Crosstown Substation Update

Panoramic View 01

In preparation for the official unveiling scheduled for June 7th rapid progress is being made on site in spite of the rain.  Installation of the plaza light bollards along 18th street as well as the finishing touches on site grading and landscape was completed today.  Programming of the lighting/art installation began this evening and will continue through early next week.  The artist niches will get a fresh coat of paint just in time for the ceremony.

Panoramic View 02


If you’ll be in the neighborhood (18th & Locust) on June 7th (“First Friday”) around 6pm please be sure to stop by and enjoy the festivities.  Jim Woodfill’s light display in the main art cabinet is a must see.  For a sneak peek of tonight’s light programming session check us out on instagram (pendulum_kc)

*Photographs by Iiams Images

Athletic Park Renovation – Wausau, WI

AP_Wausau_Aerial View

On April 17, 2013 a press conference was held in Wausau, WI to announce phased renovations to Historic Athletic Park.  The ballpark was originally constructed around 1912 and has been updated with minor renovations over the last twenty years.  The current planned improvements will be the first major renovation in the parks long history and will contribute to a long future for the Wisconsin Woodchucks in the Wausau market.  Pendulum Studio was retained by the team owner, Mark Macdonald for their pro forma based design approach and expertise in seating inventory, fan comfort, and revenue generating ideas.AP_Wausau_Front View

Phase one of the project will focus on a total reconstruction of the seating bowl behind home plate,  a new street facing facade with curb appeal, and the preservation of the existing historic granite perimeter wall.  In contrast to the current cramped bench seating that consists of line-of-sight obstructed views to the playing field surface, the new design will provide more spacious rows equipped with fixed armchair seats.  Dugout club group seating will also be provided at field level.

AP_Wausau_Field View

In the planned future phases additional concessions points of sale, toilet accommodations and roof top decks will target increased mid-priced group and corporate amenities.

Although the project is small in scale, patrons that visit the newly renovated ballpark can expect large-scale improvements in fan comfort.  Pendulum’s initial design process involved attending games and talking with fans about their current game-day experience.  We tossed around  design ideas amongst patrons of all ages, then applied the feedback to a series of sketches and 3D models that were simultaneously input into a pro forma to balance investment cost in consideration of long and short-term revenue potential.  Time will tell how successful our design process will prove to be in this particular application, however we have great expectations for the future.

Long-awaited plans unveiled for a new Bakersfield Blaze ballpark

BY JOHN COX Californian staff writer

After months, if not years, of anticipation, Bakersfield got the good news Thursday: a new ballpark is firmly in the works. Owners of the Bakersfield Blaze unveiled plans for a privately financed, 3,500-seat stadium that would become the first-phase centerpiece of the Bakersfield Commons mixed-use development project at Coffee and Brimhall roads.  Construction is expected to begin early next year and the ballpark could open in 2014, although not necessarily by the start of the baseball season. The $20 million stadium essentially would replace the county’s aging Sam Lynn Ballpark with a family-oriented facility to be accompanied eventually by new restaurants, retail and entertainment such as a new movie theater.  “The idea of this is to be more than just a baseball field,” said Gene Voiland, a prominent local oil executive who together with Bakersfield oilman Chad Hathaway purchased the Blaze last spring.  “We are putting together an entertainment complex.”  If approved as proposed, the 15-acre project would crown decades of sometimes frustrating negotiations aimed at giving Bakersfield a new baseball stadium. It would also comprise the “anchor tenant” considered key to attracting retail tenants to the 255-acre Bakersfield Commons project.  While the stadium would present new opportunities — it is expected to become a venue for concerts and, potentially, Cal State Bakersfield baseball — it also carries financial risks for the team’s new owners. By their own estimate, the new stadium will have to draw an average of 2,500 spectators per game, or about five times the typical Blaze home game at Sam Lynn. The expectation is that the project will bring The Blaze into the black financially, the team owners said Thursday.


The team hopes to sell advertising at the stadium and offer naming rights. There would also be up to eight executive suites, as well as lower priced seating on grassy berms, together increasing capacity by 1,500 people. The Blaze will move its offices and training facilities to the site, and roughly double its full-time staff to as many as 20 employees. Many will be assigned to develop non-baseball revenue opportunities, Blaze General Manager Elizabeth Martin indicated.  Voiland and Hathaway disclosed their plans to The Californian Thursday morning, shortly before filing for a conditional use permit with the city of Bakersfield. They predicted that the stadium’s light, noise and traffic impacts will not bother area residents or present additional hurdles to city approval of the larger Bakersfield Commons project.  Upon receiving the team’s permit request Thursday afternoon, city staff scheduled a Dec. 11 hearing before the city’s Board of Zoning Adjustments to consider what amounts to an adjustment of the project’s existing approval.  Rhonda Smiley, assistant to Bakersfield City Manager Alan Tandy, who was away from the office Thursday, said city staff are “enthused” about working with The Blaze on the stadium. “Obviously the city … has been … long interested in bringing baseball — professional baseball — to a higher level in Bakersfield, in terms of an improved stadium,” Smiley said.

Laying groundwork

Some of the stadium’s groundwork is already in place. The Blaze has signed a 20-year, renewable lease with World Oil Corp., the property’s owner and developer of the Bakersfield Commons project.  The team has also hired two separate architectural firms – Pendulum Studio, a Kansas City, Mo. based firm with experience designing sports stadiums; and Fresno’s Teter Architects & Engineers. The builder is to be Bakersfield-based Wallace & Smith General Contractors.  The project’s real estate adviser is Grubb & Ellis – ASU & Associates in Bakersfield.  How the project will be paid for is less clear. The team’s owners declined to discuss details of the necessary financing, saying only that no public money will be involved and that they are looking for local investors to help them move forward with the stadium.  World Oil representatives said they see the project as key to kick-starting Bakersfield Commons, which wouldn’t begin building about 300,000 square feet of adjacent retail and restaurant space until about the time the stadium opens. Residential and office development would follow later.  “The Blaze stadium is the perfect catalyst to get this started,” World Oil principal Robert Roth said in a written statement.  Access to the stadium would come largely from the Coffee Road exit of the Westside Parkway, which is expected to be completed in the spring of 2012. Baseball fans will find some 830 parking spaces spread over eight acres.  Ticket prices have not yet been established but are expected to vary between $9 and $11 depending on where in the stadium the seat is located. Voiland said tickets won’t cost as much as $20.  “It’s still going to be family-priced entertainment,” he said.

Time Warner Cable Field Renovation

Pendulum Studio has been selected to design the renovation of Time Warner Cable Field at Fox Cities Stadium located in Grand Chute, WI.  The ballpark was originally constructed in 1995 during an era of MiLB ballparks geared primarily toward compliance with minimum National Association (NA) facility standards.   Although this strategy provided a safe and comfortable destination for enjoying America’s favorite pastime, shifts in the traditional baseball business model over the past 17 years has presented quite a few challenges for most teams operating in facilities built prior to the late 90’s.  Some of the key challenges associated with maintaining a competitive edge in aged facilities are as follows:

  1. Shortage of concession points of sale
  2. Lack of appropriate toilet fixture ratios
  3. Lack of diversity in seating inventory
  4. Absence of premium amenities
  5. Limited ability to function on a year-round basis
  6. inadequate storage capacity

While the traditional  baseball business model focused on the “game”, the new in minor league baseball is centered around maximizing fan comfort and family entertainment.  Although “the game” is still the vehicle for attracting patrons to the front gates, “the show” between innings on the field, during the game in the stands and on the concourses is what keeps people (especially families) coming back for more.  Because of the popularity in this trend, new and renovated facilities are moving toward more compact lower density seating configurations that promote diversity in seating inventory (group, premium, semi-premium) versus the typical fixed armchair seating.  In the wake of the decline of corporate participation in the form of sponsorship and long-term premium suite lease agreements we now see teams trending heavily toward multi-use flex spaces in the form of meeting rooms and banquet space that can also be configured to accommodate traditional suite functions during games.  This move has enabled teams to extend facility use beyond the confines of the regular season thus also maximizing the potential for revenue which promotes economic sustainability.

Stadium Improvements

The planned improvements to Time Warner Cable Field at Fox Cities Stadium are geared toward complimenting some of the forward thinking improvements that were already completed prior to the previous season.  These improvements were instrumental in diversifying existing seating inventory  – i.e. the first & third base bullpen premium seating shown below.

This next phase of improvements will focus on relocating enclosed premium inventory from the main concourse to a newly constructed suite/banquet level, expanding administrative, retail, food service and storage capacity while increasing the ability of the facility to accommodate year-round events.  The images below illustrate the proposed look and feel of our schematic design concepts.  We will continue to update this imagery as we progress toward the final design and documentation.  It is an honor to be working with the Timber Rattlers on this exciting project.  Opening day in April 2013 is going to be special.

Group to offer private financing, construction proposal for new ballpark in Wilmington, NC


Wilmington, N.C. – This morning, the Atlanta Braves and Mandalay Baseball announced that a group of local, regional and national developers and investors will present the City Council with a proposal to privately finance and construct a new ballpark in Wilmington.

This team, including developer Raiford Trask III, architectural firm LS3P and co-developer Flywheel, LLC, will take the next 30 days to draft a plan, including costs and benefits for the City of Wilmington. The plan will then be presented to the City Council who will have the opportunity to review and vote on the proposal after it is vetted by an independent firm, which the city is expected to name next week.

Mike Plant, executive vice president of the Atlanta Braves said that this is a financing model the Braves have used to great success.

“We believe the city council will quickly recognize the value and opportunity this approach provides,” Plant said.

The ballpark will remain a public-private partnership between the city and private investors, and the Braves and Mandalay have restated their long-term commitment to Wilmington. One potential benefit of private financing is a longer potential loan term that reduces annual costs. In addition, the city will not be taking on the construction and financing risks, which will be borne by the private developers.

Rich Neumann, president of baseball development for Mandalay Baseball said that today’s announcement and this private proposal come as a response to several conversations he’s had with Wilmington residents in the past few months.

“I have had conversations with all the members of the City Council, Wilmington business leaders and residents, and one of their chief concerns has been the city taking responsibility for financing and constructing a ballpark,” Neumann said. “Thanks to Raiford and Clay and the group here today, we can address their concerns while also putting together a great deal for the city.

“Making the announcement with us today, we have our entire development and financing team. These respected local groups will put together and present the city council with a proposal for their consideration in time for budget deliberations.”

Neumann said that today’s announcement represents an important next step for the project.

“Ultimately, a privately-funded ballpark will be a better deal for Wilmington, and addresses the concerns we’ve heard from taxpayers,” Neumann said.

Members of the development team include:

Mike Plant and Chip Moore with the Atlanta Braves
Rich Neumann with Mandalay Baseball Properties
Clay Boardman with Flywheel, LLC in Augusta, GA; co-developer
Raiford Trask with Trask Land Company in Wilmington, NC; co-developer
Chris Boney with LS3P Associates Ltd. in Wilmington; lead architect of the development team
Laura Miller with LS3P Associates
Jonathan Cole with Pendulum Studio in Kansas City, MO; design architect
Chet Roach with Brailsford & Dunlavey in Charlotte, NC; project manager
Mark Jones with Brasfield & Gorrie in Raleigh, NC; co-construction manager
Chris Reid with Thomas Construction Group in Wilmington, NC; co-construction manager
Richard Collier and Margaret Gray with McKim & Creed in Wilmington, NC; civil engineers