Langer Construction Company
- Written by: Jeanee Dudley
- Produced by: Jack Porter
- Estimated reading time: 4 mins
In 1946, Lou Langer founded a small concrete and masonry business in St. Paul, Minn. Langer Construction Company (Langer Construction) has since grown into a major general contracting firm serving clients across the seven-county Twin Cities metropolitan area in Minnesota, as well as occasional work in surrounding states. The team of approximately 30 professionals has worked in Wisconsin, Illinois, Nebraska, Iowa and Missouri. The company’s clients include churches, industrial and manufacturing facilities, automotive facilities, as well as other businesses and organizations.
Langer Construction began to diversify in 1955 when the team completed its first general contractor project building an addition to a local school in Faribault, Minn. The team showed strong skills in both craft and leadership, attracting more business. In 1965, the company broke into the industrial sector, performing remodeling work for its first manufacturing client. As time went on, the team added more services, incorporating design-build work in the early 1970s.
Tom Langer, Lou’s son and current president of Langer Construction, proudly follows in his father’s footsteps. Tom, along with Russell Zellmer, LEED Accredited Professional and vice president of Langer Construction, collaborate with a strong management team to ensure the company’s sustained success.
“We are very proud of the service we provide,” Russell explains. “We have established a reputation for quality work and providing the best value for our customers.”
Langer Construction works directly with clients, often owners and occupants of existing buildings to address the function and growth needs of each business or organization. Each project begins with an upfront consultation as part of a hands-on approach to the business. Clients have come to rely on, and expect, a high level of service from estimation through scheduling, budgeting, execution and commissioning.
Over the years, Langer Construction has been involved in hundreds of major projects across the region. Recent work includes Divine Mercy Catholic Church in Faribault, Minn. The project consisted of a new 26,000-square-foot facility, featuring a 1,200-seat sanctuary, a 70-foot bell tower and an architectural spire topping out at 120 feet. Limestone and natural wood construct a humble, yet ethereal interior, with plenty of room for worship and church social activities. Langer Construction developed 30 acres of land for the project, including streets and public utilities.
The team also recently completed a project for Cerasis, a major freight consulting company based in Eagan, Minn. Langer Construction constructed the business’ new headquarters to address the company’s recent growth. The crew planned and constructed a new 11,000-square-foot office building on the new site. Utilizing stone, stucco and glass, Langer Construction constructed a flattering, modern exterior to welcome visitors and business partners. The facility includes single and combined office spaces, as well as common space, such as a large meeting and lunch room with large windows, stone columns and a fireplace.
In late fall 2013, the team wrapped up construction on a new showroom for the Valley Chevrolet dealership in Hastings, Minn. “What had been proposed as a remodel; however, the existing structure needed serious work and working with the client, the team determined a complete replacement would be a better option,” Russell explains. Crews began work in the spring, finishing under budget and ahead of schedule. The new facility meets General Motors’ requirements for image upgrades while also providing a showroom reception area, waiting area restrooms, a service reception bay and a new service manager’s office.
After decades in business, Langer Construction continues to adapt to an ever-changing market and fluctuating demand. While the recession was a challenging time for Russell and his team, Langer Construction’s management has established a plan to ride new industry growth.
“In the last three years, the market has really turned around for us,” he explains. “We are on a managed growth projection increasing our revenues about 10 to 15 percent per year. Our projects continue to have a good mix of size from $200,000 small remodeling projects to $10 million contracts with the majority being in the $2 million to $4 million range. We continue to have repeat business from our long term customers and great success bringing in new business, as well.”
Now, Langer Construction is working on building and maintaining a strong field management staff. “That’s our biggest challenge right now,” Russell notes. “To meet this challenge we have a process to mentor our future managers by placing them with our existing senior job superintendents who share their experience and knowledge with them. This has considerably shortened the learning curve and improved the skills of our next generation of field supervisors.”
For growth, Russell and the team are constantly looking within. The business continuously modifies its preconstruction services and methods to offer better service and to better meet the needs of clients, ensuring the best decision is made for each individual business. The end result is a smoother construction process and better results with work done faster and in a more cost-effective manner.
In the coming years, Russell says he is looking forward to continuing the company’s reputation for excellent service. “I think we will be expanding our presence in the religious and industrial markets,” he adds. “We have found these markets especially value the high quality and best value approach that we bring to the process.” With a growing market share, Langer Construction Company is constantly improving, providing a unique set of services to a growing number of clients in the Midwest.
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