Colorado Builder Fransen Pittman Feels ‘Blessed’ to Land in Grapevine
29 Oct 2022
In a move that was six years in the making, Colorado-based General Contractor Fransen Pittman Construction finally settled into North Texas. After years of eyeing the lucrative market, the team decided to strike while the iron was hot, launching a new office in a competitive real estate market driven by relocations and new business arrivals here in the metroplex. They knew they wanted to be in Dallas-Fort Worth. What they weren’t expecting was to stumble into the perfect Texas launchpad.
Office space can be tricky for construction companies. You need enough desks and coworking space for key staff members to use on a day-to-day basis, but most of your talent is going to end up taking meetings or doing work on the road. Thus, building up a base of operations is a balancing act. The best locations make it easy to welcome visitors and take on client meetings across the region, while providing a wealth of resources... but not so many that you end up paying a premium for things your staff in the field will rarely see or use.
Plenty of homebuyers decided to purchase sight-unseen at the height of the market last year, but opening a new office is a different animal. The process usually requires a research trip or two.
Where People Want to Be
Those who live and work in North Texas may not remember a time when the scope of the metroplex was lost on them. But for newcomers like Trevor Khoury, Fransen Pittman’s Regional Vice President, the 19 counties and 15,500 square miles of this economic region can be imposing. The full Metroplex, as defined by the state comptroller, is larger than some US states. So it’s understandable that Khoury made a gut decision on the company’s first exploratory trip.
He booked a room at the Kimpton Pittman Hotel in Dallas, hoping the shared name would bring good luck.
“We had quite a few interactions with industry partners when we were seeking out the best place to have our office,” Khoury said. “Almost every meeting we had was either in Grapevine or within a few minutes of Grapevine. Grapevine is where people want to be, whether they are from the DFW area or from out of town.
“The construction industry is one where we go where the work is and being centrally located is the best way for us to be able to reach the majority of the DFW Metroplex within a short period of time. There are quite a few advantages to why we are here and not elsewhere... the biggest of these is proximity to our trade partners anywhere in DFW.”
After meeting with Grapevine Economic Development and the Grapevine Chamber of Commerce, Khoury and his team steered straight for the heart of the City. They currently lease an office at Main and Main, and are thrilled to have found a launchpad toward a long and prosperous expansion.
“Both Jed and I completely relocated from Colorado and purchased homes in Grapevine,” Khoury said. “Our kids attend schools in Grapevine. The decision to move and start a new venture was one that we couldn’t have done without the support of our families, and it wasn’t hard to sell Grapevine to them.
“The size of our Grapevine operation all depends on the types of projects that we will be most effective completing. Our current office has the capacity to have up to 10 people and support between 10-20 projects a year."
Exactly What You Need to Get Started
Fransen Pittman is a people-first organization. So much so, in fact, that Khoury couldn’t resist a reference to ‘Thor: Ragnarok’ when describing the company culture as “a people, not a place.” That’s a unifying philosophy; applied equally to clients and employees. As contractors, Preconstruction Manager Jed Risser says his company loves a challenge. They specialize in the projects other consultants deem too complicated to work on at an affordable price. Fransen Pittman executes those projects by investing in the team itself.
“We are a family-focused General Contractor who builds projects that make a difference in the communities that we all live and serve in,” Risser said. “Our ultimate goal in business is to grow our employees so they can live and enjoy the success that the company achieves. In order to be the best of the best contractors we need to have the best employees. They are what makes us successful.”
And, Risser adds, they’re hiring.
For now, the startup team in Grapevine is focused on recruiting talent, friends, and clients. It might take a little while before they’re cranking through dozens of projects a year, but they’re aiming to tackle developments that range in value from $100,000 to $75 million once the network is established. Hence, the emphasis on geographic advantage.
“Grapevine drew us in for several reasons,” Risser said. “First, it is as convenient to a major airport as it gets. Second, it is a midway point to Dallas and Fort Worth with easy access to major highways. Lastly, we felt that the size of Grapevine was exactly what we needed to start: it provided opportunities to get our name out in the community and have the visibility that we wanted.
“We feel blessed to have found Main and Main for our first office space... the move went very smoothly for both of us; as smooth as possible in the Texas heat at the end of July!”
Are you looking for a new home or new business partnerships? Grapevine could be a great fit for you, too! To learn more, you can explore our property and demographics tools, get an easy-to-follow overview of economic growth in the City via the ‘Growing Grapevine’ podcast, or schedule a meeting with Grapevine Economic Development staff today.