Case Studies

Burdg, Dunham & Associates Construction: Revolutionizing Retail Construction

  • Written by: Burdg, Dunham & Associates Construction: Revolutionizing Retail Construction
  • Produced by: Burdg, Dunham & Associates Construction: Revolutionizing Retail Construction
  • Estimated reading time: 4 mins

Gone are the days when national retailers could simply roll out a wave of identical stores, which is why Burdg, Dunham & Associates Construction (BDA) has dedicated itself to find the most cost-effective ways to tailor and deliver a concept that’s right for each individual market. The company’s origins stretch back to 1981, and BDA has built an extensive portfolio of tenant build-out work for both public and privately owned companies since. The relationships that BDA established in its early days have now matured, and the team is fortunate to find itself with a reputation for leveraging an old-fashioned commitment to quality craftsmanship and a hard-work ethic to deliver high-end projects on time and on budget.

“Our work speaks for itself,” states Jim Dunham, vice president and co-founder of BDA. “This is why almost all of our business comes from repeat clients.” The Missouri-based company specializes in retail construction, including projects in strip malls, family life centers and large commercial developments, as well as in standalone facilities. No matter where the project is housed, BDA prides itself on working closely with the client to effectively establish the most pressing priorities to free up space for a little creative maneuvering so that projects are executed to perfection.

BDA may be based out of Hamilton, Mo., but the company maintains licensing to perform work in all 50 states, as well as Canada and Puerto Rico. BDA also recently established an operating division in the U.K. to help clients expand individual concepts in outlets across the pond, but none of the company’s success would be possible without the talent of its 150-member team. Backed by three decades of retail construction, BDA employs some of the most in-demand professionals, each of whom understand how to find a balance between a creative aesthetic and a cost-effective, practical store layout to showcase products without overshadowing.

Custom Construction

Given BDA’s tendency to wander the country for clients, the BDA team excels in maintaining the perfect degree of flexibility to make the most of local resources. The company has the manpower to perform most interior finishes, including carpentry, drywall and framing, while relying on external contacts for the major electrical, HVAC, mechanical and plumbing components. “We try to use the local suppliers for as much as we can,” asserts Dunham.

BDA’s client list runs the gamut of mall staples, which include Urban Outfitters, Yankee Candle Company, Zumiez, Maurices, Clarks, Kiehl’s, Gap Inc., Spencer Gifts, Marmi/Wolff Shoes and various brands of Regis Hair Salons, as well as retail chains looking to inflect more regional personality. BDA’s ability to collaborate with local talent paired with a successful business relationship with Dave Ziel, chief development officer at Urban Outfitters, eventually made BDA a primary contact for the Urban Outfitters family of companies (URBN Inc.), which includes the eponymous retailers of urban-cool apparel, as well as the retro-kitsch Anthropologie, bohemian Free People, bridal store BHLDN and the newly introduced Terrain, the parent company’s flagship home and garden retail store.

URBN Inc. prides itself on developing retail stores that target one specific demographic to find ways of connecting with the customer on an emotional level. As a result, no two URBN Inc. stores share the exact same interior design, as each is tailored to fit the region. Often, stores are built and designed with the help of local artists and a carefully curated selection of vintage furnishings that are repurposed to display the chain’s specific mix of hard and soft goods. BDA has completed numerous tenant build-outs for the company’s various lines, which serve as testament of BDA’s flexibility. BDA’s work at the Austin, Texas, outpost of Anthropologie, for example, boasts a minimalist copper façade with a smattering of perforations radiating out from the entrance cutout, which gives the façade something of a lantern appearance from the street.

Expanding into New Markets

As a tip of the hat to Austin’s thriving art community, the store showcases a number of paintings, often hung overlapping one another and set against an array of warm wall coverings, reclaimed wood floors and recessed lighting features. The overall effect creates a setting where even the dressing rooms feel more like a museum or swanky art gallery, rather than a place to pick up a retro birthday present. BDA’s work at the retailer’s Philadelphia outpost includes a stark façade of industrial concrete mixed with expansive full-length glass window panels. The store’s interior hints at the state’s rich agricultural history with wide-plank reclaimed wood flooring and partitions made from narrow wood strips that once made up wooden crates for apples.

The future looks bright for BDA to continue its upward trend through 2013. BDA is set up to work in the U.K., has added The Gap to its roster, and completed over 120 stores in 2012 by Dunham’s estimates. Burdg, Dunham & Associates Construction will ensure even the most innovative store concepts are delivered on time and with exceptional quality.

Published on: March 6, 2013

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