Q&A: Frank Wilk of Crain Construction

Frank Wilk is vice president of operations for Crain Construction, the general contractor for Buckingham Companies’ Aertson Midtown. Work is progressing on the 17-story mixed-use development, to be located near Vanderbilt University and that will include 350 apartments, a 180-room Kimpton Hotel and street-level retail. Post Managing Editor William Williams caught up with Wilk to ask a few questions about the project, which is expected to be completed in late 2016.

Aertson is a tight and distinctively configured site. What challenges do you face on such urban construction sites in general?

Typically space is tight, so delivery of materials has to be carefully planned and coordinated. You also have to consider traffic and pedestrian flow around the site. We have worked with Metro and the State so permitting allows the louder work to be done during the day. We also notify the neighboring restaurants and building managers before every concrete pour so that we can eliminate any surprise.

What noise reduction measures are you implementing on the site?

Crain Construction and our concrete contractor, Charter Construction Inc., have implemented several measures to reduce noise.

We do our concrete pours at night. So we constructed an insulated mobile wall panel system, about 10 feet high, around the pump truck to contain the noise within the insulated area. We put insulated “skirts” around the blades of the concrete troweling machine. We also changed the mufflers on the gas-powered machines to reduce noise and switched the back-up alarms, setting them at the lowest level allowed by OSHA.

Any numbers regarding the concrete pours?

The concrete structure is a 15-month process since we are pouring floor slabs for 17 stories and hundreds of concrete columns. We average two or three night-time concrete pours each week between midnight and 2 a.m., sometimes lasting until 6 a.m. Each pour involves 30 truckloads (10 cubic yards) of concrete.

How common are noise-reducing measures and/or equipment in Middle Tennessee?

We haven’t seen it used before. Our goal is to be a good neighbor and that means trying to reduce the noise on the site at night. We fabricated our own insulated skirts and wall panel system because we thought it was beneficial for the project and the neighbors.

Your efforts to minimize noise are being driven, in part, to address concerns from nearby neighbors. Some of these people live in more recently opened residential buildings and are upset about, in addition to the noise, losing their views. But I find it a bit baffling, and contradictory, that a percentage of the concerned folks living in the newer buildings were perhaps not concerned when the residents of, for example, the older Americana or University Square had to deal with noise and the loss of their views when the more recently opened buildings were under construction. Your thoughts?

Our noise reduction efforts are in response to the noise ordinance and because we want to be a good neighbor. We understand there may be frustration when construction is taking place next door, so our team has worked diligently to reduce noise, keep nearby residents and businesses informed, and respond to all concerns. We continually try to find solutions in relation to construction inconvenience as we did similarly with neighbors down the street at both the Home 2 Suites and Hilton Garden Inn sites.

Oct 12, 2015 6:45 AM

Site shows industrial-esque residential building eyed for Wedgewood-Houston

Core Development now has a website for its 1260Martin residential project planned for Wedgewood-Houston.

The website (see here) does not offer full details, and Core officials could not be reached for comment Friday morning.

However, images show the building, to sit at the northeast corner of the intersection of Merritt Avenue and Martin Street, would rise five stories and offer an industrial-esque exterior vibe. Village Real Estate Services (a Core sister company) is listed on the website, which references "townhouse units."

Smith Gee Studio is the architect for the project. Of note, the Nashville-based company has designed Core’s Six10 Merritt (read more here), planned for a site located across Martin from 1260Martin.

The two buildings will be part of what Nashville-based Core is calling The Finery. 

(Image courtesy of Core and Smith Gee)

Oct 9, 2015 2:15 PM

CVS/Caremark hiring 300

Call center to nearly double in size
Oct 9, 2015 1:16 PM

Vastland lands $16.3M permit for Avalon at Seven Springs

Vastland Companies has landed a permit for its 144-unit four-story Avalon at Seven Springs apartment building currently under construction.

Southland Constructors will handle the job with the permit valued at about $16.37 million, according to a document.

The $38 million Avalon at Seven Springs is being built on a 3.8-acre site located within the mixed-use developmet on Old Hickory Boulevard (See the general site here courtesy of Google Maps.). It is adjacent to Vastland’s St. Martin Square condos and the Seven Springs office and retail center.

Highwoods Properties is leading the overall development of Seven Springs.


Oct 9, 2015 1:05 PM

Dialysis Clinic buys MetroCenter site for undisclosed sum

Mainstream Drive property sold last December for $38.1M
Oct 9, 2015 12:25 PM

Turner tapped to build state museum

Turner Construction is expected to be the general contractor for the Tennessee State Museum project planned for North Capitol, The Tennessean reports.

The state has notified the New York City-based company, which has a significant Nashville-area presence, the choice is dependent on State Building Commission approval. The commission meets Tuesday.

The state is targeting a spring start on the $160 million project, with a summer 2018 completion eyed.

Nashville-based EOA Architects has a $1.4 million contract to design the museum, the morning daily reports. A rendering of the building has not yet been released.

“Although we do not have a signed contract ... we are certainly pleased to learn that the state believes Turner is the right company for this very important project, which would be one of the most significant projects we have undertaken during our 40 years of operation in Nashville,” Turner Construction Vice President John Gromos (pictured), who leads the firm’s Nashville-area office, said in a release. “We are honored by this opportunity and look forward to working with the design team of EOA and HGA, with whom we have considerable experience in delivering large, highly complex buildings within a fast-track time frame.”

Turner is expected to have 19 months to construct the building. In the release, the cmpany noted it has a history of completing fast-track projects on time. For example, Super Storm Sandy hit during Turner’s construction of the new Whitney Museum of American Art in New York City, flooding the basement after major mechanical equipment had been delivered. Despite the setback, the firm said it delivered the project by the originally scheduled completion date.


Oct 9, 2015 10:13 AM

July home foreclosure rate drops slightly

The home foreclosure rate in the Nashville area decreased slightly in July compared to the July 2014 mark, according to data from CoreLogic.

The data shows the rate of Nashville-Davidson-Murfreesboro-Franklin area foreclosures among outstanding mortgage loans was 0.37 percent for the month, a decrease of 0.18 percent points compared to the same month last year when the rate was 0.55 percent. Foreclosure activity in the Nashville coverage area was lower than the national foreclosure rate, which was 1.26 percent for July.

The state foreclosure rate for July was 0.54 percent, compared to 0.75 percent for July 2014.

In addition, the Nashville-Davidson-Murfreesboro-Franklin mortgage delinquency rate decreased for July by 0.72 percent. According to CoreLogic data for the month, 2.33 percent of mortgage loans were 90 days or more delinquent compared with the 3.05 percent mark for the same period last year.

Oct 9, 2015 9:58 AM

Permit issued for Daily Juice Cafe slated for recently sold Encore space

On the heels of the Encore retail spaces having sold earlier this week for $11.5 million (read here), the owners of Daily Juice Cafe have landed a permit to build out their 850-square-foot space in the SoBro-based tower.

MTLC Building Group will handle the job, with the permit valued at $140,000.

Based in Austin, Daily Juice Café is a franchisor that bills itself as the only concept in its segment that offers “100 percent real foods, vegan and gluten-free” via its organic juices and smoothies.

Daily Juice, which will occupy the space located to the left of the Encore garage entrance (read more here), is the second Middle Tennessee location for business partners Robbie Nowinski and Josh Akright, who also own the Daily Juice at Seven Springs in Brentwood.

Oct 9, 2015 7:15 AM

Large property overlooking Cumberland River to be auctioned

Site near MetroCenter, spanning 30 acres zoned for 248 townhomes
Oct 9, 2015 7:00 AM

Start date for Cummins Station addition not yet finalized

The owner of Cummins Station says no specific timeline is in place for major expansion of the iconic office and retail building despite a permit having recently been issued to allow for such.

Zach Liff, DZL Management president, told the Post much work needs to be done before any floors can be added to the top of the 400,000-square foot structure.

The permit will allow the team to add up to six shear walls that will provide for the eventual vertical expansion of the SoBro-based building, Liff said, adding that DZL Development Director Tom Miller will oversee the project. The architecture team comprises Chicago-based Perkins + Will and Gobbell Hayes Partners of Nashville.

Messer Construction will serve as the general contractor.

Liff said there will be no more than two additional floors.

“One of the goals we have for the project is that in 100 years, people will look at the building and say, ‘It made sense that they did that addition,’” Liff said, adding the team hopes to have an image to show prospective tenants by March.

Liff said that, based on good practice for such work on historic buildings, the eventual addition will be set back from the roofline of the existing building.

Relatedly, DZL is finalizing an approximately $1 million update to the historic masonry building’s south façade, a project that will yield balconies on floors 3-5. 

Oct 8, 2015 2:30 PM