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City Transfers Site to Feds, Next NGA West Moves One Step Closer to Fruition

in Associations/News

By KERRY SMITH, EDITOR, ST. LOUIS CONSTRUCTION NEWS AND REVIEW MAGAZINE

The official land transfer of the 97-acre site from the City of St. Louis to the federal government has taken place, moving the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency’s future St. Louis headquarters another step forward.

Last week the city closed on the official transaction governing the land transfer of the site located north of downtown at the north corner of Jefferson and Cass Avenues. St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson said the United States Air Force is now officially responsible for the site with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers serving as developer. The Corps is the federal agency overseeing construction of the NGA’s $1.7 billion headquarters.

“For over 70 years, St. Louis has been proud to be the home of NGA West,” said Krewson, “and with this land transfer, we are ensuring our relationship will strengthen into the future. But our renewed relationship isn’t just about building a new facility for the important work the NGA does to protect our country. It’s about reinvesting in our community and establishing St. Louis as the center for geospatial excellence.”

St. Louis Development Corporation Executive Director Otis Williams said several public and private sector entities assisted the city in securing the funding necessary to assemble and prepare the site according to the specifications that were required so that the land could be conveyed to the federal government.

NGA Director Robert Cardillo said the agency is appreciative of the significance of the land transfer.

“This land transfer is truly historic,” Cardillo said. “Building upon our history in St. Louis, the new campus in North City will enable the NGA to deliver our mission through the end of the century and beyond. We look forward to continuing teaming with the talent and innovation of the St. Louis region. We’re proud of all the work done to get to this point, and even more excited about what lies ahead.”

The Corps is still on track to award the construction work to one of three joint venture finalists in March 2019.

The two-phase, design-build, firm fixed-price project will include construction of a 712,800-square-foot main operations building, 38,000-square-foot central utility plant, nearly one million square feet of structured parking, 7,300-square-foot visitor control center, access roads and perimeter security.

In addition to the main RFP, the Corps will award five small business set-aside construction contracts.

Parking Lot Pre-Construction Checklist

in Associations/News

The American Society of Concrete Contractors (ASCC), St. Louis, MO has published a Parking Lot Pre-Construction Checklist. The purpose of the document is to identify details of parking lot construction prior to the start of placement to alert all impacted parties to issues related to construction specifications, equipment, schedules, responsible persons and safety.

The Checklist is a product of the ASCC Paving Committee, chaired by Paul Albanelli. ASCC publications also include Checklist for the Concrete Pre-Construction Conference, Checklist for Pumping Ready Mixed Concrete, and Checklist for Ordering and Scheduling Ready Mixed Concrete. 

The ASCC is a non-profit organization dedicated to enhancing the capabilities of those who build with concrete, and to providing them a unified voice in the construction industry.  Members include concrete contracting firms, manufacturers, suppliers and others interested in the concrete industry such as architects, specifiers and distributors.  There are approximately 730 member companies in the United States and 12 foreign countries.

 

For more information, visit www.ascconline.org or call the ASCC office at (866) 788-2722.

 

Mosby Kicks Off 5th Annual Stuff the Truck Toy Drive

in Associations/Companies/News

Until December 8th, the St. Louis remodeling firm is collecting new toys and non-perishable food items for Friends of Kids with Cancer and St. Louis Area Foodbank

Mosby Building Arts is looking to the community to help collect new, unwrapped toys as well as non-perishable food items to donate to Friends of Kids with Cancer and St. Louis Area Foodbank.

Mosby’s goal is to collect 1,000 toys and 1,000 pounds of food (or more!) for two organizations that help bring cheer to those in need. Toys and food can be dropped off through December 8th in the Mosby lobby at 645 Leffingwell Ave. Every donation receives a raffle ticket for an entry to win prizes!

The culminating Stuff the Truck event will be on December 8, 2018 from 10am – 2pm at Mosby Building Arts. Highlights of this family-friendly event include:

• Free digital photo with Santa Claus (with donation)

• Food and drink available for purchase from Blues Fired Pizza and The Sweet Divine

• Live radio broadcasts of KMOX Home Improvement Show with Scott Mosby and 97.1 Right At Home with Rich Oris

Noël Powers, the event organizer and Mosby’s Marketing Coordinator, is excited about the toy drive’s fifth year. “We are motivated to spread holiday cheer and bring smiles to children and families in need. And the enthusiastic response we get from the local business community to make this a great event is always encouraging.”

“This year, we chose two organizations that Mosby employees are dedicated to helping. That personal connection will increase donations within our company, and we hope it inspires the community to give generously. The Monday after the event on December 8th, we hope to be exhausted from delivering truckloads of toys and food to both charities.”

Learn more about the Stuff the Truck event.
https://mosbybuildingarts.com/wp-content/uploads/StuffTruck_Graphic3.jpg

For questions about donations, please call 314.909.1800.

Mosby Building Arts has been the trusted resource for home remodeling, design, and architecture in Metro St. Louis for more than 70 years. As a family-owned business, Scott Mosby and his team have been recognized nationally and locally for high standards of customer service and business ethics. Learn more at www.CallMosby.com.

Security Vital in Sharing Proprietary Project Information from Laser Scans, Drones

in Associations/Companies/Homepage Primary/News

By KERRY SMITH, EDITOR, ST. LOUIS CONSTRUCTION NEWS AND REVIEW MAGAZINE 

No doubt laser scanning and drone photogrammetry is enabling design, engineering and construction pros to scale up projects, collaborate across teams and greatly improve the virtual walk-through experience for owners.

But are the measures that protect the security of this data advancing as quickly and as well as are virtual reality technologies?

Josh VandenEnde, a reality capture panelist at the AGC of Missouri’s 8th annual Design and Construction Technology Conference last month, says in order to fully protect clients’ proprietary information – such as laser scans of a building – every shred of information must be treated as sensitive.

“Laser scans have changed the size of the files we are protecting but not how we protect them,” said VandenEnde, project manager for APOGEE Engineers | Architects. “The large file size of scan files reduces the number of ways the data can be shared. It is not very feasible to view scans using mobile devices or send the files via email. The scans are primarily stored and viewed off our company servers, so securing those is our primary concern,” he added. “Careful selection of file-sharing platforms is required to ensure that the information stays protected during their transfer to other parties.”

A company’s overall data security is only as good as its weakest link, which is generally its users, according to VandenEnde and Adam Lega, BIM (building information modeling) coordinator with Apogee Consulting Group. “People are the biggest source of data breaches,” Lega agreed. “No matter what security measures you put in place, all it takes is for a careless or disgruntled employee to cause a breach. It’s as simple as not having good password etiquette, being careless with leaving your machine logged in, copying to a USB/thumb drive or even publishing data to YouTube or some other social network for ‘bragging rights.’ I have, however, seen construction data such as laser scans being locked with one-time key code generators that necessitate the use of a third party to generate those keys, and that are used in conjunction with timeout functions. So if the workstation or data is not being accessed for a particular amount of time, it logs the system out.”

According to 3D design and engineering software builder Autodesk, a single point cloud – a detailed digital capture of an as-built space that includes all the points covering the surface of that space – commonly exceeds 200 gigabytes. Factors affecting the size of the laser scanning files generated include area size, number of scans, scanning density and more.

Winter Electrical Safety Tips

in Associations/News

With the cold weather settling in, the Electrical Connection is again reminding homeowners to be aware of winter electrical safety hazards.  Hopefully, everyone will be safe with Christmas lights, electric blankets, extension cords and other electrical devices that see an increased and sometimes unsafe use in the home during the winter.  People can visit www.electricalconnection.org for winter electrical safety tips.  The National Fire Protection Association issued a report in March 2017 detailing an annual average of 45,210 U.S. home structure fires reported in the U.S. involving electrical failure or malfunction from 2010 to 2014. NFPA found that electrical distribution or lighting equipment was involved in 57 percent of the home fires involving electrical failure or malfunction. That complete report can be found at this link:  www.nfpa.org.

Electrical Connection is the largest resource locally for licensed electrical contractors and electricians.

Electrical Connection Safety Tips

Always make sure installations in your home or business conform to the standards of the National Electrical Code (NEC).  This requires a fully licensed electrical contractor.  The Electrical Connection has the largest data base of licensed electrical contractors in St. Louis and Eastern Missouri. It can be accessed by visiting www.electricalconnection.org.  Other safety tips to be aware of:

WARNING: While homeowners can visually inspect electrical systems, we do not recommend they attempt to fix or tinker with them in any way.  Leave that to a licensed professional.

  • Space Heaters/Electric Blankets — Never use an extension cord for an electrical heating appliance, such as a space heater or an electric blanket.  The cord provided with the heating device is properly rated and should be connected directly to the electrical outlet. Inspect your space heater and discard it if it shows deterioration, particularly around the plug-in cord, or it lacks a functioning automatic shut off if tipped over.  Watch where you place the space heaters to keep it away from combustible materials.  Keep children away from space heaters.  Closely inspect electric blankets and heating pads and discard them if you note any potential fire hazard, such as discoloration due to overheating or exposed wiring.
  • Extension Cords — Never use an extension cord for an extended time as a permanent or temporary wiring solution. Extension cords aren’t made to be used for long periods of time and can result in electrical fires. When you are using an extension cord, always ensure that the plug has all three prongs. This ensures that your cord will stay properly grounded, which could prevent the cord from overloading. Any extension cords without the third prong should be discarded immediately.
  • Holiday Lights – Examine and discard lights with frayed wires. They are not only a fire hazard, but a shock hazard and are especially dangerous if they come in contact with a metal gutter and ladder while being installed outside.  Use lights that are Underwriters Laboratories (UL) tested for safety and don’t exceed the strands of lights that can be connected as detailed on the product.  Pay attention to whether the lights are rated for indoor or outdoor use.  Consider using LED lights which last 20 times longer and don’t burn hot like traditional incandescent lights. Child-proof all holiday decorations. Lights can be fascinating to young children and if they get too curious can expose them to a live circuit.
  • Outlets — Don’t overload sockets with plugs that could start a fire.  Any electrical outlets in your home that are near a water source—sinks, bathtubs, washing machines—require a ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) according to the National Electrical Code. A GFCI is a fast-acting circuit breaker that shuts down your electricity as quickly as 1/40 of second after a fault occurs. If you’re missing a GFCI an electrical professional can easily install one for you.
  • Wiring — Visually inspect your home’s service panel and note any potential concerns.  Contact a licensed professional if the panel is not firmly attached to the wall or wires are not neatly enclosed within their protective box or if deterioration is noted.  Also contact a licensed professional if you note wiring connection points are not capped with a wire connector and enclosed within an appropriate UL approved junction box.

Midas Hospitality Family Foundation Raises Funds for TinySuperheroes

in Associations/Companies/News

The Midas Hospitality Family Foundation recently raised $15,758.34 for TinySuperheroes.  The money was raised through the Foundation’s trivia night and paper cape sales at 35 hotels operated by Midas Hospitality.

Founded in 2013, TinySuperheroes is a local organization that seeks to empower extraordinary children as they overcome illness or disability.  TinySuperheroes has created more than 15,000 capes for these children.

Pictured from left to right are Midas Hospitality’s CEO and Co-Founder David Robert; TinySuperheroes’ Founder Robyn Rosenberger; Midas Hospitality’s Controller Tina Van Leer; and Midas Hospitality’s Assistant Controller Angie Becker.  Van Leer and Becker were key organizers of the trivia night fundraiser.

Visit www.tinysuperheroes.com to learn more about the organization

Enterprise Bank & Trust Opens Financial Support Center at Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis

in Associations/News

Enterprise Bank & Trust and Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis have formed a partnership to open a financial services support center at Urban League’s St. Louis County location at 8960 Jennings Station Road.

The center supports the objective of the two organizations for providing financial and economic empowerment in the community. As Urban League celebrates its 100th year, the long-term partnership with Enterprise represents the first of its kind for the organization.

“We are thankful to Enterprise Bank & Trust for helping us to better serve our clients with increased financial services opportunities at the Urban League St. Louis County Community Outreach Center in Jennings,” said Michael P. McMillan, President & CEO of the Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis.

Celebrating the ribbon cutting for the opening of this new Enterprise Bank center are in photo from left to right: Terry Wilson, City Council Member at City of Jennings; Yolanda Austin, Mayor of Jennings, Mo.; Scott Goodman, President of Enterprise Bank & Trust; Michael McMillan, President and CEO at Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis; and Pam Rezex, SVP, Consumer Banking at Enterprise Bank & Trust.

 

Electrical Connection Members Earn Three AGC Keystone Awards

in Associations/News

The AGC of Missouri, the state’s largest and oldest general contractor business organization, is saluting Electrical Connection members with three AGC Keystone Awards.   Guarantee Electrical Co. and Kaiser Electric were each honored at the Nov. 8, 2018 celebration of construction excellence at the Ameristar Casino Resort Spa in St. Charles.  Since 1997, more than 30 projects built by Electrical Connection member contractors have earned AGC Keystone Awards.  More than 90 have been honored as finalists.  The Electrical Connection is a partnership of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 1 and the St. Louis Chapter of the National Electrical Contractor Association (NECA).

NECA contractor Guarantee was named Electrical Specialty Contractor of the Year and earned a Keystone Award for its work on the BJC Campus Renewal Project Phase I for BJC HealthCare.  Kaiser earned a Keystone Award for its emergency generator project at St. Mary’s Hospital for SSM Health.

Electrical Connection members saluted as finalists included PayneCrest Electric, Inc. for its work on the Ranken Jordan Inpatient Addition in Maryland Heights.  Guarantee was also honored as a finalist for its work on the Peter Sachs Museum for the Missouri Botanical Garden and the Museum of the Westward Expansion at the Arch for the U.S. Department of Interior.

For a list of all Electrical Contractor members honored over the past 22 years, visit this link.

 

The prestigious AGC Keystone Awards celebrate excellence in projects for safety, proficiency in overcoming challenges and the quality of delivery, including maintaining budget and schedule.  For more information, visit www.agcmo.org.

Chouteau Greenway Design Competition Complete; Project Planning Begins With Community Input

in Associations/News

Great Rivers Greenway and partners have completed the final phase of the Chouteau Greenway International Design Competition, a 1-year public-private partnership to imagine a greenway focused on connectivity, economic opportunity, equity and sustainability in the City of St. Louis. A report published today at www.ChouteauGreenway.org details additions and refinements to the original conceptual plan submitted by the Stoss Landscape Urbanism team in April. The next phase of planning includes multiple engagement opportunities such as recruiting additional neighborhood representation, gathering input on the engagement plan itself and a community event in February.

The report shares a new mission/vision statement, “Chouteau Greenway will transform St. Louis by connecting people and our City’s most treasured places, creating inspiring experiences and equitable opportunities for growth.” More than just a free, accessible trail where people can exercise, commute or explore, the project’s goals include offering an exceptional experience to residents and tourists alike. The greenway aims to create dynamic, active spaces and serve as a regional gathering place that encourages collaboration and boosts civic pride.

Since being selected by the competition jury in May, the Stoss team, comprised of 13 firms or individuals from St. Louis as well as other cities, has been working with Great Rivers Greenway, partners and stakeholders to incorporate the feedback gathered during the competition into their concept. The next step is to create an overall framework plan, before beginning design and engineering on specific segments.

“This project is full of exciting opportunities and interesting challenges that will be a catalyst for new ideas; our team is looking forward to working with St. Louisans to find innovative solutions,” said Chris Reed, FASLA and Founding Director at Stoss Landscape Urbanism. “In our first six months, we will focus on studying routes, designing the look and feel of the greenway and proposing economic and equity plans for the project.”

When the framework is complete in Summer 2019, particular pieces of geography will be studied in projects called “labs” to test the framework and further design specific greenway segments. The map below shows the routes to be studied throughout the area that stretches from Forest Park to Gateway Arch National Park and Tower Grove to Fairground Parks through 19 city neighborhoods.

In addition to Great Rivers Greenway and the Stoss team, the project will be led by a Steering Committee and Working Groups made up of residents, technical experts, City representatives and community leaders. Beyond the Community Advisory Committee formed last fall, Great Rivers Greenway now seeks six additional residents to ensure that each neighborhood in the areas to be studied is represented. Residents of Carr Square, Covenant Blu-Grand Center, Greater Ville, Jeff VanderLou, St. Louis Place and Tiffany neighborhoods are invited to sign up. Additionally, an Artists of Color Council was formed in July through an open call, which resulted in eight artists being hired to advise the local art and engagement components of the project.

“Chouteau Greenway is all about bringing people together to think differently about St. Louis,” said Susan Trautman, CEO of Great Rivers Greenway. “This process will have many voices working together to ultimately connect our city, creating opportunities for economic growth in an equitable way.”

The Stoss team will be collaborating with local consultant Vector Communications for Great Rivers Greenway’s civic engagement on the project. Anyone who lives, works, plays, learns or visits the area of the future Chouteau Greenway is invited to engage with the project in multiple ways, including subscribing for email or text updates and attending a series of community events, the first of which is set for Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2019. Future events and opportunities to review the plans will follow throughout spring and summer of 2019.

“We will continue to connect with residents, businesses, students, community groups, property owners and other stakeholders,” said Shaughnessy H. Daniels, Community Engagement Manager for Great Rivers Greenway. “Please help us fill in our plan by sharing the groups, organizations or people we should know about – call us, stop by our office or find the form online.”

Details and sign-ups for all of those efforts, plus the end of the competition report, are available at www.ChouteauGreenway.org or by calling 314-436-7009.

The Chouteau Greenway Design Competition is a major public-private partnership to bring a long-time vision to life. The 1-year process is a transformational project to connect Washington University and Forest Park through our city to downtown and the Gateway Arch, with spurs north and south to connect our city’s vibrant neighborhoods, parks, business and arts districts, employment centers, transit and dozens of cultural and educational institutions. For more information, visit www.ChouteauGreenway.org.

 

Opportunity Zones Offer Investors Tax-Friendly Deferral Options in Designated Project Areas

in Associations/Companies/News

BY KERRY SMITH, EDITOR, ST. LOUIS CONSTRUCTION NEWS AND REVIEW MAGAZINE

A real estate-friendly byproduct of the Tax Cuts and Job Act, opportunity zones offer investors the chance to diversify their commercial portfolio with a slice of active development in and around St. Louis.

Opportunity zones are low-income U.S. Census tracts nominated by municipalities, approved by the governor and ratified by the U.S. Treasury Dept. and the IRS as a means of injecting needed capital into local shovel-ready developments nationwide. In Missouri, 161 such zones have been designated, 41 of them in St. Louis.

Lewis Rice attorneys David Lemkemeier and Ryan Furtick, among others, are members of a new practice group at the law firm’s St. Louis headquarters that’s specific to opportunity zone investment.

“We’re seeing interest from commercial real estate developers and others who are educated in commercial real estate investing,” said Lemkemeier, a partner at the firm. “Opportunity zones offer investors a chance to inject capital into low-income communities through qualified building projects. The timing for this is ideal because the commercial real estate market is a strong one to begin with,” he added.

St. Louis’ opportunity zones exist in downtown, midtown, north St. Louis City and elsewhere. Furtick said the primary tax benefit of opportunity funds – the name for the investment vehicles within designated opportunity zones – is the temporary deferral of any capital gain invested in an opportunity fund.

“When you invest your capital gain in one of these funds, you can defer the tax until the earlier of two scenarios: 1) When you sell your investment or 2) December 31, 2026,” Furtick said. “In addition to temporarily deferring your capital gain, you can permanently exclude part of the gain that you rolled over and invested in the fund depending upon your holding period. If you hold your investment for 5 years, you can permanently exclude 10 percent. If you hold it for 7 years, you can realize an additional 5 percent permanent exclusion.”

There’s another potential investor benefit, the attorneys attest: If the opportunity fund investor holds his interest in the fund for 10 years, all future appreciation – from day one until that investor sells his interest – remains tax free.

“It has to be a good (real estate) investment to begin with,” said Lemkemeier. “And in order to obtain the maximum tax benefit, it needs to be a development or construction project that is going to be around for 10 years. That requires patient capital and may limit the number of attractive projects within these zones,” he added, noting that if an investor sells its interest in an opportunity fund within the 10-year period, it doesn’t negate the opportunity zone tax advantage, but the investor is required to reinvest the dollars in another opportunity fund within 180 days.

This relatively new real estate investment option offers more flexibility than the long-time 1031 like-kind exchange, which is limited only to real property investment, said Furtick. “With like-kind exchanges, you have to take all of your sales proceeds from the sale of real property and invest them in new real property within 180 days,” he said. “Now your (opportunity fund) investments can also come from the sale of stock, the sale of a business or anything else that qualifies as capital gain.”

Lemkemeier said the opportunity fund provides another layer of the capital stack for investors. “The opportunity zone program has the potential to make major construction projects and major real estate developments happen that might not otherwise. That’s exciting.”

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