Neeser Construction Inc. listed as #15 of the top 49 Alaska Businesses.
News Source: laska Business Monthly
Publish Date: October 18, 2005
This spring, Neeser Construction Inc. will begin work on Anchor-age’s new 193,000-square-foot civic and convention center downtown. The estimated $93 million center is one of several projects the Alaska general contractor has planned.
“We have two years’ worth of work on the books,” said company President Jerry Neeser. The achievement is rare since most construction companies typically have just one season of work lined up, Neeser said. “We’re not doctors or lawyers with a continuous flow of clients. We have to recreate ourselves regularly.”
The Anchorage-based company has successfully built up its business, posting consistent growth since opening in 1975. “Every year has been better than the last,” Neeser said.
In 2004, revenue climbed to $91 million, up from $65 million in 2003. The company’s employee totals range from 240 in winter months to 500 during the busy summer construction season, Neeser said.
The general contractor has handled various projects, including commercial, industrial, medical, multi-family and retail projects. One specialty is design-build projects, often with an abbreviated timeline. Neeser has been handling design-build projects since 1969 when he worked on California concrete high-rises and parking garages with his brothers. He believes his Alaska company handles more design-build projects than other instate general contractors.
Another signature asset for Neeser Construction is an ability to serve as developer on a project. Neeser is one of four developers on the Anchorage convention center, along with Anchorage businessmen Leonard Hyde, Mark Pfeffer and Jon Rubini.
Dozens of long-time employees also set the company apart in an age of job-hopping. About 30 employees have worked at Neeser Construction between 10 and 30 years, and up to 75 carpenters also have logged decades of service there, Neeser said. The company is sensitive to employees’ needs in a crisis, for example, which generates long-term loyalty, Neeser said.
“I think we are a family friendly company,” he said. “It pays off to be good to your people. Everyone is treated like family.”
MILESTONE PAST PROJECTS
Several major construction efforts mark Neeser Construction’s history. The company president cited renovation work on Anchorage City Hall, which was completed in late 1993. The $12.9 million project required complete gutting, renovating and upgrading, which included electrical and mechanical systems, lighting and elevators. The 144,000-square-foot building was reborn in less than nine months.
Neeser Construction also has built 33 rural Alaska school projects. Careful planning and logistical work constitutes a major portion of Bush projects due to extreme weather and soil conditions, short building seasons and remoteness. The company has devised methods to overcome the obstacles. One project required building ice roads on the Yukon River to move equipment 36 miles to the construction site. Also, hovercrafts have been used to transport materials and equipment from barges to beachheads.
The company designed and built the $35 million Army and Air Force Exchange Service Joint Military Malla seven-acre facility tackled in less than 17 months. It’s the world’s largest joint AAFES & Defense Commissary Agency. The shopping center, completed in October 1999, includes a supermarket, a retail store, optical clinic and food court.
Neeser Construction also has handled nearly $50 million in projects at Alaska Regional Hospital’s campus from 1998 to 2001. The company constructed two medical office buildings, the heart center, water pipe mechanical upgrades and a lobby renovation.
Anchorage residents may be familiar with Neeser Construction’s work building Anchorage Downtown Fire Station No. 1 in 2001. The gleaming, modern 30,000-square-foot fire house cost $7 million and includes a hose-drying tower and a separate administration building. Neeser Construction also built the 1,600-student South Anchorage High School, which opened in 2004. Its opening marked the city’s first new high school in 30 years.
Earlier this year, Neeser Construction completed the Alaska Psychiatric Institute replacement facility. API staff relocated there in mid-July, said Mark Welker, facility manager. Welker praised Neeser Construction’s design, which met numerous requirements regarding patient safety and maximizing natural lighting.
“They did an extremely nice job,” Welker said.
CURRENT AND UPCOMING PROJECTS
In September, Neeser Construction began underground utility work on the rental car parking garage at Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport. Concrete work will begin this spring on the 1,800-vehicle structure. Neeser expects completion in 2008.
The company started construction in early summer on a new South Anchorage Home Depot. Neeser Construction spent three years negotiating with the retailer and neighboring businesses near Abbott Road and the New Seward Highway. Home Depot is scheduled to open in December, Neeser said.
CHARTING THE FUTURE
Neeser noted his company’s litigation-free historya major accomplishment in the construction industry. He hopes to maintain that record and see further steady revenue growth for the company.
“I think there’s a bright future in Alaska. There’s plenty of work here” requiring focus and drive, he said.