Targeted Tenacity and Project Excellence

davisREED Construction
Written by Jessica Ferlaino

With decades of experience behind it, davisREED has become one of the fastest growing companies in the markets it serves. Despite its growth, it has maintained its character upon which much of its success is built.
davisREED builds relationships and secures projects by adjusting itself to fit the need of the client. When using this approach, market challenges become opportunities instead. “It comes down to a sort of targeted tenacity that we have in our marketing where we will specifically identify a client or a market and very intentionally and strategically position ourselves and execute a plan to establish a relationship with a client,” explained Director of Business Development Lee Conant.

There have been three distinct phases in the company’s history. Between 2002 and 2007, there was a boom in the hospitality market for four- and five-star hotels. The founders, through existing industry relationships, secured key anchor projects in California that built the company reputation.

“The catalyst for growth in that phase was existing relationships that the founders of the company brought in in hospitality, and those clients were typically developers but also partners in the sense of other design consultants like architects and engineers that the founders had relationships,” said Conant.

The second phase was defined by the recession and the need to evolve to stay competitive. Rather than waiting out the slowdown in the hospitality sector, davisREED found new and viable markets between 2009 and 2014.

“We were required to really adapt to the new environment in the recession, and the way we did that was we found other markets that we were able to break into which add the unforeseen blessing of diversifying the company,” Conant noted.

At that time, private sector financing slowed, but clients like the Los Angeles Unified School District were a saving grace thanks to the public bond financing that was available. Conant described the school district as a good environment where davisREED could, “establish a good relationship with the district in the same manner we were able to do on the private site, which was pretty unique.”

In 2014 and 2015, the private sector returned, and davisREED’s work in hospitality took off once again. What started with hotel renovations eventually turned into the new construction of three-star hotels and by mid-2015 four- and five-star hotels were an active market once again.

While hospitality has been its focus, davisREED has experience in constructing for education, public works, commercial office and multi-family residential clients. The company still responds to market ebbs and flows when necessary by seeking out work where its skill sets are relevant and its work and people can shine.

Many davisREED partners are repeat clients that rely on it for its expertise with pre-construction and construction services. “Those are typically the value-added services in pre-construction for budgeting and schedule and essentially helping these clients get to their bottom line and make the project pencil out into a good project,” said Conant.

davisREED has always held its team of professionals to the highest expectations. “Whether you’re talking about a superintendent or a project engineer or a project coordinator or an executive, whatever role it is, the people at davisREED embody those skill sets: tenacity, hard work and relevant skill,” explained Conant.

“If they’re a builder out in the field, they’re a tenacious builder. What that creates is a sort of ownership for the individual for their jobs so that the individual takes pride in their job; they own it. They identify personally with their job or the project or whatever they are working on.”

Quality control and having employees who appreciate the level of quality demanded on projects are crucial aspects of the company’s work. “Our core group of superintendents has been with the company for many, many years. They have done many projects with us, so they understand the high level of quality that is required within our culture,” Conant explained. davisREED’s safety modification rating is also superior.

As the company has grown, training has become more important than ever to ensure that new hires meet the company standards and can replicate the company culture that has been the foundation of its success. Despite this growth, davisREED never forgets where it came from. The company supports many different charities and community organizations including the Dodgers Little League Team, YMCA Distribution with Dignity, Santa Fe Christian Schools and the St. Baldrick’s Foundation of Founders Academy in the communities it calls home.

While davisREED primarily operates in California, with locations in San Diego, Los Angeles, Sacramento and Palm Desert, when projects outside of the state require its services, it can build anywhere. For out of state work it can always rely on its affiliate companies E.E. Reed in Houston, Texas and Washington, D.C. and Zapalac Reed in Austin, Texas.

Conant discussed the Citrix project that took davisREED across the country to Raleigh, North Carolina. “That project was fantastic. It was profitable. It was high profile. There were a lot of great attributes about that project, and it was also during the recession.”

Citrix, a software company, relocated its headquarters to downtown Raleigh into a former steel warehouse that was converted into a four-story office building and six-story parking garage. The facility is outfitted with the latest technology, a rooftop garden, a yoga studio, indoor and outdoor dining areas, modernizing the project while staying true to its original industrial urban style.

The caliber of the projects davisREED produces is remarkable. Its partners are satisfied whether it completes a project for a five-star hotelier, public agency or institution.

Notable projects include the five-star Meritage Resort and Spa in Napa, the Pendry Hotel in downtown San Diego, the Kimpton La Peer Hotel, the Kimpton Everly Hotel, a new waterfront expansion of the Hilton hotel in Huntington Beach, as well as several multi-family residential projects in Sacramento and work for the Los Angeles Unified School District.

Projects like these are why 2017 saw the company receiving several awards including homebuilding tradeshow PCBC’s Gold Nugget Awards’ award of merit for the best educational project for davisREED’s work on the Urban Discovery Academy. Last year also saw the company recognized as the second-fastest-growing general contractor in Sacramento by the Sacramento Business Journal and the eighth-fastest-growing company by the San Diego Business Journal.

One of the projects for the Los Angeles Unified School District is Calabash Charter Academy. davisREED has joined with American Modular Systems, and the project is using a new cutting-edge, sustainable, modular product called Gen7.

Much of the construction is taking place in a factory located about five hundred miles from the project site, and then the modules are shipped by flatbed to the site for construction. This has been a very exciting project for davisREED and demonstrates its commitment to being versatile in diverse sectors.

It remains agile, ready to take advantage of new opportunities as they present themselves while continuing to satisfy its valued customers.

“We adapt to any market, and if there are opportunities that allow us to grow in the market, then we adapt to that, and we’ll grow with it, just like during the recession. If there is a market that requires us to adapt, we’ll do that,” said Conant who sees great potential and opportunity in the hospitality market, as well as the growing Los Angeles market.



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