General contractor and construction management firm JANEY Construction Management has been shaping the New England landscape for the past three and a half decades, celebrating its thirty-fifth anniversary this year. The company is trusted by project owners to oversee and bring their construction dreams to life.
Covering the Northeast with its headquarters in Boston, Massachusetts, JANEY serves scores of real estate developers, investors, and institutions to manage the entire lifecycle of a build. This includes handling project management as well as hiring third-party contributors. The company also has offices in Cape Cod and Washington, District of Columbia.
Making clients their mission
With the added benefit of specializing in two services – GC (General Contracting) and OPM (Owner’s Project Manager) – JANEY differentiates itself with its dual insight and deep understanding of every project. “Owners tell us that we have a greater understanding of their [needs]. We don’t only have empathy, but [also] knowledge about feasibility and finance. As a builder, we don’t have an adversarial relationship, but rather a partnership with the owner,” says Greg Janey, Founder, President and Chief Executive Officer.
The JANEY team is also known for being mission-driven and innovative. They enjoy working with clients that focus on building communities through real estate. They are particularly passionate about education and are known for completing scores of institutional and community projects that include both higher and early educational facilities. They are also well-versed in commercial construction where they operate with speed and efficiency.
Up to the challenge
Greg Janey describes himself as an ‘inner-city kid’ who, like most of the other children in the area, grew up building clubhouses with his friends.. “I was influenced by people who did it before me. When I went to college, I was inspired to start a building company by a black minority builder who I worked for,” he says.
The company was founded by Greg Janey in 1984, and the time to take the plunge came in 1990 when JANEY opened its first office. Greg asked cousins Bob White and Gary Davis to join him. With Bob’s daring take on life and Gary’s typical caution, the three partners were off to a balanced start.
The business grew until, during the infamous recession of the nineties, Greg had to decide whether he was going to keep the business or give it up. This was a defining moment and he remembers standing outside the office contemplating his next step.
It was then that a young man walked up to him, grabbed his arm, and told him that he had gone to school to become a builder because of seeing Janey’s name on a sign outside a building project. Greg realized that he had become a role model, and his decision was made. There was simply no way that he could disappoint the young people around him. “I pulled up my bootstraps and kept this thing going,” he adds.
Greg is full of praise for the JANEY team. “I love them all because they’re my family,” he says, proudly.
JANEY’s diverse range of industry professionals hold all relevant licenses and certifications necessary to complete a project. However, this company hires people for their commitment to its mission before considering their skills and training. That is because employees are considered to be ambassadors for the firm and are chosen for their dedication and integrity.
While there have been many great projects, the company’s early ground-up work is still the most memorable. JANEY’s very first commercial project was a restaurant called Keith’s Place. This was followed by one of its largest projects, Canal Bluffs in Bourne, Massachusetts, which was an eight-to-ten-acre housing project in which the company was responsible for the construction of around fifty affordable housing units. This was a big deal for the workers as the project was a life-changing moment for many of the residents who eventually made it their home.
Another landmark project is the construction of the Omni Hotel, a high-rise building in downtown Boston. “It is very uncommon for a black-owned firm to get an opportunity to construct a high-rise building in downtown Boston. As a joint venture partner, breaking that glass ceiling was a game changer and transformed the way the construction industry does business in Boston,” says Greg.
One of its greatest moments came when it was asked to partner in building the first science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) high school in Boston, the Dearborn STEM Academy. As the company has a great passion for improving lives, promoting education amongst the youth is essential. The company created an initiative called “Building The Future.” In order to build the future, everyone in the organization must strive to be leaders in the academic, industry, and advocacy space. “It is very important that we give back to the youth by inspiring them to take up subjects in the STEM areas.”
Building the next generation
The company supports all levels of education from elementary to college and is a benefactor of Boys & Girls Clubs of America for elementary school children; Dearborn STEM, the middle school that it helped build; and YouthBuild, a non-profit initiative that works with high school students, among others. True to its goals, JANEY puts a lot of resources toward getting youngsters involved in STEM activities to kindle a sense of wonder and interest in these academic fields at as young an age as possible.
The company is also very involved in higher education where it connects learners from middle schools, guides them to high school, and then guides them from high school to college. It often creates opportunities like internships and paid cooperative experiences for middle school, high school, and college students. This gives students hands-on learning to gain experience in the field.
JANEY is particularly proud of its employees, some of whom come from inner-city backgrounds and followed the opportunities created for them by the company to reach the positions they hold today. And this is why community work is not seen as an option, but part of the very fiber of the organization. JANEY ensures that the next generation has a future to which they can look forward.
Innovation and opportunity
Its love for its community, pioneering spirit, and qualified staff make JANEY a company able to convert obstacles into opportunities. “Challenges are exciting because they are learning opportunities to us,” says Greg. This is why the company has helped lead the way to new ideas and technology, especially when it supports environmental stewardship. After noting a marked shift in the public consciousness toward protecting nature, the company is amongst the leaders.
He has noted that one of the biggest industry changes in recent years is a distinct departure from collaboration toward a more adversarial stance, perhaps fuelled by the threat of litigation. On this, the company would like to see a return to the collaborative spirit.
This is a company that revels in being an active agent for change. In line with this passion and its great love of educating the local youth, the company has developed an initiative called Building the Future. The entire JANEY staff decided together that building the future means building great people, great communities, and great buildings by being a leader in all that they do and making the city a better place for all.