Sunday, October 17, 2010


Last week I traveled to Gainesville for a site visit to the project that I told you about here. It was so great to see the progress of the project at the beginning of construction. Hopefully the next time I see the project, it will be complete and I will be managing the furniture installation sometime next summer.

Just a refresher on this project - what you see in these pictures is the building that formerly housed the First Baptist Church of Gainesville, FL built in 1922. The church sold their building to a development company (us) in order to get out of debt and move to a smaller, newer facility. The sanctuary building will now be the "front door" to the housing complex that we are developing. Inside will be housed the leasing and management offices for the building, the fitness center for use by residents as well as several retail vendors (restaurants, cafes, shops.) Most of these uses will be in the lower level of the building - former sunday school classrooms and church offices will now be the leasing offices, etc. A vendor to lease the actual sanctuary space has not been found yet - it will be interesting to see what they do with the space. In the agreement with the church and the City of Gainesville, the sanctuary has to be restored inside and out and the original architecture and detailing must remain. I can't wait to see it all fixed up by next summer!

We are building 3 housing buildings and 1 parking deck that surround the sanctuary building. There is not much to see right now - but you can sort of see the concrete framing for the first building through the construction fence in the photo above. While I was there last week, I helped set up the temporary leasing office for the facility in one of the old pre-school classrooms of the sancturary building. It is not much to see right now as we did not want to spend a lot of money since this office will move in about 9 months or so when the final one is complete. We did a teal accent wall and dark vinyl plank "wood" flooring that shows potential tenants what finishes they will get in their units.

My main contribution to this project will be the furniture... I am designing it, presenting it to the project team, purchasing and coordinating the installation. We will have over 600 beds which means a whole of furniture and money!! Since the units will not be ready until move in day - we decided to contract out and have a workroom make scale models of a couple of the unit types in order to show tenants what the furniture and finishes will look like. I was amazed by the models when I saw them - all those long hours in the architecture studio (just a few blocks west of where this temp leasing office sits) made me truly appreciate the time and detail (and money) that went into these models... I can say one thing, I am so glad I am not spending my days (and nights) making scale models anymore... (can I get an "AMEN" from any former studio girls out there?!?!)

Being in Gainesville for work was great! I felt like a tourguide to the management staff that was there with me. We took a drive around campus to view all of the important sites such as Shands, Turlington, The Reitz, Jennings Hall (my freshmen residence) and of course all of the off-campus good eats such as Leonardo's pizza, Burrito Brothers, Satchel's (which is still cash only by the way!) and the Swamp. It was great to be in my second home so close to friends and family - on Monday night I got to have dinner with my good friend Laura and on Tuesday my Mom drove down from Jax to take me to lunch!

When I got home, I had someone who was beyond over-joyed to see me (which, of course made me feel good!) We spent the next hour sitting as you see below, waiting for Josh to get home. Molly says, "Don't leave me ever again!"

Visiting Gainesville and my project was a lot of fun, but I am definitely looking forward to being home for the next few weeks! The next trip will be in November (on my birthday...) to Baltimore, Maryland to visit the other project I am working on at Towson University. Until then, I am home for a while and very exciting about some guests we have coming very soon! Sarah (who I have not seen in over 2 years!) is coming this weekend and my Mom and Aunt Lala are coming the next... can't wait!


Liz said...

You've got an "amen" from me...model-building was my least favorite part of school. The project looks exciting, though...I'll tell Jen to keep an eye on it for you;)

Anonymous said...

Can you re-do my apartment at the Abbey?

marissa moss said...