Meet Pratima & Ashwin

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When Ashwin and Pratima look back on the life they had when they were students, one thing they remember fondly is the community they were a part of. To them, community meant activities, friendships, and shared philosophies—all things that enabled them to be the people they wanted to be. So even though they were one of the first residents of 600 Goodale, they were thrilled to find that the community was already thriving.

It started with fitness. Working out has given Ashwin and Pratima more than just physical benefits. The couple said one of the highlights of group fitness classes is that while they are exercising they are also getting to know their neighbors—making working out as much fun as going out! Pratima remembers how easy it used to be to find excuses not to work out, but she said Kaufman made it so easy to hit the gym that they both made it a habit. “Now we work out several days of the week without having to leave our building, and spend more time focusing on our mind and body with yoga classes twice per week!”

While they now spend more time taking care of their health, Ashwin and Pratima said they love that they can spend less time taking care of their recycling, now that recycling bins are just a few steps from their apartment. “Before we moved here we would pile up all our recycling in a corner of the apartment, then pile it all up in our car and drive to a recycling center. Kaufman has relieved us of that headache with the Go Green campaign.”

Beyond just recycling, the couple said they love the community’s involvement with Besa, an organization that helps connect people with volunteer opportunities throughout the area. Pratima said, “We really enjoy giving back to the community, and when we were students, community service opportunities were much more accessible and available. But Kaufman’s association with Besa has given us the opportunity to start being part of a community once again.”

Don’t think that for this couple life is all work though. Pratima said the atmosphere at 600 Goodale provides plenty of opportunities for them to relax. “The awesome staff at the office—especially Lauren, Reika and Liz—make us feel instantly at home, and the courtyard is wonderful. It is a perfect spot for relaxing, with the pool, fire pit, outdoor grilling area, cabanas, and a beautiful view of the Olentangy River.”

Pratima said she thinks moving to 600 Goodale has made a wide-reaching impact on their lives. “One big thing that has changed is our appreciation for an apartment that we actually love. It has made us realize how important it is to be in a place that fits in with our philosophy and needs, including getting the opportunity to be part of a community that makes a positive impact in people’s lives.”

Meet Jessica

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Meet Jessica in the exercise room. Meet her by the pool. Meet her around the fire pit. Or meet her in the great room. Since moving into 600 Goodale, Jessica has found that home isn’t just the apartment she loves—even though she’ll tell you all about how her granite counter tops put the finishing touches on her space and make cooking more fun—it’s also the features surrounding it that enable her to relax and enjoy doing her favorite things.

Jessica said being able to work out in the exercise room right in the building really appealed to her, and what made it better was that it inspired her boyfriend to start working out with her. But that was just the beginning. Jessica told us that many aspects of 600 Goodale fit her lifestyle—her desire to be active, involved, and connected to her community—both personally and professionally.

“I absolutely adore the pool area—we had so much fun even in September when we moved in. This fall I had so much fun sitting around the fire pit relaxing and talking to my neighbors,” Jessica told us.

But connecting with people and being social extends into her professional life as well, which is why Jessica described the great room as “fantastic!” after she rented it to host the Columbus Creative Industry Mixer. “It was the perfect way to get everyone together. The atmosphere is inspiring and having the ping pong table there was really fun. It’s also just a great place to network because there are so many interesting people who live here.”

While Jessica enjoys the accessibility of everything literally in her building, she said she also appreciates being so close to downtown Columbus, which she said makes it easy to be involved in the culture of the city.

Kaufman Development Offices Now Powered by Green Energy

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We are proud to announce that as of December 27, the Kaufman Development offices are 100% powered by green energy, supplied by AEP Energy.

Wind will be the predominant energy source, but biomass and other renewable resources will also be used.

“We build communities centered around wellness, philanthropy, innovation and sustainability, so we are always looking for new ways to build these values into everything we do,” says Kaufman CFO Frank Sasso. “Switching to 100% renewable energy at our corporate office was a natural way to further our efforts in sustainability.”

Kaufman went out to bid for open market electricity options during our 2014 budgeting process. By going green, we will reduce our energy costs by about $800 per year.

“As others in our community make the switch, the number of sustainable energy sources will increase and prices will drop for all,” says Kaufman Development Project Manager Jay DeVore. “Hopefully prices for wind, solar and hydro power will soon be competitive with prices for more traditional sources.”

It’s also important to note that, according to studies, Generation Y and Millennials value ecology, sustainability and legacy. And as members of those generations become corporate decision makers, Jay says investment in green energy sources is likely to jump significantly.

At Kaufman, other efforts to reduce our environmental impact include using programmable thermostats and LED light bulbs, as well as recycling at our offices and all our communities. We also encourage bike commuting.

“I think it’s great that we are continuing to pursue our value system,” Jay says. “Hopefully others in the community will notice that the switch was relatively easy and follow suit.”

Thanks for Another Great Year

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As we kick off a new year, I want to take a moment to share my gratitude for the many people in my work and life that have made 2013 a memorable year. From those who have chosen to live in our communities to those who have chosen to work with our band of crazies, from the site work to the framers, painters and everyone in between. Our family, friends, investors, bankers, architects and designers. The BTL boys, the YPO Red, BESACSBSprig, the 3P and faux P, TZ, Frankee, JZ and for sure the entire growing KDEV team (now 14), you know who you are.

Not too long ago, a few of us made some tough jumps to go chase a big dream. Although that jump seemed to be a mile wide at the time, looking back, it was just a baby step. One step of many that we continue to take every day, together as individuals AND as one. One team of crazies that love their work. One group of residents that share a vision for what they want in a community. One group of human beings dedicated to high design, wellness, philanthropy, sustainability and innovation.

The past year has been rewarding. We’ve gone to shelters and served meals in hopes of generating a few smiles. We’ve opened new buildings, parks, gardens and incubators. We closed out 600, pushed 801 and broke ground on 250. We’ve baked cookies at The Ronald McDonald House and had pizza at Star house, served meals to shelters and toasted at Rockmill. We’ve sweat like hell through TRX, yoga and boot camp. We’ve spun with Jen and “inspired the world” with Julie and a whole lot of other really fun stuff that I guess most people would call “work.”

Call it what you want, but to me it’s a blessing—a blessing to be able to do what we do every day. So thank you for allowing me to see the perfection in life for what it is, and for what it is not. I thank you for your support, your love, your hard work and everything you are in the world.

I look forward to what lies ahead for all of us in 2014!

Take care,

Brett

 

Julie Wilkes Promotes Inspired Living Through New Ventures

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Here at Kaufman, we’re excited to be partnering with Seven Studios to offer fitness and wellness activities to residents at two of our communities: The Gramercy New Albany and 600 Goodale.

Free yoga, spinning, bootcamp and circuit training classes are offered at each community on a weekly basis, and monthly wellness workshops on a variety of topics—from nutrition and time management to financial health and stress management—are in the works.

Additionally, Kaufman residents receive a 25% discount on any class package at Seven Studios.

Kaufman’s relationship with Seven Studios Owner Julie Wilkes began in 2012, when Julie hosted the first annual Inspire The World Day at The Gramercy New Albany.

“We share a common vision of helping to bring positive energy to those around us, and building up a stronger city based on health, wellness, kindness and connectivity,” Julie says, adding that she appreciates how our leadership and employees live our values in everything we do.

Julie’s own commitment to inspired living is what prompted her to open Seven Studios in June.

“Opening a studio provides me the opportunity to reach more people, and share positive messages and inspiration,” she says.

Everything Seven Studios does—and even its name—can be tied back to a concept Julie has created called “The 7 Life Miracles.”

“These are seven areas of awareness that, when we are focused on them, open up possibilities in our lives,” she says.

The concept is also the subject of her forthcoming book “The 7 Life Miracles.” It will be available in paperback and in e-book format next year, and sold at amazon.com, as well as several online and brick-and-mortar bookstores.

“The book is one of the messages I believe my life was meant to share, and so it is an honor to be able to share the inspiration with the rest of the world,” Julie says. “It will inspire you, at times bring you to tears, and it will challenge you to try out small things that help you to tap into the miracles in your life every day. I believe this book will change the life of anyone who reads it.”

To view a schedule of fitness classes offered by Seven Studios at The Gramercy and 600 Goodale, visit livekaufman.com/events/.

Besa’s Matthew Goldstein Helps Central Ohioans Give Back to the Community

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After graduating from The Ohio State University with bachelor’s degrees in marketing and political science, Matt Goldstein landed a job at Abercrombie & Fitch. During his five-year tenure with the retailer, he spearheaded several volunteer projects that engaged hundreds of his co-workers.

When a project ended, the commentary was always the same; Matt’s co-worker’s invariably told him it was their primary contribution to the local nonprofit community. He quickly realized he was working with a group of young, talented, smart people who wanted to be more involved in community service, but lacked the means to fit philanthropy into their busy lifestyle.

That’s when the idea for Besa, a social welfare platform that makes philanthropic opportunities more accessible to the Columbus community, started to take root.

In 2010, Matt resigned from his corporate gig to focus on developing Besa full time. It launched two years later.

“The growth over the first year has been tremendous,” Matt says. “We have had a strong community response from the start. In fact, we added the volunteer portal in March to make it even easier for people to connect with immediate impact projects.”

In January, Besa began managing volunteer opportunities specifically designed for the community here at Kaufman. In March, the Kaufman Development Volunteer Portal launched, allowing residents, staff and friends to sign up for those exclusive opportunities, monitor dollars raised, and track volunteer hours tied to Kaufman initiatives.

We’re proud to report that, to date, Kaufman has logged 275 volunteer hours and donated more than $14,600 worth of goods and services to the community through Besa.

Since Besa’s launch, more than $40,000 in goods and services and 1,200 volunteer hours have been contributed to Columbus nonprofits.

For Matt, the most rewarding part of his job is watching a volunteer light up when they make an impact.

“Just the other week, a first time volunteer was helping a client select food from the Broad Street food pantry,” he says. “After they walked through, the client shook the volunteer’s hand and thanked her profusely. The client exited out the door and the volunteer walked by me with a smile that lit up the entire food pantry.”

Matt also loves seeing volunteers take the initiative to better the client experience.

For instance, Besa volunteers once a month at Dress for Success, helping low-income women select workplace outfits and build confidence. When two volunteers noticed one of the aspects clients struggle with most is how to match items to make an outfit, they met with the executive director and are now in the process of creating a lookbook that clients can use to style outfits appropriately.

So what’s next for Besa?

Matt says his team is developing an app that can be used to sign up for a volunteer project, remind volunteers about an upcoming project, and provide directions to the corresponding venue. A blog highlighting local philanthropic events and efforts, and how to get involved is also in the works.

It’s easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of the upcoming holiday season, but here at Kaufman we encourage you to pause and consider how you can positively impact our community. Besa’s Adopt a Senior program, which helped more than 1,000 seniors last year, is a great way to give back.

Once again, Besa is partnering with the Central Ohio Agency on Aging to provide low income seniors with Christmas presents. To participate, just send an e-mail to adopt@GiveBesa.org, and Besa will respond with a specific senior and all the details you need to buy, wrap and drop the presents off.

“Many seniors live in isolation, with little or no family support and, for most, the Adopt donation will be the only help they receive over the holidays,” Matt says.

For more information about Adopt a Senior or other Besa volunteer opportunities, visit givebesa.org.

Kaufman’s Interior Design Guru Shares Easy Tips for Decorating Your Space

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At Kaufman, we are committed to creating communities that have modern, sophisticated architecture. However, a pleasing exterior isn’t enough.

That’s why we work hard to ensure that the interiors of our developments also reflect our aesthetic, as well as our concept of inspired living. To do that, we turn to Visualopathy.

Over the years, the Columbus-based visual merchandising firm has helped design our leasing areas, fitness facilities, clubhouses, and apartment models.

Visualopathy’s first Kaufman project was The Gramercy New Albany, and we’re pleased to be working with the firm again, this time on 600 Goodale and 801 Polaris.

Here, Visualopathy Design Director Randy Geho shares a few tips for improving your space without breaking the bank, and current design trends that can easily be incorporated into your existing home décor, no matter your style.

Note the scale of the furniture in your home
If the apartment is fairly small, keep the furniture on a smaller scale or use a longer sofa with a single chair.

Legs on furniture also help create the feel of a larger, more airy space. Fabric to the floor eliminates the amount of floor you can see, giving the illusion of a smaller area.

Low, sleek pieces can also make the ceiling feel taller, which fools the eye into believing the room is bigger.

Don’t be afraid to paint
For the cost of a few smart cocktails, a gallon of paint goes a long way in creating a whole new look for a room. Renters: don’t be disheartened. Most apartment communities will allow you to paint as long as you repaint your place the original color when you move out.

Also, painting an entire room isn’t necessary to get a pop of color. Choose an accent wall to paint. Maybe it’s the wall you first see when you walk into the space, maybe it’s the wall behind the sofa or bed.

And remember: painter’s tape can be a renter’s best friend. By simply taping off a few squares or stripes and painting those a lively accent color, you can make any wall look like art.

Rethink wallpaper 
Gaudy florals aren’t the only wallpaper prints available these days. And, again, you don’t need to decorate the walls of an entire room—or even an entire wall. Just pick a great print and put it up where it makes you happy.

Consider a mural
It can be an enlarged photo or a reproduction of a great work of art, such as the Mona Lisa, or a mural of graffiti like you’d see in a subway tunnel. The possibilities are endless. And, like wallpapers, most murals aren’t too difficult to remove later.

Make a noticeable change with just a few new items
Reproduction furniture, such as the Egg Chair designed by architect Arne Jacobsen in 1958 for the Radisson SAS hotel in Copenhagen, is especially popular right now. An original can cost upwards of $10,000, while reproductions can be had for mere hundreds and in an array of colors.

Speaking of color… A big splash can be made with an area rug, and the selection and price ranges are virtually endless.

 

The Gramercy Community Garden’s Inaugural Growing Season is a Success

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A community garden was planted at The Gramercy this spring, and to our delight it has yielded a bounty of tasty herbs and vegetables and pretty flowers.

Parsley, basil, tomatoes, eggplants, brussel sprouts, hot peppers, squash, lettuce, sunflowers, chrysanthemums, and wave petunias are just some of the goodies that thrived during the garden’s inaugural growing season.

Residents are responsible for taking care of their own plots.

“Some residents have built friendships at the garden, and they look out for each other’s plots,” says Gramercy Community Ambassador Jimmy Hoppel.

The garden’s 44 plots range from four to 30 square feet in size.

A trip to the Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens and a planting demonstration by Pam Baker of Baker’s Acres Greenhouse helped get the residents inspired and prepared to make the most of their garden.

Additionally, a garden committee was formed to help oversee its progress. During the committee’s meetings, residents discussed improvements to the garden as well as what the Gramercy could provide to better their gardening experience.

Those meetings birthed a shed (complete with gardening tools) and a birdhouse designed to control the insect population.

A class about closing down your plot for fall, transferring plants indoors, and what to plant now so your plot is ready come springtime will prepare the Gramercy’s gardeners for the months ahead.

“I think the first growing season went well,” Jimmy says. “So many residents were able to explore gardening for the first time and see success.”

The garden was also a beautiful aesthetic addition to The Gramercy, adding pops of green, red, yellow, and purple to the grounds, he says.

 

Meet the Team: Jay DeVore

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Jay DeVore first joined the team at Kaufman Development in June 2012, working here on a part-time basis while earning an MBA at The Ohio State University. After graduating in May, he came on full time as a development project manager.

Jay’s job is to make sure Kaufman’s projects are designed and constructed in a high-quality manner that meshes with our vision. To do that, he coordinates and directs our designers, engineers, and contractors from inception through construction.

“A typical day is probably 50 percent on site, 25 percent in meetings, and 25 percent on correspondence,” he says.

One of the reasons Jay enjoys working at Kaufman is because he believes that through the built environment we are making Columbus a better place for our residents, as well as the people who live and work near our projects.

“By building great homes near places that people want to work, we can decrease the time a resident spends commuting and therefore help decrease traffic on our roads and emissions in the air,” he says. “By building higher instead of wider, we are reducing our projects’ burden on public utilities and infrastructure.”

Thanks to Kaufman’s visibility and success, Jay predicts that we may see some imitators try to capture a share of the market that our projects have proven exists, which could result in more contemporary, sophisticated apartment buildings coming online from other developers.

At the moment, Jay is most excited about several projects that are still in the planning stages.

“They will raise the bar in quality, sustainability, aesthetics, and amenities,” he says.

Second annual Inspire the World Day takes place at The Gramercy New Albany

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During a goal-setting workshop three years ago, Julie Wilkes was encouraged to come up with a “big, hairy, audacious goal.” After reflecting on what matters most to her, Julie came up with the idea for Inspire the World Day, an event designed to create a greater community of people focused on health, happiness and positively impacting the world around them.

“We have so much talent in Central Ohio, and I wanted to showcase all of the amazing health and wellness professionals that people can learn and be inspired from, all while doing something good for others,” she says.

The second annual Inspire the World Day will take place Saturday, August 24 at The Gramercy New Albany, located at 5935 Central College Rd. The event kicks off at 8 a.m. with sunrise yoga and concludes at 5 p.m. with happy hour and a live musical performance by the Wheatgrass Revival Band.

A speech by plane crash survivor Skip Vachon, two panel discussions (one of which features Kaufman Development CEO Brett Kaufman), and a digital photo scavenger hunt are also among the day’s activities.

When choosing speakers for the event, Julie says she kept several criteria in mind.

“I looked for real life people who are out there impacting the world for the better,” she says. “I looked for stories of overcoming odds to live a powerful life. I looked for professionals that could add a variety of topics and interests, and who think outside of the box. I looked for professionals who walk their talk.”

Giving back is another prominent theme at Inspire the World Day, which is why the event’s net profits will be donated to Make-A-Wish of Central Ohio.

Those who participate in the event will leave with a renewed sense of energy, Wilkes says, adding that past attendees have even called it life-changing.

“We promise a day of inspiration, motivation, education, challenge, fun, laughter, and impact,” she says.

To learn more about Inspire the World Day, or to register, visit JulieWilkes.com/itwddetails.