Construction firm building success in Cairns
A CAIRNS building company is experiencing a multi-million dollar boom despite the industry remaining in the doldrums.
Keir Constructions is in the midst of four projects worth more than $6.5 million with others in the pipeline.
General manager Cambell Balderson said the company had successfully changed its traditional focus to become a design and construction
Their latest projects include:
The completion of a new $1.5 million building for Hoppens Carpets at Manunda (see Page 25).
The near-completion of a new $1.7 million Mercedes-Benz showroom for the Trinity Auto Group in McLeod St.
The start next month of new $2.7 million premises for Lane Orthodontics on the Bruce Highway at Woree.
New headquarters for Surf Life Saving Queensland at Smithfield, due to start next month at a cost of $650,000.Mr Balderson said the projects were evidence of confidence returning to the city’s commercial construction industry.
He said the "smart investors" were back in the commercial sector to take advantage of lower construction costs and professional fees.
Masters Builders Queensland Far North regional manager Ron Bannah said Keir Constructions and Mr Balderson were good examples of success in a downturn.
"He's a bit of a doer. He's consistent. He's been chipping away with quite some success," he said.
Mr Bannah said Mr Balderson was taking advantage of and seeking opportunities while others were struggling.
He said he had turned a conservative and reserved company into a dynamic driver.
Mr Balderson said the company worked with architects to design and construct the project on two blocks of land next to the Marylyn Mayo Lodge.
He said work would start on the two-level 1000sq m building next month for completion by May next year.
He said Lane would be the anchor tenant on the top floor with four-ground floor tenancies of a similar professional nature.
About 100 tradesmen and women would be working on site during the seven-month project, Mr Balderson said.
Mrs Lane said the council discount had paved the way for the business to bring forward by five years the move 400m north of its current site.
She said it had planned to redevelop the site in two stages over five years. Mrs Lane said Keir Constructions had worked with them to make the whole process streamlined and simplified.
Mr Balderson said they had completely redesigned the surf lifesaving project which initially had gone 100 per cent over budget.
He said the new building would become the administration and training centre for the Far North with lots of room for equipment storage.
The four-month project was expected to employ 50 tradespeople.
Mr Balderson said the Mercedes-Benz showroom had to be redesigned as well after southern architects had failed to take into account the tropical weather conditions.
He said the roof and the location of the airconditioning system had to be redone. The 14 week contract was due to be completed next week.
Mr Balderson said he had worked with Lane Orthodontics directors Paul and Alesha Lane to fast-track the project and receive $250,000 in savings under the Cairns Regional Council headworks charges discount scheme.
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On site: Russell Keir (left) and Cambell Balderston at the Woree site where Keir Constructions will build $2.7 million premises for Lane Orthodontics. Picture: MIKE WATT