Building with Passion and Integrity

Granger Construction
Written by Jessica Ferlaino

Granger Construction was established in the early 1990s by Les Granger, a construction professional with decades of diverse industry knowledge and expertise, a passion for quality building and a reputation for delivering results. Granger Construction produces quality results for its clients.
Granger Construction’s commitment to integrity, customer service and timely project completion has supported the development of strong industry relationships with clients, subcontractors and suppliers. Granger has the resources and the industry support necessary to deliver on all projects it undertakes.

“Les comes from a broad background of being a subcontractor, a construction company president, a developer – a number of different areas which cumulated in him saying, ‘You know what? I know how to do all this stuff. Let’s form a company that does it better than most people,’” said Vice President of Business Development Don Kowell.

Granger Construction began with the mission to build with the highest standards and safety. The company works hard to ensure that projects are completed on time and within budget, while doing business differently.

“Construction is an art,” emphasized Owner and President Les Granger. “I have a passion for the business. I love to build buildings, and I’m still trying to develop that passion in everyone that I’m dealing with. Our whole construction industry is pretty much an adversarial relationship, and we want to be different. I’ve always wanted to be different, and I don’t want to lose that passion.”

Though Granger Construction has completed work along the entire eastern seaboard, it primarily serves New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland and Northern Virginia. “We still have the ability to go further. If we were invited to the right type of project, we would go further,” Kowell explained.

The company offers flexible, customer-oriented services regardless of the project’s delivery method. Whether a project entails construction from the ground up, interior fit-outs, major additions, renovations or complete redevelopment, Granger Construction is a general contractor with which people want to work.

Granger Construction is recognized for the caliber of its work as well as its ability to understand its clients’ needs and project requirements, building concepts and ideas into realities. Its diverse portfolio includes regional shopping centers, malls, movie cinemas, hotels, office facilities, national retail and commercial projects.

The company offers general contracting, contracting services, construction management, project management, design/build, pre-construction and contract services, and specializes in site development, masonry, concrete and steel structures. Clients are representative of diverse markets including retail, hospitality, entertainment, grocery, office, mixed-use, urban redevelopment and, most recently, medical.

“The hospitality market’s been really good for us.” Kowell attributes much of Granger’s success to the team approach it takes in, “finding the right customer to build with and building a relationship. Our best projects have been with individual project owners and operators that we can build a relationship with and share the same goals.”

Much of the company’s ability to deliver project results is due to assembling the right team of professionals. From client to subcontractor to suppliers, Granger Construction is both a true leader and a team player.

“I think my biggest rewards have always been from putting the right team together – both from an architectural standpoint, an owner and a contractor. We have common interests,” Granger said. “We find our success have been in finding a customer who is really looking for that kind of approach.”

As Granger previously noted, the construction industry has the tendency to be adversarial, and that is not how Granger Construction has chosen to do business. The sentiment is reiterated by Kowell. “The golden rule: treat others like you’d like to be treated. That goes for not only the customers but hopefully the subcontractors and suppliers as well. We demand the same philosophy from them. We attract a good following of subs due to our ability to keep projects organized and on schedule.”

Integrity is imperative to Les Granger and lies at the heart of project delivery at his company. Maintaining integrity has had a direct impact on the company’s ability to complete projects with a commitment to the highest levels of guaranteed quality and jobsite safety.

“We’re going to meet your expectations,” Kowell noted. “We’re going to give you what you expect. We’re going to give you what the architect expects. If they put something down on paper and that’s what they want, then they should get it.”

“When we’re building a building, there is going to be a third party inspection right from the soils to the concrete to the steel,” Granger added. “It is good for everyone to check and make sure everything is done properly.” Though codes have changed to require inspections, this is a practice that Granger Construction has conducted for years before it was mandatory. “Something I am never going to do is go to bed at night worrying about the quality and integrity of a building structure.”

Because of its ability to satisfy clients and achieve project goals, paired with its approach to relationship building and ethical business standards, Granger is regularly invited to bid on projects. Not only is Granger Construction a general contractor in demand, it is a partner in demand by a growing number of repeat clients.

Kowell is proud of the company’s great culture and how this reinforces relationship building. “I found Granger to have a totally different culture in the fact that the atmosphere is good, people have integrity, but most important is that people here care about each other. It reflects on how we operate and the results we deliver to our customers.”

Just as Granger Construction is committed to its clients and its employees, it is also committed to the industry. Granger Construction is a member of Associated General Contractors of New York State (AGC NYS), and participates in the association of its peers as a way to give back. Granger not only supports AGC, but he also encourages participation in AGC activities in order to take full advantage of its membership.

“There is some experience that comes along with being involved in your industry groups that are personally rewarding, that you take with you forever,” reflected Granger. “Certainly, the AGC does a lot for our industry,” Kowell added.

For Granger, the future of Granger Construction is now. “I’ve always made no bones about it that I want a company that outlives me, so that’s it. We’re a small group, and it’s their future as much as it is mine,” explained the seventy-year-old of his plans for the company that he built from the ground up.

“The short-term is the long-term right now,” Granger stated. “We’re working very hard getting the next generation of management in place. We’re working very hard on making sure that it has a continued growth – continue the excitement of opportunity for younger people. So, our long-term is right at our door, and we’re working really hard right now.”

There has been a meeting of the minds between Granger and the core members of his management team which has poised the company for growth and success well into the future. Efforts have been undertaken to hire younger professionals and adopt innovative management styles to incite a passion for building in the next generation of Granger Construction. “We are embracing the value of new technology as well,” said Kowell.

“We are going to begin using a team concept versus an individual manager,” he noted, acknowledging the shortage of workers in the industry. “Using a team of managers, you can place experience and try to maximize the contribution. I think we are going to be experimenting with a lot more of that type of approach.”

Regardless of what approach it undertakes, the future is full of opportunity and potential. Given the company’s established reputation, it has secured itself a strong foothold in the industry.



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