CSHQA has worked with Whole Foods Market on new and remodeled stores since 2007, yet nothing in our past prepared us for this home town experience. River Park Place, site of the downtown Whole Foods and Walgreens, presented a perfect storm of challenge, opportunity and community.
The Boise River is a precious asset, invaluable to the community and resolutely protected by our city, county and state. Numerous laws safeguard the river and area ground water. To comply with coming EPA requirements, the city determined that the development must manage 100 percent of its stormwater on site, including rooftop drainage. No flooding, no leaching, no adding to the public stormwater system.
River Park Place covers 5.5 acres and is less than 200 yards from the river. Projected stormwater for a 100-year rain event is 1 inch of rain per hour or more than 150,000 gallons per hour. CSHQA civil engineer Jeff Ward researched multiple options and selected an engineered substrate of sand and permeable rock covered with traditional paving and Spec-Pave-100 pavers purchased from Basalite Concrete Products in Meridian.
Site grading directs runoff toward the pavers, where the water drains and is temporarily stored in as much as 44 inches of rock and sand. Natural infiltration then discharges the stormwater. This paver system has been used with great success at the Port of Oakland and by the city of Portland.
When it comes to local sourcing, no opportunity is too small for Whole Foods, including building materials, historical contributions and local artists. Reclaimed barn wood was supplied by Crossroads Lumber. Living Green Solutions supplied plants. Edwards Greenhouse sourced vintage seed packets for wall displays. Classic Design Studios created beautiful brick wall murals. Our own Steve Benner, architect, is the source for the kayak blueprints found near the restrooms.
The teams commitment to local sourcing brought forth many artists and ideas. It sounds easy, but coordinating working space and installation when a project is going full-tilt is a challenge. It might be simpler to go with something off the shelf, but then it wouldnt be local.
In April 2012, after seven years of economy-driven starts and stops, the project was finally under construction and scheduled to open in February 2013. Then a rumor started that it was behind schedule: bad news again. It wasnt true, but owners, developers, designers and builders didnt like the sense that somehow they were letting the community down. One look at the opening-day crowd and you can see the anticipation was unprecedented.
Project leaders from CSHQA, Engineered Structures Inc. and Whole Foods came together and decided that simple rebuttals of the rumor would not suffice. Why not blow the doors off and actually make the hoped-for opening day of pre-Thanksgiving 2012? That would be a three-month hit to an already aggressive schedule.
What followed was a stunning example of the power of collaboration. CSHQA, led by project managers John Irvine and Tim Sievers, compressed the design schedule. Senior project manager David Bowar, project manager Jeff Russell and ESI superintendent Carl Benjamin reprogrammed the construction schedule. Countless subcontractors and vendors got on board, providing everything from landscaping to refrigeration and fair-trade flowers.
At 7 a.m., Nov. 14, three hours before the store opening, more than 100 people from Whole Foods, product vendors, electricians, refrigeration techs, signage companies, photographers and more were still putting on the final touches. The energy was good, steady and productive. Pride of place was evident. Soon, the Boise State University marching band opened the ceremonies, and it was business as usual for a project and community that are anything but usual.
Patrizia Norberg, principal and project architect, CSHQA.