Land-use consultancy Dresdner Robin provided expert services on the future home of Jersey City’s first Whole Foods Market. Consistent with hundreds of projects it has performed in Jersey City, Dresdner Robin coordinated local and state approvals, including site plan approval from the Jersey City Planning Board. To facilitate the retrofit of a parking garage that will house the grocer, Dresdner Robin mapped the facility using terrestrial laser-scanning technology.

Whole Foods Market will be constructed within two levels of the parking garage, which is a part of downtown Jersey City’s Harborside 4A, owned by New Jersey-based real estate investment firm Mack-Cali Realty Corporation. Dresdner Robin assisted project architects at HLW International by carrying out a precise measurement of the site and the interior of the garage.

“This development at Harborside introduces necessary retail space into Jersey City’s rapidly growing downtown, at a key transport hub,” said Fred Worstell, president of Dresdner Robin, which has been based in Jersey City since 1985.

Harborside 4A is a 10-story complex with three levels of Class A office space. The parking garage currently spans seven stories. Whole Foods will occupy 47,000 square feet within the building.

“We are very excited that Whole Foods Market selected Harborside for its future Jersey City store,” said Mack-Cali Senior Vice President of Communications, Deidre Crockett. “Jersey City has been anticipating the arrival of Whole Foods Market, and our ability to creatively retrofit Harborside 4A will make that a reality. Dresdner Robin’s survey informs the overall reconfiguration of the building, and their work securing approvals has allowed development to proceed.”

Whole Foods Market has also selected Jersey City’s Harborside 3 for its Northeast headquarters. Its two Jersey City leases total 94,940 square feet.

“HLW called upon us to secure approvals and measure this garage as accurately, thoroughly and quickly as possible,” said Matthew Neuls, senior project manager at Dresdner Robin. “Our scanning technology provided precise CAD models, offering designers reliable site data from which to work.” The Dresdner Robin team used a 3D laser scanner to capture the detailed geometry of the structure. They also used a total station to establish scanner control points in the survey coordinate system/datum. This allowed them to geo-reference the scan data to the project CAD files.

The survey, completed using a tripod-mounted 3D laser scanner, identified existing features such as concrete structures, conduits and other infrastructure. For this project, they captured 34 individual scans covering the garage interior and exterior perimeter of the building. The scanner point clouds were tied together using a series of control points/targets that were captured in multiple scans.

The firm’s field crew surveyed both inside and outside of the building. The sophisticated technology allowed operations to continue during the scan, avoiding time-consuming vehicle removal.

“Dresdner Robin deploys the latest technology for its survey services – including UAVs and laser scanners –and we apply these tools to complex environments, yielding truly creative solutions,” said Greg Gloor, director of survey and 3D measurement at Dresdner Robin.

The Whole Foods project was rendered and published in full color as a 3D Point Cloud on Dresdner Robin’s internal point cloud server. This made the dataset available to CAD workstations throughout the firm. The deliverable requirements included a 2D floor plan of the garage structure. This was derived directly from horizontal sections done on the point cloud data in CAD. In the future, Dresdner Robin says they will be able to develop other CAD-based deliverables from this data such as Rev-it models, mesh surfaces, etc.

One of the key benefits from using the scanner is that it does not discriminate on what to survey. It captures nearly everything that is in the line of sight from the current vantage point it occupies. The key objective is to provide the appropriate “coverage” with the scans by moving it to carefully selected locations. When this is done properly, it will result in the capture of data that exceeds the scope requirements. In this case, the scope focused on the interior and exterior walls and columns. However, Dresdner Robin said they also obtained data on some of the piping, lights, HVAC ducts and other information which may be of value in the future. Each site has obstacles of many types, shapes and sizes. These can occlude parts of the facility but usually can be worked around. The scanner Dresdner Robin used and the methods they employ allow them to capture many individual scans and stitch them together as one contiguous dataset that accurately represents the facility. In the garage, they had to work around many parked cars and columns, which did not represent an issue.

Earlier in the year, Dresdner Robin surveyors used drone technology to capture images of at-risk riparian areas of northern New Jersey, including flood-prone waterways in Pompton Lakes, N.J.

The firm has completed other high-profile projects in the state’s most populous city, including the three-tower Journal Squared development, the 900-foot skyscraper at 99 Hudson, and the 16-story mixed-use residential property at 533 Mercer Street, among others.

Dresdner Robin is an award-winning leader in urban design and development, and a pioneer in brownfield redevelopment. In the 1970s, the company's perspective as an innovative engineering, land use and environmental services firm enabled it to create and implement the first ever remedial action plan in the state of New Jersey for the Newport development site in Jersey City.