Beacon Consulting Group News - November 2018

 

Upcoming industry events:

  • December 4, 2018, New York City Surety Association Holiday Party
    Location: Legasea Seafood Brasserie (485 7th Ave, New York, NY)
    For more info & registration: Download Registration Form Here

  • December 5, 2018, Philadelphia Surety Claims Association Holiday Cocktails
    Location: Maggiano’s Little Italy (1201 Filbert Street, Philadelphia, PA)
    For More Info, Visit: https://www.phillysuretyclaims.org/events/

  • December 6, 2018, The Surety Association of Massachusetts Holiday Luncheon
    Location: Venezia (20 Ericsson Street, Boston, MA)
    For more info & registration: Download Registration Form Here

  • December 6, 2018, Chicago Surety Claims Assoc. Holiday Luncheon
    Maggiano’s Little Italy, 516 North Clark Street (Chicago, IL) (Contact Beacon for more info)

  • January 16-18, 2019, ABA Fidelity & Surety Law Midwinter Conference
    Location: Hilton San Diego Bayfront (San Diego, CA)
    For More Info, Visit: ABA Website / Calendar of Events

  • More Industry Events: See List of More Industry Events >



A Note from Dennis O'Neill:
Gratitude for a Great Year!


I hope you had a great Thanksgiving break last week. This year, there are many things we are thankful for at Beacon Consutling Group. As we celebrate our 15th year in business, we have continued to develop our team and capabilities to take on an ever-growing range of professional construction consulting assignments. In 2018, our team has been working hard on projects from coast to coast.

Of course, we would not be where we are now without our valued clients. We are eternally grateful to our clients for your trust and business. It's an honor and a privelege to be working for you on so many interesting assignments. That being said, we are currently wrapping up several jobs and welcome the opportunity to take on new challenges in the months ahead. Please contact us if you need help!

I am also thankful for our dedicated team and our specialized partners who help us achieve our goals. We have some of the best and brightest young engineers and consultants in the industry working at Beacon now, along with senior consultants having 20-30+ years of experience.

As always, our team remains highly focused on providing consulting services related to the evaluation, monitoring, management, and turn around of construction projects. Beacon has a unique, hands-on approach to achieving each project's goals. We call it "Beaconizing" a project. This really means quickly and methodically digging in to the many details of each construction consulting assignment, applying our team's many years of experience to analyze and organize project information, and finding creative solutions to help resolve any issues which need to be addressed.

For those assigments where we provide on-site monitoring or construction management, our project managers, engineers, and construction supervisors have the years of hands-on expertise needed to help ensure that projects are completed as efficiently and safely as possible. No job is too small or too large to get "Beaconized!"

In recent months, our staff has also been actively participating in industry events around the U.S., as panel members, presenters and attendees (click below for photos & info). It's great to break out of our daily routines to participate and learn at industry conferences and networking events. Speaking of meetings, our team is looking forward to the annual ABA Surety & Fidelity Committee Winter Meeting to be held January 16-18, 2019 in San Diego. Check out Beacon's Events Calendar page for more info. We hope to see you there or at another upcoming event!

Please check out Beacon's November E-News below and click the links for photos from some events our team has been involved with this year.

Click For Recent Event Photos >

Thank you to all our clients, friends and partners for a great year. I look forward to seeing you soon.

Dennis O'Neill



Construction Consulting Project Update:
Self Storage Building Project Completed and
Facility Opens for Commercial Use in Miami, FL


Throughout 2018, Beacon Consulting Group provided construction consulting and surety consulting services to a leading Surety company related to a building construction project in Miami, Florida. The building is now finished and the facility opened for commercial use in September of 2018. The building is a 5-story, 17,400-SF LifeStorage self-storage facility. On behalf of the Surety, Beacon's project staff closely montiored progress and facilitated scheduling and payments to various contractors involved.

In recent months, Beacon's team focused on helping to oversee the project closeout process—such as ensuring that requests to close out building permits were submitted to the city, along with other related closeout tasks. Right up through the completion of construction, Beacon's project staff members continued to track the on-site progress of the project and helped to move work forward on behalf of the Surety ...

View Full Article & Photos >



Beacon Staff Profile:
Marcus Lehner, Project Engineer/Surety Consultant


Marcus Lehner is a talented project engineer and surety consultant with extensive experience working on construction consulting assignments. A native of Long Island, NY, Marcus now lives in the Boston area. He started working at Beacon's New York City office in 2014 upon completing his undergraduate degree in Civil Engineering from Northeastern University. Since that time, Marcus has worked on numerous construction consulting projects, earned a Masters of Science degree in Structural Engineering (also from Northeastern University) and moved to Beacon's Medford, MA office.

Marcus has experience working on on a broad range of construction consulting assigments, including projects in all of the following categories: Educational, residential, transportation, marine, commercial and municipal construction. As a Project Engineer, Marcus has extensive experience managing day-to-day operations of construction projects including handling submittals, transmittals, RFI’s, RFQ’s, closeout documents and construction management oversight. Marcus also helps assist Beacon's Surety clients on matters related to bond-default issues including cost-to-complete analysis, payment bond claim review, and assembly of completion bid packages. As one of Beacon's most tech-savvy staff members, Marcus has experience using a wide range of software including Auto Cad, Microsoft Project, and other project management tools.

In his free time, Marcus has a very fun and interesting hobby—inventing card-based tabletop games. In fact, one of Marcus' games recently won two awards at the Boston Festival of Indie Games. Read on for Marcus' full bio and to learn more...

Click For Marcus' Full Bio >



NYC Construction Industry News:
One Manhattan West Employs Unique
Concrete Core Design on Challenging Site


Beacon's NYC office is just a few blocks away from some of the most amazing skyscraper construction projects underway in the U.S. One building our team has enjoyed watching rise two blocks west of Penn Station is One Manhattan West, a 995-foot-tall tower which was topped out in September of 2018. A unique aspect of the building is its reinforced-concrete core design. According to the firm which designed the building, Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM), the concrete core design was the solution to the project's most challenging aspect—being built directly above New York City's active west side rail lines which lead to Penn Station.

According to a July 2018 article by architect Julia Murphy of SOM on the website Medium.com, the site had a limited amount of space to anchor the building to solid ground. That, combined with the close proximity of trains, made it impossible to support the tower on conventional columns. Thus, the concrete core design was the solution to site-specific challenges, but also provided many benefits in terms of having huge floors which are nearly column free and an amazing glass-enclosed lobby which reveals the tower’s structural core rising from the ground like a massive tree trunk.

Navilus Contracting, one New York's leading concrete superstructure contractors, built the concrete core for the new 67-story, 2-million-sf office tower. The core of the building was topped out in June of 2018. It was built ahead of the structural steel skeleton and the concrete floor slabs. The buildings exterior steel structure was topped out in September of 2018.

Click Here To View Full Article & Photos >




PAST NEWS


Things We Did Last Summer:
Tans & Sunburns May Fade,
But Summer Memories Last Forever


Summer in the Northeast seems to pass in the blink of an eye. October is here and Autumn is already in full-swing, with all of its excitement and activity. While we welcome having crisp weather, football season, and kids back in school, it's good to hold on to some warm summer memories as the days grow colder.

Click below to view photos shared by Beacon team members showing how they enjoyed their well-earned R&R days this past summer. The photo to the right shows Dennis O'Neill and family out for a hike in Colorado's Rocky Mountain National Park.

Click Here To View More Staff Photos >



Beacon's Mike Paquet: Construction
Consultant by Day, Artist by Night


Mike Paquet has traveled all around the U.S. working on construction consulting assignments for Beacon. Mike's decades of experience as a general contractor, site superintendent, and construction consultant make him a valued member of Beacon's team. His deep knowledge of all types of construction projects and extensive hands-on experience managing GCs and subcontractors help him to excel in his role of overseeing the on-site turn-around, monitoring and closeout of various construction projects for Beacon's Surety clients.

About 10 years ago, Mike took up painting during his spare time. Mike says he enjoys the quietness of painting and it also helps him to relax and pass the time while living away from home on assignment for weeks or months at a time. A self-taught artist, Mike enjoys painting landscapes that include structures surrounded by natural beauty. He also likes painting boats and city scenes.

According to Mike, he normally does not need to look far to find a great scene to paint. A number of the paintings he has done are based on views he can see directly from the job site where he is working or a short distance away. Sometimes the job site itself becomes the subject of his paintings. Mike often takes photos of the scene he wants to paint, then works on the painting in his hotel or at his home during his free time ...

Click Here See More of Mike's Paintings >



Beacon Consulting Project Profile:
NYC Team Provides Construction Defects
Assessment For Leading Insurance Provider


Beacon Consulting Group has a long track record of providing construction defects assessments for leading insurance companies and other clients. Here is an example of one recent project. An insurance claim was filed against a General Contractor (GC) for water damage which occurred in a newly built suburban home. The claimant alleged that water damage (and other moisture-related damage in the home) was the fault of the GC on the project.

After an initial claim which focused on water damage in the basement of the home, the claim filed was later amended by the claimant to allege much more extensive moisture-related damage throughout the home. In this case, the total value of the claim filed against the GC's insurance provider was in excess of the total value of the GC's contract for the construction project.

Following a preliminary assesment done by a mold specialist, Beacon's NYC team was retained by the GC's insurance company to provide a more comprehensive analysis of the amended claim, including expert construction defects evaluation services related to the alleged damage and construction work done at the home. The construction project where the claim was filed involved the new construction of a large, three-level home in the suburbs of northern NJ, close to New York City ...

See Full Article >



Construction Growth in South Florida Leads
To Shortage of Skilled Construction Labor


According to data from the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, as of August of 2018 there were 14,400 more construction industry jobs in Southeast Florida compared to August of 2017. This included 3,900 more contruction jobs in Broward County, 3,800 in Palm Beach County, and 6,700 in Miami-Dade County. Statewide, Florida's construction industry employment grew by 39,000 in one year (compared to August of 2017). According to one recent article in the Naples Daily News, seventy-nine percent of Florida construction companies said they are having a hard time filling some or all positions (based on survey data from Associated General Contractors of America).

The lack of construction labor means upward pressure on wages for skilled workers hired by GCs and subcontractors, but also means that schedules may slow down on some projects while companies work harder to recruit. In fact, according to a 2018 survey conducted by the AGC of America, 45% of GC survey respondents in Florida reported that projects are taking longer than anticipated as result of the labor shortage. Also of note, 58% of respondents said they have needed to put higher prices into bids or contracts (as a result of higher labor costs).

Public and private organizations in Florida have been ramping up education and apprentrice development programs to recruit, train, and attract young people into the construction industry ...

See Full Article & More Photos Here >



Summer Greetings From
Beacon Consulting Group, Inc.


Summer sure flies by! Time has really been moving fast for everyone here at Beacon Consulting Group. Along with vacation time with family and friends, we are busy on a number of construction consulting assignments from New Hampshire to Florida and across the U.S. We are grateful to be working on such interesting projects in various locations, including recent work started in Ohio, Boston, Albany, NY, New Jersey, North Carolina, and New York City. Maybe it's the sunshine or the warm weather, but the new assignments and existing projects have great momentum.

As always, our team is truly thankful to be working for so many great clients, doing work we are passionate about. Please check out our recent Beacon updates below, including staff news, project updates, and industry info. As always, please feel free to contact myself or my team if you have questions regarding a particular obligee, geographic area, or specific claim situation. We look forward to speaking with you.

I hope the rest of your summer is great!

Dennis O'Neill
President, Beacon Consulting Group, Inc.



Beacon Team Member Profile: Dan Newcombe,
Construction Superintendent & Project Manager


Dan Newcombe is a seasoned construction expert with more than 30 years of experience working on domestic and international projects across a broad range of project categories. Dan helps Beacon's clients by closely managing and monitoring on-site aspects of projects including site coordination and logistics, site safety, scheduling / manpower requirements, inspection and testing, and quality control. Dan's extensive knowledge, hands-on experience overseeing virutally all aspects of a construction project, and strong communication skills make him uniquely qualified to work with and oversee GC personnel, specialized subcontractors, and the wide variety of vendors involved in complex construction projects.

Dan has worked with Beacon Consulting Group, Inc. for more than a decade. During this time, he has successfully consulted on and helped manage an extensive portfolio of projects, including construction consulting assignments at universities, healthcare facilities, public and private schools, high-rise buildings, commercial and residential spaces, excavation projects, government buildings / facilities, and a wide range of other project types.

Dan's great sense of humor and ability to stay cool under challenging conditions help to make him a valuable member of Beacon's team who is always fun and interesting to work with. Most important, Dan is quite serious when it comes to doing a job right and closely overseeing each phase of a project to help ensure that work is completed safely and efficiently. He is always looking out for the interests of Beacon's clients, as well as the safety and well being of on-site staff ...

More About Dan - Read Full Article >



ENR Article Highlights Opportunities
& Challenges in NYC Area Based On Input
From Executives at Large Construction Firms


A recent article in Engineering News Record (ENR) highlights some interesting insights from top executives at the largest construction companies operating in the NY / Tri-State area. The executives were interviewed about some of the main challenges and opportunities they see for construction firms in the NYC area. The article also highlights some of the industry stats in terms of growth (according to data provided by companies on ENR's 2018 List of NY's Top 60 Contractors).

Of note (and very relevant to Beacon's Surety clients), leading construction industry executives are noting that "subcontractors are spread thin" and finding highly qualified contruction project personnel has become more challenging with all of the ongoing construction and competition for experienced staff members. Another notable highlight of this article is the construction of many new hotel projects in New York. That fact is also made clear in a recent article on the website "TheRealDeal.com" which indicates that "One out of five dwelling units currently under construction in New York City is in a hotel...the highest proportion since 2013."

See Excerpts from Article & More Info >



Beacon Participates in Recent Industry
Events In New Mexico and Colorado


Members of Beacon's leadership team participated in two recent industry events. In May, Dennis O'Neill and John Yeung attended the Spring Conference of the ABA's Fidelity & Surety Law Committee held in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Highlights of the meeting included many excellent speakers covering a wide range of topics related to complex surety claims, as well as great opportunities to network with colleagues old and new. During the ABA Spring meeting, Beacon's team co-hosted a luncheon and participated in group outings.

In late June, Dennis O'Neill, James Bruno and John Yeung attended the annual meeting of the Surety Claims Institute in Beaver Creek, Colorado. Dennis participated on a discussion panel made up of construction consultants, surety executives and BIM experts. Dennis shared Beacon's unique perspective on managing and turning around troubled construction projects where BIM is part of a project's requirements.

BIM stands for Building Information Modeling and it is a process by which a digital representation of a building's physical and functional characteristics is created. When implemented correctly, one big benefit of using BIM prior to and during construction is "collision detection"—for example identifying when separately created building system plans inadvertently have two pieces of infrustructure positioned in the same physical space (such as an HVAC duct and an electrical conduit). Avoiding such conflicts can help prevent work delays which can occur when the issue is identifying after construction has started.

See Full Article >



Construction Consulting Project Update: Construction Work Nears
Completion on 5-story Self Storage Building Project in Miami, FL


As previously reported, Beacon Consulting Group, Inc. has been providing construction consulting / surety consulting services to a leading Surety company related to a building construction project located in the Coral Way neighborhood of Miami, Florida. The building is a 5-story, 17,400-SF self-storage facility (see past E-News here).

Beacon has been providing Construction Management (CM) services on behalf of the Surety and has also provided an on-site Superintendent in recent months to help keep work on the project moving forward. Beacon's project manager and project engineers have been facilitating scheduling and payments to various contractors involved.

As shown in some of the project photos (see full article), exterior construction work on the building has been completed, as has a significant amount of all other interior work (as of this writing). In recent weeks, Beacon's team has been helping oversee the project closeout process—such as ensuring that requests to close out building permits are submitted to the city and other related tasks.

See Full Article Here >



Beacon NYC Office Staff Profile:
Myat Cyn, Project Engineer


Myat Cyn joined Beacon's team earlier this year as a Project Engineer working in our New York City office. Myat is a graduate of New York Institute of Technology where she earned a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering. Myat's background includes time working in the construction field assisting with project management, MEP inspection, expediting, and ARCS fire alarm systems.

At Beacon, Myat's attention to detail, diligence and analytical skills make her a valuable team member working on a wide variety of construction consulting assignments, including:

  • Assisting on Surety-related construction consulting projects
  • Consulting for financial institutions on construction loan monitoring
  • Construction project bid review & analysis
  • Assisting with construction defects assignments

Myat is as comfortable reviewing progress at a construction site as she is pouring over site plans and project documents to help Beacon's clients manage projects efficiently and responsibly.

While attending college in the New York City, Myat took full advantage of NYC's many cultural and entertainment opportunities. In Beacon's NYC office, Myat is one of the go-to staff members to ask about fun and interesting things to see and do in the City. Myat's hobbies include cooking, exploring NYC’s neighborhoods, kickboxing, and attending contemporary art exhibitions.

See Full Bio Here >


Dennis O’Neill Receives Small Biz / Big Impact Award in Philadelphia


Congratulations go out to Dennis O'Neill, Beacon's founder and President! Dennis was one of 50 business leaders honored in Philadelphia on Friday May 18, 2018 at the Union League Club. The awards ceremony, officially titled "Irish Small Business Big Impact 50," was organized by The Irish Echo newspaper in conjunction with the Irish American Business Chamber and Network.

At the awards reception, 50 innovative business leaders, executives and entrepreneurs were recognized for creating jobs and growing businesses, but also for helping others along the way. All the awardees manage growing companies having workforces of 100 employees or less. According to the event's organizers: "Great companies are built by great people. Therefore each award nominee is an Irish American who has founded or leads a successful small business..."

See Full Article & Event Photos >



Beacon Consulting Group, Inc.
Celebrates 15 Years in Business


This year marks Beacon's 15th Anniversary since the company's founding. Time really flies when you're working hard and having fun!

Over the past 15 years, Beacon Consulting Group, Inc. has evolved to become a leader in the construction consulting field, providing a full range of professional services to the world's top surety and insurance companies, as well as a broad range of clients including banks, project developers, building owners, and government agencies. Along the way, we have built our construction management and consulting teams to take on projects of virtually any size and scope, across many industry sectors.

We could not have made it this far without the incredible clients who have entrusted us to work on so many critically important consulting and construction management assignments. To all of our valuable clients, we say Thank You! We have been truly lucky to work for (and with) so many oustanding professionals...

See Full Article >



News Update: Rutgers University CCB Project
Receives TCO / Moves Towards Completion


As reported in previous E-news updates, Beacon Consulting Group has provided construction consulting services related to the completion of a building project at Rutgers University (Piscataway, NJ). In late April, the state-of-the-art, 145,000-square-foot, multi-purpose facility received its TCO (Temporary Certificate of Occupancy)—a major milestone for the construction project, indicating that the property is safe for occupancy.

The new buildings will be the new home for Rutgers' Chemistry & Chemical Biology (CCB) Department. The four adjoining CCB buildings will house classrooms, research facilities, laboratories, conference rooms, offices, a large auditorium and other multi-use spaces...

See Full Article & Photos >



Beacon Team Participates in
NYU Tandon Engineering Career Fair


Beacon Consulting Group recently participated in an Engineering Career Fair at NYU Tandon’s campus in Brooklyn, NY. Recent graduates, as well as members of the Class of 2018, were interested to learn about careers in Construction Consulting & Construction Management.

Beacon's Cebi Stough and Steve Collins worked the company's booth and met with close to 100 NYU engineering students and recent grads at the event, which was held at NYU Tandon's Brooklyn Engineering Campus (6 MetroTech Center). Students majoring in Civil Engineering, Construction Management, and Mechanical Engineering were among the attendees who visited with Beacon's team. The enthusiasm of the students and their excellent questions were impressive to say the least!

See Full Article >



Beacon Retained By Leading International Bank To
Provide Plan and Cost Review & Project Monitoring
Services For Luxury Condominium Project in Manhattan


Beacon Consulting Group, Inc. has extensive experience providing professional consulting services to major Banks and other stakeholders involved in construction project financing. Beacon has once again been retained by a leading international bank to provide consulting services related to a construction project planned for Manhattan's Upper East Side. The project, a 15-story luxury condominium building, will be built around the corner from The Metropolitan Museum of Art, just one half block from Central Park.

Among the services Beacon is providng on the project are:

  • Project Plan & Cost Review. As of this writing, Beacon has commenced a "Plan & Cost Review" which will provide the lender with a high-level, independent review of the developer's construction plans and schedule.

  • Construction Loan Monitoring. Beacon's ongoing Construction Loan Monitoring services include providing monthly reports to help the bank to track progress on the project and ensure that the bank's scheduled loan payments to the developer are tracking with progress on construction schedule.

Beacon's NYC area VP John Yeung is the lead consultant on the project, supported by Project Engineers from the firm's NY office...

See Full Article & Photos >



Beacon NYC Office Staff Profile:
Cebi Stough, Executive Assistant / Office Manager


Cebi Stough joined Beacon Consulting Group's NYC office in the late summer of 2017. Cebi has quickly made herself a valuable member of the NYC team, supporting the office's many ongoing consulting projects, coordinating the busy travel schedules of various project managers and engineers, and helping the New York operation to run efficiently by taking on a wide variety of assigments which are too numerous to list here!

Cebi is also helping with Beacon's marketing and client communications / outreach efforts, as well as playing an important role in planning and supporting Beacon's networking activities.

Although she is now a resident of Brooklyn, NY, Cebi originally hails from Fort Myers, FL. She is a graduate of the University of Florida, where she obtained her Bachelor of Science Degree in Psychology.

Cebi has lived and worked in some very interesting and exotic places so far during her career, including:

  • Na’alehu and Hilo, Hawaii, where she worked as a Wellness Coordinator for Pacific Quest — a well-known Wilderness Therapy Program which helps teens & young adults to realize their full potential through an innovative sustainable treatment and outdoor education program.

  • Palma de Mallorca, Spain, where she worked as a bi-lingual cultural assistant supporting multilingual classes for teenage students.

More About Cebi - View Full Staff Bio Here >



Beacon Providing Construction Consulting /
Project Monitoring for New Orleans Area
School Construction Project Funded by FEMA


On August 29, 2005, Hurricane Katrina made landfall in Louisiana, with a storm surge of more than 20 feet and 120-mph winds devastating many thousands of homes and buildings. The loss of life, displacement of hundreds of thousands of residents and catastrophic property damage made Katrina one of the worst natural disasters in U.S. history.

Belle Chasse is a town in Plaquemines Parish, Louisiana, which was very hard hit by Hurricane Katrina. The town is located on the West Bank of the Mississippi River, approximately 11 miles southeast of downtown New Orleans. Beacon has been retained by a leading Surety company to provide construction monitoring services related to the completion of a $19.3-million school construction project funded by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

The new primary school being built is replacing one that was destroyed by Hurricane Katrina. The general contractor on the project was terminated for default in late 2015. It took a number of months for the parties involved to come to an agreement for the completion of the school. The agreement permitted the GC to return to the project with certain restrictions. One restriction was that the Surety would retain a senior construction consultant who would provide regular inspections of the progress and support the GC in getting the work completed. Beacon is now providing that service to the surety.

See Full Article & Photos >



The Sweet Taste of Victory:
Villanova's NCAA Tournament Championship
Win Means Celebration Donuts For NYC Office


Congratulations & Thanks to Beacon NYC Project Engineer Andrew Lem, a Villanova University Alumni who treated Beacon's NYC team to Dunkin Donuts following his Alma Mater's 2nd NCAA basketball championship win in three years.

For those readers who don't follow March Madness, Villanova University's men's basketball team won the NCAA tournament championship game on Monday night April 2nd, beating the Michigan State Wolverine's 79-62. This is the third national championship win for the Villanaova Wildcats, who previously won in 1985 and 2016.

Following the championship game, the Associated Press named Villanova's Dante DiVincenzo Most Outstanding Player (MOP) for the NCAA tournament. DiVincenzo played a key role in Villanova's victory, scoring 31 points, including 18 in the first half which helped the Wildcat's build a dominant lead. Thank you Andrew and we hope your team wins many more times in the years ahead (because the donuts are pretty good)!




ABA Surety & Fidelity Committee Mid-Winter Meeting Photos:
A Look Back At Events & Fun With Beacon Team, Friends & Clients


Every year, the Beacon Consulting Group team looks forward to the Mid-Winter Meeting of the ABA TIPS Fidelity and Surety Law Committee. In late January, the Mid-Winter meeting was held in Washington, D.C. for the first time. Beacon, along with some of our long-time partners in the Surety area were involved with hosting some fun networking events during the conference. Click Here or on the image to the right to view some photos from the events that Beacon and our partners hosted.

On January 25th and 26th, Beacon was the co-host of three different unique and fun networking events in conjunction with the ABA Mid-Winter meeting. The events co-hosted by Beacon included:

  • Beacon Runs The Monuments: A Jog Along The National Mall
  • A Night At The Museum (International Spy Museum)
  • An Irish Luncheon (at the Landmark Dubliner Pub & Restaurant)

See Full Article & Photos >



Beacon Retained By Leading Surety Company To Help
Complete Important Interior Renovation Project at One
Of Ohio's Largest Public Recreation / Community Centers


The Ehrnfelt Recreation Center located in Strongsville, OH is a state-of-the art public recreation / community center managed by the city's Parks and Recreation Department. The General Contractor who had been working on the renovation of four locker rooms at the Ehrnfelt Recreation Center was recently defaulted during an interior renovation project. Thus, Beacon Constulting Group was retained by a leading Surety company to help manage the completion of the project and to also help with resolution of payment bond claims.

Upon Beacon's retainer, the project was approximately 50% complete. The scope of work for the project includes the renovation of four locker rooms—two in the basement (poolside) area and two on the main floor of the Recreation Center. When Beacon first started to work on the project, the basement locker rooms had been completed (and were in use). Work on the first-floor locker rooms was soon to begin at the time of writing.

The Ehrnfelt Recreation Center and its adjoining Senior Center include more than 150,000 square feet of recreation and activity space, making it the largest and most comprehensive Community Center in Ohio at the time of its original design and construction (late 1990s)....

See Full Article >



Beacon Retained To Consult on Critical
NJ MVC Construction Project in Wayne, NJ


The NJ Dept. of Motor Vehicles has a large construction project ongoing at one of its facilities in Northern NJ, consisting of a wide range of work. The Wayne, NJ MVC complex, located in a densely populated area approximately 20 miles west of New York City, is reportedly one of the NJ MVC's busiest locations, providing a wide range of services to NJ residents such as issuing vehicle registrations, administering drivers license tests (written & road test), providing vehicle inspections and many other motor-vehicle-related services.

Major tasks associated with the project include the construction of three separate buildings:

  • New MVC Agency Building
  • Road Test Field House
  • Service Vehicle Commissioning (SVC) Building

Beacon's Role: A leading Surety company has retained Beacon Consulting Group to provide construction consulting / surety consulting services related to the NJ MVC project. As of this writing, Beacon has started work on the assignment by reviewing the declaration of default (by the State of NJ) of the General Contractor working on the project. The GC's overall contract (valued $13.28 million) was awarded by the State of NJ in May of 2016.

See Full Article >



Happy St. Patrick's Day! (March 17, 2018)


An Irish Saying:
May joy and peace surround you,
contentment latch your door,
and happiness be with you now
and bless you evermore!

A little Irish Humor:
An Irishman was flustered not being able to find a parking space in a large mall's parking lot.

"Lord," he prayed "I can't stand this. If you open a space up for me, I swear I'll give up drinking me whiskey, and I promise to go to church every Sunday." Suddenly, the clouds parted and the sun shone on an empty parking spot. Without hesitation, the man said, "Never mind, I found one."



NYC Police Commissioner James O'Neill
Presents at IBO Meeting In NYC Attended
By Dennis O'Neill & Beacon Team Members


At a recent IBO business networking meeting in Manhattan, Beacon's President Dennis O'Neill had the opportunity to meet the evening's featured speaker, James P. O'Neill, Jr., the 43rd Police Commissioner of New York City.

Dennis and Commissioner O'Neill shared a laugh when Dennis pointed out that they not only shared the same last name, but also seemed to have the same barber. During Commissioner O'Neill's talk, he mentioned that he started out his career working as a Surety Bond underwriter, before joining the NYC Transit police force in 1983.

Commissioner O'Neill was appointed NYC Police Commissioner in August of 2016, after nearly two years as Police Chief of the NYPD. During his 35-year career, Commissioner O'Neill rose through the ranks of the NYPD, working in a wide variety of roles and commanding three separate precincts. Coincidentally, Beacon Consulting Group has worked on a construction consulting project at one of the precinct station houses (located in Harlem) where Commissioner O'Neill had served as commander.

The New York City Police Department (NYPD) is the largest municipal police department in the U.S., with approximately 36,000 officers and 18,000 civilian employees. In the past 25 years, the NYPD has achieved significant reductions in both violent and property crime, ensuring that New York City has the lowest overall rate of major crimes among the 25 largest cities in the U.S. ...

See Full Article >



Beacon Selected to Provide Construction
Consulting / Surety Consulting Services for
Self Storage Building Project in Miami, Florida


Beacon Consulting Group, Inc. has been retained by a leading Surety company to provide construction consulting / surety consulting services related to a 5-story self storage building construction project located in the Coral Way neighborhood of Miami, Florida. When completed, the self storage facility will be approximately 17,400 SF (including the building and parking lot areas of the site).

Beacon's team has been providing a range of construction consulting services on behalf of the Surety, including:

  • Financial analysis of all construction work associated with the Surety bond
  • Provide and manage an Escrow Account for control of contract funds
  • Monitor / facilitate construction progress on behalf of the Surety
  • Assist with construction management on behalf our client

See Full Article >



Run The Monuments With Us!
ABA Attendees - Join Beacon’s Team for a
Fun Run, Jog or Stroll Along The National Mall


If you are in Washington D.C. For the ABA Surety & Fidelity Committee Mid-Winter Meeting, please join the Beacon team for a fun Jog / Run / Walk along the National Mall on Thursday at 12 noon. We will be taking advantage of the good weather to get some fresh air, exercise, and take in the historic sites of The National Mall, such as the Washington Monument and Lincoln Memorial.

We will be meeting at Thursday 1/25/18 at 12 noon in the Lobby of the JW Marriott Hotel.



This Week: Beacon's Team is Headed To Washington D.C.
For The ABA Fidelity & Surety Committee Midwinter Conference


If you will be in Washington D.C. this week for the ABA's Fidelity & Surety Committee Mid-Winter Conference, we look forward to seeing you there.

Some of the key members of Beacon's Medford, MA and New York City project teams will be on hand to participate in the conference and get together with our partners and clients. The weather looks mild and the government is open for business—so it should be a great week!

This year's conference is being held at the JW Marriott Hotel, located on Pennsylvania Avenue, just a short distance from the National Mall, the Washington Monument, Lincoln Memorial and the many other great attractions, buildings, museum's and historic sites of our Nation's Capital. Beacon's staff looks forward to the ABA Midwinter conference every year, not just for professional development reasons and getting together with important clients and partners—it's also a great opportunity for our project teams, who are often working on separate projects in various states, to come together to share lessons learned, exchange ideas and plan for the year ahead. Our staff will be connected and available during the conference. We hope to see you there!



Beacon Project Profile:
Construction Loan Monitoring & Consulting for Luxury
Residential Renovation in NYC's SoHo Neighborhood


Beacon was retained by a national real estate investment fund to provide Construction Consulting services related to a large construction loan being made to a NY-based developer. The financing was being used by the developer to help fund the renovation of two adjacent apartment buildings in the exclusive SoHo area of New York City. The buildings were being completely renovated to create luxury condominiums.

Beacon's team has extensive experience providing project evaluation and construction loan consulting / monitoring services to banks and other stakeholders involved in construction project financing.

Beacon's role on this project included:

  • Reviewing & evaluating the developer's construction plans and documents, including cost and schedule review
  • Providing ongoing Project / Construction Loan Monitoring services during the renovation process
  • Helping the lender to minimize financial risk, by tracking ongoing progress compared to the planned schedule

The construction project undertaken by the developer consisted of the renovation of two adjacent apartment buildings and conversion into luxury condominiums in the SoHo neighborhood of Manhattan. The project included the complete gut / rehab of a 5-story apartment building and renovation of a 3-story building next door.

View Full Project Profile >



Beacon Surety Consulting Profile:
MBTA's Assembly Station Helps Accelerate
Smart Growth & Revitalization in Somerville, MA


Early last year, Beacon completed a construction consulting engagement at MBTA's Assembly Station, located in Somerville, MA. The new train station is located approximately 4 miles Northwest of downtown Boston, on MBTA's Orange Line (one of MBTA's four major commuter rail lines serving the area).

Beacon was originally retained by a leading Surety company to help assess the status of the project, estimate the reserve required (and cash flow) for its completion, and assist the General Contractor in working through outstanding claims and the completion of the contracted work. Beacon provided a variety of surety / construction consulting services on the project, including:

  • Prepared the cost to complete summary
  • Helped resolve subcontractor liens, and disputes
  • Coordinated the completion of the Project with the Owner and Surety

Most recently, Beacon provided contruction consulting and project management services related to the completion of approximately $2M in electrical remedial work. During the course of the work, Beacon's team worked closely with the MBTA's project team to provide constant communication regarding all aspects of the project.

The MBTA Assembly Station is a very important part of the economic development taking place in Somerville, MA and Boston. The station makes it possible (and easy) for many commuters and shoppers to reach the recently developed Assembly Row Office / Retail / Residential complex.

View Full Project Profile >



Beacon Surety Consulting Update:
Substantial Completion Achieved For
Dayton Manor BOP Project (Brooklyn, NY)


As reported in previous E-news updates, Beacon Consulting Group, Inc. was selected to provide construction consulting / surety consulting services related to the completion of various construction projects at Dayton Manor, a 116-unit apartment building located in Brooklyn, NY. The apartment complex is owned by the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) and provides residential housing for federal employees (and their families) who work at two correctional facilities located in Brooklyn.

In November of 2017, Substantial Completion was achieved for the construction work that Beacon was helping to manage (and expedite) on behalf of the Surety. Given the complexity of the overall project, it is worth noting that Beacon was able to help ensure that the completion contractor finished all work successfully, with no punchlist items being idenitifed (or required) by the owner upon the final project walk-through and review of work. The owner's represenatives (and residents of Dayton Manor) were pleased with the improved aesthetics of the exterior following renovations done at the site, which included:

  • Site grading work and landscaping
  • Restoration of exterior walkways
  • Installation of outside seating and picnic tables
  • Restoration of a children's playground area
  • Installation of fencing

View Full Project Profile >

 



PAST NEWS

Dealing With A Difficult Owner?
Top 5 Tips For Resolving Problems
& Finding The Win-Win Solution

By James Bruno, LEED AP, PMP


Tip #1 - Be professional. Difficult owners are often frustrated and quick to get into arguments. Simply being sure to act in a professional manner can ease that frustration and avoid useless arguments. A few tips on staying professional:

  • Practice self-control and patience, keep a soft voice and use carefully selected wording.
  • Smile and be as polite and empathetic as possible throughout the conversation
  • Communicate clearly and track all your correspondence accurately. Failing to do this can result in frustrating misunderstandings and disagreements later.

Tip #2 - Listen. It is very easy to have a tough time working with an owner if you lose their trust or confidence. Being sure to listen to their side of the story is a critical step in building that trust. If the owner doesn’t feel like you are listening to them, they will also likely feel that you aren’t interested in trying to understand their situation or finding a way for them to win. A few tips on listening to owners:

  • Do not interrupt, hear the Owner out. They are more likely to think you understand their story, if they know you listened to it.
  • Repeat back the commitments for action and be clear of the expectations regarding work product and expected delivery dates.
  • Sometimes Owner issues can be political, or the issues needs to be framed in a certain way for them to move forward with a resolution. This can also give you an idea of what issues are sensitive topics to the owner and what their priorities are.

Tip #3 - Be Fair, Honest, and Reasonable.

Perhaps the most effective way to make progress with difficult owners is to stand out as the voice of reason. If you can establish yourself as someone the Owner can trust to be fair, they are much more likely to cooperate and try to resolve the issue. A few tips to help establish yourself:

  • Address their concerns. Providing additional backup documentation or letters describing a situation can show that you are able and willing to help the owner by providing honest information to them.
  • Be firm and confident in the facts. Even if the owner feels that your motives are in good faith, you may still lose their trust if you aren’t informed on the issues. You want the owner to be confident that when you present a solution, you have considered all the information.
  • Accept responsibility for any errors or delays on your part. If you make a mistake and try to pin it on others or make shallow excuses, the owner will likely feel that your motivation to protect yourself is stronger than your motivation to maintain a reasonable perspective.

View Full Article, Including Tips 4 & 5 >



Beacon Provides Bank with Project Review,
Construction Loan Monitoring Services For 11-Story
Condo Project in Chelsea Neighborhood of Manhattan


Throughout 2017, Beacon has been providing construction consulting and construction loan monitoring services to a leading international bank, to help the bank track progress on a luxury residential construction project taking place in the Chelsea neighborhood of New York City. Among the services Beacon has provided on the project are:

  • Project Pan & Cost Review. Starting in 2016, Beacon provided "Plan & Cost Review" services which provided the lender with a high-level, independent review of the developer's construction plans and schedule;

  • Construction Loan Monitoring. Beacon's ongoing Construction Loan Monitoring services include providing monthly reports to help the bank to track the construction progress and ensure that the bank's scheduled loan payments to the developer are tracking with progress on the project.


Beacon's NYC area VP John Yeung is the lead consultant on the project, which includes periodic site visits and monthly project tracking reports. The project is an 11-story residential condominium (which includes some commercial space as well). The project is being built on West 19th Street, near the "High Line" (now one of New York City's most popular attractions). The site was previously occupied by a single-story warehouse, which the developer reportedly purchased for more than $22 million. The project includes a total of 10 planned luxury residences and more than 27,000 square feet of total space. The architect on the project is Paik Architecture.

Over the past decade, Beacon has provided Construction Consulting, project monitoring and funds control services to financial institutions, insurance industry clients and project funding partners across a wide range of residential, commercial, public and public/private projects.

For more information about Beacon's services for Financial Institutions
and other Real Estate Project Investors, Contact Beacon Consulting Group, Inc.


Go To News Archives (2017 & Earlier) »

 

Beacon Consulting Group, Inc. thrives on a good challenge. Our expert team has a proven track record of success taking on the most complex Construction Management and Surety Consulting assignments possible.

Copyright © 2009-2018 Beacon Consulting Group, Inc.