Though the company is over 50 years old and has executed some of the most iconic building projects in the region, co-owner Erik Costin wanted to make a statement about W+J’s future. With a construction portfolio that includes everything from historic Launch Complex 39A and the stunning Saturn V Exhibit, to St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Rockledge, designed by world renowned architect Michael Graves, their new headquarters speaks to a new trajectory for W+J in the decades to come.
“We wanted to make a statement about the type of company we are and where this area is going, as its diverse and cutting-edge economy continues to expand,” Costin said. “There is a new wave of innovative businesses, along with engineers and digital technologists moving to the Space Coast, which are attracting development investors who want to see something beyond the typical architecture that has characterized the area.”
The new headquarters, on Viera Blvd., has an appealing contemporary exterior design, matched by a soaring interior, with glass enclosed offices and minimalistic design features. The interior spaces not only project the modern feel the company was looking for, but the glass offices convey the open, transparent and collaborative culture that has come to differentiate W+J. According to Nick Witek, who was the face of the company for decades, initially he thought perhaps the design was a little “too edgy.” “When I saw the reaction, prospective clients had when they visited out offices, who were from larger metropolitan markets, there is a surprising and unexpected ‘wow’ factor. That sold me on the idea,” Witek said.
The 19,024 SF facility, named “Glendale Park,” is a nod Costin’s development partner Dr. Vishnu Patel made to the blue collar, working class neighborhood he grew up by in Boston. The building is home to W+J Construction and its subsidiaries, ADI Development and Trivium Luxury Homes, along with the offices of Florida Today.
Complex? No Problem.
W+J has always gravitated towards challenging projects that other construction companies might shy away from. But they have recruited a team of professionals, from some of the largest and most recognizable firms in the state, which make the challenges of these unique and many times complicated ventures part of the norm.
“There are several factors that have contributed to our ability to attract this caliber of talent. First, they are so experienced and skilled, that it has naturally generated a rather flat management organization, where they anticipate problems and self-manage their projects. This enables them to enjoy a good deal of independence,” Costin explained. “Secondly, we have a pervasive attitude of customer service that Nick (Witek) established at W+J, that is based on how we treat our people. This in turn carries over into the interactions our team has with clients. Often, it creates a relationship where customers are already thinking about us, when the next project comes around.”
The third factor Costin alluded to was the attraction his employees have to living and working on the Space Coast. Many of his key people came here to work on projects for these larger firms and through W+J, found a way to stay here and live, while experiencing the same rewarding professional challenges.
Their customer centric approach has paid dividends with a variety of companies in the ever-growing health care sector, including many of those that call Brevard home, like Health First.
Carving Their Niche in Health Care
The constantly evolving nature of health care has kept Health First on a growth and innovation curve. Along with several projects involving the remodeling or repurposing of existing facilities at all the Health First hospitals, two years ago, W+J also completed one of their office complexes – the Health First Business Center in Rockledge.
The two-story, 45,000-square-foot administration building for Health First occupies a portion of an 11-acre site and includes a six-acre parking lot for associates. The project involved three phases, including the newer building, a parking area and remodeling the existing building.
This project was just one facet of W+J’s experience in the health care arena. They have completed eight Fresenius Kidney Care facilities throughout the state, since building their first one on Malabar Road in Palm Bay in 2016. These state-of-the-art facilities range in size from 5,600 to over 10,000 square feet, where dialysis patients can undergo treatment at locations that are conveniently located within a short commute to their homes.
Building Brevard’s Future
ADI Development is the perfect partner for W+J Construction, which grew out of the medical construction work Costin did with Dr. Vishnu Patel. ADI’s strategy approaches the small business owner, like a developer might approach a renter, who hopes to own their own home. Business owners can, as they say, “Own your own future,” as ADI enables the small to medium size business owner to purchase, rather than perpetually lease, the building they occupy.
“Most small business are paying for someone else’s long-term asset. We provide a mechanism where they are able to pay themselves,” Costin said. In addition, they believe this area is ripe for the kind of corporate headquarters that have made Lake Mary one of the most desirable live and work communities in Central Florida. “In my opinion the only thing keeping mid to large corporations from locating to this area is existing corporate office inventory,” he added.
Their first major foray into this type of development will be a multi-story office building, with possibly first story restaurant/retail space, just off the Pineda Causeway, in Palm Shores. With beautiful views of the Indian River, along with easy access to Viera, Merritt Island and the beaches, it is the ideal location for those who want to take advantage of the incredible housing opportunities that are within a short, leisurely commute to work. Add to that, it is on US 1 and minutes from I-95, which makes it the perfect location.
“Smart growth strategies demand that corporate workspace be located conveniently near the best residential areas and transportation arteries. What makes this community so amazing and why I personally love it so much, is it has the perfect balance between great business opportunities and an unparalleled lifestyle,” Costin said. “Trivium Luxury Homes, ADI Development and W+J Construction are all part of building and maintaining that synergy here, for years to come.”