CJL - Christopher J. Lee Architects, Inc.

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26October

On October 15th the 2011 Lee BIA Awards were held at Sanibel Harbour Resort & Spa.

Chris and his staff took home five awards including Architectural Firm of the Year!

The awards received were as follows:

*Architectural Firm of the Year

*Best Architectural Project—Healthcare for ‘Collins Vision Medical Office’

*Best Architectural Project—Healthcare for ‘Eye Specialists’ Laser & Surgery Center’

*Best Non-Built Design Product—Healthcare for ‘Orthopedic Specialists of SW Florida Surgery Center’

*Merit Award: Non-Built Design Project—Healthcare for ‘Favalli Orthodontics & Pediatric Dental Office’

The Summit Awards were created by the Commercial Contractors Council of the Lee BIA in 2006 and provide an opportunity to recognize and celebrate excellence in the commercial building industry. This unique local awards program pays tribute to the Lee Building Industry Association members who have obtained an outstanding level of success and professionalism in commercial building, planning and design during 2010 and 2011.

20September

Recently the News Press sent out a request for nominees for the best commercial building in SWFL. Voted by the public, Interop Technologies, designed by Christopher J. Lee Architects, was voted the Best Commercial Building in SWFL. Below is the article:

First Place: Powers Court Center: Interop Technologies headquarters. • Location: Fort Myers • Built: 2008 • Architect: Christopher J. Lee Architects Inc. • Interior designer: Interior Concepts (Cheryl Sazama) / Mark Borosch Photography

First place: Powers Court Center: Interop Technologies headquarters, 13500 Powers Court, south Fort Myers. Built 2008. Architect: Christopher J. Lee Architects Inc. with interior design by Interior Concepts (Cheryl Sazama)

In the commercial category it was the collective effort of an attentive and detail-oriented architect and a design conscious owner/developer that brought the community’s attention to this building.

Kimberly Haas, who previously worked there, nominated the building. She straightforwardly justified her choice: “In my opinion, the Powers Court Center is one of the most attractive business buildings in Southwest Florida and an amazing place to work. Employees work exceptionally efficiently there. The building is well-planned with multiple conference areas, open meeting spaces and plenty of natural light; I was always proud to bring clients to the office.”

Architect Christopher Lee, provided some history:

Interop Technologies is a leading provider of advanced wireless technology solutions in the United States and Central America. The southwest Florida office, developed by Talamh Associates Inc., was planned for Interop’s local business needs and to serve as the corporate headquarters for their global operations.

Identical materials applied in a similar manner inside and outside integrate and enrich the overall design. For example, inlaid natural stone on the exterior walls and pilasters as well as on the interior columns of a two-story lobby bring the exterior aesthetics into the building.

Large glass windows around the exterior combined with considerable amounts of interior glazing and low office partitions maximize natural light inside … Given a choice, employees and visitors alike appreciate the sumptuous two-story lobby while ascending a grand staircase; ignoring the rarely used elevators.

Commitment to good design and attention to detail have made an impact on this workplace, creating a place where pride and enthusiasm inevitably result in productivity and profit. The winning nomination by Haas confirms this wise investment with its abundant reward

What makes a great building?
What common thread focused the public’s attention on Southwest Florida’s favorite buildings? Each project involved both a visionary entrepreneur (or municipality) and a talented architect.
Good clients don’t just hire an architect to “make the blueprint” and a building that pleases no one, but conspire together to create buildings that are both functional and ageless assets for the community.
Michelangelo said, “Every block of stone has a statue inside it and it is the task of the sculptor to discover it.” Good architects recognize that it is the clients, not they, who bring the block of stone, and the opportunity to design a great building.
Good architects use their talent and expertise to discover a great building within the client’s requirements and resources.

— Joyce Owens AIA practices architecture in Southwest Florida. Her column appears in the Home & Garden section the third Saturday of every month. She can be reached at jowens@architecturejoyceowens.com.

15August

Adapting an existing 2-story bank building and converting the ground floor into a new AHCA licensed Ambulatory Surgical Center specifically for Ophthalmology and Eye-Health related procedures required the total demolition of the First Floor and expanding out beyond the Second Floor to create the new functional space required; completely fitted with all new electrical, plumbing, air conditioning, fire sprinklers and piped medical gas systems. Completed in November 2010, this new surgery center houses one Class “C” and one Class “B” Operating Room along with all other AHCA required support facilities.

This project won the 2009 Summit Award for Best Renovation and the 2011 Aurora Award for Best Commercial/Renovation Space.

Client: Gorovoy MD Eye Specialists Location: Fort Myers, Florida
Building Type: Medical/Ambulatory Surgical Center Building Size: 10,580 SF
1August

On July 23rd, Christopher J. Lee Architects received three prestigious awards in the Aurora Awards Design Competition of the 2011 Southeast Builder’s Conference in Orlando. The Aurora Awards honor the best in commercial and residential architecture in a 12-state region and entries are judged on design, quality of construction, unusual constraints, cost savings techniques and outstanding features. One of the awards Christopher J. Lee Architects was honored to receive was a Grand Aurora, which recognizes the best project within an entire category.

Collins Vision was awarded an Aurora Award as well as the Grand Aurora Award for Best Commercial Construction Healthcare Facility. Located at 6900 International Drive in Fort Myers, this award-winning facility consists of a 10,450 square foot medical office specializing in ophthalmology and vision correction. The medical office will have eight exam rooms, a procedure room, two orbital scan rooms and a retail area and lobby. Liebl & Barrow provided the structural engineering, Energy Concepts provided the MEP engineering, L.E.D. Design provided the interior design service and Stevens Construction was the contractor.

Eye Specialists’ Laser & Surgery Center also won an Aurora Award in the Commercial Construction Remodeling or Renovation category. Located at 12381 South Cleveland Avenue in Fort Myers, this award-winning facility included the addition and renovation of an existing building to create a new 10,580 square foot licensed ambulatory surgery center with two operating rooms, full post-operative recovery stations and associated support facilities. This new facility serves as the surgical center for Dr. Mark S. Gorovoy, MD who specializes in Cataract, Cornea, Glaucoma and Customvue LASIK Refractive Surgery. Liebl & Barrow provided the structural engineering, HSA Engineers & Scientists provided the MEP engineering, Christopher J. Lee Architects provided the interior design and Stevens Construction was the contractor.

13April

Builders Care, the nonprofit charitable arm of the Lee Building Industry Association (www.leebuilderscare.org), raised more than $29,000 at the second annual BBQ, Bands and Brew event held April 3 at the Lee County Alliance for the Arts. The money raised will provide emergency construction services to elderly homeowners or those suffering with disabilities. This year’s total is nearly doubled the amount raised during the 2010 inaugural event.

Chris was part of the Brew Crew this year.

20December

Doctors and contractors alike say they’re looking forward to constructing new medical office space in Lee County now that sky-high impact fees are a thing of the past.

But one real estate broker who specializes in the medical field said the anticipated boom may not materialize.

On Dec. 7, the county commission voted to cut medical office impact fees – charged to compensate for the costs of growth – by 70 percent to $7,400 per 1,000 cubic feet for two years.

Commissioners said they hope the cuts, which will cost $1 million to $2 million, will stimulate the building of medical space – which is weak but still the last man standing in the county’s devastated commercial construction industry.

“I do think it’ll make a difference,” said Mark Stevens, owner of Mark Stevens Construction in Fort Myers, which mainly builds medical offices. “I know a couple physicians who have been hesitating on whether to build.”

He hopes the new construction cut, and a similar one for expansion of existing medical space, will result in more doctors deciding to build.

With the rest of the commercial construction industry flat on its back, the stakes are high for builders, Stevens said. “Three years ago, 40 percent of our revenues were medical related; this year it’s over 90 percent.”

One doctor who built a new office without the benefit of the impact fee cuts said he doesn’t regret acting when he did, but still thinks the cuts will make it easier for other physicians to do the same.

“Some on the fence of it will act sooner rather than later,” said Dr. Michael Collins, who is scheduled to move into his new office Dec. 28.

But making the decision when he did had advantages as well, he said: rock bottom financing interest rates plus property and labor costs that prevailed a year ago allowed him to build a bigger and much higher profile location – visible from Six Mile Cypress Parkway a quarter mile south of Daniels Parkway.

He also was able to design his own building to suit his needs: an efficient floor plan plus a warmer, more welcoming feel to soothe patients’ anxieties.

In addition, Collins, an eye surgeon, will be able to add an optical department that sells glasses and contacts, along with a hearing specialist.

He marveled that the new office, built by Stevens Construction, was built ahead of schedule, within budget, in seven months – unheard of during the frenzied growth that preceded the commercial construction industry’s crash three years ago.

But one industry expert said he’s not sure the new rules will change things as much as builders and doctors hope.

“I don’t think that, in and of itself, it is going to suddenly spur a lot of medical office development,” said broker Mark Alexander, senior medical office adviser for Sperry Van Ness in Fort Myers.

It will, however, “level the playing field” for building owners who want to lease space to doctors, he said. That’s because in the past owners were hit with medical impact fees when they built out the interior for a doctor’s office.

Alexander said he still thinks reducing the fees is the right thing to do because they were too high to begin with.

“It begs the question, ‘Why did medical (fees) get so juiced up in the first place?'” he said. “My humble opinion is that is where there was the least resistance.”

With relatively few doctors, plus the public perception that they can afford higher costs, he said, “There were not too many people who are going to complain when you boost long-term medical fees.”

By the numbers

70 percent: Reduction of impact fees mandated by the Lee County commission for medical office space.

$7,400: The cost per 1,000 square feet for impact fees now assessed for a medical office building now that fees have been reduced.

17 percent: Impact fees’ contribution to the construction cost for a typical medical building in Lee County before the cuts.

24 percent: Typical impact fees’ contribution to the costs of changing the use of a building to medical use before the cuts.

(Article Courtesy of the News Press)

14December

>>Stevens Construction Inc. (www.stevensconstructioninc.com) has completed construction on Eye Specialists Cornea and Laser Center, the surgical facility for Dr. Mark Gorovoy.

Located at 12453 S. Cleveland Ave., construction entailed the addition of 4,600 square feet to an existing two-story facility to total a 10,580-square-foot ambulatory surgery center at completion. The center includes two operating rooms, recovery rooms, step-down recovery rooms, consultation areas, a patient lounge and administrative offices.

The construction team included Troy Hernly as project manager, Mike Bussiere as superintendent and Terri Sobeck as project administrator.

Christopher Lee of Christopher J. Lee Architects Inc. provided the architectural and interior design services.

25November

Christopher J. Lee Architects and Stevens Construction have started the renovations at the Cape Coral First United Methodist Church.

Construction of the activity center includes the remodel and addition of 6,920 square-feet to total a 13,377 square-foot, two-story building upon completion in spring of 2011.

Located at 4118 Coronado Parkway, the enhanced children’s and youth ministry will include a preschool, multipurpose room, classrooms, kitchen and associated services.

Groundbreaking team: Mike Moretti, Building Committee Chairman, Councilman McClain, Ken Fox, Lay Leader, Cape Coral First United Methodist Church, Pastor Jay Therrell, Cape Coral First United Methodist Church, Mayor John Sullivan, Christopher Lee, Principal, Christopher J. Lee Architects, Inc., Mike Bussiere, Superintendant: Stevens Construction, Mark Stevens, President: Stevens Construction, and Cindy Frey, Church Administrator, Cape Coral First United Methodist Church.

25October

The Lee Building Industry Association held its annual fall golf tournament at the Plantation Golf and Country Club Sunday October 2, 2010.

Chris Lee and his team members Ian Russell of Ian Russell Co. and Tom Lytton of CNL Bank had a great time on the course and appreciate the events arranged for its members to come together.

The Lee Building Industry Association is non-profit association, which represents Lee, Hendry and Glades Counties of Florida and is a powerful voice for the building industry in the regulatory arena. It is a resource for technical assistance, information and educational services. The Lee BIA is a visible force in the communities where its members live and work.

For more info on the Lee BIA visit:          www.BIA.net

6October

FORT MYERS, FL (September 30, 2010) – The Lee Building Industry Association’s (Lee BIA) Fifth Annual Summit Awards were held at the Paseo Village Center on September 25th.

Christopher J. Lee Architects, Inc. was presented with the award for Best Non-Built Architectural Design – Healthcare for ”Collins Vision Center”.

A complete Winners List can be found below. Photos available per request or online at http://www.bia.net/summit.html.)

This Summit Awards program is the only one of its kind in Southwest Florida, the goal of this event is to celebrate success and professionalism within the commercial and remodeling industry. Created by the Commercial Contractors Council of the Lee BIA, the Summit Awards provides an opportunity to recognize excellence in this effort. Judging takes place outside of the local area with experienced industry professionals.

For more information on the Summit Awards or the Lee Building Industry Association, visit www.bia.net

or call (239) 936–5525.

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