A Look at Perlo’s Special Projects Group: History and Growth 


Perlo is well known for its extensive, industrial, ground-up construction portfolio. A drive around the Portland Metro area’s commercial districts will surely include buildings completed by our teams. In fact, a recent review of the City of Canby demonstrated that Perlo has completed most of their tilt-up buildings, and a glance at the Wilsonville area shows much the same. It is less well-known that Perlo completes commercial construction in a wide variety of market sectors outside of the industrial space, including:

Approximately 30% of our project portfolio each year is made up of projects outside of the industrial market sector.

Additionally, roughly $25 million of our annual revenue to date is completed by our elite Special Projects Group, which is a dedicated cohort of project managers and superintendents that work exclusively on small repairs, renovations, tenant improvements and sustaining projects in every market sector we serve. Today, we will explore the history and growth of our talented Special Projects Group (SPG). They serve an important role in our organization, and they are often the backbone of developing new relationships, maintaining existing ones, and providing excellent customer service to our clients for the lifetime of their buildings. 

The Inspiration for SPG

The Special Projects Group was formally established in 2009 when Perlo’s ownership saw a need to better serve our customers between large building projects. Perlo would be commonly called out to expand a building or build an additional structure for a past client and, while touring their facility, discover that they’d hired a smaller contractor to complete minor renovations in between. It wasn’t that they didn’t want to use Perlo; it was that they didn’t think we would be interested in such small work. Unfortunately, the quality these owners received for these smaller projects was often poor. 

Thus, an idea was born: a dedicated group of project managers and superintendents that worked specifically on smaller projects, including repairs, renovations, tenant improvements and sustaining projects. 

Small Beginnings for SPG  

The ideation for this group was given to a two-person team in 2009. Armed with company resources and empowered to establish the department’s structure and flow, the two created a framework and performed small projects to the tune of $250,000 in revenue in the first year. Projects within the department included all kinds of small repairs, such as: 

  • Concrete slab repairs
  • Service repairs – bollards, door replacements, maintenance
  • Small wall repairs
  • Turning two offices into a single conference room
  • Tenant improvements
  • Floor restorations
  • Emergency repairs – vehicle crashes, roof collapses, storm damage

While the revenue number was small, the need for Perlo’s services was evident. Clients were delighted to find they could call on their trusted general contractor for both large and small project needs.

A Trajectory of Growth  

Following SPG’s creation in 2009, the group continued to grow and expand their volume, nearly doubling revenues each consecutive year. As the group grew, their processes refined, and the department structure became more precise, efficient, and highly effective. By 2018, the department had grown to nearly $ 17 million in annual revenue, with four full-time project managers and six field superintendents regularly completing these small construction projects for both current and new clients. Projects also continued to grow in technicality and complexity, including: 

Tuality Healthcare OR Remodel >

Re-construction of two operating rooms in an occupied medical facility to ensure code compliance and more modern working environment for surgery team.

Mahlum Architect TI >

Mahlum’s new, wide open floorplan is within the Custom Blocks Development, a location with built-in character from an old metal stamping shop.

The Duck Store Washington Square >

Tenant improvement of a 2, 300 SF retail shop for the famous Oregon “Ducks” team that doubled the size of the sales floor.

With a 24/7 emergency line, customers could call anytime for regular work, including emergency repairs. Some of these projects have included: 

VLMK Engineering + Design Repair and Renovation >

After a massive oak tree fell through the roof, our SPG team came in to repair and reconstruct this office building. The job entailed replacing all of the steel and Tectum tile roof structure as well as repairing the damaged concrete girders.

Les Schwab Sandy Boulevard

Existing building leaks combined with the snowstorm compromised the back wall of the alignment bay, spurring our teams to install shoring for temporary safety. A new replacement structure was designed and installed to replace the facility’s roof joists and rear wall.

Graybar Roof Collapse

This project consisted of the replacement of approximately 5,000 SF of the roof structure and associated lighting and roofing due to collapse under the snow load. Additionally, one (1) column and footing were found to have settled significantly under the weight of the snow.

In addition to these larger emergencies, SPG regularly completes repairs on existing spaces from vehicular collisions, damaged truck docks, forklift collisions at interior columns, and even a couple of building repairs due to trains colliding with exterior walls! For example, during the extreme 2021 winter storm, we promptly responded to six roof collapse emergencies and quickly repaired the majority.

Today’s Special Projects Group  

Currently, the team still services our existing and new clients for ongoing maintenance, repairs, and upgrades for all their project needs. In addition to service items, SPG is focused on bringing awareness of their experience in the Tenant Improvement market sectors, completing projects from small carpet and paint renovations to multi-million dollar build-outs. 

Our tenant improvement focus has received the most growth over the years, both in revenue and processes. The cohesive team works closely to coordinate labor and subcontractors for projects that are often fast-paced and mission-critical for our clients.  

Our talented and dynamic SPG stands out amongst the crowd for their ability to respond quickly and efficiently. Our superintendents are empowered to self-perform a multitude of work. Overall, our team holds exceptional awareness of tenant improvement skillsets and experience. 

Final Thoughts

Perlo’s Special Projects Group is available any time for repairs, renovations, tenant improvements and sustaining work. If you need these types of repairs, you can call us anytime at 503.624.2090 or email spg@perlo.biz to get connected today.