- September 3, 2021
The new home for R.E. Crawford Construction at 6650 Professional Parkway West in Lakewood Ranch will be different in many ways.
Just ask Jeff Smith, the company's CEO and president.
"We have a bobcat out here," Smith said during a ribbon cutting ceremony on Jan. 18. "I saw him again this morning."
He no longer looks out his office window and sees Lake Osprey like he did at his company's previous home, right down the road at 6771 Professional Parkway West. But it's not what he sees that is so important. It's who can see his building.
R.E. Crawford's new $1.7 million building is clearly visible from Interstate 75.
"People on the highway look over and say, 'What is that?'" Smith said.
It's a 10,800 square foot building with 5,400 of that dedicated to R.E. Crawford's business and the rest office space available for lease. The building was designed by WBRC Architects of Lakewood Ranch. Douglas Whitney is the lead architect and CEO.
Smith loves the design and said the interior, including the cedar ceilings picked by his wife and co-owner, Utahna, flows through the outer walls to the outside of the building.
"This new building creates new energy and a lot of excitement," said Susan Courer, R.E. Crawford's director of business development. "Our old office was sectioned off. Here we can collaborate more. It is an open environment."
R.E. Crawford has just over 20 employees who work out of the building and just under 40 nationally.
Best of all for R.E. Crawford, business has been brisk.
"We are on job No. 11 already this year," Smith said.
Smith built a gazebo in back of his new building for his employees to relax during breaks. He loves his new site and his bobcat.
"We wanted to stay in Lakewood Ranch," he said. "Most of us work and live here."