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NAIOP Hawaii Kukulu Hale Awards 2013

Recognizing Excellence in Hawaii's Commercial Real Estate Industry

(page 6 of 9)

Contractor of the Year

Hawaii Convention Center

Nordic PCL Construction, Inc.

The story of Nordic PCL Construction is a tale of two family-founded companies whose successful joint venture in building the Hawaii Convention Center in the mid-1990s led to the formation of one of Hawaii’s largest full-service general construction contractors, engaged primarily in the commercial, institutional and high density residential markets.

Nordic Construction Company was founded in Honolulu in 1938 by Carl John “C.J.” Haglund, a Swede who settled in Hawaii. He selected “Nordic” for the name of his new company as a tribute to his Scandinavian roots and ran Nordic as a sole proprietor through the 1940s by building smaller projects in the private commercial sector.

The Ritz-Carlton Club & Residences, Kapalua Bay

Fearing a slow-down in construction growth, he sold Nordic to three local businessmen who later incorporated the company in 1950. Although local ownership of the company changed hands in the following years, Nordic grew into a mid-sized general contractor with experience in private and government projects across the Islands. In 2007, Nordic’s revenues passed the $100-million mark.

Meanwhile, the roots of PCL began in 1906 when a young carpenter, Ernest Poole, started his company, E.E. Poole General Contractor, in the small Canadian farming community of Stoughton, Saskatchewan. The company was incorporated in 1913, changing its name to Poole Construction Company Limited. Its success eventually spilled across the border into the United States in 1975 with a project in Colorado. Two years later, the Poole family sold the company to a small group of employees, and Poole Construction was renamed PCL Construction, Ltd., with headquarters in Denver.

The proposal to design and build the $200-million Hawaii Convention Center brought Nordic and PCL together as a joint venture in 1994. It was the single largest construction contract let out by the State of Hawaii, and with the successful completion of the project, a partnership was forged.

That partnership reunited again in 2002 with the construction of the Kahala Nui Senior Living Community. PCL’s financial strength and connection to mainland resources combined with Nordic’s local market knowledge and reputation proved to be a formula for success during the construction of the Marriott Vacation Club  International’s Ko Olina Beach Club, the Keola La‘i condominium, and The Ritz-Carlton Club & Residences at Kapalua Bay.

The joint venture partnership that began in the mid-90s was fused permanently in April 2008 with the merger of Nordic and PCL as a single corporation. The new Hawaii operating entity, Nordic PCL Construction, Inc., is a wholly owned subsidiary of PCL Construction Services, Inc., and employs more than 90 salaried, professional employees and approximately 100 unionized, hourly workers. 

For the last seven years, Nordic PCL has been recognized as one of the “Best Places to Work” in Hawaii by Hawaii Business magazine. The company also was designated one of “Hawaii’s Most Charitable Companies” in the magazine’s inaugural listing in 2012.



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