Gilbane finishes $10M renovation of Providence HQ

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Construction giant Gilbane Inc. recently completed a $10-million renovation of its Providence headquarters, and the company’s leader says it plans to remain based in the state.

Gilbane President and CEO Michael McKelvy, a guest on last week’s taping of Executive Suite, said the company posted record sales in 2015 and 2016, and is on track to do the same in 2017.

“Certainly there’s people that would say, why don’t you base it in Boston or why don’t you base it in some other place?” McKelvy said. “But our DNA is really here in Rhode Island. You know, we just renovated our corporate headquarters here, and we spent over $10 million renovating that. We’re invested here. We’re going to continue to be invested here.”

“No plans at all – even if it made some economic sense, saved a few pennies – no plans to move our headquarters out of Providence,” he added.

Gilbane was founded in Rhode Island in the 1870s by a family of immigrants who had fled the Irish famine. The construction-management company has grown to nearly $5 billion in annual sales. McKelvy, who took the top job in 2016, is the first CEO to run Gilbane who was not a member of the family, which still controls the company.

McKelvy said he is optimistic about the outlook for the economy, saying Gilbane’s clients “are not holding back,” including industrial companies that hadn’t been spending as much in recent years.

“We see a positive momentum on the client side in investment – people are planning to spend money this year – and some markets that have historically been dormant, like industrial, are starting to come back,” McKelvy said.