Miami-based general contractor Coastal Construction Group is expanding into Central Florida with a new office in Orlando, and has hired ex-Balfour Beatty executive Sean DeMartino as president of its new Central and North Florida division.
DeMartino has more than 30 years experience as a construction executive, the last 24 of which he spent as president of Balfour Beatty's Florida division and Centex Construction, which it acquired in 2007.
He left Balfour Beatty in early May as part of a shakeup in senior leadership for the Southeast.
"We've done work across much of Florida over our company's past 25 years, but never in Orlando," Coastal's co-president Tom C. Murphy told GrowthSpotter. "I've known Sean since I was 21 years old in school at the University of Florida, where I was on the management team and picked him as a junior to shadow. I got to know him well, we stayed in touch over the years, and at Coastal we like to build our business around people.
"When he became available it seemed like the opportunity and timing was right, because coincidentally over the past six months we've had several calls for work from the Orlando area," he continued. "We've been talking about a Central and North Florida expansion for years."
Coastal Construction has about 400 employees now spread across South and Central Florida, some of whom live as close as 45 minutes to Orlando, said Murphy, thanks to a growing Tampa presence for the contractor in recent years.
"I've known the Murphy family a long time and watched them grow their business," DeMartino said Wednesday. "Their expertise, capabilities and the following they have with their clients, people and culture showed me this was a private firm with the capabilities to do a lot of the great things I was doing with a large firm like Balfour Beatty."
Coastal has built more than 50 hotels and resorts in Florida, with a majority of its work coming in hospitality, multifamily and single-family residential, and corporate office space, followed by a growing mix of public and private schools and other commercial buildings.
The builder's focus in Central Florida and the Interstate 4 corridor will be on "high-value and complex work in all of those segments that deserves sophisticated delivery capabilities," DeMartino said.
Office space will be sought by the company in Orlando, and hiring is underway to build up the new division, though some of that will include existing employees that live in the region, Murphy said.
Notable GC jobs that Balfour Beatty held in Greater Orlando during DeMartino's run as president include building The Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts, The Hyatt Regency Orlando expansion (of the former Peabody), Sapphire Falls Resort at Universal Orlando, Cabana Bay Resort at Universal, Walt Disney World's Avatar attraction at Animal Kingdom, and more than 24,000 hotel rooms and vacation club units at Disney.
DeMartino is active in civic circles, serving as a co-chair of the Orlando Economic Partnership, as a board member with the Heart of Florida United Way with a particular focus on its "Mission United," and contributing to Junior Achievement of Central Florida and its local charter school The JA Academy.
DeMartino also supports the University of Florida School of Construction Management program, serving on their industry advisory board and leading the industry engagement team.