Fee says that the new firm will be called Hunter Roberts Construction Co. and be in business officially by April 1. He says James C. McKenna, former senior vice president of Turner’s New York business unit, will be Hunter Roberts’ president and CEO, and John Fumosa, former vice president and general manager of Turner’s New Jersey office, will be Fee’s senior vice president and run operations in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

Fee says the firm will be located in lower Manhattan, with other offices in Bedminster, N.J., and Philadelphia. Fee would not disclose the names of other Turner staffers who will join his firm, but says that at least two of them have changed their minds and returned to Turner.

Fee claims that he does not have any non-compete arrangement with Turner Construction. He retired from the Turner organization in December 2003. "We are making sure all of our procedures are in place," says Fee. He says his firm will compete in commercial building construction with a 10-year strategic plan. "We see major opportunities," especially in the New York market, he says. Hunter Roberts has "strong backing" and sufficient bonding, says Fee. He declines to identify investors.

Sources say Fee had been conducting "secret negotiations" with Turner staffers before the defections went public on Jan. 24. Turner Construction "reorganized within 24 hours, says CEO Peter J. Davoren. He announced Jan. 28 that Pasquale A. "Pat" DiFillippo will head up Turner’s New York and New Jersey offices, returning to the region from Texas, where he was senior vice president. The large number of people involved also may raise legal issues. Davoren would not comment on whether Turner would pursue that option.

obert E. Fee, former CEO of Turner Construction Co., New York City, and president of its Dallas-based parent, Turner Corp., is forming a competing contractor in Manhattan. At least 11 executives and other professionals from his former company have bolted to the new firm. These include Turner Construction’s two top managers in the New York region. But its chief, Peter J. Davoren, says Turner won’t lose "bench strength."