LRA Constructors Sees Uptick in Construction Activity

Barbara Kieker

Tuesday, July 23rd, 2013

Industrial and commercial construction activity in Southwest Georgia became a bit more active in second quarter 2013, according to Jake Reese of LRA Constructors. Business has for the most part remained the same for much of 2012 and early 2013.

"In talking with architects and engineers, they are seeing more projects on their boards right now," said Reese.

"The health-care market – hospitals, clinics and private practices – continue to expand, renovate or build new construction. Businesses that support the agriculture industry like chemical distributors are also expanding, as are some industrial and manufacturing companies."

Reese expects the public sector will "stay where it is," as state and federal governments continue to limit spending. According to U.S. Department of Commerce data on the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis website, real government spending and investment have been on the decline since 2010.

Founded in 1978, LRA Constructors has completed more than 1,600 commercial and industrial projects in the church, health care, industrial, government/military, institutional, office/bank, retail and transportation dealership markets. LRA is co-owned by John Reese and Ben Barrow, and licensed in Georgia, Florida and Alabama.

Building Albany
For more than 35 years, LRA has been active in the Albany community. Current projects include the Senior Life Enrichment Center, which is under construction for the Southwest Georgia (SOWEGA) Council on Aging, and an addition and renovation project for the Albany Museum of Art.

The new SOWEGA facility is being built on the site of the former Byne Memorial Baptist Church property in downtown Albany. The project includes the renovation of the existing three-story Byne gymnasium and a new two-story addition on the south side of the building. Work started in September 2012 and is expected to be complete this November.

The art museum project, which coincides with the museum's 30th anniversary, includes the construction of a new auditorium and catering kitchen as well as the renovation of existing space. When the project is completed in July, the museum will gain a venue for private and corporate events as well as additional space for artwork.

With projects throughout Georgia, Florida and Alabama, Reese has a good perspective on the local business climate in Albany.

"I think the local government here does a good job working with businesses and being proactive with economic development activities," Reese said.

"I think next they could work with inspection departments to streamline the permits process.”

Capabilities that Make a Difference
From a construction standpoint, LRA still self performs many of the trades on certain projects.

"We feel self-performing the work helps us to be more responsive to our clients," Reese said.

"Clients also like that we offer design/build services. That lets us manage the process from start to finish and better control budget and schedule."

More information on LRA Constructors is available at


About Barbara Kieker

Barbara Kieker is a freelance writer who writes on business-related topics for a number of web-based properties. She also provides communications services to Fortune 500 corporations, small businesses and nonprofit organizations.