Tuesday, June 23, 2015

10 Home Area Renovations That Likely Need a Pro 

Working on a DIY remodel, deciding whether to call in a specialty contractor to perform a specific task comes down to several areas you'll need to consider: 
  • Skill. Do you have the necessary skills to build a sound structure, and do it safely?
  • Scale. Is the size of the project one that you can handle in a reasonable amount of time?
  • Cost. When factoring in the value of your own time, can the project be completed for less cost by a professional? Do you have the tools you need?
  • Aesthetics. Can you finish the project attractively enough that you're not sacrificing resale value? Would a rough grout joint or wallpaper seam bother you?
Learn more about the specific problem areas that often require professional help below.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Morgan-LeChase acquires 21 acres for Canandaigua project


Morgan-LeChase Development LLC said Thursday it has closed on its acquisition of 21 acres of land across from Kershaw Park in Canandaigua for its Pinnacle North project.

The intent is to turn a blighted area along the north shore of Canandaigua Lake into a hub of economic revitalization, with residences, recreation andtourism opportunities, the developers said.

The plans include roughly 450 one-, two- and three-bedroom lakefront residences, as well as restaurant, retail and designed outdoor environments.

The purchase price of the property was not disclosed.

Morgan-LeChase first unveiled early conceptual plans in June 2013 for a mixed-use development project then referred to as the North Shore.

Since then, the project team, which includes architect David Hanlon, has worked with local and state government on approvals for the first phase. 

"We have put an enormous effort into the planning of this development while working collaboratively with the support of many private and public lenders, as well as local and state officials,” said William Goodrich, president and CEO of LeChase Construction Services LLC, in a statement. 

A projected 20- to 24-month construction timeline is expected once the company breaks ground in the next couple of weeks and begins the clean-up. 

“We are very optimistic about the prospects we are in discussions with for the public-use building and believe this space will be a premium destination feature for both local residents and visitors,” said Kevin Morgan, Morgan-LeChase vice president, in a statement. 

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Inner Loop Bridge Construction


Work to begin Tuesday on Inner Loop bridge


Construction is scheduled to start Tuesday on the $5.9 million project to rehabilitate the bridge that carries the Inner Loop over the Genesee River and Brown’s Raceway.

“This section of the Inner Loop is a busy and vital link in Rochester’s transportation network and this project will ensure continued safety in the High Falls district,” state Department of Transportation Commissioner Joan McDonald said in a statement. 

The project includes replacing the top layer of the bridge roadway surface to extend the life of the structural deck, as well as repairs to steel beams, concrete piers and bearings. Minor sidewalk repairs, curb improvements and replacement of the existing concrete median barrier are also included in the project.

Some 31,000 vehicles cross the bridge—located between the State Street and St. Paul Street exits—every day.

On Tuesday, the entrance from State Street to the Inner Loop eastbound will be closed daily from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. In mid-June, the St. Paul Street entrance ramp to the Inner Loop westbound will close for roughly a month. One lane in each direction will be maintained.

“Keeping in mind Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s goal of minimizing impacts to the traveling public, we will be limited the most disruptive Inner Loop closures to weekends, when traffic volume is the lowest,” McDonald said.



Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Sibley Building makeover gets $10.2 million from state


The redevelopment of the Sibley Building got a boost Tuesday to the tune of $10.2 million from the state as part of a project to build and preserve affordable housing.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office announced the grant, awarded to Sibley Redevelopment Phase I LLC for the first phase in the multi-phase redevelopment of the historic building. The first phase includes building 72 units of mixed-income senior housing as well as elevators, a gym, game room and access to services and transportation.

The grant was part of more than $141 million in awards for affordable housing across the state. The low-interest loans, grant and tax credits are expected to leverage more than $469 million in grants, loans and private resources, the governor’s office noted. The funding will also go to build or preserve 2,160 affordable apartments statewide.

“Providing greater access to safe and affordable housing is a top priority of our administration and with this investment, we are helping more New Yorkers find a place to call home,” Cuomo said. “This is not only an investment in affordable housing projects, but a critical step towards developing safer communities, stronger local economies and brighter futures for all New Yorkers.”


Tuesday, May 26, 2015


Gibbs Street building to undergo renovation


A property lining Gibbs Street has new owners, who are committing upwards of $700,000 to upgrade and renovate the site. 

Anthony Matthews LLC, composed of proprietors Mark Siwiec and Duffy Palmer, closed last week on the 26-unit apartment building in the city for $1.2 million. The property includes 130-152 Gibbs St. and a former carriage house on a contiguous lot at 3-5 Selden St. 

The two had worked to secure the site for more than a year, Siwiec said, adding that it traditionally has been filled with students from the Eastman School of Music but has fallen into disrepair over the years. There are six vacancies. They believe Eastman students still will be interested in the units.

The property, where Palmer once lived when he moved to the area years ago, was owned by Woodlark Cos., a Miami, Fla.-based real estate investment firm that owns properties primarily outside of New York. 

“We felt it was a jewel, the centerpiece of the neighborhood,” Siwiec said of the property. 

The new owners plan to update the kitchens and bathrooms, refinish the hardwood floors and make improvements to the exterior. The work has begun already, and they plan to complete two units at a time over the next year or so. 

Siwiec said the response to the deal has been positive, noting comments about the project on social media. People already have expressed interest in renting, he said.  

“We didn’t know the love people truly had for the building,” he said. 

Suzanne Mayer, president of the Grove Place Association, said the organization is pleased the property is returning to local ownership. 

“The beautiful buildings that are on the national register have been neglected in the past few years by an out-of-state owner,” Mayer said. “We believe that Mark and Duffy will invest in this cornerstone of our neighborhood by returning the buildings to their former beauty and will maintain the buildings going forward. We are excited to see the project unfold.”

Siwiec, a local real estate agent with Nothnagle Realtors, and Palmer, an educator and former state deputy secretary of education, own around 125 rental units in Rochester, including ones in the Park Avenue area and Vick Park A. 

Siwiec said the units they own have few vacancies, which he attributes to competitive rents—they work to keep rents under $1,000—coupled with properly maintained buildings that have historic character. 

They plan to continue to look for the right properties to develop.

“We are already looking for the next one,” Siwiec said. 


Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Wegmans to start on $40M addition to Perinton store

Wegmans Food Markets Inc. plans to break ground on a 31,300-square-foot expansion at its Perinton store on Monday at 10 a.m. 

Once completed, the store will be a total of 122,000 square feet. Wegmans will add 125 full-time and part-time employees, along with construction jobs to complete the addition.

The store’s addition will cost $40 million and is expected to open in November, officials said.

The expansion will take several months to complete and will include fresh food departments, such as produce, bakery, meat, seafood, prepared foods, and Market Cafe seating for 180 people, officials said. 

The Pub by Wegmans—a full-service restaurant—will be added to the store and will have a seating capacity of 86, officials said. The pub is expected to open in the first quarter 2016.

The parking lot will be finished when the expansion is complete and then the focus will be on the store’s existing footprint which will take a little over a year, officials said.

(c) 2015 Rochester Business Journal. 

Source: http://rbjdaily.com/

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Contractor Tips: 10 Hats Your General Contractor Wears

Unlike a specialized contractor, a general contractor (GC) oversees all onsite aspects of a construction project. Whether the GC, any employees or any subcontractors do the work, this is the person you call about everything. A good GC needs to know enough about everyone's job on a construction site to estimate and supervise the work going on, but also needs to know about more than just plumbing and painting. To get through a significant remodeling project, the GC fills any number of the following roles.

1. Therapist. Remodeling or building is incredibly stressful. Delays, dust, design flaws — when clients need to vent, it's often the contractor who listens. We might not be particularly interested in hearing about your brother-in-law's problems, but if we think we can get you to pick a toilet paper holder if we stick with it, we'll talk you through almost anything.


2. Mediator. Neighbors, inspectors, architects, homeowners, subcontractors — many parties are involved and impacted by a renovation, and a good contractor can keep anyone from coming to blows. Some disputes are bound to occur, and the contractor is often the one trying to reach a resolution, because next to the homeowner the GC has the most at stake.



3. Marriage counselor. If your builder asks for your spouse to be there when you meet for the first time, don't be insulted. He or she is not saying you're wrong in thinking you'll be making all the decisions but rather just wants to watch your spouse react to that concept. All too often, a once-silent partner can want to change the project once things get going. Of course, having all the interested parties in the room for every decision isn't easy, either. Even the couples who work great together can be pushed to the brink trying to pick a baseboard style after working through the thousands of other decisions there are to make during a remodel. A good contractor doesn't take sides, just guides the ship safely into the harbor. 

4. Financial adviser. Your contractor has probably dealt with many banks, insurance agents and loan consultants over the years. Take advantage of this expertise to find out how the money side of building generally goes. Most people finance at least part of any big project, so getting advice can help.


5. Secretary. Though every contractor goes to bed dreaming of a project where there are no changes over the course of the job, that's not how remodeling works. There will be many conversations, emails, texts, phone calls and notes written on fresh drywall. A good contractor keeps a record of all of it, along with a record of payments, plans and spec sheets from appliances and fixtures.

6. Realist. Regardless of what has caused a project to drift into a realm populated more by dreams than reality, the contractor has to bring things back down to earth. Plans with perfect details aren't cheap, and if the money isn't there to build them, the builder is the one who's got to break it to you.


7. Real estate adviser. Contractors end up seeing almost as many houses as Realtors, so they know what houses in your neighborhood are like. They can tell you if you are overimproving or underimproving. They can tell you the looks and features from renovations of the past that people are asking to be torn out and redone. Most important, they can tell you what things cost. This can help you decide whether to renovate or move. Of course, resale value isn't everything; if you think you're in your forever home — or will be there for at least seven to 10 years — do what makes you happy and comfortable.

8. Your house's best friend. Even though you may have hired us to figure out why the attic fan stopped working, we're going to listen to what your house has to say while we're crawling though the attic. Is the insulation dirty in spots (a sign of air infiltration)? Is there mold on the sheathing? Knob and tube wiring? A contractor knows a house, and if it has problems, it'll tell a contractor about them.


9. Translator. Architects, carpenters, masons, plumbers, electricians, cabinetmakers — they all use terms most homeowners are not familiar with. Your contractor has seen that look on your face before and knows when to explain what was just said in a walk-through.