Rice Companies: Almost 70 Years of Designing & Building Cool Stuff!

Written by: Brady Drake

Established in 1953, Rice Companies is a 69-year-old third-generation, family-owned construction firm. Helping to pioneer the design/build delivery method decades ago, Rice Companies has evolved into one of the only firms in the Midwest to have the capability to offer true single source construction services, including in-house real estate and brokerage, development services, architectural design, civil and structural engineering, construction management, self-performing field crews, facility maintenance and service.

Their involvement in projects can include everything from master planning, design, permitting, and municipal approvals through construction, owner’s representation, close-out, and beyond. Rice Companies has extensive experience in tax increment financing and tax abatement applications, development and multi-phased projects.

“We view each project as an opportunity to solidify our core purpose to earn our customer’s unwavering support to do business with us again and again,” President and CEO Chris Rice said.

Over 85% of Rice Companies’ projects annually are repeat customers. Their team of architects, project managers and skilled field crew allows them to provide a single point of contact for their customers.

Service Offered:

• Design/Build
• General Contracting
• Construction Management
• Architecture and Engineering
• Self-Performing Field Services
• Facility Maintenance and Service
• Real Estate and Brokerage
• Property Management

Kris Clark – Superintendant

Tell me about the most memorable project you’ve worked on?

Three years ago, there was massive flooding in Fremont, Nebraska and I was asked to be superintendent of the cleanup and remodel of the Border States Electric warehouse and offices there. They had 2 feet of water in their building and the whole surrounding area was devastated.

We had them operational within two days of the water receding. This helped them get electrical components out to places like hospitals and nursing homes. The support from the home office was exemplary and the subcontractors we worked with were also outstanding. It showed that in times of strife, people can pull together and help each other out. That project was complete in around two months and it was very rewarding for that to happen.

Tony Fischer – Project Manager

What is it like building cool stuff with Rice?

Building with Rice is like riding a bike. When you start out, everyone surrounds you, offers advice and a stabling hand. As experience sets in, training wheels come off and your first solo ride happens. You begin to go with a larger group which takes your rides further and higher. Finally, you find yourself straddling a Harley Davidson, a well-oiled machine that catches people’s eyes as you go by, realizing whether you’re the leader of the pack or bringing up the tail, everyone is part of the same ride.

Michael Donnay – Glencoe General Manager

What’s the most gratifying thing for you in being a part of these beautiful, massive projects?

It’s fun to build in our own communities and be a part of the local development. I love to hear clients and citizens, locally, discussing the projects we are working on. It’s very rewarding.

How Do They Do It?

Rice Companies goes above and beyond industry standards with almost everything they do.

“Rice provides the support and training that I need in the field,” Superintendent Kris Clark said. “They provide everything from new trucks, tools and great places to stay on the road, be it hotels or apartment rentals for me. In short, if there is something I need, they see that it gets provided.”

Those high standards also extend to the company’s selective hiring process. They don’t panic to fill an open position, they instead wait for the right candidate that fits their family atmosphere, their value system and one that they see as a long-term employee.

“With the extreme labor shortage we are seeing right now, coupled with the influx in work at Rice Companies, you would think we would feel pressured to complete projects faster and let the quality slip,” Glencoe General Manager Michael Donnay said. “But with the team we have, we are able to maintain the high quality that has been the standard Rice Companies has been known for, for over 60 years, having a crew able to handle the pressure and maintain high quality makes it easy to land the next project.”

According to the team at Rice Companies, that culture is built on fun, genuine care for the work and strong, long-lasting relationships with their partners.

“It is a blessing and makes it fun to come to work every day. The people I work with daily are so talented,” Donnay said. “I am grateful to be a part of the team, but really it all boils down to the fact that the crews in the field are as good as it gets. Whether it is one of the steel erectors or maintenance techs, they are truly the best and I am happy that I can claim to be a part of their team.”

At Rice Companies, commitment to safety is a top priority. In fact, their Safety Manager is active on job sites, working side-by-side with OSHA to ensure that they’re doing everything they can to prevent accidents. Proactive measurements such as recording all “near misses” are used to help avoid potential hazardous situations in the future. All of this is done in addition to their monthly safety trainings and meetings.

A Partnership With Rice Companies Doesn’t End When They Hand Over The Keys

As one of the few firms in the Midwest that offers true single-source construction services, Rice Companies utilizes their skilled crews to offer ongoing building repairs, facility maintenance and renovation services.

From minor repairs to ongoing roof maintenance to major remodels, Rice has the equipment, staff and experience necessary to keep your facility maintained for the future. Their experience includes retail, healthcare, office, warehouse and food service facilities.

Where Can You Find Rice Companies?

Four Locations. No Limits.

4141 38th St SW Suite 1-E,
Fargo, ND 58104

150 St Andrews Ct Suite 510,
Mankato, MN 56001

3301 11th St E,
Glencoe, MN 55336

1019 Industrial Dr S,
Sauk Rapids, MN 56379

FACEBOOK: @RiceCompanies
INSTAGRAM: @ricecompanies
TWITTER: @RiceCompanies
LINKEDIN: Rice Companies, Inc.


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Brady is the Editorial Director at Spotlight Media in Fargo, ND.