Pellicano is Building a Future

KK Snyder

Tuesday, May 18th, 2010

One Albany-based construction management company has used the down economy to its advantage by training staff on new technology, providing employment opportunities for top industry professionals looking for new roles and positioning themselves to be ahead of the game when things really begin to pick up again.

Tony Pellicano started Pellicano Construction in Albany in 1976, concentrating on projects for federal agencies such as the Corps of Engineers and Department of Defense, as well as state and local governments.

“Back then we acquired projects through the hard bid or design/bid/build process,” he recalled. “We were pretty much limited to South Georgia then.”

Having found some success in the industry, Pellicano began to shift gears in the mid-80s, determined that there “had to be a better way to do what we do.” He began setting his sights on projects in the public sector and started getting more design/build work that allowed him to negotiate on projects rather than being limited to a hard bid process. The good of the project became the focus rather than the self-interest of the hard bid, he said.

Pellicano Construction found its niche.

Today, the company is widely recognized as a marketing and selling construction management company, with a focus on nurturing new partnerships in the industry. Pellicano is positioning itself as a single source for clients which includes design-build services, program management and construction management services.

While the company is still based in Albany, Pellicano is a regional firm, with a second office in Atlanta. Operating in 10 Southeastern states, the company oversees projects in the healthcare, hospitality, commercial, religious, financial and industrial sectors.

“We want our owners engaged with us and with the design team so all of us are working together,” said Pellicano, adding that his company gets involved long before the first shovel of dirt is removed, even analyzing property for clients and helping them select the best site for a project.

“We’ve used the downtime in the building industry to really focus on our client base, building those relationships and positioning ourselves for when this economy does turn. We’ve been somewhat of a pioneer under the current economic conditions by adding some class A employees, while other companies are laying off.

“We are only as good as our employees, so by investing in the future, we will be investing in our clients’ projects by offering them the best service possible.”

While things are still slow in Albany, Pellicano said not all areas of the Southeast have been dampened by the slow economy. In fact, he says, there are some that were never touched and others that are showing bright spots even now. But Pellicano is reluctant to share specific areas that currently are prime targets for the construction industry, as having that insight gives his company a competitive edge.

“Because of the type of industry moving into those areas, much of it is spurred by federal contracts as the nucleus. Even though we don’t pursue federal contracts, there is a lot of residual work because of them,” he said.

Southwest Georgia is beginning to show some recovery, he continued, and there are a number of local projects his company is looking at for the future. “There’s still a long lead time between the quote and going to contract,” he admits. “As far as our potential backlog, it has never been greater. There are so many people who want to build.”

In the meantime, Pellicano Construction has been proactive in using the slow months to invest in their employees by increasing their training, especially with regard to new technology. In addition, Pellicano now has two LEED Accredited Professionals, looking to the future and an increase in demand for green construction practices.

Also along the lines of technology, Pellicano is getting more involved with building information modeling – or BIM – software using a three-dimensional system for generating and managing building data. “That’s one of the things that is really exciting to me,” shared Pellicano. “We can actually build something before putting a shovel in the ground.”

Pellicano is grooming son-in-law Stephen Dew to take over operations in the near future. And while he doesn’t plan to retire, Pellicano wants to free himself up to get more involved in the industry on other levels. Currently the vice-president of the Georgia chapter of Associated General Contractors of America, Pellicano will assume the role of incoming president in 2011.  Check them out online at