Watson Martial Arts: A Case Study

Watson Martial Arts | Live Oak Contracting


6,500 square feet of neglected warehouse space, a leaking roof, time constraints and a limited budget were the challenges of this project. Previously occupied by Wilkinson Insulation, 1780 Emerson Street had been vacant for approximately two years before being purchased by our client Jason Watson. The project involved renovating the existing structure to accommodate two separate businesses; Fight Fit, a cross-training facility, and Watson Martial Arts, a youth-oriented martial arts program. The scope of the project included creating a separate area for each business with a centrally located entryway, office, and storage area. With a six month time constraint and maximum budget of $270,000.00., Live Oak Contracting got right to work meeting with the architect and client to determine the best use of the existing structure.


In order to address the budget constraints, Live Oak elected to use a Cost Plus Contract and leveraged connections with their vendors and subcontractors to help cut costs without compromising design. Live Oak also maximized the budget by working closely with the architect and client to repurpose as much as possible while still demolishing what was necessary. The resulting cost savings allowed Mr. Watson to actually add “wish list” items to the project.  

The most difficult hurdle presented itself as an incorrect JEA sewer location. JEA as-builts showed the sewer tap at an incorrect depth. Despite many attempts to locate the sewer tap, Live Oak Contracting was unsuccessful and JEA could not provide an adequate location. Instead JEA instructed the client to tap a force main located in an FDOT right of way – an unforeseen and astronomical expense that would have cost Mr. Watson $40,000-$50,000. Live Oak provided ample documentation from their due diligence and relentlessly pursued the matter with DOT and JEA, until JEA finally agreed to the installation of a septic system. Instead of costing the owner thousands of dollars and months of extra construction, Live Oak completed the project in four months, meeting both time and budget constraints.


A reputable contractor can negotiate with vendors to secure the highest quality work, often saving clients money and allowing for more enhancements elsewhere in the project. Overall, Live Oak Contracting delivered an exceptionally successful project despite limitations and unforeseen challenges. Jason Watson is enjoying his new facility and a once dilapidated building is now adding new revenue and future success for a local business.

Click here to see all the before and after pictures. 

Share this post

Related Posts


About Live Oak Contracting

Live Oak Contracting believes in building long term partnerships based on integrity. From our Clients to our team of professionals, we incorporate a collaborative approach to every project, ensuring the highest quality product delivered on time and in budget.

Sign up for our Newsletter

Although the information below is not required, we would love to know just a little more about you to better tailor our content to your needs.
This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.