Southpoint Cove – Spoleta Construction
Located in Webster, New York, Southpoint Cove is a resort-style waterfront development on the shores of Lake Ontario’s Irondequoit Bay. With one-, two- and three-bedroom luxury apartments, a clubhouse, exercise room, theater, swimming pool and full communal kitchen. The development by Rochester’s Spoleta Construction is sited a short distance from the Southpoint Marina and Pool Club.
The $50 million Southpoint Cove development is comprised of two distinct communities: the 315-unit Waters Edge Apartments and the 24-unit Hidden Harbour Condominiums. The residences feature contemporary floor plans, designer touches and modern amenities, including washer and dryer, central air, granite countertops, stainless steel appliances and private balconies.
Located just 6 miles from downtown Rochester and 12 miles from the Rochester International Airport, Southpoint Cove provides an upscale housing alternative for the area professionals working at large, local employers such as Xerox, Calvary Automation and University of Rochester.
Local builders deliver luxury
Spoleta Construction specializes in general contracting, construction management and design-build projects, as well as development and sustainability services. Founded in 1964 and owned by brothers David and Michael Spoleta, Spoleta Construction is a third-generation, family-owned company completing work throughout upstate New York, as well as Pennsylvania and Long Island, New York.
Southpoint Cove is a full-design effort for Spoleta, which completed its own concrete, masonry and rough carpentry work, but subbed out the rest and hired architectural and mechanical engineers to complement its own in-house expertise. Construction began in 2014 and is expected to be completed by 2017.
The development’s location presented a number of challenges for Spoleta Construction, not the least of which was its status as a Brownfield site. “That’s a big reason no one wanted to buy it — people were wary of getting involved with that,” says Derek Harrison, senior project manager at Spoleta.
The construction firm drew up a soil remediation program as mandated by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and brought in consultants to test both soil and air quality at various point throughout the construction process.
“There were multiple hotspots that had to be dug out and then based on the amount of contamination found, had to be buried on-site or hauled off to a dump site approved to handle those materials,” says Harrison. Spoleta then backfilled the resulting holes, covered them with 2 feet of soil, capped the site and covered it with a layer of geotextile fabric. The construction firm will have to follow this same procedure throughout the process as it begins works on the last three buildings of the apartment complex.
Things go south
Poor soil conditions required Spoleta to drill deep helical pile foundations in some parts of the site, but it was a fine-feathered neighbor that presented the project’s unique challenge. The Hidden Harbour Condominium site falls within the nesting area of an eagle. “There is an American bald eagle nest that we have to work around, so we’re only really allowed to build September to January because in the summer it’s in fledgling mode. There are a whole set of guidelines from the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) we have to follow; that will remain a challenge,” says Harrison.
While Spoleta is currently completing a new building every 60 to 90 days, it took a while for the project to begin in earnest owing to a lack of nearby infrastructure. “It took over two years to get water and gas to the site because of various reasons having to do with Rochester Gas and Electric. It was tedious and that was a huge challenge,” he says.
Spoleta has not pursued any type of sustainable certification for Southpoint Cove, but the project does feature a number of renewable resources. “It’s all wood-framed from the slab deck on up, so that’s one good thing,” says Harrison.
Coming from the commercial construction sector, Harrison says residential development projects like Southpoint Cove have required him to adjust his expectations, especially when it comes to subcontractors. “The ones you deal with on the residential side are a little less polished and can be a little tough to deal with when it comes to paperwork, skill and quality,” he says.
Spoleta relies on a prequalification process to vet subcontractors and will work with trusted contractors whenever possible. “There is only so much you can do,” says Harrison. “We have a millworker on this project who we haven’t used before, but we talked to his references and other general contractors and owners and he got decent recommendations, but we also have our own so if there are any issues we can step in and supplement them.”
As senior project manager at Spoleta, Harrison measures each development by the same three criteria: quality, schedule and budget. “It’s kind of cliché, but if you can get all three of those you are doing great,” he says.
While the Southpoint Cove development has not been without its challenges, the experienced team at Spoleta Construction is working hard to deliver resort-style residences to the shores of Lake Ontario.
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