In the small east Texas town of Port Arthur along a fairway on the Babe Zaharias Golf Course where my father began building offices. In August of 2005 Hurricane Katrina hit Mississippi and Louisiana and a few weeks later Hurricane Rita hit at the Texas Louisiana border devastating Southeast Texas.
Shortly after Hurricane Rita hit my dad needed help so, I went to work for him helping build offices. The year that was to follow was toughest year of my professional life. Labor was scarce as a result of two major Hurricanes hitting back to back, but we persevered.
In 2008 there was a major disruption in the office sector. A financial crisis, Hurricane Ike, election of a new president and the debate of health care reform caused lots of uncertainty. Once again we weathered the storm (literally) tweaking our model for the economy that was to emerge from the financial crisis and there was no looking back.
As a matter of fact, after the financial crisis we worked so hard that we did not see things falling into place. It wasn’t until some time later we realized what we were doing right. People would lease from us, we would build their new office and almost every time upon moving in they would tell us they could not have done it without us. At first you think that’s something people say to be nice. Turns out we had developed a unique process for leasing build-to-suit office space without realizing what we had done.
We understood it takes a lot to keep a business running. It is with this mindset that our system organically developed. We recognized that people leasing from us were busy and unlike the rest of the commercial real estate world that signs a lease and then sends their tenants out on their own to hire an architect and contractor. We told our tenants we could take care of the design and construction and save them money in the process. It worked like gangbusters; we organized a system in which we take care of just about everything so it’s not the exhausting process it would otherwise be. This has allowed our tenants to focus on running their business instead of hiring and managing of architects, interior designers and contractors.
It is with this system that I continue to develop offices today, carrying on the legacy started in 2005. I personally feel that a business’ physical location should reflect the business’ cultural identity. We work hard to bring out a business personality in the offices we build. At the same time I focus hard on the efficiency of the design so that our tenants can grow, scale and hire. My passion is creating and building and the satisfaction I get is seeing the excitement created with employees and customers and the resulting momentum a business receives as a result of their new office. And that is why I do what I do.