April, 2019 - Sachse Construction

Developers Offer Peek Behind Rainbow Mural in Detroit

Developers offered a look Monday at the progress on a $16 million project to turn a cold storage building into a co-working space and food hall in the Milwaukee Junction neighborhood.

The first floor-to-ceiling window has been installed in the nine-story building at 2937-67 E. Grand Blvd. It will be among dozens of windows that will pour light into the long-abandoned building known for its rainbow-colored mural.

“It is a relatively small project but because it is out of the norm, it attracts a great deal of interest,” said Peter Cummings, executive The Platform, the Detroit-based development group undertaking the project.

The tour Monday kicked off the Urban Land Institute of Michigan’s first Spring Real Estate Summit at Cobo Center. The two-day event for real estate professionals is a follow-up to a national Urban Land Institute spring meeting held in Detroit last year.

Developments included in the tour were The Corner, a mixed-used development in Corktown, Pullman Parc in Lafayette Park and Bedrock’s City Modern development in Brush Park. A reception was set for Wednesday night at the recently opened Shinola Hotel.

“It gives the attendees a firsthand view of what’s happening in the local market, current trends,” said Jill Ferrari, vice chair of Urban Land Institute of Michigan, of the tours. “They can apply what they’ve seen.”

For example, the Chroma project falls under Opportunity Zone rules that allow investors to reduce or avoid capital gains taxes by investing in designated areas. Ferrari will participate in a session Tuesday on the topic of successful opportunity zone investments.

Other topics Tuesday will include women in development, state and federal incentives, and climate change and real estate.

At Chroma, Florida-based Grandview Public Market will run a 14,000-square-foot public hall on the first two floors. It will serve as an incubator for local food entrepreneurs and include a full bar. The third floor will house a nonprofit tenant who Cummings said will be announced soon.

Beauty Shoppe, a Pittsburgh-based firm, will operate a 15,000-square-feet co-working space on the seventh and eighth floors. There will be an event space in the basement.

“We refer to this building as a hub of creativity, design and business innovation,” Cummings said. “This is unlike any project that I’ve ever done.”

Construction began in January, and challenges in a building 100-plus years old arose, said Larry Marantette of Detroit-based Taktix Solutions.

“It has had issues on how it’s been maintained over the years,” he said. “Integrity of the walls, the brick … We’re managing that as we’re building inside the building.”

Marantette said there have also been challenges bringing utilities into a building in a very tight space on Grand Boulevard.

The project is on target for completion in November.

Crews also removed a freight elevator shaft to install a second stairwell. Framing is up for restrooms on each floor.

While much of the interior will change, plans call for preserving the 100-foot-by-125-foot rainbow-colored artwork, “Illuminated Mural,” on the building’s west side. When The Platform went under contract to buy the building in 2017, it agreed with the artist that the mural would remain.

State Fairgrounds Sale to Detroit Completed

The state’s sale of part of its former fairgrounds site to the city of Detroit has closed, officials said.

The Michigan Land Bank on Tuesday announced the $7 million sale of 142 acres of the old Michigan State fairgrounds on Woodward near Eight Mile to the city has been completed.

The announcement comes about two weeks after the agency said the sale of the other part of the fairgrounds to Magic Plus was finalized. Magic Plus is basketball legend Earvin “Magic” Johnson’s development company and it purchased 16 acres of the fairgrounds for $472,464 for a mixed-use project.

“This is great news for the city of Detroit and marks a new beginning for the fairgrounds property,” Michigan Land Bank Interim Director Jeff Huntington said in a statement. “This has been a long journey and I look forward to seeing the great work the city and Magic Plus will achieve together as they work to bring more jobs and economic growth to the area.”

City officials echoed Huntington’s sentiments.

“We were pleased to close the deal yesterday with the State of Michigan to purchase a portion of the former State Fair Grounds and we are currently determining next steps to ensure this property will be an asset to Detroit’s future,” Tom Lewand, the city’s Group Executive for Jobs and the Economy, said in a statement.

The fairgrounds property had been vacant for nearly 10 years and cost taxpayers $1 million a year to maintain. The site hosted the Michigan State Fair from 1905-2009.

The property was transferred to the Michigan Land Bank in 2012, and the Michigan Land Bank Board of Directors approved the purchase in March 2018.

In 2013, the Michigan Land Bank entered into a purchase agreement with Magic Plus. The developer later pitched proposals calling for housing, retail, restaurants, transit and parks at the site.

State Fairgrounds Sale to Detroit Completed

The state’s sale of part of its former fairgrounds site to the city of Detroit has closed, officials said.

The Michigan Land Bank on Tuesday announced the $7 million sale of 142 acres of the old Michigan State fairgrounds on Woodward near Eight Mile to the city has been completed.

The announcement comes about two weeks after the agency said the sale of the other part of the fairgrounds to Magic Plus was finalized. Magic Plus is basketball legend Earvin “Magic” Johnson’s development company and it purchased 16 acres of the fairgrounds for $472,464 for a mixed-use project.

“This is great news for the city of Detroit and marks a new beginning for the fairgrounds property,” Michigan Land Bank Interim Director Jeff Huntington said in a statement. “This has been a long journey and I look forward to seeing the great work the city and Magic Plus will achieve together as they work to bring more jobs and economic growth to the area.”

City officials echoed Huntington’s sentiments.

“We were pleased to close the deal yesterday with the State of Michigan to purchase a portion of the former State Fair Grounds and we are currently determining next steps to ensure this property will be an asset to Detroit’s future,” Tom Lewand, the city’s Group Executive for Jobs and the Economy, said in a statement.

The fairgrounds property had been vacant for nearly 10 years and cost taxpayers $1 million a year to maintain. The site hosted the Michigan State Fair from 1905-2009.

The property was transferred to the Michigan Land Bank in 2012, and the Michigan Land Bank Board of Directors approved the purchase in March 2018.

In 2013, the Michigan Land Bank entered into a purchase agreement with Magic Plus. The developer later pitched proposals calling for housing, retail, restaurants, transit and parks at the site.

Supermarket Giant Sainsbury’s Opens UK’s First Checkout-Free Store

One of the U.K.’s biggest supermarkets has opened a till-free store. All customers at the Sainsbury’s convenience store, in Holborn Circus, London, will scan and pay for their shopping using an app that they download to their smartphone.

As shoppers walk around the store, they will scan the items they wish to buy, pay using an app and then scan a QR code to confirm they have paid.

 The store has been remodeled for the new technology, with its checkout area and tills removed. The pilot will last for three months, Sainsbury’s said Monday.

A helpdesk has been installed to support shoppers who want to pay with cash or cards. Sainsbury’s said that 82% of transactions at the shop were cashless.

“This is an experiment rather than a new format for us – it hasn’t been done in the U.K. before and we’re really excited to understand how our customers respond to the app experience,” Clodagh Moriarty, chief digital officer at the Sainsbury’s Group, said in a statement.

“We’ll be with our customers and colleagues all the way over the coming months, iterating continuously based on their feedback before we decide if, how and where we make this experience more widely available,” Moriarty added.

A number of businesses are introducing technology that could transform the way people shop in stores. U.S. tech giant Amazon, for example, has opened a number of checkout-free Amazon Go stores in Seattle, Chicago and San Francisco.

Customers use their Amazon Go app to enter the store, where technology detects when items are taken off the shelves and put in a “virtual cart.” Once they are done shopping, customers walk out of the store, with a charge made to their Amazon account soon after.

Earlier this month, however, an Amazon spokesperson confirmed to CNBC via email that the company was planning to accept cash at its Go stores.

The spokesperson described the process as “you’ll check out, pay with cash, and then get your change.”

“We are working to accept cash at Amazon Go,” the spokesperson added.

Michigan Health Systems Team for $48M Detroit Laundry Facility

Three Michigan health-care systems are partnering to reactivate a vacant industrial building in Detroit for a $48 million medical laundry service facility.

Henry Ford Health System, Michigan Medicine at the University of Michigan and St. Joseph Mercy Health System join others for the facility in the Northwest Goldberg neighborhood north of Interstate 94 and west of the Lodge Freeway. The facility will improve efficiencies with greater automation and annually process 78 million pounds of linens, the health-care systems said.

“I think the unique nature of this is that you have competing health systems collaborating for the greater good of providing quality products for our patients in an assured, reliable service for everyone,” said James O’Connor, Henry Ford’s vice president of supply chain management, who led the effort.

Construction at 1150 Elijah McCoy Drive will begin this spring and will double the current building to 105,000 square feet to become one of the largest shared medical laundry facilities in the country. Metropolitan Detroit Area Hospital Services, a Michigan nonprofit, will own and operate the facility when it opens in spring 2020. The nonprofit is expected to hire 100 people for the facility.

The cooperative facility represents a 15-20 percent reduction in cost due to scale, O’Connor said. The health-care operators will pay proportionate to their loads.

The nonprofit, which Henry Ford and Saint Joseph, a member of Livonia-based Trinity Health have owned for nearly four decades, has operated a shared laundry facility on Oakman Boulevard on Detroit’s west side, but the health-care systems have outgrown that building and its aging equipment and infrastructure. The 70 employees there will move to the new building.

It is unclear at this time whether the health systems will sell or repurpose the former building, O’Connor said

Likewise, Ann Arbor-based Michigan Medicine’s laundry facility turns 50 this year. It processes nearly 11 million pounds of laundry every year. Upgrading it or building a new facility was estimated to cost up to $22 million.

Discussions for a new shared laundry facility began in 2016. Henry Ford purchased the 10-acre property in 2017. The facility will occupy 40 percent of the land, and the Detroit-based health system will retain the remaining property for future use. Henry Ford is looking at various options, O’Connor said.

The joint venture has issued bonds to finance the construction. It will operate without government subsidies.

The new facility is being built with the environment in mind. A wastewater heat reclamation system will capture heat from wastewater and use it to preheat fresh water during the washing process to reduce natural gas consumption.

Four hospitals, including St. Joseph Mercy Ann Arbor hospital, founded the Metropolitan Detroit Area Hospital Services in the early 1970s. Henry Ford joined it in the 1980s, and it later grew to include other Saint Joe’s hospitals. The University of Michigan’s board of regents approved its addition to the nonprofit in February.

Nearby in 2015 on Rosa Parks Boulevard, Ohio-based Cardinal Health opened a new distribution plant. In 2020, the Henry Ford Cancer Institute will open its new cancer facility across West Grand Boulevard from its main hospital building.

Michigan Health Systems Team for $48M Detroit Laundry Facility

Three Michigan health-care systems are partnering to reactivate a vacant industrial building in Detroit for a $48 million medical laundry service facility.

Henry Ford Health System, Michigan Medicine at the University of Michigan and St. Joseph Mercy Health System join others for the facility in the Northwest Goldberg neighborhood north of Interstate 94 and west of the Lodge Freeway. The facility will improve efficiencies with greater automation and annually process 78 million pounds of linens, the health-care systems said.

“I think the unique nature of this is that you have competing health systems collaborating for the greater good of providing quality products for our patients in an assured, reliable service for everyone,” said James O’Connor, Henry Ford’s vice president of supply chain management, who led the effort.

Construction at 1150 Elijah McCoy Drive will begin this spring and will double the current building to 105,000 square feet to become one of the largest shared medical laundry facilities in the country. Metropolitan Detroit Area Hospital Services, a Michigan nonprofit, will own and operate the facility when it opens in spring 2020. The nonprofit is expected to hire 100 people for the facility.

The cooperative facility represents a 15-20 percent reduction in cost due to scale, O’Connor said. The health-care operators will pay proportionate to their loads.

The nonprofit, which Henry Ford and Saint Joseph, a member of Livonia-based Trinity Health have owned for nearly four decades, has operated a shared laundry facility on Oakman Boulevard on Detroit’s west side, but the health-care systems have outgrown that building and its aging equipment and infrastructure. The 70 employees there will move to the new building.

It is unclear at this time whether the health systems will sell or repurpose the former building, O’Connor said

Likewise, Ann Arbor-based Michigan Medicine’s laundry facility turns 50 this year. It processes nearly 11 million pounds of laundry every year. Upgrading it or building a new facility was estimated to cost up to $22 million.

Discussions for a new shared laundry facility began in 2016. Henry Ford purchased the 10-acre property in 2017. The facility will occupy 40 percent of the land, and the Detroit-based health system will retain the remaining property for future use. Henry Ford is looking at various options, O’Connor said.

The joint venture has issued bonds to finance the construction. It will operate without government subsidies.

The new facility is being built with the environment in mind. A wastewater heat reclamation system will capture heat from wastewater and use it to preheat fresh water during the washing process to reduce natural gas consumption.

Four hospitals, including St. Joseph Mercy Ann Arbor hospital, founded the Metropolitan Detroit Area Hospital Services in the early 1970s. Henry Ford joined it in the 1980s, and it later grew to include other Saint Joe’s hospitals. The University of Michigan’s board of regents approved its addition to the nonprofit in February.

Nearby in 2015 on Rosa Parks Boulevard, Ohio-based Cardinal Health opened a new distribution plant. In 2020, the Henry Ford Cancer Institute will open its new cancer facility across West Grand Boulevard from its main hospital building.

Half of Corporate and Government Offices Offer Wellness Programs

Almost half of all U.S. worksites offered some type of health promotion or wellness program in 2017, according to a new study in the American Journal of Health Promotion.

Nearly 30% of those job locations offered a program for physical activity and fitness. The findings of the report show that worksite health promotion continues to grow in America, according to a news release from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

Health strategies include health-promoting policies, health benefits design, and physical changes to the work environment.

Some 19% of worksites offered a program to help employees stop using tobacco products, and about 17% offered a program to address obesity or weight management.

“More than 156 million full-time workers in the U.S. spend most of their daily waking hours in the workplace, providing employers with an important opportunity to foster a healthy and safe work environment,” said CDC Director Robert R. Redfield, M.D. “It is encouraging to see a growing number of worksites developing and promoting a culture of health for employees.”

For more information on CDC’s Workplace Health Promotion activities, visit

Sourcing Your Scope of Work: The How and What

When creating your scope of work, knowing the Who, What, When, Where and How is key to laying out the foundation of the project. Looking at each of these pieces in more detail, though, we know the information you include can make or break the long term plan being laid out. So how you do you source clear and accurate data while covering all the points you need to hit?

To outline the necessities in your SOW, you can break it down into nine pieces: purpose statement; contractor responsibilities; owner responsibilities; project execution requirements; quality, quantity, and means of execution; project timeline; payment and reporting schedules; related tasks; and contractor performance evaluations. These sections will help clearly lead the reader to one specific conclusion, leaving no room for interpretation and eliminating ambiguity.

In order to be clear and complete, you’ll have to gather a lot of supporting data. We did the leg work to identify exactly where you should source your information from:

Plans and Specs

Existing plans and specifications for identical or similar buildings should be a go-to resource. These documents (including those scopes of work) are an amazing source of information including drawings, details on the materials and products used, installation methods and quality of work.

As-builts

Unexpected things happen on a job site, and contractors stray from even the best plans and specs from time to time. Studying as-built documents can explain why plans were deviated from and how. This will help owners prepare for changes or, ideally, prevent them.

Site Visits

For the Context Scope, there is no substitute for visiting a project site. A site visit will help inform challenges to equipment and material delivery, the conditions and operations of the existing facility and give a close-up look at potential security concerns. Walking the project area reveals ground-level knowledge owners can use to “build it before they build it.”

Vendors

Trustworthy vendors have a wealth of experience and see projects through the lens of that experience. This sort of help and advice can help ensure scope is useful and complete.

Third-Party Data

A construction cost database is typically associated with estimating, but access to verified, impartial data is invaluable for scope development as well. A robust cost database can fill in knowledge gaps and account for details owners may not consider. For example, RSMeans data from Gordian includes assembly models where construction tasks are grouped together and square foot models that provide an early idea of overall costs. This includes all the components and labor associated with complex jobs and is invaluable in the early planning stages and for validating estimates.

There is no such thing as too much data. Knowing what information you need a how to use it in your scope will prove invaluable to you planning process. A Scope of Work sets the tone for the whole project, so make sure you leave no stone unturned and no question un-asked.

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