Turning Failure into the Genesis of an Idea

By Scott Hamele

Construction PLUS

The Rollout of Construction PLUS

In the late 90’s my company had the opportunity to provide structural framing services for a commercial construction project in the Kansas City area. It turns out the project was being built for a friend of mine named Bob. Bob talked his wife into investing their life savings into buying the local franchise rights to a restaurant concept that was fairly new. He had done his homework on his ROI, marketing and optimal locations around town.

Bob’s wife Kathy was very reluctant to jeopardize all their savings and security, but Bob insisted he had hired the right team to help him succeed.  He hired autonomously of each other a commercial real estate broker, architect, engineer and then he hired a general contractor to fulfill a lifelong dream and construct his new restaurant.

My company was hired by the general contractor to provide only the structural framing which was a small portion of the work. However, I was involved in most of the project meetings and kept apprised of many aspects of the project.

When the project was about 75% complete, the plumber and general contractor were attempting to coordinate the installation of a new exterior grease interceptor tank. This is a fairly costly tank that is required by code to be installed in restaurants when grease is used during food preparation. What the architect, engineer, general contractor and plumber didn’t know was that these types of tanks were not allowed in this particular retail shopping center. There were deed restrictions that specifically prohibited the installation of any exterior underground tanks.

Bob was made aware of this as he headed into the home stretch of finishing his project and opening the doors to his new business.  He pleaded with his landlord and property manager for a variance to the deed restrictions. The restaurant could not operate without the tank. The project got put on hold for over6 months. Ultimately Bob filed a law suit and lost which forced he and his wife into both professional and personal bankruptcy. The restaurant was never finished. Bob’s lifelong dream was shattered, he lost everything, including his wife who filed for divorce after enduring a yearlong battle in the courts!

The people he hired failed him! Both commercial brokers were only concerned with executing a deal. His real estate attorney didn’t perform due diligence. The architect and engineer didn’t ask enough questions. The general contractor and plumbing contractor didn’t do their homework. The national franchise didn’t provide Bob with enough information. In the end, the courts ruled that Bob was 100% responsible. However, what Bob needed was a process in which the entire project is viewed in a holistic manner. Not as individual responsibilities, but as whole.

This story is the genesis of a new process called Construction PLUS. It is a concept I have been working on for over a decade which allows us to consult with and guide a client from the beginning to the end of their own story and make dreams come true. Stay tuned for our release of Construction PLUS.

Article by Scott Hamele, DBIA is President of Construction DesignWorks, LLC. You can follow him on Twitter @constructionKC

Construction DesignWorks uses its hands-on approach and design expertise to create and develop a winning design build team that is specialized for each customer. Their complete turnkey solutions align with the unique business needs of various types of real estate. Construction DesignWorks, LLC. is located at 21961 West 83rd Street in Shawnee, Kansas. If you are looking for a building contractor or for more information about interior design-build, call (913) 745-4727 or visit their websitehttp://constructiondesignworks.net.