Construction Firms Report Mostly Gains

by George Waldon  on Monday, May. 26, 2014 12:00 am  

John Riggs IV of J.A. Riggs Tractor Co. says he has high hopes for 2014. | (Photo by Jason Burt)

Five of the eight construction/real estate firms on this year’s list of top private companies recorded year-over-year revenue gains. The Little Rock general contracting firm of VCC (No. 15 among the 75 largest private companies) registered a 15.6 percent increase as revenue climbed to $607 million.

“2013 was a strong period of growth for VCC because we have stuck to the fundamentals year in and year out, and it continues to pay off,” said Sam Alley, chairman and CEO of the company.

“Last year, we had a number of new client relationships and projects that had been in preconstruction finally break ground. The retail industry has grown nicely as industry activity has increased and developer economics are improving.”

Howard Hughes Corp. of Dallas also restarted the mammoth Downtown Summerlin development on the western edge of Las Vegas last year.

That put VCC back to work building the 40 percent-complete project encompassing more than 1.3 million SF of retail space and a 200,000-SF office building.

Development of the 106-acre site began in April 2007 but was shut down during the Great Recession. VCC resumed construction of the 38-building project in May 2013, and it’s now headed toward completion in October 2014.

“It will be a landmark project for our company,” Alley said. “What really makes it a challenge is the owner wanted it built so quickly.”

Howard Hughes Corp. values Summerlin at $391 million.

Revenue was up 14.2 percent to $225 million at J.A. Riggs Tractor Co. of Little Rock (No. 37).

“The industry as a whole didn’t do too well last year, but we were able to gain market share,” said John Riggs IV, president and CEO of the company. “We got our fair share of deals out there. Our guys worked hard, and our market share went up.”

Riggs said 2014 started off at a crawl but transformed into a fiscal steamroller.

“The first two months of the year, weather killed us,” he said. “But as soon as the weather cleared up, everything broke loose. This may be our best year since 2006 and hopefully a great year for everybody in the industry.”

The 2014 momentum is expected to carry over into the next several years, Riggs said. “All the facets of construction are going to be good for the next year, maybe for the next three or four years,” he said.



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