Southeast D.C. Residents Delighted at Grand Opening of KBE Building Corp.’s Third Harris Teeter Store

Firm overcomes challenges to deliver anticipated project on time, on budget

WASHINGTON, D.C., Nov. 7, 2014 – Southeast D.C. residents are now enjoying an upscale grocery shopping experience at their very own Harris Teeter store, thanks to KBE Building Corp., General Contractor for the $4.5 million, 50,000-square-foot building.

Joined by local D.C. dignitaries, representatives from Harris Teeter, and neighboring tenants, KBE personnel celebrated the store’s grand opening on Nov. 6.

Overcoming challenges for on-time delivery 

Located at 1212 4th Street SE, the new store offers a refined grocery shopping experience, replete with upscale finishes and two escalators. But the store’s positioning beneath a high-rise apartment building complicated the building process considerably.

“Construction was delayed for several weeks while several essential adjustments were made,” said Eric Brown, principal owner and Senior Vice President of Operations at KBE’s Mid-Atlantic regional office in Maryland. “Despite the set-back, we delivered this long-awaited store on-time – a major point of pride for us.”

55 years of retail construction excellence

KBE’s success at overcoming construction challenges, especially within the retail market, is no coincidence; the firm started as a retail specialty builder in 1955.

“When KBE, then Konover Construction, started, we were known as primarily retail builders,” said principal owner and CEO Mike Kolakowski. “Since then, both our Mid-Atlantic and Northeast offices have expanded to senior living, K-12 education, and beyond. But great retail buildings are still vitally important to us, especially in Maryland.”

KBE also built the two Harris Teeter stores in Potomac and Olney, Md., and the Annapolis Joint Commissary and Navy Exchange, which provides discounted groceries and consumer goods to the state’s military families.

A shared community focus

Co-founded in 1960 by North Carolina grocers W.T. Harris and Willis Teeter, Harris Teeter Markets, Inc. operates more than 220 stores and one fuel center in eight states and D.C. The company plans to staff the new store with local residents while working closely with the DDOT to obviate any possible traffic complications.

“As a community-based firm ourselves, we really appreciate how Harris Teeter takes an interest in each community in which it operates stores,” said Kolakowski. “KBE has a similar commitment to community involvement through our corporate philanthropic program, 50 Ways to Make a Difference.”

Established in 2009 to celebrate the firm’s new ownership, name change, and 50 years in business, 50 Ways to Make a Difference has helped KBE associates donate more than $1.5 million and 5,000 volunteer hours to charitable causes benefiting children, seniors, and military veterans in Connecticut and Maryland.

KBE’s charitable efforts in Maryland include donations to the Bea Gaddy Family Center, which provides food for needy families in the Baltimore-Washington area, and The Baltimore Station, which helps veterans and others break the cycle of poverty to achieve self-sufficiency.

About KBE Building Corporation

Regionally located in Farmington, Conn., and Columbia, Md., KBE Building Corporation is a full-service, single-source commercial construction company strategically positioned to serve the Eastern and Mid-Atlantic U.S. Founded in 1959 and incorporated in 1966, the firm is celebrating its 55th year providing preconstruction, construction management, design-build, and general contracting services to clients in the educational, senior living, federal, corporate, hospitality, health care, institutional, and retail markets. KBE has managed more than $2.5 billion in construction volume over the last decade and is ranked among Engineering News-Record magazine’s top 400 construction companies nationally. Learn more at

Media Contact: Jonelle Lawhorn | KBE Director of Marketing

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