A Passion for Building
Pacific Construction Managers delivers inspired, customized creations
From an early age, Greg Schank, Owner and Director of Pacific Construction Managers, has been intrigued by the built environment. “I became interested in architecture at a very young age, and I grew up watching my parents flip homes after renovating and remodeling them,” he recalls. “It only felt natural to pick construction as my career choice.”
After graduating from high school, Greg joined the U.S. Air Force where he trained as an Engineering Technician. He then enrolled at California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo and earned his Bachelor of Science degree in construction management. His career path after college enabled him to learn the construction trade by working for several companies in the commercial, retail and residential markets.
In 2009, Greg was providing construction management services on several projects and was repeatedly being asked by his clients if he had a general contractor’s license. “I realized I was at the point in my career where I could leverage my skill set as a partner, and the best way to do that was to start my own company,” he says. In 2011, he founded Pacific Construction Managers and partnered with other groups to build residential projects throughout the Bay Area. In 2013, Greg received his general contractor’s license.
As the economy fluctuated over the years, Greg refocused the firm’s direction. He morphed from a focus on residential projects back into expanding into the commercial market. As a result, his company’s contracting services grew to include site work, joint trenching, ground-up construction, tenant improvements and kitchen equipment and retail fixtures installation.
Greg’s vision to grow the company has also taken an important step forward with the hiring of his two sons, Maxwell and Taylor Schank, in 2019, as Project Manager and Field Manager, respectively. “My sons are competent young men, and I was thrilled when they expressed an interest in wanting to help the company grow,” Greg says. “As a father, it’s a great feeling to sit around the conference table with them and strategize about how we can better serve our clients and diversify our services. With their hands-on involvement, I can pursue bigger ground-up construction projects because they can help manage and handle the business administration duties.”
The More Challenging, the Better
Pacific Construction Managers excels in creating upscale, luxury residential and commercial buildings, and Greg particularly enjoys restaurants or projects with a restaurant component. When he first started his career, he built a number of grocery stores for Safeway and Whole Foods Market, which usually had a delicatessen or a meat department, and from there, he naturally gravitated toward restaurants. “I love the challenges they bring—from working with the food service consultants to installing the kitchen equipment and appliances,” Greg says.
Many of Pacific Construction Managers’ projects also incorporate a historic preservation component and require close coordination with various city planning groups. Greg further explains that storefronts and exterior colors are often rebuilt to match the historic reports required by the California Environmental Quality Act.
Greg never hesitates to tackle complicated projects and cites Hotel Cerro in San Luis Obispo as one such example. Completed in January 2020, Hotel Cerro is a unique boutique project with a historic cache, which incorporates new and old architectural elements, including a restored brick facade from the 1920s. “We worked closely with neighbors, city officials and the downtown association to design and build the expansion, which includes a 65-room luxury hotel, a high-end spa, residences, a brasserie and exquisite outdoor amenities, including a rooftop pool and edible gardens where herbs and produce provide a farm-to-table experience for the patrons,” Greg says. “It’s an iconic destination for downtown San Luis Obispo.”
The Hog Island Oyster Co. in Tomales Bay, California, provided Pacific Construction Managers with another interesting challenge. “This was a full-scale remodel project that taught us about the intricacies of oyster farming, while creating an authentic, farm-to-table outdoor dining experience,” Greg explains. “The original facility was located in an old railroad depot, and we lifted and remodeled the building and built a filtration system to treat the oysters as they are pulled from the bay. Extensive outdoor seating overlooking the bay gives customers the experience of shucking their own oysters that are harvested daily.
Based on the company’s success in the commercial and mixed-use environments, coupled with Greg’s 20 years of design and construction experience, Pacific Construction Managers has recently expanded into the development market. It is now a strategic partner with Harmonie Park Development Company, a real estate development firm that creates thriving mixed-use communities.
The partnership was forged in 2019, when Principals Don Capobres and Wendi Baker approached Greg, with whom Don had worked in the past, to discuss the issue of rising project costs. Greg told them that the best way to control construction costs is to be the builder.
That conversation sparked a relationship in which Greg was named Director of Construction for Harmonie Park Development, and Pacific Construction Managers became one of the development company’s construction partners.
“Harmonie Park Development’s niche is large projects, ranging from 100,000 square feet up to 1 million square feet,” Greg says. “We are positioned to offer a full turnkey business platform that enables us to develop and build a variety of projects.” Currently, the company has more than 10 million square feet under development or management in California’s Silicon Valley, including office buildings, restaurants, retail facilities and residential units.
An Altruistic Spirit
Greg is the first person to acknowledge that there are many positive events playing out in his professional life. “I believe I’m at a serendipitous point in my career,” he says. “My sons are helping start the next generation of my company, and all my years of experience are culminating in the work that I’m doing with Harmonie Park Development. It’s an extremely rewarding time in my life.”
And because of his good fortune, Greg believes in paying it forward and helping those less fortunate within the community. For many years, Greg has been an active member in the men’s ministry at his church, which is part of the Association of Vineyard Churches. The group offers a multitude of services to members in the congregation, including providing food, hospice care and help with home improvement projects, such as helping retrofit homes to make them more accessible for the elderly or disabled residents.
“I grew up in a Christian family so my faith is important to me,” Greg says. “Being part of this men’s ministry completes who I am as a person.”