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  White Hen Express, Page 48White Hen Express
Direct Design LTD., Architects
400 South Route 31, McHenry, IL 60050

McHenry, Illinois
Total Square Feet: 13,628
Construction Period: Dec 1999 to Jul 2000

Construction Team
General Contractor: Direct Design Construction Management Ltd. - 400 South Route 31, McHenry, IL 60050
Electrical & Mechanical Engineer: Cartland Company - 1304 South Wolf Road, Wheeling, IL 60090 
Cost Estimator: Direct Design Construction Management Ltd. - 400 South Route 31, McHenry, IL 60050

The staff of Direct Design, Ltd. (DDL) Architects provided their expertise to transform two neglected lots into an easily accessible, premier retail life style center. The center is located in McHenry, Illinois. McHenry has a population of approximately 21,000 people. The town serves as the prime commerce area for several neighboring municipalities including, Prairie Grove, Johnsburg, Spring Grove, McCullom Lake, Wonder Lake and Bull Valley. The traffic at the intersection of this center is approximately 30,000 cars per day. 

The facility consisted of two lots of different zoning in different municipalities, one lot was an old landscape nursery and the other was a residential apartment building, both in disrepair. The local Fire Department, the state's largest volunteer fire department, conducted training exercises in the old buildings and eventually burnt them completely. 

DDL took care to work closely with officials to obtain approval to maximize the potential of these properties. In addition, DDL worked closely with State transportation officials to maximize accessibility without compromising safety. 

Direct Design handled all aspects of the development including all zoning issues and public hearings. The project required combining two parcels, special use permits for a fueling facility, and a conditional use for a drive-through facility. Individual permits were required by the office of the State Marshall for the fueling center and the McHenry County Health Department for the food service uses. The City of McHenry issued the building permits for the structures.

This facility is constructed of concrete block and brick bearing walls with stone accents and coping. Each 1,200-square-foot tenant space in the center was provided 200 amps of 120/208 volt electrical service, a 5-ton roof top gas fired HVAC unit, a separate gas service, and one accessible toilet room. The interior finishes included drywall taped and finished, acoustical ceiling, exit lighting, emergency lighting and lay-in parabolic light fixtures.

The convenience of tenants and customers was of high priority during the design process. A 4,628-square-foot White Hen Convenience store and Clark fueling center anchor the center. This location was the first White Hen/Clark facility since Clark Retail Group purchased White Hen in 2000. This store's high-end design includes a full deli, bake shop, coffee and express bar, patron seating, convenience store along with a 12 pump-fueling center and a car wash. 

The remaining 8,500-square-feet consists of a retail strip center. Each tenant provides products and services that provide quality and convenience to customers. Included in the facility is Express Cleaners, an upscale dry cleaner with a drive-through window, a burrito restaurant and a gift shop. National franchise tenants also include MailBoxes Etc. and Great Clips Hair Salon. 

DDL's sister company Direct Design Construction Management (DDCM) constructed the facility and was involved in all stages of the project. DDCM facilitated the fast track design, permitting, bidding and construction of the project. The facility was completed 10 months after closing on the property, including all zoning and permitting requirements.

Exterior Walls - Entrances & Storefronts: United States Aluminum; Brick: Glen Gery.
Interior Walls - Acoustical Treatment: Armstrong; Gypsum Board: United States Gypsum; Hardware: United States Aluminum.

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