Florida Fruit Building – Commercial Renovation


In January of 2008, Dream Builderz was contacted by the owners of the building which housed “Salucao Brazilian meat market” and “Jimbo’s Famous Roast Beef”. The owners wanted to update to a modern aluminum store front, add a brick knee wall, install uniform signage and repair the existing brick work, it certainly sounds simple enough!

Not only was the building on the Historical Registry, requiring special permits and plan review, it was also impacted by the American Disabilities Act. This required a design that would meet the requirements of the American Disabilities act. The plan review and public hearing process went on until October of 2008. Dream Builderz suggested that since this would be a three month project and the building was occupied that the project not be started until spring of 2009.

The building was constructed in 1896, was out of level and none of the openings were square or plumb, additionally the store front had been updated in 1986 and the contractor used untreated angle iron that was deteriorating and not carrying the weight of the brick work properly. Both front corners of the brick face were pulling away from the sides of the building. Dream Builderz met with D.W.D. Engineering, their structural engineer and consultant to determine the size of the angle iron to be used, as well as a plan for temporarily supporting the brick work. The new angle iron was specified as “factory galvanized”.

The building being occupied meant that Dream Builderz had to have a plan to keep the building weather tight and secure during construction. This was accomplished by constructing temporary walls with windows inside the existing exterior walls before demolition could begin.

Remember that this structure dates back to 1896, before paved roads and sidewalks. What had taken place over time was with the construction of concrete sidewalks, the top of the granite foundation was added to with concrete to get above the sidewalk, this resulted in encapsulating untreated structural members, leading to some rotting of wood and the concrete not secured to the original foundation.

Upon removal of the exterior wood walls, the concrete on top of the granite broke off in some sections. Dream Builderz made the decision to remove all the concrete, rather than have unsightly patches along the front of the building. Instead we added two courses of brick to the base, giving the building a “clean” brick base. We also replaced all rotted wood with pressure treated wood and increased the structural integrity of the building by reframing sections as needed.

Another problem stemming from the age of the building was the size of the brick, the brick manufactured today is smaller in length and depth, and this required Dream Builderz to raise all the new angle iron over the six store fronts.

As Dream Buiderz installed the new store fronts, adjustments had to be made due to the original brick work being out of level, this in turn caused Dream Builderz to design a special millwork package for the interior trim.

As mentioned earlier, another goal of this project was uniform signage. Dream Builderz installed a system known as “Fast Frame”, which allows you to remove a sign from a permanent sign frame and install a new sign in a matter of seconds.

During construction, the owner’s of “Salucao” market were so impressed with the quality of work by Dream Builderz that “Salucao” contracted Dream Builderz to expand the market by removing a nine foot section of the concrete block parting wall between the office and retail area. This again required consultation with the structural engineer and the obtaining of a second building permit. Dream Builderz was able to facilitate this change and complete the entire project as planned.

Anthony P. LaPuma

P.S. Would you like to know how you can have your project completed at virtually no cost to you? Get the details of our “CUSTOMER LOYALTY REFERRAL REBATE PROGRAM” by calling today!

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