Making an Entrance
From gates to outdoor amenities, Bravo-Builds diversifies custom construction
A gated entrance with access control, an outdoor kitchen, a gas fireplace, metal arbors and large wooden planters—these are all architectural elements that you might find in a custom home or a modern apartment complex. Each element serves a different purpose and is unique in its construction, but these specialty pieces all have one thing in common—they can all be constructed by Bravo-Builds.
The Tampa-based company, headed by Joe Martin, handles a variety of custom construction projects for architects, engineers and contractors throughout Central Florida. Bravo-Builds can consult, design, build and install all types of custom screens, columns, rails and walls, among a wide variety of other structures.
Strength in Diversity
Martin came to Bravo-Builds shortly after the company was established in December 2016. He holds a general contractor license and previously worked in land development for a national homebuilder. Martin had met the founder of Bravo-Builds several years before when he hired the associated company, Bravo Fence (now known as Royce Bravo Security and Access Control, LLC), to perform work for a project he was overseeing.
Martin was approached about running the newly established Bravo-Builds as general contractor and Director of Construction. “My experience as a general contractor and background in land development made it a good fit,” says Martin. “I’ve built everything from custom homes to churches, hotels and auto dealerships.”
Martin is joined by Marcelo Sprung, Project Manager. Originally from Argentina, Marcelo has lived in the Tampa Bay area for the last 20 years and has a background in residential and commercial construction.
While the Bravo-Builds’ immediate staff is a team of two, they are supported by the staff of sister company Royce Bravo Security and Access Control, LLC (Royce Bravo), adding another layer of expertise. Royce Bravo specializes in fencing and security services, such as cameras and access controls for buildings and gates, allowing Bravo-Builds to draw upon the expertise of the Royce Bravo Team and offer additional services to its clients.
“With Royce Bravo, not only can we complete the different types of construction that we do, we can protect the finished product also,” says Martin. “We have the in-house capabilities to build these facilities and to add fences, access controls, cameras and security.”
Martin believes one of the biggest benefits and strengths of the combined Bravo-Builds and Royce Bravo team is the diversity of backgrounds and experiences. Team members come from across the globe, including Puerto Rico, Cuba, Syria, Argentina, Venezuela, Brazil and different areas of the United States. Martin points out that this diversity, along with the unique construction industry experience each team member has, results in Bravo-Builds’ ability to deliver a wider range of creative construction solutions.
Combined, Martin says the Bravo-Builds and Royce Bravo teams “have experience in just about every area of construction and development you can think of. We aren’t afraid to tackle anything.”
Martin also shares that the culture of the two companies is one of caring and respect. “We have a large, diverse group of people that work very well together. It’s like a family—we are all very different, and we may speak different languages, but we all cooperate and work together.”
That care and respect was clearly on display as the company faced the challenges that came along with the COVID-19 outbreak last year. Martin is particularly proud of how Bravo-Builds and Royce Bravo were able to keep both businesses running, while also keeping everyone employed and, most importantly, safe. They were able to accomplish this thanks to everyone working together to follow the local, state and federal guidelines, and to make the necessary adjustments to ensure they were keeping each other healthy.
“We have had isolated cases of the virus, but we’ve been able to react and keep it from affecting our way of life any more than necessary,” Martin shares. “It takes a lot of cooperation among all the people in the company, no matter your position. Part of our company culture is that everyone cares about each other. We take care of one another, and because of that we’ve been able to maintain good health, keep everyone going, employed and be successful.”
Extended Network and Support
In addition to having a close relationship with the Royce Bravo family, the Bravo-Builds team has also built and maintained relationships with a variety of subcontractors that assist them in delivering the products that meet customers’ needs and expectations.
Martin says, “We use a large network of subcontractors—including concrete block masons, painters and sign companies—to do the great majority of our work. And when our projects need the products that are produced by Royce Bravo, I draw upon our in-house fabrication team.”
Royce Bravo has the capability to complete in-house metal fabrication, not only for fencing, but also for architectural elements like awnings, trellises and arbors. Anything not made by Royce Bravo, Martin can have manufactured by a different partner.
“For instance, a lot of columns have decorated precast caps that go on top—we don’t make those in-house, but I have relationships with other companies that can create those.”
Entrances and Amenities
Martin refers to the type of work Bravo-Builds does as “specialty construction,” and the firm’s construction repertoire is vast.
One of the early projects Bravo-Builds took on was for an apartment developer building a new complex in Tampa. For the single apartment complex, the team, partnering with Royce Bravo for custom fabrication, created not just the exterior columns and fencing, but also most of the outdoor amenities: an outdoor pool kitchen, gas fireplaces, gas grill stations, playground elements, benches, arbors and a fountain. Bravo-Builds even constructed giant wooden planters as accent pieces.
Martin says the project showcases the diversity of services Bravo-Builds can offer and the type of work they plan to focus on in the future.
“Not only can we do specialty construction, we are also getting more into amenities structures,” Martin says. “For instance, a pool may have nearby restroom buildings or clubhouses. We can construct those buildings, too.”
This benefits the client, Martin explains, who might have to outsource these elements separately. Bravo-Builds, with its diverse experience and wide range of building capabilities, is essentially a one-stop shop for any type of specialty and amenities construction a client might need.
“There are other companies that do similar things, but we cover a more diverse area of construction than others would,” explains Martin.
This diversity of experience has landed repeat clients, including the apartment developer from Bravo-Builds’ earlier project. So far, Bravo-Builds has completed four jobs for that apartment developer and has more projects for the developer in the works. For the Bravo-Builds team, these projects are not only successful because of the completed construction, they are successful because of the relationships built.
“Those are the jobs I look back on with satisfaction,” says Martin. “They weren’t always easy because we were touching a lot of different pieces on those jobs. But being able to build and maintain relationships with our clients is something I’m very proud of.”