Welcome Back, Neighbor

Those familiar with North Brighton know that, just a few months ago, a freestanding McDonald’s restaurant stood on the eastern edge of the Charlesview site.  The reconstruction and relocation of that building was a critical part of the new site plan, allowing Telford Street to align and go from Soldier’s Field Road to Holton Street (and eventually, plans the BRA, all the way to Lincoln Street).  As of last week, the new restaurant was open for business.

The new, relocated McDonalds, open for business

The reconstruction involves a significant redesign in response to the community desire to see a more urban, pedestrian-friendly building across the street from new Charlesview.  Since the McDonald’s is an active, operating business, it was important to get the new building up and running as quickly as possible (an effort led by Dixon Construction for McDonald’s, with Harvard assisting coordination as landowner).  It was also necessary to coordinate the construction sequencing of the McDonalds and Charlesview, which was done on a near daily basis between TCB, Harvard, Dixon, and JMA.

Final parts of the McDonald’s project, such as the new Telford & Western traffic signal, landscaping and outdoor patio furniture will be coming in the next couple of months.




Change of Direction

After an incredibly mild winter and a carefully coordinated effort by JMA (general contractor), J. Derenzo Co. (sitework) and JL Marshall (concrete), the foundations will be substantially completed in the next week.  A small portion of the garage–about 10 isolated footings and a section of wall–will remain unfinished so the earthen ramp can allow a crane and other equipment to continue to access the garage level for another few months.

The garage structure is over 110,000 square feet in area, so what the team has accomplished this winter is the equivelent of building a structure the size of the old K-Mart/Office Max building out of reinforced concrete, underground, beneath the water table.

This milestone also signals an important direction for the project: Up.

Steel will begin to arrive in early March for the erection of the garage structure.  By late spring, the steel will be back up to grade level and the structure of the two largest mixed use buildings will commence.

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Dress Rehearsal

In the past month, passers by have noticed a couple of strange structures under construction near the west gate (by STAR market).  Those structures are called mock-ups, a “dress rehearsal” of sorts for the exterior materials.  The structures are specifically designed to be stand-alone walls, oriented the same way as the eventual primary building facades, and including all the materials that will be present.  Designing and building these full-scale mock ups, months before the materials for the actual buildings arrive on site, is quite a coordination effort by CBT (the Architect) and JMA (the general contractor).  Evaluating the materials is equally tricky, since you see lots of materials, colors and details close together that will be spread throughout the project.

The effort is worth it for a chance to see how the actual materials come together, at full-scale and in the same light as the future buildings.  Color selections are confirmed.  Small joint details and sealant colors are tweaked.  Simply by building it, JMA can reinforce standards of quality and installation with the subcontractors.  Also, the BRA Urban Design team can visit and verify that the elevation materials are consistent with what the City approved through the public Zoning and Large Project Review process.  

With this important exercise completed, the entire team looks forward to erecting the actual elevations over the next 16 months.

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