Business Matters: Maui Architectural Group

Business Matters

HONOLULU (KHON2) — If you’ve ever taken an idea then brought it to life, you know how rewarding that is.

And that’s what the team at the Maui Architectural Group does on a daily basis.

A visit to the Maui Architectural Group building, and the first thing you notice is their building.

Not some fancy new age modern design, but rather the place where the Alexander and Baldwin families first came together to forge one of Hawaii most venerable businesses.

Peter Niess said, “1837 it was built, all of it ox-carted up from the iao river which is straight down the way here. It’s an old structure and it has a lot of history.”

History is something Peter and father Jim, who founded the company, are very much in tune with.

Always walking the fine line between paying respect to the past and charting the course for the future.

Jim Niess said, “You can do both, we are agents of change there’s no getting around that. At the same time, we could respect with here I work to keep some of these buildings from falling to the ground.”

From the structures they build, to the way they are designed, much has changed over the years.

Drawing blueprints by hand has largely given way the computer.

“Yep very much so,” said Peter. “We still encourage all of our team to draw by hand at first because it’s a little bit easier to make big changes but then we quickly check it in the computer world it’s amazing what we can do in there now animations and renderings you can really give the client a feel for what they’re going to get.”

From high school gymnasiums to cutting edge homes, the Maui Architectural Group does it all.

For Peter, who’s now carrying the family business forward, building was something that goes back to childhood.

“When I wasn’t in school I have the day off he would turn me loose with foam core and a hot glue gun and then x-acto knife and never tell me to just make something,” he said.

He’s designing some of the most spectacular and unique homes and buildings on the island.

Peter said, “It’s amazing, so rewarding. A lot of hugs and kisses and you get very emotional about it when it’s done.”

“He’s worked here with us for seven or eight years and then took over. And I am so pleased the firm is doing very well,” said Jim.

But while business is booming now, that hasn’t always been the case. But from recessions to tech bubbles they managed to weather it all.

Jim said, “The construction industry is cyclical. But we have learned how to be nimble get through these tough times and still serve the community. It’s worked out pretty well.”

And when it comes to their secret for success? It’s more than just taking something from idea to reality.

Peter said, “Just being part of the community caring about Maui and where we’re headed and the key to success, caring about it, making sure we do our part to point us in the right direction.”

Jim adds, “I tell them all it’s going to take patience and persistence. And that’s what’s gonna get you through. That is her business mantra things go down and things come back just got a look down the road and keep your head down.”

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