The exterior of the first new Class A office building in downtown Vero Beach in over a decade is complete and the interior is being designed this week to suit a buyer who put the property under contract in February.
Developer Joe Foglia said he had the beautiful two-story Federal-style building built just in time.
The brick-clad structure was erected in 2020 and 2021, during the period when the cost of building materials skyrocketed at the same time as many building essentials became difficult to obtain in a timely manner. But Foglia had ordered the bulk of the material before Covid-19 and supply chain issues have disrupted the construction industry.
“The good news is that most of the materials for the works and the shell of the site – concrete, blocks, bricks, trusses and other key materials – were purchased before the madness really started,” Foglia said. at Vero Beach 32963. “It was all already contracted when prices jumped.
“If we had started a year later, the costs would have been 25% higher.”
According to a February report from the National Association of Homebuilders, “Building material prices… have risen 28.7% since January 2020. Over the past four months, the materials price index has climbed 8, 4%”.
“To be honest, I wouldn’t undertake this project today. Not under these conditions,” Foglia said. “I would build it for someone else as a general contractor, but I wouldn’t do it as a speculative venture. Not now.”
Supply chain blockages and price increases have had some impact on the final stages of the completion of the two-storey shell and concourse.
“A lot of little things don’t get done as fast as you would like,” Foglia said. “For example, there was a delay in finishing the recessed lights in the lobby because the trim rings were out of stock – whatever that means. Are the rings held up at the Canadian border? Are they on a boat somewhere that can’t get into the harbor haven’t they been made who the hell knows?
But it essentially went under the wire, completing what project architect Hal Lambert calls “a landmark building” for far less than it would cost to build now.
“Joe did a great job building, finishing the hull and putting the landscaping and paving in place. It’s nice to see it finished,” said Lambert, who is approaching retirement and considers the building as a cornerstone of his career.
“Being a graduate of Vero Beach High School and a resident of Vero for 50 years, it’s nice to come out with a project of this quality and caliber,” he said.
Foglia bought the 0.34 acre lot at the edge of downtown in 2016 for $550,000, but was too busy with other projects for several years to tackle the office building.
He said he paid a higher price than he otherwise would have because the site came with city approvals for a new office building, saving him time and money.
“Because this building is located so close to the courthouse, I thought it would most likely contain law offices, so I felt it should be dignified, solid, and done in a classic American architectural style” , said Lambert, who operates Hal Lambert. Architecture.
“I was also inspired by the old historic all-brick Vero Power Station at the other end of the twin pairs.
“Relatively few buildings in Vero Beach are clad in brick, and this building is all brick, like the power plant, so both buildings are a bit like bookends on the downtown twin pairs.”
The building’s market appeal was demonstrated when a buyer came forward and made an acceptable offer in February.
The building, located at 1745 20th St., has 20 covered parking spaces on the ground floor under the elevated building and six more on the east side. The two-story lobby, which has been completed, includes a reception area, an elevator and an elegant staircase leading to the offices on the second floor.
Foglia finished the lobby in a modern style with stainless steel stair railings and other details that contrast with the traditional exterior.
“I wanted to create the feel of an older building that had been remodeled in a modern style,” he said of the interior design aesthetic.
On the ground floor, at the top of the stairs, is 7,800 square feet of office space that Foglia has arranged into five unfinished suites ranging from 1,371 to 1,783 square feet.
He left the suites open and unfinished so they could be customized for the eventual buyer or tenants.
Foglia has listed the property with Billy Moss and Ron Lambert at Lambert Commercial Real Estate. They offered it for sale at $4.35 million or for lease at $28 per square foot.
Possible transaction scenarios included an investor buying the leased property as a revenue property or an end user such as a law firm or financial services company buying it as a corporate office.
Because the sale of the building has not been completed, the sale price is still under wraps and Moss would not say who the buyer is or what company he works for. But other sources said the buyer planned to use the space for his own business. instead of renting it out for income.
The sale is listed as pending on Lambert Commercial Real Estate’s website, which usually means non-refundable money has been paid, making the deal solid, but Foglia says the contract is contingent on closing. of an agreement with the buyer on the details to build it on.
Construction is included in the undisclosed purchase price, but is budgeted at a certain amount. Foglia said that once the permits are in hand, finishing the interior of the building will take several months.