The Wilshire Grand Center will be easy to spot in the Los Angeles skyline once it is completed in 2017. At 1,100 feet in total height, the 73-story, $1 billion-plus development will be the tallest structure in not only the city, but also the entire Western United States. Work on the Wilshire Grand Tower began in 2012 with the demolition of the 1.2 million-square-foot Wilshire Grand Hotel, completed in 1952, which the new tower will replace.
The building’s distinctive sail-shaped top – constructed of structural steel and glazing and highlighted with a spire on one end – will also be an eye-opener in a city known for flat-topped structures. “The owners (Hanjin International Corp., a subsidiary of Korean Air) requested and received a variance to city codes for this building because they wanted to change the skyline of the city,” says Michael Marchesano, general superintendent for Turner Construction, the general contractor on the project.
Successful developments fill a community need, and Boulder, Colo.’s Gunbarrel Center’s aim is to do just that. The project is located in an area that is home to many significant Boulder employers, but has little high quality housing options. The Gunbarrel Center project will create high quality, highly efficient residential units along with retail and park space to create a central business and social hub.
“The Gunbarrel Center project owes its existence to the previous owner, Terry O’Connor, who more than a decade ago conceived of the innovative development,” Wolff Company Spokesman Rob O’Dea says. “His unfortunate passing forced his development company to reconsider their plans and ultimately look for a new owner with the appetite and resources to undertake the ambitious project. The Wolff Company recognized the favorable market dynamics in Boulder and the site’s great location and purchased the project.”
The Weitz Co. is overseeing the construction of an upscale retirement community located in a natural suburban setting in Plymouth, Minn., that will provide exceptional amenities for residents to maintain an efficient and comfortable lifestyle.
Trillium Woods is a new Life Care Services community for adults aged 62 and older, located on 46 acres nestled along a new extension of Cheshire Parkway with hilly woodlands, wetlands, lake and golf course views. Life Care Services, based in Des Moines, Iowa, has more than 40 years of experience in creating living experiences that enhance the lives of seniors.
Canada may seem very similar to the United States, but there are still cultural differences, including in the way construction services are delivered. Robert Skinner, president of Ontario-based McKay-Cocker Construction, attests that’s true in his field, and he’s trying to bring the best of both countries — which he has experienced first-hand — to practices at his firm.
McKay-Cocker Construction is a fully diversified construction services provider in the commercial, heavy civil, industrial and institutional sectors. Skinner took the helm two years ago, with the goal of improving and growing the company.
Construction company JE Dunn broke ground on a new academic building at Rockhurst University in Kansas City, Mo., this past spring. The three-story, 68,000-square-foot building will house classrooms as well as faculty offices.
Construction is expected to take 18 months; the building will be ready for occupancy by the fall 2015 semester. It will be constructed on what was a parking lot south of the school’s iconic bell tower, near the center of the 55-acre campus.
As of February 22, 2012, the last available space at the National Mall has been claimed. More than 600 people, including President Obama and several national dignitaries, watched as the joint-venture construction team of Clark Smoot Russell broke ground on the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC).
Clark Construction Group was awarded the $290 million construction contract for the museum as part of a joint venture with Smoot Construction and H.J. Russell & Co., two of the largest minority-owned construction firms in the country. The 380,000-square-foot structure designed by Freelon Adjaye Bond and SmithGroup is a testament to African and African-American influence on the inside and outside. NMAAHC sits between the Museum of American History and the Washington Monument, but stands in refreshing contrast to them both.
Residential building is booming in Buckhead, an affluent community near downtown Atlanta. It’s good for the neighborhood. but does not come without its challenges. As more people flock to the area, developers are steadily pumping out a pipeline of projects to meet the demand and calling on experienced contractors who can navigate through the logistical challenges of working in an urban setting.
“Any time you do a project on Peachtree in Atlanta, there is an added logistical challenge because traffic is always an issue,” says Jason Weeks, project manager at Brasfield & Gorrie. “You have to be able to understand the limitation of lane closures, sidewalk closures and be able to work around pedestrian traffic since it’s the main artery of Atlanta’s shopping area.”
The two large twin bridges that make up the bulk of the Route 460 Connector Phase 1 project in Buchanan County, Va., are unique to the region in several ways. At 250 feet in height and 1,700 linear feet in length, the bridges – which extend U.S. Route 460 over Virginia Route 610 and Grassy Creek just south of the Virginia/Kentucky border – will be the tallest in the state when fully completed in 2015.
General contractor Bizzack Construction of Lexington, Ky., has a $97 million design/build contract for the bridges and related work, at the time the largest design/build contract in the Virginia Department of Transportation’s history. Design/build projects are relatively new to the Virginia Department of Transportation, Bizzack’s client. “The department felt they could get the best value for the project by completing it as a design/build,” Project Manager Stewart Gaither says.