12A — February 22 - March 14, 2013 — Mid Atlantic Real Estate Journal


M id A tlantic R eal E state J ournal By Tim McEntyre Ronald Schmidt & Associates welcomes new year as 32 nd in business

a job wins recognition from respected authori- ties in design, business, and medical worlds simultane- ously!” Actually, AIA, the architec- tural profession’s guiding force, has focused on RSA for its high- est honor, the Architectural Design Award, an amazing 29 times. That record has been achieved by only three firms in the New Jersey region, inAIA’s 155-year history. In recent years, RSAhas received numer- ous tributes for outstanding design in colleges, universities, and K-12 schools. In 2012, the Schmidt design team faced the interesting challenge to contemporize the learning environment of the century-old, exclusive, all-girls The Chapin School, across the Hudson River from New Jersey on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, with technological advancements while preserving the authentic character of the original structure. Since its founding in 1901, by suffragette Maria Bowen Chap- in, who urged young women to speak up andmake a difference, The Chapin School has accom- plished an astounding track re- cord of sending graduates to the finest colleges and universities. In the media idiom that ‘names make news’, notable alumnae reveals such personalities as Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy, Anne Morrow Lindbergh, Lily Pulitzer, Amanda Hearst, Lake Bell, Ivanka Trump, and former two-termNew Jersey Governor Christine Todd Whitman, to mention just a few. Interior Design Magazine has consistently ranked Ronald Schmidt & Associates, P.A., as one of the 50 largest architec- ture firms in the nation. Amost telling third-party endorse- ment of top job performance is praise from a design firm’s most important public – its client base. In the past 30 years, RSA has not only ever lost a single client, but its leadership, direct- ing a highly-experienced staff of 40 professional architects and high-pedigree technicians, has achieved the highest client return rate in the industry. Despite the longtime weak of- fice market, where downsizing and consolidation of space and multi-user work stations are more prevalent in the facilities management plan, than are im- posing high-windowed corner offices, company buildings and ont. from page 3A C

corporate interiors are still a main focus of RSA. Because of its air, rail and highway transportation access, in conjunction with its geo- graphic proximity to the world’s financial capitol just across the river, as well as high-educa- tion IQ and experience-driven expertise of its executive work- force, New Jersey still remains the most desirable hunting ground for corporate headquar- ters, division main offices, and Turnpike-accessible warehouse distribution space. Historically, RSA has dem- onstrated a skilled hand in designing new offices from the ground up and redefining outdated corporate interiors. Their challenge on every proj- ect, large or small, Ron Schmidt relates is “to provide the high quality design one would ex- pect from a boutique design firm while producing projects that effectively address the real world issues of product quality, construction cost, time to market, and sustainable construction practices.” While RSA’s home field, Ber- gen County, still reigns as the state’s corporate headquarters leader, Morris County has closed the gap as a contender for the title, one recent head- quarters assignment by RSA was for a $16 Million 45,000 s/f Corporate Headquarters & Training Facility, in Whippany, New Jersey. That site was to host Red Bull New York, the celebrated energy beverage maker and professional sports sponsor. Red Bull also signed on Schmidt as planner and archi- tect for its $16Million 44,000 s/f Training Facility and Campus, in Kearny, Hudson County, New Jersey, for its major league soccer team. Another impressive structure bearing the RSA signature of expertise is the stylish 200,000 s/f National Headquarters in North Bergen, also Hudson County, NJ, for Liz Claiborne. When reflecting on images, and that ‘names make news’, what name is bigger than Mercedes, the quintessential dream car? When Mercedes was inspired to put a new face on its U.S. Headquarters, in Montvale, NJ, they enlisted RSA to redesign the lobby and landmark showroom. Mercedes is just one of many big names on its ongoing client roster. In addition to top health care institutions, corporate offices,

public buildings, hotels, and entertainment/cultural venues, higher education is a familiar word mentioned in the Schmidt project vocabulary. Close to home, the Paramus, NJ-based Bergen Community College, has recently won two awards in successive years for RSA-designed buildings, con- ferred by the New York State, LIC of the American Institute of Architects and the New Jersey Business & Industry Association (NJBIA), for the Top 10 Building Projects in the State of New Jersey. One of those awards was bestowed upon the $15 million 60,000 s/f West Hall Commu- nications Arts Building, which included five television studios, multiple radio and visual arts rooms, all outfitted to train, educate and prepare students for communication careers in both the corporate and broad- cast worlds. West Hall had an encore performance, appearing in scenes of the critically-ac- claimed HBO movie, “Taking Chance” – starring Kevin Ba- con. Another award was for the Bergen Community College, $13 million new College Sci- ence Wing was also singled out for an NJBIA award, again for being one of the top ten building projects in the Garden State. The project, with 18 laborato- ries focused on critical sciences, including chemistry, physics and biology, and was applauded for helping meet the demand for expert technical leadership in the industrial and biomedi- cal workplaces. The Schmidt design team has crafted a number of award-wor- thy designs in the university district of New Jersey’s largest city, Newark. One is the $15 million Gradu- ate School of Management, a 3-story office and classroom building unveiled by a striking atrium hallmarking the gate- way to the campus of Rutgers University there. At its own Englewood, New Jersey headquarters, RSA benefits its own team and the profession in general, by hosting regular credit-earning continuing education seminars, maximizing its own expertise with the assistance of proven outside experts. These sessions educate participants on a broad range of subjects affecting the quality of architectural services and sound business practices in the field. Staff members, former

staff members, and client rep- resentatives, are all eager to attend these classes. While RSA has devoted its lifetime to diagramming new landmarks, it has very impor- tantly fulfilled a sincere passion to preserving the past. This is clearly evidenced by its consis- tent dedication to restoration. Perhaps the most prominent example was the 167,000 s/f historic New Jersey State Capi- tol Complex project in Trenton, New Jersey, that ranged from fitting storage facilities for a venerable treasure trove of his- toric documents and artifacts, to meeting critical demand for a 1,100 car-parking structure with a landscaped rooftop plaza enjoyed by employees and visi- tors. Most recently, the RSA team restored a masterpiece, the 1926 Benjamin Hotel in Man- hattan, NY, adjacent to the world-famous Waldorf Astoria. The social elite from movies, literature, and real life enjoyed cocktail parties, fine dining and entertainment at the Benjamin in its early heyday. A particular test was wel- comed by RSA’s professional team. The challenge was to revive the original limestone facade, bronze entrance doors, and canopy of the famed ho- tel. Ron Schmidt, who learned restorative craftsmanship working alongside his father, a sixth-generation church in- terior designer, personally led his team to meet these chal- lenges. Schmidt and his father upgraded decorative interiors of many great churches, includ- ing one in Hyannis, MA, where President John F. Kennedy and his family worshipped.

RSA is repeatedly recognized by the AIA as one of the “Top 50” designers of hotels and hospitality facilities in the na- tion. Mr. Schmidt is also proud to point out that his organiza- tion was named as one of the Top 50 HealthcareArchitects in the nation for 2012, by Interior Design Magazine, the presti- gious McGraw-Hill publication. “Finally, a 21st Century way to handle your healthcare archi- tecture quickly, efficiently, and inexpensively, that is who we are,” added Schmidt. Homeland Security have also become watchwords of America, since the nightmare of 9/11 awakened the nation’s worst fears of domestic terror- ism, defying the myth that it could never happen here. Since that fateful day, RSA has been actively involved in the design of public safety and emergency centers in 8 cities and towns, one of the more prominently known, another award winner, is the $5 mil- lion 60,000 s/f, 3-story Fire and Emergency Command Center for the City of Elizabeth, New Jersey. Over a six-year period, RSA was also busy at work on more than 50 different projects for the U.S. Coast Guard. That commitment continues in New Jersey and around the nation. Schmidt explained in closing, “We take every project seri- ously, but there seems to be an added resolve when it comes to projects that safeguard our communities and nation. This especially hits home by elevat- ing the responsibilities we have to do our best work, each and every day, lives depend on it.” TimMcEntyre is a partner at McEntyre Associates. n back to $500,000 for 2012 and 2013. Similarly, the amount of qualifying assets that can be placed in service before a re- duction in the limitation is re- quired has been increased from $500,000 in 2012 and $200,000 in 2013 to $2,000,000 in both years. Furthermore, the defini- tion of “qualifying assets” will continue to include computer software in 2013, as the new legislation extended this piece of Section 179 for one year. Anthony J. Nitti - CPA, MST is a tax partner based in WithumSmith+Brown’s Aspen, CO office and is a cer- tified public accountant in the states of NJ and CO. n

Secrets of the Fiscal Cliff . . . rate kicks in from $250,000 to $450,000 is inconsequential, as you would have been subject to the same AMT liability under either scenario. continued from page 2A

3. Section 179 is back. Fi- nally, some good news. Sec- tion 179, which provides for the immediate expensing of qualifying assets, was sched- uled for a precipitous drop in usefulness in 2012 and beyond. The provision allowed for the immediate write-off of up to $500,000 in assets in 2011, but only $125,000 in 2012 and $25,000 in 2013. The fiscal cliff deal changed all of that, however, increasing the limit

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