Alpha Construction Co. Inc.
It takes a lot of hard work and dedication for a contractor to remain in business for nearly 50 years, and those are the exact qualities that Alpha Construction Co. Inc. has brought to the Southern California market. Since 1965, Alpha Construction has distinguished itself as a respected and sought-after builder in numerous markets, but primarily focused on the affordable housing sector.
President Irvin Laxineta says that even though the company faces some intense competition in Southern California, Alpha Construction’s collaborative approach to construction helps it stand apart from the rest. “A successful project is one that had a team effort between the designers, the owners and ourselves,” he says.
Founded by Laxineta and Senior Vice President Jerry Hart, Alpha Construction originally focused on renovations and remodeling projects, completing projects such as the offices of the Smothers Brothers, numerous restaurants in Los Angeles and the transformation of the Earl Carroll Theatre on Sunset Boulevard into the Aquarius Theater for the long-running musical “Hair.”
After many years as a successful remodeling contractor, Alpha Construction branched out into new construction, starting with senior living apartments and convalescent homes. From there, the company moved into building affordable housing projects in 1977. “We have been specialists in that field since 1977, but that isn’t the only thing that we do,” Laxineta says.
In the years since the company’s move into new construction, Alpha Construction has completed projects including mixed-use developments, schools and bank branches. The company also has added market-rate apartments to its repertoire after years of experience building affordable housing projects, but no matter where it brings its expertise, Alpha Construction applies the same principles of hard work and collaboration that have made it a success.
Competition in Southern California traditionally has been demanding, Laxineta says, and that challenge has been compounded by recent changes to the makeup of affordable housing funding. Since the 1980s, tax credit investments have made up the bulk of funding for affordable housing projects in California, with grants making up the difference. Recently, however, the situation has become more difficult for developers looking to build affordable housing projects, which in turn means greater challenges for contractors such as Alpha Construction.
In this demanding new environment, however, Alpha Construction brings some considerable advantages that have helped it navigate the increased challenges with greater ease than many of its competitors.
Tight financial constraints mean developers and contractors are under greater pressure than ever to do things right on the job site without costly mistakes, and Laxineta says Alpha Construction’s meticulous approach to planning eliminates those concerns for its customers.
Also contributing to the company’s success is the experience it has among its leadership. “We have very experienced superintendents and project managers that have been with us for many years, and they’re overseen by our vice president of construction, who has been with us for more than 25 years,” Laxineta says, referring to his son, Louis Laxineta.
Although Alpha Construction’s experience and collaborative approach are helping it overcome challenges in the affordable housing arena, the slowdown in activity in the sector has pushed the company to explore other avenues. “We’re having to shift some of our focus from the affordable housing industry to market-rate housing because much of the funding for affordable housing has been eliminated or reduced,” Laxineta says.
Nevertheless, Alpha Construction believes it has the skills and experience in place to serve the market-rate sector as well as it has the affordable housing sector. “We have to be really good at what we do, and we manage to survive,” Hart says.
“We have a good reputation in the industry and it’s well-earned,” Laxineta adds.