Going through the process of developing a new business location can be a challenging task. Finding the right piece of land, obtaining permits, considering architectural elements, designing the facility, creating enough space to accommodate the business and its customers, and a myriad of other items must be taken care of.
“We work closely with our clients to make sure we understand their vision and then apply the resources necessary to achieve that vision,” said Roger Hansen, chairman of Ole Hansen & Sons Inc. “Customers come to us with an idea in mind and we put the entire plan together for them. We’ve been doing it for 15 years, so we have a great deal of expertise and experience behind us.”
The Ole Hansen & Sons story goes farther back than that. Founded by Ole Hansen in 1929, it became one of New Jersey’s premier construction companies, building some of the state’s most high-profile projects, including many roads and bridges. Sons Walter and Haubert joined their father and eventually took over the company until current Chairman of the Board Roger Hansen began running the company. His daughters, Erica and Jennifer, are the fourth generation to be involved in the business.
It was Roger who changed the company’s focus in 1992, turning its attention to real estate development and away from heavy construction. Since that time, the Atlantic County-based company has set its sights on partnering with commercial clients to offer them a full portfolio of services when they are looking for a new place to call home.
“It all starts with getting to know the client’s business very well,” explained David Goddard, president and CEO. “We study every aspect of their business and build a plan around their needs. It’s a turnkey operation. We find the land, handle the permitting process, fashion a design, have the facility built and improve the land with the help of several experienced contractors with which we work. All the client has to do is move in. Sometimes clients need us to do everything; sometimes they already have the land and we work from there. We handle everything in-house.
“You can hire almost any contractor to build a building for you from a set of plans,” he further emphasized. “Developing a set of plans tailored to your needs and managing the process, from inception to completion, are what set us apart.”
Ole Hansen & Sons is able to do it all, due to a talented, experienced staff, many of whom have been with the company a decade or more. Key personnel include CFO and Treasurer Mike Lentz, Manager of Real Estate Development Dan Galletta, Director of Corporate Development Tom Parente, Construction Manager Tom Player, and Chief Superintendent Bill Siddons.
“Most of the employees were here when the company was doing heavy construction work, so they understand the entire process that’s involved with developing a piece of property,” noted Hansen. “Nearly all of them, including me, started at the bottom, digging ditches and doing other basic tasks. Some ran equipment when we were doing construction. It was good preparation for our focus now.”
Building Binder’s New South Jersey Facility
The latest example of the company’s development skill and expertise is the recently completed Binder Machinery southern New Jersey branch. The new 33,000-sq.-ft. building sits on a 15-acre site along Route 73 in Winslow Township.
“After studying other Binder locations, we sat down with Alan Binder and Bill Morrison and planned out the process to incorporate items that would benefit both Binder Machinery and its customers,” said Goddard. “For instance, Binder wanted it to be centrally located with easy access to the main transportation arteries, such as Route 73 and the Atlantic City Expressway. It’s very convenient for customers to get machinery in and out.
“Once that was taken care of, we considered the amount of storage they needed for machinery and parts inventories, so Binder could stock items that customers need right away,” he added. “It was very important to design the building with customer needs in mind. That’s why there’s a large showroom that flows into office space, as well as a big shop area that includes such items as a state-of-the-art paint booth.
“We incorporated other specialty items as well,” he continued. “We installed in-floor heating in the shop so technicians could work on a heated floor. It’s important to consider the needs of the employees as well.”
In addition to providing detailed building services, Ole Hansen & Sons has five other divisions, among them, Hansen Sand and Gravel Company. That entity supplies materials to Hansen Real Estate Development as well as outside sources. It’s part of an overall plan of diversification at Ole Hansen & Sons.
“We’re focused on long-term results, and diversification is part of that plan,” said Hansen. “Expanding our services beyond New Jersey is a consideration, but right now we’re focused on the state. Being diversified allows us to move in many directions according to trends in the market. It makes sound business sense to us.”
This article was reprinted with permission from Building With Binder.