'The Lake District' Rises Outside of Memphis

Thu June 11, 2020 - Southeast Edition #13
Irwin Rapoport – CEG Correspondent


Earth work, site preparation and the installation of underground infrastructure are ongoing for more than 50 acres of the more than 161 acre “The Lake District” development, a $400 million upscale mixed-use community just outside of Memphis, Tenn.
Earth work, site preparation and the installation of underground infrastructure are ongoing for more than 50 acres of the more than 161 acre “The Lake District” development, a $400 million upscale mixed-use community just outside of Memphis, Tenn.
Earth work, site preparation and the installation of underground infrastructure are ongoing for more than 50 acres of the more than 161 acre “The Lake District” development, a $400 million upscale mixed-use community just outside of Memphis, Tenn. The equipment operators dig the trenches where the pipe and other structures are placed. The project is being delivered in two phases, with Phase 1 being the inline retail section, which got its start in January with the digging of the foundations and will be completed in October to allow merchants to be open for the holiday season. The project requires a very large volume of aggregates road base material. The 1 million sq. ft. of parking will be paved over with an 8-in. thick layer of road base. The main streets will have 12-in. deep aggregate base.

Earth work, site preparation and the installation of underground infrastructure are ongoing for more than 50 acres of the more than 161 acre "The Lake District" development, a $400 million upscale mixed-use community just outside of Memphis, Tenn., that is being implemented by The Lake District LCC (TLD), which is owned by Gilad Development Inc.

Once fully completed over the next few years, this ambitious project in northeast Shelby County at I-40 and Canada Road (23 mi. outside Memphis), will have 132,000 sq. ft. of inline retail space; 175,800 sq. ft. of main street retail and restaurant space; two hotel sites; 171 custom-built single-family homes, 109 townhouses and 396 apartments above the retail component; 15 pad sites; and 168 age-restricted apartments.

"Designed as an urban village, it will be a walkable community with elegant water features, tree-lined parks and inspiring architecture, giving the sense of an established neighborhood with varying facades and roof lines," said Maggie Gallagher, TLD's director of development. "Special attention is given to public spaces while parking structures eliminate extensive surface parking. Every element combines to create a village with urban amenities and a vibrant street life. Lakeland, already home to affluent residents and successful businesses, is primed for the addition of a stunning mixed-use lifestyle community."

A key element is the creation of the 10-acre sapphire lake at the center of the development, which is currently on the site of retention basins and natural ponds.

"It will be part of Phase 2," Gallagher said. "There's a lot of dirt to be moved. The surface water discharge is already there, so it's just a matter of raising the water levels."

The project is being delivered in two phases, with Phase 1 being the inline retail section, which got its start in January with the digging of the foundations and will be completed in October to allow merchants to be open for the holiday season. Other phases include Phase 1-A, the construction of 109 townhouses and Phase 2, which includes the construction of homes, roads and sidewalks, as well as the installation of infrastructure.

"The key to the residential component is the lake, the soul of the development," Gallagher said. "The project has been under way for well over five years. A project of this magnitude is complex and goes through numerous changes based on what the market tells us. For example, we have such a high demand for living at The Lake District now that we added 109 townhouses to the later part of Phase 1. Our single-family homes and apartments come in Phase 2, scheduled for 2022, but we need to meet the market demands today."

Looney Ricks Kiss Architects (LRK), the lead architect of The Lake District, created the master plan and is developing the guidelines for builders to ensure the overall project meets the standards of the vision.

"It's really about a complete community that is walkable and promotes pedestrian-type activities that stand the test of time," said Victor Buchholz, principal of LRK, who led the design and master planning team. "The Lake District aspires to be a place of classic, time-tested streets and neighborhoods from the past, but updated based on modern lifestyles and construction."

LRK began working on the design in 2016 in collaboration with the developer's design team, and the plan is being tweaked as the project progresses. Several structures on the site, including a former shopping mall, were demolished.

"We're working with the existing topography so that the plan listens to the land and feels organic and natural with the existing natural features," explained Buchholz, who noted that the engineering team at H2H is working on the lake. "We've combined good engineering and water management with the master planning and placement. This is going to be a very sustainable and environmentally-smart project."

A construction-friendly design is crucial for the residential and commercial components.

"We work with a lot of builders and developers and understand how these buildings work from an efficiency standpoint," Buchholz said. "We're thinking three or four steps ahead about building footprints so the fundamentals work."

Moneymaker Contracting Inc. is doing the earthwork and site preparation, and Magnolia Underground Construction LLC is installing the underground infrastructure.

"After completing the purchase of all land needed, our crew has been hard at work securing permits and licenses with the city," Gallagher said. "We're clearing brush and taking the needed steps to assure that grading is done while minimizing mudflow and erosion. The main road, Lake District Drive, will be constructed first. Every section of the new road will be a compacted surface with 10 to 12 inches of gravel for stabilizing the road in the event of downpours. We have stockpiled 28,000 cubic yards of gravel, all of which come from the old mall that once stood on the site. After Lake District Drive is complete, we will move on to temporary seeding to stabilize other areas and protect against erosion. This process will minimize the project's construction schedule."

The project is retaining many existing trees and replanting to make up for those taken down. The goal is to recycle as much as the material from the demolitions for the construction.

"This will help reduce the environmental impact that comes with construction projects," Gallagher stated. "We're recycling 85 percent [by weight] of the aluminum and steel from the previous mall structure. There are about 45,000 tons of concrete, masonry and asphalt on-site already in the form of foundation, masonry walls and concrete slabs. All will be pulverized to become clean aggregates to construct the streets and parking lots."

The project requires a very large volume of aggregates road base material. The 1 million sq. ft. of parking will be paved over with an 8-in. thick layer of road base. The main streets will have 12-in. deep aggregate base.

"Almost half will be sourced from the material already on-site," Gallagher said. "Because of our recycling efforts, about 3,500 truckloads of aggregates will not need to be delivered."

Magnolia, via a $1.5 million contract, is installing sanitary sewer, storm drain and domestic water lines. Phase 1 installations began in September and finished late last winter.

"Outside of the weather problems, the work is progressing well," said Kevin Hurley, Magnolia's project manager. "When we have good dry weather for a spell, we get a lot of pipe in the ground."

Forterra Corporation is supplying the concrete pipe and structures, and Consolidated Pipe & Supply Inc. is providing the sewer and water pipe. The equipment operators dig the trenches where the pipe and other structures are placed.

Hurley is assisted by Kevin Thompson, project superintendent, who has two operators and three laborers working underneath him. "With 15 years of experience, he handles any situation very well," Hurley said.

Magnolia is using Cat equipment: 323F L and 336F excavators; a D5K dozer; a 420E IT backhoe; and a CP323 compactor.

"We have our own in-house mechanics that visit the site when required and Thompson Equipment stocks a lot of the parts we need — they're only a day away at worst," Hurley said. "We don't have trouble with getting things fixed in a hurry."

Thompson Equipment is located in Memphis, and Magnolia has been purchasing equipment from them since the company was founded in 2005.

"We do a mix of municipal, commercial and residential work in the Memphis area and they know what we need," Hurley explained.

Magnolia has worked with Moneymaker Contracting Inc. on previous projects. For The Lake District, Moneymaker crews lead the charge with the earthwork and site prep so that Magnolia can rapidly start the installations.

"We coordinate our actions," Hurley said. "We recently needed some dirt areas and they took care of it."

Moneymaker crews initiated their efforts in September and are making good progress despite the delays caused by rain, which is having a greater effect on their operations compared to Magnolia.

For more information, visit thelakedistrict.us. CEG