Through the years, Marana business ESB Design+Build has grown by offering high-quality prefabricated buildings at a good price. The buildings can be assembled quickly but are well built and designed to last.
The story of ESB Design+Build is a story of family. Well, family and adaptability. Family is at the core of what ESB Design+Build is all about. The company was founded and is still operated by the same family. In fact, walk into their office in Marana and you are bound to see three generations hard at work.
Lois Morey is the CEO and co-owner of ESB along with her mother, Patricia See, and her brother, Paul See, and she runs the company her parents founded in 1984. Cecil and Patricia See came to Arizona on a vacation in 1984 and decided to stay. They initially went into business as residential contractors, repairing and remodeling manufactured homes. Paul joined his mother and father in 1985 and was a key contributor to ESB’s growth. Soon at the behest of their clients and vendors they began offering a wider array of services including site preparation, utility work and installations.
In 1991, they became licensed as a manufacturer of modular and prefabricated buildings and opened their first shop. In 1994, they moved to Marana and began work on the 28,000-square-foot factory they occupy to this day.
As Marana has grown, so has ESB.
“It was just bare ground, and we built everything up,” said Morey. “We were here before all the houses were here.”
ESB Design+Build is a general contractor that plans, designs and constructs buildings using hybrid on and offsite techniques. This allows ESB to cut down on construction time and get buildings built in a more efficient and cost effective manner. They are also able to serve as a one-stop shop. They can both design and construct a project, taking a project from the idea stage to the finished building.
“It’s more of a seamless process,” said Erica Morey. “We are the construction manager, and we also have the resources and long-term relationships with other contractors, so we can reduce the project’s timeline.”
Today, the company employs between 30-45 employees, most of whom have been with the company a long time. Every member of the leadership team has been there for at least 13 years, with some being there over 30. Their newest foreman will soon celebrate his10th anniversary with the company. All of that is by design.
“They get treated well, so they treat us very well. They are a mainstay of our business,” said Lois Morey. “We could not operate without them.”
Recently, Lois’ daughter Erica joined the team. Following her earning her masters degree from the Eller College of Management at the University of Arizona, she joined the business to aid in marketing and new business development. Prior to her arrival, all business was generated via competitive bidding and recommendations of past customers.
The company re-branded themselves ESB Design+Build to emphasize both of their strengths.
Although general contracting, site development, modular manufacturing and installation is what they do, their ability to design the building from scratch and deliver a turnkey project is a key component of what they provide.
Many have a preconceived notion of what modular buildings look like and what they can be used for. ESB is trying to change that.
“We want to build buildings that you cannot tell were ever built piece-wise,” said Erica Morey. “That’s why we feel we are a strong competitor to site built construction. It is not like it’s a box on wheels that looks like a prefabrication, it’s a real building that was just more efficiently constructed.”
The company recently received its third contract from Mohave Educational Services Cooperative, Inc. The contract simplifies and accelerates new building procurement for Arizona schools and government agencies. This is the 11th year that ESB Design+Build, a woman-owned small business based in Marana, has been a contracted vendor for Mohave.
Among the many projects that ESB has completed for Mohave members are nine new JTED Buildings, including a culinary arts building at Santa Rita High School.
ESB Design+Build most recently completed a 7,750 square-foot classroom building at Marana High School. They have done several projects for Marana Unified School District.
While most of their projects tend to be in the 8,000-10,000 square foot variety, they have done some on a larger scale, including a three-story medical office building in Tuba City.
ESB recently finished the third phase of a four-phase project for Diné College in Northern Arizona.
Their experience with Diné College illustrates how they attract a lot of their business. For its first project, the college had a sudden need for administrative space. ESB was able to complete the project quickly and with a high level of quality that impressed the school administration.
“Many of our customers come to us with a new building project because they have a very short time frame and an immediate need for help,” Lois said. “Since our company provides both design and build services for new projects, we have complete control over the process and can expedite construction. Once we begin to work with new customers, our dedication to their project and our willingness to jump through hoops to provide a beautiful, high quality building gets their attention. Oftentimes, once we provide our first project, the customer will return over and over again because of our proven quality, dedication to their project, and response time.”
Their skill and ability to adapt over time and to their customers’ needs have established their business, but the added family touch is what sets them apart.
“Working with family is completely different than working elsewhere,” said Erica Morey. “We have a very close family, and we trust each other. This trust, mutual respect and the alignment of our values makes our doing business together exceptionally functional.
“I enjoy being able to give my mother and grandmother a hug every day,” she added. “Plus, seeing them every day makes it easier to coordinate family gatherings outside of work.”
For information about ESB Design+Build, visit their website at www.esbdesignbuild.com.