KAST Construction LLC
- Written by: Camila Osorno
- Produced by: Chuck McKenna
- Estimated reading time: 4 mins
KAST Construction LLC (KAST) was officially formed in 2003, but the company had previously existed as the project management arm of The Kolter Group LLC, one of South Florida’s premier real-estate investment and development firms.
KAST has since blossomed into one of South Florida’s largest and fastest-growing construction companies. KAST has diversified into multiple sectors of the market, including multifamily, condominium, hospitality and retail to name a few. The team’s combination of foresight, financial strength and a client-oriented approach enables the company to continue delivering projects successfully even in the toughest environments.
The company’s headquarters in West Palm Beach, Fla., has allowed the KAST team to serve clients throughout the state. KAST is currently working on projects in Dade, Broward, Palm Beach, Martin and St. Lucie counties, and is also in the early stages of preconstruction on projects in St. Petersburg and Sarasota.
Despite the economy, the KAST team has managed to stay busy. “We knew that the downturn in the economy was going to create very tough and very competitive times,” says Michael Neal, president of KAST. “We had the discipline to face the reality of the market, make tough decisions fast and create a strategy that focused on our strengths.”
It is evident that the KAST team is more than capable, and perhaps that is because the company’s management team is comprised of some of the industry’s most talented executives. KAST considers itself a boutique firm that prefers a flat organization with little bureaucracy and a hands-on approach to controlling its work.
Destined for Excellence
KAST’s executive team is passionate about keeping the organization at a scale where customer service is a top priority, in addition to maintaining a family-feel work environment where employees feel individual contributions are making a difference. And KAST’s approach must be working, as the company has remained profitable and acquired repeat clients throughout the recent recession.
“We found some niche markets that were still active during the downturn, and made it our mission to be the best in class in these markets,” says Neal, “One of these is the private country club sector, and that remains as one of our core markets. We found that these markets limited completion due to the specialized skill set required to participate, and allowed us to earn a fair return on our services.”
Neal is proud of how far his company has come, and he doesn’t plan on making any major changes. “We continue to work this same strategy today as the market recovers,” he explains. “It is still very tough and competitive out there, but our business strategy is our lifeline that keeps us focused on the bull’s-eye. We have additionally focused internally on making every part of our company better from the ground up. This means fine-tuning every one of our management processes, our quality control, safety, training our employees and recommitted our entire company to being best in class in every aspect. This investment is already paying dividends for us.”
Building Legacy Properties
KAST completed work in 2005 on Two City Plaza, a $150 million high-rise condominium development for The Kolter Group. The new building towers 20 stories above downtown West Palm Beach, featuring 463 units priced between $200,000 and $2 million and offering soaring 10- and 12-foot ceilings. The Manhattan-style loft buildings boast over 70,000 square feet of rooftop space complimented by a swimming pool, spa, fitness center, meditation garden, sauna and nighttime theater.
The company also began work in spring 2011 on a resort-style complex for the Polo Club of Boca Raton. The club was originally built in 1982, but KAST oversaw the addition of 8,000 square feet of space, including a new pool deck complete with an outdoor bar and grill as well as a grotto, spa and multipurpose center.
The architecture and design firm Leo A. Daly Architects provided the architectural design services, including a multipurpose building equipped with a new children’s activity center and a shallow wading pool and water features. The design also included an open-air casual dining and entertainment space to welcome members of all ages.
KAST also began work in 2011 on 4001 North Ocean, a development of luxury waterfront condominiums in Gulf Stream, Fla. “This is one of the first new condominiums to be built since the Great Recession,” says Neal. “Although it might not be the largest project we have ever built, it’s an extremely high-profile project given the location and the exclusivity of the building and amenities.”
The development includes six town homes, as well as a six-story oceanfront tower of 34 condominium units ranging from 2,800 to 4,000 square feet. Each of the units was designed to include floor-to-ceiling glass windows with expansive views of the Atlantic Ocean for the ultimate waterfront living experience.
Inside, the units are impressively outfitted with Italian-crafted cabinetry, Subzero refrigerators, marble and granite counter tops, a wine bar with wine cooler, Wolf ovens and stoves, Kohler plumbing fixtures and recessed lighting throughout. The development also includes a fitness center, an oceanfront pool and spa, as well as direct access to the beach, which will become the first new development in Gulf Stream in the past 30 years when completed in early 2013.
KAST also broke ground in 2011 on the Hyatt Place at Pineapple Grove Hotel located in Delray Beach. The project includes 150 hotel units over a structured parking, and is KAST’s fourth Hyatt Place project. The KAST team has built numerous hospitality projects in addition to the projects for Hyatt Place, making the company one of the leading hospitality contractors in Florida.
The KAST team has proven itself capable of thriving in any economic climate by focusing on the core values of quality construction and superior customer service. With his company’s 10-year anniversary just around the corner in 2013, Neal is proud to state that the management team will relentlessly focus on becoming the best construction company in the markets the KAST Construction LLC team serves.
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