We have worked for Equus Development, L.P., an affiliate of Equus Capital Partners, Ltd. dating back to 2015 with the construction of the I-81 Stonewall warehouses and subsequent tenant fit-outs. Since then, we have been selected for numerous projects and have elevated our standing through consistent competitive pricing and delivering their buildings on schedule.
Between the construction industry’s material and labor shortages, record-breaking lead times and price hikes, Equus has learned that we get construction done right. Our relationships with subcontractors, the knowledge of our preconstruction team and our operations team’s ability to deliver on our promises have all contributed to their high opinion of Kinsley Construction. And, because of this, in the last few years we have been awarded five new warehouses and the associated tenant fit-out work.
Responsive & Accurate Preconstruction
One of the many things Equus has learned to depend on and trust is our responsive preconstruction efforts that are accurate, even without drawing details.
Our Self-Perform Capabilities
In addition to offering quality and schedule benefits, our ability to self-perform also creates much more accurate pricing. For example, on a project we recently priced, the trade costs were $33.5 million. Of that amount, $22 million were for trades that can be performed within the Kinsley organization. Therefore, we were able to provide an accurate and immediate cost estimate.
Quick Turnaround on Pricing
Even when we can’t provide off-the-cuff pricing and must rely on subcontractors, most of our suppliers and subs provide pricing very quickly based on our relationships. We reach out to the people we are currently working with or those that our estimators know personally. For example, when Equus called us to provide tenant fit-out pricing for a prospective build-to-suit client, they could only provide a conceptual drawing – there were no details, just square footage and a box; not even the dock doors were noted. In two days, our team had the drawing marked up to show dock doors and retrieved geographic data from Google Earth KML files. Using this file, we had the site contours and could calculate approximate cut-to-fill quantities to balance the site. We could also calculate the interior space of the warehouse to be conditioned, allowing us to calculate the A/C load and figure out how many rooftop AHUs were required. By doing a little math and using the expertise of our estimating team, we could produce a competent and comprehensive estimate with much more confidence than just a cost per square foot. In this particular example, we turned around a 250-line, seven-page estimate in just two days based on a very preliminary sketch.
“Thank you to our estimating team for their diligent work in delivering these types of estimates for Equus, which keeps them coming back. Additional thanks to our operations teams for performing in what are often the worst conditions.”-Rich Ness, Building Vice President
Delivering on our Promises
Our estimators are not the only ones going above and beyond. Our operations team develops project schedules and sequences work, often adapting to conditions beyond our control.
Winter is Coming
In 2019, the project schedule was delayed two months on the Graystone 81 Logistics Center in Frederick County, Virginia due to site plan approvals. This meant that earthwork began in early fall rather than the more ideal time of summer. This delay had a ripple effect, moving concrete foundation work from fall to winter, which, in turn, meant dealing with inclement weather, holidays and lower production rates due to less than desirable working conditions. Instead of pointing fingers and fighting over who was at fault, our operations team stepped up. They coordinated with concrete crews to work in multiple areas simultaneously, completing foundations per the original schedule and prevent further delays on follow-up trades, like precast and structural steel erection.
Once the building’s shell was completed, we were then contracted to perform the tenant fit-out. Improvements included dock equipment upgrades, a main office space, a remote shipping office with toilet rooms, a security fence with gates, and a guard house. Once again, permitting delays pushed the start of construction by 45 days. Since the tenant had a signed lease with a hard move-in date, our construction duration shrank from five months to three and a half months. Crews worked extended workweeks and extra hours daily. We coordinated with trade contractors, optimizing work production in smaller spaces with staggered shift work.
Arsenic and the FAA
In 2021, we were awarded two additional warehouses – Lots 2 and 3 – in the Mid-Atlantic I-81 Logistics Park in Berkley County, West Virginia. Yet again, it was up to our operations team to deliver on our promises, despite adverse conditions. The initial phase of Lot 2 included removing soils contaminated with varying levels of arsenic in order to comply with the West Virginia DEP Voluntary Remediation Program (VRP). This program required stripping soils that contained excessive levels of arsenic, placing contaminated soils in a berm on-site, and capping the contaminated soil with clean soil. After this, we had to test the area and remove any remaining contaminated soils. This process was repeated until all unsafe soil was removed. Work preceded the main building project and required extensive safety precautions to protect workers and minimize the transport of contaminated soils to off-site locations. All of this had to be complete in just two months in order to keep the remaining phases on track. In the end, we removed more than 120,000 cubic yards of contaminated soil and met our deadline.
After completing the initial VRP phase of the work, Kinsley proceeded with development of the 70-acre site and subsequent building construction. Our scope of work included exporting 100,000 cubic yards of surplus cut-to-fill material to an adjacent Equus site, installing utilities, constructing the 580,000-square-foot shell warehouse, and providing tenant improvements with two remote toilet rooms and a welcome center.
Trouble hit almost immediately when our site contractor couldn’t perform the work, delaying our activities. Luckily, our self-perform capabilities once again saved the day with our Site crews completing all earthwork, utilities and paving. Despite an initial four-week delay, a portion of the building pad was turned over for concrete foundations within one week of our initial timeline. We were able to accelerate the schedule further during foundation and slab-on-grade concrete pours, precast and structural steel activities to start on time.
Even when the FAA held up our crane permit by three weeks, delaying precast panel erection, we re-sequenced activities, erected the panels and structural steel simultaneously, and accelerated the schedule to deliver on our promises. This project was complete and the tenant moved into the space in July 2022, as originally proposed.
“We owe much of our success to our field crews. They bust their butts, working long days in crappy weather just to get the job done and make us look good!”-Eric Knepper, Building General Superintendent
Our Future Looks Bright
Because of these many project successes and our teams that made them happen, Equus continues to utilize our preconstruction and construction services. In April of this year, we began our largest project to date for them – a $132 million, 1.5 million-square-foot warehouse in Suffolk, Virginia. A huge ‘thank you’ to every team member that has contributed to this outstanding relationship and the security it brings every one of us at Kinsley!