Got a project
in mind?


Our Company

Our unwavering commitment to championing the vision of our customers results in an unmatched stewardship of their projects’ budgets and management controls, quality, and schedule objectives; without ever compromising safety or operating capability.

Honor, Determination, Pride, Discipline, and simply doing things the right way have been the core values practiced for nearly 50 years at Agate Construction. Our focus in the construction industry is to provide value driven, turnkey construction services while consistently providing a safe, innovative, and engaging work environment for our Team members.

Our Legacy



Jim Uhl, a Marine Officer and Vietnam War Veteran, founded Agro Construction, which at the time was primarily an agricultural construction company, located on the Salt River Pima Maricopa Indian Community. Jim grew Agro into a concrete, steel, pre-engineered metal building, and earthwork contractor for 45 years.


Jim began searching for an intern to join the Agro Team, while a young Lou Primak was attending Arizona State University’s Del E. Webb School of Construction. Lou started his construction career as an intern working under Jim’s guidance and oversight. Jim followed Primak’s career for 30 years offering advice and guidance to Lou as he advanced his building and construction management career on many significant and large commercial construction projects primarily in the Marshall Islands, Arizona, California, Nevada, and Colorado.


Due to Agro’s growth in other market sectors, Jim changed the name of the company to Agate, Inc., where it flourished as a general contractor building projects throughout the United States and abroad. Agate Steel, Agate Concrete and Agate Construction, the Agate family of companies, have built facilities from Alaska to Florida while putting a geographical emphasis on the Western United States. Jim built a company culture founded on his Marine Corps’ experience; aligning the core values of the company with honor, determination, pride, discipline and simply doing things the right way; an approach that he referred to as “Certainty of a Successful Outcome”.


After being at the helm of the business for 43 years, Jim began the process of transitioning the ownership of the three entities, Agate Construction, Agate Steel and Agate Concrete to Lou Primak and Rick Nichols. Rick and Lou have known each other since 1977 when they went to Chandler High School and studied together at Arizona State University. Jim was adamant about the succession and legacy of the Agate group of companies, and most importantly, its people. Jim played an instrumental role in the succession plan and transition process, providing support and guidance as Primak and Nichols positioned Agate to move forward into the Southwestern United States construction arena.


Since 2017, Rick and Lou are incredibly proud of the Team they have built. A Team that safely executes projects and will carry the company forward for many years to come in the Commercial and Industrial Construction market sectors and will continue to grow the steel fabrication and erection business throughout the greater Southwest.

Our Success is a result of
the following fundamentals

Our People

Our experienced construction professionals do not just find problems; our team members actively solve them. We proactively plan and schedule the work to keep the project safe, on schedule, and within budget.

Competitive Fees

Our fee structure is more competitive than other contractors because we are client-focused and not project-dependent. We believe that by focusing on our clients, we create sustainable relationships.

Ownership Involvement

Rick Nichols and Lou Primak play active roles in company operations. They have skin in the game and are deeply involved in daily goals and activities.

Why agate?

At Agate Construction we pride ourselves on creating the most trouble-free
experience for your project and stay committed to utilizing the following practices.

Process Driven

  1. Methodical Project Controls
  2. Detailed Schedules
  3. Emphasis on Procurement
  4. Timely Financial Reporting


  1. Honest
  2. Clear and Intentional
  3. Problem Solvers, Not Problem Finders


  1. Collaborative
  2. Organized and Orderly
  3. Calm Sense of Urgency
  4. Sophisticated Blue Collar
  5. Large Company Capabilities with a Boutique Approach


  1. Since 1973
  2. Hands On Ownership
  3. Federal Certifications
  4. Remote Jobsite Experience

Safety Performance

  1. Award Winning Safety Program
  2. Superior EMR of .61
  3. Exceptional Insurance Rates
  4. Strong Safety Culture
  5. MSHA Trained

Delivery Methods

  1. Design Assist
  2. CMAR
  3. GMP
  4. Competitive Bid, Lump Sum
  5. Design Build


  1. Enthusiasm
  2. Commitment
  3. Accountability
  4. Culture of Building
  5. Caring
  6. Experienced


  1. Partners, Not Subs
  2. Stewards of Customer Goals

Our Leadership Team

Leading by example, our leadership team’s work ethic, enthusiasm, impressive skills, going above and beyond on every project, and recognizing excellent performance endorses their commitment to moving Agate Construction forward.

Lou Primak


Rick Nichols


Bart Bates


Mark Adams

Vice President

Andy Platt

Area Field Operations Manager

Jacob Perry

Construction Manager

Steve Johnson

Pre-Construction Services Director