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Questions for Developers???

Discussion in 'Other Off Topic Forum' started by CRUSING, Feb 18, 2004.

  1. CRUSING

    CRUSING Karting

    Oct 31, 2002
    235
    Jupiter, FL
    How did you get your start. I own some investment property but would like to get into developing. Did you work for someone else??? Thanks
     
  2. Sarc

    Sarc Karting

    Nov 1, 2003
    196
    sunny detroit
    bump.
    Wouldn't mind being a fly on the wall for this.
     
  3. redjeeper

    redjeeper Formula Junior

    Nov 4, 2003
    279
    Flowood, MS
    Full Name:
    Anthony Griffin
  4. F SPIDER

    F SPIDER F1 Rookie
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    Jan 30, 2002
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    rijk rietveld
    I have the opposite problem, so this can become interesting. I have serious money available from European investors that want to invest in real estate in the States. However, being architects, we want to design those projects. And we since we only design modern buildings, it is difficult to find a developer.

    Rijk
     
  5. Uberpower

    Uberpower Formula Junior

    Feb 6, 2004
    902


    PM me on this one. Any SPECIFIC state? I can help you in the southwestern US.

    Nick
     
  6. Sarc

    Sarc Karting

    Nov 1, 2003
    196
    sunny detroit
    As mentioned earlier, I'm very interested in this thread, as eventually I hope to develop the projects I design...essentially becoming my own client.

    As I have been practicing Architecture for 4.5 years now, it has become increasingly disappointing as each project presents itself; another day, another unfulfilling project that replicates the past (per Mr. Developer's order). Once this jewel of a project leaves my desk, the "watering down" process continues, resulting in a (not always) cheap, derivative mutt of a design. Another contribution to society. I sometimes feel like an expertly trained chef, serving up burgers, with an extra large side of quoins and cornices!

    It's no wonder there are so many my age leaving the profession.
    This is where my earlier theory comes in. I know it's possible as I have seen it done. I just feel it's the next step of evolution the architect must take, as (for the examples I have seen) he/she loses more and more power in the design process.

    Any words of wisdom I can absorb would be greatly appreciated!
     
  7. Texas Forever

    Texas Forever Four Time F1 World Champ
    Rossa Subscribed

    Apr 28, 2003
    44,337
    Texas!
    Crusing, I'm on the road so this will have to be brief. First, there are no simple answers to your question. Real estate development is like any other business. Most of the pros have paid a lot of tutition to get to where they are. A lot of tuition.

    I'll leave you with the number one rookie mistake -- Falling in love with a piece of dirt. Development, just like all other businesses is market driven. The point of beginning is identifying an unfilled market demand. This is the tough part. Once you figure out what your customers want to buy, you then, and only then, start looking for a piece of dirt.

    This explains why falling in love with dirt is a big no-no. In most cases, a rookie will have a piece of land or is able to buy dirt at what looks to be a steal. He then crams something on the land without a clue as to whether anyone wants to buy it. Too often the result, is like the old blues song, "Another good deal gone bad."

    Take Care Dr "Dirt, Deals, and Death"


     
  8. Texas Forever

    Texas Forever Four Time F1 World Champ
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    Apr 28, 2003
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    Texas!
     
  9. F SPIDER

    F SPIDER F1 Rookie
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    Dale,

    Ferrari would not even exist if it was based on what the market wants. I don't buy the portholes story. And this does not make me a frustrated artist.

    Sarc,

    It is important that an architect chooses its clients wisely. It is the reason that we have little US work in our practice. The good clients don't know yet how to find us, but we are working on it.

    A lesson I learned from an old famous architect very early on is that "every change has to be an improvement". In the process there are so many moments where a design is being watered down, that if you can't balance the compromise with an improvement, you have nothing left when all is said and done. That does not mean we are always successful in living by this rule, but overall we are able to not get too desillusioned.

    Rijk
     
  10. tifosi69

    tifosi69 Formula 3

    Dec 23, 2003
    1,671
    Atlanta, Ga.
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    Al-Al Cool J
    PM me as well, I would like to speak with you.
     
  11. davem

    davem F1 Veteran
    Silver Subscribed

    Jan 21, 2002
    6,050
    Stepford, Connecticut
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    dave m

    As a retailer/restaurant owner i see many new developments open up that are pleasing to the eye.
    However they won't help me sell the goods inside. Too small windows or not enough of them. Big columns in front of windows. Trees in front of windows
    (You see what am i getting at!) Developments that want unified colors for signage are death to me. So when i see all this, i see lost money for everyone. Costs the same to build it right usually, and im not paying top dollar for this rent.
     
  12. JNT

    JNT Karting

    Nov 30, 2002
    233
    Atlanta, GA
    i totally agree with you. i too was looking into development.

    try the builder/developer forum on this site. a great site on real estate investing in general.
    www.tcinvestor.com

    rijk, what software are you using for your model?
     
  13. Glassman

    Glassman F1 World Champ
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    Apr 23, 2002
    13,115
    I love an Architect that isn't afraid to use some GLASS!!
     
  14. F SPIDER

    F SPIDER F1 Rookie
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    JNT,

    We do everything with ArchiCad on a Mac platform.

    Rijk
     
  15. Texas Forever

    Texas Forever Four Time F1 World Champ
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    Apr 28, 2003
    44,337
    Texas!
    Rijk, I apologize if my somewhat sarcastic comment hit a nerve. This was not my intent.

    You see, I am the money guy. It's my job to raise the dollars to pay for all this good stuff. So when I see an example such as your beautiful building with the stand along glass skin, I see additional costs, not beauty. Ah, such is the lot of a beancounter.

    However, even given this, the key is when the lines cross. That is, let's say that the building in your picture costs $100M. (I don't have a clue what the actual cost is, but I like to use multiples of 100 because it is easy to do the math.) Now, let's say that you glass skin costs 10% more or $10M. If the beauty of the building allows me to charge, say, 20% more in rent than the going rate, you the man! This is what I mean by market driven. Actually, I'm a big fan of blowing up the friggin box. My experience has been that this can be the most profitiable approach, but only when the market supports this.

    Your thoughts? Dale

    ps The porthole comment came from a custom home that I saw last weekend. Picture this -- roughly 100 foot wide elevation.. 3 to 5 acre lot.. stucco... turrets... and starting from the left hand corner of the home and going at a 45 degree angle accross the elevation to the right hand corner of the home.... were portholes... big portholes... further proof that money does not equal class.
     
  16. F SPIDER

    F SPIDER F1 Rookie
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    Dale,

    Most of the time our clients are not crazy. We keep proposing all sorts of interesting solutions, very often we design something that the client did not expect, but what we think is the best solution on a specific site with a specific program. However, nothing that does not pay itself back will be left standing at the end of the design process. So, as an architect you have to be very "clever" about all this.

    Sometimes we loose big time and we cannot come to a solution and will give back the commission rather than build a building that we do not enjoy working on.

    Luckily, most of the time we arrive at a design that is at the same time financially profitable (different than: the cheapest) and architecturally interesting.

    The project with the glass climate facade is a rehab project of an existing office building from the 70's. It is located next to a major interstate in the Netherlands and uses the climate facade as a sound screen from the highway noise. The building is so energy efficient that the extra investment cost reach the break even point after 7 years. With the tenant being the owner of the building (the headquarters of a major company), this is a wise investment.

    We had 6 contractors bid on the project and all 6 were under the budget, so we did get our wish of (economically worthless) curved glass and all the other niceties that we wanted.

    The building will be finished this summer.

    Rijk
     
  17. F SPIDER

    F SPIDER F1 Rookie
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    Jan 30, 2002
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    As we all know, only Ferrari is allowed to charge more than its worth.

    Rijk
     
  18. JNT

    JNT Karting

    Nov 30, 2002
    233
    Atlanta, GA
    great stuff.

    i am also an archicad user, but i export the model for rendering.
     
  19. Evolved

    Evolved F1 Veteran

    Nov 5, 2003
    8,206
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Who else opened this thread thinknig it was about writing software.


    Regards,


    Dave
     
  20. Sarc

    Sarc Karting

    Nov 1, 2003
    196
    sunny detroit
    How refreshing! Someday I will be in that position.

    Rijk,
    I've sent you a PM.

    Jnt,
    Thank you for the link. Lots of information to digest.
     
  21. Texas Forever

    Texas Forever Four Time F1 World Champ
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    Apr 28, 2003
    44,337
    Texas!
    LOL, sad but true. Sad but true.

    And Rijk, I do admire your firm's attitude. Taking engagements only when you want to do the work and have the ability to do the work is the hallmark of a true professional. Too often professionals get themselves into a situation where their overhead is out of control. Thus, they take any and all jobs that come in the door because, well, they have to.

    A while back, I cut my overhead to the bone. This allowed me to pick and choose what projects I take on. If I don't have the expertise or capacity to do the work, I refer it to somebody else. And even if I do have the expertise and capacity, I'll still pass on the job if it just doesn't interest me. Perhaps this sounds egotistical. I like to think that maybe I'm getting wiser. Swimming upstream is no fun.

    Great work, though. Pls post some more pics of your work. The world certaintly doesn't need more boring boxes.

    Take Care, Dale
     
  22. F SPIDER

    F SPIDER F1 Rookie
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    Dale,

    We do boxes too. Only they don't have to be boring. This is one of my favorites, as well as one of our cheapest designs (and still only 200K over the budget). People are often misled by the scale. It's 14 floors high!

    Rijk
     
  23. Texas Forever

    Texas Forever Four Time F1 World Champ
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    Apr 28, 2003
    44,337
    Texas!
    Wow, beautifu! I definitely like your style.

    Dale
     

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