Delivering a grocery pick-up facility
SAN ANTONIO – With HEB rolling out its Curbside service, making it easier to get your grocery shopping done, Central Builders Inc. (CBI) recently completed the San Antonio-based grocer’s third Curbside location in the San Antonio area. Construction ran from early September to late December, and this Curbside opened at the beginning of January.
CBI has been building Curbside facilities for HEB in San Antonio, Houston, Dallas, Austin and Waco, and there are many more to come. With HEB doing all of the shopping for its Curbside customers, all the customer needs to do is come pick it up at the designated time and park in the designated space to receive the order. The Curbside facility houses all of these orders until they are picked up.
The third location in the Alamo City to feature Curbside service is the HEB at 281 and Evans Road, SA 45. Greg Lawson, project manager for CBI, says that some Curbside facilities are converted from existing portions of buildings or lease space, but in this case, like some others, CBI did an actual expansion of the building.
“We took a portion of the Texas Backyard – where they have all their plants and lawn equipment – and they took about half of that and used that area to convert for the expansion of the Curbside facility,” explains Lawson.
The addition was 1,500 sf, and required an 8,000-sf drive and parking area. There was an existing road that runs alongside the building, and CBI cut the drive-through so that customers can drive up to the facility, park to pick up their order, and go out the other side.
De La Garza Fencing took down about 250 linear-feet of wrought iron fencing to make room for the new drive-through area. About 200 linear feet of the fencing was pulled out, and about 50 linear feet of fencing was relocated. Also because of the drive-through, CBI had to completely reconfigure the irrigation system and new landscape. While the drive-through was a substantial portion of the project, the biggest challenge was expanding a tilt-wall building.
“To do the addition, we took out several of the tilt-wall panels, which are the structural panels of the side of the existing building,” he says, noting that McMullen Custom Welding did the demolition and structural erection for the job. “We had to bring a crane out and pull three of those panels out to have access into this new curbside facility. We installed a temporary wall where those panels were taken out until we could get our structural steel in place. And we had to shore up the roof area.”
Also, about 50 percent of the facility is cold storage for food, while the other half is room temperature storage. Bryan Ehrlich, vice president of CBI, notes that one of the things that makes SA 45’s Curbside unique is that it’s built out of cooler panels, which are traditionally used for freezers, not a sales-occupied space. CrownTonka installed the cooler panel system for this prototype facility.
Ehrlich mentions that this is an area where CBI has to work with the municipalities to ensure that these facilities meet all of the energy code requirements. He says that there is a quick timeframe to open each of these Curbside facilities, and there’s a lot of coordination with the cities, working hand-in-hand with the municipal entities, to satisfy each jurisdiction, especially with the incorporation of this paneling system.
Having completed more than 10 of these Curbside facilities to date and having a long history of working with HEB, Ehrlich says that this kind of grocery pick-up service is where the market is going, and they are happy that HEB trusts CBI to get the facilities done as quickly as possible.
CBI also built the first HEB Curbside in San Antonio at 1604 and Bandera Road, and the second one at 1604 and Culebra Road.
The superintendent on the project was Clyde De La Cruz. Fernando Garcia with Shawn Kaarlsen & Associates, SK&A, was the architect. Stantec was the civil engineer, and Beicker Consultants was the structural engineer. Eldridge Electric did the data and electrical. Other subcontractors on the job included Guerrero Concrete, Allegiance Fire Sprinkler, American Roofing, Biesenbach (EMS), TESS (FA/ Security) and Waterloo Plastering.
Central Builders Inc. is a commercial general contractor that also does construction management and design build. While the company is based in San Antonio, CBI also has offices in Denton, TX and Lordsburg, NM. –mh
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