Challenges and Solutions – 115 Elizabeth Street

115 Elizabeth Street is currently an older one story home which has been converted to an office, where the Dr. runs his practice and is a great example of some challenges and solutions. It is an exciting area of Mt. Pleasant that is growing and where the land is very expensive. He decided to update his office and also make it a place where he can live.

The construction industry can be a maze with obstacles to overcome!  Our first step was to work with the contractor and owner, to complete our Base Camp Feasibility Analysis.  We decided to demolish the existing structure and build a new 2 story building, with the office on the lower level and the apartment on the second level.  And with our Base Camp Feasibility Analysis, we were able to spot several areas that had issues in advance, specifically dealing with Zoning, the Design Review Board (DRB) as well as timing…and build an efficient and effective action plan.

ZONING:  There were many obstacles, including not enough parking, set-back buffer yard issues, and property use.

SOLUTION:  We met with zoning and received variances for parking by acquiring off-site parking and showing that there would not be an increase in parking requirements.  We had to show there was the same number of dental chairs, the same number of employees on site, and that the Dr. will live in the apartment.  We also proposed pervious parking areas to decrease water runoff.  A new brick and wood fence was proposed in order to reduce the landscaping buffers.  In all, we received 5 variances in order for the project to proceed.  Not a small feat!

DESIGN REVIEW BOARD:  New structures are required to meet the current DRB requirements.  As opposed to renovations, where existing conditions are “Grandfathered” in; with new structures we are starting from scratch.

SOLUTION:  We designed the new structure to reflect the design elements of the neighboring buildings and meet the new design requirements.  The scale and proportions of the building match the houses and small commercial properties in the area.

TIMING:  Down time during construction leading to loss of income since this is where he currently runs his practice.

SOLUTION:  Construction time frames, in general, can vary depending on size and complexity, but on a project this size, they typically run 9 months or more. To keep the time down to a minimum, we elected to go with a pre-fabricated modular building, which will be constructed in a controlled manufacturing facility. It will be shipped to the site in 6 sections and assembled on site. Once the sections are assembled, the siding and porches can be installed, landscaping completed, and the Dr. can open for business. The time frame from the beginning of demolition to completion is less than 4 months!

Our Base Camp Feasibility Analysis lets us to see in advance, challenges to overcome, reducing cost and time overruns

We look forward to showing you the finished project in a few months!  If you have any questions or comments, we would love to hear from you!  Please email us at  And of course if you are considering starting a commercial project, let us know before you make any big decisions!  We would love to do a Base Camp Feasibility Analysis, to provide you with correct information to make educated decisions and bring your structure to life!

Existing Structure

Coming Soon

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