Letts Construction riding the crest of building wave in Tauranga

Tauranga has been on a growth spurt over the last 10 years with little sign of slowing down. Rather than suffer growing pains, the Bay of Plenty city is thriving with a wave of industrial, commercial and residential projects and community services. Driving the charge is a strong backbone in primary produce, large employers such as Ballance and Zespri, accelerated growth at Port Tauranga, and new developments at the Tauriko Business Estate which offers easy access to major road, rail and sea networks.

Behind much of this growth is Letts Construction, a family-run business that is celebrating 60 years of commercial, industrial, rural and residential construction in the Bay of Plenty and Waikato. General Manager Sean Cleverly says there are big companies moving from Auckland to Tauranga that have a knock-on effect on the construction industry and the city’s population, as where the businesses go, factories, warehouses and people follow.

“In the wave of commercial projects going on, there’s a vast amount of houses being built and new services in the community like schools, supermarkets, shopping malls and other facilities. The new subdivision in Tauriko comprises a residential and industrial estate along with a large retail development,” says Sean.

“It’s a great location only 10 minutes to the middle of town, 15 minutes to both the port and airport and it’s on the arterial routes to Hamilton and Auckland. Tauranga has so much to offer and has an enviable lifestyle with Mt Maunganui on our doorstep, plus the coast and inland lakes for the boaties.”

We’re really passionate about design and understanding our client’s needs. We will tailor a package that works for them and deliver people their dreams.

Letts started operations in 1963 building timber framed garages and expanded into manufacturing prefabricated farm buildings and implement sheds in 1979. Letts’ body of work now includes larger industrial and commercial buildings as well as residential homes. These are predominately design built with Letts tailoring a build to fit a client’s parameters.

“We’re really passionate about design and understanding our client’s needs. We will tailor a package that works for them and deliver people their dreams. With our experience, we can build anything from a manufacturing plant, packhouse or office fit-out through to an implement shed to store a tractor” he says.

“At present we’re finishing a new fire station at Tauranga Airport and about to start building 16 hangars.”

Selwyn Street Glass House 9
Letts’ body of work now includes larger industrial and commercial buildings as well as residential homes.

“We operate our own in-house manufacturing divisions for Reinforcing and Frame and Truss which gives us full control over timeframes and costs for our projects plus we supply clients in the Bay of Plenty and Waikato. We also have project management, designers and quantity surveyors in-house so we can offer a complete package from initial design consultancy through to project completion.”

“We don’t have a standard size of the shed, we design a building to a client’s exact requirements which works well for the team who like the variety as no job is the same,” says Sean. “We’ll also build from a client’s plans if that’s what they prefer.”

Letts Construction has been manufacturing Frame & Truss for over 25 years that are custom built for any residential or commercial project and moved to manufacture Structural & Reinforcing Steel six years ago.

They supply custom cut and bent reinforcing bars as well as stock lengths, seismic reinforcing mesh and a range of reinforcing support products. In-house detailers can provide a detail sheet for a quote from construction drawings along with a list of products and quantities.

“We take pride in offering reliable and consistent end-to-end service from estimating and detailing through to fabricating and delivery to site. We are able to fabricate cages in our factory or on site which are then easy to drop into footings to speed things up on site,” says Sean.

Letts Construction’s roots are in rural construction, and they continue to deliver a large range of rural sheds from hangars through to implement sheds with high studs and workshops. The company is dipping into the residential market and designing infill housing or small dwellings on a backyard section. These range from bespoke single or two-storey stand-alone dwellings to townhouses, sleep-outs and transportable homes.

“We’re continuing to pick up clients that have a backyard section they would like to maximise. We offer the flexibility in the design and build process to take responsibility for every aspect of a project offering the complete turn-key solution or specific parts of it, whichever suits the client’s needs.”

Sean believes the key to Letts Construction’s longevity in a fast-paced industry is the people. “We have good long-standing relationships with clients and the subcontractors we use in bay. We have a lot of repeat referrals including a selection of clients who have been building with Letts Construction for the past 20 years.”

“We couldn’t do anything without our support team and our building and manufacturing team. We’re blessed with great individuals. They make and break a business.”

© Waterford Press Ltd 2023 – Independent Print Media New Zealand

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