In the early 1900’s, an Italian immigrant named John Stanislaus Alberici constructed a new building for Boatmen's Bank in downtown St. Louis for his New York City employer. Because of the tremendous success of this project, his clients encouraged Alberici to move to St. Louis and start his own contracting firm.
The Formative Years
In 1918, John Alberici did just that, founding J.S. Alberici Construction Co., Inc. In the early years, Alberici was a concrete contractor, working for clients such as Boatmen’s, Robertson Aircraft, the Veterans Administration, the St. Louis Board of Education and the City of St. Louis.
In 1928, John’s son, Gabriel, joined the company. In the early 1930’s, he negotiated the trade-in of the firm’s horse-and-wagon for the company’s first truck. Later that decade, Alberici purchased its first crane. “From the beginning, we’ve had a philosophy of owning our own equipment,” Gabe explained. Today, Alberici’s equipment fleet is valued at over $100 million.
Gabe took over as president after his father’s sudden death in 1940. With his sister, Mary, running the office and Gabe managing construction, the firm continued to grow. At this time, Alberici moved its headquarters from downtown St. Louis to 1550 Irving in Wellston, Missouri. When warehouse needs expanded beyond site constraints, Alberici purchased two acres of land a half-mile away. This initial two-acre purchase expanded to 60 acres, which still contains Alberici’s warehouse and equipment yard.
Expansion and Growth
In the 1940’s, Alberici worked on multiple industrial, manufacturing and school projects. In the 1950's, Alberici entered the automotive market working for both Chrysler and General Motors. Alberici also began work in highway construction, eventually working on Interstates 40, 44, 55 and 70 in St. Louis. Alberici also began work on its first water treatment facility in 1954, a massive cast-in-place concrete job for the City of St. Louis’ water system.
Alberici ventured into several new markets in the 1960’s, including healthcare, energy and steel fabrication. Alberici began fabricating structural steel as the result of frustrations with the steel supplier on its first hospital project. On the scheduled due date, the steel for the project did not arrive. When Gabe went to the supplier’s shop, he learned that fabrication had not even begun. Unable to wait without compromising the client’s deadline, Alberici paid for the steel detailing and fabricated the steel by hand in its own warehouse. Ultimately, the project was completed five days ahead of schedule, and Alberici established itself as a steel fabricator. Today, Alberici’s steel fabrication unit, Hillsdale Fabricators, has the capacity to produce 40,000 tons of structural steel annually in its 250,000-square-foot shop.
Alberici also began its focus on safety in the 1960’s. Until this time, safety was a low priority in the construction industry. “Everybody considered safety an added expense,” Gabe said. Alberici hired its first employee dedicated to safety in 1962 and, as a result, experienced a 35 percent decrease in accidents.
In the 1970’s, Alberici began work on its first marine construction project, a $41.7 million contract to construct the first phase of Lock and Dam 26 on the Mississippi River. In 1972, Alberici acquired Gunther-Nash Mining Construction Co., establishing Alberici’s presence in underground and above-ground mining construction.
Despite the economic turmoil of the 1980’s, Alberici continued to set new records. The company completed several large projects for clients such as General Motors, Chrysler and Monsanto. Alberici also expanded geographically, opening an office in Detroit, Michigan.
Still, Alberici maintained its ties to the St. Louis area, completing multiple landmark projects in the 1990’s. These included the Saint Louis Science Center, Edward Jones Dome (formerly TWA Dome) and Scottrade Center (formerly Kiel Center).
In 1997, Alberici acquired longtime Canadian joint venture partner Robertson-Yates Corporation Limited (RYCO) based in Hamilton, Ontario. This led to the establishment of our Canadian entity, Alberici Constructors, Ltd., based in Burlington, Ontario.
New Millenium, New Initiatives
In 1999, Gabe Alberici stepped down as Chairman of the Board and was succeeded by his son, John S. Alberici. Under John's leadership, Alberici began its focus on sustainable construction. In 2003, the company started construction of its new corporate headquarters in St. Louis. The facility earned LEED Platinum certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. Alberici’s success on this project led to the founding of Vertegy, a sustainable construction consulting group.
To usher in the new millenium, J.S. Alberici Construction Co., Inc. rebranded itself with a new logo and a name change to Alberici Constructors, Inc.
In October 2004, Gregory J. Kozicz, Ph.D., became president and chief executive officer. He joined Alberici in 2001 as president of Alberici Constructors, Ltd. Under Greg's leadership, Alberici has become a top safety and financial performer in the industry. In 2008, the company recorded revenues in excess of $1 billion for the first time in its history.
Today, Alberici continues to provide unflinching dependability to the water, manufacturing, building and healthcare, energy, heavy industrial and automotive markets. The company is active throughout North America and has offices in St. Louis, Missouri; Detroit, Michigan; Atlanta, Georgia; Topeka, Kansas; Burlington, Ontario; Saskatoon, Saskatchewan; and Leon, Mexico.
"We have a company with a rich tradition of success, the financial strength to grow and most importantly, the people who can adapt to the future and make it happen," said President and CEO Greg Kozicz. "We are stewards of a phenomenal company with unlimited potential, and we owe it all to the women and men who came before us."