Innovation Award for Zehr Levesque!

Two years of intense construction was recently acknowledged by the Grand Valley Construction Association during the 2018 Building Excellence Awards gala. Catalyst 137 received the coveted Innovation Award. Zehr Levesque is proud to have successfully led the construction of this iconic building in Kitchener’s Midtown. Under the leadership of John MacDonald, Vice President, the coordination of multiple stakeholders and risk management was dealt with swiftly. This was confirmed by Owner Frank Voisin who stressed that “the entire Project Team approached the task with enthusiasm and deftly managed owner and tenant driven changes,” to execute “a challenging project, at a scale almost unparalleled within our region, on schedule and on budget.”

Envisioned as a hub for local makers innovating the IoT space, the building not only houses local and international tenants but plays host to numerous events. As such, it brings together the business sector and the community-at-large during charity, sales and networking engagements held in its vast common spaces.

Being able to see the evolution from an empty warehouse into an alive venue is the satisfaction Hanna Domagala, who supported the project’s management and led a number of tenant fit-outs, reflects on. She also emphasises the working relationships, often tested but, in the end, strengthened between all parties involved.

It was the day-to-day management of construction activities that proved critical to the completion of Catalyst 137. Undertaking a project with an evolving design as well as difficult conditions uncovered along the way, demanded flexibility and prompt action. This was especially true for Randy Ransome, Site Superintendent, who adapted superbly. Randy could foresee obstacles, suggest improvements and manage many simultaneous tasks and workers on site.

While some challenges could be overcome quickly, others needed input form the entire Consultant team, Zehr Levesque as well as Owner’s approval. For example, the fire protection system, originally planned to be renovated only, required to be brought into the building, as its underground structure proved to be in dire state. A swift redesign and construction rescheduling were executed to keep work flowing uninterrupted. Similarly, the existing site conditions demanded re-evaluation of site design. This was effectively performed while site servicing was already fully underway.

As highlighted by the GVCA during the awards gala, the building’s sheer size presented a notable challenge. The alternate solution to exiting, presented by the building’s designers SRM Architects, was unique to this building and endorsed by the Building Official and Fire Department. Its design and approval process impacted the building permit, therefore construction capabilities. The building’s steel structure also needed improvements and reinforcing to support its new uses and equipment. This in turn reduced the ability for various trades to begin work immediately, thus requiring careful sequencing of trades.

Today, the building houses multiple tenant suites, from single offices to larger company headquarters. Common spaces and communal corridors showcase its industrial history, while providing for new and comfortable amenities, to be enhanced by the café and restaurant/brewery opening soon.

To John MacDonald, Catalyst 137 has been one of those construction adventures he will remember as an “amazing project with hard working people and big dreams.” Ultimately, as construction managers, Zehr Levesque staff are at the forefront key urban transformations. To the Kitchener-Waterloo community, Catalyst 137 is a fantastic example of revitalization efforts that made an unused site another great focus point.

The Grand Ride

The Grand Ride was a huge success! This year over $385,000 was raised by 55 riders, with all proceeds benefiting the Grand River Regional Cancer Centre.

Team Zehr Group, which included: Don Zehr, Zac Zehr, Bryan Hopps, Regan Hickson, and Chris Mannhardt, raised $25,210, surpassing our $20,000 goal!

We want to thank all of our supporters for their generosity. This is Zehr Group’s third year participating in the event; we all hope next year will be just as successful as this year!

For more information on The Grand Ride, click here.

Zehr Levesque recognized at GVCA Building Excellence Awards!

Zehr Levesque was recognized with two awards from the Grand Valley Construction Association – Building Excellence Awards on April 29, 2016.

Mammoet Canada Eastern Head Office in Puslinch won an Award of Excellence for the Industrial $10 – $20 Million category.

Breithaupt Block – Building One in Kitchener won an Award of Distinction for Restoration and Conversion category.

Congratulations to all those involved in both of these exciting projects.

Please see the link for access to the GVCA website and a listing of all recognized projects.

Team Zehr Group raises over $18K in this year’s Grand Ride

Congratulations to Team Zehr Group raising over $18,000 in The Grand Ride on Saturday September 12! The Grand Ride raised over $275,000 this year with all proceeds benefiting the Grand River Regional Cancer Centre.

We want to thank all of our supporters for their generosity. This is Zehr Group’s second year participating in the event; we all hope next year will be just as successful as this year!

Grand Ride

(Bryan Hopps, Zac Zehr, Rob Lamka (KPMG), and Don Zehr as they complete The Grand Ride)

 

Zehr Management increases portfolio!

Zehr Management Inc. adds more than 250,000 square feet to its management portfolio. That brings the total square footage under management to over 800,000 square feet, consisting of 26 properties located in Kitchener, Waterloo, Cambridge, and Brantford. Total Assets Under Management approximately $150 million.

Zehr Group Fundraiser BBQ

Thank you to all of those who joined us for our Annual Fundraiser BBQ on July 23, 2014. With your help and contribution we raised $1,036.55 for Junior Achievement. A big thank you goes out to Chef D for providing food, and the Waterloo Regional Police for their time and barbequing expertise!

Following the opportunities

When asked why in the late 2000s these two construction veterans came to work for Zehr Group, a Kitchener-based real estate services company, both Levesque and MacDonald sum it up succinctly in one word: “opportunities.” There have been opportunities aplenty for Zehr Group in the past decade.

Downtown Kitchener has experienced a renaissance in the past five years and Zehr Group has played a leading role in the narrative.

Game Changer Award for The Tannery District

Grand Valley Construction Association: Building Excellence Awards 2012

Award of Excellence Winner: Zehr Levesque Inc.
Project: The Tannery District

Kitchener’s Lang Tanning Company Building is a modern office complex as well as a throwback to the city’s past. Built 120 years ago, it once served as the largest tannery in the British Empire. Today, thanks to the excellent work of a construction team led by Zehr Levesque Inc., it is a modernized, award-winning office complex that serves as home to some of the world’s most prominent high-technology brands.

Completed in November 2011, the two-plus year renovation project saw the team completely replace the building’s mechanical system and most of its electric system, as well as its windows, all while maintaining the structure of the heritage property.

Download .pdf for more information

Kitchener contractor builds reputation with teamwork, relationships, trust and multiple skills

When you are seeking to discover how to succeed in the construction industry, south-western Ontario’s Zehr Levesque Inc. will provide you with inspiration and insights.

Co-owned by Don Zehr and Reg Levesque, the business, less than fives years old, has an annual volume of upwards of $15 million. It has completed challenging heritage commercial renovations and new car dealerships in the Kitchener-Waterloo area and, in Edmonton, built the 75,000 sq.ft. western Canada headquarters for Mammoet, a Netherlands-based manufacturer of heavy lifting and transport machinery for onshore and offshore locations.

Click here to download the full .pdf article.

The Humble Entrepreneur

Lester Zehr is quick to share credit for an inspiration success story.

Lester Zehr has what you might call a balanced view of life. He’s grateful for the successes life has brought him; he’s quick to share the credit; and he chuckles when he tells stories of the less than successful ventures he’s been involved in.

He’s also astounded that, decades after the stores that bear his name were sold to Westons, there are still dozens of Zehr’s stores around. He should know – today, at age 84, he and his wife Elva still shop at Zehr’s.

Read full story from the Exchange Magazine, Vol. 28 No.3, January/Feburary 2011. Download .pdf here.