City Grill

Jim CulkinJim Culkin
Chief Operating Officer and Executive Vice President
KBE Building Corp.

Despite an “influx of investment from major NYC area developers into construction here,” Culkin says he doesn’t think Hartford will see a “building boom” like in the early 1980s “anytime soon.” He says the void created by a “definite drop” in public sector work throughout the region is being filled by “a steady industrial market.” KBE recently completed the Niagara water bottling plant in Bloomfield, along with improvements to FedEx distribution centers.

Higher education work is steady for KBE, which is currently serving as construction manager at-risk for two Central Connecticut State University projects. Next year, CCSU’s new school of engineering, science and technology is scheduled to move into its $44.6-million academic building. Meanwhile, the $19-million Barnard Hall project is scheduled to finish in November.

The Hartford area’s overall growth depends on “whether the [state] government passes the new transportation bill,” Culkin says. “If so, then we’ll be seeing a lot more in the way of transportation-related development.”