TGC Construction finding its stride with projects in Wichita, nationwide
By Shelby Reynolds – Reporter, Wichita Business Journal
Jan 23, 2020, 3:51pm EST
It's more than a year since TGC Group added a construction division under its umbrella of services.
Quentin Ellis remembers the exact date: Oct. 11, 2018, when crews broke ground on a WoodSpring Suites outside Atlanta.
"First one, so I remember it," he said with a wide smile.
Since then Ellis, president of both TGC Group's construction and development arms, says the new division is finding its stride. The team has completed two Freddy's locations in Ohio and that first WoodSpring hotel in Georgia.
It has two more Freddy's under construction in Georgia and another WoodSpring Suites outside Atlanta. In Wichita, crews are building an extended-stay Home2 Suites by Hilton in Delano and the high-profile, mixed-use 430 Redevelopment project at the corner of Douglas and Emporia — IMA Financial's future downtown headquarters.
The Wichita-based TGC Group now has three divisions: development, hospitality management and construction.
Ellis, who graduated with a construction science degree from Kansas State University, initially joined TGC in 2015 to work with company founder and president Nick Esterline on the development side. It wasn't long before they started to consider their pipeline of work.
"There's a steady backlog of construction work that we are currently awarding to other general contractors," Ellis recalled, "and is that something that makes sense to bring under the TGC umbrella?"
And so TGC Construction was formed in the summer of 2018. Instead of hiring construction companies to do work for them, TGC now keeps it all in house.
"I think the biggest benefit for TGC and our partners is having the efficiencies between the hand-offs," Ellis said. "The development side hands off under the same roof to the construction side, who then hands it off to the hospitality management side. It has really helped streamline processes."
The biggest win, Ellis said, is that TGC Construction is getting noticed by other developers. The construction division has been contracted on two projects that don't even belong to TGC Group, including one of the Atlanta WoodSpring Suites and a new La Quinta project starting next month in Dallas.
Ellis said the goal is to eventually be split 50/50 on projects that originate from TGC and that originate from outside developers.
"The ability to land a couple third-party (projects) has ben a very positive experience for us, that people are trusting us to go build our own through our reputation," Ellis said.
TGC primarily develops hotels across the Midwest and the southeastern U.S., although the company has started to diversify. In Wichita, it's finished commercial projects at the Spaghetti Works District and Spaghetti Works Apartments. A build-out of Vorshay's Cocktail Lounge. The Summit Place Retail Center in Ark City and the Chadsworth Retail Center at 21st Street and Maize in west Wichita.
Ellis said it's been fun to build downtown — even adjacent to TGC's own office building at Douglas and Emporia.
Anchored by IMA Financial Group, plans for the 70,000 square-foot 430 Redevelopment building also include ground-level retail and restaurants. The $21-million project is a joint build between TGC Construction and Hutton. Esterline has said he expects to turn the building over to tenants in November.
In Delano, ground work has started on the Home2 Suites, a 95-room hotel at 200 N. Sycamore. It's on the Delano catalyst site, which it will eventually share with an apartment building being developed by Kansas City-based EPC Real Estate. The hotel will be to the southeast of the Advanced Learning Library.
The $12.5-million hotel project will open in late 2020 or early 2021, Ellis said.
"We office down here, we want to be part of the growth and the vibrancy of downtown Wichita," he said. "It's nice to see that activity pick up, and I think it will continue to pick up."