- Minneapolis-based construction manager Adolfson & Peterson (AP) announced Sept. 1 it has launched a new Southwest Special Projects Division, modeled after a similar unit in Colorado, in an effort to better serve current and prospective clients, keep bigger jobs moving and expand regionally.
- Mehul Mistry, the company's special project manager, reported the new division will specialize on a job-order-contract basis to deliver tenant improvement, renovation, expansion and repair services. The smaller project-focused team should also assist in bidding strategy and in diversifying AP's regional job mix.
- The fact that the new division will be dedicated to smaller jobs will not preclude it from building the capacity to bid on and manage larger builds, according to Scott Salyer, vice president of operations for AP Southwest.
The Southwest division will focus on projects of less than $5 million. These projects will entail tight deadlines and be situated in occupied facilities or spaces. The company has a 75-year history, the last 30 incorporating a regional Tempe, Arizona office.
In July, the division won its initial project bid, an approximately $924,000 weatherization improvement project for the Kyrene School District in Tempe. It is currently at work on weatherizing Tempe's Mariposa, Manitas, Esperanza and Lagos Elementary Schools. AP has a background of working on educational facilities across the Grand Canyon State.
According to Mistry, who joined the company about three months ago, AP recently saw a need to create a division for smaller-than-standard projects. The division, Mistry said, will focus on day-two projects and out-of-scope work, in which owners want more work than what was originally contracted for, as well as other projects falling under the $5 million budget threshold.
"Our Colorado office has been doing something very similar to this and has been very successful," Mistry said, referring to the Aurora, Colorado team introduced nearly five years ago under the name "Tactical Solutions Team."
How will a new division focused on comparatively small projects keep the company's larger projects on track?
"By taking on these smaller projects, we will be able to help out the larger teams by taking smaller projects off their hands," Mistry said. "That way, the project managers can stay focused on the larger scope of their projects."
Technically, the Special Projects Division currently consists of a staff of one: Mistry. Neither the project manager nor the superintendent is designated to special projects, but they are expected to transition to the division once a consistent stream of projects is ongoing.
"The goal is to build out the team further with a project manager, assistant project manager, superintendent, assistant superintendent, estimator and probably a project engineer," Mistry said. "I'm hoping to have two more people on my team by the time I'm here a year — nine months from now — and then grow from there."
Like many other construction companies nationwide, AP currently faces a number of obstacles, many pandemic-related. According to Mistry, the company's primary challenge is staying ahead of shortages of materials and delays in material shipments.
"There have been delays of materials, and costs of certain materials are higher," he said. "But we've noticed that tapering off more recently. [In] this division, we've not had to deal with any of that. But we're involved with all the other large projects as well."
As AP bids on projects, it does so based on its best estimate given the materials delays the company has witnessed recently. "We have a good relationship with all our contractors, and they're upfront with us in terms of what they're seeing," Mistry said. "We factor that into our bids, and how we schedule the projects."