Case Studies

SRM Development LLC

How hand-selected developments lead to a powerful portfolio
  • Written by: Self-Submission by SRM Development LLC
  • Produced by: Kyle Gahm
  • Estimated reading time: 4 mins

Few west coast building companies have the privilege of selecting only projects they want to build. SRM Development LLC (SRM), based in Spokane, Wash., and founded in 1999, selects only projects that fit its strategic investment goals.

“Because we are investing our own capital in every project we build, we are very selective in the quality of location, design and construction that goes into an SRM project,” says Dee McGonigle, principal and director of construction for SRM. Including time prior to the formal creation of SRM, for more than 25 years, SRM has managed to create business for its real estate, development and construction divisions without the need to solicit work from third-party ownerships.

Prior to the formal creation of SRM, McGonigle and three other SRM partners developed property in four western states with a focus of creating high quality residential living communities in high barrier to entry markets. Although most projects are primarily residential communities, including either high end apartment or retirement living, these residential projects often include commercial components within the developments. Since the formal creation of SRM, it has expanded its footprint to include seven western states, expanded its ownership to include five principals and expanded its project type to include office and retail developments.

Relationship- and quality-driven

SRM attributes its success over the years to its ability and desire to build and maintain strong personal and business relationships through all phases of its business. Nourishing strong relationships with employees, investors, realtors, architects, engineers, contractors, lenders, operators and tenants ensures continuity and reliability in its work product.

“When asked for one primary element that has allowed for SRM’s long term success, I always point out our strong relationships and the value we place in those relationships,” says McGonigle. “For instance, our relationships with realtors in cities we build in, often times allow us the first look at potential developments that are coming to the market before they are offered to the public.”

SRM takes pride in developing its projects in high barrier to entry markets that demand high quality is built into the design, construction and management of its developments. High-quality real estate locations come at high prices, which naturally create a barrier for smaller less capitalized developers, narrowing SRM’s competition to large and often time national developers. SRM’s size and capacity allows it to react more quickly to high value opportunities than most of the larger developers.

High value real estate coupled with high quality design, construction and management ensures SRM projects will be successful and sustainable long into the future. The quality must be maintained from the inception of a project throughout the entire development cycle and throughout the operation of a project. Providing the high quality services to our tenants yields loyalty and repeat business.

“In the case of our Google Office Campus in Kirkland, Wash., we believe our values, learned and honed in our residential business, and applied to our relationship with our commercial tenant, Google Inc., opened the door to negotiating with Google to expand its campus by almost double its initial size,” states McGonigle. “We treat every tenant with the same personal care that we’ve learned is required in residential management. We don’t believe there are a lot of office landlords that share those beliefs. We have been told that the Kirkland Google campus ranks amongst the highest of Google properties in terms of employee efficiency and happiness. We take extreme pride both professionally and personally to know that we are part of such a successful development.”

This is not a unique occurrence, for SRM forms this kind of relationship with all of its tenants, whether they be Internet titans, retirees or individual apartment residents. “We treat everybody the same, like we would want to be treated,” says McGonigle. “When you think about it, it really is quite simple.”

Driven to sustain

SRM’s model has maintained the company for a quarter of a century through perhaps the most trying economic time of our generation and it believes this model will continue to maintain the company for years to come. “By creating our own business,” says McGonigle, “We can focus on what we do best and not get caught up with various third-party ownership projects. It’s really hard to build strong relationships when you’re in markets that reward cut-throat business practices. We’ve been able to maintain exceptional returns to our investors, high quality lifestyle for our employees by building relationships without having to go out to that third-party arena. And we are enjoying ourselves along the way.”


Traditionally, SRM offers investment opportunity in its prospective developments to its friends and family investor group in such a manner that investor interests are fully aligned with the interests of SRM.

“This allows our investors to purchase ownership shares in high quality, income producing real estate and reap the same benefits of success for as long as the project is retained,” he details. SRM also works with select institutional level investors and for the most part maintains very similar partner and investor relationships, as it does with its friends and family investors. Any successful project needs to make sense financially and SRM has proven the ability to select property and create developments that reap rewards for itself, its investors and its employees.

SRM is reluctant to classify itself as either a contractor or developer. In McGonigle’s eyes, SRM considers itself a builder. Primarily a builder of long lasting, high-quality buildings and developments but ultimately the builder of long lasting, high-quality relationships. By fully buying into its model, McGonigle stresses that SRM achieves more than mere construction opportunities. It develops and builds memorable, lasting structures that speak to an onlooker and the dwellers, as well as all the participants that shared in the process. One glance at SRM Development LLC’s growing portfolio shows that this mission continues to be fulfilled, project after project.

Published on: July 9, 2014


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