News Wire


Thursday, January 29, 2015

Terra Search Partners Join Forces With ULI to Publish New Research on Micro Units

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif  — San Francisco-based Terra Search Partners together with several other Multifamily Housing Council member firms and research partners joined forces with the Urban Land Institute (ULI) to recently publish a new report titled The Macro View on Micro Units. 

This report explores the new trend towards small dwelling units in the United States. The ULI Multifamily Housing Councils were awarded a foundation grant for the research, which evaluates the market performance and acceptance of micro units from multiple perspectives. 

Micro units are defined as very small (by traditional standards) apartments located in urban areas, particularly high-density, expensive metropolitan markets such as Boston, New York, San Francisco, Seattle, and Washington, D.C. 

Bill Whitlow, a Partner with San Francisco-based Terra Search Partners, chaired the ULI Research Committee which was comprised of representatives from each of the four Multifamily Housing Councils. 

The Committee wrote the report and oversaw the work of research partners which conducted interviews with ULI Multifamily Council members and other developers, operators, and design professionals familiar with micro unit developments to determine critical success factors, best practices, and lessons learned. 

Topics within the report include innovative design strategies, necessary/desirable community amenities and services, locational characteristics, operating experience, and construction and operational costs.

The findings were presented at the annual fall ULI meeting, held in New York, NY. ULI is a nonprofit research and education organization supported by its members, who represent land use and real estate development disciplines working in private enterprise and public service.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

LandSouth Construction Starts Contemporary Urban Mixed-use Apartment Project in UPtown Delray

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- LandSouth Construction, a Jacksonville, Fla. based general contractor specializing in multifamily and senior housing, has begun construction on UPtown Delray, a $26 million mixed-use apartment community in Delray Beach, Fla.

 “This contemporary urban project has two buildings connected by a pedestrian bridge,” said Joe Passkiewicz, vice president of operations for LandSouth Construction. “One building will be apartments over a parking structure. The other is mixed-use with retail and office space as well as apartments.  The project is a structural concrete building with extensive use of glass and metal accents with private balconies and terraces.” 

The development will consist of 146 residences with the total development comprising over 338,000 square feet. UPtown Delray is expected to be completed by September 2016.

The developer is NCC Development Group of Delray Beach, Fla. and Monogram Residential of Plano, Texas. Slattery and Associates, a full-service planning and architectural design firm founded in 1981 and based in Boca Raton, is designing the community.

"We are pleased to begin UPtown Delray and partner again with New Century Companies and Monogram Residential. Downtown Delray Beach has become a growing source of pride for the city and its citizens. This upscale project will inspire people to live, work and play in a comfortable urban neighborhood setting,” noted said James Pyle, President and CEO of LandSouth.

LandSouth Construction is currently working on projects throughout the Southeast including apartments in Jacksonville, Oviedo, Sanford and Orlando Fla., Collegedale, Tenn. and senior housing in Bonita Springs, Fla. In its 16 year history, LandSouth Construction has completed more than 10,000 multifamily units, including apartments, senior living, condominiums, and townhomes.

When completed, UPtown Delray amenities will include a third floor pool and amenity deck including a clubroom that opens to a glamorous outdoor entertaining area including refreshment seating, grilling areas, a water wall fountain, tropical gardens and private terraces.  Other project amenities include a gym, gaming room, coffee bar, cyber cafĂ©, conference meeting room, retail and gated parking.

The community will feature studio, one and two bedroom, two-bath apartment homes including some lofts. Interior elements will include sleek, modern appointments, wood cabinetry, granite tops, and stainless steel appliances.

UPtown Delray is located at the heart of the beach community’s growing business district at the corner of Federal Highway and S.E. 2nd Street, two blocks south of Atlantic Ave. Residents will be within walking distance to shopping, restaurants and entertainment while also offering easy access to all Downtown Delray Beach has to offer.

In building UPtown Delray LandSouth is using its unique integrated approach where each service component works together to provide a seamless delivery system.

These components have been designed and refined to be complementary and each is performance enhanced with proven procedures, tested systems and the very latest technology. By emphasizing results and exceptional service, LandSouth Construction has created a construction process to provide the best possible value for clients.

For more information visit or call 904.273.6004.


LandSouth Construction is the Southeast's premier general contractor specializing in multifamily and senior housing construction. Headquartered in Jacksonville, Fla., the firm transforms ideas into first-class communities by providing superior construction management services while building long-term relationships. Founded in 1998, LandSouth has completed more than 10,000 multifamily units. The company builds all product types including apartments, hotels, senior living, student and military housing, condominiums and townhomes. LandSouth builds projects of the highest quality, aesthetic relevance and enduring value. For more information, call 904.273.6004 or visit

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Millennials Seek Smaller Houses, But Won't Sacrifice Details, Panelists Say

WASHINGTON, D.C.  - As Millennials begin to enter the home buying market in larger numbers, homes will get a little smaller, laundry rooms will be essential, and home technology will become increasingly prevalent, said panelists during an International Builders' Show press conference on home trends and Millennials' home preferences held last week.

NAHB Assistant Vice President of Research Rose Quint predicted that the growing numbers of first-time buyers will drive down home size in 2015. Three million new jobs were created in 2014, 700,000 more than the previous year "and the most since 1999," Quint said. At the same time, regulators have reduced downpayment requirements for first-time buyers from 5 percent to 3 percent and home prices have seen only moderate growth. 

"All these events lead me to believe that more people will come into the market, and as younger, first-time buyers, they will demand smaller, more affordable homes," Quint said. "Builders will build whatever demand calls out for."

Quint also unveiled the results of two surveys: one asking home builders what features they are most likely to include in a typical new home this year, and one asking Millennials what features are most likely to affect their home buying decisions.

Of the Top 10 features mentioned by home builders, four have to do with energy efficiency: Low-E windows, Energy Star-rated appliances and windows and programmable thermostats. The top features: a master bedroom walk-in closet and a separate laundry room.

Least likely features include high-end outdoor kitchens with plumbing and appliances and two-story foyers and family rooms. "Consumers don't like them anymore, so builders aren't going to build them," Quint said.

When NAHB asked Millennials what features fill their "most-wanted" shopping list, a separate laundry room clearly topped the list, with 55 percent responding that they just wouldn't buy a new home that didn't have one. Storage is also important, with linen closets, a walk-in pantry and garage storage making the Top 10 - along with Energy Star certifications. In fact, this group is willing to pay 2-3 percent more for energy efficiency as long as they can see a return on their power bills.

If they can't quite afford that first home, respondents said they'd be happy to sacrifice extra finished space or drive a little farther to work, shops and schools, but are unwilling to compromise with less expensive materials.

A whopping 75 percent of this generation wants to live in single-family homes, and 66 percent of them prefer to live in the suburbs. Only 10 percent say they want to stay in the central city. Compared to older generations, millennials are more likely to want to live downtown, but it's still a small minority share, Quint said.

Panelist Jill Waage, editorial director for home content at Better Homes and Gardens, discussed Millennials' emphasis on the importance of outdoor living and that generation's seamless use of technology, and how those two trends play into their home buying and home renovation decisions. 

Because they generally don't have as much ready cash - or free time - as older home owners, Millennials seek less expensive, low-maintenance choices like a brightly painted front door, strings of garden lights, and landscaping that needs less watering and mowing, like succulent plants and larger patios.

They're also very comfortable with their smartphones and tablets, and increasingly seek ways to control their heating and air-conditioning and security and lighting as well as electronics like televisions and sound systems from their phones. "They want to use their brains for other things, not for remembering whether they adjusted the heat or closed the garage door," Waage said.

Monday, January 26, 2015

What is the Social Role of Architecture Beyond the Building?


Mike Bonts, Publicist
(904) 424-6641

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (January 26, 2015) -- Can architecture improve our health? Can architecture be used to radically improve people's lives? Conversely, can architecture injure the populations it houses?
AIA Jacksonville will feature MASS Design Executive Director Michael Murphy. Wednesday Feb. 11, 2015 at the Jacksonville Downtown Library at 303 Laura St. Program begins at 6:30. Social at 5:30.
“Their approach to design is that architecture is more than just a building. In the five years since MASS began, they have shown that exceptional buildings and infrastructure can actually address many of the health, economic, and social challenges that the world faces today,”  said AIA Jacksonville President Tom Duke.
With his work at MASS Design Group, he has combined sustainable, innovative and appropriate design with immersive research and uses the design process to capitalize on local educational opportunities to generate systemic change, break the cycle of poverty, and ultimately create buildings that heal.
Non-profit MASS Design Group began in 2008 during the design and building of the Butaro District Hospital in Rwanda; a project of Partners in Health and the Rwandan Ministry of Health.
Since then, MASS has expanded to work on three continents with projects spanning the design of buildings, research, policy, education, and strategic planning. Their work seeks to provide infrastructure, buildings, and the human and physical systems necessary for growth, dignity, and well-being.
Murphy co-founded MASS Design Group with Alan Ricks. Murphy has become a thought leader in architecture and healthcare design and was recently listed in The Atlantic Monthly as one of the "Greatest Innovators of Today."
By applying holistic thinking and focusing on the process of constructing a building as much - if not more than - the physical building itself, Murphy will discuss architects ability to not only design the built environment, but also to build capacity, create dignity, and empower.

The event, sponsored by WorkScapes and Shaw Contract Group, is free to AIA member architects and architecture students. Allied Members $10. Non-members $20. Register at Call (904) 389-8421 for more information.

Kitchen & Bath Industry Show Has Another Banner Year

LAS VEGAS – The 2015 Kitchen & Bath Industry Show (KBIS), the largest North American platform devoted to kitchen and bath industry design, wrapped its 51st annual show at the Las Vegas Convention Center and Visitors Center. 

More than 500 exhibitors took part in the three-day show on Jan. 20-22, 2015. According to KBIS producers, Emerald Expositions, and show owners, the National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA), early indicators show the 2015 event saw a five percent growth in verified attendance.

“Everything about this year’s show lived up to the promise of bigger, better and bolder,” said Bill Darcy, NKBA CEO. “We were thrilled, not only by the turnout, but by how many innovations were introduced by exhibitors this year. We couldn't be happier that the industry sees KBIS as the platform to successfully launch new products.”

The addition of 500,000 square feet in the South Hall offered the opportunity to provide thought provoking, inspired ‘on floor’ programming, as well as additional exhibit space. Branded as KBISNeXTTM, the area was a destination for discovering the next ideas, trends and innovations in the kitchen and bath industry. In addition to programming on the KBISNeXT Stage, the area also featured a Tech Bar, and the FutureHaus Kitchen, presented by Virginia Tech.

Once again, the NKBA’s Voices From The Industry (VFTI) delivered huge value to attendees with more than 90 sessions in 11 conference blocks. Many of the sessions offered continuing education units (CEUs) from the NKBA as well as other industry associations, including NAHB (National Association of Homebuilders), NARI (National Association of the Remodeling Industry), and AIA (American Institute of Architects).

In collaboration with the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), KBIS co-located with the International Builders’ Show (IBS) for the second annual Design & Construction WeekTM. Two additional design and construction events – the winter 2015 Las Vegas Market and The International Surface Event – SURFACES and The Tile Expo took part in this year’s event. The International Window Coverings Expo (IWCE) also continued its participation. Early estimates show the 2015 mega-event drew more than 125,000 designers, builders, dealers and suppliers and more than 300 members of the media.

A founding member of Design & Construction WeekTM, the NKBA and NAHB announced this week their respective trade shows will continue to co-locate together through 2020 as one of the world’s largest gatherings focused on new ideas, products and technologies to design, build and remodel homes. Design & Construction WeekTM is among six events scheduled at the Las Vegas Convention Center during January, making it “one of the most robust months of convention attendance in years,” according to the Las Vegas Review.

News of the co-location extension is welcome, coming on the heels of a positive housing report released from the U.S. Commerce Department. The report, which points toward a positive outlook for the building industry in 2015, provides optimism for kitchen and bath professionals and KBIS exhibitors.

“KBIS 2015 and our participation in Design & Construction Week was a huge success,” said Brian Pagel, VP, Kitchen & Bath, Emerald Expositions. “We are incredibly excited about the future of these events given the prospect of a stronger housing market in 2015.”

At the NKBA’s annual State of the Industry address, Kevin Murphy, chief operating officer of Ferguson Enterprises declaring to a cheering crowd that the state of the industry is excellent. Murphy cited strong employee development programs, a multi-channel experience and the need to embrace the changing expectation of customers as today’s key opportunities for innovative businesses. 

The 2016 KBIS will be held Jan. 19-21, 2016 in Las Vegas. Future show dates are Jan. 10-12, 2017 and Jan. 9-11, 2018 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Fla.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

125,000 Attend 2015 International Builders' Show®, Design & Construction Week

LAS VEGAS -- Approximately 125,000 housing industry professionals packed the aisles at Design & Construction Week,[tm] which ends today. 

Now in its second year, the co-located mega-event included the National Association of Home Builders' International Builders' Show (IBS), the Kitchen and Bath Industry Show, the International Window Coverings Expo, The International Surface Event and the Las Vegas Market.

Official attendance for IBS was 55,237, which was 8 percent higher than last year's show. More than 1,200 exhibitors filled 478,000 square feet of space with everything from the latest in kitchen and bath design to millwork and marketing services. Overall, Design & Construction Week boasted 3,750 exhibitors and 4.7 million net square feet of exhibit space.

"This has been the best show we have experienced since the economic downturn," said Jerry Konter, chair of the NAHB Convention and Meetings Committee. "You felt a great energy the moment you hit the show floor, as builders and exhibitors continue to benefit from the recovering economy."

On the show floor, exhibitors fielded questions about technologies that didn't even exist five years ago, including smart phone-controlled home automation systems for security, lighting and entertainment that have only been available for high-end custom homes with big price tags.

Attendees crowded the aisles for a show that almost overwhelmed taxis, hotels, and restaurants in what the Las Vegas Conventions and Visitors Authority believe to be a record-setting week for visitation.

"The exhibit halls were packed from end to end and the energy on the show floor was amazing," said newly elected NAHB Chairman Tom Woods, a home builder from Blue Springs, Mo. "Design & Construction Week was truly a unique one-stop shopping extravaganza for all those involved in the residential construction industry, and this mega-event will be a great springboard for housing in the year ahead."

Friday, January 23, 2015

Rio Estancia in Texas Hill Country Named Home of the Year in National Design Competitio

LAS VEGAS -- Rio Estancia in Boerne, Texas, has been selected as Home of the Year in the 2014 Best in American Living Awards (BALA) by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). The home also received honors as the South Central regional winner.

Rio Estancia was designed by Craig McMahon Architects Inc., of Bulverde, Texas, and Studio Industrielle in San Antonio. Studio Industrielle also served as the builder. The land planner for the project was Pete Hinton with Rialto Studio in San Antonio and Anna Meyers Interiors in Chicago was the interior designer. 

The 350-acre property is located along the Guadalupe River in the rolling hills of the Texas Hill Country. 

Taking cues from the panoramic vistas offered on the property, the main home, bedrooms and guest quarters were organized in the South American Estancia fashion, utilizing the elements of pavilion-living components to frame the main courtyard around the pool and edging up to the river.

The building program was organized in four zones, offering owners and guests private areas for living and entertaining as well as privacy and screening for parking so as not to interrupt the private areas of the landscape. 

The transparent and open plan is complemented with large covered terraces and arbors that extend the living spaces to the outside. Locally quarried stone walls block the north wind, while large southern overhangs control the summer sun. 

Building orientation, electronically controlled window/mechanical systems, geothermal heating/cooling systems, tankless water heaters, expanded foam insulation, reclaimed water systems and solar collection are embraced for harmony with the climate

"The home feels as though it has been an integral part of the landscape from the beginning of time," said 2014 BALA Chairman Stephen C. Moore, senior partner - marketing at BSB Design Inc. in Des Moines, Iowa. "Beautifully designed, rugged yet luxurious, this home brings the outside indoors."

In its 31st year, BALA recognizes outstanding achievement by builders and design professionals in all sectors of the residential housing industry including single-family production, custom, rental, affordable, interiors, remodeling, community and international. 

Award winners were announced at the annual NAHB International Builders' Show in Las Vegas.