One of Us: Michael Bruce



What range of services does Infinity Design Builders provide?

Infinity Design Builders developed from an architectural/engineering practice in the 1980’s into a full-service Design/Build company in 1993. Since then, we’ve ranked as the 6th and 3rd fastest growing privately-held company in Jacksonville (years 2000 and 2001). Infinity steers projects from their earliest inception, from due diligence through certificate of occupancy. Services include: land planning, regulatory agency permitting, feasibility studies, programming, space and facility design, technical documents and specifications, value engineering, construction management and turn-key construction.


What types of buildings has your company designed?

Infinity has five areas of core competency, with decades of experience and dozens of projects in each category. These best-practice areas are Commercial & Office, Healthcare, Food Service & Retail, Multi-Family Residential and Educational. The budgets and scope of our buildings range from $100,000 to more than $15 million.


How did you become interested in architecture and construction?

My personal interest began in the 7th grade, when we were assigned to assess our skill-sets and discuss these on “Career-Day” at school. I was intrinsically artistic (my family has professionals in commercial art and marketing) but I also enjoyed mathematics and rational problem-solving. I considered what career might blend those skills, and the word “Architecture” popped into my head. I opened our World Book Encyclopedia to learn more. There was a two-page photograph of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater house in rural Pennsylvania, and a vision of my future unfolded before me that exact moment.


Does building in Florida present any unique architectural/construction challenges?

Florida is the home of big skies, flat lands, blinding sunlight, gale force winds and hard rains. Buildings in Florida shrink and expand through our daily cycle like an accordion.

The result is that designing and building facilities in Florida is ultimately a series of waterproofing, temperature and humidity control challenges unique to our environment.


What was your favorite design/build project on which you’ve worked? The most challenging?

Infinity Design Builders recently completed a world headquarters for a company based in Jacksonville, encompassing 45,000 square feet of corporate offices and 315,000 square feet of warehousing (an area of nearly seven football fields). The owners required a world-class state-of-the-art facility, both technically and aesthetically, to reflect their history and project their company into the future. It was both the most challenging and rewarding design/build project of my 30-plus year career.


You’re currently serving as president of the Rotary Club of Ponte Vedra Beach. How did you become involved in Rotary and what do you think the organization contributes to the community?

My father was a Rotarian, and I used to peruse the ROTARIAN magazine when it was delivered to our home. I knew Rotary was a service organization whose purpose was to bring together business and professional leaders to provide humanitarian services, encourage high ethical standards, and advance goodwill and peace around the world. What I didn’t know was how much fun and camaraderie Rotarians have working and socializing together as they pursue that mission. The Rotary Club of Ponte Vedra Beach (“The Best Rotary Club in the World!”) is an incredibly active and committed group of over 120 women and men living and working in Ponte Vedra and our Beach communities.

We’ve raised over $1 million for dozens of local charities (including ARC of St. Johns, Beaches Habitat, BEAM, Boys and Girls Clubs, Daniel Kids, Mission House, the Cultural Center at Ponte Vedra Beach, Pace Center for Girls, Wounded Warriors and the YMCA). Our club is supporting international projects in Honduras and Guatemala, bringing clean water and school buildings to underserved peoples. And Rotary International (with 33,000 member clubs in hundreds of nations), is the world’s leader and initiator of the inspiring campaign to END POLIO NOW. We are passionate about our Rotary in Ponte Vedra Beach!


What do you enjoy most about living on the First Coast?

I’m a native Floridian, born and raised in Miami and educated at the University of Florida. Since moving to Jacksonville in 1982 to begin our careers, my wife Rebecca and I have enjoyed everything on the First Coast. Raising two children (Rachael and Will) within walking distance of the Atlantic Ocean has been a dream. With our rivers and waterways, recreational opportunities, symphony and theaters, an NFL team and proximity to St. Augustine and Amelia Island, we feel blessed to be in Northeast Florida. And despite being a fairly big city, our home retains its small-town charm with quiet good manners; we love the people of the First Coast.