ReyLenn Construction Company Inc.
ReyLenn Construction operates on a simple principle, but it’s one that Principal Barney Addamo says has carried it a long way so far and has the potential to carry it even further as it looks into the future. “I would say that the philosophy and the business platform we work under is that whether we’re building it for ourselves or for a client, we build it as if we own it,” Addamo says.
Based in Solana Beach, Calif., ReyLenn Construction is the general contracting arm of ReyLenn Properties, a developer of multifamily residential properties in California and Colorado. With its affiliate exploring development opportunities, ReyLenn Construction has completed more than 1,2000 residential units in the last two years. Originally focused entirely on California, the company branched out into the Denver market in 2011. ReyLenn recently completed Solana 3100 Pearl, a 319 unit podium project in Boulder, and is nearing completion on of 341-unit project in the Cherry Creek submarket. Another 640-plus units are projected to start in Colorado before the end of 2015 along with approximately 650 units in California for 2015
As the effects of the recent recession begin to recede, construction activity in California and Colorado has started to ramp up once again. “We only perform third-party work for selected clients here in California and it’s relationship driven but very competitive,” Addamo says.
Owning the Work
The company’s philosophy of treating every project as if we own it, is the single biggest differentiator ReyLenn Construction has in a highly competitive marketplace, Addamo says. “We take it personally on every project that we do, and that’s the mentality that we take,” he says.
The strong connection that ReyLenn Construction has with its affiliated development company also makes the company a favorite for third-party clients because, as Addamo explains, the company has a deeper understanding of the owner’s side than a typical general contractor. “What we do find is that after we build one project for a client, they realize it’s not just the construction experience they receive but the ownership knowledge, as well.”
With all of the vast experience ReyLenn Properties has in developing multifamily properties with a very experienced team, ReyLenn Construction has a much stronger base of knowledge to draw from than the average general contractor, and Addamo says the company can evaluate a project and bring its own solutions to potential problems. “It’s not just a general contractor going out there and building a project,” he says. “It’s really about a long-term analytical side that we bring.”
“From pre-development design through completion of construction, ReyLenn works in a concerted effort with stakeholders to incorporate all proper supervision and assemblies required for a successful project,” the company says. “Our team has extensive knowledge and expertise required to execute an efficient project. We use our substantial database for proper design, pricing and scheduling. During the pre-construction process, ReyLenn can be retained to focus on constructability, value engineering and project documents. We believe in early involvement, which enables us to introduce ‘constructability’ details in the critical design phase of the construction process. Our value engineering process goes beyond scope reduction or exchanging inexpensive materials for specified ones. We strive to provide the same proven scope at a more efficient price, or alternately, better quality for no additional cost, through creative proven approaches. Schedules are prepared with realistic timeframes and are constantly reviewed to insure that the project is on course and that we remain accountable to meet the project objectives.
“ReyLenn Construction’s in-house development resources can even be retained at the earliest stages of planning,” the company adds. “By assisting during [the] due diligence phase we can advise on site feasibility, schematic design, development budgeting and entitlement processing. This early involvement can provide the confidence you need to make the crucial ‘go/no-go’ decision.”
Another major strength ReyLenn Construction brings to the table is the combined experience of its leadership team. The company says its leadership has the knowledge base and the spirit of collaboration that have allowed ReyLenn to accumulate the volume it has over the last several years. “ReyLenn has an entrepreneurial management team that is highly skilled with over 50 years of collective direct working experience in real estate throughout the United States,” the company says. “The team possesses an extremely successful track record in multi-family construction and development. Over the last 10 years alone, the team has directed the development of approximately 3,000 units with a value of approximately $1 billion in the Western United States.”
Addamo has more than 30 years of construction experience under his belt, and that includes specialization in high-density urban infill development. “His background includes extensive expertise in conceptual design, pre-development, preconstruction estimating, land acquisition, contract negotiations, joint venture relationships and construction operations,” the company says. “[He] has overseen and controlled the development of a wide variety of award winning projects and product types.”
Addamo is joined on the senior leadership team by Principal Louis Kuntz, who came to the company after spending 15 years as an executive with another firm. “In that capacity, the 28-year real estate veteran has been responsible for overseeing all aspects of acquisition, pre-development, development, construction and asset management,” the company says. “[His] vast real estate experience includes acquisition, development, construction and property management of more than 21,000 apartment units in 28 cities nationwide. He has had direct exposure in underwriting in approximately 40 U.S. markets.”
Principal Ric Shwisberg also serves as the company’s COO and general counsel, having served as an executive for many years at the same firm as Kuntz before joining ReyLenn Construction. “In that position, Ric’s primary responsibilities included assistance with the pre-development and development phases of all projects, as well as in the acquisition, entitlement, joint-venture/equity structuring, financing, construction and disposition process for projects on the West Coast,” the company says. “For over 17 years, Ric was a member and partner of the San Diego law firm of Procopio, Cory, Hargreaves & Savitch LLP. As the former leader of the firm’s real estate team his practice encompassed all aspects of commercial real estate development.”
The company adds that the collaboration between its team is what gives ReyLenn Construction the confidence that all projects will be completed to the highest standards now and well into the future. “The management team will continue to work together in a concerted effort to ensure that value and returns are maximized in each step of the construction and development process,” the company says.
The most challenging thing about the construction markets in California and Colorado right now is the amount of work there, Addamo says. With so many construction projects finally getting the financial green light after the recession, it can be easy for a general contractor to take on much more work than they should. Addamo says ReyLenn Construction is careful not to allow its volume of work to have a negative effect on the quality of its overall work.
“What we’re doing to meet that challenge is that we’re really selective in terms of who we work with,” Addamo says, adding that ReyLenn Construction prefers to stay with customers it is familiar with. “We’ve probably turned down a dozen projects to work with clients we know.”
Although many of the competitors working alongside ReyLenn Construction are quick to snap up any and all available work, Addamo says they could damage their reputation in the long run because they may not be able to devote the resources needed for high-quality construction. “A lot of the general contractors we see have seven to 10 projects out there and they’re really just concentrating on making a fee,” Addamo says.
Another challenge created by the high level of activity in the marketplace is an overall shortage of qualified skilled labor. “We value our industry and need to make it more attractive for others to make construction a desirable career path,” Addamo says. ReyLenn Construction is careful about the subcontractors it works with as a result, but the company is fortunate to have strong relationships with a number of high-quality subcontractors. He says the principals of the company have relationships with some of these subcontractors that reach back nearly 20-plus years.
Examples of the high-quality work ReyLenn Construction completes in the multifamily sector can be found throughout California, and the company says it is proud of all of its accomplishments. Among the many successful projects the company has in its portfolio is the Jacaranda community in Fullerton, Calif.
Located in one of the most luxurious areas of Orange County, Jacaranda is a 131-unit apartment community for active seniors. The company says the facility provides residents the chance to live an independent lifestyle based around daily social interaction with their neighbors.
“The project consists of four wood-frame residential buildings, which vary between two and three stories in height and a two-story 7,000 square foot, wood frame clubhouse/ recreation center,” the company says. “The extensive amenity package for the project includes a resort style pool and spa, outdoor barbeque and fireplace, a fully equipped fitness center and several multi-purpose rooms available for formal as well as informal events. All units in Jacaranda feature upgraded interior finishes including nine-foot ceilings, upgraded cabinets, granite countertops, crown molding, walk-in closets and large balconies or patios.”
Staying the Course
Looking down the line, Addamo says ReyLenn Construction will continue to follow the principles that have made it a success thus far. Even though the current level of activity in the market is tempting, he says, it benefits the company more in the long run to stay the course and be cautious.
“I see that there’s a lot of opportunity, but you have to be strategic about who you’re working with and what projects you’re taking on,” Addamo says.