Project Spotlight: American Direct

By Tom Cowan, Director of Operations with Nexus 5 Group


Project: American Direct, 14400 College Boulevard, Lenexa, KS 66215

Client: American Direct Co. - Jerri Whetstone

Owner’s Rep & American Direct: Jill Donnici, Jerri Whetstone

Architect: Davidson Architecture & Engineering - Johnathon Phillips, and Kara Botz

Project Size/Type: 20,830 SF, Tenant Finish

Project Schedule: 4 months, started in October 2021



The American Direct project was a tenant finish project in Lenexa, KS. It's a project that carries a "feel good" sense of accomplishment for us, even before the project began. The outcome is something we are always striving for... Serve them well, keeping in mind that every project is an audition for the next opportunity.


We did a project in Prairie Village, KS, the previous year. Brent Hastings (Nexus 5 Group Project Manager) and his team knocked it out of the park. The architect for that project was Kara Botz with Davidson Architecture & Engineering and she had recommended us for the American Direct project based on her experience and trust with Nexus 5 Group.


We believe this is the ultimate compliment.


One things really stands out on this project, and surprisingly it isn’t material challenges. The level of readiness the project started with really set the tone for the rest of the job. There is a massive difference in the experience for everyone, when all the “ducks are in a row” before construction.


The design was solid and well thought out. Drawings were complete and ready for meaningful bids. Contracts were signed quickly (within a week). Answers to questions were basically instantaneous. This allowed us to start demo just 2 days after we received the signed contract. HATS OFF to Johnathon Phillips and Kara Botz with Davidson Architecture & Engineering and Jill Donnici and Jerri Whetstone with American Direct.


This project had an aggressive schedule as the client needed to transfer leases by a certain date. With a structural steel mezzanine addition, this was a tall task. But with the aforementioned prep work, it seemed likely. Josh Buller, Nexus 5 Group Superintendent, and his team pulled this off. The duration to receiving a TCO (Temporary Certificate of Occupancy) was 7 ½ weeks. Things had to go smoothly for that to happen.

This is the newly built mezzanine constructed by Builder Steel. Great job!


About American Direct

“American Direct is the only company combining Division 28 and Division 8 product, service, and expertise to deliver totally integrated safety and security solutions at the door opening. With 28/8 innovation, we are saving clients time, money, and stress. Most important, we are creating more secure spaces for people to work, learn, and live.


We have more than 25 years of experience working in new construction, renovation, and remodel projects for both private and public sector, with an extensive portfolio in commercial, multifamily, hospitality, government, healthcare, and education.


With our deep network of industry partners and nationwide footprint of engineering offices, sales offices, and regional fulfillment centers, we can deliver the best products for the best price. Just as important, we quickly and efficiently respond to any challenges that might arise during a project to ensure your project stays on schedule and on budget.”

The blue walls are very bold but it definitely make a statement.


In the end, this project went very well and smoothly. We really appreciate our relationship with Davidson Architecture & Engineering. They've introduced us to clients who fit our culture and values like American Direct. When these align, projects seem to progress effortlessly.


Brent Hastings - Project Manager, Josh Buller - Superintendent and Emma Draper - Project Engineer has been the team to beat lately. Super proud of them!!!


Brent Hastings, Project Manager, Nexus 5 Group – “It is so refreshing when a project flows so easily. It never seemed loose or excessively challenging. A true testament to the quality of people involved and the proactive communication throughout the project.”


Josh Buller, Superintendent, Nexus 5 Group – “With a 35-day timeline any job can be a challenge. However, we were able to complete this thanks to proper planning and communication to provide a project that is on time and on budget.”


#servewell #n5experience

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