June 25, 2020
Coffee Break! Getting to Know our Charlottesville Office
By: Leslee Oliver
Quirk Hotel Charlottesville opened its newest location on W. Main Street earlier this year and it’s been on my list to visit as soon as possible. It’s located in the City’s historic district and celebrates the art, history and culture of the community through minimalist contemporary design. This stunning hotel project, featured earlier this year in Architectural Record, captivates you immediately through the bright lobby spaces, art gallery, and a plethora of dining options including a rooftop bar, whiskey bar, coffee house and signature restaurant. I couldn’t think of anyone more suitable to meet up with for this month’s Coffee Break than Clint Shifflett, who was part of the Quirk engineering design team. Clint has been with Timmons Group for over five years and is involved in so many neat projects in the Charlottesville region. Together, we talked about the Charlottesville office, how they’re servicing clients within their region, and what’s new and exciting in the City.
Q. Let’s start with an overview about you. Tell me a little bit about your career path that led you to Timmons Group.
I have a little bit of an unconventional path that led me to become an engineer. I first wanted to be an architect when I was in high school, so I landed an internship at William McDonough + Partners in Charlottesville for a year. After my internship experience, I pivoted to CAD drafting exclusively and continued to work for another local architecture firm before moving on to an engineering firm. I gained so much valuable experience, but knew I needed to pursue my degree after a few years in. So, I graduated with a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering in 2011 and pursued my PE license in 2013. I have been with Timmons group since 2015.
Q. I understand that you were being recruited for a long time before making the jump to Timmons Group. What was it about Craig and our firm that finally made you want to make that jump?
I was nervous about the jump because I was very secure in where I was at. After talking to Craig a few times, I was sold on the opportunity and advancement, especially with it being a larger firm. I was also sold on the prospect of being able to work on a larger array of projects since before I was mostly working on residential/subdivision projects.
Q. Which leads me to my next question, what are the types of projects does the Charlottesville office work on?
We work on all types of projects. We worked on the site/civil engineering for this hotel. We also work on an assortment of commercial projects, K-12 projects, multi-family projects, and subdivisions. I would say that 30-50% of our work is public, and the rest is private. That is one thing that is so unique about our office. We pretty much get to work on everything in the central Virginia region west of Richmond. We are a full-service firm that provides site/civil engineering and landscape architecture. We also have the support of our Staunton office for surveying capabilities.
Q. Since I am located at our Boulders office in Richmond, I always like to ask what the office culture is like at other offices. What is it like in Charlottesville?
We have fifteen people in our office, plus two interns this summer. There is definitely a family office feel. People in our office are close, which is difficult to always achieve. One thing our office does and even continued to do during COVID was work out together. We continued to meet up and have virtual work out sessions together over Zoom.
Q. Charlottesville’s downtown certainly has a cool vibe and historical culture. It appears that a lot of new stuff is popping up. Are there any new trends that you are seeing through this development?
There’s a lot of new construction happening in this City that we’ve been lucky to be a part of. We are involved in the CODE building project, which stands for Center of Developing Entrepreneurs. It’s near the downtown mall and will serve as a retail/commercial office space. Housing is also something that is a big deal in Charlottesville, primarily multifamily. Across the street from Quirk, we developed 85 units at 600 West Main, and are basically mirroring the building next to it for another 85 units to try and meet the need for housing. Dairy Central is another unique project that is located near the Downtown Mall. It’s a really cool building and will serve as a food hall, which is an entirely new concept to Charlottesville. Individual food vendors from all different backgrounds and variety will gather in this space. Above it will be Class A office space and luxury apartments.
Q. What is the coolest project you’ve worked on since being at Timmons Group?
Woolen Mills, an old industrial mill, located right on the Rivanna River. It sat dilapidated for a long time, but we were able to work with developers to revitalize the site. It is going to serve as the new headquarters for WillowTree, probably the largest Tech company job creator in Charlottesville.
Q. What is unique about the Quirk Charlottesville project?
It was really important to the hotel that they be sensitive to the community’s needs. It was a priority to them to create spaces that provide opportunities for the community to have a presence, versus just being a space for out of town guests. They did this by incorporating an art gallery, a coffee shop with its own entrance, and through the large lobby areas with multiple seating spaces.
Q. What is your favorite thing to do in the Charlottesville area?
I don’t get to do this often, but I love visiting breweries and wineries. My favorite brewery in the area is Three Notch’d. My favorite winery is Pippin Hill, although I’m not a big wine connoisseur so I’m mostly there for the ambiance and views. I also love to head to the Blue Ridge Parkway because there are so many good hiking options.
Clint is currently a Project Manager with over a decade of experience designing and leading design teams for land development projects that range from commercial, residential, and industrial. Clint’s project duties include directly working with client staff and consultants, as well as in-house junior engineers to develop complete site plans that include site grading, wet and dry utilities, storm sewer, landscaping, and stormwater management. He also works closely with review agencies during design development to ensure all federal, state, and local codes are met during the design review period and will see the project through to approval. Following plan approval, Clint coordinates the production of the final procurement and bid packages as well as provides construction administrative services.
To connect with Clint, send him an email: firstname.lastname@example.org.