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Area construction attracts Texas-sized competition

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  • | 8:07 a.m. March 6, 2014
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A $420 million construction firm from Houston, one of the 150 largest contractors in the country, wants in on the Florida recovery.

Satterfield & Pontikes, No. 148 in Engineering News-Record's 2013 list of the top contractors in the U.S. by revenues, has opened an office in Lakewood Ranch. The firm has offices in Dallas, New Orleans and San Antonio, and is on a select preferred builder list for Wal-Mart in Texas. The company, with a national client list that includes Delta Airlines at JFK Airport, has also been lauded in its home state for its utilization of new technology in construction.

Craig Campbell, a familiar face to many in Sarasota-Bradenton construction circles, heads up the local Satterfield & Pontikes office. Campbell spent more than a decade in executive roles in the area, where he worked for DooleyMack in Sarasota and later Palmetto-based Zirkelbach Construction. Satterfield & Pontikes recruited Campbell to Houston in late 2012.

But the firm's plans changed, quickly, when Wal-Mart executives asked it to bid for work in the Sunshine State. Wal-Mart requires contractors to have an office within 500 miles of a jobsite. So Campbell's move to Houston became a short stint.

While Wal-Mart was the impetus, Campbell says the goal is to make Satterfield & Pontikes a firm that can compete with giants like Beck and Skanska. He envisions a split where 30% of the division's work is for Wal-Mart, while 70% goes toward other clients, especially in retail and health care. “If Wal-Mart hadn't spoken to us about expansion, I'd still be in Houston,” Campbell tells Coffee Talk. “That said, this is a regional office.”

Campbell is already back in the networking game, with organizations like the Gulf Coast Builders Exchange in Sarasota-Bradenton and the Associated Builders and Contractors Gulf Coast chapter in Tampa. He's close to signing a few deals for work, one in Pinellas County and another in Manatee County. He projects a busy summer for the firm.


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