A Few Steps Ahead

Linden Construction
Written by Pauline Müller

Being a construction project owner can mean navigating the line between history and modernity, and this is a balance that Linden Construction strikes deftly. With expertise in both new build construction and historic preservation, this company understands that modern building techniques can bring out the best in heritage structures, and that it is the thoughtful intersection of both the old and the new that truly shapes a community.

This year marks Linden Construction’s 15th anniversary, which will see its owner celebrating the accomplishments of his team and their contributions to the company’s longevity. A straight shooter who learned at a young age that it is safer to read the fine print and always question what look like great ideas, owner Brandon Linden is committed to presenting everything his company does crystal clearly.

Favored for its expertise in design-build, this Charleston, South Carolina construction leader calls Mount Pleasant home. Traveling throughout Georgia and North and South Carolina to serve its customers, the Linden team is always ready to take up tools and get to work. “We’re honest in what we do. And there’s a strong technical background; we’re not just a paper contractor,” says Linden.

The result is that the company’s field teams are well-versed in cost-effective building methods that render rock-solid structures without cutting corners. They also know where these methods are most suitable and where they’re not, giving the team an edge in rendering quality at the best price possible.

Having built over 3 million square feet of indoor and outdoor space, the company has erected everything from pubs to healthcare facilities, office buildings, public amenities to restaurants, and even a theatre. In addition, it has completed a few very beautiful mixed-use, multi-family projects. Taking general construction and design-build projects from a detailed preconstruction phase—where it goes through its clients’ needs, vision, and site demands with a fine-toothed comb to save on confusion and errors later—all the way to handling the entire construction management aspect throughout projects, Linden Construction has its boots on the ground from the moment a project becomes a concept to when the keys hit the front door.

Opening Linden Construction at a mere 25 years old, Brandon Linden worked his way up from site level. Originally from the Northeast, Linden quickly found his way into the construction industry, where he discovered that he could earn a decent living, even as a youngster. After working for several years as a young apprentice in a range of different fields, Linden landed on, amongst other sites, a job with an Italian craftsman who specialized in tile and marble installation and raising the next generation of construction minds the hard way. Learning a few valuable lessons in sticking things out by his side, Linden looks back at those days with a degree of warmth. After all, busting his guts on building sites back then brought him to where he is today—a determined, dedicated leader unafraid to stand up and speak up where and when it matters most.

The entire experience left him determined to learn from and improve on others’ mistakes and further develop what they did well. The approach worked. Now completing around $100 million worth of work each year, the business started as a tiny operation seeing about $1 million in work annually. Renovating interior office spaces in the early years, Linden decided to put his thorough hands-on training to better use by breaking out of that sphere and into general contracting two years before COVID hit. The result was an influx of new construction projects that grew the firm’s reputation for good, solid trustworthiness alongside excellence in execution.

Somebody once said luck is when preparation meets opportunity—an adage that certainly rings true for Linden Construction. Prepared with the funds it would take to cover startup capital and all the other expenses involved in becoming a fully-fledged general contractor, Linden and his team were ready to meet the big time the day it arrived. While reaching this point had been an emotional process for Linden, sticking to what he had learned along the way meant that he was accustomed to double-checking facts—a trait that has stood him in tremendously good stead in this line of work, and one that his customers benefit from as well.

“It’s about being honest with people. I tell people that there will be a problem; it is going to get rough. I am going to own it if it’s my fault, and they need to own it if it’s their fault,” Linden says, underlining that projects are partnerships and owners are not bottomless bank deposit boxes. Therefore, he and his team do everything possible to avoid delays and other mishaps. “It’s a short-term marriage. We’re going to have some arguments. But at the end of the day we share the same goal,” he continues.

In a comparatively limited local market where specialization does not get any contractor that far, Linden quickly realized that being efficient means being thorough in everything the company does. “When you look at the data points on gross square footage for office space in Atlanta or Charlotte, it’s 20 to 30 times more than Charleston has,” he says, illustrating the unique position that Charleston’s lower population density places builders in. In addition, Charleston has a height restriction that mainly allows for mid-rise buildings of typically around five to 12 floors, leaving the skyline decidedly devoid of skyscrapers and construction much more sprawled out across its landscape. This legislation chiefly aims to protect the aesthetics of the city’s historical areas while preserving its old-time charm.

At Linden Construction, order, easy access to documentation, and clients’ privacy are taken to heart. “Everybody here has the same mentality: we get the work done, we work hard, and then we can play hard,” Linden says. To ensure the team is always up to the next challenge, the company offers additional field training through shadowing to supplement and develop employees’ existing knowledge.

For Linden, the joy in construction is its concrete presence—an opportunity to connect with something visible and tangible that is so much bigger than the individual or the team. The ability to build on prior knowledge and experience while expanding capacity is another reason that, for him, the industry is a rewarding one, especially for youngsters.

The result of hiring good people is good results, and that includes reliable manpower. By the end of 2025, the company will have completed building 1500 apartments alongside retail and industrial spaces. It is also currently constructing a $75 million project comprising 25 living units in a village-style development. As the firm continues to grow, it also seeks out increasingly more complex projects—something it has focused on since turning toward new builds in 2017. That has given the team the knowledge, for instance, to work around historic buildings while being sensitive to such sites and the unique demands that come with the area. The fragility of old buildings makes vibration monitoring, for instance, imperative to protecting them and the surrounding building sites.

With COVID-19 changing the property market significantly, especially in terms of empty office spaces, Linden feels that the verdict is still out as to how the market will respond and adapt over time. As an admitted workaholic, he sees himself at the helm of things for many years to come. As such, he and his team will no doubt be a part of the wave that brings change to offices discarded in the wake of the remote work trend.

In love with the chase of business, Linden Construction is getting ready for this change when it comes. Until then, it continues bringing passion and integrity to every inch of every project it touches.



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