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Business Observer Friday, Jan. 16, 2004 18 years ago

Break Up

Zirkelbach Construction and Frye General Contracting split up after only months together.

Break Up

Zirkelbach Construction and Frye General Contracting split up after only months together.

By Sean Roth

Real Estate Editor

Just like marriages, business partnerships don't always last. The latest casualty is the recently joined Frye General Contracting Inc. and Palmetto-based Zirkelbach Construction Inc. The separation, effective Jan. 1, comes only eight months after the two firms merged in May of 2003.

"They just had a different philosophy," says Brian Lorentzen, director of pre-construction services for Zirkelbach Construction. "Zirkelbach as a whole is taking much more of an aggressive growth philosophy."

In July, GCBR reported that the merger created a construction company with projected revenue of more than $45 million in 2003. The merged company was the fourth or fifth largest commercial contractor in the Sarasota-Manatee area. Along with the departure of Frye General Contracting, Zirkelbach Construction is abandoning plans to perform residential construction.

"We are still actively doing projects with them," Lorentzen says, "and we will continue to do projects with them in the future. We are just choosing to focus on what we are good at. We have also opened another division of the company for strictly land development. It will work primarily on larger commercial cores and communities."

As for staffing, Lorentzen says that with the exception of a couple accounting and administrative support workers, Zirkelbach Construction will return to its original staffing level of about 21 people.

Zirkelbach Construction has hired Mark Anderson, formerly of Mike Carter Construction, as vice president of construction, and Mac Carraway as executive vice president. Carraway will oversee financial, administrative and operational management for the company's construction and development activities. He spent 11 years in Manatee in agribusiness and land management.

"The financial impact of the separation is really minimal," says Lorentzen.

Repeated telephone calls to Kelly Frye, owner of Frye General Contracting, were not returned.

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