Ivy Warehouse

Antioch, TN

Edward J. Ivy Descendants Trust

Carden Company’s management of this challenging project earned us the 2019 Merit Award for excellence in commercial construction from the Associated Builders and Contractors organization.

In the spring of 2018, Carden Company put together a team for a design/build construction project in Nashville, Tennessee, for a manufacturer of commercial dishwashers. Based in California, the owner desired warehouse and office space to serve as a base for regional customer service. While they only needed 15,000 square feet for themselves, they decided to utilize the entire site and lease out the remaining 45,000 square feet of the 60,000 square-foot structure.

The primary challenge for the project was the selected site. Though the area around the site had largely been built-up commercial/light industrial businesses, the owners had acquired an undeveloped piece of property that municipal officials were eager to have developed. Overgrown with vegetation, the site had been used by locals as an unofficial dumping ground. Carden Company put together a team to evaluate the site and to design a structure that would make the best use of the property in the most efficient and cost-effective manner possible.

With a thorough pre-construction evaluation to account for soil conditions, grade, drainage, and even wildlife habitats, the team uncovered some unique problems that would need to be addressed. The first challenge was a significant elevation change across the property.  In order to utilize all of the buildable area, this would have to be incorporated into the structure’s design.  Second, soil borings uncovered a shallow rock layer, which required additional considerations for locating the structure and finding budget-friendly ways to accommodate the grade while ensuring a stable foundation.

The team creatively incorporated both the elevation changes and the massive retaining walls needed to support the structure.  The result is a design that provided form, an attractive frontage on Antioch Pike, and function, a level area behind the building for truck docking at the warehouse.

Since the property was to be mostly under roof or paved, low impact stormwater management measures were necessary. Additionally, the Carden team’s analysis of the drainage on the site uncovered a potential problem with a local waterway with endangered species habitat that needed to be protected. Coordinating with Metro and the Tennessee Department of Environmental Conservation authorities, the team made accommodations to ensure drainage from the site had no negative impact on the environment.

Organization, experience, and communication were keys to the success of the project. Given the site difficulties and potential delays to the schedule it could cause, Carden Company employed weekly meetings with sub-contractors, designers and on-site

Supervisors to communicate plans, to discuss problems or changes, and to coordinate the various teams’ efforts.

Good communication was especially critical for keeping the out-of-state owner apprised of developments and ensuring that any necessary adjustments were made in a timely fashion. The Carden team’s coordination with local authorities was more extensive than is usual. Meetings were held with the local Councilwoman to ensure the project aligned with the future vision of the community. This site was of particular interest to local authorities not only for business development and environmental protection reasons, but also because planned roadwork improvements had to be coordinated with the construction plan.

The upfront analysis and thorough planning resulted in few surprises during construction. With a clean, functional design, the building was constructed with tilt-up walls, incorporating Butler pre-engineered elements. The designer worked with the owner for the overall look of the exterior and to personalize their spaces.

Completed in the spring of 2019, the Ivy Warehouse has been a welcome asset to the area. The owners have had success in leasing the extra space and the local Councilwoman has been quite pleased to have a long-standing vacant lot transformed into an attractive, well-designed building tenanted with active businesses.