Hunzinger Construction Company

 

Brookfield-based Hunzinger Construction Co., which celebrated its 100th anniversary last year, has built most of the significant buildings in the Milwaukee area.

The firm’s local portfolio includes the U.S. Bank Center, the Bradley Center, the Hyatt Regency Milwaukee, Bayshore Town Center, the U.S. Cellular Arena, St. Francis Hospital, Mayfair Mall, the Catholic Knights building, the M&I Bank headquarters building and the Marcus Amphitheater.

The company also built Milwaukee County Stadium and the MECCA Convention Center, and years later built their replacements, Miller Park and the Midwest Airlines Center.

The firm has come a long way since it was founded in Iowa in 1907 when four brothers decided to quit farming to take up construction. In 1928, the company moved to Brookfield, where it has remained for the last 80 years.

The company has grown to surpass $100 million in revenue in 2007.

Company president John Hunzinger attributes a great deal of the success and longevity of the firm to continual self-examination.

For seven years, Hunzinger has belonged to a peer group of leaders of general contracting firms from around the country who meet quarterly to audit and review each others’ operations and personnel.

Subjecting itself to objective evaluations is one of the key reasons the company thrives, according to Hunzinger.

“We always learn from it,” he said. “It gives us an opportunity to mirror up and take a good hard look at ourselves. The time to see what’s wrong in your company and what needs improvement is not when you’re in a situation forcing you to do that. The companies with a culture responsive to innovation and that are looking for a stimulus for improvement are the companies that continue to thrive, no matter what the economy might be doing.”

Through the peer group, Hunzinger has also been able to spot building trends, such as sustainable building also known as the “green movement,” which began gaining momentum around five years ago in California and Colorado, he said.

“About $14 billion of new construction in the U.S. is using the sustainable building processes,” said Hunzinger. “Next year, that’ll be over $20 billion, and there is no end in sight.”

Since the company was able to spot the trend early, over the last four years it has trained 30 LEED accredited professionals, enabling the company to keep up with the demand of sustainable or green building, Hunzinger said.

Nearly 50 percent of the company’s projects are in sustainable building.

To give back, Hunzinger Construction has taken an active role in supporting U.S. troops, shipping more than 10,000 pounds of care packages over the last two years to men and women serving in Iraq and Afghanistan.

“We want these young men and women over there to know that were thinking about them and that we care about them,” Hunzinger said. “And the letters we get back show that they really appreciate it.”

Hunzinger Construction Company

Address: 21100 Enterprise Ave., Brookfield
Website: www.hunzinger.com
Industry: Commercial construction
Revenues: $100 million
Employees: 170

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