With less than six months until completion of the project, Fields Construction announced it has topped off 207 Van Vorst St. in Jersey City. The construction firm built the project for Fields Development Group, its parent company.
“As we look to take on new projects throughout New Jersey and the greater region, this development will serve as a shining example of the world-class work our talented team is able to produce, both on time and within budget,” Jim Caulfield, principal of Fields Construction, said.
The project is a 15-story, 255-unit mixed-used complex that will contain 7,237 square feet of retail space.
“We’re growing at a quicker pace that most firms right now, and it’s not always because of our price, but it has a lot to do with the people we have and our culture and how we take care of our clients,” Caulfield said. “People can compete with us on the price, but they can’t compete in the culture and the quality of construction that we do.”
Fields Construction was founded in 1999 by Caulfield and his brother, Robert Caulfield. Back then, the brothers were merely trying to gain experience in construction before moving into design.
“We were studying engineering and looking to go into the engineering design world and architectural world, but we thought it would be a great learning experience for us to go out and do construction work for a bit,” Jim Caulfield said. “Every couple of months a project came up and we just kept going and then we started developing for ourselves and then third-party work. Then, there was a period of time we raised a real estate development fund and just started building for our own portfolio.”
The brothers’ first construction project, a nine-unit project at 81 Grand St., Hoboken, was also the start of the company’s work with Ursa Development Group. Caulfield said Fields’ approach to its clientele has allowed it to grow alongside its developers, while growing Fields Construction, too.
“We treat everyone we work for as if it was our own account, and we help and give input from the design to the approval process, to the environmental process, value engineering and construction, and give input in leasing and marketing,” He said. “We have a handful of clients that are actively growing, and we want to be available to service them and grow with them, and that’s the direction we’re choosing as a company.”
Fields recently wrapped up a 159-unit construction project for Ursa in Hoboken. Caulfield said the company expects to complete 2,000 more units in the next 18 months.
“We have 11 projects in construction, another 10 in the wings, getting rolling within the next 12 months, and the big thing we decided a long time ago is we need the right people to grow to do this type of work,” He said. “Right now, we have two projects going on in Harrison, a 450- and a 350-unit project. We have (469) units going up in Secaucus.”
Caulfield attributes the success of his company to the methodical and family-like approach Fields Construction takes when completing third-party construction and its own developments.
The group maintains offices in Hoboken and Stamford, Connecticut, and, according to Caulfield, is always on the lookout for the latest market trends.
Three-fourths of the company’s current construction work is for third party, Caulfield said.
“We have about 100 real estate agents and we have a partner that runs those offices,” he said. “And from regular meetings, we get feedback on what’s going on with the real estate market. These developers have different marketing groups that they are in, and they’re constantly analyzing other projects that they’ve worked on, or telling us where they see market conditions, and we’re sitting there listening to those. Sometimes, they’re coming from CBRE or coming from the development company themselves.
“We get third-party reports on what are the numbers of the leasing market in each area. We analyze what’s getting a better square area, what’s absorbed quicker in a certain area and we pull those pieces together and hopefully make a better apartment or project as we work alongside these developers.”
The firm’s methodical approach has allowed it to grow alongside its third-party developers, too. Fields expects to expand its operations to Connecticut and new areas in New Jersey.
“The overall hope is that we make our current clients successful, so they can grow and we can grow into new areas,” Caulfield said.
Alongside its thorough market research, Fields also creates a culture of diversity and family, Caulfield said. Fields Construction has 126 employees overall.
“Half our staff are engineers and architects and marketing people, and they’re out there doing the construction,” He said. “We’re looking for a diverse group of smart people that want to improve every aspect of what we do. In doing that, we’re growing and creating new things that our clients are recognizing.”