Not Your Father’s Senior Living Community

As the baby boomer generation begins turning 70, senior living providers will have tremendous opportunities.  At the same time, they will face the challenge of reinventing their business and providing innovative solutions to meet the needs and demands of this new generation. Today’s seniors are looking for options that deliver the comforts and amenities of home.  This trend is changing the design and construction of senior living communities.  Designers are incorporating more residential design elements and finishes into new buildings, resulting in vibrant and comfortable spaces that are very inviting for residents.  The buildings being designed and constructed today are not your father’s senior living facility. By involving a general contractor very early in the planning process, working collaboratively with the design team, an owner can understand costs, lead times and constructability of various design components, and have the ability to make timely decisions.  The general contractor can also provide potential alternative options...

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Economic Cycles in the Development Business

We have been a developer’s contractor since we opened over 40 years ago.  As everyone knows, our economy goes through cycles, positive and negative.  And the development economy has significantly greater swings than the general business economy.   2008-2010 had dramatic negative swings, but we have been on an upswing now for almost 10 years.  When the economy trends down, construction costs decrease, as do interest rates.  But more importantly, the rank of developers thins.  Those with limited experience and capital can’t get deals done so exit the market, while the strong take advantage of lower prices and interest rates, but also a distressed inventory, and get stronger. The uptick in the economy creates the opportunity to be active for these people, but also the perception of opportunity for new entrants to the market.  Some are well capitalized, but with limited experience and expertise, and they can get deals done with the...

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Bidding Budgets

In the spirit of being a consultant I wanted to discuss a topic that we have seen create frustration and cost money for some developers.  Bidding Budgets; or “bidgeting” as we have heard it called.  It is when early drawings are put out to multiple General Contractors for the purpose of obtaining their budget estimate which will be utilized to select the contractor for the job.  In the beginning, the intent may have been to go with the best OVERALL choice, but in the end, the contractor with the lowest budget estimate is selected to work with going forward.  This is not working on a negotiated basis, this is bidding budgets. There are inherent risks to this process and at the end of the day, it doesn’t necessarily provide you with the best price solution (one of our brand promises by the way) that you were looking to move forward within...

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The Douglas Company Begins Construction on The Pearl

The Douglas Company, an award-winning Toledo, Ohio based general contractor specializing in multi-family, senior living, and mixed-use construction projects has begun construction on The Pearl, a new $14 million luxury apartment community in Birmingham, Michigan.

Developer, FLS #5 Properties LLC, selected Marusich Architecture of Bloomfield Hills, Michigan to design the 92,378 square foot, four-story mixed-use development with an underground parking garage that will offer an attractive exterior design, and high-quality interior finishes. The Pearl will include 4,500 square feet of ground-level retail space, as well as, 26 luxury apartments with one and two-bedroom floor plans, and a full suite of amenities including private underground parking, private balconies, hardwood flooring, large kitchens, modern fireplaces, high ceilings, and walk-in closets.

"The Douglas Company is very excited to take on this project," said Tyler Brumbaugh, Project Manager of The Douglas Company. "Our team is looking forward to playing a role in the continual transformation of...

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Managing Chaos

The management of construction projects has become more difficult in the last several years due to the following key factors:

  • Not having adequate, properly trained, manpower available
  • Subcontractors not managing their own work
  • Higher project finish levels
  • Quality and coordination of the design documents
  • Increased levels of local and state inspections
  • Construction material lead times
All of these factors can contribute to project delays if not addressed by the project team through proactive leadership. The only way proactive leadership can have a positive impact on a project is by the project team following processes on a daily basis to help prevent daily emergencies from impacting and delaying projects. The second most important aspect of proactive leadership is increased communication by the project leaders to help create accountability throughout the project team. Without a clear path to follow when it comes to managing projects, the task of achieving the desired objectives would prove...

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Green Building Trends

Recently I read an article by Dodge Data & Analytics regarding the expected rise in green construction globally. According to the article, over half of the 2,000 respondents in The World Green Building Trends 2018 report expect to see 60% of the projects across the globe to be green by 2021. In the US, it is expected to increase from 32% to 45% by 2021. Some of the reasons for the increase include increased client demands, improving environmental regulations, and healthier buildings for residents. With the expected increase in green construction, interestingly the percentages of projects that get certified are not expected to increase. Within The Douglas Company’s portfolio, we have built one LEED Silver Certified project, the Department of Veteran Affairs in Fayetteville, NC, and two other Department of Veteran Affairs in Toledo, OH, and Rochester, NY are LEED Silver Equivalent. Our experience with LEED projects allows The Douglas Company to implement the...

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Construction Nears Completion on the Centre Pointe Health and Rehabilitation Center in Tallahassee, Florida

The Douglas Company, General Contractor, is pleased to provide an update on the construction progress of the expansion of the Centre Pointe Health and Rehabilitation Center in Tallahassee, Florida. Lantz Boggio Architects collaborated with the owner, Clear Choice Health Care, to design the 40,860 square-foot addition which includes: 33 new suites, a state-of-the-art therapy gym and spa, salon, and theater. The expansion of the existing facility will provide more space and amenities for patients who are undergoing rehabilitation prior to returning back home. The Centre Pointe expansion is expected to be complete in February of 2019. "Our team is excited to be so close to completion of this project, knowing this expansion will offer an even stronger future to this community and its residents; it's gratifying to know we have a hand in making that happen," said Josh Conradi, Project Coordinator with The Douglas Company. The Douglas Company  The Douglas Company is an industry-leading...

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The Douglas Company. We are a Developer’s Contractor.

But what does that mean?  It means quite simply that we exclusively work with developers.  We do not bid government projects or work with large corporations, retailers, etc.  We work with developers to assist them in making their vision become a reality. Being a developer’s contractor means we have the experience, knowledge, and personnel to get involved early in projects and work on a collaborative basis with the design team and owners.  Not everyone plays well with others but when you do it on a regular basis in the conceptual stages like we do, you get good at it and see the positive results it brings to a project and all involved. If you want a general contractor to sit on the sidelines while drawings are completed and then bid on that final set of drawings you are missing out on a very beneficial strategy to save time (which is, of course,...

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The Impact of Tariffs on Construction Costs

As everyone knows, there is a lot of controversy regarding trade and tariffs.  It is impacting the stock markets both domestically and internationally, and dramatically.  Recently I have been hearing of subcontractors qualifying their bids in our Florida market for the impact of tariffs, so I decided to do some research to find out what people, including the press, are saying about the impact.  In the past year or two, tariffs have been imposed on Canadian lumber, which did affect that pricing.  This past summer, tariffs were rendered on Chinese steel, which had a dramatic effect on those prices.  The steel increases are interesting, since less than 1% of our domestic steel comes from China, and in fact, we export more steel to China than we import. But that is in the past.  The question has to be, what can we anticipate coming up in the future, and should I be...

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Delivering “Peace of Mind”

As one of The Douglas Company’s core values, “Peace of Mind” is something that we take very seriously.   One of the key components to delivering “Peace of Mind” is timely and effective communication to ensure that clients are not surprised by unexpected events, delays or issues during their project. While we cannot prevent unexpected events, clients hire The Douglas Company for our ability to foresee potential challenges to their project, keep them informed, and offer a solution to deal with situations before they become a surprise.  Many times these are not easy conversations to have with clients, but they are crucial. Part of The Douglas Company’s on-going training and development program, all of our Project Managers, Assistant Project Managers, Superintendents, Estimating Staff, Business Development and Senior Management will be participating in a 3-hour seminar focused on “Building Better Customer Communication”.  Individually and collectively, all of us are committed to enhancing our communication...

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Your Life Senior Living Memory Care Community Construction Completed

The Douglas Company, General Contractor, is excited to announce completion on the construction of Your Life Senior Living, a new Memory Care Community located in Stuart, Florida. Your Life Senior Living Memory Care Community is a 60,217 square foot, $12.6 million community constructed in four sections, each with its own theme, ensuring that every neighborhood has an individualized, homelike quality. The interior has a bright, open layout with many elegant finishes. Amenities include activity rooms for arts and crafts, and therapy classes, a salon and spa, theater room, putting green, and an interior courtyard that is beautifully landscaped with butterfly gardens and a rock waterfall. The Douglas Company collaborated with Olson Land Partners and architect, Leo A. Daly, to provide this state-of-the-art community that offers 74 residential rooms and is designed to promote safe and abundant living for area residents with Alzheimer's disease and related dementias. "We celebrate the completion of this Olson...

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Important Concepts in Scheduling

The project schedule is a given for any construction project. For the project team, particularly the Project Manager, it is the most important tool in setting priorities for the team. For all other stakeholders in the project, it can be an incredibly useful tool as well. In order to take advantage of this however, there are a few important concepts to understand and to ask your contractor about regularly:

  • Progressive Elaboration - This is a concept that many schedules take advantage of, it involves bringing additional detail into the project schedule as it becomes available; typically as the team comes closer to performing the work. For instance, it is not reasonable to expect a project team to have a detailed breakdown and sequence assigned to the finishes portion of the schedule at ground break, but that portion of the schedule should look much different when you're wrapping up drywall work.
  • ...

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Reaves Named New Executive Vice President of Construction, Southeast Division

The Douglas Company, General Contractor, announces David Reaves has joined the company as the new Executive Vice President of Construction, Southeast Division, and will be working directly out of the Orlando, Florida office. "David is recognized as a dynamic executive and is known for his leadership skills in overseeing and completing complex, multi-million dollar projects for clients. With his extensive experience in construction and his enthusiasm for success, we continue to build a strong team in the southeast to support our clients in their construction needs. We are looking forward to seeing the impact and breadth of his leadership within our company," said Peter Douglas, President of The Douglas Company. Mr. Reaves brings 38 years of industry experience in both the United States and Internationally to his new leadership position. After graduating from Duke University with a degree in Civil Engineering, he spent his career leading various business units of a leading...

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Virtual Reality in Construction

Recently I read an interesting article regarding the implementation of virtual reality into construction. It is fascinating to think about all the changes in technology our industry has experienced throughout the past few decades, and how it continues to evolve. One of the popular trends in our industry is utilizing 3D modeling software like BIM in the design phase. It provides that added visualization element in an effort to assist with identifying clashes, as well as, providing a glance at what the end product will be. Throughout the article, it mentioned how virtual reality will take 3D modeling one step further allowing Developers, Designers, and Contractors the ability to walk through the spaces and “feel” the spaces before they are even built. This will allow for Developers to get a better sense of what their spaces will look like beyond that of a design board, set of plans, etc., which would...

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The Case for Construction Technology — Productivity Loss

The conversation around the use of technology in construction management has changed dramatically it tone and frequency over the last several years. At least, that's the way it seems; but what do the numbers say about this? Turns out, it's not just a feeling. From 2011 to 2017 McKinsey measured $10 billion in investment in construction technology (stylized as "Con-tech") firms, and separately JLL measured already $1 billion in the first half of 2018 alone. Those numbers aren't surprising when at last count Skanska USA determined there were over 2,100 individual companies looking to take up some of the space that opened up in what was a pretty uninteresting sector for so many years. So con-tech is definitely on the rise - but why? Well, it's no secret that the construction industry is suffering from and diminishing workforce and rampant issues meeting schedules. We have a productivity problem. It isn't getting better...

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WellBridge of Clarkston Rehabilitation Community Project Completed

The Douglas Company, General Contractor, is pleased to announce the completion of construction on WellBridge of Clarkston Rehabilitation Community located in Independence Charter Township, Michigan. A grand opening celebration and ribbon-cutting ceremony were held on October 24th. Developed by The WellBridge Group, the 68,465 square-foot community designed by JW Design features 92 private suites and 4 semi-private suites for post-acute care residents. The $16.5 million community features ample public areas throughout the building, allowing residents to maintain an active lifestyle with amenities including WB Fresh bistro and coffee shop serving Starbucks Coffee, state-of-the-art therapy space, full-service salon, game room, extensive courtyard areas, fire pit and concert-listening area (for next-door DTE Energy Center). The project's completion marks the sixth collaboration between The WellBridge Group and The Douglas Company. "We are tremendously pleased with the finished result and thoroughly enjoyed working closely with The Douglas Company team on another successful project," said Mike Perry,...

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Integri-D Building Peace of Mind

Since our founding in 1976, The Douglas Company has focused on building senior living and multi-family projects for owners and developers who depend on us to control the risks and costs of the many facets of development.  During that time we have developed comprehensive processes for nearly everything we do. From preconstruction, project start, through construction, project completion and warranty, we have 68 detailed and documented processes in place that are followed, tracked and reported on consistently.  Additionally, we are continuously training our staff on these processes to assure consistency in the delivery of quality products.  These proven processes, and The Douglas Company’s discipline in following them is a true competitive advantage and provides our clients with the added value they deserve and expect from The Douglas Company. Earlier this year, we decided it was time to “brand” our processes to help our clients better understand how The Douglas Company will fulfill...

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Construction Begins on Seventh Project with Owner Kaplan Development Group

The Douglas Company, General Contractor, celebrates the start of construction on its seventh project with owner Kaplan Development Group. The $13.3 million All American of Kingston will be a 58,000 square-foot, assisted living and memory care community located in Kingston, New Hampshire. "We are excited to be building this great senior living development that features senior assisted living and memory care. Having built multiple All American communities, we understand how the client's vision embodies a true senior living campus," said Landon Kessler, Project Manager of The Douglas Company. The 58 unit assisted living and memory care community was designed by EGA Architects and boasts spacious studios and two-bedroom companion suites for residents, as well as, a gorgeous state-of-the-art memory care wing specifically dedicated to caring and providing a secure home-like environment for residents with Alzheimer's and memory disorders. Community amenities will include a double-sided fireplace, salon, beauty parlor, bistro, media room, interior...

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Do you want a General Contractor? Or a partner that contributes to your success?

Developers want to bring the best product to the market that they can and do it in the most economical fashion that they can. Understandably so.  That makes for a successful project, after all.  Many pieces are important to the development team which can sometimes be a puzzle to put together. Especially important is the selection of a General Contractor.  There are of course multiple General Contractors that can help you build buildings.  The Douglas Company strives to be more than just a General Contractor because those can come and go.  We strive to be your business partner, contributing to your success by helping to create beautiful communities for people to call home. We enjoy nothing more than bringing our 42 years of experience to the table early in your project.  We can help work through initial budget estimates with our extensive experience in the senior living, multi-family and hospitality space.  When...

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