Beacon Consulting Group News - Feb. 2018


Beacon Consulting Group, Inc. will be attending these upcoming industry events:

  • May 9-11, 2018, ABA Fidelity & Surety Law Spring Conference
    Santa Fe, NM (Check ABA website for info)

  • June 20-22, 2018, Surety Claims Institute Annual Meeting
    Beaver Creek, CO (Check back soon for more info or Contact Beacon)

  • September 5-7, 2018, The Pearlman (25th Anniversary)
    Woodinville, WA (Check back soon for more info or Contact Beacon)

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

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 >

Beacon Retained by Leading Surety To Provide
Construction Consulting Services for Project at
NYS Office of General Services (OGS) Building #4

Beacon was recently retained by a leading Surety company to provide construction consulting services related to a building abatement / renovation project in Albany, NY. OGS Building #4 is a large 3-story building built in 1964, located on The W. Averell Harriman State Office Building Campus—an office park which houses sixteen New York State Government buildings. The Harriman office campus totals roughly 330 acres and includes 3 million square feet of office space where approximately 7,000 state employees work.

OGS Building #4 has a footprint of approximately 45,000 square feet. The building was formerly used as the campus childcare center, but is being renovated for use as office / R&D space. The ongoing abatement project entails stripping the building down to structural steel and concrete slabs. After the completion of the abatement work, new interior construction will proceed throughout, as well as the installation of an exterior curtain wall.

See Full Article >

PAST NEWS - January 2018 & Earlier

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 >



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) »


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