Unique Builders Inc.
- Written by: Molly Shaw
- Produced by: Marcela Zulaga
- Estimated reading time: 3 mins
Since forming in October 1992, Unique Builders Inc. (UBI) has taken a direct, hands-on approach to full-service construction in Puerto Rico and beyond. “All of UBI’s associates, including myself, are involved in projects,” says Domingo Polanco, president of UBI. “Unlike other companies where the work is delegated and the owners are not even in the area, we visit, supervise and make sure we meet our clients’ demands and expectations.”
As part of Carrillo Enterprises, founded in 1961, UBI’s experience spans decades and various sectors, from government and commercial construction to civil projects. “UBI was established in 1993 by Luis Manuel Carrillo and he sold his shares to the company in 2011,” reveals Polanco. “Our company started working on smart traffic light systems and road work projects. We’ve been growing ever since and we now work on jobs in the multimillion dollar range.”
An expert executive team
Such growth and ability to tackle sizable projects begins with the right team. Polanco, in addition to lead company officers Maria A. Fernandez, executive director of UBI, as well as Javier Luis Carrillo, bring more than 60 years of combined industry experience to the company.
During the last 27 years, Polanco has been active in the development of Puerto Rico’s traffic signal systems, lighting systems, geometric improvements and general site work in the development of the Metrobus, FOG system and other authorities of the highway-related projects. Fernández has been working in related fields for 26 years, including the direction of the Department of Transportation and Public Works of the municipality of San Juan, Puerto Rico, as one of the first and only females to occupy such a position.
Carrillo, vice president of UBI, entered the as a supervisor and quickly climbed the company ladder into operations manager and eventually into his current position. UBI’s principals and staff are also active members of numerous professional and technical associations on the island and abroad.
Over the years, UBI has participated in a wide range of projects in and out of San Juan; airport facilities, roadwork, rehabilitation and new construction. The company provides a full range in general contracting services from geometric improvements, traffic signals, lighting, underground electrical lines, sewer systems, rehabilitation and widening of roads and other related construction.
Among others, for the municipality of Carolina, UBI is delivered $3.7 million in road improvements on Jesús M. Fragoso Avenue in Carolina, Puerto Rico. The job involves the reconstruction of sidewalks, pavement, roadways and improvement to the sewer systems, traffic signals, pavement markings and landscaping.
“We’re currently working on Roosevelt Avenue, the same road where Puerto Rico’s most important area mall, Plaza de Las Americas is located,” reveals Polanco. “We are also performing work on Avenida Ponce León, Avenida Muñoz Rivera and Avenida Fernández Juncos. One of our most significant projects is the Honor a la Mujer Indigena, in the Municipality of Caguas, Puerto Rico.”
Aside from roadway construction and rehabilitation, UBI is also worked the island’s Public Housing Authority delivered the construction of 10 new homes in the Pajillas Community in Aguas, Buenas, Puerto Rico. “This $1.4 million job consisted of 10 houses with concrete blocks, sidewalk and pavement reconstruction, construction of underground sanitary, sewer, electrical and communication facilities,” Polanco explains. “Also we did a $7 million modernization of Yuquillu II, a 32 apartments public housing development.”
Sink or swim
To keep work coming in, UBI has had to focus on optimal efficiency. Puerto Rico’s one dynamic economy has been in a slump for many years. While many industries, such as pharmaceuticals, electronics, textiles, petrochemicals and processed foods have cut back, UBI has remained afloat by focusing on necessary government and municipal jobs.
“We were forced to become more efficient, but we’ve been able to maintain stability regardless of the recession,” says Polanco. “Fortunately, we’re a medium-sized company and UBI has maintained its reliable workforce. At the end of the day, making sure they can provide for their families is a big concern for us, because the well-being of our employees comes first.”
With a trusted team, UBI continues to move forward, with plans to expand outside of Puerto Rico. “We recently did some work in the Dominican Republic,” reveals Polanco. “We had a good year last year and we’re anticipating more of the same in revenue this year. Our plan is to keep growing and that’s where I see us going.”
After 21 years, Unique Builders Inc. remains one of Puerto Rico’s most trusted contractors backed by an expert team that performs the full scope of general construction services.
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