We Love Real Estate (10)

Superior Reserve President Nik Clark recently had an article published in several Community Associations Institute Chapter Magazines. "Driving Your Association Into the Ditch - The Vicious Cycle of "Keeping Fees Low" describes how association boards, with the best of intentions, make a crucial mistake that sets off a chain of events which causes extreme harm to current and future homeowners. Failing to raise association fees to acknowledge the "true cost of ownership" is not compassionate. It is not in the best interests of current, or future homeowners. Keeping fees low results in shifting financial obligations to individuals who are least able to afford them. Cut and paste the following link to download the article (or click on the download attachment link at the bottom of the page) http://www.superiorreserve.net/index.php/component/k2/item/download/1_0b75ab088f1cc309eb997acacd66f6e5 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to have a pdf of the article emailed to you. Have a superior day! - staff


Some beautiful photographs our Professiona Engineering staff took during a recent High Rise inspection.  Superior Reserve has been selected as a reserve study resource for hundreds of high rise and mid rise clients across the country including the exclusive luxury properties of Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts.


Superior Reserve authored article appears in CAI-Wisconsin Magazine:


A reserve study is a critical tool that helps condominium boards fulfill their fiduciary responsibility and manage their associaiton business using best practices.  Superior Reserve partner Nik Clark authored an informative article that was published in the CAI-WI "Community Leader" Fall 2016 edition.

View the article here:



Alex Felhoffer Joins Superior Reserve.Alex photo thumbnail

Superior Reserve Engineering & Consulting is pleased to welcome Alex Felhoffer to our veteran engineering staff.  Alex obtained his Bachelor of Science from Marquette University's College of Engineering in 2011 while also completing Marquette's Reserve Officer Traning Corps (ROTC) program.  

Mr. Felhoffer obtained his Master of Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Lubar School of Business in 2013.

Alex is a comissioned 1st Lieutenant in the U.S. Army, where he served as a Platoon Leader and now Company Commander in the United States Army Reserves 996 Engineering Company.

In addition to his vast construction/engineering experience, Alex has an extensive background in commercial real estate appraisal.  He will be providing engineering and consulting services for SREC's rapidly expanding client base in 19 states across the country.  

Superior Reserve was founded in January 2014 by industry veterans Nik Clark and Justin Maier who's decades of exerience in the Capital Reserve Study/Construction Defect Litigation industry revealed a gap between services provided by at-the-time legacy firms and the changing needs and expectations of industry clients.  We would like to thank our clients who, over the past 2+ years, recognized the innovation we bring to the industry and provided the opportunities to be a resource.

Award-winning Aqua at Lakeshore East selects Superior Reserve Engineering & Consulting as reserve study provider.

After an exhaustive review of the top reserve consulting firms in the industry, Superior Reserve Engineering & Consulting is honored to have been selected by the The Aqua at Lakeshore East's board of directors as their reserve study provider.

The Aqua at Lakeshore East is a landmark 81 story high-rise in Chicago's New Eastside neighborhood completed in 2009.
In 2009 The Aqua was named Emporis "Skyscraper of the year" and was shortlisted for the 2010 "International Highrise Award" 

According to designer Jeanne Gang, The Aqua's captivating architecture was inspired by the striated limestone outcroppings that are common geographic features of the great lakes states.  Other observers remark that the blue-glass facade and white balcony design resembles tropical water meeting white sand beaches.  




The Aqua is the first Chicago building to combine a mixed-use of condominiums, apartments, and a hotel.   

At a height of 859 feet, containing nearly 2 million square feet of floor space, the Aqua is a prominent addition to Chicago's famous skyline.


A view from the top:


Looking East: (Navy Pier and Chicago River Lock)

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Looking Northwest:

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Superior Reserve Engineering & Consulting partners, Nik Clark, and Justin Maier PE RS, recently authored an article about building pipe systems and replacements. This article was featured in the Community Associations Institute (CAI) - Illinois Chapter "Common Interest" Magazine's "Superhero" themed Summer 2014 publication. (Pages 18-21)

CAI common interest 2014 coverCAI is an international organization founded in 1973, headquartered in Falls Church, Virginia with 60 Chapters across the country dedicated to building better communities.  CAI provides information, education and resources to all community association stakeholders, including community managers and homeowner leaders.  


The Illinois Chapter of Community Associations Institute serves the educational, business, and networking needs of community associations in the Chicagoland Area.  Members include condominium, cooperative, and homeowner associations as well as those who provide services and products to associations.  The Illinois Chapter has over 1100 members including 250 businesses, and over 500 community associations Board members and unit owners representing over 100,000 homeowners.  


Superior Reserve serves clients in select regions across the country and participates in the respective CAI chapter events in those regions.  

Read the article featured in Common Interest Magazine at the following link:  CAI-IL Summer 2014 Common Interest Magazine Article fet. Superior Reserve




CAI Common Interest Summer 2014 - Superior Reserve Article

On a recent property inspection our engineer observed a clutter of sticks and branches in the valley of a roof on a historic condominium association.  While finding debris and foliage from trees is not unsual on a roof, it is when there are no trees in proximity to the building and certainly none at the elevation of the high reaches of the rooftop.


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A few moments later a large shadow overhead revealed the developer and occupant of this non-conventional penthouse unit.


We are pleased to report that in spite of the fact this unit owner never submitted plans to the architectural control committee for review, *and* he remains woefully delinquent on his association dues, the association board has agreed to refrain from collection attempts and will forgive future assessments in exchange for "rodent elimination services" to be provided on an ongoing basis.


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Superior Reserve Engineering & Consulting partner Justin Maier - PE, RS authored an article recently featured in the Spring 2014 issue of Chicagoland Buildings and Environments Magazine regarding pipe/riser restoration and replacement.  

You can view the entire Spring 2014 issue at the following link:  http://condolifestyles.net/chicago-buildings-and-environments/past-issues

The cost to replace water riser pipes is one of the greatest expenses a building will encounter as it sustains through its life cycle.  Planning for this expense is of critical interest to building owners and condominium associations alike. 

A direct like to a pdf of the article is below:


CBE Riser article cover


World record concrete pouring operation...

...kicks off construction on tallest building west of Mississippi River.
On Saturday Feb 15th, construction crews began a 20-hour concrete pour that will set a world record for the longest duration continuous concrete pour ever.  Officials from the Guinness Book of World Records will be on hand to verify the feat.  The record setting concrete pour will serve to form the foundation of LA's first new skyscraper in over 20 years.Wilshire Grand Center2

The Wilshire Grand Center will be an 1,100 ft tall mixed-use office/retail/hotel complex with an estimated cost of $1 Billion.  It will be the tallest building west of the Mississippi River.  Only Chicago and New York have taller buildings.  Topping out at 73 floors, the Wilshire Grand Center will encompass approximately 1.7 million square feet of space!
In comparison, the Wilshire Grand Center, in earth-quake-prone Los Angeles is only 2/3rds of the height of New York City's new "One World Trade Center" which stands 1776 feet tall when measured to the top of its architectural spire. It has 35 fewer floors than Chicago's Willis (formerly Sears) Tower.  Willis Tower still eclipses One World Trade Center with the highest occupiable floor at 108 floors compared to 1 WTC's 104.  

In a unique departure from Los Angeles's typical high-rise construction practice, The Wilshire Grand will have not have a "flat" roof as is mandated by a 1974 fire ordinance that required all tall buildings to include rooftop helicopter landing pads.  Because The Wilshire Grand will be constructed with life-safety systems that exceed LA city fire codes it has been granted an exception that will allow it to have a sloped architectural roof.  
240px-Wilshire Grand CenterAdding to the degree of difficulty in completing this 20-hour world-record concrete foundation pour is the fact that concrete must be dispensed into place within 90 minutes of being mixed.  84 million pounds of concrete will be delivered by approximately 2,000 truckloads during the project.  Due to traffic issues in Los Angeles careful planning, including alternate routes around traffic jams, was required to stage such an operation.
The Wilshire Grand Center is expected to be completed in 2017.  Read more about this intriguing new real estate development at www.wilshiregrandcenter.com


Tuesday, 10 April 2018 20:39

Bethlehem Steel

Written by

The Steel Beam is the focal point of our company logo.  In the mid 1990's, half-way through my college years I had the opportunity to visit my dad for the first time since he relocated to Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.  As a kid I was always interested in, perhaps a better word would be fascinated by, industry and commerce.  Coincidentally, my dad suggested we take a walk by the Lehigh River. 


Unbeknownst to me, one of the largest and most sigificant industries in American history and real estate construction was located on the south side of the river across from the path we were walking down.

It is impossible to miss.  The massive cluster of blast furnaces sitting silently across the slowly streaming water of the Lehigh is an amazing sight.  Coated in rust, they are a symbol of industry and the source of many of the steel beams that built America.


small stacks


The blast furnaces (which locals refer to as "the stacks") are visible from variouis mapping programs.  If you cut and paste the following coordinates into Google Maps  40.615392, -75.367206  you can get an up close and personal view of these massive structures which are the remaining iconic symbol of what was once the 2nd largest company in the country, and a company that contributed so much to real estate in the 20th Century: Bethlehem Steel. (Hint, check out the "street view" for an amazing look at "the stacks".)





Having never heard of Bethlehem Steel, which had ceased production the year before, my dad began to share the story of this amazing piece of American industrial history.

We walked west along the path and took a pedestrian staircase up to Stefko Blvd crossed the Lehigh River and stood on the viaduct on the east end of this former bustling manufacturing complex.  What a great thrill it would have been to have stood at that vantage point and watched such a massive industry behemoth oparate at full capacity.  It must have been an amazing operation. 

Just to give context to the size of this 10-mile long facility, truckers used this map in order to locate which of the 103 loading docks was their proper destination.

Whether you are crossing the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, conducting business at Merchandise Mart in Chicago, or standing atop the Rockefeller Center in New York City, you are being supported by steel beams that were produced in this facility.  85% of the New York skyline is Bethlehem Steel.  The US Supreme Court is supported by Bethlehem Steel. If you live or work in a mid or high rise building that was built before 1960, there is a better chance than not, that you are sitting atop Bethlehem Steel.  

There is a very well produced documentary available on Youtube that captures Bethlehem Steel's legacy.  A company that was integral to our nations growth, but who's rise, success, and decline is a bittersweet reminder that economic and cultural change is constant.

You can view this amazing story here: 


the stacks