Thursday, April 15, 2021

Austin's Tiny Home Village About to Triple in Size

Austin, TX, like a lot of cities, has problems finding shelter for their growing homeless population but a non-profit has stepped up to meet that challenge head-on.

The nonprofit that runs Austin's Community First Village has acquired land and plans to build out more tiny homes to house Austinites transitioning out of homelessness.

The far East Austin development of tiny homes and trailers, managed by Mobile Loaves and Fishes, currently houses 221 formerly chronically homeless Austinites. The expansion could add space for at least 1,400 additional tiny homes.

At an announcement Wednesday, MLF's founder Alan Graham said the nonprofit secured 127 additional acres for two new sites — one that will expand the current site off Hog Eye Road and another that will host a new village off Burleson Road in Southeast Austin. All told, the expansion, which is set to begin construction next summer, would more than triple the footprint of Community First — from 51 acres to 178.

Related Article: Los Angeles Opens First City Sponsored Tiny House Village

The announcement comes ahead of a citywide vote over Austin's policies surrounding homelessness and as state leaders at the Capitol attempt to target the city's 2019 decision to largely stop penalizing people for behavior related to homelessness.

Opponents of that decision say it's led to public health and safety crises and a boom in public tent encampments. Proponents say it's helped divert Austinites living outdoors from tickets that make it harder to transition out of homelessness.

CLICK HERE to read the entire Austin NPR article

Gary Fleisher is the Managing Director and contributor to the Modcoach Network and its affiliated blogs. 

Email at modcoach@gmail.com

Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Developer Aims To Have 35 Modular Housing Factories

A California Modular Factory developer has been preparing to open 35 modular factories across the US in the next few years and holding investment webinars for more than a year. He is only asking people to put up a modest $150,000 to $200,000 personal investment.

The webinars keep being scheduled and the longest preamble between looking for investment money and the actual opening of the first of 35 S2A modular factories seems to be where the developer is at this time.

Related Article from 2019: Interview with S2A’s Founder, Brian Kuzdas


This article from Forbes tries to explain 
what the company is planning:

Building fast is a huge benefit in today’s housing environment. All builders are looking for that competitive edge, and this builder is not only building fast but also is delivering net positive homes.

After more than thirty years as a general contractor in the construction industry, John Rowland decided it was time for positive change. He became president and co-founder of S2A Modular, a California-based modular building company, with the goal of making a big impact on the archaic world of construction by making it faster, less expensive and more environmentally friendly.

In 2015 and 2016, he built two prototype homes, which was exactly what he needed to understand he wasn’t going to accomplish what he needed to without doing it in a factory.

After committing to factory construction, Rowland has spent just three years creating very ambitious expansion plans.

CLICK HERE to read the entire Forbes article

Related Article from 2019: When is Modular Home Factory NOT a Modular Home Factory?



Gary Fleisher is the Managing Director and contributor to the Modcoach Network and its affiliated blogs. 

Email at modcoach@gmail.com

Sunday, April 11, 2021

How Deregulation Can Solve America’s Shortage of Affordable Housing

The idea of scaling back all the regulations surrounding building just about anything has been one of the biggest hindrances to affordable housing in the US. In this article, Dustin Romney, the author, points out some of the dumb regulations every builder has faced at one time or the other.

Unfortunately, many progressive era regulatory regimes remain and are in far more labyrinthine form than originally crafted. Among them, land use regulation calls out for attention. Originally sold as a mechanism for nuisance prevention, zoning laws were quickly adapted to tackle a host of perceived ills. Today, the dominant theme of land use regulation has little to do with nuisance prevention and focuses almost exclusively on the “character” of the neighborhood – sometimes to preserve it and other times to change it.

Take, for example, the 230-page zoning ordinance in the Town of Queen Creek, Arizona where I am currently navigating the permitting process to build a home. It includes no less than 30 different zoning designations, including such arcane distinctions as residential zones where the minimum lot size may be 7,000 square feet or 9,000 square feet. If many people bothered to peruse their local zoning ordinance, they might be surprised to learn that 7,000 square foot lots were such a threat to 9,000 square foot lots.

CLICK HERE to read the entire Freedom for Economic Education article


Gary Fleisher is the Managing Director and contributor to the Modcoach Network and its affiliated blogs. 

Email at modcoach@gmail.com

Saturday, April 10, 2021

Someone Needs Your Particular Job Skills Now!

Ready to change jobs? Here are the first of April's Job Listings and maybe one on them has your name on it.

The Active Candidates section below represents candidates looking for new career opportunities.

The Open Positions section represents companies, who are looking for candidates to fill their open positions.

Contact Lynn Gromann at 888-831-0327 or Lynn.Gromann@LGARecruiters.com if you would like further information on an available candidate or on an open position.

Active Candidates 

EXECUTIVE / FINANCIAL
  • General Manager - HUD / MOD - wants TX or Southeast

PRODUCTION / OPERATIONS
  • Assistant Production Manager - MOD - wants warm climate
  • Operations Manager - Commercial MOD - Wants Dallas/Ft. Worth
  • Assistant Production Manager - HUD / MOD - FL
  • Project Manager - MOD - New England, wants east coast

ENGINEERING / ARCHITECTURAL
  • Multiple candidates who would like to work remotely. Contact the office for more information.

SALES / MARKETING
  • Sales Manager - HUD / MOD 20+ years, possible relo

Open Positions

EXECUTIVE / FINANCIAL
  • CFO - Multifamily MOD - Rocky Mountain Region
  • CFO - Steel MOD - Southwest
  • General Manager - Steel MOD - Southeast
  • General Manager - MOD - Pacific NW

PRODUCTION / OPERATIONS
  • Project Manager - Commercial MOD - Southwest
  • Assistant Operations Manager - Commercial MOD - South
  • Operations Manager - MOD - Southeast
  • Assistant Production Manager - Multifamily MOD - Southeast
  • Production Manager - HUD / MOD - South
  • Assistant Production Manager - HUD / MOD - Pacific NW
  • Project Manager - Manufactured Housing Community - Southwest
  • Production Manager - MOD - Pacific NW
  • Production Manager - MOD - Upper Midwest
  • Production Manager - HUD / MOD - Upper Midwest

ENGINEERING / ARCHITECTURAL
  • Architectural Drafter - MOD - Southeast
  • Engineering Manager - Steel MOD - Northeast
  • Structural or Civil Engineer - MOD - West or remote
  • Revit Designer - Multifamily MOD - Southeast

SALES / MARKETING
  • Sales Manager - MOD - Pacific NW

MATERIALS / PURCHASING / ESTIMATING
  • Estimator - Commercial MOD - Southwest
  • Purchasing Manager - Commercial MOD - South
  • Purchasing Manager - Multifamily MOD - Southeast

SERVICE / QUALITY
  • Quality Assurance - Multifamily MOD - Southeast
Contact Lynn Gromann at 888-831-0327 or Lynn.Gromann@LGARecruiters.com if you would like further information on an available candidate or on an open position.

Thursday, April 8, 2021

Is the Modular Construction Industry About to be Hit with Many Factory Closings?

Since the middle of 2020, the modular construction industry has been seeing record numbers of contracts coming in. From huge hotels and affordable housing projects to single-family homes, modular hasn't seen a year like this in decades. It would appear everything is bluebirds and rainbows for everyone in the modular housing industry.

The cyclical nature of modular construction is tied very closely with the law of supply and demand but this year, 2021, is seeing no slowdown in demand with many factories saying they are taking contracts so far into the future that production line space could be sold out into 2022.

Did someone forget to tell all those bluebirds in the modular home industry about the supply side of that law?

While contracts are being signed with everyone celebrating at one end of the process, the other end of the process, the end that actually produces the modules is in complete disarray.

While contracts are being signed at today's material costs, the other end is already paying much more for building materials than anyone thought. The homes and projects currently being completed do not carry enough profit to replenish the building material inventory.

I just learned today that OSB sheathing may soon be breaking $50 a sheet! That's almost $20 a sheet more than what most factories paid for their current OSB used on their modules. 

Now add in the rising costs of drywall, insulation, lumber and MEP systems and it doesn't take long for a module going down the production line to become a loss leader instead of a profit center.

I also recently heard a modular factory brag that their typical 2,200 sq ft home has a $50,000 profit. Not sure if that is even close to being possible in today's modular construction world. 

For modular factories to continue to sign contracts for future work, sometimes into 2022, is playing with fire, especially if more shortages in building materials continue to plague our industry which pushes costs higher at an alarming rate.

The question that must be answered is how can factories continue to pay for tomorrow's building materials when the modules they are currently producing are losing profit at every stage of their production?

The modular construction industry may see another round of factory closings unmatched since 2008.


Gary Fleisher is the Managing Director and contributor to the Modcoach Network and its affiliated blogs. 

Email at modcoach@gmail.com

Wednesday, April 7, 2021

A Colorful Cape is Modcoach's "Home of the Week"

This Modcoach "Home of the Week" shows another example of what is possible when someone chooses a modular home, especially in the Mid-Atlantic region. With 4 bedrooms and a colorful and a fresh look, it was an easy choice to make.

Beracah Homes' Red Rooster is a Cape Cod-style home (story & a half/traditionally unfinished upstairs, but most customers finish) and is a well-laid-out floor plan. 


There are many features to fall in LOVE, with this floorplan. As a Cape Cod style home, the upstairs is naturally unfinished. A Beracah roof pitch on a large Cape Cod style home can create a large amount of unfinished space, which can be finished off - now, or later. In the Rooster's case, the unfinished upstairs is large enough to accommodate a full den, 2 large bedrooms, a full bathroom... and storage.



Downstairs is wide open, and includes 2 bedrooms (with baths) and features a separate large wash/utility room, 1/2 bath and access to the garage.  The owners' suite bedroom can be situated, just as the optional sunroom to capture some beautiful sunshine at whatever time of day you choose. 




The kitchen is spacious and provides open space access into the living room, and the dining area/near the sunroom.  For those with a good size lot and are looking for a spacious home that can be customized with a lot of charm... the Rooster is crowing!

Beracah Homes is located in Greenwood, Delaware and serves the Eastern Shore region of Delaware, Virginia and Maryland.


Gary Fleisher is the Managing Director and contributor of the Modcoach Network and its affiliated blogs. Email at modcoach@gmail.com

Monday, April 5, 2021

New Modular Hotel Ready to Open in Oakland, CA

Construction has just been completed on the 172-room Moxy Oakland Downtown, a boutique lodging that will represent a rarity for the East Bay’s largest city: one of the first new hotel projects in Oakland in roughly a decade.


The hotel was jointly developed by Tidewater Capital, a San Francisco-based real estate firm with both development and investment expertise; and Graves Hospitality, a hotel management firm with veteran expertise.

The hotel is located in Oakland’s Uptown, a neighborhood of restaurants, nightspots, entertainment hubs, cocktail lounges, and theaters.

Moxy is one of Marriott’s brands and typically features smaller rooms and appeals to younger guests.

Tidewater Capital and Graves Hospitality built the hotel in what is known as an opportunity zone, which is a lower-income area where property investments can be made with considerable tax advantages.

The hotel was built using modular construction, a sustainable building approach that can create a more efficient construction process. Tidewater reduced the construction time by 25% using the modular technique.

CLICK HERE to read the entire East Bay Times article.


Gary Fleisher, Managing Director and contributor of the Modcoach Network and its blogs.

Contact me at modcoach@gmail.