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Thread: Pier 1 Place - 325ft tall in Fort Worth

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    Sea™ CTroyMathis's Avatar
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    Pier 1 Place - 325ft tall in Fort Worth

    Pier 1 headquarters
    CEO Girouard names team, articulates corporate vision

    BY SHANNON CANARD
    Fort Worth Business Press

    From concept to finished product, Pier 1 CEO and chairman Marvin Girouard is guiding the development of the company’s new headquarters with the enthusiasm and involvement of a first-time father.

    To a crowd of nearly 700 Pier 1 employees, public officials and media, Girouard revealed the details of the project last week, commenting that the entire enterprise had been a "learning curve" for him. From the acquisition of the property, through the selection of a development manager and the hiring of an architect and general contractors, Girouard has been and plans to be present every step of the way.

    By Fall of 2004, Pier 1 Imports will have a new, gleaming, 20-story, glass and granite corporate headquarters building on the Trinity River. And the $90-million project will be the result of a year-and-a-half planning process headed by Girouard.

    There hasn’t been a high rise built in downtown Fort Worth since 1984, when businessman Ed Bass built the second tower of City Center. Building a new high rise as part of the city’s skyline was important not only to Pier 1, but to the community as a whole, Girouard said.

    A big help to Girouard has been MBC/Dunn Consultants, a joint venture between local consultants, Max Chapman and Stephen Dunn, acting as development manager on the project.

    Girouard decided early on to out-source the project development because of the fact that his in-house people were committed to opening 120 new stores in 2002. He couldn’t spare their time or attention.

    Chapman and Dunn have been working in the Metroplex on various projects the last 20 years, including The Ballpark in Arlington and office developments in Dallas, such as Lincoln Plaza and Thanksgiving Tower.

    It was their high-rise experience that caught Girouard’s attention. "I’ve known of Dunn and Chapman for a while," he said. "Dunn’s probably the best electrical guy in Texas."

    The pair assisted him in selecting a design architect, which, according to Girouard, was a process of finding towers he liked and interviewing the firms that designed them.

    He interviewed 15 firms locally and nationally, but narrowed it down to a group from Durham, N.C. as the best to represent the company.

    Duda Paine Architects LLP was chosen to design the office tower, which has a "beveled" look with layers of sculpted "jackets." Girouard said it was the chemistry between him and architects Turan Duda and partner Jeffrey Paine that sold him.

    "We related well. They listened, rather than told," Girouard said.

    It was Girouard’s ability to articulate his ideas that excited Duda. "He has great eyes and sensibilities," Duda said. "It raised the expectations for the project."

    Girouard’s input was critical to the design work. Duda relied on him to provide the character of Pier 1, which as the partner of the five-year-old architectural firm discovered, was "down to earth."

    With the tower on an urban site, Duda had to consider the open view. "Typically, it is hidden behind other buildings," he said of downtown structures. "But this site is so open." Duda described to the crowd how he "was awestruck by the site. Most architects would give their left hand to design for such a site."

    Duda wanted the tower to be a discovery, much as the Pier 1 stores are.

    "Discovery is part of the experience. You don’t see everything all at once."

    In order to complete the 12-acres of the site, Pier 1 requested that the city permanently close two blocks of Penn St., which allows the company to join the two land parcels it bought this same time last year. The city obliged and Penn St. between 5th St. and Forest Park will be closed in January.

    The Pier 1 tower is expected to be ready for occupancy by fall of 2004. The company’s 900 employees from the downtown area will get their first glimpse then of the amenities designed with them in mind.

    Interior architectural firm Gensler, has created an employee fitness center, conference and training facilities and a lobby with views of the river and downtown. Visitors entering the lobby will be afforded the best view befitting the site, Duda said.

    Leading up to the new high rise is the street Girouard named in honor of the company -- 100 Pier 1 Place.

    A general contractor for the project was to be announced this week, but at press deadline, Manhattan Construction Co. and Thos. S. Byrne just had been told they will share the project, according to a source. Neither would confirm the selection. Manhattan had worked with Chapman on The Ballpark project and Byrne is a minority-owned firm headed by Fort Worth community leader John Avila. Other finalists were Centex Construction Co., Austin Commercial and Hunt Construction Group.

    Dunn is looking for companies with high-rise experience and qualified personnel. He will also be looking at the contractor’s fees and general conditions and the financial strength of the company.

    During the proposal process, contractors were expected to address how they would fulfill the minority and women business enterprise (M/WBE) requirements as mandated by Pier 1’s economic grant development package with the city.

    Pier 1 must spend at least 25 percent of its construction costs with Fort Worth contractors and 20 percent of the $80 million in improvements with M/WBE contractors.

    According to assistant city manager, Reid Rector, the M/WBE don’t have to be Fort Worth contractors.

    The economic grant development package, approved in October, is a 20-year, 90-percent tax rebate worth over $12 million in savings to the company.

    To assist Pier 1 in fulfilling its M/WBE obligations, the Fort Worth Metropolitan Black Chamber and the Fort Worth Hispanic Chamber are educating their qualified members as to possible business prospects with the company.

    Metropolitan Black Chamber president Devoyd Jennings is prepared to make recommendations to Girouard. "I know he’s committed," Jennings said of the company’s pledge to hire M/WBEs. "We support him reaching those goals."

    Rosa Navejar, president of the Hispanic Chamber, is focusing on educating her members. She wants to ensure they are not only prepared, but qualified to do the work.

    When the 20-story, 440,000-square-foot, high rise opens, Pier 1 will occupy 17 of the floors, reserving the others for future growth. Girouard said the company was not going to compete with its former landlord, City Center, for tenants to fill the remaining three stories. "We’re not in the real estate business," he said.

    Pier 1 was one of City Center’s first tenants. It currently occupies eight floors and over 200,000 square feet.

    RadioShack is scheduled to start construction of its corporate headquarters along the Trinity next spring.

  2. #2
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    Wow, FW is beatin Big D again, this time, with tall buildings, and riverfront development.

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    Administrator gc's Avatar
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    I can't wait to see this development get off the ground!

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    I have a copy of the renderings and permission to use them, I just have to upload them into my Fort Worth site and then I can post them here. I will post before Christmas. I just wish I didn't spend so much time participating in Forums!

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    That is great John. I know we are all more than eager to see these renderings.

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    Thanks! I can't wait to see how it will look.

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    Two High Resolution Renderings - One by Day, the other by Night

    Here are the two renderings that Pier 1 has allowed me to use. They are high resolution.

    Pier 1 Place by day:


    Pier 1 Place by night:

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    Moderator jsoto3's Avatar
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    well, it's not quite as horrific a tower (if you can call it that) as i thought it might be. the top could be interesting if they use the right materials and high quality lighting. i think "towers" are getting to be more and more like "slabs" these days; they are entirely too WIDE. towers should be slender, not squatty, and express and celebrate verticality. this building seems as though it was meant to be 50 stories taller, that it has been squashed. could be a very nice tower if it were 30-50 stories taller and less wide. this said, i do recognize the economic realities of tower construction (total square footage, standard floor plate sizes, etc.). all the more reason for the horizontal elements of this design should be minimized.
    Last edited by jsoto3; 22 December 2002 at 03:55 PM.

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    I see what you mean. It's okay, but if you want something like that, there's Cityplace in Dallas, or even Rockefeller Center in NYC! I'd like to see a site plan. I heard that they want a campus next to it?

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    Urbanlandscape, you are confusing this project with the RadioShack Corporate Campus a few blocks away.

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    Administrator gc's Avatar
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    I think we all agree that we'd like to see it taller. I also agree that it would look better if it were 10-20 stories taller. With that said, however, I think it is a good looking building that will shine in DT funkytown both at night and the daytime. Again, I cannot wait to see this thing get going and congrats to FW.

    Also, thanks John for making this available to all of us.

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    Garrett, you are welcome. If you want to know more about the building, go to the Pier 1 Place listing on my Fort Worth web site. The renderings are there also.

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    Originally posted by John T Roberts
    Urbanlandscape, you are confusing this project with the RadioShack Corporate Campus a few blocks away.
    No, no...maybe the source was confused. I can't remember where I read it first.

    The Radio Trash campus plan is what has been the catalyst for my boycott against them.

    And I have always called it Radio Trash. Always.

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    Sea™ CTroyMathis's Avatar
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    Wow. Those are far superior renderings than what Pier One presents on their site - unless I missed them altogether! Good job, John, on getting those.

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    I can't find anything on the Pier 1 site...hmmm...

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    Troy, as far as I can find, there is only one cropped and reduced resolution rendering on Pier1's site. UrbanLanscape, to find this rendering you have to search thoroughly for a link that will lead you to the information on the building.

    I specifically asked for the day and the night time views in a high resolution form and they sent them to me. A site plan drawing will be e-mailed to me when time permits. It will be posted in my architecturally significant building listings after it arrives.

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    Sea™ CTroyMathis's Avatar
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    Excellent work, John. Look forward to seeing it. UrbanL, http://www.pier1pressroom.com is the example I was referring to. Pretty small indeed!

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    Troy, that was the link that I was referring in saying they had one reduced resolution rendering on their site.

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    Administrator tamtagon's Avatar
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    I would have expected a faux wicker finish on the building.

    Anyway, it is a handsome building in the vein even if it is similar in style to so many other buildings.

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    Originally posted by tamtagon
    I would have expected a faux wicker finish on the building.
    Ha! Classic.

    Green space? Let's be honest, the employees aren't likely to hang around there, when downtown is so close.

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    Sea™ CTroyMathis's Avatar
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    John has taken tons of photos. Moving this back up the list so maybe he can post a couple here and there of the construction site and the progress of the building.

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    Mid-Rise Member chiboi's Avatar
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    I actually kind of like the look of this building, especially compared to some of the other tired looking towers in FTW. I think this will definitely be a welcome addition to the FTW skyline!

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    I have been taking weekly construction photographs. I will post some here in the next day or so. If you don't want to wait, you can go to this page http://www.fortwortharchitecture.com/pier1.htm on my web site to see the latest pictures. If you click on any picture, you will get an enlarged image.
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    Administrator gc's Avatar
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    Nice pictures John. They have made much more progress than I would have imagined. When did the dirt start flying for this again and what is the expected completion date?
    “We shape our Cities, thereafter they shape us.”

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    Garrett, the dirt started flying just after the first of the year, and it is expected to be complete by Fall 2004.

    For the latest construction photo, go further into this topic. I have changed the picture to show the building from one location.
    Last edited by John T Roberts; 14 November 2003 at 09:24 PM.
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  26. #26
    Administrator gc's Avatar
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    Great photos John. Thanks for posting them.
    “We shape our Cities, thereafter they shape us.”

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    You are welcome. I'm sorry that it took me to Sunday (today) to go and take these. I had my camera with me on Friday Afternoon, but a thunderstorm was coming in and it was raining when I was in the area.
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    Here is the most recent construction shot:
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    Administrator gc's Avatar
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    John, that is a fine photo. I had not noticed how much it has progressed recently. I cannot wait.
    “We shape our Cities, thereafter they shape us.”

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    wow, that building's going to be great. inspite of being a great deal jealous, i'm very excited for all fort-worthians on the board. and myself... whenever i can get over there again

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    They are scheduled to top out the building before the end of the year. I don't have an exact date at this time.
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    Awsome, the more businesses that re-locate to Ft. Worth, the more cosmopolitan it will become, I just hope it doesn't lose its small town feel and character. Judging by Ft. Worth's projected population growth, Ft. Worth could turn into another Austin.

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    This isn't a relocation to Fort Worth, it is a relocation within Downtown Fort Worth specifically.

    Growth is a big concern here. I went to an AIA Lunch this week where our City Planning Director told us that Fort Worth would have over 826,000 people within its current city limit boundaries by the year 2030. Within our current ETJ, the population is estimated to be 1.1 million in the same year. The figures are from NCTCOG and their estimates are traditionally very conservative.
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  34. #34
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    Photo 2000 Tornado

    With out going into Fort Worth Population debate again =)
    Some Dallas and others viewers may not know if you look a John's photo off to the right next to the Pier one .Thats the Cash America building that was riped apart by the March 2000 tornado.Off to the left that brown building are apartment that didnt get hit.

    Where Pier one is going up now is were Calvery CathedraL ones stood and was also badly hit.The church moved to the north of the city. So the tornado was going from right to left on its way toward the Bank One Building.Now knows as" The Tower" undergoing reconstuction.

    First touching down about two blocks north of Kimbal AND Modern arts museum witch both finished a major expansion and reconstuction unrelated to the tornado. Two miles away before coming into were the Pier one now is going up.

    Great Photo John Thanks

    Nick
    Last edited by Nick; 15 November 2003 at 08:27 PM.

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    You are welcome. More shots are available of Pier 1 Place at www.fortwortharchitecture.com
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    Administrator gc's Avatar
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    In case you haven't seen the updates...check out John T Robert's Architecture in Downtown Fort Worth site. Pier One place is rising and looking better than ever!

    Nice photos John...got anymore?
    “We shape our Cities, thereafter they shape us.”

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    Mid-Rise Member evdallas's Avatar
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    pier one place is going to be nice. It seems funny to me that an imports company has a more tech look than a tech company building just down the street.

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    The last photo that I posted is one where the picture is automatically updated. It was taken on Sunday, January 25th. This weekend was so foggy that I couldn't take any pictures. I did take a couple from up close today, but I don't have them downloaded yet.
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    Here's Pier 1 Place from W. 7th Street. The Cash America Garage is in the foreground. The picture was taken on May 16, 2004.
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    What a fantastic looking building...

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    I like it and I'm so glad that it is not a box. I also can't wait to see it illuminated at night.
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    damn!

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    Reminds me of the once-proposed "Victory Tower..."

  44. #44
    Administrator gc's Avatar
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    John, that is an awesome photo. Thanks for sharing with us.
    “We shape our Cities, thereafter they shape us.”

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    Thank you for the comments. I think it would look incredibly short next to the Bank of America Plaza at only 1/3 the height.
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    It would certainly look better than the surface lots that surround it currently.. :angryfire ..

  47. #47
    Mid-Rise Member jammin's Avatar
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    Thanks for the pic John. That is a beautiful building.

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    You're welcome. There are more updates on my web site, except that I haven't posted this week's photos.
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    They are starting to test the lighting scheme on the building. I took this picture last night at sunset.
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  50. #50
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    Looking good John, thanks
    “We shape our Cities, thereafter they shape us.”

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