Digital mock-ups streamline Brookhaven Village construction

EMJ’s Construction Technology (CT) team recently created a digital mock-up for EMJ Construction Special Projects’ Brookhaven Village retail project in Addison, Texas.

A digital mock-up is a 3D visual representation of proposed construction that allows a team to see how their current methods and materials will come to life on a project. Typically the architect designs the mock-up, but this can be complex when coordinating between owner, contractor and subcontractors.

Brian Tiehen, Quality Manager, saw an opportunity to utilize construction technology on the project. At the project kick-off meeting, Tiehen proposed that the CT team design a digital mock-up to submit to the architect to avoid delays.

EMJ Construction Special Projects Superintendent Tom Rue jumped at the opportunity. Within only a few days, Roger Aasheim, EMJ Virtual Construction Engineer II, had coordinated with him to create the mock-up.

“It’s a little bit like a Tetris puzzle,” Aasheim said. “We had to look at all the materials and possible situations and make them fit together in a small space. All the conditions need to be met for it to be useful.”

The digital mock-up allowed all parties to make necessary design adjustments before performing the full-scale structural mock-up.

“The beauty of this is being able to give the entire team a visual of how the mock-up should look,” said Rue. “You take that to the architect, they make several changes to their plans, and it simplifies the entire process before you’ve even started construction.”

“We sent it to the architect, and he approved it with minimal changes, which expedited the whole process,” Aasheim added.

The team then moved forward with the structural mock-up wall, giving the entire project team peace of mind to move forward efficiently into construction.

“I spoke with the architect after the fact, and he was absolutely thrilled,” Tiehen said. “Helping him get a visual representation together took something off his plate, made his job a lot easier, and set expectations for the project.”

The team’s efforts constructing this digital mock-up in only a few days served the team, the architect and ultimately the client to deliver an exceptional construction experience. Congratulations to the Brookhaven Village team on their proactive behavior!

West Towne Marketplace named Outstanding Project

In 2016, EMJ launched the Edgar M. Jolley Awards for Excellence to recognize exceptional work within the family of companies. The “Jolleys,” named in memory of EMJ’s founder, are presented in three categories: Outstanding Performance, Outstanding Servant Leadership and Outstanding Project.


In this five-part blog series, EMJ highlights our Outstanding Project recipients and why they were selected for these awards. Directors and Vice Presidents of the corporation nominate for Outstanding Project, which is given to a project team that delivered an exceptional client experience, added value, overcame challenges, demonstrated exemplary planning and execution, and built client relationships.

This year, EMJ recognized five projects with this award:

Signal Mill, Chattanooga, Tenn.
Tranquillity 8 Solar, Fresno County, Calif.
West Towne Marketplace, El Paso, Texas
Market City Center, Chattanooga, Tenn.
Wegmans, Medford, Mass.

In the coming weeks, we will highlight each project and the team that brought it to life on the blog. This week, we’re featuring West Towne Marketplace in El Paso, Texas.

West Towne Marketplace is a 500,000-square-foot open-air retail development on 63 acres that EMJ Construction Dallas built for River Oaks Properties, Ltd.

The Dallas team performed all site work and constructed 320,837 square feet of retail space, including build-outs for TJ Maxx, PetSmart and Rack Room. Meanwhile the Chattanooga team of EMJ Construction built the Cabela’s store on the property.

Challenges on West Towne Marketplace could have led to setbacks, but instead, the Dallas team led all project stakeholders to develop creative solutions to save the owner time, money, and even open early.

The team built 16 buildings on a 68-acre site within only 5 months, allowing tenants to occupy buildings and bring in revenue well ahead of schedule.


The team started the project proactively by creating a quality management plan and holding meetings to define roles and responsibilities throughout the project. They worked cohesively together and actively participated through various plan reviews, all-team meetings, buyout meetings, and preconstruction meetings.

The original design called for cast-in-place culvert, and the team coached the design team to go pre-cast, which saved the owner time and money.

The client expressed satisfaction with the team’s coordination, passion, accountability, and delivery of their projects and has since awarded the team an additional office building project.

Congratulations to the team from West Towne Marketplace!

Scott Finney, Senior Superintendent
Cody Shulze, Project Manager
Heath Wilson, Director of Construction
Mike Williams, Level II Superintendent
Mike Crouse, Senior Superintendent
Matt Griser, Director of Preconstruction
Sheila Nazario-Thomas, Administrative Assistant
Suzanna Trent, Administrative Assistant
Valerie Santoy, Administrative Assistant

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West Towne Marketplace opens in El Paso

Team celebrates completion of Sam’s Club, Walmart stores

Sam’s Club in Fort Worth, Texas, opened on Friday, January 12th following an extensive remodel.

The project included interior and exterior demolition, renovation of refrigerated cases, offices, restrooms, showroom spaces and more, and construction of several new areas, including the hearing center, café, pharmacy and health care center.

All work was performed at night, allowing the store, which is owned and operated by Walmart, to remain open throughout the remodel.

“This was our first Sam’s Club remodel,” said George Heath, Vice President – Retail Single Tenant, EMJ Construction – Dallas. “We took many years of remodel experience to Walmart and provided a new phasing plan and a new barricade system that allowed them to advertise the upcoming improvements and resulted in a gain of store sales.”

As a result of the project team’s innovative logistics solutions and commitment to exceeding the client’s goals, Walmart says it plans to use this project as a model for future Walmart and Sam’s Club renovations.

Sam's Club - Fort Worth, Texas

On Wednesday, January 24th, EMJ’s Dallas team again celebrated at the grand opening of the new Walmart Supercenter in Prosper, Texas.

The EMJ team performed all site work on the 18-acre development in addition to constructing the 193,525-square-foot store.

“The combined team delivered an outstanding client experience that has led to three additional projects,” said George. “I can’t tell you how proud I am to have this team represent EMJ in the Walmart program.”

Walmart Supercenter - Prosper, Texas

Congratulations to the team members on these projects:

Jeremiah Rader, Superintendent
Donny Scott, Superintendent
Denver Moody, Superintendent
Andrew Scott, Level II Superintendent
Aaron Scott, Level I Superintendent
Matt Connors, Project Manager
Heath Wilson, Director of Construction
Andrew Lackey, Project Engineer
Erick Perez, Project Engineer
Shaunese Farris, Senior Administrative Assistant
Sheila Nazario-Thomas, Senior Administrative Assistant

The Local in San Marcos to open August 2017


On August 8, 2016, the Virtual Builders Exchange highlighted the EMJ team’s construction progress on The Local Downtown, an apartment complex in San Marcos, Texas.

The complex is scheduled to welcome students of Texas State University in August 2017. The six-story building will feature around 8,000 square feet of retail, a two-level parking garage, a community pool and outdoor lounge area.

EMJ is proud to be a part of this project alongside Humphreys & Partners Architects, Carson Properties and EdR.

Read more from Virtual Builders Exchange.


Team Begins Work on EdR Project at Texas A&M


EMJ will begin construction on an on-campus housing community for EdR next week at Texas A&M University in Commerce, Texas.

The 136,975 square-foot residence hall is designed to foster a sense of community for first-year college students. It will also provide private study rooms, communal areas, laundry facilities with smartphone app monitoring capabilities and Wi-Fi throughout the building. It is scheduled for completion in summer of 2017.

Click here to

First anchor of Fort Worth’s Waterside opens

REI - Fort Worth

REI, an anchor of our Waterside project in Fort Worth, held their grand opening May 13-15, which featured giveaways, free classes and more for outdoor enthusiasts in the area. The 63-acre mixed use development is also anchored by Whole Foods and will be completed this summer.

Our team is responsible for the public roadway, utility infrastructure, retail shells, parking garage, private civil work, and the Grove, a common area with wood decks, rain water cistern, bocce ball court and pavilions for guests. Learn more about our progress on the Waterside development here.

The Outlet Shoppes of Laredo tops out

Beam Signing - Outlet Shoppes of Laredo

On May 12, 2016, Horizon Group Properties, Inc. and CBL & Associates celebrated the ongoing construction of The Outlet Shoppes of Laredo in a special “Beam Signing” event with city officials.

Located on the heavily traveled area of Gateway to the Americas (Bridge I), the shopping center is a very important development for the city of Laredo. EMJ is proud to be a part of the 358,000 square foot first phase of the project.

The mall’s design includes two levels of retail shopping, a two-level food court, one level for parking and a children’s play area. Six hundred covered parking spaces are conveniently located at the ground level, and a circulator bus will serve an additional 1,700 parking spaces.

The project will create about 1,200 permanent jobs and 1,600 seasonal jobs for the citizens of Laredo. Its convenient location along I-35 is expected to increase tourism revenue by attracting millions of Mexican shoppers in addition to the 900,000 residents in Laredo and Nuevo Laredo.

Learn more about the ceremony and the project here.

EMJ breaks ground on Tom Thumb


On May 9th, EMJ helped break ground on Tom Thumb’s new urban concept grocery store in Fort Worth. The grocer will anchor the 110,000 square-foot retail space that EMJ will build along West Seventh.

“This is going to be great for the Fort Worth community … but it’s also going to be really great for our company,” Dennis Bassler, southern division president for Tom Thumb and Albertsons, said at the groundbreaking ceremony.

Click here to read more about the project in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

Dallas team awarded Phase II of Grand Parkway Marketplace

The Chattanooga office is proud to be a part of a $28 million mixed-use development in the 700 block of Market Street in downtown Chattanooga.

Grand Pkwy Marketplace Phase II - Kimco

Kimco Realty has selected EMJ Construction – Dallas to complete Phase II of Grand Parkway Marketplace in Spring, Texas. Phase II consists of 36-acres with 13 built-to-suit retail spaces.

The Dallas team is already at work on Phase I of the development—a 450,000 square foot open-air shopping center that broke ground on Thursday, April 7.

“Our relationship with Kimco is one of trust and transparency; it reflects our C2C philosophy and the impact it can have on a project when used effectively by all parties,” said Ray Catlin, Executive Vice President, EMJ Construction – Dallas. “We look forward to the months ahead and watching this project come to life from concept-to-completion.”

Click here to read more about the project on

Groundbreaking celebrated at Grand Parkway Marketplace


On Thursday, April 7th, EMJ employees attended a groundbreaking ceremony for Kimco Realty Corporation’s Grand Parkway Marketplace in Spring, Texas. Our team is building the 450,000 square foot open-air shopping center development that will be anchored by Target Corporation. 

Read more about this project from the Houston Business Journal.