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The second headquarters for Amazon in Arlington, VA is obviously a hot topic in local commercial real estate. Much of the focus so far has been on projected residential price increases and increased commercial leasing. But, let’s not forget about the hotel industry. The forecast for much higher hotel traffic in the area was the reason the Transient Occupancy Tax was included in the incentive package negotiated by the state and local governments. 

The Arlington County Board held a work session on July 11th to review and provide feedback on the Residential Parking Working Group’s recommendations for parking minimums in the Rosslyn-Ballston and Jefferson Davis Highway corridors.

The group recommended establishing parking minimums in these corridors based on the residential project’s proximity to the Metro. The parking minimums are as follows:

  • 0.2 spaces per unit for buildings located up to 1/8 of a mile from the Metro
  • 0.3 spaces per unit for buildings located up to 1/4 of a mile from the Metro
  • 0.4 spaces per unit for buildings located up to 1/2 of a mile from the Metro
  • 0.5 spaces per unit for buildings located up to 3/4 of a mile from the Metro
  • 0.6 spaces per unit for buildings located in the Rosslyn-Ballston and Jefferson Davis corridors that are more than 3/4 of a mile from the Metro.

A fairly new policy change from Dominion Power could mean delays in the process of receiving final site plan approval, which could delay the construction process. Virginia Dominion Power has notified local jurisdictions of a change in policy regarding where underground vaults must be placed for new developments. Vaults must now be placed on property owned by the development and include an easement granting access to the vault.

As a result, site plans with vaults on public property, such as under a sidewalk or street, may be flagged during the approval process. The reasoning behind the change is that Dominion Power wants to be granted an easement on the property from the developer to secure access to the vault, which they cannot do on public property because the developer does not own it.

Image courtesy of Dudley Carr

“My fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.”

-President John F. Kennedy

Richmond-based Hourigan Construction has begun work on Phase One of the Marine Security Force Regiment headquarters and compound at the Naval Weapons Station in Yorktown, VA. The new facilities will include a regimental headquarters building, a motor transportation facility, bachelor enlisted quarters, a supply facility and an armory. Upon the completion of Phase One, expected this summer, construction for Phase Two will begin. Phase Two will include a training facility for antiterrorism training.

I am often asked, “What are the basic steps of starting a construction company?” We help with many of these steps, but we also advise clients how to do it on their own. Here are some of the basic steps.

1. Create Your Entity

 Given the threat of personal injuries and property damages, construction contractors and subcontractors really should create an entity to do their work as opposed to acting as a sole proprietor. The Virginia State Corporation Commission website has a wealth of information, including links to entity formation, forms for both corporate and limited liability company (LLC) filings, and instructions for filing. For a modest fee, you can create your entity with the SCC.

December 16, 2010
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Weird CricketApologies from the staff for things being a bit quiet here of late .... speaking for myself, I have been whipped by over-engagement.  A whirlwind tour of seven different speaking gigs from mid-October through early December, a busy case load and other intervening factors have jointly conspired to make posting a tough reach lately.

It has been a blast lately though, from the Green Legal Matters seminar in New Orleans to speaking on social media, my first webinar, a fun AIA event, moderating a very interesting Bisnow sustainability panel, to wrapping up at Eco-build.

We return into action today shortly with a repost from the Washington Business Journal and you can expect more regular action here again moving forward!

September 10, 2010
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Our blog went live on September 10, 2010, so today marks our first anniversary.  We have enjoyed the conversations and appreciated being forced to keep up with the avalanche of technical and legal information that flows past trying to find good topics.

holding handsPublic service is a core value in my life. Part of the fun of social media is that it gives the chance to show the wizard behind the curtain a bit and exhibit the personality and values that drive you. This is a little oblique to construction law, but ultimately these topics intertwine for me in professionalism and community building.

April 6, 2010
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I just received an interesting and exciting e-mail I wanted to share with our readers.  Our friend Matt Handal has been involved with creating an iPhone application for the architecture, engineering and construction industries to share information and links.  He just passed along this note to me:

Dear Tim

As a courtesy, I wanted to let you know that your blog posts are now available to iPhone and iPad users through the AEC Info iPhone App. This is a free iPhone/iPad app available in the iTunes store. Your content is located under the Law category.

Users can read your posts, send them through email, share them on Twitter, and open your website up in the Iphone/iPad web browser (Safari). The app has been very well received and this should open up a whole new set of readers to you and your website. Go to http://www.aeciphoneapp.com to learn more.

The app offers the latest industry headlines and insight from across the web. All from one convenient mobile application. We selected your blog posts as important to the industry and therefore included them in the app.

Thanks for including us Matt, and best of luck with your new application!

February 16, 2010
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Yale Harkness TowerAward winning design does not necessarily translate to an effective, successful or liveable built environment.  My interest and passion for interesting design is somewhat tempered by my having seen the consequences of projects not matching constructability and coordination with interesting design.  As I have previously revealed obliquely in my post on How to Pick a Lawyer, I am a junky for interesting technology, construction and design.  I still think that instead of art for arts sake, our building environment is our living environment and at its best, design and construction integrate these two potentially disparate arenas.

I have spent a career of construction litigation crossing boundaries in the industry.  I cut my teeth defending design professionals, but I have since represented contractors and subcontractors.  I have worked with owners and product manufacturers.  Each camp has its own shorthand description of the failures of others.  I have heard the constant grumblings of the inability of contractors to follow the plans and specifications (or at worst even read them).  On the other side, I have heard contractors complain that architects draw pretty pictures but are clueless about how to put buildings together.  I have seen examples where each criticism was fair and others where they were totally unwarranted.