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EXCLUSIVE: Bay Area CRE Stalwart Swinerton Taps New CEO

Eric Foster will become the new chief executive of the 132-year-old Swinerton, the construction company said Wednesday.

Former Swinerton CEO Jeff Hoopes (left) shakes hands with new CEO Eric Foster.

After a stint as its president and chief operating officer, Foster has now been named Swinerton's 12th CEO in a rare change at the top for the historic company.

At the same time, former Senior Vice President Dave Callis has become the San Francisco-based commercial construction company's new president.

Foster, who replaces former CEO Jeff Hoopes after the latter's retirement, will lead a possible expansion for the 100% employee-owned company, which already has a handful of locations throughout the U.S.

But he says the company will now largely head in the same direction as it did during Hoopes' nearly six-year run as CEO. 

"Jeff Hoopes and I worked together for 35 years, and we're just in lockstep on where we want to take the company," Foster said. "Beyond the Bay Area, we're looking at geographic expansion in the New England and Mid-Atlantic areas. I haven't made any decisions, but we're studying those markets."

In its home market, notable recent Swinerton projects include developer Phase 3 Real Estate's 21-story Genesis North Tower in South San Francisco, as well as tenant improvements for LinkedIn's 26-story San Francisco offices.

Elsewhere, Swinerton has offices in Los Angeles, Atlanta, Seattle and a number of other markets, where it does work on a wide spectrum of property types, from multifamily residential to aviation.

Across locations, Foster said he will look for Swinerton to keep construction costs low by self-performing new work and eliminating certain price markups along various supply chains.

Overall, though, leadership sees more of the same coming for the company, which was founded in 1888. 

"Swinerton is going to continue to perform construction services at a high level and, after 132 years, continue on for another 132 years," Foster said.