Tuesday, February 05, 2008

From Staggering Success to Bankruptcy

The Charleston Gazette reports today in its "On File" blurbs that Eimors Construction has filed Chapter 7 bankruptcy. This means that the company will be liquidated. Sad.

Eimors rocketed to prominence in the Charleston construction industry over the last few years. For a while it seemed that every construction project in downtown Charleston was being done by Eimors and half the pickup trucks on the road seemed to have the Eimors name lettered on their side doors. The company was a real local success story and it employed a whole bunch of people in all aspects of the construction trade. Among their many projects of the past few years was a major rehab on the Capitol Street building where The Manahan Group has its offices. It seems now that it was that project that was the beginning of the end for Eimors.

When the restaurant Cazon, which resides in the same structure as Manahan, closed abruptly last year the story came out that the newly renovated building was woefully inadequate, both structurally and electrically. Cazon, the stories said, was forced to close because the building was unsafe. I never heard any scuttlebutt as to the final resolution of these claims, but it certainly cast a shadow over Eimors quality of work.

About the same time the Manahan building was finishing up, and at the height of Eimors' success, the contractor signed on to take the lead in the St. Jude Children's Hospital fundraiser house built in Putnam County. Once that highly publicized project was finished it didn't take long for the stories of unpaid suppliers and subcontractors to hit the papers, putting a real damper on all of the positive press that Eimors might have gotten otherwise. That was the straw that left the formerly proud company crippled. Eimors told the Gazette in October they would be going out of business. Today's report puts the final nail in the coffin.

Business 101: Companies that exhibit skyrocketing success in a short time nearly always fall to the ground with a thud just as quickly. It's sad that all of Eimors employees had to learn this lesson the hard way.

By the way, this story isn't over. There are other businesses who were in partnerships with Eimors who are reeling from the experience. Barring outside intervention, one or two of those will probably fall to the same fate as Eimors in the next year or so. Watch Capitol Street closely over the next few months and you'll see what I mean.

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

This company got what it deserved. Their work led to their demise and nothing else. Overcharging cutomers for shoddy, shortcut laden work will make a builder fail everytime.

Anonymous said...

The people involved worked hard and did the best they could. They also learned a few hard lessons. However, saying they got what they deserved is harsh. There are many satisfied customers out there and their work was admired by many. Plus, I heard through the grapevine that St. Jude staff was non totally upfront about what they would reinburse and would not reinburse. It is always the people that go out on an limb that are under a microscope. They reached high and made some mistakes, but at least they tried.

Anonymous said...

They did a great job at my house. I also saw some of the work they did at the Greenbrier Sporting Club. They built some great luxury homes. I wonder if the fact those homes are not selling had anything to do with the bankruptcy?

Anonymous said...

Their electrical division did a great job in responding to our needs. Too bad about them.

Anonymous said...

You know those subcontractors and suppliers were supposed to be donating to the St. Jude project.... right? Why would Eimors owe them money if it was for a charity. Maybe, this is a little bit of everyone's fault.

Anonymous said...

I heard Cazon was playing dirty and just wanted out of their lease because they couldn't cut the long hours and were not making any money. I ate there several times and it was great though. Too bad about both businesses. I am a business owner and know how hard it can be.

Anonymous said...

They did mess up at my house. They did come back and fix it though. I think it is hard to hire good carpenters to build homes. They want outrageous salaries that home building companies just can't pay.

Anonymous said...

The majority owner in the 222 Capitol Street building is Robert Samples. The Manahan Group is housed there, but George Manahan only owns a small percentage of the building.

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