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Changing Skylines, Building Futures

Pagnotta celebrates 30 years

Progress picture from Holyrood Tower1 in Edmonton, A.B..

Pagnotta offers concrete construction, equipment services and construction management across Western Canada. Mario Pagnotta opened the company in 1992. Thirty years later the family business continues to thrive with Mario’s son, Alex Pagnotta as CEO. With a dedicated and loyal team and three decades of experience, Alex is ready to move the company through its next evolution, while remembering the lessons that drove their past success.

Mario left Italy and arrived in Canada in 1967. While he started his Canadian career as a site labourer, his hard work and dedication saw him move quickly into management and then into entrepreneurship. After starting Pagnotta in 1992, merely three years later he was asked to help build Edmonton’s Greenwood Inn, a major turning point for the company and the team. This project required a tower crane. Mario purchased one, launching what would later become the brand’s equipment service division. 

From there, things moved fast. Mario moved the company to a larger corporate office in 1998, expanding the team and scope of projects. Eventually things settled into three divisions: construction, concrete, and equipment; and three offices: Edmonton, Saskatoon and Vancouver.

Alex is proud to carry on the business. “I love the people. I love the challenges,” he says. “Construction has lots of engineering, moving parts and intensity. Projects have tight timelines and require teamwork among project managers, site supervisors, crane operators, HR, finance, carpenters, labourers, finishers – there are many different professions working together within our business. It’s a large puzzle that I love putting together. I greatly enjoy the collaboration.”

Although Pagnotta provides general construction on high-rise and mixed-use commercial and residential projects, as well as competitive equipment sales and rentals, the brand remains most well known as a leading concrete designer, former, placer and finisher in Western Canada. 

“We are experts in all components of structural concrete for large and medium-sized projects,” says Alex. 

One example of Pagnotta’s concrete expertise is on display at the Royal Alberta Museum. The floating concrete staircase is a focal point of the entrance lobby. The stunning showpiece that winds from the bottom to the second level took 25 weeks and around-the-clock work from conception to the unveiling. 

Another is Edmonton’s mixed-use Augustana development, where a trendy and slim 30-storey high-rise apartment towers over the city. Residents enjoy more than 196,000 square feet of space that is separated into a variety of leasing apartments. All of Pagnotta’s divisions were involved to build Augustana from the ground up.

A big turning point for Pagnotta was the EPCOR Tower. 

“That was the largest concrete job we have done, and still our biggest to date,” says Alex. “The EPCOR Tower project really brought a new level of professionalism, safety training and quality control to our brand. It was a big learning curve and we enjoyed working closely with the other contractors on the site.”

He continues, “There are so many projects going on in Edmonton right now. We are proud to be a part of the city’s growth and to also help build up Western Canada. We enjoy being the local company on site with the local, longstanding identity.”

A big driver of Pagnotta’s success is due to Alex’s unwavering belief in accountability.

“We don’t pretend problems don’t exist and we don’t pretend to be perfect. It’s easy to be ‘good’ when things are going well but it’s important to step up when things are not. We have always excelled at pulling through and not passing our problems off to clients and other people.”

For example, when COVID hit and many changes were needed to keep their teams and clients safe on site, Pagnotta chose to dig in and do whatever it took to keep the projects online. Despite product and labour shortages, they strived to hit their deadlines.

“You can’t tell the client you need six more months to build,” says Alex. “You adapt and overcome. Along with our accountability comes attention to detail, a laser focus on safety and a high quality of work. Our quality is second to none and we enjoy an excellent industry reputation.”

Pagnotta’s reputation for giving back to the community is equally sound. Alex and his team enjoy supporting CASA (Child, Adolescent and Family Mental Health) and other mental health initiatives.

“It’s important for kids to get a good head start, especially with mental health,” Alex explains. “When help is provided when they are young, they are on a path for a better future.”

Pagnotta is also proud to help support some of Boyle Street Community Services’ construction initiatives, along with other non-profit organizations across the city.

While Pagnotta has achieved recognition for several projects, including the staircase at the Royal Alberta Museum, Alex says the biggest reward is being surrounded by good people in a good industry.

“What matters to me is when you walk on a job site and you can smell the concrete and you can see our people happy to be out there. As much as concrete and construction is labour intensive, our teams are outside, feeling good and excited about the projects! I love seeing the positivity; it’s fun to be around!”

His message to current and future clients is, “We will take care of you. Because we are integrated in our services, we understand the business and the projects very well, from design, finance and down to the very last nail. Construction has a lot of overlap and scope gap; work with us because we understand a lot of the unwritten things in a project. Also, we are committed. We don’t walk away from jobs and we are accountable for our actions.”

It’s been 30 years since Mario opened Pagnotta. Between then and now, the company is proud of changing the skyline of the city they love.

“The best thing about construction is interacting with so many people and making a difference,” concludes Alex. “A big thank you for 30 great years goes out to our business community, team, and contractors. Also, to the people of Edmonton, thank you for your support and thank you for your patience when we are building in your neighbourhood.”

Over the next 30 years, Pagnotta plans to expand geographically and solidify each division, continue learning and growing as a brand and keep its focus on providing a great, safe workplace.

“Our vision is clear – changing skylines, building futures. We help build the cities we are in and help build up the people that work with us.”

Learn more about Pagnotta at pagnotta.ca online, pagnottainc on Instagram, and Pagnotta Inc. on Facebook and LinkedIn.

201, 5920 Gateway Blvd Edmonton, AB, T6H 2H6
Phone: (780) 432-1001 • Fax: (780) 432-3339