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The Caroline Project was designed to bring more commercial and residential options to this up and coming neighborhood. The area bridges Fells Point and Harbor East neighborhoods in Baltimore, Maryland. The property, once an oyster house and saloon, later turned into the iconic Tutti Fruiti ice cream plant in 1950. It operated as the Tutti Frutti plant until 1996 when owner/founder Ernest DiNenna died, the property was sold after his death. The property will be transformed into a commercial center. Chasen Construction & Development of Baltimore, MD, acquired the property and project in early 2020. They plan to have residents moving in by June 2021. It will serve as an Amazon hub and will have 31 residential units above for a total of 5-stories.

Levelift Foundations, LLC’s (Levelift) owner, Phil Schied, was the designing engineer for the helical pile deep foundation. Originally the designers had used rammed-aggregate piles in the initial foundation designs.  Helical piles were offered as a value-engineered alternative because of the size and location of the project, no spoils to remove, and no potential problems with adjoining properties due to vibration.  He chose to use CHANCE’s SS175/RS3500 combo piles. These piles use CHANCE’s SS175 to RS3500 transition casting to go from the SS175 leads to the RS3500 extensions. Schied stated he needed to get more lateral capacity from the piles, this is why he chose the combination pile. The soil borings indicated loose fill for the top 10’.  The helical piles are designed for 60 kips. Schied said that he has had success in this local area using this combination of material in the past. He remarked that he’s confident that CHANCE’s helical piles are a great choice for this project. They will save the owner time and money.

The Levelift foreman on site, Zoe Broadway, said that they have had decent soil conditions and had yet to run into any unexpected obstructions while installing the helical piles. The lead section 8/10/12 was chosen to limit the possibility of installation problems due to existing brick rubble in the fill materials.  She noted that they were going to have to maneuver around and remove existing concrete slabs. Having had two previous structures on the site, there were (2) layered concrete slabs that were approximately 2’ – 3’ thick with a layer of soil in between. They worked with another crew (MA Cement, LLC) to remove the slabs. The coordination between the two crews was essential and also been hard work. “The hardest thing for us has been the coordination piece. Because we have a lot of piles to install in this tiny lot, how we can install and move as they dig around us has taken a lot of coordination.” the foreman noted. Levelift’s crew needed the slabs removed to continue the installation of the helical piles.

As of mid-August, the deep foundation construction is expected to be wrapped up. The finished 5-story building is expected to be 30,000 sq./ft. The newly constructed building will be a combination of commercial space, on the ground floor, and residential above. It will feature an Amazon Hub, dog grooming area, rooftop deck and courtyard to name a few.

To get the specified loads, CHANCE’s SS175 to RS3500 combo piles were the best option. This not only achieved the required capacity but also saved the developers money and time.

Materials Used:

- (122) Combo Piles to a depth of 30’ +/-:

  • SS175 – 8”, 10”, 12” x 5’ Lead
  • SS175/RS3500 – Transitions
  • RS3500.300 – 7’ Extensions
  • RS3500.300 – New Construction Brackets

Levelift Looks to EAS and the Chance Combo Pile for Multi-Use New Construction: The Caroline

Earth Anchoring Suppliers

by Chelsea Kiesling

Levelift Foundations