Top of The Leaderboard
With eyes on the prize, gamers flock to Frankie’s of Charlotte, hoping to be at the top of the leaderboard— whether sinking putts, drifting cars or knocking down pins. That thrill of success drives adrenaline junkies to rise to the challenge. The same pursuit of success drove Balfour Beatty to create a dazzling space for gamers and golfers alike.
Over the course of 23 months, Balfour Beatty worked relentlessly to earn Frankie’s a spot at the top of the amusement park leaderboard, overcoming obstacles and conquering challengers on every aspect of the 84,124-square-foot indoor/outdoor arcade just north of Charlotte, in Huntersville, N.C.
One of the project’s most notable challenges was the transformation of the original valleyed site into a flat slab suitable for aspiring amateur golfers to pitch the perfect putt on the 54-hole miniature golf course. The team spent months cutting, filling and moving of more than 250,000 cubic yards of dirt—the course to creating a perfect perch for the 84,000-square-foot arcade space, taking almost seven months of scheduled time and nearly five hundred million pounds of dirt moved onto the site.
The fiercest of competitors was Mother Nature herself, drenching the site with 40 inches of rain over the course of seven months. The precipitation resulted in an unbelievable 66 rain days. To combat the nearly two months of weather-related delays, the team kicked it into overdrive, working nights and weekends to ensure the remaining 16 months stayed on course. To keep the site from going underwater, the team installed above-ground drains that wick water away, depositing it into one of three underground wells totaling 714,000 square feet of underground water collection and storage.
The team faced equally daunting obstacles indoors. Frankie’s of Charlotte’s sprawling arcade floor contains more than 100 blinking and buzzing games that require an incredible amount of electricity. The extensive electrical system—480 volts for rides and 277 volts for lights—had to be expansive enough to keep the entire arcade powered and populated, but deliberative enough to keep the entire system from overloading.
Balfour Beatty’s solution was to divide the electrical systems into components, with each share routing to a below-ground box, buried beneath the floor. Sixty-eight boxes were installed below the arcade floor, feeding into a mechanical room where piping and transformers supply the building with power.
The best gamers, bowlers and drivers know that the ticket to success is two-fold—strategy and skill. It’s strategy to undercut your opponent around the turn, but skill to navigate the small space without crashing into the wall. Strategy leads a bowler to curate the perfect follow through to ensure the ball zips down the lane and into the pins, but skill is the flick of the wrist, directing the ball. Balfour Beatty expertly crafted its own blend of strategy and skill to make Frankie’s of Charlotte an extravagant, energized facility for pros and novices, alike.
Owner of Frankie’s of Charlotte, Doug Godley of the Godley Group, reflected on his experience partnering with Balfour Beatty, “With the completion of this project, Balfour Beatty has set the industry standard for what it means to deliver a quality product with professional performance.”
With tenacity and timeliness, Balfour Beatty has earned top spot on the leaderboard.