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Spiegel/Eddie Bauer Distribution Center

The story of the new Spiegel/Eddie Bauer Distribution Center in Groveport, Ohio, is the sto!), of designing and constructing a distribution facility for the 21st century. By using Tilt-up, the James N. Gray Construction Company of Lexington, Kentucky, built an enormous facility in record time.

The 1.5 million square foot building, possibly the largest Tilt-up project to date, sits on a 200- acre site in suburban Columbus. Thirty-four football fields could be put inside, and it's a mile walk around the perimeter of the building. The cost of Tilt-up was compared to precast, and Tilt-up ended up being more economical. The owner did not want metal, and codes in the Columbus area precluded the use of metal anyway.

The construction for this enormous facility was completed in 195 work days from the first foundation pour. One thousand concrete Tilt-up panels, weighing 56,000,000 pounds, were used, as were 11,700,000 pounds of structural steel. In addition to speed of construction, Tilt-up allowed for creative solutions to two processes: cantilevering the interior fire walls 41'-10" from their footings and stacking panels to create 67 foot high walls in the high-bay area.

To better organize this enormous project, Gray Construction produced a videotape that was required viewing for every individual employed by Gray or any of the 62 subcontractors.
Because safety was emphasized, the $48.9 million project was completed without any serious injuries and was recognized by OSHA as the safest site ever inspected in the Ohio area.
The Eddie Bauer business moved into the new building for the 1994 Christmas shipping season, and Spiegel planned to move its catalog distribution into the new facility in early 1995. Spiegel is a long-time Chicago-based catalog company; Spiegel bought the Eddie Bauer concern in 1988.

James N. Gray Construction Company has been involved in a number of large warehouse/distribution center projects. The warehouse business has changed tremendously recently, recently the incorporation of many aspects of technology into what used to be a "low-tech" business. There is a lot of potential in construction of new warehouses, and Tilt-up is a logical choice for this kind of construction. .

Franklin N. Gray Design - a part of Gray Construction - was architect for this project, and was applauded for success in making this enormous project both attractive from the outside and comfortable for employees on the inside.

Freeland Harris Consulting Engineers, also of Lexington, Kentucky, served as engineers for this project. .

The Tilt-up subcontractor was Clayco Construction Company of Hazelwood, Mo., near St. Louis. The Tilt-up concrete contract for this project totaled $3.5 million, which is the single largest Tilt-up contract let in the United States in the past five years. On the Spiegel/Eddie Bauer project, Clayco completed its work in just four months - an amazing schedule for the size and complexity of this project.

The structure was designed in such a manner that it is divided into 11 individual buildings, noted Clayco's project managers. The walls that separate each building are Tilt-up, and are designed as cantilevered walls. If there is a fire in one particular building, that whole building can fall - steel structure and everything - and the rest of the building will remain in place.

Main banner image for Spiegel/Eddie Bauer Distribution Center

Project Location

Columbus, OH
United States


The Tilt-Up Achievement Awards were established to honor projects that use site-cast tilt-up concrete to introduce new building types, advance industry technology and provide unique solutions to building programs. Winning entries illustrate the variety, beauty, and flexibility of tilt-up construction.



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Project Images


Project Team (TCA Members)

General Contractor:
Concrete Contractor:
Freeland Harris Consulting Engineers of Kentucky, Inc.
Dayton Superior Corporation
Dayton Superior Corporation

Project Specifics

Project Category:
Building Types:
Number of Floors:
Total Floor Area:
1,500,000 sq ft (139,350 sq m)