All posts in Retail

Lifestyle Center Timeline

Birmingham, Ala. (July 22, 2016) – In the 2000s, the lifestyle center became the darling of retail shopping.  In the years from 2000 to 2008 CMH designed 23 lifestyle centers with a total area of 7.8 million square feet.  See chart below to view our major contributions to the rapid rise of this popular shopping venue.

Lifestyle Center Timeline (1)

Gus Mayer Relocation Spotlight

Birmingham, Ala. (June 17, 2016) – We are ending the work week with a spotlight on one of our older projects, the relocation of the Gus Mayer!  The owners at Gus Mayer approached CMH regarding design of their new store at The Summit, asking for a new store that would clearly define their position in the Women’s Clothing market with a higher profile location and architectural style that helped them stand out among the other tenants in the Summit community.

The new 19,000 SF store required combining three existing tenant spaces with three separate electrical, plumbing and mechanical fire protection systems into one new tenant space.  During programming, CMH realized that the most cost-effective solution to provide the tenant with their required square footage was to build a new expansion on the rear of the store to house non-public uses such as storage, alterations and visual in a lower cost area.  The new exterior façade was designed as a simple, black and white elevation that would clearly distinguish it from the other more decorative architecture at The Summit.  The hardscape façade includes large glazed areas for fashion merchandising displays including changeable rotating graphic displays within the Women’s Shoe area.

The Outlet Shops at Grand River

Leeds, Ala. (April 26, 2016) – Shown above is the pavilion area at The Outlet Shops of Grand River in Leeds, AL lit up in the early evening. A nice place to grab a breath of fresh air and get some shopping done.

Sketch of the Week: Whole Foods Riverchase

Birmingham, Ala. (April 18, 2016) – The Sketch of the Week this week features a renovation of an existing vacant grocery store into a new Whole Foods Market.  The new market will serve as an anchor and help to revitalize an existing retail center.

Saks Fifth Avenue – San Juan

San Juan, Puerto Rico (March 18, 2016) – This project is one of the two main anchors for The Mall of San Juan in Puerto Rico.  Strategically located in the center of the San Juan metro area, the urban site presents a number of spatial, logistical, construction and design challenges.  The buildings adjacency to the mall, mall parking deck and mall ring road, all under simultaneous construction, leave little room for staging, construction, and material delivery.  Other complications include proximity to an existing neighborhood as well as seismic and hurricane design requirements.  The Mall of San Juan is the first upscale mall in Puerto Rico and the first location on the island for Saks Fifth Avenue.  The Saks store features an in-store restaurant, Sophie’s, and 15 high end vendor shops.

Retail Development Is Main Focus of Renowned Architectural Technology Summit

Birmingham, Ala. (Jan. 28, 2014) - At the recent Autodesk University—an annual summit held by the technology giant responsible for the groundbreaking software programs AutoCAD and Revit—an entire day of the conference was devoted to retail development, with prominent developers in attendance. Revit is a Building Information Modeling (BIM) software program that creates dynamic 3D models that provide smart information in real time, such as energy analysis, land geometry, light analysis, design components, parking, and leasing, along with the coordinating cost and scheduling estimates. This time-saving and cost-efficient tool breaks down the communication barriers and enhances collaboration between the designer, architects, contractors, building owners, and other stakeholders in the construction project.

“We are pleased to see Autodesk featuring retail development in this way,” said CMH President Everett Hatcher. “The Revit technology is perfect for the complex institutional and retail projects that we work on.” CMH has used Revit in multifaceted projects, such as the recent award-winning NAVFAC, a department store on a Naval Base in Bethesda, Maryland; Fresh Food Dining, an interactive open-kitchen food court at The University of Alabama; and the DeCA Commissary, a grocery store on Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery, Alabama. CMH BIM Studio Head Ken Helms explains, “Revit allows the design team and the contractors immediate project visualization so we can troubleshoot all ‘what-if’ scenarios and detect potential conflicts before any cost estimates, scheduling, or construction begins.”

CMH Uses Innovative Fabric Design in Galleria Renovation

Birmingham, Ala. (Sept. 6, 2013) – When the owners of the Galleria explained that they wanted something “to add color and interest” throughout the interior of the cavernous skylighted structure— something of significant size that would not interfere with access to the sprinkler, HVAC, electrical, security, or lighting systems—the design challenge was set. The CMH team began brainstorming and troubleshooting, from aluminum-framed fabric panels of varying size, to the application of colored films onto the existing skylight glass. However, these initial solutions not only created additional issues with fire protection, dust collection, and skylight access, but they simply lacked the ‘wow’ factor that CMH was looking for.

Brainstorming sessions about tensile fabric structures gained momentum, and the team found themselves in the studio, stretching various fabrics across the space and lighting them with color-changing LED fixtures. The next phase consisted of full-size mock-ups suspended between lifts above the Galleria’s food court. The team decided upon the 100% recyclable textile sails, custom-made from the English company Fabric Architecture that claims the Galleria fabrics are “the largest interior sails in the world.”

CMH team members have spent long hours after the Galleria closes each night, perfecting everything from the panel size and lighting methods to the hanging and attachment methods. The installation that fills the Galleria’s vast ceiling is now complete. The largest panel is suspended above the center court and is almost 40 feet tall and over 60 feet long, providing shade for the food court patrons below. “We knew that on sunny days, the white panels would be visually striking, filling the space with a soft natural light,” said Firm Executive Vice President Mike Tillman, “but it was the possibilities provided by the programmable LED fixtures that made the structures such an exciting improvement.”

CMH Designs Innovative Third Expansion of Successful Retail Center

Birmingham, Ala. (Aug. 15, 2013) – The Phase III expansion of the Bridge Street Town Centre in Huntsville, Alabama, is underway and includes a new flagship two-level Belk department store, a new parking garage, and approximately 50,000 square feet of additional retail and restaurant buildings. The western portion of the existing lake has been drained and filled in to create the expansion site and a new waterfall feature will be added to define and accentuate the remainder of the lake. Belk and the adjacent new retail buildings will open onto a new “center court” featuring a large green space that can accommodate featured events, displays, and other activities already enjoyed by the Bridge Street patrons.

The new construction will complement the diverse mix of tenants and building types already at Bridge Street, which currently includes nearly 350,000 square feet of retail and restaurant tenants, the Westin Huntsville, the Monaco Pictures theater, and a low-rise office building, as well as 2nd-floor offices in one of the buildings. Dating back to its grand opening in 2007, the centre has undergone continued growth and success, including a 105,000-square-foot power center addition that was also designed by CMH and completed in early 2012. The anxiously awaited completion of this newest phase is expected in fall 2014.

CMH Projects Receive 2012 ABC Excellence in Construction Awards

Birmingham, Ala. (Oct. 25, 2012) — Two CMH projects recently received awards from the Associated Builders & Contractors (ABC) Excellence in Construction Awards. ABC is a national association which represents all specialties within the U.S. construction industry. ABC’s philosophy encourages open competition and a free-enterprise approach to construction based solely on merit, regardless of labor affiliation.

The Cullman First United Methodist Church was recognized with an Excellence Award, the highest honor, in the “Historical Restoration/Renovation Under $25 Million” category. Rogers & Willard, a Mobile-based general contractor, received the award for this design-build project. The 80-year-old church was severely damaged by the 2011 April tornadoes which devastated Cullman, Alabama, thus requiring the complete renovation and restoration of the three-story sanctuary building.

The organic grocery store Earth Fare, in Hoover, Alabama, was honored with a Merit Award in the “Renovation Under $4 Million” category. The Birmingham-based general contractor, Stewart Perry, received the award. Earth fare now occupies the former 27,000-square-foot CompUSA building, adjacent to Riverchase Galleria, and involved the demolition and renovation of the interior, as well as a new front entrance and new exterior finishes.

“We are honored that our projects have received these awards which highlight our skill and efficiency in the construction phase of our projects,” said Firm Senior Vice President Michael O’Kelley. “This is also well-deserved recognition for two excellent contractors—Stewart Perry and Rogers & Willard—with whom we are proud to partner.”