Holland, OH, November 17, 2023 – General Contractor, The Douglas Company, is proud to announce progress in the construction of Verena at Hilliard Cottages in Hilliard, Ohio. The $14.8 million construction project will be the company’s first with developer Green Courte Partners.
The 11 single-story cottage buildings were designed by Architect Bob Webb and have 4-6 units per building, for a grand total of 53 units. The project is located adjacent to Green Courte Partner’s existing Verena at Hilliard Luxury Independent Living Retirement Community and is being constructed in order to complement its existing Independent Living Community as well as to provide a unique offering of Active Adult Rental Cottages where residents will enjoy spacious, well-appointed floor plans, attached garages, landscaped yards, and their own community Pickleball Court.
The newly constructed Active Adult Rental Cottages have an expected completion date of September 2024 with the first buildings available for lease in March... Read More >
During the last week of October, The Douglas Company team attended the annual National Investment Center (NIC) for Senior Housing & Care Fall Conference in Chicago. The conference is attended by a range of people from fields across the industry -- general contractors, developers, operators, lenders, architects, and many more are represented. This year, the event was well attended, and while there was very little evidence of new senior living development projects, we noticed that the overall mood was upbeat and positive.
There is good reason for the upbeat, positive mood, however. Occupancy rates have been on the upswing for eight consecutive quarters, contributing to increased revenues. The occupancy rate for the NIC MAP Primary Markets was up 60 basis points from the first quarter and well above the lows reached during the pandemic. The increase in occupancy is accompanied by a stabilization of expenses and a decline in COVID related... Read More >
The year 2023 has introduced a unique set of challenges within the commercial lending environment, particularly when it comes to financing multifamily projects. Multifamily housing plays a vital role in addressing housing needs and urban development, yet it continues to face obstacles when seeking bank financing. Specifically, developers are seeing an increase in challenges when it comes to these five things: evolving risk perception, market volatility, regulatory complexity, increased credit scrutiny, and intense competition for financing.
Evolving Risk Perception
In 2023, multifamily projects still contend with a cautious risk perception by lenders. Unlike single-family homes, multifamily properties come with a range of operational complexities. Lenders remain concerned about tenant turnover, rent collection, speculation around rent rate increases and decreases, property maintenance, and overall management quality. These factors contribute to a perceived higher level of risk, which makes securing bank financing for multifamily projects more challenging.
Market Volatility in 2023
Real... Read More >
The Douglas Company has begun construction on The Arya at Debary ALF, a $23.5 million independent living, assisted living, and memory care community in Debary, Florida. The Douglas Company, serving as general contractor, is working with joint owners Nied Capital and Park Square Homes.
The 98,773 square-foot development, designed by Rabits & Romano Architecture, boasts 106 units featuring a mix of well-appointed studios, one and two-bedroom units, and separate independent living cottages. Residents will have access to market-leading indoor and outdoor amenities with a fresh and modern design. The community comforts will include a salon, fitness center, bar and coffee lounge, theater, country kitchen, multiple activity spaces, luxury amenity-filled courtyards, and a bocce ball court. The completion date is expected in Spring 2024.
“The Douglas Company is excited to join forces with Nied Capital and Park Square Homes on this much-needed senior living community,” said Jeremy Bartolovitch, Vice President of the Southeast... Read More >
To many, the day-to-day activities of a construction project can seem overwhelming. General Contractors and Sub-contractors alike have many different responsibilities overlapping on a daily basis. But despite all of this hustle and bustle, the quality of the project must stay consistent and is of the utmost importance. As an industry-leading general contractor, The Douglas Company values its commitments to building state-of-the-art communities, and therefore we have created our Quality Assurance Program to ensure the quality our clients have come to expect.
Our Quality Assurance Program begins when the project is designed and budgeted and continues through the lifespan of the project. Systems within the program, such as inspections, are essential to the long-term quality of the project and go hand-in-hand with our commitment to proactive attention-to-detail and execution.
In an effort to be as proactive as possible, quality inspections are completed with each task in order to catch small issues before... Read More >
In the Pre-Construction Department, we often get asked about when’s the best time to price a new project. I’ve recently returned to the department with my latest promotion and have already been asked this question several times. While I often joke about looking to my Magic 8 Ball for answers, we can also look to market conditions for hints of what the future holds.
RISING COSTS CONTINUE
We need to look no further than our pocketbooks to know that the costs of everything are still going up. However, the increases we are seeing today in 2023 are nowhere near as extreme as the price escalations we saw in 2021 and 2022. While we are still receiving notifications from manufacturers and distributors about potential price increases, it’s with less regularity than in the recent past. History tells us two things: the first is that not... Read More >
Holland, Ohio, September 19, 2023 – The Douglas Company, an industry leading-general contractor, is proud to announce the completion of HearthStone at Wildwood, a senior living community in Oxford, Florida. The Douglas Company served as general contractor for the $19.0 million project.
Developed by Wildwood Senior Housing RE, LLC. and Nvision Development, the facility is situated on the doorstep of the world-famous 55+ retirement community, “The Villages”. Designed by Forum Architecture & Interior Design Inc., HearthStone spans 83,000 square feet and is comprised of 36 memory care units and 94 assisted living units for a total count of 130 units. The true focal point of the facility, the main dining area, features high ceilings, stylish light fixtures, a fireplace, and expansive windows that open up to the courtyard, making it a perfect spot for sharing meals. This location also offers a range of amenities, including a game room, salon, fitness center,... Read More >
With three kids in tow, I’m not nearly as productive as I’d like to be when working around the house. There’s only so many hours in a day and while slowing down to involve them is 100% necessary, it can also be very challenging. For the past few weeks, we have been trying to install a fence to prepare for the goats we’ll be getting -- at the kid's request, of course. Kade, Kinsley, and Kam like helping, and swinging the hammer when we get a new post set is what they enjoy most. They’ve all watched me pound nails in a hundred times and love to get their own opportunity to do the same. This particular story starts with Kam’s turn -- he’s three, for those keeping track.
Imitating me, he held the horse shoe nail up on the post to fasten the fence; he swung the hammer and... Read More >
A common sentiment we seem to keep hearing is, "We're holding on any new development until construction costs come down." And while we know it will be fantastic when that day comes, the question of when that will be hangs heavy. Recent data tells us… something, right?
Unfortunately, we’re not seeing much relief anywhere right now. Things don’t seem to be getting worse, but they’re not getting better either. It seems that we are all still waiting for that “bottom falls out” moment, which hasn’t happened yet and some construction economists are backing off on predicting when it will. Predictions have shifted a possibility of the “Soft Landing”, which doesn’t really help prices. Recently The Douglas Company attended National Construction Financial Management Association (CFMA) Conference where their spoke, with the sentiment "It's going to get worse before it gets better," and "Recessionary conditions will prevail at some point over the next... Read More >
This year kicked off with promising developments and displays of artificial intelligence (AI) – namely programs such as ChatGPT and Remini. From software developers to photo editors to writers, there has been a question of what role this technology will play throughout their respective industries. And while the construction industry is historically slow on the uptake when it comes to technology, it’s clear that artificial intelligence is here to stay and is already making waves.
As a whole, AI is a technology that uses large amounts of data to solve problems, but where does that fit into the future of preconstruction?
Well, in reality, a form of AI has been involved in pre-construction since the mid-2000s: Building Information Modeling (BIM). The technique of clash detection is a model that combines the MEP’s structural, and architectural plans into one digital model allowing the design team to address conflicts between the various... Read More >
The call from my superintendent came in at about 7:00 am. This was a little earlier then our normal daily call, so I knew something was wrong. Upon answering the phone, I was immediately informed we had a plumbing leak. I asked where the leak was and my superintendent answered “In the model unit.”
The model unit was fully furnished and it was where the sales staff gave daily tours to prospective residents. To make matters worse, the facility had their grand opening scheduled in just a few days. Multiple members from the owner’s company would be at the grand opening and would be touring the model unit.
We quickly reviewed the damage and discussed what trades we would need to get scheduled to make repairs.
We would need the plumber to fix the leak, the drywaller to replace the damaged drywall, the insulator to replace the insulation that had gotten wet, the... Read More >
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Over the past few years, there have been frequent discussions with our clients related to what we are seeing in the market when it comes to material and subcontractor pricing.
Since the pandemic, material pricing has been an extremely volatile part of our industry. These changing conditions have required everyone to adopt various strategies to get deals done. These strategies range from forms of procurement to combating escalation and much more.
As you can see in the table below from US Bureau of Labor Statistics, pricing is up substantially from where it was pre-pandemic. Overall project costs are up over 34% depending on type of construction. The table also indicates that continuous inflation has had a heavy impact on construction costs. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the dollar had an average inflation rate of about 5.53% per year between 2020 and today. The result has been a... Read More >
I heard a quote recently that stuck with me: “We cannot change the direction of the wind, but we can adjust our sails.”
Whether it’s the sea breezes off the Atlantic Ocean or Gulf of Mexico, storms coming out of the Caribbean, or fronts dropping in from the north, the winds in Florida are continuously changing. Adjusting for changes in the construction industry can be a lot like adjusting your sails for the wind.
For example, on June 1, 2023, a significant number of people boycotted work, travel, shopping, school, etc. in protest of Florida Senate Bill 1718. I spoke with several contractors who work around the state and all confirmed what we were seeing on our projects as a result – manpower was down 50-75% in a single day. Situations like this affect our projects, changing rapidly without notice – just like the Florida winds.
So, the question is: What do... Read More >
Holland, OH, June 1, 2023 - The Douglas Company, a recognized industry-leading general contractor in commercial construction, proudly announces the promotion of Bruce R. Douglas to President of the company, effective July 1, 2023.
The Douglas Company was founded in 1976 by Bruce’s grandfather, Bruce Douglas, and is headquartered in Holland, Ohio, with a second office in Orlando, Florida. Bruce takes over the position from Peter Douglas, who has been President since 1992. In these 31 years, the Company has grown to be a respected national leader in senior living and multifamily construction, completing more than 13,000 units of senior living and 11,000 units of multifamily. “I’m excited for the future with Bruce and our dedicated leadership team. They, along with our other associate partners, bring tremendous energy and ability to serve our clients into the future. We have planned for this process for several years to ensure the transition... Read More >
When I googled Whac-A-Mole to see if there was a “definition” beyond the arcade game most of us are familiar with (and to confirm the game did not have the letter K in its spelling), the internet did not disappoint...
Here it is:
A situation in which repeated efforts to resolve a problem are frustrated by the problem reappearing in a different form
If that doesn’t illustrate the overall theme of new construction development projects over the last couple years, I challenge you to find a better analogy.
I’m sure you’re probably thinking, “when exactly HASN’T it been a game of Whac-A-Mole when developing new projects?” There has always typically been one hurdle or another that is slowing down or preventing projects from proceeding or at least making us (Owners, Architects, and Contractors) think a bit harder on how to get it done. Instead... Read More >
To be honest, until recently I hadn’t given much thought to long term health care… That changed when my mom was admitted to the ICU and told she wouldn’t be able to live alone in her house anymore.
Now, I think about it a lot.
I’ve always had this picture in my head that when my parents got older, they could just move in with me and it would be no big deal. After all, it’s just another adult in the house right?
Turns out, it’s a bit different than that.
First, my mom doesn’t function like she did before she was admitted. Before, she could cook on her own, do her own chores, and take care of herself. Now, she has lost a lot of strength, has difficulty walking anywhere on her own, and she should be supervised while she’s moving about.
Second, I never imagined the amount of knowledge I’d need regarding medications.... Read More >
Holland, Ohio, May 9, 2023 – The Douglas Company proudly announces the completion of HarborChase of Shaker Heights, a new assisted living and memory care community located within one of Cleveland’s most affluent suburbs, just eight miles from downtown. The Douglas Company served as general contractor for the $22.2 million community.
Co-Developers, Confluent Senior Living and Harbor Retirement Associates, selected RDL Architects to design the three-story, 108-unit community. The 106,698 square foot HarborChase is comprised of 80 assisted living units and 28 memory care units for individuals with dementia-related conditions, with every unit boasting high-end finishes. This extravagant facility offers vaulted ceilings upon entering and has a variety of amenities for residents to enjoy, including a commercial laundry service, full-service commercial kitchen, exhibit kitchen complete with a pizza oven, virtual activity room, two salons, bistro, bar, a large wellness room, private and formal dining rooms, artist studio... Read More >