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September 2020 • www.ccr-mag.com

A neighbor you can trust How quality, trust and good faith define the Orscheln Property Management brand

Ron Volske, Construction Project Manager, and Nicholas Orscheln, Real Estate Manager for Orscheln Property Management LLC

Official magazine of

Also inside:

Exclusive Inside: How technology is propelling the industry forward 5 tips for sanitizing your jobsite Check out our annual Facilities Maintenance firms listing


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Vol. 19, No. 7 | September 2020



28 FEATURES 28 A neighbor you can trust  How quality, trust and good faith define the Orscheln Property Management brand 72  Making the impossible, possible  Inside the benefits of waterjet technology

76  Get in the game  How technology is propelling the industry forward 78  Double play New Jersey project unites residences, theaters in 23-story performing arts center Cover and feature photos by: Joe Bradley





Vol. 19, No. 7 | September 2020 INDUSTRY SEGMENTS 54 Facility Maintenance

DEPARTMENTS 4 Editor’s Note 12 Industry News 70 RCA Insights 122 Women in Construction 137 The Cannabis Operations 152 Commercial Construction & Renovation Data 154 Ad Index 156 Publisher’s Note



Women’s Retreat 38  Getting it done  CCR’s first Virtual Women’s Retreat hones in on the construction game today Multi-Housing 83  Second to none  Why Yarco Development continues to deliver the most livable multi-family neighborhoods Healthcare 93  Safety net  Why St. Barnabas Hospital is a beacon of hope for the Bronx, New York


Federal Construction Tackling the impossible 103   How Turner Construction built a COVID-19 care facility in just 28 days Commercial Kitchens 125 A friend you can trust  How PANNA continues to bring the love for Latino food Craft Brand and Marketing 143 Family strong  Two generations in, Highland Brewing is building a brand that others want to emulate




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Sept. 1 - Nov 30, 2020



by Michael J. Pallerino

The Go Factor W

e will leave the "it came from out of nowhere" to history. The one thing we know for sure is that when "it" hit and started to spread, we were forced to react—all of us. Personally. Professionally. Mutually. Together. Alone.

The stories of the businesses and markets and people around the world who continue to weather the storm abound. One that particularly caught my eye was about electronics retailer Best Buy. Initially, the brand voluntarily closed its 1,000 stores across the country, putting it at a major disadvantage when consumers, needing devices and accessories, starting going elsewhere to get their products. If hindsight is one of our greatest assets, Best Buy could have kept its stores open in areas where it was considered an essential business. But its customers and employees were not comfortable working amid a virus that had few things known about it.

As Best Buy CEO Corie Barry was quoted as saying, "I knew that decision would be questioned for months and maybe years to come. There was a real question about, ‘Are you going to forgo business that you might otherwise be able to capitalize on?’" But Best Buy had a plan. In two days, the retailer converted its showroom stores to curbside outposts where shoppers could pick

up their online orders without getting out of their cars. Best Buy essentially went from retailer to fulfillment center. Adapting to the climate it was given has made Best Buy stronger, even more favorable than before in its customers’ eyes. And the Wall Street gang (for those who follow that kind of thing)? During the six weeks Best Buy closed beginning in March, the retailer retained 81% of sales compared with the same six weeks in 2019. Sales in May, June and July increased 5.8% from the same period a year prior, higher than the 2.3% analysts predicted. Construction is Stories like this are everywhere if you care to look. essential. It is the You have your own story. You backbone of this just have to share it. While country—something Wall Street may not be beating down your door, you and your that when the final team have been out there in nail is hammered, the mire and muck doing the so to speak, opens work others cannot. Construction is essenthe doors to the tial. It is the backbone of this commerce and country—something that when living each of us the final nail is hammered, so to speak, opens the doors to do every day. the commerce and living each of us do every day. This thing will not be around forever. We will find a way to make our way. That is what we do. Do I want to keep writing about what the pandemic is doing to business? No. But I want to tell the stories about those who are finding a way to win when winning does not seem like an option. Just go. Do what you have to do. Be safe. Be smart. Be the kind of business and/or brand that people want to be associated with. As you sift through the pages of our magazine, the stories are there. People are building, designing, renovating. They are moving forward.

Michael J. Pallerino is the editor of Commercial Construction & Renovation. You can reach him at 678.513.2397 or via email at mikep@ccr-mag.com.

We want to hear from you At Commercial Construction & Renovation, we’re always looking to showcase the best of what our industry is doing. If you have a project profile or a fresh perspective on how to keep our industry positively moving forward, shoot me an email at mikep@ccr-mag.com. We’d love to take a look.








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EDITORIAL EDITOR: Michael J. Pallerino 678.513.2397 • mikep@ccr-mag.com SENIOR ART DIRECTOR/AD PRODUCTION MANAGER: Brent Cashman 404.402.0125 • bocdesign@me.com CONTRIBUTING WRITER: Ron Treister rlt@communicatorsintl.com • 561-203-2981


PUBLISHER/EDITOR David Corson • davidc@ccr-mag.com 678.765.6550 (fax) 678.765.6551 SUMMIT DIRECTOR David Corson • davidc@ccr-mag.com 678.765.6550 (fax) 678.765.6551 CCRP MEMBERSHIP DIRECTOR: Kristen Corson • kristenc@ccr-people.com 770.990.7702

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RON BIDINOST Vice President of Operations Bubbakoo’s Burritos Corporation

DAVE CRAWFORD Vice President of Design & Construction Belk Inc.

GREGG LOLLIS Sr. Director, Design Development Chick-fil-A

STEVE KOWAL VP Construction & Property Management Hibbett Sporting Goods



AARON ANCELLO TD Bank VP Regional Facilities Manager AVP New England

BOB WITKEN Director of Construction & Development Uncle Julio’s Corp.

PUNIT R. SHAH Chief Executive Officer of Liberty Group+ Part-Owner of Miami Marlins LU SACHARSKI Vice President of Operations and Project Management Interserv Hospitality


CONSULTANT GINA NODA Founder Connect Source Consulting Group, LLC.


CEO & Founder of Nunzio Marc DeSantis Architects



DAVID SHOTWELL Construction Manager Atticus Franchise Group

President Schimenti Construction

CEO at Green Badger, LLC

BOB MEZA Senior Construction Project Manager Target

ISYOL E. CABRERA Director Design & Construction Edibles

JOHN STALLMAN Marketing Manager Lakeview Construction

JOHN MIOLOGOS Director, Store Standards Store Design and Planning Walgreens Company

DEMETRIA PETERSON Project Director, Design and Construction at HMSHost

JERRY SMITH Head of Construction Bluemercury LAURA GROSS Retail Facilities Manager American Signature Furniture ERRAN THOMAS ZINZER Senior Manager Real Estate Services, Construction & Design MIKE KLEIN, AIA, NCARB

Retail Consultant RON VOLSKE Construction Project Manager Orscheln Farm & Home DEDRICK KIRKEM Retail Facilities Consultant

HEALTHCARE CLINTON “BROOKS” HERMAN, PMP Senior Facilities Project Manager UTHealth Science Center at Houston


DAVID THOMPSON Construction Manager Scooter’s Coffee


Senior Vice President, Cushman & Wakefield

HOSPITALITY JOHN COOPER Principal Executive Vice President at Stormont Hospitality Group LLC GARY RALL Vice President of Design and Development, Holiday Inn Club Vacations ROBERT RAUCH CEO RAR Hospitality Faculty Assoc., Arizona State University JOE THOMAS Vice President Engineering Loews Hotels RICK TAKACH Chairman Vesta Hospitality

HOSPITALITY SAMUEL D. BUCKINGHAM, RS CMCA AMS President & Co-Founder Evergreen Financial Partners LLC

JEFF ROARK Principal/Partner Little JEFFREY D. MAHLER Vice President L2M JIM STAPELTON Vice President Nelson

MEGAN HAGGERTY Founder Legacy Capital Investment

FRED MARGULIES Director of Retail Architecture Onyx Creative


STEVEN MCKAY Managing Principal, Global Design Leader at DLR Group

International Director JLL MIKE KRAUS Principal Kraus-Manning JOHN LAPINS Project Management Consultant, Greystar

BRIAN HAGEMEIER, P.E., LEED AP Practice Leader Federal/State/Housing, GPD Group STEVEN R. OLSON, AIA

President CESO, Inc.


President Property Management Advisors LLC

CHRIS VARNEY Principal, Executive Vice President EMG


STEPHEN HEKMAN Executive VP Kingsmen Retail Services US

ADA BRAD GASKINS Principal The McIntosh Group

ACADEMIA DR. MARK LEE LEVINE Professor Burns School/ Daniels College University of Denver






AroundtheIndustry RESTAURANTS

Buffalo Wings & Rings Buffalo Wings & Rings has unveiled a new format that will add fast-casual elements to the casual dining concept, while also planning for a post-pandemic return to its roots. Customers will be able to order their own food and beer, or opt to have servers put in orders. The chain plans to implement tabletop tech that patrons can use to call servers and pay. Taco Bell Taco Bell’s new “Go Mobile” restaurant format features a smaller dining room and a second drive-thru just for mobile order pickups, to accommodate growing demand for off-premises dining. White Castle White Castle will partner with Mastercard to launch tests in October of high-tech drive-thru lanes that feature a digital voice assistant for automated ordering. The “AI Powered Drive Through” also will recognize license plates of White Castle loyalty members who register on the app, and the digital menu board will suggest items based on each person’s past orders. Papa John’s Papa John’s is mapping a growth strategy in the northeastern US with franchise partner HB Restaurant Group. HB will open 49 new locations in the southern New Jersey and Philadelphia markets over the next eight years.

Famous Dave’s/Texas T-Bone Steakhouse The parent of the Famous Dave’s barbecue chain is testing yet another development option by allowing a franchisee to incorporate elements of a Famous Dave’s into a Texas T-Bone Steakhouse. Amazon Go Grocery Amazon is opening its second Amazon Go Grocery store, this one in Redmond, Washington, bringing its larger cashier-less store format to the Seattle suburbs and the doorstep of Microsoft’s headquarters. Walmart/Hissho Sushi & Craft Beer Bar Just months after opening the United States’ inaugural Hissho Sushi & Craft Beer Bar, the company is bringing the in-store restaurant concept to northwest Arkansas, debuting its second location within a Walmart store there. The first Sushi & Craft Beer Bar opened within a Brighton, Michigan, Meijer last February.


Choice Hotels International Choice Hotels International has opened Cambria Hotels in Ocean City, Maryland, and in Rohnert Park in California’s Sonoma wine region, bringing its additions to the luxury brand this year to six. More than 130 Cambria properties are operating or in the pipeline in major US markets. InterContinental Hotels Group/Voco InterContinental Hotels Group will unveil its new lifestyle Voco brand in Florida, Missouri and New York. Plans call for opening 28 hotels in 19 countries over the coming five years.

Burger King Burger King has unveiled two designs for its “Restaurant of Tomorrow,” with features designed to feed consumer demand for off-premises dining. The new formats feature multiple drive-thru lanes, solar-canopy covered drive-in dining areas where customers can order via app, space for curbside pickup, and lockers for delivery orders and mobile orders.

The Mirage The Mirage, which debuted in 1989 as the world’s largest hotel and the first of Las Vegas’ modern mega-resorts, has reopened after being shuttered since mid-March because of the pandemic. MGM has reopened eight other coronavirus-impacted resorts since early June.

Dunkin’ Dunkin’ has partnered with Mastercard to pilot cashier less stores. Employees will restock items and provide customer assistance, but customers will check in and pay for doughnuts and coffee at kiosks.

Wild Horse Pass Hotel & Casino An 11-story hotel tower will anchor a planned $143 million expansion of the Wild Horse Pass Hotel & Casino in Chandler, Arizona. Rooftop dining, a second-story bar and lounge and two 1,500-square-foot “Platinum Suites” are among other features of the project, slated for completion in fall 2021.

Amazon/Kohl’s Amazon is set to open a supermarket inside a Kohl’s store in La Verne, California, using about 37,000 of the total 88,000 square feet inside the building and expanding a relationship that started in 2019 when the retailer began accepting Amazon returns. While no opening date has been set, reports say it would likely use Amazon’s Fresh banner and make Amazon the second grocer, after ALDI, to forge a similar space-sharing deal with Kohl’s.


Small Luxury Hotels of the World Small Luxury Hotels of the World has opened hotels in France, Italy and Spain and plans to reopen a Maldives property in November. The 49-room Les Sources de Cheverny in the Loire Valley, the 88-room Galleria Vik Milano in Milan, the 18-room Torre Del Marques in Matarrana, and the 44-room Huvafen Fushi Maldives join a portfolio of 520 hotels in more than 90 nations.


RETAIL Lidl US Lidl US will open 50 new stores by the end of next year. The grocer plans to open new locations in nine states: Delaware, Georgia, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina and Virginia. Dollar General Dollar General plans to accelerate the renovation program. The new and remodeled stores are designed to put more emphasis on food and consumables. Other initiatives this year will include the launch of DG Pickup and DG Fresh options. Macy’s Macy’s will continue investing in stores at top-flight malls, but it will also test smaller-format namesake stores away from malls and one non-mall Bloomingdale’s location. Best Buy Best Buy will turn about 250 of its 1,000 stores into ship-from-store hubs that will handle high volumes of online orders, which are either shipped from stores or picked up. Amazon Amazon recently opened its first Fresh location in the Los Angeles neighborhood of Woodland Hills. The 35,000-square-foot store features the debut of Dash Cart, which tracks items customers put in their carts and allows them to skip the checkout line; built-in Echo Show devices that let customers ask Alexa where certain items can be found and a dedicated pickup desk where shoppers can retrieve online orders. Target Stores Target is turning its attention to expanding its Drive Up grocery service, a move that had been put on hold when the pandemic began. The retailer has added fresh and frozen food to its pickup and Drive Up options at 1,500 stores, with plans to include them at another 100 sites by the holiday season. Dollar General Dollar General, which has already opened 500 new stores and remodeled 973 others during the first half of its fiscal year, will accelerate the renovation program as its sales continue to surge. The new and remodeled stores are designed to put more emphasis on food and consumables. Other initiatives this year will include the launch of DG Pickup and DG Fresh options.

J. Crew J. Crew Group has won court approval for its reorganization plan and plans to emerge from bankruptcy in early September. The plan will convert more than $1.6 billion of debt into equity and establishes a $77 million fund to pay unsecured creditors, which prioritizes payments to vendors with whom the fashion retailer will continue to do business. Walmart Eliminating 230 million metric tons of greenhouse gases from its supply chain over the past three years has put Walmart on course to reach the emissions goal it had set for 2030. In an environmental, social and governance report released recently, the retailer also pledged to cut packaging waste and energy use. Payless After emerging from bankruptcy proceedings in January, Payless plans to launch a new store prototype and online presence in North America. Primark Primark officially has entered its 13th market with the opening of its first store in Poland. The store, located at Galeria Młociny shopping centre in Warsaw, spans 39,396 square feet of retail space across two floors, and showcases Primark’s latest shop fit with 30 cash desks and 35 fitting rooms, as well as free Wi-Fi throughout. Costco Costco has either opened or is in the process of building six new stores in the US and Canada. In Canada, the warehouse retailer has opened a 161,000-square-foot store in Ottawa, Ontario, and a 150,000-square-foot location on First Nations land in Calgary, Alberta. IKEA Ingka Centres is still full steam ahead on IKEA’s first US mall, which is planned to open within a year in San Francisco. The property will be anchored by IKEA and undergo significant redevelopment. Michaels Michaels has remodeled two Texas stores in a new format featuring interactive inspiration hubs that enable shoppers to try out products. The stores also features lower fixtures for better visibility, high-tech checkout systems, and space for taking classes and making crafts.





Wipe it down 5 tips for sanitizing your jobsite : By Brian Poage


t is no secret that this pandemic has thrown a wrench into the way construction sites operate and ensure safety. Properly sanitizing your jobsites is crucial to keeping projects open and running smoothly, so most construction companies are looking for ways to maintain the new

No. 1 — H  ire a third-party cleaning crew

The additional sanitization protocols and requirements directly impact your crews’ productivity. The more time they have to spend cleaning, the less time they are spending on moving the project forward. Consider hiring a third-party cleaning crew to come in and sanitize the space. This is an added upfront cost, but it will help ensure your trade crews can stay dedicated to the business-critical tasks and productivity expectations.

standards and protocols at every turn. Protecting your crews is—and always will be—the main priority. Keeping project delays or shutdowns to a minimum is a close second. So, how can you ensure your sites are properly sanitized and maintained? Check out these five ideas:

No. 4 — M  aintain high-touch areas regularly

Create a cleaning and sanitization schedule around some of the most-used places on a jobsite (such as portable toilets and hand-washing stations). Since so many different workers touch and use these common areas, increasing the cadence of cleanings and servicing will help minimize the spread of germs.

No. 5 — Utilize technology

With strict social distancing in place, implementing new technology solutions can help your jobsite become more sanitized and safer for all workers. This is the perfect time to roll out a software that can take your documentation digital. A digital solution can help minimize the number of physical touches around paperwork, reports and checklists—and just might save you time in the process, too.

No. 2 — R  equire composite crews

If a third-party cleaning service is out of the question, assign a composite cleaning crew from each trade to work together and clean the jobsite. By doing this, you can spread the added time spent cleaning across each of the trades and keep the impacts minimal, while still ensuring your jobsite stays compliant with sanitization requirements.

No. 3 — C  reate a new materials policy

To help prevent the spread of the virus, implement a policy that only members of a crew can touch or move materials belonging to that crew. For example, if there is duct in the way of the framers, mandating that they do not touch the material will help reduce the potential exposure to germs or a virus. This also will make it easier to track who should be held accountable for cleaning your project’s different tools and materials.


Brian Poage is the Construction Support Manager at Raken.


Did you

know Highways, roads and bridges represented 77% of the projects selected for $1 billion in Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development grants from the Department of Transportation. The grants went to 70 projects in 44 states, with two projects in Texas and one each in Florida, Iowa, Maine and Pennsylvania, each receiving the maximum amount of $25 million. The grants are part of the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act program, which was established in 2009. The program was renamed the TIGER-BUILD (Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery) in 2018.


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Deep breaths only… Study shows indoor air quality top concern among returning workers during pandemic


lean, indoor air. That is what people want upon returning to work amid a pandemic that has turned everything on its head. According to a study by Aeroseal on Quartr, 89% believe the air in their homes is cleaner than at work. To note, they are more concerned with the cleanliness of the air at work than they are with the cleanliness of surfaces in bathrooms, meeting rooms and elevators. The study, which includes insights from 710 respondents, examines how today’s workers feel about an eventual return to work amid COVID-19. Respondents work in environments including large and small offices, hospitals, schools, retail, and other small business spaces. Other key findings from the study include:


of people surveyed believe they will return to work by the end of the year


will work in an office building, school or healthcare facility


are worried about their health and safety when returning to work


are concerned about indoor air being clean and fresh compared to surfaces in bathrooms (27%), meeting rooms (15%), and elevators (9%)

They said it “We knew with everything we did, we had to get there as fast as possible to be successful. I’ve never been busier than when we were shut down.” — Alex Sadowsky, corporate executive chef of Twin Peaks in Dallas, on working in the pandemic

“The loss of new projects and revenue has been severe for the commercial construction industry, but we may be turning the corner. Contractors’ more positive outlooks on new business and revenue suggest the construction industry is part of a broader economic recovery post-COVID, although industries including travel, entertainment and hospitality continue to struggle.” — U.S. Chamber of Commerce Executive VP & Chief Policy Officer Neil Bradley on how commercial construction contractors are working through backlogs and expressing optimism about the future

“The owner can develop their optimal floorplan for social distancing and offpremise at the start, rather than have to retrofit an existing, operating concept.” — Technomic Managing Principal Joe Pawlak on the benefits of opening a new restaurant now.



Your project deserves the best team in construction:

With over 40 years of experience, we know how to bring your visions to life. Our expert leadership will guide your project from concept to grand opening. We are licensed in 50 states, Canada, Mexico, and Puerto Rico, and our standards for quality, consistency, and safety are second to none. Construction One is trusted by the world’s biggest brands. Let us be your partner.

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©Copyright Construction One



On the rise

Climate study says seaports will need to double or quadruple in size by 2050


t could cost $223 billion to $768 billion by 2050 to sufficiently expand global seaports to withstand rising seas and growth in global trade, according to a study by the UK Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council. The modeling for the report takes into account the evolution of trade due to climate change and other economic factors, as well as direct changes to coastlines. According to the study, recent trade scenarios suggest that global freight demand could increase between

three- and seven-fold by 2050, leading to a 73% global increase in the number of containers moved to at least 2.2 billion per year over the same period. Under that pressure, it has been estimated that port capacity will not be adequate to meet demand as early as 2030. But those forecasts likely will be stressed by changing weather patterns. The study found that climate-related extremes and trends have important implications for ports in terms of their functionality, navigable water, and shelter from wind and waves.

The numbers game

4 in 10 667.9

A new survey by the travel insurance company Allianz found that 44% of Americans said they plan to take trips before 2020 is over. While domestic travel lead short-term outlooks, international jaunts command wide favor for 2021.


The number, in billions, of the construction spend in the first half of 2020, according to the US Census Bureau. While the number is a 5% increase year-over-year, spending has declined by $86 billion since the start of COVID-19.



The percent of consumers who said they are comfortable with indoor dining at restaurants, while 42% have returned to restaurant dining outdoors, according to a YouGov survey for SevenRooms. The survey found that 23% plan to stick with takeout and delivery at least through the end of 2020, with 13% saying they are only frequenting eateries with contactless dining features in place.




Steering the course 5 tips to help navigate scheduling impacts of COVID-19 : By Jim Gallagher Editor’s Note: This is the second in a two-part series on navigating and mitigating the impact of COVID-19 on construction projects.


cross the country, each state has issued varying degrees of stay-at-home directives in response to the spread of COVID-19, taking different approaches to their definitions of essential business and social distancing.

For the construction industry, these decisions have posed significant impacts on cost and schedule, as certain work has been frozen while other projects, involving transportation, education and health-related facilities are being accelerated based on need and to capitalize on reduced disruption and risk. With flexible preparedness and frequent communication, contractors and construction partners can better navigate changes to their schedules, and set themselves up for recovery and return to normalcy down the line. Current circumstances have led to reduced traffic on roadways, ridership on public transportation and usage of buildings in general,


which means that projects that can apply effective “virus safety” controls and properly implement them have the opportunity to move forward. Project managers may need to reallocate resources to move forward, but that does not mean they should do so from a short-term perspective. Record keeping, planning and communication are critical to staying on top of the daily changes resulting from and made available by this pandemic. Here are five tips construction participants can use to help make sure teams and resources are being best utilized now and for a smooth transition after stay-at-home directives are recalled.




PERSPECTIVE No. 1 — Preserve a snapshot

Whether work is frozen or moving forward, the first step is making a thorough record of where the project was when the virus first affected costs, schedules, etc. This way, project managers can delineate between progress as planned and the impacts since. It also is puts them in better position to seek recovery into the future.

No. 2 — C  onsider efficiency and feasibility

Every construction project faces a varied set of impacts and challenges. For some, it will be better to freeze work internally to best preserve resources, while others will see new life with shifted needs and risks to workers, drivers and pedestrians. Being flexible also may help to reduce claims by contractors later on.

No. 3 — E stablish a plan forward

Preparing to incorporate required social distancing measures and to adapt when workers, supplies or equipment become less available will require new plans for projects, and ones that leave room for greater flexibility.

No. 4 — A  ssign COVID-19 specific schedule activity codes

Part of successfully implementing new plans is being able to track variations from the baseline. Clearer record keeping of specific types of work will allow managers to better stagger shifts and trade work to keep sites healthier and reduce further disruptions.

No. 5 — U  pdate and revaluate work plan and project schedule

Whether work is frozen or moving forward, the first step is making a thorough record of where the project was when the virus first affected costs, schedules, etc.

Plans and progress should be regularly revaluated so that work can continue to stay on track as closely as possible. Assuming that impacts will stay consistent through an ongoing event is setting a project up for greater difficulties in later phases. One cannot assume that workers, supplies or equipment will still be on the same schedule as on-site work and construction partners will need to confirm each element more frequently.

Changes to schedules due to force majeure events are not new in construction, though these particular circumstances of ongoing impacts, is unique. While there is no blanket road map to follow, by implementing best practices of construction management, contractors and project managers can put themselves and their work in better position to mitigate the effects of the pandemic and achieve more successful results. CCR

Jim Gallagher is Principal at Resolution Management Consultants (RMC), a nationally recognized consulting firm in Marlton, New Jersey. There are two sides to the business: the construction planning and management aspect—helping clients build more successful projects—and the litigation aspect—should matters go to court, providing analysis and testimony as expert witnesses. For information, visit resmgt.com.






Mastering your business process How low-code technology is super-charging corporate retail project management software : By Scott Lunt


echnology plays a key role nowadays in the management of multi-project corporate real estate development. Project managers, vendors, employees and subcontractors depend on everything from spreadsheets to fully customized software for collaboration and coordination. What is low- and no-code development?

But spreadsheets are just a snapshot of information at a given time and are not dynamic, which makes collaboration difficult and inefficient, and one-off custom software tools are costly to create and maintain. So companies often settle for off-the-shelf software that is said to be designed to industry best practices, but that does not always solve their unique situations. There is a better solution, and it is a growing trend: Low- and no-code application development. While the technology has been around for years, industries are just beginning to adopt it. Here is why this technology is on fire today, and how it can give those who adopt these tools a highly competitive edge.


Low- and no-code platforms enable people with little or no programming experience to develop applications that meet specific business process needs without involving IT staff or going to outside developers. There are low-code applications that are easy to build and launch by almost any non-technical person. Even if external help is needed, the cost is a mere fraction of traditional software development. Using a low-code software platform, a member of the team could create, test and launch the app—often through a dragand-drop interface—much quicker and more cost-effectively than relying on busy IT staff, outsourced developers or purchasing another one-off solution. USGN (www.usgn.net) is an early provider of cloud-based collaborative project management systems for corporate building programs. Founder and CEO Doug Sperr points out that benefits go beyond saving time. “When you buy software that’s based on standard industry best practices, you’re forced to work the way the software works and not the other way around. With low-code, you can dictate how the software works to solve your unique needs.” These low-code applications are in no way inferior to hard-coded apps. In fact, they are better because they are more targeted to the specific need. They are full-featured integrated solutions used by the world’s largest companies today. Sperr and his team, led by Scott Wessels, USGN’S Chief Technical Officer, started developing low-code technology more



than 20 years ago. They first saw the need when they realized that their customers, large end-users, like PetSmart and Whole Foods Market, wanted very different tools to match their corporate culture and longstanding methodologies. “Two different companies; two different ways of doing things” Sperr says. “We realized that customizing our platform each time we got a new customer would become insanely expensive. The only solution was to put the customization into the hands of the end user.” More companies across industries are seeing the value in that. Research firm Gartner forecasts that by 2024, low-code platforms will account for more than 65% of all app development. Business involved in commercial real estate construction are lagging in adopting this technology and, according to industry experts, it is time they catch up.

Critical for success

Low- and no-code platforms enable people with little or no programming experience to develop applications that meet specific business process needs without involving IT staff or going to outside developers.

Tom Sparrow, a consultant who oversees large infrastructure projects in Canada, says design-build companies in the US and Canada face the same issues with the evolution of technology. “Companies developed their own proprietary software but quickly realized they could spend millions doing that or buy off-the-shelf software. We look for off-the-shelf software that can be tweaked to meet the needs of the project but still have a lot in place.” But it is really important for software developers to understand the processes, structures and issues facing the industry.

“We’re looking for organizations that can fill the no-IT gap,” Sparrow says. “This isn’t the area for executives of (design-build) companies. They need the right people to provide the guidance to lead them through what they need.” For Sparrow, the bottom line is that companies need to be utilizing low-code technology if they want to stay competitive. “For projects where the software is usually not managed by the owner, we’re demanding more from architects and GC’s to make sure they’re using the technology to stay connected. When I do a Request for Qualifications, I want to know how they are effectively applying these technology tools. It’s something I look at very closely.” If vendors cannot show how they are reducing costs and timelines, Sparrow says he probably would not consider them.

What does the future hold?

The impact of COVID-19 has forced companies to look for ways to cut costs while continuing to support project collaboration from those working remotely. And they are discovering low-code technology is a better solution. Sperr says the use of the technology is going to be the deciding factor in what solutions companies choose. “If you can’t get in and turn the knobs yourself, then you’ll be at a disadvantage compared to companies who can.” Sparrow believes we will see continued refinement of the technology and more integration of artificial intelligence, with less and less human involvement. The near future is full of opportunities to help companies become better at what they do, and more competitive. And that opportunity is not just driven by the pressures of a pandemic. “What we’re really looking for are specialists to help push us in the right direction,” Sparrow says, in regards to software developers. “We want people who understand the gaps we’re dealing with, the issues we’re dealing with and can meet our needs. It’s like shifting paradigms. If you don’t jump on the wagon, you’ll get left behind.” Sperr says it is not only time to get rid of spreadsheets, but time for companies to take a serious look at low-code technology. “The real time benefits it brings to the multi-project corporate retail space is critical.” CCR Scott Lunt is a content writer and founder of Writing To Woo LLC.



PetSmart photo, trademark and the bouncing ball logo are owned by PetSmart and used with permission.



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Retail Construction • Restaurants • Hospitality • Office Spaces • Medical

Joe Snodgrass, Director of Design and Construction, Ron Volske, Construction Project Manager, and Nicholas Orscheln, Real Estate Manager for Orscheln Property Management LLC



A neighbor you can trust How quality, trust and good faith define the Orscheln Property Management brand By MJ Pallerino


t is pretty simple really. The secret to the success of Orscheln Property Man-

agement rests in its ability to provide the basics that every customer seeks: quality products, trusted value and neighborly service with the highest level of integrity and appreciation. In fact, you can find those values in its mission statement.

One of three major business units in the Orscheln Industries group of companies in Moberly, Missouri, Orscheln Property Management’s properties include mixed office space, condominiums, industrial and warehousing facilities, multi-family housing, retail space, and land acquisition and sales. Orscheln Farm & Home works with Orscheln Properties in a collobarative effort to design, build and merchandise its retail sales.



A NEIGHBOR YOU CAN TRUST Created in the 1960s as Deeds Co., Orscheln Property Management LLC manages more than 40 properties and nearly 200 leases across the Midwest. The Orscheln Property Management team develops custom solutions for each tenant or buyer, whether that is a design-build lease-back or a turn-key facility for purchase. If you partner with Orscheln, you are getting the expertise and resources you need to be successful. Each facility features the Orscheln mark, including a skilled and responsive team of designers, carpenters, electricians and landscapers. We sat down with the Orscheln Farm & Home team, including Nicholas Orscheln, Real Estate Manager, and Marc Johnson, CEO, to get their take on what makes the Orscheln name one that the industry can count on.

Give us a snapshot of the Orscheln brand?

The Orscheln brand could really be summed up by our mission statement: Our mission is to provide the communities we serve with quality products, trusted value and neighborly service with the highest level of integrity and appreciation.

What type of consumers are you targeting?

Historically, the answer to this question would be the hobby farmer. However, over time, we have understood the need to expand our assortments to appear to a wider range of consumers, including sporting goods, household products, fashion apparel and wider selections of hardware, among others.

How does the overall design of your stores cater to what today’s consumers are looking for? Today’s stores are designed to be aesthetically pleasing and practical at the same time. Consumers have a better opinion of your products if the facility is in good shape and well maintained. Our buildings are designed to be functional, easy to maintain and “comfortable” for our customers. In most of the rural areas, we want our customer coming directly off the farm and out of the fields to feel comfortable coming into the store. We use materials and products in the overall design to




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create a more rural farm-like flare. In our metropolitan areas, we have to upgrade the quality and finishes to match our surroundings. We have been able to do that and still keep our brand recognition.

What kind of adjustments have you made—and continue to make—in order to cater to your customers in this new landscape?

Our buildings are designed to be functional, easy to maintain and “comfortable” for our customers.

In simple terms, it is a two-part approach. We need to keep our customers guessing and not guessing at the same time. Our customer must be able to depend on you to provide the products they need. At the same time, it is important to the customer experience to include the element of discovery with new products that they may not know about. People enjoy what we call the treasure hunt aspect of shopping.

What kind of conversations about the “new normal” are you having with your employees? Customers? Where to start? We are having frequent conversations with both our customers, and our team members. Truth is, we do not really know what the new normal is because things are changing almost daily. One thing is clear, some things are never going to go back the other


direction. Increased/improved sanitation procedures, and even social distancing to some degree, are probably here to stay.

What is your short-term strategy? Long-term?

I would say the answer for both is convenience. And that comes in many forms. We need to focus on locating closer and closer to our customers. We are an instant gratification society, which is our main advantage over the Amazons of the world. They will never be able to provide products to our customers quicker than our customers can by simply driving to their nearest Orscheln Farm and Home, if one is nearby.

What is the best piece of advice you can offer to other brands on how to deal with what is happening right now?

It is to strive to remain proactive versus reactive. It is obviously important to establish a brand your customers can depend on, but do not typecast yourself into one. Listen to your customers and be prepared to change accordingly. The nature of the retail environment is changing at the speed of light, and it is absolutely imperative that we are prepared to change accordingly.


8 8 8 . 6 7 0 . 3 1 0 7 D 1 3 G r o u p . c o m


A NEIGHBOR YOU CAN TRUST Is there a location that really shows how the brand interacts with the community and customers? One of your favorites?

Fortunately, a vast majority of our locations integrate very well within the community. One of my favorites is our Jefferson City, Missouri location. Three years ago, we moved from a facility that was under 30,000 feet to one that exceeds 70,000. It was an opportunity to reintroduce ourselves to the community, and showcase the new Orscheln Farm and Home brand. It has been extremely well received.

Walk us through how and why your locations are designed the way they are?

Part of the answer ties into the question below. Orscheln has been around for 60 years. During that time, we have added or acquired locations with facility profiles that can vary widely. Our newest concepts are designed to establish a brand, so that customers can see a building, and even without the Orscheln Farm and Home sign, know that it is an Orscheln Farm and Home store.

Take us through your construction and design strategy.

I can speak to our design strategy. Our first step is to analyze the market and design a retail footprint around the specifics of the community, including size, assortment and position within the community. Currently, we have retail outlets ranging from 8,000 to 78,000 square feet,

and everything in between, so we can enjoy the flexibility of tailoring the store to an efficient size to adequately serve the market.

Give us a rundown of your market’s layout.

Well, our market profile is just as diverse as our stores themselves. We are fortunate to be a destination retailer, so locating at the corner of Main and Main is not necessary for most markets, but the location does need to be in a convenient location.

What is the biggest issue today related to the construction side of the business?

I would defer to our construction side on this question, but from my point of view, I would say it pertains to the unknowns inherent to each specific municipality. Each time we undertake a project, it involves a slight or steep learning curve in regards to the process and timing. There are simply a lot of unknowns. Some communities make it very easy, and honestly, some do not. You just never know. With the recent COVID-19 shut-downs, we are just now starting to see shortages and long lead times in getting some construction related materials. The warehouses were not being replenished with product because the manufacturing of that product was shutdown or reduced. The challenge we face with not being able to get what you need when you need it is that the cost for that product has increased, which has a big impact on your original budget and construction schedules.



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A NEIGHBOR YOU CAN TRUST Talk about sustainability. What are you doing?

A big part of our focus is designing buildings that not only follow energy codes, but go a step beyond. All ground-up facilities are built utilizing insulated wall panels, insulated roof panels, LED lighting, vestibules designed to better separate the indoor and outdoor climates. On the operations side, and wherever available, we contract with cardboard recycling companies.

What is the secret to creating a “must visit” location in today’s competitive landscape?

The answer to this is simple—great customer service. You cannot win all the time on price or even selection, but you can always win on customer service.

What is today’s consumer looking for?

Simple—convenience, or maybe better stated, lack of inconvenience. Customers want to find what they came to get. So managing in-stocks is as important as ever.

What type of opportunities do you see moving ahead? I suspect that there will continue to be more and more opportunities to capture second generation space. Whether due to normal business cycles, erosion due to ecommerce or coronavirus, many retailers are simply not going to make it, unfortunately. Although we do not want to

capitalize on another’s misfortune, it does create cost-effective expansion opportunities for Orscheln, as well as other retailers.

What trends are you seeing/expecting?

I expect to see continued consolidation in the retail industry. What will separate those that survive from those that do not, is the willingness and ability to differentiate yourselves and adapt to the ever-changing retail environment.

What is the biggest item on your to-do list right now?

Well, right now, it is health and safety, for both our customers and our team members. We are unable to operate without healthy store personnel, and frankly, it is not worth it if we cannot also provide a safe shopping environment to our customers.

Tell us what makes your brand so unique?

Orscheln is very proud to be a family owned business. We even include signage on the outside of all of our new locations stating “Family owned since 1960.” Although being family owned is not an attribute designated solely to Orscheln Farm and Home, I believe it is one that establishes trust with our customers. The degree to which we abide by our mission statement is a direct reflection on the Orscheln Family. CCR

One-on-one with... Ron Volske, Construction Project Manager Orscheln Property Management LLC


Describe a typical day.

What is the most rewarding part of your job?

There is nothing typical about a day in construction management. A typical day always includes the ability to immediately adapt to the situation at hand while maintaining schedules, budgets and relations.

Opening day of a new store.

What was the best advice you ever received?

How do you like to spend your down time?

Take time to have fun at work. If you do not enjoy your job and try to make it fun, it just becomes mundane and tedious.

Since traveling is such a huge part of my job, I simply like to spend time at home with my wife and just enjoying life together.

What is the best thing a client ever said to you? “I didn’t think it could be done, but you did it.”



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Getting it done CCR’s first Virtual Women’s Retreat hones in on the construction game today


s everyone ready? Let’s go.” That is not the way attendees of a Commercial Construction & Renovation Women’s Retreat typically get the ball rolling, but in these unprecedented, pandemically driven times, it is where we are. That just made the virtual Zoom Retreat even more interesting, as even though the gathering lacked one of those patented CCR networking adventures, the depth and intensity of the discussion was even more vibrant. So, as we launched our first Virtual Women’s Retreat, 13 vendors and end-users from around the industry jumped into the mix, offering keen insights into how they are faring today, why what we do is so essential and how their forays into the industry began. The gathering, sponsored by Commercial Construction & Renovation, was held over a two-day period in August via Zoom. Here is a snapshot of our conversation.



Jennifer Brown

Deborah Delaney

Cheryl Green

Amy Hodgson


Development Manager

Associate VP, Design & Construction

Project Mgr/Bus Development

Kimberly Lee

Amber Matas

Diane Maxwell

Abbie Muto

Jennifer Ngo

Juleen Russell

Danielle Scharf

Christine Smith

Lynn Young

Marketing Director


Sales Manager

Director, Construction Services

Senior Manager Store Development

Construction Coordinator

General Manager

AIA, Principal

Construction Liason



GETTING IT DONE CCR: Tell us a little about the adjustments you have had to make during the pandemic?

Lynn Young, Seed to Flower: For me, I’ve learned to use possible difficulties due to the pandemic as a way to re-connect with companies that I’ve worked with in the past and meet new people within the cannabis industry. Dispensaries have made many adjustments as far as their retail operations and how they accommodate customers during the pandemic. There are some challenges, but most dispensaries have adapted well by incorporating new protocols. It is not a smooth process, but it is one cannabis retail stores are getting accustomed to. The customers are not complaining as much about the COVID process. Adjustments such as pre-ordering, curbside pickup and mapping the appropriate social distancing on floors and outside wait lines are working for many customers. One of the drawbacks due to the pandemic is limited access to products. Many dispensaries are designed to create an engaging environment between the customers and products. Due to strict regulations and safety precautions, products are not accessible to customers directly. Budtenders/associates are facilitating the handling of bud pods, and you can experience the product and selection under these types’ protocols. You cannot touch and feel like you used to or pull the display to your nose.

We are really trying to think about the customer experience from a safety perspective. How does it change the path and the design of a retail environment? — Design Construction’s Deborah Delaney

Those are interruptions that can be a drawback for a new customer. You don’t quite know the product, so those are some small things we have been adjusting to. A lot of new construction projects have been placed on hold in LA due to COVID, while in-progress projects prior to the pandemic are wrapping up according to pandemic guidelines. There will continue to be adjustments. I think as we get farther along and we see how things play out, we will need to make more adjustments. In California, we were pulled back a little bit to a Phase 2, so things are not opening how people would like. As far as the future, I think it would be a great idea to plan ahead, and incorporate new ideas and concepts that can deal with future outbreaks or pandemics. Nobody was prepared for COVID to hit, especially at this magnitude. Everyone was caught with their hands up. On a personal level, many of us have been impacted because we know people in our family who have gotten COVID—some are no


longer with us. On the business level, we have to re-think the way we may have to do business on a large scale because of our client base. We are in the service business, so thinking ahead about preventive measures is critical. A lot of cannabis operations were deemed essential businesses because of their medicinal benefits. Diane Wanoka Maxwell, Choctaw Shopping Center Enterprise: Prior to the pandemic, we were working with a retail recruiting firm to pull in retailers to the reservation. We are located in a smaller town in East Central Mississippi, so the pandemic has slowed that a bit. In the last couple of months, we have seen more interest. We are located a mile from our Tribe’s two casinos. We have three that have opened back up recently and the traffic has been unreal. People were waiting for the casinos to reopen, so we are hoping that the influx of customers boosts our Tribal economy and brings in new business. During the pandemic, we worked with our tenants to provide information from the Small Business Administration and other government programs that may help them stay afloat. That became part of my job during this challenging time.

CCR: Did the reservation follow the same mandates as businesses outside of the reservation? Choctaw Shopping Center’s Maxwell: Yes, and some more stringent. The Tribe is a separate jurisdiction, so we can set our own guidelines. Our casinos were closed. The State of Mississippi opened their casinos, located on the coast before we did. We stayed closed because our area was a hot spot. We lost a lot of people in our Tribal community. COVID-19 hit the reservation hard. We stayed closed longer than our surrounding communities. We still require masks for everyone here. Our Tribal schools were closed down, whereas in town, the public schools were open. We have greater safety protocols.

Deborah Delaney, Design Construction: All of our stores are open in Canada. I know that Canadian Tire was not shut down because we were essential for some time. What I’m seeing now from a design perspective is the rethinking of the path of the customer experience. What can we do to make them feel safe within our stores? We are looking at things like curbside pickup, aka, BOPIS, which is Buy Online, Pickup In Store. We saw a really big bump in online sales, which was good for the company as a whole. Now we not only have to reexamine what we have in the stores, but also how we design the stores of the future with COVID in mind. That would include a lot of things around sensitivity to touchpoints and wayfinding—not just a visual way, but an audio way, too. We also continue to remind people about the rules, which can be tough. For example, right now, change rooms are not open. That is probably one of the most tangible experiences of the apparel industry. Plus, you have to quarantine all of the clothing with a fitting room. How do we do all of that? We are really trying to think about the customer experience from a safety perspective. How does it change the path and the design of a retail environment?


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GETTING IT DONE CCR: What is the square footage of your normal stores?

Design Construction’s Delaney: Anywhere from 15,000 square feet to 70,000 square feet, depending on the location, where it is and what type of environment it is in.

CCR: How many stores are in your portfolio?

Design Construction’s Delaney: Just over 800. I run a bifurcated group, meaning two separate banners. It is very interesting. There is a lot going on. We still are trying to look in that crystal ball to figure everything out. I have sat in on roundtable discussions with other executives in North America from all the big banners. It is a very supportive environment. Everyone wants retail to survive. To do that, we have to come together.

CCR: Are you wearing masks in Alberta as well?

Design Construction’s Delaney: Yes, it is by law across the country. Anywhere where you cannot social distance, you have to wear a mask. Our company has mailed out masks to every employee. We continue to work from home. That is 64,000 people. Jennifer Brown, Barry’s Bootcamp: We are a boutique fitness company. When everything hit, as the senior director of design, I was one of the ones who stayed to help design how to navigate through all of this. With my team furloughed, it was my job to look at our 70 studios around the world (40 in the US) and lay out a plan. We had treadmills and benches on the floor with everything 6 feet apart. It is interesting because even the treadmills have to be 6 feet apart. It was really a puzzle to figure everything out. We also had to look at the challenge of checking people in and what they had to do while waiting for a class. We set up places for people to stand while they wait, and those had to be 6 feet apart, too. We have temperature checks. Our lobby used to have a juice bar, but those have been shut down. There is no use for locker rooms, unless people have to use the restroom. You basically go to your bench when you start—either in the front or back row. Everyone has their own bench and their own treadmill. We had to work really hard to figure out a strategy. How do you start on a treadmill and not cross over? Everyone puts their stuff down and goes to a treadmill or the floor, takes the class, and leaves the room halfway through—all at 6 feet apart. Next, we come in and clean everything thoroughly. Each studio has to abide by the rules of the states they are in. On average, they can only have 35% capacity. Then, each gym could only have 10 people total. We had to change the rules, so basically I had to change the plans over and over again. There were lots of things to address: If you could go back to the gym, do you feel safe? What would make you feel safe? We used experts and roundtables to find out. We did constant surveys. In LA, we found you could work out outside, so I updated the plans for those gyms. The number of participants in the class kept going up and up. In Venice and West Hollywood, we took over a parking lot. We had weight stacks outside. But there were questions. How do you keep things clean? How do you play music and not disturb anyone? There are just so many factors when it comes to fitness.


Juleen Russell, Jencen Architecture: It has been crazy. I think all of us have had similar experiences. Our business relies a lot on construction, and a lot of our clients had to put the brakes on. The good news is that we are seeing things picking up. We have been assisting more clients in the med tel, dentistry and physical therapy areas. The questions we are facing is how is this going to impact retail long-term. Nobody is sure. We are looking at areas that might have growth potential in this climate, but we also are looking at how to design for this climate. We have to find the best practices. We are working in conjunction with one of our clients on a new prototype, which incorporates some of the things being done with social distancing and how people shop. Jennifer Ngo, Lovepop: It has been quite an interesting couple of months. We were impacted in quite a few ways. All of our locations are small footprints and in high-traffic areas. A good example of this is our smallest location, which is roughly 50 square feet at Penn Station in New York City. Closing everything down quickly was an adventure. We found out just how dedicated our store teams are to make sure we closed quickly and carefully since we didn’t know how long we would be off the ground for.

During the pandemic, we worked with our tenants to provide information from the Small Business Administration and other government programs. This helped them stay afloat. That became part of my job. — Choctaw Shopping Center’s Diane Wanoka Maxwell

In examining what we do going forward, we will invest in getting more of the store team’s feedback. They are our eyes and ears on the ground, and it’s so important to make sure they are safe and comfortable in our new retail environments. What we have found through this is that with everyone home, more people are shopping online. If people are going to go back to the retail environment, it better be amazing—better than before. People are going to want to enjoy the physical experience since this is something they’re going out of their way to do. Another thing we are seeing is how people communicate. We are working with our store teams to enhance our previously high-touch environments, whether it be guards for our products, floor decals, etc. We also are doing our best to keep in touch with everyone, whether it be our furloughed store teams, landlords in our closed properties, and our design and build vendors. We’re all in this together, even if we are not quite doing anything yet.


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GETTING IT DONE Amy Hodgson, State Permits: A lot of our retailers and clients are working from home, while we’ve seen others we’ve worked with for years get furloughed. Overall, it has been an adjustment. I’m still working from home for the most part, but go back to the office to send plans out. One of the positive things I have seen is that more municipalities are making exceptions and accepting digital submittals or allowing extensions on permits, etc. We are seeing some review times shorten up with so many reviewers working from home, they are getting things done quicker. Abbie Muto, Subway: Primarily, we are in the retail/restaurant business. Being in that business, all of the franchise owners are considered essential employees. It was really important from the beginning to understand what we needed to do to not only protect the customers who were coming in the restaurants, but also to protect our Franchisees and their employees. That required us to learn on the fly what we could creatively do, in the restaurants, to create barriers. This was before plexiglass shields and 6-foot social distancing became a thing.

We are really trying to think about the customer experience from a safety perspective. How does it change the path and the design of a retail environment? — Lovepop’s Jennifer Ngo

We were using painter’s tape on the floor to mark X’s to get people socially distanced. We were moving all of our tables and chairs because the dining rooms had to be closed. We had to make sure people would not sit at the tables. We used empty tables in front of the sandwich unit (counter) to create 6 feet of distance between customers and employees. That was all in the beginning. It was so raw and on the fly. We were figuring out how to survive and remain open as an essential business. That absorbed a lot of our time initially. We also had to review all of the government programs that were available to small business owners so we could educate our franchise owners. We are in Pennsylvania, so we were initially considered a hot spot. Our state closed down earlier with shelter orders and stayed closed longer than many others. How do you survive this as a retail business? Operationally, we had to make a lot of changes. We had to make sure our franchise owners were protecting their food when business dropped off, adjusting hours of operation during shelter in place was critical to controlling labor cost and altering menus was critical to controlling food cost. Keeping customers safe and protecting Franchisees and their investment was critically important. It is just amazing how many levels something like this touches when it happens.


There was no playbook for the pandemic. We all had to develop and create our playbooks on the fly and figure it out as we went, step by step. When we thought we had the playbook figured out, things changed and we had to turn around and throw it out. I think it speaks to being able to be very creative and roll with things—learn as much as you can to make smart decisions for everyone involved. Cheryl Green: Subway: I handle two parts of the business, mainly leasing and construction. On the leasing side, the main goal was rent reductions from landlords. That was pretty much my huge project when worked from home for six weeks during the heat of COVID. On the construction side, all the goals changed. We had a long list of stores ready to remodel to the new, Fresh Start décor. Then, when COVID hit, everybody pretty much put a hold on it, except for those projects that were already underway. In some cases, we had equipment orders that were already in process, so I am emailing the manufacturer saying, “Stop, stop, stop. Don’t deliver these orders.” But I could not stop them all. In one case, we had a tractor trailer full of equipment delivered to a Walmart Subway on the same day the governor shut down construction. Due to the governor’s mandate, the franchisee had already removed his seating making all restaurants takeout only, so that was another hurdle we had to face. Another problem we encountered was a major relocation that was already in the works. It was a PennDOT, eminent domain situation, whereas PennDOT was taking over our existing location and we had no choice but to relocate. The equipment was ordered and before the contractors could start, the construction ban went into place. This became a huge problem because when the construction ban was lifted several weeks later, the general contractors, who were based out-of-state, could not find local subcontractors, which delayed the project even more. Also, the township was closed, so we could not get inspections. There were so many different factors that we could not predict. After the construction ban was lifted, I went to an onsite construction meeting where nobody was wearing masks. It was uncomfortable. After that, we started doing virtual construction, walk-throughs on Zoom. They turned the camera around and walked me around the store. There was just so many things changing it was mind-blowing.

CCR: Did you ask the subcontractors to wear a mask?

Subway’s Green: I did beforehand, and I did at the jobsite. The landlord just refused to wear a mask, so I stayed 10 feet away. It was definitely a meeting we had to do in person because of a code issue. Christine Smith, Cedar Realty Trust: We are spread out over several states. We are headquartered on Long Island, New York, and have properties in Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Delaware, Maryland and Washington DC. Each state has different guidelines and restrictions, so we had to adapt to those and keep track of every changing phase. Fortunately for us, we are primarily grocery-anchored shopping centers, so we saw a new definition of “essential retail.” We had several projects underway that we had to shut down due to government mandates. We had to readjust and shift things, but were still able to complete and turnover those projects.



GETTING IT DONE Permits and inspections were affected as municipalities were shut down, which pushed back some timelines, so we adapted and adjusted. We did not have any tenants back out of projects that were underway. We had some tenants adjust timing sensibly. We made adjustments overall to our centers such as marked parking for curbside pick-up, and mobilized a task force to spearhead the re-opening strategy across the board. All of our centers are open and operating and we’ve worked with all of our tenants to ensure their success through this.

CCR: What was the biggest fear you found?

Cedar Realty Trust’s Smith: That they would not open. There are some restaurants, gyms and indoor adventure parks in our centers. We have an Urban Air Adventure park in progress right now that is eager to get completed and open. The main concern was the tenants that could not open or reopen due to COVID. In some cases they needed assistance to survive. Danielle Scharf, Branded Group: The pandemic has been transformative for sure. We have helped our clients navigate through the challenges of closing temporarily or being closed permanently, while also reopening locations with new protocols. How do we handle that? Along with assisting our clients in increasing their janitorial services or adding janitorial services, we have been successful in assisting with specialized services—things like defogging and extra services like ATM wipe downs. We have also assisted our clients with additional filter changes, plexiglass installs, markers and installations of sanitizing stations. We have seen a transformation in the construction world as well. Instead of being the new builds, the vanilla shells and the remodels, we have seen more decommissioning locations, or providing new tenant’s with less customized units. We have seen more property owners just trying to get new tenants in after the current tenant left the keys on short notice. Kimberly Lee, Inspected.com: In our ever-changing world, it is essential to continuously grow and adapt to your own needs and the needs of your customers. Businesses and service providers must work smarter and be more efficient, focus on being eco-friendly, and more recently are being encouraged to practice social distancing. Inspected provides virtual inspection software built for inspectors, contractors and private providers of inspection services. Inspected is gaining national recognition and implementing compliance provisions to standardize virtual inspections through Inspected.com. Our software creates a centralized hub to help government agencies and cities promote a safe workplace, focus on the health and safety of workers, and keep projects moving. Inspected.com is a dedicated platform built specifically for inspectors, contractors, and private inspection service providers, which automatically geotags a physical address to the inspection location while including high-quality video and images, and scheduling of time slots for the inspector and contractor. It can all be integrated into your current permitting software. Cloud-based software with an unmatched platform for scheduling, high-quality video, images, notes and automatic geotagging built specifically for Inspections.


Amber Matas, Irvine Company: In terms of what we have been most focused on in retail, we have some unique challenges in tenant coordination as well as operations. The operations team had a lot of heavy lifting to be able to rework parking lots in order to have outside dining and accommodate curbside service. We have to make it a warm and personable place that people want to go out to and feel safe in. As we have talked about, wayfinding has been huge through the pandemic. Leasing has been hard at work, keeping tenants engaged and continuing talks and deals. Forward motion has been high on everyone’s list, specifically tenant coordination. How can we assist those tenants that were mid construction, in design or permitting to move forward and stay engaged?

The questions we are facing is how is this going to impact retail long-term. Nobody is sure. We are looking at areas that might have growth potential in this climate. — Jencen Architecture’s Juleen Russell

We had construction projects delayed because other companies were shut down. We were not getting raw material on site for construction, and the landlord work side of things affected development plans moving forward. What things are we going to go ahead with? What things are not going to go ahead? Truly, for us, I think it was maintaining the connection in the community. All our centers stayed open. They were all deemed essential. They are all outdoor, openair centers, so we did not specifically close the centers like some covered malls and other developers might have through this. Businesses within those centers may have been closed, depending on the state regulations. We have been working with the tenants to try and weather the storm and keep occupancy up. Unfortunately, there are going to be businesses that don’t make it through this. We are trying to anticipate how can we make entry to market for new tenants easier. How can we help a business that is ready to start? How can we make it easier for them to open that first store or restaurant? It has been a really creative time for everyone to try and brainstorm, to think about how to keep things moving forward and how to future-proof this.

CCR: What is the biggest item on your to-do list?

The Irvine Company’s Matas: Highest on my to-do list is to keep my team supported. We all have more on our plate than ever before in an environment that is totally new to the world. If my team


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GETTING IT DONE has what they need to execute on a high level, then our end user is getting the service they need to stay successful. Inspected.com’s Lee: Inspected was launched in March 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic. Our No. 1 priority is to protect public and private employees conducting in-person inspections on jobsites, as well as commercial and residential properties. The Inspected app, available on the iOS App Store and Google Play Store, allows building officials and inspectors to conduct virtual inspections while practicing social distancing, saving time, equipment-wear and fuel costs. Inspected also streamlines paperwork, helps meet project deadlines and reduces delays caused by the new guidelines due to the spread of the novel coronavirus. Jencen Architecture’s Russell: It is brainstorming for one of our longest-term clients and helping future-proof the business. With the built-environment changing, we have to design for that. Most of our company is in brainstorm mode now. We need to think outside the box. Seed to Flower’s Young: I have been taking the time and advantage of COVID to slow things down a bit—to rethink about the gaps in the cannabis industry. What is being overlooked? What is being underserved? I have added services and rebranded myself a bit based off that.

In LA, we found you could work out outside, so I updated the plans for those gyms. But there were questions. How do you keep things clean? How do you play music and not disturb anyone? — Barry’s Bootcamp’s Jennifer Brown

I also want to go after the facility management component of cannabis dispensaries. They are unknowledgeable about how that works. COVID also gave me the opportunity to work with the momand-pop stores—ones that are not so flamboyant or popular. Cannabis is really about the culture. They ride off that and put that into their design aesthetic. I want to touch base with existing clients and meet new friends. We need to start thinking about renovation more. We think about the big picture and that fast moving train. Too many stores are outdated. They need alternatives as how they can upgrade and be unique and creative. They have to learn to drive traffic. So I want to help rebrand and reshape the way people are doing business in cannabis as a whole. It is kind of predatory, and I want to make it more inclusive to people in different type of dispensaries.


Barry’s Bootcamp’s Brown: My to-do list is different than everyone else here. I went through this restructuring of the Barry’s studios, watching the company do wonderful things and sort of crash. I come from the fashion retail world in New York City. From there, I moved to LA, shifting over to fitness, which was the wave of the future. Now, with COVID and the pandemic, you have to take a step back and say, “Where can I best utilize my skillset? What type of job? Where can I make a difference?” With Barry’s, I was up to the challenge, looking at different ways I could redesign to help people and make a difference to people wanting to work out. They could do it safely. I want to move forward next into food service. So where might I be able to help? Design Construction’s Delaney: I have a heavy responsibility to set up my team for success. They know what they are doing, and I just need to understand the role of the project manager and what that looks like. It is about finding the fine line between the virtual side of things, which is very exciting. Choctaw Shopping Center’s Maxwell: The main thing on my list right now would be to keep the tenant relationships going and assist them with staying in business, whether by rent deferment or helping them to market. That leads to traffic in our area and possibly adding businesses with different companies. Lovepop’s Ngo: The biggest thing on my to-do list is to keep learning. We are a young retailer, so I am always trying to learn things from the established retailers in the industry. We are always learning new processes and making new connections so we can be as efficient as possible. This time in particular is so interesting—no one has ever had to build through such an uncertain time like this before, so it is important to learn as much as possible and stay agile. State Permits’ Hodgson: One item on my to-do list is to begin learning and working on new types of projects so we can add additional services for our existing and upcoming clients. We are currently not seeing a whole lot of retailers coming out with large rollouts like we are used to. We are getting requests to quote additional services/ different types of projects. I am excited to work on these new types of projects and be able to offer these services to upcoming clients. Subway’s Muto: It is focusing on the recovery—to get back to where we were prior to COVID. That is really from a sales perspective. Our company is trying to roll out our curbside programs. Because the typical Subway restaurant is in-line, drive throughs are kicking our butts. So how do we make it safer and more convenient for our customers to still get our food without setting foot inside of a restaurant? Figuring this out will help us pick up some of the losses we sustained as a result of COVID. People’s buying patterns and habits are changing. They are not always looking to sit inside a restaurant and eat. Cedar Realty Trust’s Smith: Given all the obstacles that have been thrown at us over the past couple of months, for me, it is


closely tracking all of the projects we have in the pipeline. We are monitoring very closely to meet our landlord turnover date and get our tenants open. There is nothing like getting an email saying that a particular tenant opened throughout the workday or that we delivered a space to a tenant. Just moving the ball a little bit forward each and every day, and making a little bit of progress in these challenging times is important. Subways’ Green: My No. 1 priority is rent reductions. During COVID, it was my most important item because of what was going on. It is still going on for us. Sales still have not come back up. It is very important to keep our franchisees sustainable and profitable, or at least in some way break even out of this. Otherwise, we may have store closures. We are looking to preserve the locations and preserve our relationships with our landlords. I am reaching out and doing the best I can to serve our franchisees. Branded Group’s Scharf: For me, it is keeping our clients safe and helping them keep their clients safe. At the end of the day, there are certain things that have to be done.

CCR: What is your story? How did you get started in the industry?

Branded Group’s Scharf: I probably have a different start in the industry than most people. I started out in the trade show world representing companies under contract. My experience running trade shows proved useful, and I was recruited by a national waste organization. From that point on, I fell in love with the people in the facilities and construction world. I have been here now for about 14 years. It is exciting. There is always something new and different happening—always a challenge. I like how much teamwork there is. At the end of the day, when something needs to get solved, we do it. Now, I have four kids: 8, 7, 6 and 3. They see a mother working and are encouraged by it. They see that you can do a lot of things as a woman, and that the facilities world is not a man’s world. I’m happy that they find interest in it. Subway’s Muto: I live in Pennsylvania. I have lived there my entire life. It is where I went to school. I started at Penn State and finished my degree at East Stroudsburg University. I studied restaurant and hotel management, so I have always been very interested in the retail/restaurant industry. I have been with Subway for 25 years. I started working in full-service restaurant management for several years. As much as I love working in that industry, I found it was not conducive to getting married and starting a family. But I still wanted to be in the business and came across this job in a newspaper ad. They were looking for someone to work for a Subway regional office. It was the best decision I ever made because not only did I work for the company for a long time, but I learned everything from the ground up It led to me being able to ultimately purchase the business about a year and a half ago. My boss, my mentor, wanted to retire and I purchased the company from him. It has been a fabulous ride, something I absolutely love. My first year in business for myself was incredibly rewarding and professionally.

I felt like I grew a lot. It was amazing. And then COVID slapped me in the face. It knocked me down several notches. But it is all about learning and what you take away from things. If it does not kill you, it will make you stronger, so I feel it is making me stronger. I just love this business and I love the brand. I have been married for 26 years. We have a beautiful 16 year old teenage daughter who just started driving. She turned 16 during quarantine. She is a junior in high school and working to navigate through these challenges. She is now looking at colleges, so there are new developments in our lives. We learned a lot as a family during quarantine

Keeping customers safe and protecting Franchisees and their investment was critically important. It is just amazing how many levels something like this touches when it happens. — Subway’s Abbie Muto

Jencen Architecture’s Russell: I have always been interested in art and was good in math. I thought architecture would be a good thing to do. I went to Clemson, which was unique for someone from Cleveland. Not too many Cleveland folks there, but it was a great experience. I started at Jencen right out of college. When you go to architecture school, you do not do a lot of retail projects, especially in architecture. That is more of interiors design focus, so it was an interesting place to land. I really love it. I have a big, extended family, and even though I’m an only child, my parents have lots of siblings. They are all business folks. I am artsy, so it has been pretty neat working with mostly chains and developers. It was a cool revelation. My job has been awesome. I got to travel a lot. I have been all over the United States and North America—Canada, Puerto Rico. I do not have kids, but I have a wonderful guy. He is a firefighter. We have been together for 16 years and have three cats. We live on the lake. Life is good. Design Construction’s Delaney: I feel very, very fortunate in my career. I have a lot of passion for design construction. It came kind of by accident. I was born and raised in England, and moved to Canada in my late teens. Before finding my passion in all things retail, my background is in interior design. I was fortunate enough to be a designer who was able to work in a lot of different disciplines—commercial, residential, corporate—for more than 20 years. But I really honed in on retail. I worked



GETTING IT DONE for T.J. Maxx for some time in Ontario, and then I moved out west, where I worked for Mark’s and took over. The trajectory of my career is really merited based on my success within the company, too. I also taught interior design for a number of years. If there is anything I am known for, it is being a big advocate for women, women in construction and women in leadership roles. I have two children, 16 and 14. They are fantastic and have been amazing through this COVID experience. The COVID experience also helped me stop and smell the roses. I did a lot of traveling pre-COVID. While we are not slow by any means, I am really offering my services from here. My brain is slower than it was because I am not in 17,000 places at one time. I am currently volunteering on a project in Calgary for vulnerable homeless families. It is multi-use church, community center, residential. I am feel like it is a bit of a full circle being able to give back as a volunteer, whether it is mentoring or doing something for the community. That was encouraged by our company as well. If you do not feel like you are giving, look around you. You will find places you can give something back. I have worked a specific type of retail for about 14 years now. I really enjoy it. I enjoy the challenge. And I don’t think it is done. It is just going be done differently. Subway’s Green: I grew up in Connecticut and went to the University of Rhode Island. I stopped short of a degree to start a family early. Fast-forward, I became a single parent and met my now-husband online in an AOL single parent chatroom. Eleven days later, I drove here. Two months later, I was engaged. Four months later, I moved my family here. Instead of each being single parents of three kids, we became parents of six in an instant. We literally became the Brady Bunch and it was a big adjustment. That is how I ended up in Pennsylvania. I was jumping around doing different office jobs, temp work kind of things when I first moved here. I applied at a kosher manufacturer in Allentown (Pennsylvania) as a bookkeeper. Then 9/11 happened, and the person who was our production manager went flighty. I took the reins with my boss stuck in Vegas. He could not fly back, so I kind of ran the business. We had trucks trying to get into New York City. They were stuck in the tunnels and could not get through to make their deliveries so I had to handle it. When my boss returned, he respectfully let the production manager go and offered me his job. Being a production manager was not for me, so a year or so later I applied for a manager’s position at a local Subway restaurant. I made it through the first interview and then interviewed with my now former boss, the one before Abbie. He said he did not want me in his Subway store and that I should come to work for him. Seventeenand-a-half years later, here I am. He taught me everything I know about leasing and I became the leasing coordinator for the territory. A couple years later, I was promoted to development manager. Today, I get the privilege of working for my very good friend who bought the business, Abbie Muto. It has been a real journey. Right now, my husband and I have four grandkids with one on the way. They range in age from 9 down to 4. It has been great—a weird road, but I am glad I am here.


Cedar Realty Trust’s Smith: I am from New Jersey, grew up here, went to a small women’s college in Maryland called Goucher College. I lived in San Diego and Hawaii for a while, and landed back in New Jersey. I started at Ann Klein Factory Stores a long, long time ago as a buyer. After our director of stores resigned, I was asked to get into that end of the business. That is how I ended up in retail construction and facilities. I worked for a couple of nationwide retail GCs and a couple of retailers, including A.C. Moore, Spencer Gifts and Spirit Halloween. I was recruited for the role I am in now. I was not looking to go anywhere. Everything sort of came full circle—working for a GC in retail facilities and construction, working for a couple of retailers corporate headquarters, and now having the role as a landlord and developer. It was interesting to me, so I took the leap. I live on the Jersey Shore now. I have two sons, 25 and 21. My youngest is finishing his last year of college, which has been interesting with the COVID restrictions. I work out at 5 a.m. daily during the week. With my gym closed for now, I am finding other ways to work out; outdoors and beach workout classes. During the quarantine, both kids came back home to live with me. They have been here since March, which is nice. We have had some great quality time together, which is always a bonus. State Permits’ Hodgson: I grew up in Bristol, Wisconsin in Kenosha County. In 2005 I interviewed for an admin assistant position, for a project manager. At that time our office was still located in Racine, Wisconsin. I got the opportunity to move up quickly as we lost an employee and we all pitched in to help pick up his workload. I was introduced into the project management role slowly and began with small simple projects and moved up from there. In 2008 our company moved to Dodgeville, Wisconsin, which is in the middle of nowhere. At first, I thought there was no way I was going to move up there, but my boss made me a fair offer so I took it. It was only two hours from home, so I took the chance. I am close to my family, so it was a hard decision, but happy I made the move. After six months of living here, I met my husband. We got married in 2014, and have two kids and a dog. COVID definitely has presented its share of challenges, especially with municipalities and clients, etc., working from home. During quarantine, it was difficult especially when everybody had to be home and the daycares were closed. It was fun, lots of family time. Lovepop’s Ngo: I grew up in the Boston area. And no, I do not have a Boston accent. I went to Boston University and studied advertising. After I graduated, I started working for startups immediately. I have never had a corporate job. I joined Lovepop as its 10th employee, starting as a district manager. The first startup I worked for was a food truck restaurant concept in Boston. I was with them for over three years and experienced high growth there, we grew from one food truck to a fleet of five and four brick, and mortar restaurants by the time I left. I joined Lovepop because I wanted to get back into nitty-gritty of things. I like having a lot to do and learning along the way. When you run super-lean teams, you end up being the HR coordinator, the store manager, the facilities maintenance person. It is all a big team effort.


When I interviewed, nobody told me the brand was going to be on “Shark Tank,” so I had three months to get our retail environments in good shape for all of the nationwide coverage. It was a really exciting experience and I relive the night our episode went live often. After a few months of getting our Boston area operations into shape, I moved to Brooklyn for a year to open our New York market and hired, trained and managed the retail floor teams. It was the first time I had ever left Boston to live somewhere else. My role started to take on more of an expansion theme when I moved to New York. I was doing a lot of coordination for real estate in the New York area—overseeing the buildout of our new locations there and working closely with our head of retail to make location decisions. After that, I ended up in the construction realm. As we have grown bigger, we are starting to scale our processes. These days I’m 100% focused on the store development piece, which is really interesting to me. There is so much to absorb. Having limited formal background in the industry has made it easier to break rules and move quickly, as frustrating as that may be for people around me. The Irvine Company’s Matas: I am in Southern California—born and raised in Orange County. I went to Cal State Fullerton. I started in this industry by accident honestly. I was working for two guys in their early 20s who decided to open a steakhouse. I went from running the restaurant to helping to expand and build the next one, and the next one after that. I was managing the process. Through the experience, I met a company that did trade show booths and experiential buildouts, store interiors. They offered me a job that sounded interesting and utilized my project management skills and I spent a several years learning everything about fixturing, tradeshows, and retail build outs. I really enjoyed the industry—it was a nice niche, but I wanted to learn more, so I went to a national firm, where I was a program manager and earned the integrated side of development- architecture, design, engineering services and construction management. After that, I spent eight years on the owner’s side managing all things store concepts. Real estate processes like store site selection, overseeing fixture design and rollouts, and buildouts. At The Irvine Company. I am on the landlord side of things. I have gone full-circle. I think it is a really unique perspective to bring to a developer who is usually always looking at things from the landlord’s side. I can speak to how a tenant might feel and why they react the way they do. It has been really fulfilling. Seed to Flower’s Young: I was born and raised in Michigan. I went to college in Ohio. I am an only child from a very family-oriented family. I grew up gardening. I actually just finished a master gardening program in LA, so I am really involved in that sort of thing—developing land and permaculture. I started in property management about 15 years ago by accident. I was working with Girl Scouts of America as an art teacher and they cut the program, so I had to figure out what to do next. Someone said go to real estate school. I hated selling homes, but I fell in love with the property management end. My first job was as an

apartment manager with a low-income housing development. I had a huge portfolio and I received the opportunity to work with the new construction homes. There was a company that partnered with the developer to buy up a lot of the dilapidated properties in Detroit. They tore them down and rebuilt them. I fell in love with the whole new construction home concept, especially working with developers. From there, my career kept building. I have had the opportunity to build, learn and expand in those areas. I landed into mixed-use properties and I had an opportunity to work with MedMen, just as cannabis became legal. I was an exceptional asset, especially since they did not have all of their practices in place. I was able to take all of my experience and build out the real estate department, developing our facility and management departments from scratch.

The pandemic has been transformative for sure. We have helped our clients navigate through the challenges of closing temporarily or being closed permanently. — Branded Group’s Danielle Scharf

They did not have one so I had to take ownership. After I left, I became an independent consultant. I have been doing that ever since. With COVID, I have had the opportunity to get in tune with myself, take a break from all of those rigid hours. I used to work from sun up to sundown, 24/7. This has been good time to reassess, replan, regroup and be creative. I am working with two new clients now. Because of COVID, I have had such an overwhelming response to people wanting me to teach them how to garden, how to grow cannabis and all of this stuff. It has blossomed into a whole new service for me. We incorporated that into Seed to Flower. I also have three boys: 19, 13 and 8. Choctaw Shopping Center’s Maxwell: I grew in New Mexico and California, but I’ve lived with my Tribe on the Choctaw Indian reservation for approximately 30 years now. My education is on the legal side. I graduated from law school a few years ago, but I am not working in the field. I work as the general manager of the shopping center enterprise, which covers retail, industrial and business space, as well as a couple of convenience stores. What I like about the job, is that it is very diverse. I have learned a little about things such as underground storage tanks at our



GETTING IT DONE convenience stores, electricity audits, EPA and the National Archives regulations for businesses that want to come here. I am able to do a lot of what an attorney would do, like write resolutions, negotiate leases, research laws and ordinances in some instances, and present issues to the Tribal government body. My goal is to work with my Tribe’s attorney general’s office, hopefully in the next five years. I have worked in different areas prior to this position. I spent eight years in the United States Marine Corps Reserve. I was a field radio operator for a while, and then I got transferred to our peacetime/wartime support team. My unit got activated twice. Prior to this job, I worked for the Tribal housing authority. I have four children. My oldest is a sophomore in college, who is doing the virtual thing like everyone else. I have a middle-school student who is back to school daily. And twin second graders who are on a hybrid schedule and only attend school twice a week at the moment. I love to learn. I am currently back in school at the University of Oklahoma School of Law, taking online courses. I am getting my legal masters in the LLM program in Indigenous Studies.

As far as the future, I think it would be a great idea to plan ahead, and incorporate new ideas and concepts that can deal with future outbreaks or pandemics. — Seed to Flower’s Lynn Young

Inspected.com’s Lee: I am originally from Cape Town, South Africa. I now live in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. At 20, me and a friend got on a boat from Cape Town and sailed to the Caribbean. It was crazy, but we did it. We sailed into St. Martin in the Caribbean and spent a couple of years working on boats and bars, just having fun and traveling. Then Hurricane Louise came through and demolished everything. The bar I was working in as a bartender blew away. The boat I lived on sank, etc. So I decided to give the British Virgin Islands a try and learned many aspects about the boating industry from chartering, yacht sales, yacht management while polishing my sailing skills. Upon my move to Fort Lauderdale, I picked up a job as a charter broker, booking boats in the British Virgin Islands. I was there for 25 years, working my way up. I ended up as the marketing director for a boating company that sold boats, and operated marinas and charters throughout the US and Caribbean. COVID-19 certainly is a was a big wakeup call. As the boat business is a non-essential business, I found myself entering the


essential businesses like software to assist in providing a platform for virtual inspections — Inspected.com. It is essential. As of now, many government agencies and cities have implemented Inspected.com as their software of choice for virtual inspections. Inspected.com is also currently being utilized by many different verticals besides government inspections such as the marine industry, education, boat and car insurance, and the telehealth industry. Bootcamp Barry’s’ Brown: I am from Baltimore originally. I attended Syracuse. I always wanted to work with children, so my original educational pursuit was Early Childhood Education, with a minor in Retail Management. I worked in preschool in college as a side job and realized that I did not really need to go to college to do that. I felt like I was wasting my college time. Over the summer, I went to work with my dad, who owns a food service consultant company. He got me a job with an interior design firm. He never thought I would want to be a designer. But I fell in love with it. That is what I wanted to do. So I went back to school and changed my major in my second semester to environmental design for interiors—half interior design, half architecture program. I kept my original major as my minor, and my original minor of retail management as my minor. After graduation, I moved to New York City and landed a job at a residential contractor that did high-end cabinetry and custom kitchens for high-end apartments in the city and the Hamptons. I liked that a lot, but I wanted to be in fashion. I wanted to do commercial design. I ended up working for H&M as a sales associate twice a week. I wanted to get into store design. Within a month of working there, I was called to corporate. I thought I was getting fired, but they ended up hiring me to their merchandising team. I did not even know what merchandising was, but they offered me the position. I took a leap of faith. At the time, there was only four H&Ms in New York City. I got to manage the whole store, put out the new clothes, track the finances. I put a belt on a skirt and made it a dress, which sold, so then I was allowed to bend the rules. After doing that for about a year, I ended up at Ann Taylor, where I worked for three years. I am an interior designer by trade, but my boss was an architect. She was eying a job at Tiffany’s, so she worked her butt off to teach me everything she knew before she left. One of the cool things I did at Ann Taylor was help start the Loft Outlet concept. From there, I did shop in shops for Kiehl’s at Dillards stores for three months. Then I worked at L brands designing La Senza and Bath & Body Works for the next 3 years. When Guess made me an offer, I moved to California, before I ended up at Barry’s. I became their first in-house designer. They wanted me to take my corporate experience and help them standardize. There was six of us at the time. For the first two years, it was me and just my Chief Development Officer. We built the design from the ground up, built a team and created standards. And then COVID hit hard. I know I will land on my feet. It is a very interesting, transitional time for me. CCR


Virtual retreat every month: Women's, Men's, via Zoom 2 hour round table one day and four 15 one-on-one vendor meeting appts. 8 brands 4 vendors Register today by contacting: David Corson • davidc@ccr-mag.com




Annual listing spotlights Facilities Maintenance firms


f your to-do list calls for finding one of the industry’s leading facilities maintenance firms, our annual listing has what you need. The Facilities Maintenance guide lists the commercial construction industry’s leading firms in the retail, restaurant, hospitality, healthcare, and other sectors. The report features the contact information and contact person at each company. If your firm did not make the list, contact Publisher David Corson at davidc@ccr-mag.com. AA Sign & AD ART Lighting Maintenance Corey Perez, SVP Jen King, National Service Manager 150 Executive Park Blvd., Suite 2100 San Francisco, CA 94134 (209) 931-0860 • Fax: (209) 931-0860 www.adart.com jen@aasignlighting.com Year Established: N/A, No. of Employees: N/A Services Provided: Electrical, Lighting/Re-lamping, Painting, Parking Lot, Signage Specialize In: Big-Box, Specialty Stores, Groceries, Shopping Centers, Drug Stores, Hotels, Resorts, Restaurants, Casinos, Education, Healthcare, Federal, We can take care of all interior and exterior signage and lighting needs Leading Clients: Tailored Brands, Rack Room Shoes, First Republic Bank, Maurice’s, Whole Foods Market

Acme Paper & Supply Co. Inc. Andy Attman, Vice President 8229 Sandy Ct. Jessup, MD 20794 301-953-3131 www.acmepaper.com aattman@acmepaper.com Year Established: 1946, No. of Employees: 240 Services Provided: Floorcare, Janitorial, Consulting, Lighting/Re-lamping, Signage, Equipment Specialize In: Hotels, Resorts, Restaurants, Casinos, Education, Healthcare, Federal Leading Clients: N/A


700 Parker Sq. Flower Mound, TX 75028 (469) 322-1909 • Fax: (469) 322-1909 www.adart.com Year Established: 1958, No. of Employees: 75 Services Provided: Lighting/Re-lamping, Signage Specialize In: Big-Box, Specialty Stores, Groceries, Drug Stores, Hotels, Resorts, Restaurants, Healthcare Leading Clients: Whole Foods, UFC Gym, Public Storage, Dunkin, LA Fitness

Advanced Service Solutions Brian Correia, VP of Business Development 11 S Third St. Hammonton, NJ 08037 (888) 629-7569 Fax: (888) 629-7579 www.advancedservice.com bcorreia@advancedservice.com Year Established: 2007, No. of Employees: N/A Services Provided: Electrical, Floorcare, HVAC, Janitorial, Landscaping, Consulting, Lighting/Re-lamping, Painting, Windows, Parking Lot, Pest Control, Plumbing, Roofing, Signage, Equipment, Waste Disposal, Snow Removal Specialize In: Bog-Box, Specialty Stores, Groceries, Shopping Centers, Drug Stores, Hotels, Resorts, Restaurants, Casinos, Education, Healthcare, Commercial/Distribution Centers Leading Clients: Confidential

Advanced Dealer Services LLC

Erik Wahlberg, Director of Operations 80 Auburn Rd. Wakefield, RI 02879 (617) 799-8403 www.adspartners.com erik@adspartners.llc Year Established: 2013, No. of Employees: 1 Services Provided: Long Term Sanitization & Disinfection Specialize In: Big-Box, Specialty Stores, Groceries, Shopping Centers, Drug Stores, Hotels, Resorts, Restaurants, Casinos, Education, Healthcare, Federal Leading Clients: N/A


Amazing Pest Control The Branded Group Grace Nappi, National Business Development 105 Main St. Hackensack, NJ 07601 (877) 922-2336 • Fax: (201) 336-9091 www.amazingpestcontrol.com gnappi@amazingpestcontrol.com Year Established: 2001, No. of Employees: 25+ Services Provided: Pest Control Specialize In: Big-Box, Specialty Stores, Groceries, Shopping Centers, Drug Stores, Hotels, Resorts, Restaurants, Education, Healthcare, Federal Leading Clients: N/A

Michael Kurland, CEO 222 S. Harbor Blvd., Suite 500 Anaheim, CA 92805 (323) 940-1444 www.branded-group.com MKurland@branded-group.com Year Established: 2014, No. of Employees: 130 Services Provided: Electrical, Floorcare, HVAC, Janitorial, Lighting/Re-lamping, Painting, Windows, Parking lot, Pest Control, Plumbing, Roofing, Signage, Equipment Specialize In: Big-Box, Specialty Stores, Groceries, Shopping Centers, Drug Stores, Hotels, Resorts, Restaurants, Casinos, Education, Healthcare, Leading Clients: Amazon, Apple, Darden, Dolar Tree, Guitar Center, Gordon Food Service, Wells Fargo, Wingstop

BrandPoint Services, Inc. American Project Dave Knoche, EVP of Sales & Repair, Inc. 820 Adams Ave., Suite 130

Ted Mastrucci, President 10321 E Grand River Rd., Suite 600 Brighton, MI 48116 (800) 227-0706 www.americanprojectandrepair.com ted@americanprojectandrepair.com Year Established: 1998, No. of Employees: 25 Services Provided: Electrical, Lighting/Re-lamping, Painting, Plumbing Specialize In: Big-Box, Specialty Stores, Drug Stores, Restaurants, Education, Healthcare, Leading Clients: N/A

Trooper, PA 19403 (267) 908-9780 www.brandpointservices.com dknoche@brandpointservices.com Year Established: 2003, No. of Employees: 70 Services Provided: Electrical, HVAC, Janitorial, Lighting/Re-lamping, Painting, Windows, Parking lot, Pest Control, Plumbing Specialize In: Big-Box, Specialty Stores, Groceries, Drug Stores, Restaurants, Healthcare, Leading Clients: Confidential

Bureau Veritas

Blake Brosa, Sr. VP

Appell Striping and 17200 N Perimeter Dr., Suite 100 Sealcoating Inc. Scottsdale, AZ 85255

Kelsey Peacock, National Account Coordinator 137 E Main St. Bay Shore, NY 11706 (631) 757-1099 www.appellstriping.com kpeacock@appellstriping.com Year Established: 2001, No. of Employees: N/A Services Provided: Parking Lot Specialize In: Specialty Stores, Groceries, Shopping Centers, Drug Stores, Hotels, Restaurants Leading Clients: Jiffy Lube, Savers Thrift Store, Raising Canes

(602) 526-3916 Fax: (410) 785-6220 www.bvna.com blake.brosa@bvna.com Year Established: 1828, No. of Employees: 630 Services Provided: Managing All Maintenance Projects Specialize In: Big-Box, Specialty Stores, Groceries, Shopping Centers, Drug Stores, Hotels, Resorts, Restaurants, Casinos, Education, Healthcare, Federal, Banks Leading Clients: Wells Fargo, Starbucks, Walgreens, Home Depot, McDonald’s, Target

CBRE | FacilitySource Josh Holecko, VP,

Boss Facility Services, Inc. Business Development Keith Keingstein, President

60 Adams Ave. Hauppauge, NY 11788 (631) 361-7430 Ext. 260 www.bossfacilityservices.com info@bossfacilityservices.com Year Established: 2001, No. of Employees: 50 Services Provided: Electrical, Floorcare, HVAC, Janitorial, Consulting, Lighting/Re-lamping, Painting, Plumbing, Equipment, Handyman, Special Projects Specialize In: Big-Box, Specialty Stores, Groceries, Shopping Centers, Drug Stores, Restaurants, Education, Healthcare Leading Clients: N/A

200 E Campus View Blvd., Suite 120 Columbus, OH 43235 (614) 301-8212 www.facilitysource.com josh.holecko@cbre.com Year Established: 2005, No. of Employees: 90,000 Services Provided: Electrical, Floorcare, HVAC, Janitorial, Landscaping, Consulting, Lighting/Re-lamping, Painting, Windows, Parking lot, Pest control, Plumbing, Roofing, Signage, Equipment Specialize In: Big-Box, Specialty Stores, Groceries, Shopping Centers, Drug Stores, Hotels, Restaurants, Healthcare, Federal, Other Leading Clients: N/A




FACILITY MAINTENANCE Chain Store DENTCO Maintenance, Inc. Teresa Phelps,

John Catanese, Vice President 81 Union St., P.O. Box 2008 Attleboro, MA 02703 (800) 888-1675 • Fax: (508) 222-8025 www.chainstore.com john@chainstore.com Year Established: 1991, No. of Employees: 55 Services Provided: Facility Maintenance Specialize In: The multi site repairs specialist – Providing national retail, restaurant specialty chains, financial institutions, healthcare, assisted living, and hotels with reliable property management services throughout the US Canada, Puerto Rico, and Guam. Emergency services 24/7/365. Handyman, Electrical, Locksmith, Plumbing, Pest Control, Backflow, Project Management. We’re here to HELP! Leading Clients: N/A

Cornell Storefront Systems, Inc.

Dan Broda, COO 140 Maffet St., Suite 200 Wilkes Barre, PA 18705 (800) 882-6773 • Fax: (800) 882-6772 www.cornellstorefronts.com dbroda@cornellstorefronts.com Year Established: 1991, No. of Employees: 60 Services Provided: Coiling Doors, Sectional Doors, Dock Equip, Passage Doors & Hardware, Glass and Locks Specialize In: Big-Box, Specialty Stores, Groceries, Shopping Centers, Drug Stores Leading Clients: Home Depot, Walmart, Mavis Discount Tire, Bridgestone Firestone, Apple

National Sales Director 1161 E Clark Rd., Suite 124 Dewitt, MI 48820 (800) 993-3689 www.dentco.com • tphelps@dentco.com Year Established: 1977 No. of Employees: 150 Services Provided: Landscaping, Parking Lot, Snow Removal Specialize In: Big-Box, Specialty Stores, Groceries, Drug Stores, Hotels, Resorts, Restaurants Leading Clients: N/A

Direct Construction Company Limited

Barry Crystal, VP Retail Construction & Maintenance 50 Nashdene Rd., Unit 105 Toronto, ON Canada M1V 5J2 (416) 292-0868 • Fax: (416) 292-3132 www.directconstruction.ca bcrystal@directconstruction.ca Year Established: 1991, No. of Employees: 52 Services Provided: Electrical, Floorcare, HVAC, Lighting/Re-lamping, Painting, Windows, Parking lot, Plumbing, Roofing, Signage Specialize In: Big-Box, Specialty Stores, Groceries, Shopping Centers, Drug Stores, Restaurants, Education, Healthcare, Federal, Commercial & Industrial Leading Clients: Many National and International Clients, Contact us for details

Construction & Renovation Curbhuggers LLC DWM Bennett Van Wert, National Sales Manager

Steve Shapiro, Managing Member 5825 De Claire Ct. Atlanta, GA 30328 (305) 992-9091 • Fax: (678) 732-0221 www.curbhuggers.com steve@curbhuggers.com Year Established: 2017, No. of Employees: N/A Services Provided: Drive Thru Curbs Specialize In: Shopping Centers, Drug Stores, Restaurants (QSR) Bank ATM Drive Thru Leading Clients: McDonald’s, Regional Community Banks, Auto Dealerships

2 Northway Ln. Latham, NY 12110 (888) 396-9111 www.dwminc.com bvanwert@dwminc.com Year Established: 1997, No. of Employees: 75 Services Provided: Electrical, Floorcare, HVAC, Lighting/Re-lamping, Painting, Windows, Pest Control, Plumbing Specialize In: Big-Box, Specialty Stores, Groceries, Restaurants, Education, Medical Leading Clients: N/A

EMCOR Building Services Cushman & Wakefield Shannon Terry, VP Marketing

Tim Dehncke, VP, Enterprise Solutions 128 N First St. Colwich, KS 67030 (888) 328-2454 • Fax: (316) 721-3802 www.cushmanwakefield.com timothy.dehncke@cushwake.com Year Established: 1997, No. of Employees: 295 Services Provided: Electrical, HVAC, Landscaping, Lighting/Re-lamping, Painting, Windows, Parking Lot, Pest Control, Plumbing, Roofing, Signage, Equipment Specialize In: Big-Box, Specialty Stores, Groceries, Shopping Centers, Drug Stores, Hotels, Restaurants, Education, Medical Leading Clients: N/A


3100 Woodcreek Dr. Downers Grove, IL 60515 (866) 890-7794 www.emcorgroup.com • emcor-info@emcor.net Year Established: 1994, No. of Employees: 10,000+ Services Provided: Electrical, Floorcare, HVAC, Janitorial, Landscaping, Lighting/Re-lamping, Painting, Windows, Parking Lot, Plumbing, Signage, Equipment, Handyman Specialize In: Big-Box, Specialty Stores, Groceries, Shopping Centers, Drug Stores, Hotels, Resorts, Restaurants, Casinos, Education, Healthcare, Federal, Manufacturing, Biotech, Healthcare, Commercial Office Leading Clients: U.S. Bank, U.S. Postal Service, NASA, Goodyear, Stanford Health Care, Florida Power & Light





Melissa Parsons, Director of Marketing 661 N Plano Rd., Suite 323 Richardson, TX 75081 (800) 820-3511 www.entouchcontrols.com melissa.parsons@entouchcontrols.com Year Established: 2008, No. of Employees: 35 Services Provided: Energy Management Specialize In: Specialty Stores, Shopping Centers, Drug Stores, Hotels, Resorts, Restaurants, Education, Healthcare, Multisite Facilities Leading Clients: FedEx Office, Office Depot, Chuck E Cheese

Facilities Excellence

David C Fanning, President 113B Commerce Park Dr. Westerville, OH 43082 (800) 354-2602 www.facilitiesexcellence.com dfanning@facilitiesexcellence.com Year Established: 2009, No. of Employees: 15 Services Provided: Electrical, HVAC, Janitorial, Landscaping, Consulting, Lighting/Re-lamping, Painting, Windows, Parking Lot, Pest Control, Plumbing, Roofing, Signage, Equipment Specialize In: Specialty Stores, Hotels, Restaurants Leading Clients: N/A

FacilityRX Services

John DiNunzio, President 24659 Halsted Rd. Farmington Hills, MI 48335 (248) 566-6187 • Fax: (248) 946-4198 www.facilityrxservices.com info@facilityrxservices.com Year Established: 2018, No. of Employees: 12 Services Provided: Electrical, Floorcare, HVAC, Janitorial, Landscaping, Consulting, Lighting/Re-lamping, Painting, Windows, Parking Lot, Pest Control, Plumbing, Roofing, Signage, Equipment, Waste Disposal, Remediation Specialize In: Big-Box, Specialty Stores, Groceries, Shopping Centers, Drug Stores, Hotels, Resorts, Restaurants, Casinos, Education, Healthcare, Federal, Financial Leading Clients: N/A

Shane Sommer, National Sales Manager 1128 Beville Rd., Suite E Daytona Beach, FL 32114 (813) 240-4542 • Fax: (407) 672-0678 www.federalheath.com/maintenance ssommer@federalheath.com Year Established: 1901, No. of Employees: 550+ Services Provided: Lighting/Re-lamping, Signage Specialize In: Big-Box, Specialty Stores, Groceries, Shopping Centers, Drug Stores, Hotels, Resorts, Restaurants, Casinos, Healthcare Leading Clients: Target, Cracker Barrel, Texas Roadhouse

FloorMax USA

Skip Mason, Director of Sales 7701 Derry St. Harrisburg, PA 17111 (717) 564-6464 Fax: (717) 525-8713 www.floormaxusa.com skip.mason@floormaxusa.com Year Established: 2012, No. of Employees: 21 Services Provided: Floorcare Specialize In: Big-Box, Specialty Stores, Drug Stores, Hotels, Restaurants, Education, Healthcare Leading Clients: KinderCare, Harbor Freight, Party City, Walgreens, Heartland Dental, Michael’s Craft Store

Genesis Lighting Solutions

Jenise Cerna, Project Manager 700 Parker Square, Suite 205 Flower Mound, TX 75028 (469) 444-6105 • Fax: (469) 322-1917 www.making-light.com jenise.cerna@making-light.com Year Established: N/A, No. of Employees: N/A Services Provided: Electrical, Lighting/Re-lamping, Parking Lot Specialize In: Big-Box, Specialty Stores, Groceries, Shopping Centers, Drug Stores, Hotels, Resorts, Restaurants, Casinos, Education, Healthcare, Federal, We can take care of all interior and exterior signage and lighting needs Leading Clients: Papa Murphy’s, Domino’s, Pizza Ranch, Choice Hotel, Red Lobster

FCP Services GGS Partners, LLC James Loukusa, CEO 3185 Terminal Dr. Eagan, MN 55121 (651) 789-0790 www.fcpservices.com jloukusa@fcpservices.com Year Established: 1990, No. of Employees: 100 Services Provided: Consulting, Painting, General Contracting Specialize In: Big-Box, Specialty Stores, Groceries, Shopping Centers, Drug Stores, Hotels, Resorts, Restaurants, Casinos, Education, Medical, Federal Leading Clients: N/A


Neil A Sperling, Managing Partner P.O. Box 3057 Margate,NJ 08402 (609) 313-4346 • Fax: (856) 424-5386 www.ggspartners.com neils@ggspartners.com Year Established: 2003, No. of Employees: 5 Services Provided: Electrical, Floorcare, HVAC, Janitorial, Lighting/Relamping, Painting, Windows, Pest Control, Plumbing, Locks, Handyman Specialize In: Specialty Stores, Restaurants, Healthcare, Multi-Site Franchises Leading Clients: N/A




FACILITY MAINTENANCE Heritage Fire Security K.A.I. Pavement Michael Rose, CEO Management 105 Main St. Hackensack, NJ 07601 (800) 688-5557 • Fax: (201) 336-9901 www.heritagefiresecurity.com info@heritagefiresecurity.com Year Established: 2018, No. of Employees: N/A Services Provided: Fire Protection & Maintenance Specialize In: Big-Box, Specialty Stores, Groceries, Shopping Centers, Drug Stores, Hotels, Resorts, Restaurants, Casinos, Education, Healthcare, Federal Leading Clients: N/A

IdentiCom Sign Solutions

John DiNunzio, President 24657 Halsted Rd. Farmington Hills, MI 48335 (248) 344-9590 • Fax: (248) 946-4198 www.identicomsigns.com info@identicomsigns.com Year Established: 2009, No. of Employees: 25 Services Provided: Electrical, Consulting, Lighting/Re-lamping, Painting, Parking Lot, Signage, Specialize In: Big-Box, Specialty Stores, Groceries, Shopping Centers, Drug Stores, Hotels, Resorts, Restaurants, Casinos, Education, Healthcare, Federal Leading Clients: N/A

Instakey Security Systems Cita Doyle, VP Sales & Marketing 7456 W 5th Ave. Lakewood, CO 80226 (800) 316-5397 www.instakey.com cdoyle@instakey.com Year Established: 1986, No. of Employees: 28 Services Provided: Consulting, Mechanical Key Systems Specialize In: Big-Box, Specialty Stores, Groceries, Shopping Centers, Drug Stores, Restaurants, Education, Healthcare, Federal Leading Clients: Dollar General, Family Dollar, T-Mobile/Sprint

JLG Industries, Inc. Jennifer Stiansen, Director of Marketing 1 JLG Dr. McConnellsburg, PA 17233 (877) JLG-LIFT www.jlg.com www.jlg.com/en/about-jlg/contact-us Year Established: 1969, No. of Employees: 5,500 Services Provided: Equipment Specialize In: General Construction Leading Clients: N/A


Mark Rauth, National Account Manager 7000 W 206th St. Bucyrus, KS 66013 (913) 244-2356 www.kai-pavement.com mrauth@kai-pavement.com Year Established: 2000 No. of Employees: 120 Services Provided: Parking lot Specialize In: Big-Box, Groceries, Shopping Centers, Drug Stores, Hotels, Restaurants, Education, Healthcare, Convenience Stores, Industrial Leading Clients: N/A

Laser Facility Management

Joe Fairley, Director 5701 N Pine Island Rd., Suite 255 Tamarac, FL 33321 (561) 235-7444 www.laserfacility.com joseph@laserfacility.com Year Established: 2018, No. of Employees: N/A Services Provided: Electrical, Floorcare, HVAC, Janitorial, Landscaping, Consulting, Lighting/Re-lamping, Painting, Windows, Parking Lot, Pest Control, Plumbing, Roofing, Signage, Equipment Specialize In: Big-Box, Specialty Stores, Groceries, Shopping Centers, Drug Stores, Hotels, Restaurants, Education, Healthcare Leading Clients: Zara, T-Mobile, HR Block, G6 Hospitality, Dolce and Gabbana

MainSource Roof Management

Jeff Ansel, Director of Business Development P.O. Box 45718 Atlanta, GA 30320 (770) 500-9681 www.mainsourcemgt.com jeffa@mainsourcemgt.com Year Established: 2002, No. of Employees: 12 Services Provided: Roofing Specialize In: Big-Box, Groceries, Drug Stores, Restaurants, Casinos, Healthcare Leading Clients: N/A

National Pavement

Bob Vacsulka, VP of National Accounts 3081 US Highway 11, Ste 3 Dekalb Junction, NY 13630 (877) 265-6600 www.nationalpavement.com bob.vacsulka@nationalpavement.com Year Established: 1994, No. of Employees: 50 Services Provided: Parking lot, Specialize In: Big-box/department, Drug stores, Shopping Centers, Restaurants, REIT’s Leading Clients: Walmart, Rite Aid, Dollar General


GGS Partners



Electrical HVAC

Sanitize Cleaning


National Project Roll-outs


Flood/Fire/Hurricane Response Emergency Services

Handyman Repairs Floor Replacement/ Maintenance

Over 35 Years of Experience

GGS Partners knows that each multi-unit operator is unique in their facility management needs. We share your vision for your property needs and meet them with exemplary execution! GGS Partners creates and implements each program, and follows through to successful completion.

During these challenging times, experience counts!

We make YOUR business, OUR business Neal A. Sperling – Managing Partner (609) 313-4346 • neils@ggspartners.com • P.O. Box 3075 Margate, NJ 08402 • www.ggspartners.com CIRCLE NO. 27


FACILITY MAINTENANCE Nationwide Cleaners Prime Retail Services Inc.

Michael Rose, CEO 105 Main St. Hackensack, NJ 07601 (877) 933-8356 • Fax: (201) 336-9091 www.nationwidecleaners.com info@nationwidecleaners.com Year Established: 2000, No. of Employees: 30+ Services Provided: Janitorial, Windows, Covid-19 Specialize In: Big-Box, Specialty Stores, Groceries, Shopping Centers, Drug Stores, Hotels, Resorts, Restaurants, Casinos, Education, Healthcare, Federal Leading Clients: N/A

Paint Folks

Brian Foster, Senior Vice President 105 Main St. Hackensack, NJ 07601 (888) 888-7870 Fax: (201) 936-9180 www.paintfolks.com bfoster@paintfolks.com Year Established: 2011, No. of Employees: 18 Services Provided: Painting Specialize In: Big-Box, Specialty Stores, Shopping Centers, Drug Stores, Hotels, Resorts, Restaurants, Casinos, Education, Healthcare, Federal Leading Clients: N/A


Jodie Susi, Vice President, Business Development 812 S Crowley Rd., Suite A Crowley, TX 76036 (833) 574-7253 www.powerhousenow.com info@powerhousenow.com Year Established: 2004, No. of Employees: 900 Services Provided: Electrical, HVAC, Landscaping, Lighting/Relamping, Painting, Windows, Parking Lot, Pest Control, Plumbing, Roofing, Signage, Equipment, Parking lot sweeping, Doors/Gates/ Glass, Locksmith, Disaster Recovery, Floor Repairs, Special Projects, Kitchen Equipment, Appliance Repairs, Snow Removal, Power washing, Handyman/General Maintenance Specialize In: Big-Box, Specialty Stores, Groceries, Shopping Centers, Drug Stores, Hotels, Resorts, Restaurants, Education, Healthcare, Senior Living, Multi-Family Housing, Convenience Stores, Telecommunications Leading Clients: We work with over 150 national clients. However, we do not disclose our client names.

PPG Services

Logan Broadbent, VP, Sales 242 W 30th St., Suite 400 New York, NY 10001 (216) 296-2860 www.ppgservices.com lbroadbent@ppg.com Year Established: 1883, No. of Employees: 47,000 Services Provided: Painting, Specialize In: Big-Box, Specialty Stores, Groceries, Shopping Centers, Drug Stores, Hotels, Resorts, Restaurants Leading Clients: N/A


Richard Alexander, Facility Services Manager 3617 Southland Dr. Flowery Branch, GA 30542 (866) 504-3511 • Fax: (866) 584-3605 www.primeretailservices.com facilities@primeretailservices.com Year Established: 2004, No. of Employees: 500+ Services Provided: Electrical, HVAC, Landscaping, Lighting/Re-lamping, Painting, Windows, Parking Lot, Pest Control, Plumbing, Roofing, Waste Disposal Specialize In: Big-Box, Specialty Stores, Groceries, Shopping Centers, Drug Stores, Hotels, Restaurants, Education, Healthcare, Educational Leading Clients: Walmart, Best Buy, Publix, Del Taco, Family Dollar

ProCoat Products Lisa Schwartz, President 260 Centre St. Holbrook, MA 02343 (781) 767-2270 • Fax: (781) 767-2271 www.procoat.com lisa.schwartz@procoat.com Year Established: N/A, No. of Employees: N/A Services Provided: Ceiling Resurfacing Specialize In: Big-Box, Specialty Stores, Groceries, Shopping Centers, Drug Stores, Hotels, Resorts, Restaurants, Casinos, Education, Medical, Federal Leading Clients: J.C. Penney, Panera Bread, Tailored Brands

Q1 Facility Services, LTD.

Donald Geddis, Owner 8858 Clay St. Montville, OH 44064 (440) 321-2971 www.q1fs.com info@q1fs.com Year Established: 2008, No. of Employees: N/A Services Provided: Electrical, HVAC, Lighting/Re-lamping, Painting, Windows, Parking Lot, Pest Control, Plumbing, Roofing, Signage, Other Specialize In: Big-Box, Specialty Stores, Groceries, Shopping Centers, Restaurants Leading Clients: Benchmark Group, Kroger Foods, Glazer Properties

Replications Unlimited

Matt Wasiak, VP of Sales 2900 Latty Ave. Hazelwood, MO 63042 (314) 524-2040 • Fax: (314) 604-0114 www.urestonepanels.com mwasiak@repunlimited.com Year Established: 2003, No. of Employees: 57 Services Provided: Supplier & Design Dumpster Enclosures, Building Mat. Capabilities Specialize In: Big-Box, Specialty Stores, Groceries, Shopping Centers, Drug Stores, Hotels, Resorts, Restaurants, Casinos, Education, Healthcare Leading Clients: Wawa’s, Murphy USA, Yes Way


Your commercial cleaning 100% experts Retail Maintenance Management is a national industry leader in retail cleaning and maintenance. Established in 1998, we have built a loyal clientele of happy satisfied customers across the country. RMM takes pride in its reputation for timely, efficient and reliable service. Customer service, attention to detail and quality workmanship are always our number one priority. We offer competitive, budget-friendly pricing and 24-hour emergency services.

Satis Guar faction antee

Specializing in:

Commercial Cleaning Sanitizing Floor Care Post-Construction Cleanup 24/7 Emergency Services

Industries served:

Multi-site Retailers Customer Facing Properties including Non-Acute Healthcare, Banks, Malls, and more. Distribution Centers Office Environments

800-236-5098 • service@rmmservices.com Sales contact: Rich Galli, National Sales Director Rgalli@rmmservices.com • Mobile: 201-390-3993

www.rmmservices.com CIRCLE NO. 28


FACILITY MAINTENANCE Retail Maintenance Management Rogers Rich Galli, National Sales Director One University Plaza, Suite 405 Hackensack, NJ 07601 (800) 236-5098 Fax: (201) 347-3985 www.rmmservices.com service@rmmservices.com Year Established: 1998, No. of Employees: N/A Services Provided: Floorcare, Janitorial, Commercial Cleaning & Sanitizing Specialize In: Big-Box, Specialty Stores, Drug Stores, Hotels, Resorts, Education, Healthcare, Federal Leading Clients: Footlocker, Rue 21, 7-11

Ayla Tribble, Marketing Manager 2050 Marconi Dr. Alpharetta, GA 30005 (770) 772-3400 Fax: (866) 592-3410 www.rogersservices.com atribble@lrogerselectric.com Year Established: 1983, No. of Employees: 1200 Services Provided: Electrical, Lighting Specialize In: Big-Box, Specialty Stores, Groceries, Shopping Centers, Drug Stores, Restaurants Leading Clients: Home Depot, Walmart, Target, RaceTrac, Publix

Retail Maintenance Specialists & Royal Services Construction, LLC Mark Junkin, Director Business Development 1995 Swarthmore Ave., Suite 2 Lakewood, NJ 08701 (609) 978-6440 • Fax: (609) 978-9824 www.retailmsc.com mjunkin@retailmsc.com Year Established: 2003, No. of Employees: 35 Services Provided: Electrical, HVAC, Landscaping, Lighting/Relamping, Painting, Windows, Parking Lot, Plumbing, Waste Disposal Specialize In: Big-Box, Specialty Stores, Groceries, Shopping Centers, Drug Stores, Hotels, Resorts, Restaurants, Casinos, Education, Healthcare, Federal Leading Clients: Foot Locker, Ross Stores, Under Armour

Kathy David, Director of Client Growth 19175 Metcalf Ave. Overland Park, KS 66085 (800) 728-1155 www.royalsolves.com kdavid@royalsolves.com Year Established: 1993, No. of Employees: N/A Services Provided: Electrical, HVAC, Consulting, Lighting/Relamping, Painting, Plumbing, Signage Specialize In: Specialty Stores, Healthcare, Other Leading Clients: National Multi-Site Brands

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Rockerz Inc. Melissa Greene, President Robert Smith, Director Business/ Nat’l Acct 100 Commonwealth Dr. Warrendale, PA 15086 (724) 612-6520 www.rockerzinc.com rsmith@rockerzinc.com Year Established: 2004, No. of Employees: 60 Services Provided: Floorcare, Polished Concrete Specialize In: Big-Box, Specialty Stores, Groceries, Shopping Centers, Drug Stores, Hotels, Resorts, Restaurants, Casinos, Education, Healthcare, Federal, Other Leading Clients: N/A


19 warren Ave. Plymouth, MA 02360 (508) 487-8300 www.sanisolutionsne.com melissa@sanisolutionsne.com Year Established: 2020, No. of Employees: 4 Services Provided: Disinfecting Specialize In: Big-Box, Specialty Stores, Groceries, Shopping Centers, Drug Stores, Hotels, Resorts, Restaurants, Casinos, Education, Healthcare, Federal Leading Clients: N/A


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FACILITY MAINTENANCE Sloan Superclean Service Company Inc

Alison Heitman, Director, Global Marketing Communications 10500 Seymour Ave. Franklin Park, IL 60131 (847) 671-4300 • Fax: (847) 671-6944 www.sloan.com alison.heitman@sloan.com Year Established: 1906, No. of Employees: N/A Services Provided: Plumbing Specialize In: Shopping Centers, Hotels, Resorts, Restaurants, Casinos, Education, Healthcare, Federal Leading Clients: N/A

Amber Terry, VP Sales 12024 Forestgate Dr. Dallas, TX 75228 (888) 337-8737 • Fax: (214) 576-1790 www.gosuperclean.com amber.terry@gosuperclean.com Year Established: 1980, No. of Employees: N/A Services Provided: Floorcare, Janitorial, Windows Cleaning Specialize In: Big-Box, Specialty Stores, Groceries, Shopping Centers, Drug Stores, Hotels, Restaurants, Education, Healthcare Leading Clients: Verizon Wireless, Apple, Gap, Levi’s, REI, Raising Cane’s, Einstein Noah, Potbelly, Cushman Wakefield, and a wide variety of minor medical, commercial, retail and restaurant clients

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Liza Klein, Marketing Manager 2210 Oak Ridge Way Vista, CA 92081 (888) 765-2882 www.solatube.com lklein@solatube.com Year Established: 1991, No. of Employees: N/A Services Provided: Lighting/Re-lamping Specialize In: Groceries, Hotels, Education, Healthcare, Federal, Commercial/Industrial Spaces (Offices, Warehouses, Production Facilities, Underground Parking, Etc.) Leading Clients: N/A

Store Techs, LLC Allison Brown, Business Administrator 9550 S Eastern Ave., Suite 253 Las Vegas, NV 89123 (760) 956-5928 www.storetechsllc.com general@storetechsllc.com Year Established: 2014, No. of Employees: 25 Services Provided: Electrical, Floorcare, HVAC, Janitorial, Landscaping, Lighting/Re-lamping, Painting, Windows, Parking Lot, Pest Control, Plumbing, Roofing, Signage, Equipment Specialize In: Big-Box, Specialty Stores, Groceries, Shopping Centers, Drug Stores, Hotels, Resorts, Restaurants Leading Clients: N/A


Carol L Carey, CEO/Owner 1114 Hwy 96, Suite C-1 #357 Kathleen, GA 31047 (844) 787-3777 • Fax: (866) 602-5883 www.superiorfsc.com carolc@superiorfsg.com Year Established: 2013, No. of Employees: 25 Services Provided: Electrical, HVAC, Janitorial, Landscaping, Painting, Windows, Parking lot, Pest control, Plumbing, Bird Netting & Deterrents, High Dusting, Roof & Gutter Cleaning, Power washing, Property Clean Out, Disaster Restoration, Mold Abatement Specialize In: Big-Box, Specialty Stores, Groceries, Shopping Centers, Drug Stores, Hotels, Resorts, Restaurants, casinos, Education, Healthcare, Federal Leading Clients: Home Depot, H.E.B. Grocery Store, Floor & Décor, Office Depot/Office Max, TMX Financial, Auto Nation, DSW (Designer Shoe Warehouse), Crate & Barrel, Chipotle Mexican Grill, Terminix/EcoLab

Thomas Consultants, Inc. Kevin Brent, Vice President, Sales 4140 E Raines Rd. Memphis, TN 38118 (901) 398-8426 • Fax: (901) 398-5749 www.gotci.com kbrent@gotci.com Year Established: 1986, No. of Employees: 5 Services Provided: Electrical, Consulting, Lighting/Re-lamping, Signage, Equipment, Security/Surveillance Specialize In: Big-Box, Specialty Stores, Shopping Centers, Hotels, Restaurants, Education, Healthcare, Federal Leading Clients: Dell, HPE, HP, Microsoft, V5 Systems, Verkada cameras, CommVault


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FACILITY MAINTENANCE Veterans Worldwide Wiegmann Associates Maintenance Chad Wiegmann, President

Jay Cruz, Business Development 105 Main St. Hackensack, NJ 07601 (800) 235-4393 • Fax: (201) 336-9091 www.veteransmaintenance.com jcruz@vpssinc.com Year Established: 2011 No. of Employees: 30+ Services Provided: Electrical, Floorcare, Janitorial, Painting, Parking Lot, Pest Control, Plumbing, Handyman Specialize In: Big-Box, Specialty Stores, Groceries, Shopping Centers, Drug Stores, Hotels, Resorts, Restaurants, Casinos, Education, Healthcare, Federal Leading Clients: N/A

750 Fountain Lakes Blvd. St. Charles, MO 63301-4353 (636) 940-1056 Fax: (636) 940-8808 www.wiegmannassoc.com Year Established: 1995, No. of Employees: 107 Services Provided: HVAC Specialize In: Big-Box, Hotels, Education, Healthcare, Other Leading Clients: CA Ventures, SurgCenter Development

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Wallace Engineering- Jeff Franson, President/CEO Structural Consultants, Inc. 4939 Lower Roswell Rd., Suite 100 Brad Thurman, PE, FSMPS, CPSM, Principal 123 N Martin Luther King Jr., Blvd. Tulsa, OK 74103 (800) 364-5858 • Fax: (918) 584-8689 www.wallacesc.com bthurman@wallacesc.com Year Established: 1981, No. of Employees: 168 Services Provided: Consulting, Parking lot, Roofing Specialize In: Big-Box, Specialty Stores, Groceries, Shopping Centers, Drug Stores, Hotels, Resorts, Restaurants, Casinos, Education, Healthcare Leading Clients: Walmart Stores, Inc., Jiffy Lube, Bridgestone Retail Operations

WaterSignal, LLC Aaron Beasley, Vice President of Sales 510 Staghorn Ct. Alpharetta, GA 30004 (844) 232-6100 www.watersignal.com abeasley@watersignal.com Year Established: 2009, No. of Employees: 10 Services Provided: Consulting, Water Monitoring, Leak Detection Specialize In: Big-Box, Specialty Stores, Groceries, Shopping Centers, Drug Stores, Hotels, Resorts, Restaurants, Casinos, Education, Healthcare, Anywhere with A Water Meter Leading Clients: Cousins, Transwestern, CAT, JLL, COX Enterprises, Simon Property Group


Marietta, GA 30068 (866) 933-3456 • Fax: (678) 547-3138 www.windowfilmdepot.com jeff@windowfilmdepot.com Year Established: N/A, No. of Employees: N/A Services Provided: N/A Specialize In: Bullet Resistant Systems, Glass Protection, Windows, Window Film Sales & Installation Leading Clients: N/A

ZipWall Dust Barrier System Doreen Bouvier, Customer Service Manager 37 Broadway Arlington, MA 02474 (800) 718-2255 www.zipwall.com info@zipwall.com Year Established: 1997, No. of Employees: N/A Services Provided: Other Specialize In: Big-Box, Specialty Stores, Groceries, Shopping Centers, Drug Stores, Hotels, Resorts, Restaurants, Casinos, Education, Medical, Federal Leading Clients: N/A


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Why pick an RCA member contractor? By Steve Bachman


hen asked to write an article for this month’s edition of Commercial Construction & Renovation magazine, there were many topics that crossed my mind. The most relevant in this time of uncertainty was to write something that sought out normalcy. Over the last few years, the state of retail construction has been a flurry of activity. The title “fast and furious” had multiple meanings. There was so much work out there, it only made sense that there became an increasing number of general contracting companies jumping into the business of building stores and restaurants. There were all sorts of new “gunslingers” in town.

For those of us who have been around this business for 20, 30, 40 years or more, we have seen these cycles like this, so everyone accepts this state-of-affairs and adjusts. But some of us have also recognized that when things change and uncertainty rears its ugly head, we seek assurances—relationships become more important. There is a “flight-to-quality,” service matters, and who we can count on makes more of a difference. Our organization is 30-plus years old. If we not only examine the organization’s core values, what it takes to become a member and what you get as a client or customer of an RCA member, I offer the following. We have a rigorous vetting process that analyzes prospective companies seeking membership to the RCA: > How long have they been in this business (it must be at least five years)? > What sort of safety record do they have? > Are they bondable and at what type of rate? > Do they treat their subcontractors and vendors fairly?


> What kind of client references do they have from industry experts (you)? > Do they invest in their people? > Are they licensed where they work and where they advertise they are? > What overall reputation do they have? The RCA has a Board of Directors who are industry champions of the organization. Each of our directors are respected by their GC peers, and are willing to work toward the greater good of the membership and those we serve. We have an Advisory Board made up of some of the who’s who in the retail, restaurant, architectural and real estate community. The Board bring insights, perspectives and calls to action for the organization that is incredibly valuable. One example in recent years that comes to mind was an industry Listening Event sponsored by the RCA. The event was attended by many of you in the retail/ restaurant community and moderated by an RCA Advisory Board representative from FMI—a leading consultant organization for the construction industry. During the event, the moderator learned from you—the client base—the most important thing that would set an RCA member company apart from all the other GCs in this business. The answer was poignant—a thoroughly trained professional superintendent that is familiar with all of the nuances unique to our industry. So, you, the client had spoken. We listened and we responded with a robust RCA Superintendent Training program developed with the input of various member employees and Advisory Board members, which is facilitated by FMI. These are just a few examples of what sets an RCA member apart in our industry. As a Board, we also continue to monitor the performance of our member companies to ensure they meet our standards of excellence and maintain the reputation that the RCA is known for. We also help them grow and better themselves, now and for the future. So, when someone asks, “Why do you chose a RCA member company?” the answer should be, “Why not?” CCR


Steve Bachman is President and CEO of Retail Construction Services Inc. (RCA).


Waterjet at work

Making the impossible, possible By Ron Treister

All photos courtesy of Creative Edge

Inside the benefits of waterjet technology


rchitecturally designed commercial floors now can be created with stone, tile, terrazzo, resilient and more materials—over and over again. And, in virtually any design, one can conceive. Can you imagine what that means for rollout projects?

The statements above are based upon waterjet cutting, a computerized technology, which can cut most any material into any two-dimensional shape. Marble, granite, porcelain, ceramic, linoleum, resilient flooring, vinyl, carpet tile, glass and all metals are excellent materials for the waterjet.


Using a cold process that does not heat, harden or distort metals, just about anything that can be drawn on a computer can be cut into complex, multi-unit shapes, perfectly each time. Just imagine the need for repeated hotel foyer logos; medallions in porcelain or natural stone; elevator banks in


resilient with different images per floor helping users remember their location; way-finding graphics guiding shoppers through multi-aisle departments stores, and so much more. What exactly is this waterjet process? To begin with, a drawing, blueprint or electronic file is submitted to the waterjet


MAKING THE IMPOSSIBLE, POSSIBLE cutting source, which then scans, digitizes or loads this file (or drawing) using AutoCAD. From there, it is converted via a special software program into a unique digital “language” deciphered by the waterjet machines using CAM (Computer Aided Manufacturing). Next, the image is then ready to download onto a waterjet machine. What exactly is that? Any waterjet machine essentially has two major components: A “sacrificial table” and above it, a computer-driven cutting head that distributes water jet streams powered by a high-intensity pump. With a pressure of 55,000 PSI, water with no additives whatsoever can cut plastics, commercial-grade foam, resilient floorcovering, rubber flooring and similar “soft substances.” The cutting head is a nozzle with a small sapphire crystal orifice, through which water is thrust three times the speed of sound. Any movement of this nozzle is determined by computerized interpretation of the customer’s original submitted drawing.

“Temporary methods of keeping people 6 feet apart, like masking tape on floors, worked initially, but brands and customers needed a more permanent solution.” — Jim Thompson is VP and Chief Commercial Officer, Weaton Capital

VCT cut for social distancing

Caesar’s Palace high roller suite stone floor



When cutting harder materials such as metals, stone, ceramics, glass and dense composites, garnet abrasive garnet is fed into the waterjet stream for stronger erosion action. The waterjet stream does not exert pressure or heat on the working material. Benefits of waterjet technology extend beyond cost-competitiveness over other cutting techniques. For example, it allows for complex and difficult shapes, such as inside corners, notches, architectural and artistic shapes to be cut with ease and with a high level of accuracy and precision. The narrow kerf (or cut) can be as small as +/- .010 inches depending upon the material being used. A successful waterjet cut floor can easily be re-manufactured again and again by simply re-entering previously run computer programs. Imagine an incredibly durable and ornate custom floor for a newly opened Vegas hotel, which not surprisingly, garners great attention and curiosity. Five years down the road, a carbon copy version of that same hotel is planned for another American entertainment mecca

such as Nashville, Tennessee. The intricate and amazingly beautiful floor from Las Vegas, via the waterjet process, can easily and economically be duplicated for the new Nashville location. Just like that! Jim Thompson is VP and Chief Commercial Officer of Weaton Capital, a private holding company focused on providing succession opportunities to Iowa business owners who have built businesses with premium brands, attractive growth prospects, strong leadership teams and a commitment to enterprise continuous improvement. In 2018, Weaton Capital purchased then 30 year-old Creative Edge, an Iowa-based firm, which beginning in 1988, pioneered the process of waterjet cutting architectural materials. “Creative Edge already had a strong reputation for producing ‘one-ofa-kind’ flooring projects, which, could be perfectly reproduced,” Thompson says. This conception was flattering, but actually misleading, as many architects, designers and contractors had the false conception that the process, because of its incredible exactness and repeatability, was very expensive. “We sought out to not only prove that wasn’t the case, but via painstaking research discovered ways to actually decrease clients’ expenditures for this process,” Thompson says. Most recently, Weaton Capital/Creative Edge has made headlines for bringing to the marketplace a line of “safe distancing” precision-cut, prefabricated tile featuring four familiar symbols that encourage social distancing, in vinyl, luxury vinyl tile, and carpet tile, with quick-ship options. “The need for new ways of doing business is urgent and unprecedented,” Thompson says. “Temporary methods of keeping people 6 feet apart, like masking tape on floors, worked initially, but brands and customers needed a more permanent solution. We’ve introduced this new line (which easily can be custom made for most any flooring manufacturer using their own materials) to help heal the wounded psyche

Pittsburgh Intl. Airport... terrazzo.

of customers, to stand up to the enhanced cleaning regime everyone is trying to follow, and to help brands re-connect with customers and build trust.” Canadian architect Michel St. Germaine says the waterjet process, if

handled by experienced operators, offers the A&D community a tool that provides limitless design possibilities, especially for commercial floor projects. “I still think it’s one of the best kept secrets within the design sector.” CCR

Ron Treister is President/Founder of Communicators International, Inc., a marketing communications firm headquartered in Jupiter, Fla. For three decades, his firm has worked with major accounts focusing on the commercial construction sector. He may be reached at: rlt@communicatorsintl.com



Get in the game How technology is propelling By Chris Reyes the industry forward


echnology helps industries evolve in an ever-changing world. Those who can keep up, adapt and adjust will excel within their field of expertise and position themselves as innovative leaders. Companies that foster a curiosity for technology and new developments will stand the test of time and will have better odds of overcoming obstacles within the industry. This idea is especially true for the construction industry. While construction tends to be slow to act in new developments in tech, it has become evident that the leaders who are quick to implement technological advancement opportunities are propelled forward as leaders in the industry. Utilizing new technology creatively can boost productivity, reduce costs, shorten timelines, increase safety and help teams meet strict project deadlines without compromising quality.



Over the past couple of years within the industry, a number of new developments in technology have provided an opportunity for innovation within construction. Mentionable new technology includes Building Information Modeling (BIM), robotics and drones. Effectively implementing this new tech, as well as efficiently train teams on how to utilize it, will help the industry excel, and can manage and meet goals of any project, no matter the size.

Building Information Modeling (BIM)

BIM is a prime example of newer technology that, when utilized effectively, puts leaders ahead of the competition in the industry. With this intelligent 3D model-based process, teams are able to access valuable information and insight that will ultimately enable them to efficiently plan, design, construct, and manage buildings and infrastructure. With this tool, teams are able to foresee any potential issues prior to starting the construction process. Quality design-build teams can utilize BIM to increase their team’s overall efficiency throughout the course of the project, as well as reduce and avoid any cost-related risks.

With this 3D model-based process, teams are able to measure the impact of design changes and options in real-time, without sacrificing any materials or valuable time. For industry leaders that implement BIM within their business, they can expect to see a significant reduction in final construction costs, an increase in the speed of completion, a dramatic improvement in labor productivity, and an overall reduction in site labor. For example, Canyon State Electric was selected as the electrical contractor on the first White Claw Manufacturing/Distribution Facility in Arizona and what would have been an 18-month construction project was fast-tracked to a 10-month construction project due to the use of BIM. Aside from creating 3D renderings, BIM also can be used to boost collaboration and communication between teams through cloud-based tools. On top of this, BIM can be utilized beyond a project’s completion to stay on top of maintenance schedules.

Robotics Total Stations

By pairing BIM with Robotics Total Stations (RTS), leaders significantly can speed up collaboration and the installation process of a project, as well as provide a far higher quality product to clients. This compact tech allows for remote use, as well as only requires one

team member to operate it, freeing up other team members to focus their energy on other projects. The RTS provides more accurate measurements, which means fewer mistakes, therefore less money and time are lost. On top of these benefits, RTS that is designed specifically for the construction industry typically have simple designs and generally are basic to understand, requiring minimal training for team members to be able to implement into their everyday processes. Combining BIM with RTS is a simple, yet effective solution that provides countless benefits that ultimately will save money, as well as enable teams to be able to take on bigger projects with tight deadlines.


Utilizing drones for as-built, surveying, construction site inspections, and project progress reports significantly can reduce overall costs for a project. This technology provides teams with a birds-eye view of a project site that enables teams to accurately and quickly survey a site, as well as give detailed information into the project’s overall progress. This helps teams stay on schedule. With a drone’s visual representa-

tion of the site, clients are also able to receive up-to-date information on the project which boosts their overall satisfaction. These visuals also can be shared with stakeholders in order to keep all parties informed. On top of this, drones also greatly benefit the overall safety of employees. By regularly utilizing drones to survey a job site, construction leaders avoid putting their onsite workers into potentially dangerous situations. There are a number of new technologies emerging within the construction industry that greatly benefit the overall productivity and efficiency of projects. But not every option will be a good fit for each company. Business leaders must be realistic in regards to cost and practicality when considering adding new technology to their routines. Also, being able to effectively implement and integrate this new tech with their teams and processes will be paramount to that technology’s overall success within the company. For those who can immerse new tech into the day to day tasks in order to benefit all parties involved, including the employees and the clients, will see a far greater ROI that will benefit them in the long-run. In addition, these leaders will further excel within the field, surpass their competition, and have the tools necessary to overcome any obstacles that may arise in the industry. CCR

Chris Reyes is the Director of Special Systems at Canyon State Electric. He has more than 25 years of sales and operations leadership in the Fire Alarm and low voltage industry with Fortune 500 companies. For more information about Canyon State Electric, visit www.canyonstateelectric.com.



The New Brunswick Performing Arts Center, a 23-story building that includes apartments and two theaters, opened in September 2019 in New Jersey.

By Thomas Renner

New Jersey project unites residences, theaters in 23-story performing arts center


fter a decade of planning and construction and six months after opening, the development agency of the New Brunswick Performing Arts Center ran into a wall no one could see coming and temporarily halted shows at the New Jersey facility. The show will go on eventually at the Center, a $172 million high-rise that opened in September 2019. For now, COVID-19 caused both theaters at the NBPAC to go dark in March. No firm date has been set for re-opening. 78


Photos courtesy of Elkus Manfredi Architects


“We have a lot of opportunities to create social separation,” says Christopher Paladino, President of the New Brunswick Development Corp., which spearheaded the project. “But given that patrons are routinely older, how are they going to feel about going back to these spaces. A lot will depend on when a vaccine comes and how effective it is. We will eventually get back our routine. But it is not like throwing a switch back on. It’s something we can’t control.” Designed by Elkus Manfredi Architects, the Performing Arts Center unites 207 upscale apartments, two theaters, a bar, lobby and three rehearsal spaces into one 23-story building about 40 miles south of Manhattan. Paladino says the project required 10 years to put all the pieces in place. Construction began in 2017. Paladino estimates the facility will create about $20 million for the local economy. “We wanted to build an arts center that had no debt, and we had to do some unique things to do that,” Paladino says. “We built a sophisticated theater that doesn’t charge rent to the groups that use it. Hopefully, we will get back to some semblance of normal, pre-COVID.”

Mixing it up

Architects faced a challenge in constructing the residences on top of the theaters and maintaining the proper acoustic isolation between them. The residences are separately owned and different entities, but share infrastructure. “One of the main challenges was making sure there was good acoustic separation between the theaters and the other uses of the building,” says Andrew Goetze AIA, Project Manager for Elkus Manfredi Architects. “There are a lot of mixed but separated issues.” Goetze says the structural model with the apartment tower on top of open spaces required creative approaches to the building’s structure. “DeSimone Engineering, the structural engineer on the project, designed transfer girders and thickened slabs in the concrete structure that redirected the tower loads. They also designed large transfer trusses for the steel structure to keep the audience spaces in the theaters column-free.”

Residences and theaters

The concept to combine residences and theaters into one structure is not new. “We weren’t breaking new ground,” Paladino says. He cited residences at The Museum of Modern Art in New York and even Carnegie Hall, which also had resident apartments at one time. “Residential units ended up making the most sense from a design standpoint, because we built the tower over the lobby and the rehearsal spaces,” Paladino says. The apartments include studios, one-bed, one-bath, and two-bed, two-bath units. The units come with appliances, panoramic views of New Brunswick (Manhattan is visible from the roof deck) and amenities—tons of them. A rooftop pool, fitness center, demonstration kitchen, karaoke room, residents lounge and co-working and private meeting rooms are among the features that make the residences a fun place to call home. While the residential units and amenities are impressive, the unquestionable star of the show in New Brunswick are the stages where performances will be held. The main stage is the Elizabeth Ross Johnson Theater, a 463-seat proscenium theater designed to accommodate musical theater, dance, opera and dramatic theater. The Arthur Laurents Theater can seat up to 252 patrons for dramatic theater, dance, lectures and community and musical events. The vibes are quite different—one more grandiose, the other more intimate—but both are appealing to audiences. The 5,400-square-foot lobby adds an area where guests can mingle before shows, and includes a bar that visitors can enjoy before and after shows. Three rehearsal rooms that replicate the stages of the two theaters add a unique element and give incoming productions a space where they can practice and move on quickly to the main stage. The spaces also can be used for general classes, workshops and small public performances. The Center is home to four member companies, including the Rutgers University Mason Gross School of the Arts. George Street Playhouse, another member company, is a nationally-recognized professional producing theater company. The American Repertory Ballet and Crossroads Theatre Company, the nation’s premier African American theater, also call the NBPAC home.

The project includes acoustical roof hatches manufactured by The BILCO Company, which limit noise intrusion while also allowing for the release of smoke, heat, and gases in a burning building.

The air conditioning system for the theaters required a displacement ventilation system (designed by Barone Engineering, the HVAC engineer on the project) in which diffusers in the theater floors let conditioned air out, but the return duct work is high above the audience. “The equipment is much smaller and air is delivered at a lower velocity,” Goetze says. One of the other primary challenges was the theater design. The Elizabeth Ross Johnson Theater includes state-of-the-art theatrical systems, and the capability to allow for future expansion and evolving technology. The theater includes an 86-foot stage, 75-foot flyer tower and a trap system for moving props. An orchestra pit can accommodate up to 70 musicians. “We did pretty much what everybody wanted from the arts side and what the theater consultants recommended,” Paladino says. “We had some challenges with the acoustical wood. It came from Italy, got put into the wrong place and it became warped.”




Goetze says the completed project marries the theaters and residential elements while also maintaining appropriate separation, which will be especially critical in the post-COVID era. “I think it’s a fairly uncommon scenario to have multiple venues share a common lobby, in addition to publicly accessible rehearsal and exhibition spaces. That allows for a lot of different user experiences either separately or simultaneously. The owner has a lot of flexibility.”

Acoustical concerns

Acoustical concerns were not limited to the interior of the structure. Architects also specified eight acoustical smoke vents, manufactured by The BILCO Company, to stem the influence of exterior noise. The vents—two were 5-feet x 10-feet, the others were 5 feet, 6-inches by 12-feet—guard against noise intrusion while providing the security of automatic smoke venting. Earlier this year, BILCO unveiled a new model that offers an OITC-46 sound rating and an STC-50 sound rating. Both figures are the highest in the industry. “We were familiar with the manufacturer from previous projects and they offered the most advantageous sizes,” Goetze says. “The fire code stipulates a certain percentage of the stage area needs to be properly vented and BILCO had sizes that fit the bill.” Smoke vents allow for the escape of smoke, heat and gases in a burning building. The vents include a positive hold/release mechanism that ensures reliable operation when a fire occurs. It also automatically releases vent covers upon the melting of a 165 F (74 C) fusible link.

nearly seven years to properly arrange all the pieces of the complicated financial jigsaw puzzle. Paladino says you have to bring it together and get it done. “There are always a couple of sleepless nights and moments of holding your breath, but everybody came around.” COVID-19 is the latest obstacle for patrons of the arts in northern New Jersey who have long craved to have such a unique cultural centerpiece. Paladino promises that when visitors get to experience events at the building on a permanent basis, they will not be disappointed. “The experienced theatergoers will see that the level of comfort, the sound, and the sightlines create an experience that is second to none,” Paladino says. “The excitement the architecture creates on the street starts the experience. It is not unusual to walk past the building and see somebody rehearsing for a show. There’s a genuine excitement to create a memorable experience.” CCR

Financial hurdles

The pandemic is not the biggest hurdle the New Brunswick Performing Arts Center has faced. The more serious obstruction, one that Paladino eventually solved in 2017, revolved around funding. Paladino structured a deal that includes tax exempt cash bonds, cash contributions, and other sources that was one of the largest public-private partnership deals in state history. It took

Project at a Glance What and where: New Brunswick Performing Arts Center, New Brunswick, New Jersey Project cost: $172 million Opened: September 2019 Architect: Elkus Manfredi The building: The 23-story building includes 207 apartments, two theaters that can accommodate 715 guests, rehearsal spaces, expansive lobby, rehearsal rooms, and bar Showtime: Well, eventually. The COVID-19 pandemic caused the facility to cancel shows six months after it opened. Performances are expected to begin again this fall. Check it out: https://nbpac.org

Thomas Renner writes on building, construction, manufacturing, and other trade industry topics for publications in the United States and Canada.



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September 2020

Second to none Why Yarco Development continues to deliver the most livable multi-family neighborhoods Jonathan Cohn, CEO, Yarco


Second to none Why Yarco Development continues to deliver the most livable multi-family neighborhoods




he year was 1923. That is when the Yarco story began. Two entrepreneurial brothers-in-law, Norman Yarmo and Harry Cohn, seeing a need for professional property management services, created Yarco Development. The company’s name came from a combination of their last names—Yarmo and Cohn. Driven by their dedication to successful partnership and shared values, Yarmo and Cohn committed themselves to innovative execution of professional real estate services. Today, as Kansas City’s largest apartment management company, Yarco remains committed to their founding principles. The company’s success can be seen in its key role in managing or developing 336 real estate enterprises, representing 37,000 apartment homes and more than half a million square feet of commercial space. Its portfolio includes family apartment communities, senior apartment communities, market rate communities, and communities with affordability restrictions. Of these, Yarco and its principals have been directly responsible for the creation of more than 7,000 apartments of service enriched housing, to better support the life needs of underprivileged and underserved populations. Yarco’s current activities focuses on development and management of multi-family and mixed-use communities. If you are looking for a qualifier for its success, look no further than its wealth of recognitions and awards, including The National Apartment Association’s “Award of Excellence for the Best Affordable Property in the United States,” the Kansas City Business Journal ’s “Best Places to Work Award” and “Capstone Award” (twice), the

Society of Financial Service Professionals’ “Kansas City Business Ethics Award,” the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s “Property of the Year Award,” the Missouri Governor’s “Award for Excellence in Affordable Housing” (twice), and many others. We sat down with CEO Jonathan Cohn to to learn about one of Yarco’s current signature projects, Second + Delaware— one of the largest Passive House-certified buildings in the world—and get his perspective on the future of multi-family.

Give us a snapshot of the Second + Delaware brand?

Second + Delaware is built to a distinctly higher standard. At the community, you will find spacious, light-filled residences where the design delivers unprecedented thermal comfort, lasting quality and Kansas City’s most livable neighborhood at your doorstep. We benefit from the best of the past, while building for a lifestyle that benefits the future. Second + Delaware is one of the largest Passive House buildings in the world, which means that it uses 80%-90% less energy than conventional buildings and has superior indoor



air quality. The green roofs and courtyards are designed to be extensions of living space, offering places to connect, garden and enjoy the Kansas City skyline, and the sun setting over the Missouri River.

What type of consumers are you targeting?

We are targeting potential residents who are mindful not only about their immediate surroundings, but about how the choices they make in terms how to live impacts the world around them.

How does the overall design of your homes cater to what today’s consumers are looking for?

The Passive House model is one that focuses on health—not only personal health, but the health of our environment. Before, during and after the COVID-19 pandemic, these priorities truly matter. Things like superior air filtration systems, easy access to an abundance of outdoor spaces—i.e., the large central courtyard or rooftop gardens—and other elements like that, really appeal to a more health-conscious consumer. And from an environmental standpoint, our energy efficiency makes our footprint on Earth much lighter than most.

What are some of the adjustments you made with/to your business model surrounding the recent state of events? Luckily, we have not had to change much because the project was nearly complete when COVID-19 hit. We did experience some construction/material delays, but no major set-backs. Leasing has also been going very well with virtual tours and people being more accustomed to searching for their next place to live online.

What kind of conversations are you having with your customers? Most prospective residents are excited about the idea of living downtown, particularly in Kansas City’s River Market—and



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they are looking for something truly special, which brings them to us. Many customer conversations are oriented around the features and benefits of the Passive House model. We tell people to imagine it as if the building was wearing a warm wool sweater—highly insulated and comfortable. Otherwise, the standard questions around price, amenities and such have dominated our recent conversations.

What role should a brand play in being a leader in a distressed market like this?

We believe as a result of implementing Passive House design and construction methods at Second + Delaware, where the community consumes 80%-90% less energy than other buildings, not only do residents benefit, but so does the greater good. The triple-glazed windows and 16-inch thick, insulated walls provide a pleasant, interior temperature year-round. When scaled globally, Second + Delaware has the potential to remove 10 billion tons of CO2 from the atmosphere annually—a meaningful step to solving global climate change. Significant approaches like this are what creates change in our market and beyond.

What is the best piece of advice you can offer to other multifamily brands in how to deal with the unthinkable like this?

Accomplishing anything extraordinary comes down to the experience and resources of the team. Building this special property in this environment felt unthinkable at times, to be sure. But as Archimedes said, “Give me a lever long enough and fulcrum on which to place it, and I shall move the world.” Our mission to build this amazing development is our fulcrum. And our carefully assembled, world-class team is our lever. Yarco is extremely fortunate to have Arnold Development and Berkshire Hathaway as our partners in Second + Delaware, and Crossland Construction as our GC, and a host of many more amazing teammates too long to list.



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Give us a snapshot of today’s multifamily market from your perspective.

Generally, renter demand remains strong. While submarkets vary, the multi-family sector today will see a bit of a slow down on new construction due to various fallout effects of our struggling economy, but the data indicates that multifamily real estate will remain strong in the medium- and long-term.

What is likely to happen next?

People’s daily lives are continuing on. People are adapting. The nature of work is adapting, too, but a growing number of people will still benefit from the features and flexibility of leasing an apartment home. Leases expire, jobs change and so on, so we anticipate the multifamily market will be just fine.

What trends are defining the space?

The past few years have seemed like an arms race when it comes to on-site amenities. We are still seeing a bit of that, but

The past few years have seemed like an arms race when it comes to on-site amenities. We are still seeing a bit of that, but people are also starting to see through the amenities as just marketing tactics to get them in the door. people are also starting to see through the amenities as just marketing tactics to get them in the door. Renters will continue to be more aware of the health of their environment, and increasingly appreciate authenticity from the manager/resident dialogue.

What is your short-term strategy? Long-term?

The short-term strategy is to leverage new approaches to business as needed in this COVID world, and use those to further provide the best possible experience for our residents— across all communities. Long-term, we remain committed to real estate opportunities that can dramatically improve or transform lives and the community for the better. For 98 years, we have always put people and mission before profit, and we will continue that focus.

What is the most defining part of the units/location?

Perhaps the most defining qualities about the units themselves are the oversized, high-efficiency windows that allow for an abundance of natural light, combined with the 16-inch thick concrete floors and walls. While some think of concrete as cold and uninviting, the thickness and insulation creates thermal control, producing a warmth and durability that we think residents will love. When it comes to location, Second + Delaware sits right on the Missouri River in KC’s River Market neighborhood. One of the oldest and most charming in all of the KC metro. The building is a short walk away from the streetcar, which can take riders several miles north/south for free (an expansion will take them even further south by 2024). There are also numerous shops, restaurants, the largest Farmer’s Market in the city, and much more, right at our doorstep.

Walk us through how and why it is designed the way it is?

Early 20th Century residential buildings in big cities featured large, protected, landscaped courtyards where urban homes were oases to escape the hustle and bustle of the city. Second + Delaware builds on that model, and includes best practices in energy efficiency and long-lasting construction for residents’ ultimate comfort. We saw tremendous value in that approach from the beginning, and designed the property to benefit from it.



What is the biggest issue today related to the construction side of the business? Material delays and generally higher costs due to COVID.

Talk about sustainability. What are you doing?

Passive House is all about sustainability. We are in it 100%.

What type of opportunities do you see moving ahead?

We could see repeating the Passive House design and construction process in other locations. Building for life and quality versus quick turn projects is what we foresee moving ahead.

What trends are you seeing/expecting?

A continued emphasis on high quality air filtration, easy access to outdoors/open spaces, and fewer amenities that do not bring significant value such as tanning beds.

People’s daily lives are continuing on. People are adapting. The nature of work is adapting, too, but a growing number of people will still benefit from the features and flexibility of leasing an apartment home. What is the biggest item on your to-do list right now?

Finish up the project and get fully leased. We are close.

What is the secret to creating a “must visit” location in today’s competitive landscape?

Consider what your audience wants, not just today or tomorrow, but years from now. They may not know it yet, but as change agents, we must consider the long-term. The Henry Ford quote, “If I asked the people what they

wanted, they would’ve said a faster horse,” is exactly what I mean here.

Tell us what makes the brand so unique?

Our approach to design and construction with Passive House, and the way we have chosen to build the brand based off of that. Instead of a printed brochure on regular paper, for example, we used plantable seed paper that can grow into wild flowers. We are working to be intentional and live our brand ethos every step of the way. MH

One-on-One with... Jonathan Cohn, CEO of Yarco Company Inc. Describe a typical day.

One of the things I love most about a career developing and managing real estate is the amazing variety of tasks and challenges—there is really no typical day. Even though each month includes similar components, from day to day I have to focus on that day’s most important challenge or opportunity. Especially in the last several months, there has been a lot going on to navigate these challenging times, and it has taken more attention and dedication than ever.

When we can impact veterans or those less fortunate by providing them with a home is what is most rewarding to me. The second is Phoenix Family Housing Corporation (PFHC), which provides sustainable social services to at-risk residents, and improves the quality of life for more than 5,000 people each year. PFHC was co-founded by Yarco principals more than two decades ago, and has long since become an independent charity. It still remains a passion of ours to support and promote their activities, and further their mission.

What is the most rewarding part of your job?

What was the best advice you ever received?

Without a doubt, it is finding ways to consistently stay true to Yarco’s roots, which are grounded in helping others. Two particular undertakings stand out. The first is St. Michael's Veterans Center Apartments, a Kansas City campus of permanent affordable housing and supportive services where 130 formerly homeless veterans now reside and are rebuilding their lives with our help.

Yarco founder Harry Cohn told me, “No difficult problem can be properly faced without more patience and grit than you think you have. But you do have it.”

What is the best thing a client ever said to you?

“I don’t know how we could have done any of this without you.” — The late Reverend Harold Anderson, client and business partner.





September 2020

Safety net

Why St. Barnabas Hospital is a beacon of hope for the Bronx, New York

Richard Simone, CHC president and CEO, Central Consulting

By Michael J. Pallerino



Safety net Why St. Barnabas Hospital is a beacon of hope for the Bronx, New York


hen the local community views you as the place where hope lives, you know the work you do is important. That is the mindset officials at St. Barnabas Hospital employed when they decided to approach construction upgrades and improvements for the 422-bed, not-for-profit, nonsectarian, acute care community hospital and Level 2 Trauma Center in the Bronx, New York. The facility is authorized to treat the most critically ill and severely injured patients. For nearly a decade, Central Consulting & Contracting has been responsible for the work at St. Barnabas, along the way becoming an integral part of its construction team. Projects have included the hospital’s freestanding Steam Plant, nursing home, PET CT Scan Suite, Ambulatory Surgery Department, pharmacy relocation, main entrances and parking garage. Central Consulting’s latest project is the Bronx Center for a Healthy Community, which was completed Sept. 1. The 52,000-square-foot space, a new building across from the main campus, is home for an urgent care center; women’s clinic, infant and children’s clinic, mammography and ultrasound screening center, a gym and exercise classrooms. It also features a complete commercial kitchen for teaching the community a healthy cooking and eating lifestyle. Central Consulting worked with the hospital and its consultants through pre-construction as well as with the developer for the turnover of the space. Central managed MBE-WBE goals, scheduling,

budget, constructability and value engineering. The Central team also had to navigate challenges and delays due to COVID-19. Leading the team was Central president and CEO Richard Simone, who has more than 35 years’ experience in the construction industry. The New York and Florida-based full-service construction management and general contracting company specializes in the development of healthcare facilities and is a Certified Healthcare Constructor as recognized by the American Hospital Association. It also works with many major healthcare systems across the east coast. We sat down with him to scope out Central’s work on the St. Barnabas facility.

Tell us a little about St. Barnabas Hospital.

St. Barnabas Hospital (SBH) is a 422-bed, not-for-profit, nonsectarian, acute care “safety net” community hospital and Level 2 Trauma Center authorized to treat the most critically-ill and severely injured patients. The SBH Health System family is committed to



serving the Bronx community and ensuring patients get the best possible care. Their goal is for the community to get healthy and stay healthy, regardless of ability to pay.

Give us a snapshot of the Bronx Center for a Healthy Community project.

The Bronx Center for a Healthy Community is a new health and wellness center with a pediatric clinic, women’s clinic, women’s imaging center, urgent care, a gym, exercise rooms, a teaching kitchen, and a rooftop garden for farm-to-table cooking and recipes. Patients and community members can take healthy cooking classes, learn how to manage weight concerns, learn how to grow fruits and vegetables, and maintain healthy lifestyles with proper diet and exercise. The project will help the Bronx community for generations to come. We are proud to have been given the opportunity to be part of it.


What were the goals of the project? How did they change when the pandemic hit?

The goals of the project were to provide a state-of-the-art health and wellness center for the community. Teaching patients to be healthy, eat healthily and reduce hospital visits long-term by living healthier and making healthy choices. The lifestyle changes will help reduce obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and many other conditions. The overall project goals did not change as a result of the pandemic, but completion was delayed.

Tell us about the immediacy of the construction deadline. How did that factor into the planning? Many things were quickly out of our control due to COVID-19, limiting our ability to commit to deadlines. Each day, during the peak period in New York City, various aspects of the project had to get pushed


back, due to manpower and supply chain issues. We had 25 carpenters on site as we entered the peak, and within 2 days we were down to five. Many of the supply chain issues were directly related to materials on our critical path, which directly impacted our schedule. As an example, there were crucial components that needed to be installed by suppliers from states that had travel bans to and from New York, and some vendors simply could not send installers to the city. We continued to find work-arounds and developed a plan to quickly react to all our critical path tasks as soon as restrictions lifted. As a result, we had to complete many tasks out of sequence.

What goes into enacting a design and construction plan at that pace?

Teamwork with an all-hands-on-deck approach was imperative in facilitating

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the plans. We have been very fortunate to have a great owner, owner’s representative, architectural team, trade contractors, and dedicated employees managing the project, all working together for a common goal. Through all of this, the project team proved to be one of the best I have ever worked with.

What were some of the challenges?

We were very intentional about keeping workers safe and making them feel safe. Getting workers who were willing to work was challenging because many have young

children, pregnant wives, and elderly parents who live with them, and they were mostly concerned about their loved ones. In some areas, our supply chain saw severe impacts, as many manufacturing facilities had to close for some time, or their supply chain was interrupted, which affected their ability to complete orders. At the peak in New York City, getting personal protection equipment (PPE) for our employees and tradesman was difficult. At one point, we had a full-time person assigned to finding hand sanitizer and masks. The suppliers who had any inventory were rationing what we could get.

What special precautions (protocols) were put into place? At all our sites, we have implemented information and educational signage, social distancing, temperature checks, sanitation stations, ingress point and delivery entrance restrictions, contact tracing logs and cleaning logs. We also ensure frequent cleaning of high-touch surfaces and restroom areas, discourage tool sharing, and limit the number of workers on elevators. Of course, we have mandated masks and insist that if anyone feels sick, they must stay home.

How much of these protocols will become permanent moving forward?

I think sanitation stations, frequent cleaning of high-touch surfaces, mask-wearing, informational and educational signage, and insisting if a person is not feeling well they must stay home will be in our lives for some time to come.

How does the overall design of the center cater to what the facility managers were looking for? NK Architects are to credit for the fantastic design of the center. I believe they hit the mark on all accounts and exceeded the facility managers’ expectations. As in every project, there were some value engineering compromises at the beginning to meet the budget. However, during construction we were able to include some client requested changes and put back in some of the items we previously value engineered out.

What kind of conversations about the “new normal” are you having with your customers? Employees?

Wow. I have this conversation daily. It is changing and will continue to change. I reassure my clients that we will stay on top of the changes and in front of them when possible. We will remain nimble and flexible and implement every precaution to protect our employees’ health and well-being, our clients’ employees, their patients and visitors.



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With everything going on today, what is your short-term strategy as a firm? Long-term?

Our short-term strategy is to serve our clients, complete our current projects, and protect our tradesmen and employees to the best of our ability, no matter the cost. I am optimistic about the long-term. I believe the healthcare industry will bounce back quickly and stronger. As such, we will stay the course and look for opportunities and new market areas for expansion. We also plan to continue with our expansion plans to Florida, which we were working on pre-COVID.

Healthcare systems have stepped up to help our nation get through this pandemic, regardless of the cost. I can not think of any other sector that is required to help the nation through this crisis, despite the financial impact they may suffer. This same determination will help them thrive going forward.

What is the biggest issue today related to construction?

I believe a major issue we are facing in construction is limited interest from younger people to learn the trade. In many instances, those who would be interested are being

sustainability via HVAC systems, lighting, and finish materials. Healthcare facilities and hospitals are some of the top energy consumers. Most infrastructure is running 24/7/365, so making good choices on equipment that gets the job done and conserves as much energy as possible is paramount. Many health systems have an energy manager primarily focused on reducing energy consumption, which helps the bottom line, but also helps reduce their carbon footprint. It is a win-win. Construction projects generate an astonishing percentage of the waste that goes to landfills, so we try to cut down on the amount of waste we send to landfills as well. We try to fabricate components off-site whenever possible, which cuts down on waste. To this end, we recently entered into a joint venture agreement with a modular manufacturer and can now offer our clients complete modular solutions when appropriate.

What type of opportunities do you see moving ahead?

I am optimistic. I see us moving beyond this and being better than before. I do not know what the opportunities will be, but I am confident that we will be able to react to them when they present themselves.

What is the best piece of advice you can offer to other firms on how to deal with what is happening right now?

In my opinion, stay with what you know best and trust in what you do. We have been through other economic downturns and other seemingly devasting events, like 9/11. We have always come back, and we will continue to come back. Failure is not an option.

Give us a rundown of what you are seeing in the healthcare construction industry. I am seeing many health systems taking a step back to reevaluate their capital projects and downsize some of their immediate plans.


steered to other career paths because being a tradesman is not what most parents want for their children. The few who are going into the business are learning it on paper with no real field experience. Construction is still a “start at the bottom and learn your way to the top” business, and most younger folks do not seem to be willing to put in the time.

Talk about the continued importance of sustainability today. What are you doing?

Sustainability is very important. If we could all cut our carbon footprint by some percentage, it would help tremendously. When our firm leads the design team on design-build projects, we work with the owner to implement


From what you are seeing out there now, how would you say the industry is handling construction in this new landscape? From what I see, the overall industry has done a great job with the new landscape by using technology to manage and implement new COVID-19 standards. For an industry that is always been hands-on and had to meet in the field, we have very quickly implemented video conferencing, virtual punch lists and site visits. It is pretty amazing.

What are some of the things you expect to see if and when we get back to any type of normalcy?

I expect we will see a COVID-19 or pandemic hospital design, whereby a hospital will quickly triage and separate patients based

on their symptoms. I am not a healthcare administrator, but logically, if you have a highly contagious patient, you don’t want that patient in the middle of your emergency department sitting next to someone with a broken finger. I also foresee more flexibility in room designs in order to quickly convert them to ICU and isolation beds as needed. On the infrastructure side, I see systems looking to upgrade their medical gas infrastructure, specifically the oxygen systems, storage, and distribution and expect more will soon. Also, HVAC system designs

that lend flexibility to making spaces more negative or positive will potentially be required on a moment’s notice. In fact, we are currently working with a couple of hospitals to incorporate these changes/upgrades. Another expectation I have is that more health systems serving rural communities will build a network to have more available healthcare on a smaller scale immediate to their patients: the micro-hospital model. The micro-hospital model would also reduce the stress on systems’ base hospitals during events like COVID-19.

What should we expect to see six, 12 months down the road?

Expect to see more changes, as this is all new. Even the world’s smartest scientists have not yet come up with the right formula. As case numbers in some areas continue to rise, and we have hard data about what works and what does not, things will change, and we will continue adapting to the “new normal.” I think public places are going to have to look at their HVAC systems and filtration methods. HC

One-on-One with... Richard Simone, President & CEO, Central Consulting & Contracting Describe a typical day.

What was the best advice you ever received?

Pre-COVD-19 was very different from today. However, I try to keep my schedule and interactions with clients, partners, and employees as normal as possible. Typically, I am at my desk by 6 a.m. I am very hands-on, so I like to stay up to speed on all our projects. I usually make a round of calls early, often speaking with project staff during their drive to work to get updates. Then, most days, I have scheduled conference calls and video calls. I focus on strategic planning, new business, in-house estimates, and financial updates throughout the day. Above all else, I am a construction guy, and I love building, so I visit sites as much as possible. Since the pandemic, I have cut back on visits.

I have received plenty of great advice over the years. If I had to pick one, it would be when I was very young and playing ice hockey, struggling because I was not the most talented player on the team. My oldest brother, a great baseball player himself, told me once: “What you lack in talent, you have to make up in hustle and desire.” I went on to become captain of that team even though I was never the most talented. This is true in all aspects of life and business; hard work and determination always pay off.

What is the biggest item on your to-do list right now? To continue to provide excellent service for our client base and find new opportunities.

What is the most rewarding part of your job? Building great projects for great clients, knowing I have a great group of talented and dedicated employees behind me, and some of our projects leaving a legacy are very rewarding. Most importantly, many of my clients and business associates, from engineers to architects to sub-contractors, have become lifelong friends. I am blessed to have many 30-plus year relationships.

What is the best thing a client ever said to you? “You got the job.” On a serious note, sometimes it is not what they say, it is what they do. I have had two clients—one is St. Barnabas Hospital—honor me at their annual Gala, which does not often happen for contractors. To me, knowing our clients trust us to always do the right thing for them, no matter what, is very satisfying. One of the best things a client has ever said to me was an unexpected compliment. When he was about to introduce me to his boss, before the meeting, he said, “You will get along great; he’s stupid smart like you.”

How do you like to spend your downtime? I love to golf. It is my addiction. I also like doing projects at my home. (As background, I started as a carpenter more years ago than I care to remember). I tend to spend most of my downtime being active.



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Tackling the impossible How Turner Construction built a COVID-19 care facility in just 28 days

Tennessee Governor Bill Lee, at the Nashville General Hospital at Meharry Medical College.

By Paul Lawson



Tackling the impossible How Turner Construction built a COVID-19 care facility in just 28 days


n a construction project, time is precious. No matter how many months or years are budgeted to complete a project, there are always unforeseen obstacles that threaten to throw it off schedule. Finishing an 18-month project—even just a few days ahead of schedule—often is a cause for celebration.

As our country confronts the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, time is a luxury that we do not have. So, when the US Army Corps of Engineers approached Turner Construction Company to work on an urgent project—a $7.2-million overflow facility for COVID-19 patients in Nashville, Tennessee—it knew from the outset that it be working under much tighter time constraints



than any other project it had been involved with. Turner also understood that the moment called for the company to step up and do its part to help. Normally, a project of this scope would take about nine months to complete. But because of the unpredictability and rapid spread of the COVID-19 virus, the project

needed to be completed as soon as possible in case the rooms needed to go into immediate use. Turner was given 29 days to build the facility. It did it in 28. Unlike many of the other COVID-19 alternate care facilities built around the country this year, Turner built this one inside an existing medical building—Nashville General

Hospital at Meharry Medical College, an 89-year-old facility that was last renovated in the 1970s. Working inside a fully operational hospital brought its own set of organizational challenges, from overcoming the structural limitations of the older facility to making sure that its work did not interfere with the hospital’s crucial job of caring for its patients. The Turner team demolished 15,000 square feet of storage space on the hospital’s eighth floor, which had housed hospital beds and medical equipment for decades, and built 40 new single-patient rooms. These spaces were separated by partitions and given negative-pressure airflow to prevent the airborne spread of COVID-19. It also built infrastructure on the second floor to create negative-pressure air space for 27 existing beds and installed a new HVAC system to support the entire 24,000 square feet of COVID-19 treatment rooms.

Running the clock…

To accomplish this project in the allotted time, work ran on-site for 24 hours a day, seven days a week—in three, eight-hour shifts a day for Turner staff and two 12-hour shifts for our trade partners. The Turner team had to accelerate every aspect of the project to hit necessary milestones. Work that normally would take place over three days often needed to be done in a single shift. This sometimes meant that two trade partners would be working simultaneously, starting on different ends of the floor and meeting in the middle. Because of time constraints, Turner used design-build project delivery, collaborating with the architect, Earl Swensson Associates (ESa), from the beginning of the process and addressing any necessary changes as a team. It was a true collaborative relationship. It provided input to the design team based on its knowledge of what would work best for the site, and they were incredibly receptive. Turner received the original design within 72 hours of signing the contract. A construction administrator from the design team was on-site constantly, so if it needed a revision to the design, changes were made




that night so that it had updated plans the next morning. Upon visiting the site for the first time, the Turner team identified several critical items that needed to be addressed immediately so that it could work effectively and hit its goals. Chief among them was a way to transport construction materials back and forth from the ground to our work sites on the second and eighth floors. Two of the hospital’s elevators were not working, and the stairwell was not a suitable alternative because of the extra time it would take to bring materials up and down. On a project with a conventional schedule, Turner would have considered installing a buck hoist on the side of the building; however, it would have taken up to eight weeks to design and build one, which was more time than it had for the entire project. Turner decided that the only workable option within the time available was to fix one of the hospital's elevators and install a trash chute—an unexpected extra task that

Nashville Mayor John Cooper at General Hospital at Meharry Medical College

its team had to make time for. The team also cut windows into the side of the building in order to bring large materials inside via a hydraulic crane. Throughout this project, the reality of COVID-19 was never far from the construction. In fact, after starting work, Turner learned that it was much closer than it had previously realized: The seventh floor, directly below it, contained a prison population with COVID-19 patients. Whenever work had to be done in the ceiling of the seventh floor, the Turner team made advance arrangements with hospital administrators and wardens, allowing them time to move patients and sanitize the space. Because the patients were still incarcerated, they followed the same protocols as when they work in a jail or prison, accounting for any tools on the site so that they wouldn’t be left behind unknowingly and used as contraband. The team also took extensive precautions to avoid spreading COVID-19, not

just among their workers, but to others in the hospital as well. Crew members were screened each morning, had their temperature taken, wore PPE masks, goggles, hard hats and gloves, washed their hands regularly and practiced social distancing to the extent that they were able. Under normal circumstances, a construction project is like a marathon, where the finish line is reached through steady progress and endurance. This project was more like a 100-yard dash—fast, intense and exhilarating. Tackling what was seemingly an impossible task kept us excited and laser-focused on our goal. As stressful as the work might sound, the morale among the team on this project was very high—in fact, one of the most positive work atmospheres the Turner has been a part of. The entire team was grateful to participate in a project like this. During a period when so many things seem uncertain and uncontrollable, it is nice to feel like you are part of the solution. FC

Paul Lawson is a healthcare project executive for Turner Construction Company in Nashville, Tennessee. He joined Turner in 2005 as a project engineer and previously served as the Special Projects Division (SPD) senior project manager.



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WANT TO ATTEND AS AN END-USER OR SPONSOR... Wednesday, Jan 13th, 2021:

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Contact David Corson 678.765.6550 or e-mail davidc@ccr-mag.com Sponsored by:

End-Users (retailers, hoteliers, restaurateurs, etc.) will receive complimentary registration in exchange for participation



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INSIDE THIS ISSUE: President’s Message........................pg 3 Member Directory..........................pg 4-5 Milestone Memberships..................pg 6

Member Benefit: Member Directory..... pg 7 Training Program Workshop................. pg 7 Next Gen LinkedIn Community......... pg 7


Why Pick an RCA Member Contractor? By Steve Bachman, RCA President; Retail Construction Services

When asked to write an article for this edition of The Retail Contractor newsletter, there were many topics that crossed my mind, but probably the most relevant in this “time of uncertainty” was to write something that sought out “normalcy”. Over the last few years, the state of “retail construction” was a flurry of activity. The phrase “fast and furious” had multiple meanings. There was so much work out there, it only made sense that there became an increasing number of general contracting companies jumping into the business of building stores and restaurants – all sorts of new “gunslingers” in town. For many of us who have been around this business for 20, 30, 40 or more years, we have seen these cycles before, so everyone accepts this state of affairs and we adjust. However, some of us have also recognized that when things change and uncertainty rears its ugly head, we seek assurances. Relationships become more important, there is a “flight-to-quality”, service really matters, and who we can count on makes more of a difference.

Our organization is over 30 years old, and if we examine not only the organization’s core values, but also what it takes to become a member and what YOU get as client or customer of an RCA member, I offer the following. We have a rigorous vetting process which analyzes prospective companies seeking membership to the RCA: • How long have they been in this business? (It must be at least 5 years.) • What sort of safety record do they have? • Are they bondable, and at what type of rate? • Do they treat their subcontractors and vendors fairly? • What do the industry experts – their client references – have to say about them? • Do they invest in their people? • Are they licensed where they work and where they advertise they are? • What overall reputation do they have? (Continued on next page)

RCA’s mission is to promote professionalism and integrity in retail construction through industry leadership in education, information exchange, and jobsite safety.


When things change and uncertainty rears its ugly head, we seek assurances. (Continued from page 1 ) The RCA has a Board of Directors who are industry champions respected by their GC peers, and who are willing to work toward the greater good of the membership and those we serve. We also have an Advisory Board that is made up of some of the Who’s Who in the retail, restaurant, architectural, and real estate community that bring incredibly valuable insights, perspectives, and calls to action for the organization. One example of this in recent years that comes to mind was an industry Listening Event sponsored by the RCA, attended by many of YOU in the retail/restaurant community and moderated by an RCA Advisory Board representative from FMI (a leading consultant organization for the construction industry). During the event, the moderator learned from YOU – our client base – “what is the most important thing that would set an RCA member company apart from all

the other GC’s in this business?” The answer was an enlightened one: “a thoroughly trained professional Superintendent that was familiar with all of the nuances unique to our industry”. So, YOU, the client had spoken; We listened. We responded with a robust RCA Superintendent Training Program developed with the input of various member employees and Advisory Board members and facilitated by FMI. These are just a few examples of what sets an RCA member apart in our industry. As a Board, we also continue to monitor the performance of our member companies to ensure they meet our standards of excellence and maintain the reputation for which the RCA is known. We also help them grow and better themselves, now and for the future. So, when the question is asked WHY chose a RCA member company, maybe the answer should be WHY NOT?


WANT TO ATTEND AS AN END-USER OR SPONSOR... Wednesday, Jan 13th, 2021:

Thursday, Jan 14th, 2021:

Keynote Speaker & Virtual Table Top Exhibit

Keynote Speaker, One-On-One Meetings

Contact David Corson 678.765.6550 or e-mail davidc@ccr-mag.com Sponsored by:

End-Users (retailers, hoteliers, restaurateurs, etc.) will receive complimentary registration in exchange for participation





President’s Message Steve Bachman, President, Retail Construction Services

What’s Next? Steve Bachman

In mid-March, this year I made the decision as many of you did to have your office employees begin working remotely. I had anticipated, and even shared with my CFO that I was taking the “long view” and thought that this would last until August or maybe a little later. I even went so far as to compose the following internal out-of-office reply:

 ello RCS Family. I understand that we all face much uncertainty, but H we can choose to face that challenge knowing that those that have gone before us dealt with many issues that were similar whether it be pandemics, disease, war, or terrorism. Ultimately, we survived, persevered, and prospered as a people with much to offer our family, our fellow citizens and even those around the globe. During this “remote” period of the COVID-19 quarantine I will be in and out of the office with the others of the skeleton crew. I will attempt to reply to your email as timely as possible. You can also call my cell if you would like to chat. My best to you, your family, and those around you; stay safe and healthy. SB In looking back on this note, and the similar one I put out to those outside of the company, my only reaction now is, “Who knew”? One of the truly unique and special aspects of being a member of the RCA is the relationships and bonds that I and many others have formed over the years. Some of these relationships are strong, trusting, and noncompetitive in this “competitive” business; I know this from first-hand experience. As we have negotiated through the pandemic and social chaos that has gripped our country, we have hosted a collection of webinars for our membership. I have witnessed these as being informative, mutually beneficial, and openly honest – what a gift. I have had numerous phone calls with some of the “new guys” and many of the old guard seeking advice and counsel, trying to figure out how to navigate the current situation. The RCA Board has had numerous discussions over the last few years about what we need to do to maintain the organization’s relevancy. One of the most poignant is diversification of our client base and our business. We will continue to ring the bell: look for other opportunities that will help you – our membership – find new avenues to use your people, skill sets, and talents to expand your horizon now and into the future. When a person makes a decision to become a business owner, it is impossible to think of everything or every circumstance that they will have to face as they ask people to come to work with them, grow a company, get married, buy their first house, start families, have kids, put kids through school, have grandkids… It is a big responsibility that none of us probably truly understood. But… think of all you have learned along the way, the knowledge base you have, and the friends and relationships you have developed. What’s next? It all depends on leadership. Take that drive, that optimism, that knowledge that only time develops and use this time to really focus on what the future CAN look like. See the opportunity in front of you and go get it.

PS-If you have any feedback or ideas for the organization, please contact me at sbachman@retailconstruction.com.

Isyol Cabrera - Edible Arrangements

Jason Miller - JCPenney Company

Mike Clancy - FMI

Jeff Montang - JLM Retail

Randy Danielson - Shakopee

Steven R. Olson, AIA - CESO, Inc.

Jason Kraus - Kohl’s

Seritage Growth Properties

Jeffrey D. Mahler, AIA - L2M, Inc.

Brad Sanders - CBRE | Skye Group

Mdewankaton Sioux Community

Charles Ross -





Andy Bohon legislative@retailcontractors.org

Eric Berg safety@retailcontractors.org

David Martin memberbenefits@retailcontractors.org


Hunter Weekes membership@retailcontractors.org


Mike McBride Justin Elder scholarship@retailcontractors.org


Phil Eckinger sponsorship@retailcontractors.org


Jay Dorsey recruitment@retailcontractors.org

Eric Berg Carolyn Shames training@retailcontractors.org

OFFICERS President - Steve Bachman

Secretary/Treasurer - Eric Handley

Vice President - Ray Catlin

Immediate Past President - Rick Winkel

Retail Construction Services, Inc.

William A. Randolph, Inc.

Peinado Construction

Winkel Construction, Inc.

BOARD OF DIRECTORS 2023 Steve Bachman

2022 Eric Handley

2022 Eric Berg

2021 David Martin

2022 Ray Catlin

2021 Mike McBride

2021 Jay Dorsey

2021 Carolyn Shames

2021 Phil Eckinger

2021 Hunter Weekes

2023 Justin Elder

2023 Rick Winkel

2021 Jack Grothe

2023 Andy Bohon

Retail Construction Services, Inc. Gray

H.J. Martin & Son, Inc.

Peinado Construction

Westwood Contractors

Triad Retail Construction, Inc. Eckinger Construction Co. Elder-Jones, Inc. JG Construction

William A. Randolph, Inc.

Shames Construction Weekes Construction, Inc. Winkel Construction, Inc. Westwood Contractors

PAST PRESIDENTS David Weekes 1990-1992 W. L. Winkel 1993 Robert D. Benda 1994 John S. Elder 1995 Ronald M. Martinez 1996 Jack E. Sims 1997 Michael H. Ratner 1998 Barry Shames 1999 Win Johnson 2000 Dean Olivieri 2001

Thomas Eckinger 2002 James Healy 2003 Robert D. Benda 2004-2006 K. Eugene Colley 2006-2008 Matthew Schimenti 2008-2012 Art Rectenwald 2012-2014 Mike Wolff 2014-2016 Robert Moore 2016-2017 Brad Bogart 2017-2018 Rick Winkel 2018-2019




RCA Membership

RCA members must meet and maintain a series of qualifications and are approved by the Board of Directors for membership. They have been in the retail construction business as general contractors for at least five years; agree to comply with the Association’s Code of Ethics and Bylaws; are properly insured and bonded; are licensed in the states in which they do business; and have submitted letters of recommendation.

COMPANY CONTACT Acme Enterprises, Inc. Jeff Lomber Atlas Building Group Brian Boettler Beam Team Construction, Inc. Tim Hill Bogart Construction, Inc. Brad Bogart Buildrite Construction Corp. Bryan Alexander Comet Construction Bernard Keith Danzansky Commercial Contractors, Inc. Kenneth Sharkey Commonwealth Building, Inc. Frank Trainor Construction One, Inc. Bill Moberger Corstone Contractors LLC Mark Tapert David A. Nice Builders Brian Bacon De Jager Construction, Inc. Dan De Jager Desco Professional Builders, Inc. Bob Anderson Diamond Contractors Lori Perry DLP Construction Dennis Pigg, Jr. E.C. Provini, Co., Inc. Joseph Lembo Eckinger Construction Company Philip Eckinger EDC Christopher Johnson ELAN General Contracting Inc. Adrian Johnson Elder-Jones, Inc. Justin Elder Encore Construction, Inc. Joe McCafferty Engineered Structures, Inc. Mike Magill Peinado Construction Ray Catlin Fi Companies Kevin Bakalian Fiorilli Construction, Inc. Jeffrey Troxell Fortney & Weygandt, Inc. Greg Freeh Fred Olivieri Construction Company Dean Olivieri Frontier Building Corp. Andrew Goggin Fulcrum Construction, LLC Willy Rosner Go Green Construction, Inc. Anthony Winkco Gray Robert Moore H.J. Martin & Son, Inc. David Martin Hanna Design Group Jason Mick Hardesty & Associates Scott Hardesty Harmon Construction, Inc. William Harmon Hays Construction Company, Inc. Roy Hays Healy Construction Services, Inc. James Healy Howard Immel Inc. Pete Smits International Contractors, Inc. Bruce Bronge J. G. Construction Jack Grothe JAG Building Group Matt Allen James Agresta Carpentry Inc. James Agresta KBE Building Corporation Michael Kolakowski Kerricook Construction, Inc. Ann Smith Lakeview Construction, Inc. Kent Moon M. Cary, Inc. Robert Epstein Management Resources Systems, Inc. Doug Marion Marco Contractors, Inc. Martin Smith Market Contractors Kerry Lobbestael National Building Contractors William Corcoran National Contractors, Inc. Michael Dudley Pinnacle Commercial Development, Inc. Dennis Rome Prime Retail Services, Inc. Donald Bloom PWI Construction, Inc. Jeff Price R.E. Crawford Construction LLC Jeffrey T. Smith Rectenwald Brothers Construction, Inc. Art Rectenwald Retail Construction Services, Inc. Stephen Bachman Retail Contractors of Puerto Rico Sean Pfent Rockford Construction Co. Thomas McGovern Russco, Inc. Matthew Pichette Sachse Construction and Development Corp. Jeff Katkowsky

PHONE STATE EMAIL MEMBER SINCE 810-499-7127 MI jlomber@acme-enterprises.com 2009 636-368-5234 MO bboettler@abgbuilds.com 2017 770-442-2534 GA timhill@thebeamteam.com 2019 949-453-1400 CA brad@bogartconstruction.com 2008 770-971-0787 GA bryan@buildriteconstruction.com 2013 561-672-8310 FL barney@danzansky.com 2016 616-842-4540 MI ken.t.sharkey@teamcci.net 1990 617-770-0050 MA frankt@combuild.com 1992 614-235-0057 OH wmoberger@constructionone.com 2015 360-862-8316 WA Mark@corstonellc.com 2019 757-566-3032 VA bbacon@davidnicebuilders.com 2011 616-530-0060 MI dandj@dejagerconstruction.com 1990 860-870-7070 CT banderson@descopro.com 1995 816-650-9200 MO loriperry@diamondcontractors.org 2015 770-887-3573 GA dpigg@dlpconstruction.com 2008 732-739-8884 NJ jlembo@eprovini.com 1992 330-453-2566 OH phil@eckinger.com 1994 804-897-0900 VA cjohnson@edcweb.com 1998 619-284-4174 CA ajohnson@elangc.com 2010 952-345-6069 MN justin@elderjones.com 1990 410-573-5050 MD joe@encoreconstruction.net 2018 208-362-3040 ID mikemagill@esiconstruction.com 2016 972-972-4020 TX ray@fapeinado.com 2020 732-727-8100 NJ kbakalian@ficompanies.com 2017 216-696-5845 OH jtroxell@fio-con.com 2019 440-716-4000 OH gfreeh@fortneyweygandt.com 2013 330-494-1007 OH dean@fredolivieri.com 1992 305-692-9992 FL agoggin@fdllc.com 2018 770-612-8005 GA wrosner@fulcrumconstruction.com 2014 412-367-5870 PA anthony@ggc-pgh.com 2017 714-491-1317 CA ramoore@gray.com 2005 920-494-3461 WI david@hjmartin.com 2016 847-719-0370 IL jmick@hannadesigngroup.com 2016 949-723-2230 CA scott@hardestyassociates.com 2020 812-346-2048 IN bill.harmon@harmonconstruction.com 2017 303-794-5469 CO r.hays@haysco.biz 2002 708-396-0440 IL jhealy@healyconstructionservices.com 1996 920-468-8208 WI psmits@immel-builds.com 2018 630-834-8043 IL bbronge@iciinc.com 1995 909-993-9332 CA JackG@jgconstruction.com 1998 239-540-2700 FL matta@jagbuilding.com 2019 201-498-1477 NJ jim.agresta@jacarpentryinc.com 2013 860-284-7110 CT mkolakowski@kbebuilding.com 1998 440-647-4200 OH ann@kerricook.com 2012 262-857-3336 WI kent@lvconstruction.com 1998 631-501-0024 NY repstein@mcaryinc.com 2014 336-861-1960 NC dmarion@mrs1977.com 1992 724-741-0300 PA marty@marcocontractors.com 1994 503-255-0977 OR kerryl@marketcontractors.com 2019 651-288-1900 MN bill@nbcconstruction.us 2013 952-881-6123 MN mdudley@ncigc.com 2018 732-528-0080 NJ dennis@pinnaclecommercial.us 2012 866-504-3511 GA dbloom@primeretailservices.com 2014 480-461-0777 AZ price@pwiconstruction.com 2003 941-907-0010 FL jeffs@recrawford.com 2011 724-772-8282 PA art@rectenwald.com 1996 651-704-9000 MN sbachman@retailconstruction.com 1998 586-725-4400 MI spfent@rcofusa.com 1996 616-285-6933 MI info@rockfordconstruction.com 2014 508-674-5280 MA mattp@russcoinc.com 1995 248-647-4200 MI jkatkowsky@sachseconstruction.com 2009 (Continued on page 5)



Scheiner Commercial Group, Inc. Schimenti Construction Company, Inc. Shames Construction Co., Ltd. Singleton Construction, LLC Solex Contracting Southwestern Services Sullivan Construction Company Taylor Brothers Construction Company, Inc. TDS Construction, Inc. Thomas-Grace Construction, Inc. Timberwolff Construction, Inc. Tom Rectenwald Construction, Inc. Trainor Commercial Construction, Inc. Travisano Construction, LLC Tri-North Builders, Inc. Triad Retail Construction Warwick Construction, Inc. WDS Construction Weekes Construction, Inc. Westwood Contractors, Inc. William A. Randolph, Inc. Winkel Construction, Inc. Wolverine Building Group Woods Construction, Inc. Vogel Plumbing, Inc.

Joe Scheiner Matthew Schimenti Carolyn Shames Denise Doczy-Delong Gerald Allen John S. Lee Amanda Sullivan Jeff Chandler Robert Baker Don Harvieux Mike Wolff Aaron Rectenwald John Taylor Peter J. Travisano David Brown Jay Dorsey Walt Watzinger Ben Westra Hunter Weekes Mike McBride Tony Riccardi Rick Winkel Michael Houseman John Bodary Brian Hogan

719-487-1600 914-244-9100 925-606-3000 740-756-7331 951-308-1706 817-921-2466 954-484-3200 812-379-9547 941-795-6100 651-342-1298 909-949-0380 724-452-8801 415-259-0200 412-321-1234 608-204-7227 281-485-4700 832-448-7000 920-356-1255 864-233-0061 817-302-2050 847-856-0123 352-860-0500 616-949-3360 586-939-9991 517-528-8990


joe@scheinercg.com 2012 mschimenti@schimenti.com 1994 cshames@shames.com 1994 denisedelong@singletoncontruction.net 2012 jerry@solexcontracting.com 2015 JLee@southwesternservices.com 2017 amanda@buildwithsullivan.com 2012 Jeff.Chandler@TBCCI.com 2014 inbox@tdsconstruction.com 1994 don.harvieux@thomas-grace.com 2012 mike@timberwolff.com 2008 arectenwald@trcgc.net 2010 john.taylor@trainorconstruction.com 2012 pj@travisanocontruction.com 2015 dbrown@tri-north.com 2015 j.dorsey@triadrc.com 2013 walt@warwickconstruction.com 2008 bwestra@wdsconstruction.net 2019 hweekes@weekesconstruction.com 1990 mikem@westwoodcontractors.com 1990 tony.riccardi@warandolph.com 2011 rickw@winkel-construction.com 1990 mhouseman@wolvgroup.com 2012 jbodary@woodsconstruction.com 1996 bhogan@vogelplumbing.com 2020

Visit retailcontractors.org to view the profile of each RCA member company. Click on “Find a Contractor” on the home page to search the member list. Please notify the RCA Office (800-847-5085 or info@retailcontractors.org) of any changes to your contact information.




Milestone Memberships




Congratulations to our members celebrating milestone membership anniversaries! We appreciate your ongoing support of the RCA!


• Commercial Contractors, Inc. • De Jager Construction, Inc. • Elder-Jones, Inc. • Weekes Construction, Inc. • Westwood Contractors, Inc. • Winkel Construction, Inc.


• Desco Professional Builders, Inc. • International Contractors, Inc. • Russco, Inc.




Years • Construction One, Inc. • Diamond Contractors • Solex Contracting • Travisano Construction, LLC





• ELAN General Contracting Inc. • Tom Rectenwald Construction, Inc.

Training Program Workshop

Member Benefit: Member Directory Each year, RCA partners with Commercial Construction & Renovation to produce and distribute a directory of RCA members. The directory includes a listing of contact information for each RCA member and members can upgrade their listing with a half-page, full color ad for $300.00. The directory will be inserted in the December 2020 issue of Commercial Construction & Renovation and will be distributed to over 100,000 exposures/ subscribers (retailers, restaurateurs, GCs, etc.), made available at the RCA booth at trade shows, and posted on both the RCA and CCR websites. Contact carol@ retailcontractors.org for more information or to reserve your space. The deadline to reserve is November 20; ads are due November 25, 2020.

RCA is hosting a Superintendent Training Program workshop in Dallas, Thursday, December 10 and Friday, December 11, 2020, at the Embassy Suites by Hilton - DFW Airport South. Space is limited for the session. If you don’t know who you want to send, you can provide the name later, but be sure to secure your spot now! We will need the names of your attendees two weeks prior to the training date. This program is applicable for superintendents, project managers, and other staff, however, the certification is limited to those who meet the requirements. Visit retailcontractors.org for program information and to register for the training.

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Work hard. Have fun. Meet new people Our conversation with Johnson Carlier’s Laura Shivers


aura Shivers and Johnson Carlier are meeting at the perfect point in time. The century old general contractor recently tabbed Shivers to lead the charge into the new age of the commercial construction industry. As the director of business strategy, Shivers is heading the Tempe, Arizona company’s long-term partner relationships and modeling initiatives. Along with driving sales efficiency and productivity, Shivers will help execute Johnson Carlier’s go-to-market strategies, while also promoting its 100-year-old mark of excellence. Prior to Johnson Carlier, the 17 year veteran was the marketing director and a member of the strategic leadership team at Adolfson & Peterson Construction. She also ran her own small business marketing consulting firm, which serviced the construction industry, more specifically, general contractors. In addition to her industry work, Shivers is the founder and Executive Director of Back 2 School Bounty, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to reducing teachers’ out-of-pocket expenses in Arizona, Colorado and Minnesota. Thanks to Shivers’ involvement, Johnson Carlier, which also strongly Laura Shivers supports community involvement, will become an annual sponsor of the organization. Shivers also regularly volunteers within local school districts teaching art and cooking to elementary students. We sat down with her to get her take on what to expect from the industry and Johnson Carlier moving forward.

Give us a snapshot of the construction market today? What are you seeing out there?

The construction outlook is strong. I am seeing a steady stream of industrial, manufacturing and healthcare opportunities, as well as continued requests from existing clients to help them expand into new regions. I have the opportunity of introducing potential clients to a national family of companies that have built in every sector, at every size.

What are some of the biggest changes you have seen over the past few years?

The industry as a whole has really closed the technology gap that existed. When I first started, construction was seen as archaic. Today, it is a great combination of savvy, technical


efficiencies and streamlined processes that really set the tone for a successful project.

How did you get started in the industry? What is your story?

I was recruited by a commercial builder because of my background in sales and marketing. My lack of industry knowledge fueled my desire to be successful as I spent most of my early years visiting jobsites and learning in the field.

Name some of the opportunities available for women in the industry?

Women can have any role they desire in this business. The true challenge is finding a company that believes its success stems from a diverse mix of race and gender. I am blessed to have found myself among a group of leaders who not only believe in the value of a female perspective, they also empower it.

What is the best piece of advice you have ever received?

When I went to college, my Dad told me to work hard, have fun and meet some people. As simple as that sounds, it is the way I approach each day.

What is the advice you would share with women just coming up in the industry?

Listen to your gut and stay true to yourself. You will know immediately when the culture and environment is one that make sense.

What is the biggest lesson the past few months have taught you?

The industry is small, relationships are big and family above everything.

What is the biggest item on your to-do list?

We want to take our kids to visit all 50 states before they graduate from high school. Right now, we are at six. We have some making up to do.

What is the first thing you are going to do when everything gets back to normal?

Hug my parents, hang out with extended family and visit a new state. CCR


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FALL 2020


Kitchens A friend you can trust How PANNA continues to bring the love for Latino food

A special supplement to:

Juan Romero, AIA, NCARB, President and CEO, api(+)



A friend you can trust

How PANNA continues to bring the love for Latino food By Michael J. Pallerino

“A taste to remember, the place you love!”


hat is the slogan that adorns the mission statement of PANNA's,

a Latino family restaurant business that started in Miami Beach in 2000. The brainchild behind the concept is Mauricio and Beatriz Meneses, who opened a Latin bakery on Collins Avenue in Miami Beach.

After a few years, they discovered that PANNA not only created the country’s best cheese stick “tequeños” and ham & cheese filled bread “cachitos,” but also an array of exceptional arepas, sandwiches and salads. Combine that with an inviting atmosphere for families and friends, you have a vertically integrated organization that produces exquisite Latin pastries for PANNA and third-party partners, plus a distribution center.





In case you are wondering, in many Latin American countries, “pana” is a friend—someone you can trust, a person you like to share and spend time with. The Meneses added an extra “n” to, in their words, make it “double friendly.” We sat down with api(+) President and CEO Juan Romero, AIA, NCARB, to get his thoughts on the design of PANNA’s new prototype restaurant.

Give us a snapshot of the PANNA brand and what makes it so unique.

PANNA is a family owned chain of quick service Latino restaurants throughout South Florida. It offers a diverse menu of Venezuelan, Colombian and Argentinean comfort foods such as arepas, cachitos and tequeños.


In terms of environmental design, a conviction to point of view is another quality we see time and time again with the most successful brands. These successful brands know who they are and who their audience is.


PANNA began in 2000, when Mauricio and Beatriz Meneses opened a Latin bakery on Collins Avenue in Miami Beach. After a few years, they discovered PANNA’s potential to expand its offer to include lunch and dinner foods like arepas, sandwiches and salads in addition to baked goods. Since the beginning, PANNA has been an inviting place for families and friends to gather over good food. The name PANNA plays off the word pana, which in many Latin American countries means a friend, someone you can trust, and someone you like to share and spend time with.

What type of consumer is PANNA targeting?

PANNA’s primary target audience is Latino people either living in or visiting South Florida.

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It aims to provide fresh food at a good value in a casual, family friendly environment.

What is the inspiration behind the concept?

The inspiration for the PANNA prototype environment is the three most prominent qualities that PANNA is known for—Latin American flavors, fresh, high-quality ingredients, and memorable times with friends and family over shared meals.

Walk us through why it is designed the way it is and how the design was developed.

The new Aventura location is PANNA’s flagship and seventh location to date. Each existing location varies in size, layout and design. With a goal to grow the chain, we were tasked with refining the best aspects of each location and combining them into a prototype to be first built at this flagship Aventura location, and then rolled out. Our design intention was to create a modern, casual setting with a fun Latin vibe that complements the fresh Latin-American family dining experience and flavorful food. Colors, materials and finishes throughout the restaurant were chosen to celebrate the fun, happy Latin flavors of PANNA. Warm wood tones and colorful bold striping on the walls, floor striping and playful graphics create a fully branded environment and a welcoming, joyous experience. Strategically placed architectural elements intuitively guide customers through the restaurant and create a welcoming space to dine, while wall treatments and lighting create a sense of intimacy in the very tall space. The result is a family and community destination where enjoying a meal together is both a special and frequent occasion. The restaurant environment celebrates the best parts of what makes PANNA a unique quick-service dining experience, and prepares the Meneses to continue growing the chain.

Give us a rundown of the restaurant’s layout and customer journey.

Located in a high-traffic retail center in upscale Aventura, Florida, the restaurant’s tall windows allowing sight to the colorful interior, compelling lighting and warm wood ceilings invite guests to enter. Outdoor breezeway seating with red umbrellas, market lights and swaying palm trees overhead add to the invitation and offers guests a relaxing spot with fresh air to dine throughout the year.


Upon entering, eyes are first drawn to bold, whimsical black and white chalkboard- style graphics that scale up the center of the left wall and extend overhead. The graphics artistically represent the diverse menu and regions the foods come from. As the customer journey continues, guests are treated to a feast for the senses with bold colorful wall striping throughout, accents of warm wood tones, built in big screens showing international sporting events, international music videos and appetizing foods, and the sounds and aromas of Latino fare cooking. A menu and ordering bar is given spotlight with wood framing. Programmable digital menu boards transform from the menu to appetizing


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The restaurant environment celebrates the best parts of what makes PANNA a unique quick service dining experience, and prepares the Meneses to continue growing the chain.

full size images of food and promotional brand messaging for an ever-changing focal point. Another highlight of the menu and ordering bar is display cases where guests can pick up traditional specialty items that are not available in local supermarkets, including drinks, desserts and even frozen foods to take home. As the last stop along the journey before dining, a favorite point is the salsa bar where guests customize their meals with a variety of freshly made traditional dipping sauces, further diversifying their meals. A self-serve soft drink machine sits alongside the salsa bar for those wanting regular soda or water rather than one of the specialty items from the case. A tall, red backdrop and overhead feature creates a special focal point for the hub. When it is time to sit down and eat, tall ceilings and windows allow guests to enjoy the feel of a great room gathering space filled with lots of natural light by day and views of the adjacent breezeway seating, lights and palm trees. Aspects of the layout and circulation proved to be a challenge, because due to permitting already being complete, we could not


change existing door locations. As with most quick-service restaurants we wanted a direct, fast route to the order counter, but the door placement opens to the dining room. The layout was planned to create optimal customer circulation with a path to the side of the dining area that is nearly direct to the menu and ordering bar. Queueing, ordering and pick-up areas are each separated from the dining room with warm wood-tone divider walls that subtly guide customers and provide a sense of privacy to those dining. At the same time, the low height of the divider wall allows full sight lines throughout the restaurant at all times. The layout is as efficient as possible with the desired path and maximum seating capacity achieved.

Take us through your construction and design strategy.

api(+) traditionally follows a six-step design process, though it is flexible depending on our clients’ needs and preferred ways of working.





As a result of the pandemic, for fast casual and quick-service restaurants, the hottest trend is drive-thru restaurants.

Is there a location that really shows how the brand interacts with the community and customers? One of your favorites?

In terms of environmental design, a conviction to point of view is another quality we see time and time again with the most successful brands. These successful brands know who they are and who their audience is. They know that their product is superior and unique, and that point of view is boldly expressed in all aspects of the environment.

Are you optimistic about how the marketplace has responded to the new PANNA prototype?

What is today's consumer looking for?

This Aventura location is the first and only one thus far built with the new api(+) prototype, so of course we are partial to it.

Absolutely. Yelp reviews boast compliments such as hidden gem, highly recommend, busy place. It has become a common place for family and friends to gather to watch international sporting events. We have heard that through the pandemic, with so many travel restrictions, locals enjoy treating themselves to authentic Latino foods without leaving their neighborhood.

What is PANNA’s growth plan? What areas are you targeting?

Continued steady expansion throughout South Florida.

What trends are you seeing?

As a result of the pandemic, for fast casual and quick-service restaurants, the hottest trend is drive-thru restaurants. We are seeing chains that have never had drive-thrus, such as Shake Shack, announcing plans to implement them. A report released this summer by consulting firm AlixPartners showed that 44% of consumers said drive-thrus are the most preferred method for ordering restaurant food. Takeout/carryout followed at 40%, with the next most popular being curbside pickup at 32%. Delivery methods are least preferred, according to the study.

One thing that resonates with customers and keeps them coming back to our restaurant environment is a look into the food process. People like to know where their food comes from, how it is made and who makes it. The process is usually what makes a restaurant’s offering unique and desirable. Are you an Italian restaurant? Show your guest how you make the pasta. A brewery? Give a look at the grains and tanks.

What is the biggest item on your to-do list right now? Describe a typical day in your life.

I am hyper focused on the success of our firm, new business, and ensuring the continued quality of our work via great hires and staff development. Day to day this includes speaking with our clients about 2021 initiatives and pandemic-related design changes, working with our team on project strategy and deliverables, and interviewing new talent. CK

What is the secret to creating a “must visit” restaurant environment in today's competitive landscape? There is no magic bullet, but a few keys are compelling value, shopper to brand connection, good food, good service, a great environment and authenticity. Much of PANNA’s success is thanks to these factors.



Inside the PANNA prototype Location: Aventura Shopping Center: 2960 Aventura Blvd. Unit A-5, Aventura, FL 33180 Opening date: 7/3/2019 Square footage: 2,450 square feet

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Cannabis The

September 2020 • Issue 3


California dreaming How NewTropic is helping usher in the age of cannabis

Dan ONeill, Director of Business Development, NewTropic





By Michael J. Pallerino

California dreaming How NewTropic is helping usher in the age of cannabis


ewTropic co-founder and CEO Alex Rowland’s vision has always been straight forward—to lead the cannabis manufacturing segment to a whole new level. Ask Rowland and he will tell you he wants to elevate it to the same level as the food, beverage and pharmaceutical manufacturing markets. Founded in 2016 by Rowland and Nelson Becerra, NewTropic started as a brand focused on cannabis concentrates, before turning its focus to the manufacturing side. Teaming with manufacturing and operations experts, the trio set their sights on changing the game. Operating from a state-of-the-art facility in Santa Rosa, California, NewTropic continues to charge forward with new and exciting innovations. Today, NewTropic is onboarding its initial set of customers and partners, including marquee cannabis brands as well as multi-state operators and distributors. We sat down with Director of Business Development Dan ONeill to get his thoughts on how NewTropic is leading the cannabis market to the next level of growth.

WHAT TYPE OF CONSUMERS ARE YOU TARGETING? We are a B2B company focused on large brands in state and/or MSO (Multi State Operators) looking to jump the state lines into California without the time and capital expense to build their own facility.

HOW DOES THE OVERALL DESIGN OF YOUR SHOP CATER TO WHAT TODAY’S CONSUMERS ARE LOOKING FOR? Our operations are designed with Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) standards as our target.



NewTropic does not carry a brand of its own. Our business model depends on our ability to stay neutral and focus on our third-party brand partners and produce their consumer products. Because we do not have our own brand, there is no channel conflict with our client partners.

We have aligned ourselves with several of the strongest licensed distribution firms in California, but we also are tracking and developing relationships with the budding direct-to-consumer and home delivery models, which both have exploded due to COVID.





SINCE YOUR OPERATION WAS DEEMED ESSENTIAL DURING THE LOCKDOWN, HOW DID HELP YOUR STANDING IN THE MARKETPLACE? The “essential” designation was a game changer for our firm and the industry. We were able to institute best practices for operating during the various stages of lockdown throughout the state. Because we were able to operate and expand our services over the past six months, we have been able to support the local community through extensive hiring, training and onboarding of client partners.

WHAT TYPE OF AREAS DO YOU LOOK FOR WHEN SEEKING STORE LOCATIONS? We do not have stores, but we are strategically located in Santa Rosa, California for our operations. The proximity to cultivators and labor are amazing. That, coupled with a very friendly tax rate makes Santa Rosa the ideal place to operate out of.

Consumers today are looking for education on products so they can better understand the experience they can expect. 140


WHAT IS YOUR SHORT-TERM STRATEGY? LONG-TERM? Short-term we would like to earn the reputation as the top co-packer in California for quality and scale. Long-term, we intend to bring this same business model to other states. We are currently evaluating Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan, and other burgeoning markets.

WALK US THROUGH HOW AND WHY YOUR OPERATION IS DESIGNED THE WAY IT IS? Our operation is designed with best practices to reflect FDA and GMP type of equipment

and SOPs. It is critical in this space to have the highest levels of certification to prepare for exporting, investment or acquisitions.

construction, cannabis approvals and building approvals to execute on construction.



Moving to new states is a primary focus. And adding more drink production capability like canning and 750ml bottling.

It seems like firms are always raising money in cannabis. It is critical to have enough dry powder to endure through these times, and navigate this heavily regulated and ever changing marketplace. I would recommend raising as much money as possible, and look to strategic funding sources in particular. Not all money is great in this space.

WHAT TRENDS ARE YOU SEEING/EXPECTING? More brands are trying to extend their offerings and expand their lines to command more retail shelf space. You will see more and more M&A activity as the large brands look to smaller firms to acquire recipes and innovation rather than build it themselves.

TAKE US THROUGH YOUR CONSTRUCTION AND DESIGN STRATEGY. We tend to work backward from the market demand by segment and align our facility design with the states consumer demand. Because each state’s in the US has different regulations, and different product offerings and consumer preferences, it is critical to build your facility to suit the current demand with an eye to the evolution of regulations and the consumer’s changing desires. It is important to use more mature regulated cannabis markets like Washington, Colorado and Oregon to anticipate the changes in product mix that will affect your construction moving forward. You have to build your facility in such a way that you can add square footage or functionality in phases.

TALK ABOUT SUSTAINABILITY. WHAT ARE YOU DOING? The cannabis space is very aware of sustainable practices and packaging choices. Because the entire business is based on farming, best practices around pest management and organic growing techniques at the grower level are widespread differentiators. Also, we spend a good amount of time working with our packaging supplier partners to identify and use sustainable materials to package the products we handle.

The “essential” designation was a game changer for our firm and the industry. We were able to institute best practices for operating during the various stages of lockdown throughout the state. GIVE US A RUNDOWN OF YOUR MARKET’S LAYOUT.


We balance a broad market spectrum. Because we have licenses that allow for us to produce virtually any consumer product, we have a wide range of clients. But, a good snapshot includes pre-rolled joints, packaged flower, gummies, chocolates, concentrates, vape pens and beverages.

Consumers today are looking for education on products so they can better understand the experience they can expect. And, in particular, they want a consistent flavor, onset time and user experience with the products.

WHAT IS THE BIGGEST ISSUE TODAY RELATED TO THE CONSTRUCTION SIDE OF THE BUSINESS? Getting the mindshare and time to achieve the permits and approvals in the cannabis space is daunting. Some of the extraction technologies we apply requires C1D1 and other advanced safety rooms to operate. It is a real challenge to put together design,

TELL US WHAT MAKES YOUR BRAND SO UNIQUE? Our dedication to the white label model shows our commitment to our brand partners. They like that we will not have to come out with our own version of a product and compete with our partners. That relationship creates valuable and unusual transparency with our partners, particularly in cannabis, which is notoriously clandestine.




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The Voice of Craft Brands

Family strong Two generations in, Highland Brewing is building a brand that others want to emulate

Leah Wong Ashburn, President & CEO, Highland Brewing Company

The Voice of Craft Brands

Family strong Two generations in, Highland Brewing is building a brand that others want to emulate





By Michael J. Pallerino

December 1994. That is when Oscar Wong rolled the first kegs from his Asheville, North Carolina basement to the alley. Built almost entirely from retrofitted dairy equipment, Oscar’s original brewery produced up to 6,500 barrels of beer per year in about 12,000 square feet of space. Twenty five-plus years later, Oscar’s craft beer brand, the Highland Brewing Company, can brew more than 60,000 barrels annually—with room to grow. To solidify the growing prominence of the Highland Brewing brand, Oscar, recently became the 34th recipient of the “Recognition Award,” which is given to individuals whose inspiration, enthusiasm and support have contributed to the craft brewing movement. Wong, a Chinese-Jamaican immigrant, came to the US to study civil engineering. After a successful career in that field, he retired and founded Highland Brewing Company. Today, the Highland Brewing team, led by his daughter, Leah Wong Ashburn, brews four times a day, five days per week on a 50bbl brewhouse. The cellar has 27 fermenters, mostly 200bbls in size, as well as seven brite tanks, and can bottle up to 320 bottles per minute, averaging 800 cases per hour. Our bottling line is a state-of-the-art 2015 KHS 48-valve rotary machine. In 2016, Highland Brewery cut the ribbon on a rooftop bar that accommodates 300 people—which it reserved for private events like weddings, rehearsals and corporate events. The indoor Event Center— complete with stage, mezzanine, two bars, catering kitchen and elevator—can fit (pre-pandemic) more than 700 people. In addition, the first phase of Highland’s all-new hiking trails and volleyball courts on the brewery’s 40-acre campus opened to the public this spring. The trails offer a wooded retreat with sections along a creek and an old railroad just steps outside the brewery’s Taproom. While amenity use is limited during the pandemic, guests can enjoy a walk through the woods. We sat down with Leah, President and CEO, and second-generation family owner, to get her thoughts

Oscar and Leah Cheers to 25 Years.



Highland Brewing Company

on craft’s new landscape and how her brand is adapting to these unprecedented times.

What are some of the adjustments you made with/to your business model surrounding the recent state of events? The events of this year proved just how resilient and creative our team can be when faced with new challenges. Like many breweries, we shifted our production to cans and bottles rather than kegs, and focused on off-premise and working with our wholesale partners. A Facebook Live video series kept us connected to our fans during the full shutdown. When we reopened onsite, freestanding sinks were available in every public area of the brewery along with quite a few other new health and safety measures.

What kind of conversations are you having with your customers? I am having lots of conversations about gratitude—gratitude for our staff, for the customers who are supporting







Highland Brewing Company

us through these hard times, and caring enough to share their feedback as we try to do so many new things and adapt to the times.

Highland Brewing Company - Rooftop.

What role should a brand play in being a leader in a distressed market? Highland was built by our community, so community support has always been deeply embedded in our business model, no matter the state of the world around us. So the moment we learned that we would be able to keep brewing and keep our staff employed, we looked externally to see how we could help others. Highland was Asheville’s first craft brewery and we want to lead by example. Right now, we are supporting people, particularly the bar and restaurant workers, with our most comprehensive giving initiative to date. “Give Back with Gaelic” is a program running through the end of the year in which we will donate a portion of the proceeds from sales of our flagship beer, Gaelic Ale, to 12 non-profits supporting hospitality workers across our whole Southeastern distribution footprint. With our brand, we can set a tone in response to our shared experience of the pandemic.

What is the best piece of advice you can offer to other brands in how to deal with the unthinkable like this? My father was born in Jamaica, but his family is Chinese. When I took over the leadership of the business from him, he gave me a scroll with two Chinese characters on it. Together, the symbols mean crisis. Apart, they mean risk and opportunity. He said, “When you are in crisis, you feel the risk. Look for opportunity.”






Highland Brewing Company

Give us a snapshot of today’s craft beer market from your perspective. We have diversity in styles of beer, but we have work to do when it comes to creating a more diverse craft beer community. We are showing up to start that work, which is a practice and a long-term commitment to awareness. I am energized by the space that a more inclusive craft beer community could create.

What is likely to happen next? I stopped trying to predict the future months ago. But in 2020, we flexed muscles we did not know we had. We are stronger now, so

Highland was built by our community, so community support has always been deeply embedded in our business model, no matter the state of the world around us.

we are better prepared for whatever happens next.

What trends are defining the space? As people spend more time at home, we are seeing traction with 12 packs, 15-packs and higher ABV beers. IPA is still king. Of course, in the larger view, seltzers are taking potential new beer drinkers and are likely to keep them away from beer.

What is your story from a brand perspective? Immigrant-founded and now woman-led; Highland is the pioneer in Asheville craft beer and an iconic brewery. We are committed to being a good business in all senses of the phrase as we elevate and celebrate beer, business, people and place.

Walk us through your branding strategy. Highland is a 26-year-old brand, so we balance our history of quality and consistency with the innovation that made us a trailblazer in the Southeast. We love where we live and share with pride the independent spirit and creative culture of our small city. We reach deeper into our story as a brewer, leader, community builder, versus reaching far out to less relatable brand expressions.

What is the biggest issue today related to the marketing/sales side of the craft beer business today? Product differentiation is an issue for many breweries right now. When there are six hazy IPAs on the store shelf, how do you get your product to stand out? When my father founded Highland, he started from a place of quality and consistency in the product we put out in the market. That reputation has built over time and I think it has helped us stand out. People trust Highland to create a quality example of new trends. We also face competition from big multi-national breweries buying up craft breweries. We can never compete with these conglomerates





on price, so instead, we must tell a compelling brand story that is authentic and relevant to our consumer in a way that big beer cannot duplicate.

Connect with Highland Brewing Company 12 Old Charlotte Highway, Suite 200 Asheville, North Carolina 28803

What is the secret to creating a branding story that consumers can buy into?

www.highlandbrewing.com 828-299-3370

While I am not sure I know any secrets to create relevant brand stories, I can say that telling stories that are genuine to our people, relevant to the needs of our consumer, and consistent across all platforms from social media to the liquid in the glass. Decide who you are. Deliver on your brand promises.

Facebook: HighlandBrewingCompany Twitter: HighlandBrews Instagram: highlandbrewing

What is the one thing that every craft beer brand should be doing in the way of marketing? Use your platforms to make your audience feel like insiders. Share the stories that make your brand unique and authentic with your consumers. Ask them to participate and for goodness sake, respond.

What do you see as some of your biggest opportunities moving ahead? We are excited to expand our offerings in 2021 to include an elevated tier of beers that are higher ABV, and have a

different look and feel from our core lineup. And, in 2021, we have a second taproom opening in downtown Asheville in a historic building that will be a micro food hall.

What is the biggest item on your to-do list right now? Cold Mountain is coming—our seasonal spiced brown ale is a cult favorite in Western North Carolina. I am so honored that this beer is the sign that the holiday season has arrived for so many fans. We are already getting calls from families who traditionally line up at 7 a.m. to be first to get their allocation. This year, in the midst of the pandemic, our celebration will spread out from three days to 10, to accommodate all our guests.

Sitting down with … Leah Wong Ashburn, President & CEO, Highland Brewing Company What is the most rewarding part of your job? Seeing the daily efforts of our team. What they put into their jobs lets me know Highland is more than a brewery.

What was the best advice you ever received? Surround yourself with people who want you to succeed.

What is the best thing a customer ever said to you? A local mom stopped me to say that Highland is part of their

life. They come here every Friday to meet with friends and are so grateful for the place and space we share.

What is your favorite brand story? In 2017, I told my father we would look at an evolutionary step in refreshing our brand. A John Deere or Starbucks approach—recognizable, but updated. Months later, I showed him a revolutionary new look. He asked if I liked it. I said yes, and gave him solid reasons why. He simply said, “Okay,” and we went full bore into a new era. I love that he trusted me.





Commercial Construction Data


ollowing is a brief report on new commercial construction projects. The information is presented as a service of Commercial Construction Data, a product of Commercial Construction & Renovation. For more information, visit www.cdcnews.com. PROJECT NAME






Checkers Restaurant

Baltimore, MD



New Construction

Q1 2021

Dickey's BBQ Pit

Williamsburg, VA




Q4 2020

Jersey Mike's Subs

Richmond, VA




Q4 2020

Smyrna Farmers Market

Smyrna, DE



New Construction

Q1 2021

AutoZone #6877

Woodbridge, VA



New Construction

Q3 2021

Tractor Supply

Cambridge, MD




Q4 2020

Church and Market Mixed-Use Development

Leesburg, VA



New Construction

Q1 2021

South Street Family and Senior Developments

Frederick, MD



New Construction

Q1 2021

Om Shree Hotel

Roanoke, VA



New Construction

Q2 2021

The New Kanawha County Elementary School

Charleston, WV



New Construction

Q4 2020

Virginia Commonwealth University Honors College Office and Classroom Relocation

Richmond, VA




Q4 2020

Gloucester County Social Services Expansion

Gloucester, VA



Addition & Renovation

Q4 2020

CHEER Commercial Kitchen Expansion

Georgetown, DE



Addition & Renovation

Q4 2020

Build Hospice Unit at Loch Raven VAMC

Baltimore, MD



Addition & Renovation

Q4 2020

Aspen Dental

Easton, MD




Q4 2020












Advertiser Page Reader Service No.

Advertiser Page Reader Service No.

ADART/Gensis Lighting Solutions


Kansas Asphalt, Inc.


92 38

ANP Lighting


Bogart Construction, Inc.




Lakeview Construction, Inc




Laser Facility Management






37 19

Branded Group



Lead Up For Women


Brandpoint Services




135 52


21 12

Metropolitan Ceramics



Chainstore Maintenance



Mike Levin



Commerical Construction & Renovation Digital Buyers Guide






National Terrazzo & Mosaic Assocation




5 3


47 23

Poma Retail Development, Inc



59 26

Project Management Consortium (PMC)



Retail Maintenance Management



Retail Maintenance Specialists



Rockerz, Inc



8, CVR4

6, 60


Commerical Construction & Renovation Virtual Retreat



Commerical Construction & Renovation Virtual Summit



Construct Connect



Construction One



Controlled Power Company




89 37

D/13 Group



Dynamic Air Quality Solutions



Floormax USA



Garland Company



Sign Consultant Services



Georgia Hollywood Review



Superior Facility Service



Georgia Printco



Taylor Bros.



GGS Partners LLC



The Blue Book Network



Goodwin Commercial



Thomas Consultants



Hunter Building Corp



Visual EFX Group



IdentiCom Sign Solutions



Warner Bros




25 14

Window Film Depot



Immel Constrcution


Wolverine Building Group




43 21

World Dryer



Jencen Architecture









CV2-1 1

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 (A) Retailer  (U) Craft Brewery/Distributor  (N) H  ospitality (Hotel, Motel,

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Please check here if you do not wish to receive third party information on the latest products and services. To receive FREE product information from the individual companies featured in this issue, circle the number below that corresponds to the product number. Valid through February 26, 2021.

(S) Healthcare Facility

(G) Design Firm


Web site____________________________________ E-mail______________________________

(R) Shopping Center Owner

(O) Architecture Firm



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(C) Restaurant


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by David Corson

Round third and heading for home…


s we move into the fourth quarter of 2020, the country is trying to get back to normal. For example, schools are opening up some in person, others are going online, while some are doing a hybrid of both. The Presidential election is set for Nov. 3. And

Thanksgiving and Christmas are right around the corner. And yes, sports are back on the field in a limited fan capacity. We have all dealt with a virus that we did not ask for. It has changed everything in our daily lives. Still, we can give thanks that we are still standing and doing our best to live with the darn COVID bug lurking about. Hopefully we will have a vaccine soon. During this pandemic, many of us have taken a good look at our lives and have decided to make some changes for the better. Some

of us have returned to school to learn a new trade. Some have started new jobs. Some have decided to move someplace else and start over. Some have joined the military or have become first responders, so that they can give back to the communities they serve. As for me, my son is graduating with his FAA A&P Mechanics license in a few months. That means we will become empty nesters and downsize the homestead. I get to rid myself of all the clutter after 15 years in our third home. It is on the market. We purchased a lake lot and are going to build a house, acting as our own GCs. That way, it will get built the way we want. We will be videoing the entire process once we break ground. I will be excited to see the fruits of our labor. It will be just like your experience when you open a new store, restaurant or hotel. I am sure there will be some ups and downs during the way, but the wait will be worth it.

During this pandemic, many of us have taken a good look at our lives and have decided to make some changes for the better. After printing articles on commercial construction projects the last 20 years and coming from a construction family, I am excited about how this feels. It will bring me back to the days of building all of those model airplanes. I will finally get to feel like all of you out there who sift through your schematics. The roller coaster is about to begin. So, as we round third base and head for home in this crazy year, we wish you good health, and much success and happiness. Remember to wash your hands, don’t touch your face and be aware of your surroundings. We will keep the faith that we all have something to celebrate in 2021. Here’s the best year ever on the horizon. We sure have earned it. CCR




From SoHo to Rodeo. We’ve expanded to the West Coast Bringing decades of experience building high profile retail and office environments for the world’s largest brands. We’re ready to build for you. Tom Fenton, Business Development Manager (914) 244-9100 x 322 / tfenton@schimenti.com




Profile for BOC design Inc

CCR Sept 20  

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