Redi-Rock Retaining Wall Level Sets New Hyatt Place

Reno, Nevada

After breaking ground nearly three years ago, Hyatt Hotels Corporation is finally continuing construction on a new location at The Summit Shopping Center in Reno, Nevada. In coordination with Tolles Development Company, Hyatt aims to provide guests with an ideal place to put one foot in Reno and one foot in the Sierra Nevada Mountains.

Hyatt Place will be tucked between the Century Summit Sierra movie theater and Jared jewelry store at the base of Mount Rose Highway. Guests will be just 40 minutes from Lake Tahoe, 20 minutes from Mount Rose, 10 minutes from Downtown Reno, and a stone’s throw from Virginia City, Nevada. All while providing topnotch dining and shopping options.

Restarting the project has been a long time coming. It was on stop and go status from the beginning in 2019, even before the devastating coronavirus pandemic abruptly halted a lot of construction across the globe.

“We poured half the job, then Hyatt hit the brakes,” says Derek Goins, Outside Sales Representative for Jensen Precast in Sparks, Nevada. “They recently started again and got a new contractor.”

The new general contractor is Canyon Building and Design based out of Tucson, Arizona. With a plethora of completed commercial buildings under its belt, the design-build general contractor was an easy choice for Tolles to make. Canyon was able to assess the previous work done on the project and move forward to complete it.

“It’s a great location for a hotel, obviously,” says Peter Dress, Site Supervisor with Canyon Building and Design. “Hyatt wants to open it up for ski season, and you can see Mount Rose from here.”

Before Hyatt’s recreational haven could become a reality, though, the new contractor needed to prop up a massive retention wall to keep the building’s foundation stable.

“The building is so long, and the way the original grade was done is sloping down,” Dress says. “So we had to put all this fill up in. That’s what the retaining wall is doing—holding the whole east end of the building, the patio, and some of the parking lot up.”

To accomplish the herculean task of installing a gigantic retaining wall standing 15’ at its tallest points and stretching 275’ long, the original developers called on Redi-Rock precast concrete blocks to get the job done. When Canyon Building and Design won the bid for the job after the three year stoppage, it inherited a lot full of Redi-Rock precast concrete already ordered by the previous contractor from Jensen Precast, a Redi-Rock licensed manufacturer.

But there was one issue.

“There were no drawings,” explains Derek Goins, “only a plan view and cross sections of the wall. I initially created my own profile view of how to build the wall for the contractor. Those drawings were disposed of a year after the brakes were put on.”

Dress says Canyon Building and Design had to assess how much Redi-Rock was going to be needed. “We didn’t have any drawings, and nobody had any paperwork or anything,” he says. “We found out we were short on some of the Redi-Rock blocks, so we had to redesign one entire row of it. We had to get the civil engineer and the engineer of record on the wall to okay it, which we did.”

Once the job got rolling again, it became clear why the initial contractor tapped Jensen Precast and its stable of Redi-Rock products to finish the job. For some manufacturers, an entire new row of blocks might take some time to make. For Jensen Precast, supplying the finished goods in a short amount of time was par for the course.

Redi-Rock products are relatively easy to install, which is why contractors like to work with the patented design. The installation crew at Standard Rock, a general engineering contractor based in Reno, found propping up a Redi-Rock retaining wall was a cakewalk.

These blocks are pretty easy to use, we only need like three or four guys to work with these blocks. The process is simple. Augusto Magana, Standard Rock installer

On top of being easy to use, Redi-Rock blocks are large, making the entire process move along even quicker.

“You don’t put as many blocks down and get more surface area,” Dress says. “Once we got the base down, then it seemed to go pretty well.”

Construction on the large east side retaining wall wrapped up at the end of June 2022, while construction on a smaller retaining wall on the west end of the site is yet to be determined. Canyon Building and Design are waiting to see if the grading on the west end allows them to forgo additional retention walls. If they do need an extra wall, precast concrete specialists at Jensen Precast will we ready and waiting with trowel in hand.

The new Hyatt Place hotel will be uniquely positioned as Reno’s southernmost hotel, sporting a modern four floor design totaling 72, 000 square feet.

“It’s 316’ long by 60’-plus wide,” Dress says. “It has 132 units. A couple of those king size rooms have their own little kitchen. It’s going to have an indoor-outdoor pool under a roof open to the outside. It’ll have a spa and a patio with a fire pit.”

Construction of the hotel is slated to wrap up in early 2024.

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