Wednesday, December 28, 2011

UPDATE: Rapid progress, a flying canopy and a Phil Jackson reference

The last 60 days have been light years different than the first 120 and not for lack of Russ keeping it on schedule. We could bore you with all the details of why the digging and foundation are so important and yada yada yada, but lets get to the good part.

In 4 months, the site went from this (date one month off in photo tag due to amateur documentarian):
to this:

All the work underground.

However, in the past 2 months, it's become this:
On it's way to looking like this:
From these conceptual beginnings:

The steel subcontractor has been working fast. Like an erector set but with a 100 foot tall crane effortlessly lifting thousands of pounds at a time. Flying canopy here (play superman below simultaneously b/c of youtube police):

The concrete sub has worked just as fast and gets to use the coolest equipment. (Still my favorite)

It all made today's ascent to the top level that much more rewarding and the anticipation of welcoming friends and guests up there that much more exciting.
That's the Ortega River draw bridge.

As is typical of Design Cooperative, they are stingy with the interior design drawings (see previous material about the above conceptual model), but what we have seen looks awesome. Russ, who runs the triangle like Phil Jackson, and the rest of the contracting crew at DW Meyers have pridefully kept a very tidy site with minimal traffic interruptions. We are all looking forward to the next 60 days.

Happy New Year!

After walking around today, we all agree - Dec 31, 2012 - fireworks from the roof of 1534 Oak.

Sunset on the roof.

It's cocktail time.

December Progress

Rooftop action.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

A Hovercraft for Christmas?!

It's really a ride on power trowel, but looks and moves like a floating deck lawn mower. They were using it today to pack down the 2nd floor concrete pour. 10+ trucks of concrete.

This morning it looked like this

This afternoon like this

Good thing we didn't stay around waiting for it not to dry. Tomorrow is the third floor.

I still want a hovercraft for Christmas.

Gettin their concrete on!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Pipes everywhere!

Conduit pipes...

Not distracted by the Holiday Season, there were more people on the site today than ever. Our Field Manager, Russ, is prepping for some big concrete pours. This time above ground!

Sometime this or next week, the 2nd and 3rd floor slabs will be poured. The bottom floor will come after the New Year as the plumbing and electrical sub contractors continue to lay out the massive amounts of spaghetti like conduit in the dirt that will carry lines for phone, electricity, data, water, Coke and beer. Next week, BSRG and DCoop get to walk the grounds and help make sure all those pipes are in the right place.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Office space for lease!

As excited as we are to have a great restaurant and rooftop bar in the neighborhood soon, we're still reminded that someone (inquire within) will have a really cool office space in the hood too. Just a few minor finishing touches but it's a blank canvas!

Tenant improvements will include enclosing and railing the staircase.

Building a stairway to...

the second floor, and third, and roof.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

One of Us: Before the chef, a restaurant needs a designer |

Milan Malinovic says he likes challenging projects.

He’s got one in the 1534 Oak St. project.

He and his partners at D Coop (short for Design Cooperative) have designed and are involved in the construction of a mixed-use building that will house a ground-floor restaurant, two floors of offices and a rooftop bar on a small, triangular lot near Five Points.

The space is tight and the neighborhood is even tighter, a mixture of residential, retail, bustling restaurants and a crowded neighborhood grocery.

“It’s a very big inconvenience to build a building,” the affable Malinovic said, noting that a big part of his job on a project like 1534 Oak is “crisis management.”

Malinovic is used to adjusting.

He spent the first 33 years of his life in what was then Yugoslavia and is now Bosnia, mostly in Sarajevo. At the University of Sarajevo he got a degree in fine art and then another in architecture and went to work as an architect at the largest firm in the city. But in 1992, with violence escalating as various sections of Yugoslavia broke away into separate countries (six countries would eventually emerge from the breakup), Malinovic left.

He moved to Malta, an island nation in the Mediterranean. He could continue to practice architecture there and he met his wife, marrying her in 1993.

But Malta, he said, “is a really tiny country, while the United States was one of the biggest countries.”

So he came to Jacksonville because a partner of his knew William Morgan, one of Jacksonville finest architects.

Milanovic liked the climate in Jacksonville and Morgan, who was designing a federal courthouse in Tallahassee, had work for him.

Technically, Milanovic is no longer an architect since his European license isn’t recognized here. He said he plans to do the necessary course work to obtain his license here soon.

But working without a license hasn’t been a problem since he moved here since he’s always worked for other architects who are licensed. He’s worked with Morgan, worked for Reynolds, Smith and Hills and was with Rink, Reynolds, Diamond, Fisher, later renamed Rink Design, from 2002 until it closed in 2010.

Meanwhile, he and some other associates from Rink Design started D Coop, an architecture and interior design firm, in 2008.

“We’re all very different but somehow we jell together,” he said.

Any great project needs three elements, he said: a great client, a great contractor and a good designer.

The client on 1534 Oak is Black Sheep Restaurant Group, the team behind Chew and Orsay. They’ve placed a high priority on trying to minimize inconvenience from the construction, Milanovic said.

“We knocked on every door in the neighborhood and gave phone numbers for people to call,” he said. “They’ve been very sensitive, which is a very good thing. We want to be a good neighbor.”

The contractor is D.W. Myers, which is dealing with the challenge of not having much storage space on site, he said. As a result, the project is taking time. Ground broke last June. Construction probably won’t end until next June.

When it’s finished, Milanovic said, he hopes it’s a building which everyone looks at and says, those guys are good.

“We really want to make the best we can.”

Monday, December 5, 2011

The Crane Operator

4 columns or 170 feet = 12 tons of steel

These are going up today or tomorrow. 140 lbs a linear foot of steel.

Field Modifications

There's a lot going on today at the site and will be all week. The majority of the remaining structural steel was delivered this morning (sorry for the traffic back up this am). The structure should take it's total form by the end of this week with no other major traffic delays.