Richmond Special Projects awarded Vendor of the Year 2021
When Reames and Moyer Contracting merged with Southern Air, they created our Richmond Special Projects group. They focus on local projects in the million dollar price range which can typically be completed within a year. These jobs often have low labor costs and high profit margins making them very appealing for mechanical contractors. The Richmond group recently completed the plumbing and HVAC for a shell warehouse building as well as the tenant up-fits as companies moved in. General contractor ARCO Construction Company was so impressed with our work on the project, they awarded Southern Air Vendor of the Year 2021.
ARCO Construction Company is design/build general contracting firm with expertise in large speculative warehouses among many other industries. They work on projects nationwide and earned $2.4 billion in revenue last year. Engineering News Record lists ARCO #7 in the Top 100 Largest Design/Build Firms and #34 Top 400 Contractors in America. Building Design+Construction Media ranks ARCO #3 on their Top 100 Design-Build Construction firms. This will be their 23rd year recognizing vendors and subcontractors who have gone above and beyond and awarded Southern Air with one of their top honors for our work on a new construction distribution warehouse.
“Southern-Air was a great partner for us on Johnson Road Industrial and successfully completed a shell building and three tenant build-outs that were both Design/Build and pre-designed,” says Brian Paden, ARCO Design/Build Senior Manager. “The Southern Air team is always responsive, quick to offer solutions, and never compromise quality. We consider Southern Air a partner and look forward to working with them again in the future.”
Shell and core construction is building only the basic structure of a building. Many times, these shell buildings are constructed without tenants committed to the space, which can be a bit nerve-racking to whoever is paying the mortgage. Once a customer rents space in the building, additional build-out and interior work is completed to their own specifications. This creates somewhat of a blank slate for the incoming tenant to design their space to function how they’d like with offices, show rooms and other working spaces. Once the building is ready for occupancy, a company can move in and start paying rent.
Johnson Road Industrial is a speculative warehouse just north of Richmond in Ashland, Virginia. The 202,500sqft building was constructed for large scale distribution, including dozens of loading docks and bays for tractor trailer transportation. In 2019, ARCO Design/Build contacted Richmond Special Project requesting budget proposals. After consulting with a third-party engineer, re-working blueprints and tweaking designs, Southern Air was able to price the work within the customer’s original budget.
“Shell buildings are the hot thing right now. ARCO contacted us for this job in 2019 to gather budget numbers before they had drawings based on our experience with shell buildings,” says Syd Reames, Southern Air Richmond Special Projects manager. “We priced it at code minimum at the budget they wanted. They came out with a full engineered set of drawings and ran over their budget number. We helped the engineers tweak their design based on what we agreed on and made the price work.”
Southern Air helped break ground, swiftly laying more than 1000ft of underground piping with unbelievable precision. As the piping work was quality checked, other contractors were able to quickly move in on or ahead of schedule to accomplish their tasks. At one point, you could find Southern Air mechanics in the ground on one side of the building with a concrete contractor pouring the slab on the other.
During construction of the shell building, a large home improvement retailer claimed 77,000sqft of the building. After being impressed with the professionalism of Southern Air’s field team during the underground sanitary work, ARCO negotiated again with Reames for the customer’s build-out and interior work. This would include customizing HVAC systems, break rooms, bathrooms, and their fixtures.
ARCO was impressed enough to entrust Reames’ group to collaborate with the two other incoming tenants with their interior design/build and construction phases. The three additional build-outs turned the originally quoted job around $250,000 into a project worth more than $1-million dollars. It’s hard to beat profitable jobs with award-winning recognition. Reames and Moyer brought their 20 year relationship with ARCO to Southern Air where we continue their trend of successful partnerships leading to beautiful buildings.
“Randy Atherton and the field personnel did a great job. They just do what they’re supposed to do,” says Reames. “We put our integrity on full display as we did what we said we were going to do and were there when we said we were going to be there. From the field and the office is what earned Southern Air ARCO’s Vendor of the Year award. This is a Southern Air team award, not a Richmond Special Projects award. We’re just glad to have been on the front lines for our company to show ARCO what Southern Air can do for them.”