Case Studies

Newport Construction Corp.

Successful Now with a Future Focus

Newport Construction Corp. (Newport) is as solid as the buildings it constructs. Newport notably made it through the economic woes that rocked the industry armed with expert personnel, efficiency and low overhead. With tight margins, it’s been crucial for Newport to execute with precision and deliver on-time, on-budget results.

Gregg Cooke, owner and president of Newport, is as focused as the business he founded. “Many companies don’t have staying power,” says Cooke. “We do.” According to Cooke, Newport’s precise aim is on completing quality jobs that leave the customer satisfied, and he runs the business in a way that allows for it.

On small and large projects alike, Newport can be found working as a general contractor, design-build contractor, project manager and construction manager. From its location on the Delaware River in Pennsauken, N.J., Newport moves easily between jobs across the state and into Pennsylvania. For the past 14 years, the company has been growing its capabilities and has earned its good reputation in these areas for a reason.

Keeping overhead low has made Newport more competitive, and the company is financially strong with high liquidity. “This has enabled Newport to steer clear of unrealistically low bidding,” says Cooke. “The low bidders usually make the biggest mistakes.” Newport keeps control of its finances, makes healthy bids and delivers high-quality multimillion dollar projects.

Newport has thrived in part thanks to maintaining a stellar team of qualified employees – administrators holding advanced degrees in finance and business management and project managers with at least 15 years experience in the trade – and in part due to calling on trusted partners. Cooke notes that subcontractors who work well with Newport and routinely deliver quality results are vital. Additionally, due to its affiliation with the union, Newport hires union workers depending on availability and region.

The Right Team in Place

It is a no-nonsense job – building things – and the right team is essential to success. KORE LLC, a construction consulting firm based in Chester N.J., has been an integral strategic adviser since 2004. Throughout the relationship, KORE has worked with the firm as if it were a partner, representing it in key areas to support growth, including banking, tax planning, credit management, strategic planning, as well as leadership training and development for an ever-increasing staff.

Through KORE’s relationships with other leading industry service providers, Newport receives first-rate solutions for its insurance and bonding needs from Construction Agency Professionals (CAP), a top construction insurance and surety agency.

“I’ve been in the construction business for over 17 years and have worked with many different advisors, bond and insurance agencies throughout that time,” says Cooke. “None of them have ever compared to the value and resources provided to me and my company by the KORE team and their network of providers. They continue to deliver well beyond my expectations. I consider them to be an integral part of my company’s success and true partners in my on-going operations.”

As a general contractor and project manager, Newport is able to self-perform some carpentry work. However, the company’s true worth is found orchestrating various subcontractors as it meets its customers’ pre-construction, construction and post-delivery needs utilizing state-of-the-art technology and a virtual planroom.

Completion is Key

Newport focuses on commercial work, concentrating on large-scale new-build, rehab and development projects. Additionally, the team competes in the public sector, building public facilities and doing completion work with KORE, adhering to tight budgets and deadlines. “From lump sum to multiple prime contracts no job is too difficult for us to tackle,” says Cooke.

Newport recently helped complete two projects for a default general contractor in North Jersey: a prosecutor’s office in Union County and a town hall with a police station in Little Falls, N.J.

The restoration of a 21,000-square-foot center with a 210-seat theater and 455-seat auditorium is an adaptive reuse project, giving new life to a historic Masonic temple on Main Street in downtown Lansdale, and creating a home for the Philadelphia Chamber Orchestra.

A challenging multi-phase expansion of the Tredyffrin Public Library in Tredyffrin, Penn., required Newport as the prime contractor, as well. A new 12,000-square-foot radial addition included a library expansion, office and activity facilities. The building now sports a full green roof, as well. The high-quality interior finishes by Blasz Construction received an award for excellence.

Another award-winning job for the Newport team was the new 12,800-square-foot home for the all-volunteer Tabernacle Rescue Squad in New Jersey. The attractive new facility was built to shelter the squad’s impressive fleet of rescue vehicles, including a Mass Casualty Trailer and a four-wheel drive ambulance, and received an Outstanding Shared Facility award in 2012.

On to the Next One

Cooke has a right to be proud of Newport’s longevity in an industry characterized by volatility. However, Cooke isn’t one to brag, or get excited about past successes. Instead, he’s looking forward, looking to increase margins and pull in more work for his team. In keeping with Cooke’s military background, Newport is disciplined and consistent in turning over high quality buildings to owners closing out projects on time and on budget – with no lingering issues – and move on to the next one.

Even with a number of expansion and renovation jobs for several universities already on the books, Cooke aims to work with KORE to increase Newport’s public bidding capabilities and set up for growth in the coming year.

Growth and large-scale projects are in the future for Newport. “We can always grow,” says Cooke. “We have the ability to bid competitively and have the right infrastructure in place to manage increased risk and liability.”

The ongoing goal is always to successfully manage, coordinate and realize the project goals of owners, architects and engineers alike. Cooke has had the skills and the focus to make this happen for 20 years as a business owner. However, it is the company’s expert team of professionals and solid finances, along with strong partnerships, that ensures Newport Construction Corp. stands out in the industry.

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