By Nancy Amdur
San Jose-based TICO Construction Company, Inc.’s management team recently finalized a purchase agreement to buy out the company’s Founder and President Alex Hose, who relocated to Reno, Nev.
Hose founded the San Jose-based general contracting company in 1988. TICO has grown over the past 10 years, moving from a small firm with 13 employees to a mid-size company with 40 employees, said Marmesh, who joined the company in 2004. TICO conducts $30 million to $40 million of work per year, mostly in Northern California, he added.
Construction business in Silicon Valley is thriving. “I’ve never seen anything in Silicon Valley like we’re seeing today. There is so much work going on in the trades,” said Marmesh, who is from the area and has been in the industry about 30 years.
This work includes multi-billion-dollar projects, such as the San Francisco 49ers stadium in Santa Clara and Apple’s new campus, he said. Also, many buildings constructed during Silicon Valley’s heyday in the 1970s and 1980s are now being razed and reconstructed as larger, mid-rise buildings.
“They’re getting more coverage, more real estate on the lots,” Marmesh said, adding that is mainly due to the high cost of land.
Older buildings that are not demolished are receiving significant interior and exterior renovations. “There are more exterior renovations than I’ve seen in the past decade,” Marmesh said. “Everyone wants a better mousetrap—they want curb appeal to make it inviting.”
Buildings also are designed to attract users with a host of amenities—from bocce ball and volleyball courts to fire pits and outdoor eating areas, he added.
“We’re definitely seeing a lot of activity,” said Dan Rogers, COO at Blach Construction in Santa Clara. “Technology and corporate campuses are leading the way, but the healthcare and education markets [are active], too.”
Rogers also notes that San Francisco and Silicon Valley are “booming simultaneously.”
“For the first time we’re seeing a lot of technology folks relocating to San Francisco,” which spurs a need for supporting infrastructure such as housing, retail and schools, Rogers said. “The residential market as a whole is active in the greater Bay Area, and it was dormant for a few years,” he added. Blach Construction works across the Bay Area in many sectors, including much business in corporate and education projects.
For TICO, plans call for the firm to maintain business as usual following its leadership change, Marmesh said. “We’ll keep doing what we’re doing and the company will continue on its growth plan,” he said. The San Jose company also plans a “refresh in branding,” Marmesh said.
All of the new owners and managers have been at TICO for eight years or longer and include Marmesh; Project Executives Glenn Soma, Ken Ravizza and Bill Gerber; LEED Accredited Professional and Project Executive Mike Armstrong; and Controller Cybil Armstrong.
TICO specializes in commercial construction and works in various sectors, including retail, corporate, industrial and biotechnology. Recent projects include the interior renovation at Seagate Technology’s corporate headquarters in Cupertino; interior renovations at Benchmark Capital in San Francisco and Menlo Park; and a ground-up retail project in San Jose for Shapell Industries, Inc.
Hose operates TICO Construction in Reno, which will no longer have ties to the San Jose office, and is principal at real estate investment and development company AMH Properties, Marmesh said. Hose declined to comment.