Ryan Companies US, Inc. Completes Gander Mountain’s Fourth Florida Store
Ryan Companies US, Inc. and Oppidan Investment Company today announced they have completed the first Gander Mountain store to seek LEED certification. Located in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., the 120,000 square-foot store is one of the largest built for Gander Mountain, and was completed in just over half the time it typically takes for a similarly-sized retail building.
Oppidan and Ryan teamed up to provide development, design, engineering and construction services for the store site, which the customer wanted to have a “Palm Beach Gardens” look and feel, as well as meet the certification requirements for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED). Meeting the requirements for this third-party verification of the building’s efficient construction and operation would help Gander Mountain further its mission to enjoy all that the outdoors have to offer, without adding significant cost to the project.
The project had an aggressive schedule to meet, with only 18 weeks between start and completion; a similar-sized retail space typically takes up to 8 months. The team credits a combination of relationships and technology with keeping to the schedule even in the face of a few construction challenges. A top priority for the customer was to ensure a good relationship with city leadership and build a healthy level of trust. To accomplish this, Oppidan and Ryan met weekly with city representatives to update the City of Palm Beach Gardens on progress, and identify any potential issues. This proactive approach helped keep the project on schedule – to the point that some city officials claim this project was the fastest one to move through the city process and construction.
Using Building Information Management (BIM) was key to keeping the project on the fast track through the city planning and zoning process. “Once they got a feel for how something looked, it was easier to grasp the concept and ask questions that helped improve the project,” said Jeremy Wedel, Sr. Project Manager, Ryan Companies US, Inc.
The rapid approval process helped the team overcome other challenges during the construction process. The store would stand in a 140-mph hurricane wind zone, meaning that all doors, windows and flooring systems used in the project had to meet Florida hurricane ratings. The site’s high water table, and South Florida’s stringent water table management guidelines, meant careful planning and coordination was needed to drop the water table low enough to run utilities into the site and bring the water table back up to natural levels of four feet below the finished floor. The decision to add the restaurant was made halfway through the construction process. Thanks to careful planning, and BIM, the design and engineering team was able to adjust the floorplan, add the restaurant’s footprint, and keep to the tight schedule.
The development plans also called for heavy investment in landscaping at the site, which sat on 13 heavily wooded acres. Because of a city mandate designed to preserve native palm trees, Ryan’s landscape design team had to relocate 200 palm trees during construction – including transplanting to a holding location, creating space in the parking plan to accommodate many of the trees, and successfully planting the palms in their new, permanent homes.
The completed building is filled with daylight from a full clear story skylight system running the length of the building. For additional visual interest, a Gander Mountain biplane was mounted beneath the skylight. This is the first Gander Mountain store to offer a full service restaurant, called Tall Tales-Real Food™, set in a Northwoods lodge environment and featuring a wood-fired pizza oven. The store also offers a meeting room free of charge for meetings of local outdoor, business or community groups, and features an archery range on the second floor, where shoppers can try a bow they’re considering for purchase, or choose from a full array of archery services offered at the store.
About Oppidan Investment Company
Since 1991, Oppidan Investment Company has been a leader in the merchant real estate development industry because of a simple philosophy established by founder, Joe Ryan: "deliver value." Oppidan understands the importance of delivering value and how it can help the client's business grow exponentially if every inch of every project is managed flawlessly. With over $1 billion in developed property, in excess of 9 million square feet and 175 successful projects completed to date, clients have seen firsthand how significant and economical its distinctive approach continues to be. For more information, visit www.oppidan.com
About Ryan Companies, US, Inc.
Ryan Companies US Inc., a nationally recognized developer, design-builder and real estate manager, has specialized in fully integrated solutions for more than 70 years. Ryan builds lasting relationships with a project delivery model based on full-service customized solutions and total collaboration – pairing the customer’s needs and expectations with the talents of a team of developers, financiers, architects, engineers, constructors and property managers. In addition to its Minneapolis office, Ryan has offices in Chicago, Phoenix, San Diego, Tampa, Cedar Rapids, Davenport and Des Moines, Iowa. Ryan was named the 2007 National Developer of the Year by the National Association of Office and Industrial Properties (NAIOP). For more information, visit www.ryancompanies.com
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Editor’s note: Interviews with Ryan executives are available by contacting Sarah Voigt at 612-455-1784 or email@example.com