- RAMONA HOTEL
The transformation of the historic 19th century Ramona Hotel, designed by California’s first state architect into a modern conference facility, was no small feat. The Nova staff took painstaking efforts in the preservation of the stucco façade, ornamental terra cotta tiles, and iron accents that showcases its signature revival style architecture. A new mechanical, electrical, and plumbing system were installed along with modern flooring, walls, and high-end finishes throughout the facility. The new 57,000-square-foot conference center features an extensive millwork package, a modern film room, and full service health spa. The project received a LEED gold certification.
- THE FORT HARRISON HOTEL
Constructed in 1926 and touted by the press as the aristocrat of Florida Hotels, the Fort Harrison was in need of attention when Nova began its historic restoration. Following a complete demolition of the 12-story 213-room facility, meticulous efforts were made to preserve the integrity of the original design elements while retro-fitting it with state-of-the-art modern mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems. Nova sourced all of the Italian mahogany millwork, lighting, art, and custom carpets. The renovated facility features a three-story marble lobby, four restaurants, equipped with stainless steel commercial kitchens, 18,000 square feet of function space, as well as, three luxury guest suites. The entire project was completed within an expedited nine-month timeframe.
- SAINT HILL MANOR
An opportunity to renovate a historic 18th century English sandstone manor does not present itself very often, so when Nova was awarded the project, we were excited to see what our team could do. We assembled the most experienced group of craftsmen available to assist in restoring the intricate woodwork, slate roofs, original plaster walls, and hand formed cornice decorative features. Nova constructed a museum-quality garage with stone sourced from the original local quarry used to construct the manor. Finally, we updated the MEP backbone and installed a new commercial kitchen, all of which was accomplished in an expedited 60-day schedule by working multiple shifts around the clock.
- TAMPA COS CONFERENCE CENTER
The conversion of a nineteenth century, national landmark Tampa cigar factory, to a state- of-the- art training and conference center, provided an exciting challenge for the Nova staff. The utmost attention was focused on the preservation of the building’s original attributes, including its brick façade, embossed tin paneled ceilings, rod iron accents, and lead windows. A new mechanical, electrical, and plumbing system was installed along with modern flooring, walls, and high-end finishes throughout the facility. The new 90,000-square-foot conference center features an extensive millwork package, a modern film room, and full service health spa.
- MECCA COS CONFERENCE CENTER
The canvas was a 450,000-square-foot-seven-story empty shell that enveloped an entire city block in downtown Clearwater. The task was to complete the interior build out of a one-of-a-kind conference center and training facility that would draw worldwide attention. Nova was selected from an elite list of prominent bidding general contractors due to reputation for attention to detail and for our blue collar approach towards project management. Nova commenced this project by reaching out to our international manufacturing partners to source a millwork, stone, and glass package that would accentuate its grandeur. We installed new MEP systems, as well as a commercial kitchen with the capacity to feed a staff of 2,000, three meals a day. Nova supplied and installed all of the custom loose furniture, and the entire facility was completed with a five-star finish, containing exotic stones and materials. The highlights of the project include a breathtaking three-story stone atrium, five high tech film rooms, a full-service health spa, and a training facility, incorporating equipment designed using 21st century technology.
- THE OAK COVE HOTEL
The 13-story housing facility, boasting panoramic views of Clearwater Harbor, had the potential, but needed Nova’s vision to convert it into high- end luxury hotel accommodations. The project entailed a complete demolition of the building, stripping it down to a shell, and the reconstruction of the existing structure, including extensive framing and finishing on every floor. The update of the structural components required the installation of all new mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems, including the addition of a new elevator tower and two shafts. We then designed and created 244 four-star guestrooms and suites, sourcing all of the Italian mahogany millwork, lighting, art, and custom carpets. The guestrooms and corridors were finished with new wall coverings; a five- star paint finish and inlaid marble flooring were installed throughout the lobby and ground floor. The exterior of the property showcases a grand Porte of Cochere and an outside patio and deck perfect for functions and events. The Oak Cove Hotel proudly features a 150-seat casual restaurant with a new commercial kitchen and a lavish meeting space.
- NASHVILLE COS CONFERENCE CENTER
When Nova completed the renovation and conversion of the first multi-room school house, built in Nashville in 1898, the result was not only a world class conference facility, but it received accolades for receiving the 35th Annual Metropolitan Historic Commission Preservation Award. The project details included a complete demolition and new framing of the existing 40,000–square- foot interior footprint, as well as the installation of a new roof and MEP systems. Nova’s tradesman meticulously restored the original wood floors, paneling, doors, and millwork and finished the space with fresh paint and new hardware. The 35th Annual Metropolitan Historic Commission Preservation award was bestowed upon Nova for our work in the preservation of Davidson County’s architectural heritage. The Nashville COS Conference Center features a modern film room and full-service health spa.
- DALLAS COS CONFERENCE CENTER
When Nova was awarded the project and assumed the task of transforming a 60,000-square-foot structure into a world class conference and training facility, our design team shifted into high gear. The extensive structural work for the project included the demolition and reconstruction of the entire roof and 20,000-square-feet of foundation. During the roofing process, the Nova team added structural steel to support two new 70-ton rooftop air conditioning units. Other project details included a new plumbing system, fire sprinkler, and alarm system. To enhance the character of the building, design elements such as the addition of new skylights and the construction of an external steel staircase were added. Finally, we modified the configuration of the interior by adding new walls and ceiling systems and by finishing the space with new carpet and a four-star paint job. The Dallas COS Conference Center features three modern film rooms and a full-service health spa.
- FREEWINDS CRUISE SHIP
While the task to renovate a 440-foot luxury cruise ship encompassing six decks might have seemed overwhelming, Nova embraced the opportunity to showcase our capabilities and expand our portfolio. The renovation entailed the installation of new tile, mirrors, cabinetry, plumbing fixtures, and lighting package in all staterooms. Nova also installed an extensive millwork package, new carpet and padding and painted each room with a level-five finish. On the exterior, we constructed new wood decking and exterior seating, and we installed ornate mosaic pool-tile. Finally, we completed a design-build of a new sauna and applied high-end finishes in the spa and bookshop.
There is one Scientologists at Nova: CHIP HARDY (the owner)
I thought it was all being done by SO. They are paying outside contractors this kind of money? I bet members of the RCS can’t even work on the jobs. Sorry. This comes as another shocking disappointment. Silly me.
OMG … UNBELIEVABLE
Did anyone notice the computer graphics at “COS MECCA” The inside is not a real inside its the virtual one by the looks of it.
Speaking of construction snafus (aka clusterf**kcs) I notice that two of those buildings were done on an accelerated schedule (one even mentioned 24/7). I suppose Mr. David Miscavige was in a hurry and what the hell, let’s waste huge amounts of parishioner $$ to get it done done done now now now.
It reminds of the org where they paid the last holdout tenant big bucks to break lease and leave early, only to have the building sit around until well past when his lease would have been over anyway (I don’t recall which that was – OC?). That’s $tupid with lots of zeros on the end.
The utter idiocy of “Upper Management,” which today basically means Little Hitler His Very Self, boggles my mind.
Roy Macgregor says
Wow. They list the new Flag Mecca Build as being a 60 million dollar build out. Even if the shell and the designs cost an astronomical and impossible 40 million, that leaves 45 million missing. This is again the IQ test. The clubbed seals left in the CofS cannot understand that if you raise over 145 million for a project, and you spend around 100 million, then there is how much left over? Ahh, Ooooh, Ummmm, enough for DM to pay for his private planes? Yes Bingo people we have a winner. Me. I figured out where the other 45 million went.. Sadly there are about 10,000 clubbed seals still in the CofS who cannot do that level of advanced addition and subtraction. Shame, shame on them. Kudos to Mike Rinder for blowing the whistle on this level of advanced BS and rip off. By some strange co-incidence it seems that the Tampa area is some kind of nexus for money crazy religious leaders- from Wikipedia “Greater Ministries International was a church ministry that ran a Ponzi scheme taking nearly 500 million dollars from 18,000 people. Headed by Gerald Payne in Tampa, Florida, the ministry bribed church leaders around the United States to keep “donations” coming in. Payne and other church elders promised the church members double their money back, citing Biblical scripture. However, nearly all the money was lost and hidden away. Church leaders received prison sentences ranging from 13 to 27 years.” Now we just need the David Miscavige 13 to 27 years- his ponzi scheme passed the 500 million mark many years ago.
Maybe the Dwarf is planning to have himself mummified and buried in one of them, with all of his favorite things. Next to Tom.
Sacrifice the people to preserve the Mest to attain Eternal LIfe.
Not sure where that is on the Tone Scale but it sure isn’t high, despite the aesthetic.
Jane Doe says
“Sacrifice the people to preserve the Mest to attain Eternal Life.” Well said Aquamarine. Reminds me of Egyptian days and Pharoahs buried with their gold and pyramids built by slaves who died in the process.
Jane Doe says
Aquamarine said, “Sacrifice the people to preserve the Mest to attain Eternal Life.” Exactly! Reminds me of the building of the pyramids on the backs of slaves who died in the process and burying the Pharoah with his gold and mest and they all thought that got them eternal life. We’re just repeating the sequence.
Beautiful, gorgeous, expensive Mest. So impressive. Fittingly created concurrent with demise of the religion itself – Scientology’s Mausoleums.
One question for anyone: what are these conference buildings for, anyway? Who is supposed to be conferring in them?
Mike Rinder says
These “Conference Centers” are the IDEAL ORGS in Sacramento and Dallas and Nashville and Tampa and the Super Power building….
The only conferences that happen in them is the weekly Financial Planning Gladiator Pit where Div Heads tear one another to pieces and the last man standing get the $10 available and everyone else goes home with nothing after 5 hours of arguing how to split up $10 to cover $5000 weekly expenses.
“weekly Financial Planning Gladiator Pit” . I’m cracking up!!! Thanks, Mike 🙂 🙂
Richard Lloyd-Roberts says
It states that the staff at the super power building will be 2000. Whats the number that was thrown out that they needed to launch recently?
Those are sure some good sized projects. I wonder how crazy it was for them as a WOG Construction firm to deal with DM and all the insanity that he puts on cycles of action. It was probably a situation where they had to quickly develop new policies so that could deal with the difficulty of him being really hard to satisfy (like an incredibly spoiled child.)
John P. says
This is exactly what I was going to ask: is Nova really a “wog” firm or are there Scientologists among upper management? Even more embarrassing if they are at least partly run by Scientologists and yet won’t proudly advertise the name of their religion. You have to wonder why Nova is willing to do business with a really difficult client like the RCS, unless it’s because they charge so much in change fees every time Miscavige goes ricocheting off in a different direction that their margins are higher than on all their other jobs.
Mike Rinder says
John P — Not that it matters if they do or don’t have Scientologists in their management hierarchy. Either way, they are charging enormous amounts and getting it (see comment from Mike Laws above) and don’t want to mention who their main client is. NOBODY, Scientologist or not, wants to admit they do business with (read: take money from) the nutty cult.
The massive per square foot costs of these buildings is due in part to the insanity of making every one different and using over-the-top design elements and specs (marble floors etc) and partly due to the change orders. Anyone who has ever been involved in construction knows that change orders are deadly — you are already fully committed to the project. It’s not practical to get bids on change orders, you just pay what they demand or you don’t get the change. And in the RCS, if it was even breathed or mentioned by Miscavige, nobody can second guess it….
This whole scene with the Ideal Orgs has a term of art that perfectly describes it: clusterf**k.
Mike Rinder says
I think their primary “new policy” is “Charge an arm and a leg, these people have demonstrated they are stupid with what they insist on including in these buildings, and numerous change orders, but they have an apparently unlimited supply of money.”
It may not be that there’s Scientologists at Nova. It may be that Nova was the only company that would agree to the horrendous and silly non-disclosure agreements.
There is one Scientologists at Nova: CHIP HARDY (the owner)
Uhm, I have a question. How can Tampa Org possibly function cramped into only 88,000 square feet? I’m sure they average one person on course every day. Probably two people coming in for auditing. That would fill up 500 square feet. Add another 500 square feet for a bookstore, exec offices and a BYOTP bathroom. That leaves only 87,000 square feet for CoB’s office suite in case he ever goes to Tampa for a football game and needs some place for him and Tom to share their tiny cigars.
I have another question, too. Do they put up any collectible ASI prints of semi-nude women in these huge Ideal Orgs? Because you know according to DM who I believe invented the program, those things are collectible—in no way a fraudulent scam—and really going to be worth a lot of money some day! I remember back in the ’80s and ’90s, Scientologists just couldn’t buy enough of those $10,000 prints to suit David Miscavige and his staff at ASI. ASI Prints were WAY more important than moving up the Bridge, so you’d think he’d have ASI prints just plastered on every wall.
The $1000 to $10,000 ASI “Author services” *INVESTMENT* prints are routinely dumped on EBAY by the earlier collectors for $19.95 and sometimes do not even get one bid even for that !
Tony DePhillips says
Hrrrrumpf. Fifteen years ago I did a metered PTS interview on a woman who was having “money problems” getting onto her OT levels. When I probed, I found out she had $250,000 worth of those ASI prints a giant stack under her bed (wrapped in plastic) but couldn’t sell them to pay for her OT Preps (no way to recoup the original $$$ as they had plummeted in worth the moment she drove them off the lot). I probed further and asked who was responsible for her not being able to get on her OT levels, she gave me the name of the ASI salesman, blew down and F/Ned.
Hrrrrumpf. Fifteen years ago I helped out AOLA with a PTS interview on someone who had “been arriving” for her OT levels for nearly 20 years. During the interview it came up she can’t start on her OT levels because of “money problems”. So I dug into that and discovered she had $250,000 of ASI numbered prints in a canvas sack under her bed. Turned out she couldn’t sell them because the value plummeted as soon as she drove them off the lot (took delivery of them from ASI). So I asked who was keeping her from going up the Bridge. She gave me the name of her ASI “registrar”, blew down, and F/Ned. The church had in essence stolen all the money she needed to go from Clear to OTV!
Interesting thread about NOVA at
Huge discrepancies and glaring financial irregularities,
Between what Nova was paid and what was raised.
A “Charity” status 501C3 that wilfully hides their books and no accounting
on where the money goes.
This results in Berlin Org needing to steal for Food and Joberg staff fleeing
with uniforms while a $5 million property is purchased here and there…
I wonder if NOVA has paid any ‘FSM commissions’ to those that got them the jobs? 🙂
Jethro Bodine says
The cost of the renovations just in these feature “hotels” and “conference centers” and “cruise ships” (Idle Morgues) add up to 147 million. I like how they even avoid the word “church”. The wording is also business, which fits in with Corporate $cientology. Last I checked $cientology was still a tax exempt religion. I’m guessing internationally, RCS has probably spent over a billion dollars on Idle Morgue renovations. Bust just compared to the 147 million, I wonder how much the Sea Morgue spent on something like healthcare for the well-being of their employees internationally? Probably less than 10 grand – “No room in the FP for it! Make it go right!”. It just shows what their priorities are.
Paul Foster says
Anyone notice that, according to these people, the “Mecca” building is supposedly COMPLETE? And yet there isn’t an iota of delivery of Super Power going on there, even now. I wonder how long DM will stall on this. I’d hate to be cleaning crew that will have to go through that place and remove the dust off all the floors, window sills, furniture, etc., if this thing ever opens.
Yes!! I did notice that! You beat me to the comments. 🙂
Mike Rinder says
Paul — from the perspective of the builders, it IS done. The building has had a Cert of Occupancy for years!!! That’s as done a construction company can get.
Mike Laws says
Mike, to me the most remarkable thing is the price. Construction and renovations are generally budgeted by price per square foot. They are paying between $1-2,000.00 per square foot, that is bat shit crazy money.
To give an idea, you can build a new house for $80-120 per square foot in texas. Highest end mansion for 3-400 a square foot. A skyscraper, like trump towers sells for $450 a square foot.
What are they spending their money on?
And to spend 2,000 per square foot and not have money to place mats and buy toilet paper, that is incomprehensible.
Mike Rinder says
Michael — excellent observation. When you specify marble floors and high end cabinetry and literally EVERYTHING custom, I guess it adds up. If Mr. Real Estate really was a real estate whizz they would have had Gensler or Nova or someone do a MODEL DESIGN which specs everything as STANDARD and the same look for every org. Then things would be purchased and manufactured in bulk. Holiday Inn does the same furniture (probably 3 or 4 variations) all over the US. The desks and chairs are “standard”. Frankly, having a “look” for “Ideal Orgs” would make FAR more sense than the only common denominator being that they are opulent beyond any sense. All auditing room desks should be the same. All courseroom tables and chairs should be the same. Reception desks, the same. But obviously that is not the game being played — it is creating “orgs” that Tom Cruise would be happy to live in. He doesnt do Holiday Inns — he does boutique 5 star hotels or rented condos/villas/mansions.
Everything about this “Ideal Org” “strategy” is lunatic asylum stuff.
Mike, do you have any data that indicates that Cruise knows this whole Ideal Org evolution is just so he can have orgs to bring his friends to? Its a pretty big overt to be one of the instigators of this destructive money sucking international boondoggle.
Anette Iren Johansen (OT22) says
Mike, that’s ironic. Numb nuts preaches that everything is bought in bulk to lower costs – another in the sting of lies!
My intuition says the costs are a lie and some money is being sacked else where.
You apparently have a grip on reality. Philosophy is not always welcome on all blogs, but ARC includes this funny word “reality”. It is fine and well to consider the hereafter, spiritual nature of man, enlightenment, the esoterics of eternity, the structure of the mind, the state of Static, and much more. BUT the way out is the way through, and the aim of Scientology is to increase ARC. That would include “reality”. The aim of Scientology is to increase reality on many and all things, including the cost per square foot of the Trump Towers, the function of money, per capita production, cost of designer clothes, marketing, governments, the organics of medicine, and much more. Reality necessarily involves a degree of detail. One can speculate on the nature of time and space and “42”, but one must bear in mind the reality of these, RAISE one’s awareness, and not be waylaid into lower levels of awareness such as shock (driven there by the outrages of the Co$), detachment, hallucination, and disconnection.
Yes, one does get into a mass of confusion and terrible unknowns when one ventures into the realms of discovering the nature of life. And yes, it takes focus. LRH related these things for us and put them into workable form, to be used. The route is mapped out. To lose sight of its intent, and its route, is to waste it.
The drive is towards looking, and as-is-ness. One must look at an is-ness, in order to as-is it. But the drive is not towards the production of is-ness. The drive is towards production of as-is-ness. And that is pleasure, not pain. The senior considerations are knowledge, responsibility, and control.
Tony DePhillips says
Great point Mike Laws.
Also thatnks for all these articles Mike Rinder. Good to see the focus on the cult.
I have actually thought that maybe dm is overpaying for these “renos” and also using Sea Org slave labor and getting money kickbacks from the contractors for dm’s “golden parachute” or whatever he might use it for.
hmm, I took those numbers on the page and I don’t see anything like 1000-2000 per sq foot. They’re more like 100-200/sq ft max.
except the Freewinds: $2222 per sq ft
Mike Rinder says
Starman — you are right. Michael was off by a decimal point.
As Roseanne Roseannadanna would say:
for example: Super Power, $60,000,000 divided by 450,000 sq ft is $133.33 per sq ft
Mike Laws says
Starman, you are right. I got too excited and dropped a decimal point on some of the later calculations, though check out the below. My apology for my emotion overcoming math skill!!!
RTC building, Int Base, $75,000,000.00 for 38,000 square feet = $1,973.68 per square foot. Granted this is one of DMs personal spaces, so must be nicer.
Freewinds price of $1,000,000 is too low for a complete ship renovations even to a minimal “carnival” type standard, the the foot is vessel length, not square feet of floor space which is obviously much higher. As a general rule, anything on the water is a multiple of land construction prices. We have one commercial vessel, and every repair or shipyard visit is a financial horror story!
To evaluate appropriate pricing, I find it useful to measure comparisons. The following website tracks pricing for new church construction across the US. In most instances I analyzed it would have been cheaper to build a new building than renovate as they did.
The other aspect of it is maintenance, over the past 14 years I have learned to budget 4-5% of the total asset cost, house, building, office, plant, landscaping, etc. for maintenance cost to maintain in a professional and 80-90% of new form.
Bathrooms and kitchens are the most expensive parts of renovation and remodeling. I just re-did 3 bathrooms (4 toilets, 3 urinals, 2 kitchens 8 sinks for about $30,000. Remolding 2,000 square feet of office space to an A standard cost about $15,000 including laminate wood floors, +/-80 power outlets and wiring, AC ducting repairs and modifications a half mile of cat 6 cabling and 40 Ethernet connections, new switches and routers professionally mounted in a tower.
Orgs are mostly carpet and drywall and open spaces, minimal power, minimal computer access. Most have minimal kitchens, purif and bathrooms are the highest per square foot construction costs, see church numbers above, many of which (based on my observation) have similar space allocations.
Higher end hotels, for example, spend on average $4,000 per available room per year, see below.
And as an idea, what does industry find it costs to build hotels?
People donating should be looking at this. Donating millions to a venture that won’t maintain the premises is pretty much criminal negligence. Doing a massive renovation for a church and re-doing it for millions more in a few years is crazy. Shows no respect for money!
Then, why in years past some Sea Org Members stayed up night after night, over and over, as they were the ones suppossed to be finishing the designs for the “Mecca”? This went on for years and the plea, for them to stay late, was to meet their targets.
Yet millions and millions from parishioner money are used to do the renovations or whatever and still, where is the rest of the money?
No matter from where you look at it there is no way to explain this insanity…lets leave it at that as I am sure you know what I mean. Thanks for the positngs Mike
Mark Patterson (Grasshopper) says
And, Mike – thanks for doing this blog! You are on a roll, baby!
Mark Patterson (Grasshopper) says
Unbelievable. The “COS” Conference Center – avoid the “S” word! What a colossal waste of money.
You know, I wonder if the church asked them not to use the “S” word. Imagine if all this came up on a Scientology Google search, and the clubbed seals saw how their money was spent – and how much is missing!
Oh yeah, excellent point Mark. I just love how the photos are strategically shot so that you really can’t see the S word because of a tree or an award banner or dark shadow, too.