Category Archives: Commercial Projects

Commercial Project- 555 Northgate, San Rafael

This commercial office building was our second installation for the Marin Community Foundation (MCF), after our first project for their building near the Civic Center in San Rafael. This project was a more extensive removal and redevelopment of the landscape in the front and rear of the building. We focused our design on a reduced lawn area in front (the project is on reclaimed water and not subject to water restrictions). In the rear of the building we installed new screening trees and plantings.

“As I’ve said, you’ve done an exceptional job on this project, Michael. Thank you for your thorough investment in our nonprofit center and helping to make our tenants who serve the community feel valued.” -Mike Cosby, MCF Property Holdings



Completed Project- Commercial Landscape Rennovation, San Rafael

This project near the Civic Center in San Rafael was typical of many commercial landscapes. Old and overgrown plantings (out of control ivy and old Junipers) needed a complete refresh to improve the look and feel surrounding this commercial office building. We developed a planting and irrigation scheme focused on low maintenance, low water use plantings, retrofitting the existing overhead irrigation to efficient reclaimed water drip irrigation.

It is a rare pleasure to work with a new vendor on a property improvement and have the process and end result surpass every expectation. Our recent landscaping project with O’Connell Landscape provided us with exactly this experience.

From first contact to final payment, O’Connell Landscape was outstanding. Every call was returned and question answered promptly and thoroughly. Numerous requests for changes were patiently accommodated, while still completing the project on time. All documents and drawings were user-friendly, which allowed us to better visualize recommendations and understand the process. They consistently kept us apprised of the project’s progress, giving us a sense of control. And their professionalism dealing with tenants and water district officials made us look good as the property owner.

It is without hesitation that we highly recommend O’Connell Landscape.

Mike Cosby, Marin Community Foundation
MCF Property Holdings, Inc.


From the Drawing Board: San Rafael Commercial Project

Here is a plan view of a commercial project we are working on in San Rafael. The existing walkways and patio spaces around the building needed to be expanded to better suit the use patterns of the space, and to update and improve the aesthetics of the property. In this working drawing we are exploring options for path and patio layouts, with suggestions for possible budget saving measures.

Case Study- Commercial Landscape Services

While the majority of the new work we construct focuses on custom residential landscape construction, about 25% of our projects are commercial landscape installation work. Commercial installations carry with them their own set of challenges. We find that our design-build approach and project management services are especially valuable in these situations where we can manage complex projects involving multiple subcontractors, tight budget constraints and the needs of multiple stakeholders and end users.

A good case study of our commercial construction process is the Four Points Sheraton Hotel in San Rafael where we completed a pool courtyard renovation last year. The pool area for the Sheraton was outdated and unusable. The management and management company wanted a more usable space to serve as a better gathering place in the central courtyard of the hotel, and a place where outdoor meals could be served from the restaurant on-site.

We developed a renovation plan for the space the incorporated a custom designed two sided gas fireplace, with a central shade arbor that tied into the existing architectural detailing and gave an anchor to the space. The result transformed the outdoor dining experience at the restaurant, better incorporated the pool area into the rest of the hotel use areas, and is one of the most popular areas for people to gather at night around the fireplace.

View our Sheraton Portfolio to see more before and after images and details on this project.