From sow's ear to silk purse

Hawley Road Mobil

You may have heard the phrase about turning a “Sows Ear” into a “Silk Purse”!  It’s supposed to be an impossible undertaking, but it’s exactly what Construction Solutions Midwest, LLC’s did.with the Hawley Rd Mobil project.

We took an old worn-out two-bay service garage with a small 800-square-foot sales area, two closed car service bays, a mechanical room and storage area and transformed it into a smoke’n cool edgy brand-new-looking convenience store.  It is one of the most dramatic total C-Store total makeovers that we have ever completed.  Throughout the process, the owner kept his business open and in full operation.  He never had to close for even one minute!

There were a lot of challenges in the design and engineering phase of the project.  If fact, there were so many our entire design team had to put their heads together to come up with a dramatic design for the building.  I don’t think we could have successfully pulled it off unless we had such an experienced veteran team who had been involved with so many other c-store projects.  They have seen it and pretty much done it all.  We designed and built:

  • Two ADA-compliant restrooms
  • Food island
  • 3-door freezer
  • 14-doorwalk-in cooler

The first thing we tackled was to locate and design in two new interior ADA compliant restrooms.  This in itself doesn’t seem this difficult but we encountered some structural concrete block walls that had to be worked around.  In order to get enough width for the hallway we had to have out engineer design a unique steel column and beam to support the roof in at a critical point load location.

Next we dealt with the issue that the service garage floor.  Several trenches had to be cut into the concrete floor which was about a foot thick, the concrete removed and disposed of.  That floor also happened to be 12” lower than the existing sales floor so we had to bring in several tons of gravel to bring that area up to sub grade before we poured the new concrete floor for the new store.

The ceiling area was also a challenge.   The building was constructed with wood beams and wood board roof deck.  The service garage ceiling was exposed so over the years there was a buildup of dirt and grime so thick that it initially appeared that the wood had been destroyed and had to be covered up. The owner really wanted to have an exposed wood look with open ceiling once the renovation was completed so we persevered and continued to investigate what had to be done.  After we scrapped off 40 years of dirt and other stuff, we discovered a perfectly preserved wood ceiling with wood support beams.  We were able to power clean the wood to take it back to its original surface.   After that we re-stained the wood and coated with a clear coat varnish that looked absolutely fantastic when done.

The store design that we recommended used an open ceiling concept so we could take advantage of the exposed wood ceiling and beam.  Exposed spiral duct work and an industrial looking pendant style light fixtures were used to complete the look we were trying to achieve.

To complete the interior all new store display shelving  and new store imaging were also installed.

The transaction counter for the old existing store was in the wrong location to effectively see the pumps and to view the new store floor plan – so we moved it – completely to the other end of the store.  Once we did that we were able to complete the total make-over of the store.  We took out the old worn out coolers and installed a new 14 door walk in cooler.  A new 3 door freezer was also installed.  One of the key items that we wanted to accomplish was to improve the Owner’s quik grab food sales.  A large food island was designed into the floor plan and installed

They got a complete make over on the outside as well.  The front elevation was opened up and brand new full height store front window were installed,  EFIS was used to cover the old dated wood exterior to give the building a fresh clean updated look.

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Can we help you with your new ground-up project or extreme makeover of an existing gas station, convenience store, or car wash?

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