Two high-profile builders — Testa Companies’ building division and Welty Building Co. — are joining forces with the creation of a new company, in hopes of increasing market share.
Testa Cos., parent of Testa Builders and based in Cuyahoga Falls, and Welty Building Co., headquartered in Fairlawn, will continue to operate independently.
The new company —Welty-Testa Builders LLC — will operate out of the Welty Building headquarters on Ridgewood Road in Fairlawn.
CEO Paul Testa said with Testa Cos. having $200 million worth of developments planned, the time was right to team up with a company focused on construction management — and one with a much larger building staff.
Welty Building “has the manpower; it has the team,” Paul Testa said, and “together we create a synergy that works for both companies.”
Testa Cos. wants “to expand its development work, and we want to expand outside Ohio,” he said, to places such as Florida, where there is a big demand for senior housing. Its local senior housing projects include developments in Akron and Barberton.
Welty Building has about 150 employees, and Testa Companies has about 50, who work in development, property management and other areas.
This number includes a dozen employees who focus on construction. They will transfer to the Welty Building headquarters in Fairlawn on Monday. The Testa Builders division will cease to exist.
Joel Testa, president of Testa Cos. and son of Paul Testa, stressed that the new venture will tap into the expertise available at both Testa Cos. and Welty Building.
The two local builders “are now combining talent and resources to create this new company,” Joel Testa said.
Putting plans into action
Don Taylor, president and CEO of Welty Building (and husband of Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor), said the new company will allow Testa Cos. to focus on “creating the project, and our job [at Welty-Testa Builders] is to execute it, making sure quality standards are met [in construction], and we’re hitting the price points that allow those projects to be successful.”
Testa Cos. and Welty Building have worked together before. Testa Cos. developed the Parkview Cancer Center at Summa Barberton Hospital, while Welty Building handled construction.
Long before he joined Welty in the early 1990s, Don Taylor notes, he was part of a crew that put in a basement for a home that Paul Testa built in Silver Lake and in which he continues to live.
Among Welty Building’s projects are the new Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. headquarters in East Akron and the new Akron Children’s Hospital Kay Jewelers Pavilion.
Testa Companies developed the new Marriott, set to open in March at the northern edge of downtown Akron.
Last year, a Testa Companies entity purchased the 115-acre former West’s Mogadore Country Club, and plans to transform the property into West Village, a mix of residential housing, small retail and office space, along with gardens and a community center.
Paul Testa started his career as a single-family home builder in 1967. Today, Testa Cos. designs, develops, constructs, sells, leases and manages residential, mixed-use (residential and commercial), medical, commercial and education-related properties in Ohio and Tennessee.
Welty Building was founded in 1945 and also began as a builder of single-family homes. It provides construction management services for clients in a variety of markets, including health care, commercial, education and hospitality.
Last year, Welty Building invested in Brae Burn Construction, a Houston-based commercial builder, to expand into the health care, industrial, education and retail markets. Brae Burn Construction was established in 1971. Financial terms were not disclosed.
The company also has offices in Columbus and Cleveland. Its roughly 150 employees are spread among the various locations. It has about 50 employees in Fairlawn.
Katie Byard can be reached at 330-996-3781 or firstname.lastname@example.org. You can follow her @KatieByardABJ on Twitter or become a fan on Facebook at www.facebook.com.