Project Spotlight: Shazam and Philz Coffee




South Bay Construction (SBC) was hired as tenant improvement specialists to remodel a 90-year old building in Redwood City to add to the vitalization of this transient town. An ever-growing demand for tech spaces and coffee shops to sustain employees bustling in the Bay Area were satiated with the development of this project. Two highly recognizable brands now inhabit the space, Shazam and Philz Coffee, after serious challenges nearly derailed the project.




Shazam Entertainment

Shazam is the creator of the music recognition app, and like their software, needed a cool space with flow to allow for free thinking and attract smart talent. The second floor of the office space at 2114 Broadway was custom built at 4,316 square feet of space and featured an open floor plan, a whiteboard room, ceilings with exposed HVAC ductwork throughout, two large conference rooms and two telephone rooms. To maximize vibrancy, the interior stairway was made of glass and the interiors walls were painted in varying rainbow colors and patterns. Locally hewn redwood used for the fencing around Shazam’s outdoor deck, which includes power stations so employees can work outside.


Philz Coffe Redwood City20150309RS4841685


Philz Coffee

Philz is an iconic Bay Area coffee house occupying 2,061 square feet on the street level at 2116 Broadway. Founded in 2003, Philz’ business model is to have each of its stores designed specifically to reflect the community where its located. The Redwood City coffee house is no exception leveraging reclaimed redwood used for features throughout the space, including a “Mug Wall” where customers can put their personal cups when finished with their coffee. The company has 22 Bay Area locations and two in Los Angeles with plans to go nationwide—advocating “shareability”, not scalability, to serve up with their “One Cup at a Time” mantra. SBC has also built Philz’s Los Gatos location. Jim Richley, SBC Project Manager, claims Philz Harmonic as his favorite cup of joe. Currently SBC is proud to be building a new Philz Coffee location in Oakland


Philz Coffe Redwood City20150309RS4841670

Building Challenges

Understanding that the San Mateo Peninsula commercial market was red hot for office space the property owner wanted to capitalize on this demand by tearing down the existing single-story structure and rebuilding a two-story building (retail ground level, office above). However, there was an unusual requirement to retain two, 30-foot, 90-year-old free-standing concrete exterior walls to classify the project as a retrofit, versus new construction.

The first phase of work SBC performed was to remove the old roof and demolish the existing interiors—a job that required elaborate shoring to keep the two freestanding walls supported. Next was to construct a new, two-story steel structure while keeping the two original walls in place. Because nothing could be braced on the ground during this phase of construction, SBC worked closely with the structural engineer and steel subcontractor to build inverted shoring braces to support the two existing walls before they could be securely attached to the structure. As the new structure was erected, the old walls were attached to it and the shoring was removed.

Another challenge of adding a second floor included the installation of a prefabricated elevator shaft. The elevator and completed shaft were built in a factory, transported to the job site and hoisted into place through an opening in the roof.

The building façade features EIFS (exterior insulation and finishing system) for an insulated and water-resistant, finished surface. Carson’s Coating—an EPS foam-composite material—was used on the sides of the buildings to coat the old concrete walls and make them look new again.

Once the shell was finished, SBC completed the interiors for the two tenants in the 6,500-square-foot building.

After all of those challenges, South Bay Construction accomplished the objectives of the building owner, architects and most importantly, the tenants. And together with the entire team, they’ve added to the vitality of this central hot spot in the Bay Area’s Peninsula.

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