Compo Construction Company was founded in 1992 by George Compo, whose twelve years of prior experience with prominent heavy and commercial construction organizations prepared him to compete in our demanding marketplace. Since 1992 the company has seen steady growth and has developed a long list of highly respected clients.
In many ways though, the foundation of Compo Construction was laid prior to 1992. In 1986 while he served as Division Engineer with Tidewater Construction Corporation, George returned to his alma mater, Virginia Tech, to recruit senior engineering students for field engineering positions. During the visit, George interviewed Kevin Long and made the recommendation to Larry Frost, another principal at Tidewater Construction, to hire Kevin. During a follow up interview with Larry an offer of employment was made, Kevin accepted, and the beginning of a long relationship between the three men was born.
George left Tidewater Construction in 1988 and 4 years later established Compo Construction Company. In 1994, looking for assistance and advice on how to steer his new business, he sought out his former colleague, Larry Frost, who had recently retired with 29 years experience in the construction industry as a director of Tidewater Construction. Larry quickly recognized the potential of the newly formed company and thought his “assistance” would be most beneficial if he just joined the Compo organization. It was a perfect fit. Through the years his experience, leadership, and advice have made a solid contribution to Compo’s success. Although Larry retired from Compo Construction in 2001, he still served as a Vice President and Director on a part-time basis until his death in 2011.
Over the next six years, as the company rapidly expanded George Compo handled most of the construction management workload himself. Recognizing that they needed help in order to grow the business, George and Larry turned to Kevin Long with another offer of employment, this time at Compo Construction. The opportunity and timing for Kevin was perfect, so he joined the organization as a Project Manager in April of 2000. He was promoted to Vice President in 2001 and was named a Director two years later.
Design – Build projects have been part of Compo Construction’s portfolio since 1998. Frank A. Ribar III, a licensed architect with more than 34 years of experience, provides the architectural design for these projects and also contributes as a project manager and estimator as well. Compo also utilizes state-of-the-art CAD software in their Design – Build projects.
In addition to the company’s history of building quality and on-time construction projects, the development and growth of their employees has been a focus of management’s attention. The company has created an environment for individual growth and recognizes the people who have demonstrated the interest and energy to excel.
During 2006, Compo Construction’s sales exceeded $33 million and the value of their largest project exceeded $7 million dollars.
We have completed some significant commercial housing projects,” Long says. “Currently we are constructing six new buildings for Virginia Wesleyan College, which will provide housing for 96 students. We completed another significant multifamily housing project called Village Pointe Senior Housing for the Retirement Housing Foundation (RHF) that included sixty (60) units of senior housing located off Hampton Boulevard near Old Dominion University.
“We do a lot of renovations including work in hospitals, medical centers and the supporting physician offices around the area.” “We are very experienced working in the medical field,” Long says. “These types of projects are typically very technical and challenging and include work on X-Ray rooms, MRI facilities, CT rooms and the like. These projects are in environments where business is ongoing and we are very conscience about our clients’ ability to continue to function during construction.”
Another longstanding client, is Stihl, a leader in the manufacture of a wide range of portable power tools, which has a manufacturing plant in Virginia Beach. “We are proud that we have been their main source for general contracting services since 1999.” Long said. “Based on the projects that we have completed we have probably doubled the size of the Stihl manufacturing plant.”
Compo Construction has also completed building and warehouse additions for other notable clients. An example is the warehouse addition that was recently completed for Kettler, a world-wide manufacturer of outdoor leisure furniture and recreational items. This project involved an addition for Kettler that added over twenty additional loading docks and increased their warehouse space by 85,000 square feet.
In the rapidly-expanding restaurant market, clients include the Byrd & Baldwin Brothers Steakhouse, Gotti’s Grinders and Rita’s Water Ice. Projects in the banking and finance industry include construction of a new branch for Bank of the Commonwealth in Norfolk’s East Ocean View neighborhood and several renovations for Navy Federal Credit Union throughout the Tidewater area.
Norfolk Airport Authority is another regular client. Long says the company has completed numerous projects, from renovations and tenant build-outs for the airlines to a variety of projects for the Airport Authority, and, most recently, completing a Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) addition to Concourse A.
George says that Compo Construction has generally been able to contract most of its work through negotiations with owners. “We can provide cost budgets early in the process and ensure architectural design is proceeding within an owner’s budget.” An example of this is Compo’s work with the MRI and CT Diagnostics Center where a new facility is being constructed in the Greenbrier area of Chesapeake. As relates to marketing, George says, “We market through our reputation, and word-of-mouth recommendations from satisfied customers – that’s how we get new clients.”