Our New Project on Lake Austin, “Laguna Terrera”, is Under Construction!

It is great to see a project that you have drawn on paper become a reality.  Laguna Terrera is a high-end residential project located on Lake Austin near the community of West Lake Hills.  Our survey crew is on-site now providing locations for pilings.  Soon the utilities will be constructed.

I’ll keep you updated on the progress!

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We can now Announce it: The Moore Group is obtaining the entitlements for the Austin Curling Club

We recently represented the Austin Curling Club before City Council.  Based on the reception we recieved, we are now obtaining entitlements – including site plan approval – for a unique new sporting facility.  This will be the only true Curling Arena within a thousand miles of Austin.

The Curling Club will include a restaurant and bar.  The facility also includes three regulation sheets of curling ice and dressing rooms for the competitors.  The facility will draw Curlers from across the country and abroad from Canada,  United Kingdom (especially  Scotland), the United States, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, Denmark, Finland and Japan, all of which compete in the world championships.

In addition, the facility will showcase “green” construction components, including rainwater harvesting, solar cells on the roof and the re-use of heat given off by the ice refrigeration compressor to provide heat for hot water.

We are very excited to be chosen to work on such a unique and environmentally progressive project.

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Construction Administration

The Owner of a Development Project needs someone to represent his or her interest during construction of the project.  Our firm provides Construction Administration services that benefit Owners of development projects.  We provide Construction Services on Commercial, Industrial and Residential projects of all sizes. 

We measure the construction quantities, so the Owner only pays for the amount actually built.  We prepare the Construction Contract using Unit Prices, so that the Owner pays by the Unit, thereby eliminating the possibility of overpayment.  We obtain competitive bids from several Contractors in order to get the best price.  We conduct the bidding and assist the Owner in the selection of a Contractor. 

When construction begins, we make sure the proper authorities are notified and invited to the pre-construction conference.  As construction progresses, we observe the construction  When the Contractor submits an Application for Payment, we go to the Construction Site and check to see if the work that the contractor is seeking payment for has actually been completed.  Often times at this point, we will ask the Contractor to reduce his request for payment to the amount actually completed.  In this way, we make sure the Project Owner only pays for work actually completed and in place.  We also with-hold a Retainer, usually 10% of the amount approved for payment, in order to protect the interests of the Owner. 

As the project nears completion, we prepare a Punch-List of final items that must be completed for the Contractor to collect the Retainer.  When the project is substantially complete, the regulatory authorities are invited to the Construction Site for a final walk-thru.  At this point in the process, we often must interact with the inspectors and regulators to assure the Owner obtains his Certificate of Occupancy.  (For Public Improvements, Project Acceptance is the goal, because then the improvements are accepted for maintenance by the Public, ending Owner responsibility for the Improvements.)  

We have successfully completed many Construction Projects.  Some types of projects we have completed include:

Residential Subdivisions

Mixed-Use Subdivisions

Commercial Site Developments and Strip Centers

Office Developments

Schools

Institutional Projects including Hospitals and Government Buildings

Warehouse Developments

Apartment Projects

Hotels and Motels

Restaurants

Major Utility Projects

Water Treatment Plants

Water Wells and Pump Stations

Wastewater Plants

Floodplain Improvements & Flood Control

Drainage Projects

Marinas

Floating Docks

Road Projects

Approach Mains

Water Quality Ponds and BMP Controls

Erosion Control Installation

Single Family Homes

Septic Systems

Park Improvements 

The above projects are only a representative example of the types of projects we have completed.  Call us at 512-442-0377 before your next project to make sure your next project is a success.

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Have you been red tagged? There is a solution to your Red Tag:

First, here is the likely scenario: You own property, and you want to be able to use it.  Maybe you need a parking area or a storage space.  So you make some small improvements to your property.  You are not hurting anyone, all you are doing is making it easier to use your property.

Then a city inspector shows up and gives you a citation, commonly called a “Red-Tag”.  There are threats of fines and legal action.  You must Stop Work, says the city inspector.  What should you do?

We can help.  Our firm has assisted numerous property owners who found themselves in this situation.  We can immediately get the city inspectors off your back, and give you time to deal with the situation.  Not only can we remove the burden of the Red Tag, but we can obtain permission for you to make all the improvements desired.   We even allow for a series of improvements over a period of two or three years. 

If you have been Red Tagged, call us.  We can give you immediate relief from city demands.  Then we can file documents with the city that will allow you to make the improvements you need, all with the blessings of the city.  You will be on good terms with city inspectors, and they will leave you alone.  You will be in control of the situation.  Call Ed Moore at 512-442-0377

Negotiating City Maintenance of Ponds

 

City staff persons can attempt to cause unnecessary expense to a developer and the eventual home owners within a development.  For example, while obtaining entitlements for a recent land development in the City of Austin, a city case manager told us that we would have to pay into an escrow account an amount of money sufficient to maintain three ponds within our project for a 2-year maintenance period.  In addition, this staff person wanted us to provide restrictive covenants that would place the long term burden of maintenance on the eventual home owners within the development.

 We found that the city code did not require a developer to maintain ponds within this type of development.  Although the city case manager had made written comments requiring us to pay money for maintenance, there was no basis in the code for this expense!  The code requires the City of Austin to maintain the ponds serving this development.

 We showed the reviewer the portion of the code that covered maintenance of ponds in this type of development (and in this area).  The reviewer had to admit we were right, and that we would not be required to pay money for maintenance of the ponds.  However, he had a reason why he initially told us we would have to pay for maintenance.  He said “The City Council made a mistake, there is not enough funding for the city to maintain these ponds.” Grudgingly, he concurred with us that he did not really have the authority to require us to pay for pond maintenance.  I am happy to say that this issue was resolved in our favor.

 The lesson from this experience is to check the basis in the code for the requirements made by reviewers.  The staff reviewer may be asking for something he would like to see, but is not really a requirement.  We always strive to maintain good relationships with the city staff, especially the higher-up staff.  But when it comes to staff requests that are going to cost us money and are not requirements, we gently remind the staff person of what the code actually says.  Although at times we have had to find satisfaction from a person in a supervisory position, when we know we are right we have always succeeded in obtaining the correct reading of the code.

www.mooregroup.net The Moore Group