South Bay Contractor Plots San Francisco Expansion

By Sharon Simonson

Devcon Construction Inc., one of the best-known and employed contractors in Silicon Valley, is opening a small office in San Francisco’s South of Market Street district.

TMG_Hamm'sBldg2011 AerialThe move is a first step in what President Gary Filizetti says will be a series of actions aimed at capturing more general contracting business from San Francisco-oriented clients. “I do think that sometimes we don’t get a look at a project because we don’t have a San Francisco address,” he said.

The new office in The Hamm’s Building at 1550 Bryant St. is being outfitted with furniture and telephones. “We will be putting people in there the first of June,” Filizetti said.

But the space is expected to be only a two-year stopgap as Devcon scours the surrounding neighborhood in search of a place to put down more permanent roots.

The company is looking for a 5,000 square-foot or larger building to buy in the Design District or surrounding neighborhoods. That geography allows direct travel to the Peninsula and into Silicon Valley, Filizetti said: “It’s easy to get to and from this area and in and out of the city there. It makes good sense.”

“We have one guy helping us to look, and we will buy. We are committed to doing that,” Filizetti said.

Devcon has 185 employees in four Bay Area offices. That includes its Milpitas headquarters but excludes the new San Francisco digs. It also has an office in Reno, Nev. The company expects to add staff in San Francisco with the new space. Some existing project managers and staff members live in the city as well.

Devcon is completing some of the most high-profile corporate construction projects in Silicon Valley today. Devcon and Turner Construction Co. are co-general contractors on the $1.2 billion San Francisco 49rs stadium in Santa Clara. Devcon alone is building two South Bay campuses for Kilroy Realty Corp., including the headquarters for LinkedIn Corp. in Sunnyvale.

The contractor is also building the 18,000-seat Earthquakes’ soccer stadium adjacent to the San Jose International Airport and a Mountain View campus where Samsung Information Systems America Inc., a Samsung Electronics subsidiary, has signed a 15-year lease to occupy 385,000 square feet in two buildings. TMG Partners and Farallon Capital Management LLC will own the development, which will front U.S. 101.

TMG also owns The Hamm’s Building, which it bought last year along with Boston-based Alcion Ventures LP.

In the city, Devcon is completing 1880 Mission St., a 202-unit apartment complex that it is building in the Mission District with fitness and tech rooms as well as a bike room with a service station and custom lockers and racks. It is building the complex on behalf of Avant Housing, a joint venture between TMG and San Francisco’s AGI Capital Group. It also has done previous work in the city for San Jose-based Adobe Systems Inc.

Business is good, but multiple contractors retain capacity to take on more work and are looking to fill their pipelines, Filizetti said. Driving his desire to be in San Francisco is the obvious interest of Silicon Valley companies to have at least an outpost in the city as well. “It is busy, but it’s not over-busy. This cycle could last another two or three years—it’s pretty hard to foresee beyond that,” he said.

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