Thursday, November 10, 2011

So what does an Owner's Rep do??

One of the services I offer is owner’s representation. I thought it might be helpful to describe the service…perhaps over a few postings.
Ideally, an owner realizes his organization (and this could be her family), is about to become involved in the “constructed environment”. In other words, the organization has some significant interest in building or renovating something….such as an office building, a house, a hospital, a nightclub, an athletic facility…the list goes on. 
So, most owners turn either to a contractor or an architect to perform the roles as their primary trusted advisor. An owner’s representative is a firm that has developed relationships with both architects, contractors, design-builders as well as other professionals (lawyers, realtors, accountants, suppliers, subcontractors).  That is the role I play.
So….let’s review one of my recent projects which was the redevelopment of 209 Capitol Street which was a vacant building and is now the law offices for Bailey & Glasser (this is also where my in-town office is located).
Ben Bailey approached me shortly after he had made an offer on 209 Capitol Street to the former owner (Charleston Urban Renewal Association). I initially reviewed the building to be sure that the building could even be rehabilitated…and if so…for how much. So, I relied upon a structural engineer I knew who first did a kick the tires walk through. He did not see any immediate issues but did see some areas of concern that if the owner did decide to proceed, deserved more significant exploration.
I roughed together a conceptual estimate of the renovations to see if this would even be commercially viable. During this process, I decided to examine the possibility of renovating this structure under Department of Interior guidelines and subsequently receive what would amount to a 30 percent tax credit (20 percent federal and 10 percent state). When the renovation costs and the tax credits looked like they would make sense to B&G (and before the building purchase was concluded), we did some destructive testing, engaged both an architect and contractor on a preliminary basis and submitted a phase one and phase two application to the Department of the Interior. 
So….through my initial efforts…the owner(s) developed an in depth view of this project and prepared themselves to finalize a significant decision…i.e. should they purchase the building and renovate it. 
(More to follow in part 2).

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