The Gulf Coast has a new construction player.
This one is a super fast-growth firm from West Palm Beach, Kast Construction. Kast focuses on hospitality, luxury condos and multifamily, though it will do work in other sectors. It was founded in 2003 and, according to Kast President Mike Neal, has a revenue trajectory that would make many Gulf Coast construction executives drool: It has grown from $30 million in revenues in 2011 to $70 million in 2012 to a projected $100 million in 2013 and a projected $250 million in 2014. That could be 733% sales growth over four years.
“We're not a real flashy company,” says Neal, who isn't related to prominent Gulf Coast homebuilder Pat Neal. “We've been growing real quietly.”
That includes two major projects on the Gulf Coast. On one, the firm recently topped out a nine-story, 84-residence luxury condo building at Water Club Isle in St. Petersburg. The project, developed by The Kolter Group, based in West Palm Beach, will be ready for occupancy in June 2014.
Up next, says Neal, is a 275-room Westin hotel and 18-story luxury tower condo on U.S. 41 and Gulfstream Avenue in downtown Sarasota. That parcel has gone through several iterations and owners over the last decade, and Kolter, the current owner, hired Kast for that project, too. Says Neal: “We've been fortunate that some our clients have asked us to travel with them for work.”
Kast, says Neal, will likely begin work in Sarasota by March. It plans to hire at least 50 employees for the project.
Neal says his firm's strategy has been to follow clients, not only to Sarasota and St. Petersburg, but also to Orlando and South Carolina. He says the Tampa and Sarasota markets, however, could be ripe for Kast to expand full time, not just based on client activity. “The writing is on the wall that suggests that's a likelihood,” Neal tells Coffee Talk. “We're excited to be in that market.”