Strong Values, Strong Company
Brexton Development and Construction
Tim Galvin launched Brexton Development and Construction in 2001 as a family-owned and operated company specializing in commercial real estate development and construction. The Columbus, Ohio-based business stands out not only for its quality work, but also for its strong moral compass…
“Brexton’s company culture, mission and values are everything,” Tim explains. “They are why we exist. Most people think the only reason they want to grow a company is to maximize returns to their investors. We’re different. Our Mission is ‘First, to serve God in all that we do, while providing the best possible service, with absolute integrity and honesty, including the most quality and value, for our clients, employees and investors.’”
The company’s purpose is equally clear: “Brexton exists to provide opportunities for individuals to express aspects of their God-given identities in creative and meaningful work, while providing goods and services that will enable the communities we serve to flourish.”
Brexton is careful to hire talented, experienced staff that will fit into the company culture. “It makes life so much simpler when everybody is able to get along and everybody is looking at the same goal and committed to reaching that same goal,” says Joseph P. Beatty, Jr., Vice President of Real Estate. “For us it has been a blessing that we have been able to find the right people to sit in the right spots.”
Tim’s daughter, Mary, with the help of her brother Patrick and a strong management team, plans to take over in 2025 and will keep growing the company and moving it forward. Mary, Joseph describes, has been a driving force in maintaining the company culture through mindful hiring practices and a focus on ethics-based decision making.
Throughout its history, the business has enjoyed remarkable growth and success, particularly in recent years. “Brexton Development and Construction has experienced over six hundred percent growth in 2015-16,” Tim reports. Joseph adds, “A year and a half ago we were at 12 people, now we are at 38. What better way to hit 15 years than with significant, controlled, and planned growth?”
The recent growth “has been achieved through a strategic plan, internally and externally,” Joseph explains. “Internally Brexton has recruited the best seasoned professionals in Marketing/Sales, Pre-Construction, Project Management and Financing. Externally, Brexton’s goal was to leverage all of the core expertise in industries that would be strong coming out of the recession. This well-crafted plan was carefully worked in a way that has met and exceeded expectations.”
Brexton delivers a wide range of services including new site selection, design coordination, financing and property management. When developing a property, the team will handle every aspect of the job, carefully coordinating the trades and all logistics, as well as maintaining up to date reports on costs and schedules.
Brexton specializes in renovations as well as new builds. As with a new build, the team will walk the client through the entire renovation process, from preliminary design and scheduling to budgeting and construction. Tenant build-outs, workflow improvements, restorations, and expansions are typical renovation projects, although the team is prepared to handle just about any renovation challenge.
Brexton’s property management services are designed to help clients maintain their properties and take care of their tenants while maintaining efficient and effective operations. “Really, our ultimate goal is to take a project from cradle to grave,” says Joseph. “Ultimately, we would like to have the management of the project that we are building.” The team will take on all of the day-to-day headaches, from tenant collections and service contracts to compliance and maintenance.
Brexton recently added an estimating department led by Bob Butler, Senior VP of Pre-Construction Services. “Bob brings over 40 years of commercial construction experience as a proven leader with such great companies like Morrison Knudson, Gilbane Building Company, Elford Construction and most recently he was the General Manager for Thomas & Marker Construction,” says Tim. “Bob is an AGC of Central Ohio past President and served on many AGC, BX and other industry committees as well as many philanthropic charities throughout central Ohio.”
Over the last decade and a half, the company has successfully completed more than 125 projects totaling over 2.3 million square feet with a combined value of a quarter of a billion dollars. Brexton targets developments and new construction projects in the $2 million to $25 million range, and renovations that begin in the $250,000 to $10 million range. The company works all across America, completing projects in Arizona, Ohio, Florida, Michigan, Missouri, North Carolina, Texas, and West Virginia.
Since the economic downturn, the team has been focused on diversification, branching out into multiple sectors. “The diversification has been to ensure we have a recession-resistant company,” Joseph explains. Tim adds, “It is important to diversify because commercial real estate runs in cycles and it always has. We are planning constantly for changing [markets].”
As Hollywood decentralizes and seeks studio space farther afield, Brexton has stepped up to the plate; the company has built more Studio & Production square feet than any other construction business in the Midwest. Mills/James, Character Builders, BrainStorm, Horizon Media Studios, and SOS Productions have all been clients in this sector.
For most of its history, Brexton has also been active in the medical sector, delivering solutions for Nationwide Children’s Hospitals, Mount Carmel Health Systems, Sawmill Orthopedics MRI, Grady Memorial Hospital, and Ohio Health. In recent years, however, the medical sector looked like a rocky bet, and Brexton shifted its focus to other sectors. “For a good period of time, the medical [sector] wasn’t necessarily desirable… the government created uncertainty,” Joseph explains. Now, the sector is looking more solid, and Brexton is turning attention back to medical offices and hospitals.
As part of this effort, Brexton just hired healthcare development expert Melanie Wollenberg. “Melanie brings a depth of relationships it would take us decades to build,” Tim reports. “We have a tremendous level of experience in the healthcare arena with our existing team, but our human capital is limited by number of hours in the day. We know Melanie will unlock our full potential in that and other categories.”
When the medical sector slowed down, Brexton put more focus into retail, office, and manufacturing, all of which have proved lucrative. Retail clients include Amazon, The Anderson’s, Wal-Mart, Kroger, SAM’S Club, Verizon, Panera Bread, McDonald’s, and Shell. Most recently, the team has taken on the warehouse and self-storage market, a sector that Joseph calls “recession-resistant.” The team provides a complete solution, not only building the facilities, but managing them as well.
One of the company’s most notable recent builds is Tri-Village Self Storage, which includes humidity and temperature-controlled wine storage as well as a wine tasting room. “Really, there is nothing like it in Ohio – nothing like it potentially in the Midwest.” Security is state of the art. “There are electric locks and alarms on each door. Your access is restricted to the floor that you are renting on.” While the six stories of storage units are accessible from 6:00am until 12:00am, the wine storage area and wine-tasting room is accessible anytime day or night, via a sophisticated fingerprint scanner.
Tri-Village Self Storage is reinventing the concept of self-storage. “Really, a big portion of our self-storage side is creating a product that changes the perception of self-storage,” Joseph explains. “Previously it had been the dirty, dingy buildings around the poor—the flooded side of town. We are trying to make it a higher end experience, whether it is by hiring better staff or offering better amenities.” Also notable is the fact that the Tri-Village facility stretches almost from property line to property line in downtown Columbus, which created a logistical challenge for the crew. The project proved so successful that another six-story self-storage facility is already in the works.
The Shoppes at East Broad is a major recent retail project that Brexton is designing/building and managing tenant buildout. At 150,000 + square feet, the Shoppes at East Broad is the largest shopping center under construction in central Ohio. The shopping destination will be anchored by T.J. Maxx, Hobby Lobby, and another national retailer that has yet to be announced. In addition to the size, the building’s stormwater-sensitive, green-friendly engineering created challenges that the team has successfully overcome.
Another current project will provide Brexton itself with a new headquarters. “We will be moving our corporate offices,” Joseph reports. “That will be a five story building with some interesting challenges. We will have parking on the first floor, self-storage on the second, third, and fourth, and then about a 13,000 square foot office for us.”
Brexton plans to continue working across a diverse range of sectors to remain recession-proof and deliver quality solutions to a wide swath of customers. “The future is very bright for Brexton,” says Tim. “We anticipate 20 to 30 percent annual growth over the next decade. Some years’ growth will be smaller and some larger, but we believe it will be as sustainable as the markets we serve. We plan to continue on our growth plan, knowing that may mean expanding geographically to serve clients in other markets and to maintain our growth plans.”
With a clear mission and an enviable portfolio, Brexton is more than ready to continue through a second generation of ownership—and beyond.