MLB Construction Services LLC
MLB Construction Services LLC (MLB) is a general contraction/construction management/design-build contractor servicing several regions along the East Coast. The post-World War II construction boom initially fed the company, which started in 1947 as McManus, Longe & Brockwehl Inc. The team quickly carved out a leading position in the industry and established client relationships that have endured over 50 years.
Jim Dawsey, who has been with MLB for over three decades, now heads the company as president. “I worked my way up,” he says. “I started off doing field layout for projects with the estimating department.” Dawsey’s years in the business have allowed him to form lasting relationships with his employees and clients while assisting the company in managing the intricacies of private-sector construction and delivering projects of all sizes and complexities on time and within budget.
Most of MLB’s projects are in higher education, retail and medical building work. “We try and stay out of the public market as much as possible,” explains Dawsey. The company’s team of 200 – which employs storm water management professionals, mechanical/electrical coordinators, as well as LEED- and ASHE-certified professionals – prides itself on providing clients with services best suited for their specific project needs. MLB delivers its project solutions out of three locations. Corporate headquarters is in Malta, N.Y., just outside of Albany. Offices in Apex, N.C., and in Tampa, Fla., bring staff closer to the markets most frequently served.
MLB performs over 75 percent of projects for repeat customers. The scope varies by project and by region. “In the Northeast we do a lot of college and higher education work,” says Dawsey. “Our niche really varies by location.” The company regularly performs projects for higher education institutions in the Triangle Region of North Carolina and the Capital Region of upstate New York. Recent initiatives out of the Malta office include a new plant for Global Foundries and a microchip plant for Nano Science that totaled $4.5 billion. “We poured 62 yards of concrete on the Nano project,” Dawsey elaborates.
Over the years, the company has constructed a wide variety of buildings and facilities, ranging from college dorms to sports arenas. But MLB sees these projects as more than jobs completed; the company sees them as valued ongoing relationships. Dawsey and his teams, which bring 75 years of experience on average to each project, stay in touch with clients, constantly bearing in mind what projects could be further along the line for the various organizations the company has worked for in the past.
And, after 65 years in business, MLB’s capabilities and what the company can deliver have grown immensely. College projects make up a large portion of business, but Dawsey says the team has done its fair share of retail work, and the company’s financially responsible, actively involved leadership marshals the company’s resources to provide this sector the same comprehensive services it delivers to education, industrial, municipal, healthcare and nonprofit clients.
“We’re worked with Walmart,” he says. “They’re not the easiest to work for, but they’re fair.” Retail projects, especially those for large chains, can be complex. Designers produce master plans for all newer stores, and the plans have to be made to fit. Dawsey’s team is up to the challenge, though, and has consistently exceeded the expectations of several clients in the retail sector.
Taking Care of Business
MLB is a large company and has been fortunate to be able to absorb many of the setbacks smaller contractors have faced during the recent economic downturn. “We’ve made some changes,” explains Dawsey. “The recession really forced us to take a closer look at our overhead and make cuts where we were overspending. We’ve kept on as many employees as possible, and overall we’re doing pretty well.”
While expansion has been stalled for many companies not faring the recession well, MLB has been expanded geographically to pull in more contracts. “We’ve spread out more,” explains Dawsey. “We’re doing some work in Texas. We’ve stretched our radius to about two hours from the offices where we generally perform jobs.”
In the states MLB services, many local initiatives are helping to bring back business as well. “In Florida, there’s a big push to attract more tourism to the area,” explains Dawsey. “That works for us, because we’re trying to reach out into the hospitality industry.” MLB is diversifying the scope of work, not just expanding the company’s geographic footprint, but also seeking out underserviced industries and reinforcing the company’s U.S. Green Building Council-approved, LEED Accredited Professional-led sustainable/energy-efficient construction capabilities. “I can see things getting better in 2013,” says Dawsey. “We want to keep expanding, and we’re getting especially excited about the economic state of New York.”
A company that has been around as long as MLB has to be tough, and Dawsey and his team are continuing the practice of pushing through the tough times. “We’ve been around for over six decades,” he says. “We’ve lasted through seven recessions and five wars, and we still have many of the same clients.”
MLB celebrated its 65-year anniversary in summer 2012. “We had a big party at the New York office,” says Dawsey. “We invited our employees from all three locations, many of our clients and subcontractors, and even our founder.”
Dawsey is proud of the progress MLB’s team has made. Few construction companies around today maintain the connections and longevity that MLB has, and the company intends to further its legacy through proactive initiatives. “We’re looking forward to sustainable growth,” says Dawsey.
Delivering relentless accountability, proven technical expertise and a collaborative approach to assure quality, MLB Construction Services LLC is an East Coast cornerstone, and Dawsey and his team are reinforcing the company’s tradition of integrity and adapting with the market.
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