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Celebrating a holiday

image The exterior of the hotel showcases a stone and stucco façade.

HOUSTON - When beginning a large construction project, owners and contractors don’t expect for everything to be perfect, but no one expected for the new Holiday Inn Express & Suites near Hobby International Airport to become such a problem.

 

 

 

 

    Imran Qamar, managing director for Blue Moon Construction, took over the project on April 1st, 2017 after the owners, Hobby Hotel Group LLC, were having some major issues with the previously hired contractors. “We started this project in Dec. 2015 as project managers for the owners. The contractor wasn’t getting the work done and there were many different issues.” After nine months, the project came to a dead stop.
    There weren’t any other contractors who were willing to take over the project due to the delays, it was 24 months behind schedule and there were budget and inspection issues, too. “We came in and offered to take over and complete it.”
    You may be asking why Qamar would put himself and his business in this situation, but he had a good reason. “It was a win-win situation because we were looking to move from a project management company to a construction company. And since we were involved in the project already, we knew where the issues were.” The owners obliged and Qamar and Blue Moon Construction picked up their first major project.
    The project was supposed to be completed in 12 months, but it took 33 months because of all of the issues and setbacks. “When we took over, the building still had studs and the dry wall wasn’t up. The walls weren’t straight, the inspections weren’t done, but it was an amazing experience.”
    It goes without saying that there were some major challenges that needed to be overcome. One in particular was with the swimming pool. “The gunite for the original swimming pool was completed about 15 months before we got the project. After all of the rain from the Tax Day flood and Harvey, the pool had tilted. We had to fill one side and prop it back in place. “
    Another challenge came when it was discovered that the building was built five inches higher than it was supposed to be. This created a lot of ADA issues. Qamar’s team had to install ramps that weren’t part of the original plans, but the sidewalks weren’t designed for these so they also had to make a smaller parking area.
    “The owners were obviously very frustrated. Even the bank was upset, but we provided a solution for them. We were able to build a good relationship with everyone involved which made the work easy to accomplish given the situation.”
    Through all of the hard work though, Qamar says, “The best part of the project is just seeing the completed hotel. This is the first building that I have done as a contractor and that is a big achievement. The challenges made it that much more rewarding.”
    The architecture company for the project was DR Associates and the superintendent was Azmat Aulakh with Blue Moon Construction.
    Blue Moon Construction is a GC in Houston and specializes in commercial, hospitality, and retail construction. - te


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Tanya Erickson houstoneditor@constructionnews.net