Withstanding the Test of Time
At Gillis Gilkerson, we believe that one of the biggest, most impactful ways we can serve our community is by demonstrating adaptability through change. In the past year, we have seen firsthand how global crisis and macroeconomic shifts can trickle down to affect our day-to-day decision-making on the Delmarva Peninsula.
Undoubtedly, the COVID-pandemic has impacted the financial fragility of industries across the nation. This has prompted many businesses to pivot their focus into different markets, extending their capabilities and concentrating on profitability and sustainability. Commercial construction and real estate development are no exception. With nearly 40 years of experience in the construction and real estate development industry, Gillis Gilkerson has the ability to diversify and act as a resource to clients as they navigate this season of change.
“We can’t ignore the emerging trends that are shaping our industry,” said Dwight Miller, President of Gillis Gilkerson. “A trend towards diversification has become more apparent which has allowed us to focus on enhancing our brand as we redirect our resources to meet the real-time needs of our clients.”
Operating in different segments of the construction industry has been a strength of Gillis Gilkerson from the beginning. From the ground-up development of multi-phase medical campuses to the renovation of small offices, every project is critical and competitive, requiring its own set of unique capabilities.
“We are not a niche firm,” said Tyler Barnes, Vice President of Gillis Gilkerson. “We engage in smaller-scale jobs like the interior renovation we recently completed for NAI Coastal, as well as more comprehensive projects like the complete restoration of the Powell Building in Downtown Salisbury. Time and experience have shown us that the more diverse you can be in the types of projects you work on, the better position you will be in to survive economic uncertainty.”
In October 2019, Gillis Gilkerson broke ground on the Powell Building; Barnes led the construction team with onsite management provided by Superintendent Charlie Morris. Together, the team executed a complete redevelopment which transformed the five-story vacant building into a 20-unit luxury apartment building. Across the street, Gillis Gilkerson simultaneously executed an interior fit-out for NAI Coastal, a commercial brokerage currently occupying a ground-level suite within the Riverview Commons building. President Dwight Miller and Superintendent Donnie Brady spearheaded these efforts.
The Powell Building and NAI Coastal projects were polar opposites in every sense—size, scope, property type, manpower demand, timeline requirements and so on. When standing on West Market Street looking towards Downtown Salisbury, Gillis Gilkerson’s ability to diversify can be easily visualized between these two builds.
“We couldn’t be happier with Gillis Gilkerson’s work on our new office at Riverview Commons. Dwight and Donnie were hands-on throughout the entire process, each providing the insight and perspective needed to help us maximize space while maintaining the suite’s industrial aesthetic,” said Principal Broker Chris Davis of NAI Coastal. “Dwight’s knowledge of feasibility and logistics paired with Donnie’s ability to visualize and execute our design requests allowed for efficient, cost-effective, and timely execution.”
Regardless of how long the pandemic lasts, it is likely to create a lasting impact on the commercial construction and real estate market. That impact does not have to be negative if businesses can pivot and diversify to accommodate such change. Gillis Gilkerson aims to act as a community partner, greeting challenges head-on while helping local businesses to stay relevant, endure and grow.
About Gillis Gilkerson
In its 37th year of building and real estate development on Delmarva, award-winning Gillis Gilkerson has built a reputation as one of the most trusted and stable construction management and general contracting firms on the Peninsula. From new commercial construction to renovation, the company’s construction managers offer broad and deep experience in diverse industries such as medical, industrial, manufacturing, hotels, multi-family housing, houses of worship, restaurants, retail, schools and more. Its full-service real estate development expertise offers custom solutions for land purchase, building program development, turnkey project management, obtaining permits and approvals, property management, property marketing, purchase, lease, and lease/purchase options. The team works in conjunction with architects, government planners, engineers, surveyors, inspectors, contractors, and leasing agents to manage the development process from concept to completion.