Facilities Management

I have a great deal of property management experience that includes developing facilities marketing and short- and long-term space usage and profitability programs during the five years I worked at Hartford College for Women. 

russ-deveau-design-HCW-paris-provincetown-fort-lauderdale-russell deveau - CopyHartford College for Women (HCW) was located in the West End of Hartford, CT. The campus consisted of 12 unique buildings on 13 acres, some of which were originally designed by the renowned landscape architectural firm, the Olmsted brothers.   

The main building (pictured in an image of the house taken from the driveway leading up to the home, with a photo credit to the Historic Buildings of Connecticut Blog) was located at 1265 Asylum Avenue. This grand and welcoming home was originally built for the Seaverns family and was designed by the firm of GoodwinBullard & Woolsey. I had an office in this building where I coordinated and managed many HCW facilities and property management programs.

russ-deveau-at-hartford-college-for-women-80-elizabeth-new-your-provincetown-fort-lauderdale-russell-deveauThe campus also included an extremely modern home located at 80 Elizabeth Street. This house was built in 1951 and designed by noted Connecticut architect Philip Joseph diCorcia. Philip Johnson and Eero Saarinen reportedly contributed ideas to the design of this very unique home. The black and white photo is a picture I took of part of the 80 Elizabeth Street living room during my time working at HCW. 

Some of my HCW facilities management responsibilities included working with top-notch maintenance, project management, carpentry, painting and finishing teams on numerous design, repair and hands-on improvement projects that regularly took place in buildings across the campus. 

One of those projects focused on HCW’s Babcock House, a stately mansion located on the corner of Asylum and Girard Avenues. This is where me and my team worked on refurbishing the first floor of the home to transform the previously neglected space into a facility that could be rented by outside groups for a wide range of conferences, meetings and special events.

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The images above provide a snapshot of how some of the spaces looked after me and my team completed updates. The project included budgeting, design, carpentry, painting and finishing work as well as the selection of artwork, furniture and accessories that were used at the many events that took place on the newly refurbished first floor of the home.

The Babcock House project was part of an overall facilities marketing plan I managed at HCW. The marketing program focused on the promotion and contracting of HCW facilities, housing and auxiliary services to generate a variety of new revenue streams for the college.  

Students living at HCW generally had two housing options to choose from. They could live in the historic Johnson House, or in the more modern townhouses that were among some of the newer buildings on campus. 

Part of my job in facilities management included managing summer housing rentals, which focused largely on the development of community outreach and relationship building programs to market the facilities to relevant groups, conducting campus tours and managing budgets and contracts to support the extremely successful program. Summer housing rentals were a significant source of revenue for HCW during my time working at the college.

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This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is russ-deveau-design-blog-new-york-city-fort-lauderdale-provincetown-russell-deveau.jpgThe images above give a glimpse of what the HCW student townhouses area looked like when I recently visited the college and right before the University of Hartford closed the area permanently. I include many more photos on my HCW blog here.

NEARLY THREE DECADES OF PROPERTY MANAGEMENT EXPERIENCE: In addition to my facilities management work at HCW, my background includes nearly three decades of experience working as an independent designer, project manager, handyman, short- and long-term caretaker and property manager in a wide range of residential, professional services, rental and investment property environments. I include a few highlights below.

RESIDENTIAL REMODEL: From lead designer and project manager to handyman and long-term caretaker, I had several roles in the remodel and updating of the private residence pictured in these four images.

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This was an incredibly interesting project where I had almost unlimited creative freedom. The owners wanted to change the look and feel of the house from a dated and boxy ranch appearance to a more contemporary style with one-of-a-kind features, incredible lighting and a few museum-like qualities.

This remodel is one of my favorite projects for demonstrating excellence in balance and scale in designed environments. Check out the case study page for some additional photos of this remodel and for more on some of the finishing and hands-on work involved in this incredibly fun and interesting project.

BEACHFRONT REMODEL: These four photos show transitional pictures of a remodel of an original 1960s condominium unit I managed on Fort Lauderdale Beach.

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The project included removing a good portion of the wall between the kitchen and the living area, lighting design, updates to the home’s two bathrooms and incorporating unique colors and interesting textures and surfaces into the entire space to add a dramatic and elegant look to the home.

The result was a stylish property that attracted extremely loyal repeat renters from around the world and one of the highest one bedroom rental prices in the beach area at the time. While this project was completed several years ago, I remain a fan of this tasteful and fun use of surfaces and textures today.

ART GALLERY AND RETAIL INSTALLATIONS: Some of my favorite design, carpentry, facilities management and lighting projects have taken place when I have been working on installing exhibitions in art galleries and in traditional and not-so-traditional exhibition spaces.

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Outstanding exhibition design can help artists showcase their work and tell more powerful stories. From space planning and preparation to building the pieces and accessories required to help artists promote and sell their work, I have a lot of experience managing all aspects of the exhibition design  process.

The photos above show a few of the exhibitions I designed and installed in the HCW Miriam B. Butterworth Art Gallery, displays from the G.Fox public art in the windows project and some state-of-the-art lighting products I worked with when I was on the Swarovski crystal fiber optic lighting design and specification team.

VACATION RENTAL REMODEL: These three pictures are of a property in Provincetown where I managed this vacation rental for several years. The project included updates to transform an original 1970s two-bedroom condominium into a comfortable and modern retreat that welcomed weekly and seasonal guests as well as year-round rentals. 

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The home was located in a large beachfront community where fishermen and their families made up the majority of original owners and where the units were all identical when it came to layout and interior and exterior design. The complex transformed over the years to include an incredibly diverse population of owners, vacationers and renters from around the world. 

My design and hands-on property management responsibilities included the specification and maintenance of new exterior windows and seaside patio doors, the selection of color, fixtures and textures throughout the home, the installation of flooring and regular design and maintenance updates to the kitchen, bath and bedrooms. 

I also had a role in numerous landscaping and maintenance programs in the complex as well as the management of contracts and changeover and security services during peak rental season.

This property attracted a wide range of repeat seasonal rentals from around the world and was extremely well reviewed as a vacation destination on Airbnb and other online rental sites. One of the property’s rental advertisements remains online here.

Interested in learning more about me and some of my design projects? Check out my Facebook/Meta page where I regularly include posts and commentary on a wide range of design projects. 

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