|Platform USA LLC
|Platform LLC’s (PLLC) mission is to redesign the real estate construction process, splitting what has traditionally been one, overly complicated, partially underinvested effort to transform the existing site into the imagined building, into two, the component that is above grade (the “vertical”) and the component that is below grade (the “platform”). In an average, urban, 4-8 story real estate development where there is a below grade parking requirement, it is common to devote approximately 35% of the time and 20% of the cost of a project to the platform. All development projects have some need to deliver a platform. It is therefore critical that this component be managed successfully, but its lack of visibility, rather mundane aspect, and relative complexity has resulted in insufficient investment from industry players. This is less of a problem and more of an opportunity, which means it will be a harder sell at first to our potential clients, but more resistant to competitors who will scratch their heads as to whether this solution is so revolutionary. We hypothesize that with capital, expertise, calculated assembly, and single-minded focus, we can transform the platform delivery process, offering a better, faster, cheaper, and more predictable experience for our real estate development partners. We will follow the arc of other construction innovators, pairing innovative process improvements and novel ways of using evolving technologies to first integrate delivery partners better (think excavation, sheeting and shoring, site utilities, structural concrete or other building components), then to assemble the critical components so we own the most important parts of the delivery, and finally to introduce radical concepts (prefabricated modular) to provide a platform solution that cannot be matched by construction companies using traditional methods to deliver the platform. PLLC will offer to build the platform for developers and/or construction companies. In the beginning, we will focus on a narrow real estate development type: DC metropolitan region, urban setting, $10 - $50 million projects. We believe the main customer will originally be developers with sufficient experience and track record to be able to secure financing, and who have also seen first-hand the difficulties of the current delivery of platforms. As our work will extract some value directly from the traditional general contractor role (”GC”), we will also partner carefully with the GC, and potentially may direct some sales efforts to GCs. The value proposition will be to achieve greater predictability, then improved timing, and then improved cost performance, in that order, for our clients. We have first-hand experience as developers with the mechanics of the delivery of the platform, but we do expect this initiative to require a significant learning curve as well. We do not expect to be an overnight success, and we do expect that there will be incremental gains, followed hopefully by order of magnitude gains. The latter will be the result of the development of our Platform MethodTM, which we predict will involve process redesign, assemblage of components (e.g. sheeting and shoring, structural engineering, etc.) AND application of technology. While we will not immediately attempt to create this IP, we believe strongly that at some point, as we gain momentum and attract attention to our success, we should and will create barriers to competition by introducing IP. PLLC believes that great ideas inevitably blossom if leaders can identify obstacles and overcome them efficiently. The Platform idea is not designed to be an overnight success. Its major challenges are to communicate the vision, to build an organization that can execute, to prepare the necessary capital for each inflection point, and to gather momentum through successful projects that allow the organization to efficiently learn lessons and implement them. It will also be critically important to develop strong relationships that enable progressively improved performance and a widening impact through larger, more numerous projects. At the heart of the creation of PLLC is the idea that there are mid-sized local subcontractors that are both capital constrained, and struggling with the long term plan for their aging ownership. These will likely be minority owned businesses that have strong reputations and long track records, but whose size makes them unlikely targets for traditional investors. PLLC believes that it can offer these owners a path to be rewarded for their business successes through staged acquisition. PLLC will pursue an acquisition strategy that allows it to raise and utilize capital to add pieces to its solution such that it will buy, rather than organically build, the self-performing elements of its work. It will thereby create a platform that can attract/grow strong construction leaders, maintain space for exiting owners who want a slow ramp, fairly reward entrepreneurs, and roll-up these activities to produce a truly unique and unbeatable product offering.
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