South Florida Commercial Contractor Moves Faster Than Mother Nature

  • Mall retail renovation
  • Mall retail renovation
  • Mall retail renovation
  • Mall retail renovation
  • Mall retail renovation

As South Florida braced for a possible tropical storm, GSD Contracting raced to finish a large glass installation at Galleria Mall that would have left a gaping hole in the north wall of the building. The work, scheduled during the storm season, needed to happen within a set budget and on time to meet a planned delivery date. As that date approached, however, so did the storm looming out in the Atlantic that would bring heavy amounts of rain and wind, threatening not only the completion of the retail renovation project but devastating the current business of the tenant below.

The glass was ready to be delivered for installation, but the storm was still developing and its path unknown. The work of our vendor, Crawford Tracey, was performed over 12-hour days to get it done, and the installation was weather-tight in just three days – about half the time it would normally take. The result is a dramatic wall of glass on the north side of the Galleria Mall with both translucent and opaque colored panels that hide the actual structure while allowing natural light into the new Regus offices and future retail space within the mall.

A ton of collaboration, work, and some compromise went into a design that would meet the clients’ and architects’ expectations and would also be affordable. The end solution for the glass installation cost almost half of what was originally contemplated. Proper planning also allowed the project to be finished on time and avoid a potential natural disaster. Let’s take a quick look at how that happened.


Retrofit Glazing Challenge

Since the beginning of the year, we have been working on a complex renovation and retrofitting project for Galleria Mall in Ft. Lauderdale. The 1980’s “vintage” building where Saks Fifth Avenue resided for many years needed a renovation to accommodate a new H&M and Regus Office location. The project required escalator relocations, elevator installations, and the glazing installation to bring natural light into the building for all. The structural challenges included the retrofit of the original pre-cast concrete structure building with a glass installation that took up much of the north and east-facing walls.


Determining how to make this all work became a real design-builder collaboration with the Galleria Mall management, Adache Architects, and Kimley Horn, a PE design consulting firm. It took many meetings and consultations before we placed the order for the glass. The dimensions had to be predicted in advance of the installation with a quarter-inch margin of error all around. Finally, we ordered the glazing from the Crawford Tracey Corporation, a respected glass company here in South Florida.

Once dimensions, design and permitting were complete, the pedestrian protection, demolition, scaffolding, and concrete construction began. We had to keep the openings as weather-tight as possible – a challenge in itself, especially throughout rainy season in Florida. Construction work had to be scheduled with respect to Ft. Lauderdale’s noise ordinances, which in this residential area was 7 am to 7 pm.

We also had retail businesses, such as the new H&M clothing store and Red Door Spa, open in the downstairs space during all of this, so we had to be respectful of their sensitivity to noise levels and also assure the safety of their customers and employees. Red Door Spa worked with us on pre-arranged “shutdown” days so we could do get our noisy work done without disrupting their business. Our respect for the businesses and customers affected by the construction at Galleria Mall, along with proper planning and collaboration, ensured a smooth and minimally disruptive renovation that has beautifully transformed the northeast face of the mall.

Mall retail renovation

Experienced Contractors Can Make All the Difference

GSD Contracting is experienced at working with multiple teams to bring complex projects to fruition on time and on budget, from the design-build to delivery. Our value decisions and ability to collaborate effectively give our clients the confidence and satisfaction in every project we complete. Do you have an upcoming project that requires experience, skill, and teamwork? Contact us online or call 954.961.4222 today.

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