With 40,000 square feet of space spread across three separate locations, the family-owned Frederick News-Post daily newspaper is now constructing and expanding into a consolidated $60 million, 144,000-square-foot facility.
Attune is providing comprehensive owner’s representation services for the News-Post’s 44-acre facility.
At the beginning of the process, we collaborated with the owner's chosen architectural firm, Dario Designs, to develop a realistic budget and to ensure that the owner understood the plans. Since Dario Designs is based in Massachusetts, Attune worked closely with Frederick city officials to coordinate the building permit process, which involved a tremendous amount of investigation and paperwork on Attune’s part, including multiple visits to city and county offices.
Attune worked closely with the land-use attorney, Bruce Dean of McEvoy & Dean, to review contract documents, ascertain easements, and record plats. From the start of the project, we employed a partnering strategy to ensure that the client’s expectations were met at every step and managed a partnering facilitator to coordinate the process. Partnering involves building a network of collaboration and cooperation with design and construction contractors and subcontractors/subconsultants to maximize the effectiveness of the entire team. The partnership draws on the strength of each organization to achieve a safe project with services performed correctly the first time, within the contract price, and as scheduled.
Attune developed the advanced site work package, bid the work, and managed the work directly, which allowed the site to be cleared and graded, and the building pad to be prepared for the ground improvement construction to begin. All of these steps occurred prior to gaining the building permit (it was issued much later than the grading permit) and resulted in the owner saving a substantial amount of time and money.
We managed the civil engineer, Loiderman Soltesz Associates, for the complete civil engineering package, including the development of the re-subdivision plan. We worked with the traffic consultant in order to gain city approvals for the improvement plan.
We selected the geotechnical engineer, Specialized Engineering, to perform the geotechnical report as well as city-code-required construction and independent testing. Through the geotechnical report, we determined that site ground improvements would minimize the possibility of catastrophic loss through sinkhole exposure. By coordinating the ground improvement process, we saved the owner a significant amount of money in that he did not need to hire a general contractor for the ground improvement. We selected DGI Menard as the ground improvement specialist. Under our direct supervision, DGI Menard installed more than 2,000 controlled Modulus columns to secure the site.
Once the design and ground improvements were made, we worked with Dario Designs to generate a bid process for construction. Waynesboro Construction Company was selected as the general contractor and work began in September 2006.
Attune collected and evaluated bids and assisted the owner in selecting a cable provider; network infrastructure provider; and security, audio/visual, low-voltage wiring, and telephone contractors. We interviewed furniture suppliers, signage consultants, interior designers, and moving companies to determine which firms were capable of performing the job. We coordinated each subcontractor’s work with the general contractor so that the project managers were aware of changes during the building process. In addition, we evaluated bids for the construction testing and selected specialized engineering for this role.
Serving as the owner’s representative, Attune currently attends every design, coordination, and construction meeting and review all involved parties’ invoices. We hold biweekly conference calls to ensure that the general contractor and the 50 equipment and direct vendors are transitioning smoothly.
Attune is now working with News-Post CFO Ted Gregory to develop a cost segregation plan for the most advantageous depreciation of the different elements of the construction, furniture, fixtures and equipment for tax purposes.
The Frederick News-Post's new facility will be open for business in 2008. Our organizational efforts and expertise have saved the owner considerable time and money.
"Construction is a complex undertaking, and no problem has been too big or too small for Attune to handle and solve. Their efforts, including construction management, have saved us in excess of $500K. Attune’s advanced site work package and ground improvement management as well as their response to permitting delays have helped shave off four months of our project’s schedule. They really are our advocate in every situation. I can’t imagine taking on such a massive project without the resources of an owner’s representative—and we would choose Attune every time."
Edmond B. (Ted) Gregory, CFO
Randall Family, LLC d/b/a The Frederick News-Post