FOCUS 2018: The Hagerman Group has been on full display (and proud of that) for 110 years and counting

The Hagerman Group has offices in downtown Fort Wayne, as well as the Indianapolis and Louisville areas. (By Tom Davis of News-Sentinel.com)
Shown is a rendering of the Riverfront Park that is currently under construction in downtown Fort Wayne. (Courtesy photo)
Kayaks wait for users across from the site where the new riverfront Promenade Park will be constructed in downtown Fort Wayne. The city has big plans for riverfront development and encouraging more recreational use of its three rivers, but state stream navigability laws may create some challenges. (By Kevin Kilbane of News-Sentinel.com)
The foundation of its business is on display at the entrance of The Hagerman Group's corporate offices in downtown Fort Wayne. (By Tom Davis of News-Sentinel.com)
City leaders and others turn over ceremonial shovels of dirt at the groundbreaking ceremony Thursday for the new Promenade Park downtown on the St. Marys River. The park, which will be located between the Historic Wells Street Bridge and Harrison Street, is the first phase of the city of Fort Wayne's planned riverfront development. (By Kevin Kilbane of News-Sentinel.com)
The Hagerman Group served as the general contractor for the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum project in Fort Wayne. (News-Sentinel.com file photo)
Al Moll, director of Parks and Recreation, has taken the lead on riverfront development in part because the city could not use its power of eminent domain to acquire property for private use. Phase 1 will be mostly another riverfront park as a result, but City Councilman Michael Barranda and others want to make sure private investment in such things as bars and restaurants follows. (By Kevin Leininger of News-Sentinel.com)
The Hagerman Group served as the general contractor for the Parkview Field project in downtown Fort Wayne. (Photo courtesy of Fort Wayne TinCaps)

Millions of people observe and visit the beautiful works of art (often in a literal sense) annually which have been created by The Hagerman Group. The Indiana-based (and now Kentucky, as well) construction company may not be thought of initially as a company that creates works of art but in many regards that is indeed what it has done for over a century.

“Anyone who cares about what they do professionally,” Hagerman vice-president of business development Rob Young told News-Sentinel.com earlier this month, “it’s what you feel inside. To me, that is the biggest reward.”

For The Hagerman Group, it is a group of “about 300 people” that have been positively impacting communities throughout the Midwest – and feeling good about doing so “inside” – since 1908.

“What you feel inside is how it is impacting people’s lives,” Young continued. “How are we building a better future? How are we being that construction solutions provider that we purport to be? It is through quality work.”

The Hagerman Group has undertaken projects in a myriad of communities but for the citizens of northeast Indiana, its prideful work is on full display throughout the area.

The company served as the general contractor for both Allen County War Memorial Coliseum, as well as Parkview Field, and its latest endeavor is the opening phase of the Riverfront Park project being developed downtown on both sides of the St. Mary’s River.

“This is an incredible project,” Young said.

The $20 million project has been dreamt about for decades and The Hagerman Group is in the process of making those visions reality.

The company is serving as the Construction Manager as Agent for the project, which should be completed about this time next year.

“My family has been (in Fort Wayne) for 18 years,” Young said, “and for 18 years we’ve heard ‘Let’s develop our rivers.'”

The project will provide an opportunity for social interaction, entertainment and recreation and that year-round engagement will be in a multitude of ways never before possible.

The Hagerman Group is a four-generation (two are active in the day-to-day operations), family-run business and it has the expertise and experience to know what it can and can’t do. This specific project was “unique,” according to Young, but of great interest to the company from the outset.

“We have to be very specific in what we target,” Young explained.

Young continued to explain that with the economy as strong as it is currently, the number of projects available makes it “challenging” to become involved in every one.

“There are some things that we know that we could do and do well,” Young said. “But maybe we simply don’t have the capacity to pursue either in the hunt or the actual delivery of the project.”

However, what The Hagerman Group does “pursue” it does well.

The Riverfront Park project is unlike most projects in many ways but after working in the industry for 100-plus years, The Hagerman Group is capable of handling the “what if” scenarios that Young alluded to.

“Every project is unique,” Young said. “But we really have similar activities. Whether it is our work at the Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo or some of our work in Indianapolis and everything in between.”

The company has completed projects in health care settings and educational institutions, as well as industrial, corporate, and institutional projects.

The Hagerman Group has managed the construction of a federal prison and built artwork (literally) for the Indianapolis Museum of the Art.

Some of those projects may be “unique,” but The Hagerman Group is, as well, in terms of its focus on customer service.

For over three decades, the company has been utilizing a “five-year follow up” program in which it meets annually with its customers AFTER completion of the projects to ensure their satisfaction.

“It just makes a ton of sense,” Young said. “We want people to be happy and to exceed their expectations. What better way to ensure that than to go back at least every year to check on the warranty situations but more specifically, find out of the end product is performing at expectations if not beyond.”

For those that drive past the Public Safety Academy of Northeast Indiana (The Hagerman Group oversaw the construction of that, as well) or more captivating, the Lincoln Tower in the heart of this city, they can take in the capability of The Hagerman Group. However, Young is quick to note that those “iconic projects” may be more eye-catching but the company can handle a wide array of projects.

“We enjoy being recognized for some of those iconic projects,” Young said. “But actually, and many are surprised by this, our average project is on either side of $1 million.

“We appreciate being known for some of the bigger projects but we also like folks to know that we haven’t forgotten our roots. We’re still a local, Indiana-based company and we want to take care of people and businesses. We do smaller projects for lots and lots of reasons, including it is the right thing to do.”