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October 2020 •

The love you give Ganzhorn Suites’ compassion provides comfort to Alzheimer’s and dementia patients Eleanor Alvarez, CEO, The Ganzhorn Suites

Official magazine of

Also inside:

Exclusive Inside: Keys for outlasting hurricane season The importance of repurposing historic buildings Our HVAC/Energy Controls firms report


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800-718-2255 CIRCLE NO. 1

Vol. 19, No. 8 | October 2020




FEATURES 26 The love you give Ganzhorn Suites’ compassion provides comfort to Alzheimer’s and dementia patients 58 With honor CCR highlights women driving the industry (and their communities) forward

68 Rough weather ahead Keys for outlasting hurricane season 72 Landmark Restoration NYBG’s iconic Palm gets a facelift 78 From forest to floor American lumber icon advises what to know before specifying hardwood flooring

60 When the future is the past The importance of repurposing historic buildings




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ISO 9001:2015 Certified

Vol. 19, No. 8 | October 2020 INDUSTRY SEGMENTS 50 HVAC/ENERGY


Editor’s Note

12 Industry News 102 Women in Construction 119 The Cannabis Operations 136 Commercial Construction & Renovation Data 138 Ad Index 140 Publisher’s Note


Commercial Construction & Renovation Retreat 36 We are live... CCR Virtual Retreat focuses on how industry is navigating today’s landscape


Multi-Housing 85 The water’s edge Solving water intrusion for North Myrtle Beach condo community Federal Construction 93 Protecting the house An in depth, holistic approach to physical security Commercial Kitchens 107 Sight. Sound. Smell. Taste. Inside what makes Hawkers Asian Street Food go


Craft Brand and Marketing 127 The world according to craft How Urban South Brewery is preaching the gospel of good beer

127 4





by Michael J. Pallerino

I think I’m going this way, but thanks…


he sign was pretty specific—until it wasn’t. How many times has that happened to you? How many times did you think, “If I just follow the sign; I will get to where I need to go?” Come on. Be honest. I won’t tell anyone. The sign read, “Do Not Enter,” but you did anyway. It read, “No Parking,” but you made an exception, just that one time. It was late. There was nobody around. “Please Use Other Door.” Nope, you already committed to moving in that direction, so you just keep going. “Employees Only.” Well, who isn’t a little bit curious about what goes on behind that door?

“All Employees Must Wash Hands.” Okay, I think we get the picture. What’s my point? I know you’re dying to know. Well, if you will indulge me, this has been one hell of year. What started off with a checklist filled with positive, game-changing resolutions has turned into a crumpled up piece of paper in the corner of the office. But no matter what the signs say— and let’s be honest, we’ve been inundated with a ton of less than competent signs this year—you have to follow what’s in your gut. Push or pull? Walk or run? Sit or stand? The decision, no matter which one you make, is the one you own. Over the past few months, we have talked to enough people, held enough Zoom calls, poured over enough headlines to know that no matter what the signs say, we must move forward. Take the high road. Stay on track. Turn the other cheek (I threw that one in there). So, as we head into the end of a year nobody saw coming, here’s where we are: The sign reads, “Left Turn Only, but No Left Turn.” What are you going to do? Really, what’s your next move? Here’s what I suggest. Please send us the funniest, most outlandish signs you have ever seen. In an industry where we are everywhere, I know you have seen them. So share the love and we’ll put them on social media. It is the least we can do until this next sign forces our hand. Until then, heads up, attitudes in check and keep on, keeping on. CCR

No matter what the signs say—and let’s be honest, we’ve been inundated with a ton of less than competent signs this year— you have to follow what’s in your gut.

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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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.





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

DAVID THOMPSON Construction Manager Scooter’s Coffee


JOHN COOPER Principal Executive Vice President at Stormont Hospitality Group LLC

ROBERT RAUCH CEO RAR Hospitality Faculty Assoc., Arizona State University JOE THOMAS Vice President Engineering Loews Hotels

RON VOLSKE Construction Project Manager Orscheln Farm & Home

RICK TAKACH Chairman Vesta Hospitality

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



International Director JLL MIKE KRAUS Principal Kraus-Manning JOHN LAPINS Project Management Consultant, Greystar JIM SHEUCHENKO

President Property Management Advisors LLC

PUNIT R. SHAH Chief Executive Officer of Liberty Group+ Part-Owner of Miami Marlins




MEGAN HAGGERTY Founder Legacy Capital Investment

SAMUEL D. BUCKINGHAM, RS CMCA AMS President & Co-Founder Evergreen Financial Partners LLC


JOHN STALLMAN Marketing Manager Lakeview Construction

Senior Vice President, Cushman & Wakefield


GINA NODA Founder Connect Source Consulting Group, LLC.

CEO & Founder of Nunzio Marc DeSantis Architects


GARY RALL Vice President of Design and Development, Holiday Inn Club Vacations


President Schimenti Construction



Retail Consultant

DEDRICK KIRKEM Retail Facilities Consultant


ISYOL E. CABRERA Director Design & Construction Edibles

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

ERRAN THOMAS ZINZER Senior Manager Real Estate Services, Construction & Design


DAVID SHOTWELL Construction Manager Atticus Franchise Group

DEMETRIA PETERSON Project Director, Design and Construction at HMSHost

LAURA GROSS Retail Facilities Manager American Signature Furniture

LU SACHARSKI Vice President of Operations and Project Management Interserv Hospitality

GREGG LOLLIS Sr. Director, Design Development Chick-fil-A

BOB MEZA Senior Construction Project Manager Target

JERRY SMITH Head of Construction Bluemercury


RESTAURANTS RON BIDINOST Vice President of Construction at Bubbakoo’s Burritos

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

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 RETAIL

MAC Beauty retailer MAC has opened the MAC Innovation Lab, its newest concept store, at the Queens Center mall in New York City after testing a virtual version of the concept in Shanghai in 2019. The store features augmented reality mirrors for shoppers to try products without touching their faces, infrared touch screens for finding just the right foundation match and special packaging that buyers can customize. REI REI has kept a promise made in 2006 to become carbon neutral by this year via receiving green building certifications, generating solar energy and funding $100 million in outdoor spaces. Now the outdoor gear retailer is focused on a new goal of cutting its carbon footprint in half by 2030 to fight climate change. Walmart Health Walmart disclosed plans to open “Walmart Health” centers in the Tampa and Orlando, Florida markets, and additional locations in Georgia that feature an array of primary medical services, dental care and behavioral health services. The new model is being replicated across the country. Hy-Vee/DSW Two Hy-Vee locations in Minneapolis now are home to 1,200-square-foot shoe stores operated by DSW, with the mini-stores aimed at reaching potential footwear customers where they shop for food. There could be as many as six similar arrangements at Hy-Vee sites coming, with plans for a wider rollout of the concept in 2021. IKEA IKEA will open 50 new stores around the world this year, as it continues to bet on brick-and-mortar retail, despite the rise of e-commerce. Tiffany & Co. Luxury jeweler Tiffany & Co. will open a new 5,400-square-foot store at the Westfield Valley Fair mall in San Jose, California. The two-story store replaces a smaller Tiffany’s location there. Suitsupply Suitsupply has added two floors and a rooftop space to its store in New York City’s SoHo neighborhood, creating space for private affairs and individual shopping appointments. The retailer is betting that customers have a pent-up demand for shopping as they did in pre-pandemic times.




Waldorf Astoria Waldorf Astoria Monarch Beach Resort & Club will bring Hilton’s luxury brand to Dana Point, California. The 400-room property, which features an 18-hole golf course, partners Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts with Ohana Real Estate Investors. Hilton Worldwide Hilton Worldwide has 781 hotels comprising 160,556 rooms in its pipeline, with 200 openings slated for this year. North America and the Asian-Pacific region command top priority, led by the US and China. InterContinental Hotels Group/Voco InterContinental Hotels Group will unveil its new lifestyle Voco brand in Florida, Missouri and New York. Plans call for opening 28 hotels in 19 countries over the coming five years. Capella Hotels and Resorts Capella Hotels and Resorts opened its first property— Capella Bangkok—in Thailand. The 101-room property, which overlooks the Chao Phraya River, includes a spa, open-air dining and a restaurant from Italian-Argentine chef Mauro Colagreco. Kalahari Resorts Kalahari Resorts and Conventions plans a new location in Round Rock, Texas. The 350-acre resort complex will include a 223,000-square-foot water park, 30 water slides, 20 whirlpools and pools, and other attractions such as a FlowRider, waterfalls, cabanas and an adult grotto swim-up bar. Atari Hotels Video-game giant Atari plans to open a line of hotels, beginning in Las Vegas and Phoenix, with an emphasis on virtual reality and cutting-edge design. The 400-room Atari Hotel near the Las Vegas Strip is scheduled to open in 2022.


Burger King Burger King is focusing on mobile and touchless services with two new restaurant designs to be introduced next year. A drive-in feature will allow customers to park under solar-powered canopies and place their orders to eat in their cars, while a curbside feature will allow for quick pickup of previously placed orders.

Cracker Barrel Cracker Barrel is experimenting with several new revenue channels, including grab-and-go takeout stations, separate catering kitchens and the conversions of its signature porches into open-air seating areas. Taco Bell The first on-campus Taco Bell Cantina opened at the University of Texas at Dallas this semester. Franchisee North Texas Bells is operating the restaurant in conjunction with foodservice provider Chartwells Higher Education and UT Dallas. Slim Chickens Arkansas-based Slim Chickens will expand into Maryland, New Jersey and Washington in 2021. The 96-unit fast-casual chain, which rolled out a smaller footprint last year and began moving into nontraditional venues, is moving forward with plans to grow to 600 locations over the next 10 years. The Melting Pot The Melting Pot is creating Melting Pot Social, a concept that will meld features of fast-casual and full-service dining. Trader Joe’s Trader Joe’s is continuing its expansion in New Jersey with a 12,500-square-foot store in Freehold. The grocer, which also recently added a site in California and has stores on the way in Florida, Virginia, Indiana and Arizona, is planning to replace its store in Wayne, New Jersey with a larger location and add a new 14,000-square-foot store in Bayonne. Amazon Fresh Two locations across the country from each other—near Seattle and outside Washington, DC—could be among the latest sites for Amazon Fresh brick-and-mortar grocery stores.

Jet Foods The Chicago-area towns of Carol Stream, Park Forest and Des Plaines are getting new grocers, as Jet Foods begins making an aggressive push into the area with a plan to offer discount prices and prepared meals for customer convenience. Wegmans Wegmans has added a second North Carolina in Raleigh’s West Cary neighborhood, with plans to debut at least four more locations in the state. The grocer will open new stores in Wake Forest and Chapel Hill in spring 2021. It also confirmed its intention to open more sites in Cary and Holly Springs in the near future. ALDI ALDI’s new store in Philadelphia will occupy the base of a 475-unit apartment complex and, at 25,000 square feet, will be about 50% larger than most of the grocer’s older locations. The new market is set for a November opening and plans call for six aisles and a fresh food section that is 40% bigger than other ALDI sites. Southeastern Grocers/Fresco y Mas Southeastern Grocers is following through on its plan to invest more in its Fresco y Mas banner, with plans to open the 27th store near Fort Myers, Florida. The grocer also is converting a current Winn-Dixie site into the Hispanic-themed banner. Pollo Campero California-based chicken chain Pollo Campero plans to open 250 new US units over the next five years, with a focus on five states in the Southeast. The chain grew sales during the pandemic using a digital platform that it rebuilt last year, and by putting efforts into curbside pickup, drive-thru and delivery.

The numbers game


The percentage increase, on a national average, that construction workers ($47,430) earn more than the median wage for all workers ($39,810) annually, according to a new report by Construction Coverage.


The percent of commercial construction contractors who said they had to delay or cancel at least one planned project since the pandemic hit, according to a survey by Associated General Contractors (AGC) and Autodesk. Substantial numbers also cited lengthier project times and rising costs due to the pandemic.


The funding, in millions, that transit infrastructure projects advancing in Arizona, Indiana, Missouri and New Jersey will get from the US Department of Transportation’s Federal Transit Administration. The funds come under the Capital Investment Grants program, which requires that projects undergo a multiyear, multistep process.





Safety first

Stainless Steel Fixtures

3 hygienic building materials for your commercial space


ith the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is no secret that hygiene and sanitation are at the forefront of public consciousness. Therefore, if you are designing or remodeling a commercial space, consider some of the following hygienic building materials to streamline your sanitation efforts.

disinfectant rag. In addition, thanks to their customizability of fabrication, solid surface materials can be used on your backsplash and walls to give them the same hygienic properties, if so desired.

Solid Surface Countertops

Commercial spaces are sure to feature a wide variety of counters, tables and bar surfaces upon which traffic will congregate. Cracked or otherwise porous surfaces are not only a threat for unsightly stains, but offer a haven in which harmful germs and bacteria can nest. Choosing one-piece, acrylic-based solid surface materials will give your surfaces a durable, nonporous finish that will repel harmful substances and make cleaning as simple as a run of the

One of the primary measures recommended by the CDC for keeping an area sanitized is to regularly clean frequentlytouched surfaces such as doorknobs and sink handles. Therefore, when choosing materials for these locations, it is vital you select a product that will not lose its luster in the face of frequent cleaning. Stainless steel makes for a great selection, as it is durable, non-staining and complements many industrial designs, such as exposed lavatory pipes and hospital handrail options.

Polished Concrete Floors

When designing a hygienic floor for a commercial space, it is important to take every measure to eliminate seams, as bacteria loves to nest in grout and sealers, which can be difficult to reach and clean. As such, the solid, sealed, one-piece design of polished concrete offers a durable flooring option that will withstand heavy traffic while resisting staining that can lead to bacteria buildup.

Matt Lee is owner of the Innovative Building Materials blog and a content writer for the building materials industry. He is focused on helping fellow homeowners, contractors, and architects discover materials and methods of construction that save money, improve energy efficiency and increase property value.

They said it “For all of us, we are passionate about building a better future for ourselves and our friends. We’re going into the local communities and resourcing our teams from there. We set up a pop-up school in each location, and we take them through a training program and employ them, because at the end of the day, we want to be welcomed into somebody’s home and somebody who’s local. So we’ve now made a commitment that every single project we have is going to be the foundation for creating sustainable, viable economies.” — Oliver Ripley, CEO of Habitas, on the company’s new 3D hotel projects it is building in Namibia and Tulum, Mexico



“People have left the cities where we don’t have stores. They’re moving into suburbs [or] they’re moving out of the suburbs. So they’re moving out to the rural communities.” — Harry Lawton, CEO of Tractor Supply, on what’s driving the retailers continued growth

“There’s just nothing out there that says you can’t make smart investments outside of your core businesses.” — Simon Property CEO David Simon on the multi-pronged approach in which it is working to rescue certain financially distressed retailers, while also engaging in talks to house Amazon distribution centers in its malls

Did you

know Mandates enforcing social distancing, mask-wearing and reduced capacity may be affecting the appeal of shopping malls, but experts say consumers eventually will return to their social instincts and see the value of having many retailers in one location. According to CoStar Advisory Services, one trend will be the adoption of virtual shopping apps for consumers still cautious about public spaces, as well as the repurposing of malls as “lifestyle spaces,” with a mix of retail, restaurants and office space.

Dine and tap… Technology will save us. According to Technomic, customers say they will still feel welcome amid the pandemic if a welcoming experience is provided. In fact, 46% say they want to be able to order online or at a kiosk or tabletop when in a restaurant, while 43% want to pay that way, too. Not the hippest, coolest, sleekest tech, just something easy like QR codes.


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All hands on deck 5 reasons to bring construction management experts into litigation planning From mediation through trial, to assisting in demonstrating the facts of the case, expert witnesses commonly are part of construction litigation proceedings. But often there is hesitancy to bring an expert into the process earlier on, either due to the economics involved or to not being aware of issues that will have a bigger influence on the outcome/resolution. But incorporating their deeper analysis as a component of litigation planning can help to achieve more successful results. Jeffrey B. Kozek, J.D., CFCC, a founding member and Principal of Resolution Management Consultants (RMC), shares five ways construction consultants’ industry expertise can benefit a construction case:

No. 1 — Prior case experience & expertise

After years of working on after-the-fact claim scenarios as well as working with clients during the job on an ongoing basis, consultants have accumulated diverse experience with the factors that lead to or escalate disputes and delays. Their knowledge and experience help sort and slice through a voluminous set of records to identify a clearer path to the root cause of an issue.

No. 2 — Thorough analysis

Technical elements of cases may not be initially understood by all participants in legal-proceedings, including some of the decision-makers. Not only do experts provide detailed analysis, but their experience can help bring everyone to the same degree of understanding about the project or conflict.

information, particularly from third parties, they may begin to assess the case differently. In understanding the reality of their situation, many people realize their position is not as strong as they were led to believe and will be more willing to resolve the dispute rather than risk the time, cost and aggravation of proceeding with the litigation.

No. 3 — Scope of the case

No. 5 — Reduce litigation risk

Construction case records span all areas of a project, meaning there can be much more data produced than necessary to make a determination. Consultants’ expertise helps strip away extraneous details and focus proceedings on a lynchpin element of the dispute. If conflicts ultimately go to trial, experts can help narrow the issues to appropriate focal areas.

No. 4 — Deeper insights

When both sides of a conflict have more

After resolving construction litigation, clients’ hindsight often serves as a reminder to make better preparations for the next project, i.e., lessons learned. Consultants’ expertise can help project participants identify potential risks prior to construction that can aid in avoiding issues altogether, minimizing them from happening and/or placing the client in a better position with their documentation if a dispute arises that cannot be amicably resolved during the job.

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Tom Kay, Chief Revenue Officer 2517 Highway 35, Building L Manasquan, NJ 08736 (732) 223-5000 • Year Established: 1996, No. of Employees: 36 Services Provided: Electrical, Floorcare, HVAC, Janitorial, Landscaping, Consulting, Lighting/Re-lamping, Painting, Windows, Parking Lot, Pest Control, Plumbing, Roofing, Sinage, Equipment, Waste Disposal, Snow Removal, Mold Remediation, Emergency/Disaster Response Specialize In: Big-Box, Specialty Stores, Groceries, Shopping Centers, Drug Stores, Hotels, Restaurants, Education, Healthcare, Federal, Senior Housing Leading Clients: Advance Auto, CVS, Walmart, Navy Federal, Office Depot, Sephora, Sleep Number, Restoration Hardware

Neil A Sperling, Managing Partner P.O. Box 3075 Margate,NJ 08402 (609) 313-4346 • Fax: (856) 424-5386 Year Established: 2003, No. of Employees: 5 Services Provided: Electrical, Floorcare, HVAC, Janitorial, Lighting/ Re-lamping, Painting, Windows, Pest Control, Plumbing, Locks, Handyman Specialize In: Specialty Stores, Restaurants, Healthcare, Multi-Site Franchises Leading Clients: N/A



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Battening down the hatches Four lessons learned on completing small- and mid-sized projects in uncertain times By Joshua Zinder & Mark A. Sullivan


djusting to the new normal has created ripple effects for construction teams beyond social distancing and face masks. With projects ongoing from before the start of stayat-home and lockdown orders, today’s construction companies are seeing timelines

expand, sequencing changes, developer unease—and even outright defiance—as the evolving crisis has revealed the places where the rubber meets the road, so to speak. As construction is set to “re-open” statewide in places like New Jersey, project stakeholders need to apply sensible strategies for keeping contractors and subtrade teams healthy, safe and productive. And as the medical community warns of a “second wave” for the pandemic later this year, it is important for architects and GCs to be ready to adjust to possible lockdown orders down the road. The following lessons from our recent experience on completing (or not) ongoing projects are presented as a guide for project teams going forward during times of uncertainty.

measures becomes mission critical. Large companies typically do this already because they have the resources. Smaller firms must consider how to monitor their crews as well as subtrades, strategically and cost-effectively, to enforce safety requirements. In the industry’s earlier times, there were strictly enforced safety protocols for many construction projects, including regular inspections by a safety superintendent. The level of policing needed to address both construction safety and public health concerns needs to rise to the occasion, and construction companies themselves will shoulder most of the responsibility. They are already expected to submit COVID plans, and enforce them.

Lesson 2: Everything will take longer, so plan accordingly

Social distancing and state orders for essential construction work caused timelines to swell from days to weeks, or even months, as we learned from the lockdown order’s impact on a 10-unit multifamily adaptive reuse project. Trades have to work in alternating shifts rather than simultaneously, with exceptions for exterior crews that have more opportunities for social distance.

Lesson 1: Safety is a team effort

Compliance normally falls within the domain of the contractor, but these are times of heightened risk, in which public health is a collective responsibility. If a worker on site is not wearing his mask, the danger in looking the other way is not that worker’s alone—he could put other workers at risk, and their families. And as the weather gets warmer and masks become increasingly uncomfortable to wear while working, enforcing safety



Photos courtesy of JZA+D, bottom photo courtesy of U.S. Air Force.





PERSPECTIVE Under normal circumstances, a site visit by the building inspector (or the client) will result in approvals for several advancements, but these days there usually is just one component completed at a time. The result is an increased number of site visits, sometimes twice or three times as many as in the past. While frustrating, there was no way around it. Project teams that accept the cold hard facts of the new normal can try to find ways to innovate to reduce the timetables more than just marginally. Another silver lining is that additional site visits ensure construction is proceeding safely for your teams on the ground.

Lesson 3: Trade teams need to work individually

Clients and project teams have had to adjust to trades working on a rotating schedule in order to enforce social distancing. This is an inconvenient reality and the main culprit for lagging timelines. Construction administrators should try to create optimized schedules by staggering chunks of time throughout the day for trade teams to come in and out. Another possibility is to divide trade assignments by floor, which might allow

drywall installation above while plumbing or electric gets installed below. Construction pros may land on innovations in scheduling and phasing that could be of value to non-lockdown projects in the future.

Project teams that accept the cold hard facts of the new normal can try to find ways to innovate to reduce the timetables more than just marginally.

Lesson 4: Communication is more important than ever

The state lockdown order in New Jersey came down at an inopportune time for the renovation of a three-story, mid-19th-Century mixed-use building on Princeton’s main retail corridor. The project was in the middle of demolition, which had revealed serious issues. The roof of the stick-built semi-timber structure was in need of critical attention, possibly even in danger of collapse, and an existing steel beam on the first floor needed reinforcement. There was no way we could stop work and walk away, especially since the roof condition was a threat to adjacent buildings with residents under stay-athome orders inside. To make it happen, the construction team had to step up communications efforts across the project team, and especially with legal representation and government agencies overseeing both construction safety and public health. Some days seemed to be spent entirely on the phone or in virtual meetings. By staying in close contact with all stakeholders, they were able to arrange a suitable solution on a viable timetable. More than ever, teams must communicate efficiently and swiftly. Construction teams should be proactive in how they adjust to the new normal, enforcing heightened safety measures around mask use, adjusting schedules to enable as much social distancing possible between workers and keeping the communication lines more open than ever with their clients and designers. This way, whether there is a second wave or not, the construction industry can work its way toward thriving once more and be better off in the future for the lessons learned in such unprecedented times. CCR

Joshua Zinder, AIA, managing partner, and Mark A. Sullivan, AIA, partner, work for JZA+D (, a Princeton, New Jersey practice functioning as a multidisciplinary team that shares sustainable and contemporary design aesthetics and aspirations. The JZA+D team has won numerous design awards and its work has been seen in publications around the world.



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On-Site to online COVID-19’s transformational impact on construction and development By Chris Guderian


OVID-19 unilaterally has impacted operations across all industries, but effectively has upended business protocols and procedures in sectors like construction. In a profession that historically has relied heavily on handshakes and on-site meetings, developers and

project managers now are faced with the unique challenge of overseeing complex projects, and a network of contractors and subcontractors without face-to-face communication. Generally, the construction industry has lagged in terms of technology adoption. Companies ahead of the curve that invested early on in construction tech may have put solutions or software in place, but these often were leveraged on a small scale or used in conjunction with long-established, albeit dated, industry best practices. Old-school construction professionals who have built their careers on pencil and paper as well as on-site job updates have shied away from technology. This has proven to be a barrier to adoption even in companies that recognize the benefits to productivity and efficiency.



But COVID-19 has rendered these old-school business practices obsolete and, in many ways, unsafe. Restrictions implemented on in-person gatherings could have brought the industry to a grinding halt but, fortunately, technology has empowered project managers to replace in-person tasks with virtual collaboration tools to streamline operations, and keep contractors and subcontractors informed, upto-date, and most importantly, safe. A paradigm shift that many experts predicted would take years to accomplish seemingly has happened overnight as COVID-19 and social distancing mandates forced rapid, industry-wide technology adoption to keep projects on track.



PERSPECTIVE Streamlining projects

Cloud-based platforms not only enable project managers to keep contractors and subcontractors up to date, they also streamline every phase of a job from start to finish while limiting the number of people on-site. Tools with videoconferencing and screensharing capabilities also quickly have become necessities for internal and external meetings. Weekly video calls have replaced regular on-site meetings and, as a result, contractors and subcontractors are more informed than ever. Technological platforms enable construction and development teams to review site plans, drawings and documents, as well as daily time-stamped progress photos, all but eliminating the need for multi-person site visits. Real-time updates also decrease the chances of a team member reviewing the wrong plans while ensuring everyone—not just the general contractor—has access to the resources and data they need at all times. Further enhancing efficiency, some services also can streamline billing processes allowing for the direct receipt and payment of invoices. With skeleton crews handling physical office operations due to social distancing guidelines, digital invoicing allows for faster and more seamless payments. With their digital footprint, these tools also can provide an instant look at a job’s hard costs, offering development companies with a better understand of a project’s financials and providing the data needed for agile decision-making.

Virtual site tours

In addition to virtual job plans and punch lists enabling contractors and subcontractors to see exactly what is happening on job sites at any time, advanced solutions take the experience one step further and allow for the integration of virtual site tours. Instead of gathering the key players on-site for a walkthrough, which entails coordinating several conflicting schedules and factoring in varying commute times, all project managers now need to give everyone a firsthand look at the progress of a site is a camera and a hardhat. Smartphone cameras or 360-degree hardhat cameras allow companies to walk

jobs virtually, providing contractors and subcontractors with an immersive touring experience without needing to travel to the job site. This process also reduces the amount of time needed on-site, enabling project managers to capture the same information that an on-site walkthrough would by taking multiple photos that can be studied off-site and instantly shared with collaborators. Regardless of where sites are located, virtual walkthroughs enable teams to tour multiple sites in the same day without needing to leave the comfort of their homes or offices. It also gives higher level executives the freedom to check in on a project firsthand without needing to physically be at the site, saving valuable time and resources.

A paradigm shift that many experts predicted would take years to accomplish seemingly has happened overnight as COVID-19 and social distancing mandates forced rapid, industry-wide technology adoption to keep projects on track.

Looking to the future

While the timeline for technology adoption in the construction industry has been significantly compressed out of necessity due to COVID-19, the myriad advantages it presents will ensure these solutions are here to stay. The increases in efficiency, cost savings and flexibility brought on by construction technology are just too hard to ignore. Further, technology now has the power to further differentiate firms in the construction industry—those who embrace these tools will not only be more efficient, but also can overcome geographical barriers and expand into new markets. As digital proficiency begins to play a more prominent role in the industry, project managers will need to weigh use of technology platforms more heavily than before, and those contractors and subcontractors who fail to adapt ultimately will be left behind. As the sector gets a taste of how much can be accomplished without even touching a job site, project managers undoubtedly are reconsidering how they score prospective contractors moving forward. While COVID-19 has been—and continues to be—a tremendous physical, emotional and economic burden, one small benefit of the pandemic is its transformation of the construction industry, which in mere months, has been forever changed for the better. CCR

Christopher Guderian serves as Director of Construction for Denholtz Properties, a privately held, fully integrated real estate development and investment company based in Red Bank, New Jersey. To learn more about Denholtz Properties, visit or message Christopher on LinkedIn.



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leanor Alvarez knows the extraordinary effort it takes to

care for someone suffering from Alzheimer’s disease or dementia. The memory of her grandmother’s long battle with Alzheimer’s is with her every day. The journey, she says, is something she can never forget. The heartbreak of not being able to find her the lifestyle and care she deserved is something

The love you give Ganzhorn Suites’ compassion provides comfort to Alzheimer’s and dementia patients

she can never forget. Alvarez became committed to make sure her grandmother’s journey was not in vain. From the experience came The Ganzhorn Suites—a state-of-the-art community that provides people with memory loss a meaningful, dignified and fulfilling lifestyle. Named for her grandmother, Ganzhorn Suites’ specialized evidenced-based memory care offers luxurious, purposebuilt residential living and compassionate, personalized care. Defined by its innovation in care, technology and residential design, the centers, located in Avon and Powell, Ohio, are designed to nurture the mind, body and spirit, so that residents can live fully—no matter where they are in their journey.



THE LOVE YOU GIVE We sat down with Ganzhorn Suites’ CEO Eleanor Alvarez to get her thoughts on how assisted living centers are operating in the new landscape.

Give us a snapshot of the facility.

Even though we have dedicated enrichment caregivers, we are using technology to support our enrichment programming during the pandemic.



The Ganzhorn Suites is a highly specialized memory care assisted living community committed to meeting the evolving needs of residents with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. We offer specialized memory care and programming in a beautiful, supportive environment. We focus on innovation in care, technology and residential design. We believe in enhancing our residents’ well-being by offering advanced care practices, exceptional staff and personalized services in a beautiful therapeutic setting.

How does the overall design of your facility cater to what your patients need?

Safety and security are top priorities when you have a family member living with dementia. Our purpose-built design and use of advanced technologies cater to these priorities. Each of our four small households are self-contained and function

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THE LOVE YOU GIVE independently with their own kitchen, dining area, den, sunroom, laundry room and courtyard. Research shows that smaller more intimate spaces are easier to understand and navigate for someone living with dementia. Regarding security, our front door and household doors are secured. Each family has their own keycard enabling them to enter the center and the household where their loved one resides.

What protocols have been put into place today?

Our household design reduces the risk of exposure, spread and cross-contamination of viruses like COVID-19. Our high staffing ratios (1:6) enable us to provide almost one-on-one care, meaning we have more opportunity to make sure residents are washing their hands and to redirect them to help maintain social distancing guidelines. We are also enabling families, friends and prospects to visit and/or tour safely using virtual platforms like FaceTime and Zoom.


(L-R) Eleanor Alvarez, CEO, The Ganzhorn Suites; Greg Freeh, CEO, Fortney & Weygandt; Chuck Davis, Superintendent, Fortney & Weygandt; Don McClear, Project Manager, Fortney & Weygandt; and Phil Hoffman, CFO ,The Ganzhorn Suites.


8 8 8 . 6 7 0 . 3 1 0 7 D 1 3 G r o u p . c o m


THE LOVE YOU GIVE Even though we have dedicated enrichment caregivers, we are using technology to support our enrichment programming during the pandemic. For example, we bring live music, art classes, religious services, and more to residents using platforms like Zoom and Facebook Live. We also use Linked Senior which is an evidence-based resident engagement software program that supports person-centered enrichment for those living with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. Our residents and staff have access to unlimited and constantly updated content delivered through an easy to use touch screen app.

(L-R) Chuck Davis, Superintendent, Fortney & Weygandt, Mitch Lapin, President, Fortney & Weygandt; and Don McClear, Project Manager, Fortney & Weygandt .

Which do you think you will incorporate moving forward?

No doubt we will continue to use virtual platforms to offer tours, education programs and support groups for families, referral sources and prospects.

What kind of conversations are you having with your employees? Vendor partners?

Our employees are our greatest asset. First and foremost, we work to maximize their safety and comfort while caring for our residents. Luckily, our team members understand how important it is to follow health

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The Ganzhorn Suites Project Team Owner: The Ganzhorn Suites (Eleanor Alvarez, CEO and Phil Hoffman, CFO) Architect: PH7 Architects (Michael Healy) General Contractor: Fortney & Weygandt Inc. (Greg Freeh, CEO; Mitch Lapin, President; Don McClear, Project Manager; Chuck Davis, Superintendent)



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THE LOVE YOU GIVE and safety guidelines both at work and at home. As a result, we have been able to avoid a COVID outbreak at our center.

What is the best piece of advice you can offer on how to deal with everything today?

Make sure you have consistent, transparent communication, and stay vigilant in following health and safety protocols.

Walk us through your facility design?

We believe resident-centered, evidenced-based memory care and programming ensure the best possible lifestyle for our residents. At the Ganzhorn Suites, we focus on innovation in environmental design to help residents maintain their cognitive function for as long as possible. Experts consulted with our team on the impact of light, sounds, color and textures in order to incorporate safe, soothing surfaces, fixtures and furniture. Each space within our community reflects careful research in best practices for Alzheimer’s and dementia care. Our purpose-built design creates smaller, more familiar spaces where residents feel safe and at ease. Residents are encouraged to walk through the “neighborhood”, sit at the kitchen table or take a stroll outside. Our intimate setting promotes independence in a fully secure

environment. State-of-the-art safety and monitoring systems allow residents to enjoy maximum freedom in a protected environment. Both our Powell, Ohio and Avon, Ohio memory care centers include 64 private suites (with private baths) within four small households, each serving residents who are in similar stages of dementia. These households are built around beautifully designed courtyards with circular paths that provide residents with the opportunity to enjoy the outdoors. The gardens’ Zen-like feel offers the perfect backdrop for aromatherapy and other lifeenrichment programming.

What trends are you seeing?

Prospective families are looking not just for care but for connection. Our small households are ideal for bringing families and staff together. Families get to know not only our caregivers but also each other along with every resident residing within the household. This connection maximizes the quality of life for every resident regardless of their stage of dementia. In addition, families want personalized care for their loved one. We deliver by offering a consistent team of caregivers within each household. This dedicated team understands each resident’s individual routines and healthcare needs. CCR

ONE-ON-ONE WITH... Mitch Lapin, President, Fortney & Weygandt

What’s the biggest issue today related to the construction side of the business? Keeping construction workers focused on the COVID protocols that are required to keep everyone safe, communicating with vendors regarding material and equipment availability


What kind of conversations are you having with your employees? Vendor partners? That it is important to maintain COVID protocols, and more day to day communication due to the very active construction market.

What is the most rewarding part of your job?

Describe a typical day.

What is the best thing a client ever said to you?

On site early to review activities to be done that day, and stay late to confirm what was achieved so that we can stay on schedule and deal with questions in a proactive way.

What was the best advice you ever received? Take each day as it is and try to address the issues of the day, but make sure not to take them home with you at the end of the day.


Definitely the finished product and the responses from the end users (operator) with appreciation and admiration and pleasure at being able to work in a beautiful facility.

“Thank you for giving us a beautiful facility” and “We appreciate your staff’s professional work ethic and attitude.” How do you like to spend your down time? Summer: tennis, hiking and playing with the dogs. Winter: crossword puzzles, skiing and sitting by the fire reading a good book.


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We are live...

CCR Virtual Retreat focuses on how industry is navigating today’s landscape


o, what’s the best way to spend a couple of hours talking shop these days? Ask the attendees of our Virtual Commercial Con-

struction & Renovation Retreat, which featured some of the industry’s leading vendors and end users. On the conversation list was everything from working in today’s construction climate, trends impacting the marketplace and how our attendees’ introduction to working in the industry. The roundtable some astute insights into what it takes to navigate our ever-changing construction landscape. The Zoom roundtable, sponsored by Commercial Construction & Renovation, was held over a two-day period in September. Here is a snapshot of our conversation.











VP Real Estate & Construction SPFS INC - Philly Pretzel Factory

Construction Manager Atticus Franchise Group

Store Development Starbucks

Managing Director, Project Development Services Cushman & Wakefield

Director of Construction Burger King

Director of Business Development Inspected

Director of Business Development CDO Group

President Identicom Signs/FacilitiesRx Services




CCR VIRTUAL RETREAT CCR: Give us a snapshot of what you do.

drive-thru and a 40% dining rooms. Right now, it’s 90% drive through and a 10% dining room. So we’re trying to make improvements to the drive drive-thru—add a double lane or other amenities. Regarding the interior of the restaurants, we probably have done the same thing most others have done. People are not coming inside the restaurant, basically. They are doing take-out or drive-thru.

Rod Adkins, Starbucks Coffee: I’m a construction manager for the Starbucks Store Development team in the Mid-Atlantic region, which encompasses areas of Maryland to South Carolina. My territory has been specifically the D.C. Metro area, Central Virginia, Southwest and Tidewater areas of Virginia. I’ve been with Starbucks as a Construction Manager for over two years, but my entire career has been spent in the Commercial Design and Construction industry. Glenn Marshall, CDO Group: I’m the director of business development in the Frisco, Texas office. I run our entire business development team and handle client relations. I’m responsible for connecting clients on the front end and understanding their pain points and helping them achieve their goals.

CCR: And you have to wear a mask, correct?

Burger King’s Pereira: Yes, it’s mandatory throughout the country.

Stephen Hekman, Kingsman: I’m the EVP for Kingsman, based out of Mesa, California. Our headquarters in Singapore. I have been with Kingsman for 12 years, building companies and building brands abroad. I also own the subsidiary of the office. Jason Smeal, I am the business development director for Inspected, a remote virtual inspection software company. I am responsible for procuring new clients and getting them on boarded, handling both the contractors’ and AHJ’s. John DiNunzio, IdentiCom: We are a sign company and facility RX service. I’ve been in the sign business for more than 40 years, working with national accounts. I started IdentiCom in 2009. Nick Keyes, Cushman and Wakefield: I run the project management and development services group for the South-Central Region, which is in Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana and some of the other tertiary markets surrounding those areas. I manage all of the project management, concept SF&E close outs, perform contract negotiations and manage all personnel. David Shotwell, Atticus Franchise Group: Managing construction and facilities for the multiple brands Wing Stop, Massage Envy and Maaco Body Shops. We are based in Atlanta, but most of our locations are in the Midwest to East Coast regions. Frank Weiss, Philly Pretzel Factory: I’m Vice President of Real Estate and Construction. We’re a 170-unit chain in 18 states around the country. I’ve been with them almost 12 years. We’re a franchise company, so I handle the franchises when they come on board—all the way from real estate to the construction process. Hermino Pereira, Burger King Puerto Rico: I’m in charge of the construction department, renovations, construction and some facilities for our 170-plus Burger Kings and 13 Firehouse Subs locations. I’ve been with the company for 10 years.

CCR: What kind of adjustments have you made since the pandemic hit?

Burger King’s Pereira: We started adjusting and adjusting because the market has changed completely. We used to be 60%



We are looking forward to fiscal year ‘21. The Mid-Atlantic Team hasn’t skipped a beat and we have a green light to open new stores and new concepts to continue to bolster sales and growth. — Rod Adkins, Starbucks Coffee

CCR: Is it too early to tell what will become normal when things return? Are there some things that you are doing you will keep in place?

Burger King’s Pereira: From my perspective, people are going to be accustomed to use the drive-thru more, not eat in the restaurant. Things were trending toward that for years. Every year, we had more and more people use the drive-thru. COVID will accelerate that tendency. We used to have 90-something seats or chairs. Today, when we remodel, we have 60 to 70 chairs. We don’t need any many than that. The dining rooms are going to be smaller and the drive-thru larger. Starbucks’ Adkins: In parallel to what Hermino from Burger King said, especially in the Northern Virginia region, where people work in or near DC, many professionals are opting to work from home. In turn, we are seeing a resurgence in sales largely from the suburban drive-thru model. With the Pandemic in full swing we rely heavily on the mobile order and pay option, which is where you have the opportunity order through the Starbucks APP and pick up in the store. Starbucks has also been utilizing curbside service when and where applicable. Challenges for any QSR are the cafe locations or stores without a drive thru in certain locales. Starbucks is nimble in that our Real Estate team searches for prospects to solidify our business for the future. Customers will modify their habits over time back to their normal routine—

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CCR VIRTUAL RETREAT pre-COVID. As restrictions from governments loosen we are seeing people return to the cafe, but I think the drive thru has been a big part of Starbucks keeping pace with our goals. Atticus Franchise Group’s Shotwell: Our Wing Stop locations are through delivery phone app or pick up services. When the restaurant industry indoor dining shut down, it was a plus to have the option of pick up or delivery to help everyone get through the pandemic. As for Massage Envy locations, previously clients were able to wait in lobby, which has been changed to text/call our client when the appointment is ready. We have performed extra protocols for checking in every client temperature and cleaning before/ after every session. We have been blessed to keep business moving forward.

CCR: We are seeing some fast casuals, like Chick Fil-A, add more drive-thru lanes. The Wing Stops normally are not freestanding, correct? Atticus Franchise Group’s Shotwell: Correct.

CCR: So the deal is how do you get more people because you do not have a drive through. Or can you create a drive thru, depending on the strip center?

Atticus Franchise Group’s Shotwell: Yes. One of the options is do a location at an end cap unit, which could give you some potential for a pick-up window or to install a drive thru. It helps keep the cost down drastically versus a standalone building on an out parcel. It is a different ballgame. Philly Pretzel’s Weiss: One of the strengths we had going in was that we were already all take-out. We did not have tables and chairs in our stores. The place where we lost business was in wholesale. We are set up to do is handle large volume orders, so it is not unusual for a store to have an order for a thousand pretzels or something like that on a Saturday—soccer tournament or football concessions. We have lost that business right now. Some of the ways we are trying to get that back up is we are heavily involved with third-party delivery companies: Door Dash, UberEATS, Grub Hub and Postmates. Most of our stores are in-line, so one of the ways you combat that is by offering curbside pickup. It is almost like having a drive thru. It has helped a lot. We have pushed our app hard, too. Postmates is through our app. We have taken our menu and geared it toward larger orders like family meals—stuff we have never done before. We pack things together so that people understand we are more than just pretzels. We have sandwiches made on pretzel dough, etc. So that has helped. One of the places we are suffering is downtown. We have a very strong presence in downtown Philadelphia. Only one or two of the 15 or 16 stores are open. There really is nobody working downtown. Our Philly Airport store is closed. Almost 10% of our stores are closed.



From my perspective, retail, just like everyone said, is about adapt and survive. We see potential changes that COVID is driving. — Nick Keyes, Cushman and Wakefield

Cushman and Wakefield’s Keyes: From my perspective, retail, just like everyone said, is about adapt and survive. We see potential changes that COVID is driving. There are not all bad problems to have. There is more we can do with certain types of properties and building systems. What I would like to bring up is what clients are able to do. I think it comes down to health and safety, especially air quality. We have done a lot to educate ourselves at Cushman and Wakefield. We try to stay ahead of the game. We had lots of initial conversations that drove these kinds of discussions with our customers, building owners, chain owners. Anybody that has real estate, tenants, or ownership interest in a property a business is looking for an affordable solution to get their building back online. They also need a way to promote so that people are comfortable operating, shopping and eating in these spaces. I’ll give you an example. I’m working on a call center in Lexington, Kentucky for a client. We were halfway through the design process, but had to put a halt on things when COVID hit. The architect, engineer, client and me got together and said, “What can we do? What changes are really going to be impactful to the people we serve?” A lot of it came down to improving air quality. What can you do to improve the health of the air quality? Increase air flow throughout the space to avoid settling of germs and things like that. We have to whatever we can. If you can create a space that has increased outside air and fresh air intakes, you can increase your ability to clean the air—whether multiple different types of filter systems, UV lighting, ionizers, things like that. You can take an existing system and retrofit it at a pretty inexpensively. Those are the things we are working through to identify this. Surfaces also can be changed out to help bacteria from growing. This is where our business is. There are no band aids. The changes have to be long-term. IdentiCom’s DiNunzio: In the middle of March, end of March, when the majority of the country shut down, our business

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CCR VIRTUAL RETREAT practically went from full throttle to about 5% of what we would normally do. That kind of hung around for a few months. Then the PPE came in. That helped out. But it ran out pretty quickly. And they changed the rules, which made it difficult to manage. It would have been better if we had known earlier. Right now, our manufacturing is at an uptake. We are probably about 60% of what we used to be. A lot of our clients are coming back, some have not. They are closing stores. Unfortunately, we are taking signs down on some of these locations, both in Canada and the United States. One of our clients, Forever 21, went bankrupt. In terms of the FacilityRX side, we were not hurt as much. We managed to maintain buildings. We work mostly with commercial buildings, not so much in retail, banks and healthcare. Those companies were not hit as hard, so they require service and maintenance. FacilityRX seemed to sustain it for most of the COVID period. I am pleased with that. The sign part is coming back again. We are hoping we can return to normalcy soon.’s Smeal: It is a different angle for our business. We were developed at the tail end of last year, but did not plan to go to market until this year when COVID thrust us into market. One of the biggest challenges we face is closing sales in this new environment. We do not have to be on the property because we are virtual, but there is no replacement for presenting to a room in person. However, the world is adapting and fortunately our platform is designed to accommodate these changes. Kingsman’s Hekman: I have a little bit of a different take. We are in fixtures and FF&E, everything from restaurants to retail. We do Tiffany stores and showcases. We had lots of furniture contracts that were ready to go at the beginning of this year. I just got back from Euro Shop when the pandemic hit. Within about 60 days, we had one of my key suppliers in California land the Target contract, supplying shields to all of its stores—$3 million worth. We immediately started designing shields. We just went to our base—Tiffany’s, Sketchers, Cole Haan— and landed about a half million-dollar contract in shields. So we have been doing but shields (right now). For example, we supplied shields to 292 branch offices for AAA. They aired all the shields over to Texas and to the different states. We put the shields on all their office kiosks, raising them up 6 feet. That seems to be the norm. Bloomberg just put out a bid for about 28,000 shields worldwide, 16,000 in New York City alone. I do not see this going away. In addition, we have been working with a company from Salt Lake City that does electrolyzed water systems, like a sanitizer spray you see in hotels. We just installed a walkthrough system at Jacksonville Jaguar stadium in Florida—one of the first for an NFL stadium. They are hoping people will want to walk through it. It is all soft water. We are working on a lot of different types of solutions. We pivoted to see what some of our existing accounts needed. They were going on the internet to look for things. It was more comfortable for them to deal with somebody they knew.



Lately we have seen furniture contracts come back. We just landed a large retailer in Chicago. They moved forward with the 30,000-square-foot job there. We are seeing business kick off.

We are trying to standardize the process, as far as remote virtual inspections go. Most of the places are getting onboard. It is like trying to teach an old dog new tricks, so to speak. — Jason Smeal,

CDO Group’s Marshall: For the construction landscape, it is adapting to the technology that is available for us, especially things like virtual calls. If certain inspectors could not visit every single site during a day, it was understood. How far out do I need to schedule these inspections to make sure we adhere to their standards? And with site management, the regulations that were put out for subcontractors is an issue. The example of how many people can you have in a certain space. This affects our entire schedule through the life cycle of that building. So, it is reimaging and managing schedule and site under a different lens by incorporating shift stacking. We use the entire day to run different shifts of trades. This helps maintain our schedule and our timelines.

CCR: What is the biggest item on your to-do list?

Philly Pretzel’s Weiss: We lost a couple of stores due to the pandemic. People who were on the bubble decided that this was the right time to get out, so there were some stores that closed. We have a number of people who decided to get out of the business, so I have a number of stores transferring. This means I have to visit those stores and put together a list of items to bring the store back up to our current standards. We also had a decent amount of people in development prior to COVID, so I still have six stores I’m trying to get open before the end of the year and three I am developing for first quarter of next year. I do real estate and construction, so I am a one-man department. The biggest thing for me is making sure franchisees stay focused on their task. It is a little harder to do some things because they cannot. You cannot necessarily meet with people the way you would like to. I am doing some different things with visually inspecting stores online, as opposed to visiting them in person. So my list includes making sure I lean back on the way we used to do things, and


CCR VIRTUAL RETREAT find different ways to do them. It is about getting the people to the finish line as quickly as we used to. Atticus Franchise Group’s Shotwell: As the industry lighten up a bit, we are gearing back up as we are taking the opportunity in seeking new locations that are closing or relocating for potential sites. Another opportunity is to renegotiate with the landlord at our existing locations. One of the bigger challenges is dealing with municipality in permitting. Many of the cities still have people working remotely from home, so plan reviewers are taking much longer above normal. A typical 15- to 20-day review process now takes 30 to 60 days if not more. IdentiCom’s DiNunzio: We are getting to ramp up again. We are picking up more business. Our biggest challenge right now is the supply chain for plastics. It is very limited now. A lot of the plastics went to the shield industry, making things really scarce. The plastic we normally buy is a modified impact, for the most part. We also have polycarbonate. But we’re being told it may be February before we can receive new shipments. We are using a different type—poly—but the color is not specified by the customer. It is slightly different shades of white and is causing a bit of havoc for us with our clients. But they understand the limited availability. Another challenge we are seeing is human resources. We are having a hard time finding people. The stimulus package has limited people from coming back to work, and they’d just rather stay home. This has made it hard to keep up with production with our work force. Our administrative and project management sides are strong. The beauty of that we hire remotely, so I can hire a project manager in any city or state in the country. But manufacturing has to be in Farmington Hills, Michigan. So my to-do list is to find qualified people, and then find a source for the plastics.’s Smeal: My to-do list is centered on standardizing the process for remote virtual inspections. AHJ’s are getting onboard with the idea but it has not yet been fully standardized. It is like trying to teach an old dog new tricks, so to speak. We have recently partnered with ICC Community Development Solutions, which is helping us along this path and get the word out. Cushman and Wakefield’s Keyes: Project management-wise, I think the change in our business is to stop and slow down a little bit, and start to listen a more about what is going on inside the business of our clients. We need to try and understand that. Is expanding the best option for you? Is it achieving everything you want to achieve? Maybe there is another resource we should be bringing to our clients—try to be more multiverse and not single-focused. We want to bring options to these companies—help them achieve their revenue goals, profit goals, and not just look at it as a project. The more questions we ask, the more we find other solutions for them.



From my perspective, people are going to be accustomed to use the drive-thru more, not eat in the restaurant. Things were trending toward that for years. — Hermino Pereira, Burger King Puerto Rico

The to-do list is the same every time. We meet a new client; we ask a lot of questions. Sometimes they can answer all of them. Sometimes they can’t. We try to help them determine what needs to happen, and do it at the best, most cost-efficient way. Whether it is industrial, commercial, office, retail, multifamily, we are just trying to keep an open mind and look in every direction, ask a million questions, and try to find resources and information for our clients. Kingsmen’s Hekman: A couple things have happened this year. We’ve been out there getting packages from either a brand, an architect or a contractor, then sourcing or supplying and manufacturing that furniture package. But lately, a lot of the architectural firms have been cutting back. There are good people leaving. We found that some of those firms are left with just a few design people. They don’t have anybody in there to help through the design development process. So we’re actually stepping in with a few firms and acting as a consultant/advisor on a number of different projects. On the contractor or architectural side, we’re trying to get that cost down. Another trend I’ve seen happening is rebidding. I’m working on a project in New York City and we’re Quote No. 12 or something. They’re trying to substitute different materials because they have a little extra time. Those are some of the things I see as a value-add we can offer. Starbucks’ Adkins: We are looking forward to fiscal year ‘21. The Mid-Atlantic Team hasn’t skipped a beat and we have a green light to open new stores and new concepts to continue to bolster sales and growth. Starbucks has an excellent kit of parts where programs and equipment can be interchanged or replaced quickly and efficiently. In partnering with our Operations Team, we are building better stores to maximize the Partner Experience and output whether it be in the store or in the drive-thru. CDO Group’s Marshall: For us, heading into Q4 is about connecting with our clients and understanding their 2021 goals. All the conversations we’re having right now have been kind of short-term. We want to talk long-term,


Providing you peace of mind and accelerated construction services.



CCR VIRTUAL RETREAT and make sure we’re set up for success before we start working on their plans and achieve their executive initiatives. Internally, we are looking at our operation’s team. A lot of programs we were working on nationally got pushed. A lot of the brands we partner with were a little unsure about the turnout, so they pushed things to 2021. We want to make sure, internally, that we’re buttoned up on our process. Any of these new traits that we talked about today, are they going to be carried over to 2021? Are there ways that we can improve on them, whether it be our daily reporting and our value engineering for each project? Burger King’s Pereira: In March, when COVID started in the States, we stopped all construction. There was so much uncertainty. We have an innovation program that had been running the last four years. We do 20 per year. So in March, we were starting the year. They basically want to restart the program now and finish four or five stores before Thanksgiving. So it’s a challenge because our stores in Puerto Rico are more standardized than they are in the States.

CCR: What is your story? How did you get into the industry?

Cushman and Wakefield’s Keyes: I’ve been in the business since 1998. I went to the University of Cincinnati to study construction engineering program and construction management. I felt I needed a bit more diversity. What I really wanted to do was development, real estate management, real estate development, so I went back to UC and was able to get a degree in commercial real estate finance and investment. I have a commercial real estate finance background with a construction management degree. Out of college, I went to work for some local general contractors doing out-of-ground construction for years before I moved toward finance. I worked in the development industry doing finance management and construction management for small developers—retail development. From there, I went to work at Luxottica Retail, wearing the Sunglass Hut construction hat. I did a lot of standard in-line, kiosk development. I ran a kiosk program. I worked with a ton of different malls and lifestyle centers across the country. Traveled like crazy, but then wanted to settle down and have a family. I ended up running all of the retail construction and renovations for Fifth Third Bank, which has a big footprint here. It was a good time for me to jump on. After two years, I moved into a leadership role supporting Brokers and Properties along with one off new external CRE clients. I have always enjoyed generating the business and listening to clients’ needs to help provide real estate solutions so this was a new way to bring more value to my clientele. There are strong opportunities on both sides of the fence but you always have to be willing to kick down a few doors to grow your business and stay visible. You have to train yourself to do business development effectively and I believe I have grown a pretty strong brand and confidence with our regional service providers. I worked at CBRE for roughly eight years and learned a ton about the business, resulting in exponential growth throughout my region. I was responsible for managing everything from contract



For us, heading into Q4 is about connecting with our clients and understanding their 2021 goals. All the conversations we’re having right now have been kind of short-term — Glenn Marshall, CDO Group

managing everything contract negotiations, selling, working through concept planning, onboarding, bidding out architects, engineers, general contractors, managing construction for all types of CRE properties. I ran CBRE’s global retail program for six or so years. Tons of pitches and presentations. Tons of trips to Vegas for conferences and meetings. Retail is my background, so my specialty at Cushman and Wakefield was retail, but has grown in depth well beyond that vertical. The past couple of years my focus has been to grow our business again. I was brought over here to do the same thing I did at CBRE—grow the business from the ground up out of Cincinnati into the south central region. I like every aspect of construction—design, value engineering, working with new people, trying to find solutions and resource and the best team. I’d do that a million times a year if I could, but there is a bit of a limit on volume nowadays. Kingsmen’s Hekman: I grew up in Riverside, California and studied in the CSU system at Cal State San Bernardino. I landed a job right out of college working for CPI – Corporate Property Investors – out of New York. I worked on the Burlington Mall, raising the second level of that mall. It was one of the third malls in the country—Tysons and Riverside were the others—to cut the rooftops off and add a second level. I went right into retail as a tenant coordinator, helping on that project. It was a temporary full-time job. I learned a lot. Next, I took a job as a director of construction for Three Day Blinds in California. I built about 250 Three Day Blinds stores nationwide with nothing but a sky pager and a fax machine (cellphones were just coming online). We were doing about two a week in strip centers. So basically I came in through the construction side. In 1994, they ran out of money, so I went to work for a fixture manufacturer in Mexico—Maquiladora. Rubio’s Restaurants, Bugle Boy Jeans and Hot Topic were some of my first clients. I watched them grow for a number of years. Then we landed Skechers, which took me overseas to do stores in Europe and Asia. They are still a client today.

From that experience, I got into furniture supply. I met the founder of Kingsmen at a conference in California in 2006. We started to work with them. Around 2010, the market got hit and they started cutting back on retail. Everybody sort of pivoted and wanted to go to Asia. At the same time, we landed Abercrombie and Hollister. I spent about four years taking Abercrombie and Hollister to four or five different countries: Singapore, Hong Kong, China and Korea. I spent a lot of time on a plane. We are full service and act as a turnkey. About four or five years ago, we incorporated the office California as a project office. I own it. I didn’t want to spend years on a plane flying back and forth, so I’ve been working with brands on the supply side. Some programs are imported here and we act as the IOR. Others we have a good supply base that I have formed over the last 20 years. I worked with a lot of our partner shops in the US and Canada. We also have an Amish supplier in Indiana. Coming from the construction side, I worked on the developer’s side. I’ve also been on the fixturing side for the last 15 to 18 years. It allows me to understand everybody else’s job. It’s always different because we were always traveling, until recently. I like to be involved with new projects, new prototypes and new challenges. If it was the same challenge every day, I wouldn’t want to come to work. I’ve been fortunate to work on some cool jobs, including the M&M store in Times Square. I worked on Dylan’s candy store, the Nike House of Innovation in Shanghai and first one in New York.

Ten years later, I received my Green Card. I ended up taking a job with a company in South Carolina working remotely. It lasted a year. That was 2008. I was fired. So, out of desperation, I decided I was done working for other people and my own company in 2009— the week I got fired. IdentiCom is what we call in an industry “broker.” It does not really means that, but it is what we still use. I outsource 100% of the manufacturing and installation, but it is turnkeyed. I provided the due diligence in the permitting process, the design process, engineering process, and then to manufacturing. I outsourced the manufacturing and installation. In late 2015, when I built enough business to generate enough revenue and get some financial stability, I invested quite a bit of money into manufacturing. That’s where we’re at today. We do full-service manufacturing, in-house for multiunit chains. When I first started IdentiCom, I had a few clients who followed me. They were regional to national accounts. Slowly it built up. One of my biggest was with Domino’s (as it was known then). In 2015, it selected our company to re-image its corporate stores.

Burger King’s Pereira: I was born and raised here in Puerto Rico. I went to college here, graduating with where I graduated with a bachelor’s degree as a civil engineer in 1991. Out of college, I started working with Turner Construction Company on the island. I worked there for five years. After that, I opened my own construction company in 1997, working on things like restaurants. In 2010, with the economy not doing well, I closed my company and was hired by Burger King. I have worked with them since then. I’ve done lots of things. Right now we are renovating stores. We are not doing new stores anymore. We’re holding up the new construction. We have a bunch of them that still need to be renovated because we grew a lot since 1997. We did like 60 or 70 stores in three or four years.

— David Shotwell, Atticus Franchise Group

IdentiCom’s DiNunzio: I was born and raised in Toronto. I got into the sign business in the early ‘80s. I was a novice. I just started working and learning the ropes. A few years later, I got into sales. I wanted to do sales and marketing, but ended up becoming an estimator and other related positions within the sign company. It was a large sign company in Canada. I moved around a little bit and did a lot of traveling. All of my customers were based out of the Northeast. Maine to Virginia was my territory. By ‘98, I decided to make a move. I uprooted my family and moved to Detroit to work for a national company. I had a work permit, and I had to get a Green Card and citizenship. It took a while, but the head of the company sponsored me. They ended up keeping me on as a salesperson, until I moved up to sales manager.

As the industry lighten up a bit, we are gearing back up as we are taking the opportunity in seeking new locations that are closing or relocating for potential sites.

So, Domino’s wanted to do the same thing. It wanted to focus on that title and drop the word “pizza.” It asked us to be its sign provider and provide its sign specifications. And then there was a couple of things it asked me to do—take a look at these specs and see if you can value engineer it. And quickly I learned there was a couple things. One was the LEDs for longevity of the sign and the LEDs that had proper warranties. There was a product 3M had just came out with around that same time— its pressure-sensitive vinyl. You have standard colors and custom colors, and most of your retailers are probably using 3M products in their signs. I introduced this new product to Domino’s. It was a homerun. It helped reduce the amount of LEDs needed by up to 30%. It also saved further energy by utilizing fewer LEDs. Today, we work mostly for multiunit chains. We do custom work locally in Michigan, but I would say 85% of our work is multiunit chains. Our claim to fame is our project management. I have great team of project managers. I started the company as a broker/project management company, and spent a ton of time experimenting and improving. We have stood the test of time in terms of project management and being a turnkey service. Project management is still my No. 1 focus. Manufacturing, of course, is important, too. But it is not the difficult part; the difficult part is that due diligence



CCR VIRTUAL RETREAT from A to Z in terms of the permitting, design and logistics, and getting the sign up and installed. Atticus Franchise Group’s Shotwell: Growing up when I was in school, I was in North Carolina during the entire summer I was in Texas all the way up high school. Construction was something I always had a taste for construction. It really started when I attended shop class in high school. As I went on to community college Carpentry and Cabinet-making degree with a Home Builder’s Association Scholarship. I received my North Carolina General Contractor’s License at 25, as I started building houses for several years along working full-time at a lumber yard as an assistant manager. In ‘97, at the last minute, I sold my last spec house/my house and moved to Texas to be with my Dad and grandparents. When I arrived, I got into the commercial construction side as a GC working my way up from assistant superintendent, superintendent, project manager, senior project manager, all the way up with multiple major restaurant brands. One of the biggest rollout brands was Starbucks. I ended up building Starbucks for over six years on the GC side. Things changed when Starbucks decided to put the brakes on building anymore of their rollouts in 2007, which created an opportunity to work for a local restaurant chain called Biscuitville. It was a morning/lunch day type restaurant out of North Carolina which had over 50 locations. They were looking for a Director of Construction and Facilities at the time. When I crossed over to the dark side of retail, Biscuitville was the company that given me the opportunity to excel my career into the restaurant business with brands like Bojangles’, Cook Out Restaurant, Flynn Restaurant Group (Taco Bell, Arby’s, Applebee’s and Panera Bread). I am excited to be working with Atticus Franchise Group. CDO Group’s Marshall: I’m from Louisiana, born and raised. I joined the Marines right out of high school and served as a machine gun squad leader for six years Which was a great experience for me and still drives me to this day. When I got out, I went back to Louisiana and attended LSU, where I focused on project management. That was a great opening for me because I was able to work within the industrial and civil engineering side of construction, working with pipeline companies and power companies across southern Texas and Louisiana. I got to walk around the swamp and the backwoods. So as a southern guy, I loved it. I ended up relocating to Texas and started working for a residential architecture company. I was fortunate enough that CDO Group was looking to expand and my counterpart, Vinny Catullo brought me on board. We opened our regional office in Frisco and hit the ground running. CDO Group did not truly have a business development team in place. So this was something we were able to create, put our hands around, and mold to what we saw was right. When I first got on, we were formalizing our woman-owned business status and, as of last month, we finally received our federal



I just got back from Euro Shop when the pandemic hit. Within about 60 days, we had one of my key suppliers in California land the Target contract, supplying shields to all of its stores— $3 million worth. — Stephen Hekman, Kingsman

certification so there have been a lot of great initiatives. I was able to touch the industrial and the residential early in my career, and now being involved in commercial and engaging with different corporations and brands, has been great. I am trying to learn as much as possible as to provide the best service to our partners.’s Smeal: I am originally from Western Pennsylvania—Franklin, Pennsylvania, which is about 90 miles north of Pittsburgh. My construction experience is pretty much limited to carrying and tying rebar, which was all my dad let me do on the construction site. I don’t have the long resume that you guys do, but I have been around it for a good period of my life. Upon leaving Pennsylvania, I went to school at the University of Miami. I moved to New York for five years, where I kind of bounced around financial services and staffing, among other things, before returning to Fort Lauderdale in 2000. I have settled here. I spent most of my time in financial services prior to moving over to the LoJack Corporation, where I worked for about five years. I got involved with their SAAS programs—dealing with software sales, and things of that nature. As I moved on, I worked throughout Florida traveling through car dealerships. Once we moved into COVID, I fell into Inspected, where I was handed the reins and we started building it from the ground up. My days are all about meeting as many people in the construction industry, and the city and government side to get the word out. It’s beyond exciting to be involved with something that is cutting edge. Inspected has an exciting vision and plan and it’s great to be part of the early stages. Personally, I’m married with a 14 year old daughter and 11 year old son. The kids activities keep us busy most of the time outside of the office, but we do our best to spend our free time at the beach in South Florida. Philly Pretzel’s Weiss: I grew up in Philadelphia, mainly in the suburbs, a town called Southampton. I’m the oldest of nine

kids with only 11 years separating us. As you might guess, we grew up Catholic. It was always a crowded household. As I got a little older, I realized that if I worked at a restaurant I could eat whatever I wanted. So I started doing dishes and working the ice cream fountain when I was 14 at a local restaurant. I actually ended up working there through college. I went to college for hotel and restaurant management. When I graduated, I went into management. Much of my early career was in operations. I worked for Wendy’s, the founder of Popeye’s, all kinds of different chains. I was working for this company called Bassett’s Turkey, a local Philadelphia chain. They were a franchise wit probably 30 or 40 stores. And I was sitting in my office one day and the founder walked in and he dumped eight files on my desk and said, “You’re the construction manager now.” That was how I got into the construction end of the business. I’m not sure I showed any propensity for the construction end of things, but all of a sudden I was construction manager so I had to learn quick. I got those eight stores opened up and then continued to open for them. From there, I went to Rita’s Water Ice and learned how to work auto CAD and design stores. I helped manage and open stores. Rita’s was sold, and at one point and I actually owned seven stores with a couple of partners. I sold my last one about two years ago. While I was doing that a friend of mine that I worked at Bassett’s with landed a job at Philly Pretzel Factory. They were building tons of stores, so they needed help with construction management. I started helping them, and eventually turned that into my full-time job. And about halfway through, they added real estate to my list of responsibilities. I have been there almost 12 years and have about 100 stores. It is a lot of fun. We’re still growing as a brand and evolving every day. I am enjoying this new challenge that we have of trying to figure out how to continue to expand in this new COVID world. We have opened stores. We opened two stores last month and opened a couple prior to that. We’re hoping to open six more before the end of the year. I am hearing that franchise interest has never been stronger. I think there is a lot of people who have lost corporate jobs or were so scared after what they saw happen in their corporation. They want to control their own destiny. We have tons of interest right now, so it could be that all of us will be very busy next year opening and building stores. Starbucks’ Adkins: I grew up and spent basically half of my life in and around Chicago (Go Cubs, Go Da Bears). If you ask me I’m from Chicagoland. I’m from a small town in the north suburbs called Libertyville. From there, my family moved to middle Tennessee for a handful of years, where I found myself in the golf industry. I was a golf professional for a couple of years in my late teens, early 20s. It was a great environment to start my career. I managed a stateof-the-art golf shop, coordinated large corporate tournaments and managed a staff of people not much younger than myself. From Tennessee, I made a move to Northern Virginia to live with family. I started my construction career with a small general

contracting firm in Northern Virginia, where I was a project engineer. My main responsibility was assisting the project manager corps with whatever they needed to get done. The main contract the company had at the time was working for airport authority doing miscellaneous projects that were identified by the client. It could be anything from replacing a burnt out a light bulb to building a concourse. It was a very interesting job, especially seeing the ins and outs of a quasi-government entity. I was able to see intimately how the private industry interacts with general contracting firms. While working at the airports, I was introduced to Westfield, a concessions management company. I became the on-site tenant coordinator, assisting in navigating the opening of retail in all of the respective concourses. Most of my experience in construction is due largely in part to being a tenant coordinator. It honed my construction knowledge and skills, both on the technical side and design side, which I have a big passion for.

One of the strengths we had going in was that we were already all take-out. We did not have tables and chairs in our stores — Frank Weiss, Philly Pretzel Factory

I recruited by Westfield to help on their mall development side. My first project was the Westfield Annapolis Mall expansion. It was a grand multi-tenant development during the economic downturn. We were able to open almost 40 stores in that expansion/grand opening. After Westfield, my crowning achievement was working for the Peterson Companies, a very reputable commercial developer in the DC/Northern Virginia area. I was the Director of Tenant Coordination for a couple years, which helped me to expand my knowledge base and experience projects outside of my comfort zone. When I look back now, it was a great character-building experience. Westfield and The Peterson Companies helped shape my retail/commercial construction foundation. From there, I went on to find different challenges and experiences other landlords, and boutique tenants. What drove me to Starbucks was working at Tysons Corner Center in McLean, Virginia. Working as the Tenant Coordinator, I was connected with the Starbucks Store Development Team during one of their remodels in the mall. I’ve always had a great respect for Starbucks, especially how they approach their design and construction. They always had a plan, stuck to it, and opened when they projected. My position with Starbucks in Store Development is a great blending of my previous experience in the general contracting, tenant and landlord arenas. I feel as though I bring a different dynamic to the team. I can say that I have seen this done before, here’s the best way to do it. After 20 years in the industry, I have a unique perspective and have worn many different hats. CCR





Listing spotlight highlights HVAC/Energy Controls firms


ant to find the industry’s leading HVAC/energy controls manufacturers, check out our annual listing. The report features the commercial construction industry’s leading firms in the retail, restaurant, hospitality, health care, and other sectors, including the contact information and contact person at each company. If you did not make the list, contact Publisher David Corson at Accurex Lisa Bosio, Sr. Manager, Brand Marketing and Communications P.O. Box 410 Schofield, WI 54476 (800) 333-1400, Fax: (715) 241-6191 Product Type: VAV Systems, Air Handlers, Packaged Roof Top Units, Controls/Monitoring, Filters, Ductwork/Accessories, Make-up Air, Dedicated Outdoor Air Systems, Hoods, Pollution Control Units

AirLogix Gerri Domenikos, CEO 24-26 46th St. Queens, NY 11103 (844) 885-6449 Fax: (718) 947-1277 Product Type: Controls/Monitoring, Refrigeration Equipment, Filters, Ductwork/Accessories, Chillers, HVAC/R


Pat Gillan, Inside Sales 825 W 600 N Lindon, UT 84042 (801) 805-6657 Product Type: Piping Systems

Berner Air Curtains

Michael Coscatelli, Sales Manager 111 Progress Ave. New Castle, PA 16101 (724) 658-3551 • Fax: (724) 652-0682 Product Type: Air Curtains

Boss Facility Services, Inc. Keith Keingstein, President 60 Adams Ave. Hauppauge, NY 11788 (631) 361-7430 Product Type: VAV Systems, Air Handlers, Furnaces/Duct Furnaces, Packaged Roof Top Units, Condensing Units, Controls/Monitoring, Heat Pumps, Refrigeration Equipment, Filters, Ductwork/Accessories, Chillers, Boilers, Tank Water Heaters, Tankless Water Heaters

BrainBox AI

Sam Ramadori, Chief Business Development Officer 2075 Robert-Bourassa St., 5th Floor Montreal, Quebec Canada (888) 585-2630 Product Type: AI to autonomously run building

Continental Control Systems

Armstrong Fluid Technology Cynthia A. Boyd, Steven Lane, Commercial Manager 23 Bertrand Ave. Scarborough, ON M1L 2P3 Canada (416) 755-2291 Product Type: Packaged Roof Top Units, Controls/Monitoring



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Lisa Tryson, Director, Corporate Communications & Public Relations 11655 Crossroads Cir. Baltimore, MD 21220 (410) 513-1142, Fax: (410) 931-8256 Product Type: Condensing Units, Controls/Monitoring, Refrigeration Equipment, Variable Frequency Drives, Variable Speed and Oil-Free Compressors, Heat Exchangers, Temperature Controls, Pressure Independent Control Valves, Electric Heating Mats and Cables for Floors, Pipes/Roofs and Snow Melt, Control Valves

Delta Cooling Towers

Lauren Matullo, Marketing Specialist 185 US Hwy. 206 Roxbury Township, NJ 07836 (973) 586-2201, Fax: (973) 586-2243 Product Type: Packaged Roof Top Units, Cooling Towers


Valerie Bradt, Marketing Communications Manager 19494 Technology Dr. Eden Prairie, MN 55344 (952) 906-4064 Product Type: Humidification Systems

DuctSox Corporation

DuctSox Sales, Sales/Customer Service 4343 Chavenelle Rd Dubuque, IA 52002 (866) 382-8769, (563) 588-5300 Product Type: VAV Systems, Ductwork/Accessories

Dynamic Air Quality Solutions

Robert Goodfellow, VP Marketing P.O. Box 1258 Princeton, NJ 08542 (800) 578-7873, Fax: (609) 924-8524 Product Type: Filters, IAQ

Chuck Justice, VP Sales 312-A Swanson Dr. Lawrenceville, GA 30043 (502) 493-2210 Product Type: Ductwork/Accessories, HVAC Tools

Fresh-Aire UV

Aaron Engel, VP Business Dev P.O. Box 1867 Jupiter, FL 33458 (800) 741-1195, Fax: (561) 748-4865 Product Type: Air Treatment Systems/UV Light Disinfection Systems

Johnson Controls Ryan Nolan, Global Public Relations Program Manager, Building Technologies & Solutions 507 E Michigan St. Milwaukee, WI 53202 (414) 524-6170 Product Type: VAV Systems, Air Handlers, Furnaces/Duct Furnaces, Packaged Roof Top Units, Condensing Units, Controls/Monitoring, Heat Pumps, Refrigeration Equipment, Filters, Chillers, Tank Water Heaters, Comprehensive Solutions for Clean Air & Healthy Buildings, Including Assessments & Planning, Filtration, Ventilation, Disinfection, Monitoring, Controls, and Building Operating Mode Dashboards

LG Electronics Maija Hurst 4300 North Point Pkwy., Suite 200 Alpharetta, GA 30022 (678) 328-6473 Product Type: Air Handlers, Packaged Roof Top Units, Condensing Units, Controls/Monitoring, Heat Pumps, Ductwork/Accessories, Chillers

Mitsubishi Electric Trane HVAC US (METUS)

ENTOUCH Mike Smith, Senior Manager, Marketing

Melissa Parsons, Director of Marketing 661 N Plano Rd., Suite 323 Richardson, TX 75081 (800) 820-3311 Ext. 403 Product Type: Controls/Monitoring



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Michell Czosek, CAE, Executive Director 1818 Parmenter St., Suite 300 Middleton, WI 53562 (608) 310-7542 Product Type: Educational Organization

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With honor


CCR highlights women driving the industry (and their communities) forward

n our continued effort to recognize some of the industry’s leading ambassadors, Commercial Construction & Renovation’s first CCR Awards pays it forward. This issue highlights four women, nominated by their peers, who not only help continue the indusry path forward, but also play vital roles in their communities. In November, we will salute men doing the same.

Betsy Sears Sullivan

Lauren Kriner

Engaging. Energetic. Hard-working. As Director of Business Development and Marketing for Inherent Commercial, Betsy Sears Sullivan has earned all of those accolades, and more. With more than 11 years of sales and marketing experience, she took on her role at Inherent—an Indianapolis-based full-service construction manager/general contractor—to be able to combine her love of commercial real estate and building relationships. Along with her industry responsibilities, her community work includes an initiative she spearhead for a new community development department, which continues to grow brand awareness and build goodwill within the Indianapolis community. Other projects Betsy worked on included A Greener Welcome, performed in collaboration with Eli Lilly and Company. When she is not working, you can find Betsy with her husband and kids hanging in their front yard with friends, family and neighbors.

In an industry bent on the power of connections, Lauren Kriner continues to make her mark as great connector of people. As VP of Business Development for Capitol Construction Services for nearly eight years, she works with myriad industry professionals—including brokers, business owners, property managers, designers and retailers—to coordinate construction projects. Capitol Construction specializes in office tenant finish, ground-up retail centers, restaurants and auto dealerships. Along with her construction team, Lauren ensures projects are completed in a timely manner, with high-quality, at a competitive price. In addition, she oversees all of the company’s marketing efforts, including website, social media, association involvement and construction site signage. Her promotion efforts include Capitol’s monthly e-newsletter as well as weekly real estate email blasts. In her free time, she is active in groups like IndyCREW, where she is a past-president. She also is a volunteer for St. Augustine’s Home for the Aged and serves on the facilities committee at Cathedral High School.

Director, Business Development & Marketing Inherent Commercial



VP, Business Development Capitol Construction Services Inc.

Stephanie Roldan

Chelsea Thompson

Twenty one-plus years into her career and Stephanie Roldan continues to be a pioneer—one who takes the moniker of trailblazer to new heights. Known for her creative, fearless leadership style, she is not afraid to try innovative methods to tackle age-old industry problems. Her secret weapon: She keeps a keen eye on technology. As Rosendin Electric’s Corporate Lean Manager, Stephanie trains and educates her team on the value of the process. She also is an advocate on personal and professional growth, working closely with groups like Junior Achievement (JA), where she is a current member of the Junior Achievement Ladies Day to Play committee. Her accomplishments and accolades include being an “2020 ATHENA Awards” nominee, “Lead Up For Women’s Trailblazer,” and founder of Rosendin’s Women in Construction Affinity Group. Stephanie also spearheaded the CoreClarity at Rosendin, along with being involved in charitable organizations like Arizona Foundation for Women and The Casa.

When it comes to excuses, Chelsea Thompson does not accept them. To get the job done, she believes you must rise to the expectations of the job—whatever it is. A seasoned construction professional, she has carved her niche overseeing public and private sector projects. As VP of Operations at Rebar Development, Chelsea currently manages more than $70 million in projects, seeing them through development, design, entitlement, pre-construction and construction. Her day-to-day responsibilities include managing all of the company’s construction partners and projects on behalf of ownership and the investment teams. Growing up in the industry on job sites and construction trailers, Chelsea has always been a natural when it comes to the job. She believes it is exceptionally important to normalize women being in project meetings, making decisions, walking the jobsites, being in the job trailers, and wearing the construction site boots and hardhats.

Corporate Lean Manager Rosendin Electric Inc.

VP of Operations Rebar Development





When the future is the past The importance of repurposing historic buildings By Glynn Dowdle


s cities continue to improve their infrastructure to keep up with progress, there is an unfortunate

possibility we may lose pieces of history that bring color to a city. That is why many developers are making an effort to restore and repurpose historical buildings—to preserve and give them new life, rather than tear them down and building something fresh. In Nashville, Tennessee, older buildings has become passion, even though renovating antique buildings comes with its challenges such as: > Bringing them up to today’s codes — Standards and building requirements change frequently, so what was up to code even 15 years ago could be too lax to meet today’s specifications. > Dealing with major structural issues and damage reparation — Older buildings can show their age, especially if they have been abandoned and left in disrepair. Sometimes, they need a whole lot of TLC to be made habitable again. > Managing client expectations — Often with projects like this, clients want to salvage as much of the original structure as possible. But you must strike a healthy balance between saving what you can and redoing what you cannot save, which can be somewhat difficult to maneuver.



WHEN THE FUTURE IS THE PAST On a few occasions, we have been the only firm in town willing to take on an adaptive reuse project because of these challenges. But it is worth it to ultimately create a unique place with a story behind it. The benefits of repurposing an older building include:

Preserving history

If you tear an old building down, it becomes harder to understand and narrate its history. Architecture from a long-gone era has the ability to demonstrate how we lived and interacted during that time.



If you tear an old building down, it becomes harder to understand and narrate its history. Architecture from a long-gone era—the materials used and its overall design—has the ability to demonstrate how we lived and interacted during that time. Take an old fire hall that was originally built in the early 1900s in Nashville. At that time, fire trucks still were horse-drawn carriages. From the part of the building that still exists, you can see the size of the original doors, which were made for the size of the carriages. They are not big enough for today’s trucks. In fact, we added a new parking area for the trucks, and it is the size of the original fire hall.

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It is details like this that really give you an appreciation for how things used to be. It would be a shame to lose that educational aspect by tearing down the beautiful, historic structures that give our communities so much identity.

Adding charm and character

While a new building can be a sleek and stylish addition to the neighborhood, there also is something special about the character of an older, worn-in building. The nuances and architectural finishes of yesteryear are no longer commonplace, and those touches bring an individuality to the design that is hard to duplicate.

Of course, there are buildings that just are not salvageable, but if you can repurpose a structure, why wouldn’t you? After all, a mix of older and newer buildings can give a neighborhood an eclectic and inviting atmosphere. That was the vibe behind a recent renovation of a four-story, 28,800-square-foot, Civil-War-era tobacco warehouse in Nashville. It was transformed into condominiums with an added, complementary building that included 12 more residences and a parking lot. The original building dates back to 1865 and features arching windows and a red brick façade that were staples in that time period. The most popular units were the ones with exposed brick on the interior, even including graffiti that remained from when the building sat unused. While the building is not on the historic register, it is steeped in local history, and residents are enchanted by it. You would be hard-pressed to recreate this effect when starting a new building from the ground up.

Reviving a community

Whether they have sat unoccupied for years or are just changing hands, historic structures are often pillars of the communities in which they stand. Take the adaptation of an old warehouse into a 55,000-square-foot retail marketplace, where the owner knew how much the structure meant to the surrounding community. The 1920s-era




WHEN THE FUTURE IS THE PAST former-hosiery-mill-turned-restaurant equipment store had been a part of the community for as long as many could remember. The owner had a vision to give new life to the building. He had just turned down a multi-million dollar bid from a developer who planned to simply tear the place down. Instead, he insisted on restoring it, so that is what we did.

While a new building can be a sleek and stylish addition to the neighborhood, there also is something special about the character of an older, worn-in building. Now, not only is the old structure still standing, it is completely refurbished and serves as a popular place to dine, shop and gather that residents never would have had if the owner sold it for demolition. And the neighborhood continues to build up around it.

Potential cost savings

On a more practical note, some older buildings actually are very well built. If you can figure out a way to keep the bones of the building, but meet the current requirements and add some modern day components, it occasionally works out to be less expensive than demolishing and starting from the ground up. After all, commercial building demolition can start at $30,000, but be much more expensive for larger structures. In addition, some cities will give you leeway on the code requirements for older buildings. If you start fresh, there are no exceptions, and you are locked into the cost necessary to meet all the requirements.

This is not always the case—there are plenty of unforeseen things that can go wrong in the process of restoring an old building, especially one that was previously abandoned. But there certainly is the possibility of saving some time and money on the project. As you can see, there are practical reasons for repurposing older buildings, but there also are sentimental and educational ones. An adaptive reuse project can be really rewarding because you are not only preserving a story and a piece of history, you are giving a dilapidated, forgotten structure a whole new life and purpose. CCR

Glynn Dowdle, President and Principal of Dowdle Construction Group, is an industry veteran with decades of experience working in commercial construction. He leads a team of experienced project managers, project engineers and superintendents in completing award-winning projects for clients in the commercial, light industrial, institutional, mixed-use, public and private sectors. For more information on Dowdle, visit



Is your business ready for our new reality? CIRCLE NO. 29

Rough weather ahead KEYS FOR OUTLASTING HURRICANE SEASON By Tommy Faulkner


uring this unusually active 2020 hurricane season, it is important for property owners and builders to prepare for the severe damage that often results from these storms. Whether protecting an existing building or investing in new construction, special precautions must be taken to improve public safety and reduce the damage and resulting high costs of repair after a storm.

While most coastal communities know the risks that come with hurricanes, many structures are not equipped to handle the intense storms, and new construction is not slowing down. Damage from these storms is also increasing—the annual cost of hurricane damage is estimated at $28 billion, and expected to increase to $39 billion per year by 2075. While hurricanes pose great challenges for coastal communities, there are strategies for mitigating risks for both new construction and existing structures. Through a combination of expertise in designing and building in hurricane-prone areas, and steps everyone



can take to protect structures from an impending storm, here are the best ways to help your structure outlast hurricane season.

Why some structures fare better

In response to storms over the years, building codes have continued to adapt to improve public safety and the ability of structures to withstand the high winds and other hazards of these powerful storms. The code leads engineers through the design process, governed by the forces that will put the greatest load on the structure—seismic activity or wind speed and pressure.





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WHEN THE FUTURE IS THE PAST For commercial structures, the code defines the required factors of safety for structural design based on the building category, as determined by risk to public safety. For coastal geographies, the code dictates additional safety measures for wind force resistance systems, the robustness of which is based on wind maps. These systems are designed to prevent the structure from racking as a result of intense wind speed and pressure during hurricanes and tropical storms. In addition to code requirements, the building design impacts how well a structure will withstand an intense storm. Sophistication of design is one factor, such as building on stilts to not only provide protection from storm surge and flooding, but to also provide a path for the wind to flow around the structure with lesser chance of damage.

Once designed, a structure must then be built with the same attention to detail. Quality of construction materials and craftsmanship are just as important as the design itself in determining how well a structure will withstand a storm. The design can also be guided by “over building” vulnerable components of the structure such as joints and tie-ins. Stronger materials or additional techniques are used to reinforce structural components, such as larger steel beams or additional steel in masonry walls to improve tie-in to the foundation. Once designed, a structure must then be built with the same attention to detail. Quality of construction materials and craftsmanship are just as important as the design itself in determining how well a structure will withstand a storm. Years ago, I had a conversation with a fellow ICC committee member who investigated building failures in Florida after Hurricane Andrew in 1992, which caused wide-spread damage and destroyed tens of thousands of structures in its path. Through forensic analysis, it was discovered that at least 60% of structural failures were the result of contractor error. In response to the impacts of Hurricane Andrew, the state introduced the Florida Building Code that overhauled the existing

system and introduced a uniform set of building codes across the state. The codes govern not only building design, but also inspections required during construction to ensure conformance to design and quality of craftsmanship.

Protecting an existing structure

While much of how a structure performs is determined in the design and construction phases, there are steps that can be taken to protect existing structures from damage during hurricanes. As building codes, construction materials and techniques have continued to improve over time, the performance of an existing structure is impacted significantly by its age. If you are in the market to purchase a building in a hurricane-prone area, enlist the help of a structural engineer to review the structural design and gain insight into what codes were in place when the structure was built, and the quality of materials used. With this understanding, an engineer can identify any potentially weak components or systems and recommend steps to mitigate risks to public safety and structural damage. While this assessment requires time and preparation, unfortunately tropical storms do not always provide enough notice. But there are immediate steps building owners can take to protect a structure from an impending storm. While storm surge and heavy rain pose flooding risks, the greatest risk to structural damage is from wind speed and pressure. Damage results from wind entering a structure through weak points, such as joints and tie-ins between the walls and roof, and from objects that become projectiles in strong winds. > Board up windows with plywood and long steel nails to prevent glass from shattering from wind pressure and projectiles. > Clear the environment of debris and secure outdoor furniture and fixtures that may be displaced by wind and turned into projectiles that can strike the structure or be hazardous to people. While these mitigation steps are known, they often are overlooked in the calm before the storm and can significantly impact the severity of damage to structures. When building or investing in property in hurricane-prone areas, it is important to understand the risks to public safety and structural integrity that can result from these storms. With support from structural engineers with expertise and experience designing for wind resistance, and with additional steps everyone can take to reduce damage from impending storms, you can mitigate risks and help your structure outlast hurricane season. CCR

Tommy Faulkner, CEO of JDSfaulkner, has been a renowned innovator in the engineering, design and consulting industry for over 25 years. His expertise is multidisciplinary as a licensed professional engineer, general contractor, Master of Special Inspections and realtor. He has served on the International Code Council (ICC) Structural Code Development Committee and has partnered with several municipalities to develop and update building code standards used today.




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Landmark Restoration NYBG’s iconic Palm gets a facelift By Bob Zirkel




t is an advocate of the plant kingdom. When people discuss the mag-

nificence of the New York Botanical Garden (NYBG), the sentiment is one of the first things that comes to mind. Established in 1891, the iconic NYBG is distinguished by the beauty of its landscape, collections and gardens. The scope of its excellence extends into the myriad programs in horticulture, education and science.

All photos courtesy of NYBG

NYBG was inspired by an 1888 visit that eminent botanists Nathaniel Lord Britton and his wife, Elizabeth, who took to the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, near London. The Britton’s believed New York should have a great botanical garden to advance public understanding of plants, so the concept of the park was born. The 250-acre garden sits on picturesque terrain on the northern half of Bronx Park, defined by the freshwater Bronx River, rock-cut gorge and 50 acres of old-growth forest. During the 129 years since its founding, NYBG carefully has stewarded a stunning urban oasis, along the way creating one of the world’s most comprehensive plant research and conservation programs, unrivaled research collections and a living museum. Recently NYBG finished an epic restoration, spearheaded by the EW Howell Construction Group. The $18 million renovation of the iconic Palm Dome of its Enid A. Haupt Conservatory began in April 2019. The 118-year-old dome is home of the Haupt Conservatory’s celebrated Palms of the World Gallery.



WHEN THE FUTURE IS THE PAST The project also provided an opportunity for NYBG horticulture curators to redesign and replant the collection to highlight the history of tropical plant research at NYBG and the ecological and economic importance of the Palm family.

Restoration with respect

Constructed by Lord & Burnham Company and completed in 1902, the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory is considered one of the most superb glasshouses of its time. It was designated a New York City landmark in 1973. Conservatory restoration projects occur approximately every 20 years. EW Howell has worked with NYBG on other projects, including the construction of the new LEED Gold Edible Academy, which was completed in 2018.

Constructed by Lord & Burnham Company and completed in 1902, the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory is considered one of the most superb glasshouses of its time. The newly completed restoration, led by Jan Hird Pokorny Associates and Silman Structural Engineers, focused on the central dome that soars above the Palms of the World Gallery, comprising the cupola, upper dome, drum (or compression ring), and lower dome. Interior scaffolding and a temporary horizontal work surface erected below the dome drum and an enclosed cylinder around the exterior of the drum and portions of the lower and upper domes enabled the work to take place efficiently while providing a weather-proof barrier to safeguard the tropical plants that remained in the Gallery below.



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WHEN THE FUTURE IS THE PAST Using leading-edge materials and technologies, the restoration makes the building more energy efficient and increases its longevity while respecting its landmark status. The painted wood cladding around the drum and the wood cornice—constructed with rot-resistant, first-growth bald cypress that is now very rare—were replaced with cast and extruded aluminum components that are durable and require less maintenance. Structural repairs to the compression ring were completed, and a new high-performance metal coating was applied to all structural members to protect them from future deterioration. Elements of the dome’s infrastructure that were upgraded included lighting, the electrical system and the heating system, including its custom enclosure. In addition, the Conservatory’s public restrooms were renovated, including the addition of two single-use restrooms; improvements were made to the building’s exhibition and path lighting; and bluestone pavers in the palm dome and the Conservatory Courtyards were repaired.

Challenges & solutions

The structural steel compression ring of the Conservatory had exhibited some deterioration, which was the impetus for the timing of the latest restoration project. To enable the structural work to occur, a very specific sequence of work needed to be planned. Deterioration of the wooden cornices was addressed through Landmarks approval

of painted brushed aluminum replacements that made maintenance less challenging, given the height of the cornice. Featured are a wooden cornice, a cast aluminum replacement, and an aluminum cornice as installed with high-performance metal coating. In addition, there was some deterioration to the wood cornice, and maintaining the exterior paint finish was challenging, given the height of the cornice. Scaffolding for the project was a major challenge. The platform needed to be built to the level of the compression ring of the structure, with support towers positioned between the existing plantings. The next challenge was that the scaffold platform needed to create a weatherproof barrier during the winter months when the glass above the platform would be removed for the structural repairs to be completed. The interior painting needed to be accomplished to give NYBG many decades of performance, as some areas are very difficult to access and will only get more difficult in the future as the palms grow. New exhibition lighting was installed while the scaffolding was in place and now allows NYBG more flexibility in designing for different exhibitions. The palm dome had all its perimeter fin tube radiation and enclosures replaced during this restoration project. In addition to The New York Botanical Garden, EW Howell Construction Group has become one of the partners of choice for some of the Tri-State area’s leading cultural institutions, including the Museum of the City of New York, Smithsonian Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum, Brooklyn Academy of Music, the Institute for the Study of the Ancient World, Brooklyn Museum, Christie’s Auction House and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. “Renovations for cultural institutions present unique challenges and we were honored to be chosen by The New York Botanical Garden to restore the palm dome, one of New York City’s most iconic structures,” says Bob Zirkel, VP of EW Howell’s Arts & Cultural Division. “EW Howell has been privileged to work on projects that feature some absolutely stunning architectural design, and with input from arts and culture patrons who are some of the most passionate personalities in New York City.” CCR

Using leadingedge materials and technologies, the restoration makes the building more energy efficient and increases its longevity while respecting its landmark status.

Bob Zirkel is co-VP of EW Howell Construction Group’s Arts & Culture Division, With 35 years of experience in the construction industry, he started at E.W. Howell as a project superintendent in 1985.















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From forest to floor American lumber icon advises what to know before specifying hardwood flooring.

By Ron Treister


onstruction of multifamily luxury condos and apartments still

represents great opportunity for architectural specification, even in spite of the ongoing pandemic. In particular, for end-users consisting of millennials relocating to metropolitan areas and baby boomers. From young families starting out, to empty nesters looking to downsize, the multifamily construction market still remains strong. Clearly, demand for higher-end condos and high-rise apartments in major markets has kept those in the commercial construction arena very busy during these highly insane times. Overall, various floor coverings continue to replace carpet for many reasons. This is in part because today’s buyers or renters are opting for more luxurious larger kitchens, upscale foyers and stately dining rooms and thus, are insisting upon hardwood flooring. Perhaps the main reason for this demand is that imitation is the best example of flattery. Quick: Think of how many of today’s porcelain tile, luxury vinyl, laminate and other flooring products are manufactured with a “wood-look.”



FROM FOREST TO FLOOR Why are these faux wood flooring products so popular? The answer is obvious. The look of natural wood is and always will be in vogue. Those others are wood wannabes. The real deal is real wood. Builders of extravagant high-rises, particularly in major metro areas and 55-plus retirement communities are being pushed to cater to the luxury market due to rising costs of land, labor and construction materials. Hardwood flooring truly is in demand, especially when a great majority of these new apartments and condos target the more affluent. Research across the country states that newly constructed luxury high-rise units priced above $700,000 typically have roughly 1,000 to 2,000 square feet of hardwood flooring installed. Dave Graf is President of Graf Brothers, a northern Kentucky-based firm that sells logs, rough lumber and is back to producing hardwood flooring. This being his fifth decade within the industry, Graf knows a thing or two about wood. When queried why hardwood flooring is in demand, especially for today’s higher-end spenders, his answer was simple, “It’s sexier.” Located on an 80-acre site, Graf’s company specializes in —and is the world’s

largest producer/provider of —Rift and Quartered white oak lumber products. “It all starts out with the logs,” Graf says. “Clearly, the best logs equal the best lumber. Most other sawmills, which cut down trees to ultimately produce lumber for flooring purposes, start with logs having a 12-inch diameter. We believe in ‘selective cutting’ and insist on logs with at least a 16” diameter.” Why? Graf says it has to do with sustainability. “Because when harvesting logs this size, every 20 years you can then go in and re-harvest that forest again. Cutting down logs which are 12-inches in diameter ultimately means the forest won’t grow enough to be re-harvested, at least for another 50 years.” Graf Brothers manages its own forests and also recommends to other landowners what must be done to gain optimal tree growth. The company is focused on taking care of log-bearing forests. “We even have gone as far as building ‘board roads,’ where after harvest, the mats will be removed and the owner can use that area for planting more new trees. The planks could be re-purposed, as well.”

Research across the country states that newly constructed luxury high-rise units priced above $700,000 typically have roughly 1,000 to 2,000 square feet of hardwood flooring installed.

GrafBro Solid Flooring Ends



The journey continues...

Once logs are cut, they go to one of four Graf Brothers sawmills. At the log yards,


FROM FOREST TO FLOOR each log is kept underwater from April to Quarter Sawn Lumber, costlier than November to prevent cracking or checking, Plain Sawn, has straight grain patterns, minimize rotting or drying out and also, to where annular growth rings intersect the optimize color and visual character. White board’s face at angles of 60 degrees to 90 oak, which is Graf Brothers’ specialty, goes degrees. Each log is cut into four quarters on to its milling department, to be Rift and at a radial angle, resulting in interesting quarter sawn. flecking patterns. “Two or three centuries ago, the only Even more expensive, Rift Sawn is the large transport vehicles for logs were river least common. Here, annual rings range rafts,” Graf says. “A century or so later, between 30-60 degrees; with 45 degrees due to upgraded technology and more, the most sought after. Manufactured by submerged inventories could somehow milling perpendicular to the growth rings be reclaimed. Once dried and then cut produces a linear grain pattern containing into planks, wood patterns were extremely no flecking. This method produces the most pronounced, and wood color was greatly waste, increasing cost. Rift Sawn lumber brightened. And, the cut wood material was is dimensionally stable, and has a unique very hard.” linear appearance. It is often produced to This type of wood still occasionally is complement Quarter Sawn lumber, thus the located and then reclaimed. The lumber category, “Rift & Quartered (R&Q).” product that can be made from it is very R&Q cuts are very dimensionally stable good-looking and high-performance. and can withstand seasonal expansion and Dave and Greg Graf, Graf Brothers has five log yards in contraction in wood flooring. Along with staThe Original Graf Brothers Kentucky, West Virginia and Ohio. It also bility, these cuts offer higher-ranked hardness turnarounds and regularly sells cut logs ratings than standard cuts. Rift & Quarter to other sawmills within a 100 mile radius sawn produces a tight, straight grain running of its locations. The logs it cannot use for in-house production parallel to the board with little to no ray fleck. Quarter Sawn displays work such as cutting into blanks for other firms or its internal own the straight grain along with ray flecks that run across the grain. hardwood flooring production, is sold to various companies within a For the most part, Graf says that once architects and designers 10-state area. know about the high performance of Rift and Quarter sawn lumber, There basically are four types of lumber produced in America they will want to specify it for their projects. He says they want it for that are made into hardwood flooring. How these lumber types are its looks, but more importantly, for its beauty. categorized depends upon procedures in which each log is posi“They also want it for its long-term durability and perfortioned and then cut at the sawmill. mance,” he says. The most common—PLAIN SAWN (or “flat sawn”)—is 98% of “Over the course of time, we all know wood moves. R&Q does not the total production in North America. It is the least expensive way to buckle and/or pyramid upward. Rather, due to its composition, each transform logs into lumber. The annular rings range from 30 degrees board gets thicker. Thus, end-users’ floors are tighter and even less apt or less to the face of the board. Plain Sawn lumber is that which to be repaired or replaced than those using less expensive commodity most of the commodity hardwood flooring materials is produced. plain sawn log material.” Architects, developers and installers all must consider cost-saving measures such as specifying products with long life cycles that need less replacement. Higher-end wood flooring is the ideal choice, as not only will it increase property value, but it won’t have to be replaced each time a tenant moves out. “There are many people, such as those in my age group, who don’t buy for investment purposes, but buy a new home, whether a major or seasonal residence, to be enjoyed for as long as possible,” Graf says. “This marketplace of buyers should be educated on the benefits of higher end lumber cuts. especially that of Rift and Quartered.” CCR

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





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October 2020

The water’s edge Solving water intrusion for North Myrtle Beach condo community

(L-R) Al Best, Prime South; Chris Rush and Greg Isaac, Edgewater Board of Directors; and Jason Smith, Construction Science and Engineering, Inc.



By Kevin Gribbon

The water’s edge Solving water intrusion for North Myrtle Beach condo community


he Edgewater Condominiums, with 260 units near the Atlantic Ocean in North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina were built over a period of five years and completed 10 years ago. The Edgewater COA Board of Directors voted to replace the stucco on all buildings. When Level 4 Remove and Reclad was called for, Jason Smith, AIA, Senior Architect of Construction Science and Engineering (CSE), a REI Engineers Company, knew exactly what to specify for the 10-building condo project. After surveying the project, Smith specified approximately 250,000 SF of StoTherm® ci Lotusan®, a continuous insulation wall system. The high-performance, energy efficient wall cladding integrates components waterproof air barrier, insulated cladding and drainage, and a textured finish with self-cleaning properties that mimics the self-cleaning capabilities of the lotus leaf. Smith assembled a strong team, including general contractor Prime South and applicator, Premier Exteriors. “It was a real team effort, including the Edgewater board, who was engaged and involved in the project from start to finish,” Smith says. “The continuous, open communication between all the team members has been critical to our project’s success.” Before CSE was involved, the project originally had been specified with a new hard coat stucco. Al Best of Prime South, for one, was relieved that the Sto system was decided upon. “Stucco would have been messy, and it would have taken a lot longer—at least another six months,” Best says.



Best should know, the veteran contractor at one point was averaging 50 products a year since 1990. His take on stucco matched Smith, who admits to having torn off tons of the product over the years. Hard coat stucco requires nailing lath to the exterior sheathing, creating more of an opportunity for moisture to get in through the waterproofing if not installed properly. By using a system like Sto, which features a fluid-applied membrane and an adhered, drainable system, the continuous membrane serve as the first line of defense to prevent moisture intrusion issues from the beginning. The lack of fasteners also prohibits potential moisture intrusion issues into the substrate. The Edgewater Condominiums removal and re-clad project has had its share of challenges. The condos have low-slope membrane and clay tile roofs and there was a lot of roof-to-wall work to be done. Because of local guidelines, Best and his team needed to leave the existing windows in their openings. “If we replaced the windows, they needed to be high impact glass, which would have been a cost-prohibitive endeavor for the condo community,” Best says. “We found a solution to that challenge.” In order to avoid total removal of the existing windows from their respective openings, the team used a multi-step sequencing system by tilting the windows in and out to flash the rough openings properly. The window units were carefully cut from the interior side, flashing installed and openings wrapped with a non-woven cloth reinforcement. After all of the exterior elements were properly installed, they came inside to do any necessary repairs to the existing window frame and finishes. “There was a lot to be done in our community,” says Chris Rush, president of the Edgewater COA Board of Directors. “We were here during the entire renovation project, as were many of our neighbors, and the communication from the team was incredible.”




Taking up residence

Monthly meetings were held with board members and the construction team, and for much of the 30-month project, Best lived on-site. It was something Rush and the residents took notice of. “Al is the best general contractor I’ve ever worked with,” Rush says. “He and his crew were outstanding and the entire team was on top of things every step of the way. They even put notices up on buildings when work would be done. And they kept everything so clean and tidy, we didn’t even know when our own personal windows were worked on.” Rush says the renovations had been discussed for a while before the project started. The board had been tasked to look at utility bills to find ways to lower them, including LED lighting which they had replaced. With this system that was installed, they already noticed reductions in their utility bills. “Community-wide, this year our utility bills have been significantly lower, maybe as low as a 20% reduction,” Rush says. “They

“There was a lot to be done in our community. We were here during the entire renovation project, as were many of our neighbors, and the communication from the team was incredible.” — Chris Rush, President, Edgewater COA Board of Directors

have not completed all of the buildings yet and we had a really hot summer, so we expect next year’s bills to be even lower. We like the trend we’re seeing so far.” Another challenge during the 30-month project was three hurricanes: Florence, Michael and Dorian. Living on the coast, this always is a concern. Thankfully, none of the hurricanes were a direct hit to Myrtle Beach. But the team needed to shore up the in-progress construction, taking in anything that might blow away and making sure everything was covered. “Prime South did an excellent job making sure everything stayed secure during the two hurricane seasons,” Rush says. “Even with high winds up to 75 miles per hour and scaffolding in place, we didn’t experience any damage or water intrusion.” The condo residents are thrilled with the results. “The finish does a remarkable job keeping the building looking clean and new,” Rush says. “The buildings completed over a year ago look just as good as the building they are just finishing. We’re very pleased with the end product, as well as the support, communication and the work of the entire team.” The team effort of Prime South, Construction Science and Engineering, Premier Exteriors, Capitol Materials Coastal, the Edgewater COA Board of Directors, and Sto Corp. was so successful it attracted the attention of a neighboring community. Work on those five buildings will begin soon. MH

Kevin Gribbon is a Construction Design Manager for Sto Corp. covering the states of Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina. He has more than 25 years of experience in the building materials industry, working in both manufacturing and distribution. Specifically, he has over 10 years of experience in product marketing in exterior claddings and air and moisture barriers.






A L S O C O V E R I N G L O C A L , S TAT E & R E G I O N A L P R O J E C T S A N D FA C I L I T I E S

Protecting the house An in depth, holistic approach to physical security

Chris Lowe PE, PMP, Mason & Hanger,

By Chris Lowe



Protecting the house An in depth, holistic approach to physical security


hysical security is broadly defined as the protection of person-

nel, hardware, software, networks and data from physical actions and events that could cause serious loss or damage to an enterprise, agency or institution. This includes protections from fire, flood, natural disasters, burglary, theft, vandalism and terrorism.



The definition of physical security depends largely on location, factoring local climate issues including natural disasters such as hurricanes, or hot areas in desert climates which pose specific risks. Therefore, physical security threats are tailored to both location and environment. Physical security manifests itself in some of the more traditional protections, such as perimeter fencing and access control, bollards, crash-rated barriers to protect from vehicular attacks or earthen berms. There also is a procedural element to physical security. Each installation has its own physical security plan, including emergency evacuation protocols.

Planning + Protocols

One of the biggest challenges in physical security planning is prioritizing the needs for planning based on the unique needs of the facility and its application. In some cases, the biggest asset may be having a project team member with a background in a specific area. For example, an Army base has much different security needs than an overseas

embassy compound. Having a design/security professional with the right experience to assess the security needs based on the location and facility type can be critical. In any project dealing with an existing site, there is additional redevelopment beyond the original impetus for the renovation. For entry control points, in particular, there can be spatial challenges related to having room for vehicles to queue, undergo inspection in a timely fashion, and back up or turn around if rejected.

In any project dealing with an existing site, there is additional redevelopment beyond the original impetus for the renovation. The Hague Guard House



Consider a project example. A project team planned a new route that manipulated the roadway, introducing curves and obstacles to reduce speed before vehicles reached the final denial barrier. A crash-rated popup barrier was also added. Space was at a premium around the base, where there had been subsequent real estate development in the 30 years since the original entry was built. In addition to restructuring the roadway to meet the requirements of function and security, the project also had aesthetic considerations, using ornamental fencing that was also crash rated. Such conditions and considerations are exemplary of the complexity of physical security. Another key element of planning is an accurate assessment of existing conditions for renovation or site assessment for new construction. Understanding the threats specific to that location and how they are currently addressed is important as operational deficiencies beyond facilities and infrastructure issues need to be considered, such as how the site is staffed and monitored. Project leaders also look to understand the physical structure in its entirety—from the foundation to anti-terrorism or force protection capabilities of the walls. This also includes the blast loadings and potential setbacks to existing or proposed parking or roadways, as well as vehicle barriers, berms and other structural conditions. Site issues also factor. In the case of a new facility, the site is important—whether the site in an open field or urban area. It also is key to assess adjacent streets and buildings to quantify the number, type and likelihood of threats in the area, in a matrix-like analysis. Examination of the site and the available space informs planning to turn the existing conditions and associated constraints into a solution that addresses all the security-related requirements while at the same time balancing cost as well as government design guidelines and criteria.

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Balancing security with image

Balance is key. Whether the facility is entry-controlled or a primary gathering place, an inviting and appealing façade welcomes people into the building, while maintaining security. High profile military and federal design projects, such as embassies, are a key example. Embassies form the basis for how the country is received in a foreign community: What the facility looks like, how the guards at the front gate are positioned, as well as how they interact with the public. In addition to aesthetic concerns is the very practical need to protect the personnel and property from potential threats. It is a delicate balance to design for security while creating a welcoming image. An entry control point at a military installation offers another example. It is important that traffic flow smoothly because the checkpoint provides a first impression to everyone who enters the installation. While an entry control point includes a visitor’s center, which is a stationary building, additional conditions of the installation involve pedestrians and vehicles, including search areas for POVs, tractor trailer search areas and denial lanes —including a turning radius and exit path—for vehicles that are denied entry. Making such a complex configuration appealing and inviting is a combination of landscape architecture as well as insightful civil design.

Site blast design

Site blast design is a specialized example of physical security planning challenges. Variables in blast design deal with the unique topography of the site and how much setback distance there is between parking and roadways. For external blasts, the plan is based on the hypothetical distance a blast would be from the building. If there is a shorter setback, the blast may a take out

Sofia Guard House

a wall section. Reinforced walls to combat such effects drive up costs. For example, a conventionally constructed administrative building, which typically includes glazing and transparency, presents an inherent challenge from a blast standpoint. While blast-rated windows are on the market, they cost considerably more. In an urban area or a tightly confined area on a military installation, real estate is at a premium, and teams constantly weigh the required blast pressures against the opportunity to provide windows and doors. Storing ammunition, whether small arms or explosives, is another area where external blast design is a factor. Practicing good explosive site safety takes all explosives into consideration. Depending on the amount of and the total weight of the explosives, they are typically stored underground in earth-covered magazines. These are built above grade and earth is put on top of the structure as a means to mitigate the effect of one explosion on adjacent magazines. An overall explosive plan for the site accounts for the number of magazines, their proximity to one another, the facilities in the surrounding area and the types of buildings that may or may not be placed within the blast arcs.

Internal — Blast design

Internal blast design is even more complex. For load-bearing walls, the locations of doors and windows are critical. Windows tend to be the weakest link, and those designed to withstand blast pressures can associated cost. Blast design can apply to any building, whereas other physical security measures are specific to the project or facility type. With internal blast design, progressive collapse issues factor. If leaders have a single-story building, there is one set of requirements, and with three or more stories, progressive collapse becomes an issue. Buildings that are five stories high must consider the domino effect—if a blast occurs on the fourth floor, how does it affect the other floors, both above and below? Physical security is a broad term with specific implications. An effective physical security plan will include considerations of facility application, facility location, site security, and known local threats as well as potential climate issues. Balancing security with image, including both site and internal blast design, is paramount to a plan tailored to specific needs and circumstances. FC

Chris Lowe PE, PMP, is Program Manager, Military Programs | Mason & Hanger, A Day & Zimmermann Company. He can be reached at 859.280.3563 or





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!

January 14th • Laura Kozelouzek: The Ever Changing Future Of Workspaces Laura Kozelouzek, Founder & CEO of Quest Workspaces, is a recognized leader and veteran of the serviced office space and co-working industry. She is viewed as a visionary, business builder and well respected for her ability to create “high energy” results oriented workplace cultures.

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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Getting it done Our conversation with Federated Service Solutions’ Jennifer Ferris


ederated Services’ first customer was a major department store, which eventually went on to be a Top 25, nationwide retailer. Since those early days, Federated has worked with more than half of the country’s Top 10 retailers. The driving force behind Federated Service, which specializes in network design and deployment, and customized IT infrastructure solutions, is Jennifer Ferris. Ask her and she will tell you that the harder the challenge, the more her team wants it. Ferris started her career in high school working as a computer tech for a local real estate firm and the family business. She eventually started her own business in college doing networking and computer setup for small businesses. After spending some time at Ford Motor Company, she went back to work for her dad and began growing Federated Services in 2006. Today, serving as President and CEO, she is the majority owner. We sat down with her to get her thoughts on the business today and how women continue to make strides in the commercial construction industry.

Give us a snapshot of the construction market today?

Jennifer R. Ferris, President, Federated Service Solutions



On the Low Voltage side, we are seeing things come back a bit. New construction work is starting up and remodel work is definitely happening again. Some work has been continuous throughout, primarily with the essential businesses on projects that infrastructure upgrades intended to expand coverage to better serve customers. We have seen a lot of great people lose their positions as companies are shrinking up to conserve resources and adapt, but we are also seeing some of those same people get new positions in different industries still in construction.


TEMPERATURE & FACIAL SCREENING KIOSK Contactless temperature screening kiosks detect fever symptoms in real time to protect employees, customers, and visitors to a location. The kiosks have an additional facial recognition option if desired. It’s compact design makes it suitable for high trafficked areas to screen individuals before entry to premises such as office buildings, schools, factories, retail stores, supermarkets and hotels.




WOMEN IN CONSTRUCTION How did you get started in the industry? What is your story?

the networks can support the density of clients in the facilities with a quality connection.

I started in Low Voltage when I was in high school working as a computer tech in a local real estate firm as well as in my father’s family of businesses. Once I was in college and realized that there was more money to be made on my own, I started a business doing networking and computer setup for small businesses. My degree was also in technology, but more on the project management and programming side of things. Eventually, after working at Ford Motor Company, I went to work with my father again and began growing in Federated Service Solutions. I started running the company around 2008 and am now the majority owner.

Name some of the opportunities available for women in the industry?

This is a good time for women in construction to focus on building some additional knowledge around the industry during any downtime. This allows stronger engagement and better forums for ideas in the workplace.

What challenges remain?

The shift in the job market and the uncertainty around COVID-19 is obviously the largest challenge that everyone is facing. Making sure to focus your efforts on enhancing your company’s offerings while creatively problem solving through some of the tough obstacles we face will go a long way for both you as an individual and for your team. Differentiating yourself by truly capitalizing on your best qualities is key right now.

What is the best piece of advice you have ever received? Every problem is an opportunity.

What advice would you give women just entering the industry?

What are some of the biggest changes you have seen over the past few years?

We have seen a definite shift in priorities for our customers. A slowdown in growth, but a strong focus on a better customer experience in existing facilities. We do work with a lot of brick and mortar stores and they are obviously always looking for new ways to engage or draw in customers to the locations. We had started to see some of the mobile infrastructure going pre-COVID to support curbside pickup and mobile checkouts, but it greatly accelerated once the pandemic hit. Infrastructure for solid network architecture has also been big, and we have been doing a lot of upgrades to ensure that


As you are growing in this industry, remember that people will formulate opinions of you and judge you long before they know you. Know yourself and keep moving forward.


As you are growing in this industry, remember that people will formulate opinions about you and judge you long before they know you. Know yourself and keep moving forward, in time your passion will show them the truth about who you are and what you are about. Plan. With all the uncertainty having a plan, and then a backup plan, and a backup plan to the backup plan proved to be one of the most important activities we did to ensure the company’s stability and success.

What is the biggest item on your to-do list?

The biggest item is growth in our target market, finding the right customers so that we can continue to build our business with a lean organization that can have big impact through standardized processes and great delivery.

What is the first thing you are going to do when everything gets back to normal? Get on a plane. Traveling is the thing I miss most. CCR

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Sight. Sound. Smell. Taste. Inside what makes Hawkers Asian Street Food go

A special supplement to:

Dominic DeVuyst Senior Development Manager Hawkers Asian Street Food



Sight. Sound. Smell. Taste. Inside what makes Hawkers Asian Street Food go

By Michael J. Pallerino


ulgogi Beef Street Skewers. Roti Canai. Korean Twice-Fried

Wings. Miso Ramen, Sichuan Wontons. Are you hungry yet? The first glance at the menu of Hawkers Asian Street Food is a show stopper. And if that is not enough to grab your attention, maybe you will marvel at the eye-catching designs of one of its locations, which can evoke a panorama of street scenes and tableaux with graffiti murals and a gift shopstyle displaying of waving maneki-neko lucky cats. Hawkers is inspired by the street food vendors its four co-founders, Kaleb Harrell, Allen Lo, Wayne Yung and Kin Ho encountered while living and traveling in Asia. Debuting in Orlando, Florida in 2011, Hawkers has been on the move, opening locations throughout Florida, Georgia, Maryland, North Carolina and Tennessee. The Hawkers’ Way centers on its “fromscratch-only kitchen” offerings, focusing on seasonal small plates, salads, noodle soups and rice dishes with Pan Asian influences. In fact, many of the recipes were passed down from the founders’ families. We sat down with Senior Development Manager Dominic DeVuyst to see where the brand is heading in the new normal and how it is helping change the Asian food game.




COMMERCIAL KITCHENS Give us a snapshot of the brand?

The Hawkers Asian Street Food brand is centered around being an experiential opportunity to bring the community together over great food, great cocktails and great conversation. We bring that experience to life by building locations that are heavily focused on the style of atmosphere and vibe every detail of each location will provide. Hawkers transports guests to the streets of Asia, without ever having to leave their city. Every detail is measured in how a guest will experience that detail through one (or more) of their five senses. When you walk into a Hawkers restaurant, you become part of the experience.

What type of consumers are you targeting?

Our target audience is comprised of adventure-seeking, food-loving, fun-craving people who love experiencing new things. The Hawkers consumer knows good food when they taste it, but more importantly, they know a great vibe when they feel it.

How does the overall design cater to what today’s consumers wants?

In such a crowded restaurant landscape, consumers want to have a unique and authentic experience when dining out. Restaurants need to be transparent, and guests want to see their food being prepared and cooked. Our restaurants have an open kitchen design that puts the heart of the kitchen—the woks—on full display. The sounds, smells and sights that come from watching food be cooked in an authentic wok are like no other. They transport you right into the streets of Asia in a way that can’t be replicated at home. The open kitchen concept, coupled with the custom neon signs and eclectic wallpaper, push the vibe of each restaurant to take on its own personality and create an amazing experience for guests.

How have you adjusted in this new landscape?

Prior to COVID, about 75% of our restaurant sales were from dine-in guests, and the bulk of our efforts were specifically put into elevating the dine-in experience. When all of the restrictions hit, our sales model was flipped






We want the community of each Hawkers location to feel like their location is a special destination, only available to them. to a heavily takeout-based concept for the time being, which ended up creating unforeseen bottlenecks and inevitably forced our teams to focus on executing a very different guest experience. In addition to working with our operations team to implement a seamless curbside pickup experience, we are now heavily factoring in the importance of offsite dining in the planning and building of our upcoming locations. We are planning for and executing everything from dedicated takeout windows, exclusive takeout spaces within the kitchens and back-of-house, and we have even reorganized our training program to heighten the level of education our team receives within the takeout sphere of opening a new location.

What kind of conversations are you having today with your employees? Customers?

Safety and sanitation have always been an important pillar in the Hawkers scope, but now, more than ever, our team members are facing new situations daily that require on-the-spot decision making with a strategy that keeps safety paramount, above all. Because of this, our team is going through additional extensive training to receive CDC-approved certifications in pandemic safety. This “new normal” has also been an important lesson for our team members in quick pivots.



Typically, Hawkers prefers to plan every detail out to great extent—we are a detail-oriented brand, it is what we do—however, this year has been full of moments where a quick pivot is not only helpful, but necessary for the company’s survival. This ability to pivot to a new strategy quickly, while also maintaining our company mantra and our brand integrity is a huge part of the “new normal” our team is now implementing.

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

Our short-term strategy is actually a huge part of our long-term strategy as well. Early on in the pandemic, our team banded together quickly to outline multiple strategies for company stability. In those strategies, our No. 1 priority was, and will continue to be, guest and team member safety. Through a short-term focus, we will continue to put financial, operational and strategic resources into ensuring guests and team members feel safer at Hawkers than anywhere else. That short-term strategy lends into a larger long-term strategy as we continue to build out new locations with additional safety features in play. On a long-term spectrum, we are shining a bigger spotlight on space size, space layout and any other factor that may lend to possible capacity limits and/or service limits, should anything similar to this pandemic happen again in the future.




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

Transparency, transparency, transparency. We are in a world where nobody knows who or what they can trust because of an ever-chugging news cycle and constant information overload across social media. In a time like this, it is critical to focus less on the fluffy marketing ploys and focus more on staying transparent and honest with your audience. Keep them updated on the changes you are making, the steps you are taking, to keep their safety and well-being in mind first and foremost. Always be ready to answer questions, but stay a step ahead answer your audience’s questions before they even realize they want to ask. That’s the key.

Take us through your construction and design strategy.

The kitchen, expo and bar areas typically drive the initial design, due to the engineering and layout of the restaurant, especially if it’s an existing space. After the design is complete, we review the plan for value engineering opportunities and provide recommendations to reduce construction costs. One of our most trusted partners, Interplan LLC, has been a truly great asset to our team, and they help us convert the design into construction drawings that will be submitted for permitting.

Give us a rundown of your market’s layout.

Most of our locations are primarily found in the southeast and are now starting to run up the eastern seaboard. We have six locations in Florida (two in Orlando, two in Jacksonville, one in St. Petersburg and one in Delray Beach), two locations in North Carolina (Charlotte and Chapel Hill), one in Atlanta, one in Nashville, and we are soon to open our DC metro area location at the end of 2020.

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

We have struggled to find a strong subcontractor base in certain markets, which has led to increased construction costs and caused delays on projects.

Tell us about your sustainability initiatives.

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

Frankly, all of our locations do a really great job interacting with the community and its guests, because it is something our team prioritizes. As we grow and open more locations, it is inevitable we will eventually be labeled a “chain restaurant” on paper. But one of our main priorities is maintain the “community spot” vibe in each of our locations. We want the community of each Hawkers location to feel like their location is a special destination, only available to them. In order to do this, we participate in many community-driven events, partner with community-based non-profits, and we launch multiple neighborhood-specific campaigns that are special to that location throughout the year.

Talk about your restaurant design.

Most of our locations were existing spaces that were converted into a Hawkers restaurant. Because each space does not start as a “vanilla box,” it lends to a unique feel fueled by reusing as much of the existing structure as possible. Exposed block walls, concrete floors with flaws, and fire risers in the corner of the space are all elements that get our design team excited.



In terms of company stability and sustainability, we are implementing short-term and long-term strategies that will ensure the future of Hawkers as the landscape continues to change post-pandemic. In terms of environmental sustainability, one of our main focuses across the development and construction team is the use of reclaimed materials in each of our new locations. We always try to use existing materials—whether they are found within the space already, or even found in cool spots around the city. We have even gone as far as heading to a local “junkyard” to find some cool reclaimed steel, wood and more. We love the idea of reusing materials, because it is not only better for the environment, but it lends an extra element of history and character to the space.

What opportunities do you see moving ahead?

I believe there will be a significant amount of second generation spaces available, and it will present a great opportunity for brands that are willing to adapt. From a brand perspective, there will also be a lot of market share for the taking, so it will be up to the existing restaurant brands to get creative in their marketing and messaging, as they work to claim the open market share.

What trends are you expecting?

There will be a clear shift toward enhancing takeout, curbside and drive-thru capabilities of restaurants across all verticals. But with this trend will also come a higher audience callout for more environmentally friendly ways to execute off-premise dining. Although this is the industry trend, it makes me question if it is sustainable and I believe the consumer demands a great experience and product.




What is the secret to creating a “must visit” location today?

What is the biggest item on your to-do list?

It is all about the full experience. Today’s consumer wants to have a dining experience that they can rave about and share with their friends and family. A restaurant cannot only focus on food, they cannot only focus on service, and they cannot only focus on atmosphere. They have to focus on all three. At Hawkers, we call it “the vibe.”

What does today’s consumer want?

With or without the pandemic in play, consumers are looking for a unique experience that will lend to creating lifelong memories. It is no longer just about the food. Consumers are looking for an experience that they can share with their friends and family, but they are also looking for an experience that they can continue to talk about with their friends and family after they leave the restaurant. Furthermore, now that the world has experienced a global pandemic, consumers will be looking for heightened safety measures across the board. Restaurants must be transparent about their practices and stay honest with their guests.

Reduce the overall cost of construction so that it’s more sustainable for growth of the brand.

What makes Hawkers Asian so unique?

We shine a new light on a cuisine that is commonly misunderstood in the United States. In Asia, street food is top tier dining, because the hawker stalls often have the most authentic and detailed recipes in the country. Hawkers aims to not only make Asian street food accessible to a wider audience, but our brand also spotlights the intricacies of true Asian flavors. There is nothing wrong with Americanized Asian takeout—we love orange chicken just as much as the next guy—but Hawkers aims to show a wider audience what authentic Asian street food is really like. Additionally, our brand pairs all of that authentic flavor detail with an experiential atmosphere that serves to transport a guest directly into the streets of Asia. The Asian street food experience is special because it engages all five senses, either separately, or sometimes all at once. Sight. Sound. Smell. Touch. Taste. Every Hawkers Asian Street Food location serves to engage those senses in the same way. CCR

ONE-ON-ONE WITH... Dominic DeVuyst, Senior Development Manager Hawkers Asian Street Food Best thing a client ever said to you? A meaningful compliment directed toward the team as a whole—that we are an extremely professional group. Some projects take years to complete and it will test your vendor/contractor relationships during challenging times. Being respectful, professional and tactful in all situations is an important aspect of a successful project. Describe a typical day. We have a small team and are usually juggling multiple projects in various phases of development or construction. My goal every day is to positively impact each of our projects, which allows me to switch between phases and apply pressure on items that are critical to staying on schedule or budget.


Best advice you ever received? I’m not sure where the advice came from, but it greatly influenced my approach to managing a project. They related Pareto’s (80/20) Principle to project management, simply stating that 80% of the problems are consequences of 20% of the causes. So I apply most of my attention to navigat-


ing the major hurdles of a project and that allows our team to focus on the challenges we face daily. What is the most rewarding part of your job? I really enjoy being part of a team that works through adversity with a positive attitude. We all push towards the same goal, and it’s to design and build an uncompromising restaurant that’s true to the Hawkers brand. How do you spend your down time? When the project demand is lighter, I like to reflect on completed projects, review situations and cost overruns and how they could have been avoided. As an avid soccer fan, I also love to spend my down time cheering on Orlando’s MLS team—Go Lions!






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Cannabis The

October 2020 • Issue 4


Pay it forward

Photo courtesy of Willis Jacobson Editor, Weed Week

A look into the women-owned cannabis cultivator Autumn Brands

Autumn Shelton and Hanna Brand, Co-founders, Autumn Brands





By Michael J. Pallerino

Pay it foward A look into the women-owned cannabis cultivator Autumn Brands


fresh perspective. That is one of the calling cards for Autumn Brands, a Santa Barbara, California licensed cannabis cultivator that is the perfect vision of two families committed to health and wellness. Started more than a century ago in Holland, the sixth-generation farmers apply the same expertise garnered in growing the world’s finest tulips to producing pure and potent strains of cannabis. Co-founded by Autumn Shelton, Hanna, Hans and Johnny Brand—hence the name—the company embraces the values of fairness, honesty and trust. As one of the first women-owned cannabis businesses in California, the brand uses traditional farming techniques, natural sunlight and pesticide-free cultivation. Autumn Brands continues to increasing its standing in the cannabis world with initiatives like its Brand Ambassadors, which conducts PAD’s (Patients Appreciation Days) around the area. Today, Autumn Brands is doing in-store demo’s locally in Los Angeles and Orange County. We sat down with co-founder and CFO Autumn Shelton to get her take on where the market is heading as cannabis moves into another phase of growth and opportunity.

GIVE US A SNAPSHOT OF YOUR BRAND? Autumn Brands ( is a licensed California cannabis cultivator dedicated to the synergy of health and wellness. The Autumn Brands’ family farm started in Holland more than a century ago. Today, the sixth-generation farmers apply the same expertise garnered in growing the world’s finest tulips to produce pure and potent strains of cannabis in sunny, coastal Santa Barbara County. Autumn Brands is proud to be 50% woman-owned, and free of pesticides.

WHAT TYPE OF CONSUMERS ARE YOU TARGETING? Our products are for everyone 21 and over who is looking for a fresher, cleaner cannabis experience. Our

customers lead busy lives and are looking to counteract daily stress by eating mindfully, exercising wisely and reflecting on relaxation choices. Autumn Brands Cannabis aids customers reaching a higher state of peace and tranquility, while bringing balance to life. Our customers are primarily focused on wellness, balance and holistic health.

WHAT KIND OF ADJUSTMENTS HAVE YOU MADE IN TODAY’S NEW LANDSCAPE? As more states legalize the use of marijuana in some form, technology will likely play a large role in dispensaries’ interaction with consumers. Apps like Weedmaps, Kushy and Budly are popping up in major cities to seamlessly connect consumers with product. Online ordering for curbside pick-up is also becoming increasingly popular, particularly in the wake of COVID-19 and social distancing measures.

WAS YOUR OPERATION DEEMED ESSENTIAL DURING THE LOCKDOWN? Yes, we saw a major increase in dispensary purchases as local municipalities started shelter in place orders. They couldn’t keep products on the shelves and wanted two to three deliveries per week. Once cannabis was deemed essential, the panic buying stopped, but sales have continued at a solid pace. There is still a limit to how much a consumer can purchase in one day, so consumers need to continue to go back in order to get more than an ounce. Only time




will tell how sales will continue. As financial situations and behaviors change we will see new consumers and current consumers adapt by purchasing more, less, different price points and different types of products.

WHAT IS YOUR SHORT-TERM AND LONG-TERM STRATEGIES? Our short-term strategy is continue to grow at rate that we can remain profitable and cash flow positive and enjoy what we are doing. Our long-term strategy is to expand our cultivation footprint, diversify our genetics, and develop new and exciting products for our consumers.


WHAT IS THE BEST PIECE OF ADVICE YOU CAN OFFER FOR DEALING WITH WHAT’S HAPPENING IN TODAY’S MARKETPLACE? The marketplace has been hot since our industry was deemed essential. We have seen demand ebb and flow over the years, so it is important to know the high demand can shift at any moment and to be prepared for financial highs and lows.

TALK ABOUT SUSTAINABILITY. WHAT ARE YOU DOING? We are committed to sustainability of our planet and making sure all humans, animals

and the earth remain healthy and viable. We use a closed-loop watering system ensuring no water is wasted, but instead re-used and recycled and all of our organic waste is also recycled into compost. We do our best to limit the amount of packaging materials we use with our products, such as using glass jars and biodegradable plastics when possible.

WHAT TYPE OF OPPORTUNITIES DO YOU SEE MOVING AHEAD? Our biggest opportunity is that it is still a brand new industry. There is no glass ceiling and the opportunities are endless for growth, creativity and education.

WHAT TRENDS ARE YOU SEEING? Diminishing stigma: These five states (Recreational: Arizona, Montana, New Jersey, and South Dakota; Medical: Mississippi) voted on election day whether of not to legalize marijuana. Additionally, Mississippi, Alaska, California, Colorado, Illinois, Michigan, Nevada, Oregon and Washington all have formally announced cannabis businesses are “essential” during this pandemic. Legislature: The most important bills to get passed right now are those that involve the health and wellness of humanity and provide stimulus to the economy.

Research: We will likely see new research into unknown cannabinoid effects and how, together with terpenes, this plant can help so many more people. Social injustice: As education around cannabis grows during this pandemic and more states legalize, the demand will increase to free those incarcerated for marijuana-related offenses. Cannabis topicals: We will see a large increase in topical product development and sales next year.



Top photo courtesy of Willis Jacobson Editor, Weed Week

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Sustainable and ethical grow techniques: The year of health is 2020-2021. Virtual technology: As more states legalize the use of marijuana in some form, technology will likely play a large role in dispensaries’ interaction with consumers.

WHAT IS TODAY’S CONSUMER LOOKING FOR? Quality over quantity. This has been a main factor in bringing our company to where it is today. Our farm is 100% spray free, [with] no pesticides, herbicides or fungicides. We also do all of our processing by hand, from the harvesting, bucking, trimming and packing.

TELL US WHAT MAKES YOUR BRAND SO UNIQUE? We are 50% women-owned and sixth-generation farmers. Sustainability has always been a top priority for both the brand family and

Autumn’s family, and definitely helped shape our farm and brand. We grow in the same hydroponic system the flowers were in and were able to reuse the infrastructure instead of buying new. It is a closed-loop watering system, meaning there’s no runoff and everything is recycled and reused. We are 100% spray free, so no harmful chemicals are getting in the environment. All of our green waste is brought to a facility to be turned to mulch.

ONE-ON-ONE WITH... Autumn Shelton, CFO, Autumn Brands

There is never a typical day. This industry keeps us on our toes. Every week for me consists of keeping an eye on our financials, KPI’s and sales, oversee payroll, making sure everything we do is compliant, work with the county to get us through an already 2 year permitting process, make sure our company staff is happy and healthy, support my partners and managers in whatever they need, make


decisions on marketing and strategize our next steps.

Biggest thing on your to-do list? The most time consuming thing I am working on at the moment is transitioning to a new payroll company, which has been a very long and tedious process, but I know it will pay off once its complete! And the most exciting thing is our new topical product that will be hitting the market in December after two years of R & D.


Most rewarding part of your job? The most rewarding part of my job is knowing how incredible this plant is and how many people it helps whether its medically or recreationally. And that I get to help develop an amazing company with my husband and friends (partners).

Best advice you ever received? Stay frugal when you can be and spend money when its

important and will make a measurable difference.

Best thing a client ever said to you? That they respect who we are and the products that we produce.

How do you like to spend your down time? I love to go camping with my husband, almost five year old son, one year old daughter, our parents and friends.

Top middle photo courtesy of Ben Anderson

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OCTOBER 2020 • VOL 4 • ISSUE 8

The Voice of Craft Brands

The world according to craft How Urban South Brewery is preaching the gospel of good beer Jacob Landry, Founder & President; Kyle Huling, Co-Founder & Vice President

The Voice of Craft Brands

The world according to craft How Urban South Brewery is preaching the gospel of good beer





By Michael J. Pallerino

Jacob Landry’s love for craft came from Europe. While attending college there, the Southwest Louisiana native remembers falling hard for Belgian and English style ales and German lagers. After returning to the States, he worked in the education world, first as a teacher and then overseeing strategy for Louisiana’s largest school district. And then came the call. As a good Cajun and Southerner, he recalls, he knew his future rested in sharing the gospel of good beer. Partnering with Kyle Huling, founder of the Louisiana Craft Beer team, they unleashed Urban South Brewery on the craft world. Urban South’s combination of the heritage of European beer making with the brashness of new American styles set the Cajun beer world on fire. Its mixture of cultural legacy and bold innovation hit the New Orleans market in 2016 with the opening of Urban South’s production facility and taproom. In February 2020, Landry and Huling opened an R&D brewery and taproom in Houston, where they continue to focus on pushing the boundaries of American beer. Their mission is to inspire community and fellowship through the gospel of good beer. Together, they plan to build an enduring company that embodies the values and traditions of the Urban South—while also being a strong community partner. CBAM sat down with Landry and Huling to get their insights on their brand, the market and where we go from here.

guidelines. Social media interactions have gone through the roof. With the increase in remote work, people are spending more time on social media. We’ve had to up our content game while at the same time communicating the ever-changing safety procedures.

How should a brand lead in a distressed market? Jacob Landry: Our fast growth has made us a leader in the craft beer scene here in Louisiana, and with leadership certainly comes responsibility. The pandemic has shown us that all you can do in uncharted waters is fall back on your core values. We have shown our community that we

What are some of the adjustments you made to your business model due to recent events? Kyle Huling: Nearly 40% of our annual sales disappeared with the closure of bars and restaurants, so we needed to pivot quickly. Our anniversary party was scheduled for late March, so we had a bunch of one-off taproom releases in the tank, ready to go. So we canned 100% of those batches and sold them online for pick-up. Some of them sold out within minutes, which showed us that creating regular specialty releases could be the solution to our revenue shortfall. Since then we have done three to five taproom-only releases every Thursday, and continue to see amazing sales.

are committed to its well-being—through our extensive hand sanitizer donations, charity collaborations like “All Together” and “Black is Beautiful,” through maintaining our staff and paying them a living wage, despite the dramatic downturn in on-premise sales, and through the more lighthearted piece of producing a huge variety of special release beers.

What type of conversations are you having with your customers?

What advice you can offer on dealing with today’s crisis?

Huling: So many are asking when they can come into the taproom for a pint. It really hurts to turn away business, but we have to follow the state and city safety

Huling: Be aggressive and make adjustments quickly. During a crisis, some businesses’ strategy is to go into survival mode; reduce costs and overhead while trying to



Urban South Brewery

weather the storm. Our strategy was to take the opportunity to grow our market share in grocery stores. So our sales team, which usually made sales calls to bars and restaurants, instead visited grocery stores to stock shelves and to build displays. The result was a massive increase in off-premise sales that continued even after restaurants began opening. We refined our to-go beer procedures after each week’s release with feedback from our customers. Whether it was implementing limits or creating safer pickup options, we did not lock into a specific process. Our brewing team took the opportunity to experiment a lot with different styles and recipes we had been considering for distribution beers. Since March, our team has brewed over 150 unique beers ranging from heavily fruited sours to hard seltzers. This has helped us build a game plan for new product offerings in 2021. Landry: Hold true to your core values, and use those as your guiding principles—in our case—fearless, welcoming, honest, collaborative, and better every day.

What’s next for the craft beer market? Huling: The re-opening of bars is going to be the next hurdle for our sales team. Our team is going to need to work closely with business owners to create a safe strategy that promotes their business and our products. Additionally, we need to be respectful of their financial woes and not immediately start the sales pitch for a new brand we are launching. This is an opportunity for us to show that our goals are aligned and we can help to drive people (safely) to their bars to enjoy a long awaited pint.

What trends are defining the space? Landry: Beer styles are certainly evolving. We never entered into the traditional IPA game—we jumped on the hazy, New England IPA trend from the start, and it’s still going strong. But we are also seeing a lot of consumer interest in fruited sour beers, and of course you cannot ignore the massive growth of hard seltzers and “better for you” beer. These are two categories that we’ll be entering with the launch of Paradise Park Hard Seltzer in early November and Paradise Park 100—our 100-calorie lager in late 2020.

What is your story from a brand perspective? Landry: We launched at a great time in Louisiana craft beer—one where one brewery stood out as a leader, and no others had emerged as a clear alternative. This wide open space allowed us to start, not as a niche brewery, but one that could really hit across the spectrum with beer styles and distribution. We are also a group of chill, family-oriented folks, and I think our brand represents that. We are the beer for the everyman and everywoman—the one that slides seamlessly into the grocery store shelf and the festival beer booth. We aim CIRCLE NO. 54






Urban South Brewery

to be that every occasion brewery, and I think our growing customer base appreciates that.

Walk us through your branding strategy. Landry: We loved our initial branding. We intentionally created it to show the juxtaposition between old and new, and highlight those elements of the urban south that excite us—where fast-paced meets laid back, where cobblestone streets sit outside of tall glass office buildings. So in thinking about an update, we wanted to keep those elements that people are familiar with, while bringing more uniformity across our core lineup. We were able to draw upon our favorite elements from the



“We launched at a great time in Louisiana craft beer—one where one brewery stood out as a leader, and no others had emerged as a clear alternative.” — Jacob Landry, co-founder & President



hundreds of label designs we’ve done to create one cohesive look that was fresh, but that people would still recognize as Urban South.

What’s the biggest issue today related to the marketing/sales side of the business? Landry: The sheer volume of options. The consumer today has an environment of 8,000-plus craft breweries. When we started business planning just six years ago, there were only 2,500 in the US. In the early days of craft beer, if you brewed it, people would come, as it was novel and local. Today, not only does the product have to stand out in style, quality and consistency, but the brand also has to hit. We have


Urban South Brewery

understood this from Day 1, and this was a critical part of our decision-making in this brand refresh.

What is the secret to creating a branding story consumers can buy into? Landry: Authenticity is key. The brand has to match the story, which has to match the liquid. We’re regular folks, most of us born and raised in Louisiana. We are taking our kids to T-ball games, fishing on the weekends, camping with extended family. If our branding, beer styles or pricing didn’t match who we are, I don’t think we could pull it off. Our customers would see right through it.

“ I love to see the professional development of our team. There are numerous examples of people who started out in one area of the company, but over time, we have given them the chance to follow their passions.” — Kyle Huling, co-founder & VP

What is the one thing every brand should do in the way of marketing? Landry: When people buy craft beer, their dollar hits small businesses, and in most cases, their own communities in a much greater way than when they buy macro products. Craft beer brands should more effectively make this case. It is got to be backed up with quality and consistency, but we need to show our communities that not only can we make beer as good as those larger brands, but we invest in our backyard in a way they could never do.

What are some of your biggest opportunities moving ahead? Landry: As uncertain as these times can feel, I’m optimistic about a number of opportunities. I’m bullish that our brand can carry beyond





Louisiana—and we will be aggressively looking to open other distribution markets in the Southeast over the next two years. I am also confident in the model of the brewery as a “third place.” We opened our Houston taproom in February of this year, and we are exploring other opportunities to create retail-focused taprooms in cities that match our brand story.

What is the biggest item on your to-do list right now? Landry: Deciding what’s next from a location standpoint. We are pleased with how things have unfolded for our Houston taproom, and we think that model has legs in some other Southern cities.

Sitting down with … Urban South Brewery Kyle Huling & Jacob Landry What’s the most rewarding part of your job? Kyle Huling: I love to see the professional development of our team. There are numerous examples of people who started out in one area of the company, but over time, we have given them the chance to follow their passions. For example, Oliver Phillis and Murphy Fleenor started on the packaging line, and now are engineering and building some of our equipment for expansion. Or Abby Perkins, who started out as a marketing intern, and now she is leading our brand refresh and new product launches.

What was the best advice you ever received? Jacob Landry: I recently listened to a podcast with Danny Meyer, who said, “Stop complaining about your problems. Problems are the definition of business. The real question is who do you want to solve them with, and how can you have fun doing it.” This resonated with me and with the journey of entrepreneurship. There are a million headaches, but as entrepreneurs, tackling these are the essence of what we do.

What is the best thing a customer ever said to you? Landry: It may be simplistic and cheesy, but it never gets old when a customer tells me that XYZ is their favorite beer. These are the folks that keep us going. We do a ton of experimenting and innovating, but it’s the lady buying a six-pack of Paradise Park each week and picking up a 15-pack for parties that keep our lights on. We know those folks exist, but it is so refreshing and reassuring to hear it firsthand.

What is your favorite brand story? Landry: I’m a big fan of the “How I Built This” podcast with Guy Raz. One that I have gone back to a couple of times is the story of Jeni’s Ice Cream. I still remember the first time I stepped into one of their retail stores and was struck by how spot on the brand was, and how well the story came through. The podcast filled in a lot of the story for me, and I love the struggle, persistence, and how well the brand is executed at the store level.





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by David Corson

As the clock winds...


y son is graduating from FAA mechanics school this December. After that, he will have to study for his final test to get his A&P License—similar to a law student taking the bar exam.

COVID-19 has changed the way we buy and sell homes. So much is done online before a home is even seen. Some people even buy homes sight unseen.

When he passes, he will be turning wrenches on a tarmac someplace in the USA. That means we will become empty nesters and not need the house we have lived in the last 15-plus years. The house is on the market. The plan is to buy a smaller house until we build on the lake lot we purchased. We will be acting as our own contractors, eventually keeping the smaller house as a rental property. The problem is that the housing market is so hot in Atlanta that every time one gets listed we want, it sells before we can even take a look at it. We've never seen anything like it. Technology makes it so easy to see what homes are for sale, if they are under contract, pending, etc. Selling our house with five dogs has been an adventure. Every time we have a showing, we have to put them in the F-150 and park in my neighbor's driveway while the potential buyers take their tour. Fifteen minutes to an hour later, their tour is done. I am curious as to what they do in the house for that long. The house has everything you need: bedrooms, kitchen, garage, basement, bathrooms, etc. I swear people are trying on some of my hoodies in the closet.



The listing agents are basically useless. They don’t try to sell the buyers on the house, on the area, the school district, area restaurants, lake access, and the list goes on. Now my wife has decided to be in the house to help answer questions and build rapport with potential buyers. It makes a big difference. COVID-19 has changed the way we buy and sell homes. So much is done online before a home is even seen. Some people even buy homes sight unseen. Like I said, it's the craziest housing market I have ever seen. It has been an awesome house. I have fond memories, but it is time to move on, downsize and build our lake bungalow just the way we always wanted it. I will keep a video diary on our progress and cannot wait for move-in day—sooner rather than later. Enjoy the holiday season ahead. We hope to see you at our 11th Annual Summit, Jan. 13th & 14th, 2021. It will be a virtual conference via Zoom. Also, remember to wash your hands, don't touch your face and be aware of your surroundings. Keep the faith and stay positive. CCR


From Midtown to Manhattan 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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