A New Year . . .
   As we begin a new year, we take a moment to reflect on the blessings and successes of 2015. We are grateful for the new relationships that we have developed, and the ones that have continued to grow over the years.
 
We remain committed to setting a standard of quality and professionalism in the industry, and relationships built on trust, and excellence. 
 
We are grateful for  the dedication and tireless efforts of our team, and the continued support of our clients.  

 

Happy New Year!  

Murray Building Company   

Historic Merita Bakery Becomes Mixed Use Development
 
  
  
 The Merita Bakery located on First Avenue South no longer bakes it's iconic breads, but the entrepreneurial spirit is alive beneath the vintage sawtooth glass ceilings. Newly named "Bakers Row", the former bakehouse has become a trendy mixed use development, adding office, retail, and restaurant space to the booming downtown revitalization movement.
 
The original structure, built in the 1930's , is a longstanding part of the Magic City landscape. Therefore, it was th e goal of the development and design teams to maintain the integrity of the eighty year old structure. "When we first toured through it, we saw the bones of the building and we saw a lot of opportunity...," said Corporate Realty's Director of Development Brian Wolfe. "It's just something you look at and think, I can preserve a piece of this." Murray Building Company, along with KPS Group and Walter Schoel Engineering Company joined LIV Development and Corporate Realty on this much anticipated project. The team shared the common goal of preserving the history and integrity of the building, while bringing new life and purpose to the structure. As a part of this effort, the angled sawtooth windows and ceilings were left intact, the original Merita sign has been moved indoors, and even outlines of tools painted on the walls of the factory have been maintained. Exposed metal beams and ductwork lend to the industrial feel of the space. New street and landscaping help to tie the property in to the local aesthetics, and add to the character of the Railroad Park area. A metal building located at the rear of the bakery now serves as covered parking.
 
Bakers Row opened its doors over the summer, welcoming the first tenant - Corporate Realty - occupying 4,400 SF of the restored space and joined soon after by project architect KPS Group, currently utilizing 7,500 SF. The 30,157 SF facility offers two remaining spaces to be filled by restaurant or corporate tenants.
 
The Merita Bakery closed its doors in 2012 in the wake of the bankruptcy of parent company Hostess Brands, Inc.
 
The $5 million development joins Railroad Park, Regions Field, and Good People Brewing among others in the up-and-coming Parkside District.

   *some photos courtesy of  Joe Songer, AL.com

Birmingham's Premier Hotel Receives Upgrades
   
Renovations to the Sheraton Hotel located in downtown Birmingham are underway, and include extensive upgrades in both the Tower and Atrium buildings of the luxury hotel. The $2.5 million project includes the renovation of guestroom corridors and elevator lobbies on all fourteen floors. The project will complete in 7 phases, each phase encompassing 2 floors. Demolition work of the 85,736 SF space includes removal of flooring, porcelain tile, and carpeting as well as wallcoverings, paneling, and lighting. All new paint, wall sconces, and flooring will be installed in accordance with the high standards set for Starwood hotels worldwide. The Sheraton Birmingham is located in the heart of downtown, and is Alabama's largest and most recognized convention hotel. With a skywalk attached to the Birmingham Jefferson Convention Center and a location within walking distance to the Museum of Art, the Civil Rights Institute, and Regions Field, the Sheraton is the ideal home-away-from-home for visitors to the Magic City.
 
The Starwood Hotels brand is known for their standards of excellence, and MBC is proud to be a part of maintaining these standards in Birmingham.  

 
MBC Project Features Groundbreaking Imaging Equipment

The UAB Department of Radiology and Advanced Imaging Facility now houses a new state-of-the-art PET/MR imaging machine. This groundbreaking equipment was installed in April, and combines the capability of molecular imaging with positron emission tomography (PET) and the high resolution of Magnetic Resonance (MR) imaging.

The PET/MR is part of UAB's arsenal of high-caliber imaging equipment, including the one-of-a-kind Cyclotron particle accelerator. The PET/MR plays an integral part in the research of cancer, neuroscience, immunology, and cardiology.
"The new PET/MR will position UAB at the forefront of patient care and research, improving our ability to diagnose and monitor treatment," said Janet Eary, M.D. , director of UAB's Advanced Imaging Facility and radiology professor.
 

MBC renovated 2,767 SF of basement space in order to support the  installation of the new equipment.  The project entailed extensive demolition, new walls, ceilings, and finishes, as well as mechanical and electrical systems.  Murray employed an outside elevator system for access and to the project site, and a small Multi Terrain Loader to clear and remove all debris.
 
The PET/MR machine weighs 18,000 pounds and will be the first General Electric PET/MR machine installed in the United States.

 
ABC Safety in Industry Awards
MBC Wins Platinum

Murray Building Company was awarded the 2015 Platinum STEP ( Safety Training and Evaluation Process) Award, a program designed by the Associated Builders and Contractors to showcase companies who exhibit outstanding corporate safety initiatives. Murray was also awarded the 2014 Safest in the Industry Gold Award, both awards presented by the Alabama Chapter of Associated Builders and Contractors, Inc.  MBC is proud of the hard work and dedication to safety that our project staff exhibits on a daily basis, and congratulate them for earning this prestigious award. The Safest in the Industry Awards were held on April 17th at the Westin Hotel in Birmingham.

 
MBC Completes Historic Birmingham Police West Precinct

Grand Opening of the Birmingham Police Department's West Precinct was held on March 16, 2015. The much anticipated project sat dormant for more than a year due to legal disputes, until The City of Birmingham contracted Murray Building Company to completed the $2.7 million facility. Located at 2331 Bessemer Road in Birmingham, the West Precinct is the first new facility built for the police department from the ground up. The 13,700 SF facility provides office space for more the 120 officers serving 39 communities and over 80,000 residents. Work included completion of the building exterior, all interior finishes, site work, and landscaping.  The original building shell was left open to the elements for an extended period of time, lending itself to a significant amount of moisture and mold. Murray was responsible for all mold remediation, drying out, and replacement of affected areas.  The project completed in March 2015 with a grand opening and community celebration.
 
" This is what teamwork looks like,'' said Birmingham police Chief A.C. Roper. " We can't be successful without good community support." The new building was dedicated in honor of Birmingham's first African American police officer, Deputy Chief Leroy Stover.
 
The West Precinct is Birmingham's largest police precinct.

Historic Homewood Landmark Receives Facelift

Boutwell Recording Studios is located on a busy street in the heart of Homewood, and yet few people recognize the large historic building behind the lush facade of magnolia trees and shrubbery.  Its central location, just across the street from Homewood Park and within walking distance to some of the city's most popular restaurants, makes 2917 Central Avenue a truly prime piece of real estate.
 
Rich Campbell, of Veritas Commercial Real Estate, has spent his career working within the City of Birmingham and recognizes the potential in some of the city's forgotten gems.  His interest in renovating the Boutwell property to create  both a viable commercial venue as well as a  highly visible  local landmark drove him to broker a deal with the current owner.  For more than 20 years Boutwell Recording Studios has been the owner and exclusive tenant of the 12,000 SF facility.  Through a sale/leaseback opportunity, Veritas Commercial Real Estate purchased the property.  Veritas  subsequently partnered with local Architect David Blackmon of Blackmon Rodgers Architects, LLC, and  Murray Building Company to begin the transformation.
 
The building will be subdivided and turned into a 3-level multi-tenant space.  In addition to the interior renovations, new outdoor patios will span the building on two sides.  The 29th Court side patio will be positioned on the front corner of the building while a  a second patio, on the Central Avenue side, will wrap around the front of the building to provide outdoor social and work space for the tenants.  As of now, the building is fully leased, with Boutwell Recording Studios and project architect Blackmon Rogers being two of the first tenants to lease space.  Creating new hardcsapes and landscapes will give new life to the exterior of the building  and reintroduce it to the City of Homewood.
 
"It's so transformative to take a building that no one knew existed and turn it into a showpiece of Central Avenue" says Rich Cambell 
 
The new property will ultimately be named The Central Building."This is a $2 million project, and I am very excited to partner with Murray Building Company both as friends, and as clients" said Rich Campbell. "Design-build projects are challenging, but Daniel and Blaine are personal friends which makes this really exciting." Work on the project is set to start in December, with a scheduled completion date of late spring.
 
Pyros Pizza Blazes Into T-Town
 
The market for gourmet pizza is heating up, as Memphis based Pyros Pizza blasts into Tuscaloosa! The restaurant is built on the premise of "fast gourmet", and offers a menu of fresh ingredients, specialty pizzas, salads, craft beers and wine, coffees and snacks. MBC was awarded the contract for a full 3,500 SF tenant fit-out to include dining and kitchen areas, and an outside dining area. MBC will also install a specialty pizza oven made specifically for the Pyros Brand. Groundbreaking for the project was held in October at the new Shoppes at Legacy Park. This location marks the first of 5 restaurants under development in the State of Alabama. The project is scheduled for completion in January 2016. For more information, visit the Pyros website at www.pyrospizza.com.

*image copyright of Pyros Pizza


Relax The Back Brings Relief to Cahaba Village
 
Relax The Back, a pain management retailer, is opening it's newest location at Cahaba Village Plaza on Highway 280. MBC was contracted to comple te the tenant fitout, which will assist clients in areas of spinal health, and offer more than 300 products including Tempur-Pedic mattresses and pillow, massage chairs, fitness, travel, and office products.

Relax The Back specializes in ergonomic products geared specifically for the prevention and relief of back and neck pain.

The project is scheduled for completion in early Decem
ber 2015. Relax The Back has more than 100 locations in the United States and Canada. For more information, visit www.relaxtheback.com. 
 
Murray Joins Bold for Gold to Fight Childhood Cancer - a personal story of hope

  
The Bold for Gold Rally was held August on 15, 2015 at Homewood Central Park.The rally, hosted by aTeam Ministries, kicked off September as Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. MBC sponsored the event which included activities for the children, and an evening of live music and food provided by John David Crowe and The Swamp Poppas, Jim N' Nicks, Heavenly Donuts and Doodles.
 
The event honored cancer Fighters and Survivors, and gave attendees the opportunity to sign up for Be The Match, a bone marrow registry matching donors with respective children in need.
 
The rally held a very personal place in the hearts of MBC employees. Five years ago Maisie House, daughter of Blaine and Jennifer House, was diagnosed with Aplastic Anemia, a total failure of the bone marrow. "It was one of those things where you're sitting there wi th all of your kids getting ready to go t o the grocery store and the docto r comes in and closes the door," Blaine explained in a r ecent inte rview with Kaitlin C andelaria of Over the Mountain Journal . "It was 3 p.m. and they set us up with a 6 a.m. appointment at Children's hospital the nex t day." For the next 6 weeks, Maisie was kept alive through blood transfusions while she prepared for a stem cell transplant. The Houses' banked Maisie's cord blood when she was born, which expedited the otherwise 6-month process of finding a matching donor. The family spent the next seven months with the doctors and staff at Children's Hospital of Alabama as their daughter received treatment. "They were our coaches, our teammates and our cheerleaders. The staff at Children's became a part of our family," said Blaine.
 
Being involved in various organizations such as Children's Harbor took on a new meaning for the House family when Maisie was diagnosed. "We were ready to give money and go to BBQs...," Blaine said. "But one day you're standing there and your child has a severe life-threatening diagnosis and you're pers onally impacted. You have survivor's remorse because so many people have struggled longer or their children have passed away. We wanted to take what we have, which is a skill set and knowledge of how the hospital works, and mentor other parents."  

This has driven the family to begin working with Children's of Alabama's Hope and Cope Psychosocial Program, a program which provides sup
port and services for the entire family, including social workers, child life specialists, pediatric psychologists, pediatric neuropsychologists , chaplains, and teachers. The goal of the program is to help ease the stress and maximize a family's strength throughout all stages o f their child's treatment. The House family is on-call with the organization to offer help to families who need everything from an understanding ear, to directions for car repair or local grocery stores. The family wants to help others in the same way that they were helped. The House family continues their involvement and support of local children's organizations, now involving Maisie in the efforts. "When I was in the hospital, there was a lady who came and played the harp for me," Maisie told OTMJ. "Since I'm taking piano, I want to keep doing it so I can play 'Twinkle Twinkle Little Star' and other songs for the children." Maisie turned 9 this year.
 
The aTeam Ministries provide spiritual, emotional, and financial support to families who are coping with needs associated with having a child who has been diagnosed pediatric cancer. The funds raised through Bold For Gold went to support these programs, and assist families who are going through pediatric cancer treatment at Children's Hospital. For more information on aTeam Ministries, please visit them online at www.ateamministries.org.
 
"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which ourselves are comforted by God." - 2 Corinthians 1:3-4
 
 
Joining The MBC Team...

Chad Wilson, Dir. of Construction Services
 
Chad joins the MBC team as the new Director of Construction Services. Chad is a graduate of Auburn University, and has more than 20 years of experience in the industry. He began his career as a Field Manager in 1992, moving up to Project Manager, and eventually Leadership Development Director. Chad has a passion to see others reach their highest potential, and has developed a strong ability to provide insight and vision to others in their quest to achieve personal goals. Chad is on the board of the Oak Mountain Westminster School, is the fundraising chairman of the Lambda Sigma fraternity, and received the President's Award for Outstanding Graduate in the School of Architecture. He was also awarded the ASA Project Manager of the Year in 2002.
 
Mark Garner, Sr. Project Manager
 
Mark joins MBC as a Senior Project Manager. Mr. Garner is a graduate of Auburn University, and has more than 30 years of construction experience. Throughout his career, Mark has owned and managed his own firm - Garner Construction Company, as well as worked with some of Birmingham's largest construction companies in both preconstruction and project management. His expertise includes healthcare, commercial, and multi-family construction. Mark is the recipient of the Dale Carnegie Gold Pin Award. Mark will focus his expertise on estimating and preconstruction.

Shane Lutz, Superintendant
 
Shane Lutz joins the MBC as Project Superintendant, and is currently onsite at the Sheraton Birmingham project. Shane is a graduate of Bessemer State Technical College, holding an Associate's Degree in Building Science. He has 18 years of construction experience, managing multi-million dollar projects for commercial, residential, and institutional clients throughout the Southeast. His training includes the OSHA 10-Hour class, and Asbestos Abatement training.  

 
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Murray Building Company
2910 Linden Avenue, Suite 200
Birmingham, Alabama 35209