Graycor Construction Company recently completed a retail renovation for Starwood Retail Partners (Owner) and Development Management Associates (Owner’s Representative) involving the construction of H&M shells at three of their mall property locations: Southlake Mall, Merrillville, Ind.; Louis Joliet Mall, Joliet, Ill.; and Chicago Ridge Mall, Chicago Ridge, Ill.
The Chicago Ridge location proved to be the most challenging of the projects and included demolition of seven tenant spaces near center court as well as a vertical expansion that involved the raising of the mall’s existing roof to accommodate a second floor for the H&M store. The 11,000-square-foot roof was moved 20 feet higher than its original height in three-day’s time. However, months of preparation was necessary for demolition work, reconfiguration of MEP services, reinforcement of the structure, temporary steel construction for the jacks and an additional one week for set-up of the jacks. Both Forefront Structural Engineers and Rooflifters played key roles for the roof raising portion of the project. Though raising a roof is not common practice, demolition of the existing structure and constructing the new shell would have been more difficult due to the logistical challenges of performing steel erection at the mall’s center court during the winter.
After arriving at the roof raising solution, adverse Chicago winter weather and working in a “live environment” with adjacent fully operational tenants presented additional challenges. Teamwork, innovative solutions and collaboration were essential to completing the 24,745-square-foot retail shell for H&M. For example, the project team’s decision to build the level-two exterior walls prior to raising the roof mitigated weather infiltration into the mall during the roof raising operation.
“The Graycor team was solution-oriented and their ability to work in collaboration with all team members, particularly with the structural engineer and subcontractors, to keep this challenging project moving forward was impressive,” said owner’s representative Project Manager Erik Haugsnes with Development Management Associates.
“Our team needed to be creative throughout the project. We drew from our deep retail resume and lessons learned to ensure every step we took was the right one. In the end, it is very rewarding to have been a part of such a complicated project and deliver it successfully for Starwood, H&M and Development Management Associates,” stated Mark Neubauer, Project Manager at Graycor Construction Company.