HOFFMAN ESTATES, Illinois (May 9, 2013) – Joel Klahn, a respected design and construction veteran with extensive healthcare and higher education experience, recently joined Leopardo as a senior project executive. In his position, Klahn will work closely with clients and project teams to provide leadership and oversight, advocating for the client’s best interests in budget and schedule as well as the main tenets of good facility management.
“With 25 years of experience in engineering, design and construction, Joel brings a uniquely comprehensive perspective and heightened sensitivity to long-term client needs/wants and design aesthetics,” said Mike Leopardo, senior vice president in Leopardo healthcare construction group. “We are excited to have him on board and know his impressive background will add tremendous strength to our already high level of service and quality.”
Having worked as a design engineer, project superintendent, and preconstruction leader, Joel understands the countless trades that comprise a successful project. His familiarity with the trades and ability to skillfully navigate all phases of construction translates to sound judgments and added value.
“As project director of a 14-story, 1.2 million-square-foot replacement hospital for University of Chicago Medicine, Joel leveraged his diverse knowledge base to anticipate and proactively resolve design and construction challenges, which resulted in a closer working relationship among all project team members and successful project delivery,” said Carol A. Post, principal of international engineering firm Thornton Tomasetti.
Joel’s project experience includes the full spectrum of project sizes from a $500 million replacement hospital to a 10,000-square-foot addition on a small private high school funded by the students’ parents. His resume features healthcare, industrial, pharmaceutical, higher education, multifamily and many large, complex institutional projects – including work for global, regional and national health systems – totaling millions square feet and more than $1 billion worth of construction.
“Joel possesses a nimbleness that enables him to apply knowledge to all sizes and shapes of projects, independent or within a system,” said Margaret Tobin, activation lead/project manager at BJC Healthcare, formerly director of planning, design and construction at ACCESS Community Health Network. “He helped ACCESS develop a tactical plan that leveraged resources and created processes that focused on building new and improving existing facilities within a framework of consistently doing more with less. Creative, articulate and responsive, Joel uses collaboration to learn about his client’s needs and does his best to achieve great project outcomes based on their priorities and objectives.”
Prior to joining Leopardo, Klahn spent time at Gilbane, McCarthy and Turner. His tenure on the design side included work at Perkins & Will and Hansen Lind Meyer (HLM Design).
Klahn earned a master’s degree in business and project management from the Keller Graduate School of Business at DeVry University, as well as a post-graduate certificate in telecommunications from DePaul University. He has a bachelor’s degree in industrial technology from Northern Michigan University.
Leopardo is one of the nation’s largest 400 contractors, annually completing 400 construction projects in multiple markets and is ranked among the nation’s top 20 healthcare contractors by Modern Healthcare magazine.
CHICAGO, Illinois (April 23, 2013) – Global research firm Mintel (www.mintel.com) recently moved into its new 30,000-square-foot North American headquarters on the 11th floor of 333 W. Wacker. The office serves as a highly productive and flexible workplace for employees and clients of the market research and intelligence firm.
The unique space, designed by Griskelis Young Harrell (www.gyharch.com) and built by Leopardo Companies, Inc. (www.leopardo.com), embodies Mintel’s creative, interactive culture. Utilizing the hoteling office concept of unassigned seating – there are no private officers – the primary work zone is comprised of open bench desks with 215 work stations. Integrating visual icons that represent the firm’s international reach, the office features a kitchenette/café within a London red double-decker bus; a Chicago-style red iron bridge, neighborhood conference rooms and Wrigley Field-inspired bleachers complete with ivy wall; and an Asian-themed quiet room.
The eight conference rooms include writable glass walls and the latest video conferencing equipment. The board room can be subdivided or opened up to a large bleacher seating area to accommodate companywide meetings. Private restaurant-style booths in the café provide space for two-person collaboration.
“We knew we wanted an open office environment because we liked the communication it affords our employees,” said Keith Thackston, Mintel’s director of client services. “The ‘wow’ factor has been substantial for our employees, for our guests, for our clients that come through.”
CHICAGO (March 21, 2013) – Leopardo recently completed the 25,000-square-foot interior build-out of ThyssenKrupp’s highly anticipated new U.S. headquarters in Chicago. Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced the Chicago real estate plans for the German technology and materials firm early last year.
Located at 111 W. Jackson, the finished space features 15-foot exposed and painted concrete ceilings in all open areas, which required sound panels hung with all materials and equipment (duct work, VAV boxes, duct/diffuser drops, sprinkler pipes, lighting, conduit, cable tray) coordinated for height and exact spacing. The conference rooms were 12 feet tall with a custom-built heavy-gauge framing system to accommodate the mechanical conduit. All electrical service was upgraded, including the installation of new transformers and panels. The project also included high-end audio/visual in the conference rooms, custom millwork and custom sound-insulated glass. Restrooms were completely gutted and renovated.
“This was a true team effort with regular on-the-ground and international communication, plus extensive preconstruction to manage costs and coordinate all the exposed elements in the ceiling” said Leopardo Vice President Christopher Novak, who managed the project.
Leopardo served as general contractor with Harley Ellis Devereaux as architect, Jones Lang LaSalle owner’s representative and Kent Consulting as MEP engineer.
CHICAGO (March 21, 2013) – Leopardo recently completed the demolition of old office furniture and the installation of new furniture at the Chicago office of Red Bull, the company behind the most popular energy drink in the world. The project, completed in one week, provided Red Bull with a new bench-style furniture system, which enables a customized community-centric work approach with a central technology infrastructure and no visual barriers.
CHICAGO (March 1, 2013) – Leopardo recently completed the Gateway to the West Loop, a 190,000-square-foot retail project anchored by Mariano’s Fresh Market, and started construction on Ravenswood Station, a 240,000-square-foot retail center also anchored by Mariano’s and by the same development team of Seymour “Sy” Taxman, Timothy Barrett and Gene Porto.
The $34-million Gateway to the West Loop, located at 14-40 S. Halstead, is home to eight tenants including Mariano’s, Ulta Salon, GNC, Massage Envy and Supercuts. The new structure features an iconic multi-story atrium plus a 157-space above-ground parking garage, and is seeking LEED Silver certification. A prevegetated modular green roofing system was installed to reduce the urban heat island effect, reduce noise, conserve water and decrease storm water runoff.
Located at 1800 W. Lawrence, the $43-million Ravenswood Station is also anchored by Mariano’s Fresh Market with LA Fitness and Sears Auto joining the tenant roster. Like Gateway, Ravenswood will seek LEED Silver certification with sustainable features that include permeable pavers, 80 bicycle racks, electric car charging stations and a similar green roof. The project is expected to wrap up in January 2014.
Both project teams include Leopardo (general contractor), Antunovich Associates (architect), Paul Shadle of DLA Piper (attorney), and developers Seymour “Sy” Taxman, Timothy Barrett and Gene Porto.
HOFFMAN ESTATES, Illinois (March 1, 2013) – Last night, the Fox Valley Associated General Contractors (FVAGC) recognized Leopardo’s outstanding safety record with its annual Safety Excellence Award in the 250,000+ man-hour category. Leopardo finished 2012 with an injury rate 34 percent below the national average. Leopardo’s overall Experience Modification Rate puts Leopardo in the top 3% of contractors in the nation, which is more impressive when factoring in Leopardo’s in-house field force of 200 employees.
Leopardo was among the first builders in the Midwest to utilize innovative SafetyNet predictive analysis, which uses handheld on-site computer devices to streamline the collection, analysis and dissemination of job site safety information, enabling Leopardo to take preventative actions before at-risk behaviors or conditions become incidents. The results are reduced risks, fewer incidents, increased communication and competency, and continuous improvement. It also lowers insurance, administrative and healthcare costs, which translates to cost-efficient projects for our clients. Leopardo is also among a handful of contractors nationwide that have proactively partnered with the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) in order to achieve the highest levels of safety on larger projects.
CHICAGO (January 24, 2013) – Leopardo recently completed the renovation of 400 S. Jefferson St, which will serve as the new headquarters for Hillshire Brands Company, formerly known as Sara Lee Corporation. The acclaimed project was also recently named NAIOP’s 2012 Office Redevelopment of the Year.
The project entailed a comprehensive repurposing of the existing 300,000-square-foot industrial building, including demolishing the building to its cast-in-place concrete skeleton and rebuilding the new exterior skin. All new systems were installed, including mechanical, electrical, plumbing, fire protection, roof and elevators.
In total, approximately $75 million was invested in the building in 10 months – an extremely aggressive schedule that was made possible by a strong collaboration of all project team members, including Leopardo (general contractor), Sterling Bay Companies (owner/developer), Proteus Group (architect), Project Management Advisors (project management), and Colliers (tenant’s representative).
Sterling Bay and Proteus Group collaborated with Leopardo to rapidly move the project from design into construction using the Integrated Project Delivery method. This innovative process afforded real-time pricing data as building details were drawn with the design team working directly with estimators, sub-consultants, and trade contractors who were at the table during the entire design process. From precast to exterior window systems to major mechanical and electrical systems, all parties had input and guidance during the design phase.
HOFFMAN ESTATES, Illinois (December 28, 2012) — Leopardo President Rick Mattioda was inducted into the 2012 class of Midwest Real Estate News’ Commercial Real Estate Hall of Fame. The official announcement was recently made to 25,000 subscribers in the December 2012 issue of Midwest Real Estate News. Rick joins CEO Jim Leopardo, who was part of the CRE Hall of Fame’s inaugural 2010 class.
“This is the issue in which we honor the biggest names in the commercial real estate industry,” wrote the magazine’s editor Dan Rafter. “You’ll discover that the most successful commercial real estate professionals don’t rely on a secret formula to reach their impressive career milestones. Instead, they focus on working hard, providing top-notch customer service and knowing everything there is to know about their markets. Top commercial pros tend to be great negotiators and amazing marketers. They are financially savvy – always making sure that their clients nab the best deals possible – and intuitively seem to recognize the most important trends in their markets.”
Rick was selected from a pool of nearly 300 nominations and joins 72 peers in this year’s class. “Our inductees this year aren’t shy about donating their time, both to their industries and to their communities,” added Rafter. “They volunteer countless hours to charitable organizations and industry trade groups. They take on the responsibility that comes with serving on board leadership positions. Somehow, they always find time to serve others and their clients.”
CHICAGO (November 27, 2012) – Leopardo recently completed the historic renovation of the new upscale Walgreens store, which features a sushi station, beautician bar and vitamin vault.
The new flagship Walgreens is located within the historic Noel State Bank building in Chicago’s Bucktown neighborhood at the corner of North, Milwaukee and Damen Avenues. The 30,000-square-foot, three-story building was built in 1919 and is a registered Chicago Landmark.
“The one-of-a-kind retail location preserves the stunning and historic building’s original architectural integrity,” according to the Walgreens corporate announcement, which also detailed the extensive restoration on the building’s coffered plaster ceiling that features elaborate designs. At the ceiling’s center is a large stained glass window with a six-point star design. The main level sales floor includes a coffee bar, juice bar, sushi bar and yogurt station.
Crain’s Chicago Business recently published a feature story on the new retail space, referencing the “show-stopping” stained-glass window and quoting Bryan Pugh, vice president of merchandising at Walgreens, about one of the stores unique features. “Taking the vault out of the bank would have cost a lot of money,” Pugh said. “But we also thought it was a wonderful feature to bring to life. We decided to embrace the building and utilize its assets.”
The massive basement vault now houses a large assortment of vitamins and protein powders. Antique medicine bottles from Walgreens archives are displayed on a wall of century-old safe deposit boxes. The lower level is also the location of the pharmacy.
Leopardo served as the general contractor, working hand-in-hand with Camburas & Theodore Architects. The complex historic renovation was successfully completed with a fast-paced construction schedule in order for the store to open by Thanksgiving.
For more information:
- Walgreens corporate announcement (with photos)
- Crain’s Chicago Business feature article (with photos)
Video link: Walgreens Restores Chicago’s Historic Noel State Bank Building into Flagship Store (BusinessWire)
CHICAGO (November 16, 2012) – The Sara Lee Corporation and Hillshire Brands headquarters, located at 400 S. Jefferson Street, was awarded Office Redevelopment of the Year at NAIOP Chicago’s 25th Annual Awards for Excellence. NAIOP, the commercial real estate development association, presented the award to developer Sterling Bay Companies at last night’s award ceremony. The project team includes Leopardo as general contractor, Proteus Group as architect and Project Management Advisors (PMA) as program manager/owner’s representative.
According to NAIOP, in January 2012, developer Sterling Bay purchased 400 S. Jefferson, a 270,000-square-foot underutilized West Loop industrial building constructed in the 1940’s. Prior to closing, Sterling Bay negotiated a 15-year, 234,936-square-foot lease with Sara Lee Corporation. Due to Sterling Bay’s extensive in-house leasing, legal and construction expertise, the leasing, design, permitting and initial base building construction processes were all finalized in under 9 months.
Leopardo, one of Chicago’s largest and most well-respected contractors, has managed several of the city’s largest building repositioning projects, including 400 S. Jefferson, the Sullivan Center, American Dental Association, Tailor Lofts, 35 E. Wacker, and the CNA Center. In November 2011, the Sullivan Center won Landmark Illinois’ Restoration Project of the Year.