Medical Construction on the Rise
After a building drought that has lasted years, construction, and particularly medical construction, is rising like a phoenix across Brevard. Perhaps the most ambitious and transformational project on the Space Coast is Brevard Medical City. It is the brainchild of Dr. Abraham (Abe) Hardoon and his son Eric Hardoon, along with one of the rising stars of the local commercial construction industry, Certified General Contractors.
Dr. Hardoon’s journey is an amazing story of persistence and audacity. One of the most memorable turning points in that narrative was when his son, who today is his business manager and the developer behind the Brevard Medical City project, was just four years old and asked his father “What do you do?” At the time, he was running a very lucrative and successful business in New York with his brother, but for Dr. Hardoon, who was 30 at the time, it was a much deeper question: “What are you doing?”
His dream had always been to be a doctor. So he told his wife and brother, who both thought he needed to rethink his plan, that he wanted to go to medical school. His brother agreed to keep paying him $5,000 per month, until “I got my first check as a resident,” Dr. Hardoon said, and then the business was completely his. That is the kind of daring the warm and soft-spoken physician seems to have always had.
Dr. Hardoon emigrated from Israel when he was a teenager, but living with relatives didn’t work out, so as a high school senior, he struck out on his own, supporting himself by “doing everything from selling cutlery, to driving a cab,” he recalled, not only while in high school, but also as a pre-med student in college. He was involved in several ventures after college, including the one with his brother, nurturing an entrepreneurial passion that has driven successful medical practices in New York, Orlando and today at Suntree Internal Medicine (SIM).
Suntree Internal Medicine, which also includes his son Dr. Scott Hardoon, will soon be moving into their new 27,000-sq.ft. office. The facility will be the cornerstone of Brevard Medical City and is light-years from the 900-sq.ft. storefront where Dr. Hardoon started in the area.
Making a Destination
The Hardoons are as proud of their master planned site as they are SIM’s new location that will soon open on it. Eric Hardoon, the president of ME Site Works LLC, is determined to make the property a community showcase. “We’re making Suntree a better place,” he said. “This is going to be unlike anything that’s been seen here before. We will have a true one-stop shop for medical services with everything anyone who lives in the area will need. And we’re trying to give back to the community with a nice public jogging trail which circles the parameter of our 6.5-acre lake. We’ll have benches and water fountains; it’s going to be beautiful, like a park.”
In addition to SIM’s facility, the 24-acre development will include a 12,500-sq.ft. diagnostic center, over 45,000 square feet of medical condominiums and a beautifully situated and designed assisted living center, next to a large lake that practically stretches the width of the property. What is more, the location will be adjacent to another marquee development, Pineda Landings. This property, also being built by Certified General Contractors will include the 21,850-sq.ft. Fresh Market, the sixth in Central Florida, along with other retail and residential features developed by Orlando-based BishopBeale.
The project is one of many the team at Certified General Contractors has recently landed. Adam Broadway and his partner Ryan Runte, took over the company two years ago, during what was arguably the worst time for construction companies in the last 50 years. Honing their skills and their vision as the market has turned the corner, they have positioned their company to catch this wave of new activity and the Hardoons are just the type of client they have focused their business to capture.
From the Ground Up
Broadway, one of those rare examples of what is possible when desire meets determination, learned every facet of the construction business, more on the job site than the classroom. “Right out of high school, I went to work for a friend’s dad in his construction company,” he recalled. “We were basically laborers; I worked my way into the carpentry trade, but quickly realized I wanted to be on the other side of the business. I started going to school, taking courses in surveying and project management. Then I went to work for a local contractor.”
While he was working on a beachside project, the contractor let his superintendent go and asked if Broadway could watch things for a couple of days. Broadway knew that was his opportunity to demonstrate his potential. He asked questions, worked with other employees and subcontractors on the site and coordinated the schedule on his own. “He came back in a few days and said, ‘You’ve done more in five days than the other guy did in five weeks. You’re going to be my new superintendent,’” Broadway said. From that point, he knew this was where he wanted to be.
“When I started, my goal was to wear that carpenter’s tool belt. That was a sort of rite of passage; until you earned that belt you were just a laborer. Then my goal was to be able to take that belt off, to be on the management side of the business.
“I loved the industry because it is one of those arenas where hard work and resolve can take you as high as you want to go. The mechanics and the sense of team camaraderie that comes from building something that will last a lifetime captivated me. The subcontractors on that first job became lifelong friends. If people want to work for you and want to come to work, you don’t have to know everything; these guys are masters of their craft,” he reflected.
It is that relational model that Certified General Contractors has built their business and their reputation on.
In the Nick of Time
Certified General Contractors met the Hardoons through their mutual relationship with SunTrust bank.
Eric Hardoon commented, “We linked up with Certified and they were doing such a good job on Brevard Medical City. Then they wanted to use my company ME Site Works to do Pineda Landings, which is next to our project, and we are looking at another project in Cocoa Beach.”
“It all began because my father needed more room. He had relationships with other doctors in the pipeline, so he knew the practice was positioned to grow. We started with just three acres at what is the northwest corner of the site, but around Thanksgiving the deal fell through.”
“What happened then was the estate that controlled that parcel had to sell before December 31, or they would face a substantial increase in inheritance taxes. We closed at 1:47 p.m. on December 31. We couldn’t transfer money after 2 p.m. that day,” Eric Hardoon said. “It was like a movie. We realized we wanted far more than a doctor’s office. We had the opportunity to create a giant puzzle and that office was just a piece. Now what we have is a landmark amenity for the whole area and one of the most innovative medical parks in the region.”