WHO WE ARE
Officially incorporated in 1954, Colasanti evolved from a concrete flooring contractor to an installer of deep foundations and walls in the 70’s. Well calculated leaps of faith transformed this company further into a full service provider of pre-construction, general contracting, construction management and design-build services in the 90’s. Today, this vital and ever evolving company maintains a strong concrete specialty business and a robust full services enterprise.
In 1953, Angelo Colasanti, now chairman of the board of the Colasanti Companies, joined forces with his father, Rocco and his brother, Alfred, to co-found Colasanti Cement Floor Co. Inc. Together these three men turned the most basic of construction materials, concrete into the foundation of a large corporation and the building blocks of a city.
The company has poured in place the concrete walls, floors or foundations of almost every significant structure built in Detroit in the last 30 years. “Over the years, we have probably been more involved in the changing city-scape of Detroit than any other cont
ractor,” said Angelo Colasanti.
The Colasanti Companies have redrawn the map of Detroit, beginning with the Wayne County Jail in 1981, Comerica Tower and the VA Hospital in the late ’80’s and early 90’s, and Greektown Casino, MGM Casino, Comerica Park and the Hart Plaza renovation in the late ’90’s. The new century continued Colasanti’s tradition of literally strengthening the foundation of Detroit.
Additionally the Colasanti Companies have contributed to several other communities across the country
WHERE WE COME FROM
Rocco Colasanti migrated from Italy in 1920, when he was 17 years old. He then began working for J.A. Utley Company. Detroit in the ’20’s was the hub of America’s expanding industrial base, and J.A. Utley, the forerunner of the Utley-James Co., was then probably the largest industrial builder in the country. Rocco later worked for another sizeable contractor, Darin & Armstrong, commonly regarded as one of the largest automotive and industrial contractors of the ’30’s and ’40’s.
Working with these construction giants proved fertile ground for the emergence of the budding Colasanti Cement Floor Co. “It was through Darin & Armstrong that we received our initial job opportunities and many opportunities thereafter,” recalled Angelo. “As our history of successful jobs developed and mounted we went to work for Barton Malow, O.W. Burke, J.A. Freeman and all of the major contractor at that time.”
Colasanti Cement’s first significant job was the contract for the placement of the concrete floor for Chyrsler’s MOPAR Division in 1956. The Colasanti team then plunged into the ’50’s with flooring contracts on other prominent automotive projects, including work at GM’s Turnstead Division.
From the 1950’s through the 1980’s, Colasanti created the industrial footprint of many automotive plants throughout southeastern Michigan, including Ford Motor Copmany’s Distribution Center in Brownstown Township and work at GM’s Will Run Assembly Plant. In rapid succession, Colasanti handled the flooring contracts for all three major GM projects in progress from 1980 – 1983: the Lake Orion Plant, the Wentzville Plant in St. Louis and the Detroit Poletown Plant.
By this time, Colasanti’s expansion into a full service concrete contractor was well underway. The advent of construction managementin the mid-to-late ’70’s paved the way for the firm’s transformation from strictly a concrete floor finishing contractor to a total concrete contractor capable of supplying, forming, reinforcing, placing, finishing and curing services for both floors and structural components.
“We are products of the construction management delivery system,” said Angelo. “Construction management packages a project rather than breaking it down into 16 or 17 different disciplines. A concrete contract may then include excavation, reinforcing, miscellaneous iron, and maybe some underground mechanical and electrical. We became familiar with administration of trades i.e. scheduling, expediting and coordinating.”
Handling an expanding array of project tasks, Colasanti began building its muscle at administrating multiple disciplines. Today, the effort has borne fruit.
Colasanti’s full-service general contracting business began in the early ’90’s. “The move to full services was evolution and a perfect fit for us,” said Angelo. “As our annual revenues grew and our staff expanded, we hired staff with management, general contracting and construction management experience.”
This family firm, founded on the hard work of an Italian immigrant, has grown into a major local and national player in the construction business. As far as future expansion, Colasanti plans to maintain and expand its status as a strong specialty and full-service enterprise, both locally and nationally.