Archive December 2010

New Video Details the History, Capabilities of CM Black

CM Black has uploaded a new video to its web site that details the company’s history and capabilities while offering testimonials from past clients.

The video includes footage from the George Batte Fine Arts Center at Wingate and the renovation of the Albemarle City Hall, as well as photos and details of many other CM Black projects. To view the four-minute video, visit the company’s web site at www.cmblack.com.

The video, which is also available on YouTube, is the latest way that CM Black is reaching out to potential prospects through online channels. CM Black also recently began a Facebook page with company updates, and also added an archive of past CM Black articles and news on its web site.

“We understand the importance of giving people several different ways to learn about our company,” CM Black President Emmitt Black said. “We still have brochures and other materials, but the video and Facebook page are new ways that we can reach out and help potential customers learn about us. We are truly excited to have those new capabilities available, and look forward to sharing them.”

CM Black Projects Moving Toward Completion

CM Black Construction Company is wrapping up a busy 2010, completing two buildings and maintaining progress on a third project.

CM Black is expected to complete a new residence hall at Wingate University December 15th. That residence hall will be a three-story facility with more than 26,000 square feet. It will house 96 students once it is completed, and will be the third such residence hall constructed by CM Black on campus. CM Black previously constructed the Beam and Cannon residence halls at Wingate.

The completion of that building while staying on schedule has been a point of pride for CM Black. The project will be completed 20 percent faster than typical residence halls of similar dimensions, after Wingate University needed the facility to meet an unprecedented student population at the school. Wingate had its largest freshman class ever in the fall of 2010, and needed the building constructed in less than six months.

CM Black has finished the renovation for Southern Select Community Credit Union. That building, which is located off N.C. 3 in Cabarrus County, was completed November 30th.

CM Black’s biggest current project, the Levine College of Health Sciences Building at Wingate University, is also on schedule and under budget. Construction began on that building in February, and it is expected to be completed by the spring of 2011. That building includes more than 69,000 square feet of space and will also house the School of Pharmacy at Wingate.

“We are pleased that we have been able to continue our reputation as a builder who gets projects done on time,” Emmitt Black said. “That’s a credit to everyone involved in our projects, and it shows the commitment and dedication that our staff has to delivering high quality work even with a challenging schedule.”

CM Black Stable Despite Sluggish Economy, Expecting Rebound in 2011

Commercial construction in the Charlotte region sputtered in 2010, but CM Black officials are optimistic for a turnaround in the industry in 2011.

Nationwide, commercial construction in September fell 21 percent from the year before. Construction employment in North Carolina in September totaled 170,400, a decrease of 6.6% from September 2009 and a decrease of 34% from the state’s peak in June 2007. In the Charlotte metropolitan area, that number has dropped 17 percent.

Those numbers may paint a difficult picture, but there may be room for optimism soon. The Wall Street Journal recently reported that construction is expected to increase nationally in 2011, and that growth is expected to be even bigger locally.

A recent article in the Charlotte Business Journal stated that Business Facilities magazine ranks Charlotte No. 5 among large metropolitan areas for economic growth potential and No. 5 among most-wired cities nationwide. North Carolina ranks No. 4 for economic growth potential, fifth in work-force training and sixth in business climate. That could mean the Charlotte area is ripe for a rebound, and CM Black officials are ready to get started.

CM Black has weathered the turbulent economy well, and remains strong. CM Black President Emmitt Black credits his company’s long-standing history and relationships with others as primary reasons for CM Black’s resiliency.

“We’ve seen a lot of ups and downs in the economy since we have been around for 60 years,” he said. “But we know what needs to be done in difficult times. And, we know how to react quickly when things rebound quickly. Our customers have found our experience to be quite valuable in times like these.”

CM Black has many relationships that have lasted more than a decade, and does not need to take drastic measures just for the sake of getting work. Emmitt Black said his company will continue to maintain its reputation as a fair, well-respected corporation.

“You can’t undercut people, that’s just bad for business,” he said. “We know what it takes to get a job done right, and we won’t stray from that. We want to make sure everyone is satisfied with the final product, and that it meets our high standards.”

CM At-Risk Projects Becoming Preferred Choice for Universities, Governments

CM at-risk projects, one of the most popular construction choices in North Carolina in the past decade, are done through a general contractor who guarantees the cost of a project and provides valuable services to the owner. Those services include preparation and coordination of bid packages, scheduling, cost control, evaluation, pre-construction services and construction administration.

Those projects, first instituted in North Carolina in 2001, create a guaranteed maximum price. In CM at-risk projects, the contractor must work in a fiduciary relationship with the owner, and always act in the best interest of the owner. The Construction Manager at-risk must develop a master schedule, make recommendations, and advise on constructibility issues. The company must also pre-qualify and evaluate subcontractors.

CM Black is currently working on a CM at-risk Project, building a new Board of Elections building in Cabarrus. CM Black President Emmitt Black said his company looks forward to opportunities for more CM at-risk projects in the future.

“We are always looking for new opportunities with those kinds of projects,” he said. “Our knowledge of the local market helps us, as well as our knowledge of subcontractors and their capabilities. We understand that cost is one of the driving factors behind a CM at-risk project, and we do everything we can to ensure the project doesn’t sacrifice quality while staying within those parameters.”

The demand for CM at-risk projects is growing, and is expected to remain high. A study was completed by the University of North Carolina in 2009 after the university system engaged 94 CM at-risk projects within a 10-year period. That study examined those projects, which had a total value of almost $3.3 billion dollars, and said CM at-risk projects brought added value, because of features including:

• Having the contractor at the table during the design process to validate cost estimates, suggest modification to design details that simplify & speed construction, and to establish common expectations with regard to project schedule.
• Establishing a team approach to the project planning & execution ameliorates the adversarial relationship often found between owner, designer & contractor.
• Selecting the Construction Manager at Risk with a qualifications-based selection process.
• Assuring the best possible quality in the finished product.
• Achieving significantly higher minority participation over other methods construction project delivery.
N.C. State and East Carolina have also done CM at-risk projects, and so have local governments including Mint Hill, Charlotte and Cabarrus County. Fayetteville State University is also expected to do a CM at-risk project in 2011, and other universities and local governments are also expected to continue the trend into the next decade.

“We’ve really seen a surge in the number of CM at-risk jobs in the Charlotte region, particularly with local governments,” Emmitt Black said. “We look forward to working with Cabarrus County on our current project, and we look forward to working with other municipalities in the future.”