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March 29, 2012

2012 Construction Surveys: Pease Construction

Specialty: Commercial and industrial construction

Management: Patricia Candiotta, president; Loren Pease, general manager

Founded: 1984

Headquarters: Lakewood, Pierce County

2011 revenues: $29 million

Projected 2012 revenues: $20 million to $25 million

Current projects: Madigan child development centers, Tacoma educator facility, Pierce College renovations, Joint Base Lewis-McChord barracks upgrades

Photo courtesy of Pease Construction [enlarge]
Pease has been working on a number of jobs at JBLM, including this mini-mall it finished last year.

Q. What trends have you seen for public project funding?

Bill Ecker, director of business development: Based on advertised bids this first quarter and conversations with facility and procurement personnel, funding for public projects has been scaled back. We have seen very few significant building projects in the pipeline.

Q. How are you adapting?

Ecker: We are finding opportunity using our ability to take on outlier projects which may fly under the radar of many general contractors due to the unusual combination of elements of work.

Q. Any difference in construction activity between Tacoma and other markets?

Ecker: Based on what we have read in the DJC, the Tacoma area is about at a par with the greater Puget Sound area; that is, lagging the recovery we are hearing about in the East, but moving ahead. Compared to other parts of the state, we seem to be doing better.

Q. How do you think 2012 will shake out?

Ecker: 2012 is looking to be another tough year in this market. The recovery indicators starting to emerge in other areas are still trailing in this area.

Unfortunately, most of the industry has been bidding at cost for the last two years and the negative consequences of this is surfacing. Many general and subcontractors are exiting the construction business by choice or by bankruptcy. We see many sub and general contractors running on fumes now.

Needless to say this is an unhealthy market that prevents growth, but it demands companies such as ourselves to become more efficient than ever before. Pease Construction remains optimistic that 2013 will mark the real onset of a vibrant economic upturn.

Q. What’s something new Pease has done the past year?

Ecker: We have made inroads into new markets and adopted new internal practices to streamline processes. One very positive consequence of the current market is the rigorous self-evaluation of business as usual, and rethinking how to do more in an environment of less.

We will also be exploring partnerships with other companies to develop properties. With our capital and expertise we can capitalize on the real estate market and help other types of businesses get their space renovated and move towards ownership of their facilities.

We are postured right now to provide backing or explore mutual ventures in that area to get things moving again. We are receptive to creative develop-lease-leaseback or developer-financed projects, too.

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