Hoar Construction was born in Birmingham in 1940, the city once known as the Steel Capital of the South. The company that built its business with steel and concrete still calls Birmingham “home”, and many of the company’s employees are based in Birmingham. From the small construction company that started by building local Birmingham churches, Hoar has grown into a multi-office national contractor completing projects in more than 30 states and Puerto Rico.
Besides Hoar’s corporate headquarters, the Birmingham office is also home to the retail/commercial division, the healthcare division, and the program management division. These divisions have built some of the more recognizable projects in the Birmingham area. The Barber Motorsports Park and Museum is world class and attracts visitors from all over the US and Europe. Lakeshore Foundation is a US Olympic and Paralympic Training Facility, and the site where much of the Academy Award winning documentary Powderball was filmed.
The Richard and Annette Shelby Interdisciplinary Biomedical Research Building at UAB is home to world-renowned research scientists, and is one of Hoar's more recent successes in the area. Hoar was honored to serve as program manager for both phases of the Children’s Zoo additions and continues to work with the Birmingham Zoo on their expansion program.
Both Birmingham and Hoar Construction have changed considerably since 1940. And although the company has grown enormously and diversified into more project types in many more locations, the Birmingham office remains the backbone of the company.
From Art Deco to Mickey Mouse, Hoar's Florida division, based in Orlando since 1999 and headed by Michael Parks, division manager, builds everything but boredom – Disney roller coasters, art deco hotels, condominiums, town centers, lifestyle centers – and the list goes on.
Hoar Construction has a reputation for remaining with a client, such as Disney, who offers multiple opportunities. The company attributes much of the credit for these long-standing relationships to being good listeners long before the first spade of earth is turned. According to Michael, “Everyone works as a team - management, estimating, and field, and we are all very aware of the importance of understanding what the client needs. We work hard to anticipate and diffuse some of the potential problems."
The seemingly unending Florida growth means an active market with ample opportunity for Hoar Orlando associates. “The construction business is a service oriented business, and our people are a vital part of our business,” said Michael. “Owners, city inspectors, subcontractors – we consider each one a vital to a successful project, and we work as a team to build excellent relationships with everyone involved in the project. We train our people to anticipate and plan for challenges that may occur during project construction. Being proactive helps us to build trust with all our team members, and with trust, everyone wins.”
Although a typical American is more likely to connect Nashville to country music than healthcare, Hoar Construction heard the heartbeat behind the rhythm guitar. Nashville is a healthcare hub, and Hoar established the Tennessee division with healthcare clients in mind. While most of the current work handled by this office is healthcare, the company also has several significant retail and commercial projects in Tennessee.
Since starting the Nashville operation in 2001, Hoar has established a relationship with several new healthcare clients. Gerald King, vice president in charge of this office, believes in building and maintaining relationships with clients. “Most of our work is negotiated rather than bid. To me, in order to grow an office, you need to be able to negotiate repeat business with clients. To do this, you have to know your clients’ needs and goals and be able to deliver on your commitments.''
The associates in the Nashville office are a youthful, energetic and enthusiastic crowd, according to Gerald. “It is very important for anyone, particularly a new person coming to this office, to know that there are plenty of opportunities here. A newcomer can look at our associates, see them succeeding, and know that it’s possible for them to have a career at Hoar Construction.'' Nashville does have its own job qualifications though, he jokes: "This is an active city and there is a lot to do here. You have to like country music, Titans football, and hockey."
When the expanding company needed an office closer to some of its major clients, Texas was the first location selected. The firm’s leaders could have picked any spot in the Southwest for its first regional division, but Houston --a vibrant, growing city with a frontier mindset--fit best with the company's own energy.
Brian Cook, manager of the Texas division, says the city’s attraction has been explained as international, pro-business, and yet open and accepting. Houston is a very international town with global, energy-related companies making up much of its financial base. These companies attract people from all over the world, yet Houston is a very easy town to do business in. While it is a very large city, it still has a small town feel. It is also a good town for a young person just starting their career. There is a feeling of openness and a willingness to accept individuals based on their ability.
And when it’s time to get away from work and take a break, Houston offers plenty of leisure diversions with professional sports - the Texans, the Astros, the Rockets - and the beach just a short drive away at Galveston.
It has been said that the whole is only as great as the sum of its parts, and the Texas division is a significant part of Hoar Construction's team strength.