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‘Cool’ auto mall

image Clay Cooley, Auto Mall, Irving, TX

DALLAS/FT WORTH - Years ago, Construction News had the opportunity to interview Mark and Linda Piepenbrok, the owners of WestWind Building Corporation. Westwind is a general contractor that specializes in automobile facilities, corporate offices, medical buildings and country clubs. Since our interview, Westwind continues building and remodeling many of the metroplex dealerships. Mark Piepenbrok founded the company in the fall of 1991.

    After completing Crest Auto Mall in Frisco, Westwind was called by none other than Clay Cooley to complete it’s second auto mall in Irving consisting of six buildings on 25 acres.  Westwind built four new buildings and remodeled two of them.  The total square footage was approximately 222,000.  The dealers included Chevrolet, Chrysler/Jeep/Dodge and Kia.  The owner of this development is also Clay Cooley.
    Known for his memorable commercial line, “Come See Clay,” Cooley already had the Chrysler/Jeep Dodge and Kia dealerships in the area.  The Chevrolet dealership was located across the highway on 183 on 25 acres.  Cooley had the vision of relocating Kia and the Chrysler/Jeep/Dodge to the Chevrolet site to create his auto mall.  Westwind organized the team, consisting of architect Jim Harden, Jacobs and Associates and civil engineer Matt Moore, Clay Moore Engineering.
    Challenges of the project began with meeting The City of Irving’s 183 overlay district codes and maintaining each manufacturers requirements.  Once construction started, the challenges were to meet the seven-month deadline to move the Chryster/Jeep/Dodge dealership into the new 26,000-sf showroom and 54,500-sf state-of-the art service building.  It was important to keep access clean and safe to the Chevrolet dealership where they continued to sell cars and operate the service building.  Westwind also had to raise the front half of the property approximately 20 inches.
    The project used LED lighting throughout the Clay Cooley Auto Mall and also used LED lighting for the additional landscape.  All service areas are fully air conditioned and all buildings meet and exceed the energy codes in place.
    The materials for the project include structural steel, masonry, stucco and ACM.  Most  manufacturers dictate materials to have consistency with all of the other dealerships across the county.
    Other challenges included working with the contractor on widening highway 183.  The contractors on the highway project had to install new water lines, storm water drains, gas and sewer to the new locations.
    The project was a complete success.  Westwind was able to complete the project on time and within budget.  The project team consisted of Darren Wicker Sr, project manager; Steve Washington, assistant project manager; Kyle Piepenbrok, lead superintendent; Jose Cruz, superintendent; and Harold Stemper, superintendent.  It should be noted that all of the subcontractors worked great as a team to get the job done in a timely manner and were spectacular in doing so. -ja

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