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Boyd Jones, Rail & Commerce Building receive national accolades

by Cole Epley
Exterior shot of the Rail & Commerce Building from 10th Street looking northwest

OMAHA, Neb. – Boyd Jones has been honored by two national industry trade publications for its renovation and rehabilitation of the former Burlington Mail Terminal, now known as the Rail & Commerce Building.

Weekly construction industry magazine Engineering News-Record Midwest has named the Rail & Commerce Building its 2018 Best Project in the Renovation/Restoration category. The building, which contains headquarters offices for more than 20 companies including Boyd Jones, took top honors in the category that included other major historic renovation projects, like a former steam plant and bank building that were turned into a hospital headquarters and mixed-use space in Toledo, Ohio.

The Rail & Commerce Building project will be featured in-depth in the Nov. 26 edition of ENR Midwest and Boyd Jones will be recognized at a Nov. 28 awards banquet in Chicago. ENR’s national Project of the Year, for which Rail & Commerce is being considered, will also be announced at the Nov. 28 banquet.

The project has also been recognized for its use of historic tax credits by Novogradac Journal of Tax Credits, a monthly publication featuring insight and analysis of the historic rehabilitation tax credit industry, among others. The publication recognized the Rail & Commerce Building as the top non-residential development that best exemplifies major community impact for 2018.

Novogradac & Company LLP, a San Francisco-based tax, audit, and consulting firm that also publishes periodicals, will recognize Boyd Jones and other winners at the Novogradac Historic Tax Credit Conference on Sept. 27 in Nashville, Tenn.

About the Rail & Commerce Building

The Burlington Mail Terminal, a 90-year-old former mail-by-rail depot, spent nearly half its life crumbling under the stresses of neglect and disuse until one of the largest historic tax credit projects in Nebraska in the last decade launched it into the 21st century.

Today, the building is the corporate headquarters for two companies that predate the original structure as well as startups working to form viable enterprises, making the renamed Rail & Commerce Building a nexus of the old and new, both in terms of tenants and design.

The project blended modern concepts with reimagined historic elements that nod to the building’s past among a broader district on the National Register of Historic Places: a massive mail chute was left in place and cut through to create a passageway to new restrooms, and portions of elevated observation galleries where postal supervisors would furtively monitor mail-sorting workers now serve as a chase for energy-efficient mechanical systems, for example. The building has also been recognized with a Merit Award for Energy Efficiency by the American Council of Engineering Companies/Nebraska.

About Boyd Jones

Boyd Jones was founded in Omaha in 1924 by W. Boyd Jones, an experienced contractor originally from Dallas. Jones specialized in commercial and industrial construction, boasting a resume that included the Adolphus Hotel in Dallas and the Anheuser-Busch corporate office in St. Louis. Early projects included Nebraska’s first hydroelectric power facility at Sutherland in 1935 and the Omaha Community Playhouse in 1959.

Today, Boyd Jones is active in eight market sectors with recent premier projects including the Rail & Commerce Building, the St. John Paul II Newman Center at the University of Nebraska at Omaha, 1415 @ The Yard, and Riverfront Place Tower II. The company continues in its founder’s traditions of integrity and commitment to customers, driving value, reducing costs, and building quality structures.

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