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Today we will be talking to Clayton Taylor and JR Gideon who are jointly working on the Eastbound project, a new mixed-use development in East Austin. This project is designed for open-air business ready gatherings on a large scale, and incorporates the current trend of destination mixed-use. Additionally, we will be speaking about how real estate professionals are already transforming where we work and how this has changed during the pandemic. Both of our guests have impressive professional portfolios, Clayton is the Founder and Principal at architecture firm West of West based out of Portland Oregon and JR is the Development Associate at Lincoln Property Company in Texas.
The Eastbound project has reflected the growing and shifting center of development projects during the COVID pandemic. During quarantine, disruptions and supply chain shortages have exposed vulnerabilities in the production stages of development. Clayton and Gideon discuss how they were able to overcome these challenges in order to continue moving this project forward. Join us on this week’s episode as we learn more about our guests’ current projects and examine the impact of COVID on the development of the Eastbound project.
Clayton is a founding partner of West of West, an architectural design firm based in Portland Oregon. As a graduate of UCLA and California Polytechnic State University, he has led multiple creative office projects such as Columbia Square, Crossroads of the World, and The Telephone Building in the Los Angeles area. Clayton is also an NCARB certified architect.
In the summer of 2019, JR joined the Lincoln Austin team and currently assists development efforts in the emerging Austin office market. In addition to working with the development team, he analyzes market research and supports leasing efforts. JR is a graduate of UT Austin and worked for an architectural firm on the west coast through the professional residency program in the UT School of Architecture.
[00:00:00] Announcer: What goes into making an iconic building in America? What are the stories and who are the people behind the next generation of architecture? If your work touches the real estate industry in any way or you’re just curious about what goes into one of a kind cities and towns all across our country, join us on the American Building Podcast.
In season two, we learn about everything from skyscrapers to single family homes. From the famous and soon-to-be famous designers and developers responsible for them. This season focuses particularly on the pandemic and how our buildings will change in response. Our sponsor is the iconic design firm, Michael Graves Architecture & Design. And now your host award-winning architect-turned entrepreneur Atif Qadir, AIA.
[00:00:59] Atif Qadir: So thank you all for being here. American building is a podcast series that shares how iconic buildings come together from the perspective of their developers and their designers. These innovators discuss on a deeply personal level, what they’ve faced in the entire building process, uh, connected to the specific challenges that we have for cities today, showing that they go far beyond vocation to actually a larger calling.
So I’m your host author coddler and I’m the CEO of Redis, a real estate technology company based in New York and a licensed architect as well. Um, I produced the marketing building podcast with Michael Graves, architecture and design, which is based in procedure. And I’m excited to be here at Austin design week or the special live episode of the podcast.
So today our guests are Clinton Taylor and Jr kitchen architect. Clayton Taylor is the founder principal of west of west, which is a design firm based in Portland and his office focuses on, uh, office retail, hospitality, and housing. And he’s a graduate of UCLA and Cal poly. And Jr is a development associate, uh, at Lincoln property company.
It’s, Texas-based a developer that is an integrated real estate firm focusing on mixed use and commercial development. And he graduated from here a UT Austin. So we’ll be talking about and discussing the eastbound project. Um, so new mixed use development in east Austin. That’s under construct. Uh, and we’re broadly, we’ll talk about the future of office development and how on real estate professionals like clay and Jr are shaped into transforming what, uh, offices will be like in the, not too distant future.
So thank you so much, both of you for being here said. Yeah, absolutely. So, um, both of you started out your careers, uh, working both in the United States and in Europe, could you compare and contrast what your, um, experiences were and what you learned in both of those experiences we’ll start with?
[00:02:58] Clayton Taylor: Yeah, so, um, my kind of work, uh, right out of school, it was, uh, working a little bit locally in California, but then, uh, transitioning abroad, um, being in Copenhagen for about a year and then Deanna, uh, for a few months working for, uh, uh, from there.
Um, and I think that part for me, again, it was like early in my premier, but it was interesting to start to question those environment and see. I see how it’s kind of being played out in other other countries, you know, especially like in Copenhagen seeing, um, how architecture can be, uh, something that really elevates someone’s everyday experience.
I think that at that time, most of the projects I was studying in school, or like, you know, uh, kind of top tier like cultural buildings or, or, uh, churches or things like that kind of epic architectural pieces, but it was nice to see, um, uh, in such a recognize, uh, cities that were kind of finding ways to elevate the office building or a simple, like Lindo experience in the cafe, like really kind of patient.
So those things, I think, especially in colder environments, like Copenhagen, which would be kind of dreary a lot of the time, um, finding ways that the architecture would kind of support and provide shelter and comfort, uh, kind of within that whole, whole setup. So for me, it was kind of a issue way to see what’s going on there.
And then when they started coming back to us, it was more of, um, I think opening my eyes more to. Other types of projects then I would probably would have just kind of read about the school, expanding that a resident
[00:04:28] Atif Qadir: that’s really good point that you brought up in terms of this focus on design details.
Not just, not just necessarily for large epic buildings, but buildings of all scales and all types. Um, and then, uh, Jr for yourself, you worked in Italy and U S compare and contrast that for us.
[00:04:45] JR Gideon: Yeah, absolutely. Um, so I, I started an internship in Italy when I hadn’t stepped foot in Europe yet. So, um, I think that the very strict over, yeah, it was 19 or 20.
I took a, took a flight over there. Landed, got picked up, but, um, doing, be my boss at the time, um, at the train station and quickly got integrated into a, um, small studio with. I was, I was telling him that, um, about half of wish, uh, spoke English. So it was kind of like breaking down barriers through design and kind of learning what, um, cultural importance translated into design elements over there, and kind of being able to compare and contrast that to what I was studying in school at the time and built projects in the us.
[00:05:32] Atif Qadir: So, uh, Jr. You’ve quickly made, uh, the turn from a design focus,
[00:05:37] JR Gideon: uh, in your career
[00:05:39] Atif Qadir: to development right after UT could you talk about the thought process that led you to make that
[00:05:45] JR Gideon: direction? Yeah, absolutely. Um, I came back my, my last semester of school, um, after finishing, working at affirm in a residency in San Francisco, I got to really kind of get integrated into the full process.
Um, got to, got to see it at all through from concept design all the way into kind of. And that really kind of gave me an understanding of seeing how all the pieces plug into the process and coming back from then, I, I actually, um, took an internship at LPC in Austin and started in property. That’s like a property company I’m with now.
And you were working on these numbers. Um, and through that kind of, um, internship, I was able to, uh, plug into some really cool sites that we’re working on in Austin and kind of looking at them from a new perspective, but also being able to, um, kind of bring some of that design background and in a new way.
So it was just kind of a fascinating change and, and from a new side, uh, kind of just took it 30 of us store. So
[00:06:52] Atif Qadir: we mentioned earlier that we can property company focuses on mixed use developments in urban areas. Could you dig more into what that strategy entails and
[00:07:02] JR Gideon: where they might be going in the future?
Yeah, sure. So a majority of what we’re working on right now, um, in Austin, at least downtown, um, you know, when we find a site we’re looking at, um, what’s the highest best use. Um, obviously this city is, um, starting to deal with a ton of growth and new people moving here and a lot of need for both house in office retail, um, bringing vibrancy to the city intern.
A lot of that is translated into mixed use. So, um, we’re, we’re looking at it from the point of, well, what does the city need, um, in terms of infrastructure and how can we kind of provide that as well as, um, create an interesting urban realm
[00:07:42] Atif Qadir: and so play for yourself. You’ve worked in California at Morphosis and Rio Sclimenti, uh, and then you eventually decided to start your own.
How did you know that it was the right time to make the leap
[00:07:55] Clayton Taylor: and go out on your own? Um, primarily my ex my co-founder and business partner telling me to take a leap. That was the biggest, uh, that’s exactly what yeah. Someone literally pushing them, telling you, or pushing you off the bus. Uh, but, um, I think for us, we started a small practice that was primarily looking at products, new commercial worlds of doing small scale retail.
Um, we were getting on to kind of like London and cities. So as opposed to
[00:08:20] Atif Qadir: like single family residential.
[00:08:21] Clayton Taylor: Yeah. Yeah. I think we just working on work, both those giant I, there, we were doing kind of larger urban scale projects that were navigating both design language and, you know, an architectural project with some element of the public.
Maybe that’s a public park, maybe that’s transit something, but there was this kind of like, uh, sort of objective way of talking about design work as it relates to the public world. And so we kind of took that into like the retail setting, which is like an extreme. Hyper-focused moment of when people, uh, north architectural space engaged with the public.
Um, and we were doing all of that work and that was kind of building while Jaya and I are both working at work assistant. And then I had been gone to Rio. We were getting like kind of a larger, um, uh, building a larger projects in the Hollywood area of LA yeah, exactly. Working on your table at night. But, um, we were, uh, sort of slowly building a directional practice.
And I think what we were looking at was, um, we wanted to get enough experience, um, from projects and working in other firms. We also wanted to start to chart our own path and the practices of dialogue between the two of us. And I think we had, at that point, we were already working at it for probably like 17 years, just because we went to undergrad and grad school and we’re doing work together.
So I think we felt that we were strong enough in our dialogue to kind of build a practice upon that. And we knew that toxic projects we wanted to get into. I think all the experiences behind kind of had like a nightmare. Moments of the cliffs where giant went forward first. And then he was like, all right, you got, gotta just do this.
And then, you know, that was about five years ago and yeah, we’re about 14
[00:10:00] Atif Qadir: people now. And when you were getting started, what was the kind of the mission or the thing that you wanted to accomplish other than the particular asset class or the type of
[00:10:08] Clayton Taylor: projects? Um, I think we really wanted to get into, um, I think we had worked enough to know that it takes a really long time to make the links.
Like I think when you’re fresh out of school, like, okay, I’m going to up projects and they build next year or walk into these doors, it’s going to be great. And more like a two, two to five year process, depending on the scale of worker you’re looking at. So I think we’ve tried to build a practice on, um, the kind of longer, longer term of things eastbound is, is it going for us where we started this more than two years ago as kind of a concept and idea with, with, uh, the client group and kind of finally walking into it today and we’re photographing it today.
Uh, John is on site and I’m here, uh, as you’re going to do fuck. I said, I we’ve been trying to build a practice that kind of looks at that longer term and really tries to build big projects or build projects that have a sustained kind of presence in them and create of a urban scale move. And we’re finally seeing that come out.
[00:11:06] Atif Qadir: so let’s flip it over to the project, which is eastbound in Austin. So yesterday, um, all three of us had a chance to check out the site and the larger area. Um, my strongest impression is that it felt a lot like Philadelphia or Providence. Uh, so what were your, what are your larger impressions and how you describe these Austin to other people?
[00:11:26] Clayton Taylor: Um, maybe Eric
[00:11:32] JR Gideon: Yeah. Maybe we can do one inch. Um, I would say people here, I think, and I’ve lived in Austin for a little bit, not maybe a long time, but a couple of years or so see east Austin as a place to go get a great cocktail. Find a good hole on the wall for some poo, which is a hundred percent true. I think the other dynamic T sauce and that still exists today actually kind of is showcased in our project in many ways is there’s a lot of cool craftsmen and being fractures and artists that, um, have an amazing presence in east Austin.
It really kind of drive the whole, um, you know, five and everyone sees.
[00:12:11] Clayton Taylor: Yeah. And it’s, it’s, it’s interesting cause we, uh, our practice operates out of Portland now and Los Angeles. So Portland has like a east and west kind of situation going on as well during the parts of the city that contrast with the downtown corridor.
And that’s kind of what we saw in Austin. I mean, for sure, coming out with coffee, sausage is different. It has its own kind of vibe going on. So as you start to look at doing new buildings out there, or like a larger project, like eastbound, it was more about how you kind of now context or understand the context and understand what makes east Austin it’s Austin and sort of support the building of that.
Not just taking a project that you would do in downtown for. Plotted out there. So a lot of the discussion on the project was how do we, um, kind of in that context or the, uh, kind of, uh, the setting more with the building and then the decisions. So
[00:12:58] Atif Qadir: the site itself is on a Cesar Chavez straight between the airport and downtown.
Can you talk about some of the, the challenges and the opportunities that, that particular site, um, brought to bear as you started the design process?
[00:13:12] Clayton Taylor: Um, the, the interesting thing about the site is it’s kind of the edge of the sauce and it’s like of that for this point. So it kind of became a little bit of a frontier within an how you look at these.
Lawson’s kind of further away from some of the other stuff. Um, so we knew we had that happening and I think the, the trauma is, um, thoroughfare is very fast rows. So looking at how do we create, uh, a campus like, uh, uh, setting, uh, but sort of protected from that street. And when they noticed that’s how we kind of get this.
Uh, courtyard a cut that goes between the two buildings
[00:13:48] Atif Qadir: and the reason for campus and that it actually has multiple buildings
[00:13:51] Clayton Taylor: and structures. Yeah, exactly. And then we knew that it’s going to be sort of a way from a few things for a little while, um, or just try to provide enough things that builds its own,
[00:14:03] JR Gideon: making it a destination within itself.
I think there’s a lot of, um, awesome restaurants and breweries in the area, as well as, you know, you’re only a Stone’s throw away from, um, the Colorado river. So I think,
[00:14:19] Atif Qadir: and which has multiple
[00:14:20] JR Gideon: names. Um, but I think all those things kind of make it a desirable location, but as a place that, because of its kind of further proximity from some of what people would describe as a quarry south Austin, you know, we wanted to create a destination that would stand on its own and kind of service
[00:14:38] Clayton Taylor: its own tenants.
Yeah. And like most, most real estate variations is like a location thing. Break that equation little and say, we’re going to be in a place that not a lot of other projects like this are. And then you’re starting to build in parameters that you need to kind of grab on to create a project, right? It’s not about it’s in the middle of where all the officing is right now.
It’s, it’s kind of, uh, into the system down a little bit. So trying to understand, and we’re breaking some of those, those rules with the location, and then finding ways to like, as you break those rules, they support the decisions of this as much as
[00:15:09] JR Gideon: possible. I think from our perspective too, we’re now seeing, um, you know, companies in different tenants and restaurant groups that are desiring that kind of location and that kind of project.
So I think it’s catered to that. That seems like they, that interesting inflection point where the decision isn’t
[00:15:28] Atif Qadir: necessarily driven by a lower rent, it’s actually a desire for tenants to, to be there. And it seems like this project is one of the first ones to, to allow for that to happen. Um, so the name you chose was, uh, eastbound, which is.
Um, I think we’re reflective
[00:15:42] JR Gideon: of the mood of the
[00:15:44] Atif Qadir: office or for Austin eastbound towards the airport. Um, what were some of the alternate names Jr. Towers? Anything else? Correct.
[00:15:51] JR Gideon: We had a view. And, uh, if anybody listening as been a part of the naming process of a project, everyone agrees first try. No, absolutely not.
It’s it’s many rounds of iteration until kind of either something sticks or it just may sense. Um, we have a long list, I think, between our group and we worked on this project with the core group, and then I think we based in
[00:16:15] Atif Qadir: a company based in Los Angeles,
[00:16:16] JR Gideon: right. So they have a presence in Austin, but, um, out of California as well.
And I think we put some of the names in front of clay. My name that I put forth was the L because we had this beautiful, uh, historically protected, uh, or heritage elementary in the middle of our project. That was kind of the forefront of, um, what this courtyard. And, um, I think the moral of the story from my, um, my idea of Nanay geometry is that elementary is can, can die or become an overnight, um, they’re clearing some power lines in the area and we came back the next day half the canopy was
[00:16:53] Clayton Taylor: gone.
This was not part of your normal construction group, this extra another agency kind of going through clearing trees out because the whole plan was to preserve the history this whole time. And we built that quarter around the tree, and then it came out one more day, half the tree was gone. So
[00:17:14] JR Gideon: we’re happy we landed on eastbound.
[00:17:17] Atif Qadir: It feels much more like a permanent name because it’d be a really bad woman as he was starting racing the tree. I think that’s
[00:17:23] JR Gideon: such a funny, she did plant a bunch of trees and it’s honor.
[00:17:26] Clayton Taylor: So the courtyard back
[00:17:28] Atif Qadir: up suddenly they, um, the site is a really amazing one. Um, What was the, the prompt that, uh, Lincoln property company gave to you when they approached you, were they very specific about, we want to buildings, you want to be like this you’re on this, are they?
And you do your thing.
[00:17:44] Clayton Taylor: It pretty much was, was open-ended because I think the way we treat these through these projects, uh, with our clients is be, you want to be able to maintain some level of curiosity about the site, both on our end on the clients and entertain that for that early part of the process.
So we have since owning requirements, um, we knew a yield of office argument that we needed. It means a number of spaces, right? There was no rec spaces, a number of a perfect as you’re trying to end, um, which you there’s a ton of sculpting that to get that to work on site. Uh, but both Lincoln, the core group, it was like saying here’s the site, here’s the zoning requirements.
Um, and again, we were coming in from, from. Out of town. So we’re trying to like, kind of absorb all that, understand that. And then I think the discussions turn like that, my curiosity moment was like saying, well, what should the building be? Like, where are we going with this? Like, we’re not just going to copy a glass office buildings on that out here.
You know, I think it would just be unsuccessful and it wouldn’t really, uh, we were kind of missing the boat. Uh, so I think some of those early discussions were, we’re trying to look at the context and look at, um, kind of like larger warehouses or like, um, factory style kind of shed buildings have this kind of big, um, big space feel it’s kind of larger, almost like factory windows, like referencing that type apology a little bit and seeing what if we did a building that was like that.
So that, that like a warehouse style building is probably something you normally would find in east Austin. But how can you sort of take that, that type policies exist and serve to work out enough with the, with the requirements that we have, um, into something that becomes its own special kind of place or
Um, yeah, I was trying to find a way to question the site in question what the building can be. And again, we’re trying to build a, the design DNA of the project with the team and make sure everybody sort of sees something interesting in it, you know, and, and create a moment that that’s not like others or other buildings that would be out there.
So that’s kind of our, let’s what we usually try to bring to the table is this interesting curiosity moment. So,
[00:19:47] Atif Qadir: so during the process then of, uh, preparing the design, there’s another architecture firm that was on the project as well against learn there, the architect of record. Could you explain, um, how that, that works in terms of having to design for?
[00:20:01] Clayton Taylor: Yeah, so, uh, most of our work, uh, we’re working as design architects with artists of record like insular, um, and the, from a timeline standpoint, we work the client and discover the project early on with them and keep the team pretty trimmed down as we’re sort of iterating through early versions of the project.
Um, then we’ll do an initial set of drums. Um, to then present that to Gensler and our client and start to bring everybody on board of the project. So we essentially do a lot of like really heavy conceptual work in the beginning. And then as a project becomes more and more finite and detailed against those stresses that increase their, uh, their, uh, clip to the project.
So at the end, um, everybody’s still going to job site meetings. They’re, they’re involved early on, we’re involved later on, but we’d be kind of like shift our weights of who’s doing the most production work on projects. And then the goal then is that you’re building the knowledge of two architects in the project from the beginning to the end.
So there’s a kind of a deeper design discussion about the project. And there’s also like a technical discussion depending on the executive architect. And you’re trying to build all that together. I think you’re just entering it, knowing that a project of that size is going to have a lot of people. So you’re trying to kind of, everybody’s clearly kind of wearing their, their cap and, and understanding how they work together.
So you really need to bring, bring the teams together and play nice. Yes, it was, it was a great, uh, so,
[00:21:28] Atif Qadir: so, uh, let’s talk about the construction. So
[00:21:32] JR Gideon: building
[00:21:33] Atif Qadir: during COVID is a challenge for a zillion different reasons. One of it, the killer is light chain. So anyone that’s renovated a personal home and past a year, past year recognizes the difficulty in getting, say a refrigerator and taking that six months to actually arrive.
Uh, so on a much grander scale of building a massive office building, how did you prevent, uh, supply chain delays from completely derailing
[00:21:58] JR Gideon: the progress of the project? I think that this project fell into a few interesting timelines. You know, COVID being one, I think in terms of supply chain or cashing it up more on the tail end rather than.
In the middle of it. Um, but I think in terms of sourcing and stirring materials, we were able to do most of that kind of before the mass that the supply chain issues that we’re seeing today occurred. Um, but I think we also had an interesting approach to kind of, um, constructability and building materials.
Um, if you go and look at some of the images of our projects, you’ll see that they’re done out of these, uh, incredible, um, kind of custom concrete panels that were, um, created in, uh, a factory called
[00:22:46] Clayton Taylor: Redondo in San Antonio. So clay can probably talk to some of the other design elements. I think we got lucky on a lot of things in that project.
It’s, it’s a, it’s a big concrete precast facade, which is pretty rare nowadays. And precast means
[00:23:01] Atif Qadir: literally cast before the panel.
[00:23:04] Clayton Taylor: Yeah. Yeah. They’re huge big panels that are struck truck decided. And then the facade went up and, you know, I think a couple about a month or so they kind of just, once they started arriving on site, it just kind of clinic, but you’re using a local company in Texas concrete, which is kind of its own like really cool thing and Redondo, it doesn’t really do concrete work.
So them delivering a concrete, uh, aesthetic and letting us work with it. It’s really great. I think when we got into the interior work of the project and some of the higher touch feature elements, like, uh, interior finishes furniture, our group, all that stuff we shifted. Um, I think that that’s when that’s, when we were really starting to look at like supply chain issues and the advice was anything you can get local American made or may not in this kind of generally would be helpful, I guess, across the side of the ocean.
Um, which is also a really good story because you’re finding local artists, local manufacturers. So like Delta Millworks that all this. Coil would drop a project and they’re like a block away from the other site versus
[00:24:07] JR Gideon: some
[00:24:07] Clayton Taylor: somethings. Yeah. And then, um, but it’s also a great, it just makes it a good decision for the project for her.
I was clutching to then, um, uh, all the furniture, a lot of that is American maybe, or source, uh, close enough, you know, which I think I ended up getting some more interesting pieces that have like a little bit of a nicer build quality. So we actually upped our, our furniture a little bit by, by doing that process.
Um, and then, um, also using local artists for exhibits throughout the project. So Orbach, who’s a kind of larger, uh, lighting, installation, um, artists, they did a really big or two big light sculptures on either entrance of the project, uh, right across the street, across the street, but they install projects all over the country, but was just, again, they’re like in the backyard of the projects that we start to use them.
[00:24:51] JR Gideon: And then our mirrorless to, um, Emily Eisenhardt did a really incredible six story hero, kind of the. Back of the parking garage, but what is the face of the courtyard
[00:25:02] Clayton Taylor: now? Uh, um, and, and, and, uh, I think it’s interesting, especially in design projects, you’re like you start to open the catalog, where am I going to pull some great materials?
And this one was like, everything’s got to be local. Like, how do you kind of source that? And you start getting this really great story of how those decisions kind of lined up in the project from lighting to interior materials, sourced locally to artists, and, you know, the process, there are other parts of the problem was happening.
[00:25:27] JR Gideon: But that back to the timeline question real quick, we, we broke ground on this project and June 7th, 2020. Um, and I think every office project at that time, uh, that was breaking ground or under construction, had to take a good long look at what they’re doing, because they knew that, you know, well, I guess they knew nothing at the time what the world to come would be over the next year or so, but it gave us a chance to.
Look at, um, kind of the health and wellness of the building as a project, which thankfully was the west had put in some kind of, uh, great phones in terms of outdoor circulation and access to outdoor spaces, but it gave us a chance to kind of go through and look at our mechanical systems and fresh air intake and stuff like that, that let’s get an overall kind of, um, be one of the positive impacts of COVID and making us look at our project in a new way and kind of start to invest in new technologies and, and upgrades.
That’s going to make the tenant and user experience in the end, much more
[00:26:28] Atif Qadir: sustainable. So it feels like July or June of 2020, is that ages ago in terms of the progression of the pandemic and our response to it? Um, well I think what that highlights really well is the overall reality of, uh, developers and the incredible amount of risk that they take, uh, on a project, uh, inwards.
Make financial and construction decision several years before they’re actually delivered. Um, uh, I just wanted to point that out. Uh, and then, uh, clay, when, uh, a, like when our listeners come to the site to take a look at it, um, give them a preview of what they would be seeing as they come say, uh, to the main entrance where, um, uh, the restaurant we located and as they walked through the campus where the materials were, the, the things that they’re seeing,
[00:27:16] Clayton Taylor: uh, the building’s kind of built on contrast in a way.
So the biggest thing you see as you pull up is the precast facade, which is a greeted analyze system around both buildings, um, has a pretty day. It has like a very kind of heavy large-scale presence to it. Um, but then there you’ll start to find these moments that are contrast at the lower level as you’ve walked into the project.
For lack of a better term, there’s these what we call wiggly columns, which are these columns that are kind of falling in and out, um, which are
[00:27:45] Atif Qadir: actually .
[00:27:48] Clayton Taylor: Um, but that under level of the building where in the kind of industrial zone is, um, that part is sculpted a lot, a lot more has the columns that are at an angle has like a warmer wooden soffit that moves around it.
There’s actually clear glazing in there, um, around those levels in ideas that you’re sort of contrasting the kind of vigorous grid above there’s something more playful out. And I think that’s where you start to get, um, some machine moments where the there’s kind of like a building scale experience and the kind of industrial scale experience.
And it provides a richer turn there. I think when they’re a little bit more, when there’s a difference between those two things. Um, so as you drive by, I think you get one feel and then as you walk up.
[00:28:25] JR Gideon: And the architecture at that scale, pedestrian scale kind of integrates with a really nice landscape touch at the same time.
That kind of creates that
[00:28:34] Clayton Taylor: experience. Yeah. And TVG was our landscape apartments after they kind of followed the w the way we call them component a little bit where the landscape, the ground plane is really sculpted as well. So there’s lots of like pockets to, to kind of hide or, or kind of places where were movements kind of zigzagging and know that courtyard area it’s, it’s an activator, uh, kind of, again, in contrast to the rest of the ability above, and then the there’s all kinds of subtleties to the concrete.
Tone’s a little warmer. Some of it, some that said stuff, kind of a warmer tone, not so much of a cooler, concrete tone. There’s this subtle undulation of the facade. When you really get up to the building and see it, you start to see that the side panels are kind of folding in and out slightly. Um, so again, it’s all these kind of little moments in the project.
Um, start to take a concrete building that has that, that, that warehouse kind of a starting point. And then how do you start to unravel that? And again, um, a little more interesting a place
[00:29:29] Atif Qadir: that’s really cool that the material that you chose concrete, as one, that people imagine are focused on like bridges or highways non-design or not high design, uh, elements with the fact that you’re able to choose a really beautiful aggregate and, uh, add, uh, tons of color to bring a whole other beat to the material.
And that’s pretty cool aspect of it. Uh, and I’m going to take a break here to let our listeners know that really having the wonderful Pascal salon of the adjunct associates on the podcast next month. Uh, she was the winner of the 2021 with Neil young prize by the American Institute of architects. And that’s an award even to one architect, uh, each year in the United States who embodied social responsibility and actively addresses relevant, uh, social issues for our country.
Um, you can subscribe to the email@example.com. So you don’t miss any of our episodes this season. So, uh, let’s take a big picture from, uh, Austin eastbound, uh, to, um, what, uh, what our listeners can imagine office is going to look like the next year or the year after and beyond that. So, uh, office design and development is markedly different because of the pandemic as we’ve talked so far.
Um, and one of those is the blurring of uses. So, um, all of us are probably spent a good chunk of time, um, in the work from home set up I’ve had as well. Uh, and on the opposite end, there is now a trend like in this project to include, um, residential or hospitality aspects to an office development. Could you talk about, um, that more detailed, including for example, a large amount of outdoor
[00:31:09] JR Gideon: space that you think, but yeah, definitely.
I think this project, um, the partnership created benefited from having. Someone who typically focuses on commercial development and then the core group who is primarily, um, a hospitality group. Um, and I think we were all able to take cues from each other throughout the design process and approaching this project, um, from a very experiential, uh, standpoint.
Um, I think when you think of the traditional office, it’s not a destination that people are looking forward to on Monday morning necessarily, but we wanted to try to create an experience that was similar to go into a new hotel for the first time or a new hotel bar or restaurant within the first form of hotel.
So from our perspective, um, we wanna your data start from when you entered into the lobby, hearing music, being able to go to a coffee bar, being able to have an impromptu meeting in the lounge and really curating, curating more of. Um, hospitality field and a traditional kind of standard office project.
And I think that, um, throughout the design, as clay mentioned, that was kind of one of our guiding points in anything that we did from the fitness room into the locker room. It was definitely elevated with, um, kind of higher grade finishes that fit that bill, but also give you the comfort that you see when you go to a new hotel, um, and also, you know, reflects, um, design and kind of finishes that are up to that level.
[00:32:44] Clayton Taylor: And then the hospitality touch, I think, was something that we started with primarily, because I think it was, was bringing that into the session. It was also kind of general, uh, kind of take a real event. And I was, again, that was pre financial. And so those decisions were made. Right. Um, but I think they became stronger over the last, um, you know, few, few months here to try to really establish a place that.
Does, especially people injured, like work from home situation a bit more. Um, it’s, it’s, it’s creating a place that does inspire a place that is comfortable, um, as a counter to work from home. Right. So, um, I still think there’s a lot of, to be figured out within in how the typical work week is going to play out over the next, um, uh, kind of a few months, two years from now.
Right. In terms of days
[00:33:32] Atif Qadir: and times
[00:33:33] Clayton Taylor: when people. Yeah. Yeah. But I think we started looking at the actual office place or the workplace itself and what the office building can be. I think it’s trying to say, well, what is it offering? What does it mean to provide? Um, obviously it’s a place to meet your peers and it’s a place to get, to get some work done, but it should also be a placement aspire, or it’s a place with just like really great light that your apartment doesn’t have or something, or, um, it’s a volume of space and it’s just like really enjoyable to be in and great music.
They’re gonna be like really simple things. Um, I think that that support that comfort within a place like that, but it’s definitely not traditional like laying title office. You know, but I think if, I think you’re trying to find ways just to break apart from that,
[00:34:15] Atif Qadir: I think
[00:34:15] JR Gideon: we, we expect, you know, people that are going to continue to be in offices from your own honor to are going to be seeking experiences that are more catered in that way than the traditional
[00:34:26] Atif Qadir: setting.
So similarly eastbound is important. Um, things beyond that retail, could you talk a little bit more about, um, what that rationale was and how you hope destinations, like that will draw more tenants to your site?
[00:35:19] JR Gideon: Yeah, I mean, absolutely. I think it goes to what we were just touching on is the experience they’re seeking, what they want to get out of, you know, going into a destination, um, like a destination office life eastbound that’s, you know, not in your traditional sense in, you know, the heart of downtown or in kind of a building district it’s kind of out on its own.
Um, in terms of office that’s, that’s changing right now. There’s other projects around it that are being developed. But I think it’s really creating, uh, a place where people can, you know, live a full day, um, not just eight to five, but you know, eight to midnight. And then you can kind of have that experience, um, and kind of blur the lines of, you know, what the traditional eight to five
[00:36:02] Clayton Taylor: that is or not.
And I think another thing we look at kind of a project, I go labs with a Boulder or a building, or a position or older office, the offices in general, like the skin of those buildings or the shell of those buildings is essentially a very like nondescript, you know, it doesn’t have any, um, kind of attention to it.
And I think the project here at eastbound, you know, the, the skin’s kind of instructing some of the interior programming that we’re using today, which is amenity spaces, like a lounge, interesting lobby moments and restaurants, and in the future, I think that skin’s gonna start to create other kind of programs, um, that sort of use inside a little bit differently.
So kind of curious where office buildings a day might be like 20 years when it is, it’s a less general building. Like it’s out a little more specificity to it, uh, which I think could leaves and maybe some other, um, other uses that might be kind of longevity of that.
[00:36:58] Atif Qadir: And that’s in contrast to the, the design aesthetic, say of office buildings you described earlier, which is a non-district glass box.
[00:37:06] Clayton Taylor: look at the end. Yeah. Yeah. So creating a specificity, I think creates some design moments in and cradle interests and, um, kind of getting more of this is how you use it, potentially not to say that it has to be like one restaurant forever, but it can become something else. Um, and then also how, you know, how it creates outdoor spaces and things that support the building around it.
Um, we can be pretty critical as well.
[00:37:31] Atif Qadir: So besides the east Austin project, uh, LPC has a large portfolio office that’s um, within the core downtown area. Could you talk about what your, um, projections or your thoughts are in terms of office moving towards distributed clusters, uh, different office areas as in different neighborhoods?
Um, as opposed to everyone traveling to Midtown Manhattan or downtown or central Austin, where you see that that is going to shape your
[00:38:00] JR Gideon: investment profile. Right. I, I think that it, it really boils down to kind of what tech group companies you’re targeting with the building that you’re both designing and the location works place.
I think that there, there’s always going to be companies that want to have a presence in CBD or kind of more, um, central downtown location, um, having more
[00:38:20] Atif Qadir: finance, legal sex and industries.
[00:38:23] JR Gideon: Right? I think some traditional, you, you see a lot of tech users that like to have kind of a central presence. We see that in Austin as well.
But I think with projects like eastbound, there definitely, um, companies that are seeking a different experience and whether that’s because they have employees who live on the east side or, um, they just want to have that experience and they want the east side to be more tied with the company culture, the endowment.
It’s just more of what fits the company profile, where do they want to fall within kind of the urban realm of the city? I think for a lot of, um, tenants now, um, in businesses within Austin, um, east side, it’s kind of becoming a
[00:39:03] Clayton Taylor: place you start to cradle is interesting, alter this to where the core could be, right.
Then sort started creating more de-centralized idea of where we’re can happen. I think, and I guess the in line with potentially where it works, you know, and especially like with, with eastbound creating a building, it was kind of, uh, uh, referential or kind of build a, the context. You know, you start to get a little bit of interesting, uh, interesting moments where the buildings related to that context and you’re changing the location more.
So I think you got more variety out of where those buildings are behave in common. So,
[00:39:36] Atif Qadir: which I think would have a lot of secondary benefits. For example, people spending less time traveling to work and also less traffic. So the last question that I have for you is, um, In terms of the technology that you use to design develop, decide where you’re going to be, uh, investing.
Um, over the past year, there’s been a growth in venture capital money in real estate over also the largest industry, probably the slowest to innovate and change, uh, in the United States. And particularly a lot of that money has been moving towards innovation and design and construction, and also the financing, uh, of buildings.
Uh, for example, the company that I’ve started focuses on financing. Um, could you talk about some of the ways that, uh, you see innovation being integrated into, um, the processes that you focus on in terms of design and development?
[00:40:26] JR Gideon: Right. Uh, sure. I think that within LPC, this, this really started at least for me, um, in terms of looking into these different companies and seeing what innovators were doing within kind of our space and affecting how they could potentially affect and benefit our projects really happen during COVID.
I think that. Somewhat of a reckoning in terms of, um, at least older traditional office space. And I think a lot of smart entrepreneurs kind of saw an avenue for creating, um, apps and different technologies that could reprogram these spaces and give them new use and activity and kind of give landlords, um, the benefit of being able to reprogram these, not in a traditional sense, but kind of create value.
Um, and what people would have seen as a space that was, you know, potentially knock it up, be used in what manner it wasn’t before. Um, I think for eastbound, it gave us the chance to really enhance the building experience. Um, I think both on the owner side and also in terms of design, but most importantly, in terms of the tenant day to day, Now we’re incorporating, you know, access technologies to where you can pull into the garage and you don’t have to touch the door button until you get all the way up to your office.
Now, that kind of been more pertinent during the hard COVID, but it’s a, it’s a benefit of, you know, smoother entry and Negress than we have beforehand. And I think there’s other things that are folding into that in terms of, um, you know, both, uh, related to kind of amenities, lounge cafe, you can order coffee from your phone through kind of one of the apps that we’re partnering with and they’ll cater for your company and kind of help manage company events.
So I think through the process, um, a lot of these innovators created new opportunities to kind of enhance this traditional workspace that we’ve kind of referenced throughout this
[00:42:25] Clayton Taylor: podcast. I think also seeing them reposition biliary positions, like will office buildings in the downtown core. Like there’s relatively vacant or underutilized.
Right. And I think seeing different, um, you know, topical partners or other people look at those types of projects differently is really, really great because that’s like a ton of like existing building mass that someone needs to do something with
[00:42:48] Atif Qadir: as opposed to focusing just on new construction
[00:42:50] Clayton Taylor: gas. And I think when you look at the American city and, uh, depending on where you’re at in one city, Austin and Portland, Nashville linking some of the older building stock and how you can even make those, um, really exciting again, um, which I think has to do with like, looking at the problem differently.
Like if you just keep treating it with like traditional metrics of what the possibility could be or how it’s funded or whatever, I think you’ve started to change some of those in, in, in any kind of, uh, position within that hierarchy and those projects now, like you start to create some stuff that’s really interesting.
And it can be another way to look at kind of parts of the city that are just they’re sitting right in front of you. So to me, that’s like, like using a different lens to look at a problem with these kind of
[00:43:31] JR Gideon: absolutely.
[00:43:32] Atif Qadir: So, thank you so much for joining us today, both Jr. And clay on this special live recording, the mechan building podcast.
Of course. Yeah. Let’s do that. What did I add was, um,
[00:43:48] Clayton Taylor: actually I just slipped it up on, on Google and there’s some updated photos when I think I was going to be walking in that area,
[00:43:56] JR Gideon: that
[00:43:56] Clayton Taylor: area, when I
[00:43:57] Atif Qadir: first started in those what’s one on your
[00:44:00] JR Gideon: connectivity,
[00:44:02] Clayton Taylor: you talked about like internal to the development, you know, catering to that.
Um, can I take you to the
[00:44:08] JR Gideon: neighborhood?
[00:44:09] Clayton Taylor: Um, and I don’t know if some of that’s in your site because of a city ordinance or so, but as far as like connectivity, especially with walkability or like building, but you got that central machines at great restaurants across the way and very close to.
[00:44:26] JR Gideon: I trailed
[00:44:30] Clayton Taylor: yesterday. So might does that also y’all are involved in that too, as far as, uh, sidewalks, streets, game, um, scooters, you know, designation, things like that they’re providing you access to the site was, was part of it. Um, previously you had to go to Tillery or down further to kind of connect back to the chemistry behind us.
Uh, but we provided a new connection where Allen street gets the back of the project. You can, you can start as a pedestrian from, kind of walk through the project to Allen street in the back to the like back area. Um, so providing some of those yourself access to more south connections that as an issue, and they were sort of critical.
We just like we did in the project, you know, it was like a vantage point of looking at that site. And how can we like open it up more? Um, I think also. She’s probably just like a really busy street, especially right there. Um, at certain times it’s just, there’s hard flying by, so trying to make sure to pull back from the street.
So the estrogen does have a sort of a comfortable place to be, I think, as important, the building, I think that had been closer to the street, but we actually pulled it back a bit. Um, then I’ll see if I have benches or in landscaping,
[00:45:43] JR Gideon: I guess. Yeah.
[00:45:46] Clayton Taylor: Yeah. There’s a, there’s a, there’s a split between the two buildings and, uh, the outdoor furniture is still on its way on a chip somewhere.
I think that was the one piece that we couldn’t find like that, that, uh, is taking, uh, taking over the whole central area. So there’ll be an open courtyard and comes in in the tables.
[00:46:01] JR Gideon: Yeah. Um, places to sit and have coffee in the morning before we actually go up in the office. So it kind of creates a nice buffer from the streetscape before you go up and into the office or into the building.
And then to your point about, um, bikes and. Proximity to the heightened bike trail. I think that this, we certainly plan the biggest kind of hiking or sorry, bike storage area that we’ve, we’ve done in a project as of late. So it’s a place where you can come into the project store, your bike, or your bike shoes or equipment in a locker.
And then you have, you know, access to showers
[00:46:37] Clayton Taylor: and all the stuff to fix your bike in there too. It’s on internalized like, uh, like sports. Cause we all aware of the, the, uh, I guess pedestrian, grace that they’re
[00:46:51] JR Gideon: going to be building, that’s going to be really cool. Yeah. That’s going to be an awesome addition.
[00:46:56] Clayton Taylor: Um, yeah, the goal is you can ride your bike to the office and then fix flat tires, need to, you can check her up and there’s also walkers and everything. It was that
[00:47:04] JR Gideon: girls was the city pushing for that
[00:47:09] Clayton Taylor: for a requirement of it. But we actually like doubled that size quite a bit. So it’s enough that can really.
Supported by population, not just like, uh, you know, there’s a couple of nightstands out front, but it’s like creating, uh, the bike, the bike amenity as part of this like hospitality package. What
[00:47:26] Atif Qadir: do you find from the projects that you’ve done in Portland in terms of, uh, how office tenants use like space?
Are they empty? And they pack, like, what
[00:47:34] Clayton Taylor: is it like they’re there in? And I think that’s, uh, after living for the last few years, it’s kind of been doing office projects there. You know, we’ll do it by hub for like 208 bikes in a building. That’s like the same size as eastbound. And then the population supports it, like, like remap, how you enter the garage, like bikes can come in and not be worried about, uh, cars.
They run in the parking ramps. Um, so there’s a lot of that, which is really cool to see, but it took a lot of infrastructure for Portland to get to that point where the bike commuter felt comfortable enough to ride through the city. And then. Individual property owners, you know, supporting my culture at the kind of end the Terminus of their journey.
Right. So I think this project is kind of doing that, that Terminus work right now, as, you know, supporting the potential more bikers out there. Um, I think that that’s kind of the goal with, uh, facilities, office, office projects. The more newer ones of it we’ve been involved in is like, how can you kind of stretch out the humanity package to be not just like a great place to have a coffee, but like a functional kind of commuter, uh, the as well.
So people from
[00:48:41] Atif Qadir: New Jersey and we really love our cars, but I can tell you that,
[00:48:44] JR Gideon: uh, people in Texas do too,
[00:48:46] Atif Qadir: there are some similarities. Uh, is it an office buildings in Jersey say, which is the fastest growing or been part of New Jersey or absolutely incorporating a bike and multiple means of arriving other than just driving your guests as in car
[00:49:02] Clayton Taylor: to downtown.
Um, Christmas, I have so many thoughts and questions for you guys because I live directly across the street from this development as it was being built. And I did not know the topic of
[00:49:17] Atif Qadir: this podcast when
[00:49:23] Clayton Taylor: three little bungalows that you guys might’ve seen between the two restaurants, right there was
[00:49:27] Atif Qadir: there
[00:49:27] Clayton Taylor: for three years, including one still up and started. Um, and then I guess, uh, the one next door that had been going for awhile already. Um, I think my biggest like reflection point is, I didn’t know any of these things about y’all’s building as it was being developed.
And I think that the development being in a pretty residential directly, which next to a residential area, Brought up a lot of questions of like, why does our community need this? What, what is this offering to people like us that are living directly right here? Um, obviously everyone that owns houses
[00:50:03] Atif Qadir: directly,
[00:50:04] Clayton Taylor: right.
They’re stoked, but everyone that’s renting them is like, I’m not going to
[00:50:07] Atif Qadir: be renting this place for a year anymore. Um, but like,
[00:50:11] Clayton Taylor: do we really need more creative office space as a great person in Austin? I am for creative on the space. Like how does this get back to the community? And, uh, it sounds like there are a lot of offerings that I would love to go check out about this, but creating that dialogue for like the years plus that you guys are building there.
I think that season four, with the kickboxing studio and this like larger scale succulent farm, like really cool cultural pieces of that neighborhood, um, how do you create that conversation? And let people also put their input into what they’d like to see there as well. Having a good attitude about developments like
[00:50:49] Atif Qadir: that popping up in their backyard.
Right. That’s an
[00:50:51] JR Gideon: excellent, excellent. That’s a great point. And I think that, um, finding avenues of dialogue with neighbors is important because just as you know, we’re trying to coordinate, uh, hopefully a respectful construction effort. It’s also important for you to understand what’s going to be there and you know, how, what offerings it’s going to have to your point, because, you know, unless you’re tied into the industry, you might not know until it’s totally finished.
I think that’s a great question, mark, in terms of how we can do a better job of community engagement, but also just education and outreach on what’s happening with the
[00:51:26] Clayton Taylor: project. I think also like office buildings, traditionally the core, um, how to have a pre. Pretty kind of small, uh, relationship to the kind of community around it because it’s their, their neighbors or just other office buildings.
So it’s like, you know, uh, but in a project like this, I think one of the big things was trying to create that public corridor that’s been that splits the buildings up, I think from a zoning perspective that whole site could have as solid as an office building, but actually providing that relief was a big piece.
Um, I think that’s, what’s interesting as you see buildings, office buildings kind of pop up in different locations. Um, it is for a creative tenant generally, but I think there’s also, um, rethinking how those ground levels are supportive of their communities. Um, I think there’s a huge opportunity there.
And then like it supports the building. I think people that are funding the project are interested in that. It’s just like connecting those dots a bit more. So that’s what could be kind of again, next way the office that starts to be built in different locations are renovating old buildings, but something else I think questioning though is those grandma commitments to the community, um, are super supportive of.
Would that, should you, especially if you’re thinking outside the court. Definitely.
[00:52:31] Atif Qadir: So I’m a city planning commissioner in Hoboken sets. They’re relatively small, but a wealthy city in north Jersey across from New York city. And there are, from that experience, there’s basically two means to do, um, what you’re describing, but both of them are rather dated and there are things that are changing about them.
So number one is, uh, when there there’s a construction site, uh, there often is signage out front that says, this is the owner, this the designer. Um, and this is the, um, the very brief description. Um, oftentimes it’s too late because the project has already started at that point. And oftentimes the names are a LLC, which is a actual developer, which shields.
Um, and the reality of what’s going on there. So New York city’s department of buildings is really, really forward-thinking. And what they started now doing is York mode activated, um, uh, tabs where you can actually go and get a really data rich, um, visual, and also, uh, where detailed information you can really just pent on an 11 by 17 sign.
And that is one area that seen a lot of positive feedback for a lot of development that’s happening in, uh, particularly residential neighborhoods in New York city are now seeing more creative office I’m in like, so in Tribeca, are there really, um, kind of blaring examples of that? Uh, and I think the other one is the, the means by which people in an area are able to provide their feedback.
And that was much earlier than just the signage. Uh, and in this particular context, it’s usually city planning, commission meetings that are once a month on a weekday evening, people have. Work and kids and all their lives. It’s taught to have people be able to come in, wait several hours and wanna actually be able to speak.
Uh, and oftentimes those are typically people that are at least in Hoboken. It’s the owners of incredibly expensive townhouses that have very particular, particular views. And often the Oscar where they’d performances about how they’re I was joking yesterday about some of the, the, um, the conversation lines that you hear at city planning, commissioner and wealth, is it expressions, little NIMBY, not in my backyard.
Uh, and um, what we found is by turning those meetings into zoom or other on video formats and allowing people to sign up in advance for slots of time, like five, five minutes slots has really changed the profile of who was coming to these meetings. Um, so for example, Hoboken is a very young city, like I would say I’m actually above the median age.
It’s a median is 34 and 30. Uh, and, uh, we found that the people that are coming are much younger and have a very different pro-business mindset as opposed to very protectionist mindset, which we often found was the, the kind of the brunt of what people were talking about in those games. I think those are two, um, two ways that I’m seeing change actually happen.
Um, but I think by the last one is the legal requirement is at least in a how weapon for example, is that you notice people that were in a hundred foot distance from the center point, uh, around the edge of your property. But in the case of a really large project, like, uh, eastbound a hundred foot may not actually be sufficient.
There probably is different rules in Austin for that. But I think, um, then looking at the underlying, uh, legal framework and say talking to a city council person who are often are very receptive, particularly in election years, to what people have to say, uh, and, um, and trying to get that adjusted here, change.
Um, it’s another way. So for example, Jersey city, what they’ve decided to do is remove, um, a, a large, um, uh, system of asset, right. Zoning and make it much more, uh, required to go to a public hearing system. The city council says Seattle does that as well, um, which allows much more for contextual, um, responses and feedback, uh, feedback like that.
So I think the more that there are opportunities for people to participate in the way that makes sense for them and that their daily lives, as opposed to having to people, to adjust to some slow moving
[00:56:38] Clayton Taylor: hierarchical
[00:56:38] JR Gideon: system, I think would be better off for it.
[00:56:41] Atif Qadir: We’re at time
[00:56:42] Clayton Taylor: so easily, including seekers, you can, but, um, and, and don’t feel
[00:56:46] Atif Qadir: shy about it.
I would love to
[00:56:48] Clayton Taylor: ask a couple
[00:56:48] Atif Qadir: more questions to
[00:56:51] Clayton Taylor: actually along the same lines, but a lot more about the sensitivity of the cultural side of the east side and how diversification. Gentrification and all of the other, you know, occasion where it’s kind of happened over there and then it gets sort of a sensitive area of town.
And just whether or not you guys have spoken to
[00:57:06] Atif Qadir: people,
[00:57:07] Clayton Taylor: I feel like we’ve kind of gotten into a little of that and it’s sort of difficulty of reaching that community. Um, but if you did have any interviews with any, like, first of all, you’re using a lot of local artists and people that are friends, so good for you.
I think you need some great choices on that, but, um, if you did have any like, sort of early conversations or, um, reach out to any organizations about someone with the cultural groups that are represented in that Erika town, I’d love to hear about it, but if not, then I would love to spend to any sustainability or environmentally friendly, um, sort of modifications you or considerations that
[00:57:38] Atif Qadir: you put into
[00:57:39] JR Gideon: yeah, a hundred percent.
Um, so I actually came onto the project, um, about the start of concept design. So more or less the programming and kind of layout was somewhat being put into place. So I think this was kind of. Um, after stakeholder meetings, you know, would have been useful in terms of, um, applying your question and into action.
I think in some of our longer term developments that we’re doing around town, we’re definitely making an effort to engage with neighborhood groups and kind of getting their input and educating them on the project and hearing their feedback and concerns and definitely making our best effort to do that there.
Um, but in terms of kind of design, uh, sustainability, um, one thing we didn’t touch on was, um, well buildings, which, um, really for us became apparent, um, really in the heart of COVID they, they got to get on with the program. Direct response to COBIT, but there’s kind of other categories that also our sustainability initiatives across the whole building.
So I think from a sustainability standpoint, we definitely saw after kind of the highest marks in both all building and the building. Um, and I think we’re going to hit those marks. So that was definitely an effort on our part. And we knew that, um, for this project, those were both important things to kind of try to choose.
[00:59:11] Clayton Taylor: Yeah. I, I think the something that, that we’ve seen in Portland, just like kind of touching back a little bit, we, you were saying was a designer you committees where think there’s one way for the community. You engage like kind of a policy level, but also I think communicating on design level design, workshopping, that’s hosted by the city.
So they really truly create like neutral ground for people to discuss it. And it’ll be like super aesthetic discussion about like your buildings. The defendant and it’s expected to be stressful or something. I think those are really good discussions because I think in some of the urban planning discussions, um, I think aesthetics are discussed about enough or atmosphere or like, uh, outlay should feel, you know, I think, um, at least with an artwork and obviously you in Portland, um, obviously there it’s, like, I think we were interested in trying to find ways for that to be part of the discussion or learning it as well.
Not just like how many, how much square footage of retail or. Is this building a field. Okay. Or not, or, or how, how can we kind of find it, put there? So I think that’s something, uh, at least on the designer side, we’re always trying to find ways to do that with a mechanism work in concentrates. Sometimes you kind of tricky, um, just technically gathering people to talk about something, but it can be managed and it can be, um, can be worked on quite successfully.
Um, I think it, I think it does come down to having someone that creates new for brown and then providing them like work sessions. I’m not just presentation or project, but a true back and forth. Uh, this is what we’re thinking of doing. This is what we can do. This is the limits of the project in terms of like, yeah, you have to do so many things that just doesn’t make sense or they’re all schemes have so many things or does that make sense for the community?
Right. So I think, um, at least with our work in projects, as we do, as we move forward, just trying to find ways that you can like build that dialogue, architects, designers love to do that stuff. Um, so there’s just kind of treat depending on, um, uh, gathering folks and trying to get, get all the right voices in the room.
I have one more question about the, um, creative office space. So maybe this is more question for people involved policing, but like is, is precedent and subsidy given to actual creative tenants? Or is it just, do you have a creative lean to your business? Like I know that that is what it is to clear that it’s
[01:01:33] Atif Qadir: for McCasslin forced.
[01:01:36] JR Gideon: That’s a great question. Now I want to say, don’t know the answer to that.
[01:01:40] Clayton Taylor: I don’t think in Austin creative offices that enforces the selling technology, it’s more of a marketing class. Usually you get some
[01:01:46] JR Gideon: broad term
[01:01:47] Atif Qadir: to your point.
[01:01:50] Clayton Taylor: So it’s anything that’s not what they call class they office with would be the highest, uh, most expensive, uh, office building out there.
So you get cheaper office and then usually there’s some. Um, we did not, it’s making it, I think it opens up the category of it. Doesn’t have to check all the boxes of traditional office, which again, I think is really great because it starts to open up what office India who’s going to be in. It. It’s not like when I was younger, it was like office is like university and Thai it’s in the tower and it’s downtown, you know, like, uh, I like, I like the, I like the term and I liked that.
It basically just kind of a gruesome late law office a little bit more. Um, but again, that’s a design problem that should be like, worked on, right? Like what can I, what can I become? Um, which I think is kind of in some cities like referencing Portland, there’s a, there’s an industrial heritage zone where our offices and, um, you can office there, but you have to be a maker of some sort, this is zoning requirement, actually.
So architects are considered in that kind of verge is Beverly and then, and then, uh, lawyers are nods. And so your business is, uh, allows tendency within that. But then, but it’s, uh, it’s protected in terms of there’s true industrial manufacturing going on, like light industrial, uh, maker spaces, uh, like there’s Italian factory next to, and he’s like really great handmade tile and then architects, and some certain app developers along either involves makers.
Uh, but the whole area, if you’re going to office it or go opposite and you have to find tenants, the zoning requirement. And I think that happens in other cities probably, but, uh, in Portland, I just know it because it’s like, right. It’s part of like our lease. Like when we got our space,
[01:03:32] Atif Qadir: there is an interesting other way of approaching that as well.
And this is one that a New York city was looking to do before the pandemic, uh, which is commercial rent control. So taking the idea of controlling rights on a residential sites, through a, a particular system instead of rules, and there’s many criticisms of what that is particularly New York city. Um, but applying that to commercial and.
Developers and investors across the spectrum in New York felt I was willing to be the apocalypse for commercial, um, commercial development investment in New York city. Um, but none of it actually ended up going ahead because the shift and the being on the pandemic over the past two years, but with an entirely new or alert, largely new city council and a new mayor, uh, you governor there actually might be moves towards that.
And I wonder, um, what that could do to,
[01:04:26] Clayton Taylor: uh, potentially allow for, like you mentioned
[01:04:28] Atif Qadir: creative, uh, tenants that are priced out of NetScaler areas and it, that would either help or exacerbate that issue depending on where and how that’s applied.
[01:04:39] Clayton Taylor: I wonder if you get subsidies to convert different buildings, uh, for office use, maybe if there’d be more.
Again, distributing with all this and changing without this can be, there would be support for that. I know it’s a different financial model than development project. Uh, but, uh, that’s,
[01:04:58] Atif Qadir: that’s really interesting. Um, uh, I’m sorry. I keep on bringing up New York, New Jersey examples of those that are most familiar with, but, uh, in particular, in response to the fact that there’s a large over supply of hotel, uh, in New York city, um,
[01:05:13] Clayton Taylor: before, uh, uh, governor Cuomo
[01:05:16] Atif Qadir: resigned or left office, um, there was, uh, planning the works for a state level, uh, subsidies to, uh, allow for the hastened approval and conversion of access hotels to other uses that are actually needed.
So in this case it was residential, but that that logic could be done in any other particular switches where you often have have long on responses. I’m doing that. I’m going to really touches on the system. Uh, incentivizing a real estate. There’s a peculiarly American idea is this, this notion that you take, um, public resources or taxpayer funding to incentivize or encourage, um, private economic activity.
So deliberate, public social good. So across the United States, uh, incentives that are like tax credits, tax abatements grants, low interest financing, um, they taught over
[01:06:08] Clayton Taylor: a hundred
[01:06:08] Atif Qadir: billion dollars a year of all of these programs. Um, so oftentimes they had huge benefits in the transformation say that they say like new work, which isn’t very far from where I am, but, um, there’s also like, uh, a darker side to it.
So for example, the opportunity zones, which
[01:06:23] JR Gideon: is really,
[01:06:24] Atif Qadir: um, well-recognized as well, um, thought about, um, program from a few years ago, um, the areas that are designated for, uh, for receiving a certain benefit, weren’t always the ones that were that really actually. Um, that money because of the way certain criteria were, I’m applied by governor’s office in different states.
So it touches on this really, really complex morass of policy, um, that I think like as a, a nerd of architecture and design and finances really fascinating. So, if you want to hear the behind the scenes stories of how, uh, iconic buildings in America have come together, subscribe to the podcast on Spotify, iTunes, Google, anchor, Stitcher, or wherever it is that you’d like to listen.
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