Paragon Construction & Development Inc.
Partnerships are paramount to the way Paragon Construction & Development Inc. (Paragon) does business. Based in Montgomery, Alabama, Paragon has been building relationships with clients for 30 years.
“Over the years, I found that if we do business the same way every day by treating everyone the same, offering a fair price and consistently following best business practices, people will call us and subcontractors will want to work with us,” shares John Ives, president and owner of Paragon.
Since 1984, when Paragon first incorporated, the company has built an outstanding reputation among clients, architects, engineers, subcontractors and other construction industry professionals. Central to the company’s philosophy is the belief that a team effort between owners, builders, design professionals and tenants, will produce an exceptional, lasting end product.
“Relationships are extremely important to our business as a negotiated contractor,” explains Ives. “Because of the relationships we’ve created over the years, Paragon continues to build for multiple repeat clients. It’s based on the trust they have in us -trust in our people, trust in the fact we’ll give them a fair price and product and that we’re honest. We don’t leave our clients with unfinished business or an issue that’s going to come back and haunt them later.”
Ives says it’s Paragon’s job to ensure that years down the road, buildings are still standing as strong as these relationships. “If someone calls us and says they have an issue, even if it’s years later, we’ll do what we can to take care of it right away.”
Ives appreciates the value of trust and partnerships, built during his decades in the construction industry. “I graduated with a degree in building construction from Georgia Tech in 1971,” he recounts. “From there, I worked as a project manager and superintendent for companies in Atlanta until 1979 when I moved to Montgomery to start a construction division for a regional developer. I came here to primarily build apartments.”
By the end of 1984, Ives saw his chance to start something on his own. “A national day care business gave me the opportunity to work on some of their projects,” he tells. On Dec. 5, 1984, Ives incorporated Paragon and by Feb. 1, 1985, the company was open for business.
Paragon immediately started building for KinderCare, one of the largest child care companies in the country. “We also worked with Gerber Children’s Center, a lesser known branch of the Gerber Company,” recounts Ives. “We went on to build 32 day care centers.”
On the road
Since its inception, Paragon has been traveling for clients in multiple states, including Florida Oklahoma, Texas, Virginia and Georgia, amongst others. As Ives explains, “Throughout the years, the great relationships established by Paragon nationally has allowed us to develop a solid base of excellent subcontractors and suppliers to produce quality buildings.”
In more recent years, Paragon has also completed projects throughout Mississippi, Louisiana, Ohio, North Carolina, Tennessee and Nebraska.
“To this day about 90 percent of our construction projects are away from Montgomery,” says Ives. “We’ve always efficiently managed out of state jobs, and we’re even better today with modern technology. For example, no matter where the job is, our superintendents can take a picture of something, send it to their project manager and we can get immediate feedback.”
A broad project base
Paragon has always done a little bit of everything in the commercial arena, but more recently the company has become a well-known builder for Burger King, Dairy Queen, Dollar General and Family Dollar.
“Many companies in the fast-food sector are pushing remodels to bring their facilities up to a modern image,” explains Ives. “10 years ago we started working with Dairy Queen doing these remodels and now we are one of the most recommended contractors.”
In 2003, Paragon began its relationship with Dollar General, one of the nation’s largest discount retail stores. “We started in Texas and put up 50-plus Dollar Generals,” shares Ives. “We built eight Family Dollars in 2014 and have more retail work ongoing in Montgomery, including a Mattress Firm and AT&T store. We are soon starting new projects in Columbus, Mississippi, as well as Macon, Georgia.”
Paragon continues to work in the health care sector, and relying on its reputation for timely and trusted service, it was awarded a major renovation of a dialysis clinic in Montgomery, Alabama. “We’re working on a full retrofit while the center remains operational,” tells Ives. “It’s a challenge, because with the type of service they provide and the clients the center serves, dust, debris and keeping the conditions clean and safe are extra critical.”
“We ran into some challenges with the 20-year-old building,” continues Ives. “The plumbing had deteriorated so much that there was a great deal of moisture in the slab and our project managers spent a lot of time researching materials to solve the problem. On top of that, we did it over the weekend so we wouldn’t delay the project schedule. We expect the facility to be fully complete by February 2015 and we’re on track.”
Bending over backwards for the client – that’s just the name of the game for Paragon and one reason why Ives was awarded the River Region Ethics in Business and Public Service Award from the Samaritan Council of Alabama in 2013. The award recognized a climate of ethical integrity by businesses and individuals who promote awareness of ethical practices and public service behavior.
“When I was walking into the luncheon, I ran into a general contractor friend from a well-known area family business,” tells Ives. “He said to me, ‘what are a couple of old contractors doing at an ethics luncheon,’ and I referenced my response to him in my acceptance speech by saying, ‘what a more perfect place for us to be.'”
Ives says that’s the way he’s looked at it from day one. “We’re not trying to be the biggest, but we are trying to be the best,” he says. “I’m 65 years old and still very active in the company because I’m honored every day when someone calls and offers us the opportunity to work with them on a new project.”
Consistently treating clients well, running jobs smoothly and upholding a name that’s been strong and steady for 30 years; that’s the focus of Paragon Construction & Development Inc.
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