C.W. Driver Companies, a premier builder serving the Western U.S. since 1919, has announced the completion of Pacific City, a new open-air retail, dining and entertainment hub in Huntington Beach, California. Destined to transform Huntington Beach, the grand opening of the new seven-acre, 191,100-square-foot retail project recently took place, marking the completion of the first phase of a three-phase, 31-acre luxury development. Owned and developed by DJM Capital Partners, the retail component is located at 21010 Pacific Coast Highway and includes unobstructed views of the Pacific Ocean.

C.W. Driver’s scope of work included the construction of 191,000 square feet of leasable retail space, 100,000 square feet of outdoor community space and 400,000 square feet of on-grade and subterranean parking, in addition to tenant improvement work for a number of retailers.

Currently 80 percent leased, a variety of national and local retailers – including lifestyle services, new restaurant concepts, home décor and apparel and beauty brands – have already leased space at Pacific City. Tenants include Equinox fitness facility and spa, Ola Mexican Kitchen, Tank Farm & Co., Barnabas Clothing, H&M, Free People, Tommy Bahama and Sephora. The new retail destination also includes a public market, LOT 579, which sells produce, prepared food and unique retail products.

“From its design and construction to the selection of building materials used, Pacific City demonstrates the latest trends in retail construction and consumer desires,” said Paul Ruig, project executive, at C.W. Driver. “Pacific City will elevate Huntington Beach’s already thriving downtown district, attracting both locals and visitors alike to shop, dine and enjoy an overall seaside experience.”

A variety of technologically advanced processes were identified at the beginning of the project to address and solve challenges presented by the unique build. The site itself presented the first challenge, as the existing foundation of the project site was abandoned by the original owner during the recession. To combat this issue, C.W. Driver virtually constructed the project in Revit 3D/Navisworks modeling prior to the start of construction to identify any possible conflicts and efficiently implement solutions early in the process.

In order to meet the client’s goals for the development, C.W. Driver utilized a mass-customizable, modular, structural steel building system to construct the project. The use of the latest structural steel technologies eliminated the need for welding on-site, expediting construction which not only allowed for increased cost-efficiency, but provided a safer method for the team to assemble the structure.

Given the project’s close proximity to downtown Huntington Beach and popular tourist attractions such as the Huntington Beach Pier, C.W. Driver implemented a variety of precautionary measures in order to create a safe and secure construction site. As a result, C.W. Driver achieved OSHA Voluntary Protection Program status in recognition of the firm’s exemplary success in the prevention and control of occupational safety and health hazards on the Pacific City project site. In addition, C.W. Driver’s work in conjunction with their subcontractors enabled numerous subcontractors to achieve Cal/OSHA Golden Gate recognition for the effectiveness of their safety and health management system on the Pacific City project site.

Drawing on inspiration from the surrounding coastal community, Jerde Partnership, SMS Architects and Lifescapes International designed Pacific City to be a destination for both Huntington Beach locals and visitors. The open-air retail center is framed by staggered buildings, constructed with reclaimed materials, such as sections of an Iowa barn and water tower to further enhance the modern coastal aesthetic. Outdoor gathering spaces for lounging, dining and events are woven throughout, connecting the buildings with pedestrian walkways and beach view decks, dotted with fire pits and indigenous California landscaping.

Pacific City’s three-part luxury development also includes an eight-story, 4-star oceanfront hotel, Pasea, which opened in June of 2016; and a 516-unit upscale residential component named The Residences at Pacific City, which is scheduled to be completed spring 2017.

In addition to Ruig, the C.W. Driver project management team for Pacific City included David Edwards, senior project manager; Leo O’Brien, senior superintendent; Jamie Macartney, project manager; Garrett Lumbattis, project superintendent; Roger Matzke, senior superintendent; Carlos Garcia, assistant project manager; Alex Limoges, field engineer; Mike Zoller, safety manager; Chase Magdaleno, sr. project engineer; and Ryan Walker, project engineer.

Pacific City joins a number of other C.W. Driver retail projects throughout California, including the Bloomingdale’s stores at Stanford Shopping Center in Palo Alto, Glendale Galleria located in Glendale, Santa Monica Place Mall located in Santa Monica and the South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa. Most recently, C.W. Driver has started preconstruction services on the Hillsdale Shopping Center in San Mateo, and the Merlone Geier Partners – Laguna Hills Mall rebranding project, Five Lagunas, in Laguna Hills.