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Why does this Tenant Improvement Cost So Much?

    I'm often asked questions like this in the early phases of a tenant improvement. The client has many questions during early phases of an office relocation, and they normally would prefer to pin down the cost question quickly, so they can make a decision whether to move forward.
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DesignLine Architects, LLC
470 E. Canyon Creek Court ,
Gilbert, AZ 85295
Phone: 4807103861
http://designlinearchitects.com

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Tenant Improvement

Hire a Tenant Improvement Architect in Phoenix

If you are looking at expanding your business, a tenant improvement architect in Phoenix is vital.

Get a Tenant Architect on Board for your Next Project | 480-710-3861

Get a Tenant Architect on Board for your Next Project | 480-710-3861

Why You Must Hire an Architect

Hiring an architect will not only allow you to expand safely, it will provide you the assurance that the commercial complex has been designed with the best materials and methods while complying with the changing building codes of the city. You may find ready-made architectural/engineering drawings online also. However, you can consult an experienced architect for the best building design for your specific building type.

Before you begin your next tenant improvement project, consider hiring an architectural firm to assist with planning, design, and execution of either or both the interior and exterior. Not only will you be getting professional services and expert advice, but your project will run smoother and be less stressful. Why?

Tenant Improvement Architecture

All forms of architectural consultation are about the details.  If you don’t hire a tenant improvement architect, you could end up cutting through a wall and taking out the power to an entire suite or even a floor of your building.  An architect knows where all the wiring is as well as the plumbing.  Sounds easy, right?  How do you know that the blueprints that you have are the most up to date ones for your particular building?  For all you know, one of the tenants added an executive washroom.  As a result, you could end up causing property damage and potentially be liable for thousands or even millions of dollars.  In addition to the judgments awarded against you, you could end up facing fines from the city, county, and state governments.  Sometimes, business owners fixate too much on their profits and bottom line.  While running a profitable business is a good idea, as is saving money,  there are some areas that it is not advisable to save money on, and one of them is trying to do it yourself with tenant improvement.   You don’t want to owe fines or have to settle a lawsuit do you?

You’re not a professional architect, and neither do you have a license.  You want the project done right the first time.  As a result, your best bet to save money and hassle is to hire someone who is a professional and who is licensed to do tenant improvement architecture in Phoenix.

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DesignLine Architects, LLC
470 E. Canyon Creek Court ,
Gilbert, AZ 85295
480-710-3861
Contact Us

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Tenant Improvement Architects and Your Building Part 2

Part two of a series on tenant improvement architects explores when you should and shouldn’t agree to tenant improvements.

Tenant Improvement Architects:  What Requests Are Valid?

OFFICE REMODEL MESA

TENANT IMPROVEMENT MESA AZ | 480-710-3861

As a landlord, it’s your responsibility to balance your tenant’s needs with how much it will cost and whether it is even doable.  However, you must try to keep your tenant happy, and hiring a tenant improvement architect in Phoenix is a good step in that direction, as they can help you control costs effectively.

First off, any tenant improvement that adds value to the property should be agreed to without hesitation.  For example, electrical improvements such as additional power outlets, and communications upgrades such as broadband internet connections, entertainment such as cable or satellite are safe bets.  Another thing that works are any improvements that bring your building in compliance with various laws such as ramps for wheelchairs, smoke detectors, etc.   In fact, these tenant improvements are very cost-effective particularly when viewed against the cost of fines and litigation.  Upgrades to the HVAC system also add marketability to the property and should be considered right up front.

Cosmetic Changes and a Tenant Improvement Architect

Cosmetic changes on the other hand are a judgment call for any landlord to make.   For example, knocking out a wall and replacing it with glass bricks is a tenant improvement that may limit the use of the property when it comes up for rent again.   And with an existing tenant, you have to consider whether or not you wish to keep them as a tenant before agreeing to any tenant improvement projects.  In cases like custom paint jobs for the lobby, it’s a good idea for landlords to put in a clause that the tenant has to restore it back to its original shape when they move out.

So as you see, some improvements are obvious.  Some others, you have to measure cost versus gain, and other ones you have to consider sparingly.  One thing that you don’t want to do, however, is do any project without any input from a tenant improvement architect.

This concludes part two of our series on tenant improvement architects. Be sure to read part one of this series as well.
DesignLine Architects, LLC
470 E. Canyon Creek Court ,
Gilbert, AZ 85295
480-710-3861
http://www.designlinearchitects.com

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Jobs For a Tenant Improvement Architect Part 1

What can a tenant improvement architect do?  A lot of people think that an architect may not be necessary, however, commercial construction can become rapidly complicated without a professional present to help.

Tenant Improvement Architects:  Some Sample Jobs

Tenant Improvement Architects in Phoenix

Tenant Improvement Architects in Phoenix | Call Us Today | (480) 710-3861

Let’s say you have an older building that was once subdivided into warehouse space.  You’ve bought it for your new Internet startup, and you have the keys.  The retro style of the building appeals to you, however, there is a slight problem, or more accurately problems.  First off, your building is in Phoenix and it was put up in the 1930’s.  The last tenant had the office space air conditioned, but the back is only cooled by a beat up series of swamp coolers.  A tenant improvement architect can retrofit the building to have air conditioning throughout it.  However, there’s even more.

For example, most tenant improvement projects are a lot more complicated and require a team of people.  The architect can be the coordinator between the building owner or landlord, the interior designers, and the construction crew to name but a few.  However, there are certain regulations that have to be adhered to as well.

How an Architect Can Help You to Comply to All Applicable Codes

You make widgets and sell them on the Internet, do you know about building codes?  How can you make your building handicap accessible other than a ramp?  You need to open in a few days, how can you do all of this without shutting down and renting temporary office space?  What about dust control?  As you see, sometimes, projects can rapidly spiral out of control.  What you need is someone who helps to control the project, not let the project control you.  The best person to get for the job is your first step before you open for business.  An architect that does tenant improvement can help answer all of these questions and more.

So, concentrate on getting your business started, and let the tenant improvement architect handle the stuff behind the scenes.

DesignLine Architects offers tenant improvement services.

DesignLine Architects, LLC   
470 East Canyon Creek Court   
Gilbert, AZ 85295  
(480) 710-3861
CONTACT US

 

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An Architect’s Areas of Specialty

An architect does more than just build buildings and design structures.  This article will explore some of the many things that a design professional like this can do either for a homeowner or a business owner.

Architects: More than Just Buildings

An architect in Phoenix can help you with remodeling

Call an Architect in Phoenix | (480) 710-3861

Ancient Rome was famous for its aqueducts, among other things. How were they built? With the help of a series of architects. Of course they had a different name back then, but the principles were the same.  Even back then, architects were people who wore many different hats.  Today, however, an architect serves a lot of purposes including:

Administration of projects-A lot of people don’t realize that an architect is more than just a design professional.  Architects also serve as the last word in projects, and are also the manager on whom a lot of decisions rest.

-Clearing permits with city governments where necessary.  Do you know what permits are necessary for a room addition?  If you’re building on land, do you know how to schedule an environmental impact study?  A Phoenix architect does.

Form and Function: More Jobs for Your Architect

-Aesthetics and incorporating both form and function.  If you are looking at custom home remodeling, do you know how to place a natural light source where it won’t be glaring, or too dark?  Guess who can tell where it should go…?

Tenant improvement.  Let’s say you have a commercial property.  One of your tenants has a booming business and needs to expand into the suite next door.  They want to knock out a wall.  Who do you go to for the answer?  Simple, you call in a professional architect.

There are certain jobs you don’t do yourself.  If you are injured in a car wreck, you don’t drive yourself to the hospital.  If  you are in danger from a criminal you call the police.  And when you want to do something connected with your building or structure, you call in an architect.

Design Line Architects, LLC  is a Phoenix based architecture firm.

Design Line Architects, LLC
470 East Canyon Creek Court
Gilbert, AZ 85295
(480) 710-3861
http://www.designlinearchitects.com

 

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Score a Touchdown With The Help of a Tenant Improvement Architect

Do you need tenant improvement?  If so, call in a professional expert…

Touchdown-Hire a Tenant Improvement Architect

Score a Touchdown with Your Tenant Improvement Architect

Score a Touchdown with Your Tenant Improvement Architect | (480) 710-3861

Building Permits, Construction Cost, and Tenant Improvement

Super Bowl Sunday is February 3, hire a tenant improvement architect and score a touchdown.

All Handled by a Professional Architect

Hire a professional architect to navigate the red tape.

Call us today:

Design Line Architects, LLC
470 East Canyon Creek Court
Gilbert, AZ 85295
(480) 710-3861
Your Tenant Improvement Architect

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What is an Architect

An architect is so much more than a designer.  First off, here is a definition of an architect from WIKIPEDIA.ORG:

An architect is a person trained to plan and design buildings, and oversee their construction. To practice architecture means to provide services in connection with the design and construction of buildings and the space within the site surrounding the buildings, that have as their principal purpose human occupancy or use.[1] Etymologically, architect derives from the Latin architectus, which derives from the Greek arkhitekton (arkhi-, chief + tekton, builder), i.e., chief builder.[2]

Professionally, an architect’s decisions affect public safety, and thus an architect must undergo specialized training consisting of advanced education and a practicum (or internship) for practical experience to earn a license to practice architecture.

To read more of this entry, please visit http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Architect

In most of the world, only people with appropriate qualifications and licensure may legally practice architecture. To get a license, an architect has to have:

  • An advanced degree from an accredited university
  • Successful completion of state administered exams
  • Successful completion of a training period.

There is a big difference between an architect and a building design professional.  An architect can operate independently of supervision.  A building design professional is someone that can be an architectural technologist, an intern architect, or an engineer but is not directly connected to the architectural process.  Another key thing to know about what an architect does is that sometimes, they are consultants.

Sometimes an architect is hired not to design a structure or building, but to do a feasibility study on a proposed structural improvement or addition.  Sometimes, it is a good idea to have someone outside of a design team take another look at any plans to make sure there’s no problems down the road.

Architects have an eye for detail, and are respected consultants throughout different levels of society.

You can do a lot worse than to call an architect for any improvement projects you may have for your home or business involving structural changes.

Design Line Architects, LLC
470 East Canyon Creek Court
Gilbert, AZ 85295
(480) 710-3861
http://www.designlinearchitects.com

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Accelerated Tempe Building Permits

By Doug Rusk, Architect

The City of Tempe offers an accelerated process to obtain building permits for minor remodels.

Tempe Buliding PlansObtaining approved building permit  in Tempe has been put on a “fast track” for those who are planning for minor commercial tenant improvement for your business OR for a minor home renovation.  These special programs will significantly shorten the plan review and building permit approval process.

City of Tempe Building Permits

Over The Counter Plan Review

If you meet the following criteria and have a form of payment with you, you may be eligible for an Over the Counter Permit.  The Building Permit may be processed while you wait, depending on the complexity of the project.   Plan check and building permit fees vary depending upon the type of work being done and the valuation.

  1. Minor residential additions not exceeding $10,000.00 valuation, patio covers, interior remodels, detached accessory structures, carport to garage conversions, covered patio to livable, and mobile home permits.
  2. Residential Fire Damage Repairs under 50% damage if the Fire Damage Report is available.
  3. Counter plan review may be provided for commercial Tenant Improvements (TIs) given the following situations:
  • Under 3,000 sq. ft. for Business Offices (no medical offices)
  • Under 1,500 sq. ft. for Mercantile space
  • Under 15,000 sq. ft. for storage of Low Hazard Storage less than 12’ in height.
  • Fire Damage “ Restore to Original” with no structural requirements
  • Depending upon the complexity of the work to be constructed, Mechanical, Electrical, and Plumbing (MEP) plans for any tenant space under a, b, or c above.
  • All other Occupancies—Multi-Family Residential, Medical Office, Assembly, Educational, Factory or Manufacturing, Hazardous, and Institutional Occupancies will require submittal.

3.    A counter plan review will NOT be provided when any of the following conditions exist:

  • A Notice to Comply has been issued for Construction Without Permits
  • A Change of Occupancy or revision of required exiting will occur upon completion of construction
  • A Use Permit, Parking Variance, etc. is required from Planning
  • Changes to the exterior of the building which will require Planning approval, including roof top changes that add equipment extending above the parapet, exterior lighting changes, window and door changes, paint scheme changes, etc.
  • Residential expansion larger than 25% on retention lots requiring engineering approval.
  • Mechanical, electrical, plumbing which is part of a pending building project or a building project not suitable for over the counter permits.
  • Projects where structural calculations are required.

Please Note:  The counter plan review is usually available on TUESDAY and THURSDAY (only) from 8:00 AM – 4:00 PM.   To learn more, call (480) 350-8341 to verify availability of services.

City Of Tempe Building Permits

Tempe house plans

Building Safety Department
21 E. Sixth St., Suite 208
31 E. Fifth St., East Garden Level
Tempe, Arizona 85281
Phone: 480.350.8341
Fax: 480.350.8677

How Do I Know if I Need a Permit in Tempe?

You May Need a Tempe Building Permit, if you’re:

  • Moving a sink- requires the proper extension of plumbing.
  • Demolishing a load-bearing wall- means redistributing weight from above.
  • Changing the home’s roof line framing.
  • Punching in a new window or door- requires a new header that carries weight from above.
  • Altering the footprint of your house.
  • Installing new electrical wiring.

You May NOT Need a Tempe Building Permit, if you’re:

  • Putting in hardwood floor.
  • Installing carpeting.
  • Upgrading your counter tops.
  • Paint

For more Building Permit specific details related to cities that you live or work, click on one of the following links: Phoenix, Tempe, Gilbert, Chandler, Mesa, Scottsdale.

About the Author

A Tempe architect will help you avoid many common mistakes that are made with construction projects. No matter what kind of space you need today, we’ll make sure it’s designed for your needs in the future.  This will give you future function built into today’s home addition.  To discuss your Tempe building permit needs, contact Doug Rusk at 480-710-3861 or email us at drusk@designlinearchitects.com.

Architect in Tempe

Doug Rusk, Architect
DesignLine Architects, LLC
Gilbert, Arizona
www.designlinearchitects.com

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CASE STUDY– Mesa Office Tenant Improvement

Written By Doug Rusk, Architect

Mesa Office Tenant Improvement

A recent office tenant improvement we performed for a national insurance company showcases a great example of why some businesses are more successful than others.   When you’re an insurance business that focuses all day on helping other businesses and individuals with risk prevention, damage protection and safety & Loss control, it’s no surprise to find they are just as smart at handling their own office tenant improvement in a similar way.

So when Mary, their regional Project Manager, needed a reputable General Contractor for her company’s 2875 SF office tenant improvement project in Mesa, she called Joe Harris, managing partner of AZ Construction, LLC.   Joe’s first move was to confirm this project qualified for the “Permit By Inspection” program offered by the City of Mesa for minor tenant improvements projects.  His second move was to retain Doug Rusk, a principal with DESIGNLine Architects, LLC ASAP, who he knew would make him look good to his client by expediting their design/permit submittal package.  And because our client Mary provided a detailed specification package that described all their project goals, Doug’s design team needed only 21 business days from signed design contract to obtain City approved building permit in order to start construction. And Joe’s team needed only 20 business days from building permit approval to finish construction so the tenant could move in.

TENANT IMPROVEMENT  MESA

And as a result of our team’s continuous communication with the City of Mesa, we discovered that the current drinking fountain code requirement could be reduced to only requiring drink cups next to the break room sink.  So including the plumbing work that would have been required, this saved the client over $1200.

Mesa Office Tenant Improvement – Scope of Work

Overall, the tenant improvement scope of work on this project was relatively straightforward:

– Removed several decorative walls and ceiling elements in the main room.

– Remove the old ceiling work, and replaced with a new 11’-4” high T-bar ceiling, modified layout of lights and mechanical as required.

– Removed glass door wall in order to open up the front entry.

– Built 3 new walls to create one new office and two conference room. Painted Orange contract color on new office walls shown on left in photo above).

– Added all the necessary electrical outlets, power panel updates, lighting and data lines necessary for 12 cubical work stations.

– Updated paint and flooring throughout entire 2875 SF space.

COMMERCIAL OFFICE REMODEL

Have you noticed the growing number of unattended office lobbies these days?  In order to create efficiencies in our tenant improvement, we down sized the fancy lobby and instead positioned one of the typical workstations to act as the reception (see image above).

After removing the curved, multi-height ceiling elements and added the new office and conference room (see left side of top picture), we installed a new single height ceiling grid.   We saved $1600 by carefully designing the new ceiling grid and lighting so that we didn’t have to move too many fire sprinkler heads.  Per Mesa Fire Department codes if you relocate no more than 9 fire sprinkler heads, then you will not be required to submit complete fire sprinkler design drawings to the City of Mesa.

Office Tenant Improvement – Location is Key:

So if you’re business will benefit more exposure, consider some of the moves our subject insurance client performed:

Find a prominent corner location on a busy intersection with a gas station next door. – Provides great drive by exposure to drivers waiting at a stop light.

Locate your business between nationally franchised restaurants on one side and a Fed-Ex type postage delivery store on the other side. This will provide continuous walk by traffic that will build familiarity to your brand.

For other great ideas, read this:  Cost Effective Tenant Improvement Ideas

COMMERCIAL OFFICE REMODEL

About the Author

Doug Rusk is the principal at DESIGNLine Architects, LLC located in Gilbert, Arizona.  We specialize in residential and commercial tenant improvement for small and medium sized businesses with expertise in space planning and interior design consulting.  We’ll provide your General Contractor a thorough preliminary design packages that will enable an early construction cost estimate to confirm your budget quickly.

Phoenix Architecture FirmDoug Rusk, Architect
DesignLine Architects, LLC
Gilbert, Arizona
480-710-3861
www.designlinearchitects.com

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Mesa Building Permit “Shortcuts”

By Doug Rusk, Architect

The City of Mesa offers an accelerated process to obtain building permits for minor remodels.

If you haven’t already heard…  the City of Mesa offers a “shortcut” to obtain building permits for minor commercial remodel.   This special program, called “Permit By Inspection” (PBI), will significantly shorten the Plan Review and Permit Approval process – if your project qualifies.

Mesa Tenant ImprovementCity of Mesa

Minor Commercial Tenant Improvement

Permit By Inspection (PBI)

The permit by inspection program (PBI) is a voluntary alternative to the standard construction document plan review and building permit approval processes for special projects of certain building uses, occupancies and degree of complexity.   The PBI program is intended to provide a stream-lined approach to building permit plan review review and issuance in which senior building inspectors review construction documents in the field and approve the issuance of the building permit.  There is a 20% premium for the PBI process on top of the regular building permit fee and other fees.

Benefits of the “Permit By Inspection” (PBI) Process:

  • – Typically the Permit By Inspection (PBI) is processed in a 5 day turnaround time  (instead of 18 days).
  • – Cuts down on paperwork.
  • – Much of process is done by email.
  • – One contact person who is familiar with the project and special conditions.
  • – Construction work can proceeds as the plan review is taking place.
  • – Quick response time to changing field conditions.

There are currently no written criteria to determine if your project will qualify for the building permit by PBI process.  To learn more, call Clyde at (480) 644-4273.

If your project does NOT qualify for the PBI process, the regular Plan Review Turn-Around Times at this writing are:

Commercial

  • – 5 business day PBI review.
  • – 18 business days review.
  • – 10 day expedite review (100% of building permit fee).
  • – Super expedite review with negotiated turn-around time (200% of building permit fee).

Residential

  • – 10 business day review (5 days for master plot plans).
  • – 5 day expedite review (100% of building permit fee).

Signs

Over-The-Counter Plan Review

The City of Mesa also offers same day over-the-counter plan reviews for the following projects types:

  • – Emergency repairs (water, sewer, gas, electric).
  • – “Like for Like” repair/replacement (gas, water, electric).
  • – Banner Permits.

City of Mesa

Construction Plan Review and Building Permits
55 N. Center St.
Mesa, AZ  85201
PHONE (480) 644-4273
OFFICE HOURS:  7:00am to 6:00pm, M-TH
CLOSED FRIDAYS AND HOLIDAYS

For more Building Permit specific details related to cities that you live or work, click on one of the following links: Phoenix, Tempe, Gilbert, Chandler, Mesa, Scottsdale.

About the Author

A Mesa architect will help you avoid many common mistakes that are made with construction projects. No matter what kind of space you need today, we’ll make sure it’s designed for your needs in the future.  This will give you future function built into today’s home addition.  To discuss your Mesa building permit needs, contact Doug Rusk at 480-710-3861 or email us at drusk@designlinearchitects.com.

Architect in Mesa

Mesa Architecture Firm
 
Doug Rusk, Architect
DesignLine Architects, LLC
Gilbert, Arizona
www.designlinearchitects.com

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Chandler Building Permits – Fast Track

Small Business Benefits from Fast Tracked Chandler Building Permits

Chandler is one small business richer since a new bread making business, Gratifying Grains LLC, opened this week.    The new Mother and Daughter owners, Betsy Moore and Megan Moore, said that “because they only planned on a minor remodel, the City of Chandler offered us an expedited process to obtain our tenant improvement building permits.”

Tenant Improvement Chandler

But they’re not the only ones.  Many new Chandler businesses, who are planning to apply for a minor commercial tenant improvement (TI), have recently utilized this special Chandler program called the Small Business Assistance Program.  According to Betsy, “this terrific program significantly shortened the plan review time and building permit approval process for us. “  Because not all construction projects will qualify for this program, she recommended that people call Martin Perez at 480-782-3138 for more information.

Minor Commercial Tenant Improvement

Small Business Assistance Program

The Small Business Assistance Program is similar, but slightly different, to the Permit By Inspection (PBI) program offered at other Southeast Valley cities.   Here’s how it works.  A four member team from the Development Services staff, called the Small Business Assistance Team, will visit your new tenant space, and then mail you a written letter that identifies any issues of “significant importance” that might have the potential of costing you time and money.  This team is available at no cost and is intended to assist the small business community by helping clients navigate the City’s planning, building permit and licensing process.

QUALIFICATIONS:

There are currently no written qualifications to define a “minor tenant improvement”.  To learn more, call Martin Perez at 480-782-3138.

Chandler Commercial Remodel

City of Chandler
Transportation & Development
215 East Buffalo Street.
Chandler, AZ 85225

Phone:  Call Martin Perez at 480-782-3138 to answer expedited method of obtaining building permits.

How Do I Know if I Need a Chandler Building Permit?

May Need a Phoenix Building Permit, if you’re:

  • – Moving a sink- requires the proper extension of plumbing.
  • – Demolishing a load-bearing wall- means redistributing weight from above.
  • – Changing the home’s roof line framing.
  • – Punching in a new window or door- requires a new header that carries weight from above.
  • – Altering the footprint of your house.
  • – Installing new electrical wiring.

You May NOT Need a Phoenix Building Permit, if you’re:

  • – Putting in hardwood floor.
  • – Installing carpeting.
  • – Upgrading your counter tops.
  • – Paint

For more Building Permit specific details related to cities that you live or work, click on one of the following links: Phoenix, Tempe, Gilbert, Chandler, Mesa, Scottsdale.

About the Author Building Permits, Building Permits, Building Permits, Building Permits

A Chandler architect will help you avoid many common mistakes that are made with construction projects. No matter what kind of space you need today, we’ll make sure it’s designed for your needs in the future.  This will give you future function built into today’s home addition.  To discuss your Chandler building permit needs, contact Doug Rusk at 480-710-3861 or email us at drusk@designlinearchitects.com. building permits, Building Permits, Building Permits, Building Permits

Architect in Chandler

Phoenix Architecture FirmDoug Rusk, Architect
DesignLine Architects, LLC
Gilbert, Arizona
www.designlinearchitects.com

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