Founders’ Hall opens in Collegedale

Last week, EMJ joined the Collegedale Tomorrow Foundation and others to celebrate completion of Founders’ Hall, an event venue for farmer’s markets, weddings, community events, and more.

Photo by Collegedale Tomorrow Foundation Inc.


Founders’ Hall served as phase II of EMJ’s ongoing work at The Commons, an eight-acre cultural and recreational space serving the Collegedale, Tenn., community.

Phase I, which opened in late 2017, included a clock tower, Redwood tree grove, and an open-air pavilion, and Phase III will include the addition of a sound stage for concerts. It is expected to be completed in 2019.

The Commons is the culmination of joint efforts by Collegedale leaders, the Collegedale Tomorrow Foundation, and the public to bring this center to the community.

“We are honored to be a part of bringing this project to Collegedale,” said Matt Elliott, EMJ Project Manager. “The Foundation and community leaders have worked hard to make it possible, and we are glad to be a small part of giving this strong community something to enjoy for years to come. Thanks to all of our trade partners and colleagues for their hard work in getting us here.”

Congratulations to the EMJ team on this project:

Ryan Colbert, Project Engineer
Matt Elliott, Project Manager
Blake Johnson, Lead Superintendent
Joe Woolums, Senior Preconstruction Manager

Pictured (left to right): Matt Elliott, Project Manager; Alex Miller, Vice President of Preconstruction; Ryan Colbert, Project Engineer; and Blake Johnson, Lead Superintendent


For more information on the new space, visit

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Chattanooga celebrates grand opening of The Commons

Chattanooga celebrates grand opening of The Commons

chattanooga, commons, collegedale, open air pavilion
Photo: Erin O. Smith, Chattanooga Times Free Press


EMJ Chattanooga joined the community of Collegedale, Tenn., to celebrate the grand opening of Phase I of The Commons on Sunday, November 5.

The Grand Opening Festivities and Town Christmas Tree Lighting was sponsored by the City of Collegedale and the Collegedale Tomorrow Foundation and featured live music, a Christmas tree lighting, and a ribbon-cutting ceremony.

chattanooga, commons, collegedale, open air pavilion, phase I
Photo: Chattanooga Times Free Press


The Commons, a three-phase project on an eight-acre site, will serve as a cultural and recreational center for the Collegedale community. Phase 1 contains four acres of infrastructure work, a clock tower, a 30,000-square-foot area planted with 32 Redwood trees, and a 2,000-square-foot open-air entry pavilion with restrooms. A Japanese cedar will be planted at the back of the shade pavilion to serve as a permanent Christmas tree.

Construction will begin on Phase II, an 11,000-square-foot covered pavilion, this month. While the entry pavilion will serve small gatherings, the second pavilion will be large enough to serve as an event venue for farmer’s markets, weddings and more.

chattanooga, commons, collegedale, open air pavilion, phase 1
Photo: Tim Barber, Chattanooga Times Free Press


Phase III, which is estimated to be completed at the end of 2019, will be the addition of a sound stage for concerts.

“EMJ Corporation has done a great job building The Commons for all of us to enjoy,” said David Barto, Executive Director of the Collegedale Tomorrow Foundation. “A special thank you to Mr. Jay Jolley  [EMJ Chairman of the Board] for taking on this project and a big thank you for our team of project leads from Clint Dean to Matt Elliott and Joe Woolums to our ‘boots on the ground’ site superintendent, Matt Uebler. We have a good team.”

Congratulations to the EMJ team on this project:

Matt Uebler, Superintendent
Matt Elliott, Project Manager
Ryan Colbert, Project Engineer
Joe Woolums, Senior Preconstruction Manager
James Williams, Director of Construction
Clint Dean, Executive Vice President

Related stories:

Collegedale Commons Planned On 8 Acres Next To Current City Hall

City of Collegedale Looking to Create Their Own History


EMJ celebrates completion of four Florida hotels

On the heels of EMJ’s ranking as #16 on Building Design + Construction’s list of top hotel contractors, our Chattanooga team is proud to announce the completion of four new Florida hotels.

In August, EMJ’s team celebrated the opening of TownePlace Suites by Marriott in Orlando. Located near SeaWorld Park, TownPlace Suites has six floors with 188 suites featuring full kitchens. The hotel also offers an outdoor pool with a poolside Tiki bar, an exercise room, laundry facilities and a meeting space that can accommodate up to 114 people. Our EMJ team completed all site work, including the outdoor pool and hardscape amenities, in addition to the utility infrastructure and construction of the 132,270-square-foot hotel.


TownePlace Suites shares a site with Holiday Inn Express & Suites Orlando, which opened in October. Our team built the six-story, 181-room hotel, its outdoor resort-style pool, and 1,740-square-feet of meeting space.


In mid-September, Residence Inn by Marriott in Pompano Beach, Fla., opened. The 112-room, extended-stay hotel features one- and two-bedroom suites with full kitchens and residential-sized appliances. In addition, the hotel has a business center, a pool, an exercise room and meeting space.

Photo from


The EMJ team also recently completed the SpringHill Suites/Residence Inn in Clearwater Beach. A unique, dual hotel project, the projects spans 325,000 square feet and includes ground floor retail space, parking on levels one, two and three, and 255 suites located on floors four through seven. Construction also included an elevated, outdoor swimming pool on level four.

Photo by 3HGroup

“The teams worked long and hard to overcome many obstacles, by far some of the most difficult projects to construct in the industry,” said Philip Augustino, Senior Vice President of Construction, EMJ Corporation. “Their dedication resulted in superior quality and a great client experience.”

Congratulations to the team members on these projects:

Mike Coyne, Lead Superintendent
Ron James, Lead Superintendent
Dave Sprague, Superintendent
Roy Cramer, Superintendent
Dexter Lezama, Superintendent
Trent Pickel, Superintendent
Adam Graves, Project Manager
Brandon Pray, Project Engineer
Kevin Fix, Project Engineer
Philip Augustino, Senior Vice President of Construction
Tania Nicholson, Staff Accountant
Robin Phillips, Project Accountant

To see more of EMJ’s hotel work, visit our projects page.

The Local student housing complex opens at Texas State

The Local student housing

This week, EMJ’s Chattanooga team celebrated the grand opening of The Local Downtown, a 217,000-square-foot, seven-story student housing project near the campus of Texas State University in San Marcos, Texas.

The luxury, mid-rise development is a concrete podium and wood structure with parking and retail space on the ground floor and additional parking on level two. Floors three through seven include 96 studio, one-, two- and four-bedroom units. The complex also offers a clubhouse lobby, fitness center, saunas, study lounge, computer lab with printing services, bicycle storage, media room and game room.

The Local student housing

The Local student housing

Congratulations to the EMJ team members who dedicated many hours to complete this project:

Ryan Blaylock – Level II Superintendent
Ford Long – Level I Superintendent
Joey Barbeauld – Project Manager
Jonathan Horne – Director of Quality Assurance
Jason Dunnam – Senior Project Superintendent
Brad Primus – Preconstruction Manager
Gary Gibson – Director of Construction
Jonathon Couch – Project Engineer
Jonathon Woolsey – Project Engineer
Kevin Reece – Superintendent
Dave Dexter – Level I Superintendent
Kevin Fix – Project Engineer
Henry LaCroix – Level II Superintendent
Donnie Foreman – Superintendent
Clint Dean – Executive Vice President

The Local student housing

Grand Parkway Phase I celebrates grand opening

Grand Parkway Marketplace hosted its grand opening and ribbon-cutting ceremony last Friday, officially opening the doors to seven of its new junior anchor stores, including PetSmart, DSW, Party City, Burlington, Michaels, TJ Maxx, and Ulta Cosmetics. The center also opened many other retailers with more being added weekly.

grand parkway marketplace phase I

Developed by Kimco Realty and constructed by our EMJ Construction team, the project spans 75 acres in the Houston metro area and will feature a clear water lake including a boardwalk, fountains and fish with four surrounding restaurants. EMJ constructed the shells of all anchor stores as well as the finish-out of several of the stores within the development.

grand parkway marketplace phase I - A.
Shown: Senator John Betancourt, Commissioner R. Jack Cagel, Robert Nadler, Conor Flynn, Alan Ferguson of Kimco, Richard Ellwood of Alta Realty


Phase II of the retail development is a 275,000-square-foot project across the street from Phase I.  EMJ’s Academy Sports+Outdoors is currently under construction and opening in September. Upon completion, both marketplaces will span over 100 acres.

EMJ thanks Kimco for the opportunity to build this project and for our continued partnership and looks forward to sharing Grand Parkway Marketplace II with the Spring community soon.

Programmatic experience aids Grand Parkway’s Academy

Dallas team awarded Phase II of Grand Parkway Marketplace



Farmer Brothers hosts “first roast” at new headquarters

Farmer Brothers hosted a ceremonial “first roast” at its newly-constructed headquarters in Northlake, Texas, on April 27th.

EMJ team members and community leaders joined Farmer Brothers CEO Mike Keown and company executives for the ceremony, followed by tours of the headquarters and roasting plant.

“We’re excited to begin the next chapter in our company’s growth from our beautiful new home in North Texas,” says Keown. “We anticipate bringing about 225 new jobs to the area, and we’re looking forward to becoming an integral part of Northlake and the surrounding North Texas region.”

Constructed by EMJ’s Dallas team, the new building includes a 258,338-square-foot distribution center, a 194,438-square-foot coffee production facility, and 84,823 square-feet of office space for its nearly 400 corporate employees.

Initially, the roasting plant will be able to roast approximately 24-28 million pounds of coffee annually, with the capacity for significant growth in the future.

EMJ’s team on the project recently received the Edgar M. Jolley Award for Outstanding Project for their efforts to bring the client an exceptional construction experience and deliver unique value.

Efficiency and sustainability were a priority for Farmer Brothers, so our team worked to ensure that the property would exceed these expectations for many years to come through recycled materials, water and energy-saving resources. The facility is expected to achieve LEED certification.

“This was Farmer Brothers’ first construction project, and I believe our team provided an outstanding experience for them while delivering a project that will continue to bring them value and achieve their goals for many years,” said Ray Catlin, Executive Vice President of EMJ’s Dallas office.

Last year, the project was recognized as Best Outside Relocation Real Estate Deal by the Dallas Business Journal and Best New Industrial Project by D CEO Magazine.

Related stories:

Farmer Brothers team receives Jolley for Outstanding Project

Farmer Brothers headquarters honored by D CEO