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July 2012 - as seen in our digital magazine



By Judith Shinsato, Lee Schaller, Jason Soeda and Jocelyn Nystrom


After several years of a devastatingly down economy, creating an industry-wide framework of plunging revenues, stalled or cancelled projects and — especially difficult in Hawaii's ohana-oriented workforce — employee layoffs, the tide seems to be turning!

In 2011, for the first time since 2008, there was an increase in the total revenue of the 25 companies that make up our latest Top 25. Total revenue in 2011 was $2.642 billion, an INCREASE of $102 million over 2010!

The increase, although not record-setting by any means, becomes particularly significant when we remember that in 2009 there was almost a billion dollar decrease from 2008. In 2010, there was another total revenue decrease, this time $444 million less than in 2009.

What all of this hopefully means is that we are on the way back, we've turned the corner, we're finding our way out of the woods — however you would like to phrase it, it's a positive sign. And at this point, after the tough times you all have endured, we'll take whatever upbeat news we can find!

In more specific Top 25 statistics, 14 of you showed increased revenues for 2011 compared with 10 in 2010 and six in 2009. Eleven Top 25 companies experienced a decrease in revenues in 2011, fewer than the 15 companies in 2010 and 19 in 2009.

Looking at the ranking on the Top 25 list, Hawaiian Dredging Construction Co., Inc. holds tight to the No. 1 position for the seventh year in a row!

The biggest leap upward on the list was made by Albert C. Kobayashi, Inc., going from the 13th position last time around to No. 4 in 2011. In a rare tie for ranking, the No. 4 spot is shared with Nan, Inc., who apparently did not want to relinquish the ranking it also held last year.

Swinerton Builders also made a big move up, jumping seven slots from 14th place in 2010 to No. 7 in 2011 — the company also advanced seven places in 2010 over 2009. (Seven, seven, seven — anyone at Swinerton heading for Vegas soon?)

Also making a huge move up the list is Ledcor Construction Hawaii, LLC, climbing from the 19th spot in 2010 to No. 13.

There was not a significant difference in the amount of public work performed by our Top 25 in 2010 but one statistic that did show change, and perhaps also reflects a positive sign, was the increased number of employees in several companies. Nordic PCL Construction, Inc., for example, went from 92 to 150 employees, Swinerton from 68 to 210, dck pacific construction, LLC from 100 to 200, Watts Constructors from 275 to 373, Delta Construction Corp. from 185 to 260, and there were more increases.

With a little preview into some of the other statistics, Top 25 facts and interesting trivia you will find elsewhere in this special section, we will tell you that our Top 25 companies have a heavy stake and longtime commitment to Hawaii, with at least 10 of them having more than a half century of history here.

Bottom line? It looks a little brighter out there. You have toughed it through with determination, innovation — and style. There still may be difficult times ahead, but hopefully, the worst is behind us.

A tip of the hard hat to each and every one of you. Imua! Top of page

Top 25

1 Hawaiian Dredging Construction Co., Inc.

- Parent Company: Kajima U.S.A, Inc.; Atlanta, Ga.
- Construction Specialty: General contractor
- Years in Hawaii: 110
- Employees in Hawaii: 545
- Public Sector Work: 41 percent

No 1 in our historic 25th anniversary of Top 25 is 110-year-old Hawaiian Dredging Construction Co., Inc., securing the top spot for an unprecedented seventh year in a row, despite a $77 million drop in revenue between 2010's $432 million and $355 million in 2011.

And the company is no stranger to its peak position, having claimed it for 18 of the past 25 years.

"Given the market conditions, 2011 was a good year for (us)," says William "Bill" Wilson, company president, remarking on the past year, adding that the project with the greatest activity was, by far, Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa. At the peak of its construction, the project required nearly 1,000 craft labor. In Aulani, Hawaiian Dredging, with its team of subcontractors, built more than 1.2 million square feet of space with 21 acres of site development in a period of less than 32 months. Disney held a much talked about grand opening for the resort in August 2011.

The company continues to provide construction services at Aulani, completing the interiors of about half of the timeshare units in an unopened wing of the resort and adding a new food & beverage kiosk to the property.

Hawaiian Dredging actually was active on a number of projects that were completed or near completion in 2011. Besides Aulani, these include the Child Care Development Center at Pearl Harbor, Ray & Joan Corps Community Center, Unaccompanied Enlisted Personnel Housing (UEPH) at Schofield Barracks, Kapolei Interchange Complex and Pier 60 site improvements.

"We also began work at Halekulani hotel and continued work on the first phase of what's called the Lahaina Bypass for the state Department of Transportation," adds Wilson.

Offering his forecast for the remainder of 2012, Wilson says, "There continues to be a lot more talk of work than there was a year or so ago. There's a lot of activity in planning and getting ready to start significant private building work. This means, in terms of the pursuit of work, it's much better than what it was. But the actual in-place activity is still a bit limited so far this year.

"So right now, we're busy pursuing work. We have a lot of good opportunities and are expecting those to result in more activity in the future than what is currently the situation." Top of page

2 KIEWIT Corp.

- Parent Company: Peter Kiewit Sons, Inc.; Omaha, Neb.
- Construction Specialty: Building, infrastructure, industrial, bridge & marine
- Years in Hawaii: 31
- Employees in Hawaii: 171
- Public Sector Work: 90 percent
- Work Subcontracted: 80 percent

This year, Kiewit Corp. and its various divisions present a united front, reporting more than $250 million in revenue, landing them squarely in the No. 2 spot of this countdown.

Lance Wilhelm, senior vice president, building division, Kiewit Corp., says: "2011 was about more than just the rail program for us. Like most contractors, we continued to look for new work to pursue throughout 2011, but we also stayed busy constructing a number of important projects. Department of Defense work continued to be an important market for us in 2011 with ongoing work on the Wheeler Bachelor Enlisted Quarters, Pearl Harbor Fitness Center and the Training Area Complex at Pohakuloa on the Big Island. Transportation was also another sector keeping us busy in 2011. Completing the $7.8 million Kalanianaole Highway project at Makapuu for the state Department of Transportation was one such example."

Wilhelm describes Kiewit Corp.'s work on the Honolulu Rail Transit Project: "2011 was primarily spent completing the final design and preparing for the work coming in 2012. That is not to say that no work went into the field. Our crews spent the better part of 2011 completing our test shaft program along the Farrington Highway alignment as well as completing temporary and permanent utility relocation work."

Wilhelm offers his observations on the second half of 2012: "I worry that we are not seeing enough work coming out of both the public and private sector to give me much optimism for any significant improvement in our industry's outlook for the year. Because more and more projects are procured under a design/build or design/assist format, and because of the complexities of administering even the more traditional procurement processes, there is an increasingly long lag between the time a project is bid and when that project breaks ground. Consequently, we can usually tell by the end of the year how the market will shape up for the following year. And we almost certainly know by midyear how we will fair for the remainder of the year. Unfortunately, we have not seen an appreciable increase in bidding activities throughout the end of 2011 and so far this year, which suggests that 2012 will likely be more of the same." Top of page

3 Grace Pacific Corp.

- Construction Specialty: Paving
- Years in Hawaii: 81
- Employees in Hawaii: 555
- Public Sector Work: 80 percent
- Work Subcontracted: 10 percent

Completing the top triumvirate is No. 3 Grace Pacific Corp., which slips a notch from its last showing, reporting 2011 revenue of $192 million, a $25 million decrease from 2010's $217 million.

"Results were not as good as hoped, mostly due to increases in cost, particularly in petroleum-based products," explains a spokesperson for the 81-year-old kamaaina firm.

One of the most notable projects of the year was Grace Pacific's $16 million Rehabilitation of Localized Streets, Phase 5B, Kaimuki/Kapahulu/Diamond Head, for the county. Begun in January 2011 and completed in November, the undertaking involved restoring a total of 93 residential streets in the aforementioned areas. The work performed, explains the spokesperson, "included cold planing, reconstruction and resurfacing of asphalt concrete pavements, utility manhole adjustments, new pavement markings, new vehicle loop detectors, and miscellaneous concrete curb and gutter work."

Originally, the contract specified that most of the roads be cold planed 4 inches, then repaved 4 inches with the approved county asphalt mix, called City & County Mix No. 4 (CC4). "Following a few revisions, it was determined that some of the roads didn't have 4 inches of asphalt concrete, so the scope was further changed to include cold planing depths of 1.5, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 8 inches," the spokesperson continues. This meant that some roads had to be placed with an asphalt concrete base (ACB), says the spokesperson, "before doing the final lift of CC4 for the final lift. It was challenging as we had to make sure each road was done to plan, as one day we could be cold planing 4 inches on a road and placing 2 inches of CC4 as the bottom lift, and then the next day we might be cold planing 8 inches and having to place 6 inches of ACB."

Predicting the year ahead, the spokesperson says, "2012 is relatively flat compared to 2011. Revenue is up a little, but margins are down. Unless the agencies put out significantly more bid volume than last year, there is little expectation of increased activity in the latter part of the year." Top of page

4tie Albert C. Kobayashi, Inc.

- Construction Specialty: General contractor
- Years in Hawaii: 49
- Employees in Hawaii: 150
- Public Sector Work: Did not disclose
- Work Subcontracted: 70 percent

Reporting a remarkable $102 million increase in revenue, Albert C. Kobayashi, Inc. (ACK) takes an impressive nine-spot leap in our current survey to take the No. 4 position, in a tie with Nan, Inc.

The nearly 50-year-old firm earned revenue of $182 million in 2011, compared to $80 million in 2010.

Russell Young, ACK president, says, "2011 was a good year, primarily because several of our projects that had taken awhile to get going in 2010 finally were able to start." Young adds that these projects were a mix of both public and private sector work.

Adding to company coffers in 2011 were the Kuhio Park Terrace renovation, the Marianist Church parking structure and the Whole Foods Market in Kailua, all of which began in 2011; along with ongoing projects such as the University of Hawaii (UH) West Oahu campus, UH Cancer Center and the recommencement (and completion) of the Ward Village Shops and parking structure.

Young says the rest of 2012 looks OK. "Many of our projects actually will be finishing up this year," he adds.

For example, the new $11.8 million 228-stall Marianist parking structure, which will be used jointly by Chaminade University and St. Louis School, will be finished this summer, as will the first six buildings of UH West Oahu. ACK recently finished renovations to the first tower at Kuhio Park Terrace and expects to complete the second by the end of this year.

Begun in 2010, the UH Cancer Center is ahead of schedule, adds Young. Because the project is going well, UH already is expanding the original structure. ACK will be adding an approximately 30,000-square-foot wing to the facility and hopes to start this summer.

Looking ahead, Young says, "2013 has possibilities. Right now, interest rates are low. Our No. 1 industry, tourism, is going strong, and even the military is looking well. All the signs look good but it's a question of raising consumer confidence." Young mentions a number of developers with high-profile projects in the preliminary stages that are just waiting for the right time to proverbially pull the trigger.

"We're hoping for the best," concludes Young. Top of page

4tie Nan, Inc.

- Construction Specialty: General contracting
- Years in Hawaii: 22
- Employees in Hawaii: 300
- Public Sector Work: 95 percent
- Work Subcontracted: 45 percent

Nan, Inc. experienced growth in 2011, bringing in revenue of $182 million, a $22.9 million increase from 2010. This helps Nan, Inc. keep its same No. 4 rank as last year, in a tie with Albert C. Kobayashi, Inc.

"2011 was very positive for Nan, Inc. as our growth continues to follow the upward trend experienced in recent years despite the highly competitive market. This is a result not only of the company's expertise and experience but also the pride of all hands in producing quality work and the highest commitment to our customers," reports Ryan Nakaima, vice president of Nan, Inc.

Nan, Inc.'s most notable 2011 project was the Keaukaha Military Reservation, Joint Military Center (JMC), phase 1 completed in early 2011. The design-build project involved the construction of six new buildings totaling more than 112,000 square feet on a 20-acre site, which now provides training, administration, storage and maintenance facilities for both the Hawaii Army National Guard and the U.S. Army Reserve. This was a significant project for Nan, Inc. as it, along with the Ane Keohokalole Highway ($34.5 million and currently ongoing), marked the beginning of the company's expansion to the Big Island.

Other recently completed projects include the Pacific Regional Center Building 130 and the Sea Animal Research Center for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) on Ford Island ($28.5 million). Projects ongoing in 2011 also include a new Bachelor Enlisted Quarters (BEQ) at Marine Corps Base Hawaii in Kaneohe ($44.1 million) and the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (JPAC) Facility on Hickam ($69.6 million).

Nakaima says, "As we look ahead, 2012 is shaping up to be another optimistic year as many of the major contracts that were acquired during the last quarter of 2011 were design-build projects, and therefore, are all currently in the beginning phases of construction."

Nan, Inc.'s success has mainly been in the public sector, although the company is continuing to make great strides in its pursuit of private sector work. Top of page

6 Nordic PCL Construction, Inc.

- Parent Company: PCL Construction
Enterprises, Inc.; Denver, Colo.
- Construction Specialty: General contractor
- Years in Hawaii: 73
- Employees in Hawaii: 150
- Public Sector Work: 8 percent
- Work Subcontracted: 80 percent

The year 2011 was similar to 2010 in terms of volume of work, according to Glen Kaneshige, president of No. 6 contractor, Nordic PCL Construction, Inc., which slips a notch from its previous No. 5 rank even with an $18 million increase in revenue — from $142 million in 2010 to $160 million in 2011. "It was steady and certainly not a year of expansion," he says.

Retail and the visitor industry provided a significant portion of the firm's work in 2011, including new construction for Walmart and CVS/Long Drugs (both in Kapolei), Target Hilo, West Marine's flagship store, the JW Marriott Ihilani renovation, Phase 5 of Ko Olina Beach Club and the Hawaiian Airlines Ticket Lobby renovation. Also on the roster is the new air traffic control tower at the Kona airport and the St. Damien Church in Molokai.

Nordic PCL also completed the new PE/athletic facility, part of the Kamehameha Schools Kapalama Campus redevelopment, and will be completing the middle school and cultural center for it this summer.

Another significant project moving forward after being stalled for years is the 23-story Holomua condominium. Begun on Sept. 15, 2011, the building contains parking on the first seven floors, topped by 170 residential units. Work also includes an emergency generator, three elevators, and onsite and off-site development. Slated completion is March 2013.

Also worth noting is the Longs Drugs Distribution Center, which is comprised of high-performance concrete foundation with a shake-on hardener, 42-foot tall tilt-up concrete walls and a single-ply roofing membrane. "The slab-on-grade exceeded the client's stringent specifications for flatness and levelness, and no concrete rework was required," Kaneshige adds.

"I think 2012 will still be a period of recovery for the construction industry," concludes Kaneshige, while also highlighting areas that show cause for cautious optimism, such as the startup of light rail, and the strong retail and tourism markets. "We're still in a historically low interest rate environment and I think people are more attracted to living in town to escape traffic. Both bode well for the condominium markets, and we know that there are at least three large developments starting within the next year. … The recent news of U.S. Marines (relocating) from Okinawa to Hawaii (also) should be a boost to military construction." Top of page

7 Swinerton Builders

- Parent Company: Swinerton, Inc.;
San Francisco, Calif.
- Construction Specialty: Hospitality, retail, health care, federal, high-rise construction
- Years in Hawaii: 9
- Employees in Hawaii: 210
- Public Sector Work: 15 percent
- Work Subcontracted: 80 percent

In a big time move up our list, Swinerton Builders goes from No. 14 in 2010 to
No. 7 for 2011. In addition to a $52.10 million increase in revenue, Swinerton increased its number of employees in Hawaii from 68 to 210.

We asked George Ehara, RME, vice president/division manager, what contributed to the increases. "Hospitality has always been a 'bread-and-butter' market for us," he says, "and 2011 was no different. We also expanded our healthcare presence and continued to maintain our share of the retail market." Major projects begun in 2011 include ANdAZ Wailea Resort & Villas, Walgreens Wahiawa, Hyatt Place Waikiki Beach and the Ko Restaurant at Fairmont Kea Lani Maui. Completed were Safeway Hilo, renovations at Fairmont Kea Lani, Hyatt Place Waikiki Beach - phase one, Forever 21 and the Waikiki Shopping Plaza expansion.

New employees are: Andrew Valentine, Ashley Arisumi, Chad Cataluna, Deanna Benevedes, Doug Kim, Hanson Wong and Eric Teremae, project engineers; Krystle Beauchanp, senior project engineer; Jeff Weller, senior project manager; Jun Park, assistant project manager; Dino Allen, superintendent; Jon Burke, BIM manager; Suzette Navarro and Kathy Guaderrama, project coordinators; Wendy Kaneyama, preconstruction manager; Stan Diones, warehouse coordinator and Anastasia Magele, receptionist.

A highlight of 2011 was a General Contractors Association Build Hawaii excellence award for the Waikiki Shopping Plaza.

Ehara says, "2012 will be our biggest year ever in Hawaii. We always take a long-term view of our business. We are an employee-owned company and our decisions are not driven by outside investors. This allows us to focus on optimizing our company for the long-term. If we focus on 'build a best-in-class construction company, we will be able to provide excellent service to our clients and win our share of the work, whether the economy is expanding or in a recession. What this means for us is we kept on hiring great talent even through the recent recession." Top of page

8 dck pacific construction, LLC

- Parent Company: dck worldwide, LLC
- Construction Specialty: Design-build/design-assist, preconstruction, general contracting (building, civil, infrastructure)
- Years in Hawaii: 73
- Employees in Hawaii: 200
- Public Sector Work: 65 percent
- Work Subcontracted: 60 percent

Generating revenue of $116 million in 2011, dck pacific construction, LLC comes in at No. 8, while doubling its employee size from 100 to 200 in the last year.

"Our diversity of skill sets and flexibility of delivery methods has enabled us to keep our employees working in a very competitive market," says Eric Tessem, senior vice president and general manager of dck pacific.

The Bingham parking structure at Kapiolani Medical Center for Women & Children along H-1 is dubbed dck's high-profile project of 2011. The project, scheduled to open late 2012, marks the first step of a 15-year, master plan for the hospital. This new, 17-story, LEED-certified structure incorporates eco-friendly components such as roof-mounted photovoltaic panels and electric car-charging stations with a brushed concrete exterior to minimize cleaning requirements. Other projects that kept dck's crews busy include work in hospitality at Kings' Land, Phase 2, healthcare at Castle and Queen's medical centers, and commercial work for Bank of Hawaii.

2012 has already started on a positive note with the award of the $43 million University of Hawaii at Manoa Information Technology Center, and in April, dck was awarded the $47 million design-build contract for P-822 MCAS Operations Complex at Marine Corps Base Hawaii (MCBH) Kaneohe. dck continues working with its repeat client, Target, and is completing the P-Fresh projects at Kailua-Kona and Kapolei. The firm also recently began a design-assist 125 guest room renovation at 2426 Kuhio Hotel.

Tessem says, "We have provided preliminary preconstruction services for a diverse variety of projects, which is a good indication toward a more optimistic future in the industry. We anticipate several of these projects will go forward as well in 2013, helping build backlog." Top of page

9 Parsons RCI, Inc.

- Parent Company: Parsons Corp.; Pasadena, Calif.
- Construction Specialty: Water, wastewater, pump stations, pipeline, reservoir, highways, earthwork, and site development
- Years in Hawaii: 44
- Employees in Hawaii: 185
- Public Sector Work: 47 percent
- Work Subcontracted: 45 percent

Hanging tight to the No. 9 position it earned in last year's survey is Parsons RCI, Inc., which does so with a $17.4 million increase in revenue between 2010, $94.3 million, and 2011, $111.7 million.

Ken Loui, who recently was named senior project manager for Parsons, attributes the growth to the substantial H-POWER (Honolulu Program of Waste Energy Recovery) expansion project, which was in full swing in 2011, along with a number of other civil and industrial projects.

Begun in early 2010, the H-POWER expansion adds a third boiler and other improvements to the City & County of Honolulu's waste-to-energy facility. It will greatly increase the amount of garbage the complex can combust, allowing it to generate much more electricity. When completed this year, the H-POWER facility will be capable of powering 75,000 Oahu homes, contributing 8 percent of Oahu's energy using a renewable source, and diverting nearly 90 percent of the island's nonrecyclable household trash from the landfill.

Other projects that added to the company's coffers were the Wilhelmina Rise Sewer Rehabilitation and its Makalapa project.

"2012 will not be as busy as 2011 as a number of projects are winding down and will be completed this year," predicts Loui. "We are hoping that the construction industry will improve as the year progresses." Top of page

10 Coastal Construction Co., Inc.

- Construction Specialty: Residential
- Years in Hawaii: 39
- Employees in Hawaii: 443
- Public Sector Work: 60 percent
- Work Subcontracted: 30 percent

Completing our top 10 is the nearly 40-year-old residential specialist Coastal Construction Co., Inc., which reports revenue of $106 million in 2011, compared with 2010's $117 million.

"Although volume for Coastal Construction fell nearly 10 percent," comments Les Masutani, the kamaaina firm's vice president, "we were fortunate to have ongoing work with Forest City and Haseko."

In fact, Coastal Construction completed 550 single and multifamily units in 2011, according to Masutani. The bulk of the work was at the 218-home Ulupau and 765-home Mololani neighborhoods on Marine Corps Base Hawaii (MCBH) for Forest City Hawaii and at Ka Makana at Hoakalei within Haseko's master-planned community in Ewa Beach. Both Ulupau and Ka Makana are still ongoing, while a celebration was held in May this year for the completion of Mololani – the largest neighborhood at MCBH.

Looking forward, Masutani says, "Unfortunately, our forecasts show we will continue to slide in 2012. Realistically, we don't see anything very promising this year."

On a more positive note, he concludes, "We've had some success with smaller projects, and we'll continue to keep our core people employed as we ready ourselves for 2013." Top of page

11 Watts Constructors, LLC

- Parent Company: The Weitz Co.;
Des Moines, Iowa
- Construction Specialty: Design-build, building structures, historic renovations, seismic upgrades, marine/waterfront
- Years in Hawaii: 8
- Employees in Hawaii: 275
- Public Sector Work: 99 percent
- Work Subcontracted: 30 percent

Our No. 11 contractor is Watts Constructors, LLC."There's no doubt that 2011 was a challenging year for the construction industry due to economic challenges and the migration of mainland contractors to the Hawaiian market," says Senior Vice President Kelvin Osborne. "Watts Constructors' staff kept busy finalizing projects like the Replace Hydrant Fuel System, Hickam Air Force Base (AFB), the Asian Tropical Elephant Exhibit at the Honolulu Zoo and the Reconstruction of Pier 29 Container Yard in Honolulu Harbor."

One of Watts' top projects completed in 2011 is the Replace Hydrant Fuel System project at Hickam AFB.

"Watts successfully managed and safely completed diverse, and potentially dangerous, construction elements within a single contract project on schedule, on budget, at a high quality that met and exceeded client expectations," says Osborne. "To achieve our perfect project safety record of 154,688 work hours over 1,116 contract days with no lost-time incidents, our project team was extremely focused on safety. Our safety achievement on this project is remarkable and to be celebrated considering we had miles of excavation and open trenches, worked around and under two 2.4 million gallon fuel tanks lifted 8 feet off the ground, and countless tons of contaminated soil." Top of page

12 Delta Construction CORP.

- Construction Specialty: Construction sitework
- Years in Hawaii: 34
- Employees in Hawaii: 260
- Public Sector Work: 25 percent
- Work Subcontracted: 20 percent

Slightly dropping to No. 12 is Delta Construction Corp., a company that posted $94 million in revenue in 2011. Executive Vice President Marty Miller says it was a challenging year, but they kept busy nonetheless.

"In 2011 projects were few and far between and budgets were tight as both the private sector and the government were still suffering from the effects of the economic downturn and no real recovery had started for our industry here in Hawaii," says Miller. "However, Delta was fortunate and we were kept busy with the start of the University of Hawaii West Oahu campus, Walmart Kapolei, D.R. Horton's Makakilo C&D project and East-West Road for the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands (DHHL)."

Delta considers the Ulupau – Kaneohe Marine Corps Air Station design-build housing civil infrastructure project for Forest City one of the top projects it started in 2011. The project is a collaboration between Delta Construction and Sam O. Hirota, LLC. Ron Ho and Associates is the electrical engineer on the project. The $19 million project involves the design and construction of all the civil works for the 218-home Ulupau Miltary Residential Neighborhood. The project is scheduled for completion in April 2014.

Another project that kept Delta busy in 2011 is the East-West Road and Road E Project located in the eastern portion of the city of Kapolei. the project involves 5,400 linear feet of a four-lane roadway complete with underground utilities including sewer, water, drain, electrical and communications. It travels in an easterly direction from North-South Road. Delta has undertaken the job for DHHL at a cost of $14.5 million. The job started on May 17, 2010 and should be completed two years from then.

Miller says new project opportunities have been hard to come by in 2012, but Delta perseveres. "We have found that military projects including with Army Corps of Engineers dominated the bidding landscape during the first quarter of the year," says Miller. "We are now seeing some opportunities in the private sector and continue to seek work in public-private venture military housing projects. We also look forward to participating in upcoming solar projects on Oahu." Top of page

13 Ledcor Construction Hawaii, LLC

- Parent Company: Ledcor Construction, Inc.; California
- Construction Specialty: General contracting
- Years in Hawaii: 22
- Employees in Hawaii: 75
- Public Sector Work: 30 percent
- Work Subcontracted: 75 percent

According to Jeff Thompson, vice president and branch manager of Ledcor Construction Hawaii, LLC, 2011 was a stable year for the company. Reported revenue indicates a $36 million increase, from 2010 at $46 million to $82 million in 2011. Ledcor's gains allowed it to move up six ranks, nailing the No. 13 spot.

Ledcor had a mix of projects in 2011, including completing the high-rise residential tower Pacifica Honolulu, and the Tactical Equipment Maintenance Facility (TEMF) at Helemano Military Reservation for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Ledcor says its most memorable project was the emergency repair project at the Four Seasons Resort in Hualalai, a result of the March 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami.

Thompson explains, "Ledcor personnel were called in at short notice and within a six-week duration, completed repairs to 16 ground floor suites and two presidential suites, all of which had been inundated by a tsunami. In addition, two restaurants, a bar, and a beach club had a complete refit, including installation of new kitchen equipment and millwork." Through these efforts, the resort was able to reopen by April 30, 2011. In addition, Ledcor replaced a pool that had been fully submerged and installed a new pool deck by May 15.

Ledcor is currently working on the civil component of the electric generation facility at the Auwahi Wind Farm.

"The market is looking like it is starting to pick up toward the end of 2012.  The hospitality industry is a major part of this increased activity," says Thompson. Top of page

14 Dorvin D. Leis Co., Inc.

- Parent Company: Aikane Pacific Corp.; Maui
- Construction Specialty: Full-service
mechanical, plumbing, fire protection, sheet metal
- Years in Hawaii: 45
- Employees in Hawaii: 312
- Public Sector Work: 60 percent
- Work Subcontracted: 5 percent

Our No. 14 contractor is Dorvin D. Leis Co., Inc., a company that is celebrating its 45th anniversary in 2012. The full-service mechanical contractor was founded in California in 1961 by Dorvin Duane Leis, then moved to Hawaii in 1967, where it has been in continuous operation ever since.

Dorvin D. Leis posted $72.95 million in revenue for 2011, $17 million less than the previous year. Despite the industry slowdown, Dorvin D. Leis kept its employees busy in 2011 with the following projects: University of Hawaii (UH) Cancer Center, UH Maui College Science Building, Kings' Land by Hilton Grand Vacations Club on the Big Island, Sheraton Kauai Renovation, Lanai Airport Aircraft Rescue Fire Fighting Station (ARFF) and Molokai Airport ARFF.

"2011 turned out very much as we predicted a year ago, challenging but successful considering the ongoing state of the construction economy," says Stephen T. Leis, president of the firm. "The jobs that kept us busy throughout last year and into 2012 are the UH Cancer Research Center project, the UH West Oahu campus project, the UH Maui Campus New Science Building project, the Kings Land project on the Big Island, and the Sheraton Poipu project on Kauai."

Leis says the UH Cancer Research Center project on Oahu is a representative example of the firm's best work in 2011.

"It is one of the premier and high profile projects in the state of Hawaii and has been constructed to very high standards," he says. "The owner, construction manager, and general contractor have all done an exceptional job."

Concerning 2012, Leis says: "2012 is another challenging year. There is some forward movement in the private sector with some work returning to the condominium and timeshare sector. There are also continued
opportunities with federal projects. In addition, we continue to develop and grow our service department statewide." Top of page

15 Isemoto Contracting Co., Ltd.

- Construction Specialty: Heavy sitework, commercial buildings, golf courses, subdivisions, infrastructure and utilities
- Years in Hawaii: 86
- Employees in Hawaii: 170
- Public Sector Work: 74 percent
- Work Subcontracted: 45 percent

Hanging on to the No. 15 slot it held last year is Isemoto Contracting Co., Ltd. While other companies struggled to survive, the kamaaina firm managed to increase its revenue by $1 million from $71.9 million in 2010 to $72.9 million in 2011. The company, which celebrated its 85th anniversary in 2011, specializes in the following types of construction: heavy sitework, commercial buildings, golf courses, subdivisions, infrastructure and utilities.

Company president Leslie Isemoto says 2011 turned out to be a good year for business and went better than he expected it to.

"We managed to produce the same volume of work as 2010, in both sitework and building construction," says Isemoto.

There were many projects contributing to the company's success in 2011. However, Isemoto says one particular project, Hospice of Hilo, was meaningful to his company and is the one that stands out in his mind.

"Hospice of Hilo will be the first neighbor island in-patient care facility for patients who cannot be cared for in their residence and will provide compassionate end-of-life care," Isemoto says. "The facility would not have been possible without the help of our community that raised the $10 million needed to build the state-of-the-art care facility."

Started in January 2011, the 14,000-square-foot, single-story wood structure features 12 residential style in-patient rooms with private lanai, adaptable to elder patients as well as children.

"Isemoto Contracting is very proud to be part of our community's efforts to provide a much-needed facility in East Hawaii," says Isemoto. The facility held its grand opening on June 22, 2012.

Looking toward the future, Isemoto says, "We are projecting an overall decrease in volume for 2012, but we are optimistic our work volume with pickup in the fourth quarter due to recent award of projects." Top of page

16 Unlimited Construction Services, Inc.

- Construction Specialty: Concrete forming, placing & finishing; masonry; carpentry framing; finish; structural steel erection
- Years in Hawaii: 21
- Employees in Hawaii: 53
- Public Sector Work: 30 percent
- Work Subcontracted: 60 percent

Unlimited Construction Services Inc., a locally owned and operated company for the past 21 years, comes in at No. 16, reporting $61 million in revenue for 2011, a $29.9 million increase from 2010. Unlimited Construction completed four large projects, its highest profile being Safeway Beretania, finishing in an aggressive 10 months – a full six weeks earlier than the originally agreed upon completion date.

"We know how to expedite work and do it well, never sacrificing quality or safety," says Jay Manzano, Unlimited's president.

Unlimited's accelerated production allowed the owner to open in time to capture holiday sales.

Other 2011 completions were the 78-unit timeshare complex Kalanipuu at Kauai Lagoons, the Wailua Cane Haul Bridge widening in the busiest thoroughfare on Kauai; and a model home at Kukuiula, the newest ultra-luxury residential community on Kauai.

Also during 2011, Unlimited began building Ewa Villages, a 64-unit apartment complex; the Kauai Oncology Center; and continued work on an extensive project for a client who prefers all publicity to wait until construction is finished.

This year has so far been a rewarding one for Unlimited, which earned awards of excellence in the General Contractors Association's 2012 Build Hawaii Awards for the Safeway Beretania and Wailua Cane Haul Bridge projects; and awards of merit for both the Kalanipuu and Kukuiula projects – all of which were completed in 2011. Unlimited also earned 2012 National Association of Industrial and Office Properties (NAIOP) Kukulu Hale Awards for The Shops at Kukuiula and the Ronald T.Y. Moon Judiciary Complex, both of which were completed a few years ago.

Manzano says, "2012 will be another good year for Unlimited. Architects are really busy and that's where our projects start. We have an experienced business development staff and are ready to help new clients on design/build or design/assist projects. 2012 is shaping up to be even better than 2011." Top of page

17 Wasa Electrical Services, Inc.

- Parent Company: Kinden Corp.; Japan
- Construction Specialty: All types of electrical construction
- Years in Hawaii: 63
- Employees in Hawaii: 275
- Public Sector Work: 15 percent
- Work Subcontracted: 5 percent

Claiming the No. 17 spot is Wasa Electrical Services, Inc. Wasa's revenue dipped a bit from $69.3 million in 2010 to $58.1 million in 2011. Despite this, the electrical construction company managed to win high-profile jobs and provide work for its 275 employees.

"By our normal standards, we experienced a slow year in 2011, but we were fortunate to have been on the Disney Aulani project so Oahu sales were up," says Ron Yee, CEO of Wasa Electrical Services, a company that has served the islands for 62 years. "Decrease in total sales were due to slow down in the outer island branches."

According to Yee, Wasa's top projects in 2011 (apart from Aulani) included the Pacifica condominium, Whole Foods Kailua, Kailua Intermediate School Electrical Upgrade, Safeway Beretania and Bank of Hawaii Critical Power.

There are three projects scheduled for completion between 2013 and 2014 that Yee counts as Wasa's top active projects. The first project is Andaz Wailea Resort, a complete hotel renovation/addition of the former Renaissance Wailea Beach Hotel, which is scheduled for completion in May 2013. Secondly, Yee points to the University of Hawaii Information Technology Center, a six-story building on the UH Manoa campus that will provide a centralized facility for the university's systemwide Information Technology Services (ITS) division and house the university's enterprise information and communications technology systems. This project is scheduled for completion in April 2013. Finally, there is Wasa's project for South Range Grow the Army, which consists of sitework and various buildings for the Army and is scheduled for March 2014 completion.

Other projects keeping Wasa busy in 2012 include National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Pacific Regional Center, Wailuku II Elementary School, North Loop Electrical Distribution at the Pacific Missile Range Facility, South Range Grow the Army, Ala Moana Wastewater Pump Station, and Hilton Waikoloa Fire Alarm Upgrade. 

Yee offers his outlook on what remains of 2012: "We see a slight increase for 2012 overall, not only for Wasa but also for the construction industry based on number and volume of jobs to bid." Top of page

18 Allied Builders System

- Construction Specialty: Commercial
general contractor
- Years in Hawaii: 42
- Employees in Hawaii: 60
- Public Sector Work: Did not disclose
- Work Subcontracted: 85 percent

Gary Oda, president of No. 18 Allied Builders System, says "We were fortunate in 2011 to be able to achieve most of the goals that we had set at the beginning of the year. We met our client service, timeliness and quality work goals, which translated into a financially successful year. Revenues were down primarily due to lack of number of large projects on hand. Diversity in our project mix kept the company busy in 2011 as we worked on hospitality, medical, retail, financial, restaurant, education and private club markets. Our repeat clients made up most of the work in 2011."

Allied Builders System's commitment to performing outstanding work is evident in its work at Waialae Country Club.

Oda describes the project: "Waialae Country Club was awarded the Building Industry Association's grand award for commerical renovation projects. Completed in September 2011, the multiphased project included a new HVAC system and the addition of two 100-ton chillers. It also included renovation of four dining rooms, an outdoor dining area, lobby and public corridors. The project truly transformed this prestigious country club's interior into a anticipated contemporary and exclusive venue."

"Our 2012 projections for revenues look to be significantly greater than 2011," he says. "Gross revenues is not a focal measure in achieving our goals at our company, however, the increased volume will emanate positively in accomplishing our objectives for 2012. There appears to be more projects on line in 2012 as economic confidence levels increase. We are wary of the fragile economy but are optimistic that the construction industry will pick up in 2012." Top of page

19 Group Builders, Inc.

- Construction Specialty: Acoustics/insulation, drywall, millwork/cabinetry, lath & plaster, fireproofing, EIFS
- Years in Hawaii: 33
- Employees in Hawaii: 235
- Public Sector Work: Did not disclose
- Work Subcontracted: 5 percent

Sliding three spots from No. 16 in our previous survey to currently take No. 19 is Group Builders, Inc., which reports revenue of $46.3 million in 2011, an $11.2 million decrease from the $57.5 million revenue in 2010.

Lito Alcantra, company president, attributes the slight decline to the lack of private work. "Most of the work was military," he explains, "and at the time, we weren't doing military work."

Looking on the bright side, Alcantra says, "Even though it was slower, for us to be able to maintain a workforce of 200 is still good."

In addition, the company has since taken steps to diversify its portfolio and is involved in a few federal projects.

These include performing as a subcontractor on two bachelor enlisted quarters, the Pohakuloa Training Center and the Pearl Harbor Fitness Center.

And though private sector work continued to flounder, Group Builders was able to capture its share of what was available. For example, the 30-year-old firm was involved in the Kaiser Moanalua Medical Center renovation with general contractor Swinerton Builders, the new library commons complex at Windward Community College with general Absher Construction Co.; Kamehameha Schools Kapalama Campus Redevelopment with Nordic PCL Construction, Inc.; Pacifica Honolulu with Ledcor Construction Hawaii, LLC; the University of Hawaii Cancer Center with Albert C. Kobayashi, Inc.; and Kroc Center Hawaii with Hawaiian Dredging Construction Co., Inc.

Alcantra adds, "One of the most high profile projects that we worked on in 2011 was Aulani," as a subcontractor to Hawaiian Dredging. While much of the resort is open already, Alcantra says Disney continues to make improvements. Group Builders, this year, is involved with expansion of the buffet.

Looking ahead, both Alcantra and Charles Cook, the firm's CEO, agree that 2011 likely will be similar to 2012. Both say there are a number of condominium projects in various stages of planning. While construction may begin this year or next year, if Group Builders is able to get involved, its part would not start until later. "We see a small increase toward the end of 2013," they say, "and hope to be at full force in 2014." Top of page

20 Alakai Mechanical Corp.

- Parent Company: Taiseioncho Hawaii, Inc.; Hawaii
- Construction Specialty: Mechanical (AC, DL, SM)
- Years in Hawaii: 38
- Employees in Hawaii: 232
- Public Sector Work: 40 percent
- Work Subcontracted:15.5 percent

Alakai Mechanical Corp. ascends one spot from its last showing, coming in at No. 20, reporting $45.6 million in revenue for 2011, staying fairly even with 2010 at $44.3 million, a $1.3 million increase.

"We were moderately busy in 2011. Many of the jobs were obtained at a lower margin than in the past years as competitive bids get tighter," says Vice President Tony Hirata. "2012 will be a better year than 2011."

The mechanical contractor performed several high-profile hospital and federal-related jobs in 2011 with its 232 employees, including work at Kaiser Moanalua and the Prince Jonah Kuhio Kalanianaole (PJKK) Federal Building. For the Kaiser Moanalua ancillary remodel project, Alakai provided HVAC services within the occupied hospital. The project started in May 2010 and is expected to be completed by November 2012.

Other notable 2011 projects include the Kukuiula Plantation Core, renovations at the Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort, Craigside senior living community, Kamehameha Schools Kapalama Campus redevelopment and Kuhio Park Terrace renovations.

According to the firm, 2012 is looking up for Alakai as the military will contribute to increased production.

"We expect construction to pick up based upon recently passed city and state budgets and transfer of Marines from Okinawa," concludes Hirata. Top of page

21 Charles Pankow Builders, Ltd.

- Construction Specialty: General contracting and tenant improvement, design-build, design-assist and preconstruction
- Years in Hawaii: 47
- Employees in Hawaii: 75
- Public Sector Work: 5 percent
- Work Subcontracted: 75 percent

Coming in at No. 21, Charles Pankow Builders, Ltd. reports revenue of $43.4 million in 2011, compared to $51.2 million from 2010. Mike Betz, vice president and regional manager, says, "Owners were apprehensive to move forward with projects, but those with the ability to do so, were trying to move forward to take advantage of the current market. Despite the overall struggles of the industry, we were not only able to maintain our staff but hire four new people, one project engineer and three project managers."

Projects that did move forward include a joint venture with Archer Western Contractors, to build the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Honolulu Field Office, one of the largest federal law enforcement complexes in the Asia-Pacific area. This new, four-story, state-of-the-art facility spans 152,000 square feet and will house approximately 235 agents and administrative staff.

Laulani Village Shopping Center is Pankow's retail project for Property Development Centers (PDC) in Ewa, expected to be complete by Thanksgiving. Anchored by a Safeway store, the center includes a mix of retail, restaurants and a two-story office building. Pankow is involved in both construction and tenant improvement build-outs of some of the shopping center's retail stores.

Other projects include Kapiolani Medical Center interior renovations, two ABC stores, a major housing renovation at Hickam, Dow Argosciences Farm Campus on Kauai and renovations to the new Otani Kaimana Beach Hotel.

Pankow is looking toward opportunities in 2012. Betz says at least two residential towers are expected to begin by the end of the year, and Kakaako is beginning to move forward on the master plans by Kamehameha Schools and the Howard Hughes Corp. Betz says, "Pankow is looking forward to being involved in some of those projects."

Offering his observation about industry recovery in 2012: "While some of the same global issues are still at play, many local indicators appear to be moving in a positive direction. ... Overall there is definitely more optimism in the near term."
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22 Shioi Construction, Inc.

- Construction Specialty: General contracting and drywall/plaster/finish carpentry/millwork; design-build/multifamily/commercial
- Years in Hawaii: 64
- Employees in Hawaii: 120
- Public Sector Work: 21.3 percent
- Work Subcontracted: 53 percent

A $5.7 million increase in revenue – from $37.6 million in 2010 to $43.3 million in 2011 – helps Shioi Construction, Inc. lay claim to the No. 22 position in our survey. "2011 was a year of survival for many in the construction industry," comments Conrad Murashige, company president. "Working off of a smaller than usual backlog from 2010, much of the work in 2011 comprised a multitude of smaller contracts. Except for a limited number of new construction projects, such as Paanau Village Phase II and Lanai High & Elementary School, (many of the projects) represented maintenance and renovation type work."

The second phase of Paanau Village, for which a groundbreaking ceremony was held in July 2011, will add 50 affordable rental apartments to Kauai's inventory and is nearing completion. Designed to meet LEED-gold standards, the expansion of the Lanai school includes construction of six classroom buildings as well as accessory spaces such as administration and service rooms.

Shioi Construction also earned awards of excellence in this year's General Contractors Association of Hawaii Build Hawaii Awards program for the renovation of the Kauai Historic County Building and specialty work on the Kona Air Traffic Control Tower, both of which were completed in 2011.

"We have approached 2012 with cautious optimism," continues Murashige. "We are maintaining the same projections as 2011, but what is different in 2012 is that we do see signs of the building industry reawakening." Murashige points to government stimulus projects finally moving into active construction, which he anticipates will spur private sector construction. "We have begun to see signs of activity in the private sector, with developers starting to dust off their old plans, but much of it is in the planning and design stages. With guarded optimism, we do not anticipate the major work to start until early 2013," he concludes. Top of page

23 Honolulu Builders, LLC

- Construction Specialty: General contractor
- Years in Hawaii: 12
- Employees in Hawaii: 65
- Public Sector Work: 38 percent
- Work Subcontracted: 55 percent

Propelled by a $10.79 million increase in revenue – from $29.51 million in 2010 to $40.3 million in 2011, Honolulu Builders, LLC takes a two-spot hop up to take the No. 23 position.

Projects that kept the 12-year-old firm busy lay primarily in the public sector, including work with the University of Hawaii (UH), state Department of Education and county agencies. "But we also saw a rebound in private work in the retail and residential sectors," says Dan Jordan, a principal of the company.

"2011 was our best year in terms of construction dollar volume but was very challenging in terms of profitability margin," he says. "We had many projects that our subcontractors struggled on, and it created situations where we had to switch subs mid-stream and absorb some losses. We see that repeated in the market as subcontractors have either shut down their business or required financial assistance to survive projects."

Key projects of the year include the exterior renovation of The Whaler at Kaanapali Beach, which began in March 2011 and was completed a year later; the extensive renovation/expansion of UH Manoa's Campus Center, a more than two-year project slated for completion in February 2013; the new Wahiawa Transit Center, completed in October 2011; and a project at Keeau Middle School on the Big Island, also forecasted to be complete in February 2013.

UH's upgraded Campus Center will include a new two-story recreation center and related renovations to the existing building. The complex will house a multipurpose gymnasium, an indoor jogging track, a fitness center for cardiovascular and weight training, multipurpose fitness studios, locker rooms and showers.

The Wahiawa Transit Center is a two-level, 46,000-square-foot structure with two bus lanes, seven bus loading zones, passenger waiting areas, parking and five storage rooms.

"We are optimistic about 2012," says Jordan of the year ahead. "We are working on numerous negotiated and design/build projects and expect that all of these will proceed to become active construction projects by the third and fourth quarter and carry us well into 2013. We are working on more private work and we see that increasing as the year unfolds." Top of page

24 Ralph S. Inouye Co., Inc.

- Construction Specialty: Design-assist, design-build, schools, hospitals, telecom, airport
- Years in Hawaii: 50
- Employees in Hawaii: 47
- Public Sector Work: 65 percent
- Work Subcontracted: 70 percent
No. 24 is Ralph S. Inouye Co., Ltd. "2011 marked the fourth year in a row where contract volume has decreased; however, we still consider ourselves fortunate that we had enough work to keep busy," says Wes Mikuni, vice president and chief financial officer.

One such project is the Seawinds Apartments for Housing Solutions Inc. (HSI). The project provides 50 units of housing for low–income individuals and families. The units are spread over 15 one and two-story buildings on a 3-acre site in Waianae.

Also keeping the firm busy was its No. 1 Capitol District Building Courtyard Renovation. A statement from Ralph S. Inouye describes the project: "The new courtyard improvements combine the artistic elements of a sculpture garden while staying within the low-maintenance parameters required of all state facilities. As a registered site with the State Historic Preservation Division (SHPD), not only was additional care required in working within the site, but improvements were designed and constructed to allow for possible future removal. The public is now able to appreciate local artwork within an artistically designed courtyard setting."
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25 Royal Contracting Co., Inc.

- Construction Specialty: Heavy equipment sitework and landscaping
- Years in Hawaii: 51
- Employees in Hawaii: 70
- Public Sector Work: 40 percent
- Work Subcontracted: 25 percent

Grabbing the No. 25 spot is Royal Contracting Co., Ltd., a general contractor that hasn't been ranked in several years but is no stranger to the Top 25 list.

Leonard Leong, company vice president, says: "We were able to maintain our workforce company wide. We were fortunate that were able to continue with a mixture of private and public contracts ranging from earthwork to marine building."

Leong says one worthwhile project of the year was the Ewa Villages Area H project, rental-housing for low-income families.

"One of the great challenges to building in Ewa is the expansive soil found there," says Leong. "On this project, the expansive or adobe soil was hauled out and replaced with imported coral, thus minimizing future problems that may arise."

About 2012, Leong says: "Gov. Neil Abercrombie and the Legislature have funded $300 million to $400 million for construc-

tion projects, but regulations have impeded the desired effect of the proposed projects. The permit review process in particular needs to be expedited. An increase of employing 20 to 30 employees by the current government agencies involved in the permitting review will enhance the process, thus enabling 500 to 1,000 construction-related workers to find employment."
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TOP 25

1) Hawaiian Dredging Construction Co., Inc.
2) Kiewit Corp.
3) Grace Pacific Corp.
4t) Albert C. Kobayashi, Inc.
4t) Nan, Inc.
6) Nordic PCL Construction, Inc.
7) Swinerton Builders
8) dck pacific construction, LLC
9) Parsons RCI, Inc.
10) Coastal Construction Co., Inc.
11) Watts Constructors, LLC
12) Delta Construction Corp.
13) Ledcor Construction Hawaii LLC
14) Dorvin D. Leis Co., Inc.
15) Isemoto Contracting Co., Ltd.
16) Unlimited Construction Services, Inc.
17) Wasa Electrical Services, Inc.
18) Allied Builders System
19) Group Builders, Inc.
20) Alakai Mechanical Corp.
21) Charles Pankow Builders, Ltd.
22) Shioi Construction, Inc.
23) Honolulu Builders, LLC
24) Ralph S. Inouye Co., Ltd.
25) Royal Contracting Co., Ltd.