For Woodinville based general contractor Sierra Construction, 2017 has been an extremely busy year as the 31 year old company has responded to an increase in workload from a number of longtime customers.
During the month of October Sierra had over 8.2 million square feet of industrial, multi-family and self-storage projects under construction.
In the past 5 years Sierra’s average project size has grown as market demand has increased. In 2007 Sierra completed 44 projects with an average size of 102,000 square feet. Even in the construction downturn of 2012, Sierra’s 23 projects averaged 112,000 square feet. Now in 2017, in the month of October alone, 19 projects were under construction with an average size of 435,000 square feet.
With total employment averaging 160, composed of 55 in project management, 20 in support staff and the balance in craft trades, balancing the work load has taken patience, collaboration and dedication from every department.
Roger Collins, Sierra’s CEO, is confident in the teams’ abilities during these busy times. “Our field crews are tirelessly creating extraordinary structures with exceptional efficiency, while our project management and support staffs have done an amazing job of managing a highly stressed delivery model with incredible diligence.”
THE BREAD AND BUTTER
Mega-warehouses have definitely become a staple for Sierra, and to the region, with the explosion of e-commerce and the need for quick delivery to urban areas.
Sierra’s team of craftspeople and project managers, who specialize in concrete tilt-up construction, have proven to be an immeasurable asset in a time when warehouses and distribution centers are increasing in size and complexity. Seasoned teams not only provide a consistency in quality, but also in their ability to provide value engineering through years of knowledge acquired both in the field and the office.
”Our team’s recent experiences have allowed Sierra to continue to grow in capability to meet the demands of today’s heated market” states Sierra’s President Rick Basnaw. Currently under construction is Sierra’s largest project to-date; Project Piper (PDX9). Located in Troutdale, Oregon, the building has an 857,000 square foot footprint. With three stories of mezzanines, the finished project will gross over 2,500,000 square feet.
What do you do when there is an extremely low vacancy rate, rapidly decreasing buildable land, and a site only minutes to a major urban center? You build up! Also on Sierra’s current project list is the first multi-story fulfillment center in North America; Prologis’ Georgetown Crossroads project in South Seattle. The three story project will combine two stories of fulfillment with makers space as well as build-to-suit office spaces. This groundbreaking project is slated for completion by the end of 2018.
The current in-progress jobs list provides an excellent example of just how large warehouse projects have become in the Pacific Northwest. In October alone Sierra’s project teams were working on four mega-warehouses on sites between Tacoma and Portland with structural footprints of over 750,000 square feet per building.
Project Piper (PDX9): 857,000 square feet
IPT Tacoma Logistics Center, Building B: 828,600 square feet
Hogum Bay Logistics Center: 811,000 square feet
Prologis Park Tacoma, Building B: 770,200 square feet
A GROWING PORTFOLIO
Industrial distribution centers and warehouses aren’t the only product type with a major presence in Sierra’s current workflow.
Sierra’s first true mixed-use project, the Ballard Landmark, was completed in 2008.The Landmark provided a gateway into the hot market of multi-story mixed-use projects. “The company’s broad range of experience over the years has allowed us to adapt to a multitude of project types, including multi-family” stated Senior Project Manager Kory Knudson.
Knudson is currently working two of Sierra’s four multi-family projects as well as providing preconstruction services for a couple more. In the last 5 years Sierra has completed, or is currently constructing, 10 multi-family projects on sites between Portland and Mountlake Terrace totaling over 2,400 units.
With more multi-family projects in the pipeline, and the demands for denser housing in the region continuing to rise, this product type is likely to continue to grow for Sierra. Knudson went on to say; “We are constantly evolving our means and methods for this mixed construction type. Our understanding of the latest trends and building codes allow us to stay current in the market and provide a high level of value for our returning customer base.”
Sierra has four multi-family projects currently in progress, three of which are topped off and had roofing installed in October:
Stadium Apartments: 7 stories, 3 below grade parking, 172 units
Linden Flats: 7 stories, 2 below grade parking, 170 units
Bothell 185 Apartments: 6 stories, 2 below grade parking, 135 units
Parkside Apartments: 4 stories, on-grade parking, 206 units
2017 IN NUMBERS
January 1, 2017 – October 31, 2017:
2,370 concrete panels tilted with Sierra crews (heaviest weighing 238,720 lbs.)
2,268,700 gross square feet of concrete tilt panels
339,166,000 lbs. of steel (rebar and structural)
1,529,000 cubic yards of material moved
281,300 cubic yards of concrete poured
9,518,900 total square feet of buildings constructed