Female leadership helps push PRIM to prominence

PRIM Construction at WestBend

PRIM Construction LLC

252 Roberts Cut Off Road

Fort Worth 76114


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Women in Construction

• In 2014, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported 9,813,000 people working in the construction industry. Of these, 872,000, or 8.9 percent, were women.

• Women working in construction made up 1.2 percent of the U.S. workforce in 2013.

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Source: National Association of Women in Construction


While the rate of women in the construction field remains low, one Fort Worth firm is finding that to be an advantage.

“It’s what sets us apart,” says Beth Prim, CEO of PRIM Construction LLC.

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Since its formation in 2007, the firm has looked within itself – and to its clients’ needs – in building a company steeped in commercial real estate and aware of its unique leadership qualities.

“What Beth has brought to PRIM is just her natural instinct to evaluate options and opportunities on a different level than I would,” said Trent Prim, Beth’s husband and chief operations officer.

What Trent calls his partner’s intuitive edge has helped land some major projects, including several with Oncor’s Fort Worth, North Dallas and Cockrell Hill locations; Creative Arts Theater & School in Arlington, Billy Bob’s Texas and Winslow’s Wine Cafe in Fort Worth.

For the Cockrell Hill undertaking, PRIM is overseeing a campus expansion of 20,000 square feet and interior improvements on the existing 15,000-square-foot facility. The Mallick Tower project on the western edge of downtown Fort Worth entailed interior updates to the main lobby and exterior structural, flatwork and decorative concrete improvements. And those passing by Winslow’s Wine Cafe along Camp Bowie Boulevard can see renovations made in 2008.

One of the firm’s latest undertakings is Pax & Parker, the upscale clothing store planned for Fort Worth’s WestBend development.

PRIM is completing the finish-out for the 1,300-square-foot store along South University Drive just north of the Fort Worth Zoo. The store, which is set to open by Thanksgiving at 1621 River Run, further cements PRIM’s local focus, though it handles projects in other cities at the same time.

Such scope began in the couple’s home during trying times for real estate.

“Starting a business in one of the worst economic periods in your generation was hard,” said Beth, remembering how the 2008 economic downturn affected the real estate industry. Projects often were scrapped as prospective customer chose to wait until conditions improved.

The couple had recognized a shared passion for the construction business when they met as Auburn University students. Beth earned a communications degree and Trent, a business management degree. Trent went on to earn a master’s degree in construction management at Texas A&M University. He was no stranger to construction, having worked as a high school student for Linbeck Group LLC in Fort Worth.

After graduating from college, the Prims started their business with their own money and no bank loans. They soon moved into warehouse space on the city’s west side before purchasing a former Piggly Wiggly supermarket building on Roberts Cut Off Road and occupying 4,500 square feet of its 22,000 total square feet.

From its inception, PRIM focused on its female leadership and its role in landing work. The Prims realized that many prospective clients award a portion of their business to businesses owned by minorities and women, which gave PRIM an edge from day one.

“Being a woman-owned business allows us to achieve certain certifications and opens doors for clients,” said Beth. She cited her firm’s membership with Women-owned Business Enterprises – part of the North Central Texas Regional Certification Agency – as an advantage. Member companies appear on a list that prospective clients look to when selecting construction firms.

“It definitely helps,” said Trent, calling the effort a supplier diversity program.

“Large corporations have a diversity initiative that’s part of the corporate culture. That has allowed us to open up doors.”

It’s also opening up the application process, with the 10-person firm in hiring mode. It’s aiming to fill full-time field and engineer positions while emphasizing its focus on commercial construction.

“We did some of it [residential construction] in the past, but we found that residential work, as fun as it may be, does not suit our business platform and takes away from growth of the company,” Trent said.

The firm plans to modify its current offices to accommodate that growth as it pursues new business.

“There are many opportunities right now,” Trent said. “The future looks good.”