As landlord of the newly built Routsong Retail Center in Oakwood, Tommy Routsong is committed to giving his customers exactly what they want--a commitment that he has in common with his builder, JZ Construction. So when tenants wanted additional HVAC, greater electrical capacity, or a drive-through modified to fit into a very tight space, JZ worked with the entire team to make sure Routsong and his tenants got just what they needed.
"They're able to adapt, work through any issues to get the job done," said Routsong, Managing Partner of Routsong Realty. "They understand from the landlord's standpoint that you get pulled at by tenant requirements, and things have to change."
Achieving and maintaining that customer-driven focus throughout the construction project required teamwork from the architect (K&A Architecture), the engineer (Judge Engineering Company), and the contractor (JZ Construction). Working together closely, the team was able to anticipate tenant requirements and allow for multiple changes along the way. For example, each of the four retail units was originally designed to accommodate one five-ton HVAC unit on top of the building. But when tenants wanted additional HVAC capacity, JZ was able to coordinate with the designers and suppliers to build in the additional structure necessary. To date, two of the four spaces have added additional HVAC units--one a three-ton and the other a five-ton unit.
Similarly, when Routsong learned one of the tenants would require more power than originally planned, JZ coordinated the redesign of the electrical plan to allow the tenant's build-out company to easily increase the main power to the space. "We always try to provide for possible changes or expansions," said Douglas Keech, JZ Associate Project Manager.
This expertise and agility is just one way JZ's customer-service-driven project managers become an important part of a client's team. A solid relationship with a network of well-qualified and experienced suppliers and subcontractors makes it all possible. The subs worked closely with JZ as part of a team dedicated to delivering a project that exceeds expectations.
The center, at Oakwood and Irving avenues near the University of Dayton, was built on three-quarters of an acre. The new building is 8,400 square feet and is designed to serve four retail tenants.
"This community is very particular, and there were a lot of considerations that needed approval," said Routsong. "Jeff [JZ Managing Member, Jeff Samuelson] had a good idea of some of the challenges we were going to face, and he's got a cool head, a good mind, and he knew what we needed to do."
According to Jay Weiskircher, Deputy City Manager for the city of Oakwood, the team worked together well to create a center that complements its surroundings and will bring added value to the city. "Although this was a challenging site and there were a number of zoning issues that needed to be addressed, the city is very pleased with the architecture and exterior appearance of the building and looks forward to having tenants move into the building in the near future," he said.
The three-quarter-acre lot presented numerous challenges, not the least of which was modifying plans for a drive-through, a key requirement for one of the tenants. In response to a request from Routsong, JZ collaborated with the architect to modify an existing plan that would work in the limited space. "It was designed to use every spare inch we could get in the turning radius," Keech explained. In addition, there was a utility pole that had to be relocated because it was important to both Routsong and to his eventual tenants that customers have enough space to safely and easily drive through the lot.
The space constraints demanded a high level of organization and lots of hands-on management. There were days when large trucks with cranes, small bobcats, roofers, electricians, and brick deliveries all had to fit on the small lot, and it took a deft hand to keep the work flowing. "I remember a day when it was like directing an orchestra," Keech said. "But we just managed the production schedules and relied on our regular subs to make sure everyone had what they needed to work together well."
The individual spaces are still being built out, but plans so far call for a coffee shop, a frozen yogurt store, and a sub sandwich shop. By working as a partner and bringing professional construction management, property management experience, and strong customer service to the project, JZ Construction is helping Routsong Realty build success.