At a Glance
Ground-up construction; making tenant improvements; and remodeling for commercial, retail, and restaurant clients
In its continuing effort to remain versatile, JG Construction made a strategic decision four years ago to reenter the fast-paced restaurant-construction sector and take on projects with a high level of difficulty. “With the restaurants, so many of the operators know other operators, and we thought this would help get our name out there,” JG vice president Wally Clark says. “With the harder projects, we felt it would increase our capture odds if the competition was three general contractors or less.”
Both of these strategies have since paid off lucratively. “We stayed focused, and the opportunities kept coming, some by our own marketing efforts and some by word of mouth with clients we were building for,” Clark says. Now, the Golden State-based company hopes to continue gaining a foothold in new sectors while staying well-rounded.
Incorporated in 1979 by Jack and June Grothe, JG is a certified woman-owned business and a licensed general contractor in 11 western states, including Hawaii. The recent restaurant work has been a welcome addition to JG’s extensive portfolio of projects, and the firm now has relationships with McDonald’s, Carl’s Jr., Smashburger, Chipotle, Panda Express, and others. JG’s established capabilities range from ground-up construction to remodels with retailers such as Chase Bank, Wells Fargo, Rite Aid, Family Dollar, GNC, Vitamin Shoppe, and Grocery Outlet. Additionally, JG is performing on projects for developers such as Vestar, Kimco Realty, Lewis Retail Properties, Cadence Capitol, Ridgeway Development, and Fountainhead Development, Inc.
The restaurant business is notorious for constant trend shifts, but JG’s experience with fast remodels for retail clients has made it adept at moving quickly to meet short deadlines. “The work is fast-paced at 13–15 weeks for a major remodel or a ground-up,” Clark says. “Some of the working-time periods are off hours, and getting the crews to understand this and support our intent and effort has been key in our strategies.”
It also pays to make sure that the best project managers are in place and that subcontractors and suppliers understand the pace and the dynamics. “We have excellent operational systems, and this helps at all levels with overall management,” Clark says.
While the restaurant market is keeping JG busy, though, the company doesn’t want to be pigeonholed as a niche player. “Rather than say we have a niche, we like to say we are versatile,” director of marketing and business development Nan Richardson says. “Restaurants need to remodel every several years, so it is good to have this experience. Many other retailers go through expansion programs, so we try and stay close for the opportunities. With our versatility, we are capable of ground-up; tenant improvements; and remodels for restaurant, retail, and commercial clients.”
One of JG’s more ambitious recent projects was its construction of the Ridgeway Development, in May 2012; the development is the first ground-up shopping center in Newport Beach, California, in five years. JG’s work on the 12,351-square-foot project included two single-story retail/commercial buildings, parking, and landscape and hardscape improvements.
JG’s goal for the future is steady, controlled growth. “During the last three and a half years, we have been very fortunate to keep busy, and the opportunities are continuing to come our way,” Clark says. “The value of projects is increasing with the addition of many great clients. Building relationships with these clients and adding new clients should keep us pretty busy.” ABQ