Jordan’s Ropes in Customers with Fun and Furniture


KBE Building Corp. tackled unique retail project with team of expert subcontractors

KBE Building Corp. recently completed the construction of Jordan’s Furniture, a furniture retailer with an innovative entertainment package, located in New Haven, Connecticut. KBE served as Construction Manager at Risk for the $17 million renovation, which began construction in April 2015 and opened to the public in December 2015. Access Construction is the Owner’s Representative.

Transforming New Haven Register into Jordan’s Furniture

The 193,000 s/f project, designed by architect BL Companies, consisted of a complete gut and renovation of an existing building, (two stories and mezzanines), formerly the home of the New Haven Register. KBE and BL Companies transformed the previous newspaper headquarters into the furniture-entertainment hybrid, while also preserving the essence of the iconic building that had established itself as a New Haven staple.

Although the New Haven Register sign is no more, passersby will feel the same impact when gazing upon the new 68-foot tall Jordan’s Furniture sign, which features 315 individual aluminum chairs.

The former New Haven Register building also housed unique structural aspects that posed many challenges for KBE Project Manager Adam Moore and his team. KBE had to navigate around the printing press support structure where the “World’s Largest Indoor Adventure Ropes Course,” designed by Ropes Courses, Inc., would eventually reside.

The 60-foot wide, five-story high printing press support structure was “essentially a building inside of a building, complete with its own foundations, structural steel and masonry walls,” said Moore. KBE had to remove the large, structural streel frame, in accordance with OSHA regulations, to proceed with the rest of the construction. The demolition of the printing press support structure lasted four weeks – with no worker injuries – which was a welcomed feat for a job as intricate as this one.

Providing Entertainment to Furniture Shoppers

“Eliot Tatelman, President and CEO of Jordan’s Furniture, is the Steve Jobs of selling furniture,” said Moore, referring to Jordan’s inventive entertainment features. Rainer Muhlbauer, BL Companies Director of Architecture, brainstormed consistently with Tatelman to decide on the entertainment feature for this specific location. It wasn’t until months into the construction that Tatelman landed on a ropes course to occupy the vast printing press space.

KBE coordinated closely with BL Companies and Ropes Courses, Inc. to create the “World’s Largest Indoor Adventure Ropes Course” as the construction of the rest of the building was in progress. KBE Superintendent Craig Ortola spent a great deal of his time directing traffic in the printing press-turned ropes course area. On occasion, Ropes Courses, Inc. worked throughout the night to install the equipment without causing a collision.

The ropes course has been extremely successful for Jordan’s Furniture so far. Over 100,000 people have used the entertainment feature in only a month.

In addition to this extravagant ropes course, KBE Building Corp., with the help of Waltzing Waters, supported the design and construction of a Las Vegas-style fountain equipped with lasers and a light show.

The fountain required a three-week installation period. Upon completion, Moore and his team tested the fountain’s foundation and filled it with water, only for the structure to leak a week and a half later. The first step in fixing this leak was to lift the fountain, weighing approximately two tons, as a unit which was recently assembled from thousands of pieces, so contractors could respray the membrane-liner underneath. 18 team members lifted and lowered the fountain simultaneously to fix the issue.

Complicated Job Improves Teamwork

The construction of Jordan’s Furniture epitomized teamwork and client satisfaction for KBE. Changes and additions from BL Companies, Jordan’s Furniture, and specialty subcontractors prompted KBE to constantly adapt and work together.

“When you work in retail design, you have one chance to get it right,” said Muhlbauer. “Once the store is open, you can’t interrupt its progress to make changes. We had to work together to make sure it was perfect.”

Working on complicated projects like this Jordan’s Furniture location are bound to result in obstacles and technical issues. Despite specific building permit and EPA delays and the substantial added scope, the Jordan’s Furniture in New Haven was completed to meet the owner’s original needs and time constraints.

“You don’t see this kind of job very often,” said Ortola. “We worked up until an hour before guests arrived to the executive grand opening. It was extremely satisfying to watch our trucks pull out as the first guests were starting to pull in.”

The grand opening of Jordan’s Furniture marks KBE’s second project for the top New England furniture retailer. KBE previously built Jordan’s Natick, MA store, which features an IMAX theater along with the high-end furniture showrooms.

Pictures of the completed Jordan’s Furniture are available below:

Photo Credit: Chris Lawhorn 
Caption: Eager locals await the grand opening of Jordan’s Furniture in New Haven, CT

Photo Credit: Paul Burk Photography 
Caption: The 68 ft. Jordan’s Furniture sign was crafted out of 315 individual aluminum chairs

Photo Credit: Paul Burk Photography 
Caption: The World’s Largest Ropes Course at Jordan’s Furniture in New Haven

Photo Credit: Paul Burk Photography 
Caption: Interior at Jordan’s Furniture New Haven

About KBE Building Corporation

KBE has managed more than $4 billion in construction volume during the past two decades alone and is ranked among Engineering News-Record magazine’s top 400 construction companies nationally.

With offices in Norwalk and Farmington, CT, as well as Columbia, MD, KBE Building Corporation is a full-service, single-source commercial construction company strategically positioned to serve the Eastern and Mid-Atlantic U.S. Founded in 1959 and incorporated in 1966, the $300 million firm provides preconstruction, construction management, design-build, and general contracting services to clients in the retail, educational, senior living, federal, corporate, hospitality, health care, and institutional markets.

KBE’s team of 120+ construction professionals and support staff is deeply committed to the firm’s corporate philanthropy program, 50 Ways to Make a Difference. Established in 2009 to celebrate the firm’s new ownership, name change, and 50 years in business, 50 Ways has helped KBE associates donate more than $1.7 million and 11,734 volunteer hours to charitable causes benefiting children, seniors, and military veterans in Connecticut and Maryland.