Big Builds by Alabama Builders: Prime Downtown Tower

Ally Charlotte Center | Charlotte, North Carolina | Brasfield & Gorrie

Brasfield & Gorrie is about half way through building the much-anticipated 26-story, 742,000-square-foot Ally Charlotte Center office tower in Charlotte, North Carolina. Work on the site began toward the end of 2017 and is expected to wrap by spring of 2021, says Brasfield & Gorrie Vice President and Division Manager Michael Byrd. “This is a large project, complicated by being located in an area of downtown Charlotte with adjacent construction,” he says.

The high-profile office building, designed by Little Diversified Architectural Consulting, will house Ally Financial, as well as providing 342,000 square feet of additional office and retail. Next door, a 381-room JW Marriott and 1,400-space parking deck are being built. The hotel is 10 feet off the tower, points out Brasfield & Gorrie Project Director Steve Mann. “Within the city block, five tower cranes are operating, and the swing radiuses overlap,” he says. “We have to coordinate our work with the other builders, cooperating to establish air rights.”

The Ally Charlotte tower is being built above two levels below the street. The site’s granite base required five months of rock blasting, with 88,600 tons of rock being removed to accommodate the underground area. In addition, the site contained a brown field with more than 94,000 cubic yards of dirt that had to be removed.

“Because the Ally Charlotte area is so desirable, growing and vibrant, the extensive excavation and site preparation work was considered well worth the investment,” Byrd says.

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Because of the adjacent construction projects, monitoring quality control issues is a challenge. Instead of lifting people to checking the building, a drone is being employed to monitor every inch of the tower, Byrd says. “Drones are being used more often in construction, as well as other industries,” he says. “The technology is helping us to deliver a quality product.”

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