4 Commercial Construction Trends and Predictions for 2018

Mon, 15 Jan 2018 18:18:05 +0000
Happy New Year to all of our Hard Hat Chat readers! As we flip the calendar over to 2018 this month, it’s a great time to share some of the commercial construction trends we predict will shape our work in the year ahead. #1: Grocery Sector Ripe for Change The grocery sector has been keeping […]

Commercial Construction Trends: Highs and Lows of 2017

Wed, 20 Dec 2017 18:50:20 +0000
As we close in on the final days of 2017, it’s time once again for our annual commercial construction blog post reflecting back on the positives – and the negatives – that have impacted our business and the industry as a whole over the last 12 months. Here’s a rundown of our top commercial construction […]

CRE Construction Project Site Selection: 3 Tips for Finding the Perfect Match

Tue, 05 Dec 2017 22:32:39 +0000
When it comes to choosing a site for a commercial construction or CRE project, finding the perfect match between a brand or concept and an available space is one of the most important steps in the planning process. And for business owners and developers looking for guidance as they vet different options, there’s no better […]

Emergency Commercial Facility Disaster Planning: 3 Takeaways from Recent Hurricanes

Tue, 31 Oct 2017 15:56:32 +0000
Earlier this fall, the entire country watched as hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria caused widespread destruction across Texas, Florida, the Caribbean and Puerto Rico. As I followed the media coverage leading up to and following these storms, my thoughts of course turned to the rebuilding process and post-hurricane construction work ahead for these communities. As […]

3 Secrets to Successful Landmark-Status Building Construction Projects

Mon, 25 Sep 2017 19:05:59 +0000
When I think back on the most interesting construction projects and challenges I’ve handled in my career as a national commercial contractor, without a doubt some of the most memorable have been in landmark-status buildings. In fact, we’re in the middle of one of those projects right now as Englewood Construction relocates American Girl’s flagship […]

How to Avoid 3 Common Commercial Construction Scheduling Delays

Wed, 06 Sep 2017 18:42:43 +0000
Compared with a few short years ago, commercial construction moves at an incredibly fast pace today. Due to a variety of factors – from smaller profit margins following the economic downturn, to the sense of immediacy that’s so pervasive in the modern business world – everyone from our clients on down to our subcontractors are […]

Appetite For Growth: New Store Construction and Renovation Tips For Expanding Grocery Brands

Fri, 28 Jul 2017 15:10:32 +0000
It’s been a busy year in the grocery business, with major brands announcing store expansion and renovation plans, new concepts entering the market, and big deals such as Amazon’s acquisition of Whole Foods spurring speculation about the future of the industry. With so much activity in the sector related to new store expansion, scouting new […]

New Ideas for Old Shopping Malls: 3 Ways Retail Developers are Remixing the Shopping Center Experience

Tue, 20 Jun 2017 19:30:21 +0000
Coming out of the International Council of Shopping Centers’ RECon convention in Las Vegas last month, there’s been a lot of conversation in the media around the future of retail development. One topic I find particularly interesting is the discussion on different ways developers are reimagining existing shopping centers, especially in the wake of shifting […]

Commercial Construction Labor Trends & Hiring Strategies: Why Young Hires are Good Business for General Contractors

Tue, 16 May 2017 16:14:36 +0000
If you’re like me, your social media feed this month is filled with photos of happy graduates celebrating commencement and getting ready to begin the next chapter of their lives. Hopefully, we’ll see some of those fresh young graduates heading toward a career in commercial construction. Part of the reason I say this is the […]

5 Green Construction Practices that are becoming Standard Commercial Construction Procedures

Thu, 20 Apr 2017 14:35:15 +0000
With Earth Day coming up this weekend, there’s a lot of discussion about being more environmentally friendly in how we live and work. Anyone in the commercial construction industry knows there are a variety of certifications and designations that individuals, companies and projects can achieve to show they follow a high level of green commercial […]

Retail Flagship Store Construction Projects: Challenges and Considerations

Tue, 28 Mar 2017 15:00:24 +0000
Earlier this year, we were very excited to begin work on our latest project with long-time Englewood Construction client American Girl – a new American Girl Place flagship store in New York’s Rockefeller Plaza where the brand will move this fall from its current New York address on Fifth Avenue. Over the years we’ve had the […]

Commercial Construction Project Management: Managing What You Don’t Control

Tue, 28 Feb 2017 17:30:50 +0000
I wouldn’t go so far as to call myself a control freak, but as a national general contractor, it’s part of the job description to be the one calling the shots and telling everyone what to do on a complex commercial construction project. However, from time to time, we have to manage things that are […]

New Year’s Resolutions for Commercial Contractors: Goals and Strategies for Growth

Tue, 17 Jan 2017 17:41:20 +0000
Happy New Year to all of our Hard Hat Chat readers! Earlier this month I was going through my post-holiday emails when I came across a Construction Dive article on 5 New Year’s Resolutions for Construction Pros in 2017. Reading the story got me thinking about Englewood’s goals and strategies for the year ahead. In […]

Commercial Construction Trends: The Highs and Lows of 2016

Tue, 20 Dec 2016 18:31:04 +0000
With December here, it’s time for our annual post reviewing some of the positives – as well as a few of the challenges – that shaped the commercial construction business in the past year. Here’s a look at our top 2016 commercial construction  “highs” and “lows”: Low: Mall Retail Tenants Choose Local over National As a […]

Commercial Construction 2017 Trends and Predictions

Tue, 29 Nov 2016 18:00:32 +0000
Rounding the corner into the final weeks of 2016, it’s time for our annual post predicting the commercial construction trends that will influence the industry in the coming year. Looking back at the past 12 months, we’ve seen a tremendous variety of opportunities ranging from restaurant construction to senior housing development, yet there has been […]

Commercial Construction Operations: Pulling Back the Curtain on Behind-the-Scenes Roles

Tue, 18 Oct 2016 17:14:51 +0000
Recently our CFO, Mary Davolt, was honored as a CFO of the Year by suburban Chicago’s Daily Herald newspaper. This award, which highlights the contributions of financial professionals to a company’s success, not only made the entire Englewood Construction team proud, it is a great reminder of the many behind-the-scenes team members who are so critical to the work […]

Commercial Construction Trends: Why More Clients Are Choosing the Design-Assist Model

Thu, 29 Sep 2016 17:01:04 +0000
Anyone who reads this blog regularly probably already knows I’m a huge proponent of client partnerships that bring the general contractor into the commercial construction planning process as early as possible. Rather than a competitive bid scenario, where clients choose a commercial construction firm based solely on their estimated costs, we prefer to be brought […]

Go for the Gold: 3 Keys to Finishing a Commercial Construction Project on Time

Thu, 18 Aug 2016 18:11:27 +0000
Leading up to the start of the Olympic Games earlier this month, one of the main story lines revolved around the question of “Will Rio be ready?” Before the 2016 Games opened, media coverage showed crews in Rio de Janeiro putting finishing touches on new-construction Olympic facilities, and reporters speculated whether venues and the athletes […]

How to Choose the Best General Contractor to Partner with for your “First” Commercial Construction Project

Mon, 25 Jul 2016 16:54:57 +0000
One of our current commercial projects at Englewood Construction is a new Farm & Fleet store we’re building in Romeoville, Ill. It’s a pretty cool ground-up commercial construction project for us because not only is it the first time we’ve worked with this national retail brand, but it’s also the very first Farm & Fleet […]

How to Keep Residents Happy During a Senior Housing Community Renovation

Fri, 24 Jun 2016 15:27:55 +0000
Last month, I had the opportunity to check in with an Illinois Real Estate Journal reporter for a feature on the latest trends in senior housing (you can read the article here). It’s an extremely timely topic for commercial construction firms since, as we noted in our post last year on Commercial Construction Trends and […]

Construction Worker Safety Issues: Weighing in on Silica Standards

Tue, 24 May 2016 18:51:03 +0000
One thing I really love about my job is having the opportunity to share insights about issues affecting the commercial construction industry – whether I’m writing a post for this blog, networking at industry events or connecting with a reporter who needs a construction expert’s perspective. A great example of the latter happened a few […]

Silica Standards Signal Safety Commitment in Construction

Mon, 18 Apr 2016 17:47:27 +0000
The construction industry has a reputation for sometimes being slow to change, and in some instances that reputation is understandable. After all, many practices used on the job site are tried and true – the way construction firms pour cement, lay brick and erect steel has been virtually unchanged for decades. But while many longstanding […]

Managing from the Mother Ship: How a National Commercial Contractor Operates

Tue, 12 Apr 2016 19:19:31 +0000
The other day I was talking with a Chicago-area client who didn’t realize Englewood is a national general contractor that manages national commercial construction projects across the country. He asked me, “You only have offices in Chicago, right? So how does that work?” I was happy to have this conversation because at Englewood, working on […]

The Construction Software Toolbox Part 2: More Reasons Why It Pays To Work With A Tech-Savvy Commercial Contractor

Tue, 08 Mar 2016 18:15:03 +0000
In a post last month, we took a look inside the commercial construction technology toolbox, specifically a rundown of construction management software options that benefit not only the contractor, but also the client. In part 2 of this topic, here are some additional ways the right technology choice impacts everyone involved in the project: User-Friendly […]

The Construction Software Toolbox Part 1: Why It Pays To Work With A Tech-Savvy Commercial Contractor

Tue, 23 Feb 2016 18:09:57 +0000
As we discussed in this blog before, technology is playing an increasingly vital role in the commercial construction industry. Business seems to be booming for construction software products that help commercial contractors manage various aspects of their business. Lately, it seems like I receive daily calls and emails from technology companies highlighting new software products, […]

Planning for Success: Three Commercial Construction Industry Tips for 2016

Tue, 19 Jan 2016 16:36:20 +0000
Happy New Year to all of our Hard Hat Chat readers! January is traditionally a time for reflection, and from a business standpoint the start of the year is a great time to take stock of what you want to accomplish in the year ahead. As a growing national commercial construction firm, Englewood Construction has […]

2015 Commercial Construction Industry Highs and Lows

Tue, 22 Dec 2015 18:02:30 +0000
Writing our annual “Highs and Lows” commercial construction blog post was a bit more difficult this year because, on the whole, 2015 was pretty great for Englewood Construction and many others in the construction industry. Yet despite all its positives, 2015 wasn’t without its commercial construction challenges. Here’s a look back at our top “highs” and […]

Commercial Construction Trends and Predictions for 2016

Tue, 24 Nov 2015 21:13:16 +0000
As we close in on the finish line for 2015, we’re happy to report it’s been a terrific year at Englewood Construction and for many others in the commercial construction industry. With economic conditions continuing to improve, the past year brought a significant uptick in large-scale and ground-up commercial construction projects, which put Englewood on […]

Commercial Facility Management: 4 Steps to Prep your Facility for Winter

Wed, 21 Oct 2015 21:04:45 +0000
Here in Chicago, the arrival of October means the season’s first snowfall and blast of cold weather could come any day. While I’m far from eager to start thinking about when snow-mageddon will hit, the change of seasons is a great time to talk about how your national commercial contractor can help make sure your […]

Trends in Construction: 3 Ways Technology is Changing Commercial Construction

Tue, 29 Sep 2015 17:05:45 +0000
A few days ago as I grabbed my smartphone before heading to the office, I thought back to the time when I would leave the house each morning with a pager and a roll of quarters in my pocket. In those days, if someone needed you while you were on a job site or at […]

Experience vs. Credentials: Does Your Commercial Construction Contractor Make the Grade?

Wed, 19 Aug 2015 16:06:49 +0000
With back-to-school season here, it’s exciting to think about students heading off to pursue a degree or certificate in a construction field. Anyone who does so is probably making a smart move – according to a recent study, construction is the industry with the second largest talent shortage in the U.S., and the Bureau of […]

From Clicks to Bricks: Retail Construction Tips as Online Retailers Move to the Mall

Thu, 16 Jul 2015 16:41:12 +0000
Not too long ago, many retailers and shopping center developers were getting a bit nervous as e-commerce began taking a bite out of their traditional in-store business. As a national commercial construction firm, we too experienced a slowdown in retail construction as many clients elected to construct smaller foot plates to save costs, give their […]

Client Relationships: 3 Reasons You Should Listen If Your Commercial Contractor Tells You No

Tue, 16 Jun 2015 15:49:04 +0000
As a national commercial contractor, we are first and foremost in the business of customer service. We want to please our clients and be a good partner to them plus everyone involved on a project. But that doesn’t mean we automatically subscribe to the theory that the customer is always right. In fact, as commercial […]

Is Your Commercial General Contractor More Relevant Than You?

Tue, 12 May 2015 19:08:17 +0000
It’s rare for the words “cool” and “general contractor” to be used in the same sentence. But the other day my teenage daughter and her friends decided to Google their dads to see what came up and for a brief moment, I – who receives eye rolls for being so uncool – was suddenly quasi-famous.  […]

Commercial Construction Trends: More than the Menu—New Restaurant Construction Best Served with an Experience

Tue, 14 Apr 2015 15:26:26 +0000
Shopping center owners aren’t the only ones attempting to create a new and exciting experience for consumers with commercial general construction projects, restaurateurs are getting into the game as well. New restaurant construction projects are booming right now, but just because the market is hot, it does not ensure success. Smart restaurant owners know that […]

How Working with a Design-Build Construction Firm Can Boost the Bottom Line

Tue, 17 Mar 2015 18:53:05 +0000
As we move further into 2015, Englewood Construction has been fortunate to entertain a lot of new business opportunities. All signs have been pointing to a robust commercial construction pipeline, with activity consistently on the rise. In fact, last year, the value of all commercial construction contracts signed in the Chicago area was close to […]

3 Solutions to Help Solve the Commercial Construction Labor Shortage

Tue, 10 Feb 2015 15:51:01 +0000
Activity is setting up nicely for commercial construction in 2015, but just as the industry seems to be back on its footing, the dreary recession of years past is giving us one last gasp of annoyance and pain. Believe me, no one will be happier than me when we can stop referencing the Great Recession […]

Looking Back at Commercial Construction 2014 – The Year that Was

Mon, 19 Jan 2015 18:35:09 +0000
When I look back on 2014, I’m kind of sad to see it go. While it was a good year for commercial general construction, it was by no means a record setting year. What does set 2014 apart is the excitement it generated for the commercial construction industry, the optimism it set for the near […]

Commercial General Construction 2014 Highs and Lows

Tue, 09 Dec 2014 18:00:59 +0000
As we close out another year, we wanted to take a look back at the commercial construction trends that defined 2014 and highlight some of the highs and lows. Overall, this was a great year for the commercial construction industry as commercial construction activity and revenue were up considerably. According to a recent article from […]

2015 Commercial Construction Industry Trends and Predictions

Tue, 11 Nov 2014 14:50:06 +0000
It has been another whirlwind year at Englewood Construction and we are happy to report that our predicted 2014 commercial construction trends came true, which has meant a lot of new projects on our end. The increased commercial construction activity paved the way for some large new retail construction projects and restaurant construction, as national […]

Shopping Center Development Strategies: How to Win Against Online Retail

Tue, 14 Oct 2014 15:14:05 +0000
While the shopping center experience is far from over, it’s safe to say that shopping center developers and owners are working harder than ever to compete for foot traffic. The rise of on-line shopping has been a boon to retailers, but if we are honest, it has been detrimental to commercial general construction, with the […]

Englewood Construction: Ten Years of Providing Leading Commercial Construction Services

Tue, 16 Sep 2014 15:23:09 +0000
We don’t like to get hung up on milestones too much at Englewood Construction, but I think we would be remiss if we did not take a little time to reflect on the firm’s 10-year anniversary and the current state of our national commercial construction company, as well as acknowledge all of the people and […]

3 Tips to a Successful High-End Restaurant Construction Project

Tue, 12 Aug 2014 15:37:11 +0000
There’s no question about it, commercial construction is back in a big way in the Chicago area, as Crain’s Chicago Business recently reported in a story featuring Englewood Construction, activity of is up 16 percent when compared to the same time period last year for all commercial construction. Commercial general contractors are finding plenty of […]

How Commercial General Contractors Can Help Improve Shopping Center Space for Lease

Tue, 15 Jul 2014 14:05:00 +0000
Even in the best shopping center developments, not all spaces are created equal. Many shopping centers owners have difficulty leasing or keeping consistent retail tenants in certain portions of their shopping mall. In our shopping center construction experience at Englewood Construction, we have found that anchor tenants and smaller tenants in the center of the […]

Commercial Construction Real Estate Trends from ICSC 2014

Thu, 12 Jun 2014 18:24:15 +0000
If you are a player in the retail world, odds are you spent a few days in Las Vegas last month at ICSC’s “Global Retail Real Estate Convention” (RECON). For one week each year, the commercial construction industry converges on the desert city as national retail construction firms, retail brokers and retailers all get together […]

Commercial Construction Best-Practices: How to Avoid Scandals

Tue, 13 May 2014 15:30:58 +0000
We never like it when scandal rocks the commercial construction industry. Commercial general contractors generally don’t find their way into the mainstream news unless it is for something negative, often involving criminal activity. Unfortunately, there have been several high profile news stories recently featuring national commercial general contractors engaging in fraud or out-right theft. I’d […]

How Trusting Relationships Build Better Commercial Construction Projects

Fri, 11 Apr 2014 19:16:53 +0000
Like most businesses, the commercial construction industry is a relationship business. The best work is typically done when a project is viewed as a partnership between a client and commercial general contractor. We have been fortunate to have great partnerships with dozens of clients throughout the year on work ranging from shopping center construction projects […]

Top 5 Construction Strategies to Consider Before Purchasing an Underperforming Shopping Mall

Fri, 14 Mar 2014 17:33:17 +0000
As we have mentioned in previous posts, opportunities abound for investing in underperforming shopping malls right now. As the economy improves and prices hit bottom, these transactions have become more realistic for commercial real estate investors when compared to past years. However, like all major investments, due diligence should be a major component prior to […]

Retail Construction: Successful Steps in Grocery Store Redevelopment

Thu, 13 Feb 2014 20:17:04 +0000
In the depths of a historically cold Midwestern winter, one market has remained particularly hot for Chicago commercial general contractors—grocery store construction. The Chicago grocery construction market has long been dominated by two titans of the industry-Jewel-Osco and Dominick’s. Yet in the last several months, this status quo has changed dramatically, as Dominick’s stores closed […]

The Most Successful 2013 Commercial Construction Trends

Tue, 14 Jan 2014 17:58:07 +0000
With 2013 behind us, we wanted to look back at the year that was in the commercial construction industry. Some of the 2013 commercial construction trends we predicted came to pass, some were more significant than we originally thought they would be and others emerged that caught our attention. Overall, it was a great year […]