Hohbach-Lewin, Inc. Hohbach-Lewin, Inc.

Mountain View's San Antonio Redevelopment
Project Underway at Last!




After years of high hopes, planning, designing, maneuvering and wrangling, construction is finally proceeding with one of the most ambitious redevelopment efforts to hit the City of Mountain View in a very long time. This massive redevelopment effort is starting with the construction of 370 new apartments on San Antonio Blvd. (developed by Merlone Geir) Carmel Properties West is the general contractor for the apartment portion of the project... the concrete sub-contractor responsible for the multi-level sub structure parking construction seen pictured below is Pacific Structures (San Francisco). The podium slab, approximately at grade, above subterranean parking is a conventionally reinforced concrete slab; the podium transfer slab separating first level retail and/or parking from the housing units above is a post tensioned concrete slab.



For the housing component, Hohbach-Lewin provided the design for the temporary excavation shoring, the concrete sub-structure and the wood super structure. This apartment project is one of five similarly sized and configured bay area apartment projects either currently being designed or currently under construction that is keeping the staff at Hohbach-Lewin humming.

The apartment construction will be followed by the construction of the retail center fronting El Camino. The retail center will be anchored by a new Safeway store which will, following a trend, feature long span pre-stressed, pre-cast, concrete structures supporting rooftop parking. This store will be especially significant for the team at Hohbach-Lewin as it represents the tenth ground up Safeway store to be designed by Hohbach-Lewin within the last four years (new stores located at: Burlingame, Los Gatos, Long Beach, Berkeley, Pleasanton, West Los Angeles, and Pasadena). Other retail tenants at the center include CVS Pharmacy, Fidelity Investments, Starbucks, Counter Burger, and Jared's.

Architecture for the retail center is MCG Architecture (San Francisco), the architect for the housing component is Ankrom Moisan (Portland).



facebook IPO to make "instant" Millionares
out of Early Partners... the good news...
Hohbach-Lewin was with them from the start...




The bad news is that we did not have the opportunity to accept company stock as compensation for providing the structural design for original headquarters on 164 Hamilton Avenue in downtown Palo Alto. Hmmm... would we have had the same foresight as David Choe, the spray paint graffiti artist who provided the murals that adorned the first floor conference room walls? In lieu of payment for his efforts, Choe accepted shares of facebook stock now projected to be worth $200 million dollars making him the wealthiest artist in the world. Choe initially judged facebook to be a "ridiculous and pointless" venture. Nonetheless he became one of facebook's first employees. Now, with 845 million monthly active users, and estimates of facebooks value as high as $100 billion dollars, facebook probably doesn't seem quite so pointless!

When local developer and contractor, Dave Brett turned to Hohbach-Lewin and Hoover Associates for the office building that was eventually to become facebook's initial headquarters, he was not worried about the future ubiquitous nature of facebook or the future projected net value of facebook. No, he was concerned with how he was ever going to fit a three story office building within the Palo Alto Planning Department's restrictive height limitations. The tight urban site and Brett's schedule and budget all pointed to a steel framed solution... the problem of how to fit 12 lbs. of... stuff... into a 6 lb. bag was solved by Hohbach-Lewin engineers' suggestion to utilize castellated steel beams for the floor framing system. The castellated beams provide ample openings for the buildings mechanical and electrical systems to pass through the prefabricated holes in the webs of the steel floor beams... this saved approximately 16 inches of required floor to floor space per floor. This saving in required floor to floor height not only solved the height restriction problem but also resulted in cascading savings in reduced cladding and building envelope costs. The fabrication cost premium associated with the castellated beams is approximately 10 to 15%; this cost can often be more than offset by the savings associated with reduced building heights or as in this case, on being the deciding factor on whether or not an additional floor can fit within height restrictions.




Castellated beams are fabricated from a standard universal beam section. The beam is initially split along its length by a profile flame cut as shown below. The two halves of the beam are then separated, displaced by one profile cut and reconnected by welding.


Hohbach-Lewin Announces...
The Promotion of Three New Senior Associates...
Stuart Lowe, S.E., Kevin Morton, S.E. and Sam Shiotani, S.E.


Hohbach-Lewin is very proud to announce the promotion of all this home grown talent to the position of Senior Associate - all three of these individuals have been with Hohbach-Lewin for over ten years. Here at Hohbach-Lewin, we understand that this level of stability and constancy is unusual in this age of rapid change and feel that this is one of our greatest strengths as a firm. Stuart has been with us the longest - thirteen years; Kevin and Sam started their careers directly out of college (Stanford and U.C. Davis respectively) at Hohbach-Lewin over ten years ago.

Over the years, since starting with Hohbach-Lewin, Stuart, Sam and Kevin have witnessed many changes, personally and professionally... marriages, kids, licenses, increasing responsibility both at home and at work, increasing leadership roles and hundreds upon hundreds of successful projects. During that time the firm has grown from twelve employees in one office to over fifty employees in four offices.

All that these three have accomplished is a testament to their dedication and to their years of hard work and also a testament to Hohbach-Lewin's business structure which is able to attract and retain the best and the brightest. Hohbach-Lewin is indeed a great place to build a career... the proof is in the pudding! Our business structure, which rewards success and promotes diverse ownership, allows us to offer our clients a continuity which is seldom matched in our industry (or other industries, for that matter). To learn more about our unique business structure click here.

Stuart Lowe, S.E. has, over the years, taken on increasingly difficult challenges. Most recently, he was the responsible structural engineer for the new Atherton, St. Joseph's Elementary School campus; prior to that he was the project manager for the $200M Vacaville, Nut Tree Retail Center and the $250M Plant retail center in San Jose. He is currently working on several similar projects in Los Gatos and San Jose.

Kevin Morton, S.E. has become an expert in concrete parking structure design as well as retail construction. He has managed several statewide corporate accounts, most prominently serving as the project manager for Safeway's statewide expansion - within the last three years Kevin has provided the structural engineering necessary for new stores in Pasadena, Los Angeles, Los Gatos, Pleasanton, and Burlingame - these projects typically combine both of Kevin's specialties as Safeway has configured their new stores to provide parking either above or below the new stores. Recently Kevin has taken on the challenge of bearing the primary responsibility of launching our new Pasadena Office.

Sam Shiotani, S.E. has become a recognized national expert on design of multi-unit residential projects in areas of high seismicity; Sam has co-authored papers on the subject and is a regular featured speaker to building officials, architects and colleagues throughout the industry. Sam has also become a recognized expert in post-tensioned concrete podium construction design.


Stuart Lowe Kevin Morton Sam Shiotani
Where did you graduate? Specialized area of expertise?
Stuart Lowe, S.E. CSU San Jose, MS, CE
UC Santa Barbera
BS Geophysics
Managing large retail; K-12 and higher education projects
Kevin Morton, S.E. University of Tennessee,
BS, CE
Stanford, MS, CE
Pre-cast concrete parking structures; dense urban retail centers
Sam Shiotani, S.E. UC Davis,
BS, CE
Multi-Unit construction; post tensioned concrete podium designs; K-12 education facility projects





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