WALTHAM AND SPRINGFIELD, MASS. – June 29, 2016 – The Springfield Plaza Shopping Center has received a face lift, in the form of a new façade, signage and lighting, designed to attract customers, increase sales at the stores and improve visibility and safety.
The renovation work was completed by Vantage Builders, Inc.  The Waltham-based general contracting firm was hired by Albany Road Real Estate Partners and the Davenport Companies, which partnered to buy the plaza in April 2014.
“From the onset, we wanted to make improvements to the Plaza, for both the retailers and the neighborhood,” said Bruce Nolen, managing director of asset and portfolio management at Albany Road.  “The plaza had begun to look quite run down, which is unfortunate because it didn’t reflect the excitement and interest that the retailers have for the city and its people.  We wanted to create a more vibrant and inviting place for everyone.” 
Vantage began the project by removing the existing canopy over the storefronts, which had contributed significantly to the Plaza’s dated look.  An exterior insulation and finishing system (EIFS) was installed along the length of the façade, providing the walls with an insulated, water-resistant surface.  At 1,200 linear feet, and averaging 20 feet high, the EIFS totals 24,000 square feet.  A pre-cast base along the foundation helps protect the EIFS from damage. 
The EIFS features carefully selected eye-catching color coatings and each retail tenant received new signage that matches their particular corporate brand.  With the new colors and signage and the removal of the canopy, storefront visibility has been dramatically improved and the Plaza has a more welcoming feel.  The new façade benefits 20 stores, including well known businesses such as Rent-A-Center, Kmart, Savers, Payless ShoeSource, H&R Block and RadioShack.  
“These renovations helped create a plaza that not only better reflects the energy of the retailers but is what the people in the neighborhood deserve,” said Nolen.  “We’re certain this will lead to increased traffic to the wide range of stores in the plaza.  Vantage Builders understood our plans for the plaza and helped bring it to reality.” 
A keen focus was placed on improving the shoppers’ experience.  Vantage poured new concrete sidewalks, significantly widening the path by six feet, to provide ample walking space and room for strollers and wheelchairs.  To improve visibility and safety, 14 LED pole lights were installed, along with 25 LED wall sconces.  The large anchor tenant stores, including Kmart, Joey’z Shopping Spree, Ocean State Job Lot, Savers and Aaron’s, received LED strip lighting across the top of the storefronts. 
“Davenport and Albany Road have a great vision for this plaza,” said John Connor, principal, Vantage Builders.  “By completing these renovations, they now have what looks almost like a brand new shopping plaza.  A new façade project is a terrific way to improve a commercial or retail building.”  
Form + Place was the architect for the project.  Signage was provided by Poyant. 
About Vantage Builders, Inc. 
Vantage Builders offers contracting services to corporations, developers, property managers, retailers and private institutions throughout New England. Our standard construction services include general contracting and construction management. More comprehensive services include design/build and value engineering. In managing and building scores of commercial projects, we’ve found that versatility is key to our customers’ success. Our experience includes specialized tenant build-outs, standard property improvements, base building work and construction from the ground up. For more information, please visit or follow us on Twitter: @VantageBldrs.


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The lion's share of the success of this project is due to the professionalism, creativity, and good humor displayed by Vantage throughout the project. They prepared multiple budgets for the owner as the design evolved, so that we could react promptly and avoid exceeding the budget. Vantage fully familiarized themselves with the existing base building systems, saving thousands by utilizing work in place where possible. They regularly offered ideas for lower-cost alternatives to proposed design features. Vantage also moved quickly to procure long lead and specialty items, kept the entire team up to date on status at our weekly meetings, and staffed the project appropriately to complete the job on time. Barbara Smith-Bacon, Vice President, Project Manager Berkeley Investments, Inc.

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