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Bissell Builds Two Large Office Buildings in Charlotte, N.C.

Wed September 05, 2012 - Southeast Edition
Trish Thayne

Bissell is building two 10-story office buildings totaling 550,000 sq. ft. (51,097 sq m) in Ballantyne Corporate Park in Charlotte, N.C., at the corner of Ballantyne Commons Parkway and North Community House Road. This is the largest speculative office project in the nation, according to CoStar Group.

The buildings are being built to LEED Gold specifications. The core and shell steel structure with slab on deck have glass curtain wall exteriors. The Class “A” buildings will exude international modernism and include two-story lobbies, all-glass exterior curtain walls. Two new parking garages also are being built that will offer free structured parking at a ratio of nearly four spaces per 1,000 sq. ft. in the two new five-story precast structure parking decks. One of the parking decks will have 1,139 spaces, and the other will have 788 spaces.

Located at Ballantyne Corporate Park’s east entrance, the buildings will establish a landmark location and will feature balconies on all upper floors allowing tenants to further enjoy unparalleled views, according to Clifton Coble, president of Bissell Development within the Bissell organization.

Bissell Development is overseeing the project, working with architecture firm LS3P Associates and general contractor Rodgers. The construction facilitator is Marsh Associates Inc.

According to Josh Schlechty, Rodgers regional general superintendent, the project is going very well. “One obstacle we had to overcome from early on, from groundbreaking through footing and foundation work (June 2011 through November 2011) was the extraordinary amount of rainfall we received during that time. We experienced 32 inches of rainfall at the site, but in spite of it, our entire team worked together to maintain our schedule throughout.”

Luckily, the team has had no delays, cost challenges or issues and, in fact, are ahead of schedule.

The 9.4 acre site didn’t have any concrete to dig up, and it wasn’t forested, so crews had a clean building site to work with and just had to clear the topsoil and grass. A lot of dirt, 28,000 cu. yds. (21,407 cu m) was moved but crews didn’t have to haul any dirt in or out, it just had to be leveled.

Link-Belt 218 crawler cranes were brought in for drilling of the deep foundation auger cast piles, the circular peers that go down anywhere from 40 to 85 ft. (12 to 25 m). The project used about 19,500 cu. yds. (14,908 cu m) of poured concrete.

Rodgers rented some of the equipment used, and the subcontractors own some of the equipment. Some of the equipment used at the job site has included: a Cat backhoe 430, Cat sheepfoot, Cat smooth drum roller, Cat excavator, Cat motorgrader, Cat track loader, Cat dozer and a Cat wheel-equipped asphalt paver.

Manitowoc 200-ton (181 t) and 175-ton (158 t) crawler cranes were used for steel erection and Link-Belt 300 ton (272 t) and 230 ton (208 t), crawler cranes were used to erect the precast steel for the parking garages. Bobcat skid steers were used for grading and backfilling soils to prepare for slab on grade concrete pours.

Between recycling, using regional products, providing good indoor air quality and choosing the right type of fixtures they install, Rodgers is planning on gaining LEED Gold certification for the project. The square footage of Class A office space in Ballantyne Park is around 3.5 million, of which almost one third has achieved LEED Gold certification.

The $100 million privately funded project employed around 1,200 people, with approximately 25 subcontractors.

Bissell is the developer and owner of this project.

“Bissell has been the largest provider of new suburban office space in the Charlotte region over the past 10 years,” said Andrew Jenkins, managing partner, Karnes. “Bissell has proven that despite difficult economic conditions, there continues to be significant demand for Ballantyne Corporate Park, as evidenced by major recent leasing activity that includes Babcock & Wilcox Nuclear Energy, Akima, HVM, Sompo Japan and Mitsubishi Nuclear Energy Systems.”

Smoky Bissell, chairman of Bissell added, “We might appear contrarian to some, but our decision to move forward is based on our recent transaction volume, our prospect activity and confidence in the Charlotte market and Ballantyne in particular.”

Today, Bissell specializes in commercial development, office leasing, property management, real estate investments and hotels, with ancillary interests in golf, spa and media businesses. Dedicated to delivering unmatched experiences to its customers, Bissell upholds the highest standards by comparing its efforts to the top five percent of comparable service experiences in the world, according to Coble.

Bissell serves as the headquarters for a full range of real estate and related operating companies located in Charlotte, N.C. Founded in 1964, Bissell is widely recognized as the principal developer of Ballantyne and SouthPark — two of the Southeast’s largest and most successful mixed use communities, according to Coble.

The ground breaking took place on June 6, 2011, and the certificate of occupancy is planned for December 28th 2012.

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