In addition to commercial, Phoenix specializes in residential, multifamily and industrial construction.
Some firms are developers and others are builders, but Phoenix Commercial Construction sets itself apart by doing both. This has allowed the Nampa, Idaho-based company to fill a rather unique niche, President and CEO Shannon Robnett says.
“We’re not a developer that decides that he wants to tie up a piece of property and then goes and hires a builder,” he says. “We develop the property, put together the plans, contract the building and find equity.”
A longtime veteran of the commercial real estate and development business, Robnett started Phoenix in 2008. Today, the company specializes in commercial, retail, multifamily and industrial construction. “Most of our clients are people we’ve done business with for a long time,” he says, noting the firm also has many strong industry connections.
“That brings a lot of our business to us so we’re not in the bid market,” Robnett says. “We work with people who know who we are and know our reputation. We’re not fishing every day for clients.”
Able to Impress
Phoenix’s current work includes Summertown, a $38 million complex with 191 apartment units and townhomes in Meridian, Idaho. Located across from a 52-acre park, the development will be geared to residents who have moved to Idaho from states with higher costs of living, such as Washington or California.
“We’re able to impress them with the quality we can provide at the [lower] price point,” Robnett says. “We’re always focused on creating value for the dollar and bringing people the value they would find in a northern California market.”
With this in mind, Summertown has been designed as a “lock-and-leave” community that will appeal to millennials. In this concept, residents can lock their doors and leave their homes without having to worry about maintaining their residences. In addition, he says, the finished building will feature a 6,000-square-foot clubhouse with a pool and interactive work areas, and workout rooms.
Summertown will feature smart apartment units that residents can control even when they are not home. “Those are things that have not been seen in our market before,” Robnett says.
Phoenix also is at work on Colorado Commons, a $5.5 million development in Nampa, and a $15 million industrial park with seven buildings that will also be located in the company’s home city.
These projects, along with Summertown, he notes, will contribute strongly to their communities by bringing new housing, jobs and workers to their markets. Plus, these will have positive impacts for Phoenix itself, Robnett says.
“We’re constrained on housing and we’re constrained on workers,” he explains. “Bringing those along should ease pricing, supply and demand.”
However, Phoenix has coped well with the industry-wide shortage of talented labor, thanks to the strong subcontractor base it has cultivated over the years. “We’ve been able to stay on top of things, because we’re working with qualified subcontractors,” he says.
Many of the subs that Phoenix utilizes, he notes, have expertise in design/build work, but are careful in the projects that they choose. “My subcontractors are not interested in working for everyone,” he explains. “They’re interested in working for a core group that will pay them well.”
Ahead of the Curve
Robnett praises his employees at Phoenix, which constantly strives to enhance their talents. This includes an annual retreat where the company will take the time to work with associates and improve their functioning skills.
This allows employees to take on more responsibilities as the company grows, while also increasing their opportunities to grow their salary. In addition, as Phoenix improves its efficiency and communication through this training, “We’re able to stay ahead of the curve where wages are today and where they’re going,” he says.
Robnett sees a busy future ahead for Phoenix as it moves toward finishing its current projects. “We’ve got some other stuff in the pipelines,” he says. “We’re always looking to work with other developers and equity partners and bring more projects to a market that is struggling to handle the influx.”
The company also has its eye on expanding into new niches as well as industrial work. “I would anticipate that we will see a strong and steady demand for our product over the next several years,” he predicts.
“We’re seeing more and more growth,” he states. “I believe we’ll continue to see 20 percent growth in the company year over year for the next several years.”