Republic Urban Properties and Blach/Cahill JV Partner with Prescient Co. to Employ Innovative Metal Framing System

Building partners at Gateway at Millbrae StationRepublic Urban Properties and Blach Construction/Cahill Contractors Joint Venture (Blach/Cahill) – have teamed up with Prescient Co., a construction technology company that aims to revolutionize the industry by speeding up construction time, substantially lowering project costs, and reducing waste.

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Gateway at Millbrae Station is one of the largest transit-oriented developments in the Western United States. The mixed-use complex, set to be completed by Blach/Cahill in summer 2022, will assist in addressing Bay Area housing needs, as well as bolster office, hospitality and other urban amenities. Poised to create 1,100 new jobs, the project also provides access to sustainable transportation through BART, CalTrain, and SamTrans, with close proximity to San Francisco International Airport. It will include 320 market-rate apartments, 80 Veteran-preferred affordable units, a 164-room Marriott Residence Inn, 150,000 sq. ft. of Class-A office space, 44,000 sq. ft. of ground-floor retail and restaurant space, and establish new public open spaces, plazas, pedestrian/bike paths and dog parks.

Republic Urban Properties and Blach, two agile companies with deep roots in the San Francisco Bay Area are driving innovative solutions that address perennial industry challenges, including schedules and budgets, which are often adversely affected when unexpected problems arise. In sourcing materials for Gateway at Millbrae Station, the partners weren’t looking for small ways to cut costs and timelines. Instead, they were looking for greater efficiencies, enhanced quality and improved worker safety to significantly impact the overall building process and value of the finished product. Where they landed can be considered a paradigm shift.

Enter Prescient Co., a pre-engineered, prefabricated light gauge metal frame building system that utilizes design integration, advanced manufacturing, and rapid assembly to cut overall project costs and reduce project schedules throughout the construction process. To Republic Urban Properties and Blach/Cahill, the Prescient system has been a game-changer for this large-scale project.

“When you think of a typical industrial company, two to five percent of revenue is invested every year in research and development while in IT, it is up to twelve percent; you don't see those percentages within the construction industry,” explains Magued Eldaief, CEO of Prescient Co. “There are many people who are taking different parts of that value chain to innovate in, but at the end of the day, there is really no platform like Prescient that marries the hardware piece of construction with the digital and software suite of applications to produce and execute projects in one seamless process with a continuous digital thread.”

In fact, Prescient’s system played a key role in the completion of the mixed-use complex’s light-gauge steel framing structure earlier this summer. “Starting a project in March 2021 and topping out that project in July 2021 is absolutely unheard of in recent times for an apartment construction type,” says Michael Van Every, CEO of Republic Urban Properties.

The building team’s investment in efficient construction practices at Gateway at Millbrae Station has enabled a myriad of benefits, in addition to reducing project timelines. The Prescient metal framing system produces less waste on-site than other materials, reduces the amount of on-site staging area needed, provides substantial safety and accuracy benefits, decreases insurance costs, and streamlines the project’s labor requirements. Blach/Cahill introduced Prescient to Republic Urban Properties as a solution for the massive housing project’s unique timeline challenges and the desire to employ an efficient metal-frame construction methodology.

“Construction is an inherently complex and dangerous undertaking, particularly when dealing with a project of this scale,” said Blach Vice President James Woodbury. “When we discovered Prescient’s platform, we knew it would be a perfect fit for Gateway at Millbrae Station, not only allowing us to gain incredible cost and time efficiencies on this massive project, but one that would greatly improve worker safety. Ultimately, the Prescient solution has allowed us to prefabricate 80 percent of the building structures offsite in a controlled environment.”

As the Bay Area community awaits the unveiling of Gateway at Millbrae Station, the building team will continue to break barriers and deliver innovative solutions that result in dramatic efficiency gains.

“Our industry may be struggling, trying to maintain costs and schedules, but we are experiencing success,” said Reyad Katwan, COO of Republic Urban Properties. “We’re building on our experiences, and continually improving. We believe so much in this partnership among the three companies that we’re already envisioning future projects with the same team going forward.”

About Republic Urban Properties

Republic Urban Properties is the West Coast Division of the Republic Family of Companies, known for developing quality real estate throughout the United States, from land development and historic adaptive reuse to shopping malls. Republic specializes in transit-oriented and mixed-use projects, is involved many projects in the public and private sector areas for acquisition and/or land joint venture partnerships and builds landmarks. This innovative, lean team has a magnitude of experience working closely with state, county, and city governments to successfully navigate the intricacies of California’s regulatory environment. Republic Urban Properties is developing over 5.7 million square feet of multifamily, office, retail and hospitality, with an estimated market value among projects slated for completion within the next five years totaling approximately $1.79 billion. Ranked in the Top 50 Bay Area Developers by the San Francisco Business Journal, Republic plays an integral role in making San Jose and the Peninsula one of the top three multifamily markets in the country. Learn more at or via LinkedIn.

About Blach Construction

Founded in 1970, Blach Construction builds structures of enduring quality and value throughout California. The company’s experience encompasses a broad cross section of education, housing, institutional, mixed-use and workplace building types, including technology, life sciences, professional services, health care, K-12 and higher education, and civic/community facilities. A leading innovator, Blach is dedicated to incorporating advanced construction techniques, leveraging its prefabrication, self-perform and virtual design and construction expertise where and when possible. With a solid understanding of traditional and collaborative delivery methods, Blach is dedicated to offering greater efficiencies and increased value to clients.

The firm consistently wins awards across the construction industry and general business community for its projects, innovation, employee engagement and community service. Quality and safety are at its core. As a result, Blach is continually ranked as a “Top Contractor in California” by Engineering News-Record and has received multiple “Construction Safety Excellence Awards” from the Associated General Contractors of California, earning 1st Place in 2020 (Building Division – under 400,000 worker hours). Additionally, and as a testament to its company culture, Blach has been recognized repeatedly since 2009 as a “Best Place to Work” in the Bay Area by the Silicon Valley Business Journal/San Francisco Business Times.

Blach is headquartered in San Jose with branch offices in Monterey and Orange County. To learn more, visit and engage with us on LinkedIn.

About Prescient Co.

Prescient’s integrated architectural and engineering digital software platform leverages precision off-site manufacturing to enable construction and efficient project delivery. Designed for advanced professionals who plan, design, and build multi-unit housing and hospitality structures, the Company’s digital design-build system harnesses the power of technology to revolutionize the building environment. Founded in 2012 and headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina, Prescient holds over 100 patents across 30 countries for its hardware system and digital thread technology platform. To date, Prescient has completed 57 buildings and 9.1 million square feet through its software and IP, which enables architects and building owners to drive down construction costs, increase ROI and improve efficiency across the entire development, construction, and operating value chain.