COVID hit many business segments in Lincoln hard and fast in 2020, while the commercial construction industry registered a mixed bag of results but is cautiously optimistic about 2021. Like many other businesses, operations of the industry experienced a number of significant changes during the last year with the increase of remote working, social distancing requirements, disruption in supply chains, and associated reallocation of resources. Even with those adjustments, many local construction companies are busier than ever with commercial construction projects in the area, and they have to stay on their toes, because construction trends and technologies are ever-changing.
Research indicates that the most pervasive trends in commercial construction in 2021 include increased use of biological construction materials, safety features, remote technology, modular construction, artificial intelligence, 3-D printing, design technology, supply-chain alternatives, and a move away from purchasing new equipment and instead renting or buying previously used implements. As we talked to local companies in the commercial construction business, we found some of the most common trends in the industry now include aerial imaging, attention to safety, quality, technology, and environmental impact, prefabricated construction with precision engineering and consistent quality; repurposing of existing buildings, sustainability, advancement in energy-saving designs, and more.
The Power of Experience
Having been in business for 97 years, Kingery Construction (kccobuilders.com) has an extensive history of completed projects that demonstrate their expertise and provide customers better insight before they begin construction. They provide every contracting option from design-bid-build to design-build, construction management, general contracting, and pre-bond/pre-construction services. Quality customer relations is crucial to Kingery, regardless of the project type or size, and their goal is to give customers a high-quality product and spend their money wisely.
“Our partnership with our owners is much more successful when we understand what the expectations are before we begin,” said Kingery President Rod Berens. “Our relationship with our customers goes beyond just completion of the project. We have many customers that we have done various projects for over several years. It is very rewarding to get a call from one of our previous customers and find out that they want us to do another project with them because of the success of the previous ones.”
As expected, Rod said, retail and restaurant construction has slowed since the onslaught of the pandemic, but they continue to see a lot of projects in the public sector with various kinds of structures. Recent projects they are working on include several at Northeast Community College (NECC) in Norfolk. They have been at the college for seven years and are currently nearing completion of the expansion and addition of the Student Center. This fall, they will be completing the new Large Animal Farm Operation and the new Vet Tech buildings at NECC, as well.
“We also worked on the Rocket Carwash on O Street, which was a particularly challenging project because the old building needed a lot of work and the tight working conditions and traffic on O Street added to the challenge,” Rod said. “Another important project is a complete renovation of the 135,000-square-foot Air National Guard Hangar; the project is ongoing and the coordination of daily operations of the military is something that requires special attention every day.”
When you invest your heart, soul, and finances into a business venture, one of the things that is crucial to tend to in the construction or remodeling process is your building’s curb appeal. Whether you’re repurposing an existing structure or building from the ground up, you want the outside to be welcoming, professional, and make a statement about your business. It’s amazing what the right paint job can do both for the curb appeal, brand, and interior appeal of your business, and we highly recommend Walter’s Painting (walterspaintinginc.com) for the job.
Walter’s offers first-rate exterior- and interior-painting services, in addition to wallpaper removal, power washing, refinishing of decks and other outdoor areas, re-staining, painting cabinets, and basically any coating removal or application you can think of. They have been proudly offering painting and special-coatings services in the area for nearly 30 years. They offer efficient, reliable service with minimal disruption to your commercial activity—and their record for on-time and on-budget results is sterling.
“Walter’s Painting uses only top-quality products and qualified painting crews experienced with helping clients make the most informed decorating and painting decisions,” said Owner Jeff Walters. “With our team of well-trained and experienced painters, we understand what business owners expect from a painting company, and we are at the ready to deliver.”
Their services include thorough sanding of all surfaces to create a perfect base before painting. The Walter’s service crew does all the heavy lifting for you, too. Their commercial painting services in Lincoln are carried out by a fully insured, licensed, and well-trained painting team for office buildings and schools, hotels and retail stores, apartment complexes, medical facilities, and any industry that requires their services.
“With attendance down at businesses due to the pandemic, it’s the perfect time to focus on new commercial construction and remodeling projects—so contact us to get your project done,” Jeff said.
Cheever Construction (cheeverconstruction.com) is an employee-owned construction firm that delivers on their promises. Employee owners and experienced, key individuals have maintained the consistent management and character of the company, creating a culture of integrity and commitment toward each project’s success. Cheever projects the full spectrum of commercial construction services, including construction management, design-build, and design-bid-build—all toward their vision of building good futures for their clients, employees, and community.
“Cheever is a relationship-based firm,” said President Justin Kurtzer. “We take pride in building trust with our clients and project partners in all that we do. We have built our reputation on our ingenuity, expertise, and exceptional people. We utilize an effective schedule, coupled with the quality and skill from our subcontractors and combined with our field craftsmen. Cheever Construction takes pride in all of the relationships that we have entered. We strive to make each project the precursor to the next project, while building a lasting relationship with everyone involved.”
In the current marketplace, Cheever has witness a tremendous demand for construction projects at educational facilities, both K-12 and university work, in small and large communities in the area. The pandemic has played a role in that trend, with construction projects being easier to complete when students are doing so much learning from home. Cheever also has seen some manufacturing construction demand, as well as a spike of sorts in requests for specialized construction in labs—both for educational institutions and for science-based companies, including NEOGEN. One super-interesting project Cheever worked on in 2020 was remodeling of a vintage World War II hanger at the Lincoln Airport, including mobile offices and mobile hangers—all in place for just 14-18 months during work at the airport.
Making Buildings Smarter
As the leading control technology contractor in Nebraska and Iowa, Engineered Controls (engineeredcontrols.com) has a goal to provide customers with products and services that created efficient, safe, and comfortable building environments. Established in 1994, Engineered Controls offers a complete turnkey building-control solution, including system design, new construction, and owner-direct retrofit sales, installation, repair service, and preventive maintenance work for small buildings. In their 27 years of operation, they have provided innovative and cost-effective building control solutions to thousands of satisfied customers.
“We live in an era in which buildings of any size and shape can become intelligent buildings,” said Pat Killeen, the president and CEO of Engineered Controls. “With open protocol technology, they can connect multiple subsystems together, on one network, rather than operating them all independently—maximizing energy efficiency, lowering maintenance costs, and providing centralized building control. The systems also provide information on problems in the building, allow for computerized maintenance scheduling, are easy and effective for employees to use, and easily detect problems.”
According to Pat, long range analysis shows that there are a number of business sectors that are currently, and will continue to, drive the building automation sector of the building technology industry in the future: “These include the demand for ‘green building technology,’ electrical energy management systems, LED lighting and lighting controls, security and access systems, asset management, smart buildings, and the technology convergence into one, holistic Building Automation and Control System. In addition, the demand for home automation products will increase the demand for more commercial automation products.”
When it comes to concrete and masonry repair, restoration, and construction, McGill Restoration (mcgillrestoration.com) is on the job. From highway surface treatment and parking-garage repairs to industrial painting to masonry repair, they’re ready to help you with just about any construction need. They follow a proven process for each job to ensure that they deliver consistent, high-quality results to all customers. The process begins with a project estimate and proposal and then works through contract acceptance and pre-construction preparation before on-site work begins. They make daily check-ins and strategy updates, and they deliver weekly performance monitoring through to project completion.
“When it comes to restoration, research is key,” said McGill Estimator and Project Manager Jennifer Loukota. “Researching the building, the materials, and the best techniques is essential to providing a beautifully restored building or project. When it comes to the planning and execution of a project, we want to offer our expertise. Most companies know the finer points of new construction, but McGill understands the intricacies of restoration.”
The influx of younger generations into the metro areas is fueling a steady increase in new construction and restoration projects—with the new construction happening primarily in the suburbs and the restoration is happening in the city centers. The trend of restoring older buildings or converting older spaces into modern designs is contributing to this trend. The onset of COVID in 2020 actually increased demand for restoration projects.
“After COVID struck, many businesses chose to get some restoration and other remodeling projects done during shutdowns forced by the pandemic,” Jennifer said. “The timing of the closures actually helped businesses accomplish some crucial work, at a time when they couldn’t run normal operations. Some of the jobs McGill Restoration took on included work on the Bergan Mercy Hospital parking garage, Eagle Parking garage, Southbridge Condominiums, and Nebraska Medical Center.”
In 2020, McGill Restoration also won the International Parking and Mobility Institute’s annual Award of Excellence for Facility Rehabilitation or Restoration for the restoration at and around the University of Nebraska Medical Center’s Parking Lot 1. The renovation included a three-level parking structure, a drive-up patient and valet entrance, a helipad, doctor parking at grade level, and a waterproofed plaza system. The scope of the award-winning work included replacement of expansion joints, post-tension cable repairs, masonry repairs, application of traffic coatings, application of penetrating sealer, and painting the interior ceiling surfaces. The project was completed on budget and on time—in less than six months—while never forcing closure of the garage or interrupting valet services at any time.
The Whole Package
If you’re looking for a general contractor with a stellar reputation in the Lincoln area, Xtream General Contracting, LLC (xtreamcontractor.com) is another fabulous option. This family-owned and operated business is a licensed general contractor in accredited by the Better Business Bureau. They provide knowledgeable project managers and experienced employees, who come together to build your project with quality and confidence in mind. They excel in commercial, industrial, and residential interior and exterior construction and restoration, including everything from framing, drywall, plumbing, windows and doors, complete commercial remodels, tile and flooring, electrical, carpentry, flooring, cabinetry, siding, concrete, painting, staining, building decks, patios, landscaping, lawn care, and snow removal, so you get the whole package in one!
“Some of the recent projects we’ve been proud to work on include the University of Nebraska Bookstore, Furniture Row, Eye Masters, McDonald’s, Taco Bell, and Metropolitan Community College,” said owner Michael Cubas. “We’re a complete general contractor that makes safety and proper equipment a priority, and we recycle materials to protect the environment. We are a flexible company providing our expertise from concept to completion or working within the parameters of your predetermined scope of work. Over the last three years, our portfolio of business has grown to include working with commercial businesses, real-estate brokers, management companies, national retail chains, universities and colleges, area school districts, and indoor and outdoor retail shops.”
Michael said Xtream General Contracting’s values are forged by hard work, honesty, and integrity in building relationships with their clients. They are idealists who believe that, by investing time in your local community, it will invest in you. Xtream General Contracting has an amazing team who all share the pride of building quality products. Each team member has to be the right fit, work well with the team, and share the values behind the company. The Xtream General Contracting team has become a big family and each one adds to the whole of the company.
“We offer quality workmanship, superb work ethic, and competitive pricing which separates us from the rest,” Michael said. “We are confident you will be pleased with work we have done as well as the ability to track projects we currently have in progress. Xtream General Contracting is ready to tackle any of your construction needs. There are a lot of options out there, but we think you’ll find that working with us will prove to be one of the best decisions you could make.”
The value of a solid, trustworthy roof over your head cannot be overstated. In fact, the roof just might be the most important part of your building. It provides you protection from the intense Nebraska elements, and if it’s not constructed by a company that uses quality materials and hires only highly qualified professionals, you risk damaging the building itself, inside and out. Neemann & Sons (neemannandsons.com) has been replacing and repairing damaged roofs, windows, gutters, and siding for 40 years, and they are locally renowned for being honest, hard-working, and reliable to ensure that every customer gets a personalized solution to their roofing needs. As a family-owned and -operated business, Neemann & Sons takes enormous pride in their work and guarantees their customers’ satisfaction every time.
“We specialize in shingled and flat roofing and are one of the few roofing companies left that can install a built-up hot asphalt roofing system in Lincoln,” said Owner Trevor Neemann. “We are a preferred contractor among many roofing manufacturers, allowing us to install roofs with extended warranty years.”
The proof is always in the pudding, and Neemann & Sons stands the test of time and reputation. One of the most recent projects they re-roofed was Lincoln Southeast High School, with a crew of theirs onsite for about eight months in 2020. In fact, educational institutions and remodels represent a large portion of their recent commercial requests. They increasingly use satellite technologies in commercial and residential construction alike, to ensure perfect measurement of all elevations.
“One of the biggest changes in the past five years is the quality of satellite imagery,” Trevor said. “We can see a lot of the projects from a computer before ever arriving on site. We now have programs that will measure roof areas with detailed accuracy from satellite. This keeps our estimators much safer and saves a lot of time because they don’t have to walk on tall or steep buildings.”
Exemplary Electrical Service
Every part of building construction is crucial to the overall project success and completion, and that includes what’s inside the walls, floors, and ceilings. Oak Electric (oakelectriccompany.com) is an excellent option for your commercial or industrial electrical work. It is a six-year-old 100% women-owned and operated premium contractor with a tradition of exemplary service. Since 2015, Oak Electric’s team of experienced and creative electricians has been providing meritorious service and craftsmanship to the Lincoln community, building real relationships and establishing solid connections with their customers. Whether you are remodeling or building from scratch, lighting is a crucial element to consider in any business, especially those with office spaces.
“An investment in good lighting yields a more efficient workforce with a higher morale, as well as setting the right tone with your clients,” said Oak Electric Owner Crystal Collins. “By upgrading incandescent lights to LED lights, you may be able to drastically reduce your monthly utility expenses. Also, don’t forget about exterior lighting, such as sidewalks, stairways, and parking lots. We highly encourage you to have a licensed electrician inspect your panel(s) to ensure it is up to code prior to starting any electrical project.”
Another trend in commercial construction is installation of interior and exterior security cameras. Oak Electric offers a camera system that is hard-wired to create a more reliable system than the discount Wi-Fi options. Plus, you get continuous recording and NO monthly fees, and you have remote access with your phone or tablet. Oak Electric’s Community Support Program also provides electrical services to nonprofit organizations at a reduced rate, or even free. It’s one of the many ways they have strengthened Lincoln in their first six years in business. They also have expanded their services beyond just repairs and remodels to also include installation of security cameras, electric car chargers, fire alarm systems, LED lighting conversion, parking lot lighting, and more.
“We have the privilege to serve the Lincoln area on residential and commercial projects, as well as to give back to the community through our Community Support Program,” said Crystal said.
REGA Engineering Group (regaengineering.com) may not physically construct commercial buildings, but the work they do is crucial to the success of any commercial-construction project. Now licensed in 13 states, REGA specializes in engineering and surveying services. As a full-service civil-engineering firm, they offer experience in commercial site development, ALTA surveys, floodplain development, energy efficiency, landscape architecture, and—recently added—investigative engineering. Their multi-state experience has helped them grow in their knowledge and problem-solving abilities.
REGA’s diverse experience in public and private civil engineering projects is evident in the projects they have tackled, including site development and grading, recreational facilities, pedestrian/recreation trail design, roadway plans, profiles and design, parking lot design, parking arrangement for on-grade and structural configurations, storm and sanitary sewer analysis and design, storm sewer drainage studies, detention facilities, potable water-system design, and soil erosion controls for temporary and permanent installations and utility relocations.
“We are in charge of surveying and care for things like water quality, storm-water drainage, and this requires construction observance throughout every commercial project we take on,” said REGA President Dan Rosenthal. “Construction observation can be the most critical service provided for any construction project. Full-time observation by our engineering professionals is the best defense against problems during and after construction. It’s crucial to ensure that management plans for water and drainage meet the needs of everything they affect, including lots and corners, roads, floodplains, and more.”
With more than 40 years of experience in surveying, REGA Engineering Group also provides site surveying, construction as-built surveying, and topographic surveying and construction staking. Their surveyors have broad experience in all facets of large and small projects, including private, commercial, and governmental, facility construction layout, roads, and utilities. The company has worked on many topographic surveying projects for Lincoln, Omaha, Auburn, Columbus, Falls City, Fremont, Nebraska City, and other communities throughout the Midwest.
REGA Engineering Group recently joined the Investigative Engineers Association Member Firm (I-ENG-A), a nationwide network of independently owned engineering firms that provide forensic investigative engineering services. Members of I-ENG-A provide services that investigate, document, test, and secure property/evidence, allowing accurate reporting for the property and casualty insurance industry. By joining the network, REGA Engineering Group now has access to I-ENG-A’s broad-based knowledge and skill of its other members, including forensic engineering training and a database of information that assists with comprehensive, cost-effective claims settlement. The new addition of expertise will provide a quicker turnaround time and fewer fees for REGA clients.
“The investigative engineers at REGA reconstruct the events that give rise to property, casualty, and liability claims,” Dan explained. “Services requested by the clients of investigative engineers include: auto/component failure analysis, cause and origin, scope and damages, mitigation measures, subrogation claims, fire and arson investigation, structural analysis/review, traffic accident reconstruction, slip and fall analysis, product failure analysis, mold contamination investigation, earth movement analysis, and laboratory testing.”
Concrete and Epoxy Specialists
Gabel Construction (facebook.com/GabelConcrete) provides epoxy flooring, basement waterproofing, foundation repair, drainage and landscaping, egress windows, and snow removal. Gabel has specialized in concrete pouring, along with these other services, since it began in 1977. Nathan Lee and his wife, Haley, took over ownership of the company in March 2020, with Nathan bringing a 30-year background in epoxy flooring to the company’s offerings.
“I was introduced to the industry at an early age,” Nathan said. “My parents owned their own company called Midwest Floor Care, and I started working for them when I was 12. I eventually took over and renamed the company Epoxy Concrete Sealers. I then went on to partner with my brother, owning a percentage of a company known as Surface Sealers Inc. I was ready to take things to the next level, so Haley and I decided to take over ownership of Gabel.”
Epoxy is a growing trend among homeowners and commercial buildings alike. It’s known for being very durable and, thanks to its endless customization options, can be incredibly modern and stylish as well. Gabel Construction knows the ins and outs of epoxy application, and wants to help you transform your space with this budget-friendly and long-lasting flooring choice. In addition, if you’re looking to shine up existing concrete or smooth out some cracks, Gabel Construction is able to get the job done with the highest level of products and customer service.
Selecting an Electrician
Virtually every commercial construction project will require hiring an electrician. Although many contractors offer electrical services, it’s important to research providers to determine who is most qualified for your particular job. Jon Eicher, project manager for ABC Electric (abcelectric.net) in Lincoln, recommends checking seven key factors about an electrician before hiring one for your project, noting that ABC Electric meets all of these criteria.
First—and regardless of the size of the project—be sure that the electrician is fully licensed and insured. In Nebraska, electrical contractors are required to have a license that demonstrates they have completed the education and field training necessary to perform jobs safely and correctly. It’s also crucial that licensed electricians have the proper insurance to protect you from getting stuck paying for any possible damages. When you implement construction of your business, one main consideration for you may be energy efficiency—which really comes into play on the electrical side of things. This is why so many businesses have made the decision to convert to LED lighting. Being more “green” is not only great for the environment, it’s great for your pocketbook. It’s been reported by multiple sources that LED lighting uses 50–90% less electricity, which can end up totaling a lot of money’s worth of savings on your annual electric costs.
Second, check into the types of jobs an electrician has traditionally done and make sure the experience meshes with your project: “Some contractors may only focus on residential jobs, while others may specialize in lighting,” Jon said. “If you’re doing a commercial project, you want to identify your project needs and make sure the professional you choose is experienced in that area.”
Third, it’s vital to find out who from a company actually will be performing the work: “Ideally, you’ll want a contractor that uses their own employees, not subcontractors,” Jon said. “Subcontractors may not be covered by insurance or have the experience your project requires.”
Fourth, professional electricians must stay current on their education about ever-changing electric codes. The National Electric Code is routinely updated to address changes in technology and new safety requirements, and your electrician must stay informed of every new rule to ensure that your project is completed in a compliant fashion. What’s more, having up-to-date knowledge about codes can help streamline your permitting needs.
Fifth, you want to choose an electrician who prices services based on the specific materials and labor required to complete your commercial remodel. If the company charges a flat rates, you could end up paying more than you should have. Sixth, you want to choose a provider that offers emergency support 24 hours a day, seven days a week, so you know they’ll be there in the event of any emergencies during your project duration. You don’t want to wait for a solution. Finally, Jon recommends reviewing an electrician’s guarantee policies: “Warranties and guarantees can protect you from additional costs if you need to fix problems with any work that your electrician provides during your remodel,” he said. “Ask your contractor what their guarantees cover and how long the protection is valid.”
When you get your commercial construction project underway, there might be times where various contractors are at work simultaneously, which underscores the absolute need to make sure all of them put safety first. The last thing you need is for someone to get injured while working on your business.
Hummer Contracting (hummerinc.com) Owner and President Clint Hummer makes safety his company’s No. 1 priority across the board. In addition to general contracting, custom fabrication, millwright services, and material handling, Hummer Contracting performs a broad range of services, from demolition and remodeling to custom installations of cutting-edge technologies. The company’s licensed engineers promise to meet all of your design needs with a realistic timeline, clear documentation, and the expertise to make your remodel project a success.
“We take pride in providing a better customer experience and take safety very seriously, from beginning to end,” Clint said. “Hummer Contracting is honored to have a top-of-the-line safety coordinator. She takes safety very seriously and customizes all training programs to fit our industry and circumstance. We have a very low accident rate and a high ISN rating (a rating of a company’s stability and ability to manage its business). Hummer Contracting also tries to make safety fun. For instance, once a month, we have ‘Trade a Trade Day.’ A different employee or employees do half-day trainings about their particular specialty area and talk about the safety precautions involved. It’s very hands on. Then, the second half of the day, the safety coordinator does an ISN® training, so we devote a minimum of one full day per month to safety education.”
In 2016, Hummer Contracting joined ISNetworld® as part of its ongoing efforts to raise safety awareness and standards in the industry. ISN connects safe and reliable contractors to hiring clients worldwide. It streamlines safety, insurance, quality, and regulatory information processes, which saves time and improves safety standards. ISNetworld provides contractor management software and stores contractors’ health, safety, and procurement information, allowing them to complete the qualification processes for hiring more efficiently and has been documented to lower incident rates on job sites.
“As a member contractor of ISNetworld, we have custom programs for the full spectrum of safety assurances,” Clint said. “Those include everything from confined space entry to fall prevention, fire protection and safety, hazardous waste communication, proper PPE, lead awareness, industrial power equipment, respiratory protection, rigging-material handling, subcontractor management, trenching, shoring, excavating, and welding. Safety truly is our top priority.”
Hummer Contracting’s mission is to be the foremost commercial contracting company through dependability and integrity, a diligent commitment to excellence, and a pledge to promote safety, service, and value.
Working With What You Have
Oftentimes, remodeling your business can be far more efficient all-around than starting from scratch to get the new amenities or space you want to add to your site. Tru-Built Construction (facebook.com/Tru-Built-Construction) Co-owner Bo Jones said that while constructing a new building is beneficial in that it gives you control over every aspect of the design throughout every layer of the building, sometimes the best option is to take an existing building and make improvements.
Tru-Built takes pride in offering premier commercial renovation and remodeling services, with some recent projects including transforming the former The Post & Nickel building into a mixed-use one that incorporates Chase Bank, Lululemon Athletica, and Madida Clothing commercial spaces. It also has condo spaces available for lease on the upper floors. In reality, the building is actually four separate buildings, built side-to-side. That served up some challenges, including varying floor levels, split plumbing and electric, and working on the remodel in the tight confines of the downtown area.
“Regardless of the challenges, we now have a unique building with some fabulous features,” Bo said. “We preserved the original wood floors, the old billboard ads on the brick walls, and restored the big windows that were filled in with brick over the years. The group of owners has committed to a complete renovation, including re-footing the basement, adding new structural walls and beams, supporting the floor joists and roof trusses with steel, installing new wall framing, and new electric, heating, cooling, plumbing, fire protection, drywall, paint, windows, cabinets, and more. It basically will be a completely new building and exemplifies the benefits of using what you have instead of starting from scratch!”
Bo advises special caution to any business considering a remodel: Pay particular attention to the roof: “In addition to negatively affecting the exterior look of your business,” he said, “a failing roof can cause expensive and unpleasant problems with leaking, energy loss, and other issues. It can downright negate all of your work if the roof isn’t in shape to protect it!”
When it comes to protecting your business from damage, the quality of plumbing included in your construction or remodel must be resilient, to code, and able to withstand the dramatic temperature swings in Nebraska. If your plumbing, heating or air-conditioning loses efficiency from a lack of maintenance, utility bills can skyrocket.
Biggerstaff Plumbing, Heating, and Air Conditioning Inc. (biggerstaffs.com) has been serving the Lincoln area for more than 60 years. Owned by brothers Doug, Dennis, and Don Biggerstaff, their success relies on their reputation for reliability, professionalism, and providing top-quality care in a timely manner. They will ensure that your commercial construction projects benefit from the efficiencies of sound plumbing, heating, and cooling systems that will save your business money in the long run.
Bob Nohavec Plumbing (bobnohavecplumbing.net) has been serving the Lincoln community for 40 years. Their plumbing service is built on a solid reputation for fast, reliable, and quality service that meets your commercial and residential needs. They provide full excavating and plumbing services, including visual camera inspection with locating capabilities. Excavating services they provide include septic systems, waterline installation, sewer-line installation, sewer repair, water repair, storm sewers and drainage, underground plumbing, and more.
A Powerful Brotherhood
Lincoln is home to another fabulous commercial construction company in Brown Brothers Construction, Inc. (facebook.com/BrownBrothersConstructionInc) Brothers Ray and Jared Brown started the company in 2005, when they began remodeling commercial and industrial buildings between just the two of them. Now, Ray and Jared are joined by 23 additional employees who are all passionate about building the very best commercial and industrial remodels, additions, roofs, painting, carpet installations, aluminum storefronts, and more for Lincoln businesses.
“Lincoln is small enough that we have a good relationship with most businesses in town, but large enough that there’s plenty of new and exciting projects on the horizon for us,” said Ray Brown.
While Brown Brothers Construction specializes in office remodels and tenant improvements, they have worked with a growing book of Lincoln businesses for a rainbow of different projects over the years. Ray, Jared, and their dedicated employees have built solid relationships with many Lincoln businesses throughout the 15 years they’ve been in service, delivering the highest quality construction services with a personal flair. They’re dedicated to bringing Lincoln business owners the best, helping them keep their storefronts and interiors fresh, clean, and modern.
The business owners who keep Brown Brothers as their choice construction company are all extremely loyal—many are return customers. Co-owner Ray Brown said a key reason for this customer loyalty is their staff. The company distinguishes itself as a company that understands the importance of teamwork throughout a project, and business owners see the team working together like clockwork. In addition to excellent teamwork, the employees at Brown Brothers take special care to develop one-on-one relationships with their clients, giving them personalized attention and advice so that each project is completed with 100-percent satisfaction, no matter what it is.
Building Roofs that Last
In Nebraska, our homes and businesses are constantly being hit with rain, snow, hail, and wind. Like our people, Nebraskan buildings are built to be strong, sturdy—to survive the elements and any surprise the world throws at it. But still, like anything (or anyone), damage can happen, and our homes and businesses can wear down and give way to storm damage or regular wear that comes with age. When that happens, Xcel Roofing (oveourroof.com/lincoln) is there for you. Xcel has been serving Nebraskan residential and commercial communities since 1990, working rain and shine to make sure you and your employees and clients are protected, safe, warm, and dry with a strong, sturdy roof over your heads.
Xcel Roofing offers a range of different services for both their residential and their commercial customers, ensuring they’re educated about each option. Not only will Xcel replace your home’s roof, but they will also replace the siding, gutters, windows, and improve your home’s insulation and ventilation. Dealing with an unexpected expense? Xcel Roofing offers a multitude of financing options, including a deferred payment plan and interest-free financing. They offer free roof inspections and will even do them virtually to protect you against COVID-19. Selling your home? Xcel will inspect your new listing, free of charge.
The Perfect TIme to Build
Ironhide Construction (ironhideconstruction.com) President Troy Bridgford said now is the perfect time to build in the Lincoln area.
“Now is a good time for businesses to invest in new projects in the Lincoln and Omaha market due to the projection of both cities’ populations continuing to grow over the next 20 years,” he said. “Both cities are expected to nearly double in size. This means that the need for commercial and industrial properties will only continue to grow as we will have more people looking for employment. As we all know, construction of new facilities can be costly, but it has never been as affordable to build as it is right now.”
Constructing a new building is always a significant investment of money, time, and other resources. Because of this, those investing in a project will naturally want to get it right the first time and ensure they are using the best materials and methods for a high-quality end product that will guarantee a long life for the building. Troy told us about new developments in panels that have improved the level of quality in metal building projects. The products are like sandwich panels with a layer of insulation between two metal panels. This offers a clean look available in varying finishes ranging from polished steel to stucco. The panels are also very energy efficient.
Troy also shared what sets Ironhide apart in the construction industry: “At Ironhide Construction, we pride ourselves on being the best metal building contractor in the area,” he said. “Through our customer-focused approach, negotiated contracts, and accountability throughout the project, we are able to ensure that the finished project is high quality and satisfactory to our clients.”
Commercial Hot Spot
Lincoln is a hotspot for the commercial sector, in a state that celebrates its business successes and focuses on economic development for companies of all sizes. Nonetheless, the uncertainty and economic punch delivered by the COVID-19 pandemic has put some strain on the local commercial real-estate market. That said, resiliency is the name of the game, and commercial agents in Lincoln remain resolute and positive about the long-term marketplace.
In fact, Greenleaf Commmercial Real Estate (greenleafcommercial.com) Director of Brokerage Services Brett Harris says that even with the dramatic changes in the marketplace of late, Lincoln has some big commercial projects underway, which provide some stability for the industry as a whole.
The retail and office sectors continue to fluctuate with changing consumer and business practices and habits. “The retail sector has experienced some vacancy and turnover of big-box retail spaces in recent years as online retail continues to change consumer habits and has resulted in established retailers either closing or downsizing,” Brett said. “The office market is also experiencing some changes with more people working remotely and design trends that favor open floor plans and fewer private offices, requiring less square footage per employee.”
Still, the biggest hurdle the commercial real-estate market has faced in recent years is the repercussions of the coronavirus, according to Harris and other local agents: “The COVID pandemic has created a lot of uncertainty in the commercial real-estate market right now,” Brett said. “In the short term, activity levels slowed down, as prospective tenants and buyers are reluctant to make commitments until they have more confidence in the economy. Existing tenants and landlords are often working together to get through these lean months, but some business closures are likely, particularly in the retail and restaurant sector.”
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