Pasadena-based Construction Firm Moves Forward with Housing Projects Uninterrupted Amid Pandemic

By Keith Calayag
Published on Sep 16, 2021

At left, Richard Lara, President of RAAM Construction. At right, RAAM Executive Vice President of Operations Lisa Lara. (Courtesy photos)

Pasadena-based construction firm RAAM Construction Inc. Founder and Chief Executive Officer Richard Lara said he has seen numerous lenders and developers express uncertainty in undertaking construction projects since the pandemic started.

A number general contractors, he said, have stopped working due to the threat of COVID-19.

To adapt to the new normal and thrive beyond a pandemic market, Lara said his company amended its safety programs and trained its team so it could keep its workers safe as it moves forward with the projects.

“The health and safety of our employees continues to be of utmost importance. We’re continuing to follow all Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, city and state guidelines to be sure our team members are safe and healthy.”

He said several projects his firm undertook COVID-19 have been completed within the last year.

Among these projects are the Arboleda Apartments, a 74-unit affordable seniors housing project in La Puente, and a multi-housing project along Marengo Ave. in Pasadena.

RAAM is currently working on several local projects including the Lincoln at Orange Grove project which is a multi-housing development with 48 affordable residential units and commercial spaces and a 60-unit affordable multi-housing project on Walnut Street.

Despite what he described as a slow construction market, Lara said the demand for housing projects did not decrease during the pandemic, contrary to common perception. In fact, he said it has been on an upward trajectory.

“Now that the pandemic is receding, there is pent-up demand for affordable housing that needs to be met.”

“We continue to see an influx of projects in the affordable housing sector, and we anticipate this to continue in the near future.”

RAAM, which specializes in multi-family and historic preservation projects throughout California, is something of a one-stop shop for developers.

It offers, among others, pre-construction services and self-performing work, and it also provides what Lara calls “innovative solutions” to construction cost challenges.

RAAM has two decades of experience in a wide variety of product types including single-family, multifamily, mixed-use, commercial and hotel buildings.

The firm’s first project in Pasadena was the Fair Oaks Court, a 44-unit affordable for-sale housing community, which obtained awards and recognition including the 2009 City of Pasadena Historic Preservation Award and the 2009 Gold Nugget Award for Residential Community of the Year, among others.

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