When it comes to the future of CRE in North Texas, Thomas Crowther is clear: “Every day I wake up in DFW, I’m grateful that I’m in the commercial real estate winner’s locker room.” His Dallas-based commercial construction and design-build firm works with clients across the retail, healthcare, office, restaurant, and education sectors.
The firm, which considers diversity a strategic business advantage, was recently named the general contractor for the Dallas Housing Authority’s 29,000-square-foot headquarters building expansion. Other notable Crowther Group projects include the remodeling of more than a dozen Target stores in Texas and Louisiana, partnering to build Parkland Hospital’s Outpatient Clinic, and constructing a new facility for Dallas ISD’s Early College High School at Mountain View.
Several months before the company celebrated its fifth-year anniversary in March, The Crowther Group came in at No. 7 in the Dallas 100, Southern Methodist University’s Cox Business School’s annual list of the top 100 fastest growing privately-owned companies in Dallas-Fort Worth.
Crowther points to a direct link between DEI and success.
“Our leadership team believes that inclusion should exist across all levels, including a diversity of thought in business relationships, which has been the catalyst to our growth in the region,” he says. “As we continue to grow, embracing diversity in every aspect of our business—from how we work together to how we procure goods and services—is vital to our long-term success.”
Crowther is among the experts invited to share their thoughts on the CRE market for our recent DALLAS® magazine that focused on how DFW punches above its weight in commercial real estate. Here’s what the CEO and managing partner had to say in “View from the Top Tier.”
As a commercial general contractor, what challenges are you seeing now?
We continue to partner with our trade subcontractors, suppliers, architects, and clients in 2022 related to long lead times and price increases for construction materials and equipment.
Let’s talk sectors. What are you seeing in the DFW retail market?
Our project managers are tracking an uptick in retail remodels and rightsizing projects. They expect continued challenges from suppliers relating to the capacity of materials due to increasing demand in the DFW retail market throughout 2022. Several of our retail projects purchase equipment and materials early and store them onsite in secure boneyards or bonded warehouses to ensure products are in hand. In some cases, we are still seeing unavailability due to material and equipment shortages, even with buying power of Fortune 50 retail companies. If key materials and equipment are not purchased early in the preconstruction process, they could continue to impact retail client occupancies in 2022.
I would advise general contractors to continue being proactive and transparent with clients on dwindling supplies and prices rocketing up across key building materials such as roofing, cement/concrete, electrical and mechanical equipment, and steel, creating opportunities and potential price escalations in 2022.
You’ve said igniting change is part of your business vision. How can real estate professionals help transform communities in the region?
Our goal at The Crowther Group is to build partnerships and create impact throughout the communities we serve. This allows us to serve others above ourselves—and be patient and strategic in aligning with the right clients, like the Dallas Housing Authority.
We’re so excited to be a part of DHA’s mission to provide affordable quality housing and access to supportive resources across North Texas. The new 29,000-square-foot office will be a Dallas green construction-compliant facility that will help the team at DHA deliver on their mission throughout the Dallas region.
I think the best way real estate professionals can help transform communities in the Dallas region is by serving others above themselves in everything they do throughout the real estate life cycle.
This interview has been edited for brevity and clarity.
A version of this story first appeared in the print edition of DALLAS® Commercial Real Estate 2022, published by Dallas Next for TREC and the Dallas Regional Chamber. Read more in the digital edition of the magazine below, and request the next print edition here.
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