Building the Land of Enchantment
Jaynes Structures Reshapes the Skyline of New Mexico
For more than 70 years, Jaynes Structures has been changing the landscape of New Mexico. Established in 1946 as a small concrete subcontractor, Jaynes Structures has grown to become New Mexico’s largest concrete subcontractor and the standard bearer in that market. In fact, Jaynes Structures and its parent company Jaynes Corporation have consistently been ranked at or near the top of the list of largest New Mexico based building contractors, according to Engineering News Record Southwest.
As an employer of roughly 170 craft workers, including 70 laborers on a regular basis, Jaynes Structures is involved in just about every type of building project, such as commercial, institutional, government, multi-residential and industrial. With a 70 year track record, Jaynes Structures can tackle just about any project size. From a $500,000 library in Las Cruces to an elementary school in Farmington to a 3,500 car parking garage at the Albuquerque International Sunport, Jaynes Structures works in every corner of the state.
LIUNA Local 16 Business Manager, Joey Atencio said, “Jaynes Structures is the premiere concrete contractor in Albuquerque and throughout New Mexico. In fact, I started my construction career with them nearly 25 years ago in their Farmington area office. They’ve become a great company to work for whether a laborer, a subcontractor or a project owner. They do things the right way.”
Averaging 20 to 30 projects per year, two notable projects currently under construction by Jaynes are the first phase of the Winrock Town Center in Albuquerque and the six-story mixed-use hotel in Taos Ski Valley.
The Winrock Town Center is a $600 million project to redevelop an existing indoor mall, originally built more than 50 years ago, into 21st century live-work-play community in Albuquerque’s Uptown neighborhood.
The first phase of this redevelopment project negotiated to Jaynes includes the demolition of part of the existing mall as well as the construction of an underground parking structure and some retail space.
Jaynes’ crews got started in April 2015 and are scheduled to be finished by the same time next year. Throughout the life of the project the company expects to employ 65 to 110 craft workers at any one time.
To make way for a 450,000 square foot, underground parking structure, more than 75,000 yards of earth had to be excavated. However, rather than move the dirt off-site for disposal, plans called for it to be reused on-site. Eventually, the soil will be used to level off elevations of retail sites in subsequent phases of the town center project. Until then, this 30 foot pile of dirt will remain on site and may continue to be a story for the local news.
After the soil was excavated, it was time to do what Jaynes is known for; build with concrete. To create a parking structure that fits nearly 900 cars and carry 80,000 square foot of retail space on top of it takes a lot of concrete. In fact, in addition to 5,500 cubic yard foundation system, the parking structure is comprised of more than 40,000 yards of concrete and about 1,000 pieces of steel.
Thirty thousand yards of the concrete comes in the form of precast panels. With about one precast member per car, it took about 980 pieces to build out the floors, walls and beams of the garage. Each precast member weighs, on average, 55,000 lbs. About 13,000 yards of cast-in-place concrete is used help lock the panels into place, securing the structure.
While still about half way through the initial phase of the Winrock Town Center project, Jaynes Superintendent Jason Parsons said, “We are already looking at future phases of this redevelopment. Not only would they be great opportunities for Jaynes to be involved in, but the impact of Winrock could be just what the Albuquerque construction economy needs.”
Meanwhile, about three hours to the north Jaynes is involved in another momentous project at Taos Ski Valley. With a decline in the number of skier days over that last couple of decades, the resort’s new owners felt the off-the-mountain amenities didn’t match the on-mountain experience. To address that problem, a $350 million make-over is coming to the resort over the next decade, starting with the ski valley’s first hotel.
Once again, Jaynes Corporation snagged the first phase of a multi-phase, high-profile development. When complete, the mixed use building will have a top floor with privately-owned condominiums, three floors of hotel rooms, retail at ground level and one level of underground parking. Plans call for the 65 room hotel to be ready in time to greet skiers and snowboarders at the start of the 2016 ski season.
In April, just after this year’s ski season finished, crews began to demolish a concrete building that greeted the skiers and snowboarders. After the deconstruction was completed, the new construction process started in earnest in June. Currently, fewer than 60 craft workers are on the project. But soon enough, up to 300 hands will be on site.
“Construction wise, this project isn’t that unique,” says Senior Project Superintendent Brian Cruz. “However, in terms of scheduling and logistics, we need to be on top of it. We are limited by Mother Nature, because of the short daylight hours, freezing temperatures, and the nearly 300 inches of snow that Taos gets. To make matters worse, housing and transportation for the workers are going to be especially tough during the ski season.”
Ideally, Jaynes would like to have about 20% local hire on the project. Unfortunately, there may not be enough experienced local craftsmen in the area. “Most workers will come in from Albuquerque; probably 60-70%. That means we’ll have to find housing for them in back in Taos, which is about 20 miles away. Then we’ll have to bus the workers in,” said Cruz. “The ski resort wants as much parking available to skiers as possible and as few construction vehicles as possible and none during the peak times of Christmas week and Presidents’ weekend.”
Construction crews are currently working up to 14 hours per day, seven days per week. The motivation is to get the shell of the building up and tented by the end of October or early November before the snow and the temperatures start to fall. Once tented, crews will be protected from the elements and more able keep up with the tight production schedules.
The unique working conditions have required Jaynes to budget for items not found on a run-of-the-mill jobsite. Ten light towers will be utilized to compensate for the lack of sunlight. The ski valley only receives about four hours of direct sunlight in the winter. Heaters will be set-up throughout the building after it is tented. Each heater generates about 1.5 million BTU (British Thermal Units). And of course with up to 300 inches per year, snow removal had to be budgeted for to the tune of $500,000.
The 140,000 square foot project submitted for LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) designation and is employing some green elements. Forty geothermal wells are being drilled to heat and cool the property. The wells, each about 500 feet deep, have been more challenging than anticipated. The first 60 feet is solid bedrock, requiring about a day and a half to drill each one. The bedrock is so hard that 42 caissons scheduled to be drilled in a few days ended up taking more than three weeks and broke three drill bits in the process.
Such unforeseen slowdowns and a tight timeline may push Jaynes to run two 12-hours shifts to keep it on track for the opening in the fall of 2016. To keep the public up-to-date with the project’s progress, Taos Ski Valley is hosting a live webcam on its website.
However, staying on schedule is one of Jaynes’ strengths. Another project that Jaynes is involved in, the recently completed first phase of the Plaza @ Enchanted Hills in Rio Rancho had a tight timeline from the start. The loans on the $25,000,000 project closed in December 2014 but the developer wanted the center open for business the following September.
Since TDA Investment Group, the Real Estate Manager on behalf of the Southern California Laborers’ Pension Fund was funding the project with the union’s pension money there was a strict requirement to use union contractors. Local 16 worked with the developer and TDA Investment Group to evaluate best-in-class contractors for the project. TDA and the developer believed that contracting with Jaynes provided the highest likelihood of meeting all of the critical projects goals; completing the project on schedule, keeping it on budget and delivering a high-quality union-built product.
“The developer was initially considering another contractor to build the shopping center“ said Jaynes Structures Executive Vice President Greg Krause. “But Local 16 stepped up for us before the project got started and once we got rolling, the Local was able to provide the man-power to back up the promises.”
“This is just a great project from the borrower and development team, to the guys at Jaynes, and the final outcome which is really a gold star asset,” said TDA Asset Manager Paula Purcell. Bob Moylan, TDA Investment Manager added, “This center is a real boom for the City and the growing number of rooftops in that area. We look forward to working with Jaynes and the developer on future phases of this development, and hopefully more to come.”