Tishman, an AECOM Company – MGM Springfield Parking Garage

TishmanTishman, an AECOM Company, leads the MGM Springfield project to revitalize downtown Springfield, Mass.

By Stephanie Crets

Tishman, an AECOM Company, is one of the world’s leading builders, known for working on facilities and in industries of every size and type, from arts and culture to technology and transportation. Founded in 1898, Tishman has managed big-name projects such as the Javits Convention Center expansion and renovation in New York City, the new headquarters for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security in Washington, D.C., and the new regional transportation intermodal center for high-speed trains in Anaheim, Calif.

“Tishman does a great job of working with owners to build projects,” Senior Project Manager Steve O’Connor says. “We build a lot of high-end projects in New York City, and we always develop a great working relationship with the owners.”Tishman info box

In July 2010, Tishman Construction was acquired by AECOM, a global provider of professional, technical and management support services to a broad range of markets, including transportation, environmental, energy, water and government. AECOM provides a blend of global reach, local knowledge, innovation and technical excellence that matches well with Tishman’s expertise.

Diverse Project

O’Connor brought his own expertise to Tishman two years ago when the company was looking for a project manager who had experience in both parking garage structures and casino developments. The new MGM Springfield Parking Garage in Springfield, Mass., is part of an overall project for the new MGM Springfield Resort Casino.

“I’m responsible for coordinating work on the garage, getting the work done, meeting the schedule, doing the purchasing and coordinating with the owner,” O’Connor says. “This is a design/build job, so I was heavily involved in the design considerations that we chose as we did the job, and now we’re in the process of putting it in place.”

The parking garage project broke ground in 2015. Tishman began laying the concrete foundation in May of that year, which was then completed in late August, followed by the pre-cast in September. The garage is expected to be completed in 2018, while the hotel and casino are expected to open in September 2018.

The seven-level garage will house 3,400 parking spots along with 10 elevators. Two will be designated as freight elevators to service the hotel and casino, two are eight-story traction elevators for employees and the rest are regular elevators for the patrons coming to the casino.

Tishman has incorporated some interesting exterior elements with multiple colors of brick used throughout so the structure is more eye-catching. One level of the parking garage will represent the cityscape of Springfield with three different colors of brick used, along with arched openings.  “It’s a lot more dressed up than a standard parking garage,” O’Connor says. “It’s to match the small city vibe of Springfield and to carry over the feeling of some of the local older buildings in the area. We’re making it feel like a contemporary, urban area.”

Additionally, Tishman is adding heated entrance ramps to keep snow and ice from building up, and also has provisions to have a snow melt tank on the roof. “The project has gone very smoothly with not too many challenges,” O’Connor says. “We’ve had some good subcontractors involved between the concrete and pre-cast; everybody’s been working together. It’s a good team out here. Plus, I have become more knowledgeable about precast operations, techniques and sequencing and have expanded on some of my existing knowledge.”

O’Connor did find a challenge in the strong diversity requirements for subcontractors working on the project. These requirements, set forth for by the Massachusetts Gaming Commission, are significantly higher than most other states. Tishman worked aggressively to find diverse subcontractors and is proud to have 30 percent diversity in the overall project to date.  They also had support from Fontaine Brothers, a general contractor who has been helpful with local subcontractors and are working with a woman-owned concrete company that did the cast-in-place concrete foundation, a woman-owned electrical company and a veteran-owned site excavator. 

Other concerns are winter weather, which is a given for long-term projects in Massachusetts. “We are concerned about winter, and we are contemplating whether or not we’re going to push on through or suspend and work around the heat needs,” O’Connor explains. “We’ll do some heating but we’ll probably suspend concrete operations in early January for about 10 weeks. With an open structure like this, it’s hard to wrap it in heat.”

At Tishman, O’Connor works closely on the project with Project Executive Eric Nelson, General Super Randy Pitts, Senior Project Estimator Maziar Hashemi, Project Super William Mullen and Project Engineer Ron Lucia.

Overall, Tishman hopes that the MGM project will encourage more residents and tourists to visit downtown Springfield. “Hopefully this will help revitalize the area,” O’Connor says. “It’s a beautiful little city. It’s had a couple rough years with some of the industries moving out of the area and hopefully this project will help revitalize the downtown area.”

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