By: Gretchen Miller – Director of Marketing and Real Estate
As Director of Marketing and Real Estate for Talon Development, I get to visit our project sites and capture photos and drone videos of the construction progress. I’m fascinated by the big machines and how our projects actually get built. And, of course, I ask a lot of questions. What does this machine do? Why is this wall panel numbered this way? How long does it take to frame an entire floor? All in effort to tell the Talon Development and Eagle Construction story.
Over the last few months, I’ve been documenting the progress of Boulevard Apartments. This new apartment complex is located on the edge of Marion, IA, on the border of Cedar Rapids. The project is being constructed on a former grayfield site and will be home to one 93-unit apartment building and one six-unit townhome building. Floorplans offered will include studio, one- and two-bedroom apartments with two- and three-bedroom townhomes, and each unit is designed with modern finishes.
The construction process of the Boulevard Apartments has been fascinating to watch. The project began with the demolition of existing buildings and excavation of the site, followed by the laying of the foundation.
The foundation consists of a reinforced concrete slab, the shape was excavated then concrete was poured, while utility, and groundwork were completed.
Next, the construction team began work on the structural frame of the building. The frame of Boulevard Apartments is made of wood panels, manufactured at Mayfield Truss in Willow Lake, SD. Each panel was cut and assembled at their factory then shipped to the jobsite for the framing team to place. Set by hand or by using cranes and lifts, the team worked to ensure the frame was level and square and the building was raised floor-by-floor. Building wrap and insulation were placed, and the siding is now being applied to the outside as interior work begins.
I tagged along with Project Manager, Brandon Baus, on a safety walk to see what’s happening inside the project. Crews are currently installing mechanical, electrical, and HVAC systems as well as insulation, windows, and doors. As we walked the hallways, I noticed how units and rooms are taking shape and I was able to get a sense of the size of the spaces. I loved seeing the large windows in the fitness and community rooms, those amenities will definitely be enjoyed by future residents.
During the tour, I was impressed by the level of organization and attention to detail. The construction site was clean and well-maintained, and the team was friendly and approachable.
Brandon explained how certain products are used to reduce noise levels between floors, and how unit dryers are vented out of the building. He pointed out how the wall panels are numbered and secured in place and was happy to answer all of my questions.
Brandon said his favorite part of the construction process is, “Seeing all of the individual pieces of the project come together to create the finished product.”
Outside, I was lucky enough to capture some footage of crews pouring the foundation for the townhome building. Concrete trucks drove into the site and attached to a pump truck which pushed the concrete up and out of a tube onto the foundation. The crew then smoothed the surface with screeds (a straight edge used to level concrete) and shovels.
When complete later this year, Boulevard Apartments will offer several amenities and features that make it a convenient and comfortable living space. On-site amenities include a playground, a fenced dog park, and plenty of parking. The complex is conveniently located close to a variety of retail, dining, and personal service options, near the crossroads of 1st Avenue NE and Collins Road NE.
The construction process is so fun to watch and I thoroughly enjoyed my tour of the job site, and I can’t wait to see the completed project. Stay tuned for more updates.