Modern Home Builder - Winter 2016 - Volume 2 - 129
reception of the project by the market has certainly exceeded our
expectations," Zunker maintains.
OVER A GROCERY
Building the Bowie across from the Whole Foods headquarters was
challenging, but even more so was building a luxury, 35-story multifamily tower above an operating grocery store. That was the task
accomplished by LYND in Miami when the company built a development called the Nine at Mary Brickell Village above 200,000
square feet of retail that included a Publix grocery store, a fitness
center, over 50 retail shops and restaurants and a parking garage -
while all the businesses were operating.
"This was by far the biggest construction challenge I've ever
taken on in my life and probably ever will," Zunker insists. "Most
people said we were crazy, and they were probably right. I didn't
sleep much for the better part of two years, but we got it done."
LYND partnered with Starwood Capital and another institutional financial partner to purchase the air rights over the retail
complex called Mary Brickell Village to complete a tower that was
planned for the site when the construction market collapsed in
2007. All the infrastructure connections and support for the tower
were built into the retail center, but once the stores opened, they
had to stay open while the tower was built at a later date. To add to
the complexity, the business plan for the asset changed from rental
to condominium during construction.
Besides concrete towers, LYND also is developing woodframe
projects with hundreds of units in structures up to four stories
in height in Houston and San Antonio. A nine-story steel-frame
multifamily building is being built in Denver.
The company celebrated its 35th anniversary in 2015. "We are
blessed to have tremendous capital partners, and we are driven to
execute at a very high level to maintain their confidence and deliver the best financial returns we can for them," Zunker stresses.
"For 35 years, it's been about the right people making the right
decisions and doing what you say you are going to do. And it will
always be that way."
LYND's culture is to strive for perfection. "We know perfection
is not attainable, but it is our goal," Zunker emphasizes. "It's just
how we are wired as a group. We make mistakes all the time - but
how you respond to mistakes is sometimes even more important.
It shows character. I believe that the minute you stop striving for
perfection, you implicitly accept the possibility of failure. The reality is we never have and we never will develop the perfect project
because it's by definition impossible, but I'll be damned if we don't
strive for that on every single thing we do." )
LYND is active in Austin, Denver, Miami, Houston and Chicago,
where a high-rise multifamily development, the EnV, gave LYND
a big boost when construction started shortly before the economic downturn in 2008. "The EnV development project was really
what catapulted LYND from a development standpoint," Zunker
declares. Among the many development and marketing timing
challenges on that project, one of the most significant occurred
when the supplier for the building's glass, which made up nearly
all of the structure's exterior, experienced substantial challenges
and scheduling delays.
"My partners, Mike Lynd Jr. and Sam Kasparek, rolled up their
sleeves and ultimately figured out how to solve the issue and support the general contractor," Zunker states. When the Chicago
building was completed in 2011, it commanded rents that were
30 cents per square foot above market. "Developing a high-rise
through the bottom of the economic cycle was challenging to say
the least, but the financial results were very positive, and that success really helped us launch into a complicated Miami project, an
Austin high-rise, a Denver high-rise and a number of other projects
we have going now," Zunker explains. Despite being LYND's first
high-rise development, EnV won Multifamily Executive magazine's
distinguished Multifamily High-Rise of the Year award.
Winter 2016 Volume 2 www.mhb-magazine.com