TBG is excited to announce the promotions of Katie Robillard to Senior Associate and Adam Arehart, Matt Dawson, Gary Graves and Ryan Parr to the title of Associate.
Katie Robillard joined TBG’s Austin office in September 2007 and has become an invaluable team member, contributing to the firm in a variety of ways. She works on and manages multifaceted projects from planning and initial design phases through construction. Some of Katie’s current and recent projects include the Southgate development at DFW Airport, the Aliana community near Sugar Land, the Reserve at Caballo Ranch, and Belmont Village in West Lake Hills. In addition to her design and management skills, Katie has in-depth plant knowledge and she has initiated an ongoing series of project and nursery tours with the Austin office to support continuing education in this vital area. She is a Registered Landscape Architect in both Texas and Louisiana and enjoys membership with the American Society of Landscape Architects and Preservation Austin, in addition to serving on Baranoff Elementary School’s campus beautification committee.
Adam Arehart originally joined TBG’s Dallas office in January 2004 as an intern and, most recently, rejoined the firm in January 2011, spending nearly seven years with TBG from 2004 to present. Working with the Dallas team, Adam focuses on project types ranging from community and mixed-use development to urban design, hospitality, retail and office projects. For these projects he undertakes assignments beginning in design development through construction documentation, specifications and construction observation. He has played a key role on projects like the JW Marriott San Antonio Hill Country Resort & Spa, Watters Creek, and the master-planned Harvest community in Northlake, Texas, which received a 2013 Honor Award from the Texas chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects. A native of Shawnee, Kansas, Adam received his Bachelor of Landscape Architecture and a minor in community planning from Kansas State University in 2005. He is a Registered Landscape Architect in Texas and a LEED Accredited Professional.
Matt Dawson joined the Austin office of TBG Partners in March 2011 and has quickly become an integral team member. He manages complex projects and has diverse experience that includes design, planning, landscape ordinance plans, construction administration, and coordination with clients and consultants. Matt played a critical role in TBG’s efforts on the Circuit of the Americas Formula 1 race track, which was completed on an exceptionally aggressive schedule with a large consultant team. Some of Matt’s other recent and current projects include the Seaholm Power Plant redevelopment, a rooftop pool deck renovation at the Hilton Austin, Eddie Durham Park and several projects at Texas State University in San Marcos. He was a member of the first-place team in the 2010 Houston Land Water Sustainability Forum’s Low-Impact Design Competition. Matt received his Bachelor of Landscape Architecture from Louisiana State University in 2007 and he is a Baton Rouge native.
Gary Graves originally joined TBG in 1998 soon after Principal Jim Manskey opened the firm’s Dallas office, returning in May 2011 after focusing on residential work for many years. Working with the Dallas team, Gary manages projects ranging from residential communities to urban mixed-use and on-structure multifamily developments. Some of his recent and current projects include the Viridian community in Arlington, the Southlake Garden District, the Estates at Prosper Trail and renovations to Mockingbird Station. Gary attended the University of Texas at Arlington and is a Little Rock, Arkansas native.
Ryan Parr joined the Austin office of TBG Partners in January 2009 and works on firm-wide marketing initiatives along with marketing support for each TBG office. In this role he focuses on assignments for marketing collateral, public relations, proposals, award submittals, website content and related tasks. Ryan received his Bachelor of Journalism and Business Foundations Certificate from the University of Texas at Austin in 2006 and worked for two years in the sports department of The Daily Texan. He has previously worked in the publishing industry and for a golf-themed lifestyle magazine, writing and editing pieces on sundry topics including architecture, interior design, sports, business and spirits. Outside of work he enjoys active membership with the Hill County Conservancy’s Emerging Professionals in Conservation (EPIC) and the Austin Cycling Association.
Join us in congratulating these individuals on this exciting recognition!
TBG recently received three 2013 American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) Awards from the Texas chapter!
Harvest – Northlake, Texas (Honor Award)
Ningbo Zixiang Paradise Crowne Plaza Resort – Ningbo, China (Merit Award)
Kitenga Primary School Playground – Kitenga, Tanzania (Merit Award)
Harvest – Northlake, Texas (Honor Award) Conceived as an urban agrarian community defined by local food production, sustainability and healthy living, the vision for Harvest was borne from a multi-day charrette process in which TBG, developers, homebuilders, designers, and municipal staff and officials worked collaboratively. The three-day design charrette included the development and refinement of the overall vision, which integrates five key “live smart” principles conceived by the developer into the community framework. The vision calls for walkable communities with tree-lined, pedestrian-oriented corridors, a 5-acre on-site farm and weekly farmers markets, programmed activities, and easily accessible green spaces with recreational opportunities and community gardens. The community is rooted in the site’s rich agrarian character, which reflects its longstanding identity as a home to farmers and ranchers. Harvest celebrates and preserves the area’s strong rural traditions while incorporating progressive development approaches.
Ningbo Zixiang Paradise Crowne Plaza Resort – Ningbo, China (Merit Award) In collaboration with the architecture firm HKS, TBG created a dynamic plan for the Ningbo Zixiang Paradise Crowne Plaza Resort based around a unique dragon motif, melding cultural significance, through the ancient Chinese symbol of the earth dragon, with sophisticated contemporary design sensibilities. The plan elegantly responds to the site and represents a dragon coiled upon the southeastern shore of the East China Sea, with the dragon’s head resting atop mountains to the north. The dragon’s body is articulated through a meandering hotel framework, and a pier extending out to the sea represents the dragon’s arm holding a radiant pearl, which will be an event space and high-end restaurant. The arm also features four protruding scales that serve as private waterfront cabanas. Additional plan elements include compelling water features, an oceanfront pool and lush plantings.
Kitenga Primary School Playground – Kitenga, Tanzania (Merit Award) TBG worked pro bono with Dr. Joe Frost, a renowned University of Texas professor, expert in children’s play and Past President of the Association for Childhood Education International (ACEI), and a group from the State University of New York at Buffalo’s Center for Educational Collaboration to create a natural playground for a girls’ primary school in Kitenga, Tanzania. TBG created the initial playground design, which included three distinct play environments with specific play elements and learning opportunities based around concepts including imagination, energy and agriculture. Then in July 2012, TBG sent two staff members to Tanzania who worked with volunteers from SUNY Buffalo, locals and a faith-based community of local nuns, the Immaculate Heart Sisters of Africa, over five days to create a multifaceted playground in which children could play, socialize and learn in a safe, naturalistic environment. The team overcame numerous challenges — including not being able to obtain the majority of the specified materials, working with unskilled laborers, and having no electricity or running water as well as only hand tools — to successfully complete the project.
An 8-acre stormwater detention area next to Mason Creek in west Houston that was transformed into a recreational environment, Rick Rice Park received an Honorable Mention in the 2012 Houston-Galveston Area Council (H-GAC) awards in the category On the Ground Project Over $500K. TBG Managing Principal Bill Odle was on hand with Barry Kaplan, President of the Interstate Municipal Utility District, to receive the award at a recent ceremony. Congratulations to all who helped make Rick Rice Park such a valuable asset to the community!
TBG is excited to announce the promotion of Mandy Pope to Principal!
Mandy joined TBG’s Austin office in 2002, working on a variety of landscape projects for five years before becoming Director of Marketing. In addition to overseeing marketing and business development, she has more recently taken a leadership role in TBG’s operations and organizational management. Join us in congratulating Mandy on this exciting advancement as we recognize her extensive contributions over the past 10 years.
TBG is excited to announce the promotion of Blake Coleman to the position of Senior Associate!
A San Antonio native, Coleman joined TBG Partners’San Antonio office in May 2006, working on diverse projects throughout the Alamo City before becoming a member of the firm’s Houston office in spring 2008. Working with the Houston team of landscape architects and planners, Coleman serves as a project manager and designer on projects ranging from master-planned communities and corporate campuses to civic facilities, regional parks and multipurpose recreation centers. His project involvement encompasses all phases, from visioning and initial design concepts through construction observation. Join us in congratulating Blake on this exciting announcement!
Rollingwood, Cinco Ranch’s newest recreation center, received the Community Recreation Center of the Year award from the Greater Houston Builders Association during its recent Houston’s Best PRISM Awards ceremony. Congratulations to everyone involved with this exciting project!
A 2,044-acre master-planned community in Richmond, Texas, Aliana is one of the greater Houston area’s most successful residential developments and continues to be recognized for its outstanding design and quality of life. The development has received a number of awards this year, including five awards from the recent 2012 Greater Houston Builders Association (GHBA) Houston’s Best Prism Awards. Among those five awards was Best Model Park Design of the Year. TBG has been pleased to play an instrumental role in developing the overall vision and character of Aliana, in addition to providing planning, landscape architecture and signage design services for the community.
Texas State University undergoes a transformation to become a Lone Star leader in sustainability.
At a hilly university campus situated on more than 450 acres in central Texas, an ongoing transformation from grey to green is establishing one of the Lone Star State’s largest colleges as a leader in sustainable development.
University enrollment has increased approximately 45 percent during the last 10 years. With a fall 2012 enrollment of about 35,000 students, Texas State University in San Marcos, Texas, has demonstrated growth with a purpose.
Much of the university’s success stems from the development of a 10-year campus master plan — a process that began in 2003 and was updated in 2011 — and it has played an integral role in taking what was for years largely seen as a commuter school and turning it into a student-centered campus environment. The planning process involved input from students, faculty and staff who made it clear that the campus should include more nature and less concrete, establishing the grey-to-green motif as a key focus.
The influx of new residents combined with market conditions and fewer urban development opportunities have helped infill multifamily residential development — a type of development that had been uncommon in Austin — to flourish.
The nation’s fastest-growing city has witnessed a steady stream of new arrivals — more than 150 people per day. And while a majority of these new Austinites would love to live downtown or in the urban core, with the city’s apartment rental occupancy rates eclipsing 95 percent, for many that’s more difficult than an August without air conditioning.
DALLAS, Texas – TBG Partners is excited to announce the return of former staff member Will Jones, a landscape architect who has spent the past four years working on high-profile projects throughout the Middle East.
After spending the past four years in the Middle East working on high-profile projects throughout the region, Will Jones has returned stateside and is excited to rejoin TBG Partners as a member of our Dallas office. A Louisiana State University alumnus, Will joined TBG’s Houston office in 2004 and worked on significant resort, master-planned community and campus projects throughout Texas and the South until 2008. At that point he became director of MESA’s United Arab Emirates office, leading the firm’s business efforts throughout the Middle East for four years and working on notable projects in Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Egypt, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Oman and neighboring countries. Join us in welcoming Will back to TBG! He is excited to immerse himself back into the TBG culture and philosophy that provided the foundation for his international experience, and TBG is equally grateful for his return.
“Will’s return to TBG demonstrates the strong culture and quality of relationships here that draw both clients and employees back to the family. It also represents a renewed focus on the international market that is exciting for the entire firm.” – TBG President Earl Broussard
As healthcare continues to be a polarizing national topic and obesity remains a growing epidemic, there is an increasing emphasis on employing preventive measures to attack the problem that is America’s collectively expanding waistline. And while obesity rates across the board are disconcerting, the most dismaying aspect is the increasing percentage of obese children, who are establishing a solid foundation for heart disease, diabetes, and a host of other maladies later on in life.
At the root of this pediatric healthcare problem is the lost connection between children and nature. For many reasons, children today fail to spend enough time outdoors in natural environments, which is an ideal setting for childhood development, social interaction, and recreation.
A mere year ago, this multi-faceted recreational hub was anything but the vibrant heart of the campus. It was an area for simply passing through, characterized primarily by street and parking areas.
“The area where this project is located is considered to be in the center of a campus residential area,” notes John Russell, Director of Facilities, Planning and Construction at Angelo State University. “The area was a student parking area in the past, and one of the complaints of the students was that ASU did not offer any large areas close to the residential areas that could be used for general use activities. The university offered space for organized activities like intramurals, and offered free space for activities such as basketball, but there was no open area for general use and outdoor study ares.”
Written by Jan Buchholz Staff Writer- Austin Business Journal
An expansive sloping lawn conducive to live performances and a large plaza will flank the former Seaholm power plant on its north and south, creating two public spaces that will host activities ranging from concerts to weddings to art shows, according to landscaping plans completed this month for the downtown redevelopment project.
The prominent smoke stacks of the defunct plant will be preserved and accented by seating, foliage and lighting. Portions of the power plant’s mechanical substructure that surrounded the boilers will be preserved and exposed, creating a dramatic backdrop for the plaza that may include public art and shade structures.
The landscaping plans, which were completed this month by Austin-based landscape architecture company TBG Inc., brings out the developer’s wish for public accessibility.
“I’ve really stressed to TBG that landscaping is what knits the project together. I want people to experience this as a unified development,” said John Rosato, partner with Southwest Strategies Group Inc., which is redeveloping the decommissioned power plant and the 7.8 acres beneath it.
Construction of the long-awaited mixed-use project will begin in July. The project includes a high-rise apartment building and retail, including a recently announced Trader Joe’s grocery store, a first for the Austin area.
“Our best guess is that the landscaping will be delivered in the fall of 2013 or spring 2014,” said Brian Ott, principal of TBG. “We’re complete with designs right now, and all the documents will be completed this summer.”
The south side lawn will be sloped to create an amphitheater feel and provide uninterrupted views of the power plant from Cesar Chavez Street.
Maintaining the south side sight lines was essential since most people have experienced the power plant from that direction, Rosato said.
“We’re not changing it drastically, just making it more user-friendly,” he said.
Two flat pads will be built at the top of the south lawn so that 3,500-square-foot tents can be erected to support activities. The south lawn will accommodate up to 2,000 people at a time.
The plaza on the north side of Seaholm will also lend itself to public activities but on a smaller scale. It will include groves of trees, interactive fountains and a sunken courtyard for more intimate gatherings.
“The plaza is a large rooftop garden in a lot of respects,” said Ott, whose company garnered acclaim for its work at the state Capitol and Laguna Gloria, a restored 1916 villa on Lake Austin that is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The plaza overlays three levels of underground parking and is surrounded by low-rise retail spaces and the high-rise apartment building.
Two north-south streets — West Street and Walter Seaholm Drive — will be extended from Cesar Chavez Street to Third Street, and the site is designed to allow for commuter rail that is planned for the future on the western edge.
“It’s a very complex site with a need to pay homage to the past and to bring a new appeal to an iconic building,” Ott said.
The landscaping gives a nod to sustainability with the use of native plants. Underground intake pipes that supplied water from Lady Bird Lake to the plant for cooling will be repurposed for rainwater harvesting with a capacity of more than 300,000 gallons. Materials will be recycled to build trellises and other design features.
Ott said he has high expectations for the project’s legacy for years to come.
“While Sixth and Congress is the geographical nexus of Austin, this will be a cultural nexus,” Ott said. “This has been a challenge, but it’s been a lot of fun.”
AUSTIN, Texas – TBG Partners today announced the promotions of Guthrie Alexander, Chris Jackson, Blaine Weinheimer, Dean Wilson, Scott McKinzie and Pete Simpson to the title of Associate.
Alexander is an experienced geographer and urban planner who works on a wide range of planning and design projects in the Austin office of TBG Partners. Always ready for a challenge, he enjoys employing new technology and techniques to existing projects, as well as repurposing those techniques to provide new services. Alexander routinely uses sophisticated technology to perform tasks like GIS mapping, 3D modeling and animation, and in-field GPS data collection and asset management. He stays busy being versatile and moving between several projects at once. Alexander received a Bachelor of Arts in geography from the University of Texas at Austin in 2008, as well as a minor in architecture. A native of Comanche, Texas, he enjoys CrossFit, welding, hunting, and spending time with his wife, Brittney.
Jackson has been a member of the TBG Partners’ Austin family since 2007, showcasing his exceptional design and planning abilities. During his early years with the firm, Jackson received a solid planning foundation stemming from his work on large-scale planning projects. These days he Jackson has enjoyed working on urban redevelopment efforts, including rewarding projects like the Seaholm Power Plant redevelopment and the Arbor Terrace and Capital Studios projects with Foundation Communities. An Erie, Pa. native, Jackson received his Bachelor of Landscape Architecture from Penn State University in 2007, and he is a LEED Accredited Professional and Registered Landscape Architect in Texas. He is active with the Urban Land Institute through its Young Leaders program, and in his spare time he enjoys cycling, wakeboarding and other outdoor activities.
A multitalented landscape designer and illustrator, Weinheimer has been with TBG Partners for the past five years, joining the firm’s San Antonio office in 2007 before moving to Austin in September 2010. During that time he has worked on projects ranging from parks and university campuses to multifamily residences, master-planned communities and historic properties. Weinheimer’s contributions include creating high-quality graphics and illustratives as well as project involvement from design development through construction documentation. Originally from Fredericksburg, Weinheimer received his Bachelor of Landscape Architecture from Texas Tech University in 2007. Outside of work, he enjoys hunting, camping, fishing and spending time with his wife Tina.
A key member of TBG Partners’ Dallas office since 2007, Wilson works on a variety of project types from initial design through construction, managing most of his projects through all development phases. His experience encompasses urban mixed-use and multifamily projects as well as civic work such as municipal parks, trails and streetscapes. With each project, Wilson and his teams develop sophisticated design solutions that are rooted in the context of their native environment. He enjoys the aesthetic character of a well-maintained native setting, and each of his projects expresses a well-defined hierarchy of spaces for pedestrian users. Wilson is a native of Midwest City, Oklahoma, and received his Bachelor of Science in Landscape Contracting and his Bachelor of Landscape Architecture from Oklahoma State University.
McKinzie has been a valued member of TBG Partners’ Houston office since 2008, working on diverse projects ranging from master-planned communities and community-based development projects to urban infill endeavors and eminent domain/condemnation cases. He undertakes a variety of assignments for these projects and has extensive experience in the areas of community planning, subdivision design and right-of-way acquisition analysis. Prior to joining TBG Partners, McKinzie worked for Vernon G. Henry & Associates, a Houston-based urban land planning firm that merged with TBG Partners in 2008. McKinzie received a Bachelor of Science in urban and regional planning from Texas State University in 2006, and he is a member of the Urban Land Institute and American Planning Association. He enjoys sharing his free time with his wife, Kristy, and their dog, Raider.
A member of TBG Partners’ Houston office since 2008, Simpson shares his design talents on projects ranging from all varieties of park and recreation venues to hospitality destinations, communities, urban sites and designing and rehabilitating watercourses. He has extensive experience creating natural and water-efficient designs as well as developing tree preservation strategies and park master plans. Simpson’s designs celebrate each project site’s unique characteristics, creating experiential spaces for patrons without overshadowing the natural splendor afforded by the land.Outside the office, Simpson serves on the Steering Committee for the Buffalo Bayou Partnership’s young professionals group, Bayou Buddies, and he’s an avid outdoorsman, enjoying camping, fishing and canoe races. Pete received his Bachelor of Landscape Architecture from Kansas State University in 2008 and is a Warrenton, Mo., native.
TBG is pleased to share some exciting news regarding the latest rankings of the top-selling master-planned communities in the U.S. The first such rankings of the year, introduced by the highly regarded John Burns Real Estate Consulting, include an impressive 12 communities across Texas that TBG Partners has been involved with.
TBG is honored to have provided either planning and/or landscape architectural services for three of the top five recognized communities, including No. 2 The Woodlands (Houston), No. 3 Cinco Ranch (Katy, Texas) and No. 5 Alamo Ranch (San Antonio).
A meaningful amount of usable outdoor public space is critical for the viability of any community, whether it is an urban metropolis or a suburban hamlet. However, the development of such places—and the maintenance and operations needed to ensure their long-term upkeep—requires a significant amount of capital. This capital frequently cannot be obtained simply from local tax revenue. As the national economy has continued to struggle, funding for the development and upkeep of outdoor public amenities has largely dried up. This financial climate underscores the increasingly pertinent need for communities to use innovative financing mechanisms, particularly through public/private partnerships, in order to remain competitive and ensure their residents a high standard of living.