"Being contractors from Utah, and our market not as large as some others, diversity was something you had to do to keep up. We were able to build some of those silos and that led us to do more work for the federal government," he adds.
Okland project executive Jeremy Blanck says that as the firm has grown, Okland has organized its leadership to focus on specific markets. "Our management structure has been to have project managers for different sectors of work," he says. "We are very client driven, and most of our work is for repeat clients."
Bruce Bingham, a partner with Chicago-based developer Hamilton Partners, is one of those repeat clients. Okland completed 222 South Main, Utah's first LEED-Gold-certified office high-rise for Hamilton in 2009.
"I walked through the project, about 15,000 square feet, as we were getting close to the deadline, and there must have been 80 people in there working to get everything done on schedule," Bingham says. "To commit that many people to a small job to get it done on time was impressive. We are now doing another office tower with them."
Steve Hopkins, president of Beckstrand & Associates, a Salt Lake City developer and owner of the city's Old Mill Corporate Center, says, "We interviewed numerous contractors, and we were careful to interview their whole team for the project. Okland's whole team was excellent. There was no weak spot as far as we were concerned. They built our project on a CM/GC contract, and it is the best project we've ever done."
Okland's strong field support has helped the company navigate changes in project delivery methods over the years, says Troy Thompson. He oversees work on large institutional and office projects for Okland. "Delivery methods seem to be cyclical," he says. "We've done design-build and now most of our contracts are CM/GC. I think owners like CM/GC because if we get involved early, we can help refine the process and keep a handle on costs."
"If you have good people, you can manage any delivery method," Blanck says.
Currently, Okland is building the new U.S. Federal District Courthouse in Salt Lake City, scheduled for completion next spring. The 410,000-sq-ft courthouse includes seven district and three magistrate courtrooms, 14 judges' chambers and office spaces on 10 floors. Okland is also doing a multiyear renovation of the LDS Church's Missionary Training Center near the BYU campus in Provo, Utah.
Blanck says the company has no immediate plans to expand into new markets, preferring instead to grow its current ones.
"We don't have to be the biggest contractor in the market, but wherever we are, we want to be the best," he says.