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Meadowlands YMCA Aquatics Center

The Aquatics Center, the final phase of the Meadowlands YMCA project, opens

The Aquatics Center, the final phase of the Meadowlands YMCA project, opens 789 444 DMR Architects

On December 23 the Meadowlands Area YMCA celebrated the opening of the new aquatics center, the final phase of the renovation and expansion project which transformed the former Brooklyn Nets Training Center in East Rutherford into the YMCA’s first full-time, permanent facility.

DMR is proud to have supported the YMCA on this project, and congratulates the YMCA, the East Rutherford community and all project stakeholders in bringing this nearly 100-year dream to a reality.

The first phase of the project opened earlier this year.

 

How DMR Architects took ‘design’ into multiple business areas

How DMR Architects took ‘design’ into multiple business areas 2000 1125 DMR Architects

In our continuing series of interviews with members of the Rutgers Center for Real Estate’s Advisory Board and Emerging Leaders Council, Kevin Riordan (KR) of the Center sat down with Lloyd Rosenberg AIA (LR), President & CEO of DMR Architects to get his insights and perspectives on the firm and its business model.

KR: Lloyd, while your company’s name includes the word ‘Architect’, your firm is actually involved in a number of various design and planning initiatives. Please give our readers an overview of how your firm evolved and the different segments of the real estate business you currently serve.

LR: Given my background as an architect, the firm started out in 1991 with that as its primary focus. However, an interesting confluence of events began to occur which caused our company to expand beyond our basic discipline of architecture. First, we recognized that our clients were not singularly focused on delivering solely built environments, but rather, we saw there were opportunities to work with our clients to build, expand and plan entire communities and environments. We were able to build on this and expand into planning. We expanded into sustainable design in a similar way. Members of our staff were some of the earliest to embrace sustainable design, which led us to designing the first LEED Silver public school in New Jersey. While I am proud that we have been able to watch trends and expand our capabilities in that way, adding talented staff has been a large part of our growth as well. I think we offer a very uniquely qualified and diversely talented staff, and that has helped us take on a very diverse set of projects.

Hackensack downtown area, before and after DMR Architects Design of the Cultural and Performing Arts Center and Public Park.

KR: So what project comes to mind where you combined these multiple disciplines to present a turnkey solution for a client?

LR: The best example I can think of would be in the City of Hackensack, where we have supported the City from both a professional planning and architectural design perspective. The planning work and its successes have been significant in downtown Hackensack, and some of these projects have required architectural support as well. Just last month, the City cut the ribbon on the new Hackensack Cultural and Performing Arts Center. This was the final phase of a four-phase project that brought a public park and cultural arts center to the downtown. In addition to serving as the redevelopment planner, DMR designed the park and the Cultural and Performing Arts Centers.

KR: 1991 was a bad time for real estate. So tell us your thought process on starting a company in an environment where not only credit but RFP’s from building owners and developers were not piled high on your desk.

LR: Well let’s start by clarifying that 1991 was not just a bad time for real estate, the sector was in a depression. So my thought was ‘it can’t get any worse from here’ and we started the company. Something is always happening in real estate. At the time it was tenant retention; less value creation. And since we were a much smaller organization at the time, we could afford to take on some projects at breakeven levels of profitability just to establish our name. There was also a change in ownership of properties due to foreclosures, which opened up a new group of potential clients. Looking back, I don’t think we were calling a bottom to the cycle but we were pretty close to it. And to add to the previous question, the addition of the different services has allowed us to diversify our revenue over the cycles.

KR: Is it simply a diversification model that has led to DMR’s success or can you point to other factors?

LR: Experience is certainly a good factor to have continued success. But the additional capabilities of the firm have helped brand us that we can provide turnkey solutions for clients. But what I see as a source to grow our brand has been our willingness to embrace challenges that were not necessarily within our bandwidth. For example, we designed the train station for the spur link to the sports complex in the Meadowlands. Since we never did something like that before, I think it energized the staff. And that engagement has now enabled us to be the designer of the train station in Bloomfield, New Jersey.

Meadowlands Train Station

KR: Staying with trains for a moment, what are you trying to achieve with your station design in Bloomfield?

LR: If you know this station, you know that the platforms are about 20 feet above grade. So the first issue that must be addressed is accessibility. And while people need and want accessibility, they will also want it to be convenient. The Township of Bloomfield, which owns this station, wants an aesthetic to the site. So given the significant development around the station, we have to incorporate both current structures as well as future projects. Those requirements serve DMR well since we are designing both the existing building as the environment it is in. Finally, the station has to be comfortable. This will probably not be limited to just padded benches. Again, while this type of project may have challenging aspects, it is also the type the team gets excited about.

KR: You have been in business 26 years. You started out as three employees and now have more than 40. You have expanded your lines of business as you have seen an increase in the scope of services required. So what are the challenges to your business? What is rewarding?

LR: First and foremost is retaining employees. When you are a service provider, staff longevity and experience provide prospective clients the confidence to check that box. As clients have sought solutions for projects that are both the built structure as well as its surrounding environment, it has become very important to manage the expectations of your client. As you add complexity or even more entities to work on a project, unforeseen results can occur. This is particularly acute as the clients are more informed also. Since we have become more involved in community planning, it is rewarding to see the energy and enthusiasm the staff expends on these assignments. It may be a result that someone either lives in that community or near it or knows a person who lives in it and a connection is created. Other times it is simply seeing the completion of a project knowing that one + one equals three.

KR: Lloyd, great spending time with you and providing some insight to the design and planning business.

This article originally appeared on Rutgers Center for Real Estate – Blog.

New Hackensack Performing Arts Center opens Saturday

New Hackensack Performing Arts Center opens Saturday 960 540 DMR Architects

by Jim Beckerman

The Center, which Jane Monheit and Tony DeSare will inaugurate with a pair of weekend concerts, is seen as a linchpin of a revitalized downtown.

“If you build it, they will come.” That’s true—so far—for the newly completed $3 million Hackensack Performing Arts Center, opening its doors on Saturday.

The gala inaugural event at 8 p.m., a jazz-pop two-fer featuring the vocalist Jane Monheit and the singer-pianist Tony DeSare, sold out quickly. A second show had to be added the following day, 3 p.m. Sunday.

The theater at the Hackensack Performing Arts Center, located at 102 State St. Monday October 30, 2017. (Photo: Kevin R. Wexler/NorthJersey.com)

But the key thing, says Edward Decker, is that they’ve not only built it — they’ve also built it right.

“You hear that?” says Decker, an officer of the Main Street Business Alliance.

He claps his hands. “That’s dead,” he says.

Dead, in acoustical terms, is a good thing. No reverb. No echo.

“The acoustics, as you can hear, are really wonderful,” says Decker, whose group is co-sponsoring the venue’s flagship series, PAC the House. It’s five events, through June; the Monheit-DeSare jazz program is the first.

(left to right) Hackensack Deputy Mayor, Kathleen Canestrino, Hackensack Mayor, John Labrosse, Vice Chairman of the Main St. Business Alliance, Edward Decker and Chairman of the Main St. Business Alliance, Jerome J. Lombardo pose at the Hackensack Performing Arts Center. The center, located at 102 State St. will officially open on November 11. Monday October 30, 2017 (Photo: Wexler, Kevin, Kevin R. Wexler/NorthJersey.com)

Decker knows from acoustics. He’s the owner of Musically Yours, a Hackensack shop that specializes in DJ and musician’s equipment.

“You don’t want a lot of echoes in the room,” Decker says. “Here, it’s like a pin dropping. You can hear the softest tone of the guitar in the back row.”

It helps that the new auditorium, designed by DMR Architects, is carpeted from top to bottom, with sound baffles in strategic places to help deaden the noise.

That’s part of what gives the auditorium — officially, the Hackensack Meridian Health Theater—its striking look. That, and the decor. The venue’s 224 seats are done up in red, with the outer seats of each row in gray fabric. The lighting, too, is distinctive. Dangling from the ceiling are four Tiffany-ish vintage chandeliers that look like upside-down glass umbrellas.

Details from the top floor lobby are shown at the Hackensack Performing Arts Center, located at 102 State St. Monday October 30, 2017. (Photo: Wexler, Kevin, Kevin R. Wexler/NorthJersey.com)

“They add distinction,” says Greg Liosi, artistic director of HACPAC (as the venue has inevitably been dubbed) and the Hackensack Cultural Arts Department.

“There’s a simplicity to the chandeliers,” Liosi says. “It’s a beautiful aesthetic, but the design has simple lines. It’s very powerful at the same time.”

The chandeliers are a holdover from the 168-year-old building’s earlier career as a Masonic lodge. The imposing red-brick Gothic revival structure was built, in 1849, as the First Methodist Church. By the late 19th century, the Masons had taken it over.

It was purchased by the city in 2011, and became the designated successor to the Hackensack Cultural Arts Center at 39 Broadway, the city’s arts headquarters since 2001. (Hackensack Meridian Health got the naming rights for the auditorium in exchange for contributing a fancy marquee, which has yet to go up).

The Hackensack Performing Arts Center, located at 102 State St. Monday October 30, 2017 (Photo: Kevin R. Wexler/NorthJersey.com)

“It’s like moving from one home to another,” Liosi says. “You’re sad to say goodbye to the old place, but at the same time you’re so excited to start a new life. In this case, we’re very excited to have the arts start a new life, to be reborn in this space.”

The Broadway site—another old, repurposed church—sat only 117 people in a makeshift black-box auditorium. And it was eight blocks from the center of town. This new venue is a big improvement, Liosi says.

“We were very successful in the other space, don’t get me wrong,” he says. “But this is double the size, and so much closer to downtown. It’s a perfect marriage.”

The drama and dance events, art shows and niche programming that the old arts center was known for will continue to thrive in the new location, Liosi promises. A large downstairs gallery space (currently, 21 pieces by a local artist, Ruth Bauer Neustadter, are on display) can become a multipurpose room. There’s even a large adjacent kitchen—another Masonic holdover—for any wine-and-cheese parties or gala dinners that might come up. It may also be handy for stocking the refreshment bar in the lobby (alcohol will be available for some events).

The lower level gallery of the Hackensack Performing Arts Center, is shown, Monday October 30, 2017. (Photo: Wexler, Kevin, Kevin R. Wexler/NorthJersey.com)

But with the larger venue comes a larger mission: to fill the 224 seats, on a regular basis, with name artists that will appeal to all elements of Hackensack’s diverse population. Among them are many African-American, Hispanic, and Caribbean residents.

“The decision was made to represent the diversity of the city and the county,” says deputy mayor Kathleen Canestrino. “The committee decided to have Hispanic, African-American, Broadway, comedy and mainstream pop [events].”

A lot is riding on this, says Mayor John P. Labrosse Jr.

The new arts center is being fêted as a crown jewel of the new, revitalized Hackensack downtown. As Hackensack rebuilds and upscales, the city fathers have been looking at other cities that have reinvented themselves. Always, it seemed to come back to the arts.

“As you know, we’re going through a major redevelopment phase in Hackensack,” Labrosse says. “We have at least 2,500 new units on Main Street. We went to see what other towns were doing. One developer had a great phase: ‘I’ll bring ’em here, but you’ve got to keep ’em here.'”

Arts and green spaces, he decided, were both key. That’s why Hackensack invested in Atlantic Street Park, a smallish commons area, built for roughly $750,000 on the site of a former parking lot, that opened in July 2015 (there were concerts there all last summer). The Hackensack Performing Arts Center, on an adjacent parcel of land, is a companion project: mayor Labrosse can imagine the whole street, park and arts center combined, being closed off for day-long arts festivals.

The Hackensack Performing Arts Center, located at 102 State St. will officially open on November 11. Monday October 30, 2017 (Photo: Wexler, Kevin, Kevin R. Wexler/NorthJersey.com)

“We kind of got a feel for what was going on in these other towns,” Labrosse says. “Whether it was murals, arts shows, a music or concert venue, a small theater, clubs with music, it was the arts that really helped to keep a town successful.”

But in order to help make Hackensack successful, HACPAC will have to be successful itself.

The trick will be to find the sweet spot: artists big enough to draw an audience, but not so big — and expensive — that the venue can’t possibly make its money back. This is a built-in challenge for all arts venues, whose programming is to a great extent dictated by their size.

For instance, tickets for the PAC the House shows, the venue’s flagship series, range from $40 to $60, with the house split evenly between the two price points. At those admission prices, the venue could not—even if it sold out—break even on an act costing more than $11,200. Less, if you factor in operating costs.

All of which is just to say that Hackensack Performing Arts Center, like any other, has a limited pH range from which to select its marquee attractions: a Goldilocks zone of artists who are not to big, not too small, but just right. Some examples from later in the PAC the House series: a jazz night featuring Alyson Williams with the Nat Adderley Jr. trio (Jan. 27), a pop rock program with John Waite (Feb. 3). a comedy night with Roy Wood Jr. and Michelle Wolf (March 3), and a pop/Broadway event with “Hamilton” star Mandy Gonzalez (June 2).

Vice Chairman of the Main St. Business Alliance, Edward Decker, speaks with Hackensack Mayor, John Labrosse, Chairman of the Main St. Business Alliance, Jerome J. Lombardo and Hackensack Deputy Mayor, Kathleen Canestrino at the Hackensack Performing Arts Center. The center, located at 102 State St. will officially open on November 11. Monday October 30, 2017 (Photo: Wexler, Kevin, Kevin R. Wexler/NorthJersey.com)

But there is also a possible wild card here, Liosi points out. A trend of the moment, it happens, is big stars playing small venues.

The prime example is Springsteen’s current Broadway show. There are others: including Ringo Starr’s appearance last year at the 1,367-seat bergenPAC in Englewood. These top names are sometimes willing to trade a big-stadium paycheck for the pleasure of playing a small venue. Audiences, meanwhile, have been known to pay more to see their idols up close. All of this could work to HACPAC’s advantage.

Especially given those pin-drop acoustics.

“We could use the intimacy of the facility as a selling point,” Liosi says. “Some artists are dying to scale down their show. And there are some audiences that just want to see an artist and a guitar.”

This article originally appeared on NorthJersey.com.

Hackensack Cultural and Performing Arts Center

DMR Celebrates Completion of the Final Phase of the Hackensack Cultural and Performing Arts Center & Atlantic Street Park

DMR Celebrates Completion of the Final Phase of the Hackensack Cultural and Performing Arts Center & Atlantic Street Park 789 444 DMR Architects

The multi-phased and dynamic Hackensack Cultural and Performing Arts Center & Atlantic Street Park is now complete!

DMR’s relationship with this project began when DMR worked with the City of Hackensack, its professionals and stakeholders to adopt the Rehabilitation Plan for the Main Street Area. In continuing to support the efforts of this plan, DMR again worked with the City in bringing the Hackensack Cultural and Performing Arts Center & Atlantic Street Park to life – a major catalyst project for the revitalization and one that has brought a cultural arts center and public park to the heart of the downtown.

The Hackensack Cultural and Performing Arts & Atlantic Street Park encompasses the 140+ year old, former Masonic temple at 102 State Street, and the adjacent site, a former under-utilized surface parking area.

We are proud to join with the City of Hackensack, its professionals and stakeholders in celebrating this exciting accomplishment. For more information on the project, please click here.

To read about the grand opening of the Performing Arts Center, please click here.

 

City of Bayonne Redevelopment

The City of Bayonne Advances with Redevelopment Efforts

The City of Bayonne Advances with Redevelopment Efforts 789 444 DMR Architects

On August 15 the Bayonne Planning Board unanimously approved the city’s updated Master Plan, another step forward in the city’s efforts to continue economic stability and promote revitalization in the municipality of more than 66,000. The Master Plan, developed by DMR, calls for “station area plans” that will provide mixed-use redevelopment in the neighborhoods surrounding the city’s four light rail stations; revitalizing the main Broadway corridor; and addressing abandoned properties.

The task of reexamining the master plan included a multi-tiered public involvement process which entailed consensus building through meetings with a steering committee and staff, and three public workshops in which more than 400 people participated. An online survey was also conducted and gathered more than 1,000 responses.

As an extension of the reexamination study, DMR also completed a feasibility analysis for a private ferry system from Bayonne to New York City. This process was initiated with an online survey to determine the demand for a commuter ferry from the Military Ocean Terminal at Bayonne (MOTBY).

The study used existing commuter and census data, socio-economic information, and times to determine the existing and future markets for ferry use. In addition to ridership projections, the study determined the number of stops and most likely destination to support the implementation. The process included research, census data, GIS mapping, online surveys, and on site interviews, as well as input from NJ Transit and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.

 

Using Technology to Teach Technology

Using Technology to Teach Technology 960 540 DMR Architects

(Excerpt)

When the New Jersey legislature expanded the use of design-build in 2015, Hudson County school leaders wasted no time in beginning work  on what could prove to be one of the nation’s most innovative high schools. The Hudson County School of Technology’s High Tech High School broke ground just a year later, in June of 2016, and is slated to open its doors in September 2018. The 340,000 sf project will serve 1,200 to 1,500 students and is budgeted at $160 million. However, those numbers don’t even begin to tell the whole story about what makes the High Tech High School project so unique. This is a story of how innovation and collaboration are being leveraged to ensure that technology not only provides building efficiencies, but also plays an integral role in the day-to-day learning experience for students.

This article originally appeared in Integration Quarterly published by the Design Build Institute of America. A full copy of the article is available on their website

Here’s what Bayonne residents are saying about city’s Master Plan

Here’s what Bayonne residents are saying about city’s Master Plan 960 540 DMR Architects

Bayonne Residents Discuss City's Master Plan

Several dozen residents gathered in Bayonne’s Council Chambers for a public workshop to discuss the city’s new Master Plan. June 26, 2017. (Corey McDonald – The Jersey Journal)

by Corey W. McDonald

BAYONNE — Rarely does a public meeting in the City Hall’s Council Chambers go without minor squabbles, rising tensions, and even full-blown arguments.

Monday’s gathering at City Hall took on a decidedly different tone.

Several dozen residents attended an open public workshop to discuss the draft of the city’s new Master Plan and give their opinions of future development in the Peninsula City.

After a quick synopsis of the plan’s central suggestions, residents broke up into teams to discuss their opinions on the proposal, as well as specific aspects of the city. They then presented their consensus to the rest of the attendees.

A Master Plan is a legal document adopted by a municipality roughly every 10 years that provides long term goals for development, preservation, transportation, and other aspects of the city’s future.

The workshop was headed by Francis Reiner of DMR Architects, the architectural firm hired by the city to design the plan.

The 175-page document, which is available to read on the city’s website, covers practically every facet of the municipality, but the main focus of the plan is development and where it should be prioritized within the city.

Reiner, who along with his team has been working on the plan for more than a year, summarized the proposal’s suggestion to prioritize development in specific areas called “Station Area Plans” near the city’s light rail stations on Eighth, 22nd, 34th and 45th streets.

“The question is how do you encourage appropriate development (and) how do you protect the existing one- and two-family homes from development occurring right next to them,” Reiner said during the workshop.

He added: “The report really talks about focusing development into a few limited areas in Bayonne and no longer having this kind of piecemeal development… What we’re recommending is that there are clearly identified areas where development should occur in Bayonne… So the goal here is to focus development into those zones that are appropriate so that we can preserve the existing residences and neighborhoods.”

After the presentation, workshop attendees broke up into four groups to discuss the plan and to provide their own suggestions, which Reiner and his team will use for a revised draft that the city will post on its website.

Residents discussed a number of aspects of the Station Area Plans, including suggestions on the size of the development zones.

Peter Franco, a resident of the city who was speaking on behalf on one of the groups, said they wanted to reduce the targeted areas of development from one-quarter mile radii surrounding the stations to one-tenth mile radii.

Franco also suggested consolidating Broadway’s shopping district: “If you look at Chicago, they have a mile-long shopping district and they have a lot of people in Chicago; we have a three-mile long shopping district and we have (roughly) 70,000 people, so realistically its just not sustainable. Consolidating that would make sense.”

There were also suggestions regarding the plan’s proposed rubber trolley that would serve to transport pedestrians east and west from the train stations to Avenue A in order to alleviate parking congestion in the city.

“I think everybody recognized the need for the east-west connection but nobody was particularly approving (in our group) of the trolley plan in its current incarnation,” said Laura Wildes, a resident representing one of the groups.

Other groups, however, said the trolley would provide the city with an “old-fashioned” feel.

Groups were also largely in consensus that the plan’s height recommendation for new development projects—eight to 10 stories—was too high, and five to six stories was about right.

Development wasn’t the only aspect on residents’ minds: participants discussed abandoned religious sites in the city, the need for an assisted living facility for seniors, the longevity of PILOTs given to developers, etc.

But all of the groups pointed to the completion of the Hudson River Walkway and the Hackensack River Walkway, as priorities for the city.

The Hudson River Walkway—which in theory would extend from the George Washington Bridge down to First Street of Bayonne—is incomplete largely due to the old industrial sites on Bayonne’s eastern waterfront. But the Hackensack River Waterfront has potential to be completed with no interference. Resident even suggested establishing commerce on the city’s western walkway.

“What we may not get on the east side, we can certainly get on the west side and I think it would be appealing for the community to have,” Franco said.

After writing a revised draft, Reiner and DMR Architects will present it to he city’s planning board and city council to vote.

Reiner said the firm would like to have a final plan for approval by the council by the end of the summer.

This article originally appeared on NJ.com.

Flag Day marks transition for Verona’s Annin building

Flag Day marks transition for Verona’s Annin building 960 540 DMR Architects

by Joshua Jongsma

Ed Russo, the developer converting the Annin Flag building in Verona into an apartment complex, said he wanted to maintain the historic integrity of the property.

Russo started that pledge by commemorating the start of the construction at the Bloomfield Avenue site on the holiday most associated with its former use: Flag Day. On Wednesday morning, June 14, the Verona Fire Department Honor Guard helped raise the American flag high into the air while people connected to the project swapped stories about the facility’s past and future.

Ed Russo

Ed Russo, developer, talks about the Annin Lofts project in Verona on Wednesday, June 14, 2017. (Photo: Joshua Jongsma/NorthJersey.com)

“Today is Flag Day as everyone knows, and what better place to celebrate Flag Day than this property,” observed Russo. “We hope this will be something we can do now that’s symbolic, but more importantly we want everyone to come back a year from now and help us cut the ribbon.”

From 1919 to 2013 the building was a flag manufacturing plant. It ceased operations in 2013 and will now be converted into 112 rental units. Carter Beard, the CEO and president of Annin Flag, said it was an emotional day to signal the change at the Verona site.

“It’s a little bit of a sad day because it’s the end of a factory that had been there for 100 years,” Beard said, “but it’s exciting because it will be the Annin Lofts going forward, and I think it’s going to be a beautiful project.”

Annin Lofts Rendering

A rendering of the future of the Annin Flag building on Bloomfield Avenue in Verona. (Photo: Joshua Jongsma/NorthJersey.com)

The main Annin building will include 52 loft-style apartment units, and a new second building next to it will hold 60 more. It will include studio, one-bedroom and two-bedroom apartments.

The existing building is four stories tall but the re-purposed version will add an extra floor for a penthouse.

Kurt Vierheilig, the architect working on the project, said they anticipate the development being ready within 12 to 14 months.

“Obviously the building is a fixture in the community,” Vierheilig said, “and we’re excited that we’re going to be able to reutilize the building for a different purpose, but it’s still going to keep its presence in the community.”

Joe Vallone, a Cedar Grove resident who worked as the Annin plant manager for 32 years, made many memories there. He recalled an especially active time at the building following the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. Annin added 100 extra employees at the facility to keep up on demand and fixed four New Jersey State Police buses with flags.

Annin employees also made a made a 60-by-90-foot flag to be flown at the George Washington Bridge, according to Vallone.

“This is like home to me,” he said. “I had been treated well here. There were times when we had blizzards and I’d stay [overnight]. I lived on coffee, cake that was in the machines, but we got through. It’s kind of sad to see this happening, but we know it’s necessary, and I’m glad to see something done with the building.”

Verona Mayor Kevin Ryan said the Annin site serves as a gateway to the community due to its location near the township’s border on Bloomfield Avenue. Ryan noted how the Annin Lofts follow a trend for Verona.

“For a small town,” the mayor said, “2.7 square miles, every time I think it’s totally developed, somebody else comes up with another piece of property that they want to redevelop or do something with.”

Verona Fire Department Honor Guard

Members of the Verona Fire Department Honor Guard, from left, Rick Neale, Steve Neale and Bill Neal, at the Annin Flag building on June 14, 2017. (Photo: Joshua Jongsma/NorthJersey.com)

This article originally appeared on NorthJersey.com.

Triple Play: 3 ways to create a more sustainable business

Triple Play: 3 ways to create a more sustainable business 2000 1125 DMR Architects

Pradeep Kapoor

Three thoughts from a top leader in the state: Pradeep Kapoor is the director of sustainable design and a partner at DMR Architects.

We asked Pradeep to give us three ways to create a more sustainable business.

1. Have a plan

Businesses that are considering a move or expansion should recruit a knowledgeable professional to help create a sustainable design that incorporates sustainable strategies and sets the short- and long-term sustainable goals for the business. The real estate mantra “location, location, location” must be considered before finalizing the new location. Things such as the proximity to public transportation or access to public or green spaces are critical for sustainable goals.

2. Look for easy fixes first

There are relatively easy fixes a company could implement to become a more sustainable business, such as installing energy-efficient lighting and motion sensors in public spaces, including bathrooms and hallways, as well as using water-efficient plants for landscaping. Getting an energy analysis of utilities to see where one can make changes to conserve energy is a good starting point. You can cut down on your energy usage, save money and make a big impact on the environment.

3. Be environmentally friendly

Be environmentally friendly: Use environmentally friendly materials that minimize the impact of harm to the ecosystem wherever possible. This will allow you to save some money on your project. Consider reusing recycled materials that are available locally or materials with higher recycled content, refurbishing furniture and using building products made of rapidly renewable materials.

This article originally appeared on NJBiz.com.

DMR Continues Promotion Trend by Elevating Long-Time Team Members Henry Ossi and Fassil Zewdou to Associate Positions

DMR Continues Promotion Trend by Elevating Long-Time Team Members Henry Ossi and Fassil Zewdou to Associate Positions 798 444 DMR Architects

DMR continues to recognize staff excellence with the promotions of Henry Ossi, ICS, LEED AP, Director of Construction Administration and Fassil Zewdou, Project Manager to Associate positions.

Mr. Ossi joined DMR in 2000, and has more than 30 years of experience in the construction industry. He serves as the director of Construction Administration involved from the onset of a project until completion, offering construction cost estimates at every phase of design and adhering to schedule milestones. His responsibilities include project scheduling, cost control, direct field observation, quality control and assisting with contractor negotiations and administration.

Henry oversees construction projects in all market sectors. Some of his noteworthy experience includes the reconstruction of Hudson County Plaza, the 340,000 square foot County headquarters for the County of Hudson, and the new, 110,000 square foot Carlstadt Pre-K-8 Public School, the first LEED certified public school in New Jersey. Some of his most recent experience includes the Performing Arts Center in Hackensack; two new construction projects, Crabiel Hall and West Hall, at Middlesex County College in Edison; two addition/renovation projects at Quarter Mile Lane and Buckshutem Road Elementary Schools in Bridgeton; the Hunterdon Healthcare Medical Office Building in Washington, Warren County; as well as the firm’s largest project, the new High Tech High School in Secaucus.

Mr. Zewdou, who joined DMR in 2001, demonstrates his strengths in design and project management through his record of successful completed projects in New York and New Jersey, with a particular emphasis on educational projects. He serves as the project manager responsible for code review, design development, preparation of construction documents and the coordination of consultants. Since 2005, Fassil has managed more than 150 Capital Improvement Projects with a total construction value of more than $200 million for the New York City School Construction Authority (NYCSCA).

“Henry’s and Fassil’s unique backgrounds and impeccable interpersonal skills have allowed DMR to maintain long-term, multi-project relationships with some of the most prestigious institutions in the NY Metro area,” Lloyd Rosenberg, AIA, President and CEO of DMR Architects, said. “Fassil has continually found creative solutions and new uses for schools that are, in some cases, more than 100 years old, and Henry’s diverse background in accounting and construction have made him the go-to person for finding cost-effective solutions to challenging projects.”