Rolling Meadows firm ready for NATO protestors
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?"
By the numbersHere's what the 25th NATO summit this weekend is expected to bring:
Ÿ $128.2 million in total spending
Ÿ $3 million in local tax revenues
Ÿ 49,300 hotel nights
Ÿ 2,200 temporary jobs
Ÿ 10,000 delegates, staff, media, guests
Ÿ 28 NATO member countries
Ÿ 24 International Security Assistance Force partner countries
Source: Deloitte, ChicagoNATO.org