The Fayetteville Observer Business Spotlight: RAYWEST DESIGNBUILD is a partnership forged on a strong, lifelong foundation


How did your business come about? “It came about just by us being lifelong friends, and both in the construction industry, primarily in the residential arena,” said Hector Ray, whose partner is Greg West. “We started talking about making a change to the commercial avenue, based on our contacts in Fayetteville and our sphere of influences, and being able to use some of our strengths and marketing abilities. We could, marketing our services better. In Fayetteville, the residential market, it’s a VA market. The houses primarily being built are VA-spec homes, the same six, seven or eight plans over and over, with the same specs. You never really get to know your customer. Marketing is a broad swath. It became less and less challenging.”

West added, “We didn’t really get to know our customers, because they were incoming military, and they were one-time customers. But we’re lifelong residents. We know the doctors, the business owners, the lawyers, the architects — and we wanted to build deeper relationships. We wanted repeat customers. In 2015, we decided to join forces and started RAYWEST DESIGNBUILD and focus on commercial work.”

Is there a particular area that you focus on, or specialize? “We put a list on our website on what we want to focus,” West said. “We’ve done mostly retail upfits, where you’re building out retail space. We helped Castle Uniforms move out of Tallywood to Cross Creek Plaza, making way for Publix to come in. We’re doing a lot for the hospital. Infection control, you have to be aware of your clients’ needs, working in the health-care environment. We’re doing small jobs, like the concession stand at Douglas Byrd Fields that burned down. It’s a small job, but an important one. We want to do a good mix of government work, medical and retail.” And Ray added, “We’ve got a clubhouse under construction in Southern Pines right now. If you look, we’re migrating toward the health-care field with some of the work we’ve gotten with Cape Fear Valley Health and some of our recent conversations. We’ve dug in, and learned a lot going forward.”

How is the economy for your business? “There’s definitely money flowing in health care,” West said. “Defense has slowed, but it may pick back up. Health care is growing — the Cohen Family Military Clinic, for example. The other sectors are kind of flat, not much industry growth. Retail and health care are strong. I think military is flat.” The Steve A. Cohen Military Family Clinic, at 3505 Village Drive, will provide confidential, no-cost services to veterans and their family members and caretakers. The Fayetteville location is part of an expansion by Cohen Veterans Network from five locations to 25, where facilities will address a variety of mental health issues, including post-traumatic stress disorder. “That’s a neat project,” Ray said. “We were proud to be awarded the construction of the space, the upfit, to do the clinic for them. It’s challenging, because it’s high profile and it’s got a short window. We’ve got to finish in 81 days. It’ll be a really nice clinic. The history is neat.”

What’s the best part of owning a business? “Being able to feed off each others’ strengths,” Ray said. Added West, “When you’ve known each other that long, you can trust your partner; and then the complimentary skills that we have.”

Original Article: The Fayetteville Observer Business Spotlight