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Wednesday, Apr 17, 2024

Homes, Hospitality Boost R.D. Olson Construction

1st phase of Bolsa Row completed

When it comes to its slate of construction projects across Orange County, R.D. Olson Construction is keeping a finger on the multifamily and hospitality button.

The Irvine-based general contracting and construction management firm, an affiliate of Bob Olson’s R.D. Olson Development in Newport Beach, has delivered a handful of such projects in Orange County over the past few months, including the first component of Bolsa Row, a mixed-use project described as a “social hub and cultural landmark” in Westminster’s Little Saigon district.

The ground-up development will include a 200-unit apartment complex, stores, restaurants and the city’s first full-service and four-star hotel by Wyndham Hotels and Resorts.

Bolsa Row Apartments, a 234,234-square-foot mixed-use building, delivered this month with studio to three-bedroom luxury rental units ranging from 500 square feet to nearly 1,400 square feet.

Prices start at $2,288 per month for a studio and go up to around $5,000 per month for the larger units.

The building also includes more than 6,500 square feet of retail and restaurant space and a 944-square-foot pool, spa and other amenities.

“The project has been a success across the board,” said Bill Wilhelm, president of R.D. Olson Construction.

Returning a Favor

Bolsa Row kicked off construction in 2020, marking the largest commercial development to break ground in the city in several years.

R.D. Olson Construction is building the project at 10002 Bolsa Ave., a 6-acre lot about 5 miles from the Anaheim Resort district, on behalf of owner IP Westminster LLC.

The ownership group is backed by Joann and Bac Pham, area developers with other hotels in Garden Grove and nearby cities who arrived in Westminster as refugees in the ’70s following the Vietnam War, according to their daughter and IP Westminster COO Jaimie Nguyen.

“In their eyes, the completion of this development returns a favor to the community—one that’s provided so much to those who had so little,” Nguyen said in a statement.

Irvine-based KTGY led design and entitlements for the project, with the structure reflecting elements from pre-war Vietnam and borrowing from French colonial architecture.

“KTGY is committed to creating culturally-rich communities with timeless design elements that provide lasting benefits to residents,” said David Obitz, principal of KTGY.

The hotel portion of Bolsa Row is expected to kick off construction in the first quarter of next year, pending design approvals and construction financing, according to Wilhelm.

“The ownership is doing what a lot of developers are trying to do today—secure financing,” he said.

Hospitality Work

R.D. Olson this month also wrapped a $33 million renovation of the Sheraton Park Anaheim Hotel, marking “the building’s first facelift in over 40 years,” the company said.

Elsewhere in Anaheim, the company has wrapped the first phases of a major renovation of the Howard Johnson Anaheim Hotel and Water Playground in Anaheim’s Resort District.

That project includes a full modernization of 91 guest rooms at the 60-year-old hotel’s second tower and may include an expansion down the line with a potential new hotel tower, according to Wilhelm.

Hospitality is top of mind for R.D. Olson in Orange County as hotels continue to reevaluate their needs in the wake of the pandemic.

“There were a number of properties that were not touched for a couple of years, and a number of hotels that have changed ownership,” presenting the opportunity for renovations, Wilhelm said.

Battling Headwinds

As for headwinds, construction companies across the globe continue to face longer lead times for materials and higher costs.

R.D. Olson is no different.

“Finding sufficient resources and products continue to be top of mind,” Wilhelm said. “Costs are starting to stabilize, but it’s still a concern amidst inflation, political challenges and hurricanes.”

The company has had better luck on another challenge plaguing many industries in Orange County: labor.

“We’ve seen very nice revenue growth over the past few years, and have been in a position to add to our staff,” Wilhelm said. “We’ve hired several amazing individuals over the past 18 months, and while we will never stop looking for qualified and talented individuals, we’ve been able to hold our own.”

R.D. Olson, OC’s 16th largest construction firm with about $80 million in annual
revenue, counts 128 employees; all have returned to the office on a full-time basis
following the shelter-in-place orders of 2020.

“Our team did a remarkable job maneuvering through COVID-19,” Wilhelm said. “We didn’t have any projects shut down throughout the pandemic.”

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