QUE­BEC FIRM BUILDS ON WEST­WARD EX­PAN­SION

Fam­ily-run con­struc­tion com­pany se­cures in­ter­est­ing projects

Calgary Herald - - CITY + REGION - DAVID PARKER David Parker ap­pears reg­u­larly in the Her­ald. Read his col­umns on­line at cal­gary­her­ald.com/ busi­ness. He can be reached at 403-830-4622 or by email at [email protected]­parker.ca.

Pomer­leau — a fam­ily-run con­struc­tion com­pany founded in 1964 by Herve Pomer­leau in Saint- Ge­orges de Beauce south of Que­bec City — is now rated as one of Canada’s top 10 in vol­ume. To­day it is run by Herve’s sons, pres­i­dent and CEO Pierre and his brother, Fran­cis, who serves as pres­i­dent and CEO of Cana­dian build­ing op­er­a­tions.

A pow­er­ful force in Que­bec and On­tario with more than 2,000 projects com­pleted, the broth­ers de­cided to ex­pand their hori­zons and ven­ture into West­ern Canada.

They chose Cal­gary for the com­pany’s west­ern head­quar­ters and, with the pur­chase of lo­cally owned West­pro Con­struc­tion in 2016, es­tab­lished an of­fice here with both a build­ing and civil di­vi­sion.

Cedric Labonte, who rose through the ranks from project co-or­di­na­tor to project di­rec­tor, was in­vited to re­lo­cate to Cal­gary and, with the en­cour­age­ment of his wife and two chil­dren, jumped at the chance to be­come re­gional di­rec­tor of Pomer­leau re­spon­si­ble for the firm’s busi­ness in Al­berta and B.C.

Pomer­leau had built projects for pri­vate clients in Al­berta and was able to take on the com­ple­tion of West­pro’s work here while re­tain­ing a num­ber of its staff.

Since 2016, it has fin­ished seven other build­ings and is cur­rently em­bark­ing on the Cal­gary of­fice’s big­gest project — Wil­low Square, a $110-mil­lion seniors hous­ing project in Fort McMur­ray. A de­sign-built project with S2 Architecture, it will pro­vide sup­port­ive liv­ing, long-term care and mem­ory care for res­i­dents of all ages.

Brian Corkum, prin­ci­pal of the Cal­gary ar­chi­tec­tural firm, says: “The de­sign of the fa­cil­ity is based on the ‘so­cial model’ of care, which fo­cuses on im­prov­ing the qual­ity of life for each res­i­dent by op­ti­miz­ing func­tional in­de­pen­dence, en­cour­ag­ing so­cial in­ter­ac­tion in a fam­ily-like group.”

The lobby was de­signed to be more of a liv­ing room, with fire­place, soft seat­ing, fish tank and a place for fam­i­lies to gather. The el­e­ments that felt more in­sti­tu­tional — such as the re­cep­tion desk, se­cu­rity and ad­min­is­tra­tion of­fices — were placed in a more dis­creet man­ner.

Pomer­leau was awarded the con­tract by Al­berta In­fra­struc­ture, which will turn it over to Al­berta Health Ser­vices in the fall of 2019.

Work started on the fa­cil­ity in March and con­struc­tion is well un­der­way, with the help of lo­cal trades in support of Pomer­leau lead­er­ship and Cal­gary-based con­trac­tors.

Labonte says it is im­por­tant to hire lo­cally as much as pos­si­ble to es­tab­lish a trust re­la­tion­ship with a com­mu­nity. But Cal­gary com­pa­nies will cer­tainly ben­e­fit from the huge con­struc­tion project, in­clud­ing Metro Glass which has been awarded a con­tract of more than $1 mil­lion to sup­ply and in­stall alu­minum doors with open­ers, vents and curtain wall sys­tems.

In the short time Labonte and Pomer­leau have been set­tling into their ex­pan­sion into the west, they have al­ready se­cured a port­fo­lio of in­ter­est­ing work.

Within the city it has com­pleted the 12th Street bridge from In­gle­wood over the Bow River to the Cal­gary Zoo, Glen­more Trail pathway near the reser­voir and worked on the wastewater lift sta­tion in Sun­ny­side and the Fish Creek pump sta­tion. It is also busy with side­walk and light­ing to en­hance the 4th Street S.W. un­der­pass.

Wil­low Square is the fourth seniors res­i­dence Pomer­leau has worked on in the prov­ince and an­other cur­rently un­der­way is a $35-mil­lion, 180-bed fa­cil­ity in Sage Hills de­signed for a pri­vate com­pany by IBI Group.

Else­where in Al­berta, crews have been busy on projects in Meander River, Con­klin, West­lock, Medicine Hat and at Mi­ette Hot Springs in Jasper.

Its suc­cess has led Pomer­leau to em­bark on an ex­pan­sion to its Cal­gary of­fice on 62nd Av­enue S.W., dou­bling its size to 14,000 square feet to ac­com­mo­date its 67 per­ma­nent em­ploy­ees.

NOTES:

An­other large piece of property has been sold along 58th Av­enue South­west. PBA Land has ac­quired the 3.58-acre site bor­der­ing 4th Street South­east from pri­vate Cal­gary own­ers with the as­sis­tance of Ryan Swelin and his capital markets team at Avi­son Young. Three build­ings on the lots are oc­cu­pied, and a fourth sin­gle-storey build­ing on the north side is cur­rently un­der con­tract to lease. Plans are to keep the mixed-use par­cel as in­come property for the time be­ing.

Cedric Labonte, Pomer­leau’s re­gional di­rec­tor, has risen through the ranks in the com­pany.

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