Construction manager at Oppidan Investment Co.
Construction industry veteran Bill Pew, 57, recently joined Oppidan Investment Co., a growing Minnetonka-based development company, as construction manager. The Oregon native is responsible for managing construction design partners and maintaining and expanding construction client relationships.
Oppidan, which is heavily involved in development in North Dakota’s oil-rich Bakken region, has invested more than $150 million in new retail and residential development in that area in the past year and plans to open an office in Watford City, N.D. Pew is overseeing some of these construction projects as well as local projects. Oppidan started development work on more than 1 million square feet of space in North Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa and California in the first half of 2013.
Before joining Oppidan, Pew was director of construction, design and engineering for Edina-based Nash Finch Co., where he oversaw construction of the Fortune 500 company’s grocery, retail, warehouse and industrial projects. He also previously worked for Bloomington-based Doran Construction and Minnetonka-based Carlson Real Estate Co. He’s been in the construction business since the 1970s and started as a carpenter.
Q: How much of your time will be spent working in North Dakota?
A: A couple of weeks out of the month.
Q: What are your thoughts on the development opportunities in the Bakken region?
A: Obviously, there’s a lot going on with the oil industry … and it’s always been a strong agricultural state, so a lot of these small towns don’t have the commercial infrastructure to provide both for their residents and all of the oil field workers. There’s a great opportunity to build good-quality projects up there.
Q: What are some projects you’re currently working on?
A: I’m overseeing a Goodwill store project in St. Louis Park; a retail project in Stanley, N.D., that will include Cash Wise Foods, an O’Reilly Auto Parts store, a Holiday gas station and several other tenants, and a residential infrastructure project in Watford City, N.D.
Q: What are some challenges in this new position?
A: New people. New ways of doing things, and Oppidan is extremely entrepreneurial and creative and being able to understand that and utilize that to the best of my ability. They’re also quite aggressive in their goals and things they’ve undertaken, and that’s extremely exciting and opportunistic.