Turner Construction Company awarded Ideal Contracting the structural steel package for the renovation of the old Detroit Free Press Building on Fort Street. The approximately 276,000-square-foot mixed-use building will house retail, office, and residential space upon completion.
The original building construction began in 1924 and was completed in 1925, however, the building has been abandoned since 1998. Because of this, the building will require substantial repairs to the existing structural and roof systems. Phase I of the project is to address the existing building core & shell, while phase II will focus on the interior architectural work. Ideal Contracting self-performed all new structural and miscellaneous steel work required to support the next project phase.
The site being in downtown Detroit has created unique challenges due to the limited on-site material lay down areas and constraints on material sizes/weight due to the buck hoist capacity. Ideal worked closely with the customer, detailer, and fabricator to prioritize and sort steel materials by length and floor location. All beams over 12’-6” in length were transported to the upper floors and fed through the existing window openings by a 75-ton crane. All material under 12’-6” utilized the project buck hoist. Larger structural steel members weighing over 2 tons were detailed with splice plates to accommodate the field condition constraints. All unexpected field condition issues were resolved working closely with the fabrication team.
The customer’s main priority is to frame out a new freight elevator shaft that runs from the basement to the building’s upper roof. Due to complexity of elevator shaft demolition, along with multiple trades working in the same area, Ideal Contracting coordinated with the customer and local structural engineering firm to design, fabricate and install safety barrier plates to cover the elevator shaft openings at key floor locations. The safety barrier panels allowed the steel and demolition contractor to work on the elevator shaft simultaneous promoting both safety and schedule improvement.