Transparency. Integrity. Diligence.
KMR Construction Management, Inc. builds a premier company on uncompromising principles
“Construction is in our DNA.” This statement is powerful and indicative of how Kyle Rafferty, Owner’s Representative of KMR Construction Management, Inc. (KMR), defines his family’s business. It was founded in 1986 by Kevin M. Rafferty, the current President and Owner, who built KMR on the belief that excellence is achieved through an unwavering dedication to quality in both craftsmanship and relationships. Now in its 34th year, approaching $20 million in yearly construction, KMR enjoys a reputation as one of the premier general contracting firms in South Florida.
Kyle attributes this to passion and principles. “We’ve built our construction projects and client relationships on the uncompromising principles that foster excellence: transparency, integrity and diligence. Our commitment to safety, quality and doing things the right way is what makes each project successful,” he says.
At KMR, this commitment spans generations. Michael Rafferty, who is Director of Construction Operations, is Kevin’s eldest son, and Willie Ornelas, the Superintendent of Construction, grew up on KMR job sites. “Michael and I officially joined the company right after high school, but we’ve been working here every summer from the time we could pick up a broom. We started as laborers cleaning job sites and we slowly transitioned into our positions within the company now. My dad wanted my brother and me to learn and respect every position within the company until we found the place that best suited us,” Kevin says.
Michael showed an interest in every aspect of the business from the start. “That’s what makes him such a great operator,” Kyle says. “His ability to visualize, plan strategically and manage effectively have played a pivotal role in our growth. Willie is special because he works well managing our team and the subcontractors throughout the construction process, which has been a major asset to KMR. He is my dad’s protégé when it comes to on-site construction. My brother and I always admired my dad’s work ethic and how he provided for our family. It inspired us to do the same.”
KMR delivers high-quality projects ranging from luxury home custom builds to large-scale, complex new construction in both residential and commercial markets. The company has built many high-end homes in areas such as Bay Harbor Islands, Sunny Isles Beach, Golden Beach, Eastern Shores, Aventura and Miami Beach.
KMR’s commercial portfolio includes projects such as condominium conversions, historical renovations, shopping centers, restaurants and tenant build-outs. In total, the company has delivered millions of square feet in high-quality construction across South Florida.
Paying Homage to Old Miami Beach
KMR’s signature projects can be found throughout Florida’s southeast coast, from South Beach up to Fort Lauderdale. As a Miami native, Kevin is especially proud of the restoration projects his company has finished, especially its work restoring the art deco masterpiece, Jerry’s Famous Deli, in South Beach. This location was formerly a Hoffman’s Cafeteria built in 1940, a landmark in the area until the 1970s, when it was transformed into a military canteen hall named the Warsaw Ballroom. In 2002, KMR led the $4 million effort to return the building back to its original glory, an art deco design that blended seamlessly into the surrounding historic South Beach district.
“This project was a substantial restoration that required close coordination with the architect and the historic preservation board to bring the building back to life,” Kyle says. After completion, the building was rededicated on Sept. 17, 2002 by Mayor David Dermer and the city commission of Miami Beach.
The company also remodels multifamily apartment buildings. For example, the Treasures on the Bay condominium conversion project located in Miami Beach consisted of a complete building exterior and interior renovation: concrete restoration, all new windows and doors, gutting and renovating the interior of all units and common areas, re-stuccoing and painting the building.
Michael adds, “When it comes to commercial construction projects, we are the general contractor providing our services. We put ourselves in the owner’s shoes and understand that the sooner they open, the sooner they’re in business making money. We are business owners ourselves, so we understand the impact meeting the schedule and budget has on commercial and retail projects.”
Although the team at KMR enjoys renovations, the company is focusing on new construction, including shopping centers, tenant build-outs and other retail projects. Michael feels confident in new construction because his company has the experience and track record to deliver projects from start to finish. “We offer full-scope construction management services,” he says, “working with the client from the design discovery phase to establish the initial concept through value engineering, budgeting, developing the schedule, and bringing the project to life.”
Call ‘The Fireman’ to Find a Solution
A long time ago, clients dubbed Kevin “the fireman” because he could always find the correct solution regardless of the issue. Kyle says, “Cities, developers and contractors alike have praised our ability to provide out-of-the-box solutions in a timely manner and couple these with maximizing value and minimizing risk. My dad is the best at thinking of simple cost- and time-effective solutions to solve complex issues and also seeing potential problems long before they start.”
One prime example of how relationships benefit the company is with the City of Coral Gables.
Kyle says, “Anybody who has worked in Coral Gables knows that expediting projects can be a challenge. Because of our skill and experience, we were able to construct a $5.5 million project in four and a half months. Achieving this fast-track construction speaks for itself.”
It’s not only cities like Sunny Isles Beach that respect what KMR brings to its projects. The company has a decades-long relationship with Ace Hardware, building several stores throughout South Florida. The team also has completed projects for many developers and influential restauranteurs, like the Starkman family.
No matter the client or project, Michael says, “We all the share the same values, goals, attitudes and practices that were instilled into us by my dad. We go the extra mile for each project.”
A project he is particularly proud of is a residential construction job in Golden Beach. “The client is the president of one the largest construction engineering companies in the country. It is an honor to be selected by one of your peers to build their house. It means he trusts us,” Michael says.
A client-first approach has always been the bedrock of KMR’s business, which centers on bringing integrity and transparency to every job. “Our personal commitment to our customers is a guarantee you are treated with a consistent, high level of care. [This philosophy] ensures that our passion for quality remains as strong as when we first opened our business,” Michael adds.
Credibility Comes from Within
Michael says, “Everyone on our team has respect for each other—from the owner to the laborer. Each position is equally important. We have people that have been with us for 25 years and some whose kids now work with us. We’re all very close, help each other and work well together.”
To Kyle, establishing credibility with clients first comes with establishing credibility and integrity as part of the company culture. “We all have the same goal in mind and are solutions-oriented based on our president’s philosophy. If issues do arise, we step back, get the right people involved, and develop a plan together,” he explains.
From their roots as laborers’ assistants during summer breaks to construction foremen and supervisors, Kyle and Michael have taken passion about what they do to the next level. Kyle says, “We aren’t in the industry, we are the construction industry. We love it and were (symbolically) born on the job site. It’s just who we are.”