SODO, South of Downtown Orlando, a 330,000-sq-ft, mixed-use development in Orlando, changes the character of the local community, introducing a big-box retailer, restaurants, shopping, green areas and new residential to the established industrial, urban neighborhood.

Photo: Hoar Construction

Hoar Construction of Orlando began site work on the 16-acre parcel in April 2007. The company then participated as one of three contractors responsible for various parts of the project. Hoar completed approximately 170,000 sq ft of retail space and a 487-vehicle parking deck in October 2008. The owner also charged Hoar with overall site control and management.

During value engineering, Hoar offered suggestions to shave approximately $1.2 million from the job, 3% of the project’s cost, and complete it within budget and without altering the owner’s vision or SODO’s ambiance. It accomplished this by focusing on areas that were invisible or hidden from the public, such as re-working the sidewalk design thickness and reinforcement requirements and contract growing much of the vegetation found in the project. Contract growing is a process of buying plants when they are much smaller and cheaper, allowing time for growth during the 10-to-15 month construction period. When it is time to plant, the vegetation is full-sized and mature, for a much more palatable cost.

Hoar also helped create a less-expensive lattice design feature on the parking structure. The alternative met all architectural requirements and intentions but also saved the project nearly $1 million.

The site development scope required contractors to work close to the foundation perimeter of other contractors’ buildings. Access, scaffolding, crane placements and material deliveries necessitated careful choreography. Sequencing had to accommodate everyone on site and ensure companies had an opportunity to complete their work on time.

When the general contractor on the NorthBlock mixed-use building experienced difficulties that adversely affected Hoar’s ability to complete its SuperTarget store on time, Hoar partnered with the owner and that contractor to complete the necessary work, lessening that contractor’s burden and freeing up its time to focus on larger issues related to the upper floors.

Hoar completed the project with no OSHA-recordable accidents.

Key Facts:

Developer/Owner: Kimco Realty Corp., New Hyde Park, N.Y.
Location: Orlando, Fla.
Cost: $40.5 million
Contractor: Hoar Construction, Orlando
Design Firm: Cupkovic Architecture, Cleveland, Ohio