A Name Synonymous with Quality
Ahlborg Construction Corporation continues to advance the family business
Carrying on the family name can be an intimidating prospect. Succeeding and making your own mark in an industry where past generations of your family have prospered can be even more so. Yet that’s just what brothers Eric and Glenn Ahlborg of Ahlborg Construction Corporation (ACC) have done.
Throughout the construction industry in their native Rhode Island, the name Ahlborg is freighted with historical weight. Generations ago, in 1926, their great-grandfather Olaf Ahlborg founded a company that would grow to become O. Ahlborg & Sons, Inc.
The brothers spent three decades in the family business working for their father, Richard. In 2004, Glenn completed his tenure there as President, then moved on to other opportunities. In 2008, Eric started his own company, Ahlborg Construction Corporation, where he now serves as President and CEO. His brother Glenn joined the firm in 2010 and he now serves as Vice President and Chief Operating Officer.
Projects have poured in over the last decade. The business, which started out with sales at roughly $500,000, is on track to exceed $50 million in sales in 2018. “I’d attribute that success to hard work and dedication along with our quality office and field staff, and by taking on only selective projects in a robust economy,” Glenn says. “Another major factor is the excellent relationships we enjoy with our subcontractors, and BankRI, Hilb Group and Philadelphia Indemnity Insurance Company as business partners.”
Working exclusively within the state of Rhode Island, about 75 percent of ACC’s contracts come through competitive bids, with the remainder coming from privately negotiated work.
“We’re a notable, highly sought, medium-sized general contractor with approximately 25 employees,” Glenn says. “That allows us to give each project our personal attention. We have built a strong bonding program and we’re now capable of taking on projects over $50 million in value.”
He adds, “We also enjoy excellent working relationships with the major architectural and engineering firms in the area—as well as local building officials—and collaborate well with them to complete projects with skill and integrity, on time and on budget. Additionally, we place a lot of emphasis on safety and enjoy an outstanding safety record.”
“To facilitate our growth, Eric and I purchased a 5,000-square-foot building last year,” Glenn continues. “We gutted it to meet our needs with modern construction materials and efficient building systems. We’re centrally located in Warwick, Rhode Island, just off Route 95, which provides easy access to and from our projects. We use the latest technology systems for project data and control, and to facilitate audio-visual project planning and management. Keeping up with new technology is always a challenge and we strive to utilize the latest contract management systems for efficient project coordination and smooth execution.”
A Broad Portfolio
The brothers’ approach to business is certainly working, as ACC has been chosen for projects throughout the state in industries such as hospitality, retail, education and manufacturing, as well as a number of government projects.
Recent projects include a $10 million digital enterprise building for CVS, the $13 million renovation of the historic Rhode Island Attorney General Office in Providence, and the new $12 million Blackstone Valley Community Health Center in Central Falls. The firm has also performed extensive renovations to schools in Warwick, Tiverton, Pawtucket, Newport, Smithfield, Coventry, North Providence and Central Falls.
Perhaps the largest and most challenging project undertaken by ACC was the $20 million Hyatt Place Warwick/Providence Airport hotel in Warwick. Construction of the six-story, 80,000-square-foot, 125-room structure began in mid-2017, with a required completion date of May 2018, which was met.
“The Hyatt was definitely up there as one of our most challenging projects,” Glenn says. “We had a very tight budget and time schedule and we completed the project on budget and in record time according to Hyatt Corporation.”
And the projects keep coming. “This past May, for example, we signed a contract with the Town of North Providence for the general construction of its new state-of-the-art public safety facility, which was competitively bid and will cost approximately $25 million,” Glenn says.
Back to School
Much of ACC’s work has come from the education market. Recently, the company received a letter of praise from its client for building the Chariho Alternative Learning Academy in 2017 and 2018. And the renovation of four residence halls for the University of Rhode Island in summer 2016 also resulted in client accolades.
In September, ACC completed another major education project, this time for the Tiverton School District. Renovation work at the middle school and high school included replacing heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems, as well as lighting, ceilings, roofs and more.
In addition to public schools, ACC has successfully landed a variety of municipal and state contracts. “Last year, we completed a new project for the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management: the Lincoln Woods beach pavilion. We also renovated and expanded the Rhode Island College School of Nursing and built the new South Kingstown Recreation Center,” Glenn says.
“When I think about the business, what really gives me pride is how far we’ve come. We provide commercial construction services with skill, responsibility and integrity.” Glenn Ahlborg, Vice President and COO, Ahlborg Construction Corporation
A New Legacy
Although the general contractor still self-performs some work, much of it is passed along to subcontractors. So, Eric and Glenn have carefully assembled a quality team of subcontractors they can depend on to get the job done.
“We use both qualified union and non-union as well as many MBE/WBE firms, and also people we know and have a good track record with,” Glenn says. “We feel we have a great relationship with subcontractors. We plan and execute the work well, we handle paperwork properly and we pay our subcontractors in a timely manner.”
With the legacy of four generations of Ahlborgs working in construction in Rhode Island, Eric and Glenn felt they had a lot to live up to and are proud of what they’ve accomplished together.
“When I think about the business, what really gives me pride is how far we’ve come,” Glenn says. “We provide commercial construction services with skill, responsibility and integrity.”
Now that Ahlborg Construction Corporation has achieved 10 years in operation, the brothers are well on their way to cementing their own legacy as the latest generation of Ahlborgs and are anxious to see what the future holds for their company. They’re always looking for new challenges, knowing their company is up to the task.
“We like the difficult projects with aggressive schedules,” Glenn says. “Our culture is to be hands-on with our projects. We’re both very involved and our experience and great staff serve us well. We’re proactive with clients, we understand their needs and we fulfill their expectations.”