News

Community Within the Corridor Tour

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As noted in our January 2022 Project Spotlight, the Community Within the Corridor project is in multiple phases of construction. Every corner turned on the seventeen-building complex sees restoration work, framing, new building systems and window install, and even paint and finished drywall. Owner, Scott Crawford Inc, wanted to showcase the variety of work in progress by hosting multiple tours for local residents, municipal organizations, and Milwaukee-area businesses. Our project team was on-site to assist with the guided tours, detail construction practices, and help answer questions from each of the groups.


The Daily Reporter’s Top Projects of 2021

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Two of our projects were recently selected as winners for The Daily Reporter’s Top Projects of 2021. The Forest County Potawatomi Community Center and Waukesha City Hall were selected after much deliberation by a panel of local real estate experts. The publication received over 100 nominations for the awards which recognize the most outstanding projects completed last year in Wisconsin.

An awards ceremony will be held on May 11th to recognize all of the winners and tell the stories of how the projects came to be, and the challenges the teams had to overcome. Profiles for each project will also be published in a special edition.

The Forest County Potawatomi Community Center is new construction of a 110,000 SF recreation and wellness center on the Forest County Potawatomi Reservation in Crandon. The Community Center is a result of years of planning, hard work and determination with a variety of special materials, features, and native cultural influence.

Waukesha City Hall is new construction of a 55,000 SF structural steel government building constructed at the crest of a 30-foot hill and sits 11 feet from the existing City Hall. This was a multi-phase project which consisted of new building construction, the addition of a skywalk over North Avenue, demolition of the existing City Hall, and subsequent site landscaping.

We are proud to have two cornerstone projects like these in our portfolio, especially one that we built for our owner, the Forest County Potawatomi. We would like to thank all of our project partners for the amazing opportunity to build these award-winning projects!


The Spark | February 2022

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February arrived then disappeared.

We volunteered to collect warm winter gear during the coldest month of the year. We attended university fairs to present Greenfire for those taking the next step in their collegiate career. And we’re excited to see significant progress appear at a high-profile project in the Lake Country frontier.

Read more here in the February 2022 edition of The Spark.


February 2022 Project Spotlight | The Locklyn at Olympia Fields

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The Locklyn Apartments is a multi-building apartment community that resides within the new Olympia Fields site in Oconomowoc, WI.

In an on-going effort to revitalize the once vivacious stretch along Summit Avenue, Wangard Partners is redeveloping the former Olympia Resort and big-box retail center to include residential living, retail, hospitality, and office uses. The land also holds strong cultural and ancestral ties to the Potawatomi heritage. Derived from the Scottish term ‘loch’, The Locklyn is the first of multiple phases which make up the Olympia Fields development.

From the layout of the site, which traces the edge of an existing pond to the design aesthetic of the buildings, The Locklyn reflects the natural landscape and freshwater environment characteristic of the surrounding Lake Country area. It includes construction of seven Class-A apartment buildings, a clubhouse, and in-ground pool. This phase also includes construction of a retaining wall along the northern edge of the pond to level the site and allow for building construction closer to the body of water.

In preparation for phase one construction, the City of Oconomowoc razed the former Olympia Resort and two existing roads last Summer. The City then contracted construction of Kari Court – a cul de sac which The Locklyn centers around. A groundbreaking in October marked the start of construction with mass site grading completed in November. Before the winter frost set in, the team was able to pour and set slab-on-grade foundations for five of the seven buildings.

Ground up construction for each building is roughly nine weeks to complete, with turnover for every subsequent building approximately six weeks after. Currently on site, Building 1 is water tight and is the first of the seven buildings in the construction sequence. Rough MEP installation is complete with drywall installation ongoing. Painting and casework are scheduled to follow with expected turnover beginning of April. Building 4 is nearing completion of framing and roofing followed by rough MEP installation. Turnover is expected mid-May. Building 7 is next in the sequence with framing set to begin mid-March. Construction for Building 5 is schedule to begin mid-April with Building 6 starting end of May. Foundations for Buildings 2 and 3 are primed to pour once weather conditions allow. The clubhouse sits at the south end of the site along the pond in between Buildings 1 and 4. It includes the in-ground pool, a workout room, and several event/meeting spaces. Construction occurs simultaneous to the progress of the apartment buildings. Turnover for the last building is slated for February 2023.

Similar to Tivoli Green, Olympia Fields is a great illustration of Wangard’s shared vision to build for the community by redeveloping large parcels of land to supply quality housing and commercial opportunity. And as the CM with ties to the land, we are humbled by the chance to honor our past by building a legacy for future generations and ensure a quality development. The Greenfire project team includes Mike Smith, Sr. Project Manager, Eric Anderson, Superintendent, and Rob Norris, Project Engineer. Kahler Slater is the architect and raSmith is the civil engineer.


Spring Engineering and Construction Fairs

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Marquette University and UW-Platteville hosted career fairs this month and Greenfire exhibited at both. The career fairs are a great way to get our company in front of young talent who are majoring in engineering and construction majors and showcase Greenfire as a viable option for a career in construction. In addition to attending these events, we work directly with the select universities to host project tours for students as a way to further their education and interest in construction. Thank you to our young professionals, who met with faculty and students to showcase Greenfire. Ryan Hermes, Project Engineer, and Evan Gornick, Estimator attended Marquette University’s fair and Project Engineers, Mitch Berti and Kevin Stockinger, attended UW-Platteville’s fair.


Greenfire’s Annual Winter Warmth Drive

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It was another successful result for our annual Winter Warmth Drives!

The Milwaukee office collected winter warmth items and raised fund for the Milwaukee Christian Center, a partner of ours for over five years. The Wausau office collected winter warmth items for The Open Door of Marathon County.

Collectively, we donated: $50 in donations, 20 jackets, 22 pairs of socks, 18 pairs of gloves, 23 hats, 12 scarves, 2 earmuffs, 9 sweatshirts/sweaters, 2 sets of long underwear, and 21 hand, body, foot warmers. In addition, Greenfire donated $600.00 to the MCC Senior Meal Program which will provide two days of lunches to their guests.

We would like to thank the Wgema Campus and Wausau region for their assistance and support in giving back to our community. Together we are making a difference!


The Spark | January 2022

greenfire project spotlight january 2022

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The turn of the year brought opportunity and growth for Greenfire. We continued to promote and expand our brand by attending and exhibiting at the WASB State Education Convention and MSOE CAECM Career Night. We welcomed several outstanding individuals to our team. And our team continues to make excellent progress at one of our high-profile projects.

 

Read more in our January 2022 newsletter.


WASB State Education Convention

greenfire WASB State Education Convention construction partner

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The Wisconsin Association of School Boards (WASB) held their 101st State Education Convention at the Wisconsin Center. The two-day annual event brings together education professionals from around Wisconsin to attend industry breakout sessions and network with vendors at the tradeshow.

Greenfire hosted a booth on the tradeshow floor for the fifth consecutive year. Pepi Randolph, VP of Business Development, Mike Murphy, Director of Northern Operations, Simmi Urbanek, Director of Marketing, Maureen Carlson, Regional Business Development Manager, Kyle Widenski, Marketing Manager, and Michael Moe, Business Development Coordinator connected with visitors to extend our brand as a resource for education construction. We also hosted a reception after the first night to further connect with various school districts and design partners.

From this event, we established and maintained valuable relationships with members of district boards and administrations who play key roles in construction contracts for schools throughout the state. As we continually pursue and grow our capabilities in this sector, we are pleased with the groundwork our team accomplished at this event.


MSOE CAECM Career Night

greenfire MSOE CAECM career night

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The Milwaukee School of Engineering (MSOE) hosted their annual Civil, Architectural, Engineering and Construction Management Career Night and for the fifth consecutive year Greenfire was an exhibitor.  The Career Night is a great way to get our company in front of young talent and showcase Greenfire as a viable option for a career in construction.  In addition to this event, we work directly with the University to host project tours for students as a way to further their education and interest in construction. Thank you to our MSOE Alumni, Joe Kolavo, Project Development Manager, and Austin Stueck, Project Engineer, who met with faculty and students to showcase Greenfire.


January 2022 Project Spotlight | Community Within the Corridor

greenfire community within the corridor construction

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Located on Milwaukee’s Northwest side, Community Within the Corridor is a mixed-use redevelopment that sprawls across seven acres totaling 406,000 SF.

The site consists of seventeen industrial and manufacturing buildings sitting on two blocks at the intersection of 32nd Street and Center Street. Uncovered foundation plans date back to early 1920’s with previous tenants including Harley-Davidson, small hardware stores and furniture stores, and light to large-scale manufacturing businesses, with the latest occupant being Briggs & Stratton.

Community Within the Corridor is an historic renovation adapting the former industrial complex into a mixed-use residential community. The project offers 197 affordable housing units and includes amenities like a commercial laundromat, small grocery store, daycare, after-school programming, small business incubator, and a multimedia production studio for audio / visual / storyteller creators. It also features a 70,000 SF recreation center that includes a basketball court and multiple children’s activity and play areas. The goal of the redevelopment is to foster personal development, community growth, and inspire investment in the surrounding area.

The project is currently the largest privately-owned affordable housing development in the State of Wisconsin and relies on a number of funding sources including TIF, State, and Federal tax credits. The project must also garner approvals and permits from various governing agencies like the National Parks Service (NPS) which has jurisdiction over buildings that earn historic tax credits. It is truly a multi-partner development which requires the team to facilitate detailed and consistent communication with the entire project team.

Managing renovations of former historic buildings is never an easy task, especially on a project of this magnitude paired with its long-standing industrial past. Unforeseen conditions arise as the project progresses requiring continuous innovation and strategy to adapt. Project challenges include identifying and correcting structural issues with subsequent reinforcement, roof restoration, removing and installing new MEPFP and elevator systems, restoring and installing new windows in existing spaces, refurbishing and tuckpointing brick façade, and repurposing and refurbishing historic elements. Most notable of these elements are two masonry chimney stacks that stand approximately 120’ tall at the West Block and 160’ tall at the East Block. Structural stability of the stacks diminished over years of decay, neglect, and exposure to harsh conditions which significantly compromised safety for the site and future residents. However, they could not be completely demolished as they fell under protection of historic preservation standards. Working with the NPS, the team arrived at a solution that allowed for partial demolition and foundation reinforcement. Now, the stacks stand at 15’ and 30’ tall respectively, maintaining its historic character while paying tribute to the site’s industrial past.

The site is broken down into two major sections: East Block and West Block. East Block is the main resident and amenity area and contains buildings 1A, 1B Southeast, 1B South, 1B Southwest, 1B West, 1B Northwest, 1B Northeast, 1C, 1D, 2A, and 2B. Due to the length of time being unoccupied, there was excessive rot throughout all B buildings that had to be discovered and removed in order to safely progress work. The block also features a converted below-grade parking structure under 2A and 2B which required construction of a new parking ramp. It also includes four freight elevators, of which three shafts were reconstructed to accommodate passenger cars. The fourth shaft will be refurbished and house unit bathrooms on each floor.

The West Block is adapted for mainly for commercial use with some residential units. The block contains buildings 4, 5, 6, 7, 8A, and 8B. It features a newly installed underground cistern for collecting and recycling greywater which then gets pumped out for lawn irrigation.

East Block

Building 1A

Dedicated for multi-purpose use for local, small businesses. All three levels will be restored.

Building 1B

All B buildings are adapted for residential use which previously served as the heavy manufacturing and industrial areas with heavy timber columns and beams. The B buildings wrap around 1C in a horseshoe shape.

Building 1B Northwest (1B-NW)

Dedicated for residential units. The roof collapsed due to rotten timbers in the early stage of construction. Roof is currently being restored.

Building 1C

Dedicated for 70,000 SF recreation center. Former heavy manufacturing line and industrial assembly space converted into full-size basketball court and multiple children’s play areas.

Building 1D

Dedicated for two-story lobby entrance off Center Street with residential units on third story. The original two-story structure had the roof and floor collapse prior to construction start causing a complete ground-up rebuild. During construction, the team added an additional story by underpinning the lower-level for the lobby entrance, yielding a three-story building.

Building 2A & 2B

Both buildings are large, two-story concrete structures with below-grade parking. Buildings are designated for residential units and feature large industrial windows. The top story features approximately 20’ ceilings with exposed 10’ tall structural steel roof trusses. Construction at both buildings progress simultaneously and are currently framing walls and installing rough MEPFPs. The team poured lightweight, self-leveling concrete flooring to correct the old, industrial, and uneven floors.

 

West Block

Building 4

Dedicated for daycare, multimedia production studio, dance studio, learning center, and vacant future tenant space. The building requires extensive restoration of the roof and masonry bearing walls. It is currently the only building on-site that is not fully enclosed.

Building 5

Dedicated for commercial laundry. Currently reviewing MEPFP layout and plan to confirm rough installation for commercial tenant.

Building 6

Dedicated for two levels of residential units. Finish carpentry is starting in two weeks. Replaced existing windows with all new energy efficient windows. Construction is progressing simultaneously with Building 7.

Building 7

Dedicated for two levels of residential units. Finish carpentry is starting in two weeks. Replaced existing windows with all new energy efficient windows. Construction is progressing simultaneously with Building 6.

Building 8A

Dedicated for three levels of residential units. In the process of inspections for rough MEPFP installation on all levels. The upper two levels feature renovated existing wooden windows with the top floor featuring roof light monitors which are slanted peaked windows that protrude from the roof. The building overlooks a shared, enclosed courtyard with Building 8B.

Building 8B

Two levels of residential units. In process of completing hanging and finishing gypsum board. The building overlooks a shared, enclosed courtyard with Building 8A. The top floor also features roof light monitors similar to those on Building 8A.

 

We are incredibly proud of the hard work and dedication displayed by our project team on a daily basis. Their determination, team dynamics, and forethought on-site is a major contributing factor to the progression of the project, which is essential when construction a project of this magnitude. Historic renovations always present a certain measure of unknowns, yet the team remains vigilant and innovative. We would like to recognize Daniel Grams, Project Manager, Josh Bruesewitz, Project Manager, Gene Widenski, Superintendent, and Ryan Hermes, Project Engineer. The owner is Scott Crawford, Inc. and Roers Companies, and the architect is Continuum Architects + Planners.


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