Case Studies

Summit Construction Management Group LLC

Guidance from square one to done

In just five short years in a tough post-recession economy, Summit Construction Management Group LLC (Summit) has become a well-known name in commercial and institutional real estate development in Orlando and beyond. Highly regarded for their foresight, thoroughness and dynamic problem-solving abilities, Summit’s team has established a network of strategic professional and vendor alliances, allowing the company to effectively deliver greater short term and long term value to clients.

Thomas Hankinson and Charles “Chip” Cordes founded Summit in 2009 in Orlando. Since the beginning, the company has been grounded in the fundamental principal that quality is paramount and relationships with clients should be treated as partnerships. “Our company nurtures a corporate culture prioritizing communication, client interactivity, teamwork and creativity,” says Hankinson, now president of Summit.

After 30 years in the development and construction industry, Hankinson decided it was time to form his own company in 2009. “I grew up loving construction,” he recalls. “It was just one of those things as a young lad; I enjoyed building things so I decided to stick with it.”

Summit Construction Management Group LLCIdentify, design and deliver

Summit now offers a complete range of services as a developer and general contractor. Whether a client is planning to develop a new facility, make an acquisition of a single completed asset or portfolio, perform capital improvements to an owned asset or simply gain control of property through managed maintenance programs, Summit is there to help.

“We tailor our services to meet your needs and budget, providing the highest level of service in the most efficient manner,” says Hankinson. “From soup to nuts, we identify properties for clients and then see it though the development and construction of that property.”

From feasibility analysis to property condition assessment, entitlement management to design coordination, managed maintenance programs and construction management, Summit offers an extensive line up of services. “Because we offer a wide range of services, most of our time is spent finding out the needs and expectations of our clients and which services can help,” explains Hankinson. “We also provide oversight and we’re religious about proper documentation and reports throughout the process.”

Finding a need and building a niche market

Today, Summit’s services have grown to serve a particular niche Hankinson and Cordes identified when starting the business venture in 2009. Over the last 16 years, the co-founders have designed and developed almost 5 million square feet of storage facilities.

Over the years, the pair realized the needs overlooked particularly in the self-storage industry and the development of charter schools. “We’ve grown to serve any client in the charter school or self-storage industry,” shares Hankinson.

“Most of today’s construction related vendor’s concentrate on new development, all the while remiss on developing services for the current 50,000-plus facilities in the self-storage business,” continues Hankinson. “Summit’s business plan entails several industry-specific services currently not available from a single-source provider.”

The process begins at stage one as Summit helps clients conduct a successful market study including site-specific demographics and feasibility. With a vast knowledge of building codes, Summit takes the process to the next level, working on entitlement approvals and design implementation. “We offer complete turnkey development and construction management; all a developer or investor may request when entering a new industry. Summit also provides individual services clients may feel hesitant about performing themselves.”

Before the bell rings

In just five years, Summit has been called on by customers at home in Florida, all the way to Denver, Detroit and New York. “We’ve done charter schools and self-storage facilities all over the country, but our mainstay in development in Florida,” notes Hankinson. “In 2010, we completed a $10 million conversion of an old paper company into a 120,000-square-foot charter school in Florida.”

“It was a unique conversion project with an abnormal design in comparison to the cookie-cutter layouts schools normally have,” adds Hankinson. “This line of work isn’t easy because you’re always working on a tight time frame. Each and every project is like your new child and with every school job we’re under the gun to get it completed before the school year, but everything is worth it on the first day of school.”

Pulling off projects in such a fashion wouldn’t be possible without reliable subcontractors and well-established relationships. “My personal philosophy is to develop relationships with like-minded people to produce the highest quality product at a fair and reasonable price,” shares Hankinson.

After all that’s the Summit promise, a fair price and solution that works for the particular customer. In today’s competitive market where success is based on location, demographics, feasibility, community acceptance and a range of other constraints, Summit Construction Management Group LLC is a guiding partner to lean on.

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