Katz Group & Finnegan Development
- Written by: Ivy Carter
- Produced by: Dave Gushee
- Estimated reading time: 4 mins
In 1978, Massachusetts developer Arnold Katz of the Katz Group formed a partnership with Jay Finnegan, who owned and operated a site work and construction company based in Chelmsford, Massachusetts. This partnership formed several smaller subsidiaries, in which Arnold and Jay began working together on development projects throughout Merrimack Valley, along the New Hampshire seacoast, and up into Southern Maine.
Today, the Katz/Finnegan partnership works on both commercial and residential development projects, while the Katz Group handles the majority of the commercial and multiunit residential projects and Finnegan Development specializes in suburban redevelopment and luxury custom homes. The company started out with a focus on track-style developments and, over the course of 20 years, moved to a niche in active adult communities. Throughout the years after its founding, Katz/Finnegan worked on anything from medical office buildings to residential redevelopment.
The companies are now forging ahead with the next generation leading the way. Arnold’s son, Eric Katz has led the Katz Group since the early 1990s, and Jay’s son, Ben took the helm of Finnegan Development in 2007.
In late 2014, Eric began wrapping up the fifth building of a seven-building project in Exeter, New Hampshire. The Village at Sterling Hill is an active adult community, consisting of seven, 32-unit, garden-style buildings. Built under the subsidiary companies of Katz Development and Stonegate Construction, the project is expected to be completed in 2015.
Redesigning across the board
Splitting the projects between companies allows both Finnegan Development and Katz Group to find a foothold for each subsidiary. Finnegan Development has found its particular niche in the suburban Boston single-family redevelopment sector.
Focusing on single-family homes has allowed Finnegan Development to hone in on the needs of its New England clientele. The rise in demand for sustainable design features has kept the company on its toes about keeping up with the newest innovations in green and sustainable living.
However, the market’s ever-changing trends have recently turned to smaller, right-sized homes. “You see that trend a little bit,” explains Ben. “Whether because the municipality is encouraging planned development projects where the square footing is restricted, or buyers are just looking for efficiency, we’re seeing a segment of the demand for more smaller-sized homes.”
The trend started during the recession, and continued on up to 2015. “While we still see square footage buyers, there’s a buyer out there now who sees themselves as a family of four, and wants the amenities of new construction, but with a focus on more sustainability and lower energy costs,” he continues.
For many of Finnegan Development’s clients, the proximity to Boston is a factor that drives up site costs all on its own. After such a harsh market during the downturn, Ben is happy to see residential construction finally picking up again. “There are a lot of micro-level dynamics that happen from town, depending on where you’re working,” he says.
Spring 2015 is expected to be one of the most active the industry has seen in recent years. “In 2014, demand was starting to pick up, but supplier inventories were still fairly low,” Ben explains. “This spring, I expect the demand to be the same, but I think the supply will be more readily available.”
Ben knows the company’s biggest challenge now will be keeping up with the new influx of work. “The challenge is business,” Ben explains. “We’re watching the quality to make sure that, in this busier time, what we’re doing is equal to what was performed during the slow seasons. When things are busy, we focus on scheduling and quality control to make sure they don’t start to slip.”
With a strong drive to maintain quality and customer satisfaction, Finnegan Development is setting a precedent for sustained performance during what is expected to be a period of continued growth.
Finnegan Development not only sets itself apart from the competition through its dedication to its sustainability and quality services, but the company also connects with its customer base through active community service. Finnegan Development developed a program Community Promise.
Since 2012, any project that Finnegan Development or its affiliates are involved in sponsors a non-profit community organization, which is then donated $2,500 to its cause at project completion.
Giving back to the community, and the pride Finnegan Development takes in doing so, serves to show the wholesome vein that runs through the family business. As Finnegan Development and its affiliates continue to complete both residential and commercial projects across New England, Finnegan Development will also continue to provide quality service and sustainable options to all clients.
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