Case Study: The Bluffs at Willow Run

When: 2013
Where: Sioux Falls, SD
Value: $24 million | 161 Units
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The Story

Here’s the challenge of building alongside a golf course: The project can’t interrupt the golf season.

That’s why on any given day, more than 200 people would be working with Lloyd Construction on The Bluffs at Willow Run, a four-story apartment complex connected to a fitness center and clubhouse at Willow Run Golf Course east of Sioux Falls.

“The Bluffs is a very unique project with complexity along the way,” said Dustin Stefani, Lloyd’s Construction Manager. “It’s very large in size, with a lot of different concepts within the entire structure to tie into the golf course and clubhouse.”

The Bluffs is a true lifestyle-centered community. Residents are members of GreatLIFE Golf & Fitness, which offers unlimited golf and fitness at dozens of area courses and fitness centers. None is more convenient, though than what they can walk from their residence. The Bluffs is connected to the Willow Run clubhouse, offering an indoor pool, fitness center and full-service bar and restaurant.

“Half the structure has two areas of understanding parking. The lower level contains the pool area and understanding parking and storage. A lot of people don’t even realize it when they pull up,” Project Manager Andy Pulford said.

The Lloyd team built through a tough South Dakota winter. The goal was set high: Finish 100 units by August of the following year.

“The schedule was aggressive, and keeping the quality of product but maintaining the schedule was also very important,” Stefani said. “Without our great core of subcontractors we would not have been able to achieve this.”

The Lloyd team met and beat the challenges…It was a challenge keeping construction out of the way of golf operations, and they did that really well.

“It was crazy, but it was all about meeting golf timelines,” Pulford added. “We dealt with a South Dakota winter, and getting ready right before golf we had to push and change and move and it was a challenge.”

Once the clubhouse opened, “we had to work around the hundreds of golfers onsite and still maintain a decent workflow,” he added. “There were a lot of very early mornings and late nights to have things ready for the next workday.”

Lloyd also managed the parking, balancing space for workers and golfers and keeping everyone safe.

“With all the people working along the with the walking traffic for the course, it was important to have barricades and protecting for walkways in place,” Stefani said.

“Good communication was key here. Another challenge was keeping materials here on time, as changes were made mid-project to add hard surface countertops that had to come from overseas.”

The Lloyd team met and beat the challenges, though. The building opened on time, “and it’s a really cool place,” Pulford said. “There’s not a bad view from any room.”

Lloyd turned the clubhouse in June 2015 and two areas over to residents in August and December 2015.

“It was a challenge keeping construction out of the way of golf operations, and they did that really well,” GreatLIFE President Donn Hill said. “We opened on target and we’re really happy with it.”

The project offered Lloyd crews valuable learning and a rewarding experience, Stefani added.

“I think everyone was happy with the way it turned out. We were very happy to be part of it and achieve what we did. We met each goal and I think everyone learned along the way, too.”