[EDITOR’S NOTE: In each issue, Utility Contractor will profile the projects of NUCA’s Top Job Competition winners. These projects highlight NUCA members’ best and most innovative work that keep our country’s utility networks operating at peak performance. For information about entering your projects in the competition, visit nuca.com/topjobs.]
A $35 million makeover of an old Motorola facility in Plantation, Florida, is helping the city transform a key piece of real estate into a new commercial and retail center. The former Motorola facility, originally built in 1971, located at the corner of University Drive and Sunrise Boulevard in the City of Plantation in the greater Miami area, was purchased in 2013 by Torburn Partners of Illinois.
The reconfiguration of this campus was designed by civil engineer Kimley-Horn & Associates. While Motorola will still retain a presence at the site, this redesigned and reconfigured campus, now known as Plantation Pointe, will now be home to the entertainment technology company, Magic Leap. Sheridan Healthcare will also make Plantation Pointe its headquarters, in addition to retail shops and restaurants.
As part of the makeover, two existing lakes along frontage roads, were backfilled and relocated to make way for two additional out parcels. A new lake was excavated in another location on the site. To accommodate the new development, two long runs of large diameter box culvert piping, thousands of feet of other required drainage and hundreds of structures, 2,600 lf of 12-in. DIP water main, a new lift station and 2,100 lf of 12-in. force main were constructed.
The general contractor for the re-development, Blue Water Partners, brought Ryan Inc. Southern on board to provide site civil work, including utility construction and earth moving. Ryan collaborated with the engineer and owner producing many valuable ideas that saved the project time and money. Ryan worked on the project from 2014 to 2015.
The work, which involved engineering solutions as well as working around existing clients, has become more common in recent years, according to Paul Knight, project manager for Ryan Inc. Southern and immediate past president of NUCA of South Florida.
“We are seeing more technical projects versus the large development projects that were common a decade ago,” he said. “In these types of projects, you have the added dynamic of working with the owner to develop the site, while working to minimize the impacts on the existing residents who don’t want to be bothered by construction.”
Challenges and Innovative Solutions
The property is located at a major intersection and the existing lakes wrapped around the frontage of the property. The owners wanted to create retail space by filling these lakes. The solution was to create a new lake on the back of the property that would generate the additional fill needed to fill the frontage lakes.
Most of the onsite storm drainage flowed into the existing frontage lakes and the drainage shed had to be maintained. The solution was a storm drainage system that rerouted the onsite drainage from the existing lakes to the proposed lake. This major undertaking involved the installation of thousands of feet of 6-ft by 7-ft box culvert.
Dewatering during installation, as well as storm run-off, had to be kept on site. Balancing the amount of excavation and area of the new lake versus what was being filled in the existing lakes had to be measured on a daily basis. Installation of 2,100 lf of 12-in. forcemain and a new Master Lift Station were required. This work took place adjacent to a major roadway. Close coordination with the engineer and municipality made this work successful.
“The key to successful completion of a complex project like this is patience,” Knight said. “You want to complete the project quickly, but you need to have the flexibility to work with the owner as changes come up. From the very beginning, we were able to team with the owner in a collaborative environment.”
Subcontractors, Suppliers, Equipment
Partners on the project included US Concrete Products, Arrow Directional Bore, Ferguson Waterworks, Rinker Materials, Hanson Heidelberg Cement Group, Trio Development and ADS Pipe.
A local supplier, US Concrete played a key role in the project by fabricating and delivering all of the precast drainage and sewer structures throughout the project. Rinker Materials was Ryan’s go-to supplier for all of the concrete pipe installed on this site, while Hanson Heidelberg Cement Group produced and delivered the large box culverts in a timely manner required to keep the project moving.
Ferguson Waterworks was Ryan’s supplier for all water and sewer related materials. Ferguson’s ability to procure all the materials, when required, made this part of the project a great success.
A local directional bore contractor, Arrow Directional Bore, did an excellent job of helping to value engineer its portion of the project and bring this aspect of the project in on time and budget.
Another local company, Trio Development, was instrumental in helping to construct the master sewage lift station. By being involved from the beginning and helping to facilitate the design, Trio played a large part in the success of the project.
ADS Pipe provided all of Ryan’s HDPE piping for the large storm drainage system. The pipe sizes ranged from the standard 12-in. pipe to a maximum 60-in. diameter. ADS’s ability to keep up with the fast-paced job schedule made its contribution invaluable.
Benefit to the Client and Community
The largest benefit to the community is the creation of thousands of jobs. Magic Leap, a developer of entertainment technology, moved into 300,000 sq ft of the building for its “Photonic Lightfield Chip” pilot manufacturing facility and will continue to expand. Magic Leap would like to base 80 percent of their company in South Florida.
The health care company Amsurg Corp. will generate additional job opportunities as well. Baptist Health South Florida built a 15,000-sq ft endoscopy center on the property, while Torburn is adding 40,000 sq ft of retail that will be connected to the offices by a plaza. The company is also updating the landscaping, renovating an existing cafeteria and adding a fitness center.
Starbucks and Chipotle are among eight national chains also taking up residence on the site. A Walgreens also is planned. Plantation Pointe will have roughly 3,000 employees at full capacity.
Magic Leap will do for the site and the city what Motorola did decades ago; attracting skilled labor.
Another benefit to the community is the “rebirth” of that corner of town, transforming it into a vibrant technology hub.
“The site is really flourishing,” Knight said. “The project has been a huge success and we are proud to have been able to play a role in the re-development.”
Blue Water Partners senior project manager William Borregard added: “We are completely satisfied with the outcome of this project. [We] brought Ryan Inc. Southern on board during the design process and [were] able to successfully collaborate with the owner and engineer, producing many valuable ideas, saving the project a significant amount of time and money.”