3 Tips On How To Find The Perfect Commercial Construction Contractor… And Be A Great Construction Client

Mon, 27 Jul 2020 16:33:41 +0000
Earlier this spring, I had the opportunity to talk with Restaurant Development + Design Magazine for an article on “How to Find the Perfect Construction Partner” that just published in the July/August issue. The final piece is a great resource that’s relevant to pretty much every commercial real estate sector – not just restaurant development […]

3 Reasons Your Commercial Contractor Should Be Your First Call When The Unexpected Strikes

Mon, 29 Jun 2020 19:28:03 +0000
For anyone that owns or operates a commercial property, there are bound to be unanticipated repairs or surprise construction issues that pop up. But every once in a while, the truly unexpected strikes. And so far in 2020, we’ve already experienced two nationwide instances where CRE owners are dealing with situations they probably never imagined. […]

Prepping For Reentry: 8 Facility Maintenance Steps For Reopening Commercial Properties

Wed, 27 May 2020 17:05:54 +0000
A version of this post was published in Illinois Real Estate Journal as a bylined article from Englewood Construction. According to Englewood Construction, prepping commercial facilities to reopen should include reviewing mechanical systems and rescheduling missed preventative maintenance appointments (*photo taken pre-pandemic). Across the country, states are in various phases of reentry and preparing their […]

Commercial Construction News: Celebrating Women in Construction and Englewood Construction’s Own Tara Fox

Wed, 15 Apr 2020 18:55:09 +0000
Tara Fox is a senior project manager with Englewood Construction. As our Englewood Construction team works together to continue serving our commercial construction clients while also navigating the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on our industry, we are more thankful than ever for our staff of dedicated and experienced employees. For this month’s blog post, […]

The New Normal: Commercial Construction Continues in Unprecedented COVID-19 Times

Mon, 30 Mar 2020 12:59:42 +0000
This is undoubtedly an unprecedented time in our country as efforts to contain the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) are impacting all of us on both personal and professional levels. We are in uncharted territory, but amid this “new normal” Englewood Construction remains open and committed to serving our clients — while also following guidelines […]

Shopping Mall Development Trends: Are Ghost Kitchens the Answer for Vacant Mall Space?

Wed, 19 Feb 2020 20:49:08 +0000
CRE developers and owners are continuing to think creatively about filling vacant shopping mall space, and recently the idea of bringing in “ghost kitchens” to fill obsolete retail square footage has started to gain traction. The Wall Street Journal recently covered this trend in an article noting a major mall owner is partnering with a […]

Commercial Construction 2020 Trends: Cannabis Retail, Senior Housing and Restaurant Construction Lead the Way

Mon, 06 Jan 2020 18:33:25 +0000
It has become a bit of a tradition that we start off the year for Hard Hat Chat with a look at the commercial real estate trends we think will impact our work in the months ahead. As we kick off 2020, we have a lot of optimism about our industry and the sectors we’re […]

Commercial Construction Industry Trends: The “Highs” and “Lows” that Shaped 2019

Mon, 09 Dec 2019 07:00:29 +0000

Flagship Store Retail Construction: 3 Reasons Brands Still Build in a Flagship Location

Mon, 28 Oct 2019 15:16:39 +0000
With our firm’s long track record in retail construction, we’ve witnessed firsthand the ebb and flow of activity across this sector over the years. So when I came across an article recently asking if  “flagship stores are losing their shine”, it gave me pause. It’s true the retail mix among flagship stores in prime locations […]

Happy Anniversary Hard Hat Chat: Celebrating 10 Years of Commercial Construction Trends, News, Insights, and Conversations

Wed, 11 Sep 2019 19:12:36 +0000
In 2009, amid the business challenges of the Great Recession, our company made the decision to start a blog as an outlet to share commercial construction trends, insights, news, and observations on a variety of topics. If you had told me then that we’d still be publishing Hard Hat Chat a decade later – and […]

Legalized Marijuana: Opportunities and Impact for Commercial Real Estate and Construction

Wed, 07 Aug 2019 16:16:04 +0000
A version of this post was published in Illinois Real Estate Journal as a byline article from Englewood Construction. Earlier this summer, Englewood Construction’s home state of Illinois passed a bill making it the 11th state in the U.S. to legalize the use of recreational marijuana. Given that our firm already has experience working with […]

3 Critical Questions to Ask Before Starting an Adaptive Reuse Commercial Construction Project

Tue, 16 Jul 2019 18:33:54 +0000
This column from Chuck Taylor, Englewood Construction’s director of operations, was originally published by An adaptive reuse construction project, such as the conversion of this former grocery store into Englewood’s headquarters in Lemont, Ill., involves extra planning and special considerations. While it’s always thrilling to create a new building, some of the most rewarding […]

What Happens in Vegas, Does not Stay in Vegas: Retail Construction Trends from ICSC RECon 2019

Mon, 03 Jun 2019 21:02:39 +0000
Last month, our Englewood Construction business development team had a great trip to Las Vegas for RECon, the global retail real estate convention hosted annually by the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC). It’s always valuable to attend this conference, not only as an opportunity to network with new and existing contacts, but also to gauge activity […]

Commercial Construction Delivery Methods: 3 Times To Go With A Negotiated Bid

Fri, 12 Apr 2019 17:41:20 +0000
Any long-time readers of Hard Hat Chat have probably picked up on the fact that I’m a big fan of the negotiated bid.  Our firm takes pride in being a true partner to our clients, and we believe a great way to elevate that client relationship is to work on a negotiated basis – a […]

Customer Relationship Management: Why Good Relationships Are Good Business in Commercial Construction

Thu, 14 Mar 2019 20:15:28 +0000
Most people think of commercial construction as a physical, “bricks and sticks” industry. But if you ask me, commercial construction is first and foremost about relationships. After all, the strongest foundation you can give any commercial construction project is a solid partnership between the client and the commercial contractor. That’s why at Englewood Construction, we […]

Commercial Construction Project Management Trends: How to Survive the Incredible Shrinking Timeline

Mon, 04 Mar 2019 18:53:32 +0000
One of the biggest challenges for commercial construction firms today is the tighter project timelines that have become the norm at every phase of a project – from shorter deadlines for submitting initial bids and budgets, to quicker resolution on addendums and change orders, to compressed schedules for construction and delivery. Today, we push to […]

Commercial Construction Trends: Three Headlines That Won’t Die In 2019

Wed, 30 Jan 2019 18:54:02 +0000
After nearly 10 years of publishing Hard Hat Chat (more to come on our blog’s 10th anniversary later this year), we know there’s never a shortage of fresh topics and trends to discuss in the commercial construction industry. At the same time, some subjects seem to come up again and again, whether on this blog, […]

Commercial Construction Industry Trends: Reflecting on the Highs and Lows of 2018

Wed, 19 Dec 2018 19:10:08 +0000
After a busy and eventful year in commercial construction, we always find it valuable to reflect back on the last 12 months and review the positives and negatives that impacted our business – including those that are specific to our company as well as the commercial construction industry as a whole – as we prepare […]

4 Commercial Construction Industry Trends and Predictions for 2019

Thu, 06 Dec 2018 17:39:22 +0000
It has been another successful year for Englewood Construction, and with the calendar flipping over to December we’re excited to see what 2019 will bring. Here are our predictions of the four commercial construction industry trends we expect will shape our work in different sectors – and the construction landscape overall – in the year […]

3 Secrets to Serving Up Restaurant Construction Success from a Top Restaurant Contractor

Fri, 02 Nov 2018 06:35:14 +0000
Earlier this month, the Englewood Construction team was honored to be recognized as one of the Best Restaurant Contractors in Chicago by Chicago Architects. Given how much restaurant work we do and how important those clients – from national restaurant chains and food service groups to independent eateries – are to our business, it was […]

3 Reasons to Reach Out to Your General Contractor During the Commercial Construction Process

Wed, 26 Sep 2018 15:53:23 +0000
For the most part, a commercial construction firm’s job is pretty straightforward. But because we have such a broad range of expertise and the know-how to weigh in or provide services for so many aspects of the construction process, there are times our clients don’t even realize they could and should be calling us for […]

Commercial Construction Project Planning: 3 Warning Signs Your Budget Might Go Bust

Tue, 28 Aug 2018 15:16:55 +0000
Budget is always a major consideration for our commercial construction clients, and as a general contractor we devote significant time to the budgeting process. While we do our best to provide budget estimates that are as accurate as possible, there are inevitably times when projects bids come in higher than the client expected, or that […]

4 Commercial Construction Trends for Restaurant and Food Service Projects

Tue, 24 Jul 2018 16:58:01 +0000
It’s already been a busy year for Englewood’s Restaurant Construction division, with a wide variety of projects ranging from ground-up new construction and interior renovations to commercial kitchen work. As such, here are four commercial construction trends our team has observed and anticipates we’ll see shaping more restaurant and food service construction projects in the […]

American Girl’s New York City Flagship Store: An Englewood Construction Retail Showcase

Tue, 26 Jun 2018 19:00:09 +0000
Earlier this year, one of our favorite clients, American Girl, announced plans to take its brand on the road via an American Girl musical debuting with a nationwide tour this fall. At Englewood Construction, we’re proud to say we’ve already been “on tour” with American Girl for the last 10 years, working with the popular […]

Viva Las Vegas: CRE and Retail Construction Insights and Trends from ICSC RECon

Thu, 31 May 2018 17:25:40 +0000
Earlier this month, the Englewood team headed to Las Vegas for RECon, the global retail real estate convention hosted annually by the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC). Attending this major event is always a terrific opportunity for us as a national commercial construction firm to meet with our national retail developer clients, network with […]

Facility Management & Maintenance: 5 Reasons to Partner with your Commercial General Contractor

Tue, 01 May 2018 08:00:26 +0000
One of the things we’ve been most proud of at Englewood Construction over the last several years is the growth of our Facilities Management Group. This division started as a way for us to extend our relationship with clients to include planned, preventative and emergency commercial facility maintenance; while it certainly wasn’t typical, then or […]

Trending: The Rise of Prefab and Modular Commercial Construction Techniques

Tue, 27 Mar 2018 17:49:17 +0000
Something we’re hearing a lot about in our industry right now is the growing trend and popularity of prefab and modular commercial construction solutions. Much of this conversation is driven by the fact that in a business where actual building techniques haven’t changed much in decades, there’s a real hunger for new strategies to improve […]

3 Construction Strategies for Senior Community Housing Renovation Projects

Tue, 27 Feb 2018 18:01:21 +0000
As noted in January’s Hard Hat Chat post about commercial real estate trends shaping Englewood’s work in the year ahead, we expect 2018 will maintain the same strong momentum we’ve recently experienced working with owners and operators to update existing senior communities. What’s driving the uptick in renovation and remodeling activity in this sector? For […]

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 […]

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 […]