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Beebe Construction: the second century

MARCY — Few construction companies ever reach their centenary. H. R. Beebe, Inc., a general contractor headquartered in Utica, just celebrated its 100th anniversary and is looking forward to a second century.

Founded in 1912 by Henry Rumrill Beebe, ownership passed to Phil Miller in 1946, and then, in 1976, to Anthony Korrie, who in 1998 sold the corporation to his son Robert A. Korrie and to Gregory S. Benincasa.

Robert Korrie and Benincasa are 50/50 stockholders in the corporation and also equal stockholders in a second corporation — Beebe Construction Services, Inc., which was created in 1995.


“We generated about $7 million when Greg and I took over the company,” says Korrie. “Today, the construction business [both operating companies] generates about $40 million a year. We employ anywhere from 50 to 115 field personnel [in both companies] depending on the workload.” H. R. Beebe owns 25,000 square feet of office and storage space at 6153 Trenton Road in the town of Marcy.

“Beebe focuses on customers within 100 miles of Utica,” says Korrie. “In the past few years, some of our major projects included Preswick Glen, an independent-living facility located in New Hartford, the Sadove Student Center at Emerson Hall on the Hamilton College campus, and work at the Turning Stone Resort & Casino in Verona. Beebe also completed phase one of The Lofts at Harmony Mills, a 180-unit apartment complex in Cohoes featuring luxury lofts and apartments with high ceilings. The owners [of The Lofts] have asked us to construct phase two.” Korrie estimates that 70 percent of the construction business is funded by the private sector.

Korrie lists the company’s specialty areas of construction as projects in institutional, government, retail, commercial, education, health care, housing, and cultural. Beebe also focuses on sustainable construction practices and green-building technologies, having experience with the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environment Design) certification process. Beebe was the general contractor on the Hage Building in downtown Utica and the Sadove Student Center at Hamilton College, both of which received LEED-gold certification.

“The services side of the business focuses on managing public-school and government projects in New York State, which are governed by the Wicks Law,” notes Korrie. “There are usually four to 10 primes (contractors) on each project, and the owner hires us to coordinate their work. Currently, we are managing major projects for the Clinton and Saratoga Springs school districts.”

The Wicks Law, which dates back to 1912, is a New York construction mandate that state and local government construction projects above a certain dollar amount are subject to separate bidding for plumbing, HVAC, and electrical contracts. The responsibility for coordinating the overall construction process lies with the public entity, which typically has little expertise in this area. Thus, the public entity usually hires a construction manager to supervise the project.

Korrie attributes Beebe’s growth to the firm’s reputation for “… honesty, quality, and being schedule-driven. We’re a team player,” declares Korrie. “We have also been successful because we have diversified. Beebe not only builds things, but we manage projects, construct metal buildings, and offer design/build and leasing options.”

Ultimately, “success comes from having exceptional employees,” says Korrie. Besides Benincasa and Korrie, the executive team includes John D. Allen and James R. Fawcett as project managers, Daniel G. Buck as project senior estimator, and Patricia Christenson as controller.

Beebe also relies on a number of professional vendors to help steer the enterprise. “We work with several area banks, including Bank of America, M&T, and NBT,” says Korrie. “Our accounting is handled by Dannible & McKee in Syracuse, and we rely on various law firms for our legal work.”

Not surprisingly, Beebe has plenty of competition in the construction business. “We compete with a number of area companies,” Korrie affirms. “We often find ourselves bidding against Gaetano [Charles A. Gaetano Construction], Nole [George A. Nole & Son], Murnane [Murnane Building Contractors], Edgebrook Construction, Hayner Hoyt, and Northeast [Construction Services].”

Benincasa, 54, has more than 35 years of experience in the construction industry. He joined H.R. Beebe, Inc. in 1982 and became the president in 1998. He is also a vice president of Beebe Construction Services. Benincasa earned degrees both in civil-engineering technology and in construction management. Korrie, 48, has more than 28 years of experience in the construction industry. He joined H. R. Beebe in 1988 and became the vice president in 1998. He also serves as the president of Beebe Construction Services, Inc. Like Benincasa, Korrie holds degrees in civil-engineering technology and construction management. Both principals grew up and reside in the Mohawk Valley.

The second century for Beebe begins on a positive note. There are orders in the company’s pipeline, and Korrie sees more optimism in the private sector. Korrie also has two boys who are pursuing degrees in construction management, which suggests the potential for a third generation to be involved in the business.


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