In North America, the Obayashi Group has made strategic acquisitions of local construction companies that have demonstrated strong track records. The company continues to expand its business by combining the Group’s credibility, technical expertise, and management capabilities in large-scale construction projects with the kind of access to local information, region-specific knowledge, and specific technical expertise that are available only to local companies.
North American Regional Headquarters
In 2019, the San Francisco office, which was originally opened in 1979 to serve as a base for managing civil engineering projects in the region, was merged with the Overseas Business Division’s North American Regional Headquarters. In 2008, the Overseas Business Division was set up in Tokyo with authority over all of Obayashi Corporation’s international business. Projects are classified either as civil engineering or building construction. To improve profitability and stability, the North American Regional Headquarters was established locally in 2010 under the purview of the Overseas Business Division. By 2019, it had become clear that it would be necessary to formulate strategies specific to North America. With that in mind, the Overseas Business Division was eliminated and its responsibilities were shifted to the North American Regional Headquarters. The new North American Regional Headquarters was given responsibility for strategy and business development across the entire continent.
The main Group companies managed by the North American Regional Headquarters are introduced below.
Webcor was founded in 1971. Since 1990s, the company has developed business in a number of sectors, including the construction of high-rise condominiums, office buildings, commercial facilities, hotels, and hospitals in Northern California, particularly the San Francisco area. Webcor is currently extending its reach into Southern California, including Los Angeles. Since becoming a subsidiary of Obayashi USA, LLC in 2007, Webcor has taken on a growing number of large-scale construction projects with the technical and financial backing of the Group.
James E. Roberts-Obayashi Corporation
James E. Roberts-Obayashi was established in 1978 as a joint venture with investments by local stakeholders. Its mission was to do construction work in the San Francisco Bay area for U.S. companies, government entities and to serve the residential market. A steadily growing presence in the region, this mid-tier construction company has earned the respect of its many clients.
JS Builders, LLC
Local investors established JS Builders in 2012. That same year, Obayashi USA, LLC invested in the company with the goal of serving the low-rise apartment complex and small commercial property markets in the suburbs of San Francisco, markets which are expected to grow over the mid to long term. As a member of the Obayashi Group, JS Builders has maintained a healthy rate of growth that has kept pace with the expanding markets it serves.
E.W. Howell Co., LLC
Founded in New York in 1891 as a contractor for the construction of luxury homes, E.W. Howell has been a part of the U.S. construction industry for over 100 years, primarily in the eastern part of the country. Since joining the Obayashi Group in 1989, the company has worked on facilities in a wide range of sectors, including educational facilities, commercial facilities, office buildings, and medical and welfare facilities.
Kraemer North America, LLC
Since its establishment in 1911, Kraemer has focused on developing high levels of technical competencies in bridge and road construction. The company has an excellent reputation in the United States for its attention to safety, quality, and reliability. Headquartered in the village of Plain, Wisconsin, Kraemer’s business is centered on road and bridge construction, railways and light rail systems, and marine projects. Since the mid-1990s, the company has pioneered new and innovative approaches to delivering public transportation projects, including design–build and CM/GC contracts.
Kenaidan Group Ltd.
Since its establishment in 1974, the Canadian firm Kenaidan has worked across the spectrum of civil engineering and building construction projects. In Canada, the company has offices in Mississauga, Ontario, and Richmond, British Columbia. Kenaidan had already been working with Obayashi Corporation as a joint venture partner when it became a subsidiary in 2011.