Bergstrom Enterprises ~ Smart Car Dealership

Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Project Description

Smart cars are the most fuel efficient gasoline powered (non-hybrid) vehicles for sale in the United States. The Smart car was developed as a joint-venture between Mercedes-Benz and Swatch.

This 7,318 sq. ft. Smart car dealership is the first stand-alone Smart dealership within the United States and was featured in the national Smart brochure.

The facility includes a show room, reception and waiting area, boutique for smart merchandise, drive through service and write-up area, wash/detail room, employee locker room and five-story tower with associated vehicle lift that displays the unique vehicles.

The dealership was built in the parking lot of an existing and operating Hummer store and was completed in only 18 weeks.

The five-story display tower included in the dealership is an innovative concept in car dealerships. The original design included a full-freight elevator, but was changed to a vehicle lift due to size constraints.

The store is a prototype facility customized to meet the requirements of Bergstrom Automotive and the constraints of the site.

Boldt executed the project using Integrated Lean Project Delivery® methodology.

LEED NC-Silver Features
This facility is LEED-Silver certified and features:

  • More than 50 percent of the site was planted with completely native and adaptive plants, eliminating the need for any type of irrigation. The project includes a large stone retaining wall to assist in erosion control.

  • Water efficient plumbing fixtures were installed throughout the new facility providing a potable water savings of 43 percent.

  • For the next two years, Bergstrom will be purchasing green power for 50 percent of their energy consumption. This encourages the development and use of grid-source, renewable energy technologies on a net zero pollution basis.

  • A total of 99.4 percent (1,232 tons) by weight of the construction waste materials were diverted from landfills during the construction of this project. This includes the reuse of the existing asphalt on site as a base course and the sale of an existing block retaining wall. 

  • The facility makes extensive use of daylight for interior spaces to reduce energy usage. The lights in the display tower and showroom all have daylight sensors to reduce the energy needs of the facility and improve the interior environment for the employees and customers. Task lights are available for every employee to assist in putting light where it is needed and not wasting energy.

  • All low-emitting materials including adhesives, sealants, paints, coatings and carpet were used on the interior to reduce the quantity of indoor air pollutants. GREENGUARD certified furniture (an industry-independent, third-party testing program for low-emitting products and materials) was purchased to furnish the store.

  • Bergstrom Smart car’s objective is to restrict the major-use cleaning solutions used at the facility to those identified on the Green Seal list or their equivalents.

  • A total of 20 percent of the building materials were manufactured using recycled materials.

  • Roughly 34 percent of the building materials were extracted, processed and manufactured within 500 miles of the site.

  • 65 percent of the total wood-based building materials were harvested from FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certified forests.

Learn more about our construction management capabilities


Gries Architectural Group, Inc.

Boldt's Role

Construction Manager

Key Points

  • The low capacity soils on the site required significant over-excavation and backfill with flowable concrete. This added eight days of additional construction, yet the completion date remained unchanged.
  • After the structural steel was on site, the city ruled that the display tower was in fact a “sign” and zoning regulations required changing the overall height of the tower by approximately five feet. The steel was modified on site to change each of the five landing elevations. Exterior panels, windows and stairs were also modified to accommodate this change. Even with these challenges, the completion date remained intact.