Current Builders’ Uptown Boca Project Offers Key Lessons for Florida Construction Industry
POMANO BEACH, Fla. /Florida Newswire/ — Current Builders completed its largest construction project commission on-time, during the pandemic thanks to the firm’s excellent communication strategies, tech savvy, and smart contingency planning. Uptown Boca is the most ambitious development constructed in western Boca Raton in the last 20 years.
The 38-acre site features a mixed-use program of approximately 156,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space along with 456 luxury rental units and two parking garages. The project is transformational for Palm Beach County and the pressure to meet the deadlines, despite the global issues, created a tremendous opportunity for the general contractor to test and enhance their skill set.
“Building a project of this magnitude during the pandemic provided some very valuable lessons for our team, ones we will be mindful of on all projects moving forward,” said Brett Schreiber, Current Builders’ Senior Project Superintendent and Partner, who managed both the retail and residential construction for Uptown Boca.
For Schreiber, enhanced communication was the key element for making this a successful project.
“There were a lot of curveballs thrown at us during this build,” he explained, “The pandemic forced changes to the tenant mix and therefore to the structure. Often times, design and construction were happening simultaneously, with no room for error.”
To keep track of all these major updates, the team relied on the technical prowess of Procore’s construction management software to enhance efficiency. But also, elevated the art of transparent conversation and relationship building, even when it had to be done via Zoom.
“I cannot underestimate the importance of having excellent communication channels with the client/developer,” he said. “No one wants to be blindsided, so when issues arose, we made sure the client understood the obstacles and was fully apprised of the plan to get the project back on track.”
Often times, longer hours, nights and weekends were required to make that happen. For Schreiber, the relationships with the subcontractors were another critical factor.
“The subs can make or break your project,” he continued. “And while we always treat our teams with respect and dignity, the pandemic heightened our awareness of using added motivation only when truly necessary. While the project managers always feel constant pressure, it is important to reserve the push for essential crunch times.”
Dialogue with the inspectors was also a paramount reason for this massive project’s success.
“Establishing a trusting relationship with the inspectors helped us complete this project on time,” he explained. “We worked very closely with the inspectors, addressing issues immediately and keeping them in the loop at all times as to our progress. We also reached out to them to learn what to expect and what was going to be required to pass. Thanks to this strong level of confidence in our execution and follow through, the county was incredibly helpful in having us meet all the major inspection hurdles.”
The pandemic also forced Current Builders to set up contingency plans in case the county’s inspection department shut down, establish extensive COVID-19 safety protocols and make adjustments in staging and logistics due to the slow down of the supply chain.
“The entire Current Builders team is very proud of Uptown Boca,” continued Schreiber. “Taking on the firm’s biggest project, one that was in the media’s spotlight, during the height of COVID-19, was a test of our abilities and management. Seeing the recognition and popularity this development is achieving now is very rewarding.”
Current Builders is an award-winning general contractor, celebrating five decades of construction success with average annual revenues of $250 Million. Current Builders specializes in multi-family residential projects, office/warehouse buildings, commercial distribution facilities, parking garages, interior build-outs, interior and exterior renovations, all included as turnkey projects inclusive of the construction of the buildings and related site work.
The Uptown Boca project is Current Builders third commission with the development team including Rosemurgy Properties and Giles Capital Group in partnership with Wheellock Street Capital. The retail development component was led by the seasoned retail/commercial team at Schmier Property Group.
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