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Downtown Construction Project Supports Local, Small Business

Historic Custom House will receive major facelift focusing on energy efficiency.


Aug. 11, 2011
Sally Mayberry, 303-236-2583

DENVER – The U.S. General Services Administration awarded a significant design-build construction contract to a small business joint venture of Matsuo Engineering LLC of Golden and Centerre Construction Inc. of Denver for work on the historic U.S. Custom House in downtown Denver.

“The true backbone of the American economy is small business,” said GSA Regional Administrator Susan Damour. “This award not only helps us meet our small business commitments but it puts GSA one step closer to achieving a zero environmental footprint.”

Work on the 80-year-old building located at 721 19th Street will significantly improve its energy efficiency by as much as 20 percent, and protect and preserve its historic character. The 278,252 square-foot, five-story building will receive new mechanical and electrical systems to improve its energy efficiency, and more than 750 windows will be replaced to lower energy costs and increase tenant security. The project scope also includes architectural upgrades to the interior spaces.

Matsuo Engineering, an 8(a) Small Business Enterprise, and Centerre Construction, a Small Business Enterprise, entered into a joint venture in order to merge each firms’ core competencies and provide unmatched engineering, design and construction services. For the last decade, Matsuo Engineering and Centerre Construction have collaborated on numerous commercial construction projects, with documented success. The joint venture is honored to have two small businesses combine forces to modernize the federal office building housing the Colorado District Office and Regional Office of the U.S. Small Business Administration. The design-build team also includes Bennett Wagner & Grody Architects as architect of record, Cator Ruma & Associates as mechanical engineer, Jacobs serving as the Construction Manager; and Martin/Martin Inc. of Lakewood as physical security consultant and structural engineer.

The facility was built in 1931. In 1979, the building was listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Primarily used as office space, the building also has a child care center, and provides space for U.S. Bankruptcy court proceedings. Tenants include: The Small Business Administration, the U.S. Bankruptcy Courts, the Military Entrance Processing Station, Department of the Army, Department of Justice, Department of Labor, the Railroad Retirement Board, and the Department of Homeland Security.

Construction work started this year and is scheduled to be completed in early fall 2013.

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About GSA (

As the federal government's workplace solutions provider, the U.S. General Services Administration works to foster an effective, sustainable and transparent government for the American people. GSA’s expertise in government workplace solutions includes:

  • Effective management of government assets including more than 9,600 government-owned or leased buildings and 215,000 vehicles in the federal fleet, and preservation of historic federal properties;
  • Leveraging the government’s buying power through responsible acquisition of products and services making up approximately 14 percent of the government’s total procurement dollars;
  • Providing innovative technology solutions to enhance government efficiency and increase citizen engagement; and,
  • Promoting responsible use of federal resources through development of governmentwide policies ranging from federal travel to property and management practices.

About Matsou Engineering:

Located in Golden, Colo., Matsuo Engineering, LLC provides timely engineering solutions for electrical building designs and fire detection/alarm systems for architectural and construction trade clients, as well as building managers and owners. Matsuo’s project experience covers a broad spectrum including institutional (medical and detention facilities), commercial, educational, government and high technology (data centers and laboratories). Matsuo Engineering is certified as a participant in the United States Small Business Administration 8(a) Business Development Program.

About Centerre Construction, Inc:

Founded in 1989, Centerre Construction, Inc. is an award-winning general construction, design-build and construction management firm. Based in Denver, Centerre has completed commercial projects for both the private and public sector and have earned industry respect for completing complex and technically demanding project assignments. Centerre manages projects that range in value from $500,000 to $30 million and has completed similar projects for the GSA including The Building 67 Modernization at the Denver Federal Center, The John E. Moss Federal Building Modernization in Sacramento, Calif., and the ten-floor renovation for the Internal Revenue Service in Denver, Colo.

About Jacobs

Jacobs provides planning; architectural and engineering design; and program, project, and construction management services for clients in educational, health and research, federal, justice, corporate, and public/institutional marketplaces. The firm was established in Denver in 1972 (as CRSS Constructors, Inc.) and in 1994 became part of the Jacobs Engineering Group Inc. organization, which is widely recognized today as one of the best-managed companies in the design and construction industry. Currently, Jacobs is ranked No. 3 in the Top Design and Construction Management Firms listings compiled by Engineering News Record.

For more information about the history of the Custom House, click here.

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