CCR Nov 20

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November 2020 •

A cut above the rest An inside look at the magic of V’s Barbershop

Jim Valenzuela, founder, CEO and Emily Hutcheson-Brown, COO, V’s Barbershop

Official magazine of

Also inside:

Exclusive Inside: Why Opportunity Zones matter to you Empty malls seek renewal as senior housing centers See our Security Manufacturers listing


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800-718-2255 CIRCLE NO. 1

Vol. 19, No. 9 | November 2020




FEATURES 26 A cut above the rest An inside look at the magic of V’s Barbershop

54 Design for the times Inside the majesty of the Boston Sports Institute

50 The human factor A sustainable workplace focused on employee comfort and well-being

60 A new way of thinking How technology will drive adaptive reuse now and post-pandemic

Cover and feature photos by: Robert Biggs




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Vol. 19, No. 9 | November 2020 INDUSTRY SEGMENTS

38 Security Products/Services


Editor’s Note

12 Industry News 88 Women in Construction 93 The Cannabis Operations 108 Commercial Construction & Renovation Data 110 Ad Index 112 Publisher’s Note



Commercial Construction & Renovation Men 36 Man up CCR highlights the men pushing the industry’s norms Multi-Housing 63 Smart building How Capstone Communities and ePropertyCare are changing the game in multifamily, affordable housing Federal Construction 71 Breathing new life... Renovation adds glass dome to roof of NYC’s Tammany Hall


Commercial Kitchens 81 Light of day Time management wins day for Dewitt Tilton Group’s South Georgia Dunkin’ project Craft Brand and Marketing 101 Craft-ness on the edge of town How Cypress Brewing is taking the Great State of New Jersey by storm

81 4


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by Michael J. Pallerino

Beware or embrace: The Ghost Kitchen is here T hey're out there. Do you hear them? Can you see them? Smell them? If there has been one thing that everyone can truly embrace and agree upon during this incredibly confusing, frustrating and isolating time, it’s the ghost kitchen. Without a visible, physical presence, ghost kitchens are all the rage, leveraging what some industry insiders call the ‘platformification’ of the food delivery market. Ghost kitchens—or cloud kitchens, as some call them—are commercial kitchens dedicated to the creation of virtual, delivery-only restaurant brands. Typically, a chef or small business operator will own or lease a commercial kitchen space and sublease it to multiple virtual brands that use it as a delivery-only model.

Pioneered by Deliveroo in 2018, the concept started as a way to repurpose space. But after the pandemic hit with a fury that nobody saw coming, the concept has turned into a business model that continues to intrigue restaurateurs. And here’s the thing—whether you like it or not, there may be no going back. For starters, the global online food delivery services market recently hit the $110-plus billion mark, powered by food delivery merchants such as Deliveroo, Uber Eats, DoorDash, and the like. With customers simply pressing send to order their favorite items via a delivery app, the model has created a lasting and alluring proposition for the fast casual market. With a 14 year old who has been semiforced into using this model (and loving every minute of it), I’m not sure how I will get her out of that mindset. But if you look further into that statement, my 14 year old and her friends are the new generation–one that seeks convenience in everything they do. As we head into a new year—one we hope takes us one step closer to moving past the nightmare of 2020—it will be interesting to see how the restaurant industry continues to navigate the new innovations taking hold. Depending on the size of your operation, pivoting seems better suited for smaller companies—those that can act faster than larger, more bureaucratic ones. But taking the steps to do so—these ghost kitchens— was and continues to be mission critical. That takes having the right mindset for exploration, risk and vision. It also means wrapping this up and helping my daughter order some food. Yes, it’s that time again. Barbecue chicken and ribs anyone? CCR

Michael J. Pallerino is the editor of Commercial Construction & Renovation. You can reach him at 678.513.2397 or via email at

We want to hear from you At Commercial Construction & Renovation, we’re always looking to showcase the best of what our industry is doing. If you have a project profile or a fresh perspective on how to keep our industry positively moving forward, shoot me an email at We’d love to take a look.








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EDITORIAL EDITOR: Michael J. Pallerino 678.513.2397 • SENIOR ART DIRECTOR/AD PRODUCTION MANAGER: Brent Cashman 404.402.0125 • CONTRIBUTING WRITER: Ron Treister • 561-203-2981

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F&J PUBLICATIONS, LLC Commercial Construction & Renovation is published monthly by F&J Publications, LLC. The opinions expressed by authors and contributors to Commercial Construction & Renovation are not necessarily those of the editors or publisher. Commercial Construction & Renovation is not responsible for unsolicited manuscripts, photographs or artwork. Articles/content appearing in Commercial Construction & Renovation cannot be reproduced in any way without the specific permission of the publisher or editor.





CCR EDITORIAL BOARD RETAILERS AARON ANCELLO TD Bank VP Regional Facilities Manager AVP New England DAVE CRAWFORD Vice President of Design & Construction Belk Inc. STEVE KOWAL VP Construction & Property Management Hibbett Sporting Goods

RON BIDINOST Vice President of Construction at Bubbakoo’s Burritos GREGG LOLLIS Sr. Director, Design Development Chick-fil-A DAVID SHOTWELL Construction Manager Atticus Franchise Group ISYOL E. CABRERA Director Design & Construction Edibles

BOB MEZA Senior Construction Project Manager Target

DEMETRIA PETERSON Project Director, Design and Construction at HMSHost

JOHN MIOLOGOS Director, Store Standards Store Design and Planning Walgreens Company

DAVID THOMPSON Construction Manager Scooter’s Coffee

JERRY SMITH Head of Construction Bluemercury LAURA GROSS Retail Facilities Manager American Signature Furniture ERRAN THOMAS ZINZER Senior Manager Real Estate Services, Construction & Design MIKE KLEIN, AIA, NCARB

Retail Consultant RON VOLSKE Construction Project Manager Orscheln Farm & Home DEDRICK KIRKEM Retail Facilities Consultant

HEALTHCARE CLINTON “BROOKS” HERMAN, PMP Senior Facilities Project Manager UTHealth Science Center at Houston




ROB ADKINS, LEED AP CDP Project Manager, Construction Starbucks Coffee Company

PUNIT R. SHAH Chief Executive Officer of Liberty Group+ Part-Owner of Miami Marlins LU SACHARSKI Vice President of Operations and Project Management Interserv Hospitality


President Schimenti Construction

JOHN STALLMAN Marketing Manager Lakeview Construction


Senior Vice President, Cushman & Wakefield MEGAN HAGGERTY Founder Legacy Capital Investment


MIKE KRAUS Principal Kraus-Manning

JOHN COOPER Principal Executive Vice President at Stormont Hospitality Group LLC GARY RALL Vice President of Design and Development, Holiday Inn Club Vacations ROBERT RAUCH CEO RAR Hospitality Faculty Assoc., Arizona State University JOE THOMAS Vice President Engineering Loews Hotels

JOHN LAPINS Project Management Consultant, Greystar JIM SHEUCHENKO

President Property Management Advisors LLC CHRIS VARNEY Principal, Executive Vice President EMG

RICK TAKACH Chairman Vesta Hospitality SAMUEL D. BUCKINGHAM, RS CMCA AMS President & Co-Founder Evergreen Financial Partners LLC


STEPHEN HEKMAN Executive VP Kingsmen Retail Services US KEN DEMSKE Vice President Jones Lang LaSalle BOB WITKEN Chief Operating Officer KCA Development

CONSULTANT GINA NODA Founder Connect Source Consulting Group, LLC.


CEO & Founder of Nunzio Marc DeSantis Architects TOMMY LINSTROTH

CEO at Green Badger, LLC JEFF ROARK Principal/Partner Little JEFFREY D. MAHLER Vice President L2M JIM STAPELTON Vice President Nelson FRED MARGULIES Director of Retail Architecture Onyx Creative STEVEN MCKAY Managing Principal, Global Design Leader at DLR Group BRIAN HAGEMEIER, P.E., LEED AP Practice Leader Federal/State/Housing, GPD Group STEVEN R. OLSON, AIA

President CESO, Inc.

ADA BRAD GASKINS Principal The McIntosh Group

ACADEMIA DR. MARK LEE LEVINE Professor Burns School/ Daniels College University of Denver




AroundtheIndustry RESTAURANTS

Starbucks Starbucks plans to open 1,100 net new global locations in 2021, including more smaller format stores and to-go units. Shake Shack Shake Shack is ramping up menu innovation and unit growth with plans to open 35 to 40 new stores in 2021. Kroger’s QFC/Tutta Bella Kroger’s Pacific Northwest banner Quality Food Centers is building on a successful restaurant partnership it began with the Tutta Bella pizzeria chain earlier this year, adding a second location at a high-traffic store in Seattle. The latest opening will feature a specially designed counter space, grab-and-go items, and the exclusive debut of Tutta Bella’s new Take-and-Bake pizza option. Papa John’s Papa John’s is considering a plan to sell some of its 600 established company-owned units to prospective franchisees. The chain also plans to add new corporate locations next year. H-E-B Butt Grocery H.E. Butt Grocery is continuing its Texas growth with the opening of two 122,000-square-foot stores, including its first in Lubbock and another in San Antonio, which will be home to an expanded fresh produce department. BJ’s Restaurants BJ’s Restaurants is focused on long-term growth plans, including the launch of a beer subscription program. The chain plans to winterize 170 outdoor dining areas and is finding ways to safely expand indoor dining rooms.

Antique Taco Chicago’s two-unit fast-casual Antique Taco has figured out new ways to maximize its spaces to stay afloat during the pandemic. At one restaurant, the parking lot has become a retro drive-in, while the upstairs event space has been refitted as a dining room that seats 40 under the city’s capacity restrictions. CAO Bakery & Cafe South Florida baker Tony Cao has transformed Vicky Bakery, the chain founded by his grandfather nearly four decades ago, into a fast-casual Cuban-American concept called CAO Bakery & Cafe. The family-owned chain has grown to 12 units, most of which have pickup windows and robust off-premises sales that have helped it stay afloat during the pandemic. P.F. Chang’s/P.F. Chang’s To Go P.F. Chang’s China Bistro is expanding its P.F. Chang’s To Go concept, with plans to grow the fledgling off premises-focused format to 27 units by 2021.


Walmart Walmart’s large base of brick-and-mortar stores will allow it to convert four locations into e-commerce laboratories to test new technology and store design features to grow its digital capabilities and improve the in-store experience. Two sites in Arkansas already are trying methods to speed up inventory management and enhance the checkout experience, among other initiatives. Two more stores are planned for the test center program. IKEA IKEA plans to expand into the US in 2021 with a mall in San Francisco.

Zombie Burger A new, virtual, over-the-top burger bar called Zombie Burger Co. has opened in Southern California, helmed by the same team behind the 20-unit Norms. Zombie Burger Co. provides loaded burgers to local diners using six existing Norms kitchen.

Tuesday Morning Tuesday Morning has sold its Dallas headquarters and warehouse facilities to Rialto Capital for $60 million as part of a reorganization plans. The home goods retailer also has secured new financing, as it looks to emerge from bankruptcy reorganization as a publicly traded company with about 500 stores.

Acme Markets Albertsons Cos.’ Acme Markets plans to acquire 27 Kings Food Markets and Balducci’s Food Lover’s Markets for $96.4 million in cash under a bankruptcy auction.

Kohl’s Kohl’s has unveiled plans for a store in Napa, California as part of a new shopping center set to open in early 2022. The 55,000-squarefoot store will replace the city’s larger Kohl’s.




Recreational Equipment Inc. Recreational Equipment Inc. (REI) will open a Jackson, Wyoming store next summer, its first location in a state that’s home to around 41,000 of its co-op members. The 15,000-square-foot store will offer classes and workshops, while its snowboard, bike and ski shop will include repair and maintenance services.

Hotel Daxton The Daxton Hotel in Birmingham, Michigan will feature more than 400 pieces of art, a gourmet restaurant and an in-house personal trainer when it makes its debut in February as one of the state’s premier luxury properties. The newest high-end member of Aparium Hotel Group is the first for Detroiter Mark Mitchell.

Home Depot Home Depot will take over a four-story, 120,000-square-foot retail space in New York City when Bed Bath & Beyond’s lease on the space expires next year. The store will be the home improvement retailer’s third retail space in Manhattan.

Goodtime Hotel Singer-songwriter Pharrell Williams and hospitality heavyweight David Grutman have teamed with developer Eric Birnbaum to build a $200 million hotel in Miami Beach, Florida. The 266-room Goodtime Hotel is a catalyst for improving the Washington Avenue area.

The RealReal High-end resale platform The RealReal has opened its biggest brick-and-mortar store in Chicago, with on-site services that include custom tailoring and repair services for apparel, watches, handbags and shoes. The 12,000-square-foot store also features a cafe selling food and drinks from local businesses. The merchandise mix has been tailored to local tastes.

Dockside Inn and Suites Universal Orlando Resort in Florida’s new Dockside Inn and Suites will open Dec. 15 as part of its Endless Summer Resort project. The beach-themed hotel will include a resort pool, a food court and 2,050 rooms. Meanwhile, Loews Portofino Bay Hotel will reopen with revamped suites and rooms Dec. 1.

Uniqlo Japan-based fast-fashion retailer Uniqlo is set to open its first store in Quebec and its 14th in Canada.

AC Hotel by Marriott Plans to build an AC Hotel by Marriott with a conference center are heralded as a bright spot in the current economic gloom for Waco, Texas. SRH Hospitality expects to pump $60 million into the venture, one of three hotels on the drawing boards for the city’s Mary Avenue.

Avon The North American branch of Avon, the direct-selling company, opens its first physical space for consumers in Los Angeles. The 19,000-square-foot location aims to be a hub and immersive experience for the brand. Frame Denim fashion brand Frame introduced its 14th store in New York City’s Meatpacking District. The brand, one of several expanding in brick-and-mortar retail, is focusing on personalizing the shopping experience by making it simple to make appointments for fittings and other services.

Marriott International Marriott International’s holding company has made a formal request for full ownership of Berlin-based Design Hotels, of which it holds 95%. If shareholder approval is obtained, Marriott says it will operate Design Hotels as its wholly owned brand rather than as a separate entity. Hotel Thompson The first new luxury hotel in five years in San Antonio is scheduled to open in January amid a pandemic-induced slump in occupancy and convention business. The 20-story Hotel Thompson San Antonio will cost $300 a night during the week and $400 on weekends, with the penthouse suite going for $2,500 a night.

Puttshack The founders of the Topgolf chain plan to bring the English concept to the US with a location in Atlanta next year. The 25,000-squarefoot spot will feature four mini-golf courses, a full bar and a rooftop patio, and a design that lends itself to social distancing.

Kalahari Round Rock Resort The Kalahari Round Rock Resort, a 350-acre African-themed resort complex, opened outside of Austin, Texas. The hotel boasts 20 pools and whirlpools, 30 water slides, waterfalls, a rock-climbing wall and an adult grotto swim-up bar.

Apple Apple will grow its Express store format from about 20 to 50 locations in the US and Europe. Shoppers must schedule an appointment to pick up online purchases or consult with Apple’s service technicians.

Lotte Hotel The debut of the Lotte Hotel Seattle marks the first foray beyond Asia for Korea’s largest hospitality chain. The property blends contemporary design with a century-old Byzantine-style sanctuary and reflects surrounding buildings with a facade of stained glass.





Wash up W

5 infection control technology for today’s commercial restrooms hen it comes to commercial restroom designs, hygiene is critical. Fast forward to 2020 and the need for hygienic, sterile and safe restroom environments has never been greater. As a result, facilities are evaluating new procedures and products to reassure customers their facilities are healthy and safe. Bradley’s Jon Dommisse, director of strategy and corporate development, and Michelle Kempen WRID, WELL AP, ASID, with architectural firm Kahler Slater, offer these shortterm and long-term modifications:

Offer no-touch fixtures

Bradley’s Healthy Handwashing Survey™ shows that 91% of Americans believe it is important that public restrooms feature touchless fixtures. Technologies like voice command and IoT are other upand-coming hands-free technologies for restrooms. Automatic door openers typically seen to support accessible design now are being implemented in locations to prevent hand-surface contact.”

Improve ventilation

More facilities are considering more robust HVAC systems throughout their facilities, especially in shared spaces such as in restrooms. Ventilating with outdoor air is vital to diluting airborne contaminants. The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) advises that ventilation and filtration provided by heating, ventilating and air conditioning systems can reduce the airborne concentration of SARS-CoV-2.

Provide trash cans and hand sanitizer near exits

Bradley research shows that 65% of Americans use paper toweling to avoid contact with restroom doors and faucets, so keeping paper towels and waste containers near doorways can be helpful so people can throw them away upon exiting. Installing hand sanitizers outside restrooms is another way people can sanitize their hands upon entering and leaving the restroom.

Prevent wet floors

Water dripping from hands onto floors can cause slips and falls, and breed bacteria. To avoid wet floors, placing locating soap and drying options close to sinks so people do not need to move from the sink with wet hands is ideal.

Use nonporous sink materials

Using smooth and nonporous materials with seamless construction like solid surface and natural quartz on sinks helps prevent bacteria, mold and delamination accumulation. For multi-user restrooms, new washbasin designs with increased space between the hand washing areas allow for social distancing while washing hands.



They said it “We’re starting to see signs of improvement in specific regions, including the Northeast, which was hit particularly hard in the early stages of the pandemic. Activity in the construction industry has also been a bright spot. Even with hiring levels remaining flat on the national level for many small businesses, when monitoring the number of employees being paid, steady growth is being seen, indicating that small businesses are bringing existing employees back to work.” — Paychex president and CEO Martin Mucci on what today’s job market looks like

“It is extremely important to always keep the brand at the forefront and ensure that whatever it is that you’re implementing is in the best interest of the system in totality. Some great ideas work well in local markets but won’t work well for the entire system, so we had to take into account the long-term ramifications of our decisions.” — Scott Deviney, President & CEO of Chicken Salad Chick, on some key takeaways from the pandemic the brand will apply in the future

“Everything is coming at you really fast. You have to quickly react and re-gear how you run your business.” — Nancy Green, President of Old Navy for Gap, on her rapid-fire decision-making around core business operations as lockdown orders unevenly swept the nation and e-commerce demand doubled overnight


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Forever young How empty malls are finding new life as senior housing centers


he number is undeniable. According to commercial real estate firm Marcus and Millichap, the 75-and-over population alone will grow by five million over the next five years. At the same time, the aftershocks of the ongoing pandemic could render as many of 25,000 stores to close by the end of the year. According to Coresight Research, more than 8,000 stores have closed so far in 2020–this after 9,500 shut down last year. To make matters even more interesting, mall stalwarts like Bed Bath & Beyond, GNC, Pier One Imports, Men’s Wearhouse, and New York and Company are all in various states of bankruptcy and/or reorganization. In addition, department stores such as Neiman Marcus and Lord & Taylor are on a long list of retailers going through shutdowns. If the law of the jungle has any say in this, one area's loss may be another's gain. For example, malls and strip centers that once featured brand leaders like Sears, J.C. Penney or Lord & Taylor stores now are being transformed into comprehensive upscale retirement complexes with myriad attractive amenities. Research from Georgia Institute of Technology shows that retail closings across the country have led to 400 proposals for retrofits, with some 315 projects completed or in progress, making it a trend worth watching moving forward into 2021.



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Technology to the rescue Will virtual inspections become the new norm?


he evolution of building inspections has grown to include new technologies over many decades of work and progress. The first building regulations were enacted by the risk of fire and were formally proposed by the National Board of Fire Underwriters in 1905. This, in turn led to the first Universal Building Code in 1927 by the International Conference of Building Officials in Long Beach, California, which was widely adopted throughout the US. The codes have contributed to the well-being and safety of occupants in a building or structure, reduced the risks of fire, and improving the ethics and reliability in the real estate market. Similarly, these technologies have improved the inspection process and efficiency for the inspectors in all types of inspections regardless of the industry.

The inspection process has changed dramatically since the early 2000s. Back then, all inspections were called in by phone either into an IVR system or a voicemail recording. Inspectors would transcribe the requests into a paper schedule. Online requests were the next iteration for inspections through a variety of software options. Next came the mobile application process, which allowed real-time results and notifications for the first time. Now, as a result of the pandemic, Remote Virtual Inspections (“RVI”) have come to the forefront of the construction industry and will be an absolute gamechanger. Virtual inspections enable all stakeholders, including contractors, homeowners and jurisdictions, to benefit from the efficiency and social distancing the virtual platform allows. As with other industries and organizations, we predict that working remotely to accomplish objectives virtually is going to be a more efficient and better way of doing business.

By Johnny Goetz Onsite inspections have become risky during the pandemic for both homeowners and inspectors. Jurisdictions have been scrambling to find solutions and have landed on virtual inspections using a variety of platforms. Some are better than others, while we found that RVIs are more equipped to increase productivity without sacrificing quality. Virtual inspections support immediate results and reports, real-time submittals, auto-notifications and payment receipt documentation. This technology is far more innovative than the disconnected back and forth communication, saves travel time and expenses we have been accustomed to. We now are in a position to provide a better solution for all stakeholders, and the change is welcome. More complicated inspections require specific expertise such as large foundations, structural framing, and more complex specialty systems and attachments that still will have to happen on site. But the vast majority of inspections—such as over the counter permits (M, E, P’s), bathroom and kitchen remodel, pools, re-roofs, decks, small additions, etc.—all can happen remotely. Technologies like Inspected’s patent-pending SaaS-based virtual software have been widely accepted by jurisdictions as one of the best resources for their inspection process. The functionality of cameras, videos and dictation have come a long way. Unlike other applications, Inspected provides a standardized framework for capturing relevant information in a one-stop-shop, that include automatic algorithmic geo-tags and permit number validations, ability to take video and photos, add notes, automatic notifications to the permittee, auto-generated reports, cloud storage space, scheduling options, email capability, and much more. Building officials and jurisdictions are appreciating the increase in productivity and decrease in vehicle and fuel expenses as there is no longer a need for their inspectors to travel to and from sites. Inspectors are enjoying the easy access to scheduling, workflow, and the ability to eliminate vehicle commutes. The pandemic will have a lasting impact on the way many industries do business. Our world has become more virtual and will continue to do so. Over time, the efficiencies gained through virtual processes will demand a universal shift in industries including construction wherever possible. As technology continues to transform our industry, successful remote virtual inspections are needed more than ever to navigate the COVID-19 environment and beyond. So, get on board with RVI, and the sooner the better. CCR

Johnny Goetz is the director of government relations and chief building official at He is a veteran in the building and construction industry, has over 15 years of experience as a building official and over 25 years in construction management. Goetz is an International Code Council (ICC) certified building official with multiple ICC certifications in both residential and commercial sectors. He also held leadership positions within ICC, multiple city departments in California, and other construction associations. He frequently teaches the code requirements to members of the building safety and construction trades industries.






Time to execute

Why construction businesses are missing a lucrative part of Opportunity Zones By Sam Harris III


ou may have heard a lot about Opportunity Zones, also known as QOZs. You probably assumed they are for commercial real estate professionals and that you must be well-informed about them. That’s simply not true.

First, here is some background. Opportunity Zones were created as part of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017. The plan enables investors with private capital to invest in low-income communities and rural areas, in efforts to help redevelop communities. In the process, investors receive tax advantages. Because of these tax benefits, more private capital is reaching Main Street. Just as venture capital made its way to Wall Street, these investments are jolting new life into communities once overlooked by most investors and developers. In addition, the legislation is fostering new businesses, economic and job growth, and an influx of new residents in areas that have been either ignored or abandoned. There are 8,764 Opportunity Zones sprinkled amid every county and state—with 462 in


Florida alone. Look around the country and you will see projects under development everywhere, especially in Selma, Alabama, as it recently was recognized as one of the top cities for Opportunity Zone development. Some of the most notable projects are in Florida, especially the Union West at Creative Village in Orlando. The complex, developed by the University of Central Florida, is a 15-story mixed-use building with 644 student housing beds, 100,000 square feet of academic space, 11,000 square feet of ground-level retail space and a 600-space parking garage. So, where are the opportunities for construction companies and general contractors?


Get to Know the Experts

Opportunity Zones offer affordable inventory in revitalized areas once again deemed desirable. They feature a mix of price ranges within the same area. You can work with customers with multiple incomelevels and those who may not meet specific guidelines for financing. Many business owners may not understand the incentives involved in either becoming a commercial real estate owner or moving their business to areas in need of employment, products and services. If you do, you can reap the benefits of becoming a QOZ business. Also, as business owners in Opportunity Zones choose to sell their companies, one may see a price appreciation of 15% to 20%. This gives sellers in these areas more opportunity to invest in a new asset class and take part in an emerging niche. Here are some ways you can learn more about QOZs and decide if this is the right avenue for your business.

Meeting specialized attorneys and CPAs in your area who understand QOZs and the laws associated with them will help you find opportunities. QOZs are a boon to the economy, local development and real estate industry. As a GC or developer practitioner, you will quickly notice that commercial properties in Qualified Opportunity Zones gain a marketability boost because of increased attention. And with what some may call the Big Short 3.0 heading our way due to COVID-19, there may be even more opportunity in future markets.

Relationship Building

Building a relationship with the Community Redevelopment Agency in your area will give your organization insight into new developments and potential investors in the planning phase.

Community Networking

Attend community meetings and network with others who have properties for sale or may be looking to develop. Local city governments and municipalities also can partner with real estate professionals to find developers and/or clients looking to purchase redevelopment properties or develop land.

Business Relocation

Relocating your construction company to an Opportunity Zone will enable you to reduce your taxes and provide additional tax breaks as an entrepreneur.

Community Investment

Investing in Opportunity Zone communities affords you a 15% reduction if you keep your money in the QOZ fund for seven years. Keep it in the fund for an additional three years (for a total of 10 years) and the capital gains you earn from your initial investment will be 100% tax-free. You can either continue to keep it in the fund until 2046, cash out or invest the capital gains into other property investments. It is like a 1031 exchange on steroids, except you do not have to transfer your base profits into other properties.

Find Opportunity Zones in Your Area

Search interactive maps on QOZs or visit for resources and information about the program. Also, look for local associations about webinars or courses offered in your area or register for our upcoming courses coming in 2021.

Opportunity Zones offer affordable inventory in revitalized areas once again deemed desirable. They feature a mix of price ranges within the same area. If you are a commercial developer, you will likely see properties once overlooked that are now excellent investment properties. By bringing new life to these areas and creating affordable housing and retail spaces that low to middle income individuals can afford, you will be doing a common good in the community, and give residents a chance to reinvest in their area through job creation, a better quality of life, and change the dynamics in disadvantaged communities. For more information, visit your local city’s website and search for “Opportunity Zones.” This will help you find the entire prospectus in your area, learn about current or future projects, and discover how you can engage in your community to help move the plans and conversation forward. CCR

Virtually speaking… If you want to learn more about QOZs, join us for our “The Business of Construction & Development in Opportunity Zones” webinar, Jan. 8, 2021, 1 p.m.–2:30 p.m. To sign up for this free event, visit

Sam Harris III has been in the real estate and financial service industry since 1993. With more than 25 years of proven success as an entrepreneur in business consulting, financial services, public speaking, real estate, sales, agriculture and leadership development, his hands-on experience has helped hundreds of professionals and business owners identify the needs of their clients. For more information, email or call 813-358-5947.





Staying ready… Challenges related to COVID-19 quarantine/reporting requirements By Deanna L. Koestel


OVID-19 set off a global pandemic with far-reaching effects impacting nearly every commercial sector, including the construction industry. Various federal, state and local governmental entities have implemented numerous recommendations and requirements in an effort to stop the spread of the coronavirus—which all businesses must adhere to—such as mandatory quarantine and reporting requirements. These recommendations and requirements, which are in a state of flux, pose additional challenges to the construction industry and are amplified by the risk of non-compliance, worries about contract breaches and the uncertainty surrounding COVID-19. Many of these challenges and governmental regulations are likely here for the foreseeable future. The construction industry should devise plans to keep track of and implement the protocols necessary to adhere to the changing regulations. This will help them efficiently run their businesses while complying with the new COVID-19 requirements, and avoid unnecessary downtime, possible business closures and added expenses.

Addressing Mandatory Quarantine Requirements for Out-of-State Travelers

One challenge faced by the construction industry is how to reconcile the existence of any quarantine requirements for out-of-state travelers with the need to perform work. For example, the states of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut have issued travel advisories that require individuals who have traveled to those states from areas with significant community spread to quarantine for no fewer than 14 days. “Significant community spread” is defined as an area with a positive test rate higher than 10 per 100,000 residents over a seven-day rolling average, or an area with a 10% or higher positivity rate over a seven-day rolling average.



As of Oct. 27, 2020, 41 states are on New York’s COVID-19 travel advisory and another four—New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Connecticut and Massachusetts—technically meet the criteria. (Due to the interconnected nature of the region and mode of transport between the states, there is no mandatory quarantine). While this decision makes it possible for workers living in surrounding states to travel into New York for construction work, industry employees traveling from other states may be subject to the two-week quarantine, complicating operations. Additionally, employees who quarantine upon entering a particular state, such as New York, after travel to a restricted state may be entitled to paid leave during the quarantine period, such as under the federal Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act (EPSLA) and/or New York COVID‑19 Sick Leave Law. While companies usually are prohibited from restricting their employees’ after-work activities, companies should be implementing firm safety protocols for their employees. These may include requiring employees to notify an employer of travel plans to a state with “significant community spread” in order to reduce the risk of exposure to the rest of the company and their clients. This is especially true now with the upcoming holidays and the potential for employees to travel out-of-state for large family gatherings. These measures, although inconvenient, are advisable because it could be potentially catastrophic to have COVID-19 spread throughout a construction project. This likely would impact the project deadline and result in additional expenses to the company, including the cost of sanitizing an exposed site.

Penalties for non-compliance

Additionally, employers must report in-patient hospitalizations related to workplace exposure if the hospitalization occurs within 24 hours of workplace exposure to COVID-19. These guidelines are in addition to an employer’s obligation under OSHA’s General Duty Clause to safeguard other workers from COVID-19, which likely requires an employer to promptly consider potential sources of workplace exposure, and to notify and isolate employees who had the same exposure as an employee with a work-related case of COVID-19. In addition, OSHA has issued specific guidance for the construction industry that companies should familiarize themselves with and make the guidance provided accessible to employees. The OSHA construction industry guidance and its Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) can be found on the OSHA website at

Penalties for non-compliance

Under the relevant OSHA regulation, 29 CFR Part 1904, there are penalties for failing to report a reportable incident to OSHA within the required time frame. For example, the maximum fine for failing to report an incident within 24 hours of learning of it is set at $5,000, with the option to reduce the fine for small businesses. Separate standards and statutes give OSHA flexibility to factor the gravity and severity of the violation into the calculation of the penalty. Companies should take these reporting requirements, and potential penalties for non-compliance, seriously. According to an Oct. 23, 2020, news release published on the OSHA’s website, since the start of the coronavirus pandemic through Oct. 15, 2020, OSHA has cited 112 establishments for violations relating to coronavirus, including failure to report on an injury, illness, or fatality and failure to report on OSHA’s recording form. The coronavirus fines have totaled $1,603,544, which averages more than $14,000 per citation. Given the recent spike in COVID-19 cases across the country, it is clear that COVID-19 will continue to impact the construction industry for the foreseeable future. During these uncertain times, making sense of the various rules and regulations for businesses in the construction industry, while also making smart business decisions can be very complicated. What’s more, the wrong action or inaction could result in monetary penalties and other potentially disastrous consequences for a business in some cases. Accordingly, companies are advised to make an action plan and ensure that your business and employees are informed about and following the rules governing the construction industry. Professional legal counsel can assist your business to identify the applicable regulations and to create, implement and enforce the necessary protocols to comply with them. CCR

While companies usually are prohibited from restricting their employees’ afterwork activities, companies should be implementing firm safety protocols for their employees.

The consequential business-related costs may be in addition to fines that could be imposed on anyone caught in violation of a given state’s travel mandates. For example, individuals found in violation of Connecticut and New York’s travel advisory quarantine orders are subject to monetary fines of $500 for each violation in Connecticut and up to $10,000 fines in New York. OSHA Incident Reporting Rules for Workplace Exposure to COVID-19 In addition to the quarantine requirement, there also are specific Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) incident reporting rules related to COVID-19 that construction companies must follow. On Sept. 30, 2020, OSHA issued guidance requiring employers to report work-related COVID-19 deaths within eight hours of learning about them.

Deanna L. Koestel, Equity Partner, Norris McLaughlin, P.A., is a commercial litigator who focuses on complex commercial and construction litigation, shareholder disputes and general business law matters, practicing in both the firm’s New York and New Jersey offices. She can be reached at



THE FUTURE OF COMMERCIAL RESTROOMS The D|13 Group has created an integrated sink system that is not only considered the most advanced on the market, it is referred to in the industry as “the future of commercial restrooms.” The D|13 Sink System is currently being used in top stadiums, universities, restaurants and other facilities throughout the United States.


FORM AN D FUNCTIO N The D|13 Sink System, featuring the new XLERATORsync Hand Dryer by Excel Dryer, is the future of commercial restrooms and the most hygienic, sustainable and cost-effective way to wash and dry hands. A masterpiece of form and function, the system seamlessly fuses no-touch, high-efficiency fixtures on the sink deck, creating the ultimate user experience by allowing you to wash and dry hands all in one place. The customizable sink design options allow architects and designers to completely transform the aesthetic of any restroom. In addition to the sleek design and intuitive user experience, what really sets the D|13 Sink System apart is the XLERATORsync Hand Dryer. Designed by Excel Dryer in collaboration with a world-renowned design firm, the dryer’s “reverse airflow” feature blows air/water flow away from the user, promoting hygiene and further enhancing user experience.

A DESI G N -AS S IST PARTNER More than just a supplier, the D|13 Group has positioned themselves as a design-assist partner. They work directly with architects, designers and clients to fabricate each sink system to their specifications, offering unparalleled customization and providing the ultimate product solution. The system is adaptable to any size, shape or material, including solid surface, granite, quartz and other stone, and is compatible with several soap dispenser and faucet models.

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A cut above the rest An inside look at the magic of V’s Barbershop By Michael J. Pallerino


rowing up in Tucson, Jim Valenzuela, aka Mr. V, couldn’t wait to head to the local barbershop with his dad.

The trip was a rite of passage that changed the course of his life. Nick’s Barbershop was the real deal. The sights. The smells. The memories that last a lifetime. When his son was born, he set out to find a place to carve those same memories. But the trips were unsuccessful. So Valenzuela decided to recreate his own magic. In 1999, with no experience in the barber world, he opened the first V’s Barbershop in the Phoenix area, eventually growing the business into 50-plus locations in 17 states. Along with giving fathers and sons a chance to make lifetime memories, Mr. V’s mission is to offer a first-class experience at a reasonable price. Haircut, shave, good conversation—all with authentic barber chairs, old-fashioned hot lather and straight-edge razors, hot towels, and neck and shoulder massages.



A CUT ABOVE THE REST We sat down with Emily Hutcheson-Brown, COO of V’s Barbershop, to get her thoughts on today’s barbershop experience, tomorrow’s memories and how V’s continues to change the haircut game.

Give us a snapshot of the brand?

Since 1999, V’s Barbershops have combined a rich mix of modern amenities with classic style. V’s provides patrons with a timeless, authentic barbershop experience, and strives to foster great memories for men and their sons. Our full-service offerings include high-quality haircuts, straight-razor shaves, men’s facials, face massages, moustache and beard trims and shoe shines, with complimentary hot towels, neck and shoulder massages and neck shaves. V’s Barbershops began in Phoenix and is the brainchild of Jim Valenzuela (Mr. V). Recalling his childhood and going to get a haircut with his dad at Nick’s Barbershop in Tucson, Valenzuela identified a need in the marketplace for a first-class barbershop experience. Over 20 years, multiple best-of awards with more than 50 locations in more than 17 states later, V’s has become the place to go for haircuts, hot lather shaves and shoeshines in communities across the country.

What type of consumers are you targeting?

Most folks tend to get a chuckle out of our answer, but truthfully, it’s a barbershop. We serve those from birth to passing who need a haircut, a shave or a barbershop to find their community in. On any given day, you may find a baby getting a first haircut, or a father and son of 65 and 85 having a trip into the barbershop together. It is truly one of the best things about an authentic barbershop environment.


How does the overall design of your place cater to what today’s consumers are looking for?

Our patrons find a sense of community and belonging inside our shops. If you can couple that with the knowledge your services provide in a clean, licensed, professional environment, that’s a home run that not everyone can live up to. Not only are our shops designed around the barbers, and their comfort and work environment, but we have taken great effort to give our patrons uniquely individual spaces with their barbers, all the while enjoying the “buzz” of the barbershop and the ability to join in the conversations around them should they choose. We don’t ask our patrons to get up and walk to a shampoo chair. They are built into each station. Sure, it’s a larger expense during build out, but for a gentleman to settle into that big, masculine, barber chair and not have to parade around the barbershop with a cape on, that’s a little detail that just made all the sense in the world to us.

What kind of adjustments have you made to cater to your customers in this new landscape?

We have certainly made adjustments surrounding the new concerns that a worldwide pandemic raise, especially in the professional grooming industry. It is imperative your patrons have a sense of trust, as the services require another person to physically lay hands on you to provide that service. We have naturally focused on having all of the personal protective equipment required, and more, so that our patrons can request what they need if it’s something more extensive than the mandates. We have



A CUT ABOVE THE REST also tried to start educating our patrons and the communities about the reality of our barbershops, and the regulations, inspections and requirements that each state barber or cosmetology board set forth. Many patrons also don’t fully understand the level of education that a barber must have to become licensed, which includes education on health, safety protocols, cleanliness and communicable disease. Interestingly enough, starting from the middle ages, barbers often served as surgeons and dentists. In addition to the normal services such as haircuts and shaves, barbers performed surgeries, dental extractions and other medical needs. Barbers have had a long history of providing necessary services to their communities.

our barbers are in need of the ability to continue to make a living, we knew that the ability to operate was critical. We provide a service, which requires in-person service, and cannot be done over the internet or Zoom. We pay attention to the small details, and go above the mandates to insure a clean and comfortable space to practice our trade. Long-term, it’s really the same exercise. The hope is that we are not just surviving, but eventually thriving. We’d like to see our communities get back to the level of comfort and belonging within our shops that was easy. After time, this will return and we will be there to provide the best barbershop experience available to them. Our survival—and theirs—may likely depend on this seemingly small, yet normal and valuable space.

What is the best piece of advice you can offer on how to deal with what’s happening now?

Listen to the needs of your teams and patrons. Avoid bringing your personal opinions into the space of your business, and operate your business with as much passion, care and drive possible. Look at this as an opportunity to “start over” in some respects, and work as hard as you may have when launching your business. Now is a crucial time to show how much we care, and how much we value our patrons. Together, we move forward through this historical time in our history. Together, we survive both in business and as compassionate humans.

Is there a location that really shows how the brand interacts with the community and customers?

Now we focus on adjusting as needed, and remain focused on licensed, clean and pristine shops to provide the utmost care, attention to detail and remaining exemplary experience to our patrons. People want and deserve to feel safe and cared for. That is our mission in this new landscape we all find ourselves in.

Our flagship store will always be a “favorite.” Although the individual barbershops are kind of like kids in that you love them all, but for different reasons, they stand out. The Arcadia location (in Phoenix) holds a special place in my heart. Not only was it our founder’s first attempt at a barbershop back in 1999 when he really was just acting on an instinct and a dream, it is the shop we built the brand on. We literally learned day to day through our successes, our failures, laughter and even tears at that store. There is a tiny back office where we ran the franchise company out—sitting a foot apart at the same table—for years. The shop still operates today with a dynamic staff, and is in the same real estate, which is frankly terrible. But the shop has grown into a pillar of the Arcadia neighborhood. It just doesn’t get much better than that.

What kind of conversations about the “new normal” are you having today?

Walk us through how and why your locations are designed the way they are?

Again, much of the conversation surrounds the care, concern, and safety of our patrons and staff. With the conversation leaning toward the respect for others, it has been a refreshing turn of events watching the “pay it forward” affect in and around our barbershops. The “new normal” that COVID has brought about in our nation will result in habits and practices to keep us safer and more aware day to day. These are actions that will have a positive affect as they remain in place over time.

What is your short-term strategy? Long-term?

Realistically, we just have to survive the turn of events that we are all facing. As our franchise partners are all small business owners, and


Our shops have always been designed with a traditional barbershop in mind, something you remember from childhood or from the movies, like a little movie set really. However, we have learned to incorporate many conveniences for our barbers and patrons over time as well. Designing over 20 years, the shops have evolved, but the basics remain. Black and white checker floors, rich woods, green glass and sporting memorabilia, all incorporated into each store. We also include two pieces of art in every store. The Olympic flag represents the best-of-the-best athletes in our world and some of the greatest sporting moments of our history. Also, the very famous photo of Muhammed Ali standing over Sonny Liston. Ali was a patron of ours before his passing, and the passion that the photo



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A CUT ABOVE THE REST represents, along with one of the greatest moments in boxing history, simply provides many dads an opportunity to explain to their sons what that moment meant in sports history. It’s about the feeling of the shops, along with the opportunities provided for moments shared.

Take us through your construction and design strategy. We have a process that we follow during design and build. Over the years, we have finally been able to streamline this and provide really concise process and project management. Each franchisee knows they have us riding shotgun throughout the process. But at the end of the day, it’s their money they are spending. The guidance we provide really gives them a team and a wisdom that adds value to provide the best barbershop possible at the end of the build.

Give us a rundown of your market’s layout.

We are in markets across the United States. We tend to focus are larger metropolitan areas for many reasons, mostly related to patrons and barbers being more prevalent. We will continue to grow in these markets, and place barbershops in the communities that have the need for traditional barbershop services. There is plenty of room for growth in many markets across the nation.

impact to the environment through our barbershops. Little practices add up to big changes long-term.

What type of opportunities do you see moving ahead?

We know the real estate landscape is about ready to change significantly. The commercial real estate landlords are going to be changing course in a large way over the coming months and years even. This will present an opportunity that will affect the placement of barbershops in markets across the country.

What trends are you seeing/expecting?

In the barbershop space, beards are a trend that have come on strong in the last few years, and are also remaining and seemingly only getting more complicated, creative and unique. This is a trend that many barbers and men seem to enjoy expanding, pushing limits on and perfecting. Down to products that are only appropriate for beards, men have found they have an impact on grooming and also can demand their own needs are met specifically. No longer do the men have to use their girlfriend’s or wife’s shampoos. They have discovered there are services and products in the marketplace specific to them, and that’s new to so many.

What is the secret to creating a “must visit” location in today’s competitive landscape?

In the barbershop world, it’s not a secret that most of our patrons look to convenience. Real estate landscapes that are easy to access, with great parking and easy ingress are key. Men are not driving 20 miles to get their haircut and jumping through hurdles to find you, no matter how great you are. We need to remember the basics, convenience and executing on every service.

What is today’s consumer looking for?

What’s the biggest issue today related to the construction side of the business?

Costs and availability of contractors in some markets have been impacting our process and speed. It has been surprising that the construction markets have been thriving in some respects, although we are happy to see work continuing.

Talk about sustainability. What are you doing?

There are a variety of choices we make that affect sustainability in the barber shops. In regard to our buildouts, a few years ago we started using EcoHead shampoo heads in all our stores to help with water conservation, and to allow an amazing massaging shampoo at the same time. We also have incorporated energy efficient lighting in all of our buildouts, and have started using smart thermostats as well. When it comes to day to day practices and barbering, we are always looking for products that are environmentally friendly when we can. We also have seen a shift away from printed magazines— everyone is on their cellphones right? We email our receipts far more often than we print them, and we take pride in trying to minimize the


Safety. First and foremost, patrons want to know they are safe and in a clean environment where the details matter. Beyond that, they are looking for a quality experience that is inclusive of more than just a good haircut. The basics are truly the secret for success. Stick to what you know, and just do that really well.

What’s the biggest item on your to-do list right now? Top of mind for all of us now is navigating COVID for our barbers and our franchise owners. We are mindful daily of what could be better, what may or may not work the changing environments and the new requirements. We will continue this diligence, as it will result in our survival.

Tell us what makes your brand so unique?

Authenticity. We are a traditional barbershop. We have the largest collection of antique matching sets of barber chairs likely in the world. We continue to focus on men, boys and haircuts that are clipper cuts, and not necessarily cosmetology cuts. When you walk into a V’s Barbershop, you feel welcome—you know you are in a barbershop. The sounds, the smell of the shop, and the sites all tie and add to the comfort and understanding that this is a place where boys are among men, where women and children are welcome and respected, where the world and its happenings are discussed, right alongside the results of the basketball game or the status of a date. It’s a barbershop. CCR


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A CUT ABOVE THE REST ONE-ON-ONE WITH... Emily Hutcheson-Brown, COO of V’s Barbershop What’s the best thing a client ever said to you?

What’s the most rewarding part of your job? Helping people realize their dreams of owning and operating a small business. Franchising is just that, the ability to have a partner and a path. I grew up working in a small family business, which is still operating today nearly 40 years later. The impact of that business on my own knowledge, core values and life skills has honestly been just as rewarding, if not more so, than my college education.

What was the best advice you ever received? My grandmother used to have a saying, which has always stuck with me since I was a little girl. She would say “Remember who you are,” as we were walking out the door or saying goodbye. Such a simple statement, but powerful. When you are facing a decision that will affect an entire system of franchisees or families and you remember those things that are important to you, it’s easier to do the right thing. Choose the path that is the path best for all involved, which oftentimes is not the easiest path. Remember who you are. Simple.


I’ve heard it several times and I love it when I hear it repeated one way or another. I have had many patrons express to me their love of, and feeling of, belonging in our barbershops. When anyone says, “I bring my boy twice a month, this is our place,” that’s what gets me. It’s the reason Jim built the first shop. To see that dream playing out over and over means it’s truly more than a haircut—it’s an experience. It’s something for generations to remember and recall. When I hear that we are achieving that, it makes my heart happy.

Name the three strongest traits any leader should have and why. In any organization, however especially a franchise operation, where you have many owner/operators looking to you for guidance and leadership, it’s imperative that empathy and compassion be top of mind. We are charged with making decisions that affect an entire system, and many businesses. It’s up to us to consider the broader impact and have the understanding of needs at the level that all of our V’s family sit with daily. From our shop attendants and barbers, to our franchise owner, everyone wants to be understood. Honest communication is a strength that any leader needs to have exemplary skill in. The ability to


communicate effectively, with intention and honesty, will be respected and appreciated. Spend more time listening, and provide clear, concise direction. At times, it may be difficult to communicate hard news, and perhaps folks don’t always want to hear it, but it’s truly the shortest path to success, which builds trust. Don’t avoid the obvious, and lead with the intention of helping through honest communications. Always works. Finally, integrity. Leaders must be impeccable with their word. Integrity is a conscious choice. Our actions match our words and are congruent with our core values. This inspires confidence, and the understanding that we as leaders are looking to lead in accordance with those beliefs and values. Andrew Carnegie once said, “No man will make a great leader who wants to do it all himself, or get all the credit for doing it.”

How do you like to spend your down time? When I’m not working, I am a fully present mom. I have one son, Rhett, and I focus my time around him. As parents, we only get so much time with our kids. I am overly mindful of this and want to be present as much as I can. We enjoy the outdoors, hiking, swimming, spending time with our pets and being active. You won’t often find us sitting, unless we are enjoying a new great book. We also love to travel, and try to take as many adventures together as we can.


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Man up CCR highlights the men pushing the industry’s norms


irst it was the women. Now we recognize some of the industry’s leading male ambassadors, as Commercial Construction & Renovation’s first CCR Awards salutes those professionals who pay it forward. This issue highlights four men, nominated by their peers, who not only help continue the industry’s path forward, but also play vital roles in their communities.

Steve Jones

Gerry Tagliaferro

In his 37 years in the business, Steve Jones has done it all—design, construction, multi-site program management and real estate. His extraordinary accomplishments are complemented by his focus on his clients and team, where he served as teacher and coach. During his 22 years with JLL, Steve was International Director and PDS multi-site national lead, serving in leadership roles like Southeast Regional PDS Business, JLL management committee and overall practice lead. A hands-on client manager, his involvement with strategic planning facilitated long-standing relationships with Arby’s, Burger King, Chick-fil-A, CVS, Dollar Tree/Family Dollar, Microsoft, Tim Horton’s, and others. His industry efforts also include being active in board positions for CoreNet and BuildPoint, and a member of Commercial Construction and Renovation People (CCRP).

Even when the eyes of the retail world are upon him, Gerry Tagliaferro doesn’t blink. Take the iconic Build a Bear store the brand built in China. Overseeing the much sought after store to the residents of Shanghai was something Gerry put his heart and soul into, helping deliver priceless memories for scores of the brand’s Asian fans. As VP of Logistics, Design and Construction, Gerry continues to demonstrate his broad depth of knowledge and expertise in rolling out new, relocated and remodeled stores in the US, UK, China and Denmark. Additional roles also include VP of Design and Construction at rue21, where he was responsible for 1,100 new, relocated and remodeled stores, and Director of Design and Construction at Gateway Country Computer stores, where he opened 365 new store locations. He also spent time as Sr. Project Manager at Toys R Us. Known as a team player and leader, his ability to meet—and tackle— difficult situations head on help keep his teams ahead of the game.

International Director (Retired) JLL


Vice President of Logistics, Design and Construction Build A Bear


Michael Pink

Frankie Campione

Ask Michael Pink to name his company’s “secret sauce” and he’ll tell you it’s the ability to analyze data contained in construction schedule files for project control. As founder of SmartPM Technologies (, a leader in schedule analytics software, Michael believes you are only as strong as the team you invest in. As CEO, he remains involved in the company’s marketing, development, sales and customer success processes. He also leads a 10-person team and outsourced development group in India. The goal: better outcomes, less risk and fewer overruns. In his off time, Michael enjoys spending time with his family and giving back to his community, where he is an active member at the Advanced Technology Development Center at Georgia Tech. He also has spent time assisting the Brookhaven Innovation Academy, Georgia Tech’s School of Building Construction and Flashpoint.

In one of the most trying years in memory, leaders like Frankie Campione are the ones who make it a little easier. As Principal of award-winning CREATE Architecture Planning & Design, Frankie decided he wouldn’t leave any employee behind during the pandemic, including ones who started a week before it hit. Located in the heart of NYC, this made that promise even more daunting. Despite this, Frankie made no pay cuts, no lay-offs and no furloughs. Operating with a contagious passion, Frankie fosters CREATE’s great success combining his around the clock hard work, his humbleness being a Principal in the trenches with everyone in the studio. He has truly created a team that is equally strong and passionate. A dedicated team that works as hard as they do for the mutual success of their clients giving 110% because he has shown them that they’re not just disposable employees working a 9-5.

Founder & CEO SmartPM™ Technologies

Principal CREATE Architecture Planning & Design





Listing highlights Security Products/Services


f your to-do list includes finding the industry’s key security manufacturers, our annual listing features the commercial construction industry’s leaders in the retail, restaurant, hospitality, healthcare, and other sectors. The listing also provides the contact information and contact person at each company. If you did not make the list, contact Publisher David Corson at Aiphone ASSA ABLOY Brad Kamcheff, Opening Solutions Marketing Manager 6670 185th Ave. NE Redmond, WA 98052 (800) 692-0200 Security Product Type: Access Control/Biometrics, Communication Equipment Markets Served: Retail, Healthcare, Corporate, Education, Commercial, Multi-Family

Allegion Eric West, National Accounts Business Leader 11819 N Pennsylvania St. Indianapolis, IN 46032 (443) 571-6527 Security Product Type: Access Control/Biometrics, Security Doors/ Door Control Hardware, Glass Protection, Locks/Key Controls Markets Served: Retail, Hospitality, Healthcare, Restaurants, Corporate, Education, Shopping Malls, Commercial, Federal, Multi-Family

Jan McKenzie, Director National Accounts 110 Sargent Drive New Haven, CT 06511 (800) 377-3948 Security Product Type: Access Control/Biometrics, Bollards/ Protective Barriers, Bullet Resistant Systems, Security Doors/Door Control Hardware, Fencing, Locks/Key Controls, Safes/Vaults/Lockers Markets Served: Retail, Hospitality, Healthcare, Restaurants, Corporate, Education, Shopping Malls, Commercial, Federal, Multi-Family

The BILCO Company P.O. Box 1203 New Haven, CT 06505 (800) 366-6530 Fax: (203) 535-1582 Security Product Type: Security Doors/Door Control Hardware, Fire Safety Equipment Markets Served: Healthcare, Corporate, Education, Commercial, Federal

Bosch Security and Arecont Vision Costar Safety Systems Kristen Plitt, Director of Product Marketing & Operations 642 Pollasky Ave. Clovis, CA 93612 (424) 384-6907 Security Product Type: CCTV Cameras/Systems, Digital Video Recorders Markets Served: Retail, Hospitality, Healthcare, Restaurants, Corporate, Education, Shopping Malls, Commercial, Federal, Multi-Family


130 Perinton Pkwy. Fairport, NY 14450 (800) 289-0096 Security Product Type: Access Control/Biometrics, Alarm Control Panels/Monitoring Equipment, CCTV Cameras/Systems, Communication Equipment, Digital Video Recorders, Integrated Security Systems/BMS Markets Served: Retail, Hospitality, Healthcare, Restaurants, Corporate, Education, Shopping Malls, Commercial, Federal, Multi-Family



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SECURITY PRODUCTS/SERVICES Cornell Cookson East to West Tiffany Hauze, Senior Marketing Communications Specialist 24 Elmwood Ave. Mountain Top, PA 18707 (800) 233-8366 Ext. 4086 Security Product Type: Security Doors/Door Control Hardware, Fire Safety Equipment Markets Served: Retail, Hospitality, Healthcare, Restaurants, Corporate, Education, Shopping Malls, Commercial, Federal, Multi-Family

Dean Nichol, President 514 Larkfield Rd. Elwood, NY 11731 (631) 433-9690 Fax: (631) 368-2267 Security Product Type: Digital Kiosk Markets Served: Retail, Hospitality, Healthcare, Restaurants, Corporate, Education, Shopping Malls, Commercial, Federal, Multi-Family

Hanwha Techwin

Cornell Storefront Johnell Johnson, Systems, Inc. Marketing Communications Manager Dan Broda, COO 140 Maffet Street, Suite 200 Wilkes Barre, PA 18705 (800) 882-6773 Fax: (800) 882-6772 Security Product Type: Glass Protection, Coiling Gates/Grilles/Doors Markets Served: Retail, Hospitality, Shopping Malls

500 Frank W. Burr Blvd., Suite 43 Teaneck, NJ 07666 (404) 210-9116 Security Product Type: CCTV Cameras/Systems, Digital Video Recorders, Integrated Security Systems/BMS Markets Served: Retail, Hospitality, Healthcare, Restaurants, Corporate, Education, Shopping Malls, Commercial, Federal

Impact Security, LLC Covertech Flexible Ian Bannister, Director, Packaging Security Glazing

John Starr, V.P. 279 Humberline Dr. Toronto, Ontario Canada M9W 5T6 (416) 798-1340 Fax: (416) 798-1342 www.rfoil.,com Security Product Type: RF Shielding Markets Served: Corporate, Commercial, Federal, Government

Delaney Hardware Kathryn Towns, VP, Marketing 265 Castleberry Industrial Dr. Cumming, GA 30040 (800) 952-4430 Fax: (770) 844-8658 Security Product Type: Security Doors/Door Control Hardware, Locks/Key Controls Markets Served: Retail, Hospitality, Corporate, Commercial, Multi-Family


600 Kirk Rd. Suite 100 Marietta, GA 30062 (888) 689-5502 Fax: (678) -547-3138 Security Product Type: Glass Protection, Windows, Retrofit Security Polycarbonate Shields Markets Served: Retail, Hospitality, Healthcare, Restaurants, Corporate, Education, Shopping Malls, Commercial, Federal, Law Enforcement

Instakey Security Systems Cita Doyle, VP Sales & Marketing 7456 W 5th Ave. Lakewood, CO 80226 (800) 316-5397 Security Product Type: Locks/Key Controls, Key Control Software Markets Served: Retail, Hospitality, Healthcare, Restaurants, Corporate, Education, Shopping Malls, Commercial, Federal


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SECURITY PRODUCTS/SERVICES Heritage Fire Security Mike Levin Photo/Video

Mike Rose, CEO 105 Main Street Hackensack, NJ 07601 (201) 968-5388 Security Product Type: Alarm Control Panels/Monitoring Equipment, Fire Safety Equipment Markets Served: Retail, Restaurants, Shopping Malls

JM Electrical Company Whitney Mugford, HR Manager 471 Broadway Lynnfield, MA 01904 (781) 443-2126 Security Product Type: Alarm Control Panels/Monitoring Equipment, HVAC Service Markets Served: Retail, Restaurants, Corporate, Education, Commercial, Federal, State

Johnson Controls

Ryan Nolan, Global Public Relations Program Manager, Johnson Controls, Building Solutions and Technologies 507 E Michigan St. Milwaukee, WI 53202 (414) 524-6170 Security Product Type: Access Control/Biometrics, Alarm Control Panels/Monitoring Equipment, CCTV Cameras/Systems, Communication Equipment, Digital Video Recorders, Security Doors/Door Control Hardware, Fire Safety Equipment, Integrated Security Systems/BMS, Locks/Key Controls, Security Lighting Markets Served: Retail, Hospitality, Healthcare, Restaurants, Corporate, Education, Shopping Malls, Commercial, Federal, Multi-Family, Aviation, Banking/Finance, Gaming, Sports and Leisure, Government

Mike Levin, Owner 2941 Susquehanna Rd. Roslyn, PA 19001 (215) 740-1747 Security Product Type: Drone Services Markets Served: Retail, Hospitality, Healthcare, Restaurants, Corporate, Shopping Malls, Commercial, Federal

Protos Security Kristine Vece, LPQ, Vice President Strategic Accounts 383 Main Ave., Suite 450 Norwalk, CT 06851 (866) 403-9630 Security Product Type: Alarm Control Panels/Monitoring Equipment, Security Service, Armed, Unarmed, Off Duty Monitoring Markets Served: Retail, Hospitality, Healthcare, Restaurants, Corporate, Education, Shopping Malls, Commercial, Multi-Family, Other

Safe Site Check In Kathy Keating, Public Relations PO Box 1818 Lafayette, CA 94509 (617) 460-2702 Security Product Type: Digital Sign In to Job Sites and Commercial Offices Markets Served: Retail, Hospitality, Healthcare, Restaurants, Corporate, Shopping Malls, Commercial

LockNet Safetrust

Rob Owen, Business Development Director 800 John C. Watts Dr. Nicholasville, KY 40356 (800) 887-4307 Security Product Type: Security Doors/Door Control Hardware, Locks/Key Controls, Safes/Vaults/Lockers Markets Served: Retail, Hospitality, Healthcare, Restaurants, Corporate, Education, Shopping Malls, Commercial, Federal, Multi-Family


Brooke Grigsby, Marketing Director 8112 Mill Creek Rd. Fremont, CA 94539 (510) 497-0799 Security Product Type: Access Control/Biometrics, Security Doors/ Door Control Hardware, Locks/Key Controls Markets Served: Retail, Hospitality, Healthcare, Corporate, Education, Commercial, Federal, Multi-Family


National Contact: Ian Bannister, Director of Business Development 404-660-1003 (M) • 866-933-3456 •

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Michael Mahon, Sr. VP Commercial Sales 1780 Corporate Dr., #400 Norcross, GA 30093 (866) GO-SALTO Security Product Type: Residential and Commercial Access Control/Biometrics Solutions, Door Control Hardware, Locks/Key Controls Markets Served: Retail, Hospitality, Healthcare, Restaurants, Education, Shopping Malls, Commercial, Multi-Family, Co-Working, Residential, Federal

Sargent & Greenleaf (S&G Family of Brands)

Kathryn Towns, VP, Marketing One Security Drive Nicholasville, KY 40356 (859) 885-9411 Fax: (889) 885-3063 Security Product Type: Bullet Resistant Systems, Security Doors/ Door Control Hardware, Safes/Vaults/Lockers, Windows Markets Served: Retail, Hospitality, Healthcare, Restaurants, Corporate, Education, Commercial, Multi-Family

Mike Busby, Marketing and Sales Manager 1531 Industrial St. Hudson, WI 54016 (715) 386-8861 Fax: (715) 386-4344 Security Product Type: Access Control/Biometrics, Communication Equipment, Security Doors/Door Control Hardware, Emergency, Communication Markets Served: Retail, Hospitality, Healthcare, Restaurants, Corp

Wayne Dalton Sarah Schram, Senior Brand Manager 2501 S, TX-121 BUS Lewisville, TX 75067 (469) 549-7100 Security Product Type: Security Doors/ Door Control Hardware, Garage Doors Markets Served: Retail, Commercial

SecurityHQ Window Film Depot

Leonardo Maroso, Digital Marketing Manager 7 Greenwich View Pl, Canary Wharf London, UK E 14 9NN +44 20 332 70699 Security Product Type: Managed Security services, SOC as a service, Managed Firewall, Managed Endpoints, Penetration Testing Service, Vulnerability Management Service, CISO as a service Markets Served: Retail, Hospitality, Healthcare, Education, Commercial, Federal, Finance, Banking, Insurance, Construction, Energy, Local Governments, E-Commerce

Jeff Franson, President/CEO 4939 Lower Roswell Rd., Suite 100 Marietta, GA 30068 (866) 933-3456 Fax: (678) 547-3138 Security Product Type: Bullet Resistant Systems, Glass Protection, Windows, Window Film Sales & Installation Markets Served: Retail, Hospitality, Healthcare, Restaurants, Corporate, Education, Shopping Malls, Commercial, Federal, Light Industrial

Thomas Consultants, Inc.

Kevin Brent, VP, Sales 4140 E Raines Rd. Memphis, TN 38118 (901) 398-8426 Fax: (901) 398-5749 Security Product Type: Access Control/Biometrics, Alarm Control Panels/ Monitoring Equipment, CCTV Cameras/ Systems, Communication Equipment, Digital Video Recorders, Security Doors/ Door Control Hardware, Integrated Security Systems/ BMS Markets Served: Retail, Hospitality, Healthcare, Corporate, Education, Shopping Malls, Commercial, Federal, Multi-Family


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Advertorial Content

For exterior cladding, brick still does the trick. While brick remains steadfast for exterior cladding, there are alternatives



By Ron Treister

oughly five years ago in this magazine, I wrote an article called, “Not Your Grandfather’s Brick.” The story focused on how modern-day brick should no longer be considered a commodity, but rather as a major design element.


Fast-forward to today and not surprisingly, none of this has changed. Dazzling effects via new and different shapes on brick corners, coves, lintels, arches, sills and soffits are becoming very familiar. Standard brick now is being complemented with bullnose internal corners, bullnose header corners, bullnose header inside corners, bullnose corners and flatter external corners. And brick manufacturers have the ability to produce custom brick in many sizes, colors and textures based on customer demand.

As stated above, brick continues to be the reliable, tried-and-true specification for exterior cladding projects. But due to many factors—including the widespread call for ventilated facades, lighter weight cladding materials and the need for speedier installation programs—there clearly are viable alternatives to brick. Both for new construction and retrofit projects. In July 2018, East Alabama Medical Center commissioned J. Douglas McCurry, AIA, Partner with TRO | Jung Brannen of Birmingham, to head up design on the new

Pinnacle Cardiovascular Center. As with the design of the previous EAMC Spencer Cancer Center, the architects were looking for exterior rainscreen products that would both illustrate the design concept and allow for the maximum speed of installation. They needed a rainscreen product offering a competitive square foot installation cost, eventually selecting a brown brick veneer and precast to ground the building into the site, instead of the real stone veneer used on the Cancer Center. McCurry decided to use different levels of

PanelTackTM Installation Photo Courtesy of Bostik



Advertorial Content

texture for the exterior walls that symbolize not only advancement in construction materials, but also the advancement of healthcare over time. “We needed something else to give the design both texture and warmth, creating an amazing ‘wow’ factor,” McCurry says. The CupaClad® natural slate rainscreen system was the perfect solution. It provided the building design with unique, contrasting color and texture needed to provide design flow and to tie the entire design together.” It should be mentioned that natural slate is incredibly durable. Used since the ancient Roman times, it is non-combustible and naturally waterproof. Plus, slate modules have extremely high percentage yield, using very little energy and water during the entire process versus other resilient facades. Nathan Karaway, President of Illinois Brick Company, one of America’s largest masonry distributors, says that while brick is forever, there are alternatives. Those include porcelain cladding systems, extruded ceramic façade systems, metal panel and siding products, naturals cladding and tile products, architectural precast concrete, thin veneer systems, fiber cement panel and siding products. Some of the products mentioned above are adhered to a building’s exterior via systems utilizing mechanical fasteners,

East Alabama Medical Center

“We needed something else to give the design both texture and warmth, creating an amazing ‘wow’ factor. The CupaClad® natural slate rainscreen system was the perfect solution.” – J. Douglas McCurry, AIA

Photo courtesy of CupacladTM



which include metal framework and anchors, clips, and more. This often is referred to as “the mechanical method,” as opposed to the “chemical method” that indicates cladding materials being directly adhered via high-tech adhesives.

One chemical method installation system, which has been wildly successful in Europe for more than three decades and equally accepted in Latin America, is Bostik’s PanelTack™, which was just introduced to the United States. Bostik’s National Sales Manager for Latin America Daniel Sanchez says that whether it is for new building or retrofit projects, PanelTack™ offers a clean, modern look with a blind attachment method. “Post-installation, one does not see any of the attachments,” he says. “Additionally, with this system, no electrical plug-in source is required on the jobsite. Translated, this results in no harmful silica dust, and no harsh noise caused by drilling and screwing. Importantly, there is no weakening of the panel. For example, thinner wall panels, such as large format gauged porcelain tiles, can easily be used in conjunction with the material. The chemical method is highly resistant to vibrations and tremors and that there are no cold bridges and noticeably favorable stress distribution with this system. “It’s easy and fast to install, clean, silent and lightweight,” Sanchez says. “PanelTack™ improves both acoustic and thermal efficiency of the building, while increasing its lifespan. Sanchez says that people inside experience noise reduction, stable temperature change, cost reductions on HVAC, and more. PanelTack™ has been already specified for some major hospitality projects in the USA, which include nearly 200 La Quinta Inns and other name brand hotel chains throughout the country. “This is just the beginning,” Sanchez says. With a barrage of good products offered for specification, what are some of the performance benefits architects are looking for? Jesse Settle of Advanced Cladding, a special division of Illinois Brick Company, says a main driver behind any of these cladding solutions is the need to meet code requirements for continuous insulation and

UL-rated/NFPA 285 compliant assemblies—to do so in a way that will lead to increased installation efficiency and a lower delivered project cost. Advanced Cladding provides the architect advantages regarding their basis-of-design, through attachment of the cladding system to our structural insulated sheathing, and not the framing. Settle says this allows for greater flexibility in their cladding design, while also providing the contractor a soup-to-nuts cladding solution that incorporates all elements of the exterior wall system. With brick still being the tried-and-true cladding diehard that remains in high demand, is there credibility in stating that brick can co-exist with any of these new cladding products that constantly are appearing? “Absolutely,” Karaway says. You must understand that architects make cladding decisions based on various factors, including budget, design, owner requirements, local requirements, code and structural requirements.

“Our job is not to steer the architect toward any one brick, or thin brick, or panel product, but rather to provide the solution for the requirements at any particular elevation,” Karaway says. “In Chicago, we often see brick not only as a default for the first-floor elevation due to the range of sizes, colors, and textures, but also because of its high durability and low cost. As floors in construction rise, so does the installed cost for masonry. That’s where thin brick and rainscreen/panel products offer the architect and contractor a more efficient solution, which maintains the requirements of the architect’s design.” Not only is it not your grandfather’s brick, it also is not the same yearly outdoor climate he experienced two generations ago. That’s just another reason why, in broad strokes, when it comes to exterior cladding, today’s commercial building designers, contractors and owners are equally as focused upon performance as they are upon aesthetics. Sometimes, even more so.. CCR

Brick Façade photo courtesy Illinois Brink Company

Ron Treister is Founder/President of Communicators International Inc., a marketing communications firm in Jupiter, Florida. For three decades, his firm has worked with major accounts in the commercial construction sector. He can be reached at



The human factor A sustainable workplace focused on employee comfort and well-being By Stuart Harris


ustainability is not simply about the 3 R’s: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, but also about human sustainability. A workplace that supports occupant comfort and human well-being allows employees to do their best

work. This holistic sustainability can be achieved by incorporating environmental and human-centric elements, creating a truly sustainable workplace and a win-win scenario for the organization, the employee and the planet.

Companies need a happy and effective workforce and the impact of COVID-19. The shift to work-fromhome and the sudden empowerment of employees to choose where and when they can work all have accelerated the premise that workplaces are all about the people who work there. An investment in a sustainable workplace and a healthy work culture helps companies communicate to employees that they are valued. A sustainable workplace builds pride, demonstrates trust and produces more engaged employees. Employers benefit from this performance and gain an actual competitive advantage. Investing in healthy features for your employees not only includes design and construction, but also policy and culture. The workplace is the physical headquarters of an organization’s community and culture. Indeed, this may be its most important attribute and the feeling that “something important happens here, and I am part of that”


is a key part of a successful workplace. To define an organization’s culture, an effective workplace should amplify this feeling. What contributes to employee comfort and why does it matter? If workers are distracted by the environment because it is too cold or too warm, they may lose focus. They may get up, move around and interrupt a coworker. Now two employees are distracted. While some collisions between employees are encouraged to promote problem-solving and creativity, it rarely occurs when one person was deep into focused work. Here is an opportunity to create, in an intentional way, settings that support both individual focused work and collaborative innovation. We stress a goal of designing workplaces that send people home feeling better than when they arrived. We may not be able to eliminate stress from people’s jobs, but we can eliminate the distractions and peripheral stressors in the work environment—think of glare or




THE HUMAN FACTOR noise or temperature—whatever people might worry about. Only then can employees focus on their highest value—their work. This is what it means to have a frictionless environment. With frictionless design, we approach the workspace in terms of active and passive design and many of these strategies make even more sense as we adjust to the pandemic world. Passive design strategies include: > Acoustical control in both solo focus zones and collaborative meeting spaces. > Thermal comfort controls drafts and solar radiation. > Light control prevents eye strain from glare and supports circadian rhythms, which can promote better sleep at night. > Biophilic elements and views contribute to calming effects and a connection to nature. > Ergonomic seating and furnishings promote physical comfort and reduces strain. > Enhanced air and water quality reduce pathogen transmissions, improve employee engagement and increase individual health. Active design strategies allow employees to choose—to opt in. The key is that employees choose healthier options and employers help through education. For example, when presented with a buffet of food options, people often select less-healthy choices, but if options include nutritional data, they more often select healthier food. Active design strategies include: > Activity-based work allows employees to reduce stress by choosing where and how work happens. > Fitness and activity encourage and amplify better individual health. > Healthy food and drink choices promote overall well-being. > Healthy sleep cycles prioritized through education and awareness.

An example to mark…

At HP Inc.’s 380,000-square-foot campus in suburban Houston, its stated goal was to create its own office of the future. Recognizing the value employees bring every day, the Houston Campus needed to amplify an existing and strong employee culture and advance their work. Greater employee wellness with an emphasis on sustainability was promoted through a theme of Planet, People and Communities, leading to the project achieving LEED ID+C Gold certification and WELL Building principles were integrated throughout the project. The design replicated a fitness center and basketball court from HP’s former location, but went even further by introducing new features to celebrate the company, the culture and the work. Centralized social hubs on each floor and a high-energy community-centric “Main Street” on the ground level were highlights, which included a Starbucks-style coffee shop, a technology café help

desk, print center and product demonstration area, food hall, dining commons and conference center. All of the areas were designed to be multi-functional, accommodating work zones in concert with social and relaxation areas. This new Main Street provides a variety of work settings for both group and solo work, and employees can choose where to work based on the task at hand. The office areas are designed to support employees’ work and eliminate distractions and stressors that interfere with their ability to be efficient and effective. HP employed an effective Occupant Survey to engage their community and prioritize elements to promote wellness. A number of features that bridged employee well-being and sustainability were uncovered and incorporated into the workplace, including: > Internal stairs for easy access and connection between floors. > Choice and agility to accommodate collaborative work, access amenities and utilize quiet/focus zones. > Acoustical control for meeting and focus spaces to separate active and focus zones. > Ergonomic control with personalized instruction. Sit-stand desks encourage activity throughout the day. > An indoor walking path including mileage markers when Houston weather may not be conducive to outdoor activity. > Natural light and views increased with automated motorized shades. All work settings have views and natural light and there was a conscious effort to eliminate dark, enclosed spaces including labs. Translucent film provides privacy and security when necessary and shades control glare. > Biophilic design integrated to stimulate cognitive brain function and provide emotional balance to the stress of work, by connecting occupants to nature. > Daylight-responsive dimming, a code-driven requirement in many jurisdictions, provides energy efficiency and ensures task lighting for work. Dimming eliminates distractions of binary on-off switching. > Water-use reduction—an easy choice for conservation has a low impact on employee comfort, including shower rooms where it can be most impactful. > Water quality testing ensures safe water to drink, and filtration supports employee confidence that the company has their best interests in mind. > Demand-control ventilation in high-use meeting spaces with preset CO2 monitoring points trigger additional fresh air, improving the air quality by lowering CO2 levels to reduce cognitive function and sleepiness. This year has seen a new focus on workspaces and what makes them effective. As employees have become empowered to work from home, the office must exhibit a sense of real safety, promote healthfulness and well-being, and truly be a compelling destination in order for it to keep its relevance. CCR

Stuart Harris is a principal and director of architecture and sustainability at PDR. He has over 30 years of experience designing workplaces.



CHESTNUT MARKET RE-IMAGING PROJECT BY FEDERAL HEATH Federal Heath recently set out to create a totally new brand refresh for Chestnut Market. The new logo & squirrel mascot set the tone for the new store design and interior environment. The re-imagined environment invites the customer inside with warmth, comfort, fun, and good living. Real textures, materials and lighting enhance the overall ambiance, relaxed, informal, but completely refreshed in a contemporary setting. Illuminated rings and white shiplap wrapped in wood tones create a bold brand voice that sets the store apart from any other. » Interior store design including concept, development, and fabrication of signage » lluminated CoLite ceiling rings, graphic wall coverings, illuminated CoLite wood beams » Dimensional copy, lightweight POS canopy » WallMaker white shiplap & red cedar siding » Installation handled by the Federal Heath

Interested in re-imaging your store interior?

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Michael Benincasa VP of Retail Design & Strategy 248.656.8000


Design for the times Inside the majesty of the Boston Sports Institute By Lauren Nowicki


oston, known for its dense saturation of academic institutions

and leading sports teams, possesses an ironic gap within its metro-suburban landscape—that of a professional

Enter the sports ecosystem, a mixed-use concept where community and consumer value chain are new business partners. Identifying a unique opportunity, Edge Sports Group (ESG) conceptualized the Boston Sports Institute (BSI), a $23.3M, 130,000-squarefoot mixed-use recreation facility. Utilizing a public-private partnership model, ESG is a long-term lessee that constructs, manages and owns BSI, while the town of Wellesley retains land ownership, priority scheduling for schools and dedicated community hours. As a holistic concept incorporating sports medicine, tutoring services and quick dining, BSI encompasses six sports arenas. Most notably, a competitive pool repurposed from the 2012 trials where Ryan Lochte qualified for the Olympics. Other areas include a warm therapy pool, two NHL hockey rinks, a suspended track and indoor turf field.


Photography courtesy of Alison Kidder

grade practice facility.





A well-planned design strategy for any building correctly configures interaction, energy use, business growth and long-term interest. Client goals for this facility centered on operational efficiency, safety and diversity inclusion. With current competition being state-owned facilities with no debt, competitiveness in construction costs and operational savings was critical. In a facility of this size, inefficient design cannot be overcome in the long-term; thus measures must be incorporated upfront. Additionally, the town required certain components to the facility, many of which at first glance seemed incompatible.

Addressing operational challenges

A core challenge to mixed-use sports facilities is providing interior elements necessary for a complex athletics program while managing energy costs. In particular, ice rinks are among the most energy intensive facility elements. BSI operates 17 hours per day, seven days a week. Wellesley is a Stretch Code community; thus the facility must demonstrate at least 10% improvement over baseline energy use intensity to satisfy the energy code requirements. Dacon, the facility’s design builder, based its architecture and material selections by targeting the most energy intensive building systems. Creating symbiotic environments within extreme temperature conditions is an architectural paradox. To manage this level of complexity, multiple specialized systems were established, each tailored to meet the interior. Ice rinks and natatoriums are isolated from adjacent spaces to maintain required temperatures and relative humidity (rinks are typically 55° F and 48% relative humidity, natatoriums 82° F and 60%). The field house is heated and ventilated only. These three major program elements occupy the corners of the building, separated by moderate heated / air-conditioned public areas.


Efficiency begins with selecting optimal insulation levels for the exterior walls and roof, followed by an enclosure system that provides an insulating value along with weather, air and vapor barriers. A key early decision was selecting a pre-engineered metal building system and a builder who could deliver the structural frame, wall cladding and roofing in a fast-tracked single package. The structural system consists of rigid frames built up from steel plates that span the large open spaces with a minimum number of interior columns.

As a holistic concept incorporating sports medicine, tutoring services and quick dining, BSI encompasses six sports arenas. For the exterior, Metl-Span insulated panels with polyurethane foam cores and painted galvanized steel facings on both sides act as the weather barrier, fulfilling the client’s operational and aesthetic requirements. This type of panel was also used on the natatorium’s roof, where the vinyl faced fiberglass insulation typically provided with pre-engineered metal buildings would not be suitable. In the natatorium, a special painted finish for wet and corrosive environments is used, while the remaining steel structure is either stainless steel or painted with an anti-corrosion epoxy coating. Only 1% of the exterior is glass, positioned where it provides the most benefit to the swimmers. With sun glare being a potential safety


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DESIGN FOR THE TIMES hazard to lifeguard surveillance, window positioning was calculated using solar geometry. Windows are placed high on the north side, limiting direct sunlight on the water’s surface to a few hours per year. There is approximately as much glass on the interior as there is on the exterior. Visual transparency between public areas and the arenas is a key parental design feature when multiple children use the facility. Walls separating the ice rinks and competitive pool include large windows that enable spectators to see the activity beyond, creating excitement before entering spectator seating.

saving 18% less electrical energy. This decision alone reduced the overall electrical energy use for the facility by 16.5%. A significant amount of natural gas energy is required to maintain the pool water temperature; pool heaters are 89% efficient, but far more gas savings are realized using heat reclamation loops. Thermal energy extracted by the chillers to keep rinks frozen is gathered through heat reclamation loops to heat the pool, the most innovative energy saving feature of this facility. The energy available to the heat reclamation loop varies throughout the year, but in the winter it is capable of offsetting 100% of the gas load necessary to heat the pool water. All these measures combined reduced the overall annual energy use by 23%, significantly reducing operating costs.

Human diversity

Encompassing a full range of human diversity, facility functions are expanded for maximum use via a movable bulkhead, chair lift and drop-in stair for the pools and private, gender neutral changing spaces. Elevators and accessible walkways ensure fluid access throughout the facility, welcoming all ages and abilities. Due to its architectural features and extended diversity measures, BSI was one of seven buildings in the US to receive the MBCEA award for excellence in metal architecture. Additionally in August of 2020, the facility was named “Building of the Year” by the Metallic Building Company. CCR

For spectator and athlete comfort, chloramine gas—a corrosive byproduct of chlorine disinfectant that settles near the water’s surface—is exhausted through the roof via vents cut into the base of the swim team benches running along the pool deck.

Energy conservation

Once Dacon optimized the envelope and provided interior environmental separations, attention was turned to system optimization. Electric energy use is primarily reduced by LED lighting throughout, reducing power density to 0.53 W/ft2. The irony of LED is that it produces very little waste heat unlike older lighting technologies, which slightly increases the load on the HVAC system during the heating season, so the system has to work a little harder than it used to in the past with older lighting technology. The 102,000-square-foot roof will be leased in the future by the Wellesley Municipal Light Plant for a 900kW photovoltaic array that will double the town’s PV electrical supply, thereby reducing the town’s carbon footprint. The chiller system that keeps the slab under the ice cold was also targeted for energy savings. The ice rinks use an ammonia chiller system with reciprocating compressors (same as the NHL rinks). While ammonia chillers are costlier, they are more efficient,

What’s inside? A closer look at the Boston Sports Institute > 130,000 square foot multi-sports building > 28,000 square foot mezzanine including: • Elevated walking track • Inspirica Tutoring & Test Prep Center • Stadium seating for rinks & pool • Sports rehabilitation center > 102,000 square feet of ground floor area including: • Two NHL hockey rinks • Indoor synthetic turf field • Warm water therapy pool • 13-lane/25 yard competitive pool • On-site pro-shop & cafeteria

Lauren Nowicki is the Director of Marketing and Communications for Dacon Corporation, a fully integrated design build firm that provides comprehensive facility development services from architectural design through final construction. Design build’s inherent transparency and collaboration eliminates risks associated with traditional construction.







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A new way of thinking How technology will drive adaptive reuse now and post-pandemic


By Ken Smerz

he new restrictions placed on society have been a catalyst to rethink much of our built environment, and the way the world has adapted may forecast several trends that will impact the AEC industry in the months and years ahead.

Arguably one of the more significant trends taking shape is the increase in adaptive reuse projects, as owners and managers look for ways to optimize the operational and commercial performance of their built assets. While interest in adaptive reuse steadily has been growing over the last few years, the pandemic has thrust it into the spotlight as the demands of our built world have completely changed. To meet these new demands and maintain the economic viability of existing structures, many will have to be reimagined into new relevant purposes or retrofitted to accommodate new health and safety protocols—and technology, more so than ever, will prove friend not foe to all involved in the process.

building information modeling (BIM) to site sensors and material advancements, technology is transforming the ease and accessibility of adaptive reuse now and in the future.

3D visualization to accommodate better space planning, utilization

Real estate owners and operators across almost every asset class are considering several potential longer-term effects of the coronavirus outbreak and the required changes that these shifts are likely to bring. For example, within commercial office space, the trend toward densification and open-plan layouts is likely to reverse sharply. Public-health officials may increasingly amend building codes to limit the risk of future pandemics, potentially affecting standards for HVAC, square footage per person and amount of enclosed space. As adaptive reuse increases and standards change, contractors, developers and property owners will need to take a hard look at their space management plans. Traditional 2D models have been the standard for floor and space plans, but without adequate and accurate data, inefficiencies creep in.

BIM 360 Model

The trend toward adaptive reuse

Adaptive reuse has been on the uptick in the US for several years now, particularly in more densely populated regions like the Northeast. In fact, according to research conducted in 2017 by the team at Deloitte, they already were estimating that within the next decade nearly 90% of real estate development would involve adaptive reuse of existing buildings instead of constructing new ones. Now, as a result of the pandemic, it is likely that number will grow. In addition to offering a more sustainable approach for aging and landlocked regions with little vacant land to build on, adaptive reuse also addresses the issue of abandoned offices, factories, warehouses and shopping centers that often are left in the wake of global economic changes—something we are experiencing currently. As industries adjust their real estate tactics to meet new demands, property needs will continue to shift. Real estate owners and contractors will need to increasingly turn to technology. From


360 Virtual Site Walk

Using technology like BIM can help teams truly reevaluate existing spaces and visualize the environment, allowing owners and tenants to fully maximize space and efficiency. For example, using 3D modeling, a restaurant tenant can better understand and visualize seating as it relates to walkways, prep areas, and restrooms, leading to safer and more cost-effective facilities. Additionally, on the MEP side, BIM can provide contractors data to help maximize efficiency by assessing pump sizes, water heater sizes, etc.


The data pulled from those 3D models can also then be transferred to systems that track, manage, and control building assets, providing the framework for future operation and maintenance plans—leading to long-term cost reductions. Ultimately, better data translates to better designs. As imaging technologies and other tools become more readily available, robust, accurate data will allow contractors, developers, and tenants to identify what is logistically feasible for the space while maximizing ROI.

Better data will drive cost reduction and schedule compression

13% of a construction project is rework. And of that rework, more than 50% of it is caused by poor project data and miscommunication.

Cloud-based platforms will enable virtual communication, coordination of distributed teams

Contrary to popular belief, adaptive reuse projects are not always cheaper and faster than new developments. Historically, hidden costs and unexpected issues will arise in most projects. And in adaptive reuse, if the project requires any significant enhancements or additions to the infrastructure, it can drive up costs enormously.

The construction industry is historically and inherently a hands-on industry. Many firms in the AEC industry have built their businesses and workflows around the idea of working at, or routinely visiting a job site. But in the light of the societal and safety concerns, many are looking at new ways to accommodate virtual teams and keep operations moving forward while facing unprecedented challenges. Cloud-based construction and modeling platforms ensure that everyone, no matter location or team, will be working from the same, highly accurate plans. Platforms like BIM360 allow for secure access from anywhere and by anyone on the project. This cloud-based, file sharing software can be used at every step in the AEC process to

Adaptive reuse has been on the uptick in the US for several years now, particularly in more densely populated regions like the Northeast.

Cyclone Point Clouds

For this to be a lucrative endeavor, it is crucial to find a building that is structurally adaptable for the intended final use. Often, when contractors are able to fully assess the condition of a building, including plumbing, electrical, ventilation and overall structural integrity, tens of thousands of dollars in hidden costs are exposed— significantly stretching or breaking budgets, diminishing ROI and adding delays. Using enhanced visualization tools instead of the traditional 2D documents, construction teams can build more accurate budgets and better understand what will be required to meet building code. This data can help inform decisions and assess whether it is more advantageous to renovate an existing building or go the greenfield route. Additionally, with clash detection as part of the BIM process, teams can virtually build out the project, identify, and resolve challenges before they occur in the field. This reduces errors and inadequacies that can lead to extended schedules and missed budgets. In fact, increased use of visualization and coordination tools like BIM has proven to increase the speed of completion by at least 5%, and contributes to a 25% improvement in labor productivity over the course of the project. That is more critical now than ever, as roughly

Recap Point Clouds

easily share concepts and designs while maintaining organization, cohesion, and collaboration. Additionally, using technology like 3D visualizations and HD video capture to assess buildings helps limit interactions and on-site visits, while allowing most project teams to view and analyze the space from anywhere in the world. As adaptive reuse garners more attention in the development world, it is more important than ever for the AEC industry and owners to understand the value of advanced-stage 3D modeling. It will streamline processes, maximize efficiency, minimize costs and schedules, and fuel collaboration and communication. CCR

Ken Smerz is the CEO of ZELUS, a digital as-built service provider, which delivers Virtual Design Construction (Building Information Modeling) services as well as 2D/3D digital documentation using the most advanced, latest technology.



Digital Buyers Guide Directory LAUNCHING IN JAN 2021 Get listed in our new app that will connect you with our community. Listing will consist of: Company name



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November 2020

Smart building How Capstone Communities and ePropertyCare are changing the game in multifamily, affordable housing

Charles Hadsell, Jenny Tamarkin, Jason Korb

Smart building How Capstone Communities and ePropertyCare are changing the game in multifamily, affordable housing

R 64

ongoing pandemic. The ePropertyCare platform enables landlords and property managers to remotely protect, monitor and control properties over the cellular network without requiring building WiFi. The process


Charles Hadsell: ePropertyCare brings a secure and scalable smart building platform that helps developers and owner/operators protect, monitor and control their properties over a cellular connection. This provides an NOI boost by reducing costs and increasing rents and retention. Capstone Communities is committed to helping neighborhoods across eastern Massachusetts thrive through the development of quality affordable and market rate housing, with a specialty in historic renovation and Low Income Housing Tax Credits.

Photo renderings by Bruner/Cott Architects

Give us a snapshot of the brand?

elentless. Exceptional. Thoughtful. When you think of the Capstone Communities team, these are the descriptions that leap to mind. Drawing on years of commitment to serving neighborhoods across eastern Massachusetts, the Capstone team recently upped the ante with their partnership with smart building solutions company ePropertyCare.

Together, the companies will incorporate building protection and automation solutions into affordable housing developments, which will help increase resident, landlord and contractor safety during the

will help minimize in-person interactions that can spread COVID-19. To help breakdown how the system works and what the affordable market looks like moving forward, we sat down with Capstone Communities co-founder and principal Jason Korb and ePropertyCare co-founder and CEO Charles Hadsell.

By Michael J. Pallerino

What type of consumers are you targeting?

Hadsell: At ePropertyCare, we’re targeting tech-forward developers who plan to own and operate their buildings for the long-run. Our solution leads to insurance savings along with utilities and expense reductions, which add up significantly for developers, owners and operators that have a long-term management strategy in place. Jason Korb: At Capstone, we work with cities and municipalities to develop market rate and affordable housing apartment communities through historic renovation, gut-rehabilitation and ground-up construction. This provides a mixture of market-rate and affordable housing units for a diverse array of residents.

building and unit doors from afar provided us with the assurance that we would be notified in the event there was a leak or other deficiency at a property. Having the properties being monitored by ePropertyCare has been a game changer. The larger Boston metro area is facing a housing crisis and demand for safe, quality housing is still very high, so we are continuing to move forward with property development in order to fulfill this need, although we have had to make adjustments. We’ve also seen the need to implement more advanced technology in our developments to provide additional resident safety and security in this COVID-19 era.

safe and practicing proper social distancing and cleanliness procedures. Integrating smart technology has assisted in the process. Second, we’ve found that our residents, property managers and contractors have an easier time using a fully automated smart building technology system and the savings that it creates greatly benefit us as the developer.

What role should a brand play in being a leader in a distressed market like this?

Hadsell: We’re focused on helping developers realize efficiencies and save time and money in their operations. This creates

How does the overall design of your homes cater to what today’s consumers are looking for?

Korb: Our building and unit designs incorporate the latest in smart building technology with a modern aesthetic. We have found that residents value technology-as-an-amenity. This is table stakes now for new developments and helps us stay competitive, efficient and differentiated in the market.

What are some of the adjustments you made with/to your business model surrounding the recent state of events?

Charles Hadsell

Jenny Tamarkin

What kind of conversations are you having with your customers?

Hadsell: COVID-19 is accelerating the deployment of smart building technology as builders, developers and landlords are forced to perform more functions remotely. We’ve pivoted our focus from smaller buildings to larger buildings as the advantages of smart building technology scale well with larger developments.

Hadsell: Many of the conversations are on cost savings, and helping building owners and developers reduce operational expenses. Insurance is a big topic right now because we’ve established insurance partnerships that help us bring tangible savings to the picture through the use of our water protection solution. In many cases, this pays for itself through savings, so it is a very interesting topic for every developer we’ve spoken with.

Korb: We had to virtualize many of our construction meetings for a period of time while city construction moratoriums were in place, which shut our construction projects down for a few months. Having the ability to monitor sites remotely, lock and unlock

Korb: Our residents, construction teams, architects, city/state partners and lenders are equally concerned about the health and safety of our developments that are both operating and under construction. Our first priority is making sure everyone on site is

Jason Korb

a strong word-of-mouth for our brand that reaches other developers in the area (and elsewhere in the country). Everyone is under pressure to reduce expenses, so helping clients realize savings is a key part of the value we can bring. Korb: A brand is built on reputation, which is everything in this market. The affordable and market rate development communities are very small in Boston, and word travels fast. Having the opportunity to work with a vendor that is reputable, consistent, communicative and innovative saves us a ton of time, energy and money, which is huge for us.

What is the best piece of advice you can offer to other multifamily brands in how to deal with the unthinkable like this?



Hadsell: Think long-term. While we’re all experiencing short-term disruptions. I encourage others to think five to 10 years out, and make decisions based on those forecasts and economic models. Quality housing in desirable urban areas is a good long-run bet. Korb: Stay the course. There will always be a demand for housing, and although it can be discouraging to encounter setbacks from the current pandemic we’re facing, it’s important to remember the human side of the equation. Other industries have been and continue to be hit much harder than ours and many people are facing housing and job loss. We have been affected by the pandemic, but we can help those who have been affected in worse ways than us by providing safe, quality housing.

affordable housing, so there is a high demand even in challenging times like right now.

What’s likely to happen next?

Hadsell: I think we’ll have continued turmoil in the housing and rental markets until we get through the election and the financial and housing markets have more certainty. Korb: We hope to see the market stabilize and demand for market rate housing return to normal. The demand for market rate housing has been impacted most significantly as many university students are attending classes remotely from their hometown and we’ve seen a surge in young professionals and families moving out of the city to have more space. The demand for affordable housing has been impacted in the opposite way, with

amenities view and from a building operations view. Now that sensor costs have come down and reliability has gone up, building owners now can realize valuable insights digitally that would normally take the “eyes of the tenant” to realize. Being purely reactive is very costly when solutions now can help owners get proactive with property awareness, maintenance and repairs. Korb: The COVID-19 pandemic has re-defined housing needs in many different ways. Residents are looking for larger apartments to accommodate work-from-home schedules, separate building spaces that can be used for working or schooling, and outdoor space has become especially important. In addition, we are implementing smart building technology that can be controlled remotely, building access technology that limits the amount of exposure, and health and safety precautions such 100% outdoor air circulation, positive pressure and ERV system balancing to reduce the amount of re-circulating air within any given space.

What is your short-term strategy? Long-term?

Hadsell: Short-term, we want to partner with key developers like Capstone Communities to make their projects a success in the community and carry on the learnings to subsequent projects. Long-term, we want to continue expanding to other geographies with robust developer partners that are tech-forward.

Give us a snapshot of today’s multifamily market from your perspective.

Hadsell: While there is an urban exodus in certain markets, I think people will return to the cities that are adding jobs and contain robust employment prospects. I also believe the workfrom-home trend will boomerang back to a certain degree after a COVID vaccine is deployed. Korb: Eastern Massachusetts is facing a housing crisis and there is a severe lack of


the need growing exponentially. The City of Cambridge, where many of our developments are located, recently passed the Affordable Housing Overlay, which will hopefully encourage the development of additional affordable housing in the area, which is urgently needed.

What trends are defining the space?

Hadsell: I think smart building technology is becoming table stakes for both mid-end and high-end developments—both from an


Korb: Our short-term and long-term strategies are much aligned. Our goal is to continue to create quality, safe, and innovative market rate and affordable housing for communities. We will continue to partner with local companies and contractors to ensure we are staying current and providing our residents with the best possible amenities and service.

What is the most defining part of the units/location?

Korb: The most defining characteristic of each unit differs by location, but our

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commitment to building quality housing is consistent. At Frost Terrace, for example, there are three historic homes on the property and one new construction building. The historic homes have been rehabilitated to retain their historic characteristics, while the new building is more modern. Our goal is to build housing that you wouldn’t know is affordable, we build apartments where we would want to live. We also tend to develop housing in areas that are urban and close to public transit and local area amenities.

Walk us through how and why it is designed the way it is?

Korb: For us, it’s really simple. All housing is not created equal, but we are working to change that. Building apartments that respond to our residents needs with modern technology and amenities allows for people to have one less worry, making them more efficient and productive in other aspects of their lives. We design our developments to the highest standards, using building material with less chemicals and pollutants and incorporating rooftop solar and green roofs to help the environment.

Take us through your construction and design strategy. Korb: We work with experienced, reputable contractors, architects and consultants who we trust will help us to make the best design decisions. We also find it extremely important to engage the community during the design/development stage to ensure we are building something that will also benefit the neighborhood.

Give us a rundown of your market’s layout.

Hadsell: Greater Boston has some of the oldest housing stock in the country. Even with the uncertain economic times, we’re seeing big tech and pharma invest in the market, so there is net jobs growth and a robust demand for housing. This is leading to demand for modernizing housing in the area through reputable developers like Capstone Communities.

What’s the biggest issue today related to the construction side of the business? Korb: Rising construction costs and demand for affordable housing that continues to increase. There are only so many buildable lots in each city and each development takes years to complete.

Talk about sustainability. What are you doing?

Korb: Sustainability is core to our strategy. In the past, Capstone worked to achieve LEED certification for our affordable apartment communities, and going forward we will be building to Passive Housing US standards where possible, which is an even more energy efficient way of completing construction that requires an air-tight building envelope.

What type of opportunities do you see moving ahead?

Hadsell: We are getting traction on larger and larger building opportunities. Our solution can scale up to thousands of units, so we’re now engaging developers and owners who manage thousands of units across multiple states.



Korb: Smart building amenities are more in demand than ever, and we see this demand trending upwards as new developments hit the market. ePropertyCare’s smart home solutions have allowed us to stay competitive in the market while keeping us up to date with the integration of new technology.

What trends are you seeing/expecting?

Hadsell: Integrated water leak protection is one big trend we’re seeing now. Water leaks and running toilets waste 1 Trillion gallons of water annually. We have a solution that can prevent this - reducing water waste and preventing building damage. We’re also seeing keyless entry increasing in popularity. We allow buildings to eliminate keys and give residents App control of locks and common doors. This is a popular amenity with residents and helps increase efficiency in building operations (especially during turns). Korb: Amenities that help keep tenants safe and healthy. Remote technology for building access. Upgraded air filtration systems.

What is the secret to creating a “must visit” location in today’s competitive landscape?

Korb: High-tech amenities that also tie into the health and safety of a building. Our residents really value the ease of being able to control building access, visitor access, their thermostat and other smart accessories all via one app. This feature cuts down on the time it takes to get in and out of the building and helps to keep deliveries safe and secure. It also complements the modern and sophisticated design and decoration of our buildings.

What’s the biggest item on your to-do list right now?

Hadsell: Complete the technology rollout at Frost Terrace, continue the definition of the technology stack for Capstone’s Bridgewater project, and start defining requirements for Capstone’s recently won 49-unit affordable housing project on Massachusetts Avenue in Cambridge. Korb: Complete our Frost Terrace project by spring of 2021. This is our marquee project

for deploying ePropertyCare’s smart building solution on a larger scale. We are also developing 57 apartments in Bridgewater, Mass. which are predominately affordable and just went public with plans for 49, 100% affordable apartments just down the street from Frost Terrace. We plan to use ePropertyCare at both of these developments.

Tell us what makes your brand so unique?

Hadsell: ePropertyCare is unique because we are very focused on bringing technology solutions for the developer and landlord market. Our founding team is made up of landlords and engineers, so we clearly understand the problems landlords/building owners face, and how technology can be deployed to solve them efficiently. Korb: Very few developers have the experience we have with historic renovation and Low-Income Housing Tax Credits that we do. We’ve made this a skillset and core part of our strategy. We also strive to build high quality housing that will serve both residents and the community. MH




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Breathing new life... Renovation adds glass dome to roof of NYC’s Tammany Hall

CNY’s Tammany Hall 44 Union Square East Project Team

By Michael J. Pallerino



Breathing new life... Renovation adds glass dome to roof of NYC’s Tammany Hall


or nearly two centuries, Tammany Hall stood as symbol of all things political in New York City’s Union Square. Built in 1928, the iconic brick building is the former headquarters of the Tammany Society, a political organization named

after chief Tamanend, the leader of an indigenous group called the Lenape people who settled on land along the East Coast, including present day New York City. Over the years, Tammany Hall became known for charges of corruption levied against leaders such as William M. “Boss” Tweed. Its power waned during the tenure of New York City Mayor Fiorello La Guardia (1934-1945), and the organization was rendered extinct after John V. Lindsay took office in 1966. Today, the building at 44 Union Square has undergone an extensive renovation and expansion. Designed by BKSK Architects and developed by Reading International (RDI) with Edifice Real Estate Partners as the owner’s representative, the project involved the addition of a multi-story space-frame dome atop the 90-year-old structure. Leading the charge on the construction side was CNY Group. As part of the renovation, a glass and steel dome modelled on the shape of a turtle shell rises from the top of the building—a symbol that pays homage to the Lenape people. BKSK consulted with the Lenape Center, an institution led by Lenape elders that upholds the legacy of the group through programming and exhibitions, on the project. The rounded roof in the shape of a turtle shell is a reference to the origin story of the Lenape, which, as legend has it, rose from the water on the back of a turtle.

We sat down with Ken Colao, Founding Principal and President, CNY Group; Agis Phillips, Project Executive, CNY Group, and Timothy Allen, Senior Project Manager, CNY Group, to get their insights into the project.

Give us a snapshot of the construction market today? What are you seeing out there?

Ken Colao: Last year set a record for money spent on construction in New York City. All projections showed 2020 was on track to match that number or break it, but the construction market has softened significantly since the start of the pandemic. Even with all the setbacks and delays, 2020 will still rank with the Top 5 years of all time when ranked on volume across all sectors. In particular, the large-scale luxury residential condo and rental market has cycled into smaller, well-located opportunities in established neighborhoods. A significant uptick of market-rate housing starts in the suburbs is now a focus of ours as well as affordable workforce housing. The commercial and retail markets have also paused to determine needs and the reinvented design of spaces.



Give us a snapshot of the project. What was the goal? What were some of the things the CNY team had to navigate?

Agis Phillips: Tammany Hall’s latest owner had acquired an attractive, historic and prominently located building, which was set to be renovated for contemporary commercial usage rather than a teardown because of its façade’s status as a New York City landmark. But by preserving the façade and demolishing the building’s steel structure, CNY was able to develop a more efficient concrete layout. Thus, we allowed for an additional floor area ratio (FAR) that could now be tapped, but was ultimately not utilized. New continuous floor plans for the contemporary program requirements had to be fit within the buildings landmark exterior.

Agis Phillips

Ken Colao

Tim Allen

In addition, the architect and CNY Group attended meetings together and were able to obtain landmark approval for the project. This allowed the team to remove and reconstruct the façades they obtained and increase the floor area by topping the historic structure with a gridshell dome. Though the initial cost for this dome was 50% over budget, we implemented value engineering solutions that brought the dome cost back to budget, allowing the volume of space to accommodate the addition of floors. As for the façade, the initial design called for retaining non-street façades. CNY Group identified this as a source of added cost, risk and potential schedule delay.

What were some of the special features of the project?

Timothy Allen: One of the building’s special features was the addition of 30% of area within the existing exterior walls and the placement of a glass dome on top of the building. For this to happen, a unique concrete corbel structure had to be designed and constructed to support the dome and transfer structural loads properly throughout the building. Take us through the construction and design strategy.



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Allen: A comparative structural analysis was completed between concrete and steel options to evaluate if the structural steel frame could be left in place to provide bracing for the historic façade, or if it must be braced from the outside while

a new concrete structure would be built inside it. An extensive bracing scheme was determined to be the most cost-effective and least risky method of retaining and restoring the elements required by landmarks, while building

a new concrete building behind them. CNY Group also participated in the review of the design development work of the consultants to identify and eliminate design redundancies, as well as enhance buildability.

What’s the most important part of the relationship between you and the Tammany Hall team?

Phillips: Collaboration. We believe in working in harmony with the designer, owner, engineers and restoration consultants to unlock the latent value of the project

How do you think the construction market will start shaping up?

Colao: Thoughtfully carried out, smaller and well-located projects will slowly begin or restart design development with employers adopting lessons learned from the pandemic.

What will your customers be looking for from you?

Colao: Customers will be looking into strategies to unlock hidden values of a property.

What do you see as some of your biggest opportunities?

Colao: We think a major trend over the next year or so will be building repositions and repurposing existing non-performing buildings.

What is your optimism level?

Colao: We are very optimistic that after some immediate challenging times, the economy and the construction business will fully recover and begin new, exciting growth.

What trends are you seeing?

Colao: We are seeing many trends at the moment. Most have to do with repositioning and repurposing. This includes warehouses, office spaces and commercial buildings. As more space throughout the city becomes available because of businesses and people leaving, we think landlords will use this time to update buildings that are in dire need of renovation. FC





Keynote Speakers: January 13th • June Cline: Make Life A Great Ride Is it important for you to be funny? June Cline’s Southern answer— “Are pigs asset’s pork?” June is The Southern Sassy and Savvy Harley Riding Humorist and she says “Everybody’s Got One—Idiot Episodes. Listen to June tell life funny!

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End-Users (retailers, hoteliers, restaurateurs, etc.) will receive complimentary registration in exchange for full schedule participation that includes a $300-$500 per diem or charity donation.

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Light of day Time management wins day for Dewitt Tilton Group’s South Georgia Dunkin’ project

A special supplement to:

Chris Tilton, Dewitt Tilton Group

Light of day Time management wins day for Dewitt Tilton Group’s South Georgia Dunkin’ project By Frank Ricci


s light at the end of the 2020 tunnel finally comes into

view, few businesses have escaped new challenges they did not see coming. From a variety of directions, it seemed as if unprecedented events either popped up or cascaded down on a weekly basis. For commercial construction builder Chris Tilton of Pooler, Georgia’s Dewitt Tilton Group, these curveballs only added intensity to a set of new ventures he willingly took on at the end of 2019. 82






A Savannah, Georgia, native, Tilton cut his teeth in custom home building before moving on to commercial construction. In 2014, he joined forces with successful real estate appraiser Andrew DeWitt. Since then, the company’s reputation has grown steadily over the years, with locals referring to them as “a powerhouse construction firm,” something Tilton takes great pride in. Rounding out the core team is Director of Operations Kim Thomas, a National Women in Construction past board member and certified by the Star Buildings System. In late 2019, the Dewitt Tilton Group was contracted by Stature Investments to build The Shops at Lakeside Village in the rapidly-growing Savannah suburb of Pooler. An 11-bay neighborhood retail center was right in their wheelhouse, so it was a perfect fit. On this project, the developer wanted the interior of two anchor stores built out, an AT&T retail store and a “next generation” Dunkin’ restaurant within the same project schedule. Dewitt Tilton Group welcomed the task. After working on the plans and schedule, Tilton expected the project to take about nine months. This ambitious plan was met with skepticism by the developer. “They literally said it couldn’t be done,” Tilton recalls. He then set out to do it. A groundbreaking ceremony in late November 2019 kicked off the project. As the work began,

“we enjoyed the details and the challenge, the whole team, from our office to the field,” he says. Time management—what Tilton cites as the key to Dewitt Tilton Group’s success—would be tested in the coming months, not just from the pandemic, but also the new Dunkin’ design that still was being refined during construction. This included the kitchen, canopy, seating area, walls, floors, lighting, drive-thru lane and other inevitable issues. “I’m living in the future,” Tilton says, “I’m thinking of Step F during Step A.” Another major advantage that makes Tilton’s time management work so well is an excellent relationship with subcontractors. “Subs love working with us,” he says, citing speedy and generous payment to trusted partners who prove themselves. That trust came in handy when, as is their practice, multiple subcontractor teams were working simultaneously as the pandemic hit while construction was well underway. “The roofers, brick masons, framers and site crew all know each other, and we all respect each other,” Tilton says. “That really helps.” Responsible, common-sense provisions, along with proper protective gear, allowed the project to continue unabated. After all, there was a deadline to meet. The Dunkin’ interior build stands out from the rest of the project with extensive corporate-mandated rules and specifics.

The final stage of the build is a testament not just to Dewitt Tilton Group’s time management, but its attention to detail.






Meant to improve practices from other builds at recently completed locations, there also was an ongoing effort to finetune the design. A continuing trend in quick-serve restaurants, the “next generation” Dunkin’ stores feature modern interior design, high-top seating in addition to booths, mixed-surface wall coverings, and in this location, a covered patio with wood pillars and a privacy wall. Dominating the counter is an eight-handle draft system dispensing cold-brewed beverages. Thinking further ahead, Tilton also anticipated a delay with getting a public gas connection in time to meet his deadline. Early on in the project, he put superintendent Aaron Cradduck and office manager Baleigh Kelly on the case to assist with alternate plans. As expected, it became necessary to employ a propane tank. This process alone



took five months to accomplish, but nothing was going to stop the team from completing the project on time.

Rounding the bend…

The final stage of the build is a testament not just to Dewitt Tilton Group’s time management, but its attention to detail. Last-minute exterior problems that Tilton’s team tackled included a poor fit between the drive-thru curbing and the window, and late changes to the Dunkin’ façade, including changes in the drive-thru canopy. Inside, one last kitchen issue to correct was the hood over the cooking area. Like the others, these problems were solved not just on time, but ahead of time. On a sunny August afternoon, Thursday the 27th to be exact, a ribbon-cutting ceremony was held at The Shops at Lakeside Village outlet in Pooler. Tilton, the Dewitt Tilton Group

staff, and its subcontractors had pulled it off. Nine months to the day from the groundbreaking, Dunkin’ was open for business— weeks ahead of schedule. With a very ambitious timeframe to begin with, the typical pitfalls of a complex project like this, and a global pandemic, time management won the day. When asked what is most satisfying about this accomplishment? “Nine months before it was dirt and shovels,” Tilton says. “Then local dignitaries are at the ribbon-cutting and customers are lined up out the door. I love being part of that business’ success.” His clients love it, too. “It is an amazing thing to be able to celebrate the opening of The Shops at Lakeside Village a few weeks ahead of schedule,” says Yash Desai, President and COO of Stature Investments. Amazing, indeed. CK

ONE-ON-ONE WITH... Chris Tilton, Dewitt Tilton Group

Describe a typical day. I start out riding around and checking a number of our job sites. Back in the office, I’ll work on estimates for new projects, meet with potential and existing customers, and spend some time handling the accounting and finances. That’s a typical day for me.

What’s the biggest item on your to-do list right now? We have several large buildings (around 17,000 square feet) and large developments (around 18 acres), at 95% to 98% completion. Other jobs are in our queue to begin, so my biggest to-do item is to keep all of them on their individual schedules, on budget, and exceeding our customers’ expectations.

What was the best advice you ever received? The best advice was also the toughest lesson—you have to learn to say no. Although we think we can, we just can’t do every job that comes our way. As a small- to medium-sized company, there are limitations. When we commit to a job, we’re all-in. If the budget or timeframe doesn’t work, we have to pass.

What’s the most rewarding part of your job? That’s easy. My favorite part of the job is ribbon-cutting ceremonies. I love groundbreaking ceremonies because we are starting a job. But seeing the satisfaction and smile on a customer’s face when they are opening their business, and knowing we were a part of it is what keeps me going. Our customers are always so thankful and gracious.

What’s the best thing a customer ever said to you? Funny, this happened recently. I ran into a customer who we worked with two years ago. He’s very happy with the building, but he also mentioned how streamlined the process was. He called it “near-perfect” and “impeccable.” This is a great compliment to hear because we sell a process. He came in with a sketched idea, and a year later he was moving into his dream building.





The strength within Our conversation with GI Stone’s Sandya Dandamudi


ne of Sandya Dandamudi’s favorite quotes is from Mahatma Gandhi, “You must be the change you wish to see in the world.” It is a statement she continues to passionately embrace every day, especially in a world that continues to throw its share of obstacles for each of us to navigate.

Sandya Dandamudi, President, GI Stone

As president of GI Stone, Dandamudi is a second-generation female business owner in the male-dominated stone fabrication and installation industry. Over the years, she has grown the company her mother started to be one of the industry’s most trusted suppliers, working closely with several trusted partners, including Related Midwest, JDL Development, Parkside Realty, Hines, and many more. Dandamudi is known for her ability to quickly assess and understand a developer’s vision, and how to select, source and fabricate products that create a point of strength and differentiation in the luxury design offering. That, and being able to help her client’s stay on budget. We sat down with her to get her thoughts on the business today and how women continue to make strides in an ever-changing marketplace.

Give us a snapshot of today’s construction market? The snapshot is a bit blurry right now due to the pandemic. Adding to the uncertainty is the human toll of anxiety. It is very important to take precautions to keep my employees healthy, but also to keep moving forward. I believe we still have the underpinnings of a robust economy; we just need to be careful navigators. Luxury multifamily projects are still happening, but hospitality work is on pause. We are currently performing stonework on several


luxury condominium and apartment buildings in Chicago, including Sky 360 Penthouses at St. Regis Chicago (formerly Vista Tower), One Chicago (formerly One Chicago Square) and Tribune Tower Residences, to name a few. Many high-end multifamily projects in the city are also in the pipeline, such as the 1.25-million-square-foot development of the former Moody Bible Institute, 19 N. May Street and 1400-1440 W. Randolph Street.

How did you get started in the industry?

Accidently. My mother was an interior designer, and through her I have always been exposed to a design perspective that was both aesthetic and practical. As kitchens became more of a focal point starting in the 1980s, so did the demand for stone countertops and backsplashes, so she decided to start GI Stone. At first, I was hesitant to work for my mother, but now I realize working with her was the best decision I ever made. I found my passion and my center in this industry. Working with organic stone in a highly aesthetic environment, while seeing practical outcomes firsthand was and still is invigorating. Twenty-eight years later, it is still as fresh as it was in the beginning. While my mother is retired, and I miss working with her, I am grateful that she opened this door for me.






WOMEN IN CONSTRUCTION What are some of your biggest takeaways from the past 6-9 months?

Resilience and faith. This year has been a cataclysmically difficult one. On an extremely personal note, I lost my only child to COVID-19 on April 3. He was only 30, extremely healthy and asymptomatic. Some of my employees also experienced tragic events this year, but we have all gotten closer. Our relationships are not merely transactional. We truly understand what it means to be together.

What type of opportunities do you see out there?

This is the time to think out of the box and to be ready to pivot. We have taken this opportunity to explore new technologies in stone, invest in machinery and education, and to reconnect with clients we have not seen in a while. I see no dearth of possibilities. While we are extremely sad to see some of our hospitality work get postponed, we are seeing a surge in rehab, student and senior housing. We are also exploring markets outside of Chicago, and are currently engaged in projects in Texas and Nashville.

Name some of the opportunities available for today’s women construction professionals?

I have always thought that women bring a unique perspective to construction. Not to stereotype, but we have an intrinsic ability to multitask, making us ideal project managers. Our trades are actively seeking women and so are general contractors. I encourage women to explore opportunities around the country, but that goes for both genders.

What challenges remain?

Improving gender and racial equality will always be an effort we need to keep in the forefront, not just in construction, but in all walks of life. Also, we need to look for new ways to construct buildings that are more energy efficient and more conducive to health and wellness.

Best piece of advice you’ve ever received?

No matter what the start date is, the end date never changes.

What advice would you share with women entering the industry?

Don’t look at walls as barriers, but as something to climb.

Biggest item on your to-do list?

Focus on running a successful business and stay the course.

What’s the first thing you’re going to do when things get back to normal?

Enjoy an amazing steak and a great bottle of wine with my tribe in a great restaurant. CCR





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Cannabis The

November 2020 • Issue 5


Breaking boundaries How Mara Stusser created a cannabis retail experience in the midst of a pandemic

Mara Stusser, GM, CALMA





By Michael J. Pallerino

Breaking boundaries How Mara Stusser created a cannabis retail experience in the midst of a pandemic


pening a new business can be challenging in any market, at any time, in any setting. Try a pandemic. That was the daunting challenge that Mara Stusser faced when she opened the doors to CALMA, a cannabis dispensary in one of the country’s biggest COVID-19 hotspots—Los Angeles. But there she was, cutting the ribbon, so to speak, on the 3,250-square-foot dispensary this past July, ushering in a new experience for cannabis consumers. In Italian, CALMA means “tranquility” or “calmness.” That is the vibe that Stusser set out to create with her store and marketing efforts. Her strategy rests in the store’s layout, which incorporates elements of its name by evoking a sense of tranquility, including pastel colors and marble details. CALMA also features a large LED video wall that showcases calming images like including ocean waves, waterfalls and forests. And if that is not enough, in what is a mostly male-dominated industry, Stusser wanted CALMA to appeal to women, including offering inclusive space for customers and employees. We sat down with Stusser to get her thoughts on her dispensary’s rollout, the industry and what the future holds for cannabis.





GIVE US A SNAPSHOT OF YOUR BRAND? CALMA ( is a premier cannabis retailer and delivery service in West Hollywood, California that was uniquely designed to provide an immersive, elevated atmosphere for customers to experience cannabis in a tranquil and therapeutic way. Drawing inspiration from its name, CALMA, the Italian feminine noun connotes peacefulness and tranquility. Each customer is paired with a budtender upon arrival and receives comprehensive cannabis education, from product tutorials to selection and consumption, leaving them with a clear understanding of potency, effects and benefits.

WHAT TYPE OF CONSUMERS ARE YOU TARGETING? Leading with the inclusiveness that the West Hollywood community values above all, CALMA embraces a welcoming atmosphere regardless of gender, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, ethnicity or age. Whether you’re interested in simply browsing the store or looking for a specific product, we welcome anyone over the age of 21.

HOW DOES THE OVERALL DESIGN OF YOUR SHOP CATER TO WHAT TODAY’S CONSUMERS ARE LOOKING FOR? Our design is catered to the customer’s shopping experience. We selected light pastel accent colors to mix with our marble floors and big beautiful windows. We also have an LED wall that is always showing calming, soothing visuals that help bring a special, CALMA experience to our customer.

WHAT KIND OF ADJUSTMENTS HAVE YOU MADE TO CATER TO YOUR CUSTOMERS’ SHOPPING EXPERIENCE IN THIS NEW LANDSCAPE? We had to pivot the opening from the start by implementing safety protocols such as temp checks, sanitizing the store every hour, limiting the number of people inside, mask wearing and strictly enforcing a 6-feet distance rule.



WAS YOUR OPERATION DEEMED ESSENTIAL DURING THE LOCKDOWN? HOW DOES THAT HELP THE CATEGORY’S STANDING IN THE MARKETPLACE? CALMA was one of eight retailers to win a city-wide competition for recreational and delivery cannabis licenses, and opened its flagship store in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis in July. We never planned on opening during such a difficult time, but the dispensary’s concept had already been in motion.

WHAT’S THE BEST PIECE OF ADVICE YOU CAN OFFER ON HOW TO DEAL WITH WHAT’S HAPPENING NOW? Patience. It takes time to understand your customer and what they like. Spend time on your sales floor with your customers. Talk to them. Ask them about their purchase

We had to pivot the opening from the start by implementing safety protocols such as temp checks for customers, sanitizing the store every hour, limiting the number of people inside, mask wearing and strictly enforcing a 6-feet distance rule.

and why they selected that item. When they return, ask how they enjoyed it. It is all about providing a personal experience.

WHAT’S YOUR SHORT-TERM STRATEGY? LONG-TERM? Our short-term strategy is to continue to offer a wide range of products at the lowest prices in order to build brand affinity. Our long-term goal is to eventually open up several more stores in the Los Angeles area.

WHAT’S THE SECRET TO CREATING A “MUST VISIT” LOCATION IN TODAY’S COMPETITIVE LANDSCAPE? Due to existing stigmas associated with cannabis, many may feel hesitant to try cannabis or even step foot into a dispensary. The secret is to create an elevated, calm and comfortable ambiance to attract





customers, from parents to grandparents, and leave them wanting to come back again and again.

WHAT MAKES YOUR LOCATION ENGAGING TO TODAY’S CANNABIS CUSTOMER? HAVE YOU ADDED ANY IN-STORE FEATURES? Every customer who walks in can immerse themselves in all of the highest standards with our remarkable “Cinematic Experience” Ultra High Definition LED Video Wall. With over 650 modules of LED panels that surface the wall, outputting 4-8K content, customers can elevate their senses of sight and sound, and feed their artistic souls as dynamic video content. The can’t-look-away visual experience has the power to draw any onlooker into a moment and inspirer.

WHAT TRENDS ARE YOU SEEING/EXPECTING? Cannabis trends are always changing. At the moment, we are seeing a huge desire for exotic flower.


female-forward design that felt inclusive to all cannabis consumers. We want our shop to speak to women, men, doctors, teachers, lawyers and stay-at-home moms—without leaving anyone out. Cannabis is about inclusivity and we wanted to make sure our shop reflected that.

The CALMA consumer is very flower focused. Most of our customers are coming in for flower. They also love pre-rolls and edibles, but we’ve noticed, that especially right now, exotic flower is our most sought-after item.

ONE-ON-ONE WITH... Mara Stusser, GM, CALMA What’s the most rewarding part of your job? Being able to help people find the products they need, whether it is for medical or recreational use.

What was the best advice you ever received? The best advice I’ve ever received is to

The idea behind CALMA was to create a




just keep swimming through challenges and barriers. Don’t lose momentum or give up, because things will turn around if you just keep it going.

they’ve been to. Those words definitely keep me going during the hard times.

What’s the best thing a client ever said to you?

I look forward to finding new hiking trails on the weekends, relaxing, enjoying my favorite cannabis strains, and spending time with family.

When clients compliment the store and say it is the best shop

How do you like to spend your down time?

We don’t strive to be bigger. We strive to deliver the best quality and service in the industry. Our specialized project management teams are highly effective in maintaining affordable budgets, meeting tight deadlines, and delivering quality construction turnovers on time, every time. From coast to coast, Alaska to Puerto Rico, Hunter Building Corporation has you completely covered on your next construction project! We offer a multitude of services nationwide ranging from tenant improvements, buildouts, remodels, ground-up construction, and project management. Hunter Building Corporation takes pride in the fact that many of our clients have been repeat customers for many years.

14609 Kimberley Lane • Houston, TX, 77079 281-377-6550 • Fax: 281-752-8600 CIRCLE NO. 35

Retail Construction • Restaurants • Hospitality • Office Spaces • Medical



The Voice of Craft Brands

Craft-ness on the edge of town How Cypress Brewing is taking the Great State of New Jersey by storm

Cypress Brewing: Charles Backmann, Bill Lutz and Jason Kijowski

The Voice of Craft Brands

Craft-ness on the edge of town How Cypress Brewing is taking the Great State of New Jersey by storm





By Michael J. Pallerino

It started as a Sunday morning hobby. What happened next has greatly exceeded the expectations that Bill Lutz, Jason Kijowski and Charles Backmann ever had. That hobby, which involved lots of mixing and matching of recipe ingredients, turned into a favorite among the New Jersey craft beer crowd. Today, Cypress Brewing, the name the trio gave their hobby-turned-business, is five years strong and growing—pandemic and all. At first, Lutz, Kijowski and Backmann began toying with various amounts of hops and malts for flavor, eventually turning the mix into a beer that grabbed your attention. Interestingly enough, their taste testers—Charles Backmann, Sr. and Ken Kijowski, two of their dads—were so impressed that they implored them to take the leap. Going from the kitchen to a larger facility in their hometown of Edison, New Jersey, the journey began. Designing their own tap room and enlisting the help of family, friends and neighbors, Cypress Brewing—the 20 BBL microbrewery—came into full view. We sat down with co-founder Charles Backmann to get his insights into the brand’s journey, the art of dealing in today’s pandemic-induced landscape and what the future holds.

What are some of the adjustments you made to your business model based on current events? We’ve been forced to close our indoor tasting room, and move to an entirely outdoor makeshift beer garden—style service area. We’ve also been forced to close a portion of our parking lot in order to accommodate this service area.

What kind of conversations are you having with your customers?

What’s the best piece of advice you can offer on how to deal with this? Prepare to enforce the rules to those who do not wish to follow the new guidelines. Prepare to remove those who insist that they will not comply. Expect harsh feedback, both personally and on social media, from those who refuse.

Give us a snapshot of today’s craft spirits market from your perspective. The market is currently flooded. There are nearly double the number of craft breweries in New Jersey as there were when we opened five years ago. Expect substantial competition.

What’s likely to happen next? We’re hoping that restrictions will be relaxed to the point where we can reopen for indoor service, but due to the

We’ve locally begun distribution to other states and have found much success in markets that are underserved as compared to the Garden State.

We’ve asked that all customers limit their party size to eight patrons. We’ve also made sure that all tables are a minimum of 6 feet from one another. All patrons also are required to wear protective face coverings when not seated. In addition, access to our restrooms is limited to one person at a time.

What role should a brand play in being a leader in a distressed market? Our brand demonstrates a large level of care and individual attention to detail due to our small size and craft-focused products. We’ve extended that mindset to our customers during this time.



Cypress Brewing

Our brand demonstrates a large level of care and individual attention to detail, due to our small size and craft-focused products. We’ve extended that mindset to our customers during this time. rising number of COVID-19 cases in New Jersey, we unfortunately expect that this will not be the case for the foreseeable future. We expect to be forced to remain outdoors for the time being.

What trends are defining the space? Hazy IPAs.

What is your story from a brand perspective? We are a small group of friends who formed from a homebrew club almost a decade ago. The name and branding comes from the place where we homebrewed, Cypress Drive.

Walk us through your branding strategy. We have never been guided by an external brand manager. All branding has come from within, and has honestly changed and adapted several times since we opened. That includes a change in our actual logo, changes in the layout and artwork of our products, and changes in our social media presence. Developing a clear and cohesive brand strategy has been one of our biggest points of contention this year.

What’s the biggest issue today related to the marketing/sales side of the business? Flooded markets. There are many distributing beer brands in New Jersey now, and all of them are competing for shelf space. Receiving orders from customers is far more difficult now than it was five years ago, as product simply doesn’t move as fast as it used to with so many options available. CIRCLE NO. 37






Cypress Brewing

What’s the secret to creating a branding story that consumers can buy in to? Pick something and stick with it. Have a story, develop a cohesive product look and logo from Day 1, and look forward and ask yourself if there’s anything that may not age well—flash in the pan trends, artwork, etc.

What’s the one thing every craft beer brand should do in the way of marketing? Follow and post social media, including the three biggest in our opinion, Instagram for product photos, Facebook for event announcements, drop lists and products releases, and Untappd, for product feedback and check-ins.

What do you see as some of your biggest opportunities moving ahead? Expansion out of New Jersey. We’ve locally begun distribution to other states and have found much success in markets that are underserved, as compared to the Garden State.

What’s the biggest item on your to-do list right now? Pay down debt. Isn’t that on everyone’s to-do list?

Sitting down with … Charles Backmann, owner/brewer, Cypress Brewing Company What’s the most rewarding part of your job?

What was the best advice you ever received?

Finding someone who knows our product and mentions it without us mentioning it first.

Build your own bottle filler; you’ll save thousands. That was five years ago, and we’re still using it.

What’s the best thing a customer ever said to you?

What’s your favorite brand story?

“This is easily the best Imperial Stout I’ve ever had, and I have more than 5,000 Untappd check-ins for Stouts alone.”




A good friend of ours gave us a suggestion to change one of our labels. We liked the idea so much that we put a thank you note on every can that went out. You have to look for it.





Commercial Construction Data


ollowing is a brief report on new commercial construction projects. The information is presented as a service of Commercial Construction Data, a product of Commercial Construction & Renovation. For more information, visit PROJECT NAME






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by David Corson

Zoom, Zoom, Zoom…


ver since man has been on earth, technology has changed our lives. Figuring out how to start and use fire to live safely, creating tools to build and create dwellings and, of course, equipment to cultivate the earth to grow food and gain access to animals to help feed the family and maintain our existence in the new world.

Just think about all the inventions that have been created to assist mankind: the wheel, gunpowder, electricity, gasoline, the combustion engine, the train, the telephone, fax machines, plane travel, the computer, the World Wide Web. It seems like every day something comes along that captures our attention and changes the way we live and do business. Since COVID-19 hit our shores, many had to figure out how to deal with it during the shutdown and reopening of our country. The plight is still ongoing. One technology that has been immensely helpful is Zoom (along with the other web conferencing platforms that businesses use every day now to stay connected).


The other day, on a Podcast while being interviewed, the host said Zoom had increased his productivity 100 times, and then some. He used Zoom the day before—virtually traveling to Dubai, Scotland, Canada and Latin America. He had discussions with site superintendents and project managers on multiple projects in the US, along with various conversations with current and prospective clients. Before the pandemic, Zoom was not the force that it is. Planes and hotels were the norm. There is no way he would have been able to be in all of these places in one day. Just think about the amount of time and miles needed to travel to all of those places. But Zoom helped get the business done in a timely manner, while he sat in his comfortable office chair in his office. It’s truly amazing. Even my stepdad over the Thanksgiving weekend, had his first Zoom call with his son’s family and their children in multiple cities. He said it was the most amazing thing he had ever seen. Guess it’s true: You can teach an old dog new tricks. When and if the vaccines work, we will all look forward to getting back on the road and seeing people in person. But I believe Zoom is here to stay. Sure, it will not replace shaking hands, getting sand in between your toes on the beach, etc. Those experiences are priceless. We hope you add our 11th Annual Summit, being held virtually January 13th14th, 2021, to your to-do list. It will be the first event of the year, offering a minimal time commitment each day for you to connect and start the year off on a positive note via, what else, Zoom. The gathering will offer live connections and meetings, along with a financial per diem incentive or charity donation to participate. To all, enjoy the holiday season ahead with your family and friends, keep the faith, and get ready to close the books on this crazy year. Hello 2021. CCR



From Fifth Ave to Venice Beach. We’ve expanded to the West Coast Bringing decades of experience building high profile retail and office environments for the world’s largest brands. We’re ready to build for you. Tom Fenton, Business Development Manager (914) 244-9100 x 322 /




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