High-end woodwork

As a subcontractor on commercial real estate developments, Milwaukee-based Glenn Rieder Inc., isn’t as well known as many of its large customers. However, the company’s decorative and architectural custom millwork is on prime display in some of the most lavish commercial buildings in the country.

A significant portion of Glenn Rieder’s work has been installed in casinos, hotels, cafes, restaurants and lounges in Las Vegas. The company has designed, built and installed bars, columns, wall fixtures and decorative fixtures inside both the Wynn Las Vegas and Wynn Las Vegas Encore hotels there.

Glenn Rieder is now working on several projects that will be installed in the City Center, a large condo and resort development in Las Vegas.

It has also created custom pieces for hotels, restaurants, high-end retail stores and entertainment facilities across the country, ranging from stadiums for the Green Bay Packers, Baltimore Ravens and Dallas Cowboys to Hilton Hotels and numerous resort properties all over the country.

The company’s work includes large replica sake barrels that were incorporated into a sushi bar, a replica oversized olive oil dispensary used in a restaurant, back-bar cabinetry that stretches onto a lounge’s ceiling for a high-end lounge and back bar cabinetry that cost in excess of $200,000.

For each project it works on, the company develops designs for components based on the drawings and material specifications that customers submit.

“(A resort developer such as) Steve Wynn hires prominent interior designers, who want to put their stamp on every project and they create colorful, wild finishes,” said Michael Floyd, CEO and part owner of Glenn Rieder. “Our engineering department will author shop drawings from our customers’ pulled interior designer drawings. This is all high end, unique, custom stuff.”

While the company has done a large amount of work in casinos, hotels and entertainment venues in recent years, it also works on other buildings looking for high-end fixtures.

“We go after anything from casinos to courthouses, and occasionally to hospitals or medical buildings,” Floyd said.

Glenn Rieder now occupies about 75,000 square feet of its 100,000-square-foot building near the intersection of North 35th Street and West Capitol Drive in Milwaukee, where it designs, forms, paints or stains and does most assembly of its pieces.

The company performs its own installation services. In addition to its headquarters in Milwaukee, Glenn Rieder also has a 12,000-square-foot light manufacturing facility in Las Vegas.

“A lot of our field activities are in Las Vegas and a lot of our (installation) equipment is there,” Floyd said.

Instead of sending its own employees into the field to install its cabinetry and millwork, Glenn Rieder hires union carpenters from the markets it is installing in. The company employs five superintendents, who work on job sites across the country during installs. One superintendent lives in Milwaukee, another lives in Florida and another three live in Las Vegas.

“We have a job in New York right now, and we’re sending one of our superintendents. He’ll be there for the duration of the installation,” Floyd said. “We’ll pull (workers) from the hall to do the field carpentry. We will assemble the components to the greatest extent here, and the field guys will offload the trucks and (do the) install.”

Glenn Rieder’s orders have slowed over the past year, but the company has fared better than most companies. It has 89 employees in Milwaukee today, and while it had sporadic layoffs during the spring, the company only has four employees laid off now. It anticipates bringing those workers back in the next month or two, Floyd said.

“We should be ramping up to take on a job that will kick in in August,” he said. “We will get pretty close to full capacity.”

Floyd and his business partner James Caragher purchased Glenn Rieder in 2000. Since that time, the company has posted significant growth.

“In 2000, we had $8 million in revenues,” Floyd said. “We’ve been as high as $36.5 million.”

This year, the company expects more than $20 million in revenues, which will be an approximate 25 percent decrease from 2009.

Despite the slowdown during the recession, Glenn Rieder is preparing for future growth. At the end of July, the company will begin moving into the 25,000 square feet of space it formerly rented out inside its facility. The company is also preparing for two large jobs.

“We just won the ballroom at the Marriott Hotel in San Francisco,” Floyd said. “And we’ll be doing the millwork and woodwork for Zilber Hall at Marquette University. We’ll be doing that work in August, and the university moves in there in November.”

Glenn Rieder Inc.

3420 W. Capitol Dr., Milwaukee

Industry: Custom cabinetry and woodwork for casinos, hotels and other high-end commercial buildings

Employees: 89 in Milwaukee; 12 in Las Vegas


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