With a little help from their friends, h/dc solves big puzzle for BIG YAM

puzzle-houseIn the building world, we are constantly solving puzzles, some more complicated than others. hardison/downey construction’s recent completion of the 65,000-square-foot YAM Worldwide Center was just that: one big puzzle. But fortunately Kitchell’s ability to mobilize and engage its in-house services helped solve it.

As the new home of BIG YAM Ad Agency, Sneaky Big Studios and several other YAM Holdings affiliates, each of the projects under this roof had its own consultant team and set of documents. h/dc held a total of four separate general contracts between the shell building, with two levels of underground parking and three major complicated tenant improvements (TIs). In August 2015, the post-tension concrete shell structure was already under construction and the h/dc team was challenged to implement a total coordination and document management strategy, since all three separate TI jobs (with three separate design and engineering teams) were combined under one permit.

Early on, says h/dc Senior Project Manager Eric Rogers, the team realized the coordination effort between four design and engineering teams was challenging: enter Kitchell’s in-house Virtual Construction (ViCon) team.

“Having the in-house tools to be able to manage a complex project like this was a great illustration of our services all working collaboratively,” Rogers said.

A digital scan of the building structure was overlaid into a BIM model, which had already eliminated conflicts. This brought even more issues and conflicts to resolution before they became costly delays, by bridging the gap between drawings/models and reality. Kitchell’s IT team was integral to the project, as SharePoint also played a major role in the simple management and coordination of information flow to the design teams and a long list of owner vendors.

As the project moved into construction, Bluebeam Studio became a very reliable and useful tool. A station was completely dedicated to the electronic management of the document set on-site, complete with a touch screen monitor. The document set was uploaded to a Bluebeam Studio session, so the project team could have access to the documents on both their desktops and iPads. In the studio session, drawings could be checked out and updated by anyone with access. The superintendents were able to post pictures of field conditions to the drawings.

“As you can imagine, with this many designers and engineers all crossing paths in a single document set, tracking and coordination of changes was really important,” Rogers said.

By using a hyperlink function, the team was able to highlight the areas on a drawing that was revised and linked back to the document that made the revision. This saved the field personnel time by being able to reference the drawings and revisions without having to carry around a set of paper drawings or return to the trailers.


The need for real-time access to this information was critical. The team used iPads in the field for quick reference and access to the latest information and any relevant revisions being tracked in the electronic set. When a larger screen was needed, the site team and subcontractors used the document station to review the plans, enlarge details and generate further questions and clarifications on the fly. This kept decision-making moving along, and allowed for a marked-up screen shot to be attached to an RFI for response in real time. This constant communication flow reduced response time to the field for implementation.

When the time came for punch lists, the team again turned to Bluebeam Studio.

“A little time spent on establishing the punch document set and they were off,” Rogers said. “Bluebeam allows photos taken with your iPad to be tagged to the punch item on the plan. In most cases, this greatly reduced the ‘wandering’ for a subcontractor to find and correct the punch item.”

At the end of the project the team was able to include the fully posted set of electronic documents as part of the closeout manuals turned over to ownership.

Puzzle solved: while building value for project owners, teams and each other.

Kitchell breaks ground on industrial park

AZRE recently highlighted the Kitchell industrial park development under construction near Sky Harbor International Airport. The project includes two class “A” general industrial buildings and marks Kitchell’s re-entrance into the industrial development landscape, a key segment of Kitchell’s future business portfolio. The full text of the story is below.


Kitchell recently commenced construction on the expansion of an industrial park near Sky Harbor International Airport, consisting of two class “A” general industrial buildings comprising 212,000 square feet.

Located on roughly 20 acres near Interstate 10 and 28th Street in Phoenix, the development is south of Sky Harbor, with primary frontage along Interstate 10 offering excellent visibility and access to the airport. The two buildings will be 97,000 square feet and 115,000 square feet, and will join a 17,500-square-foot, two-story office/warehouse building that was recently leased to Super Shuttle International on a long-term basis.  The site perimeter features a 10-foot wrought iron security fence and the development will be able to accommodate high security uses. The contemporary project incorporates soft grays, tans and earthen reds in ribbed horizontal metal and smooth concrete panels, which break down the buildings into smaller masses.

“The Sky Harbor area continues to perform very well,” said Kitchell Senior Development Director Ryan Cochran. “It’s the most sought-after submarket in metropolitan Phoenix and barriers to entry for new development are, and will remain, very high. We see this as a quality long-term asset.”

The development includes two improved pads that are available for sale or build-to-suit, each able to accommodate a 10,000 to 15,000-square-foot building, storage yard and ample parking.

Each tenant will have a 4’ x 29’ internally illuminated sign panel on one of two multi-tenant wall signs facing Interstate 10 and Sky Harbor Airport, allowing companies to market to the estimated 220,000 cars that drive by the site every day, as well as to airport traffic.

The building shell is expected to be complete by December 2016.

According to CBRE’s most recent industrial market report, availability of industrial space in the United States declined in the first quarter of 2016 to the lowest level since 2001, and rents remain on an upward trajectory.

Scottsdale-based Aspen Group (Don Meyers and Jay Donnelly, principals), an active developer of shopping centers and master-planned communities, is a partner in the venture.

The Phoenix-based project team consists of architect Butler Design Group and general contractor hardison/downey construction inc. CB Richard Ellis’ John Werstler and Cooper Fratt are handling leasing and marketing. Wells Fargo is the lender.

The project represents Kitchell’s return to industrial development after a decade-long hiatus. The company developed an adjacent property named Riverpoint Business Park, consisting of 32 acres of office and industrial product including two high-rise buildings that serve as University of Phoenix’s online headquarters.

“We’ve focused on other product types for the past decade, but we see industrial development as a key segment of our business in the future,” Cochran said. “We’ve seen firsthand how much the shopping center landscape has changed. In many ways, warehouse development is the future of retail.”

Kitchell has a long history of successful retail and office developments, including Prescott Crossroads, Mountain Ranch Marketplace and several successful multifamily properties in partnership with Mark-Taylor.