Business: Loza Architecture

Owner: George C. Loza, of Brigantine

Location: 3219 W. Brigantine Ave., Brigantine

Started: 2005

Employees: Owner-operated

Phone: 609-266-3883

We opened in 2005. I was a registered architect long before that. I’ve done residential and commercial architecture in South Jersey.

We do engineering evaluations, house-raising foundation drawings, flood-elevation certifications, planning and construction management.

I’ve been working in architecture for more than 25 years. I graduated from the University of Pennsylvania for architecture in 1986. I started a little later in life. I did my undergraduate at the Art College at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia and started working at an architecture firm after graduating.

One of my favorite architects was (the late) Le Corbusier. He was one of the greatest.

If the customer has an inclination, I’ll do what they like. My own preference is for beach-style homes. More people who are renovating are interested in beach or modern styles. These are the simple Eastern Seaboard Nantucket styles. Homes have gotten a little smaller in the new economy, but they’re cozy.

I’d like people to consider more sustainable materials. Instead of PVC, they could use recycled wood or even a material produced from fly ash.

Few people want to live in little cubbyhole rooms like they used to, so you see fairly open floor plans and even changes in ceiling height.

One thing that has changed is the elevator. At one time only large houses had one, then the three-story homes. Now they’re putting them in two-story homes. It’s great for rentals with an older clientele. Or someone might be taking care of an elderly relative. I’ve put these elevators in existing structures. In one case, we added an elevator that opened into the client’s bedroom.

Brigantine was in a Top-10 growth market at the peak of the building boom. But unlike the other markets in California and Florida, the prices in Brigantine were comparatively low. Today, Brigantine and Atlantic City are a great combination. But Brigantine people are a little island-centric.

I like to build something the client wants. I don’t want to impose my ideas on the place or the person. But between me and the client, we come up with something tailored to them. I don’t want all of my places to look the same.

Staff Writer Michael Miller