RESURRECTED: Residence Inn by Marriott Stamford Downtown
Located in the heart of downtown Stamford, Connecticut, the Residence Inn by Marriott was expected to give the downtown an extra boost as a hub for visitors. But when the original developer went bankrupt and work abruptly stopped, the site remained dormant for three years.
The three-year pause in the project, however, had left a few unanswered questions for the team. It was unclear which elements of the design had or had not yet been implemented, meaning the team had to work very closely with the original partners to essentially conduct a full forensic review.
“We had an intense review phase to establish a baseline,” says Pavarini estimating manager Tom Patterson. “We brought the original MEP subcontractor back on board, which helped verify which systems had or hadn’t been put in place, and partnered with the design team to evaluate the work that needed to be done to move forward.”
Once construction began again, the plan was to continue building around what was already there rather than demo and start over. The team was vigilant about constantly surveying the existing conditions to plan around any surprises they might find along the way.
“We expedited buyouts where we could and tried to be proactive in identifying issues from the beginning rather than having to work around unexpected challenges,” says Michael Krantz, Pavarini core and shell superintendent.
The project’s design also incorporated prefabricated bathroom pods—which had been ordered during original construction and were sitting on the site, waiting for the project to come back to life. With those nearly complete bathroom units ready to go across all 156 rooms, the team was able to efficiently build in the bathrooms and related systems, saving time on the schedule.
Another factor that influenced the project’s success was the involvement of the new owners. For example, the Pavarini team got their input right away on the furniture, fixtures and equipment (FF&E) to make sure that aspect of the work came together smoothly.
“We tried to get a jump on those deliveries and how the existing field conditions might affect them,” says Eileen McCarthy, Pavarini interior room manager. “That really made a difference to ensuring the FF&E program was delivered seamlessly.”
The owner’s direct, hands-on involvement from the beginning was, in fact, essential to pulling the pieces of the puzzle together.
“If they hadn’t been so involved, this job would not be done yet,’’ says Stephen Salvatore, project manager for Pavarini. “This project really taught me how important the relationship is between us and the owner. It’s the most important factor in solving problems.”
Now open, the 156-room Residence Inn by Marriott is Stamford’s first extended-stay hotel. The new, high-end facility features suite-style rooms with full kitchenettes and amenities like a fitness center, business center and meeting spaces. And the guests now staying there see no signs of the half-built structure that once stood in its place.
“For a project that was once idle, it’s exciting to see it up and running,” says Salvatore. “Now a guest can check in and simply enjoy their nice place to stay, and the community has another jewel in the heart of downtown. That’s the outcome we strive for.”
Jonathan Nehmer & Associates
Urgo Hotels & Resorts