- Written by: Jeanee Dudley
- Produced by: Sean O'Reilly
- Estimated reading time: 4 mins
For more than 40 years, Latta Construction (Latta) has been providing a wide range of quality construction services. Founded in the 1960s, the business has transitioned through several construction specialties, diversifying to meet the needs of a changing market. Latta now specializes in interior construction, providing and installing custom, high-end architectural millwork for clients from diverse business sectors.
Kevin Latta operates the business as general manager, working alongside his wife, Kelly, president and owner. Kevin grew up in the construction industry and has been involved in the family business his entire life. “Our business revolves around word-of-mouth,” he explains. “We take great pride in a job well done and satisfied customers are the best advertising we can get. The most gratifying part of the construction business is that we can look back and see the projects we have completed and see where we have been.”
The company’s interior construction services have resulted in functional and beautiful spaces in Texas and around the United States. “Interiors are the most beautiful parts of a building,” Kevin explains. “We have worked on some architecturally beautiful buildings from the outside, but the inside really makes the project. The last 14 years, Dallas has been our hub, but we’ll go national and abroad for the right project. We did the majority of the installation and a portion of the supply for the Four Seasons on the Harbor in Baltimore for general contractor Armada Hoffler and we spent two and a half years on the Yacht Haven project in St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands for general contractor Manhattan Construction.”
The company’s broad portfolio includes several high-profile projects in Texas and beyond. In 2008 through to 2009, Latta supplied and installed the architectural millwork for the 40 luxury suites at the Dallas Cowboy Stadium, now named AT&T Stadium, including the suite of Jerry Jones, owner of the Dallas Cowboys.
Working directly with Manhattan Construction and members of the Jones family during the new construction, the team procured four different species of wood, custom-milled the interior components and installed the new finishes. The suites feature zebra wood, Black Walnut, Macassar ebony and rosewood cabinets, walls and more.
At the George W. Bush Presidential Library, Latta installed the majority of the wood throughout the building. “The building has a Freedom Hall, where we worked 75 feet in the air installing panels on the ceiling,” Kevin recounts. “There is also an exact replica of the Oval Office. The project involved all kinds of neat stuff, including the actual materials from the Reagan Era. The wood was retrofitted into the situation room at the library.”
Another unique project has been the company’s work on the Brooklyn Bowl in Las Vegas. “This is a luxury bowling alley owned by Madison Square Garden,” says Kevin. “We just finished there, and it’s a really unique concept. We performed installation for general contractor Allegheny Millwork out of Pittsburgh. There are 18 bowling lanes each on two separate floors, five bars, a concert area and a VIP room. The interior uses all different type woods and this is not a normal bowling alley. There is one in Brooklyn, another in London, this one in Las Vegas and I have been told there will be another in Chicago soon.”
Latta is proud to have partnered with Fetzer Architectural Woodwork on the ExxonMobil Campus Project in Houston, Texas. “This is presently the largest private construction project in the United States,” Kevin explains. “This LEED-certified project will establish new heights for project quality and safety within the United States.” Latta is proudly providing on-site installation and management for the premium grade architectural woodwork for Fetzer with an expected completion date being mid-2015.
Latta made it through the rough economic storm that began in 2008 by upholding high standards of quality and refusing to compromise on integrity. “There is definitely not as much work going around as there used to be,” Kevin explains. “During the downturn, we had a lot of inquiries, but people were begging us to supply materials and install at a lower rate. We turned a lot of people down. Our craftsmen are too qualified and we couldn’t reasonably get our prices down that low.”
Kevin explains that the company had less work; however, the work Latta took on was profitable. “My theory is that if we were going to work for nothing and not perform a quality job, we would be better off not working at all,” he details. “Our crew was smaller, but we kept our best crew members around and did our best to stay busy. We have good partnerships with general contractors and they expect perfection from us. They kept us busy and we know that they understand the value of our work, so we really only work with a select network of contractors.”
These strong partnerships have lasted through the recession. Now that the market is starting to bounce back, Kevin and his team are making a strong comeback. “It’s better than it has ever been,” he says. “We have had so many calls lately that we have more work than we can do for the next two to three years. We are also working on projects that the low-bidders throughout the recession couldn’t complete.”
Kevin is proud to note that Latta holds several certifications, including AWI/ QCP, Women’s Business Enterprise National Council, Historically Underutilized Business and North Central Texas Regional Certification Agency as a Women-owned Business Enterprise.
To meet the growing demand, the business is growing. Kevin is hiring more employees as the volume grows. The crew has several challenging and unique projects starting up over the next year, and upcoming work is taking the business into new locales. Latta Construction is on a path of steady growth while Kevin and his team remain dedicated to quality, integrity and customer satisfaction.
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