Providing Owner’s Representative Services in a Ground-up Construction Project
Ouellet Construction Owner’s Representation Services: A Worthwhile Investment
The 8th and newest Day’s Jewelers store opened in Nashua, NH, on Monday, November 12th. Ouellet Construction took on a unique role in the project, working as the construction manager and owner’s representative. The project was challenging in many ways for both Ouellet and Day’s Jewelers, but the results were even better than they’d hoped.
But, before we get into Ouellet’s role as an owner’s representative on the project, it’s important to understand the history of Day’s Jewelers. The store’s history played a vital role in the company’s decision to hire Ouellet Construction to manage the construction of the Nashua location.
The History of Day’s Jewelers
Captain Harry Davidson founded Day’s Jewelers 1914; the first store opened in the Old Port District of Portland, Maine. Harry’s three sons – Sidney, David, and Herman joined him in opening 21 stores throughout northern New England over the next 30 years.
Image source: Day’s Jewelers
One of the current owners of Day’s Jewelers, Jeff Corey, grew up working in the jewelry business. His father, Robert Corey, started working at 11 years old as a stock boy at a Day’s Jewelers in Caribou, Maine. When he turned 18, he began managing the Caribou location.
Robert continued working at the Caribou location before deciding to open a store in Madawaska, called Robert’s Jewelry. Robert’s wife and seven children worked in the store, the oldest of which was Jeff Corey.
Jeff and Kathy Corey met in college and got married soon after. Not long after they were married, Jeff and Kathy opened Jeffrey’s Fine Jewelers. Four years later, in 1988, Jeff got a call from David Davidson, one of the remaining owners of Day’s Jewelers. Sydney and David Davidson, the two remaining owners of Day’s Jewelers, decided to retire. However, they didn’t want the family business name and the values it stood for to be lost. They sold the last remaining Day’s Jewelers store in Westbrook, Maine to Jeff, Jim, and Kathy Corey, and Mark Ford.
Today, Jeff and Kathy Corey continue to re-expand the Day’s Jewelers brand with the following mission: to build a company that stands the test of time.
History of Overcoming Tight Timelines
When the lease for Day’s Jewelers’ Brunswick location was up for renewal, Jeff and Kathy decided not to renew it. Instead, they would build a new store at the Topsham Fair Mall. The building, however, needed to be rebuilt from scratch, and they needed a project manager for the job.
The Corey and Ouellet families had grown up together in the small community of Madawaska, Maine, and had been in touch over the years. However, it had been a while since they had connected. Jeff and Kathy remembered that Mike Ouellet was in the construction business. So, they decided to see if Ouellet Construction would be interested in the job.
Ouellet accepted the job and was able to complete the job within the tight timeline restrictions. The Brunswick location would close after Christmas. The new store in Topsham had to be open for business in time for Valentines Day. Ouellet worked on the new building while the old store was still open, allowing them to complete the work in time.
“They really made it happen for us. We were very pleased with the outcome; we loved the architects and the subcontractors they worked with. Everything worked like clockwork, and the product was amazing,” said Kathy Corey.
About three years later, the Day’s Jewelers owners were working to open another store in Augusta. Again, Ouellet accepted the job and over delivered. As with the Topsham store, the timeline was tight, and the challenge was to build the store with only a dirt floor to start.
Construction began in August and doors opened in November, just in time for the holiday shopping season.
“Each jewelry store has very specific details, such as the jeweler’s room, the gem equipment, lighting, electronics, and all the services we provide to customers. There are many efficiencies gained by having a contractor work on a second store. They understand your needs and know how you work,” said Kathy.
Shifting Roles: Acting as an Owner’s Representative
In the fall of 2017, Day’s Jewelers started plans to build their 8th store in Nashua, NH. The store would be their first stand-alone store, built from scratch, and it would be their second New Hampshire location.
When Jeff and Kathy Corey contacted Ouellet about the new store, they expected a similar response as received with the Topsham and Augusta stores. After all, they had delivered exceptional results and showed a passion for their work on each store that came before.
Mike was excited about the project and the challenge of the work. At the same time, he knew that to bring workers on site and seek out subcontractors in the Nashua area would be difficult and expensive. Ouellet carefully considered the offer and came back to Day’s Jewelers with a slightly different proposal. They proposed that Day’s hire Ouellet as an owner’s representative on the project.
Ouellet’s role would be to manage the project to ensure it was completed to specification while keeping the learning curve to a minimum. They would hire and oversee hire local subcontractors to save money and maintain efficiency. While Day’s Jewelers wanted Ouellet to work as the construction manager on the project, they understood the challenges their the newest location presented. Day’s Jewelers agreed and hired Ouellet as the owner’s representative on the project.
Bringing the Nashua Store to Life
In their role as owner’s representative, Ouellet managed 100+ people involved in the construction process for the Nashua store. While they couldn’t be on site every day, Ouellet made it a priority to be involved in every step of the process. A representative from OuelletConstruction was on site at least once per week to make sure everything was going smoothly.
On behalf of Day’s Jewelers, Ouellet hired Fulcrum Associates out of Amherst, New Hampshire as the general contractor. Ouellet Construction managed and assisted Fulcrum Associates in the design and construction of what turned out to be a beautiful store.
The Nashua location includes plenty of space for customers and their families to enjoy, including a children’s play area, a refreshment area, and even a lounge area. The store also features a repair and design center, where customers can watch the repair process and take a closer look at the advanced technology and equipment used to make the magic happen.
A Worthwhile Investment
Having Ouellet Construction act as an owner’s representative on one of their stores was a new experience for Day’s Jewelers. However, according to Kathy Corey,
“His [Mike’s] role in advocating for us more than paid for their services. Mike’s knowledge of construction and engineering were very valuable. His guidance helped us watch expense control and avoid potentially costly mistakes.”
“It was money very well spent.”
The store opened well in time for the holiday season, at 567 Amherst Street in Nashua. You can read more about the store and Day’s Jewelers in a recent article in the online magazine, National Jeweler, which features the brand new location.
Stay tuned for project photos, coming soon!
Do you have a project that requires a high level of construction and engineering expertise? Hire Ouellet Construction as an owner’s representative for your next construction project to ensure a smooth process from start to finish. Contact us today to find out more.