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Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Save time and money, print in Color


The Impact of Printing in Color

Color printing has become an important component in projects because it can decrease human error rates. It has been proven that color documents are more easily understood and the information is retained at higher rates versus monochrome documents.

The use of color documents reduces errors and allows a team to easily understand the sections of a plan for which they are responsible. During the bidding phase, color documents make a more professional impression than monochrome documents.

Benefits include faster reading, more time efficiency, save time and money, reduce delivery time, and better communication.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Austin school district to seek bids on 10 properties worth $95 million


From today’s Austin American-Statesman:

The Austin school district will seek bids for 10 of its properties, including its 128,000-square-foot headquarters on West Sixth Street, the former Millett Opera House currently leased by the Austin Club, and the Baker Center administration building in Hyde Park.

The district could sell, lease, swap or repurpose the properties to generate one-time revenue or create other long-term plans for their use. They have a total value of more than $95 million.

The most valuable of the offerings is the Carruth Administration Center, which sits on 2.75 acres at 1111 W. Sixth Street. Originally designed to be a mixed-use project with office, residential and retail components, the headquarters is valued at $33.6 million, according to district estimates.

The district bought the property more than 25 years ago and has looked into selling it at least once, but it never got an offer that was attractive enough to district leaders.

“I can certainly see this as an opportune time; the market would respond very favorably,” said Charles Heimsath, president of Capitol Market Research, an Austin real estate consulting firm, pointing to the major redevelopment taking place at the former Seaholm power plant and the former Green Water Treatment Plant nearby.

Regarding the Austin Club, which is a half-block off of Congress Avenue, Heimsath also said “there’s a wide range of possibilities for a property like that.”

District records show the Austin Club, which has had a lease with the district since 1979, paid the district about $48,000 in rent in 2014. The district has valued the property at an estimated $6.3 million.

The list of properties the district is offering includes the former Allan Elementary, and the school board is also considering options for other plots of land, ranging from an acre in East Austin to 32 acres in Northeast Austin, as well as its Central Warehouse and Service Center. The properties are labeled as being noninstructional, but some trustees pointed out that early education is being taught at Allan, albeit through partnerships with local nonprofits and not by the district. More than 12 acres of green space the district owns in Travis Country in Southwest Austin has been used as an outdoor environmental sciences classroom by the Green Tech Academy at Small Middle School.

The Austin school board will vote Monday night on whether to issue requests for proposals that allow developers and other entities to pitch ideas for using the lands and facilities. District leaders are considering a three- to four-month time frame to gather proposals, but the process could take longer.

“We’re hopeful that we can get some really thoughtful proposals back,” said Nicole Conley, the district’s chief financial officer. “There’s a lot of interest now in sort of partnering in the market.”

Community members and some city and district leaders have discussed ideas such as creating affordable housing for teachers and other civil servants on surplus property, doing leasebacks or swapping properties.

“These are not done deals,” Trustee Ann Teich said. “We’re exploring opportunities with this land, and it would be a better use of our time and our energy to do this rather than to just leave these properties unexamined.”

The Austin school district previously sought bids in 2011 for its West Sixth Street headquarters and the Baker Center in Hyde Park to ease a budget crunch, but it ultimately wasn’t satisfied with the offers. This time, trustees say looking at the district’s real estate resources is a necessary step for long-range planning.

As was the case in 2011, the district has retained Austin commercial real estate firm Southwest Strategies Group in seeking proposals for the properties.   

Previous board discussions on properties have dealt with how to more wisely use district assets, including leasing buildings for market value. The district last month hired consultant Brailsford and Dunlavey to look at facilities and planning in a broader way, as trustees tackle prolonged issues of underenrolled schools in some areas, overcrowded schools in others, and aging facilities. District leaders expect a master plan for all the facilities by May 2017, and they will consider any proposals made for the 10 facilities within that plan.

Trustee Amber Elenz said she is excited to see what ideas come forward and considers the requests for proposals a necessary step before the district can consider going back to voters with a bond request to address its needs. However, she cautioned that the district might need to place appropriate restrictions or expectations on any real estate deal.

“We’re approaching this as an opportunity to see what greater yields we may have in the use of these different properties,” Trustee Yasmin Wagner said. “It’s an exploration exercise at this point, not an austerity measure.”

Miller Imaging and Digital Solutions
1000 E 7th, Austin, TX 78702
(512) 478-8793

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Higher rents in store: Retail real estate development drops as Austin population soars


Austin keeps growing but the retail market doesn’t appear to be keeping pace. Less than 1 million square feet of new retail space was delivered in the Austin area in 2015 — a decline of 300,000 square feet from 2014.

The Weitzman Group released its annual retail overview report Tuesday and the market dynamics lead to one conclusion: retail space is going to keep getting more expensive.

Occupancy keeps inching upward and is now at 96 percent citywide, one of the tightest years on record.
“The 2015 construction remains notably low, especially for a market with such high occupancy,” the report states. The new deliveries are largely due to redevelopment, rather than ground-up retail projects.

The Oaks at Lakeway, a 175,000-square-foot neighborhood center on the west side anchored by an HEB Grocery Co. store, was an exception. The upscale market off RR 620 in Lakeway opened last fall with many smaller tenants currently moving as the project wraps up this year.

On the south side, Lamar Union on South Lamar Union also opened last year and continues to deliver final phases. North of the river, Lamar Central at 3800 N. Lamar Blvd. is an office and retail project, which is currently moving in new tenants — including Kendra Scott jewelry and Snooze, a breakfast eatery.

Next on tap in North Austin is Rock Rose at The Domain — about 100,000 square feet of new retail with strong local flavor. I wrote about The Dogwood opening there soon, along with many other familiar brands. A 123,000-square-foot Nordstrom department store is also under construction nearby.

Here’s a look at other highlights of the report:

Saks Fifth Avenue Off 5th will open this spring in 50,000 square feet at Gateway Shopping Center, 9607 Research Blvd.

Crystal Falls Town Center, a 94,000-square-foot Randalls grocery-anchored shopping center, is under construction in Leander. It’s scheduled to open in fall 2016.

Belterra Village, a retail project on 90 acres near U.S. 290 and Nutty Brown Road on the way to Dripping Springs, is slated to begin delivering retail this year. It could encompass nearly 300,000 square feet of commercial space.

Phase III of Round Rock Crossing at I-35 and State Highway 45 in Round Rock is scheduled to start this year, adding 90,000 square feet.

The highest lease rates currently are for tenants in new construction developments, commanding rents of between $35 and $40 per square foot.

Miller Imaging and Digital Solutions
1000 E 7th, Austin, TX 78702
(512) 478-8793

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Austin-Area Home Values Jump Again


Home values are up 9 percent on average in Travis County this year, with the average market value of a property with a homestead exemption increasing to $387,537 from $355,312 in 2015. That likely means higher taxes for homeowners, although taxing entities such as the city of Austin and local school districts have yet to set their new tax rates.

That’s slightly less than last year when average home values increased 11 percent, the Austin American-Statesman reported. The values are based on preliminary numbers from Travis Central Appraisal District and could change.

Total taxable value for Travis County in 2016 is $164 billion, up from $137 billion last year, which a TCAD official attributed to an increase in commercial values.

Housing affordability remains one of the most-cited issues facing Austin, along with traffic congestion. With the population boom showing no sign of slowing,both are expected to worsen unless government and business leaders can do something to reverse the trends.

Miller Imaging and Digital Solutions
1000 E 7th, Austin, TX 78702
(512) 478-8793

Thursday, June 23, 2016

MILLER Managed Print Services (MPS) Program




All-Inclusive Service and Supplies in One Easy Payment

The MILLER Managed Print Services (MPS) program is designed with input from you, our customer, as you demand a program tailored to your specific needs regarding equipment acquisition, service and supplies.
The MILLER MPS program allows you to acquire Canon, HP, KIP or OkiData printers and multi-function systems through direct purchase, multiple leasing options, or rental agreement with significant savings.


Pay Only for What You Use


The MILLER MPS program bundles the printer’s supplies and service into a simple cost-per-square-foot/cost-per-copy price.


  • This pricing enables you to stay within your budget, and only pay for what you use.
  • Price includes 20lb. bond paper, toner, ink cartridges, printheads and other consumables.


Streamlined Billing, Service, Support & Supplies

You are busy. You don’t want to be distracted with making support calls or ordering supplies.
Miller IDS offers the option of installing Sepialine Printerpoint software that creates a streamlined process to provide simple and efficient billing, service, support and supplies allowing you to focus on your business. Benefits include:

  • Fixed pricing – Cost per square foot, or copy, includes all consumables, including 20lb. bond media, toner, ink cartridges, printheads, etc., so you only pay for what you use.
  • Flexible purchase, leasing and rental acquisition options.
  • Automated service and supply notifications/ordering – Miller IDS offers the option of installing Sepialline Printerpoint software which provides us with alerts when there are service issues, or when supplies need to be replenished as well as accurate monthly meter readings. Note: Service and support optional with purchase and leasing acquisition programs.
  • Convenience – one monthly invoice for equipment, peripherals and service.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

The C831 Series From OKI: Big Performance and Compact Design To Fit Your Needs, Space and Budget.


Robust and fast—with a remarkably small footprint. With C831 Digital Color Printers from OKI® you get the most advanced color technology in the marketplace, for printing on letter/A4, tabloid/ A3, even banner–size sheets up to 52" (1.3 m). C831 Series printers deliver 35 clear, sharp letter/ A4 pages—or 20 tabloid/A3 pages—per minute in color or black & white, with the first page printing in as little as 9.5 seconds.3 At those speeds, you´ll have more time to spend on what´s really important: your business.

Breathtaking document output. HD Color Printing technology delivers stunning results from this compact, easy-to-use printer. The OKI process combines high-definition LED printheads that put color on paper with exacting accuracy; microfine high-definition toner to ensure that graphics are breathtaking, and text is sharp and crisp—even on ordinary office paper; a straight-through flat paper path that handles a variety of media, from heavy card stock to polyester film to long banners; and an advanced control system that constantly checks alignment, registration and color balance.

Do it all for less. Now you no longer have to depend on outside services for printing your high-quality color documents. Print whatever your business requires to meet your communications needs: manuals, catalogs, banners, proposals, business cards, photos, brochures, floor plans, and all types of presentation materials. Print everything on demand (when you need it), in-house and at an affordable cost.

Unmatched warranty support. OKI is so confident in the reliability of our C831 Series Digital Color printers that we provide a 1–year limited on-site warranty for parts and labor4, and back our LED printheads for an industry-leading 5 years. Optional warranty extensions are also available.4

Secure your document output – C831 Series printers include Secure Print features5 that encrypt job data, store it on the optional SD memory card, and completely purge and overwrite it when the job is printed. With PIN–number protection, ”owners“ of sensitive documents can use the C831 printer´s numeric keypad to quickly and easily release their confidential output.

Monitor and control color printing – OKI Print Job Accounting software with the C831 Series allows you to restrict printer access to individuals or groups, and to manage printing within defined cost limits. It also provides you the ability to report on usage across the network, capturing information on volume, paper size, media type and consumables usage.

Its color access restrictions make color printing more cost-effective, allowing administrators to control printer usage by determining who and what can print in color, in black & white or not at all on your C831 printer. It also enables printer monitoring, letting you create job logs to analyze how a device is being used—by user name, applications used, and number of color or black & white pages printed.

The data can help you determine the effectiveness of your existing policies or to develop new ones.
Improve efficiency. Reduce environmental impact – C831 printers offer a range of features to reduce energy consumption, save you money and improve your carbon footprint.

These include a design that lowers power consumption, starting with LED technology that inherently consumes less energy:

  • Deep sleep mode – Reduces power consumption to less than 1W
  • Auto-off mode – Automatically powers off from Deep sleep mode, reducing energy consumption to 0.15W when not in use
  • Duplex printing (optional on C831n) – Reduces paper usage by enabling the user to print on both sides of the sheet
  • Toner save function – Reduces the amount of toner used when printing draft or internal documents

1 Declared yield in accordance with ISO 19798. All models ship with 2,500-page "starter" toner cartridges.
2 Estimated life, based on 3 pages per job.
3 Published performance results based on laboratory testing. Individual results may vary.
4 Available in the U.S. and Canada only.
5 Requires optional SD memory card.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Austin Architects gain International acclaim with Gardner Project


It’s been a particularly blissful holiday season for Austin-based Baldridge Architects, now that the firm’s work on Gardner, a new restaurant in an East Austin adaptive re-use development, was cited as one of the best interiors in the world by Architectural Record magazine.

The Gardner project was lauded right alongside much larger projects in New York, San Francisco, Washington, Milan, Italy and Essen, Germany.

“I did not expect this,” said R. Burton Baldridge, the Austin firm’s principal, who said it’s a little too soon to tell whether the international publicity will boost his firm’s prominence.

Gardner is Baldridge Architects’ first restaurant, though the firm has completed hospitality projects before — Kimber Modern hotel, for example. Earning the design assignment from restaurateurs Ben Edgerton and Andrew Wiseheart of Contigo fame was like a shot out of the dark, Baldridge said.
“We were not on their radar at all,” he recalled.

Keith Kreeger, a noted Austin-based ceramicist who knew all the parties involved, saw a fit and made the introductions. Baldridge still isn’t sure why his firm procured the commission at the 11th hour, but an attitude of restraint and authenticity probably won the day. “I told them we needed to find a way to be honest to the post office,” Baldridge said, being compelled to keep the basics such as the bricks and glass intact.
The design process was orderly and slow and the results are stellar in an understated way. Baldridge came to the architectural profession in an offbeat sort of way. He attended the University of Texas and went to law school. “It was a colossal mistake,” Baldridge said.

He decided to save enough money so he could return to college and become an architect. In due time, Baldridge was living in New York, so he landed at Columbia University.