Fort Construction builds on steady growth

Scott Nishimura

The principals of Fort Construction don’t spend much time talking about themselves. They prefer to let their projects do the talking. Senior partners Scott Price, Ken Evans and Dennis Averitt lead a company that has completed more than 100 projects since its founding in 2005. It’s currently working on the 66,303-square-foot Grubbs Infiniti dealership in Grapevine, the 29,320-square-foot Clearfork Reynolds building in the Clearfork development in southwest Fort Worth, a 4,219-square-foot EVO Fuels compressed natural gas station in southeast Fort Worth, two restaurants, two condominium remodels downtown and a paintball facility.

Its recently completed projects include the historic Magnolia May mixed-use redevelopment on West Magnolia Avenue, which was finished this year; renovation of a building on South Main Street that is home to The Starr Conspiracy marketing and advertising agency and Amphibian Stage Productions, completed last year; construction of the Mistletoe Medical Office Building on the Near Southside, completed last year; a mixed-use redevelopment on Foch Street off West Seventh Street, completed in June 2012; and the Frank Kent Honda dealership in west Fort Worth, completed in 2010.

Fort Construction is growing but still small by industry standards, projecting $24 million in revenue for this year. Evans likes to say the company is still “paying its dues” as it works to build its credibility. “That’s what we’ve been doing the last seven or eight years,” he says. Its first two jobs, in 2006, were for bonding companies that hired Fort Construction to finish work that other contractors did not complete. “I don’t think we did a million dollars worth of work” that year, Price said. A big turn came in 2007 and 2008, when the company won the bid for a building at 3707 Camp Bowie Blvd. that houses PlainsCapital Bank and the Williams Trew real estate firm. “Those guys gave us a shot,” Evans says. Today, the company has 22 people on staff and focuses on Fort Worth and a range of different kinds of projects. “We want to be good builders,” Evans says. “There’s a difference between being a good builder and a good contractor.” The company works to maintain a family culture, the partners say. “Because we’re small, we wear a lot of hats,” Evans says. One perk: an annual fishing trip to Lake Texoma for employees and their families, and clients and subcontractors. Going forward, the company is looking for continued growth. “We think the economy is coming around,” Price says. “The market is active now. Subcontractors are all very busy.”