Not content simply with stasis, Murray Costello Construction, Inc. (MCCI) is pursuing licensure that would expand its operative umbrella to cover build-outs of stores in 38 of the contiguous United States.
The Fort Myers, Florida-based firm, a recent winner of the 2012 Best of Fort Meyers Award in the General Contractor (Interior Build-Outs) category, made a name for itself with build-outs for Soma and White House Black Market, both overseen by Chico’s Distribution Services, LLC. Now it’s overseeing additional build-outs for the various clothing chains under Urban Outfitters, Inc., including Anthropologie, Free People, and BHLDN. Through these projects, MCCI continues to flex its retail muscle for a diverse network of national partners—a network it only hopes to grow further as it extends its reach.
Most recently, the company has overseen work at Urban Outfitters’ namesake locations, including a new build-out in a historic building in Norfolk, Virginia, and the construction of a new store in Franklin, Tennessee. “Working with Urban is a nice opportunity for us because it’s like we’re building for a whole new brand every time we build a new store,” MCCI director of operations Susan Bosa says.
Catering to young-adult consumers, Urban Outfitters stores—of which there are more than 170—are entirely unique, unified only in their aesthetic difference. Their stylistic diversity—which includes assorted sustainable elements such as living walls and reclaimed products, which are becoming increasingly standard—pushes MCCI to adapt to new and varied preferences at each location. And, at the same time, the stores’ geographical diversity keeps the firm from being “locked into a particular local economy,” MCCI owner Murray Costello says. “This has allowed us to not be affected by economic events that have happened in specific areas.”
The firm employs a staff of 15 and performs 10–12 projects annually, and though its multistate approach lends itself to a more flexible contracting model, it is also not without its challenges. “There is a constant effort to stay aware of the constantly changing building codes, licensing requirements, and permitting requirements, which are different everywhere,” Bosa says. “It’s a struggle, but it’s also beneficial for us as a business.”
Additionally, as the company spreads its projects throughout different states, sometimes into unfamiliar areas, it has to work more closely with its established pool of regional subcontractors to find new help.
“When we go back into the vicinities we’ve worked in before, we access our database to get back in contact with our previous vendors,” Bosa says. “If we need new resources, we’ll ask for referrals, which is how we make most of our new relationships.”
MCCI will continue to gain licensure and expand its client base, and it hopes that national retailers continue to move toward more localized aesthetic requirements in their stores, much like Urban Outfitters has done. The trend will only help the firm form new partnerships since its capabilities are already extensive. “We’re not just focused on one type of construction,” Costello says. “We’re looking forward to doing more ground-up construction and new projects.” ABQ