In a construction industry the size of America’s, to have featured amongst the top 400 in the country says much about a company. Better still if it is a multi-talented construction manager with outstanding success in a range of diverse markets.
In its own way, Callahan Inc. is as big a part of the fabric of the American North-East as legacy businesses like Dunkin’ Donuts. In fact, the construction management company built many Dunkin’ Donut outlets when the chain established its first franchises, about two years after Callahan opened its doors in 1954.
While its multifamily constructions are especially in demand today, Callahan’s wide range of disciplines and capabilities can be seen at work across a broad swathe of markets. These include assisted living, the corporate sector, higher education, medical facilities, hospitality, life sciences, retail, industrial, and affordable, mixed-income housing.
Today, Callahan runs its range of specialty pre-construction and construction management services from a nearly 40,000-square foot headquarters in Bridgewater, Massachusetts. As one of the largest open-shop general contractors in the area, the company has delivered impressive growth over the past decade, and a closely matched track record of excellence.
The Callahan, Inc. team serves clients throughout Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, and New Hampshire. Judging by Callahan’s ongoing growth, it’s fair to say that the standards it has maintained throughout the construction of over 7,000 units in the past five years have earned the trust of some of the best names in the New England and Mid-Atlantic property markets.
This extraordinary level of customer satisfaction really becomes evident in the way its first-time customers return for more of the same. Over 80 percent of the company’s work consists of repeat business, and, working on around 30 projects annually, that’s a pretty impressive achievement. Regular clients include private national developers, real-estate investment trusts (REITs), institutions, universities and colleges – not to overlook many smaller local developers. Project owners include names like Market Basket, Lowe’s Companies, Inc., Toll Brothers, Hines, LCB Senior Living, and Boston and Brandeis Universities. That seems to confirm Callahan’s answer to the question of what it’s best known for – “exceptional customer service, exceptional results.”
When it comes to building lasting customer relationships and setting itself apart from competitors, Callahan’s policy is to go much further than the proverbial extra mile. In addition to its value-added pre-construction services, the company’s clients benefit from a full service civil and site work division. Pre-construction services include the pre-qualification of subcontractors, the solicitation and review of bids, rendering budgets and estimates, scheduling and timeline reviews, site feasibility studies, advice on costing, suggestions on alternative material options, and more.
Standards of transparency
Callahan performs site functions like excavation, utility relocations, water and sewer-related work, and paving as well as parking expansions, with a dedicated in-house team. For absolute clarity in communication and to guarantee integrity, the company follows a strict transparency policy. It quotes on full projects, rather than on one or a few individual parts. It also employs the latest technology in cost tracking, making it easy to keep finances in check, and so keeping customers informed and happy.
Standards don’t only have to be high but also consistent. Callahan’s multiple departments work in unison for seamless collaboration and communication across all its projects, regardless of type, size, or sector. For the ultimate success of each project, work assignment is done with close attention to detail and each qualified construction professional is assigned to the particular job that requires that specific skill set and experience.
The company was founded by Jack and Marie Callahan during the construction boom that followed WWII. Its quickly-acquired reputation for quality construction management soon brought more business and a need for more hands. Over the next few years, the couple’s five sons joined their parents, with all-in-all more than twenty other relatives reporting for duty as well. Today, the Callahan family still forms a large part of the company’s structure, with three Callahans present in its executive management team.
The people secret
It’s the people that make a company what it is. Callahan is no exception. Its 220 employees have become the driving force behind exemplary service delivery, earning the praise of their clients. Their general level of expertise enables the company to work equally well with union and non-union subcontractors to the extent where it is able to negotiate union involvement on projects from time to time. Callahan’s support strategy is to provide its teams with everything necessary, including resources such as an in-house civil engineer, architectural reviewer, and Mechanical Electrical Plumbing Structural (MEPS) manager.
Ensuring the safety of all the staff is naturally the company’s highest priority. Callahan maintains an in-depth safety program and four full-time safety officers. Training includes safety orientation courses plus compulsory 30-hour Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) training as well as the National Fire Protection Association’s (NFPA) Hot Works course.
So it comes as no surprise that the company has received ten consecutive Gold Safety, Training, and Evaluation Process (S.T.E.P.) awards from Gould Construction Institute and Associated Builders and Contractors, Inc. It also took home a National Safety Award in 2017.
Awards and rewards
And these aren’t the only awards. After making an entrance into Engineering News-Record’s 2016 “Top 400 Contractors” list, it received an extraordinary “Average Project Evaluation Rating” of 96 out of 100 from the Division of Capital Asset Management and Maintenance (DCAMM) of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
In 2017 Callahan completed the new campus at Cambridge College in Boston, Massachusetts. “Cambridge College was one of the proudest achievements in my career with what we were able to do for the client,” says Stephen R. Callahan Jr., Vice President of Business Development.
A letter of appreciation from the president of the college bears testimony to the standards that Callahan so strictly maintains. In her note, President Deborah C. Jackson praises Callahan’s efforts for the professionalism and attention to detail that its people displayed, from the initial interview process to the successful conclusion of the project. Her acknowledgment and complimentary comments, together with those of the College’s trustees and executive leadership council, has certainly boosted Callahan’s reputation.
However satisfying a company’s achievements, though, nothing beats the excitement of that coveted “biggest-ever”. Callahan has recently begun just such a contract in Quincy, Massachusetts. The $187 million-project belongs to Bozzuto, the well-known real estate and property management giant. The 610-unit transit-orientated development is set to become another successful mixed-use property and the Callahan team is ready to make this project its best yet.
These are just a few of the impressive successes. There have been so many of these over the years, including Massachusetts projects like the Montaje, a mixed-use residential complex in Somerville; the Meriel Marina Bay – a residential building in Quinsy; Northpoint Lofts II in Cambridge, and many others.
More than money
For this company, business is not all about making money, however. Creating community wherever it goes is at the heart of the team’s values. And, it is certainly not only its customers who enjoy a wonderful sense of being in good hands whenever Callahan’s teams report for duty. As so often seems the case with this company, its teams try to think beyond the ordinary – even in its giving.
This drive is fueled by a deep commitment to the communities in which Callahan works, as it constantly tries to ensure that its presence is felt in the best possible way throughout the life of each project.
A partner in the community
To illustrate, its “Constructing Communities” initiative insists on supporting local businesses on all its projects – from buying materials from local hardware agents to supporting local restaurants. Callahan also requires that its subcontractors follow suit in purchasing from local vendors. “At Callahan, we believe that in order to work successfully in a community, we must first become a true partner. Constructing Communities is our community partnership blueprint and reflects our core principles of integrity, quality, service, customer satisfaction, and outstanding project management,” says Patrick Callahan, President.
This generosity of spirit extends to local vocational and technical high schools, and Callahan’s job-shadowing programs have proven particularly popular amongst students from Career Education Training (CTE) programs. The company dedicates time and resources to informing and training learners in as many aspects of the engineering and construction industry as possible. Students learn the benefits of working in a dynamic and lucrative field, opening up employment possibilities that the youngsters may not otherwise have had.
Naturally, the company’s sense of stewardship also extends to the environment. Callahan supports global environmental efforts by conscientiously implementing and maintaining sustainable construction practices. The company follows a minimal waste policy, considerably restricting its carbon footprint, and offers the services of LEED-certified project management and civil engineering professionals.
In terms of its own energy-conservation compliance, the company recently rigged 124.8 kW of solar panels that tie into the main power grid at head office and promise great energy savings.
In line with its general philosophy of doing business, Callahan’s management puts great effort into its relationships with all role players, from staff to clients to subcontractors. Without all these great people, its business simply wouldn’t be where it is today. And thanks to Callahan’s commitment to growing and maintaining these relationships its competition should be on the lookout for a whole lot more Callahan Inc. signs soon.
“We are implementing an expansion plan to also service Westchester and Fairfield counties in New York, northern New Jersey and southern Connecticut, with a New York office planned to open in the third quarter of 2019,” says Stephen.
And those are the natural rewards of such focused dedication.