April 2014

Arcadia Ales


At AVB, we first started buzzing about the new Arcadia Ales Brewery in Kalamazoo in our Winter Newsletter and are excited to be able to provide more updates on this innovative project.  Since the blistering winter a substantial amount of remediation measures have taken place to remove contaminated and structurally unsuitable soils from the site. Despite the soil, the building has gone up and there has been a smooth integration of AVB’s team and the subcontractors with the brewery team, a collaborative process that has allowed the utility installation and start-ups on the brewing and packaging process equipment. Several regulatory and utility entities have been engaged at different times, and coordinated on the project to a higher degree than usual due to their own land bordering Arcadia’s, and the need to cross property lines for utility installation. This has provided an opportunity to work closely with the City of Kalamazoo, MDEQ, MDOT, Consumers Energy, and Amtrak.


Once opened in May, Arcadia Ales Brewery will be providing jobs in the Kalamazoo community for both the Pub and Eatery side of the business, as well as the brewing operation. The building site formerly housed a Consumers Energy plant, and through the construction of the site and building for the Brewery, many remnants for the plant were found and remediated. This building also furthers the expansion of businesses from the “core” of downtown and replaces a Brownfield site with a new development on the riverfront.  

Owner Tim Suprise is well-connected within the Kalamazoo Community and AVB is excited to work on this new project.  Being one of the most “manufacturing process”-centric projects AVB has completed, it has also furthered our portfolio by working closely with the Brownfield Redevelopment Authority and the City of Kalamazoo for building on reclaimed sites. 

Chicago Fire

There will be an exciting addition to downtown Chicago this summer as the Chicago Fire Soccer Center gears up to open their outdoor fields in July with the building to follow in September. Planning for this new development has taken place over the last year for the construction and development of a 14,000 square foot building, two outdoor Field Turf fields, and dome.

Despite the brutal winter in the windy city, the project team worked through two and three feet of frost to prepare the grades for the soccer field and associated infrastructure.  A large foundation will support the large dome. A six foot by three and one half foot grade beam will anchor the dome and is connected to H piles which extend another thirty five to forty feet below the grade beam in order to offset against any uplift force. The grade beam will be covered in the summer, when the dome is removed, with a protective unit in order to allow the turf to be rolled out on top and to utilize the full space of both fields.


The completion of this projects marks a move from the suburbs of Chicago by the Chicago Fire Major League Soccer club to engage the downtown area more. This move is going to mean more access for youth and adult soccer players in the downtown area, allowing people to reach top-rate soccer facilities much closer to their homes. The complex will also be the first inflatable dome structure approved inside the city of Chicago. The redevelopment project is located on an area west of Wrigley Field and immediately adjacent to the Chicago River.  Immediately adjacent to this project there is a proposed elevated river walk that would be built in a pier-like fashion above the Chicago River.

The Chicago Fire Soccer Center project has provided AVB with a great experience on what is a fun and groundbreaking project. It has also familiarized AVB with the approval processes that are unique to the Chicago area. The relationship with Field Turf, the synthetic playing surface manufacturer, has allowed us to work with the latest and greatest play field surfaces, and will translate well for the public school and university clients we work with regularly. The Chicago Fire Soccer Center will not only improve the lives of the soccer patrons of the downtown area, the experience gained by our team will benefit future projects and clients of AVB in West Michigan and beyond.

Orrin B. Hayes


Started in the 1920s, Orrin B. Hayes car dealership is renovating and adding on to bring their downtown Mercedes-Benz store into the 21st century while also maintaining their historic roots. AVB began this project in November of 2013, a project that adds on 3,160 square feet of new space and 12,640 square feet of renovations. The car dealership first opened on East Water Street in 1920s, then moved to its location on West Michigan Avenue in downtown Kalamazoo in the mid-1930s where Amy Krone and Amanda Woodruff, the great granddaughters of Orrin B., now own and run the dealership.

With the building’s age in mind, AVB was challenged to update a facility that had no building documentation and worked to resolve a myriad of unknown condition issues as they arose. Matching the aesthetic of the existing, 90 year old building as well as meeting Mercedes-Benz standards provided a framework that was challenging and rewarding.

The updates of the Orrin B. Hayes Mercedes-Benz and Mazda dealership will significantly improve the customer service experience, as the service department is being completely renovated.  The project also provides a whole new sales environment for both Mercedes and Mazda customers, and “it represents a renewing of a long-standing commitment to downtown Kalamazoo by Orrin B. Hayes”.


AVB staff has managed automotive manufacturer facility renovation and addition projects for several clients and our experience with implementing manufacturer’s requirements while meeting direct customer needs and goals has helped Orrin B. Hayes maximize the value of their investment. The Orrin B. Hayes facility is a legacy building in a downtown setting and AVB has worked to deal with the usual challenges ranging from finding buried rubble from old buildings and underground storage tanks that had to be remediated.  However, amidst all the digging the fabled Kalamazoo circus elephant that was supposedly buried in downtown early in the last century was not found on the jobsite.

The project is expected to be completed in May 2014 and fourth generation owners Amanda and Amy are looking forward to carrying on their great grandfather’s legacy of great car service in downtown Kalamazoo.

Homeowner Tips for Spring

As the snow melts away and summer is fast approaching, it is important that your home is in its best condition for the season. For a smooth running house that is prepared for barbeques and summer heat, here are some tips to get your house ready for spring. 


Tips for Spring:

  1. Turn on hose bib valves in the basement
  2. Clean garage floor drains and remove any debris
  3. Visually inspect roof and siding for any weather damage
  4. Check to make sure all exhaust points are clear on underground drain lines for the downspouts
  5. Have annual maintenance performed on your furnace and air conditioner
  6. Turn on water lines for garage sinks
  7. Inspect driveways and sidewalks for caulking and seal annually
  8. Turn humidifiers off
  9. Check exterior of home for any paint/staining and exterior caulking for any cracking
  10. Turn septic system alternative valve annually
  11. Set winter/summer damper in basement to "summer" position
  12. Pump septic system tanks (every 3 years)
  13. Turn off fireplace pilots
  14. Check and adjust (lower) exterior door thresholds
  15. Contact a sprinkler contractor for irrigation start-up maintenance
  16. Clean gutters, extensions and bubblers
  17. Check smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and change batteries annually
  18. Contact a landscape company for lawn and landscape fertilization and maintenance
  19. Clean leaves from window wells
  20. Clean and install window screens
  21. Check dryer vent for lint build up

Design Trends for Spring

With the starting of the spring season, the newest styles and trends for the coming months are on the rise. We talked with Nikki Willis from The Kitchen Shop in Kalamazoo and Battle Creek, as well as Kristen Miller from Migala Carpet One to get the inside scoop on what you can do in your home to update its look with the latest colors and patterns this spring.

There’s a lot going on with patterns and colors this spring, but also a move towards simplicity. An overarching design tactic is “less is more,” for furniture and accessories to make for a less cluttered space. However, the one room that this doesn’t necessarily apply to is the living room, Miller says; “You need chairs that are inviting so people want to enter that room, feel welcome, sit down and want to spend more time catching up.” Making a comfortable and clutter-free space will set the atmosphere for better connection.

Furniture is only part of the equation for a welcoming home: floors also lay the foundation for the look of a space, and this spring the popular choice is wood floors. The European influence of clean lines, with wider and longer planks is gaining attention. There is also a shift towards rustic styling, for example wire-brushed and French bleeds. Miller also notes that oil-finished hardwood continues to grow in popularity and “the variety of colors, species, and surface textures make wood a wonderful option for the home.” If wood flooring isn’t durable enough for your lifestyle, there is always an alternative “wood-look” in tile and porcelain floors as wood pattern styles and options have boomed in recent years. One thing homeowners can do to make rooms feel larger is choose larger format tiles. The larger feel comes with the secondary bonus of requiring fewer grout joints, and thus less maintenance. According to Miller the most popular size for tile right now is 12X24, especially for mudrooms and master bathrooms.

Outside of wood and tile flooring, carpets and rugs are also exploring interesting patterns and mingling the traditional with contemporary. Overall colors which seem to be trending include grays, with accents of bold colors such as purples, oranges, greens and blues. Fabric patterns in upholstery, carpet, and rug designs are using traditional motifs intermixed with contemporary styles creating a striking visual aesthetic on the floor. Migala’s Origins line provides this traditional and modern mix with updated colors, as well as cut and loop patterns that provide a desirable look that lasts in high traffic areas.

Kitchens and cabinetry also share in the trends that are circulating in other areas of the home. Grays and “tobacco browns,” along with other colors from nature are on the rise in cabinetry, according to Nikki Willis from The Kitchen Shop. The rustic look continues from floors to cabinets with antique whites with a glaze, or gray hues. Appliances continue to sport sleek and timeless stainless steel. The clean lines in appliances are also translating to door styles and moldings for creating a transitional style. Granite and quartz tops remain popular for their timeless appeal. Splashes of bright colors are also being used in kitchen areas such as paint on a single wall, countertop appliances, or bright color tile.

No matter what area of your house you are looking to renovate this spring, there are always interesting and dynamic trends that can make your home unique. Choosing a style that’s right for you and applying flairs in various styles is a step towards making you feel at home in your house.

Team AVB News

Over the past few months we’ve had some exciting things going on with our staff both personally and professionally. Here are our staff updates for the beginning of 2014:

  • Daniel Ruple hired as IT Intern
  • Mohanad Alnajjar hired as Project Estimator-Commercial
  • David Innes hired as Project Engineer-Commercial
  • Bob DeVisser hired as Trim Carpenter-Residential
  • Evan DeVisser hired as Construction Assistant-Residential
  • Shelbie Boschman hired as Selections Coordinator-Residential
  • Project Engineer Wendy Lockner and her husband Paul welcomed baby Isabella into their family
  • Superintendent Jeremy Ligman and wife Cindy welcomed a baby boy, Lance into their family 
  • Rebecca Horan celebrated her wedding this month to her fiancé Thom- Congratulations!
  • We will be participating in the Borgess Run for the Health of It! event May 4th with 48 employees and family members representing Team AVB!

We are happy to be starting the year off running and look forward to more great things in store for the year 2014!