By Meghan Hall
Since its founding in 1986, construction company BCCI has grown from a small firm with just a few people to a regional industry staple with numerous commercial office projects throughout the Bay Area. Based out of two offices in San Francisco and Mountain View, Calif., BCCI has grown to more than 300 employees and has been looking to expand its reach beyond the San Francisco Bay Area for some time. Now, the goal of expansion has become a reality thanks to a recent merger between BCCI and the Global Infrastructure Solutions (GIS) and the Structure Tone Organization family of companies. The merger, which was announced in May, formally solidifies a more than 25-year-old relationship between the firms.
“If you look at the firms that Structure Tone has partnered with, whether it is an alliance group or a more formal merger, they look for best in class,” said Mike Scribner, BCCI’s chief executive officer. “I personally really took it as a compliment that they would really pursue us, but I think the cultural alignment, the shared values, experience and brand recognition — all of those things — were big factors.”
Over the course of its time in the industry, BCCI’s portfolio of work has grown to include major building renovations, historic restorations, seismic upgrades, tenant improvement and new construction projects, among others. Some of the firm’s most notable projects to-date include Google’s downtown San Francisco campus in Hills Plaza, completed in March 2012, as well as Dropbox’s new 33,567 square foot office in Mountain View, Calif. The firm has also dabbled in multifamily, helping with the architectural design of 646 South Broadway complex in Los Angeles and preconstruction services for The Californian in San Francisco.
New York-based Structure Tone acquired BCCI for $75 million, according to previous reporting done by The Registry. Just as Structure Tone will help BCCI leverage its resources across the country, the merger of the two companies will also give Structure Tone a presence on the West Coast for the first time. The Structure Tone family of companies also includes LF Driscoll, Pavarini Construction Co. Govan Brown and Ajax Building Corporation. In all, Structure Tone has more than 2,000 employees located in offices throughout the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom and Ireland.
“We have been looking to expand to the West Coast for some time,” said Structure Tone CEO Robert Mullen in a statement. “BCCI provides the market reputation, service offering and premier client base STO was looking for and shares our same core values and client-first way of doing business.”
Prior to the merger, the two companies partnered to work on the San Jose and San Francisco offices for Deloitte, the San Francisco office for Marsh & McLennan Companies, and Bay Area offices for Fidelity Investments. BCCI and Structure Tone also worked on the regional headquarters for Stryker Communications, a new, ground-up construction building located in Texas. While the companies’ relationship started more than two decades ago, the two companies began working together through an alliance program in 1993 after completing a San Francisco project together.
“It wasn’t a formal alliance; nobody was sharing fees,” explained Scribner. “It was more of an alliance in terms of supporting each other’s clients in different markets. Structure Tone didn’t have a presence on the West Coast, and we didn’t have a presence on the East, but we have similar clients that operate throughout the United States and globally.”
Scribner attributed the companies’ successes to their commitment to their clients and the caliber of the work they do, and that the merger is partially reflective of an increasing number of contracting firms working together to expand their services.
“I think the industry has continued to evolve quite a bit,” said Scribner, looking back on not just the time that BCCI has been in business, but the years it has been working with Structure Tone. “You’re starting to see much more of a consolidation of services, whereby ten years ago, the architects did their work and the general contractors did theirs. But now there’s been more consolidation with third party project management firms.”
The consolidation, continued Scriber, has made firms overall more collaborative and the design and construction process more efficient. In BCCI’s case, however, the goal was ultimately to provide better services to the client.
“I think one of the things that differentiates BCCI from most of our competitors is that we offer [different] services,” said Scribner. “We do that not to compete with our partners, but to better align ourselves by speaking the same languages.”
The merger will play a large role in the growth of BCCI, and its plans for succession and the future, stated Scribner. Ultimately, BCCI hopes to expand beyond its current product types into new areas such as biotech, life sciences and healthcare. The firm also wants to build out its structures group — responsible for preconstruction processes — as well as look at geographic expansion up and down the West Coast in growing markets such as Los Angeles and Seattle. Within BCCI itself, employees will now have additional opportunities for personal and professional growth, as well as the opportunity for employee ownership.
“Being able to support our clients through this platform as well as sharing best practices is a great opportunity for us,” said Scribner. “I’m really excited about it, and I’m excited about continuing to help BCCI evolve into our next stage.”