Collaborative, Creative Construction
Seltzer Consulting Group delivers accuracy, clarity and transparency for commercial and residential projects
Paul Seltzer, President of Seltzer Consulting Group (Seltzer Consulting), can’t remember a time he wasn’t around the construction industry in one form or another. He founded Seltzer Consulting, a certified general contractor, in 2009 in Fort Lauderdale. For turnkey projects and renovations of all sizes, the firm’s guiding light is commitment to accuracy, clarity and transparency.
Seltzer Consulting serves a diverse client base: owners, general contractors, developers and architectural/engineering firms. The firm’s focus is improving every step of the construction delivery process for clients. Its team provides a complete project management and control service package that encompasses an entire project.
The company’s broad offering of services can be tailored and implemented individually to fit client project requirements. Construction takeoff and estimating services include preconstruction, construction management, design-build and program management, contract administration and compliance monitoring, as well as project closeouts and cost analytics.
As an owner’s representative, the firm is responsible for getting entire projects completed and buildings opened with a certificate of occupancy. “We relish creative collaboration with owners,” says Paul. “No one person has the answer when it comes to projects. We listen to how they want the project designed and share our recommendations on how to improve the project, whether cosmetic or financial.”
Paul developed his work ethic in upstate New York and brought it with him to Florida over 30 years ago. Since he started the company, he’s observed increasing owner involvement on projects, with a focus on cutting costs. “The construction manager plays a critical role: We’re the general contractor in charge but are also involved on the management side of the project, assisting the owners,” says Paul. “We take a consulting approach to our client needs and establish the best resources to accomplish the end results within budget and on time.”
Projects include development and construction of multifamily, mixed-use office, retail, restaurants, hospitals, industrial and mixed-use commercial/residential properties. Much of the firm’s work is in Florida, stretching from Jacksonville to Fort Lauderdale, Miami and Key West, but the state line isn’t a barrier. “Our team goes where our clients need us to go, whether it’s construction management projects in Orlando or in New Canaan, Connecticut,” says Paul.
Keeping Turnkey Projects on Track
“I especially like turnkey projects,” says Paul. His team brings a high level of creativity and works well in collaboration with architects, engineers and interior designers.
Seltzer Consulting recently completed a turnkey relocation project for Ligne Roset, a French designer of luxury modern furniture. “We moved them out of their existing space and performed a complete renovation of the new showroom for their furniture, decorative accessories and interior design services in the heart of the Miami Design District.” After completing interior demolition, the company installed new electrical, mechanical and HVAC systems, fire alarms and lighting. It refinished hardwood floors, performed interior painting and, as a final step, installed custom awnings on the exterior.
Work in the Design District must adhere to strict guidelines to minimize disruptions and road closures and to ensure the safety of the community’s residents, tenants and visitors. “You have to be on top of your game—and we are—because the District’s management team doesn’t miss a beat,” says Paul.
Seltzer Consulting completed the project ahead of schedule and on budget, ensuring a smooth grand opening.
The firm also serves the residential market, working side by side with homeowners to schedule and manage projects and to ensure timely ordering of long-lead items, such as appliances and millwork for kitchens.
Since 2020, there’s been a nationwide trend of additional family members living under one roof. Residential customers have responded by building additions and streamlining existing floor plans to gain square footage and make room for their entire family. They are also upgrading plumbing, electrical and mechanical systems to make their houses work smarter.
“Homeowners are looking ahead at the next few years and making significant investments in their homes to accommodate this trend,” says Paul.
Communicating with Daily Reports
Things change by the day in construction. “As an owner’s rep, we know how to adapt, overcome obstacles and reschedule to keep jobs moving,” says Paul. “We have experience on both the GC and subcontractor sides of the business: We know what to work toward and can quickly identify scheduling improvements.”
All clients, large and small, receive daily online progress reports from Paul or the site superintendent. “It’s all about communication. Everyone involved in a project—owners, lenders, architects and engineers—receives the end-of-day report and sees the same information, including visitors to site and changes that occur,” Paul says.
Paul receives the report between 5 and 6 o’clock every evening, giving him time to review and address issues immediately, for example, working with the site superintendent to ensure timely placement of orders for long-lead items.
Clients, including banks, give the transparent reporting process two thumbs up. The firm is registered as a prime contractor/vendor for Wells Fargo and for M&T Bank out of New York. “We handle a lot of their general contractor work, including new construction, renovations and repairing water damage,” explains Paul. The reporting provides a snapshot in time, confirming that work has been completed to satisfaction so that the banks can authorize payments to contractors.
Team Seltzer: Experience, Integrity and Barbecue
Seltzer Consulting’s core team, with 75 years of combined industry experience, has been built with a focus on integrity. Paul calls Office Manager Tim Chandler “phenomenal.” Tim’s been with Seltzer for 10 years and manages operations, including permitting and payroll.
Site Superintendent José Ramirez joined the company in 2013. He is OSHA certified and handles project openings, closings and safety. “He’s a key team member and does a great job with daily reporting,” says Paul.
Project Manager Mayra Hernandez came to Seltzer Consulting with a background in marketing. “She brings a different approach to our company and fresh ideas that build our creativity bench strength,” Paul says.
Paul demonstrates appreciation to his employees in many ways, including recognizing them with gas and grocery gift cards. “We plan barbecues throughout the summer,” says Paul, who serves as grill master. “I love to cook. We have ribs, burgers, chicken, plus several homemade sides. Everything!” Besides feeding his employees well, he cooks enough to send everyone home with extra portions.
There’s also a big annual event for employees and their families: a day out on the water, eating, talking and relaxing aboard a chartered boat.
In addition, the company volunteers as a team in feeding homeless people during holidays.
Giving a Hand Up
For 27 years, Paul has volunteered monthly at Miami-area jails and drug and alcohol rehabilitation centers. He provides incarcerated people and rehab patients with encouragement, in particular training and coaching on anger management, work ethic and basic carpentry skills. “The goal is to equip them with skills they can put to use at a job site or in an apprenticeship program,” he explains.
It’s a big time commitment, but he feels rewarded tenfold by this investment in people’s futures. “It’s a way of giving back to the community by helping prepare these individuals to reenter society and employment.”
The firm is working increasingly on projects with talented interior designers out of Italy, France and New York. Benefits include incorporating fresh perspectives in successful design-build projects.
Recent Florida projects include ground-up construction in the city of Dania Beach, industrial projects on the west side of Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport and a residential project in Plantation. In addition, the firm has experienced increased demand for tenant improvement jobs and renovations.
“I love this work. Taking something old and turning it around by giving it a facelift is particularly rewarding,” says Paul. He’s personally involved in all renovation projects from start to finish. “I never get tired of seeing the expression on owners’ faces and hearing their reactions to the completion of a project.”
Paul maintains long-term relationships with many commercial building owners who contact him for repeat business. “Whether it’s installation of streetlamps or exterior painting and waterproofing, they always come back to me to bid new projects, and in many instances to award us the project. They tell me, ‘We have faith in you. We know you’ll get it done.’ And those are the best clients—relationships built on trust.”