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Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Homeownership Rates Drop to Historic Lows

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – The fledgling U.S. housing recovery lost momentum last year as homeownership rates continued to fall, single-family construction remained near historic lows, and existing home sales cooled, concludes The State of the Nation’s Housing report released today by the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University. 

In contrast, rental markets continued to grow, fueled by another large increase in the number of renter households. However, with rents rising and incomes well below pre-recession levels, the U.S. is also seeing record numbers of cost-burdened renters, including more renter households higher up the income scale.

“Perhaps the most telling indicator of the state of the nation’s housing is the drop in the homeownership rate to just 64.5 percent last year,” says Chris Herbert, managing director of the Joint Center for Housing Studies. “This erases nearly all of the increase from the previous two decades. In fact, the number of homeowners fell for the eighth straight year, and the trend does not appear to be abating.”

The flip side of falling homeownership rates has been exceptionally strong demand for rental housing, with the 2010s on pace to be the strongest decade for renter growth in history. 

While soaring demand is often attributed to the millennials’ preference to rent, households aged 45–64 in fact accounted for about twice the share of renter growth as households under the age of 35. Similarly, households in the top half of the income distribution, although generally more likely to own, contributed 43 percent of the growth in renters.

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Sunday, June 21, 2015

City, U.S. Green Building Council North Florida Achieve Energy Efficiency for Taxpayers

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The City of Jacksonville’s St. James Building, which houses City Hall, has earned ENERGY STAR certification from the Environmental Protection Agency. The designation comes after several years of partnership between the city and the U.S. Department of Energy to track energy usage in public buildings and achieve energy efficiency for taxpayers and the environment.

“The St. James Building is a historic architectural jewel in Downtown. I want to thank our Public Buildings Division for their great stewardship of our buildings and the environment, reducing costs for Jacksonville taxpayers by making energy efficiency a priority,” said Mayor Alvin Brown. “I also want to thank the United States Green Building Council North Florida for engineer Mark Gelfo’s assistance in helping us achieve the ENERGY STAR designation.”

Commercial buildings that earn the ENERGY STAR certification perform in the top 25 percent of similar buildings nationwide, using an average of 35 percent less energy and emitting 35 percent less greenhouse gas than average buildings.

Original construction on the St. James Building was completed in 1912, and it earned a spot on the National Register of Historic Places in 1976. The city purchased the former department store in 1993 to house City Hall and subsequently remodeled the building, reopening it for public use in 1997.

The St. James Building is the first city-owned building in Jacksonville to achieve ENERGY STAR certification, although the city is pursuing certification for other buildings as well. Jacksonville is number 10 among mid-size cities for the number of ENERGY STAR certified buildings, with 43 local buildings saving an estimated $3.9 million in energy costs.

Friday, June 19, 2015

SENIOR LIVING: First Phases of American House Opens with Salute to Veterans

BONITA SPRINGS, Fla. - With a focus on Veterans, LandSouth Construction, a Jacksonville, Fla. based general contractor specializing in multifamily, senior housing and mixed use developments, helped celebrate the grand opening of Phase One and Two of American House Senior Living Community in Bonita Springs, Fla.

With veterans, city officials and residents present during the ceremony, American House announced it will be a sponsor of the Wounded Warriors Amputee Softball Team that will play in Bonita Springs on Saturday, Jan. 16, 2016.

AH Bonita Springs LLC is the developer and Progressive Associates the architect of phase one and two of the $14,101,099 senior community.

“American House is a quality developer with a lot of experience with nearly 4,300 senior living units across nearly 40 communities, making it one of the top-25 largest senior living providers in the U.S,” said LandSouth’s Vice President of Operations Joe Passkiewicz.

Nestled on 25 acres, American House is a three phase senior living campus including independent and assisted living with full kitchens as well as a forty unit memory care building.  The project consists of 60 one bedroom, 25 studio, and five two bedroom units in the first phase, and 40 one bedroom memory care residences in the second phase.

LandSouth will begin construction of the third phase in September that will feature and independent living building with larger apartments and concierge services.

American House is located adjacent to the Imperial River in Old Bonita Springs. Amenities include full restaurant service, resident activity rooms, aerobic swimming pool, lake walking path, fountains, gardens and exterior patios and verandas.

There’s a kitchen in every private apartment along with cozy community areas throughout the grounds. A Life Enrichment Director plans a wide range of cultural, social and recreational programming. Resident services also include 24-hour on-site staff and scheduled transportation. Laundry and housekeeping services are also available.

American House residents will have their own private bleachers and complimentary parking for the softball games that will be played at Bonita Springs Community Park on Pine Avenue. Last January more than 1,000 watched the Wounded Warriors Amputee Softball Team take on squads from the Lee County Sheriff's Office and the Bonita Springs Fire Control and Rescue District.

The idea that came from Estero, Fla. resident David Van Sleet, a retired employee of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. The Wounded Warriors have played games against politicians, sports stars and television celebrities since the team's inception in 2011.
Most of the team's 30 members are bilateral amputees — missing a leg below the knee — while some are missing a hand or arm.

For more information on American House Senior Living Community in Bonita Springs call (239) 206-8587 or visit www.americanhouse.com.

ABOUT LANDSOUTH CONSTRUCTION...Building Ideas
LandSouth Construction, the Southeast's premier general contractor specializing in multifamily, senior housing and mixed use development, was recently named one of the nation’s Top 25 apartment builders by the National Multifamily Housing Council and Fastest Growing Companies in Florida and a Best Place to Work by the Jacksonville Business Journal. Since 1998 the firm has transformed ideas into first-class communities by providing superior construction management services while building long-term relationships. Headquartered in Jacksonville, Fla. LandSouth has completed more than 10,000 multifamily units including apartments, hotels, senior living, student and military housing, condominiums, townhomes and mixed use. LandSouth builds projects of the highest quality, aesthetic relevance and enduring value. For more information, call 904.273.6004 or visit www.landsouth.com.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Rita Williams' Merchandising Completes Spectacular New Model for ICI Homes at Amelia National


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
For Further Information Contact:
Mike Bonts
(904) 424-6641

AMELIA ISLAND, Fla. -- Amelia National Golf & Country Club, a Fernandina Beach community built and developed by ICI Homes, recently announced the opening of its newest model home, the Egret II.

ICI Homes called on Jacksonville, Fla. based Rita Williams' Merchandising Plus to reflect lifestyle in Amelia National's latest model home in this historic setting.

“A grand dream home that sparked immediate sales in our once again active market place.  This showhome has enticed back second home destination, retirement and the empty nester’s buyer,” Williams said of the Egret II.

Upon entering the foyer you are met with a fantasy décor of artful barefoot elegance. Immediately bring the outside within this open Grand Living, Dining and Theatre Kitchen floorplan.

"Our goal was to make every prospective buyer instantly excited to have the Egret II as their new home. Our marketing and design themes are created to make all the spaces live large, function for everyday living and "Wow" everyone who entered," Williams noted.

It is fun, functional and makes you feel like you’re found your paradise. The entire Grand living area opens on the lakeside lanai and outdoor kitchen retreat.

A stunning study/den with a grand circular curved window scape unfolds stories throughout of the love of the travel and coastal lifestyle. Open double doors to the private study makes a great extension for extra entertainment space. 

"If you work from home or enjoy working in a dedicated work space, you may prefer a quaint study located steps. The grand foyer is flanked by a large dining room and private study and the grand room features a coffered ceiling," she said.

Explore the home’s personality with its unique architectural detailing, furnishings, and artwork and lifestyle accessories. Our fantasy family, almost empty nesters, with their teenage son soon off to college to study marine biology, as you can see through coastal ambiance.

"The great room is the heart of the home and a convenient space to host large group or an intimate gatherings. The beautiful gourmet kitchen has easy access to the dining room and offers a nice view out to the lanai," said Williams.

The flexible spaces designed within include a private grant master and bath that has grand windows and door opening to the spectacular views.

All bedrooms were thoughtfully designed for privacy and with resort comfort. The owner’s suite includes a large sitting room area, his and her walk-in closets and a sumptuous bath with both roman tub and roman shower area.

"It was very exciting to again work with the ICI Homes team on this spectacular home. It was great to see their professional sales, marketing and construction teams working together to create this new model," Williams said.

Williams is a veteran interior merchandiser who has worked throughout the United States completed award winning projects in Florida, Tennessee, South Carolina, North Carolina, Texas, Minnesota, Arizona, Colorado, Georgia, California and Hawaii.

Williams was inducted into the Florida Housing Hall of Fame in 2003. A Life Director member of the Northeast Florida Builders Association Board of Directors and the Florida Homebuilders Association she has won numerous local, state, regional and national awards for her work and dedication to the building industry.

About Rita Williams Merchandising Plus


Merchandising Plus is a nationally acclaimed design firm that specializes in designing distinctive environments for builders and developers throughout the United States by taking a comprehensive approach to interior products and properties. Merchandising Plus offers practical solutions, artful attention to details and target market merchandising for today's American dream homes and communities. The firm creates spaces that are visually appealing, timeless in design, functional and memorable to all that enter. Visit http://www.merchandisingplusinc.com.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Generation Homes Begins New Home in Beach Haven


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
For further information contact:

Mike Bonts @ (904) 424-6641

PALM COAST, Fla. (June 15, 2015) – Generation Homes is unveiling its newest custom coastal design- The Tides End –in the ocean side community of Beach Haven in Northeast Flagler County.

The Tides End, designed in collaboration with Michael Stauffer A1A, epitomizes modern coastal cottage architecture with sprawling front and rear porches and metal roof accents. The home features three bedrooms, two baths, and an oversized two car garage in 3,170 total square feet, 2,244 square feet heated and cooled
.
As you enter, the foyer opens into a spectacular Great Room that is perfect for relaxing or entertaining. An upstairs rec room offers a tranquil getaway spot. The kitchen features GE Energy Star appliances, LG Viaterra Quartz counter tops, 42-inch cabinets with crown molding, Moen faucets with a lifetime warranty and a deep stainless steel sink.

The luxurious first floor master bedroom suite features a private bath with full length mirror cabinet, soaking tub, and walk in shower; as well as a large walk in closet. The spacious upstairs bedrooms also have walk in closets and a shared full bath. Both baths feature tile walls, Generation Homes’ Signature design 36-inch high vanities and water saving Moen faucets and shower heads.

“We take pride in being a personal builder. The Tides End captures the essence of beach living. We listen to our homeowner’s dreams, hear what is wanted in their new home and then find a way to create it,” said Generation Homes Vice President of Sales and Marketing Donna Sadowski.

With their personal approach and years of experience, Generation Homes makes building a custom home a unique and rewarding experience; exactly how building a home should be.
The Tides End is located at 49 Sandy Beach Way in Palm Coast and is priced at $373,400
.
Beach Haven is located in Northeast Flagler County, eight miles south of St. Augustine on A1A in Palm Coast, just south of historic Marineland. The community boasts deeded beach access, a resort style pool, passive parks, and nature trails.

Generation Homes is currently building in premier communities along the First Coast from Ponte Vedra Beach to Hammock Beach, including Anastasia Dunes, Beach Haven, Magnolia Dunes, Marsh Creek, Sea Colony, Sea Grove, and Whispering Oaks and on various private lots throughout Northeast Florida.

For more information on Generation Homes call Donna Sadowski at (904) 955-4769 or visit www.generationhomesusa.com.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

LandSouth Construction Begins $49 Million Mixed Use Project

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (June 9, 2015) -- LandSouth Construction, a Jacksonville, Fla. based general contractor specializing in multifamily, senior housing and mixed use developments, has begun construction on 500 Ocean, a $49 million mixed-use apartment community in Boynton Beach, Fla.

A six-story building on 4.7 acres will connect the 341 luxury apartment homes with a parking garage, clubhouse, pool, retail and office space as well as other convenient resort style amenities.

Award winning LeCesse Development Corp. of Altamonte Springs, Fla. is developing 500 Ocean Apartments. The project is being designed by MSA Architects of Miami, Fla.  and is scheduled to be completed by April 2017.

“500 Ocean Apartments is true upscale Florida living with spectacular views, resort style amenities, a public transportation stop, nearby beach access, retail, office and restaurants planned,” said LandSouth’s Vice President of Operations Joe Passkiewicz. “The project is in-line with the City’s overall development plans for Ocean Avenue as a shopping and dining district.  The site has been vacant for many years, waiting on a developer with a vision, like LeCesse.”

The Tuscan/Mediterranean style structure with an urban streetscape is located under one mile from the beach. Eleven unique, generous one bedroom, one bedroom with den, two bedroom and three bedroom floor plans will be offered ranging from 747 to 1,306 square feet. Additionally, all residences enjoy a large balcony, many of which will have scenic Intracoastal and ocean views.

The spacious, open floor plans are designed with high quality finishes including designer kitchens with granite countertops, stainless steel appliances, 36-inch custom cabinetry, nine-foot ceilings, granite tops, luxury vinyl plank and porcelain tile floors, large walk-in bedroom closets, and sound-engineered resident separation walls.

Amenities will include an elaborate clubhouse, fitness center, club room, theater room, bowling center, private dining room, cyber café/game room, lounge, summer kitchen and two private courtyards complete with lush landscaping and an expansive pool.

“It’s very rewarding to see how quickly Ocean Avenue is becoming a vibrant neighborhood,” noted LandSouth Construction President/CEO James Pyle. “With the addition of luxury apartment living, retail, state-of-the-art offices, cafes and outdoor social spaces, we’re helping bringing the vision for a walkable, transit-rich urban village to full fruition with the mixed use development.”

LandSouth Construction is currently working on projects throughout the Southeast including apartments and mixed use developments in Delray Beach, Oviedo, Sanford, Jacksonville and Orlando Fla., Mt. Pleasant, S.C, Collegedale, Tenn. and senior housing in Bonita Springs, Fla. In its 16 year history, LandSouth Construction has completed more than 11,000 multifamily units, including apartments, senior living, condominiums, and townhomes.

In addition, the new project’s design and planned construction has been designed to meet The National Green Building Standard (NGBS) Silver Certification, which will not only benefit the environment but also the residents who will realize utility savings, carbon reductions and water savings, among other things.

For the construction of 500 Ocean, LandSouth is using its unique integrated construction 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 www.landsouth.com or call 904.273.6004.

ABOUT LANDSOUTH CONSTRUCTION...Building Ideas
LandSouth Construction, the Southeast's premier general contractor specializing in multifamily, senior housing and mixed use development, was recently named one of the nation’s Top 25 apartment builders by the National Multifamily Housing Council and Fastest Growing Companies in Florida and a Best Place to Work by the Jacksonville Business Journal. Since 1998 the firm has transformed ideas into first-class communities by providing superior construction management services while building long-term relationships. Headquartered in Jacksonville, Fla. LandSouth has completed more than 11,000 multifamily units including apartments, hotels, senior living, student and military housing, condominiums, townhomes and mixed use. LandSouth builds projects of the highest quality, aesthetic relevance and enduring value. For more information, call 904.273.6004 or visit www.landsouth.com.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

LandSouth Construction Stops Work for Fall Prevention Stand-Down To Raise Awareness and Focus on Preventing Hazards on Job Sites

JACKSONVILLE, Fla.  – LandSouth Construction, a general contractor specializing in multifamily, senior housing and mixed use development, took part in the National Fall Prevention Stand-Down effort.

The program serves to raise awareness of fall hazards in construction. Work was halted on all their job sites to talk directly to workers about safety.

LandSouth Construction joined with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) in the second annual National Fall Safety Stand-Down to focus on preventing accidental injuries and catastrophic deaths.

“The Stand-Down focused on fall hazards and reinforcing the importance of fall prevention,” noted LandSouth’s Vice President of Operations Joe Passkiewicz. “The event was held last Monday on all our job sites. We stopped work to address this important aspect of construction work with all our employees, subcontractors and vendors.”

Fatalities caused by falls from elevation continue to be a leading cause of death for construction workers, accounting for 291 of the 828 construction fatalities recorded in 2013. Those deaths were preventable. Fall prevention safety standards were among the top 10 most frequently cited OSHA standards, during fiscal year 2014.

"We all share a commitment to understand that safety is not a luxury — it is a necessity. Our goal is to work towards preventing these tragedies through innovative and collaborative efforts like the Stand-Down,” said Jeff Ryan, a superintendent for LandSouth in Jacksonville, Fla.

LandSouth Construction is currently working on projects throughout the Southeast including apartments and mixed use developments in Delray Beach, Oviedo, Sanford, Jacksonville and Orlando Fla., Collegedale, Tenn. Mount Pleasant, S.C and senior housing in Bonita Springs, Fla.

At the Integra Village jobsite in Orlando the safety meeting was held in a parking lot. The main safety topic, “You Are Responsible”, emphasized that everyone is responsible to ensure a safe work place.

Topics included Hard Hats, Personal fall arrest systems, specifically relating to man lifts, temporary safety, or guard, rails, personal protective equipment and housekeeping or clean up.

"The Stand-Down serves as an important opportunity for worksites to recognize the fall hazards that cause them, train employees and workers on how to avoid them so that these senseless tragedies can be prevented once and for all,” said Michael Hulon, a project superintendent in Orlando.

A  Certificate of Participation, signed by Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez, was posted at each LandSouth Construction job site following the Stand-Down.

A national program launched by OSHA Last year's Stand-Down reached more than one million workers. This year, OSHA's goal is for more than 20,000 Stand-Downs involving more than 3 million workers. If the goal is met, Stand-Down will have touched almost 4 out of 10 construction workers in the country.

"Construction workers are part of our team. They help build our communities. As an industry we must look to keep them safe by preventing these tragedies," noted LandSouth Construction President and CEO James Pyle. "This safety Stand-Down serves as an important opportunity for everyone to take the time to learn how to recognize and prevent fall hazards."

In its 16 year history, LandSouth Construction has completed more than 10,000 multifamily units, including apartments, senior living, condominiums, and townhomes and made the prestigious National Multifamily Housing Council’s 2015 Top 25 ranking of the nation’s largest apartment contractors.

For more information, call 904.273.6004 or visit www.landsouth.com.

ABOUT LANDSOUTH CONSTRUCTION...Building Ideas  

LandSouth Construction, the Southeast's premier general contractor specializing in multifamily, senior housing and mixed use development, was recently named one of the nation’s Top 25 apartment builders by the National Multifamily Housing Council and  Fastest Growing Companies in Florida and a Best Place to Work by the Jacksonville Business Journal. Since 1998 the firm has transformed ideas into first-class communities by providing superior construction management services while building long-term relationships. Headquartered in Jacksonville, Fla. LandSouth has completed more than 10,000 multifamily units including apartments, hotels, senior living, student and military housing, condominiums, townhomes and mixed use. LandSouth builds projects of the highest quality, aesthetic relevance and enduring value. For more information, call 904.273.6004 or visit www.landsouth.com.