May, 2019 - Sachse Construction

Grilled to Order: The Art of Outdoor Kitchens

A growing appetite for outdoor living spaces is fueling an expansion of outdoor kitchens on roof decks, terraces, and courtyards.

“In the last few years, we’ve seen an enormous increase in demand as high-end rental properties, condos, and townhomes take advantage of the indoor-outdoor living phenomenon,” said Mitch Slater, Founder/President, Danver Stainless Outdoor Kitchens (danver.com).

The design of these open-air amenity spaces has evolved from standalone grill stations to sophisticated meal preparation and dining environments that emphasize convenience and community. “These days, the goal is to get people to stay outside longer and have a great experience,” said Kristen Larkin, ASID, Associate Principal, FitzGerald Associates Architects, Chicago.

Although there’s no standard template for outdoor kitchens, designers and manufacturers we spoke with shared practical advice for ensuring these amenity spaces deliver safe, memorable experiences for residents and guests.

1. Design a simple, logical layout. L-shape, U-shape, and island layouts are common configurations for outdoor kitchens. Marieke Lacasse, ASLA, LEED AP BD+C, Principal at Seattle-based design firm GGLO, recommends locating them close to the pool area or party room to create a social hub and event space. “Outdoor kitchens are places to congregate around food, so it’s important to provide adequate food prep areas, sink space, and support surfaces,” she said.

Larkin likes to engage the management company that will maintain the space early in the design process, to ensure everyone’s goals are aligned. “I want to make sure any decisions I make on their behalf are in the long-term interests of the building owner,” she said.

2. Provide indoor-outdoor continuity. The growing popularity of sliding glass walls opens the door for outdoor kitchens to function as extensions of the interior environment. “Interior designers need to work closely with landscape architects to achieve design continuity between these areas,” said Jason Valentin, Associate IIDA, Interior Design Coordinator at Stantec.

Team collaboration extends to design details. “Don’t just think programmatically about how the spaces work together, but think also about the overall language of materiality such as patterns, colors, and metals,” said Lacasse. “Every little detail needs to be thought through to create a cohesive indoor-outdoor connection.”

 

3. Select durable, easy-to-maintain materials. “We push for sturdy, stable baseline construction materials,” said Larkin, who favors steel trellises over all-wood structures. She recommends easy-to-maintain surfaces such as stainless steel cabinetry and granite countertops. Powder-coated stainless steel cabinetry offers added protection against moisture damage. Powder coatings can also be colored, opening up design possibilities.

The inevitable spills and splatters from shared grills should be considered when selecting flooring materials. “We’ve learned to use darker pavers in front of barbecue spaces, because grease is more visible on lighter-colored pavers and they stain easily,” said GGLO’s Lacasse.

4. Emphasize safety and accessibility. To protect residents and guests from the potential hazards of open flames and hot surfaces, locate grills, ovens, and fire pit tables in sheltered environments away from high-wind areas—or use a flameless electric grill. All adjacent structures should use fire-resistant building materials, such as fire-treated wood or light-gauge aluminum frame.

Designers also must follow ADA accessibility requirements for kitchens: providing adequate clearance areas and adhering to surface height requirements for sinks, appliances, cabinets, countertops, and food prep areas.

5. Take local climate into consideration. In colder climates sinks, icemakers, and refrigerators that have outdoor plumbing need to be winterized. “If an outdoor sink isn’t feasible, it’s important to consider adjacencies—how far will a resident have to carry a dirty spatula from the grill to an indoor sink to clean it?” said Larkin.

Humid environments and extreme weather events pose their own problems. “In Miami, we need to specify marine-grade materials such as plywood and cement board as a substrate for the millwork and cabinetry,” said Stantec’s Valentin. “We wouldn’t specify a typical laminate that we might use in an interior space.”

6. Use lighting to enhance the ambiance. Because nighttime is prime time for grilling, effective lighting is essential for maximizing safety and functionality. Our experts recommend using subtle, indirect lighting strategies that meet local outdoor lighting code requirements while maintaining an ambience conducive to a relaxing night under the stars.

Wind can play havoc with decorative lighting fixtures. FitzGerald’s Larkin suggests using softer bounce lights and integrating the lighting into a trellis or overhead structure to make the space feel more intimate.

7. Offer cooking options. Multifamily developers are expanding their cooking repertoire to include electric cooktops, smokers, and pizza ovens. Manufacturers like Danver offer commercial-grade bartending stations and mobile F&B service carts.

Properties with space or budget constraints can still raise their game. Thor Kitchen (thorkitchen.com) offers a compact modular outdoor kitchen suite that has a gas grill, side burner, wood-burning pizza oven, refrigerator drawers, grill cabinet, sink cabinet, corner cabinet, and appliance cabinet. Danver’s Post and Panel System employs powder-coated stainless steel panels that ship flat and can be installed in the cabinetry even with the countertop in place.

Do outdoor kitchens enhance a property’s marketability? Yes, said GGLO’s Lacasse. “All the best properties have them,” she noted. “The outdoor living trend is definitely here to stay, so not having an outdoor kitchen really devalues your asset.”

The Top 3 Safety Factors Affecting Construction Teams Today

With the ever-increasing focus on safety in the construction industry, it is important to consider safety from a broad perspective—including everything from specific practices adopted on-site to companywide process and cultural changes that impact the way projects are approached. A recent set of studies by Dodge Data & Analytics, published in the Contractor Use of Safety Best Practices SmartMarket Brief, revealed several ways for contractors to better address safety, both on their projects and within their companies.

To gain an on-the-ground perspective, insights on the findings are shared by sheet metal general superintendent at Southland Industries, Henry Nutt III, a thought leader in the industry on the subjects of safety and lean construction. Below, he provides his perspectives on three top findings in the study: the limited use of noise reduction practices, best practices for mentoring subcontractors on safety and health, and the relationship between lean and safety.

1. Noise Reduction Practices

One of the most striking findings in the brief is the opportunity for contractors to increase their use of practices that assist with noise reduction. According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), construction workers are at higher risk for hearing loss than those in most other professions in the United States. And yet, several practices featured in the study are not widely adopted. Even the most common practice—the use of hearing protection—is used “all of the time” by less than half (43%) of general and specialty-trade contractors.

The opportunity for wider use of other practices is even greater. Low-noise equipment is used on the majority of projects by less than half (42%) of contractors, and only 6% report that they use that equipment all the time. While most contractors (87%) report that their company does advanced planning to reduce noise exposure on-site before construction starts, the majority of them think their company could do better. And the findings are similar for purchasing quieter equipment. Only 45% are isolating loud equipment from the work area more than half the time, and just 35% place loud equipment behind barriers as frequently.

Nutt believes that, right now, the main way for the industry to address this lack of safety practice implementation is to increase awareness. “I think we accept things the way they are because they’ve been that way for so long,” he said. Nutt believes that understanding the long-term effects loud equipment can have on the human body will be helpful for the industry long-term. When asked where awareness training should come from, he calls for the industry, including associations and other organizations, to embrace the issue.

However, Nutt also said, “First and foremost, as contractors, we must start with ourselves, look within and understand the ramifications of the choices we make in order to be in business and how that impacts our employees’ livelihoods. [This includes] listening to our own people and recognizing what hazards may be created by our work.” He believes the data is available, and that acting on that data should be a collective effort. “It is a matter of assigning people to do the homework and bring back the information to myself and my colleagues, as superintendents and construction managers, so that we can communicate to our people and our project team to help them offset some of the issues that we’re finding.”

2. Subcontractor Mentoring

The safety climate of a project is influenced by the entire team on-site. The active mentoring of subcontractors plays a crucial role in improving safety climate because it establishes the expectations about safety upfront, and it provides the opportunity for larger companies to share the benefits of their safety resources with smaller companies.

This is particularly important, given the consistent findings in other safety research conducted by Dodge Data & Analytics as well, which consistently demonstrates that large companies are more likely to employ good safety management practices than smaller ones. Unfortunately, though, the findings published in the current brief show that while 95% of large companies mentor their subcontractors, only 58% do so most of the time. In addition, large and small companies do not regard many of the means of providing mentorship to be of equal importance.

Large contractors believe that what small contractors need most to improve their safety and health performance is assistance in conducting job hazard analyses, followed by the provision of safety equipment. What small contractors regard as most important to improve their performance, on the other hand, are printed materials related to site-specific safety and health hazards, as well as toolbox training resources.

As someone working for a large mechanical contractor, Nutt is in the position of both seeing how general contractors (GCs) mentor their subs and engaging in that activity himself. As a lean contractor, Southland sees the mentoring process as based on more than just individual safety practices. Nutt said, “It really comes down to trade partners understanding our culture and our philosophy, as well as how we expect it to become theirs on our project.” According to Nutt, it’s like developing a partnership with the companies they work with, and those relationships inform the selection of companies on other projects. Reviewing companies, their history, their safety record and their past ability to embrace Southland’s culture and strategies takes precedence over the simple question of price, Nutt says.

He also stresses the importance of how GCs mentor their subs, as it sets the tone for the project, which he regards as crucial to their own efforts to enhance the project’s safety climate. Interestingly, Nutt says that an early indicator of the GC’s leadership on a project lies in how clean the site is. He said, “A clean job is indicative of the attitude people have about safety because they are investing in someone making sure things stay clean … [GCs] make sure that policy is adhered to and people put the things away they are responsible for.”

He believes a site’s cleanliness is also indicative of a larger communication strategy. “They create camaraderie by doing things that bring out the best in people and highlight small things that go well on projects. It creates a culture that becomes a community. In that community, there are rules about how you want to be treated, how you interact with others and how you deal with conflict—all of which typically depend on the GC setting the tone.” He points out that his firm tries to create that leadership regardless, but it works better if the GC has already laid the groundwork.

He also offers some insight into the value that small companies place on materials they can use for immediate training, such as printed materials related to site-specific safety and health hazards and toolbox training resources. He says these materials could be particularly useful to reinforce workers’ understanding of risk. He says effective training includes the experiences of people who take shortcuts (risks) and the life-altering consequences that follow.

The distribution of these materials and training, he says, reinforces awareness of hazards, and the investment in these materials demonstrates that the company believes in safety. Thus, the worker recognizes “that the company they work for supports them going through the process of mitigating a hazard.” This realization can positively influence the kind of split-second decisions made in the field that have major safety implications. It is as much about reinforcing the safety climate of the project as it is about informing workers of the hazards they face.

3. Lean Construction Practices

The SmartMarket Brief also contains findings that suggest a relationship between lean construction and a different approach to improving safety. First, it demonstrates that familiarity with lean construction is widespread, but implementation is still relatively low. Only 29% of the contractors surveyed are not familiar with lean, but only 21% have actually implemented a lean approach at their company. Contractors with a higher familiarity with lean practices are also much more likely to recognize the importance of supervisors’ and foremen’s leadership skills and enhanced safety on projects.

Finally, it demonstrates that the industry sees this connection—over three quarters believe that training for foremen, project managers and superintendents on lean principles would be valuable. This is a higher percentage than those who described themselves as familiar with or implementing lean, furthering the reputation the construction industry has for lagging in the adoption of new technologies and techniques. However, the study does not explore why there is such a strong connection between lean and safety.

As a national board member of the Lean Construction Institute, Lean Construction Institute-approved instructor, member of the task force for Sheet Metal and Air Conditioning Contractors’ National Association (SMACNA) and Associated General Contractors, Nutt provides perspective on the roots of that connection. He thinks an important aspect of lean building is having respect for people, a concept that he said, “is simple enough, but it’s not necessarily something that has been done in the construction world, specifically.”

He describes how the adoption of lean principles “creates an environment where there is a dialogue about the work you are about to embark on” across the entire project team. Lean principles create a team effort across the project, he insists, based on the tenets of respect for people and value for the customer. Nutt describes this change as a mindset that says, “This is not just about my company making money; this is about our project making money.” When people buy into this, there’s a visual, transformative effect. “You have a job with people who are actually smiling and happy,” Nutt said.

Nutt said, describing his role in supporting this effort, “My job as a superintendent and a lean practitioner is to not only talk about how to be more productive, but also to understand other issues, like our attitude toward how we do our work, treating people as a trade partner versus a subcontractor.” It is the communication and the creation of a team environment that ultimately helps reinforce the safety climate on-site.

Construction Employment Increases in 250 out of 358 Metros from April 2018 to April 2019

Construction employment grew in 250 out of 358 metro areas between April 2018 and April 2019, declined in 53 and was unchanged in 55, according to a new analysis of federal employment data released today by the Associated General Contractors of America. Association officials said construction employment in many parts of the country likely would have been higher if firms could find more qualified workers to hire.

“Demand for construction is steady or rising in most parts of the country, and many contractors are adding workers when they can find them,” said Ken Simonson, the association’s chief economist. “At the same time, many firms report they would have hired even more employees if only they could find enough qualified workers.”

The Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, Ariz. metro area added the most construction jobs during the past year (16,600 jobs, 14%). Other metro areas adding a large amount of construction jobs during the past 12 months include Dallas-Plano-Irving, Texas (9,200 jobs, 6%); Los Angeles-Long Beach-Glendale, Calif. (8,400 jobs, 6%); Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell, Ga. (7,000 jobs, 6%) and Las Vegas-Henderson-Paradise, Nev. (6,800 jobs, 11%). The largest percentage gain occurred in Monroe, Mich. (26%, 500 jobs) and St. Cloud, Minn. (26%, 1,500 jobs), followed by Auburn-Opelika, Ala. (25%, 600 jobs) and Norwich-New London-Westerly, Conn.-R.I. (16%, 600 jobs).

The largest job losses between April 2018 and April 2019 occurred in Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, N.C.-S.C. (-2,600 jobs, -4%), followed by Baton Rouge, La. (-1,800 jobs, -3%); Hartford-West Hartford-East Hartford, Conn. (-1,600 jobs, -8%) and Longview, Texas (-1,300 jobs, -9%). The largest percentage decrease took place in Gulfport-Biloxi-Pascagoula, Miss. (-13%, -1,200 jobs) and Atlantic City-Hammonton, N.J. (-13%, -800 jobs), followed by Niles-Benton Harbor, Mich. (-12%, -300 jobs); Evansville, Ind.-Ky. (-9%, -1,000 jobs) and Longview, Texas.

Association officials said that even though construction employment continues to expand in many parts of the country, workforce shortages remain problematic for many contractors eager to keep pace with strong demand. They urged federal officials to boost investments in career and technical education and to enact immigration reform that allows more men and women with construction skills to legally enter the country. They also urged state and local education officials to establish more school programs that offer exposure to essential construction skills.

“One reason relatively few young adults choose to pursue rewarding careers in construction is because not many of them are being told it is an option to consider,” said Stephen E. Sandherr, the association’s chief executive officer. “We have a lot of contractors looking for workers so they can keep up with the amount of work that is out there.”

Wind Energy, Tall Buildings and Manufacturing Show Breadth and Strength of Midwest’s Top Starts

The Top Starts ranking lists the 100 largest projects to break ground in the Midwest in 2018 in terms of construction cost. The projects reflect a total investment of $30.9 billion. The data was compiled by Dodge Data and Analytics and other ENR sources from our 11-state region.

Data Centers Still in High Demand

Microsoft is completing its second data center campus in West Des Moines, Iowa, a 1.16-million-sq-ft, $1.2-billion project that will stretch across 154 acres. This 18-building campus will contain servers and network equipment to increase capacity for Microsoft’s cloud services. Evaporative cooling technology will minimize the need for electricity, according to general contractor Turner Construction. Such systems use copper coils to carry cold water through server rooms. Fans blow the cold air surrounding the coils onto the servers.

The data center project is also contributing $54 million in widened roads and fiber optic cables, according to Turner. The project is expected to be completed in the summer of 2020.

Meanwhile, Facebook has started investing $1 billion in a six-building data center campus expansion in Papillion, Neb., expected to take up 2.6 million sq ft and 290 acres. The complex, which general contractor Turner began work on in April, will include two data center buildings totaling 900,000 sq ft linked by a 70,000-sq-ft administrative building expected to be completed in 2020. The rest of the project is expected to be completed by June 2023 and is also being built by Turner’s Kansas City, Mo., office. It includes a 670,000-sq-ft complex that houses two more data centers and another administrative building. Facebook already has an existing 970,000-sq-ft data center complex in Papillion.

Facebook is buying its wind power for the data centers from the Omaha Public Power District, which plans to buy it from the recently opened Rattlesnake Creek Wind Project, an ENR Midwest 2017 Top Start that began generating electricity in January. Facebook will be increasing its annual purchase of wind power from OPPD to 320 MW from 200 MW.

Detroit Builds Bigger

Detroit’s J.L. Hudson’s flagship department store is being redeveloped into a $1-billion mixed-use development connecting an arts district with a retail area. It will also have office and residential space.

The design by New York-based SHoP Architects and local firm Hamilton Anderson Associates includes a 912-ft tower, which will be the tallest building in Michigan, and an adjacent 14-story, 232-ft building. Ground-floor retail, residential units, a hotel, convention space and parking will total more than 1.4 million sq ft.

“The big move for us was how does this building really engage with its surroundings?” James Witherspoon, vice president of design for developer Bedrock Detroit says. “Separating the two buildings and creating connections through big, open, glass expanses helps to achieve that.”

The project broke ground in October and is expected to be completed in 2022.

Chicago Keeps Building Taller

Rounding out the top dozen largest projects is the New York-based Rafael Vinoly Architects-designed $650-million, three-phase NEMA Chicago complex. It’s being built on the southern edge of the city’s Grant Park by general contractor James McHugh Construction.

Miami-based Crescent Heights is developing Chicago’s tallest all-rental building at 896 ft tall. In the first phase, a 76-story tower is being built to house 792 apartment units, parking and 12,000 sq ft of retail space. It’s expected be completed by May.

The second phase, which has not yet broken ground, includes a 648-unit condominium tower and will connect to the other tower at the base. A proposed third phase is a 100-unit townhouse community with open parkland around the base of the towers.

Energy Projects Moving Forward

Several top starts came from the energy sector. The region’s second-largest project is the $2-billion NEXUS Pipeline, a 256-mile, 36-in. natural gas transmission pipeline. The pipeline is a partnership between Edmonton-based Enbridge Inc. and Detroit’s DTE Energy. In October, the system began flowing up to 1.5 billion cu ft daily. Work on the pipeline was approved by FERC and was supposed to begin in November 2017,  but portions of it in Ohio and Michigan did not start until 2018.

“For more than four years, NEXUS worked with landowners, key stakeholders and state and federal agencies to develop a balanced approach to designing, constructing and operating the pipeline,” says Adam Parker, a spokesman for Enbridge.

Advanced Power North America, based in Boston, started construction on its $1.3-billion South Field Energy Electric Power Plant in Wellsville, Ohio. Meanwhile, Transcanada completed the Gulf Xpress pipeline project that it began last March for Columbia Pipeline Group, and Nucor Corp. began construction on its $120-million rebar steel mill in Sedalia, Mo. In addition, Cliffs Natural Resources began the first phase of a hot briquette iron facility near Toledo, Ohio, a $105-million investment.

Wind Energy, Tall Buildings and Manufacturing Show Breadth and Strength of Midwest’s Top Starts

The Top Starts ranking lists the 100 largest projects to break ground in the Midwest in 2018 in terms of construction cost. The projects reflect a total investment of $30.9 billion. The data was compiled by Dodge Data and Analytics and other ENR sources from our 11-state region.

Data Centers Still in High Demand

Microsoft is completing its second data center campus in West Des Moines, Iowa, a 1.16-million-sq-ft, $1.2-billion project that will stretch across 154 acres. This 18-building campus will contain servers and network equipment to increase capacity for Microsoft’s cloud services. Evaporative cooling technology will minimize the need for electricity, according to general contractor Turner Construction. Such systems use copper coils to carry cold water through server rooms. Fans blow the cold air surrounding the coils onto the servers.

The data center project is also contributing $54 million in widened roads and fiber optic cables, according to Turner. The project is expected to be completed in the summer of 2020.

Meanwhile, Facebook has started investing $1 billion in a six-building data center campus expansion in Papillion, Neb., expected to take up 2.6 million sq ft and 290 acres. The complex, which general contractor Turner began work on in April, will include two data center buildings totaling 900,000 sq ft linked by a 70,000-sq-ft administrative building expected to be completed in 2020. The rest of the project is expected to be completed by June 2023 and is also being built by Turner’s Kansas City, Mo., office. It includes a 670,000-sq-ft complex that houses two more data centers and another administrative building. Facebook already has an existing 970,000-sq-ft data center complex in Papillion.

Facebook is buying its wind power for the data centers from the Omaha Public Power District, which plans to buy it from the recently opened Rattlesnake Creek Wind Project, an ENR Midwest 2017 Top Start that began generating electricity in January. Facebook will be increasing its annual purchase of wind power from OPPD to 320 MW from 200 MW.

Detroit Builds Bigger

Detroit’s J.L. Hudson’s flagship department store is being redeveloped into a $1-billion mixed-use development connecting an arts district with a retail area. It will also have office and residential space.

The design by New York-based SHoP Architects and local firm Hamilton Anderson Associates includes a 912-ft tower, which will be the tallest building in Michigan, and an adjacent 14-story, 232-ft building. Ground-floor retail, residential units, a hotel, convention space and parking will total more than 1.4 million sq ft.

“The big move for us was how does this building really engage with its surroundings?” James Witherspoon, vice president of design for developer Bedrock Detroit says. “Separating the two buildings and creating connections through big, open, glass expanses helps to achieve that.”

The project broke ground in October and is expected to be completed in 2022.

Chicago Keeps Building Taller

Rounding out the top dozen largest projects is the New York-based Rafael Vinoly Architects-designed $650-million, three-phase NEMA Chicago complex. It’s being built on the southern edge of the city’s Grant Park by general contractor James McHugh Construction.

Miami-based Crescent Heights is developing Chicago’s tallest all-rental building at 896 ft tall. In the first phase, a 76-story tower is being built to house 792 apartment units, parking and 12,000 sq ft of retail space. It’s expected be completed by May.

The second phase, which has not yet broken ground, includes a 648-unit condominium tower and will connect to the other tower at the base. A proposed third phase is a 100-unit townhouse community with open parkland around the base of the towers.

Energy Projects Moving Forward

Several top starts came from the energy sector. The region’s second-largest project is the $2-billion NEXUS Pipeline, a 256-mile, 36-in. natural gas transmission pipeline. The pipeline is a partnership between Edmonton-based Enbridge Inc. and Detroit’s DTE Energy. In October, the system began flowing up to 1.5 billion cu ft daily. Work on the pipeline was approved by FERC and was supposed to begin in November 2017,  but portions of it in Ohio and Michigan did not start until 2018.

“For more than four years, NEXUS worked with landowners, key stakeholders and state and federal agencies to develop a balanced approach to designing, constructing and operating the pipeline,” says Adam Parker, a spokesman for Enbridge.

Advanced Power North America, based in Boston, started construction on its $1.3-billion South Field Energy Electric Power Plant in Wellsville, Ohio. Meanwhile, Transcanada completed the Gulf Xpress pipeline project that it began last March for Columbia Pipeline Group, and Nucor Corp. began construction on its $120-million rebar steel mill in Sedalia, Mo. In addition, Cliffs Natural Resources began the first phase of a hot briquette iron facility near Toledo, Ohio, a $105-million investment.

Boutique Salon to Open in Bedrock-Owned Building Downtown

6 Salon is opening its first location downtown in a Bedrock-owned Lofts at Merchants Row building at 1441 Woodward Avenue. It will be the boutique salon’s third locations, with others in Royal Oak and Birmingham.

The new 3,900-square-foot space was designed by M1/DTW. Build-out recently began and the salon is expected to open in the fall.

When finished, the salon will have 18 cutting chairs, two manicuring stations, two pedicure stations, two makeup stations, and also offer barbering with hot shaves. 6 Salon says it will employ between 35-40 people.

“When I’m out of town and talk about our business, I usually say our salons are in Detroit, understanding that people may not be familiar with Royal Oak or Birmingham,” co-owner George Nikollaj says. “I’m excited to be able to say that we’re in Detroit proper now.”

Owners Nikollaj, Johnny Nikollaj, and Tomy Lulgjuraj started 6 Salon in 2003. In that time, it’s won Hour Detroit’s “Best Salon” award on six occasions, most recently this year. It also won Salon Today’s “Salon of the Year” award in 2014.

Prices for cuts start at $30, hair coloring at $40, and makeup at $75.

$5M Donation to Create Children’s Play Garden in West Riverfront Park

Delta Dental on Wednesday announced a $5 million gift to the Detroit Riverfront Conservancy to construct a five-acre playground on the West Riverfront, officials said.

The Delta Dental Play Garden will be a part of the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Centennial Park, a project estimated to cost $60 million. Construction on the park is set to begin in 2020, and it should open in 2022, officials said.

The $5 million investment is the largest in Delta Dental’s 62-year history, the company said.

“We believe that we must be a force for good in the region every day,” Goran Jurkovic, president and CEO of Delta Dental of Michigan, Ohio and Indiana, said in a statement. “This space will engage families downtown and in Detroit’s neighborhoods and surrounding communities in fun and healthy activities for decades to come and help us achieve our purpose of building healthy, smart, vibrant communities.”

Delta Dental on Wednesday announced a $5 million gift to the Detroit Riverfront Conservancy to construct a five-acre playground on the West Riverfront, officials said.

The Delta Dental Play Garden will be a part of the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Centennial Park, a project estimated to cost $60 million. Construction on the park is set to begin in 2020, and it should open in 2022, officials said.

The $5 million investment is the largest in Delta Dental’s 62-year history, the company said.

“We believe that we must be a force for good in the region every day,” Goran Jurkovic, president and CEO of Delta Dental of Michigan, Ohio and Indiana, said in a statement. “This space will engage families downtown and in Detroit’s neighborhoods and surrounding communities in fun and healthy activities for decades to come and help us achieve our purpose of building healthy, smart, vibrant communities.”

The Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Centennial Park, which is currently called West Riverfront Park, is located along the riverfront at the intersection of the Corktown and Southwest neighborhoods. Before the conservancy opened the park in 2014, the 22-acre site was closed to the public for nearly 100 years.

In 2018, the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation funded the Detroit Riverfront Conservancy to start a community-driven international design competition to find the best possible designers to head the West Riverfront Park $60-million remodel. Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates was selected as the lead team and Sir David Adjaye of Adjaye Associates will design the Sport House and Park House structures in the park.

The Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation itself committed $50 million towards the park in October 2018.

The conservancy’s goal is to develop 5.5 miles of riverfront from the Ambassador Bridge to Gabriel Richard Park, just east of the MacArthur Bridge to Belle Isle. More than 85 percent of the of the 3.5-mile East Riverfront is complete with Atwater Beach opening this summer.

Construction on the next portion continues in the fall.

$5M Donation to Create Children’s Play Garden in West Riverfront Park

Delta Dental on Wednesday announced a $5 million gift to the Detroit Riverfront Conservancy to construct a five-acre playground on the West Riverfront, officials said.

The Delta Dental Play Garden will be a part of the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Centennial Park, a project estimated to cost $60 million. Construction on the park is set to begin in 2020, and it should open in 2022, officials said.

The $5 million investment is the largest in Delta Dental’s 62-year history, the company said.

“We believe that we must be a force for good in the region every day,” Goran Jurkovic, president and CEO of Delta Dental of Michigan, Ohio and Indiana, said in a statement. “This space will engage families downtown and in Detroit’s neighborhoods and surrounding communities in fun and healthy activities for decades to come and help us achieve our purpose of building healthy, smart, vibrant communities.”

Delta Dental on Wednesday announced a $5 million gift to the Detroit Riverfront Conservancy to construct a five-acre playground on the West Riverfront, officials said.

The Delta Dental Play Garden will be a part of the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Centennial Park, a project estimated to cost $60 million. Construction on the park is set to begin in 2020, and it should open in 2022, officials said.

The $5 million investment is the largest in Delta Dental’s 62-year history, the company said.

“We believe that we must be a force for good in the region every day,” Goran Jurkovic, president and CEO of Delta Dental of Michigan, Ohio and Indiana, said in a statement. “This space will engage families downtown and in Detroit’s neighborhoods and surrounding communities in fun and healthy activities for decades to come and help us achieve our purpose of building healthy, smart, vibrant communities.”

The Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Centennial Park, which is currently called West Riverfront Park, is located along the riverfront at the intersection of the Corktown and Southwest neighborhoods. Before the conservancy opened the park in 2014, the 22-acre site was closed to the public for nearly 100 years.

In 2018, the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation funded the Detroit Riverfront Conservancy to start a community-driven international design competition to find the best possible designers to head the West Riverfront Park $60-million remodel. Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates was selected as the lead team and Sir David Adjaye of Adjaye Associates will design the Sport House and Park House structures in the park.

The Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation itself committed $50 million towards the park in October 2018.

The conservancy’s goal is to develop 5.5 miles of riverfront from the Ambassador Bridge to Gabriel Richard Park, just east of the MacArthur Bridge to Belle Isle. More than 85 percent of the of the 3.5-mile East Riverfront is complete with Atwater Beach opening this summer.

Construction on the next portion continues in the fall.

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