Working with Developers for Successful Outcomes

Achieving preferred developer status for a high-growth national company is a hard-won distinction. It’s also a status that is not guaranteed.

After becoming a preferred developer for Caliber Collision, the nation’s leading collision repair provider, McNeel Properties realized it needed a construction partner to help it achieve the expectations set by Caliber Collision. McNeel Properties chose Miller Valentine Construction to be its advocate and teammate during preconstruction and construction execution.

A High Bar for Performance
Based in Columbia, South Carolina, McNeel became a preferred developer for Caliber in 2018. The company is one of more than a dozen developers across the country that Caliber relies on to identify new locations to build and own its service centers.

Partnering with Caliber comes with tightly defined parameters; the company has a highly recognized brand to safeguard. When a new service center opening date is set, service bays need to be operational by that date. If a developer fails to meet these deadlines, Caliber will seek other developers to partner with.

To ensure on-time, on-budget completion, McNeel brings Miller Valentine in at project inception.

“We work side-by-side with our client throughout design development so we can ensure a complete set of documents, help them anticipate and get in front of supply chain disruptions, and provide value engineering to ensure the budget stays within the parameters they set with their client,” said Steve Koewler, Miller Valentine’s President of Southeast Business Development.

Managing Ahead to Avoid Disruption
The relationship has provided McNeel with greater certainty on all aspects of the project from material selections to delivery dates. Real-time access to materials and cost data is particularly valuable as the industry enters its third year of a pandemic economy. Shortages and supply chain disruptions have impacted multiple markets from steel and lumber to roofing insulation and HVAC equipment. Having the resources and capacity to navigate these many challenges is imperative.

“The market is very dynamic right now,” said Steve. “By working alongside McNeel from the start, we can explore “what-if” scenarios, including alternate materials and processes, to provide the maximum amount of time for workarounds if needed.”

This proved beneficial on the team’s second Caliber project in Columbia, South Carolina. When the project encountered challenges with the building structure, Miller Valentine worked with McNeel and our suppliers to devise alternative solutions. Had the team not worked through those tabletop exercises early on, the schedule would have been substantially delayed. Instead, Caliber was able to open its newest store on the promised date.

The relationship has also enhanced McNeel’s ability to develop its financial models and lease rates. As the developer works through different scenarios during design development, Miller Valentine can provide budgetary updates. The result is greater peace of mind that the lease rates will be acceptable to their tenant and profitable to the developer.

More Development Opportunities Ahead
Miller Valentine and McNeel have completed two Caliber Collision projects together – in Columbia and Charleston, South Carolina. A third project is under construction in Little River, South Carolina.

Despite the volatility that continues to rock the market, McNeel has delivered all three projects to Caliber on time and budget. As a result, McNeel isn’t just building collision centers for their client – they are building relationship capital, as well. It’s paying off; Caliber Collision has asked McNeel to continue identifying new locations, including outside of its typical region.

Miller Valentine Construction partners with many developers to build a variety of commercial products, including warehouse/distribution, manufacturing, and healthcare facilities.

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