Already the largest online restaurant supply store with millions of orders shipped to date, the WebstaurantStore was growing exponentially and needed an additional fulfillment center. For owner Clark Associates, building a new warehouse and distribution center in Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania, was the perfect way to expand the WebstaurantStore’s e-commerce capabilities in the Northeast. By hiring Kinsley as the design-build contractor for the project, they also got a partner to provide cost- and time-saving solutions to meet their facility goals.
Preconstruction Produces Results
Clark’s past warehouse projects were either retrofitted facilities or pre-engineered buildings. While they originally planned for a pre-engineered metal building, thinking it was the economical choice, our preconstruction team guided them through all available design and construction options to find the best value for this project. Based on our detailed estimates and warehouse construction expertise, Clark instead selected a traditional building consisting of conventional steel and precast concrete wall panels. Together with careful planning and early subcontractor involvement, this option saved them the most time and money.
By getting subcontractors and suppliers on board with early production schedules, we created an aggressive, yet realistic project schedule. To meet Clark’s goal of shipping orders from the new WebstaurantStore in fall 2020, we collaborated with them and key subcontractors on a plan to get the building under roof in five months. This allowed construction to continue over the winter months in a temperature-controlled environment – keeping the project moving towards the target completion date.
Part of our preconstruction planning included engaging the precast wall panel supplier early in the design process to ensure they could meet the schedule and quality requirements of the project. To build trust among the supplier, the architect, and the client, we took the project team on a tour of the precast wall panel plant to see their production and quality control processes firsthand. Located only 32 miles from the construction site, the supplier was also the most economical option to supply 143,000 square feet of concrete wall panels for the new facility.
Providing Solutions During Construction
A wet winter delayed the completion of the concrete pours as the team waited for damp soil and stones delivered to the site to dry. This was crucial in preparing the subbase for concrete, but it was time-consuming. To keep to the overall project schedule, we carefully coordinated the final concrete pours with the owner’s racking vendor. By resequencing the pours, we ensured that sections were ready for the racking’s scheduled installation dates.
However, a shared access point for large trucks complicated matters as it was only big enough for one truck to enter at a time. By getting our concrete trucks in and out of the building from 3:00 am to 9:00 am, the racking vendor had uninterrupted access to the building for the rest of the day, allowing the racking installation to complete on time.
Through detailed preconstruction planning, and the proactive communication and collaboration between the entire team during all phases of the project, we met Clark’s target completion date and budget while maintaining safety and quality.
At 550,000 square feet, this new warehouse and distribution center is currently the largest building in the Bloomsburg area. Since opening in June, the WebstaurantStore has hired 100 employees and plans to hire an additional 150 employees this fall.
The new facility includes:
- A 11,400-square-foot mezzanine with elevator, offices, conference rooms, storage, and a breakroom
- A conditioned packing room
- A cold storage area
- 51 loading docks
- A reception area with a waiting room
- A fire pump house