Ryan Bank

May 1, 2008

MINNEAPOLIS - Ryan Companies US Inc. announced that it completed a new branch office for M&I Bank in just four months, overcoming numerous construction challenges while continuing its investment in Minneapolis' Midtown renaissance that began in 2005 with the Midtown Exchange redevelopment.

M&I selected the site, located at Lake Street and Clinton Avenue in Minneapolis, as part of its ongoing commitment to the community. The seller of the land donated all proceeds from the sale to the nearby Cristo Rey Jesuit High School, and M&I committed to sponsoring four students in the school's internship program. The size of the site meant an M&I Bank first: a 3,000-square-foot bank, the smallest size ever commissioned by M&I.

The small size still had to accommodate all the features of a larger M&I Bank, with ample storage space, expansive lobby area, welcoming entry and vestibule, and a single drive-through banking lane. The bank was turned over to the customer just 16 weeks after breaking ground, faster than the average 20 weeks a similar size building would take. Keeping the project on schedule was a challenge on many fronts:

Small Project Site - The size of the site did not allow much room for equipment and materials storage, as Ryan shared the lot with an adjacent restaurant that remained open during construction. Careful coordination with the subcontractors helped minimize scheduling delays and keep the restaruant's parking lot accessible for customers.

Soil Issues - Soil analysis revealed some contamination that had to be mitigated before construction could proceed. Ryan knew there may be soil issues, and pre-planned for the need for an environmental team to join the project. Even though the process added two weeks to the construction schedule, the building was still handed over to M&I Bank two weeks prior to their grand opening celebration. To help make up the time, the building team took advantage of other preplanning techniques such as prefabricated wood frame wall panels that were constructed before being delivered to the site.

In addition to remediation, engineers also found that the soil on the site needed stabilization in order to support the new building. The small size of the land parcel would have meant cutting into Lake Street and Clinton Avenue to correct the soils, a step that would have pushed the project behind schedule and added to the complexities of the Lake Street resurfacing project also in progress. Instead, engineers specified a Geopier rammed aggregate pier system to stabilize the soil within the site while leaving surrounding street, curbs and gutters undisturbed.

This project represents Ryan's third development in the neighborhood since 2005. As with Midtown Exchange and the Cristo Rey Jesuit High School, the development team set recruitment goals for hiring minority and women-owned subcontractors. For M&I Bank, that goal was five percent; by the time the project was complete, one-third of the project contracts had been awarded to minority and women-owned businesses.

M&I Bank had a number of standard interior finishes specified for all branch offices, but Ryan worked with its subcontractors to find less expensive versions of fixtures to bring more value to the project. For example, to save on lighting costs, Ryan and its subcontractor APi Electric, found a nearly identical fixture at one-fourth the price of the original specification. "We constantly strive to offer value saving options to our customers," explained Neil Johnson, Team Leader, Ryan Companies US, Inc. "It's not a requirement, but we feel it is our responsibility to the customer."

After the project was complete, Ryan understood the customer may need some fine-tuning, and kept the superintendent on site for two weeks after the customer took occupancy. When changes were requested, the superintendent worked closely with the subcontractors to make each order a priority to complete before the grand opening celebration. "We understood that, just because our project scope was complete, they were still in the midst of this project," said Morgan McCardle, Project Manager.  "Our commitment was to make sure they received the best service from start to finish."

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