Design-Build Tenant Improvements
Founded in 2017, Sweet Cristy’s Famous Apples offers a Caramel Apple experience like no other. This boutique store offers gourmet specialty apples, pastries, beverages and more! With the thought and complexity of opening their first physical location in the Northridge Fashion Center in Northridge, California the ownership contacted SCGWest to help guide them through the process. The expertise of the SCGWest Development team led the design, permitting and building of their new location. Ownership knew they faced hurdles and wanted a turn-key solution to help save time and get the location opened quickly.
Tasked with the turn-key design and build of an interior tenant improvement project the team helped ownership to establish preliminary budgets, align funding and offer suggestions on the layout. An immediate hurdles presented itself regarding the conversion and requirement for a change of use from a retail store to a restaurant designation.
With the task established, SCGWest met with the landlord and building ownership followed directly by multiple meetings with the City of Los Angeles planning and building divisions. It was discovered that the change of use would require a parking study to showcase the additional parking was available in the center, and if not, it was time to get creative. Parking studies are often very costly and time intensive especially in large retail centers. There were however workarounds that the team brought to the table where a creative floor plan and layout would designate certain areas of the restaurant as retail store display areas and thus reducing the parking requirement. This along with creative credits for bicycle storage, patio seating and shared common areas further helped to reduce the parking hurdle.
Prioritizing planning and understanding the owner’s objectives is key to crafting a successful project outcome. With experience and creativity at the forefront of many projects, for Famous Apples these held especially true. At times the approvals for the change of use looked bleak, however professional communication and meetings with the City of Los Angeles were the key factor in obtaining the approvals necessary for this client to operate. Once the change of use and design & construction documents were approved, SCGWest began construction and ultimately obtained the owner’s certification of occupancy for them operate properly. A favorite quote we have in our office is one from Abraham Lincoln that says, “Give me six hours to chop down a tree, and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.” From this quote we take away the importance of preparation and planning and in the world of commercial real estate development and construction this take away cannot be more important.