Sunday, July 27, 2008

Pat Brown Takes a Tour

Pat Brown is the executive director of CURA and I recently extended Pat an invitation to take a tour. As Pat mentioned, its great that the building is being renovated, but notably it is great that the building will be the downtown day-time home to so many people which is just good for the downtown environment.

209 Capitol was purchased from the trust department of a bank by CURA essentially to keep the building from becoming a surface parking lot. Good move.

Isn't Construction Work Easy??

Construction is still a world that is full of some tough manual labor. Pictured above is superintendent Bob Settle's (at the left) "A Team". Bob is a lead by example kind of fellow, and here is the team taking a pause for a photo opportunity after completing the task of manually filling the stair pans with concrete.
Tough work.....and thankfully now complete for both stairs.
Great job team!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

The 3 P's

Laura and I were had the pleasure of dining with some friends this weekend whose family has been in the automobile business in Charleston and Huntington for many years. When the patriarch was bringing the next generation along many years ago, he mentioned to be wary of the 3 P's regarding credit.....Politicians....Police...Preachers. However, there was one P that could always find the cash...the Prostitutes!

I thought that was worth sharing.

Completion Date September 19

Pray Construction has recently committed to a completion date of Friday, September 19. Over the years, Pray has developed a reputation for on-time delivery, so I do trust they will make it happen.

Stay tuned and find out how it goes.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Tour Sprinters and Breakaway Riders

I hope you've been making some time to see the tour this year. We're clearly seeing Mark Cavendish establish himself as one of the sport's all time great sprinters. 4 stages wins!

The local newspapers now report Will's place in the gc (general classification) standings, which to a degree misses the point. But I get it...the sport really is too tough to understand unless you grew up around it (as many Euros do) and/or raced at some level yourself as I did,

Assuming you don't fit either categories, and perhaps want to figure the sport out a bit, here is an interesting link from Saris that might be worth a read. (Topic is Tour Sprinters and Breakaway Riders).

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Mark Grigsby's Involvement in 209

I’ve been involved in this industry for over 30 years now and have interfaced with a lot of owners as a contractor/design-builder; I’ve represented a lot of owners and been an owner myself. Clearly, one of the dirty words from an owner’s point of view is the two words “change order”.

That’s understandable. I’ve seen very few owners that have an open check book. Money is always an issue. The goal of course is to go through the design/construction process and stay within the boundaries of tolerance for the deal. And, it is only good business that all parties in a transaction are rewarded fairly.

Most of the aspects of this project were relatively simple to project. However, one area that was quite difficult was the process and associated compensation for the demolition scope of work. So, we elected to perform this scope of work on a cost of the work basis. In effect, Pray Construction Company would not be at risk for the unknown, have no opportunity to disproportionately enrich themselves, and the owner assumes more risk.

Along the way, we discovered several structural defects with the building’s flooring system that required extensive repairs. Similarly this work moved forward on a cost of the work basis, plus a markup for the work. This put some pressure on the deal and made the administration of the contract (particularly from a financial point of view), heightened.

As clear as this all sounds now as I write them, there were different points of view of what the contract said and how it was or should be administered.

So…how to resolve this dispute? This is when character makes a difference and one of the great things for me is observing the leadership and character Mark Grigsby (Pray’s president and my successor) brings to the table. Mark steps up, gets involved, and helps craft a resolution to a brewing dispute that is fair for all.

I’ve told Mark this privately and now say it publicly; Pray Construction has a great leader with Mark Grigsby.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Blogosphere...Trolling for work

I recall when I was growing up, there was no advertising by most professionals. I really don't have a comment about that one way or the other frankly. Seems like if you need an attorney, as an example, one ought to be able to look around as one would for any other type of service provider.

Checkout the above link. Put aside your thoughts and feelings about the plaintiff's bar for a moment, and review how effective this BLOG is. This is an effective way of checking out a firms expertise if you are in need of service.

Real Estate BLOG that may be of interest

Friday, July 11, 2008

iPhone arrives...camping out....other stuff

So, this week, in addition to my normal duties on 209 (getting furniture moving, negotiating details of various change orders, dealing with issues involved with this week's downpour), I have been swamped with Soaring Eagle Lodge.
So...I get to drive back and forth to Snowshoe on Tuesday and, as I'm carting all my stuff into my home around midnight, I inadvertently leave my cell phone on the roof of my car. Well, it pours all night and Razrs don't do well in water. Alright...fine. I've been eyeing the new iPhone anyway. So, I go to AT&T and visit with a sales rep. She brings up my record and tells me I can come up Friday and get a new one.
So, I'm up at Southridge at 6:30 am camping out! Clearly the oldest guy on line. Around 8:15 I make it in...pickout my accessories...but're a CORPORATE CLIENT.....we can't do this for you.
Hmmmm...thought this new phone was aimed at the business market.
But I was cool and I choose not to come back and open fire. Instead, my dear wife Laura spent 2.5 hours and got the deal done.
So....the photos are a shot at the line and the man is the fellow that showed up at 4:00 am.
Thought my readers would like to see him.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Will Frischkorn Second in stage, Third overall!!!!!!!!!!!

Cycling News will have tons of information. What a ride! Wow!!!!

General classification after stage 3

1 Romain Feillu (Fra) Agritubel
2 Paolo Longo Borghini (Ita) Barloworld 0.35
3 William Frischkorn (USA) Garmin Chipotle - H30 1.42
4 Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne 1.45
5 Kim Kirchen (Lux) Columbia 1.46
6 Oscar Freire (Spa) Rabobank
7 Jérôme Pineau (Fra) Bouygues Telecom
8 David Millar (GBr) Garmin Chipotle - H30
9 Cadel Evans (Aus) Silence-Lotto
10 Filippo Pozzato (Ita) Liquigas

See attached video.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

New Fire Service Line

Sometime in the recent past, the City of Charleston replaced the main fire service line located under Capitol Street. When the new line was installed, they also provided lateral taps to the building. So, what's going on here is the installation of a new line (exclusively for fire service) from the building to the saddle on the new fire service line. The reason this work is being performed is because the existing lateral will one day deteriorate and leak/break and then the repair takes place on the pipe's schedule, not ours.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Open Cell Spray Foam Insulation

The above photographs illustrate an open cell spray insulation known as Icynene. Icynene is a more expensive choice when compared to traditional fiberglass insulation, but in this building, it will provide a much more complete envelope and substantially reduce infiltration.
We theorize the savings in fuel costs will pay for the additional cost. Certainly, Icynene is high on the list of green products.