Spring ’20 Newsletter

Featured, News

Spring ’20 Newsletter


These are truly unprecedented times. As we navigate through the world under the COVID 19 constraints, our thoughts and prayers are with the families afflicted by the most significant medical crisis of our lifetimes. With Governor Gavin Newsom declaring construction as an essential industry, Watkins Landmark has remained open for business while implementing the government directed precautions for the health and safety of our personnel.

While some of our projects were put on hold, we have projects that are still going full steam ahead. WLC is incredibly fortunate that many of our clients see this shutdown as an opportunity to build projects without disturbing their guests and patrons. This is the current philosophy held by the Hotel Del Coronado. We currently have two projects underway at this prestigious, historic landmark with an additional two more in the backlog queue. The second and third articles of this newsletter is about the two projects at the Hotel Del that are under construction. Our project teams listed in both of these articles are lead by Dan Poulton, our Vice President of Construction.

The first article highlights our Turtle Creek Apartments project in Riverside. This apartment complex just received its Certificate of Occupancy. Turtle Creek is the first development we have built for YK America. Dennis Dizon, our Vice President of Operations has done a great job leading a stellar team of builders. We hope this is the first of many projects we build with YK America.

Our Company Culture section covers our First Annual WLC Chili Cook-Off. This event was won by our Director of Business Development John Gonzalez. Following him in a close second was Dan Poulton (with help most likely from his wife Leny Iniguez-Poulton) and his North Carolina flavored chili.

Thank you for all of your comments and suggestions for our newsletter over the years. We truly try to incorporate the best of the remarks into our periodical. You can always click on my name and email me at Jody James Watkins with any observations.


Jody James Watkins

Jody James Watkins
San Diego / Inland Empire

Turtle Creek Apartments

We are proud to share the completion of the Turtle Creek Apartments in Riverside County. The 6 building project that contains 98 apartment units is awaiting in Moreno Valley for new residents to move in! This brand new gated community offers a clubhouse, swimming pool, and spa area – equipped with sundeck and lounges-, fitness room, outdoor playground area, and even a dog park. Also included is a BBQ area as well as covered parking spaces for each apartment.

The project was the first one we have done with YK America WLC wants to express how happy and honored to have built this development. We are looking forward to more ventures together in the near future.

Michael McHale Architects were in charge of the design of this 183,115 s.f. property that offers the option of 1, 2, or 3 bedroom apartments. All units are equipped with a washer/ dryer, granite countertops, modern kitchens with stainless steel appliances, walk-in closets, vinyl wood plank flooring, and over-sized bathrooms.

WLC’s project team consisted of Sr. Project Manager Jonathan Kuretich, Senior Superintendent Carlos Lopez, Superintendent Nicholas Famania, Laborer Emilio Cardona, and Project Engineer Yvette Lemos. This team, often referred to as ” the silent gladiators” always performed their job with poise, gaining total control of the project and running it smoothly from beginning to end. We are extremely happy and thankful to each and every member of the final outcome of this magnificent project.

Turtle Creek

Jody Watkins said he rarely goes out to see the Turtle Creek project in Riverside, and much of that has to do with Jon Kuretich. “I tell people in my job as CEO, I run to fires, going to the ones struggling or have a demanding owner,” Watkins said. “I told them not seeing me is a huge compliment.”

Turtle Creek is a six-building project that features 98 apartment units being built for YK America. Two buildings are three stories, while the other four are two stories. The big job that remains for the entire project is the underground work. Kuretich said buildings 1-4 need millwork and will be completed soon. For buildings 5 and 6, they are finishing the drywall and stucco. “There’s something incredibly rewarding to me to see a project that is hitting on all cylinders,” said Jody Watkins, the CEO of WLC. “There’s a flow to the project that’s just right. When a project has a good flow, it’s very rewarding.”

The fact Turtle Creek is doing underground work last, rather than first was a way to improvise as the project faced challenges in the beginning, as well as meeting the demanding deadlines. There are still some challenges, such as making changes to make the property ADA compliant. Because the project will be completed in phases, leasing should begin this summer.

“Despite all the challenges, we’re doing OK,” Kuretich said. “I tell Jody I appreciate the praise; I love it. But I have to hand it off to my team. They’re the ones who really bring it together. I’ve been really lucky with the jobs I’ve had with this company … I’ve been super fortunate that we’ve had good owners. I can’t complain. It makes my job easy.”
So great work done by team Turtle Creek, consisting of Jonathan Kuretich, Project Manager, Carlos Lopez, Superintendent, Nicholas Famania, Superintendent, Yvette Lemos, Project Engineer, and Missy Manning, Project Coordinator.

Hotel Del Coronado

Babcock & Story Bar + Enos Market Projects

Full renovation of the historical Babcock & Story Bar is underway at the Hotel Del in Coronado, CA. Watkins Landmark Construction is incredibly proud to have been selected to renovation this iconic landmark. The careful demolition and structural retrofit of the bar began at the end of January, and the scope of work continues, despite Hotel Del’s unprecedented temporary closure this week in light of the Coronavirus situation.

We are full speed, working towards the goal of expanding the Bar’s restroom facilities, as well as relocation and upgrade of their coffee Bar & Enos Market. Additional work includes the installation of new clear sliding doors that open into the Pacific Ocean.

Stay tuned for the final result. Completion of this project is slated for July 2020, which includes a special surprise for all. An antique cupola, a vintage jewel from the past will make its comeback from the times of WWII. We are incredibly honored to be in charge of such a memorable enterprise. Also, very glad to be collaborating with Lahaina Architects once again.

Great job done by our project team: Dan Poulton, VP of Operations; Scott Zuppan, Project Executive; Marco Pena Project Engineer; Bill Bagby, Sr. Superintendent; Molly Watson, Project Coordinator and the collaboration of Foreman Mike Gallardo. Keep up the great work guys! .


Hotel Del Coronado

Spa & Fitness Center Projects

Both the Spa and Fitness Center at the Del is getting a well-deserved facelift, as well as a considerable amount of mechanical and structural updates.

Our third project with BRE Hotels and Resorts broke ground earlier in March and it is expected to finish by June 2020

The Salon, currently existing in the Fitness Center, will be relocated to the Spa level. The Fitness Center itself will be a reconfiguration to provide better space for the exercise equipment and Yoga area. Say goodbye to the skylight and hello to new energy-efficient LED lighting. Interior Design was carried out by Gonzalez Architects.

Great job being performed by our awesome project team: Rick Bailitz, Senior Project Manager; Marco Pena, Project Engineer; Flynn Grace, Superintendent; Missy Manning, Project Coordinator, and Foreman Mike Gallardo. Keep up the good work guys!

Company Culture

1st Annual WLC Chili Cook-off

The Friday before Superbowl Sunday, we held our 1st Annual Chili Cook-off.
The idea was first discussed at our Holiday Party and it turned out to be a blast!
Who knew guys would be so committed and proud of their cooking! Good for you guys!.
In total we had 8 participants, who delighted coworkers with different styles of Chili: from Southwest to Southern Style.. chicken white chili and even a disguised vegetarian Mac n’ cheese infused Chili.
In the end, the big winner was the Mexican Style Chili, brought in by our Director of Business Development John Gonzalez. Congratulations John!!

The Winner, John Gonzalez, proudly standing in front of his acclaimed “C” pot.;)