Since its establishments in 1980, Fine Line Construction has been providing general contracting services to the San Francisco Bay Area. The company originally started as a Design-build residential company with a focus in non-profit housing, affordable housing, transitional housing, senior housing, HIV hospices and multi-dwelling hospice communities. In addition, Fine Line Construction has also completed many public works projects including schools, libraries, parks and historical renovations.
Paolo Friedman, current president and co-owner, started working for the company in 1984 and has watched it evolve over the years. He became a partner in the early 90s and was named president last month.
Friedman explains how the company’s focus shifted from Design-build residential and historical renovations to occupied rehabilitation. Though it wasn’t Fine Line’s main focus, once the company began doing occupied rehab projects, it quickly developed a reputation for being sensitive to individual needs of these projects, leaving the clients and tenants happy.
“We realized we were good at the planning and tenants started appreciating our work and the owners started appreciating the comments from the tenants and soon we were on a roll towards occupied rehabs as our main focus,” explains Friedman.
A Growing Portfolio
With this arena to work in, Friedman is excited for the new projects that Fine Line Construction will have an opportunity to deliver.
Currently, the company has many projects in progress such as Edward II, a 25 unit youth transitional housing project in San Francisco, and the Villa San Pedro project in San Jose— owned by the Santa Clara Housing Authority— which is about 90% complete at this time and upon completion will consist of 100 units across 13 buildings, plus a community building, all of which are full rehab buildings. Additionally, Fine Line Construction is also just beginning a commercial space improvement in Berkeley called UA Homes.
Fine Line Construction is also building a new restroom and maintenance building for the City of San Francisco at Washington Square and completing two historic restroom rehabs near Ocean Beach. Friedman explains that Fine Line Construction is primarily known for working in fully occupied spaces; however the company’s strong background in historic renovations and public work allows them to work on a wide range of projects.
Therefore, having had the opportunity to work in both new construction and occupied rehab, Friedman discusses the differences between the two and states, “[Occupied rehab] is quite a bit more difficult than new construction because you’re not only undoing faulty, old or failed work but you are also dealing with that work in an occupied space and a lot of that led to the need for a stronger focus on communications and tailoring your approach to the client and the end users’ needs; it can be quite challenging.”
Despite the challenges, Fine Line Construction has become a leading general contractor in San Francisco and Friedman explains that he expects the company to triple in size over the next couple of years
“We’re known for the quality of our finished work and here in San Francisco we are considered to be THE expert in occupied rehab. We’ve done an excess of 10,000 units and in 2015-2016 we’re going to get another 610 units under our belt. It took from 1980 to now to do 10,000 units, and now we’re going to be close to 11,000 units in just one year,” announces Friedman.
So how is Fine Line Construction going to accomplish tripling in size over this next year? The San Francisco Housing Authority has liquidated its properties and is giving a total of 29 rehab projects, throughout two phases, out via lottery to non-profit housing providers.
Fine Line Construction is in pre-construction services on all of the jobs and has been awarded five of the projects in phase 1, and two projects in phase 2. These projects are estimated to bring an increase of $75M to the company over 2015 and 2016.
Some of Fine Line’s upcoming projects include Buchannan Park (a 68 unit housing building), 255 Woodside (a 109 unit housing development), 430TURK Street (a 79 unit housing development), 25 Sanchez (a 90 unit building), 462 Duboce (a 42 unit building), and Holly Court (a 118 unit building).
In addition to the quality projects it delivers, another component that makes Fine Line Construction a leading contractor in San Francisco is the people that make up the team of talented staff.
“For each person that works here, they have a certain level of knowledge in their field and they are familiar with the sensitivities of our work. Collectively, we collaborate and make a job come together successfully,” reports Friedman.
The company also assists in obtaining LEED certifications and many Fine Line Construction projects have been Gold LEED certified.