Brasfield & Gorrie – Cyan on Peachtree
Residential building is booming in Buckhead, an affluent community near downtown Atlanta. It’s good for the neighborhood. but does not come without its challenges. As more people flock to the area, developers are steadily pumping out a pipeline of projects to meet the demand and calling on experienced contractors who can navigate through the logistical challenges of working in an urban setting.
“Any time you do a project on Peachtree in Atlanta, there is an added logistical challenge because traffic is always an issue,” says Jason Weeks, project manager at Brasfield & Gorrie. “You have to be able to understand the limitation of lane closures, sidewalk closures and be able to work around pedestrian traffic since it’s the main artery of Atlanta’s shopping area.”
Alabama-based Brasfield & Gorrie, the largest general contractor in the Southeast, was called on by the developers of the Cyan on Peachtree residential project because of its expertise in the region. Behringer Harvard Multifamily REIT, Monogram Residential Master Partnership and Atlantic Realty Partners have teamed up to finance and develop the 329-unit luxury multifamily property. The 23-story building features a mix of one-, two- and three-bedroom units that boast nine-foot ceilings, floor-to-ceiling windows, full-size washers and dryers, quartz countertops, 42-inch hardwood cabinetry and kitchens with islands and stainless steel appliances. The common-area amenities include a garage deck, resort-style pool with cabanas, gardens and grilling areas, a terrace overlooking Peachtree Street, fitness center and sidewalk cyber café.
First Things First
Brasfield & Gorrie began working with the developers in 2013, beginning with preconstruction. “We were approached in 2013 to start working on a program budget for the development,” Weeks says. “We try to always provide a shopping list of options for the project ownership. We go through and evaluate different systems and products. It could be that we offer a few options on rooftop architectural features or options on the skin system such as stucco or glass window wall. Those are some of the things we do in preconstruction to help owners better make decisions that fit with their program.”
The general contractor wrapped up preconstruction after nine months and broke ground in December 2013. Construction began with the demolition of two existing structures, one of which was famed Atlanta staple Dante’s Down the Hatch. Demolition and site work continued to mid-February and was followed by foundation work. The team drilled caissons and installed deep foundations before beginning the concrete foundation and cast-in-place concrete walls. Weeks explains that the tight site created another logistical challenge for the project.
Constraints on Construction
“It’s a very constrained urban setting,” Weeks says. “We have a 50-story building on one side and a 10-story building on the other side. The width between Cyan and each of the buildings is the same space from second base to home plate on a baseball field, so it’s very tight.”
The site’s constraints have continued to prompt creative thinking on the part of Brasfield & Gorrie. Because there is no laydown area or yard, the construction team has been meticulous about material delivery planning.
“It really comes down to planning,” Weeks explains. “When you have this tight of a site, every delivery is planned down to the minute and you have to prearrange locations for that material, which is typically to go straight into the building because this site doesn’t have a yard.”
With a construction plan in place and necessary adjustments made along the way, Brasfield & Gorrie has steadily moved toward the project’s August 2015 completion date. Concrete slabs were poured in early March and the construction team began going elevated with the structure in April. As of mid-August, the project had reached level 15 with the concrete structure and level seven with exterior skin, which is a combination of glass and stucco. Drywalling and framing had started on the first three floors.
“We should be topped out with concrete by October because we’re moving pretty fast,” Weeks says. “We are turning over the first phase, which is the lower floor with amenities, in April of 2015 and we will continue to turn over more floors through to August of 2015.”
As construction continues, Weeks says Brasfield & Gorrie is already looking forward to more work in the Buckhead area. “Cyan is one of our featured projects in Buckhead and there is a lot of activity for potential projects coming down the pipeline,” he says. “In the last two years through to today and continuing into the future, multifamily and mixed-use work has been really hot in Atlanta and make for a majority of the work right now. We have pursued this market and have been successful in it so we will continue to pursue it in the future.”