A look into how Donnelly Construction and Studio 1200 came together in successfully building PIM Brands new Park Ridge headquarters in the face of a pandemic.
WAYNE, NJ - Donnelly Construction and Studio 1200 partnered with PIM Brands, Inc. on the renovation and build-out of their new Park Ridge headquarters, which recently held its grand opening. This milestone marked a triumphant end to a very challenging project, a culmination of over a year’s worth of hard work and perseverance in the face of a pandemic.
As a result of incredible success and growth, PIM Brands, Inc. was looking to relocate from their previous 31,000 square foot location in Allendale, NJ to a 92,000 square feet facility in Park Ridge, NJ. The project called for a full gut renovation that included office space, research and development labs, a fitness center with locker rooms and bathrooms, a large café that could double as a town hall, and a conference center with training rooms. There were also base building upgrades required to allow PIM to occupy multiple wings in the building and to allow for multi-tenant occupancy.
Beyond the design within their space, it was extremely important to PIM that they have a dedicated 1st floor reception lobby that celebrated their brand the minute one entered the building. It was critical that any modifications not detract from the visual impact of the dramatic ramps that ascend up from the lobby, and also provide secure access for PIM.
In addition to the architectural design, the scope also included all new furniture and décor provided by Arenson Office Furnishings, workstations provided by AllState Office Interiors, as well a complete environmental graphics and branding package.
Donnelly Construction, Rockbrook Engineering, and Studio 1200 Architecture and Interior Design were selected for the PIM buildout with Donnelly, Persimmon Engineering and Arcari/Iovino Architects focusing on the base building upgrades. All parties quickly became a strong team to ensure that the PIM project moved forward amidst multiple challenges.
Donnelly Construction was already onsite when the Pandemic hit in March 2020, working on a smaller scale job for the confectionery. They had also started the building infrastructure upgrades to separate the single tenant building into two or more, which included new elevators and a new exit stair and extensive electrical re-wiring.
As the pandemic worsened, the team had to constantly pivot, addressing new site safety and supply chain issues on an almost daily basis.
Following ever changing CDC and OSHA standards, multiple rounds of new jobsite protocols were put in place to ensure the safety of all employees and tradesmen. Despite best efforts and planning, a few COVID outbreaks occurred on the jobsite during the height of the pandemic, but they were handled quickly with minimal downtime.
Donnelly strictly enforced frequent cleaning of all touch points, no sharing of hand tools and mask mandates for everyone. Jobsite meetings were kept to a minimum and socially distanced. The job had a total of 8 closed days due to COVID, with the jobsite immediately closing for two days for deep fog cleaning and UVC disinfection once a person was confirmed with the illness.
The project became a test of true collaboration and partnership across all specialties and industries in the face of this unprecedented pandemic.
Much like the rest of the world, the shift to a mostly all digital communication was needed for the project. All parties including PIM Brands, Rockbrook Engineering, Studio 1200 Architects, Arcari/Iovino Architects and Donnelly Construction worked through Zoom, conference calls and Procore to make the project go smoothly. The team met on site when absolutely necessary, solving issues though masks and distancing.
Each trade and engineering discipline really came together on design and execution to see the project through, embracing digital methods as the new normal in communication.
Ship dates were missed on several key items due to production related issues. In those instances, we quickly advanced other scopes of work to compensate for the supply chain lags. Having such a large work space at 92,000 square feet we were able to keep other areas moving and drop back as needed to catch up on areas that were affected by delivery slippages.
The design of the project had to also change as a result of COVID. Layout changes to furniture were made to increase distance between open area seats, and hoteling space allocations were reconsidered. Ceiling heights grew to allow spaces to have better air flow. Many changes to the HVAC system were discussed and included the addition of bipolar ionization vs. UV lighting in ductwork, as well as an increase in filter rating to MERV 16 or greater. Hardware selections were amended and other high touch point elements were also changed as a response to the pandemic.
In the end, we all had one goal and vision: welcoming PIM Brands, Inc. and their employees into a dynamic state-of-the-art facility that was welcoming and safe, regardless of what effort was required to make that happen!
Studio 1200 is an award-winning architecture and interior design firm founded in 2005. Located in Short Hills, NJ, Studio 1200 is known for delivering excellence in design while providing a high level of customer service.
Founded in 1977, Donnelly Construction (donnellyconstruction.com) is a leading general contractor, construction manager and property developer headquartered in Wayne, New Jersey. As a full-service general contractor, Donnelly Construction has a well-earned reputation for excellence, quality, integrity and a firm commitment to always exceeding our clients’ expectations.