Westwood One Converges in Culver City

August 17, 2017 | Radio Magazine | Doug Irwin, CPBE AMD DRB

Eight studios were built-out during the 2016 remodel

You’ve probably heard of Culver City, Calif., but likely couldn’t place it on a map. It’s another media suburb in the greater Los Angeles area.

Origination point for the 400-station NBC sports network. In the back of the room, the producer’s workspace; in front, the board operator position.

The building was built in the 1920s, according to Cumulus Broadcasting Regional Director of Engineering for the Southwest/West Anthony Vitiello, whose office is located there. It originally served as a Ford and Maserati dealership.That it isn’t well known belies its importance in the country’s media and broadcast landscape, since it’s home to some rather large broadcast institutions (old and new), including Westwood One’s West Coast facility, the subject of our Facility Showcase this month.

“In the rafters, there’s still a Maserati logo up there,” said Vitiello. Brick walls and bow truss roofs were a typical construction style in the early part of the 20th century.

Westwood One bought the three buildings (one of which housed sales and admin personnel, including promotions) in 1990, and they became the headquarters for the national network. In 2003, Westwood One used McCormick Construction of Burbank, Calif., to build out the space. Studios for Metro Traffic were constructed — 28 independent studios for traffic reporters, along with three offices. The master control room was expanded to its current size, as well.

Lobby waiting areas for guests. The NBC Sports network producer work space can also be seen through the window.

As part of the process, the interior of the building was remodeled, and during construction, the staff of Westwood One squeezed into the building across the street, while McCormick Construction had unobstructed reign to build the studios.Metro Traffic was sold and moved out in 2012, and afterward Westwood One ran a split operation between two buildings: One is the current building, and the other is across the street where KABC and KLOS now reside. Once the sale of the land on La Cienega occurred (the former home of the KABC(AM) transmitter, as well as both the KABC and KLOS studios and office) arrangements were made to relocate KABC and KLOS into the Westwood One buildings in Culver City. This is what prompted the latest studio buildout.

Eight studios were built-out during the 2016 remodel: Studio A, for Zach Sang; Studios B&C, which are multipurpose; Studios D&E for the NBC Sports network; studio K, for the “The Big Time with Whitney Allen;” and Studio L, for production. Other studios in the facility were pre-existing from the split building operation.

Staff moved into the newly renovated facility in August of 2016.


The Zach Sang studio in Culver City. Custom furniture designed by Omnirax.

Sierra Automated Systems consoles and a three-frame 32KD router (supporting 1,536 inputs and outputs) make up the heart of the Westwood One west coast facility. On-air playback and automation is based on the ENCO system. All studio PCs, whether for general purposes or ENCO, are connected to the rack rooms via KVM extenders.

Furniture, next to consoles and routers, represents the greatest capital expense in a project like this, and so I asked David Holland of furniture maker Omnirax about their role in the project. He said collaboration with Vitiello was key to the success of the furniture designs.



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McCormick Construction Announces Completion of Westfield’s U.S. Headquarters Renovation

June 22, 2017 / Real Estate Rama

McCormick Construction, a premier builder shaping the culture of buildings and businesses throughout the Western United States since 1914, has announced the completion of Westfield’s U.S. headquarters renovation, located at 2049 Century Park East in Century City, California.

“As the building was occupied throughout the construction process, McCormick Construction took tremendous care in ensuring work was completed during off-hours to avoid interruption of Westfield’s business activities,” said Michael McCormick, president and CEO of McCormick Construction.

In order to update the Westfield-designed space, McCormick Construction’s scope of work included the buildout of executive offices including a conference room, kitchenette and human resources offices on the 41st and 42nd floors of the office building. The remodel included architectural millwork in addition to incorporating glass and glazing throughout the space.

“McCormick Construction and the Westfield management team have developed a cohesive and collaborative relationship, resulting in the completion of several successful and efficient projects,” said Daniel Camin, director of construction at Westfield.

The McCormick Construction project management team members included Alan Hartley, director of tenant improvements; Hector Bocanegra, superintendent; and Andre Miyao, project manager.

In addition to Westfield, McCormick Construction’s recent office projects include Nickelodeon Animation Studio, a five-story, 110,000-square-foot production building which held its grand opening in early 2017; LINQ, an 80,000-square-foot former warehouse that was renovated into a creative campus; Element LA, a 12-acre, 300,000-square-foot adaptive reuse creative office campus which is fully leased to Riot Games; and Santa Monica Gateway, a 200,000-square-foot, Class A office project which is currently under construction in Santa Monica


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Increasing ROI Through Adaptive Reuse

May 3, 2017 / Commercial Property Executive

Michael McCormick is the president and CEO of McCormick Construction

Owners and investors are increasingly turning to adaptive reuse projects in search of higher profitability and returns, argues McCormick Construction President & CEO Michael McCormick.

Promising higher profitability and returns, owners and investors alike are increasingly turning to adaptive reuse concepts in an effort to boost the efficiency, profitability and overall market value of their assets. Underutilized properties are meeting stronger demands, yielding better ROIs compared to new construction outside of traditionally buoyant city districts. Additionally, adaptive reuse methods are helping to meet the needs of regional submarket demands for creative office space in prime historic and downtown locations.

Although adaptive reuse concepts offer a wide variety of economic and environmental benefits, one must take into account the challenges that come along with these projects. In order to address the implications of adaptive reuse projects properly—while adequately assessing all the upsides—an owner or investor should consider several key points.


Adaptive reuse can be a highly cost-efficient strategy for “filling in the gaps” in densely built areas, such as historic city centers and adjacent districts; however, current regulations might hinder the reuse of certain existing on-site buildings, since older structures might contain lead or be insufficiently earthquake-resistant, requiring seismic retrofitting.

For example, during the redevelopment of Element: LA, a 12-acre creative campus centrally located in West Los Angeles, McCormick Construction completed a structural retrofit to repair and fortify the original bow-truss ceilings, along with additional structural upgrades, which included seismic retrofitting, new steel bracing, shotcrete strengthening of existing walls and new concrete masonry unit shear walls, in order to bring the 1949-built campus up to code and preserve its historical authenticity.

Additional concerns might include access to transit, traffic and project parking demands, addressing community needs and availability of nearby infrastructure, which can all affect potential costs of the project.

Given that adaptive reuse projects are often aimed at reducing development costs and are motivated by earning a healthy ROI, other considerations must be taken into account prior to the development process:

  • Project timeline: Unlike most new construction, adaptive reuse projects often require a shorter amount of time to deliver a new product, particularly in current redevelopment zones or by reusing existing structures that require minimal entitlement work. As such, the overall construction timeline is reduced and project efficiency is increased.
  • Long-term savings: Cost savings that accrue from the reuse of an existing building can be used to invest in highly efficient and environmentally friendly HVAC systems, which can also create long-term operational cost savings.
  • Promoting sustainability: By reusing vintage structures, adaptive reuse projects minimize the development’s carbon footprint and help improve the area’s overall living environment. McCormick Construction recently completed LINQ Phase II, an 80,000-square-foot creative office campus located in Redondo Beach, which was redesigned to incorporate more sustainable elements such as skylights, high-performance glass roll-up doors and drought-tolerant landscaping.
  • Market trends: Historic manufacturing facilities, such as old warehouses, allow for adaptive redevelopment into trendy and in-demand creative office space, generating significant interest from today’s creative workforce. For example, McCormick Construction has started preconstruction on 440 Seaton, a seismic upgrade project located in the heart of downtown Los Angeles’ arts district. Due to the building’s 100-year history, the project will feature base building improvements to the existing three-story warehouse, bringing it up to code while preserving the vintage aesthetic for today’s design-oriented consumers. When complete, 440 Seaton will be a mixed-use building with creative offices and retail.


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McCormick Construction completes Westwood One renovation

April 13, 2017 / Property Funds World


McCormick Construction has completed renovations of the Westwood One campus in Culver City, California, a 45,000-square-foot radio broadcast facility.

The campus, which is owned by CIM Group, consists of three buildings – two adjacent and one across the street – located at 8935, 8965 and 8944 Lindblade Ave.

Cumulus Media recently acquired Westwood One, which added sports, news, talk, music and programming services enabling Cumulus to provide a wider variety of options to approximately 10,000 US radio stations, in addition to other media and international platforms.

McCormick Construction, who was the general contractor and led the design-build engineering, was charged with renovating and re-configuring the existing radio broadcast facilities to accommodate the additional radio stations and programs Cumulus Media owns, including KLOS, KABC, The Big Time, NBC Sports Radio and Zach Sang and the Gang. This comprised constructing 21 radio broadcast studios with a sound transmission class (STC) rating of 55, with nine of the studios built to include video/television broadcast standards; the installation of 37 private offices, 75 cubicles, conference rooms and new kitchens; upgrading two existing server rooms and adding a new server room; and exterior building modifications.

“It’s been anhonour working on this renovation as we have completed a number of projects for Westwood One in the past,” says Michael McCormick, CEO of McCormick Construction. “We were pleased to be able to assist the client in creating state-of-the-art studios for their employees while creating an optimal listening experience for their consumers.”

McCormick Construction oversaw and facilitated structural and MEP engineering plans, fire-life-safety plans and provided coordinated oversight between Westwood One’s electrical engineering team and Southern California Edison’s engineers to install additional electrical power services.

“The team at McCormick Construction has a sophisticated understanding of the specific requirements for broadcast and recording studios and has worked with some of the most well-known studios in Los Angeles,” says Eric Wiler, senior vice president, Westwood One. “Through careful planning and phased construction, McCormick Construction ensured we remained fully operational and mitigated disruptions throughout the construction process.”

The facility, which was originally built with brick walls and bow truss roofs for manufacturing users in the 1930s, was first converted into astate-of-the art radio broadcast facility for Westwood One by McCormick Construction in 1984.


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New 221k SF Industrial Development Completed in Jurupa Valley

March 16, 2017 /

Galena Business Park, a new $13.3 mil industrial office park in the Inland Empire’s Jurupa Valley, has just been completed. Located at the corner of Galena St and Troy Ct, Galena Business Park consists of five high-bay industrial buildings ranging from 28.4k sf to 67.5k sf, totaling 221k sf of industrial and office space.


Developed by Chase Troy, LLC, the business park was designed to provide new space for a variety of light manufacturing companies in the Inland Empire. It was built by McCormick Construction and designed by GAA Architects.

“The industrial market has remained hot over the past few years, which can be attributed, in large part, to the growth of e-commerce,” said Michael McCormick, presidentand CEO of McCormick Construction. “Moreover, with rising commercial rents in the greater Los Angeles area, many companies are relocating to the Inland Empire, including retail giants and Macy’s, which have claimed industrial space for fulfillment and distribution services.”

The project consists of five tilt-up buildings – each including mezzanines, office spaces, restroomsand coffee bar areas. The project meets CalGreen requirements, reducing negative environmental impacts and encouraging sustainable construction practices to improve public health and safety. It was completedon-time and within budget, with McCormick Construction delivering nearly $1.5 mil in savings through value engineering, aggressive buyout and skillful management of allowances and change orders to the prime contract.


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Creative Companies Settle Into Burbank

February 21, 2017 / Kelsi Borland / Globe St

With the expansion of its office space, Nickelodeon joins a number of creative companies securing its roots in the Burbank market.

Michael McCormick is the president and CEO of McCormick Construction

LOS ANGELES—Creative companies are committed to the Burbank market. This month alone, Hulu expanded its Burbank office lease to 20, 700 square feet, a lease value of $4.4 million; Pixelogic Media Partners signed a 10-year lease valued at $7.5 million; and now, in the biggest office play, Nickelodeon has expanded its Burbank office by 110,000 square feet with a new renovation. With more than 200,000 square feet, the network’s West Coast facility has a new 110,000-square-foot, five-story, state-of-the-art animation building; an expansive, redesigned courtyard; and a newly renovated 72,000-square-foot studio, and LEED certification. McCormick Construction constructed the expanded space. To find out about the vision for the expansion and what it is seeing in the Burbank market, we sat down with Michael McCormick, president of the company, for an exclusive interview. What was your vision for this project?

Michael McCormick: McCormick Construction’s vision for the Nickelodeon project was a fast track delivery. The schedule of completion was absolutely critical for Viacom in order to move its animation team into the new space in time for Nickelodeon’s25th anniversary celebration. During preconstruction, McCormick Construction’s goal was to be an integral part of the design process, including providing value-engineering input that did not comprise the design intent of the project. Have you seen more projects like this in the Burbank market?

McCormick: The Burbank market is an incredibly attractive area for studios and creative office alike, creating a strong demand for available space to develop ground-up office space and renovate existing facilities. With The Walt Disney Company, Warner Bros., NBC Universal and DreamWorks, there is a healthy demand for companies in the field of special effects, music editing, post-production, studio equipment, and myriad of other providers in the entertainment delivery chain.

While McCormick Construction has completed numerous creative office projects in the Burbank market, this particular project is distinct. The design is unique, especially the extensive use of white cement on the exterior closure. Additionally, the project had to be staged and constructed in order to remain sensitive to ongoing operations throughout the rest of the Nickelodeon campus. By coordinating efforts with the project team, we were able to mitigate noise and other potential disruptions from the heavy equipment on-site. Why was sustainability important to the project, and how did you achieve LEED certification?

McCormick: Sustainability is an important part of every project McCormick Construction builds. The Nickelodeon project will be LEED Gold. McCormick Construction provided the infrastructure necessary to attain the Gold rating once the interiors are certified. Specifically, the MPE systems and exterior closure were key to getting the overall project certified. Other McCormick Construction sustainable Burbank projects include a 300,000 SF LEED Gold project, and a LEED Silver project under construction. How is this project indicative of other design trends you are seeing?

McCormick: One of the most prominent trends within the Nickelodeon project, and a huge goal for Nickelodeon, was linking the indoor/outdoor collaboration space to foster creativity for employees. Additionally, the building maximizes natural light and includes multiple outdoor balcony spaces and lush landscaping – all which help elevate the connection to the outdoors, promoting health and wellness. The facility is also located in close proximity to a nearby Metrolink station, which provides additional transportation options to Nickelodeon employees.

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Office Renovation Completed in Redondo Beach

February 13, 2017 / Steven Sharp / Urbanize LA

LINQ campus neighbors the Green Line’s western terminus.

McCormick Construction has announced the completion of a $2.7-million renovation to LINQ, an 80,000-square-foot creative office campus located near the Redondo Beach Metro station at 2400 Marine Avenue. Montana Avenue Capital Partners, which owns the campus, has divided the property into four quadrants – three of which have been leased by major technology companies.

Upgrades to LINQ included the installation of new ADA compliant concrete ramps, an ipe wood deck, door entries and exterior facades. The interiors of the building were also improved by gutting the space and building new demising walls, electrical systems and skylights.

A redesign with polished concrete floors, exposed ceilings, glass roll-up doors and drought-tolerante landscaping is intended to make the property more appealing to creative industry tenants.

McCormick Construction’s other recent projects in Southern California include the expanded Nickelodeon campus in Burbank and Santa Monica Gateway, a creative office complex now rising near Expo Line’s Bergamot Station.

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Nickelodeon Animation Studio

McCormick Construction Announces Completion of Nickelodeon’s West Coast Facility in Burbank

January 18, 2017 / Construction Drive 

Nickelodeon Animation Studio

The over 200,000-square-foot complex was expanded to inspire and support creativity and collaboration, and create a sustainable work environment for employees

McCormick Construction, a premier builder shaping the culture of buildings and businesses throughout the Western United States since 1914, announced the completion of Nickelodeon’s newly expanded West Coast facility in Burbank, California. The over 200,000-square-foot campus now includes a new 110,000-square-foot, five-story, state-of-the-art animation building; an expansive, redesigned courtyard; and a newly renovated 72,000-square-foot studio that first opened in Burbank in 1998. The campus is home to more than 700 Nickelodeon employees and 20 active show productions.

McCormick Construction’s scope of work included the construction of the core and shell of the animation building; the 151,000-square-foot, five-story, 450-stall parking structure; and a design-build media mesh system on the exterior of the building to display animation.

Nickelodeon Animation Studio

Nickelodeon’s animation building is targeting LEED Goldcertification, and incorporates a number of sustainable strategies, including reduced lighting power through efficient LED fixtures, lighting controls and use of daylighting. Priority was also placed on the use of healthy and environmentally friendly building materials, such as low-emitting flooring and paint and products with high recycled and regional content. McCormick Construction installed the necessary infrastructure to assist in Nickelodeon’s goal of obtaining LEED Gold certification.

“We are proud to be a part of bringing Nickelodeon’s idea to life,” said Michael McCormick, president and CEO of McCormick Construction. “The newly renovated campus will provide an optimal work environment to inspire Nickelodeon’s employees, while offering the necessary resources to support creativity, collaboration and employee health and wellness.”

The animation building was constructed using the design-assist delivery method, which enabled McCormick Construction to get involved in the project early on to improve constructability, reduce cost and time, and add value. To accomplish these goals, DLR recommended a ConXtech steel framing system – a customizable, modular, prefabricated structural building system – for the building. McCormick Construction assisted in validating the use of the ConXtech system for the project which included a detailed analysis of the overall benefits to the project, which included a shorter lead time on procurement of materials, minimized waste and on-site emissions, a reduced construction timeline and decreased field inspection costs. The exterior of the animation building was built to include architectural white cement, glass fiber-reinforced concrete (GFRC) panels and a high-performance window wall. The precast concrete parking garage is comprised of white cement with an aggregate finish, which mirrors the GFRC finish on the animation building.

Since Nickelodeon’s campus is located in the heart of Burbank, surrounded by tight urban constraints, McCormick Construction streamlined a number of processes which limited the amount of workers simultaneously present on-site, significantly reducing site congestion during the construction process.

Additional features of Nickelodeon’s newly expanded campus include the following:

Screening Room – Employees can gather in a new 88-seat screening room where old-world Hollywood meets contemporary design

Three Voice-Over Studios – A new state-of-the-art recording studio complements the two existing studios

Café – Hoek and Stimpson, Nickelodeon’s café located in the lobby of the new building, overlooks the courtyard and offers a place for employees to gather

Indoor/Outdoor Connection – Each floor has courtyard-facing break out areas and balconies

Health and Wellness – The project includes both a fitness room and a calming Zen garden

Music Room, Game Room, Arcade – Employees can play instruments such as drums, guitars and piano, or gather for games of pinball and air hockey

The McCormick Construction project management team members included Steve McKee, senior superintendent; Jeff DeLuca, assistant superintendent; Chris Allen, project engineer; and Isaac Ayala, project manager.

Additional project team members for the complex included DLR Group, executive architect, which led conceptual planning and building design, city entitlement approvals, construction drawings and construction administration for the core and shell of the project; STUDIOS Architecture, design architect for the new animation building, courtyard and all interiors; Environmental Contracting Corporation, which constructed the interior of the animation building; Brightworks Sustainability, which led the LEED Green Building certification process for the project, working with Nickelodeon and the design team to create a sustainable and healthy work environment; and Accord Interests, LLC, which developed the original and new buildings and will continue to own and manage the complex.

In addition to Nickelodeon’s West Coast facility, McCormick Construction’s recent creative office projects include Element LA, a 12-acre, 300,000-square-foot adaptive reuse campus in Santa Monica, which is fully leased to Riot Games; LINQ, an 80,000-square-foot campus in Redondo Beach, which is leasing space to two major technology clients; and Santa Monica Gateway, a 200,000-square-foot, Class-A creative office project, which is currently under construction in Santa Monica.


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The Real Estate of LA’s Broadcast and Recording Studios

December 16, 2016 / Connect Media Q&A / Michael McCormick, President & CEO, McCormick Construction

corporate portraiture of McCormick Construction employee

Los Angeles is a cultural and entertainment hub. Various broadcast, motion pictures and recording studios claim the city as their home base, so Connect Media caught up with McCormick Construction’s President and CEO Michael McCormick to discuss how the real estate for the music and TV industry differs from the usual office and retail spaces around town.

Q. What are the most sought-after building types and locations for broadcast and recording studio projects?

A. Studios target many different building types; however, the most sought-after types are industrial buildings because of the open interior space within, which gives the studios flexibility to design and construct the space to fit their needs. Additionally, “clear span” – high ceilings and free of columns – makes these building types very attractive. Because of this, many broadcast and recording studios are also adaptive reuse projects.

When it comes to location, Burbank, Culver City and Hollywood are hotspots for studios; therefore, demand for space in these areas is high. But it is not just about finding available space in those areas. It’s also extremely important to think about the surrounding area and external noise, such as nearby train tracks, busy streets and airports.

Q. Why is it so crucial for the project team to meet early on in the development process?

A. These projects require team members with a high-level of expertise and understanding of the industry. Having all of the primary project team members meet early on is very important to make sure that all aspects of the project, and the delivery process, are being appropriately addressed.

Prior to starting work on behalf of Westwood One/Cumulus Media for completion of a three-building recording and broadcast studio campus in Culver City, we met with the architect, subcontractorsand the client at the site to walk through the facility, so the client could show the entire team specifically what they were looking to achieve with the renovations. Throughout the process, McCormick Construction worked closely with the structural engineer and the architect to overcome any project challenges, including how to attach the individual studio ceilings to the existing brick wall to make sure it was aesthetically pleasing and structurally sound, in addition to providing proper sound isolation between the rooms to separate noise.

Q. How do requirements for broadcast and recording studios differ from other commercial spaces?

A. Whether it is a broadcast, recording or motion picture studio, each studio type has a different set of acoustic requirements depending on what is being produced and the equipment that is used. Sound transmission class (STC) requirements are key to ensuring…


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Maximizing ROI for Ground-Up Developments

November 2, 2016 / Commercial Property Executive / Michael McCormick and Todd Pratt


Michael McCormick, President & CEO, McCormick Construction, and Todd Pratt, Founder & Managing Director, Evolution Strategic Ventures

Amid the rising demand for rentals and advancing rents in major metro areas, motivated by demographic gains and job market strength, multifamily construction is deemed as increasingly profitable in the medium- to long-term outlook. However, regulatory limitations and financing restrictions might impact the projected ROI unless appropriate strategies to maximize project profitability are implemented.

The following considerations might significantly improve project ROI by properly addressing any existing challenges to profitability, laying the foundation for increased property revenues after the project’s completion.

From the planning perspective, optimal site selection and project size are major determinants of future ROI. Finding the best location and properly managing entitlements creates the lion’s share of developer profit. It is prudent to ensure there is existing infrastructure—including adequate water, power and gas—when selecting the location. Connecting to existing infrastructure would provide better cost efficiency (potentially requiring certain upgrades/regulatory approvals) than developing project infrastructure from scratch.

The next important step is determining the long-term and short-term plans for the property. Developing to own promises greater ROI over a longer period of time, while selling the property upon completion is a quicker profit, although yields are typically smaller overall. From the financing viewpoint, selecting the best equity and debt partners and executing proper arrangements for financing can maximize future ROI.

It is also crucial to know the local economy, submarket and demographics in order to better gauge expected levels of rent, the most cost-efficient floor planning and appropriate amenities. Land prices and availability in the immediate 10-block vicinity is another factor to assess the project’s potential value and profitability.

Putting the right team together…


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Another Successful Baja Challenge!

It was another successful year at the Baja Challenge! Since 2011, McCormick Construction has been participating in this annual event that brings Southern California builders and real estate professionals together to build homes for deserving families in Mexico, just south of the San Diego border.

Organized by Project Mercy, a 501-C (3) non-profit agency based in San Diego, the goal is to improve the basic living standards and quality of life for impoverished families who live in conditions precarious to their health in the shantytowns east of Tijuana, Mexico. Each year for the Baja Challenge, volunteers build basic but sturdy houses for the poorest families in the outlying neighborhoods, or “colonias” of Tijuana, Mexico.

Each house is built for an eligible family who owns their small lot (qualified by Project Mercy’s 3 criteria here). For this year’s Baja Challenge, the McCormick Construction team successfully completed the build of the entire house, including roofing, for a deserving family- and had a great time while doing it!

Check out the photos from the day!











For more information on the Baja Challenge or Project Mercy, visit their websites below.

Baja Challenge:

Project Mercy:



Adaptive Reuse and Infill Projects Change the Urban Landscape

September 16, 2016 / Area Development / Michael McCormick


Although there are some challenges to adaptive reuse and infill projects, they can help to develop creative office space in historic, vibrant metro areas, while boosting ROI and environmental sustainability, and catering to the local community and talent pool.


Amid the rising demand for commercial properties, promising higher profitability and returns,owners and developers of land sites and existing structures alike are increasingly turning to adaptive reuse and urban infill concepts in their effort to boost the efficiency, profitability, and overall market value of their assets. Undeveloped and underdeveloped land within densely built-up areas, as well as abandoned properties, is meeting stronger demands from investors and developers as yielding better ROIs compared to new construction outside of traditionally buoyant city districts.

In commercial property development, adaptive reuse and urban infill methods are becoming increasingly widespread, helping to meet the needs of regional submarket demands for office space while promoting a strong ROI on the investor/developer side. Creative offices in prime historic and downtown locations are currently very desirable for many companies due to transit convenience, considerations of company image and prestige, and aesthetics and atmosphere of city centers, catering to creative workforce aspirations. The challenges with adaptive reuse and infill office space development oftentimes involve creating a modern, sustainable, and upgraded facility that meets a broad range of needs for potential tenants. Adaptive reuse and infill redevelopment concepts offer a wide variety of economic and environmental benefits for urban communities, in addition to property investors and developers. Yet, although opening exciting new redevelopment opportunities, bringing dramatic positive changes into city planning and economic and environmental sustainability, adaptive reuse and urban infill projects might pose several challenges to an investor or developer. City planning and zoning regulations, potential historical significance of certain properties, the ever-changing regulations concerning the use of certain construction materials, safety regulations, and lingering project feasibility issues might cause delays and disruptions at various stages of project development.

In order to address all the implications of adaptive reuse and infill projects properly, while adequately assessing all the up- and downsides, an investor or developer might consider several key points.

The point of adaptive reuse is combining historical authenticity of the once-abandoned or underutilized property with modern-day commercial feasibility and innovative “new consumer” appeal, rooted in technology, entertainment, and lifestyle.

Challenges Facing Adaptive Reuse and Urban Infill Contractors

Depending on property size, type, location, local laws, regulations, and the environmental situation, developers might encounter a complex combination of challenges to the construction process. 

The adaptive reuse and infill approaches are both highly cost-efficient strategies for “filling in the gaps” in densely built areas, such as historic city centers and adjacent districts. Reuse and infill projects are, however, subject to municipal regulations and concerns of the local community. There is a range of potential requirements that the developer might be facing when embarking on such projects.

First of all, the local municipality and community might demand that the project does not negatively impact the already existing adjacent structures, with likely considerations including such issues as lighting, overall appeal of the neighborhood’s architectural design, and fire safety regulations. Additional concerns might include access to transit, traffic, and project parking demands. Addressing the community needs, the developer might need to conduct thorough research of the location and nearby infrastructure to determine potential costs of the project.

There are also requirements that new infill or adaptive reuse projects comply with the historical authenticity of the community, and not affect any on-site or adjacent historic structure in any way. A comprehensive study on the neighborhood’s history and demographics might provide clues for architectural solutions. For example, few communities would appreciate a skyscraper of glass and concrete in the midst of their Mediterranean-style architectural composition.

Undeveloped land and underdeveloped land in such areas are, more often than not, “brownfields” that were potentially contaminated by industrial waste or hazardous materials decades ago, thus requiring land-recycling techniques to be employed before any development project could commence. “Brownfield” land use might require a potentially costly decontamination effort affecting project ROI and construction timelines; however, the process has its benefits, including ecosystem preservation and restoration, promoting sustainability practices.

Additionally, recent regulations might hinder the reuse of certain existing on-site structures. For instance, some older structures might contain lead, or be insufficiently quake-resistant, thus requiring seismic retrofitting.

Strategies to Successfully Convert Obsolete Structures into Thriving, Innovative Properties

Given that adaptive reuse and infill projects are often aimed at reducing development costs and are motivated by earning a healthy ROI, several considerations must be taken into account prior to the development process:

Capitalize on market trends: Historic manufacturing and warehousing facilities allow for adaptive redevelopment into trendy and in-demand creative office space with an industrial feel, posing significant interest to the creative workforce. The heritage, authenticity, and industrial aesthetic of such office space add market value to the property after the redevelopment is complete.

Look on the demand side: Any project converting old abandoned structures or developing “brownfields” must meet the local market-determined demand for office space.

Develop for a purpose: Adaptive reuse projects are more likely to succeed being not only environmentally friendly, but also economically feasible, bringing new jobs and services to the local economy, while minimizing the project’s carbon footprint. The urban living environment can be greatly improved by reusing vintage structures, especially in transportation hubs due to ease of access.

Achieve a long-term savings benefit from upgrades: Cost savings that accrue from reuse of an existing building can be used to invest in highly efficient and environmentally friendly HVAC systems, which can also create long-term savings in operating costs.

Keep the project timeline in mind: Unlike other new developments, reuse and infill projects often require a shorter amount of time to deliver new product to the market as developing property in current redevelopment zones or by reusing existing structures that require minimal entitlement work. As such, the overall construction timeline is also shortened, and project time efficiency is generally regarded as boosting ROI.

Finding the Right Balance

The point of adaptive reuse is combining historical authenticity of the once-abandoned or underutilized property with modern-day commercial feasibility and innovative “new consumer” appeal, rooted in technology, entertainment, and lifestyle. Redevelopment should reflect the lifestyle tendencies and identity of the local community and be distinguishable among the similar type of projects in the area by employing a coherent and holistic approach, appealing to the needs of the local business landscape.

For adaptive reuse and infill projects, developing creative office space in historic, vibrant metropolitan areas allows for higher ROI, boosts economic and environmental sustainability of the property, and caters to the local communities and talent pool.

The proposed redevelopment must not interfere with the historic legacy and aesthetics of the property. The replacement of obsolete and hazardous to contemporary standards construction materials, such as asbestos and lead, is deemed necessary ensuring enhanced ergonomics and safety. Notwithstanding increasing restoration costs, such measures would entail compliance with present-day health regulations, while echoing the original concept, thus catering to the local lifestyle and aesthetic eclecticism.

Case Study: The Element LA Creative Office Campus

When redeveloping the Element LA creative office campus in West Los Angeles from a post-WWII era manufacturing facility, originally built in 1949, into an innovative office campus, McCormick Construction focused on addressing every aspect of the adaptive reuse process and

the associated challenges. The comprehensive renovation project, requiring compliance with governmental regulation, community needs, and culturally motivated considerations, was completed in April 2015, with adjustments undertaken both on- and off-site.

Aside from having preserved the building’s original historic architecture, keeping the vibe of the triumphant post-WWII economic expansion and socio-cultural breakthroughs, McCormick Construction combined the vintage features with advanced technology on site. As with most adaptive reuse projects, the campus was not up to current code at the start of construction so each building had to be stripped down to its shell and all electrical systems had to be updated to meet the needs of a creative office environment. As the campus is located in the prime area of “Silicon Beach,” Los Angeles’ technology and media hub, with convenient access to transportation via LA Metro’s Expo line connecting Santa Monica to downtown Los Angeles, as well as the 10 and 405 freeways, the local aesthetics and lifestyle tendencies were taken into account. McCormick Construction updated the structure’s electrical systems, conducted a seismic retrofit, and converted the interiors from one mass facility to a multi-tenant space with open floor plans, thus achieving compliance with current regulations. Now, the property’s interior and exterior flexibility promotes creativity and cooperation with cozy courtyards and patios, retractable walls, and pop-out entryways, boosting the property’s appeal among young, educated, creative, and tech-savvy millennials. The now-renovated Element LA creative campus includes five buildings, occupying roughly 12 acres, totaling more than 300,000 square feet, and is LEED Gold certified.

In Sum

For adaptive reuse and infill projects, developing creative office space in historic, vibrant metropolitan areas allows for higher ROI, boosts economic and environmental sustainability of the property, and caters to the local communities and talent pool. Attractive from the profitability viewpoint, adaptive reuse and infill concepts face only a handful of challenges to their successful implementation in commercial property development. Successful completion of reuse and infill projects dramatically changes the urban community landscape from the desolate waste of de-industrialization into the thriving information and technology hubs of the post-modern economy.

Nickelodeon Parking Structure

McCormick Construction Completes Trio of Parking Structure Projects in Burbank

September 6, 2016 / RENTV


Nickelodeon Parking Structure

Nickelodeon Animation Studio Parking Structure

McCormick Construction recently completed three Parking structure development projects, totaling 464.8k sf and 1,412 parking stalls in Burbank. The private structures will provide ample parking for employees of the Nickelodeon Animation Studio, Contract Services Administration Trust Fund (CSATF) and 800 S. Flower St.

“Parking, especially in Los Angeles County, has become a driving force behind not only determining the size and scale of the potential project, but how successful the development can be,” said Michael McCormick, president and CEO of McCormick Construction. “It is essential for project owners and developers to include parking options in their design-build projects in order to optimize space, time and cultivate a cohesive aesthetic between the building and its parking.”

Situated on Lake and Olive streets, Nickelodeon Animation Studio’s 450-stall, 129k sf, five-story parking garage is a design-assist with Clark Pacific, DLR Group and Englekirk and will serve the company’s employees at the newly located Animation group. By utilizing the precast concrete system, McCormick Construction improved the project’s time- and cost-efficiency, creating substantial savings. In addition, McCormick Construction streamlined a number of processes which limited the amount of workers simultaneously present on-site, significantly reducing site congestion. The structure is comprised of white cement and construction aggregate, which mirrors the glass fiber-reinforced concrete (GFRC) finish on the main office building.

Currently under construction, the 800 S. Flower St parking structure is a four-story parking structure owned and developed by Cusumano Real Estate Group. Once completed, the structure will house up to 525 vehicles, including 20 exterior ground-level spaces on site. The 178.4k sf project features a green screen system with live plants on the structure’s outer walls, bolstering its environment-friendly appeal. Other features that reinforce the property’s aesthetic include streamline stair assemblies, decorative architectural lighting and a plaza area with custom concrete surfaces, which will serve to join the structure architecturally to the adjacent office building.

The third parking structure…

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Where Do Broadcast Studios Find Space?

August 29, 2016 / GlobeSt / Kelsi Marie Borland

Entertainment has long been a jobs driver in Los Angeles, but broadcast and recording studios are seeing construction challenges in this ever-changing industry, Michael McCormick of McCormick Construction says in this EXCLUSIVE interview.

Michael McCormick is the president and CEO of McCormick Construction.

The entertainment industry has long been a driver of jobs in Los Angeles, but changes in technology and the dearth of infill industrial supply is creating new challenges for the development of broadcast and recording studios. Michael McCormick, president and CEO of McCormick Construction, says that location and specific industrial product are the most important characteristics of a redevelopment site, but technology now also plays an integral role. The firm has worked on several broadcast and recording studio projects, including Westwood One/Cumulus Media, broadcast and recording studios for Nickelodeon’s Studio B in Burbank and CBS Radio in Los Angeles. To find out more about this niche of the entertainment industry, how developers today are finding projects in this competitive market and the challenges of building these spaces, we sat down with Michael McCormick for an EXCLUSIVE interview. With Los Angeles’ high-density market, how are developers finding space for their broadcast and recording studio projects?

Michael McCormick: Demand for space is high, particularly in Hollywood, Burbank, Culver City and other media-centric areas in Los Angeles. Burbank, specifically, has become a hot spot for animation and digital content providers. The most sought-after building type for a studio is industrial, such as a warehouse, because they typically need to provide a “clear span,” be free of columns and have generous inside clear heights. As a result, many studio construction projects are also adaptive reuse projects. Larger studios, especially motion picture studios,

require extensive lighting grids, large, sliding “elephant doors,” and the ability to move bulk materials and large equipment using trucks and lifts.

Location is key. Studios should avoid locations directly adjacent to railroad tracks, busy street traffic or airports due to the external noise and vibrations. However; being in close proximity to transportation hubs can be beneficial. What are the unique requirements for constructing broadcast and recording studios?

McCormick: Having the proper acoustics is crucial for a studio. McCormick Construction has performed work on various types of studios, but one of our technical specialties is sound transmission class (STC) requirements. Whether it is a recording or broadcast studio or a motion picture studio, each has a different set of requirements due to the sensitivity of the equipment and the content being produced…

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The Evolution of the Workplace

July 22, 2016 / Connect Media 

McCormick Construction’s president and CEO, Michael McCormick, shared insights into the changing nature of today’s workplaces with Connect Media’s Daniella Soloway. Technology rapidly innovates and continues to shape the world around us, while construction costs rise. Michael answered the industry’s biggest questions regarding development of successful office space.

Q. What are the latest trends driving workplace design and construction? 

A. Across the board, creative office space is a major trend, and the biggest driver is technology. Whether it is ground-up construction or adaptive reuse, the end result is the same – the latest buildings are automatically designed to meet the newest technology demands. The amount of power and data that companies require has changed and workplaces now need to accommodate more advanced technology systems like power lines, sophisticated fiber optics and conventionalized speed data lines. In addition, another major trend is building sustainability, especially within the Los Angeles market. Today, prospective tenants desire buildings which are much more environmentally friendly and energy efficient than they were five or ten years ago.

Q. How does adaptive reuse differ from ground-up construction as it relates to creative office?

A. At the end of the day, adaptive reuse projects still have the same requirements as ground-up construction. Adapting an existing building to meet the needs of the end user doesn’t change the way we build offices, it changes the design of the interior. Many older buildings need to be upgraded to accommodate and support new systems; with that comes a new set of challenges. The infrastructure itself may not be up to code; seismic retrofits may need to take place; and the historical significance of a building must be taken into consideration. Additional concerns might include access to transit, traffic and project parking.

One such project that had many of these challenges was the redevelopment of Element LA…

Click here to read the full article on Connect Media’s website.

McCormick Construction Completes Interior Renovation of Neurobrands’ Corporate Office in Burbank

Project provides greater efficiency and a more collaborative work space for the growing brand


BURBANK, Calif. – McCormick Construction, a premier builder shaping the culture of buildings and businesses throughout the Western United States since 1914, has completed construction on a 14,000-square-foot interior renovation project for beverage manufacturer, Neurobrands llc’s, corporate office located at 2550 N. Hollywood Way in Burbank, California. Neurobrands originally occupied two disconnected office suites in the North Hollywood Way office building, which is in close proximity to the Hollywood Burbank Airport.

Due to Neurobrands’ recent success, the company needed a larger space where employees could advance and develop current and new products, including the company’s popular Neuro line of drinks. In an effort to create a more dynamic and collaborative work environment, McCormick Construction worked with designer, DSR Design Inc., to incorporate more company branding and desirable office features like natural lighting, more efficient work spaces, collaborative areas and additional amenities.


In order to accelerate the construction schedule and deliver the office space within 12weeks McCormick Construction completed the project in two phases, while only occupying up to 35 percent of the space at one time.

“Corporate interior improvement projects present a variety of challenges; however, ensuring businesses maintain normal operations is our primary consideration,” said Michael McCormick, president and CEO of McCormick Construction. “As a result, early collaboration, strategic planning and up-to-date knowledge of the permitting process are key factors in delivering a successful tenant improvement project.”

During phase one, employees were all moved from the approximately 12,000-square-foot main office suite to the second office suite, known as “the executive wing.”  The work completed in phase one comprised the addition of two conference rooms, featuring glass walls and large glass sliding doors, 15 new executive offices, 50 open workspaces and a new kitchen/breakroom. McCormick Construction also constructed a new product development laboratory with a 3Form glass table where Neurobrands’ “drink scientists” will work to create new products.

Phase two included moving employees from the executive wing into the newly renovated space while the executive wing underwent renovations. After four weeks of renovations in the executive wing, both spaces had been completely renovated and employees were allowed to return to their respective locations. To ensure Neurobrands remained fully operational throughout the entirety of the construction process, McCormick Construction worked nights and weekends in order to complete the project on-time and on-budget.

A major focus of the project was to create a more collaborative environment within the office that would foster creativity and product innovations. Larger meeting spaces and open-concept common areas were created to allow employees to meet and discuss new concepts and strategies, helping to facilitate a strong team-focused corporate culture.

“McCormick Construction’s decades of experience in tenant improvement projects made them the easy choice for us to partner with for our corporate office renovation,” said Calvin Larson, corporate communications and technology director of Neurobrands llc.  “We’re thrilled to have this new space for our employees, so that they can continue to develop groundbreaking products that promote health and well-being.”

In order to provide a more sustainable and healthy work environment, McCormick Construction installed energy efficient lighting systems that comply with Title 24 regulations and incorporated more natural light throughout the office via daylight harvesting – a technique that reduces the amount of overhead lighting needed by more efficiently using (or adding) ambient light sources such as windows and skylights, as well as integrating automatic dimmers when natural lighting is sufficient.

McCormick Construction’s project management team also included Alan Hartley, director of interiors; and David Valenti, superintendent.

McCormick Construction’s recent tenant improvement project experience also includes Los Angeles Kings Training Facility, Contract Services Administrative Trust Fund, CBS Radio, and Citrus Tower Office Building, all of which are located in Los Angeles.


About Neurobrands llc:

Neuro is a groundbreaking line of functional beverages made with natural ingredients in fully recyclable packaging. Neuro was formulated by nutrition scientists and is backed by scientific research to promote health and well-being. Each low-calorie beverage in the collection contains essential vitamins, minerals, amino acids and proprietary dietary ingredients. For more information, please visit



The Hoyt Organization

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Melinda Peffer,