You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to myPalmBeachPost.com

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.

GREAT REASONS TO SUBSCRIBE TODAY!

  • IN-DEPTH REPORTING
  • INTERACTIVE STORYTELLING
  • NEW TOPICS & COVERAGE
  • ePAPER
X

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and bonus content- exclusively for subscribers. Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks

X

Welcome to myPalmBeachPost.com

This subscriber-only site gives you exclusive access to breaking news, in-depth coverage, exclusive interactives and bonus content.

You can read free articles of your choice a month that are only available on myPalmBeachPost.com.

Meet the builder of Palm Beach County’s newest ballpark


Jeff Hardin is the CEO of Straticon, the South Florida-based general contracting company that helped build The Ballpark of the Palm Beaches in West Palm Beach, the spring training complex for the Houston Astros and Washington Nationals.

The much-hyped stadium opened in February near the corner of 45th Street and Haverhill Road. Leading up to opening day, crews worked up to 20-hour days to make sure the $150 million stadium was ready for the spring training fans.

Straticon is also overseeing renovation of a nearby office building, which will be transformed into a baseball-themed hotel.

The 197-room hotel, at the Forum office complex on the northeast corner of the Palm Beach Lakes Boulevard and Congress Avenue, will be used by the Astros to house players, coaches and support staff for spring training every January, February and March.

But when the team leaves for Houston each April to start the regular season, the hotel will be available to the general public for the rest of the year.

Last month, county leaders announced a record number of tourists visited the area during the first three months of 2017, an increase they said was fueled largely by a rise in domestic travelers, including visitors from Houston and Washington, D.C.

Palm Beach County tourism leaders did not specifically point to the new ballpark as a contributor for the tourism growth; however, they did say sporting events help promote the area as a vacation destination.

Name: Jeff Hardin

Age: 50

Hometown: I was raised in Portage, Mich., graduated from Western Michigan University and started this company in 1991 in Kalamazoo.

Where you live now: Stuart since 2003

About your company: Straticon is a full-service general contracting company in South Florida. We are a family-owned business specializing in renovating high-rise and historic properties. Over the past 25 years, our company has built or renovated 25 million square feet.

How your business has changed: When our company moved from Michigan to South Florida, we moved six families along with us. The company has grown since then, but the original team is still here with the same family-oriented culture. We have brought on management staff to help with day-to-day decisions, but you can still find the leadership team on-site in construction hats making sure the job is done right.

First paying job and what you learned from it: My first job was delivering the morning edition of the Detroit Free Press. The papers were left in my parents’ driveway at 5 a.m. every morning and they had to be delivered to 25 different houses around a 5-mile radius. It wasn’t an easy job – especially in the winter – but I stuck with it and learned that I had to be self-motivated.

First break in the business: I started a house painting company during my sophomore year in college. I didn’t know a whole lot about painting but I called a church close to campus, and they gave me a chance to paint the entire facility. They were very patient and understanding. I kept a lawn sign in front of the building for the entire summer and had more work than I could manage. I ran that business all through college and paid for my education.

Best business book you ever read: The One Minute Manager. I read the book very early in my career and I liked its simplicity and basic concept of management.

Best piece of business advice you ever received: Never quit on yourself or the people around you. Straticon has been in some very difficult business situations but we have always finished our job. It would have been easier and more profitable to walk away but it’s totally against our company culture. If we take the project, it’s going to get built.

What you tell young people about your business: Our business is all about opportunities. It’s important to come to work every day and maximize your opportunity to be part of building something great.

What do you see ahead for Palm Beach County? The construction industry is booming in Palm Beach County. We are excited about a series of new projects: additional work at The Ballpark of the Palm Beaches; building the new city park adjacent to the ballpark; a baseball-themed hotel with the Houston Astros in West Palm Beach; historical redevelopment of Boynton Beach High School; and several golf club projects.

Where we can find you when you are not at the office: I’m often my wife and four kids. We have a large family, and we spend as much time together as possible.

Favorite smartphone app: Venmo. It’s a useful tool for paying or splitting bills easily.

What is the most important trait you look for when hiring? We are in the people business. As long as we have people with character and personality, the buildings will come to life.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in

Gov. Scott prescribes health tax cuts; CBO says Senate uncovers 22M
Gov. Scott prescribes health tax cuts; CBO says Senate uncovers 22M

A U.S. Senate plan would leave 22 million without health coverage by 2026 compared to keeping the Affordable Care Act, the Congressional Budget Office said Monday, but Florida Gov. Rick Scott said he is heading to Washington this week to stick up for tax cuts. “There seems to be a lot of people advocating for more government and higher...
JUST IN: CBO says Senate health bill leaves 22 million uncovered
JUST IN: CBO says Senate health bill leaves 22 million uncovered

A U.S. Senate plan will leave 22 million without health coverage by 2026 compared to keeping the Affordable Care Act, the Congressional Budget Office said in an analysis released late Monday afternoon. That’s slightly fewer than the House plan, which would leave 23 million without coverage in that span. The Senate bill will “free the states&rdquo...
See how much financier paid for oceanfront mansion in Lost Tree Village
See how much financier paid for oceanfront mansion in Lost Tree Village

Wisconsin financier Andrew Ziegler just dropped $22 million on a 14,565-square-foot mansion at 11870 Turtle Beach Road in unincorporated Palm Beach County, according to property records. The oceanfront spread in Lost Tree Village last sold in 2003 for $11.3 million. The seller is Desmo Realties of Montreal. Neighbors include Wall Street...
Six agents make Palm Beach County’s $100 million club
Six agents make Palm Beach County’s $100 million club

Paulette Koch, one of Palm Beach County’s $100 million producers in 2016, sold this manse for $12.5 million (Andy Frame/The Corcoran Group) Despite a slowdown in Palm Beach County mansion sales in 2016, six agents reported sales of $100 million or more for the year, according to an annual RealTRENDS/Wall...
Is $2 a gallon gasoline here yet? It could be on the way.
Is $2 a gallon gasoline here yet? It could be on the way.

Consumers might find $2 a gallon gasoline at a handful of stations any day now. (Post file photo) Motorists should be on the look out for $2 a gallon gasoline, because even as the Fourth of July holidays approach, it’s almost here. RELATED: FOURTH OF JULY TRAVELERS, HERE’S HOW TO AVOID GAS PUMP SKIMMERS No gas station in Palm...
More Stories