Mixed-use facilities, national brands, retail, hospitality – you name it, this crew is in the thick of it. Let’s check out the latest market trends and engineering solutions for all things commercial.
ANDY BRANDEL, PE
Q: When it comes to commercial development, what’s the biggest hurdle to designing a site that’s cost effective long-term?
A: Paying the big bucks for prime real estate in a busy commercial district puts pressure on our partners to make the most of the “usable” property space. This means minimizing areas dedicated to encumbrances such as utility easements, no-build zones, and stormwater management areas. It is critical to maximize your usable property, including parking areas, and allotting adequate space for the facility to grow over time. This has pushed engineers to work with our partners throughout the entire development process, including property negotiations, to develop creative solutions such as view studies, utility relocation, and alternative/underground stormwater analysis that make the most of our partner’s investment.
FUN FACT: Andy, an avid sports fan, is also a synthetic turf design expert. He has developed a cost analysis process that help partners determine whether or not synthetic turf is a good investment for their long-term programming and maintenance plans.
Andy leads ISG’s Minneapolis office and offers his permitting and speed to market expertise to commercial partners nation-wide.
BRIAN GJERDE PE
Q: What is a consistent challenge commercial partners face when trying to get a project off the ground that can significantly help, if noted up front?
A: Regardless of how fast you can design and construct a new or renovated facility, if the right due diligence work isn’t completed at project on-set, a failed permit application can freeze project schedules and derail progress. City code review, zoning, and land use ordinances are a few examples of hurdles impacting speed to market, and at ISG we make it a point to over-communicate early and often throughout the entire entitlements process with local Municipal partners to avoid these often hidden trip-wires.
FUN FACT: Brian started at ISG as a Land Surveying intern, led the firm’s office expansion in Faribault after earning his degree in Structural Engineering, and is now a key member of ISG’s leadership team – a prime example of the dynamic possibilities of a career in engineering.
Check out Brian’s past Commercial blog post and Connect magazine article! Faster, Better, Stronger Commercial Development
Brian is ISG’s Vice President of Project Delivery, and offers commercial partners start to finish project guidance.
Q: What are a couple of the most important, but unsuspecting priorities for commercial partners?
A: Branding and efficiency, and they happen to go hand in hand when it comes to design and engineering thanks to the wide-spread use of facility prototypes. Whether it’s creating entirely new prototypes, adapting old ones, or even helping partners decide if they should start from scratch, all are critical commercial development decisions. When ISG partners on a design, we customize prototypes on a project to project basis in order to fit unique permitting, site, city ordinance, and community conditions to uphold brand standards and process efficiency. Every client and project location is different, but ensuring there is a solid focus on branding and efficiency should be a constant.
FUN FACT: Lindsey is a member of ISG’s ESOP Committee, a group of employees who work together to manage communications, education, and events that celebrate and empower employee ownership across the firm, providing her additional insight on how businesses function, and the power of empowerment!
Lindsey serves as Project Coordinator for a number of ISG’s nation-wide commercial project partners.