Contruction Today - July/August 2017 - 73
for Shell McElroy. "For us as a new company, this is a tremendous
accomplishment," Shell notes. "To attach our name to a high-profile project becomes that much more of an opportunity to showcase our capability."
Interestingly enough, HD Supply was both a client and a supplier
on the project. Its White Cap division is a major tool and specialty
materials supplier to concrete contractors. And though the project
has gone smoothly, it has not been without its challenges.
The Cumberland section of Atlanta where the structure is being
built is extremely hilly. Further, the structure backs up to the Chattahoochee River protected zone, making it accessible from only one
side. "One of the biggest challenges was the logistics of the project,"
Shell explains. "That and the fact we had to dig 60 feet into the side
of a hill."
Shell also notes that the site work was by far the most difficult part
because over 30,000 yards of rock had to be removed during excavation. "Yes, we did have to blast rock," Shell explains. "We had to use
heavy excavators, and there is just no quick way to do it." Despite the
obstacles the building will be topped out at the end of August.
It's hard to argue with that logic because the Atlanta market remains one of the most active since the downturn in 2007. There are
many technology firms in the area, and Atlanta remains a diverse,
vibrant city that keeps expanding, though that can cause construction labor shortages at times. "The market is incredibly busy right
now," Shell says. "You just have to be really strong at planning."
Putting On The Ritz
As the HD Supply project wraps up, Shell McElroy has begun work
on the modernization of the Ritz-Carlton in Buckhead, located in
a retail district in a fairly upscale part of Atlanta. The $5.5 million
project includes the renovation of the restaurant/bar area, as well as
meeting spaces and other public areas.
And though not necessarily large in scope, the project marks
a huge step for Shell McElroy as its first foray into the hospitality
sector. Again, relationships formed in Shell and McElroy's past have
played a role in landing the project. "With our prior employer, we
were one of the largest general contractors for hospitality," Shell
explains. "Hospitality is a market [where] we have a lot to offer. We
have a unique understanding from both [the developer and contractor] sides of the equation."
That expertise has come in handy with the Ritz-Carlton modernization, which began in February and is set to finish in late September. Guests of Ritz-Carlton have high expectations, and an active
construction site can make things difficult for everyone. "We really
had to be mindful of the guests," Shell notes. "The project did require
some late nights and early mornings. Fortunately, we have had very
few complaints, and we should be able to open on schedule."
Though no specifics are official yet, Shell McElroy has already begun
to bid on some other hospitality projects in Atlanta. In its brief
tenure, Shell McElroy has already completed a number of impressive
projects within Atlanta that include a $33 million student housing
project across from Georgia State University.
Shell notes the company is starting to look at projects in nearby
states as well, though it is in no hurry to expand geographically.
"We have seen some opportunities out of state," Shell says. "But
we would really like to solidify ourselves locally before expanding
across state lines."
JULY/AUGUST 2017 CONSTRUCTION-TODAY.COM