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Special Honors winners built for speed, more

Runners-up in American Drycleaner's 46th Annual Plant Design Awards showcase production, quality and positioning
Dee & Hattie Specialty Cleaners started out as a press shop for Dallas-based Neiman-Marcus, and its new, 4,600-sq.-ft. plant is the area’s latest paragon of high style. Designed with a retro-1950s motif, it recalls the salad days of drycleaning while incorporating high-tech construction materials and equipment to deliver a quality product every time.
Awarded Special Honors for Outstanding New Build, the plant’s concrete-and-metal exterior accommodates walk-in, drive-thru and delivery in a compact footprint. Walk-in customers enjoy a streamlined, spare call office, and can take advantage of a 24-hour drop box at any time.
Dee & Hattie reached capacity soon after it opened, after owner Thomas Payne bought out a competitor. Soon, he added a White distribution conveyor and a large-capacity Columbia hydrocarbon system to streamline production. If a second plant is in the works, Dee & Hattie may soon be a familiar fixture in these pages — if this high-style, high-output plant is any indication.
Also honored as an Outstanding New Build, Bobby Page’s second plant was designed from the ground up to be a distinctive, high-speed production plant. Serving eight of the company’s 12 drop stores and its own counter, the 13,000-sq.-ft. plant handles astronomical volume and leaves nothing to chance.
A DCCS-guided MetalProgetti conveyor system allows the plant to process every garment in less than three hours. And while handling clothing with factory-like efficiency, the Leid family’s new location isn’t a sweatshop; high ceilings and swamp coolers keep things cool.
The plant isn’t a boring factory, either. Distinctive architecture includes walls that tilt 12° outward, making the plant rise out of its office-park surroundings like the prow of a ship. Inside, the plant offers more eye-catching touches, including hanger racks that don’t block counters and a swooping steel staircase.
Gordon Shaw’s second liquid CO2 plant — awarded Special Honors as an Outstanding Strip Location — follows the successful paradigm of his first, highlighting the machine in the front of the store. The curiosity it produces helps break the ice with clients, he says, and brings them back to the plant once they learn about the process and see the results it can deliver.
While it may seem like a design challenge to place the cleaning machine alongside the call office, production flows smoothly backward along the wall through finishing, then works its way across the 2,200-sq.-ft. plant through inspection and onto the conveyor on the other side.
Hangers reinforces its clean-environment theme with a call office that’s way more latté than light starch, with blond-wood counters, brushed metal accents, and backlit graphics. In affluent, environmentally correct Southern California — and throughout the country, says a recent Newsweek story — the Hangers proposition packs a punch with consumers.Keep watching the website for more outstanding projects from our 46th Annual Plant Design Awards.

Have a question or comment? E-mail our editor Dave Davis at [email protected].