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updated: 5/17/2012 6:23 AM

Rolling Meadows firm ready for NATO protestors

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  • Rolling Meadows-based J.C. Restoration already has about 40 contracts to help protect buildings during the NATO summit this weekend. The company helps to restore properties after fires, floods and other damage, including this Chicago building last year.

      Rolling Meadows-based J.C. Restoration already has about 40 contracts to help protect buildings during the NATO summit this weekend. The company helps to restore properties after fires, floods and other damage, including this Chicago building last year.
    COURTESY OF J.C. RESTORATION

  • Mike Collins

      Mike Collins

  • Warner Cruz

      Warner Cruz

  • Rolling Meadows-based J.C. Restoration already has about 40 contracts to help protect buildings during the NATO summit this weekend. The company helps to restore properties after fires, floods and other damage, including this Chicago building last year.

      Rolling Meadows-based J.C. Restoration already has about 40 contracts to help protect buildings during the NATO summit this weekend. The company helps to restore properties after fires, floods and other damage, including this Chicago building last year.
    COURTESY OF J.C. RESTORATION

  • Commercial client advocate Mike Collins, left, and owner Warner Cruz stand inside Rolling Meadows-based J.C. Restoration.

       Commercial client advocate Mike Collins, left, and owner Warner Cruz stand inside Rolling Meadows-based J.C. Restoration.
    Bob Chwedyk | Staff Photographer

  • Owner Warner Cruz runs Rolling Meadows-based J.C. Restoration, which is working with companies in downtown Chicago that are preparing for the NATO summit.

       Owner Warner Cruz runs Rolling Meadows-based J.C. Restoration, which is working with companies in downtown Chicago that are preparing for the NATO summit.
    Bob Chwedyk | Staff Photographer

  • Owner Warner Cruz runs Rolling Meadows-based J.C. Restoration, which is working with companies in downtown Chicago that are preparing for the NATO summit.

       Owner Warner Cruz runs Rolling Meadows-based J.C. Restoration, which is working with companies in downtown Chicago that are preparing for the NATO summit.
    Bob Chwedyk | Staff Photographer

  • Owner Warner Cruz runs Rolling Meadows-based J.C. Restoration, which is working with companies in downtown Chicago that are preparing for the NATO summit.

       Owner Warner Cruz runs Rolling Meadows-based J.C. Restoration, which is working with companies in downtown Chicago that are preparing for the NATO summit.
    Bob Chwedyk | Staff Photographer

  • Commercial client advocate Mike Collins, of J.C. Restoration, inspects some bikes that may be used in downtown Chicago during the NATO summit this weekend. The Rolling Meadows-based company has numerous contracts to board up any buildings damaged during the summit, and has planned numerous alternatives for getting around town.

       Commercial client advocate Mike Collins, of J.C. Restoration, inspects some bikes that may be used in downtown Chicago during the NATO summit this weekend. The Rolling Meadows-based company has numerous contracts to board up any buildings damaged during the summit, and has planned numerous alternatives for getting around town.
    Bob Chwedyk | Staff Photographer

  • Rolling Meadows-based J.C. Restoration is working with several building owners and managers in downtown Chicago who are worried about possible damage during the NATO summit.

       Rolling Meadows-based J.C. Restoration is working with several building owners and managers in downtown Chicago who are worried about possible damage during the NATO summit.
    Bob Chwedyk | Staff Photographer

  • The staff at Rolling Meadows-based J.C. Restoration is working with several building owners and managers in downtown Chicago who are worried about possible building damage during the NATO summit.

       The staff at Rolling Meadows-based J.C. Restoration is working with several building owners and managers in downtown Chicago who are worried about possible building damage during the NATO summit.
    Bob Chwedyk | Staff Photographer

  • Rolling Meadows-based J.C. Restoration is working with several building owners and managers in downtown Chicago who are worried about possible building damage during the NATO summit.

       Rolling Meadows-based J.C. Restoration is working with several building owners and managers in downtown Chicago who are worried about possible building damage during the NATO summit.
    Bob Chwedyk | Staff Photographer

  • Rita Athas

      Rita Athas

 
 

For Rolling Meadows-based J.C. Restoration, fixing up a building after a fire or flood is everyday work. But boarding up windows or protecting buildings from riots or protesters?

That also could be on the agenda during the 25th NATO summit this weekend in downtown Chicago. So far, the suburban company has garnered about 40 contracts to help clients react to the worst, if necessary, said company owner Warner Cruz.

The threat of violence, as well as the prospect of millions in revenues for the local economy, accompanies Chicago's preparations to host the world leaders. Whichever becomes reality, companies like J.C. Restoration are becoming a part of the historic event.

J.C. Restoration was founded in 1982 by Jose Cruz and is now led by his son, Warner Cruz. It has 89 full-time and 30 part-time employees handling commercial and residential clients throughout the region.

When concern grew among building owners and managers in downtown Chicago regarding possible protests or violence during the NATO summit, J.C. Restoration was called in. Clients are along North Michigan Avenue, in the financial district and by the railroad stations, said Mike Collins, commercial client advocate for J.C. Restoration.

Some contracts came via the company's involvement in the property management association, BOMA Chicago, which represents the bulk of Chicago's office community. Some had hired J.C. Restoration before. And word-of-mouth recommendations also helped, Collins said.

The contracts lay out the business terms of J.C. Restoration being hired on very short notice so that legalities don't need to be ironed "out on the fly," Collins said.

"Our relationship with our customers has allowed us to quickly grow from a mom-and-pop operation to becoming a corporation," said Cruz. "And that's how we could reach out to all of our vendors for help" with NATO preparations.

Before the summit, the company plans to pre-load one of its semitrailers with materials like plywood, 2x4s, doors and hinges, and will station it at a client's location.

The company also will have up to six other stashes of materials on the loading docks of contracted properties to be used as needed.

Over the weekend, J.C. Restoration will have about 30 employees, including project managers, lead carpenters and estimators, staged in the Loop to quickly react if buildings are damaged and need to be boarded up or repaired, Cruz and Collins said.

"If demand really spikes, we also have prearranged sources of dozens more carpenters to respond if the scope of property damage is large," Collins said.

"As for transportation, we'll have large service trucks, pickups, a waste hauler, a 25-person bus, and even JCR bicycles available to move people, material and equipment to job sites in a hurry in order to re-secure buildings as soon as possible."

But being extra busy during the historic weekend provides mixed emotions for Collins.

"I don't want Chicago to give itself a black eye while the global media looks on, so I'd be proud to see the city emerge from the weekend unscathed," Collins said.

"From a business perspective, I do relish every job as an opportunity to validate the caller's trust that they're showing in J.C. Restoration in the first place. So with that perspective, is it a confession that I would welcome the opportunity to show off our stuff?"

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