We were working with our client, Suncap Opportunity Fund, on the conversion of a former Tuesday Morning space into a new Dollar Tree store. Dollar Tree enforces a $1,000-a-day liquidated damages fee in all of their lease agreements, along with a challenging lease time allotment that was unrealistic, leaving no room for issues of any sort. Permitting delays, materials shortages, delays in turning over the space and other unforeseen delays—due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic—further complicated the process. The manufacturer (Siemens) of the 800 Amp main panel and gear extended its factory-build date to 60 days past its original delivery date. This would have caused over $50,000 in penalties to the client. The issue was further complicated by the fact that the client had sold the property, but the closing was contingent upon Dollar Tree taking possession of the space.
Knowing that we had a short time frame, we took every opportunity to make up for lost time at the very beginning of the project. Initially, we took over the permitting process in order to expedite it through the City of Coral Springs. We pre-ordered electrical switchgear, framing, and drywall (and we still had issues with the switchgear delivery). We started layout and framing work in advance of permit issuance, leaving all items open for inspection. In order to solve the largest problem of the manufacturer delay in the major components of the electrical system, we worked with our vendors and electrical contractor to determine an alternate solution by field-assembling the equivalent components for the missing equipment. The alternate replacement parts were not available in South Florida, but the parts were sourced in Central Georgia (and they only had one in stock) with a 3-to-5-day ship time. The product was too large and too heavy to ship overnight or second day and we risked losing the components to another contractor, so we decided that it would be best to pick the parts up directly and drive them back to the job site in Coral Springs, saving several days. Parts were picked up in Atlanta from the distributor by our VP of Construction on Friday morning and driven to the job site in Coral Springs that evening.
An overtime crew of electricians worked through Saturday and Sunday to complete the install and were able to arrange subsequent inspections on Monday and Tuesday. The building final inspection was completed, recorded, and printed on Wednesday, and sent to both Suncap and Dollar Tree in fulfillment of their lease requirement. This was a classic case of Tobin Construction taking initial measures at the beginning of a project, as well as how we push to remedy unforeseen supply chain issues in order to mitigate any project delays.