Shaw Creek Case Study

Open Space TX Leverages Shepherding Skills to Project Manage

Based on the depth of their experience and knowledge in the land development industry, Open Space TX was able to develop and install a park and playground for a Dallas area master planned community, by precisely shepherding the project, which successfully avoided time and money consuming issues.

Client Background: Henry S. Miller is one of the largest independent full service commercial real state firms in Texas. Shaw Creek Ranch is a master planned community just southeast of downtown Dallas in Ferris, Texas. This community showcases a host of impressive amenities. Residents at Shaw Creek Ranch will enjoy a community park with a splash pad, a children’s playground, a basketball court, walking trails and more. As lot development commenced, HSM contacted Whirlix Design, a Texas-based playground sales and servicer to install the playground and splash pad within the community park.

The Challenge: During the discussions with Whirlix Design, HSM demonstrated a need for help with the development of the entire park and Whirlix Design recommended Open Space TX as a solution. Complications arose when turn over in personnel within the municipality’s permit department threatened to derail timely project completion. Additional problems in landscape design posed drainage issues and required solutions. A tenacious project manager with unique problem solving skills was required to shepherd this project.

Why Open Space TX was chosen: With their focus on lot development at the time, HSM welcomed help with the park and playground development. Having worked with Whirlix Design on other projects, HSM was confident in their recommendation to bring in Open Space TX to oversee the entire park development. Whirlix Design asked Open Space to submit a proposal to manage the project. After reviewing the proposed scope, an agreement was reached with Henry S. Miller.

The project scope: Open Space was hired as an independent consulting contractor. Services provided were:

  • Design & Engineering oversight and management covering site grading, basketball court, retaining wall, splash pad, playground, and park amenities.
  • Permit application, submittal, and response through permit delivery. Permit inspections and close-outs.
  • Project Schedule Management (Gantt).
  • Job Site Construction Management and Task assignments
  • Drone Services to document project progress.

The agreement was set-up as a “work in progress” subject to amendment with a retainer and payment rendered as services were performed.

Open Space TX uniquely serves Whirlix Design and and Henry S. Miller: With over 30 years combined experience in landscape architecture, land development, design, management and installation of amenity spaces in large master planned communities for large Texas developers, Open Space was uniquely positioned to meet the challenges presented by this project.

Project management within the construction industry requires the ability to speak the language of all parties involved. Open Space coordinated with the City on the plan review and then relayed the City’s concerns to the Landscape Architect. Open Space then worked with the LA to revise the plan and resubmitted the plan to the City which streamlined communication – saving time and money.

With open and transparent communication with the client, Open Space shepherded the project from start to finish, including planning the sequence of actions to be taken: defining milestones, assigning roles, fostering team spirit, tracking progress, and making adjustments to plans as needed.

To the delight of the client, Open Space was able to deliver the project faster and at a lower cost than Whirlix and HSM had anticipated.

The difference it made in the project: HSM’s focus was on lot development and needed Open Space to manage this project. They counted on Open Space’s tenacity, development experience and communication skills to overcome the hurdles presented by the municipality and landscape architect. Hurdles were overcome and both Whirlix Design and HSM were pleased with the recommended solutions and completion of the project.

Key Results: Open Space provided regular monthly reports to demonstrate progress and prove value. Drone footage was shot to provide proof of project progress. With dogged determination and forethought Open Space was able to navigate and exceed expectations:

  • Due to almost complete turnover in personnel at the city permitting office, the splash pad approval and permitting had fallen through the cracks. Months of delay was averted as Open Space brokered a deal, between the municipality and HSM, for maintenance of the splash pad, in order to allow the project to move forward.
  • As grading for the project commenced and the initial retaining wall was put in place, it became clear to Open Space that the park design had not properly accounted for drainage near the basketball court and splash pad. Open Space facilitated discussions with the architect and engineer to properly address the issue and add a retaining wall to address the problem. These additions could have added significantly to the budget, however, Open Space was able to source services that allowed them to stay on budget and schedule.

Summary: Open Space’s involvement on this project resulted in a happy client, cos saved time. Their experience, knowledge and communication skills brought this project to a successful conclusion. Without Open Space, the costs and time delays on this job would have been significantly more. Convinced of the value Open Space brought to the project, Whirlix Design and HSM have discussed additional future projects.

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