Kings Capital Construction
In 2009 two partners decided they were going to form a commercial general contracting company; many people told them they were crazy. “Everyone told me I was out of my mind to start a construction company in one of the worst economic downturns, companies of 30 years or more were going out of business,” reveals JD Summa, now CEO and president of the commercial construction division at Kings Capital Construction (KCC).
Despite the naysayers, Summa continues to work alongside partner Mike Casarella, COO and president of the company’s site work division. Today, KCC operates with two divisions, under one roof.
Up against odds
Before the crash Summa was in the real estate development market. “My business partner and I wanted to get into commercial building instead of residential building in spite of the economy,” he recounts. “We figured if we could make it through the downturn, then we’d be in a good position once the market changed.”
Fortunately, Summa and Casarella were right and KCC has grown every year, not just by baby steps, but by leaps and bounds. “We started out with a five-man crew and now we have over 25 employees,” shares Summa. “In fact, we just received an award in August from Inc. Magazine. We’re now the 644th fastest growing privately held company in the country.”
Since 2009 and since investors, lawyers and nearly everyone else told Summa and Casarella they were nuts to start a business, KCC has grown by more than 700 percent. “The recession was good for us, because, it made us start slowly and get a good foundation under our feet,” Summa details. “That foundation gave us the poise we needed for the growth and expansion we are now seeing.”
Not the average general contractor
Today, based in White Plains, N.Y., there’s no slowing down for KCC as it serves its home state, northern New Jersey and southern Connecticut. “We’re a commercial general contracting firm, but we have the unique capability of self-performing all site development in-house,” details Summa. “We own and operate a fleet of trucks and heavy machinery.”
On the construction side, KCC specializes in corporate fit-outs, shopping plaza renovations and ground up construction; all backed by the ability to deliver a complete site package in-house, launching a project’s success from the beginning. On the site development side, KCC performs excavation, rock excavation and removal, demolition, trucking, drainage, underground utilities, grading and paving.
The company also offers construction management services for clients in corporate, retail, health care, hospitality and industrial markets, both in the private and public sector.
“Looking back, the job that really launched our immediate success is the multimillion dollar Chilmark Shopping Center renovation, which we’re currently wrapping up,” shares Summa. “We were contracted by the property owner to renovate three existing building facades, new storefronts, roofs, new construction of 3,000 square feet and a 14,000-square-foot CVS, new utilities, retaining walls, detention system and paving of the complex.”
According to Summa, Chilmark Shopping Center encompasses all facets of KCC’s capabilities. “This is a highlight project for KCC, because it involves everything we do as a general contractor and a site developer,” he details. “Not only does it involve a range of services, we also had to complete the work on a tight timeframe. CVS needed to be in by the first of August and it didn’t matter that we had the worst winter in 30 years or that there was discrepancies in pre-construction engineering reports. There were no excuses; we just had to get it done, all while keeping the existing stores operational. There were a lot of late nights.”
This attitude and level of service continues to land KCC more work and more repeat business. “We don’t see projects as a means to an end, because we are creating partnerships with our clients,” explains Summa. “We’re extremely cost effective in what we do and our service really sets us apart. We put forth 110 percent effort not only on-site, but with building and establishing relationships with our customers, as well.”
With such rapid growth since 2009, Summa says there’s no sign of a slowdown now that KCC has made it through the recession. “We’re just finishing a 55,000-square-foot office space in New Jersey for the Department of Social Services and we recently completed a 28,000-square-foot office in New Rochelle, N.Y., for Benchmark Education,” says Summa. “That project drew local attention as being the largest office fit-out in Westchester County for 2013.”
Business keeps booming on the site work and development side, as well, with partnerships with Morgan Stanley and another shopping center project in Orange Town, N.Y.
No matter how much work comes in and how much KCC continues to grow, at the end of the day, Summa says it’s about doing what he likes with a great team. “If I can surround myself with good people and great clients, then it’s a good day; this isn’t work,” he says. “It’s about liking what you do every day and what we’ve accomplished in such a short time makes me proud.”
Up against the odds, the duo has accomplished what many thought was impossible; Kings Capital Construction Group continues to bolster success through diversified general contracting and building repeat clients with excellent service.
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