The Crosstown Concourse construction project has reached a phase that passersby along North Watkins can more easily see: The site work outside.
General contractor Grinder, Taber & Grinder recently has moved the glut of construction trailers to the far west end of the property and off the old eastside parking lot in front. Crews have even scraped away the asphalt to expose the ground.
Taking shape there will be the big plaza, bordered by North Watkins, Autumn, the parking structure and the massive Crosstown Concourse building.
Those traveling by in coming months may notice earth-moving equipment creating a mounded hill on the now-flat grounds.
A water fountain with reflecting pool will be constructed between the mound and the existing parking garage.
And the narrow space between that parking structure and the main building will become The Canyon, envisioned for festivals, food trucks and other activities.
Not that the work inside the 1.5 million-square-foot building is finished for the mix of tenants ranging from Church Health Center to Crosstown Arts to Crosstown High School to apartment dwellers.
But the project is still on schedule for completion in January, said Brett Grinder, vice president of Grinder, Taber & Grinder.
“We would expect that by February, the Church Health Center will be seeing patients,’’ he said. “Several tenants will have people working and operating in the building by then.’’
The $200 million project is transforming the long vacant Sears mail-order house, store and regional offices for a “vertical urban village’’ of tenants.
The building already has reached the “dry-in” status, a construction term meaning that the shell is completed to a point that wet and cold weather no longer delay the work inside.
In fact, Grinder said, the heating and cooling system has been installed and the heat has been used for the construction workers.
Four hundred construction workers, on average, still report to work there daily, but the type of workers keeps changing, Grinder said. Phasing out are the brick masons and concrete workers; coming on strong are the dry-wall crews and painters.
Outside, a new parking lot on the west, or back, side of the building has already been substantially completed.
On the north side of the building, Grinder, Taber & Grinder has built pads for two new buildings that will be shared by the Church Health Center and Crosstown High. One will house a gym and indoor pools, and the other will house a theater/multiuse space, Grinder said.