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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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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The Douglas Company, General Contractor, Announced a Number of Internal Promotions That Will Advance the Company’s Strategic Position Within the Market

The Douglas Company, General Contractor, announced a number of internal promotions that will advance the company's strategic position within the market. Through hard work, dedication and demonstration of The Douglas Company Core Values the following individual promotions have been announced: Brian McCarthy from Vice President of Construction to Executive Vice President of Midwest Construction Operations, Drew Rahrig from Senior Project Manager to Vice President of Construction and Andrew Barger and Ryon Barker from Estimating Coordinators to Project Estimators. "The announcement of these promotions highlights our core purpose of contributing to the success of our clients and associates, as well as, our core value of growth of our Associates and business through learning, teamwork, and leadership," said Gayle Ashbridge, Director of People Development with The Douglas Company. Brian McCarthy promoted to Executive Vice President, Midwest Construction Operations. Brian will be responsible for all of the construction operations in the Toledo, Ohio office....

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A Team Approach to Reduce Cost and Risk in Development

Recently, Bob Ritter, Douglas Company Director of Business Development, and I had a discussion with an architect we had worked with once in the past about progressive approaches to control costs and risks in senior living development.  This discussion ran the gamut from upfront information gathering to control risks, proper planning for development costs to ensure they are inclusive, proper construction cost budgeting, control of design to meet budgets, and control of risks during construction to help assure a project’s success. What was remarkable about this discussion was how similar our approaches were in our efforts to contribute to our clients’ success.  A team approach with the architect and contractor working with the owner to achieve project goals works, and has been increasingly accepted in the architectural community as the best way to service our clients.  As it has been our approach since inception, we are pleased to see this approach’s...

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