When construction slowed during the recession, Dallas-based Huffman Builders found a niche in medical office buildings and office condos.
And now Huffman is franchising its process.
The family business is run by CEO Jerry Huffman. He launched the firm in 1978, building an office condo with an eight-plex in Plano.
“That was really the first concept of office- condo ownership with offices that professionals would own,” COO Stephanie Rippe tells Texas Construction. Rippe, Huffman’s sister, says the concept is not new, “but was overdone by the ‘if we build it they will come’” mentality.”
Huffman took that and evolved it into the medical office building/office condos. The firm’s vice president and Huffman’s brother, Tim Huffman, says there are several reasons for the success. They find projects near medical facilities so doctors have the option of owning by a hospital. All rates are locked in rather than leasing.
One of the firm’s latest projects is the MOB/office condo Wilson Creek Medical Park, across from Baylor Medical Center at McKinney.
Tim Huffman says as soon as Baylor picked its site, they found an adjacent location. Wilson Creek will include nine buildings. Opening is slated for 2011 and Baylor opens in 2012.
Jerry Huffman says the firm’s business plan was born about eight years ago when someone requested a franchise of the company.
“We licensed it to them, created a trademark and about three years ago took formal steps to create our commercial construction franchise, and we’re the only one,” Jerry Huffman says.
The firm has franchised in 14 locations across nine states. “It’s a nice niche,” Jerry Huffman says. “Health care is coming back.”
The franchise comes with access to Huffman Lending Solutions including loan solutions, preferred subs and vendors, and customized software. Its operations manual covers customer service, accounting practices and more.