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Florida Construction

By Florida, Industry Insights

Spotlight on Florida Construction

Out of the 15 fastest growing U.S. cities by U.S. News & World Report rankings, Florida dominates with ten spots on that coveted list.

People want to live, work
and play in Florida

As the country’s highest growing state in the last decade with a 14,6% population increase, the fourth highest gross domestic product, pro-business policies, and a streamlined regulatory environment, Florida is a hot-spot of corporate and residential growth.

“I think Florida is going to be the one place where things are not going to slow down,” predicts Victoria Auger, Director of Business Development, Southeast, Summit Design + Build, Tampa.

With no state income tax and all non-Union subcontractors, the process if building in Florida is easier and profitable.

FSU Student Housing – Tallahassee, FL

Summit is proud to
Build in Florida

Supporting growth in the Sunshine State, Summit has honed in on Tampa and surrounding west coast cities, building apartment complexes, restaurants, gyms, industrial facilities, and rehabilitating Hurricane-damaged properties such as Ocean Point Suites in the Florida Keys.

Summit’s “reputation as complex construction experts and their depth of experience means they offer their clients a fresh approach and out-of-the-box solutions,” wrote Mark Buckshon in a Florida Construction News article.

Austin Texas Construction

By Industry Insights, Texas

Spotlight on Austin, Texas Construction

As the nation’s most highly invested city, business is booming in Austin, Texas. Taking the #1 spot from Greater Los Angeles for the most preferred U.S. market, per CBRE’s 2021 investor survey, scores of companies are re-relocating to the Lone Star State’s Capital.

“Silicon Hills”

Fortune 500 tech companies like Facebook, Tesla, Apple, Dell, IBM, and Samsung are turning Austin into the new Silicon Valley, renamed “Silicon Hills” in reference to Austin’s spot in Texas Hill Country.

Folks are also attracted to the laid-back lifestyle, universities, music and tech festivals, and conferences like South by Southwest (SXSW) and Austin City Limits.

Luring companies with its pro-business/lack of red tape philosophy, CommercialEdge reported in May that Austin is currently leading the country in new office developments, representing 7% of the nation’s office construction total pipeline with 10.3 million sq.-ft. of office space under construction. And this is for a city with less than 1 million people per the 2020 U.S. Census.

In addition to current construction projects even more companies are eyeing the city, including those from the industrial, manufacturing, e-commerce, and food sectors.

To help design and construct these projects, AEC firms like Summit Design + Build are opening up shop in Austin.

Austin Housing Crunch

While the growth is exciting, it’s not without its challenges. In addition to placing a strain on the city’s infrastructure, the city is practically out of office space and there’s a housing shortage.

“Companies want to be here, but getting their labor force here is difficult. Real estate prices have increased tremendously and we can’t build fast enough,” states Amber Autumn, Director of Business Development, Summit Design + Build, Austin. “Condos can sell out in a matter of hours.”

To help spur residential development, the city has set up an interesting business model where development companies coming in qualify for certain tax breaks, but they are also required to build multi-family housing projects.

Summit is about to break ground on two new construction condominium projects – 4315 S. Congress and 1619 South 1st St.

4315 S. Congress, Congress Lofts at St. Elmo, is strategically located in one of Austin’s fastest growing neighborhoods. Joining developer Intracorp USA and architects Pappageorge Haymes and Urban Foundry, Summit is building 148 warehouse style residential lofts with an art-filled lobby, library lounge, courtyard, pool, and outdoor kitchen. The building will also feature 3,800 square feet of office space.

The 4-story multi-family, mixed use 1619 South 1st St. will offer 35 residential units, ground floor retail, a pool and gym, designed by Sixthriver and developed by Chameleon Companies.

Autumn explains that generally speaking, condos pose a more complicated business model, complex delivery methodology, and more liability. Consequently, many contractors shy away from these undertakings, but not Summit Design + Build.

“Building condo buildings are for the brave, strong, and highly skilled, as they add additional risk, and require more attention to details. With an abundance of happy clients, we know our formula works,” remarks Autumn.

That said, material shortages, supply chain bottlenecks, and skilled labor shortages impacting every industry and every locale are affecting Austin as well.

“It’s important to have a team dedicated to advance procurement, and the ability to make value engineering pivots,” advises Autumn. “With so many materials not available, design assist and design build are the only delivery methods that work right now.”

Major Austin Construction Projects

Despite these hurdles, major construction activity is ongoing. Trammel Crow recently completed the 36-story Indeed Tower downtown and the 814,081 square-foot Google Tower is set to become the metro’s tallest office skyscraper.

The University of Texas Austin recently opened its new Gensler-designed 15,000+ seat Moody Center, a multi-purpose arena for the men’s and women’s UT basketball teams, concerts and events.

Under construction, Sixth and Guadalupe will be the first mixed-use high-rise in Austin with more than a million square feet of office, residential, retail, and outdoor space inside one building. The 66-story high rise will contain 589,112 square feet of Class A office space and 349 residences.

Another mega-development, East Village, is a 425-acre, $1 billion mixed-use property developing 810,000 square feet of office space, three hotels, 466 single-family homes, 2,000 multifamily units, a 1.5-acre park, and around 400,000 square feet of retail and entertainment space.

In addition, Uptown ATX is a 66-acre area with 7 million square feet of office, multifamily, retail and hotel, and a new Metro Rail Station under development.

No Sign of Slowing Down

As all types of growth continue in the Texas State Capitol, it will be important for companies and developers to select the right partners to help them develop their offices, multi-family residential, industrial projects, and more. Working with experienced designers and contractors with familiarity with the area will be one of the best ways to accomplish this.

About the author

Barbara Horwitz-Bennett is a seasoned architectural journalist, covering the design and construction industry for the past 20+ years. She writes for numerous industry magazines and creates content for AEC firms and product manufacturers.

Bakery Expansion Kicks off for Eli’s Cheesecake

By News

Bakery Expansion Kicks off for Chicago Icon Eli’s Cheesecake

Dessert maker adding 42,000 sf to existing 62,000 sf Northwest Chicago Facility

Summit Design + Build has kicked-off construction at Eli’s Cheesecake in Chicago, IL. The Chicago-based cheesecake and dessert company is adding a 42,000 sf addition to its existing 62,000 sf facility. The addition marks the first expansion to the facility since being built in 1995.

The project was officially kicked-off with a ceremonial ground “baking” on Tuesday, July 26th, attended by the Schulman Family, Adam Miller, President – Summit Design + Build, Michael Aragona, Joel Friedland – Brit Properties, Juliana Stratton – Illinois Lt. Governor, Sylvia Garcia – Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity, Xochitl Flores – Bureau Chief, Economic Development – Cook County, Paul Goodrich, Chief Operating Officer – City of Chicago, Katherine Blonski, – Chief of Staff for 38th Ward Alderman Nicholas Sposato and Ben Van Vlerah, Commercial Regional Manager – Huntington National Bank, as well as Eli’s Cheesecake employees and numerous community members. The 42,000 sf addition also comes as Eli’s Cheesecake is celebrating its 42nd year of business.

The new addition will wrap around the west side and south side of the existing Eli’s Cheesecake building and will include interior spaces for general bakery use, general storage, bakery processing and a new mezzanine. The existing facility will remain open during construction.

Michael Aragona is serving as the project architect, he also served as the architect for the original facility in 1995.

Meet Our Construction Management Interns

By Industry Insights, News

Meet Our Construction Management Interns

An internship with Summit Design + Build is a great opportunity for college students to learn first-hand what a career in construction is all about! Our internship program is designed so that our interns gain the most valuable, impactful experience while having more fun, in the hopes that they come back to grow their careers with us. From day one our interns are immersed in our active construction projects, working side-by-side with our project managers, project engineers, estimators, and superintendents. Over the course of their internship, Summit Design + Build interns also get to conduct multiple site visits followed by intern team lunches at Chicago’s hottest spots. Interns also participate in intern happy hours, lunch and learns, Summit social gatherings and Summit team-building events!

Get to Know Our Interns

This summer Summit Design + Build is excited to have three interns on board, Ben Kossack (Majoring in Civil Engineering at University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign), Jake Duerr (Majoring in Finance at University of Dayton) and Michael Murray (Majoring in Construction Management at Purdue University). We sat down with our interns to learn what intrigues them about the construction industry, what makes them thrive and what their future construction goals are.

Ben Kossack – University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign

What interests you about the construction industry?

Ben: “I find it interesting just how adaptive the industry is becoming with all the new tech that is constantly being created.”

Jake: “The idea of buildings/complexes being built from the ground up. I have also grown up in the construction industry, but at a smaller scale because of my dad. He had taken me to his renovation projects ever since I was younger and has actually used me to demo the houses he was working on. I very much enjoy this side of the industry a lot more than being part of the demo side.”

Michael: “How diverse it is and how every project has its different challenges to face.”

What are you most excited about for this internship?

Ben: “I’m very excited to be working on a project as it is starting out (Stadium Lofts), going from seeing almost nothing on the ground to having a new structure there should be really cool.”

Jake: “I am most excited to work on a variety of different projects awarded to Summit and to visit them in person. I am also excited to learn from the project managers and project engineers that work at the company.”

Michael: “To learn firsthand about the industry and get more hands-on experience.”

What 3 words would you use to describe yourself?

Ben: “Funny, enthusiastic and hardworking”

Jake: “Hardworking, determined, curious”

Michael: “Outgoing, nice, careful”

What are your hobbies/interests?

Ben: “I like to play video games, play tennis and get together with my friends”

Jake: “Fantasy Football (even though I am very bad at it), video games, White Sox baseball, rugby, concerts (especially early 2000’s metal) and pickup Basketball”

Michael: “Fishing and being with friends”

Cubs or White Sox?

Ben: “Cubs everyday”

Jake: “White Sox”

Michael: “WHITE SOX!”

Jake Duerr – University of Dayton

Michael Murray – Purdue University

What is your favorite Chicago summer activity?

Ben: “Probably going out and trying all the different things the city has to offer.”

Jake: “Going to White Sox games at Guaranteed Rate Field.”

Michael: “The beach.”

If you woke up as the President of Summit DB, what would be the first thing you would do?

Ben: “Everything in my power to, if it happens, secure the bid for the Chicago Bears new stadium in Arlington Heights.”

If you could have a superpower, what would you pick and why?

Ben: “Flying, it would make getting around so much easier.”

Michael: “To fly, can get places fast and it’s just cool.”

If Hollywood made a movie about your life, whom would you like to see play the lead role as you?

Ben: “Kevin James”

Jake: “I would like to see Ryan Gosling play the lead role because he is one of my favorite actors and co-stars in my #1 movie of all time, “The Nice Guys.” He is surprisingly funny as well.”

If your life had a theme song, what would it be?

Ben: “Probably “Life is a highway” because the movie Cars is great.”

What would be your dream construction project?

Ben: “I would love to work on a sports stadium of some kind.”

Jake: “Working on the Chicago Bears new football stadium at the old Arlington Racetrack.”

Michael: “Some type of skyscraper or a neat art museum.”

What animal would you compare yourself to and why?

Ben: “Probably a penguin, mostly because my friends for the longest time compared me to one.”

What do you hope to do post-graduation?

Ben: “I hope to secure a job in either the construction management or structural engineering field.”

Jake: “I hope to work in construction management focusing on cost estimation or project management.”

Michael: “Work in the construction industry.”

Learn More About Our Intern Program

It’s going to be a great summer with Summit’s interns in the office! We love the energy they bring and we love seeing them learn first-hand what it’s really like to work in the industry.

Are you interested in an internship with Summit Design + Build? Check out our internship program page to learn more and to apply for open opportunities.

Construction Kicks-off for Stadium Lofts

By News, North Carolina

New Kannapolis, NC Multifamily Project to Overlook Cannon Ballers Baseball Stadium

Summit Design + Build has kicked off the construction of a 69,000 sf ground-up multifamily project in Kannapolis, North Carolina. Once complete, the project will overlook the Kannapolis Cannon Ballers (a minor league baseball team affiliate of the Chicago White Sox) baseball stadium. The 7-story building will have two floors of retail/office space and five floors of 43 residential apartments. The building will feature a lobby, fitness center, club room, residential unit balconies and a parking garage. The project is expected to wrap up in Spring 2023.

This project marks the first construction project for general contractor, Summit Design + Build, in the state of North Carolina. The company has entered the North Carolina market encouraged by the massive growth of the area. Summit Design + Build focuses on providing a sophisticated construction management approach to make the construction process as painless and smooth as possible. The company’s construction services include Preconstruction/Planning, Construction Management, Design/Build, General Contracting and Sustainable Construction.

The developer of the project is Lansing Melbourne Group and Built Form is the project architect.

Summit Design + Build Completes 1400 Monroe

By News

1400 Monroe • Luxury multifamily condos completed in Chicago’s West Loop

The seven-story, boutique luxury condominium building is located on the corner of W Monroe St and S Loomis St and is directly across from Skinner Park. Featuring a collection of 42, two- and three-bedroom residences, 1400 Monroe sports a gray brick cladding and matte metal exterior accents to reflect the industrial aesthetic of the surrounding neighborhood. Each unit features designer-quality finishes with 9-foot ceilings and oversized loft-style windows. The luxury building and units also feature:

  • Bathrooms with Kallista and Kohler fixtures, quartz countertops, and porcelain designer tiling,
  • Custom-designed kitchens with Thermador, Bosch and Franke appliances,
  • Lutron Caseta smart home technology,
  • Recessed balconies,
  • large terraces,
  • Onsite parking,
  • A bike room,
  • Tenant storage.

Booth Hansen served as the project architect for 1400 Monroe. Unit interiors were designed by Mojo Stumer Associates.

1400 Monroe Imagery

Summit Opens New Office in Austin Texas

By Industry Insights, News, Texas

Summit Design + Build Announces Opening of New Texas Office & Hiring of Project Executive

Chicago-based general contractor expands operations to Austin, TX


Summit Design + Build has announced the opening of an office in Austin, Texas. Along with several of Summit Design + Build’s key clients developing new projects in Austin and surrounding areas, the firm was inspired by the strong growth of the Austin Market. Summit Design + Build will provide general contracting, construction management, preconstruction and design/build services to Austin and its surrounding areas. The company looks forward to bringing a new level of sophistication to the Austin market and to assist in the growth of the Austin office, Summit Design + Build also welcomed Doug Hayes to the firm.

Doug Hayes will serve as a Project Executive, based out of Summit’s new Austin, TX office. In his role, Doug will serve as a project team leader, overseeing and running Austin construction projects. He will also play a crucial role in bringing in prospective projects and clients through the project pipeline and positioning Summit Design + Build as Austin’s leading general contractor and construction management firm. 

Doug joins Summit with over 26 years of industry experience, most recently serving as a Project Manager for Raymond Construction Co, Inc. Doug has extensive experience in a multitude of delivery methods in the commercial, industrial, multi-family and mixed-use markets.

Along with Illinois and Texas, Summit Design + Build is also licensed to do work in Florida, North Carolina, Tennessee and Wisconsin.

About Summit Design + Build

Summit Design + Build, LLC is a provider of full-service general contracting, construction management and design/build construction services for the commercial, industrial and residential markets. Headquartered in Chicago’s Fulton Market and with regional offices in Tampa, Florida and Austin, Texas, Summit Design + Build has been involved in the design and construction of over 330 buildings and spaces totaling more than 7 million square feet over the firm’s 17-year history.

Summit Starts Second Midtown Project

By Florida, News

Summit Design + Build Starts Second Midtown Construction Project


William Dean Chocolates to open Parisian-inspired café in Midtown Tampa

Summit Design + Build, recently started the build-out of William Dean Chocolates, a Parisian-inspired café. This will be William Dean Chocolates’ second location; the first location is a retail store located in Belleair Bluffs.

The new William Dean Chocolates café will be located within the Midtown Tampa development, a new $500 million mixed-use development located on the corner of N Dale Mabry Highway and Interstate 275. The 1,400-sf build-out of William Dean Chocolates is set to include:

  • A bakery and café counter,
  • A back of house area with an office,
  • A restroom,
  • Indoor seating for 12 – 14 and
  • A shared outdoor patio that will be able to seat up to 40.

In addition to William Dean Chocolates’ artisan chocolates, the café will also have breakfast and lunch options and coffee & tea service.

EMPAD Architecture + Design is serving as the project architect. Construction is expected wrap-up in December 2021.

Summit Starts Coworking Space Build-out

By News

Summit Starts Coworking Space Build-out for
Wework 448 N. Lasalle

Summit Design + Build, has started the build-out construction of downtown Chicago’s newest WeWork space at 448 N. LaSalle. 448 N. LaSalle is a boutique 174,599 square foot, new construction Class A office building in River North.

This location will be WeWork’s second in Chicago’s River North neighborhood. The 56,781 square foot coworking space build-out will span the top four floors of 448 N. LaSalle, floors 9 -12. The coworking space will include:

– lounges,

– common areas,

– conference rooms,

– and private offices.

Partners by Design is serving as the project architect. Work on the 448 North LaSalle Street WeWork is expected to wrap in December of this year. 

Summit Completes Commercial Project Near Wrigley Field

By News

Summit Completes the Ground Up Construction of a Four-story Commercial Building Near Wrigley Field

1111 W. Addison is home to ground floor retail space and Movement Wrigleyville

Summit Design + Build, has completed construction at 1111 W. Addison in Wrigleyville, near the intersection of Addison and Clark Street. The four-story, ground-up commercial construction project includes retail on the ground floor and a fitness and bouldering center on the second through fourth floors.

The 59,000 square foot structure is located just steps from Wrigley Field on the former site of the old Wrigleyville Taco Bell (a new Taco Bell is located in the ground-level retail space of the 1111 W. Addison building). The 41,895 square foot climbing gym is home to Movement Wrigleyville, a climbing, yoga and fitness center. The center includes –

  • Three floors of climbing walls wrapped around a central atrium,
  • a yoga studio,
  • locker rooms,
  • numerous spaces with fitness equipment,
  • and a support office.

Hirsch/MPG Architecture + Planning and Clausen Management Services served as the project architect and owner’s representative respectively.