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TFM’s President submits the May Question of the Month in New England Real Estate Journal’s “Shopping Centers” section

New England Real Estate Journal selected TFM’s President and Chief Engineer, Robert Duval, PE to submit a civil engineering “Question of the Month” for the Shopping Centers section of the May 26 – June 1, 2017 issue. We invite you to read his article answering the question below, or link to this pdf TFMoran in NEREJ May 2017

 

NERE Journal – Shopping Centers – Question of the Month

How can a shopping center benefit from mixed-use developments? This healthy trend is here to stay.

written by Robert Duval, TFMoran, Inc.

The advantages of integrating new retail development into mixed-use centers can be substantial when compared with conventional shopping centers. Even such basic parameters as traffic volumes, parking demand, and stormwater flow can all be reduced by considering multiple uses in a single development plan.

The cost of offsite roadway improvements can be a major factor in retail projects, and accurate prediction of future traffic volumes is necessary to avoid unnecessarily burdening the project with overly-conservative improvements. In a mixed-use center, trip generation rates of individual uses can be discounted due to the expected interaction between these related uses: that is, there is some degree of sharing patrons among apartments, restaurants, offices, and retail uses, so the total traffic volume generated as a whole is less than the sum of the individual parts. In a well-integrated and balanced mixed-use center, these discounts can be on the order of 30% or more due to multi-purpose trips and enhanced pedestrian connectivity. The Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE) and the National Cooperative Highway Research Program NCHRP 684 provide more specific guidance on how these traffic volumes can be reduced.

Parking demand can also be reduced by sharing parking inventory between compatible uses. To some extent, the reasoning is the same as the traffic reductions described above; but there are subtle differences: for example, an office employee who shops in an on-site retail store after work doesn’t really reduce parking demand, since their occupied parking space would otherwise be available to other store patrons during this peak retail period. However, since the peak period for apartments occurs after the office demand subsides, credit can be taken for sharing between these uses, and fewer total spaces can be provided than for two similar buildings as individual developments.

Reducing parking inventory can have many benefits. First, of course, is avoiding thousands of construction dollars for each unnecessary parking space – tens of thousands in a parking garage. Then there is the reduction in footprint required per square foot of leasable space; if the parking supply can be reduced by say, 150 spaces, at typical parking ratios that means the same amount of land can support another 30,000sf of leasable area, or conversely, the same amount of leasable area would need about one less acre of buildable land.

These are substantial benefits, but there are others too – as pavement area decreases, so too does the amount of stormwater infrastructure needed to capture, detain, and treat all that unnecessary pavement runoff. Recent projects have shown that the savings in stormwater management infrastructure in the range of 15% can be achieved. In redevelopment scenarios, these benefits can also be helpful in securing environmental permits.

More efficient parking layouts that combine multiple uses on a single parcel can also be achieved by avoiding the need for internal lot line setbacks. The same approach can apply to a combination of existing and proposed developments on contiguous parcels. By careful planning of pedestrian walkways and other measures to enhance connectivity (possibly with some relief from local zoning ordinances) multiple properties can be combined into a single development, resulting in greater land use density, and thus achieving the other benefits of less traffic, parking, pavement, construction costs, and excess stormwater infrastructure.

Ultimately, all these savings rely on good pedestrian connectivity. In a mixed-use setting, each building component must be connected by convenient, safe, and attractive pedestrian pathways to all other uses within a reasonable “walking distance”. In New England, this is often considered to be about a quarter-mile, but this can vary up or down depending on the quality of the walking environment. Therefore, it is important to integrate pleasant and easily traversable pedestrian routes into the development to achieve all these benefits.

Today, more and more community planners understand and support mixed-use development not only for a tool for the economic advantages outlined above, but also for a number of societal benefits too. Revitalizing city centers, particularly former manufacturing areas, making more efficient use of existing road and utility infrastructure, providing more employment opportunities, reducing the need for highway expansions, and reducing development pressure on alternative “greenfield” sites, to name a few.

Mixed-use development is here to stay, and we can expect this healthy trend to facilitate new retail and commercial development, but also to create a new sense of prosperity and vibrancy in our New England city and town centers.

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Congratulations to the 2017 NH Businesses and Business Leader of the Year

Robert Duval, Principle and President of TFMoran, was honored to be on the panel of judges for the 2017 Business NH Magazine Businesses and Business Leader of the Year awards lunch. Mr. Duval was among one of the 2016 business award recipients who chose this year’s winners for the following categories: Business Leader of the Year; Business Assistance; Business Services; Construction/Engineering/Real Estate; Education/Nonprofit; Financial Services/ Insurance; Health Care;Hospitality/Tourism; Manufacturing Technology, and Retail/Wholesale. The awards luncheon was held at the Center of NH Radisson Hotel, Manchester on May 25 and guests included CEO’s, NH Chamber of Commerce Area Presidents, and employees from businesss all over the state. TFMoran won best Construction Engineering/Real Estate for 2016 and was happy to pass the award onto Eckman Construction Company, Inc. for the 2017 year. The award recognizes businesses for outstanding civic contributions and exceptional performance.

TFMoran’s Principle Dylan Cruess, Marketing Coordinator Susan Bartley, and Marketing Intern Kelsie Gagner were among many NH business leaders who attended the lunch to honor the award recipients. Congratulations to all of the Award Recipients and special Congratulations to Andy Crews, president/CEO of AutoFair – 2017 Business Leader of the Year! A big thank you to publisher Heidi Copeland and editor Matt Mowry for putting on the annual event and recognizing New Hampshire businesses.

For more details please visit http://www.millyardcommunications.com/

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Kelsie Gagner becomes new Marketing Intern at TFMoran

Kelsie Gagner becomes new Marketing Intern at TFMoran

Kelsie Gagner has joined TFMoran as a Marketing Intern for the summer. Ms. Gagner will be obtaining a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration come May of 2018 from Southern New Hampshire University. Tasks designated for the internship include thinking of new ways to market, increasing TFMoran’s social media presence along with their website, blog postings as well as photography and videography. Her experience includes marketing at the New England Aquarium, an international conservation project, an international teaching project, social media and videography.

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NH Home Builders Association Golf Tournament

TFMoran’s very own Dan Blais and the rest of his team came in First Place at the 19th Annual Charity Golf Tournament for the NH Home Builders Association on May 23. The event was held at the Passaconaway Country Club in Litchfield, New Hampshire. The team members included Dan Blais from TFM, Doug Blais from Southern New Hampshire University, Kevin Sullivan from Quality Insulation and Mike DiBlasi from Ten20 Strategic Communications.

The golf tournament takes place every year in order to raise money for Marguerite’s Place, a local, non-profit organization that helps homeless women and children in crisis. Established in 1990, Marguerite’s Place gives local women physical, educational, and social support, allowing women to positively move forward with their lives, creating a better future. This transitional housing organization helps set women up with homes, jobs, childcare services other important necessities they may not have access to. Their philosophy is “We have always believed that true charity does not consist in doing for others, but in helping others do for themselves.” Marguerite’s Place has changed the lives of thousands of women and children and we thank them for all that they do!

Another thank you to all of the players and sponsors of the tournament such as; Eaton & Berube Insurance Agency, LaMontagne Builders, Northwestern Mutual and Tournament Chairman Chick Beaulieu.

For more information on Marguerite’s Place please go to: http://www.margueritesplace.org/home/

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Stephen Williams joins TFMoran’s Stormwater Department

Stephen Williams joins TFMoran’s Stormwater Department

Stephen Williams has joined our team as a Stormwater and Construction Inspector. Mr. Williams has a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of New Hampshire in Durham. He has over 30 years of experience including soils testing, concrete and asphalt inspection and testing, monitoring infrastructure construction, water mains, sewer mains, and SWPPP Plans. He has also provided project management services for the NHDOT Bureau of Public Works, the Town of Hooksett, and numerous other communities in Southern New Hampshire.

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TFM at the 25th Annual Manchester Historic Preservation Awards

Preserving the past, ensuring the future.”

TFMoran’s Chief Operating Officer, Dylan Cruess, recently attended the 25th Annual Manchester Historic Awards on May 18th. The awards ceremony is an annual event put on by the MHA, whose mission is to collect, preserve and share the history of Manchester, New Hampshire. The awards program recognizes and supports the efforts made by individuals, businesses, and organizations that have contributed to significantly to the preservation of historic resources, buildings, and traditions in the Queen City. This year’s event featured honorary co-chairs Dick and Alex Anagnost who have a long track and successful track record of preserving and restoring historically significant buildings throughout the city. The MHA also selected five honorees in the following categories; Leadership and Advocacy, Homeowner’s, Neighborhood Preservation Award, Stewardship of a Historic Family Business Award, and the Adaptive Reuse Award. The event was very well attended, seating more than 400 guests.

TFMoran is honored to have worked with the Masonic Temple for many years helping the Masons with various building upgrades such as installing fire sprinklers throughout the meeting areas and improving pedestrian access. Located at 1505 Elm Street, Manchester, the Masonic Temple is one of the most unique buildings in Manchester due to its design and structure. The Masons actively welcome and encourage public groups to use the temple space.

Also, a Big Congratulations to the winners of the award ceremony; Fred Matuszewski, Craig and Mary Kate Donais for their home at 39 Buzzell Street, Puritan Backroom Restaurant, Mr. William H. Binnie and Carlisle Capital Corporation, and Mark and Maryellen Biletch for their home at 2422 Elm Street.

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TFM Welcomes Scott Olsen to the Civil Engineering Department

TFM Welcomes Scott Olsen to the Civil Engineering Department

Scott Olsen, EIT has joined TFMoran, Inc. as a Project Engineer. Mr. Olsen has a Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Engineering from the University of New Hampshire in Durham in 2011. His experience includes construction inspection, stormwater management, site and roadway grading, underground utility work for commercial and residential projects, and a $35 million federal renovation project. His certifications include Army Corps of Engineers CQC,  OSHA 40 HAZWOPER, and OSHA 30 General Industry.

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Washington Mills Apartments II Project Story in High-Profile

One of TFMoran’s multi-residential civil engineering and landscape architecture projects was featured in the May issue of High-Profile. To view the published story, please click this link Washington Mills Apts II _High-Profile_May 2017

Or, please read text below:

TFMoran designs Washington Mills

Lawrence, MA – TFMoran, Inc. of Bedford, NH is providing landscape architecture, civil/site engineering, and permitting services to SMC Management Corporation of Watertown, MA for redeveloping the former Lawrence Packaging/Newark Atlantic Paperboard site at 240 Canal Street in Lawrence, Massachusetts. The new project is titled Washington Mills Apartments II.

Once home to a leading manufacturer of paperboard and printed packaging, this iconic riverside mill property is being converted to a combination of multi-family residential and commercial uses featuring 198 loft-style apartments, 19 studio units, a self-storage facility, with covered parking on the first-floor level. Market Square Architects and JSN Associates, Inc. of Portsmouth, NH are providing architectural and structural engineering services for this mixed-use development.

The site contains a seven-story brick mill building dating back to the early years of the 20th century. Market Square Architects is preserving the exterior of the seven-story mill while completely renovating the interior into one- and two-bedroom apartments on the upper floors with a self-storage facility on a portion of three of the lower floors. The ground level will provide covered parking for residents. An adjacent one-story brick mill building will be partially demolished to create a riverfront park, and the remainder will be converted into drive-in loft units, providing a combination of garage/work-shop and residential space options for its tenants.

According to Tom Burns, Civil Project Manager for TFM, “The site will be opened up for additional parking and landscaping by removing three single-story masonry buildings. This allows us to provide a new, more efficient parking layout and safer vehicle circulation.”

“As for stormwater management,” Burns continued, “reducing the site’s impervious footprint, and replacing it with lots of new plantings is a major benefit to the site and the adjacent Merrimack River. In our design, we designed a series of stormwater treatment hardware to protect the river.”

Numerous amenities are being provided in this project to meet the needs of modern urban dwellers while preserving the historical context of the site. TFM’s Landscape Architect, Mike Krzeminski explains, “The Riverside Park was designed to create a space for various age groups and social backgrounds to enjoy both passive and recreational activities.” These include a dog park that surrounds a large brick smokestack that is the tallest structure in the City and a new Riverside Park on the site of a former mill with a waterfront view. A gazebo provides residents with a comfortable gathering spot complete with lighting, power and WiFi for tenants, and the park also includes a barbecue grill, horseshoe pits, a bocce court, and walking paths.

Demolition of the former mills is currently underway while renovation plans are being finalized. The project has already met with the approval of the Lawrence Conservation Commission, and the Lawrence Historic Commission.

“We will be getting our building permits shortly, and we look forward to completing this exciting project for opening early next year”, says SMC’s Director of Capital Projects, Bob Simonds, “The City has been great to work with and we think this will be a great boon to the community. Revitalizing city centers and providing exciting new places for people to live is what we are all about.”

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High-Profile May Issue Focus on Landscape Architecture & Civil Engineering

TFM’s president and chief engineer, Robert Duval, PE contributed to the annual High-Profile Landscape Architecture & Civil Engineering Focus issue this month.

We invite you to view the published article HP May 2017 Landscape Architecture & Civil Engineering

Or, you can read the text below:

Landscape Architecture & Civil Engineering

Integrated Development: Not Just a Trend, A Solution

by Robert E. Duval

One significant trend in land development projects these days is towards “mixed-use development”, that is, an integrated mixture of residential, commercial, cultural, institutional, or industrial uses in close proximity. Recently seen primarily in large urban centers, the concept of mixed-use development is now moving into smaller cities and towns across New England.

The advantages of integrated development can be substantial. Among other benefits, traffic volumes, parking needs, and stormwater flows can all be reduced by taking advantage of the interaction between related uses. For example, apartments and offices located in close proximity will tend to reduce vehicle trips because some tenants will be employees of the office; thus, some of the vehicle trips usually expected become pedestrian trips. Likewise, parking inventory can also be reduced through shared parking. Using the same example, peak apartment parking demand falls outside of regular business hours, thus fewer total spaces can be provided for the same amount of development.

Studies have shown that mixed-use centers can reduce traffic volumes by a third or more, significantly reducing offsite traffic impacts and the high associated costs of mitigation. And onsite parking supplies can also be reduced by 10% or more. This reduces not only construction costs, but helps reduce other negative impacts as well; as pavement area decreases, less land can support more development, and the cost and extent of stormwater infrastructure to capture, detain, and treat all that unnecessary pavement goes away as well.

Also, where multiple properties can be combined into a single development, greater land use density can be achieved by avoiding internal lot line setbacks. This results in more efficient parking layouts and elimination of unnecessary pavement, further reducing needed land area, construction costs, and the burden of excess runoff on stormwater infrastructure.

Landscape Architecture plays a significant role in making mixed-use development work. First of all, each building must be placed so that it allows convenient, safe, and attractive pedestrian connections between all other major uses. It is generally taken that “walking distance” in New England is approximately 1400 feet or about a 7 minute walk. Obviously, this figure is dependent on age, health, purpose of walk, weather, and other imponderables, but it is also largely dependent on establishing a clear, direct path and an attractive walking environment. Therefore, it is important for the Landscape Architect to make pleasant and easily traversable pedestrian routes part of the earliest site planning exercises.

Of course, the concept of mixed-use development is not new – many of us remember when they were simply called “downtown”. However, as exclusionary zoning became common in the post-WWII years, it became more and more necessary for city and suburban residents alike to have to drive to the store, to school, to work, and so on. It did not take long for the congestion and inefficiencies of this type of travel to manifest. Up to the present day, the primary solution to these problems has been to “build your way out of it”; that is, by building ever-larger highways and parking lots.

Today, more community planners understand the benefits of mixed-use development and revitalizing city centers, particularly older, under-utilized manufacturing or commercial areas. This trend provides more employment opportunities within a city, makes more efficient use of existing road and utility infrastructure, reduces the need for constant expansion of highways, and reduces development pressure on nearby “greenfield” sites.

As more communities embrace mixed-use development in their zoning codes, we can expect this healthy trend to accelerate, returning a large measure of prosperity and vibrancy to New England cities and towns.