Mixed-use Building Happening Really Quickly at 12th & Washington Thursday, August 11, 2016
We last checked in on the 12th & Washington intersection in March, when it looked like this:
At the time, we told you that developers had purchased the property at the southwest corner and were moving forward with a plan to demolish the building on the site and build a five-story mixed-use building with 48 apartment units and 15 parking spots. We noted that the project would be built entirely by-right, and the community would therefore not have a seat at the table in discussing this plan. We're generally in favor of neighbors and community groups being involved in major projects, but given the zoning appeals faced by numerous Washington Avenue projects on the other side of Broad Street, we're just happy to see something get built on this potential-laden street. It's worth noting, for the record, that all of those appeals are from individuals and not community groups. Five months ago, keeping the by-right thing in mind, we said that "this thing will likely get built and fairly quickly, and the projects on the other side of Broad Street could continue to languish for the foreseeable future." Man do we ever love being right, at least about the first part.
About a week ago, a reader sent us an image a huge crane blocking traffic at 12th & Washington. It was at that time that we realized that this project would be built using modular construction. For those unfamiliar, this means that the bulk of the building is constructed in "modules" in a factory and then delivered and assembled at the site. Hence the crane.
The amazing thing about modular construction is that it moves incredibly fast. If you passed by this site a mere week ago, you'd have seen steel framing for the first floor and not much else. Visit today and you'll see something radically different.
So yeah, that's a whole building. Generally speaking, the insides of the modules are mostly finished at the factory, with utility connection and gap filling as the main work to be done on site. And of course, the building will need a bunch of windows on the first floor and sheathing on top of the zip panels. Nevertheless, it's moved much more quickly than we could have expected, and we'd guess it'll be finished by the end of the year or the beginning of 2017. For a project of this size, that's a pretty amazing construction schedule, and we wonder whether we'll see other developers follow this example in the future for projects of a similar scale.