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Cleaning up on S. Lamar

image The bright yellow and black color scheme of ZIP Dry Cleaners is a welcome splash of color to the neighborhood.

AUSTIN - Austin’s South Lamar Boulevard is a highly-traveled roadway and a primary route to and from downtown Austin. This corridor is home to a diverse group of residents and businesses and its auto-centric nature has given the City of Austin a desire to develop the area with improvements.

    Recently, Datum Commercial Contracting LLC and ZIPS Dry Cleaners teamed up on a project that is a perfect fit for efforts to make this part of Austin more attractive.
    Starting with an old mechanics shop built in the 1950s, Datum – with the help of the owner, architect, City of Austin and subcontractors – transformed this old eyesore into a brand new ZIPS – the first of potentially 40 more in Austin and an additional 50 planned for the Dallas/Fort Worth area. The signature bright yellow and black color scheme, with plenty of glass on the exterior adds a welcome and fresh splash of color to this up-and-coming neighborhood.
    “This is their first franchise location in Texas,” says Datum Estimator Sean Dalle, who was also Primary Project Manager. “There were plenty of problems with the place, but we managed to overcome them and finish in seven weeks. 
    What sets the ZIPS franchise apart from many dry cleaners is the inclusion of its own physical dry cleaning plant, which means dry cleaning is not outsourced, is done faster and can be done for lower cost to the consumer.
    Started on Dec. 14, 2016 and completed Feb. 7, Dalle says the fact that the project was finished in such record time was due to many factors.
        Some of the challenges Datum and the team faced with the existing building was to bring light into a dark interior, and deal with leveling an existing concrete floor, and aged infrastructure.
    Job superintendent Bob Delosh said there was a lot to overcome with the fast-paced project, including installing a boiler and other steam components, including complex process piping and lines.
    “Most of their equipment runs off steam,” he says. “So there were lots of tests and city inspections to make sure everything was right and there are no leaks with the high pressure through the plumbing.”
    He added with a laugh, “Everyone at Datum learned a lot about dry cleaning!”
    Some of the project specifics included using plenty of Galvalume, a 55%
aluminum-zinc alloy coated sheet steel, Dalle said. ACM panels (aluminum composite material), aluminum, new storefront, masonry and paint rounded out the rest of the building facelift.
    “What made it unique and cool was the industrial nature of what was basically a retail project,” Dalle says.
    Plenty of teamwork was needed to accomplish the seven-week goal, he says, and included working through Christmas and the holidays.
    “The quick timeline made this challenging, and, in general, every single sub rose to the occasion.Chris Phillips, our plumbing inspector with the City of Austin, was a major asset in our corner as his help was critical to the completion of this project. Chris went “over and above” to help us navigate the state and city inspection process concerning the process piping and boiler. Without his direction, this project would not have been completed in seven weeks.” Dalle said.
    Datum team members on the project also included Josiah Vance, Project Coordinator and Nicole Kornegay, Project Manager. Architect on the project was Tony Keller & Matt Henson with Link Architecture.–bd

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