Civil engineering firm marks 2012 with company growth and SABJ’s Best Overall Deal in Commercial Real Estate
One of the most technically challenging and professionally rewarding projects Big Red Dog civil engineering has tackled is 2012′s Best Overall Deal, according to the San Antonio Business Journal’s Best in Commercial Real Estate competition.
The Eagle Ford Shale SAT Field Camp, a $50 million project that Halliburton Co. began about 14 months ago and will be fully operational by 2013, is a prime example of Big Red Dog’s expert team offering the personal service of a boutique firm, yet backed by decades of expertise typically found in cumbersome corporate civil engineering firms.
The Eagle Ford Shale project, at IH-37 and Loop 1604 South, is situated on 162 acres and will one day employ up to 1,500 people. The November groundbreaking ceremony was the “biggest single day of economic development and jobs announcement in San Antonio since Toyota,” said Henry Cisneros, chairman of the San Antonio Economic Development Foundation.
“Big Red Dog is honored to partner with a world-class Schnier company like Halliburton, and to work again with their long-time architectural friends at Ft. Worth-based Multatech Architects and Engineers. We’re excited to add this great project to a consistent record of success with very high-quality clients,” said Will Schnier, Big Red Dog’s president and co-founder.
The Big Red Dog team of professional civil engineers and certified land planners has over 150 years of combined experience in the Austin, Houston, San Antonio, and greater Texas market. Their land development project experience includes multi-family, mixed-use, office, commercial, industrial, oil & gas, and single-family subdivision development.
The industry is taking notice, too.
In the past year, Big Red Dog has doubled in size as planned, without skipping a beat, successfully opening market-leading offices in San Antonio and Houston along the way. In 2012, the Texas-based firm is expecting to reach the 30-employee mark among its three offices in Austin, Houston and San Antonio.
This year, the firm cracked the Top 75 design firms in Texas, according to the Engineering News-Record.
The San Antonio office itself is expected to triple its workforce in the next year, with about $225 million worth of construction projects in San Antonio and South Texas, including McAllen, in the pipeline.
The Eagle Ford Shale project was no small task for an engineering firm of any size, said Chris Weigand, president of Big Red Dog San Antonio, who brings a decade of personal professional engineering experience.
“The site was an old gravel pit,” Weigand said. “From a topography standpoint, it was an unusually hilly site for this area with a lot of environmental constraints stemming from jurisdictional wetland and floodplain issues.”
Chief among the challenges was extending a sewer line underneath IH-37 that had to be designed in such a way to serve as an economic catalyst for the entire area, he said.
Despite the barriers, Big Red Dog not only achieved the project goals, but secured additional “green” design credits, providing an unexpected benefit to other aspects of the project.
“At Big Red Dog, service is not a commodity, and Eagle Ford Shale’s success is a strong reflection of our company culture and devotion to that,” said Schnier, who has more than a decade of experience as a professional engineer and has been an Austin Under 40 finalist. “Chris and our team did an excellent job, despite some very challenging obstacles. We’re excited to count him as our partner at Big Red Dog, and greatly enjoy watching as his team excels in the San Antonio and South Texas markets.”