The Voice for the St. Louis Construction Industry

Category archive


Hicor Group Receives 2017 Business of the Year Award from St. Louis Development Corporation

in Companies/News

The Hicor Group, a Carpentry services provider, has received a 2017 Business of the Year Award from the St. Louis Development Corporation (SLDC).  The award honors the minority certified (MBE) Contractor for its unique achievements and contribution to the City’s growth and development in the past year.  St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson presented the award to Andrew Stafford, President of The Hicor Group, at the annual Mayor’s Business Celebration Luncheon on October 13.

“We are extremely proud that the Mayor and SLDC have recognized us for our commitment to the economic development of the City of St Louis through our participation in projects at the Scott Joplin House, Soldiers Memorial, Nathaniel Rivers Apartments, Locust St. Lofts and in the Cortex Innovation District,” said Stafford.  “We continue to focus on providing superior carpentry and construction services to both public and private construction projects in St Louis and build on the recent success we’ve experienced.”

After completing a $1.1 million renovation earlier this year, The Hicor Group moved its headquarters into the former Bronson Residence. The 132-year-old Late Victorian home listed on the National Historic Register at 3201 Washington Avenue, was recognized by The Landmarks Association of St Louis as one of its Most Enhanced Buildings for 2017.

The Hicor Group is experiencing a 30 percent growth in business in 2017 over 2016, and is projecting an additional 50 percent growth in 2018.  The company currently has over 30 employees and anticipates reaching 75-100 employees by the end of next year.

Founded in 2014, the company is a MBE and an SBA-certified Small Disadvantaged Business (SDB).  Stafford is a 15-year veteran of the regional construction industry. For more information on The Hicor Group, visit

Photo Above: Lyda Krewson, Andrew Stafford and Otis Williams

Payne Family Homes Launches New Commercial Real Estate Division with $400 Million 260-Acre Mixed Use Project in O’Fallon

in Companies/News

Development to include 25 acres of neighborhood retail, over 80 acres of mixed use

Payne Family Homes, an award-winning residential construction company, is launching a new commercial real estate division with a 260-acre mixed-use project in O’Fallon, Missouri.

Tentatively called The Streets of Caledonia, this $400 million commercial development will encompass 260 acres in O’Fallon at Highway 64/40 and Route DD, next to the future 55-acre O’Day Park to open next year.  With nearly 4,000 feet of highway frontage, the project will have approximately 25 acres of neighborhood retail and approximately 80 acres of mixed-use office space such as office, medical, hospitality, and senior housing.

“Retailers and commercial tenants are looking for populated areas with an existing pool of customers,” said Ken Kruse, President. “Payne has built beautiful neighborhoods for ten years now, full of people who want convenient access to work, grocery, shopping, and other amenities.  Bringing commercial into our portfolio makes sense as commercial and homes go hand-in-hand.”

Plans for The Streets of Caledonia include an anchor grocery store with surrounding neighborhood retail, gas convenience store, a pharmacy, an urgent care center, an independent living facility, high-end multi-family housing, and more.  Payne is working with the City of O’Fallon to increase road access and improve traffic flow in the area, in anticipation of greater traffic volumes.  The current interchange at Winghaven Boulevard and I-64/40 is similar in size to the existing Boone Crossing interchange in Chesterfield Valley, which is able to smoothly move considerable traffic volume.

About 400 homes from every Payne portfolio price point will surround the shopping on the west and south side of the project, as site challenges will only allow residential on those sides.

“We are extremely optimistic about the potential for this development in the heart of our high-tech district,” said O’Fallon Mayor Bill Hennessy.  “With the proximity to businesses like MasterCard and Citi as well as the tremendous access to the I-64 corridor, we’ve long believed that this property could host a transformational development on O’Fallon’s south side.  Knowing the strength of the partners we have on board, our City is confident that this mixed-use development will be of the highest quality and provide a new anchor for the entire region.”

Payne plans to break ground in 2018.  This project should take at least five years to develop and should exceed $400 million in value.

O’Fallon is set to begin construction on O’Day Park next month, with plans calling for an activity and conference center, a camping area, trails, an amphitheater, and an adventure playground area.  The Streets of Caledonia will also be adjacent to the under-construction Caledonia Soccer Park, Regal O’Fallon Stadium 14 movie theater, and the August A. Busch Memorial Conservation Area.

25 acres of retail space is listed with commercial real estate broker NAI DESCO and 60 acres of mixed use space along the highway is listed with Gershman Commercial.

About Payne Family Homes

Established as one of the Payne Family of companies in 2007, Payne Family Homes has quickly risen to be the St. Louis metro region’s fastest-growing homebuilder and recently was named one of the area’s fastest-growing companies by the St. Louis Business Journal.  With communities in some of the most desirable areas of St. Louis, St. Charles, and Jefferson counties, Payne Family Homes builds memorable estate homes, villas, and single-family homes in nearly every price range.  For more information, visit or call (314) 477-1218.

Western Specialty Contractors Completes Restoration/Waterproofing of Museum Roof Beneath St. Louis’ Historic Gateway Arch

in Companies/Homepage Primary/News

Western Specialty Contractors – St. Louis Branch recently completed a project to restore and waterproof the roof of the Museum of Westward Expansion located beneath the iconic Gateway Arch on the St. Louis Riverfront. The work is part of a multi-phase project, spearheaded by non-profit organization CityArchRiver Foundation, to expand and renovate the underground museum, plus renovate the grounds surrounding the Arch.

Work on the 100,000-square-foot existing museum roof started by removing 16-18 inches of sod and sandy soil, 10-28 inches of Elastizell engineered fill and the existing waterproof membrane down to the structure deck using a bulldozer and air scrapers.

Once the roof was exposed, Western crews went to work identifying and repairing leaks in the existing museum lid that had been present for many years, as the existing waterproofing had exceeded its lifespan. Several methods were used to evaluate the condition of the concrete roof, which included a chain-drag sounding survey for the structural concrete deck, along with visually identifying delamination and cracks.

Western crews then installed a 2-ply Laurenco modified bitumen sheet waterproofing covered with WR Meadows PC2 protection board. An electronic leak detection system followed by a permanent leak detection grid system were installed over the protection board. Crews then installed a layer of 1-1/2 60 psi Dow extruded polystyrene with an additional layer of WR Meadows PC2 protection board and a J-Drain 780 drainage mat.

The next phase of the project involved waterproofing the 42,000 SF horizontal lid and 37,000 SF vertical walls of the museum addition. Western’s scope of work included installing 2-ply Laurenco modified bitumen sheet waterproofing covered with WR Meadows PC2 protection board, and installing an electronic leak detection system, along with two layers of 1-1/2 60 psi Dow extruded polystyrene. A layer of 1.5″ 60 psi Dow extruded polystyrene was installed on the vertical walls and a J-Drain 780 drainage mat on both the horizontal and vertical walls.

Additional waterproofing of the north and south museum entrances (approx. 13,800 SF), which included approximately 5,000 SF of deck around each Arch leg, was also completed.

The museum was largely operational during construction and a lot of the time Western crews were working over occupied space. Western sequenced the removal of existing roofing material so that they could remove, clean and install new roofing material daily to keep the museum dry during construction.

Testing was a daily requirement during the waterproofing installation. Western was required to complete a pull test every 500 SF and take moisture readings every 100 SF. Daily observation reports had to be completed during the waterproofing application, with all testing results and location tests documented along with weather conditions. Additionally, Western crews took 50 photos daily to document the testing and work area.

Construction on the Arch grounds began in August 2013, while renovations to the museum and visitor center began in April 2015. The improved underground Museum of Westward Expansion is expected to be finished by summer 2018.

Family-owned and operated for over 100 years, Western Specialty Contractors is the nation’s largest specialty contractor in masonry and concrete restoration, waterproofing and specialty roofing. 

21st Annual McCarthy Charity Softball Tournament Raises $6,500 for St. Louis Organizations

in Companies/News

Nineteen area architecture and engineering firms compete in charity tournament. 


A co-ed softball and grilling tournament hosted by McCarthy Building Companies, Inc. has raised $6,500 for three local charities. Nineteen local architecture and engineering firms competed in the 21st annual tournament, which took place August 19 at the Ozzie Smith Sports Complex in O’Fallon, Mo. Since its inception in 1996, the tournament has raised more than $100,000 to benefit St. Louis area community organizations.


Tournament champion Ross & Baruzzini is donating its $3,500 prize to Circus Flora, a nonprofit theater company specializing in one-ring circus production. Runner-up champion KPFF Consulting Engineers is donating its $1,500 prize to Be the Match Registry, which manages the world’s largest and most diverse marrow registry.


Six teams also showcased their grilling skills in the McGrill Master grilling competition. Winning team TJ Wies Contracting is donating its $1,500 prize to Ranken Jordan Pediatric Bridge Hospital, which bridges the gap between traditional hospital treatment and home for children with complex medical conditions.


“Each year, McCarthy looks forward to hosting this charity event, which brings together colleagues at many local architecture and engineering firms in a fun way that benefits some worthy community organizations,” said Ray Elking, McCarthy preconstruction director and tournament coordinator. “McCarthy is committed to helping grow and strengthen our St. Louis community, and it is wonderful to be able to join together with our industry friends to make a difference.”


Headquartered in St. Louis, McCarthy Building Companies, Inc. is the oldest privately held national construction company in the country – with more than 150 years spent collaborating with partners to solve complex building challenges on behalf of its clients. 

KWK Architects Designs First Residential Colleges at the University of Oklahoma

in Companies/News

Upperclassmen residential communities combine living and learning amenities

Utilizing the “residential college” community model, higher education design experts KWK Architects, partnered with architect of record ADG Architects of Oklahoma City, recently completed the first residential colleges in Oklahoma at the University of Oklahoma in Norman. A dedication ceremony for the new Headington and Dunham residential colleges was held on Oct. 11.

“The residential colleges will have a huge impact on student life at the University of Oklahoma,” said University of Oklahoma President David L. Boren in a press release. “For the first time, we will be able to provide on-campus housing for upperclassmen and women.”

The new $75 million residential colleges are designed as living/learning spaces that provide students with a sense of community and identity within the larger university environment.

“The residential colleges combine three different aspects of student life: the living space, the learning space, and the fellowship relationship. The goal of this model is to engage students within the residential colleges beyond their freshman and sophomore years, creating relationships and a lasting sense of identity,” said KWK Architects Principal Paul Wuennenberg, AIA, LEED AP. 

The facilities, located south of the football stadium at the southwest corner of Jenkins Avenue and Lindsey Street, opened this semester with 600 upperclassmen (300 students in each building). Oklahoma’s residential colleges are some of the first in the United States.

Taking cues from residential colleges on Ivy League campuses such as Harvard, Yale, Oxford and Cambridge, each building features a faculty master apartment and office, dormitories, private parking, seminar/conference rooms, lounges, study areas, libraries and dining rooms. The two residential colleges are also connected by a communal dining area and storm shelter, and each boasts a house motto, colors, crest and athletic teams. The architectural design of each college was influenced by the Cherokee Gothic style featured on several buildings throughout the campus.

“The design of a residential college is complex. It must embody the spirit and community of each college. It also includes dining and other elements that are usually part of the campus, but in this case, are an integral part of the college, such as the library, a gym, etc. In many ways, the residential college becomes a microcosm of the campus. Finally, the residential floors must offer a wide variety of room types that are enticing for freshman as well as upperclassmen to increase retention and engagement with the residential college,” said Wuennenberg.

The project team, which included KWK Architects, ADG Architects and Brailsford & Dunlavey program management, began the project by first creating a master plan for expanding student campus housing at the university. The team reviewed existing housing facilities, as well as available campus sites and near-campus housing before surveying students to determine optimal rental prices, unit sizes, room configurations and desired amenities for the new residential colleges.

About KWK Architects

Founded in 2013 by five architects with a combined 120 years of higher education knowledge and experience, KWK Architects partners with colleges and universities across the United States to create innovative and inspiring places that enhance campus life. Areas of expertise include student housing and dining, and academic and science/technology spaces. KWK Architects has completed more than $1 billion in construction-valued projects since its founding and currently employs a growing staff of 15 at its headquarters in Webster Groves, MO. For more information about KWK Architects, visit or contact Director of Marketing Cindy Hausler at or 314-583-1757.

Eight Reasons to Certify Your Company’s Financial Statements

in Companies/News

Submitted by Schmersahl Treloar & Co. 

Throughout the year, businesses like yours need to be able to provide verified financial results to others. This may be your tax preparer, a lender or investor, a potential purchaser of your business — should you decide to sell — or another interested party. Not to mention that you, as the company owner should know your books are being done with accuracy and completeness. For all of these reasons, you should consider having your accountant prepare certified financial statements for your business, rather than always relying on internally generated reports.

Certified financial statements come in three “flavors:” compilations, reviews and audits. Each of these flavors offers a progressive level of assurance. This deeper verification process lets users of your statements (including you) have greater confidence in the accuracy of the numbers.

Whatever level of assurance you choose, you will be better off certifying your financial statements through your accounting advisor than just having your in-house bookkeeper prepare them, or not preparing them at all.

Here are eight good reasons why.

Banks Love Them

Banks give lower interest rates, greater loan balances, higher lines of credit and better approval ratings to firms which have an outside accountant preparing certified financial statements. Loan applications generally ask who prepares your firm’s financial statements, and what level of assurance is provided. There’s a reason for that.

The greater usefulness of certified financial statements comes from independence; an outside accountant has his or her own judgment, and is not bound by the employment relationship which can influence how an in-house bookkeeper would prepare those statements. Independence carries with it a high degree of assurance, which can translate into value for your firm.

Bonding Underwriters Love Them

Bonding underwriters also place a higher value on financial statements that have passed the scrutiny of an accountant, and they may add that value on to your firm in the form of higher bonding limits for individual projects and aggregate, more favorable bonding terms such as lower collateral and better bonding approval ratings.

It’s Easier to Do it Now, than a Year or Two Down the Road

The longer you wait between instances of having your financial information verified, the more work is required. Not only will that raise the cost of the engagement, but it will be harder for you to remember what happened, when questions arise. Also, any changes which need to be made will affect the years which follow, so don’t sweep them under the rug. Get your financial statements done now. Contact your accounting and tax advisor for rates and what’s required. You’ll be glad you did.

It’s Inexpensive

Some people see certified financial statements as too expensive, so they avoid the subject. However, after you recoup the bank interest rate cash savings, the extra bonding capacity, and the new business you will receive, the cost of the financial statements will seem affordable. The level of professionalism you will project will more than compensate your firm for the cost you will pay to your accounting advisor.

Note: A compilation may be all that your firm needs, and that service is very reasonably priced.

It Leads to Better Relationships

You’d be surprised at who is interested in seeing your certified financial statements, and what they can do to help you grow your business. You will meet other executives in sister-disciplines, who will want to compare notes. When you become close friends with other trade leaders in associations you belong to, showing them your certified financial statements can lead to strategic partnerships, joint ventures and even revenue-growing mergers and acquisitions.

It Marks Your Firm’s Progress

You will find that many times, securing financing such as loans requires financial statements two and three years back. Without certified financial statements produced by your accounting advisor, your books and records are always subject to accidental change by your accounting staff.

In fact, most small- to mid-sized construction businesses lack the internal controls necessary to keep financial information totally consistent from one year to the next.

It’s a Step Up in Credibility

Dun & Bradstreet and other business credit agencies publish certified financial statements. And even if you don’t publish your firm’s financial statements, the credibility which comes with having them certified by your accounting and tax professional will be noticed by your employees and other constituents. Whoever you show your company financials to, the mere fact they are certified will stand out and give them that extra edge so your company shines in the best light.

They Carry More Weight

When you get certified financial statements from your accounting advisor, you place the backing of a professional in accounting and taxation behind your work. The results of your firm’s operations are the fruits of your labors. Do you want to hold them up like the silver cup of victory? Having them certified by your accounting professional or tax advisor will do just that.

Marcus Adrian, AIA, Principal at Mackey Mitchell Architects, to present at TEDxGatewayArch’s “Ripple Effect”

in Companies/News

Marcus Adrian, AIA, LEED BD+C, a principal at Mackey Mitchell Architects, will be speaking at TEDxGatewayArch’s “Ripple Effect” event at the Touhill Performing Arts Center on October 27.

Adrian will discuss the architecture of schools and classrooms, and how design can be improved through a deeper understanding of human ability. The talk will focus on design strategies he’s developed for deaf and other specialized schools, and explain how those strategies can benefit every learner and every school.

Adrian’s interest in this topic began with one project – Central Institute for the Deaf School, in 1998.  He was fascinated by the seemingly counter-intuitive idea that a deaf school should be as quiet as we can make it.  That’s when he learned that human ability is a wildly complex thing, and poses limitless design challenges.

Marcus has been designing schools and classrooms around differences in human ability and human brain development. He started with designing around the auditory sense, including the acoustics of separation and reverberation and designing to elevate signal and reduce noise.  Over the years, those signal-to-noise strategies have extended to the other senses, primarily the visual, to create better classrooms and schools.  He had a major breakthrough when he realized signal and noise strategies apply to other dimensions of human ability beyond the sensory, including human social and cognitive development.

TEDxGatewayArch Ripple Effect begins at 5 p.m. with a Happy Hour, followed by 14 live Tedx talks. Tickets are $25 and are on sale now at

TriStar Begins $26 Million, 593,940SF Spec Warehouse at Gateway Commerce Center, Edwardsville, Ill.

in Companies/News

Project Emerging on 54-Acre Site

TriStar Properties has begun speculative development of a new 593,940-square-foot mega-cube distribution center at Gateway Commerce Center, a 2,300-acre logistics and bulk distribution park outside Edwardsville, Ill. Teaming with TriStar to fund the $26 million venture is PCCP, LLC a national real estate finance and investment management company.

The new building, Gateway East 594, is a tilt-up concrete cross-docked facility with 36’ clear-height ceilings, 570 feet of depth and 66 dock doors plus two drive-in doors. Taking shape on a 54-acre site, the building is expandable to approximately 1,000,000 square feet.

The 594 building will be available for occupancy in January, 2018 according to Ed Lampitt, SIOR, CCIM and managing director of the St. Louis office of Cushman Wakefield, the exclusive leasing agent for Gateway.

“Gateway Commerce Center is widely acknowledged as one of the leading distribution parks in the Midwest. With 18 bulk buildings containing nearly 13 million square feet under roof, Gateway’s development team is demonstrating its proactive approach in anticipating the needs of expansion-minded companies for efficient, expandable bulk space configurations,” noted Lampitt.

TRiSTAR-PCCP Joint Venture

Gateway East 594 will be the fifth distribution facility jointly developed by TriStar and PCCP at Gateway.  The partners recently completed two previously launched buildings totaling 1,144,000 square feet, all of which has been leased. Another recent endeavor, a $36 million, 717,060-square-foot distribution center on a 56-acre site, is now occupied by retail giant Amazon.

In addition to Amazon, Gateway tenants include Dial Corp., GENCO ATC, GEODIS, The Hershey Company, Ozburn-Hessey Logistics, Proctor & Gamble, Save-A-Lot, Saddle Creek Logistics Services, D.B. Schenker Logistics, DB Schenker, Schneider National, Unilever, USF Logistics, Walgreens and Yazaki of North America.

Joining TriStar on the 594 project are Contegra Construction, general contractor; Gray Design Group, architect; and Stock & Associates Consulting Engineers, Inc.; civil engineer.

Founded in 1996, TriStar Properties is a nationally recognized real estate developer. Typically operating through affiliated joint ventures or partnerships, its activity log includes sale or development transactions involving more than 5,000 acres of commercial and residential land; apartment complexes; 1.5 million square feet of office space; 1.2 million square feet of retail space; and several million square feet of industrial/distribution space.

PCCP, LLC is a real estate finance and investment management company that focuses on commercial real estate debt and equity investments. With offices in New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles, it has approximately $6 billion in assets under management on behalf of institutional investors.

Since its inception in 1998, PCCP has successfully raised, invested and managed approximately $10 billion of institutional capital through private equity funds, separate accounts and joint ventures. Learn more about PCCP at ( .

KWK Architects Principal Dick Kirschner to Speak at InterFaceOn-Campus Housing Conference in Philadelphia

in Companies/News

KWK Architects principal and a leading expert in higher education design Dick Kirschner, AIA, has been invited to speak at the 5th annual InterFace On-Campus Housing Conference, Oct. 24-26, in Philadelphia, PA.

The conference features workshops, roundtables and panel sessions that focus on collaboration, sustainable success and best practices for on-campus housing. A variety of topics are planned for the conference including:  P3 financing, designing for Generation Z, keeping up with technology, trends in housing for international students, how to write an effective RFP, and more.

Kirschner will be participating in an architecture panel discussion. Kirschner is a seasoned professional with nearly 40 years of design experience. He has focused his career on the planning, design and construction of university, healthcare, K-12, corporate and cultural institution facilities throughout the Midwest and Southeast. For the past 18 years, Kirschner has concentrated on student life projects and is recognized as an industry leader in the master planning of housing that supports a vibrant and financially stable campus community.

Participants at the conference will include college and university housing experts, business advisors, student housing developers, architects, contractors, vendors and more. Tours of on-campus housing at Drexel University and the University of Philadelphia are also planned for participants.

For more information about the conference, visit 

Founded in 2013 by five architects with a combined 120 years of higher education knowledge and experience, KWK Architects partners with colleges and universities across the United States to create innovative and inspiring places that enhance campus life. 

Tarlton Announces New Website Launch

in Companies/News

Newly redesigned website offers visitors insight into client-driven culture and capabilities across a wide range of sectors

St. Louis-based Tarlton Corp., a leader in general contracting and construction management throughout the Midwest, announces the launch of its new website.

The launch coincides with an important milestone in Tarlton’s history—Founders Day, a day of companywide celebration each October 2 that marks the birthday of Art Elsperman, one of the firm’s founders and first generation of leaders.

The redesigned site, located at the company’s same web address at, was created with user experience in mind, offering enhanced content, improved functionality, quick access to essential information and insight into the company’s capabilities. The website features bold photographs and a comprehensive overview of Tarlton, in business since 1946. A WBENC-Certified Women’s Business Enterprise, Tarlton is the recipient of numerous local, regional and national industry awards for its many projects and is one of Engineering News-Record’s Top 400 Contractors nationally.

Among the new website features is a filter that allows visitors to search Tarlton’s projects by size, market type and/or specific attributes such as LEED-certified or historic renovation.

“We are excited to launch a newly revamped website that provides a rich online experience and underscores our commitment to our clients, industry and community, while also illustrating the winning strategies and solutions we bring to every project,” said Tracy Hart, president, Tarlton Corp.

Tarlton, which had 2016 revenues topping $171 million, completes projects for wide-ranging clients in the commercial, institutional, life science and industrial markets, with special expertise in concrete repair and restoration, power and energy, and hydro excavation.


1 2 3 37
Go to Top