The economy was headed into recession in 2007 when Trent Prim left his job at the construction company Linbeck to start a firm with his wife, Beth. The couple had one job in hand. “It wasn't as bad (the first year) as the next year or the next couple of years,” Trent Prim jokes.
Today, the company has an $18 million backlog, three LEED-certified, energy-efficient projects under its belt, and a client roster that includes Oncor Electric Delivery, Cook Children’s, Billy Bob’s Texas, and CATS Theatre in Arlington. With Beth Prim as CEO, the company ranked 21 among the nation’s 50 fastest-growing women-owned or led privately held businesses in 2017 – an annual list compiled by the Women Presidents’ Organization and American Express. PRIM Construction has been growing sales at 30 percent a year since 2013, as it emerged from the recession, and should hit $20 million in sales this year, the Prims said.
“We started out very humble, and we stayed very humble,” Trent Prim says.
In 2013, the Prims purchased an old Piggly Wiggly store on Roberts Cut Off Road in west Fort Worth and remade the 22,000-square-foot building – 4,500 square feet for the company’s contemporary headquarters and the remainder leased to tenants. The building is now on the northern edge of the River District, a mixed-use redevelopment of more than 60 acres off of White Settlement Road and the Trinity River that’s underway and being led by Fort Capital.
The Prims’ timing on their purchase was good, coming before plans for the River District emerged. “To our benefit, nobody knew what it was,” Trent Prim jokes. “Now, we’re ideally situated on the north end of the River District.”
PRIM Construction is general contractor for Fort Worth Inc.’s inaugural Dream Office project – a three-story, 22,000-square-foot Fort Capital-developed building underway at White Settlement Road and Nursery Lane in the River District. It’s the first collaboration between Prim and Fort Capital CEO Chris Powers, Jr. “We knocked on the door at the right time,” Prim says.
Fort Capital finished a two-story, 16,800-square-foot building in 2017 at Nursery Lane, south of White Settlement Road. The building, occupied by a complementary collection of businesses ranging from oil and gas to family office, law and construction, got to 100 percent full quickly. The Dream Office building is next to the first building, and it will follow the old-industrial style of the first.
The building will feature the same 1800s-era interior brick salvaged from an old factory in South Carolina that the first building has. The exterior brick, like the first building, will be of a vintage style.
As in the long-running series of Dream Homes and Homes of Dreams put on by Fort Worth Inc.’s sister publication, Fort Worth Magazine, PRIM Construction will team with some of the area’s finest vendors to build a project with the latest design trends and amenities. The $3.6 million building, designed by The Beck Group, is scheduled to be complete by March 2019.
PRIM Construction offers a range of services, including design build, design management, development cost estimation, construction design management, construction manager at risk, negotiated contract, environmental services, movement of projects through approval processes, and site feasibility selection.
The company today has 12 employees, and the company has worked to maintain a family culture, the Prims say. Employees’ children “have been raised in the office in playpens,” Beth Prim says.