The Metropolitan Condos Conversion Dream Team

The renaissance of downtown Dallas continues with the conversion of the Main Tower at 1200 Main Street. The Metropolitan, as it is now called, is the first high-rise condominium in downtown, and Chamberlin is pitching in their expertise in its adaptive reuse.

 

General contractor Turner Construction selected Chamberlin as the waterproofing subcontractor because of our longstanding working relationship and experience together on a similar project in downtown Ft. Worth - The Tower. “Chamberlin did an excellent job on The Tower and I knew that they could do it again on The Metropolitan,” said Jeff Weeks, Turner Construction Company Project Manager. In fact, The Tower conversion was so successful that several of the subcontractors were invited back on The Metropolitan.

 

As on The Tower project, Chamberlin has performed concrete substrate preparation to receive concrete topping and waterproofed over 150 new balconies on the 25-story Metropolitan. The newly constructed balconies provided an exterior transformation that adds visual appeal to the building and a wonderful amenity for the residents. 

 

The biggest challenge on the job has been remediating the curtainwall system. Over the past six months Chamberlin and Tremco, along with a specialty design consultant have been developing and designing a water tight solution for the curtainwall system. The existing vertical mullion system was constructed in a way that does not leave enough room for proper expansion and contraction. “When the mullion expands on either end it shears the sealant, making it next to impossible to keep water out,” said Chamberlin Project Manager Bryan Payne. To prevent the shearing of the sealant, two things have to be accomplished:

 

1.)    The mullion length has to be modified so that when the metal expands the joint opening is not so small that the sealant is sheared.

 

2.)    The sealant has to be isolated at the mullion splice joint from the wet sealant on the glass to allow for different rates and direction of expansion.

 

Due to the complexity of these design challenges, it took some time to find the right waterproofing solution – which has ultimately impacted the construction schedule. To meet the owner’s expected completion date, Chamberlin has committed to and has dramatically increased manpower and other resources to get the final portion of the project finished in the time allotted.

 

“When you have a 30-year old building you run into a lot of unknowns,” Weeks said, “but I know from experience that Chamberlin stands behind their work, so if there are ever any issues I know that they will take care of them.”

 

Also connected to the tower is a new seven-level parking garage on the tower’s east side. Chamberlin’s work has included installation of preformed expansion joints between the building and garage to allow for proper movement. Residing on the top floor of the garage is a luxurious swimming pool and garden, which was sealed by Chamberlin with Tremco’s 250GC fluid-applied waterproofing.

 

Chamberlin Senior Superintendent Paul Watson and Site Superintendent Felix Vasquez have been instrumental in both The Tower and The Metropolitan’s success. “They have done an outstanding job communicating with Turner and me, heading off issues which could impact the quality of our work and the construction schedule,” said Payne. “Because of their attention to the details, the project has been virtually problem free.”

 

The Metropolitan will be complete this summer, and the former office building will boast 12,000 sq. ft. of street retail, a rooftop swimming pool, a six-story 432-space attached parking garage, and 283 condo units with 160 new balconies enhancing its carefully restored façade.