Rooker Company (Rooker) is a full-service firm specializing in the design, development and construction of industrial projects. John W. Rooker founded Rooker in the 1960s as a small real estate developer, and added a design-build division in 1978. The past 40 years have done Rooker well, as the Tucker, Ga.-based company has grown into the leading developer of business parks in the South with projects ranging from Texas to Florida and as far north as Virginia.
Rooker now employs around 50 people, ultimately offering expertise in every phase of construction and leasing. “We own and manage 4 million to 5 million square feet of buildings,” says Jerry Cole, president of Rooker. Cole goes on to explain that the team at Rooker works closely with local governments and potential tenants to provide full-service solutions and quality, functional end products.
Georgia’s Gwinnett Progress Center (Gwinnett), one of Rooker’s most recent large business park projects, was originally planned and constructed in 1987. The team at Rooker has performed a full overhaul, planning additional development and managing construction and leases for Gwinnett, as Gwinnett is the second largest business park in the area, spanning 1,500 acres. The desirable location and ease of building on the land has put property in the park in high demand. Currently 250 acres are available for development, and future tenants are offered build-to-suit options with master planning services, which will be provided by Rooker.
The Rooker team has helped boost the business-friendly reputation of Gwinnett County by bringing well-communicated service to businesses seeking a future home. Ultimately, Rooker plays an integral role in boosting the local economy. The park is currently home to several leading businesses of their respective industries, including Publix’s 1.7 million-square foot distribution and warehouse facility and offices and warehouses for companies like Home Depot, Citi Group and Frito-Lay.
Rooker is involved with several efforts providing sustainable solutions to businesses that fit budgets and save money, as well as carbon output in the long run. The company’s project for the USDA achieved LEED Gold certification, utilizing recycled materials, alternative energy and energy-saving building technology. Several projects feature T5 light fixtures and gray water systems that use rainwater, contained on rooftops, for cooling systems or landscaping irrigation.
Rooker started construction on a rooftop solar project on one of its industrial facilities in Athens, Ga., in 2010. The Athens solar project benefits the facility while also offering return on the investment as Rooker sells solar power back to the grid. Rooker’s website offers a live feed of output with current and accumulative figures for power production. Rooker partnered with First Century Energy on the project, tapping into the Georgia Environmental Finance Authority for funding. First Century Energy also helped Rooker build an agreement with Green Power EMC, a representative of 37 independent electric cooperatives across the state.
Rooker’s past success and continued ability to diversify is bringing in a steady flow of opportunities. Rooker continues to expand the team’s focus on government work after the USDA project. Cole sees broad potential in the market and Rooker is currently working on a project in Austin for the IRS. The company’s portfolio includes several government agency construction projects, including buildings for the Social Security Administration and a center for training canines for the National Detector Dog Training Center, affiliated with the USDA.
The guiding philosophy behind Rooker is trust, a foundation Cole says every one of his employee, partner, supplier and client relationships is built upon. The team guarantees delivery of quality structures and business parks that help build businesses and local economies. Solid communication and loyalty has brought Rooker a high employee retention rate. Several of Cole’s employees have been with the business of over two decades, with the company average being around 17 years. Cole says the common denominator between everyone on the team is a sense of pride in work.
Management at Rooker makes seeking out long-term talent a priority, and Cole and his team stay up-to-date on new technologies and best practices through regular training. Safety, efficiency and innovation abound in Cole’s staff. “We’ve come to be known as problem solvers,” explains Cole.
With a broad pool of experience and three on-staff LEED-certified specialists, clients have come to expect, quick, quality and green construction.
Rooker’s high-profile clients benefit from over 40 years of experience, which Cole believes makes the biggest difference in the company’s quality of service when compared to the competition. This allows the company to continue steady growth in full-service construction, as financial stability, drive and clean deals keep Rooker Company in a leading market position.
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