The Edge: Victor Mezhvinsky, Arresting Development.
August 04, 20154 min read
Novedge: Tell us a bit about who you are and what you do.
Victor Mezhvinsky: my name is Victor Mezhvinsky and I’m a native San Franciscan who left a successful career in technology to become a builder and a developer. My team and I ( MT Development Co.) are fortunate to work with creative and collaborative Architects and Designers as well as amazing clients on various residential projects, from estate houses and penthouses to fixer-uppers and starter homes. Photo credit: Thomas Heinser Studio
Novedge: Your services include pre-construction, do you have in house Designers and Architects?
Victor Mezhvinsky: Since the types of work we do vary, we have several external interior design and architecture partners. This way we can give each client the best match.
Novedge: What do you look for in an Architect for an ideal cooperation?
Victor Mezhvinsky: Foresight, communication skills and an innovative and flexible approach to problem solving – we value these qualities in our design and architecture partners, and in turn, my team and I have these qualities. The best work we have ever done has been collaborative; needless to say the client benefits.
Novedge: Can you list some of the Architecture Firms you partnered with?
Novedge: What is a recent project that you worked on?
Victor Mezhvinsky: We recently worked with Cass Calder Smith at CCS Architecture and Geddes Ulinskas Architectson a new construction project in South Park in San Francisco. South Park dates back to the 1850s, and I think the area has the most dynamic mix of creative firms, light industrial businesses and technology start-ups in San Francisco. Image credits John Hayes Photography.
Our project at 147 South Park adds to the neighborhood’s unique, eclectic and sometimes quirky character. It’s a three-storey infill building in polished stainless steel with street-level commercial space and two residential condos on the 2nd and 3rd floors. The Architect and writer George Calysdescribes 147 South Park as “a handsome building” in the modern aesthetic tradition of the neighborhood. https://player.vimeo.com/video/119557229
We also worked with Karen Curtiss at Red Dot Studioon a remodel of a quintessential Victorian in Dolores Heights next to the Liberty-Hill Historic District in the Mission in San Francisco. The homeowners love to entertain so the focal point of the house is the living room-kitchen with its amazing views of downtown San Francisco. The project showcases our team’s finish carpentry and millwork skills. For example, the living room has the original ceiling which we re-created for the kitchen. Images by Brian McCloud .
Novedge: What are the challenges you most often run into?
Victor Mezhvinsky: Challenges vary by project, so I can’t say that there are ones that we run into most often. By managing proactively, my team and I are able to deal with matters before these become problems. This also puts us in a good position to put out any fires. This is less of a challenge than a goal, but we always strive to create value for our clients.
Novedge: Did you ever get an unusual Design request from some of your customers?
Victor Mezhvinsky: We haven’t had any unusual requests; although we recently put in a gun safe and we install a lot of home automation systems.
Novedge: What is your "forte"? What sets you apart from the competition?
Victor Mezhvinsky: It’s what we believe in and how we show our values, not so much what sets us apart from the competition. Relationships come first, and we take pride in building lasting ones, internally among the team, and with clients, designers, architects and other consultants. As I often say, we don’t have our own forest where we can grow lumber for half off (and pass along savings to clients). We all buy from the same suppliers; it's people that make the difference.
Novedge: Do you know any jokes about Architects or Builders……or both?
Victor Mezhvinsky: Why don’t Architects go to heaven? Jesus was a carpenter.
Novedge: Is there a project that you will never forget?
Victor Mezhvinsky: My first project – a major remodel to transform an early suburban tract house in Noe Valley – is very memorable for various reasons. I had met and applied for construction financing with 23 banks before Bank of Marin gave me a loan. Then the economy collapsed as my team and I were trying to complete the project. But when that project sold in 2010, the sale price set record in the neighborhood for a non-view house. I have always been entrepreneurial and a risk-taker, but that first project taught me how to be even more tenacious, persistent and resourceful. It also reinforced to me that I’m doing what I love. Photo credit: John Hayes Photography..
Novedge: If we compare building a house with making a movie, would it be accurate to say that your role is similar to that of a "Director" : the one that makes sure a vision is realized and the story is told in the right sequence?
Victor Mezhvinsky: I see my role as similar to that of an aircraft controller: I help get a project team from point A to point B in a well-planned and timely manner.
When designing is not just a flight of fancy, you need people like Victor to secure a impeccable journey. If you want to see more of his work check out MT Development's websiteand their Facebook page.
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