Founded in 2003 by Luis Hernandez, HCD Group services southern Florida as a commercial and residential design-build construction company. With a focus on unique designs and innovative construction, HCD Group creates beautiful, high-end housing across the region.
An electrical engineer by trade, Luis started the company after working as a contractor in Venezuela’s oil industry. Following his move to the United States, he decided to settle in Florida and focus on the construction market. Initially called HCD Developers, the company began primarily with self-performed construction and development, financed by Luis and his then-partners Tomas Gonzalez and Enrique Alvarez.
When the recession hit, it hit HCD Developers hard, and Luis changed the company’s business plan away from developing. He decided to focus instead on contracting, to help buffer the blow the market crash had dealt.
Rebranding to HCD Group, the company found great success with the transition to contracting. As the market stabilized, HCD Group started incorporating more and more design elements into its practices, leading to its comfortable current state as a design-build firm. Finding a core niche helped the company survive the economic downturn, and led to a variety of creative opportunities in the construction design field.
Adriana Hernandez, Luis’s daughter, first began working for the company as an intern. After studying civil engineering in college, she worked for several years with Turner Construction in Texas, getting a feel for the industry before returning home to Florida. Adriana rejoined HCD Group full-time in 2013 as construction manager, and she has taken great pride in working for a company that consistently delivers quality and luxury to Florida homeowners.
Diversity in design
HCD Group sets itself apart from its competitors by working with clients at any stage in the design-build process. Whether renovating an older house or finding the reality of a client’s dream, HCD Group is ready to jump on board.
“We like to do everything,” Adriana explains. With a real estate sector of its business, HCD Group assists its customers in finding land if they have yet to do so. “We’re involved all the way through turning your key,” she says.
While HCD Group often works with clients who have already selected an architect, having its own in-house, Tony Rodriguez, allows the company to excel at design. With construction its primary focus, HCD Group prides itself in now being a full design-build company.
Starting with classic Mediterranean-style homes, HCD Group has shifted with the market to the modern construction; the most recent one a riverfront house project in Fort Lauderdale. The branch out was a success for HCD Group, bringing more and more projects the company.
“Everything we’re doing now is modern,” Adriana laughs. In Florida, modern-styled homes are catching on like wildfire. “It changed the concept of what we do,” she continues.
Developing a niche in modern-styled homes allowed HCD Group to gain recognition as a residential builder. However, the company doesn’t stop there. Willing to build any style to please a client, HCD Group also finds work in commercial construction, as well, on anything from strip malls to store fronts.
A wide range of abilities has allowed HCD Group to stay ahead in a competitive industry. The company’s diversity ensures a constant workflow, even as the market varies. “The market changes every day,” says Adriana. “You have to adjust, or you’ll die out.” HCD Group’s quick transition for survival through the recession is a testament to its versatility in the construction field.
Keys to success
Working across Southern Florida, HCD Group is headquartered in downtown Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Employing approximately 20 people, the company self-performs most of its work.
“Anything in the shell of a building we self-perform,” Adriana explains. Occasionally working for a general contractor to construct the basic structure, HCD Group is versatile in its ability to produce part or all of a building. From architectural design to concrete and steel work, the company can even provide plumbing and tile work.
Outsourcing electrical and mechanical work, HCD Group fosters close relationships with any subcontractors to maintain the quality its customers have come to expect. “They’re the most important relationships, and critical to our success” Adriana explains. “The subs are a direct reflection of us.”
Knowing a client will return, not the subcontractor, should any problem arise makes the understanding between HCD Group and contractors even more imperative.
Creating close partnerships is key to HCD Group’s success. These include the relationships built with subcontractors and the relationship the company has begun to build with a group of designers from Venezuela.
In 2014, HCD Group began wrapping up a major project on a riverfront home in Fort Lauderdale. The project was started as a partnership with a Venezuelan design group, Añil Arquitectura. In one of the town’s most famous houses, Añil Arquitectura created a design incorporating the land’s five oak trees into the layout of the building so as to not be cut down.
Añil Arquitectura approached HCD Group for the construction of the building, knowing that a construction group with a high level of expertise would be needed to build the home while preserving the natural surroundings. HCD Group accepted the challenge. “We formed a really beautiful partnership,” Adriana says proudly.
While the structure itself set the building apart from the average Fort Lauderdale home, the inclusion of a dramatic entryway was the icing on the cake. Working from a custom design, a 19-foot high, bright violet door was installed at the entrance. Laboratory tested and certified by HCD Group as hurricane proof, the door was designed by Añil Arquitectura and built by Metal Artk.
The end result was a staggeringly gorgeous home, which has become the talk of the town in Fort Lauderdale. With massive windows and a structure that flows around and in between the oaks, the building is not only breathtaking but also thoroughly modern.
Another residence that is getting a lot of attention is a 10,000-square-foot home in Golden Beach, unique in the structure of its roof. Composed entirely of concrete, the sloping roof is incredibly modern in its construction, beyond being simply aesthetically appealing.
“Some roofs are done purely visually, so you can see the slope, but the back is all slats,” explains Adriana. “This roof is entirely concrete work.”
With portions of the roof exposed inside of the house, the house has been garnering local attention for its exceptional design work, as well as its beauty. The building is being meticulously covered in limestone, the finishing touch on an already beautifully modern structure.
HCD Group has developed great relationships and partnerships with both international and local architects, working together create beautiful projects. HCD Group does perform work in the commercial sector of the construction industry. In 2012, the company was involved in the renovation of a large hotel in Miami. Located by the Miami International Airport, the building’s owner bought the structure and hired HCD Group for the project. Named EB Hotel, the building was gutted, and the pre-existing shell was used to completely reconstruct a new, modern, luxury hotel.
With smaller commercial projects in local shopping centers and malls, HCD Group has found repeat customers through its efficient work and quality productions. In 2014, HCD Group began wrapping up expansion on Arch Creek Shopping Center in North Miami.
After first working on a space within the mall in 2011, the quality of HCD Group’s constructions resulted in a clamoring of retailers to rent shops within the center. The success prompted the building’s owner to contact HCD Group to complete further expansion at the mall; this time, it was from the ground up.
With a proven skill set in design and a reputation for excellence in any stage of construction, HCD Group continues to grow in the modern-home market. As the economy bounces back, the company looks forward to the incoming boom in the local market. Although its diversity has allowed HCD Group to flourish, its ability to navigate a fluctuating market has built it a name as the go-to company for any design-build need. “We are a one-stop shop,” Adriana says.
HCD Group continues to seek innovative and creative projects for its design-build focus. Using a strong base of subcontractors and having a willingness to take on aesthetic challenges, HCD Group is setting the bar high for creative, luxury-home construction in Southern Florida.
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