buesing 50th anniversary

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Overview of Buesing's 50-year legacy in the Valley of the Sun, including unique projects, a look at the new strategic leadership group and a Q&A with the founder.




    98 | July-Augus t 2014

    Down to Earth

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    Drivers along Central Avenue, between Washington and Jefferson streets, probably dont know theyre commuting over an underground garage that acts as a bridge. In fact, a lot of downtown Phoenix's underbelly has, unbeknownst to the average pedestrian, excavated or filled in some capacity by earthwork contractor Buesing Corp. The company has performed 10 digs in the vicinity of CityScape alone and even built an underground tunnel across Monroe that connects the Fourth Avenue Jail and Maricopa County Court Tower.

    Five DecaDes oF DirtThe 50-year-old companys mission statement is to be

    simply the best. A company with a notorious appetite for challenging projects began with an entrepreneurial 16-year-old Jerry Buesing in a Minnesota basement.

    After receiving his license as a teen, Buesing began driving trucks and operating equipment for a construction company in high school. In college, he began working for his fathers friend in Twin Cities, Minn. Shortly thereafter, he decided to start his own company.

    It was spring 1965 when Buesing and his brother, Tom, founded Busing Corp. What started with two pieces of equipment grew to a much larger fleet in just a few years. Three years into their business, the Buesings completed their first basement garage with shoring, which set the stage for the coming years of basement and garage projects that led to mass excavation, belly dump trucking and work for the Minnesota Department of Transportation. In 1973, the Tom and Jerry decided to split the business; Tom moved to Colorado Springs, Colo., and started a construction company, while Jerry stayed in Minnesota and grew the existing business. After winning bids on many projects in Phoenix where the construction season is much easier to navigate than Minnesota Buesing decided to move to the Southwest.

    In 1986, Buesing moved its headquarters to Phoenix. As it happens, its first project as an Arizona-based company was a basement garage. The company quickly became a leader in commercial basements while taking

    Down to Earth Buesings 50-year legacy runs deepBy AmAndA VenturA

    There is this energy that happens on the job site when you put companies together that really can make something happen. It is a lot of fun to be around.

    Jerry Barnier, President of Suntec Concrete

    Maricopa County Court Tower project

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    on a range of projects in the Phoenix Metro. In 2001, Buesing began a concrete and recycling plant in Chandler to produce ABC. In 2003, Buesing moved into self-performing shoring, drilling and earth retention. In 2009, Buesing began self-performing shotcrete and site development for solar energy projects. As of 2013, Buesing performed more than 95 shoring projects.

    Now based primarily in the Southwest, the company builds in Arizona, California, Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada, Utah and Texas. Buesing currently provides the following services: mass excavation and site development, material transport (import and export), shotcrete walls, shoring and drilling, recycling of concrete and asphalt and solar and wind energy projects.

    We do not shy away from any type of project, however we do excel at projects that require a more technical background and quick turnarounds, says Buesing Corp.s Executive Vice President of Construction, Bryon Matesi.

    Digging a Way to the topThe true essence of a good subcontractor is more than a

    number of projects or revenue. Its about being a team player, says Wespac Construction President John Largay, who has known Jerry Buesing for 30 years Largays entire career.

    Hes one of the best at complicated excavations and shoring on difficult in-fill sites, Largay says. Thats generally when we lean on his expertise.

    Largay notes that while Buesings speciality is difficult digs, the company is also efficient. For instance, its taking the dirt excavated at its Tempe-based Marina Heights project and transporting it to Wespacs Liberty Center at Rio Salado, which is a fill site. After three phases, Buesing will have transported approximately 400,000 cubic yards of dirt between the sites, which are about three miles apart. According to Buesings Vice President of Estimating and Business Development, Kevin Somerville, the work is equivalent to 28,600 truckloads.

    Its not just the work Buesing has done with Wespac that Largay says is noteworthy. Hes just a good guy.

    I dont think [what sets Buesing apart] is just one job, Largay says. The guys been doing it for 50 years. Thats just the cloth hes cut from. Thats the kind of operator he is. That goes through a company. The reason people work for him is because they trust him. Im no different as Wespac. Ive got 70 people and Im only as good as the people who work here.

    If Chuck Carefoot, vice president of construction for Ryan Companies Southwest region, had to summarize his companys relationship with Buesing it would be in one word: Teamwork.

    Ryan Companies has worked with Buesing since it moved to the Valley 28 years ago. In 2003, Ryan Companies designed and built Buesings corporate headquarters at 7th Street and the Salt River, and the partnership is marked by a medallion placed in the hardscape near the entry to memorialize the project.

    Buesing also partnered with Ryan Companies on what Carefoot called the most significant project at the time, the Phelps Dodge Tower (now One North Central) on the NEC of Central and Washington streets in downtown Phoenix.

    The project was Ryans most significant project to date in Arizona and having the opportunity to work with Buesing to design and build the four-story, below grade excavation and retention system necessary to accommodate the below grade

    parking was a significant advantage for the project in terms of cost and time, he says. Because Buesing is a true collaborator, we were able to partner with other trade contractors that needed early access to the site and retention systems that allows for success for all parties involved in the project.

    The two are currently working together on Ryan Companies, ASU and Sunbelt Holdings monumental Marina Heights, a 2MSF and 9,000 stall office and retail development in Tempe. Its Ryans largest project in the Southwest.

    This is a quality Suntec Concretes President Jerry Barnier has also noted. From Esplanade, the Phoenix Convention Center, CityScape, to Mayo and now Marina Heights, Buesing is always in front on the intense jobs, he says.

    Suntec Concrete and Buesing have worked together for more than 15 years. "There is this energy that happens on the job site when you put companies together that really can make something happen, says Barnier. It is a lot of fun to be around.

    Bo Calbert, president of McCarthy Building Companies Southwest Division, agrees. Great partnerships make great projects. Anytime you start digging, unexpected issues arise and challenges begin, he says. Since Buesing views themselves as partners on our projects, we work together to address the challenges and issues and get it done for our customers.

    McCarthy and Buesing have worked together for three decades on many technical projects. Calbert explains that when Buesing worked on The Esplanade and 4th Avenue Jail, it was on a zero lot line that required coordination and multi-tasking to keep the projects on schedule. Hayden Ferry Lakeside, he says, was another tight site with a significant amount of excavation.

    They always live up to their commitments and are willing to work through problems to find a solution that works for all, and helps to make the project work for the client. Because we both focus on being reliable, we work well together, Calbert says.

    I dont think [what sets Buesing apart] is just one job. The guys been doing it for 50 years. Thats just the cloth hes cut from. Thats the kind of operator he is. That goes through a company. The reason people work for him is because they trust him. John Largay, President, Wespac Construction


  • Sidewalk

    Overburden(Strata 1)

    Soil nails

    Strata 2 - SGC(Sand, Gravel,

    Cobbles )

    Strata 3 -SGC continues, cobbles

    get larger




    Pipe cantilever

    behind shotcrete

    Anchor drillLoader




    There's more to dirt than meets the eye. Though every project Buesing takes on presents unique challenges, the typical "big dig" looks a little like the diagram below.

    Buesing's Construction Manager, Bob Pettit, shared with AZRE the anatomy of a dig and the heavy machinery Buesing puts to work a few dozen feet into the soil strata.

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    Q&AJerry Buesing, president and CEO of Buesing Corp., began working in the construction industry at 16 years old in Minnesota. After years in the industry, he and his brother founded Buesing Corp., which he later moved to Arizona, developing a reputation for taking on difficult projects.

    BuEsing COrp wAs fOundEd in 65 in MinnEsOtA And MOvEd tO phOEnix A littlE MOrE thAn twEnty yEArs lAtEr. why ArizOnA? In the early 80s, Buesing Corp. was doing well despite the construction recession that was devastating a lot of businesses. However, the majority of Buesings work was in northern Minnesota. The years 1983 and 1984 provided the Midwest, particularly northern Minnesota, extremely short construction seasons due to terrible weather. The soil conditions were so poor because of the rain, snow, and sleet that work was being postponed until the summer months. Buesing Corp. received the opportunity to bid a project in Phoenix for a Denver-based co