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Retail projects: Finding a qualified civil engineering firm can be a challenge

Developers of commercial retail centers are often faced with the difficult task of finding a suitable civil engineering firm that has the necessary expertise and experience to handle the unique challenges of retail projects.

How do commercial projects differ from industrial or residential ones? The biggest difference is the end user.

Commercial projects end up purchased or leased by retailers who operate on a national or even international level. They have stringent engineering requirements that must be taken into account even in the initial stages of a project. And there is constant change as a project matures. For instance, a building expected to be a particular clothing outlet store one day could turn into a fitness club the next. The challenge is to engineer the site while understanding that tenants do change, and to welcome and embrace that change.

O'Day Consultants has engineered many large- and small-scale retail centers throughout San Diego County.

"Retail projects definitely require a different mindset and approach to successfully engineer a shopping center in comparison to an industrial or residential project." said Patrick O'Day, president of O'Day Consultants Inc.

With more than 25 years of civil engineering and land surveying experience for both private developers and public agencies, O'Day Consultants has engineered many large- and small-scale retail centers throughout San Diego County.

Among them, Quarry Creek Shopping Center in Oceanside required the design and construction of a FEMA-certified levee and floodwall as the site had a history of flooding and bank failure from nearby Buena Vista Creek. Encinitas Town Center, the largest retail center in the city of Encinitas, required major greenbelt/drainage channel work. Designs provided by O'Day Consultants were integral to the EIR and its findings. Creekside Marketplace in San Marcos was engineered with minimal disruption to the natural habitat of nearby San Marcos Creek. The Staples Loker Center near Palomar Airport in Carlsbad is a perfect example of a small-scale retail center engineered by O'Day Consultants.

Currently, O'Day Consultants is designing a major commercial retail center located near the Oceanside airport. The Pavilion at Oceanside is a classic example of challenges an engineering firm can encounter on such a massive retail project. This is a 90-acre project proposing 950,000 square feet (that's the same area as 20 football fields) of stores, shops, restaurants and a theater.

Mel Kuhnel from Thomas Enterprises is the developer, and he is committed to answering the needs of the tenants. In turn, O'Day Consultants is required to adjust course as requested and provide on-demand engineering from project conception through project completion.

For more information about this topic or about the various civil engineering design and land surveying services offered by O'Day Consultants, visit www.odayconsultants.com or contact the Carlsbad office at (760) 931-7700.


Submitted by O'Day Consultants Inc.

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