Merrill Lynch to join 350 Goose Lane Office Park

The Office Park at 350 Goose Lane in Guilford signed a new tenant for Building C – before the scheduled build begins. 

Bank of America Merrill Lynch will occupy the entire third floor of Building C, for a total of 7,472 square feet of office space. With the build scheduled to begin this fall, Horton Group will work closely with Merrill Lynch to customize their office. This will allow the wealth management company the opportunity to create an optimal office floor plan.

The professional campus consists of three buildings. Building A was an existing building completely renovated by the Horton Group. Buildings B and C are brand new Type II-B construction

Customized Office Plans

Like Merrill Lynch, many of the tenants in buildings A and B signed on before construction was complete, allowing for the design of each office space to match the needs of tenants. 

Customization of work environments is becoming more critical to employers, as research shows that well-constructed office plans and green space can increase productivity and job satisfaction. In the offices at 350 Goose Lane, we have incorporated open layouts, glass walls, private meeting areas, collaborative workspaces, and waiting rooms. Each unique space meets the needs of our tenants. 

Unmatched Campus Green Space

Set on 16 acres, 350 Goose Lane Office Park was once home to Wilber & King Nursery. The impeccable grounds have been maintained for the use of green space by tenants in all three buildings. A beautiful courtyard, with outdoor tables, umbrellas, and wifi, allows people to take an outdoor lunch break or even work outside. All three buildings have views of the courtyard and on-site pond. Green space has been shown to increase feelings of contentment at work. 

“What makes the property really amazing is the amount of green space,” stated Horton Group President Kenny Horton. “It’s not the typical pavement, concrete, and walkways you see with other campuses.”

The Horton Group is thrilled to welcome Bank of America Merrill Lynch to this incredible campus. 

Concrete Flooring Finishes

Concrete has always been popular in garages, basements, and factories due to its durability and low-maintenance. When the only option was a dull gray color, concrete was kept out of more high-profile areas of homes and businesses. 

Textured concrete is changing the way people use this flooring option. Concrete is made with a natural composite material combined with a cement binder and water. Textured concrete can be made smooth, shiny, or with patterns to create the look that you want. 

We go through some of the finishes that can be applied to concrete, so this durable and low-maintenance flooring can also be a focal point in the design of your space. 

Polished Concrete

Polished concrete creates a modern feel that can be used in finished basements, kitchens, and living rooms. The process starts by grinding the surface of the floor to the desired smoothness. Then the surface is sealed to create a shiny surface and protect the flooring from moisture and stains. Several tenants in the 350 Goose Lane Office Park opted for polished concrete flooring due to its durability, low maintenance, and modern industrial look.

Stamped Concrete

For a look of paved brick or stone, concrete stamping is an option. Large polyurethane stamps are used on the surface of wet concrete to create a 3-D impression. After stamping, the concrete is sealed. Stamped concrete is often used in outdoor living spaces, such as patios or pool decks. 

Stenciled Concrete

Stenciling is similar to stamped concrete in that it is done on wet concrete that has been poured, floated, and edged. Stencils are made from disposable paper and pressed into the surface to create patterns. Popular stenciling options include mimicking the look of ceramic tile, bricks, or pavers. 

Color

To change the color of a new concrete floor before it is poured, you can add color hardeners or integral pigments directly into the material when being mixed. For subtle color changes, natural dyes are used, while chemical coloring can create brighter colors. 

For an existing concrete floor, you also have options to add in color. These include staining, painting, or using tinted concrete sealers. 

Concrete flooring is being used in residential interiors, outdoor living spaces, and commercial offices. The low-maintenance and highly durable flooring, combined with numerous design options, make concrete a popular choice.

6 Tips for Creating a Productive Office Space

Most people spend more time at the office than their own home throughout the week. When moving into a new office, think beyond cubicles and desks so that you and your employees can be productive in an inspiring and comfortable atmosphere. 

In our commercial projects, Horton Group continues to work closely with a range of business owners to design and build their dream offices.  At our current commercial development, 350 Goose Lane Office Park, we have built offices for large national corporations, small business owners, and everything in between.

Below are six tips for creating a productive office space, no matter what industry you work in.

Ask for Employee Input

Ask your employees what their dream office would look like. You won’t be able to incorporate all of their ideas, but if you find out that 90% of the people working for you would utilize standing desks, for example, you can determine how to fit a couple into your office space. 

When employees are given the opportunity to set up their own workspace, they have more satisfaction and better performance at work compared to employees who have no control over their environment. 

Traffic flow

Utilizing the space efficiently is essential no matter what size office you have. Consider how people will move from work areas to meeting rooms, the bathroom, and kitchen areas. Keeping these common areas clear of clutter makes it much easier to move around the office.  Traffic flow is especially important if you have customers or patients coming in and out of the office all day. 

Don’t Neglect the Basics: Lighting, Noise, and Temperature

We’ve all been uncomfortable or distracted while on the job. The more you can eliminate small annoyances, the better. This means paying attention to lighting, noise, and temperature in the office. 

Natural light is ideal, but not always possible. In spaces without windows, opt for overhead lighting options that mimic natural light. Unnecessary noise at work can decrease productivity and increase headaches. Ask your builder or contractor what can be done to eliminate noise from other offices. Finally, make sure the temperature can be easily controlled in the office. 

Variety of Workspaces

A variety of workspace options is essential in increasing productivity. Some parts of the day may require an independent work station where people can tune out the rest of the office and tackle important phone calls or deadlines. Other times employees may need to connect with coworkers in a collaborative meeting area or a step into a quiet room to decompress. By incorporating numerous spaces to work in, people can move around throughout the day and tailor the space to their work needs. 

Greenspace

Whenever possible, incorporate green space. A beautifully landscaped property can include an additional workspace in good weather. The benefits of green space for employees include increased job satisfaction and decreased stress. 

Plan for Growth

As a business owner, chances are you have a 1, 5, and 10-year plan. Will the office you are creating today be able to hold your vision for the future? Take into consideration the fact that you will expand, leaving some wiggle room for reorganization. 

 

10 Questions to Ask if Buying New Construction

Brand new everything. No surprise issues behind the walls. Custom designed for your wants and needs. 

New construction is an opportunity for you to build your dream home. While the thought of moving into a never-lived-in-before house is blissful, there can be stressful moments throughout the process. A new build runs much smoother with patience and communication. This means you need to ask your questions upfront and stay in communication throughout the build. 

Below are ten questions to ask your builder or contractor when constructing a new home:

Who is my point of contact during the build?

There will be a lot of people on the construction site, and they may not always be the people you need to speak with. Find out who your point of contact is from the start, and stay consistent in communicating with that person. This will help to eliminate the run-around when you need an answer to a specific question. 

Is the lot included?

Before signing on, the budget will be one of the first things you discuss with your builder. Give your total budget upfront so the builder can keep that in mind as the project moves through each stage. Some builders will have the cost of the lot included in the sale price of the home, while others keep this as a separate transaction for the buyers. Find out whether you need to close on the lot before construction begins. 

What are standard fixtures and what is extra?

Generally speaking, builders have a model that comes with standard features. A builder specifications sheet will go through all standard features in the home. If you want extras and your budget allows for you, determine what is of most importance to you and let your builder know as early on in the build as possible. 

How much input can I have on design?

If starting from the beginning of the build, there can be a lot of flexibility in how much input you have in the design. As the home nears completion, there is less of a chance for you to build-to-suit

If you have a vision that is different than the standard features of extras the builder provides, speak with them to determine if what you want can be incorporated while sticking to your budget. 

When is the scheduled completion?

Once you have determined your budget and design plans, the builder can give you a scheduled completion date. This allows you to plan for how much time you need alternate housing. 

Is a builder’s warranty included?

Find out if the builder’s warranty comes with the completion of the house. Knowing the builder will fix issues that may arise after the sale of the home can eliminate a lot of stress. 

Is landscaping included?

An empty lot means there is a significant amount of work to do with landscaping. If landscaping is not included with the build, you will want to put some of your budget aside so that you can attend to your property. 

Are there homeowner rules?

Is the new home in a development or condominium complex? Find out what the homeowner association rules and regulations, along with the monthly fees, are. It’s best to know this first so that your dream home is also in your dream community. 

Do I need a home inspection?

You may think that because the construction is brand new that you don’t need a home inspection. But it’s important to know that everything has been built up to code. Inspectors know what to look for in newly constructed homes. 

Are there energy-saving features in the home?

Energy-saving features help you live sustainably and can also help save you money on monthly payments. Every year, there are new and advanced technologies to make your home more sustainable and more comfortable. Find out what the builder is doing to keep the build eco-friendly. 

Do you have more questions about new construction process? Contact us.

What are Common Area Maintenance (CAM) fees?

Commercial leases can come with Common Area Maintenance (CAM) fees, which help the landlord pay for upkeep on the property’s common areas. While CAM fees are common in leases, they can vary from space to space and year to year. When signing a lease for a commercial space, be sure you understand all parts of the Common Area Maintenance fees.

What do CAM Fees Cover?

As the term suggests, CAM fees help to pay for the cost and upkeep of common areas in the building and grounds of a commercial property. Common areas can include hallways, shared bathrooms, lobbies, elevators, as well as the parking lot and landscaping. CAM fees in a lease typically include regular maintenance to the property and building, but can also consist of emergency repairs, security systems, signage, insurance, and in some instances salaries of administrative staff.

Variable CAM Fees

If you have a lease with variable CAM fees, this means the fees you are charged can increase based on factors outlined in the contract. If the factors are not explicitly stated, find out what they are from your landlord and get them in writing. You should also find out if there is a cap to how high the fees will go.

Flat CAM Fees

Flat CAM fees in an agreement mean the fees are fixed, and will not adjust up or down. Depending on the lease, these fees can be paid monthly, quarterly, or annually. Sometimes, the costs of major renovations are separate from flat CAM fees. If this is the case, determine if there are scheduled renovations happening in the future.

With commercial leases, there is not a standard on what can and cannot be included in CAM fees. While most landlords will not take advantage of their tenants, it is important to always carefully read your lease and get clarification on any items that are not explicitly stated.

 

How does the Horton Group eliminate noise in a multi-unit building?

Noise.

It can interrupt your workflow or wake you up from a deep sleep. Unnecessary noise can range from distracting to infuriating, and isn’t something you should deal with in the places you spend the most time in.

With all of our multi-unit buildings, whether a residential luxury condominium community or an office park, we concentrate on eliminating noise.

When you go into an old building, one of the things you may notice right away is the noise of footsteps from the floor above you or overhearing a conversation from a unit over. In the past, buildings were not always soundproofed because there weren’t solutions that were budget-friendly and effective. With today’s materials, soundproofing can be attained in any building. Below are some of the solutions to combat noise travel.

Walls

“Paper-thin” walls are no longer acceptable in buildings. To reduce noise from room to room, soundproofing the walls is an important step. It can be challenging to identify where noise is coming from, as sound travels the path of least resistance. When building, the entire space needs to be taken into consideration, including windows, vents, and doors.

Materials that are dense and resilient are best for blocking sound. For walls, this can be achieved with noise-reducing drywall, double walls (this is perfect for office spaces), and dense insulation.

Flooring

Flooring is another factor in eliminating unwanted noise from neighbors. Just like walls, layering up noise reducing products is most effective.

While carpet with padding underneath is one option for creating dense layers, most people prefer hardwood and tile in their homes. The Residences at 66 High Street were built with materials that make you forget about your upstairs neighbors. We start with a layer of Homasote soundproof board, which is made of 98% recycled materials. The next layer is AdvanTech plywood, followed by engineered hardwood flooring. These three layers help to eliminate noise while combining strength and moisture resistance.

If moving into a new building or searching for office space, ask what has been done to reduce noise. This will save you many headaches in the future.

How to Make Any Size Bathroom Feel Luxurious

Hearing the phrase “spa-like bathroom,” we envision a spacious bathroom, complete with a soaking tub, separate walk-in shower, double vanity, and space for lounging.

If you are building a custom home or completely renovating a house, you can create space for a large bathroom. But, if you are doing a remodel, in most cases you need to stick to the size that you have.

Luxury can be incorporated into any bathroom – large or small – by paying attention to the details. So even if you can’t have a large tub and a separate shower, you can still feel like you just stepped into a spa.

Christina Fay, Bathroom Designer for Bender Showroom, shares tips on how to make any bathroom feel luxurious.

Organization and Color

A well-organized space with a clear direction for the flow of traffic can open up a small space. A floating vanity allows you to see the floor all the way to the wall, while a glass panel shower opens up every bit of square footage.

“Coming from the paint industry, I can tell you that the fastest way to feel a change is to change the colors involved. A new feel, a new energy, and a new start for a room starts with a change in colors,” said Christina.

For smaller bathrooms, white or neutral colors help to make a room feel airy. Light and bright colors are reflective and can mimic the effect of natural light, making the room feel larger.

Custom Cabinetry

To upgrade a bathroom, custom cabinets with slow closing drawers offer sophistication. Bender worked on the cabinetry in the kitchens and bathrooms at The Residences at 66 High Street, providing each unit with high-quality cabinets. Adding in mixed metals by selecting pewter, graphite, gunmetal, or chrome hardware creates the industrial look that is now trending in bathrooms. In order to ensure the bathroom invites in warmth, Bender recommends mixing metals by adding in traditional finishes, such as antique brass.

Temperature Control

No one likes stepping out of the shower onto a cold tile floor. Towel warmers and heated floors evoke spa-like comfort. You can opt for a portion of the floor to be heated, such as space right in front of the shower, or the entire floor.

Connectivity

Advanced technology is seeping into every room of the house, and bathrooms are not excluded.

“Connectivity has become the demand for luxury for those willing to invest in it,” explained Christina.

Popular options include an illuminated, defogging vanity, installing speakers that run off of Bluetooth, and mood setting lights. Personalized controls for the shower, body jets, rain head, a waterfall panel in the ceiling, timed steam generators, Chromatherapy (colored lighting) and aromatherapy controls are all possibilities for a dream bathroom.

“The sky is the limit when you can build a package of systems all linked to one digital interface,” Christina said.

Bathrooms can instill a sense of peace and relaxation. No matter what size your bathroom is, you have endless options for creating a space that is both luxurious and practical.

 

Kitchen Renovations: Where to Splurge

A well-designed kitchen can make an entire house feel more luxurious. The heart of the home, the kitchen is where families and friends gather to prepare food, discuss their days, enjoy meals, and unwind with a drink.

The Horton Group knows how important the kitchen is to most people, which is why we incorporate the best quality and design into the homes we build. For the luxury condominium units at The Residences at 66 High Street, we called on Bender to design the kitchen cabinetry with designer Daryl Zorn.

Bender has six Connecticut locations, with national recognition for their award-winning showrooms. For the model units of the Whitfield and Leete buildings, Zorn worked closely with our interior designer and Nicole White from One + Company Real Estate, the listing company for 66 High Street, to make selections.

“The rest were custom units where I worked directly with the buyers and got a feel of the styling they liked. The styles range from traditional to somewhat farmhouse with distressed cabinets to transitional,” Zorn said.

Kitchens continue to be the most desired room to renovate. The average kitchen renovation costs over $20,000, according to Home Advisor, and can easily go much higher. Because Bender focuses on function, budget, and innovative design, we reached out to them to determine which items are worth the splurge in the kitchen.

1. Cabinet Box Construction

A quality-built cabinet is essential for new kitchens. Pay attention to both the material of the cabinet box and the way it is built. Some manufacturers claim all plywood construction, but with poor assembly. Paying more for the build of the cabinets will go a long way in your kitchen.

2. Qualified Contractor or Installer

Spending money on the quality of the cabinets will go to waste if not installed correctly, and it is not the best time to try out your DIY skills. Find a contractor or installer who is an expert with cabinetry. They know what screws to use, how to level cabinetry, and how to adjust drawers and hinges. A quality installation job will last a lifetime and makes it easier for other contractors in your kitchen, including plumbers, electricians, and countertop installers.

3. Appliances

High-quality appliances not only add to the design of your kitchen but, more importantly, better your cooking experience and the food you eat. With advanced technology, high-end appliances give you more control over how you cook and make cleanup easier.

4. Cabinet Hardware

Hardware allows for endless customization options in the kitchen. Mixed metals, including brushed brass, chrome, and matte black, are trending in kitchen designs. Bender recommends choosing two or three metals that complement each other and play off of one another in cabinet hardware, light fixtures, and faucets. The “jewelry” of the kitchen, cabinet knobs and pulls can make the difference between a nice kitchen and a fabulous kitchen.

No matter what you decide to spend your budget on in the kitchen, you cannot go wrong with quality products installed by a professional.

New Construction: the Process of a Residential Build

New construction means you don’t have to deal with hidden issues that come with older homes, knowing you are up to code on everything, and you don’t have to compete for a highly desired home during a seller’s market. While building a new house is a process that takes time, patience, and open communication, the end result is a home built specifically for your needs and desires.

How long does new construction take?

Based on your plan, your builder or subcontractor will be able to estimate the timeline, but it’s essential to remain flexible throughout the process. The timeframe of new construction varies for every home. Factors that affect the process include the land being cleared and approved for building, the size of the house, weather conditions throughout the build, and change orders. In addition, if decisions about finishes and materials are put off, items may take weeks to arrive, pushing back the finish date.

Hire Professionals

When you choose who to work with, you can decide to hire a contractor, builder, or subcontractors for each part of the build. Contractors and builders will oversee the project from start to finish, so you don’t have to worry about hiring multiple people throughout the process. When hiring, take into consideration the experience and communication styles of the people you meet with. You will be working with these people for an extended period of time on your biggest asset, so take the time to interview and choose people you trust.

Site Preparation

Once you have a piece of property that is zoned for residential living, the first step is getting it ready for a new build. Depending on the state of the lot, this can including clearing land or tearing down an existing structure. Vacant land may also need work to reach electric, gas, and plumbing for the house.

Layout and Design

Working with an architect or builder, create the design of the home. The professionals you work with will help keep you on track so basic systems like HVAC and electrical work correctly. Communicate your overall vision, your style, and your must-have items. Once the floorplan is complete, you will be able to get into more specifics of each room. This can be a time-consuming step, as the number of options that go into the design of a home, from the layout down to the cabinet hardware, can seem endless. Be patient and begin with the overall vision before narrowing in on design elements.

Build

As the build progresses, you get to see your vision come to life. At this point, the professionals you hired take control, as they make sure the job is done correctly while adhering to code.

The build begins with pouring the foundation and framing the walls, floors, and roof of the house. From here, “the guts” are completed. This includes everything you can’t see behind the walls, including heating and cooling units, electrical work, and plumbing. During this time, SmartHome systems can also be installed. Workers will then close up the walls with insulation and drywall. At this point, you can really begin to see the vision come to life.

The next phase includes installing finishes and design elements. Starting with the floors and paint, then moving on to cabinets, appliances, and light fixtures. The final few weeks of the build include all the finishing touches.

 

Are you interested in a custom residential build? We’re happy to answer any questions. Contact us to learn more.

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