Tag Archives: general contractor

Meet David Torres—Snyder Building Construction’s Newest Project Manager

Meet David Torres—Snyder Building Construction’s Newest Project Manager

October 17, 2018
by: Audrey Wilson

We are excited to share that David Torres is on board as our newest project manager. He will be leading jobs in all sectors of our portfolio from tenant improvement to ground-up, including restaurant, retail, office, metal buildings, and historic renovations.

David Torres, Project Manager

David earned his Bachelor of Science in Structural Engineering from Cal Poly Pomona in Pomona, California. He’s a pretty smart cookie. Since then, he’s been managing projects with excellence for 11 years.

His approach to working with clients? “Be trustworthy, be persistent, lead by example, and trust the abilities of others,” he told us. We think that’s a pretty great strategy!

David has bid, estimated and managed the gamut construction projects ranging from $25,000 to $15,000,000.

Most notably, he bid and managed the historic renovation of an existing multi-story building that was originally built in 1888. The renovation included dropping the basement ten feet to allow for a future restaurant tenant, a complete structural retrofit and a new rooftop bar & events center. He also bid and managed a 25,000 square-foot, ground-up construction project for the Disney Archive Library—a new place to house and archive old Disney cartoon and movie reels. Other past projects include multiple projects at Disney Resorts, Pixar executive housing, Shell and Chevron gas stations, Discount Tire shops, full service restaurants, Lululemon Athletica yoga retail locations, multi-family mixed-use buildings, Wal-Marts, schools, churches and architecture offices.

When he’s not busy working, you’ll find him spending time outdoors with his wife or hunting with his bird dogs Chester and Reba.

Bars, Restaurants, and Breweries, Oh my! — Bonus: A Construction Guide to Bars & Breweries

A Three-Part Construction Series

September 19, 2018
collaboration by: Audrey Wilson, Kyle Duce, Loy Maierhauser

Building a happy bar requires the marriage of two important ideas: the overall vibe and the flow. This might just sound like today’s hipster mindset, but in all reality these two ideas are essential to the perfect bar. Think of vibe as the overall vision and concept, or how guests experience the space and place. And flow is all about functionality and efficiency for stronger service and, of course, increased sales.

To understand what that means, we asked a couple of experts. Meet Kyle Duce (he owns Tap Station and Locol in West Seattle, while running Crafted Solutions, a hospitality F&B consulting company, here in Denver) and Loy Maierhauser (a Certified Cicerone, co-founder of Fermentana, LLC, and Tasting Room Manager at MAP Brewing Company in Montana). We sat down with these two and asked some pointed questions so you can have a head start in planning your own bar or brewery.

    
Kyle Duce (left) & Loy Maierhauser (right)

At Snyder Building Construction, we typically build what’s already been drawn and developed, but understanding bar operations should be the starting place for designing (or redesigning) any new bar or brewery. And during the construction phase, we’re always there to help you build it better, find ways to save money, and keep the project on schedule.

Q&A

What should people consider when building a bar that would allow it to operate more smoothly?

  • Kyle: More dry storage / liquor room space! Keeping back up items in an easily accessed storage room will help maintain the clean aesthetic and design of the original concept while allowing for bulk purchases that make a huge difference in bottom line profit.
  • Loy: The bar’s physical design! I love the idea of seating around the whole bar, but you end up with a really challenging fishbowl effect. I know it’s nice to have the additional seating at our bar, but you end up with people trying to catch our bartenders’ attention from all directions, and it can be a bit challenging for them.  We’ve definitely had to troubleshoot the flow issues.

Keep in mind, many jurisdictions require liquor storage to be locked and any plan reviewers will want to understand where this storage is located. Overhead storage may have separate code requirements and fire, life/safety want to know storage won’t block any alarms or sprinkler heads. Consider also that cold beer likes to stay cold and wine is often temperature regulated. As such, plan carefully how you will store your canned/bottled beer and wine supply both behind the bar and in back-up storage.

What are the top three keys to consider when building your new bar?

  • Kyle:
    1.  Clearly identify your concept and vision.
    2.  Never sacrifice functionality over aesthetics.
    3.  Flow of service behind the bar – set up wells to service guests fast and efficiently. Make sure high volume items are easily accessed and the draft system is centrally located. Have a dishwasher close to the service well. Create a work flow based off a busy night that’s efficient for bar staff to move and create a seamless night of service.
  • Loy:
    1. Vibe – What do you want people to FEEL when they walk in? What’s your ideal vibe?  Build it.
    2. Flow – How do you envision people moving through your space? For example, are you going to have a host, or let people wander in on their own?  How are you going to let people know how to flow through your space?  Signage, furniture, staff?
    3. Logistics of your tap lines – This might be obvious, but long beer lines can be challenging to deal with. Long, glycol-chilled lines can still end up causing issues and can be tricky to troubleshoot. Typically, the shorter the line, the easier to deal with, and easier for your staff to change kegs and keep the flow of beer coming quickly on busy nights.

All of these ideas center on planning and designing. Tap line logistics are huge! Shorter tap lines are absolutely easier and keep the beer colder overall. Tap lines aren’t just for beer anymore either. Consider also cold brew, wine, and sparkling water. Signage and furniture won’t go in until the end or even after construction – but many times signage and furniture have long lead times so you’ll likely want to get things ordered and settled at the beginning of construction.

What questions do you for a contractor have about bar construction before you get started?

  • Kyle:
    • Once the bar budget for fixtures and equipment are in place, what is the protocol if budget gets exceeded throughout the build out?

Great question. We always recommend adding a 5% contingency line to your overall budget for this reason! But the heart of this question depends on a couple things. Was this an unforeseen condition or a change to the contract documents? If so, these additions typically move forward as change orders. How costs are managed depends on the agreement with your contractor. Have you set up a hard bid or negotiated job with them? Additional costs are always run by the owner first, however, some changes may be required your jurisdiction which would be required to earn a certificate of occupancy to open the business.

  • Do you have a portfolio of previous bars & restaurants that you have completed? It’s always good to see the work the contractor has completed and what they are capable of.

This is a great tip. Always ask about previous experience! Our team has run the gamut, from multi-million dollar brewery campuses to hole-in-the-wall, local joints.  We’ve got local recommendations for everything from draft systems to bar tops to back-of-building delivery set-ups.

  • What are realistic time frames for every major stage of the build out? How has that been met in the past with previous concepts?

For projects roughly 2,500-5,000 SF in size you’re looking at about 12-14 weeks of construction time. You’ll want to add surveying, planning, architectural design and construction document drawings, permitting, etc… to get a true sense of your timeline. This could add anywhere from 8 to 12 weeks on the front end. Additionally, the exterior signage process has its own permitting and timeline process outside of the construction timeline through local zoning departments.

The 12-14 week construction portion will run somewhat like this: 1-2 weeks for underground plumbing and electrical; 3 weeks for framing/MEP rough-ins; 3 weeks equipment installation/overhead work; 4-6 weeks for paint, tile, lighting, and finishes throughout.

Note, permitting jurisdictions will not allow you to move in furniture or train staff in the space until a health inspection and final building inspections are completed. Consider this timing when building out your opening operations plan!

What are your biggest lessons learned from bar set-up / construction?

  • Kyle: Never cut costs on the importance of good materials and equipment that will withstand the high volume of wear and tear. Consider a durable bar top, reliable refrigeration, and quality draft system. Also, create a highly detailed budget and be prepared to make cuts within the budget, having backup finishes and fixtures in place if needed.
  • Loy: Get some experienced bartenders and servers in to look at your plans and building. Even if builders or owners have some experience in the industry, it’s typically years in the past, and having the people who will ACTUALLY be moving through your space look at it and help you troubleshoot things and generate ideas will be invaluable.

We agree! Partnering with industry folks who have been down this road is the best way to go. They can help you get started on the right foot and follow you through to the end.

For more bar and brewery inspiration, check out: www.hospitalitydesign.com, www.architecturaldigest.com, www.rejuvination.com, www.frankarchitecture.ca

Read part I of the series: The Nuts and Bolts of Building a Restaurant: A Guide for New Owners.

Ready to learn more and get to work with us? Email info@snyderbuilding.com or call us at 720.900.5082.

Top Five Office Designs in and around Denver

Top Five Office Designs in and around Denver

by: Audrey Wilson
May 10, 2018

We’re big fans of great design. In fact, one of our favorite things about being a general contractor is the ability to make 2D plans become the real, 3D spaces that people live, work, and play in. The concept to reality process is humbling every single time.

And offices happen to be where we spend a lot of our time—albeit building them. We’ve written before about what it takes to make an office renovation successful and wanted to celebrate and round up a few incredibly successful office renovations in and around Denver. These spaces inspire us and make our work as general contractors really exciting!

The trend of open concept versus private work space is ever evolving. If you’re interested in learning how this is evolving, check out BisNow’s trend update on designing for office. Not surprisingly, these top five are right on target. A few of these offices were built by other contractors, but we find their design so inspiring that we couldn’t leave them out.

#5
American Cancer Society

     
photo credit: Snyder Building Construction. Used with permission from American Cancer Society.

Size of Renovated Space (in SF):
12,500 sq.ft.

Location:
10065 E Harvard Ave, Denver

About the Building:
Denver Highlands, at 10065 E. Harvard Ave., and One Denver Highlands, at 10375 E. Harvard Ave., encompass a combined 359,023 square feet of office space. Amenities include an on-site Ink! Coffee shop, walking distance from several fast-casual and casual eateries, and a great view of the Rocky Mountains. Check out the view from several exterior patio decks!

Design Intent:
American Cancer Society moved their Denver office to the 10065 E Harvard building this year. As a non-profit, the focus is always on the mission. Thus, the design was developed to encourage employee collaboration and celebrate the dedication to the cause.

What We Love:
We love their mission! American Cancer Society is on a mission to free the world from cancer. We also love they chose a sustainable lighting package, streamlined their finishes and simplified their look while adhering to their brand. They incorporated outdoor patio access into their suite for a stellar view of the Rocky Mountains.

Architect: Waring Associates

#4
Sixth Avenue West – Golden

      photo credit: Used with permission from Sixth Avenue West.

Size of Renovated Space (in SF):
30,000 sq.ft.

Location:
350 Indiana Street, Golden, Colorado

About the Building:
One of the most distinguished office assets in the West Denver submarket is Sixth Avenue West, an eight story, 124,612 square foot Class A office building located in Golden, Colorado. The building boasts attractive floor plates, competitive amenities, outstanding Energy Star Rating, and unparalleled views of Downtown Denver and the Rocky Mountains.

Design Intent:
The brand new, state-of-the art conference center (2,392 square feet) with seating for up to 100, blazing fast Wi-Fi, and HD projector, and an attached catering kitchen was designed to modernize the amenity set for all tenants in the building while keeping the space comfortable for large gatherings and small business meetings alike.

What We Love:
These upgrades offer lots of flexibility for tenants in the building. Tenants now have access to a café area, fitness center, and smart conference room—all great amenities! The view of Golden and the foothills is stunning all day, but particularly at sunrise and sunset.

Architect: Davis Partnership Architects

#3
MicroStar Logistics

     photo credit: Images courtesy of Dan Vorlage, MicroStar Logistics.

Size of Renovated Space (in SF):
15,000 sq.ft.

Location:
Historic Root Building, 2410 15th Street, Denver

About the Building:
The historic Root Building was originally built in 1890 using large wood timber column and beam construction. Today, this building is a staple of the Platte Street neighborhood. Home to several commercial outfits, MicroStar Logistics now occupies the second floor and provides beer keg sales, rentals, service, and logistics for brewers.

Design Intent:
Creating a fun and unique working environment while reclaiming the historic look and feel of the character of the building in their space was a challenging and critical part of the design. The original exterior brick walls were exposed along with wood ceiling joists and decking to bring back that historic feel to the space. Custom steel and glass storefront systems for the offices and conference areas, custom furniture pieces and millwork round out a unique experience for both employees and visitors.

What We Love:
Flexible work space allows employees varied options during the day, as well as access to a custom built shuffleboard table, lounge area, and coffee/beer sampling bar for visiting clients. The space is also highlighted by a full tasting bar featuring some of MicroStar’s clients’ brews on tap. The designer chose a custom, wood-barrel stave accent wall in the reception area which pays homage to the company’s mission. Customized design elements and unique use of the space make this office a great space to spend the day.

Architect: 1ine Studio, LLC
Designer:  XAN Creative

#2
WorkplaceELEMENTS

     photo credit: Photos courtesy of WorkplaceElements

Size of Space (in SF):
30,000 sq.ft.

Location:
intersection of Blake and Broadway in downtown Denver, Colorado

About WorkplaceELEMENTS:
WorkplaceELEMENTS is an integrated interiors partner that provides a comprehensive portfolio of furniture, manufactured construction, floor coverings, technology, and service solutions for the interior built environment.

Design Intent:
The Discovery Center provides a forward-thinking space for our employees to work and thrive in addition to showing our clients and prospects the full array of our product and service-based solutions. We want to demonstrate how the workplace can contribute to achieving the most significant organizational goals: The attraction and retention of key talent, the maximization of productivity, and the right physical environment to promote innovation throughout an organization.

What We Love:
Open ceilings exposed original wood and beams, exposed brick and an open feel makes you feel cozy in a large space. Additionally, the flex space throughout caters to employees’ needs for both collaboration and independent work. A bonus from visiting, the furniture and finishes in The Discovery Center sample what WorkplaceELEMENTS has to offer—thus employees really get to experience their products before designing them into new spaces.

Designer: Slant Interiors

#1
CBRE Denver

     photo credit: Gensler / Ryan Gobuty

Size of Space (in SF):
38,975 square feet across two floors, connected by an internal staircase

Location:
1225 17th Street, Suite 3200, Denver, CO 80202

About CBRE:
CBRE is the world’s largest commercial real estate services and investment firm with five offices across the Front Range offering a broad range of integrated services, including facilities, transaction and project management; property management; investment management; appraisal and valuation; property leasing; strategic consulting; property sales; mortgage services and development services.

Design Intent:
CBRE’s downtown Denver office is part of the firm’s global Workplace360 initiative designed to maximize employee collaboration, mobility and productivity through technology-enabled, free-address and paperless offices.

What We Love:
First and foremost, the view of the Rocky Mountains is spectacular which makes it extra special for those who live and work here in Colroado. Second, the open floor plan mixed with sleek amenities and beautiful finishes make this one to remember. Located right in the heart of Downtown Denver, this office definitely tops out our list.

Architect: Gensler

 We’re proud to have served as the general contractor for both American Cancer Society and the Sixth Avenue West buildings. Interested in working with us? Give us a call at 720.900.5082 or email us at info@snyderbuilding.com.