Watch It Come Down
AlliedBean Demolition, Inc. is wrecking the competition in South Florida
“Watch it come down.”
That’s the motto for AlliedBean Demolition, Inc. (AlliedBean) and its President, Kevin Bean, who has built a successful business in tearing down what’s been built.
Born and raised in London, England, Kevin emigrated from England to the United States in July 1989, but it wasn’t until years later that he launched AlliedBean.
“I found myself sitting in a chair at age 52 wondering what I was going to do,” Kevin says. “I met a friend who owned a small demolition company and it (the idea of starting AlliedBean) just came to life talking about it. I decided that was what I wanted to do.”
“We’re a young company,” he adds. “I went into business on my own in January 2012 and that May I got my first contract—a $35,000 demolition job.”
In just a few years, Kevin has built his business, headquartered in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, into a thriving success in the churning world of construction in South Florida. From that first $35,000 contract, AlliedBean has grown into a company that grossed $9 million in 2018 and employs 70 people.
Tools of the Trade
“We do a lot of different kinds of demolition,” Kevin says. “Residential, commercial, industrial, government and hospitality are some of the most common. We’re willing to take on small jobs and big jobs alike. If someone wants us to remove a swimming pool, we will. If someone wants us to strip an office building or bring down a condo tower, we’ll do that, too.”
He continues, “We are licensed to perform all areas of demolition in Florida aside from the placing and setting of explosives for implosions. We work hand in hand with the limited number of contractors in the country that specialize in this form of demolition. We own specialized equipment and have a very experienced and qualified staff that can perform large structure demolition without the use of explosives.”
Kevin takes pride in investing in the latest technology and equipment for his company, such as the Kobelco SK500 excavators used to demolish the Versailles Hotel, a 10-story, 100,000-square-foot hotel in Miami Beach, Florida. The project involved hand-separating nine floors of the hotel from another structure, which would remain, before bringing down the hotel—all without disturbing the remaining structure or the streets around the site.
The process of demolition, as described by Kevin, is much like that of construction, only doing everything in reverse.
“The big thing is doing it safely,” Kevin says. “Planning and executing demolition in a safe, controlled manner is the challenge, but our safety and operations department is, in my opinion, the best in creating the safest ways to navigate this very diverse industry. Recycling is tougher and more expensive. Demolition is not a fly-by-night business. There are lots of people watching you and what you’re doing at every stage of a contract.”
According to Kevin, AlliedBean has several long-term projects underway, such as a $2.35 million modernization contract at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport; the removal of a bridge and sound walls along Interstate 95 in Boca Raton, Florida (a project valued at $355,000); and two ongoing hospital projects at Jackson North Medical Center in North Miami Beach and Jackson South Medical Center in Miami (contracts valued at $700,000 and $420,000, respectively).
“We typically have anywhere from 10 to 14 projects going at any one time,” Kevin says. “One minute we can be doing a house in a suburb for $10,000, while at the same time we have crews doing multimillion-dollar projects. Right now, we have a $5 million backlog and it’s growing. We anticipate this coming year will be very strong. We’re looking at a lot of projects that, if they all come to fruition, will make this the strongest year we’ve ever had.”
Every demolition job is different, each with its own challenges, but perhaps the most unusual contract AlliedBean ever completed was a project at the Norton Museum of Art in West Palm Beach. The contract required the demolition of part of an existing building, leaving the remainder intact—but that was only the beginning of the complexity. The museum would still be operating throughout the process, meaning AlliedBean had to do its work without setting off the sensitive vibration detectors and other security features installed to protect the priceless art housed next door. It also had to avoid compromising the climate control so essential for the artwork.
Additionally, the site of the museum was, in the early 20th century, a graveyard. When the museum was built, the families of those interred there were paid to move their relatives to a new spot close by—but not all of them did, choosing to simply keep the money instead. The museum was constructed atop the remaining graves. When AlliedBean took the contract, it did so knowing it had to do the work without disturbing the dead beneath the site. Despite these complications, the company got the job done on time and within budget.
“Right now, we have a $5 million backlog and it’s growing. We anticipate this coming year will be very strong.” Kevin Bean, President, AlliedBean Demolition, Inc.
Tearing Down and Building Up
Kevin founded his company on principles of hard work, honesty and integrity—values that have remained part of AlliedBean as it has grown.
“Someone who’s willing to put in the work can find success here,” says Dylan Kallioinen, an ordained minister who also works in business development for AlliedBean. “Kevin is willing to bring in people who need help. He believes in second chances and is always looking for talent to develop and improve. People see not only an opportunity to work but an opportunity to advance.”
He adds, “A growing company needs the right players. Kevin has gone out of his way to help people with AlliedBean. It’s a great culture and a great company with loving ownership.”
While Kevin invests substantially in equipment and technology, part of his recipe for success has a distinctly old-school flavor.
“I’m looking to put the concept of apprenticeship back into place,” Kevin says. “We want to train young people—to help them learn the different skills involved in demolition. It’s not just about operating an excavator. You need to learn about cutting with gases, cutting concrete and many different aspects of the job. My 18-year-old son just started with us. He’s working under an industry veteran. For the next year he’ll be riding shotgun and learning what he needs to know to do the job.”
Who knows, perhaps learning the ropes of demolition will lead Kevin’s son to take over the business one day. For now, he must grow his potential by sticking with the core values that have created explosive success for the entire AlliedBean team.