There are firms that design buildings, and then there are those that design the environments within them, like GHA Design Studios. Based in Montreal and Detroit, the firm specializes in the interior design of shopping malls and stores, Director of Retail Development Debbie Kalisky says.

With 4,750 slot machines, six restaurants, numerous bars, an entertainment venue and a six-story parking garage, Maryland Live! earns the exclamation point in its name. The building site covers approximately 12 acres and is part of the 200-plus-acre Arundel Mills Mall.

It can be easy for mechanical contractors to lose focus, if you think about it. Working for general contractors, mechanical contracting firms have to concentrate on meeting their schedules and working within their framework. With a level of separation between them and the owner, mechanical contractors are in danger of forgetting who they are really working for. But that’s not an issue for Dependable Mechanical Systems of Ontario, according to President Rajesh Ahuja.

Bayland Buildings Inc. relies so much on repeat business that many of its projects are additional locations for companies. “Sixty-five percent of our work is repeat customers,” President Steve Ambrosius declares. “Ninety-five percent of our work is negotiated bid, and 5 to 10 percent is hard municipal bid.” Ambrosius says it is difficult to build a relationship with hard-bid municipal work. “You don’t get any relationship with your customer,” he asserts. “Once we create a relationship with a customer, we generally work with them on all of their future projects.”

The global economic recession has yielded many sad stories in the past few years, too many to count, in fact. For Scaparotti Construction Group (SCG), however, the recession and other outside factors led to major change for the operation, which, although daunting, prepared the team for the success it is enjoying now.

Albuquerque, N.M.-based Reid & Associates Design Builders has served the New Mexico construction market with design/build services for more than 20 years. Founded on principles of quality and innovation, Reid & Associates was the first general contractor in the state to take the design/build approach for the delivery of commercial and industrial properties, Executive Vice President Bill Smith says.

When it comes to complex underground utility projects, an experienced contractor realizes soil conditions will make or break a successful delivery. Kenny Construction sent a project team to Columbus, Ohio, that understands what it takes to deliver the Olentangy-Scioto Intercepting Sewer Augmentation Relief Sewer (OARS) project in a joint venture with Obayashi.

The recession may have hit the real estate market particularly hard in Southern California, but it would be difficult to make that claim based on the performance of Advanced Real Estate Services’ (ARES) portfolio. The investment company and property manager owns and operates more than $1 billion in multifamily residential properties. This portfolio consists of more than 6,000 rental units in Orange and Los Angeles counties.

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