company grow as both a local entity and a successful business.
Looking ahead, Eckard Commercial will to continue to prosper within its niche of design-build. The array of projects and clients can only keep coming with the strong performance the company has shown thus far.
The company’s motto: from concept to completion, summarizes the business skills the company maintains, but leaves out the laudable values and actions Eckard Commercial Construction Inc. demonstrates with its employees, subcontractors and community.
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