Entrepreneurship, like life, is not a destination, it is a journey. In fact, it is the mindset that you never really “arrive” that keeps the entrepreneur innovating and pushing the limits of growth, often beyond the comfort zones of some.
The truly successful entrepreneurs, who actually build and scale the businesses they lead, also see the individuals who accompany them on that journey as being as valuable, if not more valuable, than the current vision they are pursuing. Such is certainly the case with Erik Costin who leads W+J Construction and who recently launched ADI Development and Trivium Luxury Homes.
For over 50 years, W+J has been one of the most respected builders in the region. The company has been responsible for everything from iconic launch gantries and KSC’s Saturn V Exhibit, to numerous schools and some of the most beautiful worship edifices in the region. Costin helped the company diversify away from focusing exclusively on government/municipal contracting projects and has continued to guide its growth into the design, build and development space.
Recently, the company moved into their new, contemporary, two-story, 19,025 square foot office building off Viera Blvd. The name, “Glendale Park” was a surprise decision Costin’s development partner made, which was a nod to a park in Boston that he grew up by.
“Moving into this office has created so much collaboration among our employees that didn’t exist in our old office,” he said. “We made the investment, believing this new environment would create efficiencies and returns.” It is a conviction Costin and W+J always had about their people. “Even in the downturn, we didn’t layoff any of our people, because we knew they were our greatest asset,” he said.
Because of the unique and often complicated projects W+J lands and the culture they have created, Costin has been able to attract talent from some of the largest construction firms in the state. “These individuals are so capable and so experienced that it has naturally produced a pretty flat management structure. They are all consummate professionals, but they like working for us, because they can to go home at night and they love living in this area,” he shared.
Costin’s move into development began working as a contractor for Dr. Vishnu Patel, who would eventually be his partner. First, he did projects for him in the medical space, and then they started working together. Their slogan, ‘You can own your future,’ focuses on showing clients they can own their building, through ADI, over time.
In a similar way, Costin was able to leverage the trust he had built working with some of the most experienced people in the upscale residential market, to launch Trivium Luxury Homes. Their first homes will be available in the Casa Bella community in 2020. Again, he takes a unique approach. “We won’t sell at a certain price point and then expect the buyer to cover added upgrades. Our homes include all the upgrades, at the price we quote,” he said.
A standout basketball player in high school and at the collegiate level, Costin grew up around the construction trades in a blue-collar neighborhood. Originally, he planned to go into law, but the housing market was so lucrative, that he went to work for a real estate developer after college, before moving to Florida and going to work for W+J.
One of Costin’s strengths is the loyalty he is able to develop in employees, clients and partners. “Customer service is part of our culture, but it begins with how we treat our people, so they will in turn build relationships with our clients,” he said. “That is how you insure when the next project comes around, that client is already thinking of you.”