Tampa A/E/C Leaders Recognized by NAIOP

On January 28, 2015, NAIOP had its “2014 Best of the Best” Awards Show at the Westin Harbour Island Hotel in Tampa, Florida.  Our own Al Belluccia attended the event and was pleased to accept the “2014 Best Engineering Firm” award on behalf of the Florida Design Consultants team.  After receiving the award, Al said, “It was great to be nominated for Best Engineering Firm along with Brady & Anglin Consulting and Wilson & Girgenti – both are great engineering firms.  I was honored for our firm to receive the award and I know it means a lot to the team at FDC to be recognized among so many fantastic firms in the A/E/C industry.”

And it’s true, Florida Design Consultants was in good company that evening – other nominees and winning firms included:

  • BDG Architects – Winner for Best Architectural Firm. BDG Architects is an architectural firm with 20 years of experience and has offices in Tampa, Miami, and Birmingham.  They specialize in a variety of industries including: entertainment, hospitality, industrial, multi-family, office, restaurants, retail and senior living.  Nominees for the Best Architectural Firm included: The Beck Group, Gensler, Junto Design Studio and URBANNORDER/tampa.
  • The Beck Group – Winner for Best Contractor. The Beck Group is well known in the Tampa area for being a leading design-build contractor.  Recent project successes include: USF Health’s Center for Advanced Medical Learning and Simulation (CAMLS), Ulele and Le Meridien Tampa.  The Beck Group edged out a pretty competitive list of contractors, including: ARCO/Murray Construction Company, Batson Cook, R.R. Simmons Construction Company, and Skanska USA Building.
  • Ryan Companies, US, Inc. – Winner for Best Developer. Ryan has been in business for more than 75 years and offers a wide service offering in addition to development with the specialties of architecture, engineering, construction, and real estate management.  Ryan operates in the retail, healthcare, and industrial market sectors, and is well known for their Integrated Project Delivery Method.  Other firms in the running for Best Developer included: Grady Pridgen, Inc., Harrod Properties, and Highwoods Properties.

NAIOP’s 2014 Best of the Best Awards Show was a great evening for many professionals operating in commercial real estate and the A/E/C industry.  With the economy in full swing once again, 2015 is shaping up to be an even better year with many exciting projects on the horizon.


4 Trends that Show the Economy is Warming Up

Is the economy heating up?  Scott Wren, the Managing Director and Senior Global Equity Strategist for Wells Fargo thinks it’s starting to.  At the January 30th Pasco County Economic Development Council’s Business Development Week Luncheon, Scott Wren gave a presentation on major macro themes, consumer spending trends, building permit trends, leading economic indicators, and expectations for equity performance this year.  In case you weren’t able to make it to the presentation, we’ve summarized a few of Mr. Wren’s key points below.

  1. Major macro indicators are making modest gains in 2015. Indicators such as GDP, the consumer price index, earnings growth, and the S&P all appear to be making modest gains this year but nothing to get too excited about.  Although our 3.0% GDP growth estimate for 2015 is considered average, we should be a little thankful that we’re not experiencing the deflation that Europe is.
  2. Consumer spending reached a 7.5 year high. Consumer spending and retail sales are good indicators of how much confidence consumers have in the market place.  When economic times are rough, and people begin tightening their spending, retail takes a hit.  The fact that consumer confidence is higher than it has been in years is a good indication that people are feeling better about the economy and their retail spending proves it.
  3. The number of building permits is increasing. As consumer spending has been increasing, so have the amount of building permits obtained.  Although housing is not back to the levels reached in 2004-2005, the amount of building permits has slowly risen since 2010 and looks to be improving even more in 2015.
  4. Firms are investing in infrastructure. When the economy was struggling, many companies put large infrastructure projects on hold until the economy showed signs of improvement.  Companies are now going forward with the infrastructure projects they put on hold several years ago and market sectors such as software and communications are poised to see a big improvement this year.

Mr. Wren wrapped up his presentation describing a few indicators which could affect equity performance in a positive way this year.  These included:

  • The Chinese economy does better than we expect.
  • The European economy improves more than expected.
  • Business and consumer confidence continue to improve more than estimated projections.


The economy is showing signs of slow and steady growth in 2015.  Although the growth is not as much as some people in the A/E/C industry would like, it’s definitely a step in the right direction.

A New Face at FDC

Cole Benjamin – Project Engineer

Cole Benjamin

Cole Benjamin joined Florida Design Consultants on February 9, 2015 as a Project Engineer.  He recently graduated from the University of Central Florida with a B.S. in Civil Engineering.  Like most engineers, he was first attracted to civil engineering because of the variety of projects civil engineers can tackle in the course of their careers.

Cole is from Jupiter, Florida, but his family is originally from Massachusetts: This explains why his favorite sports teams are the Patriots, Bruins and Red Sox.  On most weekends, you can find him either cheering or yelling at the television with Oakley (his Australian Shepherd) when one of his favorite teams is playing.

Not only is Cole an avid sports fan, he is also an outdoor enthusiast.  He bikes, skates, runs, and kayaks.  He’s played hockey in the past as well, and one of his favorite trips was going to Canada to play in a tournament.

We’re happy to have you Cole!