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The Warsaw Voice » Real Estate » June 25, 2008
The Real Estate Voice
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Benefits of Construction Management
June 25, 2008   
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Unlike constructing an office or residential building, undertaking a retail project presents specific challenges requiring a different approach.

The complexity and a variety of functions a retail project provides are major factors to be taken into account. While the main purpose of an office building is to provide a place of work for a limited number of users, a retail project deals with a public place with no accessibility limits. People come to such a place for different reasons. The time when shopping was mostly done in small stores and street markets is now long gone. Because of the integrated character of retail centers, including shopping, entertainment, leisure, fitness and banking functions, a retail center becomes a universal facility connecting various areas of human activity, interests and aspirations.

Thus the design process for a retail center is complicated, but it is crucial to get it right, because any later changes to existing shopping malls are expensive. The key here is a design flexible enough to fit the requirements of a variety of changing tenants. Such a design may provide for shops, restaurants, movie theaters and entertainment centers, services, healthcare and a variety of other businesses-therefore the construction process must meet the needs of all potential tenants. It is important to understand that if a major tenant changes his mind about leasing space in a retail center, the space provided for his business must be capable of being used by other tenants. Moreover, dynamic changes in terms of tenants in the retail sector force owners of the buildings to understand and plan for potential changes in the design, so that the space originally used for a hair salon could easily turn into a restaurant.

The challenges in design also result from the evolution of the retail sector and include minimizing the impact of changes on the cost and schedule of the project. Technically, looking for new solutions that meet the criteria of an evolving market becomes extremely hard. To handle that difficulty, we have established a set of procedures informing the client about the influence each decision has on the schedule and costs to avoid unnecessary misunderstandings.

In view of the challenges involved in the process of constructing a retail center, it is worth considering Construction Management. This approach offers flexibility, better control of risk, response to changes, quality and budget control. Early involvement of a Construction Management team in the construction process and an early start of works, even before the design process is completed, creates an opportunity to adjust the design to the changing needs of tenants.

To summarize, the thoughtful investor should focus on design and planning, and then choose the procurement route. To avoid failure, the construction and design team cannot compete with the tenant-it is more beneficial to keep the shop front design simple and create flexibility to accommodate a tenant's needs. It is important to create infrastructure that supports tenants and a flow that optimizes footfall.

Last, but not least, an investor must provide logistics with security during construction and operation to ensure smooth and safe transition from one part of the building to another.

If investors are able to accommodate all of the above rules, they are on the way to success, and using Construction Management is an option in handling the complexity of the process of constructing a retail center.

Artur Dziubak, Business Development Manager
Bovis Lend Lease Sp. z o.o.
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