US Builders Review                                                    

A.B. Goodrich Contracting LLC: Building Healthy Relationships

Operating from the heart of Raleigh, N.C.’s Wolfpack country, A.B. Goodrich Contracting LLC (ABGC) and its fine team deliver full-service commercial construction management statewide. The company’s five full-time players focus on retail, healthcare and office builds throughout North Carolina, orienting all activity with a focus on collaborative relationships and quality assurance.

President Al Goodrich, a graduate of East Carolina University, founded the company and has been pleased with its growth, which is partially the result of applying rigorous preplanning to identify critical details that reduce change orders, construction time and reduce project costs. “I think we bring somewhat of a unique skill set,” says Goodrich. “We do some land acquisition, a lot of preconstruction and land surveying, which other general contractors usually don’t do. We work on a lot of design-build projects and site identification, and work with the owners from development to the end.”

From its single office in Raleigh near the Cliff Benson Beltline, ABGC serves its loyal group of clients as a consultant, new construction manager, renovations supervisor and/or general contractor. ABGC gladly helps clients with zoning, land-use designations, and all other permitting issues associated with development projects.

Goodrich comes to the job with more than 10 years in the business, some at W&W Partners, Inc. in Cary, N.C., and brings a holistic perspective. “I’ve done everything there is to do in the industry from industrial to residential,” says Goodrich.

The business end of things is held up by Daniel Talley, also an East Carolina graduate, who brings years of banking, underwriting and commercial loan experience to ABGC, including settling distressed real estate assets.

Building Niches

Though only founded in 2009, ABGC is in demand thanks to the company’s commitment to the idea that client expectations must be exceeded. “Even though we’re new, we’re involved in a lot of large projects as the construction manager,” shares Goodrich.

The company has split its time between the healthcare, retail and office sectors. The company currently specializes in working with developers in the healthcare industry and has experience working with skilled nursing, assisted living, outpatient, veterinarian and other medical facilities. On the retail side, ABGC has experience with hospitality, residential developments, light commercial and retail up-fits. Both sectors are expected to grow.

Current projects include a $10 million skilled nursing facility (Peak Resources) in Cherryville, outside of Charlotte, which has an expected completion date of August 2013. This project follows a just-completed furniture store in Wilmington.

For bigger jobs, ABGC partners with another, more established general contractor: John M. Campbell Co. (Campbell). Campbell has been around since 1970 and holds general contractor licenses in neighboring states. ABGC operates primarily as the project manager on Campbell co-work.

Other company projects include the Laurels of Willow Creek, a 66-bed skilled nursing facility renovation in Midlothian, Va.; and Stonebridge at Woodbury, a health facility renovation in Hampstead, N.C. As the elderly population increases, there’s demand for both new senior-living facility construction and renovation. ABCG’s niche is a promising one and its adherence to delivering quality work on time has gained the company a foothold in the construction world of North Carolina.

Managing Well

ABGC is able to deliver quality that will endure thanks to an emphasis on comprehensive resources and personnel management. The company self-performs small concrete work and some metal framing and subs out the rest. “It’s a collaborative effort,” says Goodrich. “I say everything in life, as well as our business, is relationships; we try to consistently work with the same people so that we understand their capacity and what we can expect from them.”

Starting a construction company in 2009, in the midst of the construction recession, would seem akin to jumping off a high cliff and hoping for a soft landing. Construction numbers in North Carolina still show the state has not fully rebounded; regardless of these challenges, ABCG is doing well.

“We started with very little,” concurs Goodrich. “It’s not hard to go up when you start with nothing! But we have been blessed and capitalized on big opportunities.”

The biggest boon is the company’s relationship with a health facilities builder. The company nourishes that relationship and sees business as a continuum. “We don’t look at things as a one-off; we’re interested in long-term relationships,” says Goodrich. In addition, ACBG leverages its good relationships and business memberships – which include the Better Business Bureau, National Realtors Association, Associated General Contractors of America, North Carolina Home Builders Association and North Carolina Licensing Board for General Contractors – to earn more business and positive reputation throughout the construction community.

Though ABGC is engaged in current and future projects, including more healthcare facilities and a vanilla box for the retail sector, Goodrich doesn’t like to get cocky, and is hesitant about speculating on the future. “Get back to me in a couple of months,” he says, modestly. “We’re a small company now, but who can say if we’ll stay that way.” Skilled in delivering client-focused projects and reinforcing cooperative relationships, A.B. Goodrich Contracting LLC maintains the resources to flourish.