Article Hear from Our Building Partners: What It’s Like to Work with WM

Choosing a construction partner is a big decision.

There are many things to consider when making this decision but, at the end of the day, a strong partnership is built on a foundation of trust—something that’s earned (rather than awarded). So, for those seeking the right building relationship, how can you best evaluate an intangible like trust before the work begins?

For us, we encourage prospective clients to have an honest conversation with our building partners and to get a sense of what it’s truly like to work with Wales McLelland.

Watch: What it’s like to work with Wales McLelland

Over the course of 50 years in construction, we’ve gotten to know what traits lead to long-lasting, successful working relationships. This article highlights common themes expressed by our clients to help future clients assess if Wales McLelland is a good fit for their next project.

“The great thing is that they’ll just tell you everything upfront.”

Wales McLelland Construction Boundary Bay Industrial Park 17

We’ve found that transparency breeds trust. So, at the root of every project, we put an emphasis on being upfront right from the beginning.

For Dayhu Investments, this means working in close collaboration with architectural and engineering firms early in the pre-construction phase to make sure building design aligns with the functional needs of the client and the practical needs of construction.

A stand-out project for Paul Tilbury, Chief Operating Officer of Dayhu Investments, involved the design-build of the 875,000 SF Boundary Bay Business Park in Delta, BC. The project included a large-scale site preparation program that required more than 700,000 cubic metres of new fill over a 20-month period.

Watch: project timelapse of Boundary Bay Industrial Park

“What I’ve always found within our working relationship with Wales McLelland, is that their communication skills are second-to-none,” states Paul Tilbury. “They won’t try to hide anything. They are upfront and transparent in how they communicate, and that’s what builds trust and success in the relationship.”

“A building partner that’s going to work with our company for generations.”

One of the greatest compliments we can receive is a referral or renewed work from an existing client.

Porte Development Ltd has been a long-time building partner, spanning 15 years and more than 10 commercial buildings. David Porte, President of Porte Development Ltd, highlights one of our most recent projects as an acknowledgment of how building has evolved to meet the needs of today’s tenant.

The George is a four-storey mixed-use building in Vancouver that caters to the diverse needs of the city. Featuring space for both manufacturing and administrative needs, the building is comprised of 11,650 SF of office space, 23,300 SF of manufacturing space, and features 4,400 SF of patio space to meet multiple operational goals.

“Ultimately we know we’ve got a building partner in Wales McLelland that’s going to be with us from one generation to the next,” states David Porte. “They bring a level of professionalism to construction, and their commitment to being here for us, in the long run, is really important to us as a multi-generational family business.”

“They consistently perform at a high level to meet every expectation.”

Wales McLelland - Delta iPort Buildings - Amazon Fulfillment Warehouse - Design Build Construction 6

Ultimately, the role of any commercial builder comes down to the ability to perform with consistency. This is where our specialization in commercial and industrial building comes in—it enables our teams to have a deep understanding and profound expertise in delivering on time and without surprises.

GWL Realty Advisors approached us with the opportunity to work on the design-build of one of the region’s largest industrial warehouses, the Delta iPort, on the Tsawwassen First Nations Land. Geoff Heu, Vice President of Development for Western Canada at GWL Realty Advisors, remarks that “Delta iPort is nearly 1-million square feet. Considering the investment of money that we represented, we needed a construction partner that we could trust to perform and de-risk the project for us.”

Our engagement spanned four years and included an extensive site preparation program that required nearly 1.2 million cubic yards of structural fill and preload material. Today, this distribution campus is home to a number of anchor tenants, including one of the most esteemed fulfillment and technology brands in the world.

Watch: Delta iPort Project Overview

As specialists in commercial and industrial building, we want new challenges in complexity and/or scale to prove our value to a partner. “Wales McLelland met all the timelines, specifications, and the many other logistical and technical challenges that would otherwise discourage international tenants,” remarks Geoff Heu. “Delta iPort is now regarded as one of the most successful construction projects in the BC Lower Mainland.”

“They’re collaborative and enjoyable people to work with.”

Similar to how transparency leads to trust, emphasizing on communication when collaborating with other project consultants helps to make sure that all viewpoints are served on a project.

Chris Bozyk, President of Christopher Boyzk Architects, has consulted with Wales McLelland on many high-profile, successful projects early in the pre-construction stages, including the OpenRoad Auto Group Toyota Dealership in Richmond, BC.

We worked in partnership on a design that met the client’s vision of an enhanced customer experience. This would translate into a showroom experience that features several high-end amenities, including two lounge areas and a full-service café.

Beyond the showroom experience, this project was highlighted by an advanced service facility with a 12-bay drive-thru reception service, 30 full mechanical service bays, four express service bays, two automatic carwashes, and six detail bays—everything with an additional focus on energy efficiency and sustainability.

“Wales understands the importance of collaborating early and throughout the inception of a project,” affirms Chris Boyzk. “By bringing the client and the different consultants together early to collaborate, every construction project Wales leads has a better chance of meeting the client’s expectations.”

“Once we got going, we knew that we didn’t need to deal with anyone else.”

Ron Emerson, the owner of Emerson Real Estate Group, has worked with Wales McLelland on numerous large-scale commercial and industrial projects, often engaging us at the time of land purchase.

The 13 buildings that make up the 116-acre Kingswood Business Park are evidence of the trust earned in a multi-year building partnership. The 2,017,000 SF industrial park was so well received throughout construction that all the tenant spaces were sold before completion.

“Trust is important when you get into any development of that scale,” reflects Ron Emerson. “In the whole period of time it took us to build that, I don’t think we had a single issue.”

An honest approach to building relationships starts with asking questions to get a sense of how a builder can compliment and achieve your construction goals. And, to truly understand fit, often it pays to chat with past and/or existing construction partners to get an unfiltered perspective of a builder’s approach and capabilities. For us, it’s as simple as reaching out to any one of our clients to understand our commitment to building excellence.

If you are a building owner, developer, or consultant looking to partner with an experienced construction manager for specialized commercial buildings, contact our team to find out what Wales McLelland can do for you.