Case Studies

Rosacker & Associates LLC

Honestly Solving Problems

David Rosacker, president and founder of Rosacker & Associates LLC (R&A), strives to live by a strict code of ethics that was instilled in him when he was young through his Christian faith. “Years ago my dad told me something I will always remember,” tells Rosacker. “He said, ‘David, there’s only one thing in life that you take to your grave, and that’s your name; and it’s mine, too, so don’t mess it up.'”

Founded in 1989, R&A is Rosacker’s answer to living honestly and using his construction management skills working directly with people, as well as solving peoples’ construction challenges. R&A provides owner representation and construction management services; Rosacker enjoys being able to bring an owner’s dreams to reality and deliver the end product they envision for their building within the set budget.

With five employees, R&A is a boutique family affair, as Rosacker’s wife and daughter are also involved in the business. The company is based in Omaha, Neb., and does work primarily in the upper Midwest. However, R&A has a broad regional scope, and has historically gone coast to coast filling clients’ needs and has been licensed in 12 states.

“We are mostly fee-based,” Rosacker explains. “As such, we view ourselves as the owner’s advocate on jobs and represent their interests. Our methodology is to protect the owner at all phases; this means from pre-design and design through construction and move-in.”

According to Rosacker, what distinguishes R&A the most is the work it does during the design phase. “We do conceptual budgeting from the very inception of the project to provide the information necessary to allow them to stay on target,” he continues. Working for commercial clients, R&A helps the owner build a project that matches the budget and prioritizes individual needs.

Rosacker likens the experience to buying a car: a buyer chooses a car and picks features based on their allotted budget, needs and wants. “People prioritize different aspects: leather, fancy wheels, what not,” he details. “If you didn’t have prices on all those decisions, you’d probably end up with all of it. We reveal the intimate cost of every aspect of the design and then the owner can make the qualitative decision about where they want to spend their money.”

Since architects cover the creative side without detailed knowledge of costs, R&A steps in during the design phase to detail out costs of the various elements to the owner, as well as show how one decision will affect another down the line. “Under the traditional methods, people usually don’t see a price tag until it’s too late,” says Rosacker.

Bringing a Vision to Life

A good example of an owner who was swept away with a design he couldn’t afford was a client of R&A’s who was building a small bank branch. The client brought R&A in to look at his design that was about three-fourths of the way done. The budget was $1.2 million.

“We looked at it and told him the price of his current design: $1.6 million,” says Rosacker. “But he didn’t believe me. He then had four other traditional contractors bid it. I got a call five weeks later from him saying that I was right.”

Therefore, R&A headed back to the client and helped him create a design that would work for his budget with everything he needed and wanted – a design that would be the right square footage, with the desired amount of rental space, with the same layout and interior finishes.

“I showed him how to build that building with all of his key criteria met for $1 million and $68,000,” says Rosacker. “We were able to save him more than $450,000, and we even added square footage. It really typified my personal goal for the company. What I really want to do for people, and why I established the business.”

Serving as a project director for a high-tech company was another assignment that brought Rosacker a tremendous amount of pride. The company brought on R&A to do more than $125 million worth of work – eight projects – over a 10-year span.

According to Rosacker, the most rewarding was a 450,000-square-foot rebuild in Indianapolis. The building was completed, gutted and redone; it took eight months and had a $25-million price tag. “We kept 100 percent production at that facility throughout that process,” says Rosacker. “It was challenging and took all my attention during that timeframe. But it was a very successful project for the client and a lot of fun for the team.”

Whatever the project, Rosacker brings his values – which reflect his faith – to the table. “The last line in many of our project contracts reads: ‘This agreement may be canceled by either party with or without cause with seven days’ notice,'” says Rosacker, who acknowledges that it surprises a lot of people. “It’s basically a handshake,” he continues. “Trust in each other is vital to all successful relationships.”

Above all else, Rosacker strives to honor his word and his Christian beliefs. Furthermore, he won’t remain in a situation marked by poor ethics; he has walked away from high positions in successful companies because of this.

The Fun Will Continue

R&A concentrates on protecting the owner and caters its services by region. When out of state, R&A will frequently hire a supervisor who knows the area and has a trusted network of contractors. “When at home, I have my own people; I know which ones can perform for me and which ones can’t,” Rosacker details.

Currently, R&A is working on an office building and two Hilton brand extended stay hotels in Omaha, Neb., as well as Des Moines, Iowa. In addition to hotel work, R&A works for commercial clients building and remodeling retail shops, restaurants, churches and multifamily housing.

The company also worked on a historic renovation of a multi-unit apartment building built in the 1930s that may eventually be converted to a condo, and a bank built in 1902. R&A is ready to tackle the challenges head-on, as both require a lot of flexibility and creativity to bring the beautiful old structures up to today’s standards.

Throughout the past 24 years, beginning when construction management was relatively unknown, there have been ups and downs with the economy. However, Rosacker remains positive. “We’re been fairly fortunate,” he says proudly. “We have repeat business from clients. They like what we do for them, and we love working with them.”

The goal for the future is to have R&A continue on the same path, but transition management to capable hands as Rosacker nears retirement. “Fortunately, I work with people who are cut from the same cloth,” asserts Rosacker. “The goal isn’t to grow too big. I grew another company by 400 percent and as it grew I got further away from the actual customer and the actual work. It wasn’t as much fun.”

It is fun for Rosacker to be a part of building things. “Most people don’t get to build a building in their lifetime,” he says. “And if they’re lucky they may get just one. Our goal is to make that project a success.” Making designs come to life, while protecting the owner, is the calling of Rosacker and why he started Rosacker & Associates LLC nearly a quarter century ago.

Published on: July 9, 2014

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