The world of General Contracting is filled with a sea of construction companies, so trying to find that “one” contractor that is an expert in a specialized field can sometimes be a real challenge.
However, for those looking for an unconventional set of turnkey services where thinking outside the box is the standard, along with a technical builder that is a disruptor in their industry, Connor & Gaskins Unlimited (CGU) is the right builder for the job.
Their Vision is to be one of the most admired builders in the construction industry. Their Mission is to prove every day that they are the only endpoint builder their customers will ever need. The world of General Contracting is filled with a sea of construction companies, so trying to find that “one” contractor that is an expert in a specialized field can sometimes be a real challenge. Their Values are…
- Being honest, authentic and committed – integrity stands for something
- Boldness – thinking big, challenging yourself everyday
- Active listening, building shared context, collaborate and disagree in real time – openness
- Being responsible by taking the initiative and owning the outcomes
- Believing that their employees and subcontractors are their most valuable asset
The first thing that struck me is the authentic sincerity that everyone in the company exudes, starting with founders Barry Connor, CEO and Craig Gaskins, COO and all of their employees. During all of our conversations there was always an air of honesty and integrity – active listeners with a passion to tell me their stories of their superb customer care and their pride in their organization and their work. CGU is all about developing and maintaining partnerships, and it shows.
The entire team is filled with bullet smart, T-shaped people, capable of taking a client’s project from a conceptual napkin sketch to a completed, five star, 25 story hotel.
Billions of dollars are spent every year on construction projects in the country, yet most General Contractors still face the same issues at an alarming rate: over budget, behind schedule, and poor quality. CGU exists to transform that paradigm and not accept mediocrity and complacency as a status quo.
To solve these challenges, CGU can’t apply the same people, processes and technology and expect the same results. They bring to bear the best across designers, engineers, consultants, subcontractors, data science, user experience, and academia to challenge industry-standard of what makes a great general contractor. That’s what they’re doing every day at Connor & Gaskins Unlimited.
From the day they opened for business with just three employees, their strategic growth plan has allowed them to grow to an industry leader with $145m in revenue in just eight years.
“Having said that, we truly don’t want to grow too fast because that can lead to underperformance. Our growth is modeled around our client needs, and we intend to keep growing with our clients,” says Craig.
From offices in Naples, Florida; Aspen Colorado; and San Francisco, California, the company’s sixty-seven permanent employees work in sixteen states across the
U.S., together with a host of carefully vetted and hand selected subcontractors. The company goes to great lengths to select the best subcontractors that have a strong financial history, clean safety records, and depth of bench. This also applies to the design professionals they select to work with.
Today’s construction industry is full of less qualified subcontractors that know how to circumvent the building codes and laws that are construction industry standards. Rather than building a taller wall, CGU partners with subcontractors that play by the rules.
“Before they can do any work for us, we make sure that our Subs meet or exceed our prequalification criteria, and the ones that can meet them are signed up and become an extension of our team,” says Barry. “We continually assess our Subcontractors’ performance and provide instant feedback loops that helps them perform optimally.”
Barry and Craig understand the importance of having partnerships with their subcontractors. With a lot of hard work and perseverance, CGU has forged strong and long-lasting relationships with their subcontractors and in turn their partners deliver a “Best-in-Class” product while still providing their clients with the best deal.
In their wheelhouse of projects types, CGU constructs custom homes, commercial buildings, hospitality establishments like restaurants, recreational facilities and resorts, assisted living facilities, medical and office buildings, as well as schools and education centers.
Their turnkey services include Cost Intelligence and Analytics used for benchmarking project metrics, Conceptual Estimating, using BIM (Building Information Modeling) for clash detection, using drones to assess land feasibility, and even building their own “in-house” 3D models of their projects. It’s these types of services which just blows away the minds of their clients and wins their trust; knowing that they’re in good hands, their clients approach CGU for assistance with all of their construction and design needs.
Their boutique style to preconstruction starts with a range of services at a land developer’s level, including feasibility studies on the land, cost proformas, and land selection. Their clients’ project details are laid out and proposed budgets are discussed. During this phase, the company also ensures that the project is feasible. Once all these details are ironed out, CGU moves ahead and strategically selects the design team which will generate the final drawings for permit submission. This is not only an ingenious approach to streamlining the overall planning process but saves untold amounts of time, money and frustration.
Their services also include site sourcing, selection, pre-planning, new builds, renovations, and improvements. In addition, they offer aerial photography and video, architectural design review, consulting, site selection, entitlements. For hospitality and hotel projects, they also offer design, selection, purchasing, delivery, storage and installation of furniture, fixtures, and equipment (FFE) for a full decorating and equipping experience.