How our story was built...
Larry Gibbs graduated from LSU in civil engineering and began work with Brown & Root in Houston. Over the next several years, he returned to the New Orleans area to take two more positions with two other companies. With each new job, he took a pay cut – more than money, he wanted to earn the experience and skills he would need to start his own company.
Larry received an annual bonus of $3,000 in 1975 and used this seed money to branch out on his own. On July 4, 1976, he signed the papers incorporating Gibbs Construction. In its first year, with Larry as the only employee, the new company had revenues of almost $1,000,000.
Gibbs Construction was awarded the Gate C5 Alterations project contract at the New Orleans International Airport for the first British Airways nonstop New Orleans-to-London flight. The $354,000 project created a branded waiting room for passengers.
Gibbs celebrated its fifth milestone birthday, thanking all of the clients, subcontractors, material suppliers and friends who contributed to its growth.
Gibbs Construction landed its first-ever project valued at over $3 million: the Slidell Memorial Hospital Addition ($3,570,000).
Gibbs was awarded the contract to construct the Korea Pavilion for the 1984 Louisiana World’s Fair ($790,000) along the Mississippi River in downtown New Orleans. The project later became part of today’s Riverwalk shopping mall in what is now known as the Warehouse District.
Facing a slow economy in the New Orleans area, Gibbs Construction opened an office in Fort Myers, Florida. The company completed $25 million in projects from 1987 to 1991, and Larry often notes that this move saved the company. Among the project completed were a renovation of the low-rise portion of the Disney Contemporary Resort Hotel, and the construction of the MGM Studios’ Backlot Breakout Area and the Roger Rabbit exhibit.
Gibbs Construction was awarded the contract to build the $6.6 million Woldenberg Park along the Mississippi River. This project added vital green space and unparalleled access to the beautiful New Orleans riverfront.
Another project at the New Orleans airport: Gibbs was awarded a $6 million contract with the FAA to build the MSY air traffic control tower – the same one still in use today.
Gibbs teamed with Manhattan Construction of Oklahoma to form the Manhattan/Gibbs joint venture to build the New Orleans Sports Arena, later renamed the Smoothie King Center. The Arena opened in 1999. At $86 million, this was Gibbs largest project to date.
Hurricane Katrina ravaged Gibbs’ home base of New Orleans and the surrounding region. Despite the difficulties of communication and transportation, and in the face of personal loss, the company’s staff quickly regrouped in temporary space in Baton Rouge and began the epic task of recovery and rebuilding in the city — a mission to which Team Gibbs contributed with pride and honor.
In a post-Katrina New Orleans eager for big signs of rebirth, Gibbs Construction built the nearly $55 million 930 Poydras apartments, one of the recovering city’s first high-rise structures and the first residential high-rise building on Poydras Street.
Is there a more iconic structure in New Orleans’ modern history than the Superdome? Gibbs was honored to play a significant role in its reconstruction. In addition to building the Grand Staircase linking the Superdome to Champions Square, Team Gibbs completed the re-skinning of the entire Dome in beautiful bronze panels.
The Marrero Commons Housing Redevelopment (formerly B.W. Cooper Housing) was the largest project completed in company history, at just over $100 million.
After nearly two years of procurement and preconstruction, the Hunt Gibbs Boh Metro joint venture broke ground on the new Louis Armstrong New Orleans International airport, scheduled to open in 2019 at a contract value of over $800 million.
Gibbs transitioned to the second generation of family leadership in July, when Larry’s daughter Lauren Gibbs took ownership of the company and assumed the role of CEO. Lauren said, “I want to thank my dad for this incredible opportunity. His teachings and example both as a father and a leader are priceless. Each of us has been positively influenced by his determination, his enthusiasm and his love for family and learning. I know we all look forward to continuing his legacy; we have some big shoes to fill. . . We are going to continue to build this company together.” She also shared her desire for Gibbs to take a leading role in our industry in terms of environmental sustainability.
As we begin our next 43 years in business, we continue our efforts to be the builder of choice and team of choice for our clients and our employees!
Founded July 4, 1976 as a small commercial general contractor, Gibbs Construction is now a leading provider of general construction and commercial, institutional and industrial construction management services in Louisiana and the Gulf Coast. We develop strong relationships and produce strong results by being responsive to clients’ needs, working collaboratively with owners, designers and subcontractors, and providing safe, high-quality work.
We are proud of the impact of our work in the lives of our clients and this great city we call home. The relationships developed with owners, designers and subcontractors make this possible. We value each of these relationships and protect them by consistently honoring our commitments—by simply doing what we say we will do.
Our excellent longstanding relationships with local subcontractors are indicative of the way we do business. We have a deep subcontractor pool from which to identify and select the most qualified and appropriate talent, including significant and longstanding relationships and a history of success in engaging the DBE community and developing other small business entrepreneurs.
We look forward to many more years of fostering strong relationships, promoting our industry, supporting our city and building for the future.