A New Vision of Trust
ATX JG & W Construction leverages experience to elevate GC and sub relationships
For some, construction–and specifically concrete–is all about forming, pouring and smoothing aggregate mixes. For Jorge Gomez and Wendy Caceres, it is about a mutual love of the build, and more recently, a desire to improve a business process that puts cracks in a foundational part of the industry, namely the trades.
Jorge started working in construction as a laborer at the age of 20. He liked the process of forming concrete and worked his way up to project manager, managing large concrete jobs mostly in the commercial sector. With an eye on independence, he began to save and plan for his own concrete company. Soon after, he met Wendy, who had her own home remodeling business that she founded in 2009.
They saw an intersection in their mutual professional goals and decided to focus on concrete operations for the commercial sector. “Jorge loved everything about concrete, from the mixes to the finishing, and he had all the connections with concrete mix companies and some general contractors,” Wendy says. “And we felt that the opportunities in the rapidly growing commercial market throughout Austin and San Antonio were promising.”
In 2016, with just a truck and some concrete demo and finishing tools, but also a strong work ethic, they founded ATX JG & W Construction LLC (ATX JG & W), a division of ATX JG Concrete Solutions LLC.
ATX JG & W, which stands for Austin Texas Jorge Gomez & Wendy Caceres, focused primarily on constructing or replacing sidewalks, curb/gutter and driveway jobs for public and private customers in its first year.
As its reputation grew for quality and timely work, the company expanded to large jobs including new construction, tenant fit-outs, renovations, additions and demolition of restaurants, retail and shopping centers, theaters, apartment complexes and even a car wash. A few projects included the construction of sidewalks and footings for custom homes and subdivisions to large commercial sites and complex concrete water channel flumes.
Jorge says, “Over the years, I had built good relationships with local concrete mix providers and general contractors on a variety of jobs. They knew my ability to work with tight schedules and overcome potential delays and issues that happen during construction through organization and flexibility.”
Just as importantly, Jorge and Wendy needed to build relationships with trusted general contractors who would pay them. Wendy confirms, “There were several times in the past few years that we have not been paid for work completed, which nearly put us out of business.”
The two persevered and despite tough times, built strong relationships with owners and general contractors and were trusted with larger, more complex jobs.
Food, Flumes and Roads
One of the emerging partnerships resulted in a particularly challenging job to renovate an existing structure for Newk’s Eatery’s new location in Austin. As a subcontractor to the general contractor, ATX JG & W was hired to demo the interior of the first and second floors and pour new concrete in preparation for the build-out of the kitchen, office and restaurant areas. Jorge and his crew have even traveled as far north as Ft. Worth to complete a fast-food chain restaurant renovation at the request of a general contractor that they had worked for previously.
“At the heart of every project we believe that strong project teams are formed on trust.” Jorge Gomez, Co-Owner, ATX JG & W Construction LLC
Jorge and Wendy have also worked several times with WBW Development in Killeen, Texas, to build complex water flumes, the first in Bryan, Texas, required the precise forming of a 75,000-linear-foot rebar and concrete flume system. Wendy recalls, “Our team manually formed, poured and smooth this entire system to ensure water flowed as expected during rain events.”
Not long after, WBW Development called on ATX JG & W to construct a second 45,000-linear-foot flume in Seguin, Texas.
In 2018, the company became certified as a minority-owned and women-owned business by the city of Austin’s Small & Minority Business Resources Department and in the state of Texas as of 2018. This certification has paved the way for many new jobs since.
For instance, ATX JG & W poured over 20,000 square feet of new sidewalks on Burnet Road in Austin as part of the city’s transportation bond as well as a number of new curbs and entrances for the city of Lakeway, a community northeast of Austin.
The ATX JG & W team is particularly excited about upcoming projects in 2020, including work on Austin’s massive Corridor Construction Program, part of a $482 million Corridor Mobility Program to develop, design and construct connectivity improvements on nine key Austin corridors. Specifically, ATX JG & W will handle concrete work (e.g., sidewalks, roads, curbs) for the North Lamar Boulevard Mobility Program to improve mobility, safety and accessibility.
A GC Perspective
The company, which currently numbers eight in staff, continues to grow in services and reputation both with owners and developers. Lessons learned and visibility have Wendy and Jorge looking to expand their entrepreneurial dreams into general contracting, with a subcontractor-first philosophy.
“As a subcontractor, we’re very familiar with the challenges associated with running a successful business,” Wendy says. “Subcontractors are often the last to get paid, and as we’ve experienced, sometimes never get paid. We want to change that status quo by paying in a timely manner and having open communication and process control.”
The two had their first opportunity to demonstrate their vision when they won the contract to work on the 2,400-square-foot renovation of a former post office in Manor, Texas, for the restaurant owners of Las Salsas. The former office/restaurant space required a new concrete foundation, drywall and MEP services, as well as sidewalks and parking lot ramps.
Jorge concludes, “We were able to complete this project by setting clear expectations, communication with the trades and the owner, as well as the establishment of a transparent process from start to finish. At the heart of every project we believe that strong project teams are formed on trust.”