Ford of Franklin

Franklin, Tennessee

Automotive Management Services, Inc.

The owners of Ford of Franklin wanted a total rebuild of their car dealership while the business continued to operate – that posed significant, but foreseen challenges. Then there were the difficulties the site had hidden up it’s sleeve…

Taken together this project was a real test for the management, ingenuity and patience of everyone involved.

The success of the project earned Carden Company a national Associ­ated Builders and Contractors’ Eagle Award.

Carden Company has managed a number of rebuilding/remodeling projects for businesses wanting to continue to operate during the construction (see also: Thoroughbred Motors, Stan McNabb Chevrolet, Lebanon Fire StationTennessee Society of CPAs, and St. Paul Academy), and those projects always offer special challenges. But the Ford of Franklin rebuild had extra teeth.

Evolving over 30 years, the site and the old building were hiding some significant problems no one could foresee. In addition to unstable soils, the construction team discovered they were going to have to deal with an outdated sewer system.

Architect Bryan Richter explained, “It ran under the building, and the city pretty early on said it can’t stay there. So we had to figure out how to keep it in operation and coordinate with the owner for the redevelopment and how to tie it all together. There were a lot of hoops to jump through that typically don’t hit most projects.”

The delays these surprises caused made for on-going scheduling headaches with subcontractors. Minimizing down-time and keeping the project moving forward became primary concerns.

And there was still the issue of phasing the reconstruction of a business in operation: first, moving the business into one half of the old building, tearing down the other half and rebuilding that half; then moving the business to the new half, tearing down the rest of the old building and rebuilding it; and finally tying it all together and moving them into the whole new facility. And all the while Carden had to make sure the staff, customers and cars were safe and separate from construction activity – as well as keep the lights on, the computers running, and bathrooms functioning!

Nick Berndt, the owner’s construction representative, said, “I think Carden did a good job filling in the holes that were there and putting the pieces together. They kept the project moving forward and filled in the gaps.”

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