The Architect Newswire is an aggregation of news from media outlets around the world, intended to keep you abreast of all of the industry’s important developments. The stories we feature are not reported, edited, or fact-checked by Architect’s staff.

THE OKLAHOMAN (OKLAHOMA CITY)
Architect needed, but…
Preliminary plans for a new convention center in Oklahoma City will see land acquisition begun later this year, an architect chosen in late 2014, and an opening in 2018. But Steve Lackmeyer reports that Oklahoma City Convention and Visitors Bureau president Mike Carrier wants to speed things up a bit. “Today we have in our shop proposals for conventions in 2017,” Carrier says. “I cannot sell and my staff cannot sell this facility until we have basic design done. If we do not design this building before 2014, we cannot begin selling this building until we have something in our bare hands.” Carrier warns that choosing an architect in 2014 might not allow new conventions to come to the facility before 2020.

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THE MISSISSIPPI PRESS (PASCAGOULA)
Ocean Springs’ diminished planning department
The Ocean Springs, Miss., Board of Alderman voted to leave an assistant planner position in the Planning Department vacant after the existing planner leaves on Dec. 2. Cherie Ward reports that the move follows a meeting two weeks earlier when building inspectors were removed from the department. “This goes back to saving money,” Alderman James Hagan says. “Two weeks ago, we greatly reduced the responsibility of that department.” Alderman Jerry Dalgo is troubled by the decrease in the department’s staffing. “I want to know why certain members of this board have a problem with the Planning Department,” Dalgo says. “That's what this appears to be.”

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LA JOLLA LIGHT (CA)
Dale Naegle dies
Dale Naegle, FAIA, died on Nov. 14 at 83. Dave Schwab reports that the La Jolla, Calif., architect was a mentor to many architects in the community. “He always loved the idea of shopkeepers having a retail store and residence above, very Old World, and he built and lived in one,” architect Mark Steele says. The USC graduate moved to La Jolla to work on a project—and stayed. “I’m going to work all my life … I may as well live in a vacation setting,” Naegle told the website modernsandiego.com.

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CRAIN’S CHICAGO BUSINESS
Chicago residential building heating up
Alby Gallun reports that two new residential projects in Chicago have received financing. A 42-story, 325-unit project by Optima joins a 450-unit building by Habitat. The 775 apartments are added to seven other downtown projects currently underway—promising a test of the rental market in two years. Appraisal Research Counselors forecasts 5,600 new units will be completed by the end of 2014—with the possibility of softening rental rates. “There's a very, very large demand for multifamily, and it's not going to get overbuilt anytime soon,” says Bentall Kennedy executive vice president Bob Ratliffe.

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DAILY PRESS (HAMPTON, VA)
Family Dollar not “appropriate”
Family Dollar wants to open a new store in the Phoebus section of Hampton, Va., but the panning commission has recommended that its application for the rezoning of a property be denied. “Is this an appropriate development that's sitting at the foot of Fort Monroe that's now a national monument?” Hampton city planner Mike Hayes asks. “The answer is no.” David Macaulay reports that the City Council will render the final verdict in January, but that a previous proposal to use the existing vacant building for the Social Security Administration was turned down more than four years ago.

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NAUGATUCK PATCH (CT)
Looking for school architect
The Naugatuck (Conn.) High School Building Committee is looking for an architect to design an $81 million school renovation plan. Ronald DeRosa reports that prospective applicants must have at least two completed Connecticut high school projects during the last decade in their portfolio and experience with a phased construction schedule project. Response to the Request for Qualifications must be received by Nov. 30.

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STANDARD-EXAMINER (OGDEN, UTAH)
New firm in Ogden
The Standard-Examiner reports that Mark L. Hiles, AIA, has opened his Mountain West Architects office in Ogden, Utah. “The overall development of the West is still at a relatively early stage,” Hilles said. “The goal is to concentrate on planning services for three or four building types and continue to develop excellent design work that is relevant and able to contribute to a higher standard for architectural and regional style in the Mountain West.” The firm offers expertise in “schools, churches and commercial and athletic facilities,” according to the Standard-Examiner.

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WIRED
Lego’s Robie House
Jenny Williams reports that Frank Lloyd Wright’s Robie House is a blast to build from the Lego Architecture series. Its 2,276 pieces require a fair amount of systematized construction—all explained in 141 steps (and sub-steps). The documentation also includes a biography of Wright and a history of the house from its construction in 1910 to the present. It’s not cheap—priced at $199.99—but Williams writes, “I highly recommend this kit to anyone who enjoys architecture, Frank Lloyd Wright, or lengthy Lego projects in general.”

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