LL Bean Corporate Campus Expansion Update 2-8-22


January 2022 started with the issuance of a “Certificate of Occupancy” for the newly completed First Phase of the multi-part/multi-year LL Bean Outsider Corporate Campus Expansion. The $13M project – started in summer 2019 is now over 50% complete and set for final completion in the fall of 2023. Zachau Construction of Freeport, Maine is The Project Construction Manager on the roughly $100M project.

The project involves repurposing an existing long time manufacturing facility into a new corporate office and event center for LL Bean in Freeport, Maine. Site improvements include large areas of porous  pavements that will help to protect the nearby Concord Gully Brook Watershed from uncontrolled runoff.

Phase 1

This project started in early summer 2019 with the relocation/installation of new power and communications duct banks to prepare the campus for the new facility. A new, irrigated sod soccer field was constructed to expand offerings for employee break and off time activities.

Fall 2019 saw our work start in earnest to convert a 110,000-sf warehouse  space into a multi-story office and convention center. Crews constructed a new multi-story building inside an existing building. Concrete floor slabs were removed. Concrete was removed and crushed/recycled for subbase gravel on this and other projects. Up to 10 vertical feet of ledge was removed to allow for a new interior elevator. New foundations, underground utilities and floor slabs were installed. Heavy equipment and dump trucks worked throughout the fall and winter in an enclosed, climate controlled and fully lit environment. Working inside the warehouse required that all excavators, loaders, dump trucks and compactors were Tier4Final Emission Certified/Compliant so as to limit engine emissions into the monitored atmosphere. This work continued into Spring 2020.

A new sanitary sewer system was installed during the fall and wrapped up just before Christmas 2019. One thousand linear feet of gravity main was installed at up to 16 feet in depth thru and between occupied production and administrative facilities in a corridor that was often not much wider than what the large excavator could function in. A 24vf Precast Pump Station (Precast of Maine, Stevens Pump & Electric) was prefabricated offsite and delivered/installed. Special shoring systems were used and designed to support the adjacent structures and to provide a safe work environment for crews. Numerous undocumented utility conflicts further complicated the task.

Outside, underground utility crews spent the 2019-2020 winter installing the deep drainage portion of the project. Eighteen- and Thirty-Inch diameter drainage pipe runs were installed at a consistent 22 feet in depth and width. Specially engineered “Slide Rail” Trench Shoring Systems were utilized to provide a workable and safe work area for crews to complete the installation, and to allow the continued use of the occupied campus adjacent to the site. Ledge removal was undertaken alongside an in-service natural gas main that could not be taken out of service. Ledge that could not be removed with an excavator mounted hydraulic hoe ram was removed by blasting. Maine Drilling & Blasting developed a blast plan acceptable to both Maine Natural Gas and LL Bean.

Spring/Summer 2020 brought a continuation of interior slab prep and completion of the shallow under slab plumbing. Foundations were installed for new exterior building components.  Exterior crews focused on parking lot construction (permeable pavement base structure along with traditional pavements) and continued underground utilities (Sewer, water and site lighting) installation.  Base course pavement was placed late in the fall to allow for continued permanent site access.

2021 started the push to wrap up the exterior work for phase 1 in anticipation of turning this space over to the owner for January 2022. Granite curb (KMP Hardscapes) , fence & guard rail (Main Line Fence) were installed by subcontract. A 500 lf section of  full depth roadway reconstruction was added to Phase 1 and completed late in the Fall. Sidewalks, site lighting and landscape areas were completed. Final surface pavements will be installed in 2022 in conjunction with Phase 2 finishes installation.

Phase 2

Summer of 2020 brought the “official start” to Phase 2 –  the conversion of an additional 75,000 sf of warehouse space to offices.  Originally targeted to start in 2022 (after Phase 1 was complete), The Pandemic allowed for an acceleration to the project as LL Bean chose to keep the majority of employees in this complex working from home – a move that shaved two years off the project duration! Floor slab sections were removed and replaced as winter neared. Exterior perimeter foundation walls were installed thru the fall and winter. Early winter 2021 allowed us to install additional storm drainage and a water main relocation in advance of Phase 3 work.

Fall 2022 will bring completion of this portion of the work. Sidewalks, curb, permeable and traditional pavements will be installed for a Thanksgiving turn over.

Phase 3

Phase 3 is the culmination of the Corporate Office Expansion Project and includes: the construction of two new parking areas (Concord Lot & Taylor Lot) with a total capacity of 400 vehicles; the demolition and removal of the current corporate offices; relocation of a water supply main; the creation of new permeable paved parking areas within existing parking lots; and creation of a 100,000-sf grass area ( former parking lot).

Work on this Phase started with tree removal (Hawkes Tree Service) at the Concord Parking Lot in November 2021,followed by stump removal and grubbing in December. Installation of a 400 lf Stone Strong Retaining Wall (Precast of Maine and storm drainpipe/structures began in early January 2022. Mass excavation for site sub-grade began as well. Nearly 20,000 cy of excavation is needed to reach grade, and none of the existing soils are suitable for reuse on site. These activities will continue thru early spring, at which point we will transition to permeable pavement and standard pavement sub-base installation. Concord Lot completion is scheduled for August 2022 and will serve as parking for the new office complex.

The Taylor Parking Lot will function as the main entrance for the new Outsider Corporate Office Complex, but it is located where the current corporate offices are located. Demolition of the current corporate office must be complete before new construction begins. Demolition is slated for Spring 2022 (once LL Bean completes the move to the new Phase 1 offices).  Building foundations and floor slabs will be removed/crushed and recycled into subbase gravel.  Spring and Summer will see more mass excavation (20,000 cy) and removal from site; the installation of a 12” Water Main (1,000 lf); and the construction of the storm drainage and permeable pavement substructure. The Taylor Lot is scheduled to be available for use by Thanksgiving, with final completion (surface pavement & landscaping) spring of 2023.

A new Athletic Field/Grass area will be completed on a reclaimed parking area spring of 2023

The final task to complete the expansion project will be summer 2023 and involves the construction of a pair of permeable pavement parking areas located within an existing parking lot

To help define the scale/magnitude of this project the following amounts of materials will be included in the project at completion:

10,000 cy of pavement demolition/removal and recycling

12,000 cy of grubbing and stumping

100,000 cy of excavation and waste from the site

35,000 cy of granular borrow

2,200 lf of water main pipe & appurtenances

3,000 lf of sewer main pipe

16 ea precast sewer manholes

10,000 lf of storm drainpipe

100 ea precast drainage structures

20,000 cy of crushed stone products

30,000 cy of gravel

7,000 tons of bituminous pavement

2,500 tons of permeable/porous pavement

15,000 lf of granite curb

10,000 cy of screened loam