KasCon Celebrates 25 Years of Going Beyond Construction!

KasCon is pleased to celebrate 25 years in business. Established in 1999, KasCon has grown consistently while maintaining a high level of quality and service. We are a trusted commercial real estate partner whose expertise and experience allow us to add value to the entire commercial real estate process. We thrive on the most challenging projects from concept to completion.

Our Approach – The “+”

KasCon’s approach is centered on developing a 360-degree view of every project. We look at each project as more than a transaction. We capture the whole instead of just focusing on the pieces traditionally assigned to the contractor. We ask questions, uncover goals, and seek to understand the needs of our partners and clients. We are managers + builders +. The extra + is a philosophy of going above and beyond expectations.

Core Values Drive Success

Solid core values have a way of driving success in all facets of business, attracting and maintaining quality personnel, managing the best value subcontractors and providing our clients with exemplary service.  Today we hold the same core values we started with 25 years ago:

  • Responsiveness: Everything we do is time critical. With KasCon you will receive responses to e-mails and calls in hours, not days.
  • Transparency: We provide straightforward honest answers, communicate clearly and succinctly, and make sure even complex issues are clear and understood.
  • Doing the Right Thing: It’s a simple rule that works in every situation whether it be an internal HR concern, a subcontractor issue or collaborating with a partner or a client.
  • Loyalty and Respect: KasCon focuses on building relationships with our partners and team members. We believe that if we treat everyone with respect and appreciation, the final product flourishes.

Concept to Completion

KasCon prides itself on contributing throughout the entire project life cycle. We don’t shy away from building estimates from limited concept information.  We want to participate, provide input, offer suggestions, and build value. We manage and navigate the critical pre-construction process, aggressively schedule and construct our projects, and close them out in a way that leaves a lasting impression and creates the repeat business that has been a constant for 25 years.

Expertise and Experience

The KasCon team is anchored by experienced leaders.  President Jeff Kassman brings over 35 years of professional experience. His philosophy of not just managing construction but acting in his client’s best interests, in all aspects of a project, is shared by the entire organization.

KasCon’s record of success, financial stability, strong working capital and bonding capacity mean that no matter the economic climate or changing circumstances of a project, we’ll be here to complete the work and support our clients.

People First

Our philosophy of putting people first means our people stay – we are proud of a 95%+ retention rate.  Those values and an experienced stable workforce yield great work. We provide a generous compensation structure and are committed to training and developing our team members. To accommodate our growth and future expansion plans, KasCon recently moved into new, larger office space and is actively hiring.

We’re excited that our new offices provide a terrific physical location for the next 25 years of growth!


Navigating 2024: Trends and Outlook in Commercial Construction

KasCon closely monitors trends and their impact on our business to ensure we can effectively serve as managers and advisors for our clients and their projects.

As we step into 2024, the commercial construction landscape has begun to stabilize in several areas and reached a new normal while other elements continue to evolve. In this blog post, we’ll highlight how we expect various factors to impact commercial construction, including: supply chain and materials pricing; interest rates; and labor and regulatory challenges.  In addition, we will discuss our thoughts on the direction of various market sectors within commercial construction.

  • Supply Chain and Materials Pricing: The stabilization of supply chain issues and materials pricing is noteworthy. Both are now more predictable compared to the years immediately after the pandemic, though lead times are still longer, and prices higher, than pre-pandemic levels. This poses challenges for the market in aligning construction costs with rental and real estate purchase rates.
  • Interest Rates and Real Estate: An anticipated downward trend in interest rates could drive increased investment in the real estate market. Though construction costs remain high, the shift in interest rates may influence deals and offer opportunities for both buyers and sellers. If short-term seller financing is an option, deals may have a greater likelihood of closing as there is optimism that a positive re-finance in the 4–5-year window is plausible.
  • Staffing and Labor: Finding talent continues to be a challenge and we expect ongoing pressure on salaries and overall compensation through 2024. As a result of the labor shortage, we see less experienced talent in areas of responsibility among many commercial real estate influencers. This can result in extended timelines, and a need for more collaboration to be certain that some experience is brought to an issue. The labor shortage trend appears to be slowing, and we expect to see at least a slight increase in talent availability by year’s end.
  • Processes and Regulations: Regulatory hurdles continue to impact construction timelines and costs. Energy efficiency and stormwater management regulations continue to significantly drive-up construction costs. There seem to be more disagreements between the code interpretations of plan reviewers and inspectors seemingly caused by labor shortages, and perhaps experience as discussed in the Staffing and Labor section above. This adds an additional layer of complexity to the approval process.

While commercial construction activity continues, the volume varies dramatically by market segment.

  • Office:  The Office market continues to be significantly affected by the reality that hybrid and remote work environments are here to stay. Class A spaces outperform other classes, and tenants not in large growth industries are downsizing at time of renewal. Construction costs seem to be extending lease durations.
  • Industrial: The industrial sector, which experienced highs during the pandemic, is cooling off, as it appears some as companies may have overbuilt. The sector nevertheless remains active, particularly for companies requiring complex logistics and transportation access.
  • Healthcare: The healthcare sector remains strong, driven by high demand and stable long-term occupancy. Consolidation within the industry is fueling deals as larger organizations tend to have the cash and wherewithal to forge ahead with projects despite budget challenges. We anticipate a robust market for healthcare-related construction projects will continue in 2024.
  • Retail: Despite the changing retail landscape, retailers still express a desire for more shelf space. Cash-rich chains with long-term leases are expected to dominate, emphasizing the importance of financial stability in navigating the retail sector.

Traversing the complex landscape of commercial construction in 2024 requires adaptability and strategic decision-making. Supply chain stabilization, fluctuating interest rates, evolving office dynamics, and sector-specific trends underscore the importance of working with partners who are agile, experienced, and understand the challenges all parties are facing in the ever-changing world of commercial construction.

Managing the High Costs of Construction Projects in Today’s Economic Environment

Anyone visiting Home Depot for a DIY project, large or small, has surely noticed the increased cost of building materials. Not surprisingly, the post pandemic impact on commercial construction projects has been significant.  In an environment of increasing material and labor costs, partnering with an experienced, trusted team is more important than ever.

Materials Costs

All signs and trends suggest that we are not going to see significant reductions in construction pricing. While cost increases seem to be stalling, nothing short of a very deep recession will create sufficient  downward pressure on construction prices to have a meaningful impact.  For that to occur, demand would need to plummet for a protracted period.  We would have a host of other problems perhaps far worse than the inflation we are experiencing now.

Here is snapshot of the prices of a few commodity construction items before and during the pandemic:

A 4’0 x 9’0 sheet of ½” Drywall

  • Pre-Pandemic:                   $8.28
  • Market High:                    $16.96
  • Current:                              $16.96

A 2×2 Piece of Armstrong Dune – Mid Grade Acoustical Ceiling Tile

  • Pre-Pandemic:                $4.72
  • Market High:                 $11.60
  • Current:                             $8.89

#12 AWG Solid Copper Wire per 1,000 lf

  • Pre-Pandemic:               $95.00
  • Market High:               $200.00
  • Current:                         $165.00

These are just a few items common to many commercial projects.  The impacts are similar across practically every element of every project.

Labor Costs

Material costs are only a portion of what goes into any commercial construction project. On average the ratio of labor to material is approximately 30-40% labor, 60-70% material.   There is no indication that labor costs may come down in the near future with construction job openings increasing nationally by 129,000 between January and February 2023.  If we assume no price reduction will come from labor, that means that  managing material costs is even more important.

Given increased material and labor costs, what can we do to make a construction project as cost-effective as possible?

The increased demands on getting prices down places increased importance on partnering with your contractor and design team.

Creativity & Experience

Perhaps one of the most overused terms in the industry is the famous VE, or value engineering. Delivering the “same” for less money takes creativity and experience with options available.   Getting contractor input early gives a creative partner a chance to steer  you to affordable solutions up front.   A good contractor can still value engineer a completed design, but there will be fewer opportunities for flexibility, and an owner may have fallen in love with an approach or specification without realizing the cost implications.

Adaptive Re-use

The high cost of new construction is pushing owners to consider adapting  buildings previously designed for a different purpose. We are seeing this in all facets and markets be it office, retail, industrial, healthcare and religious.  This approach can add some complexity but the value obtained from not building entirely new can be well worth it.  Working with a team that understands your goals and has experience with a wide variety of projects and the rules and restrictions around them will put your project in a better position.


Those seeking real estate for commercial purposes will be more apt to find existing, vacant spaces that roughly satisfy their needs OR choose to stay put, reorganizing and renovating their existing space. The pitfalls of an occupied renovation are obvious.  Construction disruptions can take a toll on an organization if not properly  planned, staged and orchestrated. The increase in work-from-home options perfected during the pandemic can help create large work phases without needing swing space to temporarily house staff.  The key to a successful occupied renovation is a contractor partner that takes the time to work with you, build a plan, manage and meet expectations.

These current economic realities for both labor and materials require thoughtful approaches and a strong partnership between owners and their general contractors and design teams. Successfully keeping a project on-time and on-budget rely on managing the economic realities in a proactive and thoughtful manner.  So, be selective about your general contractor and look for a partnership that demonstrates creativity and experience that will help you navigate this current new reality of higher material and labor costs.