Liberty Center – Hoar Construction
Working under a tight schedule, Hoar Construction completed Liberty Center in Liberty Township, Ohio, in October 2015. This mixed-use destination includes retail, office and living space among tree-lined pedestrian walkways, open gathering spaces and entertainment venues. Liberty Center has invigorated downtown Liberty Township and artfully blends work, freedom, culture and community. Hoar Construction was the general contractor for the entire site, which included three parking decks.
Liberty Center is the result of a partnership between developers Steiner & Associates and Bucksbaum Retail Properties, as well as numerous other entities focused on specific components of the mixed-use development. The world-class developers turned to Hoar Construction due to its reputation for constructing large-scale mixed-use developments.
Located between Cincinnati and Dayton, Ohio, Liberty Center brings together more than 100 acres to form one of the most community-centric and balanced approaches to private and public partnerships in the region.
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Hoar Construction, based out of Birmingham, Alabama, has become a household name associated with progressive thinking, principled experts and trusted partners. In business for more than 70 years, the team at Hoar Construction consistently seeks opportunities to engage with clients as well as design and subcontractor partners.
Site work for the Liberty Center project began in January 2014 and construction on the parking decks began in March of the same year. In September, the ground-up construction process on the six retail buildings began and was completed Oct. 22, 2015. Greg Cross, project manager for Liberty Center, says that one of the major challenges throughout the construction process was the weather Liberty Township endured. “It was one of the worst winters that area had encountered in more than 30 years,” he recalls. “From November to April, temperatures did not reach above freezing very often.” Cross mentions that constant design modifications presented challenges as well.
“Liberty Center proved to be a stellar example of developers, contractors and subcontractors working together to overcome the climate challenges to complete a major development. It really said a lot about the dedication of the team,” says Cross. “I’ve been in the business for 22 years and it was the greatest collaboration I’ve ever seen, especially with the obstacles that we had to overcome.”
An additional obstacle presented in all phases of construction was manpower. With a booming construction industry in the area, laborers as well as subcontractors were in high demand. While using a majority of local contractors to complete the projects, Cross says that Hoar Construction was forced to seek help from companies outside the local market. “Approximately 70 percent of the work was done by local subs,” says Cross. “Because all the construction companies were so busy, we had people coming from all over the country to keep up with the pace of construction.”
With a project of this size, multiple managers and superintendents were required and responsible for successfully meeting the deadline. Cross was one of six project managers for the project, which also had 21 superintendents on-site. “There were a lot of people involved,” says Cross. “There was no way that just one or two guys could claim credit for the overall success of Liberty Center.”
Looking back over the year that it took to complete Liberty Center, Cross says that the most memorable moment was when the ribbon was cut on opening day, Oct. 22, 2015. “You don’t see $146 million retail projects being built every day,” he says. “We have done a lot of retail projects in the 75 years that Hoar Construction has been in business. This one is the gold standard.”
Upon completion of Liberty Center, Cross and the team at Hoar Construction are able to look back and know that through all the obstacles, the company was involved in a collaboration that displays teamwork and innovation. In a sustainability effort, Liberty Center features a green roof system in the residential sector of the complex. Together the developers, contractors and subcontractors have created an environment where family fellowship, pristine parks, rich recreation and diverse cultural outlets ground the community.
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