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Jax Daily Record Friday, Jun. 21, 200212:00 PM EST

Profile: Jose 'Pepe' Perez

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WHAT DO YOU DO?

“I oversee all operations, including financial, human resources, marketing and the way we run the show. Occasionally, I get to design my own projects. I have my own projects that I work on, otherwise I would go crazy. I need to have my creative outlet once in a while.”

WHAT DO YOU LIKE ABOUT DESIGNING?

“I think every design offers a challenge and I like designing different things to stay on top. That’s one of the things that has kept our firm alive — we are not pigeon-holed in any one type of design.”

BIG PROJECTS?

“Currently, we are doing the redevelopment of the Lynch Building [11 E. Forsyth] for Vestcor Properties.” They are also designing Sebastian Harbor, a mixed-use project in St. Augustine for Vestcor.

OTHER PROJECTS YOU’VE HAD DOWNTOWN?

They designed the Tax Collector and Property Appraiser offices.

WHEN DID YOU START THE COMPANY?

In 1981, in the Baymeadows area. Two years ago they designed and built their own office in Southpoint.

AREAS THEY WORK?

He is a registered architect in 15 states; the company handles projects all over the Southeast.

WHAT DOES THE COMPANY DO?

It has a general practice of 37 employees, including registered professionals with several sub-specialities, interns, computer automated drafter and designers and administrative people. “We do a lot of commercial work, multi-family work and City work.”

WHAT DOES PQH STAND FOR?

It represents the initials of Perez and his two partners, Ricardo Quinones and Rob Hoenshel. When the firm opened it was called Perez and Associates. In 1989, he made Quinones and Hoenshel partners.

WHY OPEN OWN COMPANY?

“Basically, I wanted to do my own thing, be in control of my own operations, work my own hours and do the work that I wanted to do.”

WHAT TYPE OF WORK DO YOU DO FOR THE CITY?

They are designing an animal shelter and control facility and an operations and maintenance facility for the City of Neptune Beach. “We also do work for JEA. The latest one was moving the Southside Generating Plant back off of the riverfront and creating 40 acres of developable land on the riverfront for private development. We designed the building that houses the big units and then all the other stuff is going underground.”

RECENTLY ADDED VARGAS?

“We’ve adopted Vargas Engineering for the civil engineering aspect of it.” Perez saw that he needed to create a one-stop shop so he expanded the company into civil engineering, master planning, interior design and construction services.

BIRTHPLACE

Havana.

MOVED TO MIAMI?

1958.

PEPE?

Perez says it is a common nickname for people named Jose.

HOBBIES

Playing the guitar, golf and spending time with his family.

FAMILY

He had been married to Sandy, a commercial real estate agent, since March. He has two grown children, Daniel, 19, and Benjamin, 17.

COLLEGE

He has a bachelor’s degree in design, a master’s degree in architecture and another master’s degree in structural engineering from the University of Florida.

WORKED HIS WAY THROUGH COLLEGE

He worked his way through college by playing lead guitar in a rock and roll band.

AFTER COLLEGE

He left the band to work for a developer. He later worked for an engineering company and then an architect in Gainesville.

WHAT MADE YOU CHOOSE ARCHITECTURE?

“I thought maybe I could do engineering, but it was too regimented, I needed more of a creative outlet.”

WHEN DID HE MOVE TO JACKSONVILLE?

In 1978. “I saw it having a lot of potential. Miami was getting overpopulated so it was either Orlando or Jacksonville. I thought Jacksonville had a lot more potential with the natural resources, the beaches, the river and the climate. I felt better about the quality of life in Jacksonville, too.”

PROFESSIONAL AFFILIATIONS

He is a trustee for the Chamber of Commerce, on the State Historic Marker Council, a past board member of the Jacksonville Community Relations Committee and has completed a term on the Construction Trades Qualifying Board. He is also a member of the National Council of Architectural Registration, American Institute of Architects, Southern Building Code Congress and the Southeast Rotary Club.

FAVORITES

“A Beautiful Mind” tops his favorite movie list. “I loved that movie. I related to him because I love math. The guy was just brilliant. I could never think at his level, but I could almost relate.” He and his wife love to travel and when dining out, he enjoys a variety of restaurants.

RESIDES

Deerwood.

SYNAGOGUE

The Temple.

— by Michele Newbern Gillis

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