4 Commercial Construction Trends for Restaurant and Food Service Projects

It’s already been a busy year for Englewood’s Restaurant Construction division, with a wide variety of projects ranging from ground-up new construction and interior renovations to commercial kitchen work. As such, here are four commercial construction trends our team has observed and anticipates we’ll see shaping more restaurant and food service construction projects in the near future:

Tapping Into The Craft Beer Boom
There is seemingly no end in sight to the current craft beer craze, and national restaurant groups are tapping into this trend by not only introducing more brewery-based concepts, but also by expanding the beer offerings at existing restaurants. As a result, we’re seeing a change in the footprint of restaurants and how our clients are allocating space – particularly with new-construction projects where clients are dedicating more square footage to back-of-house beverage cold storage. For example, a BJ’s Brewhouse we recently completed in Livonia, Mich., has an entire co..

American Girl’s New York City Flagship Store: An Englewood Construction Retail Showcase

Earlier this year, one of our favorite clients, American Girl, announced plans to take its brand on the road via an American Girl musical debuting with a nationwide tour this fall. At Englewood Construction, we’re proud to say we’ve already been “on tour” with American Girl for the last 10 years, working with the popular retail brand to build, remodel and maintain American Girl Place stores across the country. In fact, our most recent project with American Girl was in New York City, not too far from the lights of Broadway – a new 38,000-square-foot American Girl Place flagship store at 75 Rockefeller Plaza.

For this Hard Hat Chat post, we thought we’d take a look back at this retail construction project and share photos from the finished space and behind-the-scenes details about the construction process, which was completed in November 2017.

Grand Entrances (And Tight Squeezes)

Shoppers can enter American Girl Place from its main entrance at 75 Rockefeller Plaza on West 52 Street, o..

Viva Las Vegas: CRE and Retail Construction Insights and Trends from ICSC RECon

Earlier this month, the Englewood team headed to Las Vegas for RECon, the global retail real estate convention hosted annually by the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC). Attending this major event is always a terrific opportunity for us as a national commercial construction firm to meet with our national retail developer clients, network with new connections from across the country, and really take the temperature of the retail construction sector. Here are some of our key takeaways, trends and insights from this year’s RECon:

Positive Buzz for the Year Ahead
Across the board, the atmosphere at RECon was incredibly upbeat despite recent news coverage of major brands folding and the negative impact of e-commerce on brick-and-mortar retail. Those in attendance were overwhelmingly optimistic about the economy, and many agreed that retail’s contraction in recent years has been a good thing for an overbuilt market sector.

There was also a lot of positive conversation about r..

Facility Management & Maintenance: 5 Reasons to Partner with your Commercial General Contractor

One of the things we’ve been most proud of at Englewood Construction over the last several years is the growth of our Facilities Management Group. This division started as a way for us to extend our relationship with clients to include planned, preventative and emergency commercial facility maintenance; while it certainly wasn’t typical, then or now, for a national construction firm to also be a facility maintenance provider, we saw a lot of benefits to a general contractor offering these services.

It turns out we were right – and a lot of clients agree – because today our facilities management team is busier than ever. Much of their business comes from clients who’ve worked with Englewood on a construction project and then decided to tap us for their facility maintenance needs, too. On the flip side, we’ve also had clients who initially hired us for facility management services, and ultimately ended up bringing us on board for a construction or remodel project. The common theme is th..

Trending: The Rise of Prefab and Modular Commercial Construction Techniques

Prefabricated elements such as pre-cast concrete walls, which Englewood installed for a Blain’s Farm & Fleet store in Romeoville, Ill., can have a positive impact on a construction project’s schedule and budget.
Something we’re hearing a lot about in our industry right now is the growing trend and popularity of prefab and modular commercial construction solutions. Much of this conversation is driven by the fact that in a business where actual building techniques haven’t changed much in decades, there’s a real hunger for new strategies to improve construction operations and control budgets – particularly in a commercial construction landscape where costs are rising and labor comes at a premium due to workforce shortages.

Using prefabricated construction components (elements that are manufactured off-site and then delivered to the construction site for installation) or a modular construction model (where entire building sections are constructed in a plant facility and delivered for on-s..

3 Construction Strategies for Senior Community Housing Renovation Projects

As noted in January’s Hard Hat Chat post about commercial real estate trends shaping Englewood’s work in the year ahead, we expect 2018 will maintain the same strong momentum we’ve recently experienced working with owners and operators to update existing senior communities. What’s driving the uptick in renovation and remodeling activity in this sector? For one, with aging Baby Boomers spurring more demand than ever for quality senior living options, property owners and managers are undertaking construction projects to improve senior communities to match the bar set by new players entering the market. Additionally, many national senior housing operators are in “acquisition” mode and are boosting their portfolio by snapping up value-add properties they can remodel and put under their brand umbrella.

Updates to common areas and amenities are a smart investment for senior community improvement and facility budgets, since these spaces have such high impact with residents and their families..

4 Commercial Construction Trends and Predictions for 2018

Happy New Year to all of our Hard Hat Chat readers! As we flip the calendar over to 2018 this month, it’s a great time to share some of the commercial construction trends we predict will shape our work in the year ahead.

#1: Grocery Sector Ripe for Change

The grocery sector has been keeping a steady pace in recent years, but it is definitely an area to watch in 2018. With major players like Amazon entering the arena, and new technology and services for shoppers potentially impacting operations, many of our clients are taking a “wait and see” approach as they evaluate how these new factors play out in the market. Some new grocery trends, such as the popularity of curbside pickup and delivery services being introduced by many store chains, have real potential to change facility and infrastructure needs, which could result in an uptick in grocery construction and renovation projects.

Today’s grocery shoppers are also becoming accustomed to having a variety of store options available to..

Commercial Construction Trends: Highs and Lows of 2017

As we close in on the final days of 2017, it’s time once again for our annual commercial construction blog post reflecting back on the positives – and the negatives – that have impacted our business and the industry as a whole over the last 12 months. Here’s a rundown of our top commercial construction trends – both the “highs” and “lows” – from 2017:

High – Guys and Dolls: Englewood Completes New American Girl Manhattan Flagship Store

A true highlight of 2017 for the entire Englewood team was the opportunity build out a new flagship store at 75 Rockefeller Plaza in New York for our long-time client American Girl. We are so proud to be working with American Girl nearly a decade after completing the first of our many projects for the brand over the years. This longevity showcases the client-contractor relationship at its best, when the construction firm becomes a trusted partner and true collaboration is possible.

The Englewood Construction team at the grand opening benefit party for..

CRE Construction Project Site Selection: 3 Tips for Finding the Perfect Match

When it comes to choosing a site for a commercial construction or CRE project, finding the perfect match between a brand or concept and an available space is one of the most important steps in the planning process. And for business owners and developers looking for guidance as they vet different options, there’s no better “matchmaker” to consult than an experienced commercial contractor who can point out the pros and cons of a location and the construction considerations that can make or break a project. Here are three key points we advise clients think about as they search for a site:

1. Does the site match up with infrastructure needs?
One important step to finding “happily ever after” with a new location is evaluating if it has the necessary infrastructure to function for its new purpose. Case in point, a developer once asked us to price out a retail-to-restaurant conversion on the first floor of a Chicago high rise. Because the space was originally built for retail, it wasn’t outf..

Emergency Commercial Facility Disaster Planning: 3 Takeaways from Recent Hurricanes

Earlier this fall, the entire country watched as hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria caused widespread destruction across Texas, Florida, the Caribbean and Puerto Rico. As I followed the media coverage leading up to and following these storms, my thoughts of course turned to the rebuilding process and post-hurricane construction work ahead for these communities. As a national commercial construction firm offering emergency commercial facility maintenance and repair services, we know it’s never easy to deal with damage to any property, much less on the scale of what a major natural disaster can cause. We also understand how important it is to have a commercial facility disaster plan in place ahead of time.

While hopefully most of us will never experience firsthand the result of a category 4 or 5 hurricane, these recent storms offer some good reminders to all commercial property owners and tenants about preparing for serious weather-related events that could potentially strike in their ar..

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