Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Melody Tower in Miami Earns Florida Green Building Certification

MIAMI -  Melody Tower, a 497-unit high-rise residential and retail mixed-use project of the
27th Plaza Corporation in Miami has been certified as a Florida Green High-Rise Residential Building by the Florida Green Building Coalition (FGBC), after it successfully met the sustainability standards established in the FGBC Florida Green High-Rise Residential Building certification program.

The designation represents achievements in a number of categories, such as energy efficiency, water conservation, site preservation, indoor air quality, materials, and durability, including disaster mitigation.

FGBC-certified projects complete a technically rigorous building assessment and construction process to promote design and construction practices that reduce the negative environmental impacts of the building, improve occupant health and well-being, and reduce operating costs for the owner.

Located in the Edgewater arts and entertainment district of downtown Miami overlooking Biscayne Bay, Melody Tower is within walking distance to cultural events, culinary experiences, and sporting opportunities, as well as easy access to interstate highways.

A pool and recreation deck provide an urban oasis for residents, while the fitness center and social room create places of community and connection.

Towards sustainability efforts, the project conducted equipment testing and balancing to verify field installed equipment, such as the HVAC, lighting, renewable energy, and hot water systems, met the owner’s performance requirements and were operating correctly.

Other energy conservation measures included the installation of Energy Star appliances (dishwashers, clothes washers), automatic timers or motion sensors on lighting controls, and the use of light-colored finishes on interior walls to reflect natural lighting.

Water conservation efforts included the installation of drought tolerant plants for at least 80 percent of the landscaping, a properly installed irrigation system that incorporated separate zones for turf and landscape beds, and correct placement of the spray heads to avoid overlapping spray and runoff.

In each of the units, low-flow kitchen and bathroom faucets, shower heads and dual-flush toilets also play a big role in minimizing the projects water use. High-efficiency clothes washers with a water factor of 4 or less round out the water conservation tactics.

The building was located on a greyfield redevelopment site, which utilized existing infrastructure and placed the project convenient to existing basic services and public transportation.

The heat island effect of the building was reduced by using highly-reflective exterior wall materials and locating the parking under the building. Electric vehicle charging stations were provided in the parking area.

Low impact development (LID) strategies were used to collect and treat stormwater entirely on the site. Indoor air quality was enhanced through the use of: highly-efficient MERV filters; low VOC paints, stains and adhesives; certified green label carpet; and green cleaning products and maintenance practices.

Occupant comfort and enjoyment was enhanced by providing daylighting and outdoor views to 75 percent of the indoor spaces and using acoustical wall systems with sound reduction attributes.

The project recycled more than 75 percent of its construction and demolition waste.

“As an FGBC-certified building, Melody Tower serves as a model of sustainability for Miami-Dade County businesses and residents,” said Suzanne Cook, Executive Director for the Florida Green Building Coalition. 

About the Florida Green Building Coalition
The Florida Green Building Coalition is the leading certifier of green projects in Florida. To date it has 13,700 residential, over 24 million s.f. of commercial and high-rise, 53 land developments, and 86 local governments participating in its certification programs. FGBC certification programs are the only standards developed with climate specific criteria to address issues caused by Florida’s hot-humid environment and natural disasters.
The Florida Green Building Coalition (FGBC) is a nonprofit 501(C)3 Florida corporation founded in 2000 dedicated to improving the built environment. Its mission is "to lead and promote sustainability with environmental, economic, and social benefits through regional education and certification programs." For more information about the FGBC “Florida Green” certification programs visit www.floridagreenbuilding.org.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Op Ed: Overregulation, Not Elections, Slows Florida Housing Market Recovery

By Jeremy Stewart
President, Florida Home Builders Association

Florida’s current economic and regulatory environment work against a speedy recovery from the housing depression.

To echo the statement made by Florida Office of Economic and Demographic Research Coordinator, Amy Baker, during the National Economic Estimating Conference on Nov. 14, Florida’s economy is heavily dependent on construction making a come back, which seems slow in its revival.

Many credit the presidential election for continuing to weaken the homebuilding market, making housing forecasts for 2017 relatively indeterminable. However, obstacles to increase the construction industry has little to do with the White House and more to do with overregulation in Florida.

With multiple state and local governing bodies requiring differing seals of approval, a builder can expect to wait an average of five-six years following the purchase of land to begin actual development of property.

Local municipalities seek to increase impact fees; a tax imposed on all new construction to defray the cost of services such as schools, parks, roads, ambulance and fire service, and other infrastructure needs. Currently, impact fees on a new home could be as high as $20,000. This additional pre-construction cost is expected to increase by as much as 34%. According to the National Association of Home Builders, in Florida for every $1,000 increase in the price of a home, over 8,000 households are priced out of the market for a median-priced new home. As a State desperate for an improved economic environment, it is time to ask if assessing impact fees justifies putting the dream of homeownership at risk.

In light of the recent Supreme Court ruling, builders now have an uncertain Workers’ Compensation Insurance market. The newly ruled 14.5% increase in compensation rates will cripple the construction industry, far beyond other industries impacted by this new ruling.

State and national economists agree that building in Florida is the backbone to our economic recovery. Knowing this, builders are hard pressed to make any ground for improvement without regulatory relief.

The Florida Home Builders Association, during the 2017 Legislative Session, will put forth a package of proposals to address these issues and seek to reinvigorate Florida’s construction economy.

Jeremy Stewart is a homebuilder and owner of Jeremy Stewart Construction in Crestview, Florida

Established in 1949, the Florida Home Builders Association is affiliated with the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and Florida's local/regional homebuilder associations. FHBA, along with its affiliates, work to create the best possible economic and regulatory environment for members to succeed.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Generation Homes Commences Construction in Beauclerc

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The personal builders at Generation Homes are creating a spectacular new home in the heart of beautiful Beauclerc.

The five-bedroom, three and a half bath, 3,089 square foot, two-story home is conveniently located off San Jose Boulevard at 10015 Scott Mill Road.



Generation Homes’ passion is to build homes and neighborhoods for families that have lasting value - for today, tomorrow and generations to come. The home is designed for comfort and utmost livability with one of two owner’s suites downstairs, a separate library or office, laundry room, front porch and three car garage.

Many buyers prefer new-construction homes because they want to direct the details — everything from the stain on the dining room floor to the glaze on the kitchen cabinets.

"That's the beauty of choosing a new home built by Generation Homes," said Heather Allen of Cornerstone Realty. "The timing for looking at this new home is excellent. Selection of cabinets and some interior changes are still available."

Priced in the $460s, the home features include pavers, spacious lanai, high, smooth finish ceilings throughout, large base boards, wood door casings and wood floors.

A gorgeous and functional kitchen design is accented by granite countertops, Bosch stainless steel appliances, crown moulding on cabinets, Moen fixtures, and recessed lighting.

“The owners’ bath includes double vanity, separate tub and frameless shower with recessed shelf,” noted Allen. “There is also a walk-in closet.”

Double pane insulated low E windows, hybrid electric water heater and selected HVAC system provides an energy efficient environment.

Generation Homes builds to withstand the test of time and maximize comfort. Using effective and proven construction techniques the builder has earned a well-deserved reputation for style and durability.

"People start the process of selecting a new home with smiles on their faces, but it can be an intense process. We take pride in helping homebuyers navigate every step of the way," said Generation Homes President Cora Johnston said. "We want to make sure our homeowners keep those smiles."

Historic Beauclerc provides a beautiful backdrop of trees, a lake view and walkability to schools and churches. It also provides convenient access to major highways, shopping, and restaurants.

For more information contact Heather Allen at Allen Cornerstone Realty. Call (904) 235-9879 or visit www.allencornerstone.com.

McGarvey Residential Communities Developing Ocean Ridge in St. Augustine Beach

ST. AUGUSTINE BEACH, Fla. (November 14, 2016) – McGarvey Residential Communities is developing Ocean Ridge, a new community in St. Augustine Beach that will reflect an enduring passion for conserving Florida's incomparable natural resources.

JAY MCGARVEY
“For the past 17 years we have been known as a significant steward for preserving the distinctive beauty that lies in the splendor of St. Augustine Beach’s native features, while creating desirable neighborhoods. Ocean Ridge will be no exception,” said Jay McGarvey, president of McGarvey Residential Communities.

McGarvey’s thoughtfully designed and heralded St. Augustine Beach communities include Sea Colony, Sea Grove, Anastasia Dunes and Beach Haven in Flagler County, all created by paying close attention to the built environment, respecting open space, maintaining the topography and lavishly landscaping with native plant material.

Located on Anastasia Island at Mickler Road and 11th Street, Ocean Ridge will blend a Florida beach-style architecture in a one of a kind neighborhood with lake views and a private swim club. All just blocks away from the beach.

“From its inception, the original intent and design for the community was to create a unique, environmentally sensitive neighborhood. The three builders in the community share that vision for Ocean Ridge,” added McGarvey.


Riverside Homes, Landon Homes and SH Design are creating new floor plans and designs as well as offering semi-custom and custom homes for the pristine single-family home sites.

Ocean Ridges’ tranquil scenery, oak canopy and hilly topography will create a unique combination, offering residents the benefits of treed lots and sea breezes while maintaining the innate beauty of one of the last planned communities in St. Augustine Beach.

“As a company, we are dedicated to building communities that will be here for years to come, that both celebrate and maintain as much of the original character of the land as possible with graceful landscaped streets, native grasses and trees, and spaces to relax and gather,” said McGarvey Residential Communities’ chief financial officer and development partner Dinah Robertson.

Since 1980, the focus of McGarvey Residential Communities has been to “build communities that last for generations.” As a result, they have developed some of the most enviable neighborhoods in North Florida. Now add Ocean Ridge to that prestigious list.

For more information on Ocean Ridge visit www.OceanRidgeSAB.com.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Industry Icon Knoll Joins Crossman & Company

WHITNEY KNOLL
ORLANDO, Fla. (November 15, 2016) -- Crossman & Company, one of the Southeast’s largest retail leasing, property management and investment sales firms, continues to bolster its operations and investment sales force by announcing that industry veteran Whitney Knoll has joined the firm.

He will be leading institutional investment sales, leasing and property management.

Knoll joins Crossman & Company from Newmark Grubb Knight Frank Capital Group's Southeast Capital Markets where he was Senior Managing Director. 

His responsibilities included initiating retail in
vestment sale transactions and capital markets transactions.

"We are thrilled to welcome Whit to our senior management team. He brings a distinguished track record of working with some of the world's most respected firms and investors, and a unique perspective that will be invaluable as we build upon our continued success," said Crossman & Company President John Crossman, CCIM, CRX. “He is a great asset to our investment sales team that focuses on assisting growth-oriented clients in developing innovative and effective solutions across the capital structure.”

Knoll has extensive commercial brokerage, development and financing transactional experience throughout the Southeast. With over 40 years of commercial real estate experience, he has been the senior lead/broker on assignments of retail for over 261 properties sold transactions totaling 39 million square feet and $3.5 billion.

"I am excited for the opportunity to join Crossman & Company and to work closely with our team to support the firm's momentum and to assess opportunities for growth. I look forward to adding value to our clients and portfolio. My philosophy is aligned with Crossman & Company’s - focus on your client’s best interest, work hard and do the right thing every day,” noted Knoll.

Knoll is a licensed broker in Georgia, Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, Alabama and Tennessee and a Permanent Life Member of the Million Dollar Club and Phoenix Award recipient of the Atlanta Commercial Board of Realtors.  He is a member of the International Council of Shopping Centers and Urban Land Institute.

Prior to joining Newmark Grubb Knight Frank, Knoll served as senior managing director at Staubach Capital Markets. He also acted as executive vice president of Trammell Crow Company's Retail Capital Markets Group for six years. As a recognized leader in the real estate industry, Knoll has received numerous awards and industry accolades.

He was the Top National Capital Market Producer at Staubach in 2007 and 2008.
At Trammell Crow he was twice named Top National Producer and a Top 5 National Producer for five consecutive years. Knoll was also the recipient of the firm’s Presidential Team Brokerage Award in 2005 and a two-time winner of the Excellence Award for Investment Services.

“In making my decision to join Crossman & Company I was very impressed with the firm’s corporate culture, specifically their commitment to developing industry talent, higher education and a leader in supporting and promoting diversity and my old partner John Crossman,” Knoll said.

The Houston, Texas native is very familiar with being committed to those core values.
He attended Georgia Institute of Technology as an undergraduate and the University of Texas at Austin as a graduate student.  

A longtime Tech supporter, Knoll has exposed a new generation to the Yellow Jackets with the purchase of football tickets for youth groups. 

In addition, the C. Whitney Knoll Study Abroad Scholarship was established for undergraduate or graduate students who are pursuing degrees in the Ernest Scheller Jr. College of Business and participating in a study, intern or work abroad program offered at Georgia Tech.

His involvement at Georgia Tech includes, Platinum Life Member and previous Board of Trustees of the Alexander Tharpe Fund, member of The Hill Society, College of Management Advisory Board (current) and recipient of the College of Management Academy of Distinguished Alumni 2008.

"I look forward to working closely with Whit and the leadership team to deploy our company's strategy, enhance financial performance and capitalize on opportunities that complement our investment sales platform,” added Crossman.

Serving Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia with offices in Atlanta, Ga., Orlando, Tampa, Miami and Boca Raton, Fla., Crossman & Company has 27.1 million square feet under leasing and management comprising of more than 340 properties.

For more information, contact John Crossman at jcrossman@crossmanco.com, visit www.crossmanco.com, or call (407) 423-5400.

About Crossman & Company
Crossman & Company is the premier real estate firm focused on serving retail landlords exclusively throughout the Southeast – with offices in Atlanta, Boca Raton, Tampa, Miami and Orlando – representing more than 340 shopping centers and over 25 million square feet in Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, South Carolina and North Carolina and Virginia. The company was founded in 1990 with the goal of providing exemplary service to our clients around four core values: Maintain enthusiastically satisfied clients; Demonstrate servant leadership; Practice kindness, openness and humility; and develop new talent. For more information, visit the company’s website at www.crossmanco.com

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Brickell City Centre: Officials Celebrate Opening of 500,000-Square-Foot Retail Center

By MIKE BONTS
MIAMI -
Brickell City Centre officially opened its doors with a ribbon-cutting ceremony officiated by city officials, dignitaries, Swire Properties and Saks Fifth Avenue executives. After four years of around-the-clock construction by more than 16,000 workers and partners, Swire Properties together with Whitman Family Development and Simon Property Group bring America’s newest shopping, dining and entertainment mecca to life.

“We could not have completed this project without the proactive effort and support of the county and city,” said Stephen Owens, President of Swire Properties, the morning of the opening ceremony. "This project is transformational in so many ways - not only will residents and visitors finally get a true city centre for living, dining, shopping and more, but you are going to see much more development in Brickell in large part because of Brickell City Centre."

Despite the rain, the ceremony welcomed a cheerful crowd that filled the streets to witness this highly anticipated milestone for the city of Miami. The ribbon-cutting featured speeches from Swire executives as well as Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez and Marc Metrick of Saks Fifth Avenue to commemorate the final piece of the Brickell City Centre puzzle, which encompasses 4.9 million square feet of live, shop, work, eat and play space for locals and tourists to enjoy.

“This project also has its benefits: number one, directly or indirectly, it has been responsible for creating about 6,000 jobs in Miami-Dade County. That’s six thousand families who are now able to put food on the table,” said Carlos A. Gimenez, Mayor of Miami-Dade County, in regard to Brickell City Centre.  “It has an economic impact of about a billion dollars a year […] and it will generate about $10 million in taxes for the city.”

Following the ribbon-cutting ceremony, a series of activities throughout the various retail stores took place as well as varied pop-ups and hourly performances by a host of cultural icons and notable DJs.

"Saks is dedicated to investing in the brick-and-mortar experience in our key markets, and our new Brickell City Centre location is an example of our commitment to Miami,” stated Marc Metrick, president, Saks Fifth Avenue. “Together, Saks and Brickell City Centre are working to create the ultimate lifestyle destination for downtown Miami.”

Brickell City Centre’s retail space features about 125 varied storefronts paired together with a curated musical set by Michaelangelo L’Acqua, Brickell City Centre’s music director, to provide an energetic flow through musical philosophy. Guests also visited for the first time BCC’s anchor tenant, the first Saks Fifth Avenue to open in Miami in more than 30 years. The retail center will also present the country’s first CMX theater, a subsidiary of Mexico-based Cinemex, the sixth largest cinema chain in the world.

The retail center joins the project’s other completed towers, including its two, 390-unit luxury condominium residences, REACH and RISE, two class-A office buildings, which are leased so far by Akerman LLP and WeWork, Uruguayan restaurant Quinto La Huella and signature rooftop bar Sugar, both of which are located at Brickell City Centre’s flagship hotel, EAST, Miami.

“And now, as my wife would say, it’s time for some retail therapy,” shared Owens during the closing remarks of the ceremony.

For more information on Brickell City Centre, please visit: www.brickellcitycentre.com

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Nelson Takes the Helm of Florida Green Building Coalition (FGBC)

TALLAHASSEE - The Florida Green Building Coalition (FGBC) membership has elected Jeremy Nelson to serve as President for the 2016-2017 term. Nelson served as Treasurer of FGBC in 2016 and has been active within FGBC since 2006.

He is the owner of GreenGov, LLC., a consulting firm in Orlando specializing in assisting local governments with sustainability efforts. Nelson holds an MBA from the University of Central Florida.

Also elected to FGBC Senior Officer positions were:

Stephanie Thomas-Rees - Vice President
Stephanie Thomas-Rees was re-elected to the FGBC Board in 2015. She is an adjunct professor at Daytona State College in the School of Building and Architectural Technology, teaching Sustainable Design, Construction Materials & Processes and Construction Planning & Estimating.  In addition, she is the faculty advisor for Team Daytona, Daytona State College and Embry Riddle Aeronautical University's combined partnership, in the US DOE Solar Decathlon 2017 competition.

Arturo Griego - Treasurer
Arturo Griego has served on the FGBC Board of Directors since 2015 and participates on the FGBC standards development committees. Mr. Griego, a licensed architect and general contractor, is owner of itecdesign based in Miami. As founding member for the 16-year old architecture and design firm itecdesign, he has been involved in all aspects of the design and construction process for many project types in locations throughout the USA, China, South America, and the Caribbean.

Deirdre Irwin - Secretary
Deirdre Irwin is the Water Conservation Coordinator for the St. Johns River Water Management District in Palatka. She served as FGBC Vice President in 2014, previously chaired the Education Committee, and was twice selected as Volunteer of the Year by the FGBC membership. She received a Diploma in Environmental Management from Dublin Institute of Technology and a Bachelor of Environmental Science from the University of Ulster in Northern Ireland before coming to work for the St. Johns River Water Management District in 1989.

About the Florida Green Building Coalition
The Florida Green Building Coalition is the leading certifier of green projects in Florida. To date it has over 13,500 residential projects, 28 million s.f. of commercial and high-rise, 60 land developments, and 86 local governments participating in its certification programs. FGBC certification programs are the only standards developed with climate specific criteria to address issues caused by Florida's hot-humid environment and natural disasters.

The Florida Green Building Coalition (FGBC) is a nonprofit 501(C)3 Florida corporation founded in 2000 dedicated to improving the built environment. Its mission is "to lead and promote sustainability with environmental, economic, and social benefits through regional education and certification programs." For more information about the FGBC "Florida Green" certification programs visit  www.floridagreenbuilding.org.

Friday, October 28, 2016

Beachwalk Hotel & Condominiums Earns ‘Florida Green’ Certification

Beachwalk Hotel & Condominiums, a 300-unit upscale high-rise resort, is the first building in Hallandale Beach certified as a “Florida Green” High-Rise Residential Building by the Florida Green Building Coalition (FGBC), after it successfully met the sustainability standards established in the FGBC Florida Green High-Rise Residential Building certification program.

The designation represents achievements in a number of categories, such as energy efficiency, water conservation, site preservation, indoor air quality, materials, and durability, including disaster mitigation.
FGBC-certified projects complete a technically rigorous building assessment and construction process to promote design and construction practices that reduce the negative environmental impacts of the building, improve occupant health and well-being, and reduce operating costs for the owner.

Located along the shores of the Intracoastal Waterway in Hallandale Beach, Beachwalk provides a peaceful atmosphere, free from busy crowds and with exclusive private beach-club services. At the same time, Beachwalk is just minutes from golf and country clubs, thrilling racetracks and casinos, fun-filled parks and attractions, high-end shopping, world-class dining, entertainment, the arts, and more.

Towards sustainability, the project required that all building HVAC&R systems be free of hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) and Halons. Inhalation of air containing high levels of some HCFCs may lead to health effects including chest tightness, irritation of the respiratory tract, and breathing difficulties. Exposure to high levels of some hydrochlorofluorocarbons may also affect the nervous system, heart, liver, kidney and reproductive system.

Other measures taken to ensure a healthy indoor environment for occupants and workers incorporated the use of products with no or low volatile organic compounds (VOCs), such as paints, sealants, carpet, and insulation. During construction, an indoor air quality management plan was followed to reduce possible particulate contamination of ducts and other airflow systems.

Biophilic design and architecture aims at creating strong connections between nature and man-made environments, and has proven benefits, including helping office workers be more productive, encouraging children to learn, and helping hospital patients get better. Beachwalk provided 75 percent of the building’s interior spaces with natural daylighting and views to the outside. To provide quiet enjoyment within the hotel rooms and condo units, acoustical wall systems with sound reduction attributes were used.

The project recycled more than 75 percent of its construction and demolition waste, and used recycled materials when possible.

For disaster mitigation, impact- resistant glazing and fire-resistant exterior wall cladding, roof covering, soffit, and vent materials were used.

To minimize the project’s site footprint and disturbance, parking lifts were utilized. This technology enables parking more cars in less space, thus potentially allowing for more green space around the building. Other benefits are reductions in traffic congestion and pollution.

For water conservation, low-flow plumbing fixtures were used, a hot water recirculation system was installed, drought tolerant landscaping was installed, and an efficient irrigation system reduced potable water use by 75 percent.

“As an FGBC-certified building, Beachwalk Hotel & Condominiums serves as a model of sustainability for Broward County businesses and residents,” said Suzanne Cook, Executive Director for the Florida Green Building Coalition.

About the Florida Green Building Coalition
The Florida Green Building Coalition (FGBC) is a nonprofit 501(C)3 Florida corporation founded in 2000 dedicated to improving the built environment. Its mission is "to lead and promote sustainability with environmental, economic, and social benefits through regional education and certification programs." FGBC certification programs are the only standards developed with climate specific criteria to address issues caused by Florida’s hot-humid environment and natural disasters. Currently, FGBC is the leading certifier of green projects in Florida. FGBC’s membership is comprised of individuals and businesses from all areas of the building industry, including research, design, materials, products, construction, inspection, marketing, finance and public advocates.  For more information about the FGBC “Florida Green” certification programs visit www.floridagreenbuilding.org.