Penalta is an innovative and quality construction company that delivers commercial construction projects of any size throughout Canada. The company, based in Ontario, Canada, started in 1999 by founders Terry Wallace and Robert Ogden, has grown to a $30 million a year business with 25 employees.
Penalta is an experienced and expert builder in retail construction – ground up and interior fit out; hotels and hospitality construction – new build and renovations; offices – buildings and interior fit outs; residential/multi-tenant; renovation/restoration; and industrial – light industrial/manufacturing.
“Our passionate, trustworthy and open approach has since allowed us to build relationships with some of the top national companies within the retail, hospitality and commercial sectors,” said founder Robert Ogden. “We treat every client like our only client and using our depth of resources and expertise, we work with you to turn your vision and inspiration into reality.”
In the past eight years Penalta has successfully moved into the hospitality market and is now recognized throughout Canada as a reputable hotel builder. Penalta has become the builder of choice for Realstar Hospitality, which sells franchise licenses for Days Inn, Motel 6, and Studio 6 hotels throughout Canada.
According to Ogden, a lot of the hotel franchisees who want to build hotels don't know how to build and plan it. Penalta took the time to learn how to do it, which has helped them secure business and stabilize the amount of construction projects they schedule. Penalta lets the hotel owner know how long it is going to take, how much it will cost, what's the timeframe, and the franchisee receives all that information before any money is spent. When Realstar gets a franchisee for a Motel 6 they put the Penalta name forward.
“We have a great relationship with Realstar Hospitality,” Ogden said. “I think that gives us a competitive advantage.”
The company is finishing its construction of an 80 room Motel 6 with a pool in Airdrie – about an 11 month build. They have built five Motel 6s and have just started a Days Inn this May in Ontario. In addition, they are building a Staybridge Suites extended stay hotel in Edmonton that is 92,000 square feet and will have 126 rooms, as well as a Candlewood extended stay Hotel that is 60,000 square feet and will have 105 rooms.
“We love building them,” Ogden said.
The first employee ever hired at Penalta is still working for the company and his experience has rubbed off on everybody. The company has civil engineers and project managers who have worked there for more than eight years, and site supervisors who have been there 14 years.
“The people who work here enjoy coming to work and that's important to us,” Ogden said. “You should enjoy what you do because you have to do it every day.”
In the past four years the company started to accept students from Conestoga College who take the project management and construction management course. The students work at the company for a semester and have brought in some new energy. The company has hired three people through that program.
“They're excellent - they are teaching us on some of the technology,” Ogden said. “It's just amazing and that's the way forward.”
One of the major technological changes is having site supervisors and project managers use iPads. All information about the project is on the iPad, from change logs to change requests to the drawings to the minutes of the meetings.
Plans for growth
The company continues to build more hotels and presently has 8-10 in the early stages of budgeting and design. However, as they have always done Penalta will not just focus on hotels. They will continue to construct retail big box stores, car dealerships, commercial buildings and offices, light industrial buildings and complete renovations for their existing clients.
Penalta’s growth has had a significant annual increase for the past 5-6 years and it should continue at this pace over the next few years. But, according to Ogden, the company may decide to have a real go at growing larger.
“We are almost at that point where I think we have the capabilities to do it. We are experienced enough and not afraid of growing to be a $50 to $60 million company. We got the structure, experience, and the balance sheet and we are almost there. We are poised for expansion and growth.”