Based in Miami, Florida, Brodson Construction has been offering construction management services to luxury retail and commercial clients all over the world since 1989. The boutique general contractor is owned by Barry Brodsky, who co-founded it with his father Stanley Brodsky shortly after he graduated.
Barry Brodsky, the former accountant and NYC model-turned Miami entrepreneur, began at Brodson by apprenticing with electricians and plumbers, his father and grandfather having also come from construction backgrounds. To this day, Business Development Manager Ligia Labrada tells us that the owner and upper management of Brodson are very hands-on and well connected to their clients, delivering them high-end results beyond their expectations.
The five pillars of Brodson Construction’s philosophy are service, integrity, quality, respect, and value. These values shape the way the Brodson team interacts with clients, partners, coworkers, and subcontractors.
Simply put, Labrada summarizes the Brodson way in just two short phrases: “Stay humble. Never settle.” No project is too over-the-top for the Miami-based business, which specializes in construction management, preconstruction, interior, and new construction.
Not content to stand still, the company is continually evolving. By embracing new leadership roles and constantly delivering above and beyond the high expectations of its acclaimed clients, Brodson is well poised for growth into 2018 and beyond. “About three years ago, when I came on board, there were around 40 employees,” recalls Labrada. “In just three years, we have nearly doubled our size. The size and complexity of the projects have definitely increased in the last three years as well, and it’s really just because of the opportunities our clients have given us. They have trusted that we can deliver, because even our smaller projects are very sophisticated. Our clients have noted that, and trusted we can handle even bigger projects of equal sophistication.”
Brodson’s new hires include a new Director of Project Management, George Ganthier, and Director of Pre-Construction & Estimating, Allen Parets. Labrada mentions that she works closely with the pre-construction division as she looks for new leads. Moreover, Owner Barry Brodsky is also closely involved in the residential sector, one of his personal passions, while Chief Operating Office Tim Funke has a close handle on all commercial projects. Together, the tight-knit team is ready to reach the next echelon of corporate growth.
“Where we were once operating as a smaller company with a mom-and-pop mentality, we have now added vertical layers and more leadership to our corporate structure, which has been critical to our success and achieving our goals as a company,” Labrada states. “Our owner and leadership are very hands-on.”
Interestingly, Brodson does not self-perform, choosing to focus instead on managing projects and building relationships with clients. “We subcontract the work because we’re good at what we do. We manage the projects. We have great relationships with subcontractors. We leave the trades to the professionals, who we carefully vet to make sure they can deliver the quality that our customers are accustomed to,” explains Labrada.
The strategy has worked well for the construction management company, which has consistently impressed clients since it was founded just shy of 30 years ago. Still a new name on the block, the boutique firm certainly had its work cut out for it after Hurricane Andrew—a deadly Category 5 hurricane that struck the Bahamas and Florida in August of 1992. At the time, it was the most destructive hurricane to ever hit the State of Florida, causing 66 deaths and billions of dollars in damages.
Following the devastation, Brodson received the opportunity to work with tenants in one of Miami’s premier shopping destinations: Aventura Mall. The mall is the second-largest shopping mall in the U.S. by retail space. Soon after, Brodson began working with tenants at the internationally renowned Bal Harbour Shops, an upscale open mall in a wealthy suburb of Miami Beach.
“Because of Barry Brodsky’s modeling career, his attraction to the fashion industry caused him to gravitate toward the retail aspect of commercial construction,” remarks Labrada. “We had our first opportunity with some of the stores at Aventura Mall, and then at Bal Harbour Shops where we started to work for luxury brands.”
Brodson Construction remains Bal Harbour Shops’ preferred contractor, following the exclusive brands all over the country. Labrada states that she believes working with Bal Habour Shops was Brodson Construction’s catalyst for success.
“Clients just started to take us wherever they went,” she describes. “Even though we were based in Miami and the brands got to know us in Miami, as they would open stores in New York or anywhere else in the world, they would take us there as well.”
Brodson has built boutiques for clients such as Graff Diamonds, Harry Winston, Roberto Cavalli, and Tory Burch, as well as opulent residences alongside world famous architectural designers. In an interview with Ocean Drive magazine, Barry Brodsky referred to the one-of-a-kind homes Brodson builds as a “labor of love.”
For example, Brodson developed the extravagant, only-in-Miami mansions known as Pine Tree North and Pine Tree South. Both located on Miami Beach’s Pine Tree Drive, the luxury homes were both designed by world-famous architects. While Pine Tree South was designed by Cape Town-based SAOTA and sold last year for about $23 million dollars, the 15,000 square foot Pine Tree North home was designed by Brazilian architect Marcio Kogan of Studio MK-27, listed as among Taschen’s Top 100 Architects in the World. For those interested in owning prime waterfront real estate, Pine Tree North is still on the market for an asking price of approximately $30 million dollars.
Pine Tree North’s landscaping features a clean linear pool positioned parallel to Indian Creek, an 1,800 square foot covered terrace, and an organic-filtration, natural swimming pool on the lot’s interior. The level of sophistication involved in developing such a home is where Brodson excels.
“We pride ourselves in keeping our customers’ trust. They come to us because they trust us, and we bend over backwards for them. They ask for things that have never been done, and that’s something that sets us apart. When we obtain clients who have never heard of us before or projects that no one has ever done, they somehow find Brodson. And that’s because we just figure it out. We roll up our sleeves, and we make it happen.”
Other notable projects under Brodson’s metaphorical tool belt include collaborating with Herzog & de Meuron—the Swiss designers of the famed Bird’s Nest Stadium in Beijing—on a new mixed-use retail/condominium building in Miami Beach, and beginning work on a large multimillion-dollar joint venture with Coastal Construction and Tishman Construction. The firm has also just completed construction on two Palm Beach establishments: Honor Bar and The Apple Store. This marked the company’s first time working with Apple. “We are probably one of the smaller general contractors that they’ve worked with,” Labrada comments.
But size does not prevent the company of about 75 employees from working on world-class projects, whether at home in South Florida or out of state. Labrada mentions that working with people from across the globe is one of this boutique construction firm’s many unique distinguishing factors. “For example, we may have a client that lives in Hong Kong, who has an interior designer or vendor in Italy, or someone else in London, and we have to organize conference calls. We have a call tonight at nine o’clock because our clients live in Hong Kong,” she says.
Indeed, Brodson Construction is a skilled and experienced manager that can handle projects of various scopes, even if the client is on the other side of the world. “We’re building that client’s project while we’ve never met them,” Labrada continues. “Everything is arranged via emails, calls, and pictures. And they’re getting ready to come here this weekend, where we will meet for the first time. Their store opens shortly!”
In line with its corporate philosophy, Brodson Construction’s intention is to continue to grow sustainably without jeopardizing its quality and ability to effectively oversee the projects it has been trusted to manage. Labrada states the intention going forward is to first grow those within the company and provide a roadmap to take them to the next level of their careers. “Everyone is considered family,” she says. “We have had a lot of people who have started with the company at a very junior level, and we have taken them by the hand.”
As Brodson Construction takes on more ambitious projects, the team members themselves are likewise encouraged to challenge themselves. At the moment, Brodson is beginning a mentorship program to allow interns and junior staff members to lean on those in more senior positions while they develop their skill set. “It gives people something to look forward to, the excitement that there isn’t one stop and there is room to grow.”
Due to Brodson Construction’s new corporate structure, leadership, and mentoring program, Labrada believes that the general contractor’s plans will remain focused on local growth at its Miami location in the immediate future. However, expansion into new offices in LA or NYC are definite possibilities on the horizon over the next few years. After all, the company logo—a triangle with a “B” in the middle—can be thought of as emblematic of these three major cities.
“New York and Los Angeles are like the other two corners of our triangle. Miami, Los Angeles, and New York are the three cities where most of our clients are based,” says Labrada.
We at Construction in Focus look forward to seeing where the future will take this innovative general contractor with hundreds of original, never-been-done-before projects in its portfolio.