Case Studies

Wm. R. Lovelace Construction Inc.

Well-recognized Multifamily Residential Building 29 Years and Running
  • Written by: Molly Shaw
  • Produced by: Wm. R. Lovelace Construction Inc.
  • Estimated reading time: 4 mins

Bill Lovelace, president of Wm. R. Lovelace Construction Inc. (Lovelace Construction), knows his company’s place in the Oregon building market and he’s confident about it. “For 20 years we’ve been a multifamily, low-income housing general contractor,” he reveals. “That’s all we do. I don’t have to worry about things being on par, because everything we do is on par.”

Claiming the Rural Oregon Market

As the saying goes, ‘practice makes perfect,’ and Lovelace Construction has perfected its niche since 1984. The Oregon-based general contractor develops, builds and manages multifamily properties throughout the western half of the state. “We operate strictly in Oregon throughout rural areas,” says Bill. “We’re not in the big Portland or Salem markets.”

Bill is a construction industry veteran of nearly 43 years. “I joined the industry back in 1970,” he recalls. “I started out as a finish carpenter and worked for another company for about 15 years before I decided to branch off and do my own thing in 1985.”

Judging by Lovelace Construction’s success, it is evident that Bill made the right choice. “Prior to the early 1990s, Lovelace Construction was a single proprietorship,” he continues. “Over the years, we’ve developed into a company that consistently brings in projects on time and on budget. For our relatively small size we’ve also built an extensive portfolio of properties that we own and manage under Lovelace Properties LLC.”

Despite tremendous success, Lovelace Construction remains a small, locally owned business with just 10 employees. “Because of our smaller size, we only do about two large complexes per year, but what we do we do with the utmost dedication to quality,” admits Bill. “We work exclusively with only about three clients; we’re very much a niche builder.”

This quality standard starts with a team of trusted people. “About half of our employees have been here for nearly a decade,” notes Bill. “There’s also a good number who’ve been here for five years. They travel throughout the state to handle new construction, rehabilitation projects and also capital repair projects on property we own and manage.”

A Knowledgeable Niche

Lovelace Construction has completed more than 1,000 multifamily units and several commercial office buildings throughout Oregon over its history. As a result, the company has familiarized itself with the various public funding needed to support low-income housing development.

“We’ve learned to manage the responsibilities associated with these state funded projects,” reveals Bill. “I frequently serve on advisory boards and committees pertaining to standards and trends in affordable housing in order to keep in touch with our industry.”

The goal is to build positive communities residents and owners alike can be proud of. “People come back to us because of our proactive attitude,” shares Bill. “I have clients that call me years after doing a job; when they have something new they come to us.”

In December 2011, Bill and his team finished a new four-story building in the historic district of Astoria, Ore. “Astoria is as far west and north as you can go in Oregon,” says Bill. “It’s situated on the Columbia River. This historic district building needed to follow the owner and architect’s strict standards. We installed handmade finishes and details to match the era. To be honest with you, it was quite an undertaking.”

More recently, Lovelace Construction has been active at the opposite end of the Oregon coast in Brookings. “Brookings is 10 miles north of the California border,” details Bill. “We’re in the framing stage of a 40-unit, nine-building low-income housing project. This job is actually LEED-certified. There’s no mandate in Oregon for LEED-certified construction, but it’s something we’re taking the initiative to do anyway.”

As a general contractor, Lovelace Construction only performs about 25 percent of its work in-house, from finish carpentry to framing and supervision, but Bill says the company relies on strong relationships with local subcontractors. “Most of our work goes out to bid for subcontractors, but we’ve come to know most of them,” he adds.

Solid relationships and remaining small in a certain niche ensure the company stays profitable through recent years. “We’ve remained busy throughout the downturn,” notes Bill. “We’re not too big so we don’t have the overhead other general contractors do; we can stay leaner.” Bill reveals Lovelace Construction is staying ahead and gearing up for several rehab jobs in the near future. “We go in and give an older project a new 30-year life span,” he adds.

Bill is confident in the company’s ability to maintain its position in the market. “We’ve won a lot of awards for our work,” he says. “In 2002, Lovelace Construction was inducted into the Oregon Building Industry Associate Hall of Fame; that’s one of our most notable achievements.” Wm. R. Lovelace Construction Inc. remains a driving force in the rural Oregon residential market, building positive communities with a proactive approach.

For more information about Wm. R. Lovelace Construction Inc., please visit:

Published on: November 21, 2013


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