Case Studies

Homestead Paving Co. Inc.

Unique Concrete Paving Services in the Sunshine State

Homestead Paving Co. Inc. (Homestead) is a growing commercial and industrial concrete contractor serving clients across the southeastern United States. The Homestead team specializes in concrete pavement; the company has performed a significant amount of airport work, such as hangar floors and parking aprons, as well as some unique ornamental projects over the years.
Mike Rhodes, president of Homestead, partially purchased the company in 2004 from his father, Kenneth Morton Sr. Four years later in 2008, Rhodes purchased the remaining shares from founding partner Domingo Gonzales.
“I joined the company in 1999,” Rhodes explains. “I worked in the commercial nuclear power industry for 20 years prior. In 1999, there was significant consolidation in my industry. I was living in upstate New York at the time. I got into concrete watching my father and his team put together Homestead Motor Speedway from the ground up. That was in 1994 and I think that is what really got me into this business.”
Homestead now employs approximately 100 people whom, Rhodes says, make all the difference. “A lot of my personnel have been here longer than I have,” he explains. “We are running 10 crews right now. Our vice president and his assistant have been with the company for 34 years. All of our foremen have been here at least 27 years. Our company has an incredible retention rate.”
Diverse Projects
Homestead has worked all over Florida, including in locations such as Boca Chica Naval Station, Orlando, Melbourne, West Palm Beach, Fort Lauderdale and Miami. The crew has worked outside the state, as well, on occasion. The crew works for a diverse variety of customers, including major airlines, hospitals, golf clubs and museums.
“We just finished a 72,000-square-yard cargo parking apron at Miami International Airport [MIA],” Rhodes elaborates. “We did the Centurion parking apron, recently, in addition to the reinforced concrete aprons between C and D terminals inside MIA. We held a very aggressive schedule, with a tremendous amount of delays. There was a tremendous amount of effort put forth by the whole company to bring it in on time within the requirements of MIA. They were moving security fences as we worked to bring the facility together to open on time.”
According to Rhodes, Homestead provided a strong workforce, and poured a significant amount of concrete. “You can’t use a paver on these projects, so we did hand-formed lanes, pouring 900 yards every day,” he continues. “When they first put the facility in, we entered landside, with no security. As the project progressed, our entry moved from landside to airside, which requires substantial security. Your production rates drop because of added complexities. Our team has worked on projects there for 30 years on and off.”
The company also performs a decent amount of work for the Homestead Airbase. “We have also built up a pretty good niche in decorative concrete over the years,” he says. “We also recently finished working on the home of the Atlantis Space Shuttle. We did the entire decorative exterior concrete and all interior polished concrete around the shuttle.”
Rhodes goes on to note that the team also integrated charcoal to make it look like space and then flashed in color hardeners, with blues and dark grays, to give the surface a cloudy, Milky Way-look. “We worked on three decks, bottom, observation deck around the shuttle and deck above,” he continues. “We had to adhere to very stringent requirements for flatness ratings for all interior floors. Now, people visit, walk around the shuttle and the many exhibits throughout. The shuttle can be seen through the theater as if in space with its cargo doors open. The place is pretty neat. This project was very challenging to say the least, with all of the design requirements. The work changed daily.”
Growing and Changing
Despite the challenges of the recent recession, Homestead has remained stable in recent years. “We are diversified, which helped us stay busy in the downturn,” Rhodes explains. “For years we worked for site contractors. Now, we are working with general contractors because the market is more price-driven. We are a larger company for our area, so we can keep up on projects for major contractors. We have been working with Belford Beatty, Suffolk, Turner and Moss & Associates among others.”
The company’s reputation has helped keep work coming in, as well. The crew has performed dozens of projects at Nova University, including work on the school’s football field and oceanography building. Most recently, the Museum of Science and the Museum of Art in downtown Miami are ongoing projects with substantial decorative features incorporated.
The crew has a number of unique projects coming down the pipeline, as well. “Our repeat customers keep us busy,” Rhodes notes. “We get a lot of praise. The industry in Florida is a tight-knit community. Contractors have called us because they know we are the only team that can complete a job right and on time. They know our foremen and even go as far as to request certain people on certain sites.”
As the crew continues to offer memorable, high quality services, Rhodes says the company is experiencing steady, controlled growth. “We see things picking up and sustaining,” he elaborates. “We will maintain our market share in southern Florida for now. Long-term sustainability is our priority.”
As the company grows and changes, Rhodes knows a few things will stay the same; quality work and safety will continue to be a priority. Rhodes’ sons, who are becoming more involved in the family business, will carry on these practices and values into the next generation as Homestead Paving Co. Inc. builds upon a solid foundation in the concrete business.

Published on: March 12, 2014

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