St. Charles County-based Blanton Construction completing notable work both in St. Charles with the new Lindenwood Library and Academic Resources Center and thrilled to have been a team member on two projects selected as finalists for the ULI Global Award.
Twenty -five extraordinary developments from around the world have been chosen as finalists for the 2017 Global Awards for Excellence as selected by the Urban Land Institute (ULI) for the best development and use of urban land. The ULI, which was established in 1932, is a nonprofit research & educational organization whose mission is “to provide leadership in the responsible use of land and in creating and sustaining thriving communities worldwide”. Two of these twenty-five projects had major construction participation by one longtime St. Louis area construction firm- Blanton Construction.
The two projects that were in this elite listing from around the globe are Ballpark Village, adjacent to Busch Stadium, home of the St. Louis Baseball Cardinals in downtown St. Louis and Brickell City Centre in Miami, FL. The stats on these projects are as follows:
Ballpark Village– Developer: The Cordish Companies, Designer: Design Collective, Jeffrey Beers International. On this project Blanton Construction was responsible for over half of the interior finish. The venues completed by Blanton are: Live Nation, the centerpiece and main gathering area; Fox Sports Midwest; PBR a Cowboy Bar, the Budweiser Brew House Restaurant and the Budweiser Beer Garden and Roof Top Deck.
Brickell City Centre– Developer: Swire Properties, Inc., Designer: Arquitectionica. This entire development was estimated to be worth over one billion dollars when complete and encompass 5.4million square feet including 565,000 square feet of retail shopping. Blanton Construction completed the gorgeous 105,000 square foot, three-story flagship Saks Fifth Avenue store which is the retail anchor and opened in November of 2016.
The winners are to be announced at the Fall/Winter 2017 meeting in Los Angeles.
Locally, the official grand opening & ribbon cutting ceremonies for the Lindenwood Library and Academic Resources Center (LARC) built by Blanton Construction, were held on September 16, 2017. All those in attendance on the Lindenwood University St. Charles campus were very interested in the special electrochromic glass; also known as “smart glass or electronically switchable glass”. This is a specialty art glass that can be used to create unique lighting. It was used in the large windows which contain imagery representing a grove of linden tress, which are native trees from which Lindenwood University takes its name. What is so special about this glass it that it provides sunlight control via the use of solar sensors. The glass controls the sun’s glare and heat yet allows those inside the building to see outside clearly. This “magic” glass stops much of the heat that would normally radiate through window glass and it minimizes the ultraviolet rays too which will be a great help in preserving the gorgeous interior finishes on the LARC. There are seven hues shown in the glass which include shades of gray, green and blue that make up the tree images. The tinted changes in the varying hues are subtle with the objective being to create a grove of trees that those inside the LARC can identify against the backdrop of nature in the existing trees on the Lindenwood campus.
While all agreed the building is a stunning addition to the campus, what faculty and staff are most excited about is the new learning opportunities this building presents to the students. Besides the gorgeous “magic glass”, the LARC houses a multimedia theatre, a student academic support office & student spaces where students can meet to work on projects together as well as a Starbucks Coffee shop on the ground level and the LARC is also home to the university’s IT department. The building does an excellent job of combining high tech interior with the stately and historic look that Lindenwood University in St. Charles is well known.
The LARC is 100,000 square foot, three-story, four-level facility and is the largest in the development that has taken place in the last 15 years at the university. Prior to building the LARC building, Blanton has completed approximately $250 million worth of work for Lindenwood over that 15-year period. The building association between Blanton Construction and Lindenwood University began when Blanton founder Ben Blanton served on the University’s board of directors. At the time, Dennis Spellman was the President of Lindenwood and he had big plans for expanding the university. After plans to build the first new residence hall on the site stalled with the contractor initially chosen, Ben Blanton agreed that his company would build the dormitory if there were no overhead & profit on the project. That started a long relationship between Blanton Construction and Lindenwood University and Blanton still builds everything for Lindenwood that same way – “without overhead & profit”. As President of Blanton Construction, Jeff Blanton puts it “we have been blessed to be part of Lindenwood’s expansion and what it has done for St. Charles.”
Other buildings constructed by Blanton Construction over the past 15 years with which you might be familiar are: The Spellman Campus Center, Evans Commons, Lou Brock Sports Complex, Harlen C. Hunter Stadium, Hyland Arena, the J. Scheidegger Center for the Arts and eight residence halls.
Blanton Construction has been happy for many years now with its frequent work with LePique and Orne who was the architect for the new LARC as well as the Harlen C. Hunter Stadium. LePique and Orne have been in St. Charles since 1916 and both LePique and Orne along with Blanton share a real love for taking historic venues and bringing them into modern times while keeping the feel very historical. The just recently opened LARC is yet another example of that. We appreciate the trust that Lindenwood University has placed in us to keep their campus looking very historical all while keeping up to the minute with technology and learning facilities that attract students from all over the United States and abroad.