Before and after images of the award-winning transformation
We bought the musty old Glendale Apartments back in 2010. Three years and a handful of local and national awards later, we’re looking back at some of the before pictures. Giving new life to these tired buildings wasn’t the easiest task, but reminiscing makes us even more proud of the transformation of ECO Modern Flats.
Green-built headquarters reflect company values
Our new office building, now under renovation at 15 N. Church Street in Fayetteville, reflects the modern green design of our residential projects. The 7500 square foot building was once a storage complex for a brick manufacturer, and later served as a television studio. The renovation adds new insulation, a white TPO roof, natural lighting and rainwater cisterns, as well as other energy-saving features. It will also have a green screen similar to the one at ECO Modern Flats and permeable paving planted with grass. The project is registered for LEED certification and we expect the highest level of certification.
The newly renovated building will also house our friends at modus studio and their prototyping and fabrication wing, modus shop. We have leased the space with street frontage to a barber shop. The renovation also adds a second-story space and a rooftop terrace with city and mountain views. Our location one block from the historic Fayetteville Square and near the Razorback Greenway will allow us to easily walk and bike to many of our project sites, City Hall, and other downtown destinations. We plan to open our new headquarters building on June 1.
Here’s modus studio’s rendering of the completed project:
Our design team and community members gather to learn about preventing bird/building collisions
Did you know that as many as a billion birds are killed each year after colliding with windows? The design team for our new student apartment project on West Center is working to make sure that our projects are friendly to birds. Our team recently got together at modus studio for a webinar on Bird-Friendly Design presented by Dr. Christine Sheppard of the American Bird Conservancy.
We learned about the way birds see their environment and the many ways that windows, glass doors, and glass railings can be a hazard. Dr. Sheppard also shared useful guidelines for designing a bird friendly building facade.
Joining us for this training were Joe Woolbright of Ozark Ecological Restorations and Megan Dale, City of Fayetteville Urban Forester.
If you’d like to know more, check out the American Bird Conservancy’s resources on birds and collisions.
Earlier this month, we were honored to accept an Innovator Award for Best Use of Green and Sustainable Design and Construction for ECO Modern Flats. Awards were presented at the InterFace Student Housing conference in Austin Texas. Accepting the award were Seth Mims, Corey Runnells, our awesome architect Chris Baribeau of modus studio, and Jeremy Hudson.
In a new article, Seth Mims talks about the benefits of walkable, bikeable development
Seth Mims spoke to National Rails to Trails Conservancy’s Jake Lynch for a story on the relationship between trail expansion and business development. See the full story here.
Team accepts award for Eco Modern Flats at Greenbuild in San Francisco
We won! Specialized Real Estate Group won the 2012 LEED for Homes Award for Outstanding Multifamily Project, presented last week in San Francisco. The award recognizes ECO Modern Flats, a newly renovated 96-unit apartment complex in central Fayetteville. The US Green Building Council presented seven awards to recognize projects, developers and homebuilders that have demonstrated leadership in the residential green building marketplace. The awards were presented on Thursday, November 15 at the Greenbuild International Conference and Expo held in San Francisco.
Jeremy Hudson, Specialized Partner and CEO said, “There are so many impressive projects across the country and around the world, we are honored to bring this award home to Fayetteville. This recognition reinforces our commitment to create multifamily communities that are best in class not only in Northwest Arkansas, but on an international level.”
Joining Hudson in accepting the award were Specialized Partner and President Seth Mims and Vice President Corey Runnells, co-developer Robert Dant, and Architect Chris Baribeau of modus studio.
Mims said, “We knew that ECO was special, but it’s great to hear it on such a large stage. This honor is shared with the whole team of local designers, builders, and craftsmen who created ECO Modern Flats.”
ECO Modern Flats is nominated for international green building award
Our team is getting really excited about attending Greenbuild in San Francisco later this month. Greenbuild is the world’s largest conference and expo dedicated to green building. We are especially excited to go to San Francisco because ECO Modern Flats has been nominated for the 2012 LEED for Homes awards.
The LEED for Homes awards are annual, international awards. According to USGBC, these awards are intended to recognize innovation and commitment to green building practices in several residential categories, including multifamily, single-family, production building, and affordable housing. There is only one award given to a multifamily project each year, and past awardees have included companies we admire, like Postgreen Homes in Philadelphia. The awards will be announced at the conference.
We’re hoping to bring home a lot of great ideas to make our projects perform even better for the people who live there and for the environment. (And it would be great to bring home another award for ECO, too!)
Bike tour focuses on economic benefits of trail development
On Wednesday, Specialized Real Estate Group hosted a conversation with attendees of the Sustainable Communities Leadership Summit. Convened by the Applied Sustainability Center of the Walton College of Business at the University of Arkansas, the summit brought together elected officials and business and civic leaders to explore the economic benefits that cities and towns can enjoy by looking at their communities through the lens of sustainability.
Specialized President Seth Mims met a group of attendees at the construction site of Sterling Frisco, a 637 bedroom student housing development located on the Frisco Trail. Architect Chris Baribeau of modus studio described the sustainable features of Sterling Frisco, which is designed for LEED green building certification. Conversation ranged from the environmental benefits of transit oriented development to the nuts and bolts of tracking energy usage. The “Trails and Infrastructure” bike outing focused on business development along the Frisco Trail corridor, and the group also had a tour of the sustainability features of the Fayetteville Public Library and sampled crepes at Arsaga’s Trailside Cafe. The field trip was led by Matt Mihalevich, Trail Coordinator for the City of Fayetteville and Peter Nierengarten, Fayetteville’s Sustainability Director.
List includes promising leaders in business and politics
Each year, Northwest Arkansas Business Journal presents its 40 Under 40 list to recognize intriguing business and political leaders under 40 years old who bear watching. Specialized Real Estate Group partner and president Seth Mims was named to the annual list in 2012. Read more in the Northwest Arkansas Business Journal’s Best in Class section .
Specialized Real Estate Group announces new name at regional development conference
The 637 bedroom student housing development now under construction on the block bordered by Maple, Lafayette, and West Streets in Fayetteville has a new name: Sterling Frisco. Seth Mims, President of Specialized Real Estate Group, announced the name on Wednesday at the Northwest Arkansas Regional Development Conference in Rogers. The development had been referred to in the planning stages as 555 Maple.
Specialized Real Estate Group, based in Northwest Arkansas, has partnered with Sterling University Housing of Houston to develop the project.
Mims mentioned the prominence of the Frisco Railroad in local history, as well as the importance of the Frisco Trail and Razorback Greenway, which are contiguous to the development site.
“The Frisco corridor has long been a vital connection for our community, a vibrant avenue for innovation,” said Mims. “This is the ideal site for this development, which will bridge campus and community with outstanding, sustainable design.”
Construction is underway, and the building is planned to open in fall 2013. Sterling Frisco is designed for LEED green building certification. Plans include a hidden parking structure, landscaping with native plants, energy efficient appliances, and non-toxic paints and finishes. Sterling Frisco is designed for the needs of university students, with the majority of units consisting of four-bedroom suites.
The architect is Modus Studio of Fayetteville. Specialized Real Estate Group and Modus Studio are the team responsible for ECO Modern Flats, the only multifamily development in Arkansas to be awarded LEED Platinum, the highest level of green building certification. ECO Modern Flats has been honored by Earth Day NWA, US Green Building Council - Arkansas Chapter, Fayetteville Chamber of Commerce, and Illinois River Watershed Partnership.
ECO Modern Flats, a newly renovated 96-unit apartment complex in downtown Fayetteville, was named the Most Outstanding Residential Project of the year by the US Green Building Council - Arkansas Chapter . The award was presented earlier this month at the group’s Green Tie Dinner in Little Rock. According to Linda K. Smith, the Executive Director of the US Green Building Council’s Arkansas Chapter, a selection committee chose ECO Modern Flats from all the LEED-certified residential projects completed in the state in the past year.
LEED is an independent, third-party verification that a building or community was designed and built using strategies aimed at achieving high performance in five key areas of human and environmental health: sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection and indoor environmental quality.
“ECO Modern Flats raised the bar for what people expect of a multifamily development in Northwest Arkansas,” Smith said. “It has energy and water conservation, but also unique architecture and interior design. It is an outstanding project.”
Jeremy Hudson, CEO of Specialized Real Estate Group, developer of ECO Modern Flats, accepted the award.
“It is a tremendous honor to be recognized by the leaders of the green building industry in Arkansas,” he said. “This project is truly special, and it would not have happened without the creativity and hard work of our dedicated team of design and construction professionals.”
This is the inaugural year for the award, which Smith anticipates will become an annual event.
ECO Modern Flats is the state’s first multifamily community to earn LEED Platinum green building certification. The project has also been recognized by the Fayetteville Chamber of Commerce and the Illinois River Watershed Partnership for environmental stewardship. Green building elements include solar hot water, landscaping with native plants, innovative heating and cooling systems, and rainwater harvesting.
National leader in green student housing joins local developer to build a total of 1232 student bedrooms downtown, occupancy to begin Fall 2013
Northwest Arkansas-based developers Specialized Real Estate Group have recently partnered with Sterling University Housing, the nation’s top developer of environmentally-friendly off campus student housing, to build two apartment projects within walking distance of the University of Arkansas campus in Fayetteville.
Located along on Maple and Lafayette Streets between the UA campus and the Dickson Street Entertainment District, Sterling Fayetteville will house well-appointed apartments built to meet the needs of the growing university population. This pedestrian-friendly urban infill project has been praised by city leaders for meeting the goals of Fayetteville’s City Plan 2030. The first building is scheduled to open in time for the 2013-14 academic year.
“Sterling has a great reputation nationally for developing appealing, well-built, and well-managed off-campus housing,” said Jeremy Hudson, a partner in Specialized Real Estate Group. “They have sixty years of experience and more LEED-certified projects than any other company in the industry, so they are a great match for this project.”
The large-scale development plan was approved by the City of Fayetteville in December 2011 and construction will begin in Spring 2012. The first project, at 555 Maple Street, will include 637 beds; the second project will be similar in size and scope and will open in time for the 2014-15 academic year. Both communities will offer one, two, and four bedroom plans.
“This is the perfect time and place to create off-campus student housing in a prime urban infill location,” said Brian Dinerstein, President of Sterling University Housing. “We are proud to join with Specialized Real Estate Group to create not just great places for students to live, but two architecturally beautiful additions to downtown Fayetteville.”
Sterling Fayetteville will seek LEED Silver green building certification and will feature high-end amenities such as flat screen televisions in every bedroom, a resort style pool, fully-furnished all-inclusive residences, a sky bridge with study lounges and a multifunctional social lounge that will include a game room, café, and 24-hour fitness center.
Sterling University Housing is a national leader in the development, construction and management of off campus student housing communities. Sterling is an affiliate of The Dinerstein Companies, one of the largest developers of luxury, green apartments in the U.S.
Growth in apartment management leads to creation of new multifamily real estate division.
Seth Mims and Jeremy Hudson, owners of Mi Casa Real Estate, announced the reorganization of the company. Mi Casa Real Estate and the newly established MC3 Management are now divisions of a new company, Specialized Real Estate Group.
The reorganization reflects the company’s growth in multifamily real estate. Specialized Real Estate Group will serve as the parent company of Mi Casa, which focuses on single family homes, and MC3 Management, which serves the needs of the multifamily market.
MC3 Management is full-service company focused on apartments, townhomes, and other multifamily properties. MC3 offers a range of services including assistance for investors who are buying or selling property, property management, and client services such as maintenance, housekeeping, and project management.
“Mi Casa has a solid record for transforming properties through smart marketing, targeted improvements, and strong customer service,” said Jeremy Hudson, President of MC3. “We will continue to build on that reputation under the name MC3 Management, continuing to exceed tenants’ expectations and deliver a strong bottom line for property owners.”
Headquartered in Springdale, the company was established in 1998 and assumed the name Mi Casa Real Estate in 2000. Mi Casa sought to fill a niche in serving Spanish-speaking homebuyers and quickly became a leader in affordable housing in Northwest Arkansas.
Mi Casa entered the property management market in 2006, and has since become one of the leading property managers in Northwest Arkansas. Today, the company manages over 1000 units in Washington and Benton Counties. Specialized Real Estate Group employs 7 agents and 25 other employees.
“Mi Casa will continue to serve residential real estate customers, while the formation of MC3 Management allows our company to grow and to meet the needs of multifamily property owners,” said Seth Mims.
One of MC3’s current projects is ECO Modern Flats, a green apartment renovation in Fayetteville. ECO Modern Flats are designed to be Arkansas’ first apartments to qualify for LEED green building certification, and MC3 is handling project management and property management.
There will be no change in staff or services due to this reorganization.
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