Wednesday, August 12, 2009

The Topping Out Party

The Topping Out Party thrown by construction manager Key Construction at CityWalk@Akard took place Thursday, August 6th, and somehow between talking to as many of the people there as possible, I managed to take a few pictures.

Unfortunately the party was even more symbolic than I had hoped, because the fire marshal wouldn’t allow tours—wouldn’t even allow anybody inside the building who wasn’t working there. It’s a fact most people outside the construction industry don’t understand, but when it comes to construction projects, the fire marshal is close to a god. He or she decides when it is safe to issue the Certificate of Occupancy, which is the document that allows you to rent apartments and begin to use the building. The fire marshal says when you are done. An unhappy fire marshal can easily cost you a couple of months in time, so the construction company, the architect, the owner and the developer all very much want to keep the fire marshal happy.

So the fire marshal said no tours and there were no tours.

We still had a good time. The only speaker was Randy Allen, one of Key’s superintendents on the job. Randy did a great job, thanked everybody, and it was fitting that he was the speaker, because the Topping Out Party is a celebration for working people, not for the suits.

You can probably see the wide variety of people from the pictures. We had everybody there from purchasers of the condos to members of my Board of Directors to other downtown developers to architects. There were men and women, young and old, white, Hispanic and African American, but mostly there were working people.

Key Construction served up barbecue and the way everybody dug in almost made me wish I worked a little harder (or at least was a little younger) so I could afford to eat like that every day!

There were probably one hundred fifty people at the event, and even then it was well less than half the people who have helped make CityWalk possible. When we work together, we can make great things happen.

1 comment:

  1. John - I LOVE your blog. Steven Bradley turned me onto it recently and now I find myself reading it regularly. I really admire your commitment to it, your choice of content and the quality of the writing. I especially like it when you talk about 511 Akard and your efforts to develop more permanent supportive housing in Dallas. Everyone at Fannie Mae is really looking forward to 511 Akard grand opening in October. We met last year (I'm Nina Marinkovich - work for Joe Weisbord) and I hope to see you again in October!