The BuildZoom blog

Northeastern University begins $225 million research facility

Part of a plan to develop more than 600,000 sf of new research and office space, Northeastern University has been issued a permit to construct the first structure, a 220,000 sf Interdisciplinary Science and Engineering Complex. The bold design from Payette features a graceful, organically-inspired facade, along with a bridge to connect the new site with the existing campus across Amtrak and MBTA rail lines. The permit values the project at almost $110 million, although the university reports the total investment at $225 million. Renderings via Payette

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Developer Michael Simkins takes aim at a new property, this time for himself

Michael Simkins, a well-known Miami investor and real estate developer, is the wallet behind a stunning new beachfront property. Unlike his downtown high-rise projects, this property appears to be for himself. Permits value the new construction at $2.125 million, which is a significant amount of money for construction alone.  Ocean Drive Magazine named Simkins and his wife Nicole one of Miami’s most influential power couples. Simkins’ Lion Associates conglomerate has recently been buying up tracts of land in Miami, reportedly for condo development. rendering via The Weber Studio

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Seismic retrofitting in San Francisco

In 2013, the City of San Francisco launched the “Mandatory Soft Story Retrofit” program as part of a multi-year initiative to retrofit older, more disaster prone buildings in San Francisco. Buildings are split into four tiers based on the relative urgency associated with the retrofitting work (e.g. Tier 1 includes buildings with educational, assembly or residential care uses). With the looming deadline for Tier 1 buildings to submit their plans to the city, we decided to take a closer look to see how the market was responding.  From 2000 – 2014, our classifier was able to identify 1,946 building permits in [...]

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$30+ million for additional Wrigley Field renovations

The major re-do of Wrigley Field known as Project 1060 has entered a new big-dollar phase of building. After the original $20 million valuation for new bleachers, a new set of $11 million permits dropped in November to cover the foundation work below a series of new structures, including new LED signage. More recent permits for the Phase I buildout of those structures show new high dollar costs. The Phase I buildout of the west grandstand area, down the left field line, was just permitted at a valuation of $15 million. Bleacher expansion for left and right field will run [...]

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Top 25 US Solar Contractors (2014)

Stephen Lacey from Greentech Media recently reported there were 200,000 solar systems installed in the residential sector in 2014. We decided to take a closer look at the contractors driving this growth, by studying those with the most solar building permits from 2014.   Our building permit classifier labeled over 90,000 permits in our database as “solar installations” in 2014. Sometimes, multiple permits will be taken out for the the same project so to account for these cases, we ignored cases in which multiple solar permits were pulled for the same parcel or property. This reduced the total count to [...]

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Columbus Museum of Art begins $33 million phase III expansion

The Columbus Museum of Art is looking to increase its footprint and its national standing as an institution of fine art in 2015. The museum, according to reports and newly issued construction permits, is moving forward with a $33 million renovation, expanding the facility by 65,000 sf and renewing 32,000 sf of existing space.

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$84 million hotel conversion of an historic Chicago River office building

Buildzoom has obtained building permits that detail the conversion of the historic London Guarantee Building into a 450-room luxury hotel. Permits show the estimated cost of the conversion at $66 million. According to Buildzoom data, several additional millions have been spent in the past 12 months to prepare for the main renovation, including almost $9 million for foundation work and about $2.6 million to replace 1,152 windows. The 2014 construction and renovation costs total just under $84 million.

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Boston Bruins kick-off $100 million construction of Warrior Ice Arena

The Bruins broke ground on a new practice facility in Brighton. According to BuildZoom permit data, the estimated cost is over $100 million. The rink, dubbed “Warrior Ice Arena,” will be attached to a 10-story office building, and will include a parking garage below ground. Currently the Bruins share practice and playing space with the Celtics at TD Garden (which is undergoing its own large-scale renovation). The Bruins’ plan is part of “Boston Landing,” an ambitious development project in Brighton, in the northwest part of Boston. Boston Landing will also house the New Balance corporate HQ (whose permits are valued [...]

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