Baker, Ahles & Kaskovich

Roanoke architecture firm cooks up another big project

RGA Architects served as project architect for the 538,000-square-foot Farmers Brothers headquarters complex in Northlake, located across I-35 from the Texas Motor Speedway.
RGA Architects served as project architect for the 538,000-square-foot Farmers Brothers headquarters complex in Northlake, located across I-35 from the Texas Motor Speedway.

The new Farmer Brothers corporate headquarters in Northlake is just the latest big project cooked up by a group of architects in Roanoke.

RGA Architects, which specializes in designing office and industrial spaces, served as the project architect on the $90 million Farmer Brothers complex, which includes manufacturing space for roasting beans and a distribution center. Gensler & Associates designed the interior space for the headquarters offices.

Founded in 1996 by Rick Gilliland, RGA has worked on a number of other big local facilities including GameStop’s corporate headquarters in Grapevine, which opened in 2004; the Heritage Bag headquarters and manufacturing complex, which moved to the Roanoke portion of AllianceTexas from Carrollton; and a number of warehouse facilities in Fort Worth and elsewhere.

RGA has also done work close to home, including the new Roanoke City Hall which broke ground last month. The $17 million municipal building, designed with the look of a turn-of-the-century courthouse, will be located on the south end of Oak Street, which continues to draw restaurants and visitors to the growing small city.

Shane Harris, RGA’s senior vice president, said the firm has worked on other Roanoke projects over the years including renovation of the 19th century Rock Hotel building, once home to the Silver Spur Saloon which had an upstairs brothel. It now serves as Roanoke’s visitors center and museum.

The Farmer Brothers project was somewhat unique, Harris said, with RGA getting involved in the company’s relocation process a year before it moved from California. Its major focus was to create a facility that produced maximum efficiency for the roasting and distribution areas, to get “every bit we could out of the property.”

Harris said RGA, which has 10 employees, has expanded into other states with its clients, and currently has projects in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

American systems integration delayed

American Airlines said it will not integrate its flight attendants’ operations until at least 2018, more than a year later than the carrier had expected.

In a memo sent to the Fort Worth-based carrier’s 25,000 flight attendants on Wednesday, American said it now hopes to move the former US Airways flight attendants into the legacy American flight operating system in October 2018.

“We want flight attendants to truly be one team as much as you do. And while we’d prefer a FOI [flight attendant operational integration] date earlier than next fall, these are big, complex changes and we need to get them right,” the company said in the memo.

The carrier, which merged with US Airways in December 2013, has been integrating the two airlines information technology systems over the past few years. It combined its pilot groups into one flight operating system last September. At the time, American Chief Information Officer Maya Leibman said she expected the flight attendants’ systems to be combined in 2017.

In the memo, American said legacy American flight attendant bases will transition over to new systems such as trip trade and reserve processing in May 2018 and will transition to a preferential bidding system sometime between October 2018 and the end of 2019.

“When fully implemented, these new systems will provide you with greater flexibility and simplicity in organizing your monthly schedules through a user-friendly, web-based platform, accessible anywhere in the world through an internet connection,” the memo said.

Grapevine development approved

After a long journey that included several trips back to the drawing board, the Grapevine City Council gave the green light last week to the final piece of a $325 million development that will include hotel projects, a 371-unit multifamily complex and a three-story office building.

The master plan community called Silver Lake Crossings is located at Texas 26 and Bass Pro Court, about two miles from Dallas-Fort Worth Airport.

Mehul Patel, chairman and CEO of Lewisville-based NewcrestImage, told council members on April 18 that the project, located on 52 acres, will be a sophisticated hotel, shopping, leisure, dining, multifamily and entertainment destination with upscale appeal.

A nine-story, $100 million Renaissance Hotel and a Hilton Garden Inn will join the 300-room Courtyard Marriott and TownePlace Suites that opened about four years ago.

On April 18, the council approved an $80 million, 371-unit multifamily project called Jefferson Silver Lake. Also slated for the property is a three-story, 55,000-square-foot office building.

Marty Sabota

Andrea Ahles: 817-390-7631, @Sky_Talk

Max B. Baker: 817-390-7714, @MaxbakerBB

Steve Kaskovich: 817-390-7773, @stevekasko