From grand homes in downtown Savannah to cottages in Emerald Pointe, The Strong Group has made their mark on the local residential construction industry and now they’re looking to transform that industry through a new partnership with Alair Homes, North America’s largest construction management contractor.
“We’re going to be their first partnership in the state of Georgia. … They bring a lot of best practices and processes to us,” Walter Strong III said of the partnership, which will give the group access to Alair’s consolidated back-office management system and a communications platform that gives homeowners online access to real-time information, including invoices and budgets.
“That’s the cost transparency that we kind of lack in our industry,” Strong said.
“There are layers of accountability.”
Founded in 1952 by Walter Strong, Sr. as the Walter H. Strong Co. and rebranded in 2009 as The Strong Group, the company’s most notable projects include the original eight-building Armstrong State Campus, Chatham County Detention Center and the old Chatham County Courthouse on Bull Street.
Alair was founded in 2007 and currently has nearly 90 offices across the United States and Canada.
“Savannah and the surrounding region is a special and unique market and we are very proud to have Walter as our partner to help deliver the Alair difference to homeowners and other contractors alike,” said Rob Cecil, Alair’s chief development officer. “With nearly 90 offices open and many more offices slated to open in the summer and fall, we’re looking forward to bringing even more passionate contractors into our system as we expand into new markets.”
The Alair partnership also streamlines the company’s administrative tasks such as accounting and marketing to a corporate level. Strong’s decision to partner with Alair was influenced by the model of residential construction and contracting, which he said is a broken system.
“… Eighty percent of projects are over-budget, over-schedule and 60 to 70 percent of people wouldn’t recommend their contractors to their friends,” Strong said.
“It’s a model where we’re asked to sell something before we know the cost and people are trying to buy something before they know the cost.”
Although the partnership will help expand their residential work across southeast Georgia, the group will continue to take on commercial projects as they have for the last 65 years.
“I hope, with our new affiliation with Alair, the public understands we are still The Strong Group, with all of its rich history; The Strong Group will be Alair Savannah and this partnership will make us better,” Strong said.