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Redevelopment on time, within budget

Susan Wood

The city’s redevelopment project at Park Avenue and U.S. Highway 50 will take “a monster leap” in the next few weeks, the job’s superintendent said Wednesday.

Dave Ashe, who manages the building of the Marriott Grand Residence Club for general contractor Perini Building Co., anticipates the roof on the condominium complex will be finished in March. When that happens, construction crews — amounting to about 250 people — will hit the drywall job hard.

The two Marriott hotels going up near Stateline are shaping up, on schedule and within budget, Ashe and his Project Executive Bob Gaus said. Gaus added the job has experienced no significant cost overruns but has confronted at least one challenge this winter.

The wet weather caused the roofing crew trying to do detail work to improvise at times, Gaus said, walking through a few puddles on the second floor of the building closest to Park Avenue.

In order to make the Nov. 1 completion deadline for the $100 million job, the crew is working through the winter months.

“There were three to four weeks in December that were nasty, but after that, it wasn’t so bad,” Gaus said. “We’ve tried to keep dry and warm.”

Some of the workers try to combat the cold temperatures in the mornings by standing in front of two industrial-sized gas heaters placed on each floor.

Perini uses the heaters because some of the materials are sensitive to freezing temperatures.

Of the job’s six floors and basement, most of the focus of the internal framework lies with dry walling.

Perini has been fast forwarding one of the condo units facing the pool and spa area to “make sure everything fits,” Gaus said. The tile was laid, and cabinets just came in. Gaus said the unit should be completed in a few weeks.

The exterior offers the observer a first-hand glimpse of what Marriott has in mind with its quarter-to-whole ownership condo complex, which sprawls 110,000 square feet.

And complex is the operative word on this job, as construction crews rise to the challenge of multitiered ceilings with angles that in some places resemble a Rubic’s cube.

But when the job is done, locals and tourists alike will have a new pedestrian-friendly place to go, Gaus said.

Gary Casteel of the Factory Stores at the “Y” will manage the majority of retail establishments and restaurants on the bottom floor and the ice rink. It flanks an atrium area where a Marriott-managed swimming pool and two spas will be located. Flagstone will surround the pools.

Northeast of the Grand Residence complex by about 400 feet, the Perini’s project manager for the Marriott time-share hotel reports the job on schedule and within budget, too.

Duane Barringer said the dry wall is halfway complete on the Timber Lodge. Painting and ceramic tile will be added soon, with the exterior slated for completion in April.

This go-ahead time line is still on track despite one big challenge, which occurred in November.

“(It was) November 29, when it snowed like the dickens,” Barringer said.

Snow dumped on an exposed floor before the roof was finished, resulting in a buyout on shovels and snowblowers.


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