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Meet the Modular Housing Builder Google Picked, and their “Industrial Cathedral”

July 26th, 2017 Comments off
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Rick Holliday, Google prefab housing project’s builder, credit, Holliday Developments.

A little more than a month ago, the Daily Business News reported on Google’s plans to build modular housing to be used as temporary employee dwellings.

The plans are clearly moving forward, as Rick Holliday’s Factory_OS facility on Mare Island was touted in a local report by the Times Herald as being the builder that Google will use for their project.

Factory_OS is operating out of the Nimitz Avenue “industrial cathedral” previously used by Blu Homes. The Daily Business News has been following Blu Homes for years, as they moved across the country from Massachusetts to California – where they sell single family modular and prefab homes.

Now operating out of Blu’s vacated production center, Factory_OS will be hiring an additional 300 people to take on the project of building Google’s estimated 300 units of multi-family housing.

That staff total will include 160-180 builders and 20-30 management positions, including engineers, draftsmen, and general managers.

We’re creating a family here, where we will pay good salaries with union benefits, and, most importantly, an opportunity for people to be able to learn trades they’ll be able to take with them wherever they go,” said Kevin Brown, business partner of Factory_OS owner Rick Holliday.

People think mobile homes are boxy, but we can do (nearly anything) with the exterior articulation that can be done with a traditionally built building. We have revolutionized the modular building industry,” Brown said.

Holliday is a Bay area native who’s first big project was the Charles Hotel, in 1983 in Vallejo.  The Herald notes Holliday says he’s been developing multi-family housing for 35 years.

His website lists numerous awards for projects he’s done over the years. Those included, the 10th Annual Mountain Home Awards – Mixed Use Award (2013) and 2010′s Best Residential Landscapes.

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Graphic above from Holliday Development website, and is provided under fair use guidelines.

Prefabs, MODs and HUDs

While many manufactured housing professionals would wince at the “People think mobile homes are boxy” statement on a variety of levels, it’s the view that Brown expressed.

That represents part of the divide that exists between some among prefab and modular only producers, and those who build HUD Code manufactured homes. A number of manufactured home producers also build modular coded units, as the closing production figures for 2016 in last night’s report on Skyline Corp. demonstrated.

Factory_OS Focus – Multi-Family and Commercial Projects

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Blu Homes specializes in single family homes, and we focus on multi-family homes, done in pieces and assembled on site,” Brown said. “This allows for better quality control, because our assembly-line process eliminates having various contractors crawling over each other. It’s faster and more efficient — creating at least a 40 percent construction time savings.”

What happens in a recession, is the labor market shrinks as people leave and costs rise,” Holliday said. “So, I saw this and felt if we don’t start thinking about building housing differently, we are going to have a serious problem, so, the idea of building off-site came to me.”

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The Blu Homes Factory that was taken over by Factory OS. Credits, Factory OS

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Distance between the Factory OS location, Mare Island, and Silicon Valley, where Google will have their modular homes placed. Credits, Google Maps

The $30 million dollar deal between Factory_OS and Google for 300 units of multi-family style modular housing is what the firm hopes will be the first of many projects.

This is 300 stable jobs, more steady work, good paying jobs, close to where people can afford to live — making it possible to create better value and a better product in the end,” Holliday said. # #  (News.)

(Image credits are as shown above, and when provided by third parties, are shared under fair use guidelines.)

JuliaGranowiczManufacturedHomeLivingNewsMHProNews-comSubmitted by Julia Granowicz to the Daily Business News at MHProNew.

 

 

 

 

 

Manufactured Home Community Bordering Google Transforming into Tech Town

August 19th, 2016 Comments off

Calif_Santiago_Villa_Mt_view__Google_wrapped_theringer_Alyssa_Bereznak__credit postedDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsSantiago Villa manufactured home community was built in the 1960s as an affordable retirement community for those 55+ in Mountain View, Calif., long before the onset of Google, Microsoft and LinkedIn.

Now, however, since management has allowed families to move in, senior residents see their community colonized by corporate employees. Says Alexander Brown, a software engineer at Google and resident of Santiago for three years, “A lot of the residents blame Google for all the issues,” Brown, who has made an effort to get to know people, said. “They hate Google in the abstract, but they give residents the benefit of the doubt. At least, they have for me.”

In the Bay Area, where the asking price for a 70 year-old two bedroom cottage in Mountain View hit $1.1 million three years ago, with Google moving forward on an ambitious ten building development, the property’s management has made moves that older residents feel are designed to move them out of the 358-home site community.

As theringer tells MHProNews, community management sent letters to several community residents notifying them that if they did not make particular changes to their home exteriors within one week, they could face eviction. Alterations included painting the exterior of a home or resealing a driveway, demands that older residents might have trouble meeting within one week.

Furthermore, community management has raised the site rent prices for new residents, making it tough for homeowners to sell their homes, which lowers the value of their homes.

A local real estate agent said, “The really unique thing is they have one of the highest space rent increases ever. They went from $900 to $2,000 a month. That creates a certain disparity between the owner’s equity and the price.”

The higher rents have put off prospective buyers, resulting in many residents unable to sell their homes at their desired asking price, leading management to buy the homes at a discount and replacing them with new homes that are often rented out to groups of Google employees at a much higher rate. The new manufactured homes, according to Brown, are all identical, and all beige, reminding him of Malvina Reynolds’ song about little boxes made of ticky-tacky that all look just the same.

Santiago Villa general manager Maria Ahmad, who allegedly did not respond to a request for an interview for this article, had said earlier in the year funds from the increase in rents will be used to upgrade the community.

It is not unusual to find three employees of Google living in a two bedroom manufactured home, and one of the residents sleeping in the living room. Said a real estate agent, “It’s a midweek commuter home,. Instead of commuting every day to their job, they find a home they live in through the week. On the weekends they go home to their main home, their bigger home.” ##

(Photo credit: theringer/Alyssa Bereznak–Santiago Villa MHC, Mountain View, Calif.)

matthew-silver-daily-business-news-mhpronews-comArticle submitted by Matthew J Silver to Daily Business News-MHProNews.

 

 

Google’s Modular Plans Denied; LinkedIn Links Up

May 7th, 2015 Comments off

linked_in_logoUpdating an article MHProNews posted March 4, 2015 regarding Google’s modular expansion plans for its North Bayshore campus, the Mountain View (CA) City Council voted to give google_logoGoogle only about a quarter of the office space it had requested for the complex, and instead opted to give the lion’s share, about 1.5 million square feet, to LinkedIn.

Google had proposed a series of tent-shaped modular complexes that would have added 2.5 million square feet onto its existing four million square foot campus, with space to increase the number of employees from 20,000 to 30,000.

The vote not only reflected the David vs. Goliath victory for LinkedIn–Google is the largest employer, largest taxpayer and owns three Empire State buildings worth of real estate in Mountain View—but would also “preserve business diversity,” meaning, decrease the city’s dependence on Google. In addition, LinkedIn also partnered with an affordable housing developer for new housing projects nearby, although Google will likely have a hand in that since it owns a majority of the land in North Bayshore.

Google may also tear down some of its existing buildings and develop a plan with a smaller footprint. David Radcliffe, Google’s vice president of real estate said the company will continue to work with the city on future plans in the city, according to nytimes. ##

(Image credit: LinkedIn, Google)

matthew-silver-daily-business-news-mhpronews-comArticle submitted by Matthew J. Silver to Daily Business News-MHProNews.

Google Search Turns up Modular

March 4th, 2015 Comments off

google_new_modular_headquarters__google_slash_afp_creditExpanding its base from search engine to broader technological interests, MHProNews has learned from U. S. Modular that Google will use modular construction methods to add 2.5 million square feet onto it’s existing four-million-square-foot campus in Mountain View, California.

The tent-shaped glass and metal structures, created by London’s Heatherwick Studio and Danish architect Bjarke Ingels, will provide accommodations for 10,000 more employees, adding to the 20,000 currently on the firm’s campus.

The modular design will allow rooms to be reconfigured by moving interior walls as space demands change, which fits in with Google’s versatile and fluid corporate culture as it delves into the fields of robotics, automobiles and healthcare. Parks and other green space will be included along with retail to give the area a neighborhood feel. This project is an example of McGraw-Hill’s assessment that modular is the fastest growing segment in new construction. #

(Image credit: Google/ADF–artist’s rendering of Google’s modular addition)

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Article submitted by Matthew J. Silver to Daily Business News MHProNews

Michael Bloomberg says Dodd-Frank “Stupid,” slamming it and ObamaCare

November 12th, 2014 Comments off

former-nyc-mayor-bloomberg-credit-nypost-posted-daily-business-news-mhpronews-com0Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg said harsh regulation on financial institutions are hurting Main Street. Speaking at a conference, Bloomberg lashed out at laws that are arguably helping his own firm, which provides servcies to the financial industry. It’s good for the terminal business,” he said. “Some of these firms have 10 or 15 thousand people working on [compliance]; if that’s not an opportunity to provide software, I don’t know what is.” BuzzFeed tells MHProNews.

CNNMoney reported Bloomberg saying, The trouble is if you reduce the risk at these institutions, they can’t make the money they did. If they can’t make the money they did, they can’t provide the financing that this country and this world needs to create jobs and build infrastructure.”

Bloomberg, is the founder of financial data company Bloomberg L.P., as well as a billionaire philanthropist.

What happens is every little group in Congress has to add something to that bill in return for their votes, and a lot of those things are just mutually exclusive,” Bloomberg said. “Years later now we don’t have the regulations that are required and complying with it is just really impossible.” The same goes for Obamacare, Bloomberg asserted.

The NewYorkPost stated the former mayor said, The world adjusts to stupid laws. They just don’t pay attention to it and you get burned later on. That really is what happens, like a 25-mile-an-hour speed limit.”

Bloomberg sounded off on a range of topics, the NSA, Google and the president being “a wuss” after his party lost the mid-terms so badly.

Google and Facebook and Twitter, they want to collect data on everything you do, everybody you sleep with, every place you eat and what you ordered at the venue, and then they’re going to sell it for their own personal profit,” he said. “And we’re complaining about the NSA?” ##

(Photo Credit: NYPost)

Sun Communities to Sell Six Million Shares to Fund Acquisition

September 17th, 2014 Comments off

sun communnities communityIn a filing with the U. S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) dated July 30, 2014, Sun Communities, Inc. (SUI) is selling six million shares to help fund its acquisition of 59 manufactured home communities from Green Courte Partners LLC for $1.32 billion. The first phase of 34 communities is expected to close by Oct. 15, 2014, but no later than Dec. 31, 2014, according to google.com. The second phase of 25 communities will be finalized Jan. 5, 2015. As MHProNews reported July 31, 2014, nearly 14,000 of the homesites, 73 percent, are age-restricted communities. In today’s trading, shares of Sun closed down -0.80 percent at 51.40. ##

(Photo credit: Sun Communities, Inc.)

Factory-Built Home Days Proclaimed in New York

April 11th, 2014 Comments off

In honor of the 64th Anniversary of the New York Housing Association (NYHA), New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo has proclaimed May 4-10, 2014 as New York Housing Association’s Factory-Built Home Days. The importance of factory-built housing can be seen in the thousands who continue to buy it, and in the thousands who make a living building it, all in New York state. In his proclamation, as google.com tells MHProNews, Gov. Cuomo says, “With continued advancements in technology and increasing popularity among the general public, factory-built housing is expected to be a significant source of quality, affordable homes in the 21st Century.” ##

(Image credit: New York Housing Association)

Google Buys Auction.com

March 6th, 2014 Comments off

Once an online platform for selling only distressed real estate, Auction.com touts itself as being the leader in online real estate sales, including high quality commercial properties. Sources in Auction.com tell MHProNews.com Google has purchased the company, which sold over 35,000 properties, residential and commercial, in 2013 valued at more than $7 billion. Noting sales of more than $20 billion in four years, auction.com welcomes the investment from Google. ##

(Photo credit: mattheafey.com)

Adkins Blasts Media for Anti-Manufactured Home Bias

August 30th, 2013 3 comments

In an editorial, MH aficionado Crystal Adkins said that in her opinion, journalists are a significant part of the image problem manufactured home owners and professionals face daily. “There are so many great benefits and advantages of manufactured homes.” Adkins said. She writes that manufactured home owners ought to be celebrated for living within their means, but instead are stigmatized by the media. As evidence that this isn’t a “conspiracy theory,” Adkins observes that on one week using Google alerts, she had “34 of those articles are about fires. There’s only 45 total articles.” She continued” “Out of the 45, only 6 were articles that were not negative. 2 of those weren’t even about real mobile homes and 1 was an ad on Craigslist. The craziest thing about all this is that Foremost Insurance Company shows that site-built homes are more than twice as likely to experience a fire than manufactured homes. According to this study, the number of home fires is 17 per 1,000 for site-built homes, while only eight per 1,000 for manufactured homes.” Adkins makes important points. As regular MHProNews readers know, we see it similarly and realize it is up to professionals to work daily to improve our image, celebrated daily on the new MHLivingNews.com website. Image building will also be one of the many topics that are part of the commentary in Florida Manufactured Housing Association Executive Director’s upcoming exclusive interview here, A Cup of Coffee with…Jim Ayotte. ##

(Image credit: Crystal Adkins/Mobile Home Living)

1960’s Definition of Manufactured Housing Clouds Industry

April 12th, 2013 Comments off

If you Google “definition manufactured home,” what pops up may surprise you. “Mobile home: a large house trailer that can be connected to utilities and can be parked in one place and used as permanent housing.” Credit for the entry is Princeton University’s WordNet. MHProNews publisher L. A. “Tony” Kovach wrote to Princeton, as have several other industry leaders and members.  To see examples of the letters and learn more about this issue, please click here.

(Image credit: HousingWire)