Southern California’s Go-To Landscape Construction Firm
Commercial landscape installation and maintenance business Pierre Landscape is based in Southern California with two offices in operation. The company was founded by Harold Young in 1988, performing irrigation installations on large estate homes in the more high-end areas of the Los Angeles market; from there, it progressed into landscaping services to meet growing client demand. The company would go on to move into both commercial projects and work for the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) and has expanded into further projects involving hospitals, architectural podium work, and anywhere else that landscape and irrigation work is required.
Director of Business Development & Marketing Rodney Hupalo explains that the company does everything including site development, landscape and irrigation, parks and planters, site furnishings, and more. “We do as much as we can for the client to have everything under one umbrella,” He explains. “If it’s a natural extension of what we do, we look to add that as a service to our clients.” This approach allows the company to add to any given project and offer a fuller experience for its valued clientele.
Hupalo stresses that this is a “proactive rather than reactive,” business, which makes the company stand out amongst others in its field and is especially part of the way it addresses its projects. “We don’t wait for a problem to happen before we try and address it,” he remarks.
Landscaping is usually the last thing addressed by a client on their project and is in danger of being overlooked at a crucial moment. The company strives to get ahead of any issues and bring them to a client’s attention early on. For example, a design may not accommodate trees or flora on the property or may create issues with utilities.
Pierre Landscape operates on what it calls a team method on its projects. While it is not a massive company spread across dozens of offices, having its workforce generally under one roof allows for project problems and inter-departmental issues to be resolved through easier communication. Hupalo cites communication with its workforce and relationships with its valued partners as the company’s biggest strength. It always desires the people close to its projects to become an extension of the team.
“We ask the right questions and understand what [our partners] are doing,” he adds. “We are relied on to get a project done as a ‘house of answers’ for any potential problem and our expertise on them.”
Pierre Landscape has seen significant development thanks to the quality of workers it continues to attract. These workers, Hupalo observes, may not have thought of Pierre initially as a long-term career opportunity but most now call it their home and see its value.
“We’re attracting a great group of people, employees, and clients [who are] taking a look at our services and what we can bring to them.” Within the company’s culture, the main focuses are on achieving safety and a close-knit workforce, with workers and management alike regarding the operation as one big family. The office staff members are very supportive of one another and often get together outside the office. Company Owner Harold Young is still very active in the company, being present daily and staying informed with a focus on growth and development.
Hupalo and the Pierre Landscape management team have observed that the construction market is continuously changing, and any business must approach it by constantly evolving and re-evaluating its goals in terms of how to operate, what type of staff is required, and what the market focus should be. This constant change can create some initial disruption, but owner Harold Young feels that it leads to the company coming out both stronger and better equipped to serve clients’ needs and deliver the best products possible.
In talks with clients or when attending seminars held by marketplace leaders focused on economic forecasts for the local areas, Hupalo has noticed a positive feel on how the market has been trending. Landscape architects and larger partners are reporting a big backlog of projects, especially those slated to go for 2022-2023.
Recently, Pierre Landscape has been doing a great deal of work with a large land developer on a new community in the Inland Empire region of Southern California, as well as with a community in Los Angeles County. Hupalo mentions ongoing high-rise podium work being accomplished in downtown Los Angeles, new high schools being built, and office properties being redeveloped in west Los Angeles as evidence of its busy schedule. All these jobs are multi-million-dollar affairs, but the company has often taken on jobs as low as a few hundred thousand dollars to assist clients on projects of different sizes.
In the future, Pierre Landscape will be looking to move more into the San Diego market. The company already does much work in the counties that abut San Diego, and clients have been asking for some time for Pierre to be a more active part of projects within the city, so it will be establishing a new office there to help those endeavors and establish a greater foothold.
The business will continue to find ways to strengthen its client relationships, especially by participating in activities such as women in construction events or charity events that are important to the individual clients. The team is also looking to develop its people and provide further internal advancement opportunities through classes, Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certifications, and any other developments that will help them grow professionally and help the company find qualified long-term employees.
There may be a “pause or leveling,” of projects at some point, but once construction for the 2028 Summer Olympics starts to ramp up, this will keep Southern California and Los Angeles strong in the construction market. Pierre Landscape will surely be a part of any wave of construction headed to Southern California, and it will meet it with the same attention to client and workplace relationships that have made its name for over thirty years.