Renovo's Approach is Driving Success

The key to successful retail construction, argues Peyton Thomas, is limiting the mistakes.

"You have to understand who the clients are, understand what their project schedules are and meet them. If they have a plan to open their store on November 1, and you don’t have it ready until February, they’ll fail to meet their ROl plan with no way to make it up.”

Thomas is the Vice President of Construction at Renovo Construction, LLC, which was founded in 2020 by open-air center owner-operator DLC. Starting Renovo was a way to grow DLC's capabilities and to work around the dwindling supply of labor and materials.

"Renovo is unique," said Thomas, whose career has spanned working for a wide range of GCs involved in high end retail and office buildouts. "We and our retail clients have shared expectations and shared goals. Build it right and build it on time."

Thomas gave the example of a job Renovo is doing for a rapidly expanding health and beauty chain whose shops contain more than 20 small salons, all of which have hair washing stations.

"Putting all this plumbing in such a small space isn't an easy thing to do," he said. "So, before we started work, we had a conversation with the client about the pitfalls we might face in making sure the plumbing was of the same quality in all those rooms. She said, I know. We've had plumbing work that had to be re-done in a lot of the salons we've built! We're taking the time to design the plumbing properly before we start building over it."

Renovo's ethic has succeeded in drawing business from clients outside of DLC, growing its management component from two members to nine in just the past year. Because they work closely with DLC's leasing department, they get in early on lease proposals and often help close the deal.

"In discussing buildout requirements with prospective tenants, a DLC leasing rep can say, 'We can make that happen for you on time because we have an internal contractor who can sit down with us and plan it out," Thomas observed. "One of the big mistakes GCs make in retail construction is not knowing exactly what the client wants. Lack of communication is why they often fail."