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Past Mequon updates1

Updated 2/11/14
     It's beginning to look a lot like … An Outpost! Now that our refrigeration equipment has arrived and is being installed, it's no longer difficult to picture the grocery store that will open up in a few months. Some of the finishing touches of decor — such as ceramic tile, awnings, specialty flooring, reclaimed doors and finishes are now being applied to the interior.


A tile setter from Berry Ceramic Tile in Cudahy, installs custom tiles Monday, Feb. 10, 2014 in one of the bathrooms at Outpost's Mequon store. The custom handmade tiles were designed by Minneapolis-based Mercury Mosaics.


     All of the current work is progressing so that in a few weeks we can start up all of the mechanical systems, and then stop work on the project for a week or so, allowing the building to "flush out" any natural material odors. This is an important step in the LEED certification process.

The crew from Milwaukee's 360 Degrees LLC. installs custom awnings Monday, Feb. 10, 2014 at Outpost's Mequon store.


     Following our flush out period, grocery shelving will be delivered and set, followed closely by our grocery deliveries. When winter (finally) ends, there is still some exterior work that needs to take place before we are ready to open for business. While an opening date has not yet been set, we will keep all interested parties up to date on that progress.

     In the meantime, don't miss our Taste of Outpost event, happening March 8, 2014 at the Mequon Nature Preserve.


Wagner's Corners, circa 1870's

Wagner's Corners - Mr. & Mrs. Wagner in front of their general store, circa 1870's.

Photo courtesy of the Mequon Historical Society

Updated 12/20/13

     A lot of work by involving a number of different trades is happening simultaneously. Walls are being framed with studs, walk-in cooler panels are fitting together like puzzle pieces, and overhead marks the beginnings of HVAC ductwork and sprinkler pipes, weaving in-between the steel trusses and decking.

     The Outpost team and MSI construction teams continue to meet weekly to make sure work is on target according to plan. This includes a review of equipment and operations, brand and design finishes, sustainability objectives, community outreach and, of course making sure the project stays on budget. During the meetings each subcontractor’s work is reviewed according to the master schedule developed for the project, and the exact location of pipes, wires, ducts, lights, and walls is determined in coordination with the team. Because we use the design/build process – minor adjustments like this can happen after the plans are drawn without causing additional costs to Outpost.

     This week the refrigeration team has begun installing all of the walk-in cooler panels. You don't see these rooms on the retail floor, but when functioning they keep your perishable foods safely stored. Walk-in coolers have to be in place before any of the walls are built around them. Overhead, the heating/air conditioning ducts are about 80% completed, as is the overhead sprinkler system. Wall framing should also be completed by the end of this week, which means the dry wall team (rockers) will start their work next week. The first of our equipment (freezers and coolers) will arrive on January 27th so the construction crew is working hard to make sure the walls are up and painted in those areas prior to the equipment arrival.


Updated 11/15/13

     It's beginning to look a lot like Outpost, everywhere you go - on our job site, that is. It's a fast-track pace and great progress has been made on the exterior construction of the building by all of our construction partners. Walls and ceiling deck are in place as contractors now focus on installing widows and doors and then sealing up the entire building. This will then allow for temporary heat to be installed so the interior cement floors can be poured.

     All of our contractors are now parking across the street at a neighboring business so final site and parking lot grading can occur - then the curbs, gutters and sidewalks can be poured. You can already see the stone work for the walls and pillars of our pavilion at the far southwest corner of the lot. All before the end of November. Wow!

     Because the store is a LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) Gold designated project, there is always attention to environmental excellence. Most of the construction waste is sorted and recycled on site.

     The early history of Mequon is proving to be very fascinating. We are learning a bit more about the history of the land as it existed in the mid 19th century. Our friends at the Historic Jonathan Clark House, home to the Mequon Historical Society, have been terrific allies in doing research on the parcel. It appears in the late 19th century, the intersection was a busy hamlet of local commerce, referred to as Wagner's Corners, featuring a pickle cannery, dairy, cheesemaker, butcher, school house and a small general store. It may even be that the general store once stood where our pavilion will be built in spring. Coincidence? It looks like the above photo of Mr. & Mrs. Wagner is shot facing north. The research continues! (p.s. Is that a rain barrel on the right side of the building?)


Updated 10/17/13

     It's mid October and, WOW, is the exterior work moving along! The window of opportunity for decent outdoor working conditions is slowly closing so the goal is to have the building all sealed up before the snow flies (did we just say snow??). Then the interior work begins.

     The past few weeks have shown tremendous progress on all of the exterior masonry work - even the installation of the decorative finishes using the Lannon stone from the former buildings. It's really starting to look like a store! In addition to the exterior work, all the steel for the interior is in place and soon the roof will be going on. The second floor mezzanine which will hold the manager's offices and a staff break room on top and product storage space below is completed. Roof-mounted Solar Tubes will be used to bring in bright, natural day lighting into the manager's offices, saving energy. This eliminates the need for second story windows as well, providing additional privacy for our neighbors.

     Folks familiar with driving along Wauwatosa Road will now recognize the new turn island and those driving west along Mequon Road will see a new right turn lane.  Both were required by the Wisconsin Department of Transportation. Shortly, sidewalks will go in along the west side of the property, as per the City of Mequon.

     Now for the fun things to look for!

  • Along Mequon and Wauwatosa roads look for our new rain gardens. Not much to see right now - mostly large excavated trenches filled with 3' or more of pea gravel -  but come next spring with all the snow melt and water runoff from the road and from the parking lot, those gardens will slowly be primed for the new spring planting. The rain gardens, along with permeable pavers in the parking lot, will help take the pressure off of the storm sewers.
  • Some folks may have noticed two giant cement boxes being lifted by a crane and set into the ground. Those boxes are actually our water cisterns that will be used to capture the excess water from our reverse osmosis bottled water program. That clean source of excess water will diverted to flush toilets. No water waste.
  • Roll out the pizza dough - er, well, get ready to, as masonry for the brick pizza oven is set in place.

And good news! All of the specimen trees that were dug up and transplanted onto our neighbor's property have survived the construction phase. Yaaay, more green space!


Updated 9/3 /13

     With the land graded and ready for construction, first on order is getting the footings (foundation) in place so the walls can go up. Right now, masons are the only trade on the work site. Work is well under way with the north wall, and loading dock area.

     A mock up of how the reclaimed Lannon stone from the former house shows that, indeed, it will all be repurposed in a beautiful manner! These recycled stones will be placed on the south and west portions of the exterior walls, east portion of an interior wall in the cafe seating area, and the two brick walls that will mark the corner "welcome" to our store.

     Once the mason's work is completed, then the structural steel will go in place. By the time the snow will be flying, the exterior will be completed.


Updated 7/12/13

     The old Pipkorn Farm on the corner of Mequon and Wauwatosa roads is looking pretty different these days. First of all, it’s now property of Outpost Natural Foods Co-op. Hooray! And work officially began on our new store project, clearing the trees, shrubs, and buildings to open the space to prepare for our fourth store location.

     Work on the site began in early June with the replanting of several larger arborvitae along the north edge of the property to shield the neighbor’s back yards. Our gardener, Christine Goldsworthy from our State St. store, began transferring some of the perennial plants from the Mequon gardens to the gardens of our existing stores. The existing buildings on the site, a Lannon stone home and several wooden workshop sheds, were examined by our design team to determine what materials would be reclaimed and used in the gardens or as part of the new building structure. The Lannon stone will be used to build two walls on the corner of the property that will lead to a pavilion structure. The stone will also be used in the seating area of the store. Much of the wood from the buildings will be used to make some of the seating area tables, while other wood sliding doors will be used as part of the store décor.

     Timber! And then the trees came down, one by one, as the tree crew worked to take off the branches of spruce, pine, and a variety of hardwoods - chipping that wood for the paths of the Mequon Nature Preserve just a mile or so away. All of the main timber from these trees were cut into 8-foot sections, and carried off to Kettle Moraine Hardwoods, a mill where it will be dried and processed into lumber. The lumber will then go to Urban Forest Products LLC, a regional company whose sustainability mission is to make sure that wood harvested from urban forests is available for use and kept in the local market.

     We're crushing the concrete! Yup, all of the old concrete foundations and building infrastructure won't go to waste, either. Rather than landfill it, the broken hunks of concrete have been removed and taken to a recycling facility in Richfield where it will be crushed and used in other projects. So, while we won't be using the actual crushed concrete from our project, we have already unloaded onto the job site crushed backfill that came from other recycled projects. See how that works?

     And this is how an Outpost store is built, every step evaluated for sustainability and best use of what was previously there. Watch for more updates to follow.

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