In today’s news, we will look into how GlobalFair has successfully raised new capital to facilitate the acquisition of construction materials. In the United States, the number of architectural billings for renovations has recently surpassed those for new construction. Harlan Construction, a construction company, is to build a mixed-use skyscraper headquarters at 501 Orleans Street in Fulton, close to Rocketts Landing. The building will have five stories. According to Eater Los Angeles, the Dinah’s Family Restaurant won’t move until the buildings that surround it are removed.
GlobalFair raises money to ease construction material procurement
GlobalFair CEO Shaily Garg said the construction materials market is fragmented due to supply chain and logistical layers. In a 2021 study for the National Association of Home Builders and Wells Fargo, most builders stated materials availability and cost remain their top issues.
Garg believes technology can assist, so she and Ashish Chandra founded GlobalFair in 2020. GlobalFair, a business-to-business venture, intends to ease the acquisition of “ready-to-install” materials for U.S. construction contractors.
GlobalFair raised $20 million in a Series A funding round led by Lightspeed. Saama Capital, India Quotient, AUM Ventures, and Stride Ventures also participated. It follows a $2 million seed round last February.
Given the dispersed structure of construction enterprises, Garg and Chandra felt strongly about GlobalFair. Construction delays and manpower shortages are caused by global supply chain issues.
Garg was always interested in construction. Her family operated a quartz production firm and she was trained as an engineer before working for P&G, PwC, and TransUnion. Chandra is an engineer and infrastructure consultant who co-founded TrueCover, a blockchain-based insurance firm.
Garg and Chandra used their technical talents to establish GlobalFair. Global Fairs core product connects contractors, distributors, fabricators, architects, and construction businesses to acquire materials. The platform also offers a tool to automate building material cost estimations from architectural designs and site shop drawings. The company also offers a material visualization software to help architects and designers visualize how items will look once installed and an automated enterprise resource planning solution to “allow rapid reaction time for customers and suppliers across numerous locations.”
“We’ve developed a synchronized supply chain from discovery to consumer delivery,” Garg added. Our one-stop-shop platform transforms supply-side manufacturing, opening up India, Vietnam, and other Southeast Asian countries to global markets. We want to become the largest technology-first worldwide supplier of building materials, offering construction contractors quick, cost-efficient, seamless cross-border procurement.
GlobalFair works with “hundreds” of contractors and retail customers across the U.S. on multifamily and hospitality projects with $100 million to $500 million budgets. Garg says GlobalFair’s clients include manufacturers, distributors, exporters, and retail chains buying from distributors.
Garg credits the epidemic and supply chain instability for the company’s success. Volatile material pricing, shipping backlogs, and scarce manpower caused delays to treble in 2022, according to Buildertrend.
In the past two years, construction tech businesses have prospered. According to Pitchbook, funding in the sector grew 44% in H1 2022 to $1.3 billion.
COVID-19 has significantly changed logistics costs and supply chains, Garg added. Businesses are anxious about their supply chains’ durability and are expanding their supplier networks. GlobalFair disintermediates the long cross-border supply chain, connecting contractors to suppliers.
Garg says GlobalFair is “unit profitable” despite economic uncertainty, citing “strong customer draw and growth” between the seed and Series A rounds. The extra funding will be used to manufacture products and expand GlobalFair’s tech offering to other markets, she said.
The pandemic stressed supply chains across industries, increasing the need for transparency, visibility, and geographic diversification in global construction product and building material procurement. GlobalFair uses technology to connect a network of production facilities in India and Southeast Asia, allowing buyers from any country to find fresh suppliers in an efficient, transparent, and secure electronic market.
One Nation, Remodeled
Original Source: One Nation, Under Renovation
Renovations have overtaken new construction in architectural billings in the US.
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced a landmark investment in poor neighborhoods late in 2019. Invest South/West would redevelop $1.4 billion in properties on the South and West Sides.
First projects began in August and September in 10 neighborhoods. A firehouse will be converted into a culinary hub and event space, and an Art Deco bank will become an art space. In Humboldt Park, a former bank will be renovated into Latino-owned commercial offices, an incubator, and a cultural center. These projects aim to do more than fill Chicago’s vacant-property gaps: Reanimating shuttered historic buildings aims to restore commercial corridors destroyed by mid-20th-century “urban renewal”
Maurice Cox, head of Chicago’s Department of Planning and Development, says it’s time for this trend after decades of demolishing buildings to save neighborhoods. “We’ve realized that reusing them saves money.”
Retrofitting isn’t limited to Chicago. Recently, older building renovations in US cities hit a record high. According to the American Institute of Architects, most architecture firm billings come from renovation work in spring 2022. (AIA).
It’s the first time in 20 years that renovations have topped 50%. In 2005, near the end of a pre-recession building boom, renovations accounted for one-third of billings. This year’s share is 52%, up from 44.4% in 2017. Kermit Baker, the AIA’s principal economist, says renovations dominated the design services industry during the Great Depression.
“Renovation rates didn’t decrease down once the industry rebounded in the last decade,” he says. This tendency spans areas and building types. Baker thinks there’s a near-perfect correlation between strong industries and renovation activity.
What Causes Rehabs
Renovations have many benefits over new buildings. Reusing buildings reduces the construction industry’s carbon footprint. Many buildings are upgraded with energy-efficient windows, HVAC systems, and other features.
Green retrofits are a modest part of US renovations. Only 3.8% of renovations enhance building energy performance and 1.6% improve resiliency, but Baker says it’s rare that these goals weren’t considered. A quarter of renovations are interior modernizations and enhancements, and another quarter are adaptive reuse projects. Renovations include 17.8% tenant fit-outs.
According to the investment banking and construction industry consultancy FMI, data centers are adding space, office buildings are adding amenities to attract customers, food and beverage manufacturing facilities are adding production lines, hotels are catching up on deferred maintenance, and parking garages are getting upgrades. In the third quarter of 2020, FMI estimated renovation work accounted for 35% of building activity (in dollars). It could be 10% greater presently. FMI research director Jay Bowman says fast changes in building function are speeding up facelifts.
Baker said the length of renovations depends on the economy. Strong economy brings more new development; recession means more rehabilitation. Associated General Contractors predicts the new building will recover in two years.
Despite his reference to the Great Depression, Baker doesn’t worry about renovations. The AIA’s newest design activity assessment finished off 20 months of increased demand for building design services in September, and there’s no downtown. Adaptive reuse projects are typically as expensive as new buildings, which has fueled the shift to restorations.
Home renovation boom, new construction bust
59% of homeowners did home improvements from 2019 to 2021, according to the US Census Bureau. Residential projects are billing more than commercial/industrial and institutional ones. In 2020, 17.5% of AIA billings were for residential work. This year’s survey will see 28%.
Only 10% of rehab work was inspired by the epidemic, according to an AIA survey. Baker sees longer-term patterns, like the abundance of aging 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s structures that need updating.
Baker: “Buildings are aging.” “Our economy and population are increasing more slowly,” he says. We need fewer new structures than 20, 30, 40 years ago.”
FMI chief economist Brian Strawberry says inflation, limited supply chains, material pricing volatility, rising labor costs, and rising interest rates are holding back new construction. Regulatory barriers and a complacent public sector have exacerbated a 3.8 million-unit housing shortage. Restrictive zoning restrictions that limit residential density have kept property values high for incumbents, while postwar builders built millions of modest starting homes.
Ilhan Omar’s $800 billion Homes for All Act is stalled. President Joe Biden’s American Jobs Plan advocated for abolishing discriminatory zoning and creating or upgrading 1 million affordable housing units, plus a half-million more for low- and middle-income buyers.
In several US cities, rents and property prices have risen due to the housing scarcity, with the median home sale price rising from $289,000 in January 2020 to $431,000 in May 2022.
As property values increase, new buyers are forced to acquire fixer-uppers. Existing homeowners should assert their advantage.
Strawberry says house value drives improvements. How far would you go to replace your roof if your home’s value doubled? You want to protect and increase your investment’s value.
Ricardo Ruivo, an architectural theorist and critic who co-hosts the podcast Streetsweeper with architecture professor Will Orr, believes “growing the rehabilitation industry can’t be separated from social-economic reality.” The pair are specialists at connecting architects’ rhetoric as enlightened city-makers to political realities.
Ruivo believes the renovation boom prevents homeownership and affordable rents.
“The rise in renovations relative to new buildings reflects exploding social inequality,” he says. “Rising property prices relative to construction costs encourage interior upscaling and downscaling. As rental costs per square meter rise, home flippers have more reasons to remodel the bathroom and kitchen before selling, while landlords want to transform a house into five apartments.
Adaptive reuse of Chicago’s Invest South/West projects could be a means to meet disinvested residents on their own terms.
For much of the 20th century, urban planning by bulldozer was the norm, especially in black neighborhoods. Highway improvements demolished “slums” in Black and Latino neighborhoods. Redlining and other racial housing rules and financing practices kept others out of federally funded suburbs. According to the Institute for Housing Studies at DePaul University, private sector disinvestment left Chicago neighborhoods with abandoned buildings and 32,000 vacant lots.
This devastation created degradation that now requires restoration and cleared the way for a plethora of postwar buildings in need of renovations. Chicago’s 2000 Plan for Transformation razed nearly 20,000 public housing units but has barely rebuilt a handful of them.
Invest South/West seeks to adaptively utilize cultural touchstones like the 1929 Laramie State Bank. Latent Design’s Katherine Darnstadt is collaborating on Austin’s Invest South/West project alongside Valerio DeWalt Train and Bauer Latoza. She adds renovations are “essential to anchor those neighborhoods’ memories.”
Cox uses Invest South/West to restore Chicago’s neighborhood downtowns. These satellites of the downtown Loop allowed neighborhoods to function like “villages with their own town centers,” he says. During community meetings, Cox says, neighbors “almost always” mention existing buildings they remember as vibrant, like banks, pharmacies, and theaters. It starts with recognising that there are many reusable assets. Not charitable. Good business.”
Invest South/West will renovate landmarked structures. The programme, which has been criticized for construction delays, is targeting older structures that aren’t as well known outside their neighborhood, and non-landmarked buildings are subject to a 90-day wait on demolition licenses to assess historic value.
DL3 and KOO Architecture and Site Design Group designed Thrive Exchange in South Shore. The project will add affordable homes near a commuter train stop. The 1928 Ringer Building, another former bank, will be conserved as a health center.
Dan Rappel, partner and sustainable design director at KOO, says the Ringer Building is typical of his work. His firm was hired to renovate buildings from the late 1800s to the 1930s or the post-WWII building boom. Early 20th-century structures have historical dignity, whereas later buildings carry “baggage” and are less likely to be maintained and renovated.
Some of this baggage may be because those structures supplanted the walkable downtowns Rappel is striving to reestablish. Mid-20th-century structures are developing a distinctive, beautiful appearance with distance and time. Rappel: “[It’s] ancient enough that people can see it differently.”
This cycle may have peaked with Helmut Jahn’s 1985 Thompson Center. Derided as garish and impractical, this postmodernist landmark fell into disrepair; following a preservation fight, it awaits a renewal from Google.
In regions where racism and classism mitigated the mid-century building boom, older historic structures remain, surrounded by individuals who never lost sight of them. “These residents are the original preservationists,” adds Cox. “They’ve kept towns going as investment departed.”
Construction firm creating new HQ, flats near Rocketts Landing
Original Source: Construction firm building new HQ, apartments near Rocketts Landing
A Hopewell general contractor is moving to Richmond and plans to house new neighbors.
Harlan Construction plans to develop a five-story mixed-use skyscraper at 501 Orleans St. in Fulton, near Rocketts Landing.
The building’s ground floor will be the company’s new headquarters, and the four storeys above will be apartments.
Once the new property is built, the 58-year-old enterprise will vacate 602 Elm Court in southern Hopewell. The corporation expanded a Coca-Cola facility near the airport and established a hotel in Chester.
President Will Harlan wants to be more centrally positioned.
“We’re shifting our business office to be closer to our staff and customers,” he said. We do a lot of design-build, so this will put us in the spotlight.
Jake Harlan, the company’s vice president and Will’s son, said the new 6,000-square-foot office will provide its 15 employees additional room. We have 80 employees.
Jake stated the move will be a “homecoming”
“We know the neighborhood.” My parents raised me in Church Hill. It seems obvious,” he remarked.
Harlan bought the 0.6-acre Orleans Street parcel from RCHA for $350,000 this month. In January, it bought a 0.02-acre site at 4811 S. 37th St. for $54,000.
Roth Jackson’s Mark Kronenthal helped Harlan rezone the site from M-1 Light Industrial to B-5 Central Business district. The City Council rezoned on Sept. 12.
Harlan will be the general contractor for 510 Architects’ project.
Will Harlan said they’re also planning a facility near Chesterfield to house equipment and fabrication materials, but details aren’t finalized.
Harlan’s new offices will be near Zimmer Development Co.’s Fulton Yards project, which comprises 500 residences and 100,000 square feet of commercial space.
Will said they liked being nearby.
“We’re there right before things jump,” he added. “After these developments, it’ll be more pedestrian-friendly.”
Harlan isn’t the only construction company creating a mixed-use headquarters.
The Breeden Co. is following Harlan’s lead near Scott’s Addition, but on a greater scale. The Virginia Beach developer plans to create 142 apartments and a 24,000-square-foot office for its Richmond-based Breeden Construction affiliate.
Dinah’s Family Restaurant Refuses to Leave Historic Building
Eater Los Angeles reports that Dinah’s Family Restaurant won’t leave until surrounding buildings are demolished. During construction, the restaurant will remain open.
A restaurant spokeswoman told Eater Los Angeles, “We’re determined to keep open.” Dinah’s Restaurant will remain in the building after construction is finished.
6521 S. Sepulveda Blvd. Los Angeles City Council approved a plan to create a multi-family residential complex around a 1957 restaurant in the Southern California Googie style. The new 8-story Sepulveda building will have 362 units, 41 of them affordable.
The restaurant’s signature signage will be kept: the pylon sign, the bucket sign, and the pole sign.
Despite Dinah’s Restaurant’s desire to stay open, the LA Conservancy said it must close during construction.
Except for Dinah’s, the rest of the Sepulveda Boulevard land will be cleared for 361 new homes (41 set aside as affordable). We need more projects like these that combine old and new, rather than demolition, says the LA Conservancy. “While mainly excellent news, the project calls for Dinah’s to leave their longtime home during construction. They may not return. The Conservancy also asks the developer to designate Dinah’s as an HCM to ensure its long-term protection.
Summary of today’s construction news
Overall, we discussed GlobalFair which raised funds to simply procure construction materials. To further Garg’s conviction that technology can be helpful, she and Ashish Chandra established GlobalFair in the year 2020. Business-to-business platform GlobalFair’s mission is to streamline the process through which U.S. building firms can source “ready-to-install” supplies.
In the United States, the demand for renovation services has surpassed that of new buildings. The mayor of Chicago, Lori Lightfoot, recently made headlines by announcing a historic investment in low-income areas. About $1.4 billion in South and West Side real estate would be redeveloped by Invest South/West.
At 501 Orleans Street in Fulton, next to Rocketts Landing, Harlan Construction intends to build a mixed-use tower with five floors. The 58-year-old company will move out of 602 Elm Court in southern Hopewell as soon as the new building is complete.
A representative for the eatery told the Los Angeles publication Eater, “We’re committed to keeping open.” After the remodel is complete, Dinah’s Restaurant will remain in the space.