We’ve asked Rick Grant, one of our principal developers and President of Beverly-Grant, the largest general contractor in our region, some questions related to the current construction industry climate and Legacy’s future.
HOW IS LEGACY PROTECTED FROM THE VOLATILITY OF SUBCONTRACTORS?
Beverly-Grant’s relationship with the subcontractor market is special. You have to keep in mind, that while I’ve been a part of Beverly-Grant for 35 years, my father started the company nearly 70 years ago. We have been fortunate to have established relationships with subcontractors that span the life of Beverly-Grant’s history. We consider our subcontractors not only good business partners, but in many cases, lifelong friends. We have a rich history of working together to build complex projects throughout WNC. It helps that as a principal developer with Legacy, I have made the opportunity to work on Legacy known to my subcontractor partners for many years. And they are all very eager to help Beverly-Grant make Legacy a reality! As for subcontractor estimates and costs, we have recently seen a shift in behavior from our subcontractors who are now calling into our office asking if there are any projects they can offer a bid on. That is certainly a change from where things stood a year ago.
WILL LEGACY EXPERIENCE HIGHER CONTRUCTION COSTS?
While construction costs are certainly not back to normal, believe it or not, our project is falling in a good time of the current economic cycle. We have already seen the start of a slowdown in construction due to inflation. That slow down allows for prices to begin to fall and become more competitive. For instance, we are seeing copper and lumber prices drop and since we really won’t be purchasing these raw materials until vertical construction, we still have some months ahead for prices to continue to come down. Grading or “site work” requires a lot of fuel, and the falling oil prices are also favorable for our project given site work is beginning very soon.
HAS LEGACY EXPLORED ALL ASPECTS OF THIS PROJECT TO PREVENT FROM DELAY?
Yes. When Beverly-Grant started to experience supply chain issues and growing costs of materials during the height of COVID, I asked the superintendents and leaders inside my company to audit all aspects of Legacy to find less costly materials that achieve the same outcome. I also have led this same effort with our design team and as a result they are incorporating alternative means, methods and design to reduce overall costs. This effort has yielded overall cost savings for our project to help offset some of the increases. Another important thing to consider is that we have been negotiating with manufacturers to take advantage of bulk purchasing. The size of the Legacy project is far greater than a typical expansion project. We have therefore been successful at negotiating prices for the raw materials to build everything, including the interior fixtures and finishes to customize your interior home. This is especially vital to keep in mind as we move into the home customization phase of the project. Customizing your home with items that we are purchasing in bulk from manufacturers is a real way to manage the overall cost of building. This does not mean we are sacrificing the quality of items available. It simply means we cannot offer the assortment you would have in a custom home build. We still believe our interior package options far surpasses that of a traditional CCRC.
IS THERE ANYTHING ELSE YOU CAN PROVIDE TO BRING ASSURANCE?
I want everyone to understand that I am working a lot harder than a hired General Contractor to reduce costs since I am not only one of the primary developers and the owner of the General Contractor company building Legacy, but also a future member.