Snyder Langston: Combining Real Estate, Clinical and Construction Expertise to Bring Flexible Healthcare Construction Solutions

Snyder Langston | Lee Watkins
Snyder Langston | Lee Watkins

Snyder Langston is a leading commercial construction company that has been delivering excellent construction services for more than six decades. Founded in 1959, the company has built a reputation for providing innovative and high-quality construction solutions for a diverse range of clients. From hospitals and outpatient medical centers to assisted living, skilled nursing, and memory care facilities, Snyder Langston has the expertise and experience to deliver projects of any size and complexity. The company’s commitment to sustainability and quality is reflected across its portfolio of LEED projects and ISO 9001:2015 certification.

Under the leadership of Lee Watkins, President and Chief Operations Officer (COO), and Max Burcham, Vice President of Healthcare, Snyder Langston’s team of seasoned professionals understands the technical complexities and unique and evolving demands of the healthcare industry. The company’s expertise in healthcare construction and innovative and high-quality portfolio of healthcare projects led to Snyder Langston being recognized among the Top 5 Most Reliable Healthcare Construction Firms in 2023.

The firm is focused on Southern California, operating from its headquarters in Irvine and an additional office in El Segundo. Along with its expertise in healthcare, the company’s portfolio includes office, retail, hospitality, industrial, retail, civic, faith-based, studios and entertainment, multi-family and senior living. Snyder Langston is honored with repeat business across the region because of its extensive healthcare construction experience, coupled with its commitment to quality and sustainability.

As the healthcare industry continues to evolve and face challenges, Snyder Langston remains a Trusted Advisor and Master Builder for healthcare providers who are seeking to enhance patient care and efficiency through innovative construction solutions.

Let’s dive in to learn more about Snyder Langston’s operations in improving healthcare delivery for both doctors and patients.

Source of Inspiration

With the rise of managed care systems, there was an emphasis on spending more on preventative healthcare. Hospitals, which made most of their money when people were sick, became highly regulated and the most expensive mode of service delivery. Consequently, hospitals began to look for cost-saving strategies while still providing quality care. In 2005, Snyder Langston’s then-president Stephen Jones sat on the board of a large local hospital and realized that their new value-based approach meant moving most outpatient services out of the hospital setting and into medical office buildings.

Snyder Langston pivoted its focus to medical office buildings and later expanded to encompass the full continuum of care, which now includes senior living, behavioral, and mental health. Since then, the company has amassed extensive experience in OSHPD-3 and OSHPD-1/(HCAI-1) projects.

“Our mission is to be recognized as a leading healthcare builder that specializes in the full continuum of care and is trusted by clients for our ability to combine real estate, clinical, and construction expertise to produce flexible solutions that support a dynamic healthcare industry,” says Burcham. “As builders, we facilitate the technological advancements of equipment and help increase access to care by putting healthcare services in places people want to be.”

He continues, “Our vision is to provide our clients with an array of services and a creative perspective that leads to innovation and value in their drive to provide the highest level of patient-centered care at increasingly lower costs. We strive to understand the ways that healthcare will be delivered in the future with a desire to improve the process. We believe this will be achieved by our mindset for competitiveness and innovation, passion for our clients’ success, concern for the environment, and culture of caring for others.”

Core Values

Snyder Langston thrives on the opportunity to bring its clients’ visions to life by being a Trusted Adviser and Master Builder. Since 1959, the firm has been honored to partner with the finest architects, developers, investors, and corporations to build a diverse selection of projects and product types across Southern California.

Watkins highlights, “In all we do, our team takes great pride in these buildings, but finds even greater accomplishment in the respect, integrity, and relationships we build along the way. We embrace curiosity, innovative ways of thinking, challenging, and working as a team to build lasting structures while supporting the communities that surround them.”

“We execute on our core values every day. We do not take these words lightly but rather use them to encourage our teams to continuously grow through ongoing learning and to seek out clients that align with our values to create high-performing projects and excellent results,” he says.

  • Exceed Expectations: We take responsibility for our goals and exceed them with integrity.
  • Build Relationships: We build trusting relationships by listening to understand, communicating effectively, and taking responsibility for a successful outcome.
  • Develop Expertise: We develop potential by converting curiosity into knowledge and knowledge into expertise.

“As we look to the future, our team is more focused than ever on incorporating the legacy of our founders, Don Snyder and Bill Langston, along with new ideas and solutions for what lies ahead,” emphasizes Watkins.

Committed to Create Success for Clients

Snyder Langston is a commercial and residential contractor, providing a full spectrum of pre-construction and construction services to its clients. Approximately 95% of the project awards include pre-construction, ensuring an effective, efficient, transparent process to deliver the highest quality project on time and within budget. Setting a project up correctly in pre-construction defines the clear path to successful construction.

Snyder Langston’s commitment to its purpose, to create success for clients, is achieved by executing that plan, resulting in an exceptional project with the highest quality and sustainable value.

Snyder Langston has three service lines. Commercial includes office, healthcare, hospitality, retail, industrial, science & technology, automotive and education. Residential includes multi-family, mixed-use, senior living, affordable & workforce housing. Optym is the special projects group which covers fast track ground-up projects and tenant improvements.

“No matter the service line, we bring a wealth of industry knowledge to the table. This provides the insight needed to understand the challenges clients face and the ability to collaborate with them in a seamless partnership that yields successful projects,” says Burcham.

Endeavors at Present

  • Snyder Langston is involved in projects reflecting the full continuum of care following a patient from preventive care, through medical incidents, rehabilitation, and maintenance. Depending on the patient, this might involve the use of acute care hospitals, ambulatory care, or long-term care facilities. The firm’s role has also evolved to include behavioral health and senior living sectors. This wide-ranging and coordinated emphasis to medical care means better outcomes for the patient.
  • In addition to its work in healthcare, Snyder Langston is actively involved in bringing new housing solutions and addressing housing shortages and affordability in Southern California communities through its multi-family projects. The firm’s residential expertise is a beneficial resource for its work in behavioral health and senior housing as well.
  • Another effective way that Snyder Langston supports facility owners is to help re-invent existing properties to remain relevant. The firm works through adaptive reuse in a variety of asset classes. For example, the firm has helped to convert uses and even built a park on the roof of a building to attract and retain tenants and improve views from the apartments above.

2023 and Beyond

“Our goal is to build the most exciting projects with the best clients and architecture/engineering firms. We will maintain focus on operational excellence, quality management, and securing new and repeat business, while developing and growing the best people in the industry through our comprehensive in-house training known as Snyder Langston University,” says Watkins.

“We will maintain our community service program BRIDGE, which encourages employees to donate time to the community while Snyder Langston matches donated hours with funds that are given to causes of each employee’s choosing. This initiative supports philanthropies in the communities where we work and live. We embrace the opportunity to be a company that cares in a world that doesn’t always do the same,” he concludes.

Snyder Langston’s Healthcare Leaders – In Their Own Words

Lee Watkins:

“I bring nearly 20 years of commercial construction expertise to my role as President and COO at Snyder Langston. My role succeeds my father’s legacy of love and passion for building. Each day of work is guided by my values of integrity, quality, commitment, and continuous improvement as well as being driven by high standards for excellence, efficiency, and creating a mutually rewarding building experience for all stakeholders. As one of Snyder Langston’s leaders, I ensure brand consistency across all of our projects within our three service lines as well as maintain the company’s outstanding and well-earned legacy.”

Max Burcham:

“I was initially attracted  to the industry because of an uncle who was an architect. While I didn’t become an architect, I did follow a path into construction. I honed my commitment to healthcare because of my experience years ago during the Northridge earthquake, which exposed weaknesses in existing building engineering. New, stronger structures were designed, new building Code was adopted, and laws were passed requiring hospitals be built or retrofitted per the new Code. This way a city or town in chaos following a big earthquake, could rely on the hospitals to function and serve their communities. It was rewarding to be part of the necessary changes that were applied to the industry because of that experience. I have been immersed in healthcare construction ever since.

In my role as Vice President of Healthcare with Snyder Langston, I focus on bringing what I believe is a unique sophistication and expertise to our work in healthcare, especially as it expands further into behavioral health and acute care. I also really enjoy our company culture. Everyone works well together, and that makes a difference. In fact, that cooperation is what draws clients and other firms to want to work with us. And when you have a similar culture and mindset, it drives repeat business.”

Dr. Lauren Brand, PsyD, Executive Director, Be Well OC

“This was my first experience where I was side by side with the team from the first brick that went into the ground.  It had to be built by a team that really understood that the details mattered because every detail would contribute to someone’s life.  The Snyder Langston team was very, very experienced and made every effort to make sure that I wasn’t just observing the process, that I was part of and understood their process. My favorite days were my hard hat walk through days where I suited up in the vest and hard hat with the construction team and walked through the building, and I learned about what it takes to build something like this that you don’t see.”

Chris deWilde, Chief Engineer/Supervisor of Plant Operations, CHOC Children’s

“I wanted to commend the Snyder Langston Team for the great work here at CHOC on the In-Patient Pharmacy Project. The coordination, timely communications, and quality of the product has been greatly appreciated. The Snyder Langston team worked closely with the Facility Team to maintain the construction timeline while mitigating the impacts on the day-to-day operations at the hospital. We look forward to hopefully more joint ventures with Snyder Langston in the future.”

“They looked for ways to add value to the end product that would benefit the future residents and the quality of the work while bringing the project in under budget and on schedule. We look forward to having them as our builder of choice for any opportunities in the future.” — Mitch Brown, (former) Chief Development Officer, Kisco Senior Living