Detroit Free Press Building

At a glance

Project Overview:

Turner awarded Ideal Contracting the structural steel package for the renovation of the historical Detroit Free Press Building on Fort Street. The approximately 276,000-square-foot mixed-use building will house retail, office, and residential space. Phase I of the project addressed the existing building core and shell, while Phase II focused on the interior architectural work.

The site being in downtown Detroit, 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 for location. All beams over 12’-6” in length were transported to the upper floors and fed through 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 conditions. All unexpected field conditions were resolved working closely with the fabrication team.

The customer’s main priority was to frame out a new freight elevator shaft that runs from the basement to the building’s upper roof. Due to the complexity of the elevator shaft demolition, along with multiple trades working in the same area, Ideal Contracting coordinated with the customer and the structural engineering team 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.

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