Managing Expectations and Large Acreage at 3M/Aramark Commercial Properties

An innovative facility calls for an equally impressive landscape.

From incorporating sustainable materials to enhancing the curb appeal, proper maintenance can help create a complete site and achieve that goal.

All of the landscape features and issues are amplified on large commercial properties, making it even more important to keep it properly maintained. And that’s exactly what this site looked to do.

Commercial Property Breakdown

The 3M/Aramark commercial landscape in Austin has a main campus and manufacturing site, says Darryl McArthur, facility services manager.

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“3M is a big company and well known, so it’s important to just showcase the property,” McArthur says. The company has been on the property for about 30 years, and in the past few years, the city has really been booming around it.

A 1.5 million-square-foot building with an innovation center is the focal point on the main campus. The 168-acre property also has its own power plant, construction pit, detention and retention ponds, nature trails and forest space.

“It’s more of a research-and-development facility,” McArthur says. “It also includes office space for various divisions of 3M.”

The manufacturing site is smaller, with 30 acres, and includes three buildings and wooded areas.

With such a large area to maintain between the two sites, they needed a maintenance company with the manpower and experience to successfully handle the work. And with the property’s power plant, they also needed a maintenance company who could successfully work with the city and power company.

Finding the Best Company for the Site

On the search for a qualified commercial landscape company, McArthur looked for a reputable, well-known company. He also wanted a maintenance team that standardized their scheduling and followed protocol.

Another important element was having a company that put safety at the forefront — which was no surprise considering the products they manufacture.

“3M makes a lot of safety items, so our team and the landscapers better be wearing them,” McArthur says with a chuckle.

Native checked all of their boxes and now maintains 3M’s Austin properties.

The Native team manages all of the landscape exterior, including irrigation, tree work and chemical applications on the properties. Maintaining the native plant material in manicured areas requires additional management during the spring season, says Roger Buttle, project manager, Native.

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“The partnership with 3M has been fair, and we share the same goals for the property,” Buttle says. “The communication between both companies has been open and honest.”

Creating Stormwater Management Plan

Austin is no stranger to heavy rainfall and flooding, making a solid stormwater management plan a must for this commercial site. The city broke several rainfall records last year, which isn’t surprising considering all of the flooding events.

“The main thing we get here is stormwater,” McArthur explains.

To prevent water and drainage issues, Native maintains the site’s detention and retention ponds, making sure they stay up to code. Part of that is keeping the grass and plants cut back. They control the weeds in the water-quality ponds without using synthetic chemicals, Buttle adds.

They also maintain and repair their irrigation system, helping the site be more sustainable and efficient.

Proactive Services Make a Difference

Property managers have enough on their plates, so it’s important they can find a landscape maintenance company they don’t have to micromanage. That’s why Native takes the initiative to check for and prevent potential issues.

“They’re doing irrigation checks and other things I don’t have to ask them to do,” McArthur says. “I know they are looking out for things.”

Not only does that make McArthur’s job easier, but that also helps him keep the property owner satisfied. “The client is also looking at what has to be done — it’s not just me,” he says.

The property switched to Native’s commercial maintenance services in June 2015, says McArthur, who has been working with the 3M properties for five years.

“I’ve been happy with the service and everybody from the company,” McArthur says. “Everything is addressed in a timely manner.”

McArthur, who has been in the industry for several years, says he appreciates how Native focuses on providing high-quality services and customer service.

“On my end, I like a company that is not only good work wise but also one that I have a good relationship with,” McArthur explains. “Having a good working relationship is a big thing to me.

“I can call the crew leader, Ben (owner) or whoever, and they are all so friendly and helpful,” McArthur continues. “It’s not only a business, but it’s like a family.”

In addition to seeing the team on his property, McArthur has also been to several events with the Native staff and really grown that relationship.

“I’m really glad they’re on my property,” he says.

 

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Highlights

  • 168-acre main campus
  • 30 acre manufacturing site
  • Power plant
  • Innovation center
  • Nature trails

Testimonial

Darryl McArthur, Facility Services Manager

“They’re doing irrigation checks and other things I don’t have to ask them to do. I know they are looking out for things.”

Darryl McArthur, Facility Services Manager