GAA ARCHITECTS OF IRVINE HAS WINNING BID FROM HOMEBASE INC., ALSO IN IRVINE ON A FASTRACK TO CONVERT TO HOUSE2HOME
GAA Architects of Irvine has been selected by HomeBase to convert approximately 42 of its facilities in the Western United States to House2Home stores. The project is partially completed. Each retrofitted store ranges in size from 95,000 sq. ft. to 115,000 sq. ft. The architects are on an extremely fast track and have doubled up their engineering consultants to meet the time schedule. "Why did HomeBase select us for a project of this magnitude?" asked GAA President Gilbert Aja. "It was because we shared our client's sense of urgency, we demonstrated our expertise and that we had a solid background of manpower." Aja compared the level of activity to the D-Day invasion . . ."The attitude is 'If you can't help, get out of the way, but the beach will be taken.'" Said GAA's Principal-in-Charge Lon Stephenson, "It's exciting because it's moving so fast. The intention is making the buildings look the same although they are different sizes and shapes."
Stephenson and GAA's Project Manager Roger Hurtado have been working very closely with Doug Houser, Director of Architecture, Design and Construction, House2Home. Because of the enormity and schedule of the project, two contractors are handling the retrofit -RAS Builders of Norwalk and Camco Pacific of Costa Mesa as well as their down-the-line contractors. The basic premise of the renovations is to change from an open warehouse retail space to an open, but finished, retail space. This is done by taking the back stock material off the sales floor and providing a separate stock room, thereby dedicating the sales area for merchandise display. The sales area includes large displays for fireplaces, window treatments, and storage organizers as well as a complete upgrade of the interior finishes. The change also includes an addition of a small cafe and central customer service area.
In a press release issued by HomeBase Chairman, President and CEO Herbert Zarkin said, "This is a tremendously exciting time for House2Home. While we regretfully move away from the HomeBase brand, we embrace the positive changes that are about to come and look forward to pursuing a more promising avenue of growth that offers the possibility of a substantially higher return and greater stock value over the long term."