Frost Tower – a Gleaming Addition to the Fort Worth Skyline
Balfour Beatty has been a prominent fixture in the Fort Worth community since 1991. We strive to be as active as possible in the community and are always looking for new opportunities to diversify our portfolio. Alongside projects like the THR Harris Methodist Justin Tower and the Fort Worth Police & Firefighter Memorial, we recently had the privilege of constructing Frost Tower Fort Worth. Balfour Beatty provided preconstruction and construction management services for the new 29-story, 323,415-square-foot, Class AA office and retail tower in downtown Fort Worth. At the time of construction, Frost Tower was the seventh-tallest building in Fort Worth and the first one to exceed 200 feet since 2009.
The goal of the developer for the project, Anthracite Realty Partners LP, was to create a work environment that serves as a home away from home for the building’s tenants, with a strong emphasis on first-class quality finishes and services. The project features ground floor retail shops, an eatery with a dining deck overlooking Sundance Square and Burnett Park, a rooftop garden, a 12th floor sky lobby and conference center and 934 parking spaces. There are 29 levels in total; 4 levels below grade and 25 levels above grade. Notably, Frost Tower is the first building in Fort Worth to utilize destination dispatch for elevators. This technology uses advanced algorithms to optimize the flow of traffic within a multi-elevator building. Overall, there are 11 elevators; 5 in the garage and 6 in the tower.
Line Drilling Through Limestone
From the early stages, all the way through completion, we paved the way for project success. Because a high-rise hadn’t been built in the City of Fort Worth in over a decade, we met with the City frequently to discuss important details, including permits and inspections.
Every large project has it challenges; however, Frost Tower faced some unique hurdles. The urban location presented tight sight conditions and the building foundation required a deep and complicated excavation. Our team had to dig their way through 62 feet of limestone, which is the deepest excavation Fort Worth has seen. We encountered rock at just 20 feet but still had to keep moving forward. The rock was so strong that it sheered the teeth on our excavators. We had to be careful not to undermine the foundation or fracture the rock under the surrounding buildings. To be extra cautious, we utilized “line drilling” to cut through the limestone, which took longer than intended.
Due to excavation delays, the project was a month behind schedule when we began coming up out of the ground. However, our team wasn’t going to let this stop them. The team worked tirelessly from early in the morning to late at night to make-up lost time, topping out the structure one week behind schedule and eventually completing the project on time.
Another challenge we faced was working in close quarters to adjacent businesses. Following our Good Neighbor Policy, the project team scheduled regular meetings with local businesses to clearly communicate noise levels, crane usage, and other construction activities that had the potential to be disruptive. Informing them of when these activities were scheduled reduced stress and allowed them to plan around these activities. We involved the project architect and owner in these meetings and included a Q&A session to ensure all concerns were addressed.
Building Relationships to Last a Lifetime
Balfour Beatty understands the importance of maintaining positive client relationships. Our main goal when working with clients is to be a Relentless Ally, working closely with them throughout preconstruction and construction and standing ready to assist following completion. Because of this philosophy and the collaborative approach of our knowledgeable project team on the core and shell portion of the project, the owner later awarded Balfour Beatty the build-out of their private office space.
Although we faced several obstacles building Frost Tower, we found innovative ways to overcome them to ultimately deliver a stunning, 29-story high-rise. The success of Frost Tower led to several more commercial opportunities for Balfour Beatty in Fort Worth, including 714 Main. Working again the Fort Worth-design team of Bennett Benner Partners, 714 Main features the conversion of a historic building in downtown Fort Worth into a 26-story Kimpton-flagged, four-star hotel, which will be the first Kimpton property in the city.
- Partner of the Year- The LegUp Program, 2017
- Topping Out Award, 2019