Pacific Construction Services Transforms Parking Garage Space into Bar Louie Restaurant

by Katie Lee

Chicago — PCS, a Chicago-based fully-integrated construction management firm, has provided construction management and advisory services to Poag Shopping Centers, LLC that resulted in the transformation of a portion of a parking garage into a high-profile restaurant for its LaCenterra retail center in suburban Houston.

Throughout the entire development process from lease negotiations to the opening of the restaurant, PCS advised the lifestyle center’s owners and the tenant on the various challenges for transforming a portion of the parking facility into a Bar Louie restaurant. With PCS’ support, the local operator of the national restaurant chain is now operating a 7,538-square-foot space that includes a full bar, restaurant seating for 250 and a patio with outdoor dining and firepits to accommodate an additional 50 guests.

“This was a unique opportunity that allowed the property owner to capture additional revenue, visibility and improve the tenant mix by carving out new rentable space within a parking garage and transforming it into a high-profile restaurant and bar,” says Rick Goldman, president, PCS. “Bar Louie adds to both the overall appeal and long term value of LaCenterra.”

According to Goldman, the unique assignment faced a variety of challenges, from property operating matters to restaurant specific issues, including:

  • Handicap Parking Stalls: As originally designed, a certain number of handicap parking stalls were planned and/or required to fulfill lease obligations with other LaCenterra tenants. PCS reviewed all lease documentation, analyzed potential solutions, sought and secured the written approvals of all affected tenants, before reconfiguring the remaining parking area to maintain traffic flow efficiency and satisfy all contractual obligations.


  • Grease Interceptor: Because the space was originally developed as a parking garage, there were no accommodations made for connecting to or installing an additional grease interceptor, an essential component for any restaurant or related facility. Working with various other consultants, PCS developed the most efficient and cost-effective solution that would not impact other tenants or the overall retail experience.


  • Grease Duct/Fresh Air Intake: Again, especially as a restaurant space, ventilation was critical, and raised the question of where to install what was needed to operate the restaurant. While these were mechanical engineering and code issues and questions, PCS led the tenant, engineers and others to ensure the lease was not violated and a ventilation system appropriate for the use and did not interfere with other tenants or physical improvements of the center was provided.


PCS is a Chicago-based development services and construction management firm with a proven track record of designing creative solutions, improving operations and creating value for commercial property owners, corporate space users, retailers, restaurants and public library systems, among others. Client projects include ground-up construction and expansions, tenant buildout assignments, corporate branding refreshes and repositioning programs. For more information, visit


SOURCE: Pacific Construction Services

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