Breaking Ground & Taking Names: Urban Outfitters Fulfillment Center Project Feature

Sarah Brown | Wednesday February 3, 2021

Breaking Ground & Taking Names: Urban Outfitters Fulfillment Center Project Feature

Sarah Brown | Wednesday February 3, 2021

Our employee-owners not only bleed blue, they bleed excellence. A testament to this level of excellence can be seen in our team’s recent performance at the Urban Outfitters Fulfillment Project in Kansas City, Missouri. Emery Sapp & Sons (ESS) teams developed an approach that was equal parts precision, speed and ingenuity. Assembling a commanding equipment fleet and skilled operators, ESS mobilized quickly and efficiently an impressive 600,000 cubic yards of earth in just five weeks. We’re proud to say our teams hit a key milestone at lighting speed. ESS delivered a pad-ready site for the new 880,000-square-foot fulfillment center five weeks ahead of schedule.

To support the exponential growth of e-commerce, the construction schedules of distribution and fulfillment centers have accelerated to break-neck speeds. Project owner Urban Outfitters, Hillwood Development Company, LLC., and general contractor Blue Rock Construction (Blue Rock) collectively chose project partners that would help them overcome this challenge. In the spirit of partnership, the project team agreed to offer ESS monetary incentives for early completion of project milestones:

  • Incentive 1: ESS crews to complete the North half of the pad by December 31, 2020.
  • Incentive 2: ESS crews to deliver the South half of the pad by January 31, 2021.

ESS broke ground on November 23, 2020 and quickly started executing their plan to achieve these goals.

The project demanded an extensive amount of equipment. There were at least a dozen big 740 scraper pan combos, six 627 scrapers, several 815 compactors, two D10 dozers and a D9 dozer. The equipment spread included a variety of about 35 pieces of equipment stationed on site.

While grading operations progressed, ESS worked with experts from long-time subcontracting partner Mt. Carmel Stabilization Group. Together, our teams strategically utilized a product called Lime Kiln Dust (LKD) to effectively and efficiently stabilize the vast surface. LKD material was mixed into the soils to prevent the top of the soil from cracking and substantially decrease the risk of the soil shrinking.

Incredibly, but not surprising to our employee-owners, ESS teams smashed both goals completing the grading for the entire pad-site by December 21, 2020. With both the north and south side of the pad finished ahead of the anticipated schedule, ESS earned both incentives. For going above-and-beyond, ESS earned an additional bonus for helping our partners accelerate the project schedule beyond their expectations.

Pouring a buildings foundation is always a crucial milestone for any vertical construction project. Because of the performance ESS crews delivered, Blue Rock began foundation work more than a month ahead of schedule. These results prove that our employee-owners are dedicated to driving efficiency and big results for our partners.

An early Christmas present to Blue Rock from the crew. #VeryMerryChristmas

Superintendent for Blue Rock Construction, Ebin Chandler-Christie, had nothing but positive things to say about the ESS team on the Urban Outfitters Fulfillment Center project. “It’s always challenging when collaborating with an unfamiliar contractor. However, to say that I am impressed with the results, would be an understatement. The effort from ESS exceeded my expectations. Any time a partner can deliver on time is a huge asset to the Blue Rock team. ESS not only proved that, they accelerated the progress of the job one month ahead of schedule. We look forward to working with ESS again in the future.”

Project manager for ESS, David Taggart helped spearhead the success of the Urban Outfitters project alongside project superintendent, Trampus Tuggle and foremen, Lawrence Claypool and James Stevens. “We were kicking a** and taking names. At peak production we moved 32,000 cubic yards of dirt in just a single day,” recalled David Taggart, “I couldn’t be more proud of this team.”

In the coming months, ESS teams will complete additional scopes of work on the project including storm sewer, sanitary sewer, water lines, asphalt paving, and concrete paving.

At the end of the day, our partnerships motivate our employee-owners to be the best. Working in lock-step with project team members, ESS has established a high-performing partnership with Blue Rock. ESS continues to make swift progress on this project and is positioned to deliver a project all project partners and stakeholders can be proud of.