Advertisements



Affordable housing, jobs. Will it play in Peoria? Angie O’s TikTok channel says it does for the LGBTQ+ community.

Angelica Ostaszewski's pride for Peoria is infectious. So much so that her TikTok videos about the city have gone viral. Her wish: For more to move to Peoria!Angelica Ostaszewski's pride for Peoria is infectious. So much so that her TikTok videos about the city have gone viral. Her wish: For more to move to Peoria!.....»»

Category: topSource: chicagotribuneJun 28th, 2022

Walmart defined Bentonville, Arkansas, for decades. Now the small town is ready to rebrand itself as a tourist destination for the young and outdoorsy.

Bentonville wants to attract young professionals and bikers. Longtime residents say housing prices have increased and the town is busier than ever. Bentonville, Arkansas.Getty Images The small town of Bentonville, Arkansas, has been the headquarters of Walmart for 50 years. Longtime residents, leaders, and real-estate agents say the town has changed a lot. Bentonville hopes to become a destination for bikers and young professionals. For 50 years, the small town of Bentonville, Arkansas, has been known as the home of Walmart headquarters. Now, the town that the Census Bureau reports has grown by more than 50% since 2010 is building a new reputation as a place for tourists and young professionals.This reputation has hundreds of millions of dollars behind it, thanks to Walmart, the Walton Family Foundation, and individual members of the Walton family. Local leaders, however, told Insider that the entire community has embraced the changes. "When I moved here in 2005, people bought a meal coming into a meeting at Walmart and bought a meal leaving that meeting," Kalene Griffith, the president of Visit Bentonville, whose job is to bring tourists to a town that's historically been known as a corporate center, told Insider. "We had one retailer and two restaurants downtown. Now, we have 16 restaurants and eight retailers."Kalene Griffith is the head of Visit Bentonville.Visit BentonvilleWith 63 miles of mountain-biking trails, Bentonville leaders declared the city the "mountain-biking capital of the world." Other attractions include two state parks located within 30 minutes of the town and an annual half-marathon. Bentonville's mayor, Stephanie Orman, said the city's museums "bring in more tourists than biking." Visit Bentonville estimated that 500,000 people visit the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art annually, compared to 250,000 cyclists on the town's trails.Stephanie Orman is the mayor of Bentonville.City of BentonvilleThe first five miles of bike trails were added in 2007 — the same year voters approved a 10-year bond to expand the municipal airport, build and improve parks, and provide general infrastructure upkeep. According to data collected by Visit Bentonville, the number of homes in the town has increased by 150%. The prices have also shot up, Trina Hammond, who heads a team at Keller Williams Realty, told Insider. She owns a home in downtown Bentonville and has been a realtor for 15 years."One of the biggest real-estate changes is that downtown home prices have more than doubled in the last five years. People want to be able to walk to the bars, restaurants, museums, and bike paths," Hammond said, adding that northwest Arkansas is reshaping how people view the state. "The big surprise that transplants from places like California have is that they expect cheap land and housing, but as the city has boomed, it has pushed them to more affordable housing in the suburbs."The decades-long rebrand has attracted visitors who in the past may have driven by Bentonville without giving it a second thought. Chris Moody, a roving freelance writer who travels thousands of miles a year with his wife in a self-built camper van, told Insider the pair recently made a detour just to see Bentonville after hearing about the city's expansion and investment in the arts, particularly the Crystal Bridges Museum.Chris and Cristi Moody.Chris and Cristi Moody"We had a great time visiting the museum. It was worth the trip," Moody said. "Bentonville is making a clear play to attract young families looking for a modern quality of life without having to live near a big city."Walmart is still a major influence in the city's growth and evolutionWalmart is the elephant in the room with any discussion about Bentonville's growth. Service-providing companies are the largest employers in Bentonville, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics data. Orman attributed this to Walmart building its new corporate headquarters in the town; additionally, more than 1,600 Walmart suppliers had offices in the town as of 2018, up from 445 in 2001.And even funding for community projects that doesn't come from Walmart often comes from its founders. OZ Trails and the holding company Runway Group, which have taken leading roles in trail and biking development in northwest Arkansas, including in Bentonville, are run by Sam Walton's grandsons, Steuart and Tom. In a 2018 press release, the Walton Family Foundation said that it had invested $74 million to build 163 miles of trails in the region.Walmart and many Waltons also support the city's museums: The Crystal Bridges Museum was founded by Alice Walton and received $20 million from Walmart in 2011 to cover free admission to the museum, while the Momentary, a contemporary art space, opened in 2020 with financial support from the Walton Family Foundation.Alice, Rob, and Jim Walton, children of Walmart founder Sam Walton.AP Photo/April L. BrownAnother Walton nonprofit, the Walton Family Charitable Support Foundation, has funded a three-year grant at NorthWest Arkansas Community College for the nation's first bicycle assembly and repair technician program to be accredited by the Bicycle Industry Employers Association, which creates educational partnerships for bike technicians. The program is intended to support the influx of competitive and casual cyclists. The first cohort of 23 students started last fall, Megan Bolinder, the college's dean of workforce and economic development who heads the technician program, told Insider. "Students will take nine classes to receive the certificate, and then if they choose, the coursework can be used for an associate's degree in general technology at NWACC, which then transfers to two universities in Arkansas," she said. Longtime residents have mixed feelings about the town's growthJack Lloyd has spent his entire life in Bentonville, as have his children and grandchildren. Born in 1964, he told Insider he estimated the town's population was around 3,500 people at the time — which is barely larger than the student population he now oversees as principal of Bentonville High School."Bentonville really began changing around 2004," when Walmart vendors began moving operations to the town, Lloyd said. He added that while the growth has been explosive, "outgrowing anything that could be planned," it was very well-managed."You couldn't build roads and homes fast enough, and we were adding 100 to 200 students per year at the high school," he said. But Bentonville's rural environment worked in its favor. "Sleepier communities and farms that weren't developed became places for new homes and businesses without causing major issues," he said.While Lloyd said a lot of locals complain about increased traffic and housing prices, it's a matter of perspective. "People from Sacramento think this is nothing. And for locals, you can earn more money than other parts of Arkansas. I've spent 32 years as a teacher, vice principal, and principal, and I've never seen so many opportunities for students to work with the businesses that have come to town," he said."When I was a kid, the town center was where things happened," Lloyd added. "That changed a few decades ago, when Walmart built new headquarters near the highway. But with the museums, restaurants, and bike trails all centered on downtown, it's now the happening place again."Elizabeth Ganey has mixed views on Bentonville's rapid growth. She and her husband moved to the town to work at Walmart 11 years ago, when the company offered them jobs after they recieved their MBA degrees. "There are opportunities here that my kids wouldn't have had 10 years ago," she told Insider. "But I'm also not a crowd person, which is something you have to deal with in Bentonville."Visit BentonvilleTo avoid the increasingly crowded neighborhoods and downtown streets, Ganey and her husband moved with their three children to an 11-acre property between Bentonville and nearby Siloam Springs. She said living outside of the town proper allows the family to "pick and choose" which parts of northwest Arkansas they visit for different needs. "The Bentonville library is the best in the area. Our kids go to a private school one town over, and we take the kids to Siloam Springs for non-crowd fun," she said.Ganey is now the marketing coordinator for St. Stephen Catholic Church in Bentonville, while her husband works at a tech startup. She said his choice is common for alumni of Walmart's corporate headquarters. "There are a lot of consumer-data startups in the area because they can provide service to Walmart's corporate headquarters, Walmart stores in the area, and Walmart vendors," she said. Conor Brown and Shane Smith live near Bentonville and told Insider they're regulars on its trails as active members of the region's mountain-bike community. They welcomed the town's new brand."It's not a secret that Walmart is trying to attract young people to their corporate headquarters," Brown said. "Creating a high-quality environment and brand to live, work, and play is part of that strategy.""Bentonville's aspirations are clear, but so is their investment in all aspects of the town," Smith added. "They've gone from a few trails to a massive infrastructure, which services recreational and experienced bikers alike, and my girlfriend and I enjoy regularly partaking of what Bentonville offers." Griffith and Orman stood behind their "world capital" claim. "Eighty percent of mountain bikers are leisure cyclists," Griffith said. "Our trails feature art installations, family-friendly and competitive options, and a trailhead that goes straight into downtown. Places like Cherokee, North Carolina, and Tulsa, Oklahoma, contact us about building their own trail networks. We're happy to help share our experience with them.""The 2016 World Summit basically put us on the cycling map," Orman added. "We have one of the few trailheads that doesn't require a car to get to. Our trails are open year-round, which is very attractive to mountain bikers from snowy regions."Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderAug 10th, 2022

Affordable housing, jobs. Will it play in Peoria? Angie O’s TikTok channel says it does for the LGBTQ+ community.

Angelica Ostaszewski's pride for Peoria is infectious. So much so that her TikTok videos about the city have gone viral. Her wish: For more to move to Peoria!Angelica Ostaszewski's pride for Peoria is infectious. So much so that her TikTok videos about the city have gone viral. Her wish: For more to move to Peoria!.....»»

Category: topSource: chicagotribuneJun 28th, 2022

CEREMONY MARKS GROUNDBREAKING OF BRIDGE ROCKAWAY DEVELOPMENT

The development team of The Bridge, Mega Development and Greenpoint Manufacturing and Design Center (GMDC) broke ground on Bridge Rockaway, a new mixed-use development in Brownsville, Brooklyn today. The project will deliver 174 units of affordable housing, including 87 units of permanent supportive housing for formerly homeless New Yorkers, as... The post CEREMONY MARKS GROUNDBREAKING OF BRIDGE ROCKAWAY DEVELOPMENT appeared first on Real Estate Weekly. The development team of The Bridge, Mega Development and Greenpoint Manufacturing and Design Center (GMDC) broke ground on Bridge Rockaway, a new mixed-use development in Brownsville, Brooklyn today. The project will deliver 174 units of affordable housing, including 87 units of permanent supportive housing for formerly homeless New Yorkers, as well as 11,000 sf of open green space. The project features an approximately 40,000 sq ft light manufacturing facility, creating affordable space for manufacturing businesses and supporting up to 35 new jobs. Affordable housing will be targeted to households between 30% to 70% AMI. The project will be completed and occupied by 2025. The Bridge will own and operate the residential component and GMDC will own and operate the ground floor light manufacturing space, under a condominium arrangement. The Bridge will have office space and provide onsite case management services for the formerly homeless tenants. The building will include 24/7 front desk coverage and a rich array of amenity spaces. The project will create 20 jobs in the residential portion of the building. The general contractor, Mega Contracting, will be partnering with Building Skills NY and coordinating with HireNYC and other community-based organizations to maximize local and MWBE hiring opportunities. The project was made possible with financing and support from: U.S. Small Business AdministrationNew York State Empire State DevelopmentNew York State Housing and Community RenewalNew York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (Homeless Housing and Assistance Program)New York City Department of Housing Preservation and DevelopmentNew York City Industrial Development AgencyNew York City Neighborhood Capital CorporationCapital OneChaseCitibankEnterprise Community Loan FundEnterprise Community InvestmentLISC NYCNational GridNew York City Acquisition FundPartnership Fund for New York CityThe Richman Group “We are thrilled to be part of this pioneering project that we hope provides a new model for affordable housing and economic development” said Hercules Argyriou, of Mega Development and Mega Contracting Group.  “We are very fortunate to have partnered with the Bridge and GMDC to make this concept a reality. We are also grateful to our public partners, particularly at DCP, HPD and HFA, for working with us through all of the complexities of this project. It has been truly a great example of successful public and private collaboration.”   “The Bridge is pleased to be part of this important project that will, for the first time in New York City, offer affordable and supportive housing for families and formerly homeless adults and affordable light manufacturing spaces for local entrepreneurs” said Susan Wiviott, Bridge CEO. “Bridge Rockaway will create new homes, jobs, and green spaces in a safe and healthy environment for those who live, work, and play here.” “GMDC is particularly proud of our Brownsville initiative,” said Brian T. Coleman, CEO. “ Not only does this project replicate our decades old model of creating quality modern facilities for small manufacturers, but it also goes a step further, developing a new model with The Bridge to bring together two disparate uses, in a successful manner.  We hope that this project will serve as a model for the future as we seek out ways to fulfill our mission in a very expensive and competitive real estate market.” “I’m happy to see this unique project move forward, one that thoughtfully and safely combines deeply affordable housing and nonprofit industrial space within the same building. Innovative public-private partnerships like this help push the boundaries on ways to connect New Yorkers to affordable homes and economic opportunity at once,” said Dan Garodnick, Director of New York City Department of City Planning. “As a part of the Brownsville Plan, HPD engaged the community to understand local needs and priorities, including a desire to connect residents to jobs and job training, coupled with affordable housing investments. Bridge Rockaway does just that. It brings jobs and affordable housing to the Brownsville community,” said HPD Commissioner Adolfo Carrión Jr. “Thanks to The Bridge, Mega Development, and GMDC for this thoughtful and creative mixed-use affordable housing and manufacturing development model. We look forward to the ribbon cutting celebration!” “The Bridge Rockaway development breaks important new ground as the first project in New York City to combine housing and manufacturing jobs under one roof,” said Maria Gotsch, President and CEO of the Partnership Fund for New York City. “It will hopefully serve as a model for future developments that address the city’s pressing need for more affordable housing, homeless services and manufacturing jobs. We are proud to partner with GMDC for a fifth time to ensure smaller manufacturers have an opportunity to remain and flourish in the city.” “Mayor Adams is focused on increasing housing for our most vulnerable, while ensuring small businesses have the opportunity to grow and thrive in every neighborhood throughout the city,” said New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) President and CEO Andrew Kimball. “NYCEDC is proud to have supported the development of Bridge Rockaway in Brownsville, and thanks partners, GMDC, The Bridge, and Mega Development for working with the City to support a more inclusive recovery for all.” The post CEREMONY MARKS GROUNDBREAKING OF BRIDGE ROCKAWAY DEVELOPMENT appeared first on Real Estate Weekly......»»

Category: realestateSource: realestateweeklyMay 18th, 2022

Why Phoenix—of All Places—Has the Fastest Growing Home Prices in the U.S.

For 33 months now, Phoenix, Arizona, has led the nation in home price increases. In the last year alone, the cost of the median house in the area has risen by a third. Over the course of two years, it’s up 57%, yanking rental prices with it. Unfortunately for locals, wages in the area have… For 33 months now, Phoenix, Arizona, has led the nation in home price increases. In the last year alone, the cost of the median house in the area has risen by a third. Over the course of two years, it’s up 57%, yanking rental prices with it. Unfortunately for locals, wages in the area have not been on the same high-speed elevator, growing only 5.3% in 2021. According to a study done by Arizona economist Elliott Pollack, the median home price in the area has risen 216% since 2000, while the median salary has only risen 48%. Pollack estimates that by 2025, only a third of the area’s population will be able to afford to buy a home. [time-brightcove not-tgx=”true”] Read More: The Economy is Great. The Middle Class is Mad At first blush, the demand for homes in Phoenix seems hard to explain. It’s uncomfortably hot for several months a year. Its food culture remains uncelebrated. It does not have sexy employers like Amazon or Nike, nor is it a hub for such high-paying industries as finance or tech. As a mid-century city, it’s not a place rich in historic buildings or revered cultural institutions. The defining characteristic of life in Phoenix for many years—apart from the dry heat—has been its affordability. Clearly, some of the same forces are at play there as everywhere: millennials, the largest generation alive right now, have reached the age where they’d like to buy a home. They’re competing with retirees that the so-called Valley of the Sun has long attracted. Local builders are experiencing the same supply chain snarls that have slowed the pace of new home construction everywhere. And the pandemic has amplified it all, with remote workers looking for somewhere to live that that is affordable and spacious. Read More: Return to the Office? Not in This Housing Market But there are some forces that are unique to Phoenix. TIME talked to locals to examine why they think the city named after a bird thats spontaneously combusts has gotten so expensive—and how it feels to be so near the blaze. The Realtor A healthy housing market, experts say, is one in which there are enough homes for sale that if no new ones came on the market, it would take four to six months for the supply to run out. Phoenix has enough for less than one month. You’d think people who sold homes for a living would be having a heyday. You’d be wrong. “It is not fun. I do not like this market as a realtor,” says Nicole Lorig, who has been a licensed realtor in the area for five years. The rising prices have attracted a surge in interest from institutional investors that has seen local first home buyers getting outbid by all cash offers with incentives for the sellers—like being able to stay in the house a few more months for free—that an individual buyer can’t match. “As a buyer’s agent, it’s hard to compete with the cash buyer,” Lorig says. “It’s definitely more feasible if you’re a listing agent because you’re just waiting for all the offers, but there’s a lot of phone calls to answer. So it’s been difficult for everybody.” Lorig also works in rentals, and that market has been even more of a slog. “You just hear the stories of many people trying to find a rental because of a $600 to $800 increase or because their landlord decided that they wanted to sell,” she says. “So they have to find something new and they’re finding that the deposits alone for rentals is just outrageous.” She took on an elderly couple whose rental home had been sold. They qualified for a lot of homebuyer assistance but they’re in wheelchairs and need a place close to their medical appointments. Even after a local TV show picked up their story and they started a GoFundMe, they could not get enough money together to buy a home. Finally, they negotiated with their new landlords for a smaller rent increase in return for some other concessions. For a while. “This is going to buy us some time to find a new home for them that they won’t have to move from again,” says Lorig. The Buyer Dirk Larson moved from the Pacific Northwest almost eight years ago with his wife and two children. They decided to hold off buying a place to make sure the move was permanent. Now the home they’ve been renting is being sold for more than double what the owners paid seven years ago, and the family has been looking for a place to buy for six months. They have made several same-day offers that were over asking price and were still tens of thousands of dollars short. Larson is extremely frustrated. “People are paying so much more than these houses are worth,” he says. “For somebody like us, wanting to buy a home and or have a little American dream— it’s made it impossible.” The Larsons are not first time homebuyers. They sold their old home to move to the southwest, seeking sun and a little more room to breathe. They were not alone. The Phoenix metropolitan area has been one of the fastest growing regions of the U.S. for several years, growing about 20% in a decade. But recently that growth has been sharper; in 2020, 291 people moved to Maricopa County per day, according to some estimates. One of the reasons they moved there—so they could have a yard and some space in a city where more than two thirds of homes are single family dwellings—is also one of the reasons it’s suffering such a housing shortage. In the same decade as its population has blossomed, the number of residential units grew by only 11%. So families like the Larsons, who say they will pretty much move anywhere in a 25 mile area up and down the Phoenix Valley, are facing a shortage of options. “I’ve got a good solid quality job and I’m feeding my family and I’m making good money and we put roots down here,” says Larson. “I don’t want to be forced out. There’s a lot of people who feel they are being forced out.” The Business Professor You can trace Phoenix’s current situation all the way back to the Great Recession, according Mark Stapp, a professor in real estate at Arizona State University’s business school. A lot of investors lost a lot of money in Phoenix during the 2008 crash, and although Arizona is a non-judicial foreclosure state—which means landlords don’t have to go to court to evict non-paying renters—so the region recovered quite fast, investors, lenders and builders were spooked and the money stayed away. “We spent five years under-building,” he says. At the same time, the crash inspired the city to make a concerted effort to diversify its economy and it had some success. Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company is building an enormous factory there. According to a report from the Greater Phoenix Chamber Foundation, the number of transportation jobs has grown 88% in the last 10 years, and the number of technical and scientific jobs by almost 50%. “There’s a an incredible amount of industrial and advanced manufacturing, distribution, warehousing space, that’s being built in Metro Phoenix—more than any time in its history,” says Stapp. That infrastructure comes with jobs, but it sucks resources. “All of those things consume concrete, steel and other materials that are shared by home building—both apartment and single family—so there’s a competition for those scarce resources.” When the pandemic hit, says Stapp, supply slowed down even more. “All you had to do was pump the brakes [on construction] for six or eight months and it caused a couple of years of setbacks,” he says. “It’s like traffic on the freeway. All of a sudden it starts to back up because one person hit the brakes. So that exacerbated matters.” The work-from-home measures of the pandemic also brought new workers to Phoenix, looking for larger environs and lower costs. “We used to have this correlation between employment population and housing,” says Stapp. “Work-from-anywhere now caused that to be decoupled.” Since a lot of those people were coming from California, where prices have also boomed, they had more cash to spend on housing. The Industry Analyst For Tina Tamboer, who analyzes real estate data for investors for the Cromford Report, this real estate market is nothing new. “We’ve seen many perfect storms,” she says. “This actually isn’t that unusual for us. Maybe not the prices being as high, but we’ve been through bidding wars very similar to these back in 2012.” While she sees “all kinds of players in our marketplace right now,” Tamboer says there are three main types of investor who are driving demand in Phoenix and jostling out the locals by offering higher prices, incentives for sellers and all cash deals. There are the so-called I-Buyers—businesses like Offerpad or Opendoor that buy homes without the seller having to go to any of the trouble of showings or listings, and then resell them. There are both private equity and public funds, such as Invitation Homes, that buy homes and rent them out, and there are those buying homes for tourists. “That’s your Airbnb and your VRBO type investor,” says Tamboer. “Those homes actually are pulled completely out of supply, not available for anyone to live in, only available for tourists. That causes everything else to go up in the surrounding areas as well.” One local realtor, Rob Olson, says he can’t see how local buyers can compete. “Of the last two homes I’ve sold, one was to a hedge fund and one was to a big rental company,” he says. “They came in with cash. When you’re paying cash, you have to offer a proof of funds—I’m getting proof of funds with $20 million dollars in that fund.” Tamboer is not crazy about the Wall Street types. “Personally, I don’t care for corporate ownership of housing. I don’t care for Wall Street hedge funds owning residential homes. What would happen if they bought up all of our inventory?” she says. Moreover, she worries that bankers don’t have enough skin in the game. “Whenever Wall Street investment gets involved into housing, things get riskier,” she says, “because Wall Street doesn’t spend their own money.” The Activist While the normal push and pull of supply and demand and the amplification effects of the pandemic is affecting many places, Phoenix’s single-family-home obsession is exacerbating its situation, says Alison Cook Davis, the Associate Director for Research at the Morrison Institute for Public Policy. “It takes a lot longer to build one home at a time,” she says. She estimates that Phoenix needs about 250,000 new residences to solve the housing crisis. “To do that, we would really need to shift our concentration into higher density housing, that would allow us to create more units in a smaller amount of time.” Phoenix has exclusionary zoning laws that make it harder for developers to build multifamily homes, as do many areas. But, says Cook-Davis, who co-authored the Institute’s recently released report on what was holding back affordable homebuilding in the state, that’s not the only barrier. “The Private Property Rights Protection Act, which seems to be somewhat unique to Arizona, is a voter-passed initiative that basically says that municipalities are unable to make any changes to land use policy that would adversely impact property valuation,” she says. The act, which was passed in 2006, has hamstrung local governments that want to alter their zoning regulations to encourage density. “It’s a law that is very well known to developers, in that they have to get the buy-in of a community before they make any changes, especially to things like density,” says Cook Davis. A decade and a half later, that legislation may be contributing to a crimped supply of housing in the historically more affordable city that has effects well beyond its original intentions. Cook-Davis, who is also researching the rental market, says renters have been reporting not just increasingly strict financial conditions for a lease, but also hurdles that go well beyond money. “The rental market is so tight, landlords, can be so picky,” she says. “Some individuals even talked about feeling like they were getting asked really personal questions and things that just wouldn’t ever have been on an application before.”.....»»

Category: topSource: timeMay 3rd, 2022

Inventory, Fair Housing in Focus at Legislative Meetings This Week

After a two-year virtual layover, the National Association of REALTORS®’ (NAR) annual REALTOR® “fly-in” to our nation’s capital is back in-person this month during our annual legislative meetings being held in National Harbor, Maryland from May1-6. While the remote meeting format in 2020 and 2021 allowed for more participation, there is no substitute for thousands… The post Inventory, Fair Housing in Focus at Legislative Meetings This Week appeared first on RISMedia. After a two-year virtual layover, the National Association of REALTORS®’ (NAR) annual REALTOR® “fly-in” to our nation’s capital is back in-person this month during our annual legislative meetings being held in National Harbor, Maryland from May1-6. While the remote meeting format in 2020 and 2021 allowed for more participation, there is no substitute for thousands of REALTORS® walking the halls of Congress to meet with their elected officials. Most of America’s 1.5 million REALTORS® are small business owners, and our profession makes up nearly 20% of the entire U.S. economy. Lawmakers are eager to hear what we have to say in this time of unprecedented uncertainty. REALTORS® work in every congressional district and zip code of the country every day. Guided by enhanced training, earned expertise and a Code of Ethics, their services play a critical role in helping more people achieve the American Dream. When we talk to lawmakers, our top concern is improving access to homeownership for their constituents. Homeownership is the primary way most Americans build wealth, and millions more dream of joining America’s 82 million existing homeowners. This goal begins with increasing housing inventory and encouraging adaptive reuse of commercial properties. A historic 50-year record shortage of affordable homes has severely limited access to the residential real estate market. Even relatively modest steps to reduce the gap will unleash tremendous economic activity and create millions of new jobs. The pandemic also created shifts in the commercial real estate market, especially in the office and retail sectors. Policies that support repurposing underutilized or vacant commercial properties can revitalize communities by creating new commercial uses and housing. Our second focus this year is ensuring fair housing for all. More than 50 years after passage of the Fair Housing Act, the homeownership rates for African Americans, Hispanic Americans and Asian Americans continue to lag behind White Americans. Our economy, communities and the American people suffer when discrimination and segregation artificially constrain homeownership and limit the intergenerational wealth it builds. REALTORS® are firmly committed to enforcing fair housing laws and policies that remove historic and systemic barriers to homeownership for all qualified buyers. NAR is on the steering committee of the Black Homeownership Collaborative and helped develop a seven-point plan to add 3 million net new Black homeowners by 2030. Many industry partners support the effort, dubbed 3by30. Our third focus is urging lawmakers to use original NAR research products and surveys when crafting policy and legislation. Our skilled economists produce and analyze a wide range of data, providing the best real estate-specific resources to each state and congressional district. These resources contain vital information for lawmakers. No other organization can pool data from every community across America about a single sector of the economy in such a timely and accurate fashion. The past two years brought significant challenges and also great victories. We fought back a pandemic and still moved the real estate market and U.S. economy forward. It’s great to be back. For a detailed list of NAR’s policy recommendations to Congress this year, click here. Shannon McGahn is the chief advocacy officer for the National Association of REALTORS®. The post Inventory, Fair Housing in Focus at Legislative Meetings This Week appeared first on RISMedia......»»

Category: realestateSource: rismediaMay 2nd, 2022

City green lights Two Trees’ Williamsburg waterfront plan

The New York City Council has approved the revised River Ring proposal for the Williamsburg waterfront, ushering in a mixed-use development that will provide 263 residences for low- and middle-income New Yorkers, out of 1,050 new units, and will be anchored by a waterfront park. The final proposal includes funding the construction... The post City green lights Two Trees’ Williamsburg waterfront plan appeared first on Real Estate Weekly. The New York City Council has approved the revised River Ring proposal for the Williamsburg waterfront, ushering in a mixed-use development that will provide 263 residences for low- and middle-income New Yorkers, out of 1,050 new units, and will be anchored by a waterfront park. The final proposal includes funding the construction of approximately 150 new units in the Williamsburg community designated as affordable homes for senior residents. The Council vote follows three years of community engagement with local residents, business owners and stakeholders across the city, and recent approvals during the land use process by Brooklyn Community Board 1, Borough President Eric Adams, and the New York City Planning Commission. Two Trees Management expects to begin construction in 2024.  Key highlights of Two Trees Management’s final River Ring Waterfront Master Plan include: Significant new affordable housing, including 263 permanently affordable apartments (out of 1050 total on-site homes), which feature the same design and amenities as market rate units, available at an average of 60% AMI with some units as low as 40% AMI. More than 150 new units of affordable housing for seniors, to be built in Community Board 1 on land funded by Two Trees. A 3-acre world-class public park to be financed and maintained by Two Trees Management, plus an additional 3 acres designated for previously unavailable in-water recreational opportunities, including kayaking, marine ecology, education, tidal wetlands and an accessible beach.$100 million investment in resiliency infrastructure and open space also that protects hundreds of properties upland and up-river from River Ring.A state-of-the-art, 50,000 square foot YMCA facility featuring a full-service community swim program that includes free swimming lessons for second grade students in CB1.2,000 construction jobs and more than 500 permanent jobs with a subsidized training program and local hiring, in collaboration with local workforce development partners. $1.75 million in funding for community initiatives, including a new environmental benefits fund to help retrofit neighborhood buildings and a major open space planning study of the community district to connect new and existing parks.Green technology and sustainable design, including a commitment to all-electric buildings and the development of on-site wastewater treatment.Ongoing meaningful dialogue with community partners to bring new access to the waterfront and support environmental justice and education. “After more than two years of conversations with residents, stakeholders and leaders, we’re grateful to Council Member Levin, the Zoning Subcommittee, and the Land Use Committee for their support of a precedent-setting project,” said Jed Walentas, Principal of Two Trees Management.  “River Ring will change how New Yorkers interact with our waterfront while also increasing affordable housing, providing a new model for resiliency, building a new public park and investing in community programs and spaces. We will bring the same commitment and dedication to River Ring that we’ve brought to the Domino redevelopment and Domino Park. Taken together, these two projects will provide approximately 1,000 units of affordable housing integrated within new, world-class buildings. Thanks to Council Member Levin, we have also committed to creating an acquisition fund to support the development of over 150 units of senior housing within Community Board 1. And by connecting River Ring and Domino, we will finally fill the missing link in North Brooklyn’s waterfront greenway.” The River Ring Waterfront Master Plan, designed by Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) and James Corner Field Operations (Field Operations), will enhance the connectivity of the public waterfront, reinstate natural habitats, elevate the standard for urban waterfront resiliency, and transform the way New Yorkers interact with the East River.  In total, the River Ring Plan will create approximately 3 acres of public open space and another 3 acres of protected in-water access, including natural habitat — far beyond the 0.7 acres required under zoning regulations. Combined with the neighboring Domino Park, Two Trees is poised to deliver more than 8 acres above the required amount of accessible waterfront public space along the East River waterfront in Williamsburg. The site features a pair of mixed-income residential buildings designed by BIG. The project is designed around cutting-edge open space designed by Field Operations (including three acres of protected water for aquatic uses) and ecological infrastructure that will increase resilience for the site and surrounding area. The project’s public and community spaces — which have been tailored through direct community input — will introduce a first-of-its-kind protected public beach and in-water areas for New Yorkers to enjoy an array of aquatic activities including boating, fishing, tide pool exploration and potentially in the future: swimming.  The introduction of a public waterfront park at the former industrial site, directly north of Two Trees’ award-winning Domino development, will help to complete a stretch of continuous waterfront access that will eventually extend from South Williamsburg to Greenpoint.  “The River Ring project is unlike almost any waterfront development proposal, and Two Trees is pioneering how we can build innovative public spaces in a way that directly confronts the impacts of climate change,” said Cortney Koenig Worrall, CEO and President, Waterfront Alliance. “The project promises to transform how New Yorkers relate to water while protecting communities from rising waters using technologies that honor the local habitat, raising the bar for how we as a city can build safety and responsibly along our waterfronts.” “The River Ring proposal creates desperately needed open space for New Yorkers, delivers critical support for the city’s resilience infrastructure, and brings online significant affordable housing. That’s a triple-win for New York City. We thank the City Council for helping to realize this transformative vision which addresses multiple challenges for the city head on while delivering major investments for the local community,” said Adam Ganser, Executive Director, New Yorkers for Parks. “The River Ring project is a prime model for how cities can get transformative projects moving in the right direction,” said Tom Wright, President and CEO of Regional Plan Association. “From the beginning it was informed by local engagement and feedback with resiliency and the community in mind. When it becomes reality, it will create new affordable housing and a three-acre resilient waterfront park in Brooklyn – which will transform the way New Yorkers interact with the water. We look forward to seeing this become reality – and become the standard for addressing communities’ development at the water’s edge.” RESILIENCY AND HABITAT RESTORATION Borrowing from models used in places like the Netherlands that have come to terms with a wetter future, the River Ring plan embraces the river instead of building walls and hard surfaces that accelerate storm surge and push it to adjacent riverfronts. Waterfront infrastructure and open space will feature berms, breakwaters, marshes and wetlands designed to increase resilience by taking the energy out of storm surges, reducing flooding, providing more room to absorb water and slow down its retreat, reducing erosion risk, and better protecting the local waterfront in the face of habitat loss and climate change. The plan also includes a new tidal basin capable of holding four million gallons of water that is designed to flood, mitigating damage from receding waters. Additionally, the development expands the shoreline with various wave breaks, attenuating the impacts from severe storms, sustaining intertidal habitat and creating calmer waters to promote in-water access and nurture habitat. The new waterfront park will enable the restoration of salt marshes, wetlands, oyster beds and tidal flats, enriching wildlife and habitat while creating protected areas that will enable more in-water engagement and recreational uses and provide ecological education to the community.  PARK DESIGN AND COMMUNITY INPUT Designed by Field Operations, the waterfront park features a circular esplanade extending into the East River that promotes access in and around the river, as well as an amphitheater, large sandy beach, tidal pools, salt marsh, and a fishing pier. This ring connects to the park’s breakwaters which provide protection and form a series of nature trails that extend out to the historic concrete caissons. A boating cove at North 1st Street includes a sandy beach for boat access surrounded by wetlands and is adjacent to a series of community kiosks and a children’s natural play area. The community kiosks, totaling approximately 5,000 SF, will be made available to local community partners through a request-for-proposal process. Potential users include kayak rental, educational partners, artist installations and other waterfront related uses. These features were inspired by a series of community charrettes convened by Two Trees Management, where there was a strong consensus for the park to engage the river with places to touch the water, for places of respite and access to nature, and a place that is a model for resiliency. Like Domino Park, the new park will be maintained in perpetuity by Two Trees Management and will operate based on NYC Parks Department rules and regulations. “The past two years have revealed an increased appreciation of parks and public spaces, and hopefully a shift to understanding them as essential infrastructure. River Ring embodies this way of thinking as an adaptive nature-based solution that rethinks regulatory frameworks and design standards,” says Lisa Switkin, Senior Principal at James Corner Field Operations. “The park showcases integrated co-benefits, designed to increase resilience and waterfront access, provide diverse park experiences and recreational opportunities, restore habitat, and change the mindset from living against water to living with water.” MIXED-USE BUILDING PLAN The masterplan includes two Bjarke Ingels Group-designed mixed-use buildings with 1,050 total units of housing, 263 of which will be below-market rate (made available to applicants with low AMIs), a new 50,000-square-foot YMCA, 30,000 square feet of neighborhood retail space and 57,000 square feet for office space. The new YMCA will feature a waterfront aquatic center that will offer subsidized swim lessons for community youth in need. The residential towers are oriented to limit view obstruction from the neighborhood and maximize the Metropolitan Avenue view corridor. Blending the towers with the landscape softens the relationship between building and park, forming a gateway that welcomes the community to the water. “With the River Ring we close one of the last remaining gaps in the continuous transformation of the Williamsburg waterfront into a post-industrial urban park scape. Rather than stopping at the hard edge of the old dock, Metropolitan avenue is split into a pedestrian loop extending all the way into the river, connecting the dots of the concrete caissons to form an urban archipelago of recreative islands while protecting a beach with tidal pools and wetlands,” said Bjarke Ingels, Founding Partner & Creative Director. “The radical transformation of Copenhagen’s port into a swimmable extension of the public space that we helped pioneer two decades ago, now seems to be knocking at the door in Williamsburg and the entire East River. The River Ring will be the first of many invitations for New Yorkers to dip their toes in the water.” SITE HISTORY The site was once home to the No. 6 fuel oil storage complex for Con Edison North First Street Terminal. The above ground fuel oil storage tanks were removed when the terminal was decommissioned. The existing site also includes a number of structures seaward of the bulkhead line that extend to the pierhead line, which are in varying states of repair. Two Trees recently purchased the 3.5 acre site from Con Edison in an auction for $150 million.  The post City green lights Two Trees’ Williamsburg waterfront plan appeared first on Real Estate Weekly......»»

Category: realestateSource: realestateweeklyDec 20th, 2021

Enterprise raises $365M for latest LIHTC fund

Enterprise Community Partners  announced the closing of Enterprise Housing Partners Funds XXXVI (EHP 36) and XXXVII (EHP 37), two Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (housing credit) funds. With commitments totaling $365 million from 17 investors, the two funds will help create and preserve 3,526 affordable rental homes across 35 properties in... The post Enterprise raises $365M for latest LIHTC fund appeared first on Real Estate Weekly. Enterprise Community Partners  announced the closing of Enterprise Housing Partners Funds XXXVI (EHP 36) and XXXVII (EHP 37), two Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (housing credit) funds. With commitments totaling $365 million from 17 investors, the two funds will help create and preserve 3,526 affordable rental homes across 35 properties in 17 states. These are the third and fourth in a series of multi-investor housing credit funds Enterprise has closed in 2021, bringing the combined total investment this year to $800 million in nearly 8,000 affordable rental homes across the country. SCOTT HOEKMAN “As rents continue to rise, the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit remains our most powerful tool for creating affordability in every type of community,” said Scott Hoekman, president of Enterprise’s housing credit investments business. “Our investors come to us with the intent to make a real impact, and with their support we are able to channel critical resources into creating and preserving thousands of affordable homes nationwide.” The 35 properties included in EHP 36 and EHP 37 are located in California, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Missouri, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin. The funds will also create an estimated 5,750 jobs that will lead to an estimated $370 million in wages and salaries for American workers, as well as an estimated $146 million in income for small businesses.* Two properties that are representative of the wide range of investments from EHP 36 and EHP 37 are Bridge at Turtle Creek, a new development (pictured top) of 307 apartments in Austin, Texas, and Skagit County PSH, a new 70-apartment development for formerly homeless individuals in Mt. Vernon, Washington. As housing costs skyrocket in Austin, Bridge at Turtle Creek (EHP 36), a new 5-story development, will provide 134 studio, 96 one-bedroom, and 77 two-bedroom affordable apartments. The development will be Austin Energy Green Building certified. The property includes a fitness room, courtyard and grilling area, and an indoor lounge with kitchen. JCI Residential and the Austin Affordable Housing Corporation are the developers, and the project is scheduled to be completed in April 2023. Skagit County PSH (EHP 37) is a new four-story building in Mt. Vernon, Washington that will provide 70 apartments for formerly homeless individuals in this Puget Sound community. The property will set aside 25 units for people experiencing mental illness, 10 for formerly homeless individuals recovering from substance abuse and five for formerly homeless veterans. The apartments will provide permanent supportive housing, which includes support services that help people stay stably housed for the long term. Two apartments will receive project-based Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing vouchers through the Housing Authority of Skagit County, while the remaining 68 apartments will receive an annual rental and operating subsidy from Skagit County. The developer for Skagit County PSH is Catholic Housing Services, and the project is scheduled to be completed by February 2023. *Estimates of jobs and economic impact are rounded and based on national multipliers created by the National Association of Homebuilders in 2020, based on analysis of Enterprise investment data. These estimates assume local investments generate jobs, tax revenue and business earnings on par with national averages. The post Enterprise raises $365M for latest LIHTC fund appeared first on Real Estate Weekly......»»

Category: realestateSource: realestateweeklyDec 1st, 2021

Langdon Park Capital Acquires Suburban Los Angeles Apartment Community for $48.6 Million

Langdon Park Capital (LPC), a Black-owned real estate investment company, today announced the $48.6 million acquisition of a 138-unit multifamily property in West Covina, California, a strong residential community just east of Downtown Los Angeles. The acquisition marks the firm’s fourth purchase in 2022 and further underscores LPC’s commitment to... The post Langdon Park Capital Acquires Suburban Los Angeles Apartment Community for $48.6 Million appeared first on Real Estate Weekly. Langdon Park Capital (LPC), a Black-owned real estate investment company, today announced the $48.6 million acquisition of a 138-unit multifamily property in West Covina, California, a strong residential community just east of Downtown Los Angeles. The acquisition marks the firm’s fourth purchase in 2022 and further underscores LPC’s commitment to address the unmet demand for high-quality, workforce housing in underserved Black and Latino communities across the country. Dean Zander and Stew Weston of CBRE represented the sellers. The property, which will be rebranded as Langdon Park at West Covina, is located in the San Gabriel Valley within a predominately Latino community where the annual median family income is nearly 25 percent below the metropolitan area’s average of $80,000. The location offers convenient freeway access to expansive lifestyle amenities and over two million jobs within a 20-mile radius in areas including Downtown Los Angeles, North Orange County and the Inland Empire. Residents at the property enjoy family-friendly amenities including a pool and a secure, gated entrance, as well as close proximity to the world’s largest concentration of higher education systems, with over 30 college and university campuses nearby. “Preserving workforce housing in Black and Latino communities has never been more important, particularly as families are impacted by continued volatility amid interest rate hikes, rising inflation and limited housing supply,” said Malcolm Johnson, CEO and Founder of Langdon Park Capital. “LPC’s cultural competency in Southern California markets like West Covina, coupled with the lived and rich professional experiences of our leadership team, positions us to create a strong residential community that provides more than just a place to live for our tenants. LPC’s Asset Management team will be hands-on in every way here.” LPC plans to allocate over $3 million for capital improvements and interior unit upgrades at the property, most of which have not been renovated within the last decade, in order to provide a high-quality residential community for families who fall below the area median income but earn too much to qualify for housing subsidies. LPC also plans to partner with Esusu, a minority-owned fintech platform that helps residents build stronger credit histories and achieve financial stability, in addition to tapping services of three local public schools and two local healthcare centers to meet the unique needs of community residents. “This latest acquisition underscores LPC’s mission to support the teacher, hospital worker and firefighter who are experiencing the brunt of rent hikes across the country and are at risk of being pushed out of the communities where they have lived for years,” said Raymond Junior, Head of Residential Acquisitions at Langdon Park Capital. “We look forward to working closely with our community partners to create a safe, affordable and thriving residential community, all while delivering strong returns for investors.” This acquisition brings the firm’s AUM to over $148 million, and comes on the heels of two previous investments by LPC in Los Angeles, as well as an investment earlier this year in Washington, D.C. Founding partner Kennedy Wilson (NYSE: KW) and strategic partner Eldridge continue to provide support for LPC with strategic capital and resources. Dean Zander and Stew Weston of CBRE represented the sellers. The post Langdon Park Capital Acquires Suburban Los Angeles Apartment Community for $48.6 Million appeared first on Real Estate Weekly......»»

Category: realestateSource: realestateweeklyAug 12th, 2022

Congress passed the biggest climate package in US history. For you, it means cheap energy, clean air, and jobs.

By cutting greenhouse-gas emissions and funding a new climate plan, the Inflation Reduction Act promises to help your wallet, health, and security. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi holds a signed copy of H.R. 6376, the "Inflation Reduction Act of 2022," after the bill passed the House at the US Capitol in Washington, DC, August 12, 2022.Leah Millis/Reuters Congress passed the Inflation Reduction Act on Friday, sending it to President Joe Biden to sign into law. The bill includes a $369 billion climate package that Sen. Chuck Schumer and Joe Manchin agreed to. The Inflation Reduction Act would lower energy bills, make EVs affordable, create 1.5 million jobs, and cut pollution. Congress just passed the most significant climate bill in US history, paving the way for cheaper energy and a more livable planet.On Friday, the House approved the Inflation Reduction Act, clearing the bill's last obstacle in Congress and sending it to President Joe Biden's desk for him to sign into law. The plan doles out about $369 billion for climate programs, aiming to expand renewable energy such as solar, wind, and cleaner fuels, while making it less expensive to buy electric vehicles and home appliances.The act is more than a year and a half in the making. In its final weeks, it wasn't clear if its climate plan would survive, as Democratic holdouts Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Sen. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona prevented the party unity required to get the package through Congress. But Democrats quickly united to pass the bill after Manchin and Majority Leader Chuck Schumer struck a surprise deal on July 27.Solar panels are installed at a floating photovoltaic plant on a lake in Haltern, Germany, Friday, April 1, 2022.Martin Meissner/AP PhotoOnce it becomes law, the bill would put the US on track to cut its greenhouse-gas emissions by up to 44% from 2005 levels by the end of the decade, according to multiple assessments.Experts say the new climate plan also promises savings, health boons, and higher quality of living for everyday people across the US.The sun sets behind power transmission lines in Texas, on July 11, 2022.Nick Wagner/Xinhua via Getty Images"This isn't about the sky, or the polar bears," Jonathan Foley, executive director of Project Drawdown, a climate nonprofit, told Insider, adding, "This is about you and your pocketbook, your jobs, the air your kids breathe, the town you live in, our national security."Here are five ways the new climate-change package could make your life better:Lower energy billsA woman prepares dinner for her family at her home in Schnecksville, Pennsylvania, on September 22, 2021.Hannah Beier/ReutersThe new climate plan includes about $30 billion in loans and grants for states and electric utilities to adopt more renewable energy, plus more than $60 billion in tax credits for manufacturers of solar panels, wind turbines, batteries for electric vehicles, energy storage, and other technology, according to a summary from Senate Democrats.Solar and wind already generated cheaper electricity than fossil fuels, even before oil and gas prices soared this year. Yet they still only account for about 20% of US energy use. The Inflation Reduction Act could speed up a shift away from fossil fuels and also make it less expensive to hook up your home with electric.Vesta wind turbines in Palm Springs, California, on July 21, 2022.David Swanson/ReutersA total of $9 billion in home energy rebates goes to helping Americans insulate their homes and replace stoves, furnaces, water heaters, and other appliances with electric alternatives. Homeowners can deduct up to 30% of installation costs from their taxes. A similar deduction for solar is guaranteed for homeowners and expanded to residential battery storage."This is really about delivering lower energy bills for everyday Americans," Leah Stokes, an environment and energy politics professor at University of California, Santa Barbara, said in a press briefing on July 28. She noted that high oil and gas prices are a major driver of inflation that ripples across every industry, from transportation to manufacturing to agriculture.A family eats dinner at their home in Calumet Park, Illinois, on December 8, 2020.Shannon Stapleton/Reuters"When fossil fuels go up, other goods and services go up," Stokes said.The average household could save $1,800 on their energy bill each year by installing a modern electric heat pump and rooftop solar and buying an electric vehicle, according to an analysis by Rewiring America, a think tank that promotes electrification.Cheaper electric vehiclesA Scion IQ electric car is plugged in in a garage in Irvine, California, on January 26, 2015.Lucy Nicholson/ReutersThe bill extends an existing $7,500 tax credit for new EVs — offered as a discount at the point of sale — and offers up to $4,000 for used EVs and plug-in hybrids.It also lifts the cap on the number of tax breaks automakers can offer, benefiting companies like Tesla, General Motors, and Toyota that already hit the limit, as long as the vehicle is assembled in the US.  "Once people own an electric car, they're going to laugh every time they drive by a gas station, when they see $5 a gallon," Foley said, adding, "I think this will help us reach a tipping point, where five to 10 years from now you won't see gas cars sold anymore, or very few."Gas prices over the $6.00 mark are advertised at a Mobil Station in Santa Monica, California, on May 23, 2022.David Swanson/ReutersThere are some caveats, like your income, the vehicle's price tag, and where its parts are made.If you earn $150,000 or more a year, or $300,000 in joint family income, you won't qualify for the new car tax credit. There's a limit on the price of the car, too. Bigger vehicles, such as SUVs and pickup trucks, must cost less than $80,000, and smaller cars less than $55,000, to qualify for the credit.For used cars, the income limit is $75,000 for single tax filers and $150,000 for joint filers. The sticker price must be $25,000 or below.The bill also requires vehicle batteries to be made with 40% of minerals extracted or processed in countries the US has a free trade agreement with, or recycled in North America. But supply chains for those minerals don't exist yet, E&E News reported. The majority of lithium, cobalt, nickel, and other minerals used in EV batteries come from China, Russia, and the Democratic Republic of Congo, although analysts told E&E News they hope the mandate spurs a made-in-America market.Cleaner air to breatheA man rides his skateboard at sunset while doing a trick in the Venice Beach area of Los Angeles, California, on November 12, 2019.Carlo Allegri/ReutersWith fewer gas-guzzling cars on the road, and fewer industrial sites powered by fossil fuels, air would be cleaner and safer to breathe."These sorts of climate measures could also reduce particulate matter or ozone smog, as kind of a side benefit that would directly, immediately improve health," Scot Miller, an assistant professor of environmental health and engineering at Johns Hopkins, told Insider.That drop in air pollution could prevent up to 3,900 premature deaths and 100,000 asthma attacks by 2030, according to an analysis by the policy-research firm Energy Innovation LLC.A layer of air pollution hangs over Denver, Colorado, on January 21, 2020.Jim Urquhart/ReutersThe American Lung Association pointed to those clean air and health gains in a statement on July 28, urging Congress to "move swiftly" and "without delay" to pass the new bill into law.The bill also includes provisions to fund cleanup of dangerous pollution sites, which are disproportionately concentrated in low-income communities of color.The investment is "probably not enough, but it's more than we've ever spent before," Foley said.Jobs, jobs, jobsFord Assembly workers install a battery onto the chassis of a Ford Focus Electric vehicle at the Michigan Assembly Plant in Wayne, Michigan, on November 7, 2012.Rebecca Cook/ReutersBy investing about $60 billion in manufacturing — everything from heat pumps to wind turbines — this climate plan could help keep clean-energy companies in the US, securing "good paying, and hopefully union, jobs," Stokes said.It's not just manufacturing. Renewable-energy infrastructure needs to be installed and maintained. The bill funds new electricity-transmission lines, offshore wind projects, housing retrofits, renewable-energy projects in rural areas, and repurposing or replacing defunct energy infrastructure.A worker sits at the base of a wind turbine blade at TPI Composites in Newton, Iowa, on December 22, 2011.Joshua Lott/ReutersAll that work requires workers. The new climate plan would create up to 1.5 million jobs by 2030, according to the Energy Innovation analysis.The bill also focuses on communities historically associated with oil, gas, and coal extraction, by providing a tax incentive for companies that create renewable-energy jobs in those places.Protection from extreme weatherDaniel Bosquez shades the face of Timothy Jalomo, 10 months, from the afternoon sun as he fills a plastic pool with water, as San Antonio, Texas is placed under an excessive heat warning, on July 11, 2022.Lisa Krantz/ReutersClimate change is making droughts, floods, wildfires, and heat waves more severe and more frequent. These weather events cause serious damage to human property and infrastructure and cost lives.The bill provides funding for communities to mitigate the health effects of extreme heat, to prevent and respond to wildfires, and to prepare for coastal climate impacts like severe hurricanes and flooding from sea-level rise. It now includes billions of dollars to fight droughts, a request Sinema made before giving her approval, according to The New York Times.The bill also gives the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) a funding boost for forecasting and research.A house is fully engulfed by flames during the Dixie Fire, a wildfire near the town of Greenville, California, August 5, 2021.Fred Greaves/ReutersWhile the new funds would help communities adapt to extreme events, the bill could also help prevent weather from getting even more extreme. If the world cuts emissions enough to keep global warming below 2 degrees Celsius, that could prevent a significant acceleration in the severity and coverage area of extreme weather."I think everyone I work with in the emissions community is sort of holding their breath and hoping that this [bill] goes through," Miller said.This story has been updated with new information. It was originally published on August 3, 2022.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: dealsSource: nytAug 12th, 2022

"They will MASSIVELY decrease our home values": Billionaire Marc Andreessen slammed affordable housing in his wealthy neighborhood after criticizing "crazily skyrocketing housing prices" in the past

"We need to want these things more than we want to prevent these things," he said two years before he helped shut down an affordable housing plan. Marc Andreessen is among the biggest defenders of the prospects of Web3.Justin Sullivan/Getty Images Billionaire Marc Andreessen helped shut down an affordable housing plan in his home town, The Atlantic first reported. In a public comment to town officials he was "IMMENSELY AGAINST multifamily development." In 2020, the founder of Andreessen Horowitz criticized "skyrocketing housing prices."  Billionaire Marc Andreessen slammed a proposal to bring affordable housing to his neighborhood after bemoaning "crazily skyrocketing housing prices" in the past.In a public comment submitted to the Atherton Town Council and first reported on by The Atlantic, Andreessen wrote that he was "IMMENSELY AGAINST multifamily development" in his uber-wealthy neighborhood — an area where the typical home value is $8 million.Andreessen and a spokesperson for his investment firm did not respond to a request for comment ahead of publication."Please IMMEDIATELY REMOVE all multifamily overlay zoning projects from the Housing Element which will be submitted to the state in July," Andreessen and his wife, Laura Arrillaga-Andreessen, said via an email to the mayor and city council. "They will MASSIVELY decrease our home values, the quality of life of ourselves and our neighbors and IMMENSELY increase the noise pollution and traffic."The co-founder of the Venture Capital firm Andreessen Horowitz's comment was one of 270 that was submitted to the town regarding the housing proposal — the majority of which were against the initiative, The Atlantic reported. As a result, the proposal was left off the town's housing draft which was submitted to the California Department of Housing and Community Development for review on August 2.The housing draft was created to show how the town would meet community needs. The multi-family housing proposal would allow the construction of a few smaller properties for apartments or condominiums, allowing for about 130 units by 2031.Andreessen's stance against the housing plan come only a few years after the billionaire criticized the lack of affordable housing in key cities like San Francisco in a 2020 essay called "It's Time to Build.""We can't build nearly enough housing in our cities with surging economic potential — which results in crazily skyrocketing housing prices in places like San Francisco, making it nearly impossible for regular people to move in and take the jobs of the future," Andreessen wrote in the essay. "We should have gleaming skyscrapers and spectacular living environments in all our best cities at levels way beyond what we have now; where are they?" he added."We need to want these things more than we want to prevent these things," he went on to say in the essay.Andreessen's home town was identified as America's most expensive zip code last year. The town is home to some of Silicon Valley's most powerful people, including former Google CEO Eric Schmidt, former Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, former HP CEO Meg Whitman, and investor Charles Schwab.In 2018, a local news outlet reported that the town was struggling to find places for local police and dispatchers to sleep between their shifts due to the length of their commutes into Atherton. Some officers told the publication at the time that planned to drive campers into the station to accommodate sleeping needs.Read The Atlantic's full story at its website.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytAug 8th, 2022

The 50 best places to live in America, ranked

US News ranked the best places to live based on each city's quality of life, value, desirability, and job market. Huntsville, Alabama, was named the best place to live in America in 2022.Rob Hainer/Shutterstock U.S. News & World Report releases a list of the best places to live in America every year. Its 2022 ranking for the best places to live looked at five metrics: job market, value, quality of life, desirability, and net migration. The best place to live in America is Huntsville, Alabama, followed by Colorado Springs, Colorado. When deciding where to put down roots, many factors are in the eye of the beholder, such as climate, politics, or proximity to extended family.Other aspects are desirable to nearly everyone: affordable housing, access to well-paying jobs, a low cost of living, good schools, and quality healthcare. In its ranking of the best places to live in America for 2022, U.S. News & World Report gathered data on these crucial components for more than 100 US cities.U.S. News categorized the data into five indexes for each city — job market, value, quality of life, desirability, and net migration — to definitively rank these major metro areas. You can read U.S. News' full methodology here.Scores for "value," a blend of annual household income and cost of living, and "quality of life," which accounts for crime, college readiness, commute, and other factors, are included below on a 10-point scale, as well as the city's population and average annual salary.Huntsville, Alabama, came out on top, while Colorado Springs trailed close behind.Keep reading to discover the 50 best places to live in America.50. Peoria, IllinoisHenryk Sadura/Getty ImagesPeoria is quickly becoming a place where families comfortably occupy the suburbs while the youth can enjoy new entertainment districts.In the warmer months, festivals pop up around the city each weekend, and nature lovers have access to trails for hiking, hunting, and biking.Population: 403,747Average annual salary: $54,330Quality of life: 6.6 (out of 10)Value index: 8.249. Charleston, South CarolinaCharleston, South Carolina.ShutterstockCharleston's charming, historic, and sophisticated ambiance is exemplary of southern culture. "Not only is the area overflowing with entertainment and good food, but this low country locale is also gorgeous," said a local expert.Tourism is booming in Charleston, creating plenty of jobs, especially in the summer months. Year-round, jobs in tech, sales, marketing, and advertising keep the city's economy strong.Population: 790,955Average annual salary: $50,810Quality of life: 6.4Value index: 6.1 48. Fort Wayne, IndianaFort Wayne, Indiana.Shutterstock/Travis EckertThe Rust Belt hub of Fort Wayne, Indiana, is being revitalized as of late. Manufacturers including General Motors and BAE Systems have brought jobs to the area, while its economy is seeing a spike from young people eager to move downtown from the suburbs."With its low cost of living and quiet neighborhoods, Fort Wayne, Indiana, is an excellent place to buy a house, start a career, launch a business and raise children," a local expert said.Population: 409,419Average annual salary: $48,060Quality of life: 6.4Value index: 8.4 47. Hartford, ConnecticutHartford, Connecticut.Sean Pavone/ShutterstockLocated in the Connecticut River Valley, Hartford was once the home to notable historic figures, including Mark Twain and Harriet Beecher Stowe. Among the city's historic attractions, today it offers nearby entertainment venues, ski slopes, state parks.The aerospace, healthcare, and financial services industries dominate the job market in Hartford, which is home to Aetna Inc., United Technologies Corp., and Hartford Hospital.Population: 1,205,842Average annual salary: $65,750Quality of life: 7.2Value index: 6.1  46. Asheville, North CarolinaAsheville, North Carolina.MilesbeforeIsleep / Shutterstock.comIt's no surprise why the mountain town of Asheville, North Carolina, is beloved by tourists and residents alike. Nestled in between the Blue Ridge and Appalachian mountains, Asheville is a magnet for outdoor lovers as well as fans of music, art, and craft beer.Population: 459,344Average annual salary: $46,310Quality of life: 6.7Value index: 6.7  45. Buffalo, New YorkSkyline of Buffalo, New York.Getty ImagesLocated only 20 miles away from the tourist destination, Niagara Falls, Buffalo offers a more tight-knit community. Residents of Buffalo can enjoy a game of two of their beloved professional sports teams or ski the slopes in the winter.Nearby are the Allegheny National Forest and Letchworth State Park for nature enthusiasts, and art lovers can enjoy cultural attractions as well.Population: 1,129,018Average annual salary: $53,300Quality of life: 6.8Value index: 7.844. Pensacola, FloridaPensacola, Florida.Andrew Zarivny/ShutterstockThis diverse area is home to a 10-day fiesta, gorgeous beaches facing the Gulf of Mexico, and great areas for fishing. Pensacola received high marks for desirability and net migration, meaning more and more people are interested in moving to this beautiful part of the country. Population: 496,278Average annual salary: $45,170Quality of life: 6.6Value index: 6.5 43. Greenville, South CarolinaGreenville, South Carolina.Shutterstock/Sean PavoneOnce a sleepy small town, Greenville has witnessed a cultural revival in recent years, complete with an influx of new restaurants and businesses. Though the summers can get hot, the city's typically mild weather makes it possible to explore downtown on foot any time of the year.An influx of manufacturing jobs has also boosted Greenville's economy, with brand-name companies, such as GE and Michelin, setting up shop in town.Population: 908,680Average annual salary: $47,100Quality of life: 6.1Value index: 8.0  42. Rochester, New YorkRochester, New York skyline.Roland Shainidze Photography/Getty Images.History meets modernity in Rochester as the city has made strides to preserve its roots while updating its downtown to make it more attractive to suburban residents.In the winter, Rochester offers ski slopes and sledding hills while they have access to Lake Ontario during the summer for boating and fishing.Population: 1,071,784Average annual salary: $54,550Quality of life: 7.1Value index: 7.041. Cincinnati, OhioCincinnati, Ohio.Checubus/ShutterstockCincinnati is a city that loves its food, sports, and culture. There's something for everyone in the Midwest's Queen City, from a strong job market to a busy event calendar filled with museums, baseball, and local heritage events.Residents appreciate the city's affordability — housing there is cheaper than the national average, despite Cincinnati being one of the 30 biggest metro areas in the US.Population: 2,214,265Average annual salary: $53,650Quality of life: 6.7Value: 7.8 40. Kalamazoo, MichiganSean Pavone/Getty ImagesThe small-town atmosphere of Kalamazoo calls to anyone intrigued by chili cook-offs and farmers markets. It's a hot spot for lovers of arts and culture.Visitors of the city can enjoy craft breweries, museums, and live music during their time in Kalamazoo.Population: 264,322Average annual salary: $51,480Quality of life: 6.5Value index: 8.039. Tampa, FloridaBusà Photography/Getty ImagesTampa residents can enjoy the laid-back vibes of the beach while maintaining access to a metropolitan area full of entertainment options — including an NFL team.It was once home to the "Cigar Capital of the World" and the Tampa Bay metro area includes the beaches of St. Petersburg.Population: 3,152,928Average annual salary: $51,770Quality of life: 6.9Value index: 5.938. Syracuse, New YorkSyracuse, New York.Denis Tangney Jr/Getty ImagesSyracuse is a haven for lovers of winter, but this central New York city is one of the most affordable metropolitan areas in the US. Wine lovers will delight in its proximity to the Finger Lakes where they can enjoy some of the best wine the region has to offer.The city offers a city center that's only a short distance from surrounding suburbs, and it's only four hours away from New York City.Population: 650,211Average annual salary: $54,890Quality of life: 7.7Value index: 7.037. Myrtle Beach, South CarolinaMyrtle Beach, South Carolina, is a popular vacation destination.ShutterstockPopular vacation destination Myrtle Beach is rife with job opportunities in the hospitality industry thanks to tourism from beachgoers. The tourist hot spot offers recreational activities, quality restaurants, and mild weather.The low income taxes and company incentives make an ideal home for small business owners.Population: 481,489Average annual salary: $39,250Quality of life: 6.0Value index: 6.436. Seattle, WashingtonSeattle, Washington.Asif Islam/ShutterstockSeattle is sandwiched between water and mountains and doesn't get as much rain as you'd think, said one local expert. The city's residents are drawn to the area for its atmosphere of "calm and patience" and its close proximity to nature. Jobs in Seattle are concentrated in tech, healthcare, and maritime industries, but the city is also a huge manufacturing center for companies like Boeing.Population: 3,928,498Average annual salary: $74,330Quality of life: 6.6Value index: 5.4  35. Harrisburg, PennsylvaniaHarrisburg, Pennsylvania.Shutterstock/Jon BilousLocated on the banks of the Susquehanna River and the foothills of the Appalachian Trail, Harrisburg offers residents unlimited access to the outdoors.Many are employed by the state and federal government in Harrisburg, but there's also several large private-sector companies that are top employers, including Hershey's, Rite Aid, and D&H Distributing.Population: 574,691Average annual salary: $52,700Quality of life: 6.9Value index: 7.6 34. Lexington-Fayette, KentuckyLexington, Kentucky.Katie Warren/Business InsiderLexington, Kentucky, is known as the horse capital of the world, and residents are especially proud of their city's reputation for equestrian. On top of world-famous horse parks and racecourses, the area has more than 1,000 horse farms, not to mention streets named after Triple Crown winners and a bevy of horse statues in parks around the city. But love of equestrian activities isn't the only thing Lexington offers.Younger residents move there for its college-town feel and appreciation for local sports and music. And the area is a haven for fans of the outdoors — the nearby Red River Gorge and Cumberland Falls are scenic places for residents to explore their surroundings.Population: 514,273Average annual salary: $48,150Quality of life: 6.9Value index: 7.6  33. Knoxville, TennesseeKnoxville, Tennessee.iStock / Sean PavoneFor sports enthusiasts and outdoor enthusiasts alike, Knoxville, Tennessee, is a great place to call home. Close to the nearby Great Smoky Mountains National Park and Ijams Nature Center, getting outdoors and enjoying nature is a breeze in this Southern city. Population: 861,872Average annual salary: $47,740Quality of life: 6.1Value index: 7.9 32. Dallas-Fort Worth, TexasDallas-Fort Worth, Texas.Philip Lange/ShutterstockA healthy balance of urban and rural, Dallas offers residents "big-city excitement and quiet, suburban living," shared one local expert. There's local bars, retail shops, and plenty of sports spirit to satisfy the huge population. The city — with large employers in business, finance, and education — is teeming with young professionals.Population: 7,451,858Average annual salary: $56,190Quality of life: 6.4Value index: 6.7 31. Hickory, North CarolinaJeff Yount/Getty ImagesLocated just an hour outside of Charlotte, Hickory is garnering attention from young professionals after being home to mostly retirees and families. Residents have access to the mountains of Asheville an hour west and local art around town by way of outdoor sculptures and art galleries. Tech giants Apple and Google each have data centers here.Population: 367,982Average annual salary: $43,630Quality of life: 6.1Value index: 8.930. Charlotte, North CarolinaCharlotte, North Carolina.Sean Pavone/ShutterstockA "melting pot effect" draws all types of people to Charlotte, a place with "equal parts old-fashioned southern charm and high-energy cosmopolitan bustle," touted one local expert. NASCAR and motorsports are a cultural cornerstone of Charlotte.The Queen City houses Bank of America's headquarters and major offices for Wells Fargo, making it one of the largest financial hubs in the country.Population: 2,595,027Average annual salary: $55,330Quality of life: 6.1Value index: 7.1  29. Omaha, Nebraska29. Omaha, Nebraska.Esme/ShutterstockDue to a combination of Omaha's history of cattle ranching and its current landscape of bustling tech startups, the city has earned the nickname "Silicon Prairie." Plus, eight Fortune 500 companies are headquartered in Omaha, including Berkshire Hathaway, Union Pacific Railroad, and Mutual of Omaha.Young professionals and families are attracted to the city primarily for its affordability, safety, and strong economy.Population: 940,163Average annual salary: $53,050Quality of life: 6.6Value index: 7.7  28. Lincoln, NebraskaJohn Coletti/Getty ImagesLincoln is the capital city of Nebraska and home to the Cornhuskers of University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Although the city attracts thousands of college football fans and students in the fall, the low cost of living keeps people around.It's home to large tech companies – such as Hudl and Spreetail – as part of the Midwest "Silicon Prairie."Population: 333,193Average annual salary: $50,240Quality of life: 6.7Value index: 7.727. Minneapolis-St. Paul, MinnesotaSt. Paul, Minnesota.Sam Wagner/ShutterstockThe Twin Cities have "big-city amenities like museums and sports stadiums, but also have an approachable, Midwestern feel," according to a local expert. Residents are accustomed to the area's changing seasons, participating in ice fishing and cross-country skiing in the winter and music festivals and baseball games in the spring and summer.Jobs are available in science-focused fields at companies like Xcel Energy and Medtronic as well as retail corporations like Best Buy and Target.Population: 3,605,450Average annual salary: $62,560Quality of life: 6.7Value index: 7.2  26. Pittsburgh, PennsylvaniaPittsburgh, Pennsylvania.ESB Professional/ShutterstockPittsburgh is taking steps to rehabilitate its industrial reputation with increasing amounts of green spaces and state parks.Local expert Cheryl Werber also explains that more and more companies are also migrating to the Steel City, bringing exciting job opportunities to the area. Housing in Pittsburgh is also more affordable than other major cities, despite rates slowly beginning to rise.Population: 2,234,447Average annual salary: $54,300Quality of life: 6.6Value: 8.325. Nashville, TennesseeNashville, Tennessee.Scott Heaney/ShutterstockHonky-tonk culture and an entrepreneurial spirit define Nashville."A blossoming job market and an exploding entertainment scene [are] fueling an appetite (and thirst) for all things locally sourced and artisanal in craft," a local expert said. Thousands of residents work in healthcare at the area's large hospitals and research centers, small startups, and business accelerator programs.Population: 1,904,186Average annual salary: $52,170Quality of life: 6.1Value index: 6.7 24. Jacksonville, FloridaJacksonville, Florida.ShutterstockJacksonville's beach-adjacent location makes it ideal for outdoor activities. In addition to spending lazy days in the sand, residents can also visit the area's prime golf courses or go hiking, camping, and kayaking in the nearby parks. Jacksonville also continues to grow, with burgeoning art and music scenes, as well as new business development, according to a local expert.Population: 1,533,796Average annual salary: $49,940Quality of life: 6.7Value index: 6.1  23. Salt Lake City, UtahSalt Lake City, Utah.Maciej Bledowski/ShutterstockSalt Lake City might experience some of the snowiest weather in the country, but residents make the most of it through the multitude of ski resorts perched in the city's backyard. In warmer weather, residents can take advantage of Salt Lake's more than 900 acres of public parks and enjoy outdoor performances from the Mormon Tabernacle Choir in Temple Square.Population: 2,522,032Average annual salary: $52,094Quality of life: 6.8Value index: 7.0 22. Portland, OregonPortland, Oregon.Nadia Yong/ShutterstockPortland isn't for everybody — its slogan is "Keep Portland Weird," after all. But one local expert asserts that it's a "well-rounded city with more than just the offbeat shops and events" and a population that has "more academic degrees than the national average."Major employer Intel Corporation calls Portland home, as well as the headquarters for Nike, located about seven miles outside of Portland.Population: 2,472,774Average annual salary: $61,860Quality of life: 6.7Value index: 5.6  21. Albany, New YorkAlbany, New York.Sean Pavone/ShutterstockDespite the snowy winters, living in Albany comes with several advantages. Albany offers a cost of living lower than the national average and the cost of housing sits well below the rest of the US as a whole. In terms of jobs, the city's state government and health care companies are Albany's primary industries for residents there.Albany's downtown is lined with art galleries, wine shops, and churches for visitors to peruse. In keeping with the city's cold climate, hockey is the sport of choice for residents.Population: 880,766Average annual salary: $58,880Quality of life: 6.9Value index: 7.5  20. Melbourne, FloridaMelbourne, Florida.Jesse Kunerth/ShutterstockBetween fishing, boating, and a plethora of bars and restaurants, there's never a shortage of things to do in the Melbourne area. The city's ripe with retirees and "snowbirds" — people who split their time between colder climates in the summer and Florida in the winter — who can enjoy days on one of the many nearby golf courses and nights out exploring the local shops and art galleries.Population: 594,001Average annual salary: $51,740Quality of life: 7.0Value index: 6.6  19. Washington, DCWashington, DC.Sean Pavone/ShutterstockThe District's neighborhoods each give off their own vibe, but across the city residents often "gather for block parties, mingle at dog parks, and converse at coffee shops," explained a local expert. While Washington, DC, is known as a hub for politics, there's also a strong job market for education and health services.Population: 6,250,309Average annual salary: $77,210Quality of life: 7.0Value index: 5.8  18. Boston, MassachusettsBoston, Massachusetts.Sean Pavone/ShutterstockBoston attracts a diverse group of residents, including everyone from recent college graduates to retirees and musicians to engineers. The historical city — often referred to as the "Cradle of Liberty," according to one local expert — also overflows with team spirit for the Red Sox and 2017 Super Bowl champions, the Patriots.Population: 4,854,808Average annual salary: $73,850Quality of life: 7.2Value index: 5.2  17. Madison, WisconsinMadison, Wisconsin.Sean Pavone/ShutterstockWisconsin's capital is a "hotbed of the healthcare, information technology, and manufacturing industries," said a local expert. The area is also home to the University of Wisconsin at Madison, providing hundreds of jobs in education. Madison has a unique food culture that's a blend of fine dining and farmer's markets catering to the city's college students, young professionals, and families.Population: 660,212Average annual salary: $57,680Quality of life: 7.3Value index: 6.8  16. Grand Rapids, MichiganGrand Rapids, Michigan.Suzanne Tucker/ShutterstockGrand Rapids attracts "college students and young families with its healthy job market, affordable housing, and outdoor recreational activities," said a local expert. The self-proclaimed "Beer City USA" has more than 80 breweries as well as dynamic public art and music scenes.Once a hub for furniture production, Grand Rapids' job market is now dominated by education and healthcare, with many opportunities for workers without a college degree.Population: 1,069,696Average annual salary: $49,700Quality of life: 7.1Value index: 8.2  15. Boise, IdahoBoise, Idaho.Charles Knowles/ShutterstockIdaho's capital city is "a recreationalist's paradise," according to one local expert, who also said Boise sits "squarely on the boundary of urban and rural, civilized and wild, refined and raw." The region is home to more than 25,000 Boise State University students and provides jobs at government agencies as well as in tech and healthcare.Population: 730,483Average annual salary:$49,010Quality of life: 7.1Value index: 7.0  14. Des Moines, IowaDes Moines, Iowa.f11photo/ShutterstockDes Moines is drawing millennials and young families alike for its "one-of-a-kind shops, locally-owned restaurants, and hip bars" as well as its historical residences in quiet neighborhoods, said a local expert. Home to more than 80 insurance companies including giants Allied Insurance and Wellmark Blue Cross Blue Shield, the job market is thriving.Population: 690,585Average annual salary: $55,660Quality of life: 6.6Value index: 8.0 13. Austin, TexasMagalie L'AbbT/Getty ImagesThe capital of Texas gains about 150 new residents daily, many seeking out the city's "music, outdoor spaces, and cultural institutions," said a local expert.Austin is beloved for its live music scene and is host to some of the country's biggest music and culture festivals, including South by Southwest and Austin City Limits. The city was nicknamed "Silicon Hills" in the 1990s for its status as "among the top areas for venture capital investment in the country."Population: 2,173,804Average annual salary: $57,830Quality of life: 6.6Value index: 6.3 12. Naples, FloridaShutterstockNaples sits between the Everglades and the shores of the Gulf of Mexico. With its sunny beaches, fine dining, and golf courses, it attracts many older, wealthy residents, including retirees and snowbirds. Tourism and frequent development means jobs in the hospitality and construction industries dominate.Population: 379,345Average annual salary: $50,040Quality of life: 7.4Value index: 5.211. Ann Arbor, MichiganBarry Winiker/Getty ImagesHome to the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor is primarily known as a college town but is attracting more full-time residents downtown and along its outskirts. Born in the mid-1800s, the city is set among hills, with the Huron River running through it.Residents will find plenty to do outdoors throughout the year, from kayaking to ice skating. More than 90% of residents live within 10 minutes of a public park by walk, according to the Trust for Public Land.Population: 368,385Average annual salary: $59,200Quality of life: 8.0Value index: 6.510. San Francisco, CaliforniaSan Francisco, California.Travel Stock/ShutterstockA local expert described San Francisco as "the heart of the bohemian lifestyle, the epicenter of the LGBT rights movement, and the launching point of the technology era." In the last decade, thousands of tech companies have raced to set up shop in the Bay Area, sending the cost of living through the roof.But despite all the focus on the tech and startup scene, the city also has plenty of business jobs available with more than 30 international finance headquarters.Population: 4,709,220Average annual salary: $81,840Quality of life: 6.8Value index: 5.1 9. Sarasota, FloridaSarasota, Florida.Sean Pavone/ShutterstockSarasota boasts "warm temperatures year-round, award-winning beaches, and a thriving arts and cultural scene," said a local expert. The biggest employers in Sarasota are in education, trade, and transportation, and the leisure and hospitality sector touts a low unemployment rate powered by a recent increase in tourism and a flood of new residents.Population: 821,613Average annual salary:$48,180Quality of life: 7.0Value index: 6.2  8. Portland, MainePortland, Maine.Sean Pavone/ShutterstockLocated right on the water at Casco Bay and lined with cobblestone streets, Portland immediately evokes the quaintness of a much smaller town. Between fishing, sailing, cross-country skiing, and exploring the city's buzzing nightlife, there's no shortage of things to do. Seafood lovers can nosh on fresh catches at the city's modern oyster bars and or grab one of Maine's signature lobster rolls.Population: 536,314Average annual salary: $55,790Quality of life: 7.2Value index: 6.6  7. Fayetteville, ArkansasFayetteville, Arkansas.shuttersv/ShutterstockFayetteville sits among the Ozark Mountains and is home to the University of Arkansas' flagship campus. The surrounding area of northwest Arkansas is home to headquarters for seven Fortune 500 companies including Walmart and Tyson Foods.The city has experienced immense growth, according to a local expert, who said the region has evolved "from a small town to a center of higher education, culture, commerce, and entrepreneurialism."Population: 526,101Average annual salary: $50,470Quality of life: 6.8Value index: 8.3 6. Raleigh-Durham, North CarolinaRaleigh, North Carolina.Sharkshock/ShutterstockRaleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill are collectively known as the Triangle, an area anchored by its foundation in research and tech. The Triangle employs nearly 40,000 residents at companies like IBM, SAS Institute Inc., and Cisco Systems as well as surrounding colleges Duke, North Carolina State, and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.A strong job market coupled with a burgeoning microbrewery and dining scene draws new residents every day, said a local expert.Population: 1,999,253Average annual salary: $59,174Quality of life: 6.8Value index: 7.15. San Jose, CaliforniaSan Jose, California.stellamc / ShutterstockThe sprawling city of San Jose is "as much defined by its suburban neighborhoods and large tech campuses as it is by the high-rises in its business district," said a local expert. Young residents and recent graduates of nearby Stanford and UC Berkeley have no trouble finding jobs in the area, which touts Facebook, Google, and Apple as its largest private-sector employers.Population: 1,985,926Average annual salary: $93,450Quality of life: 7.6Value index: 5.5  4. Boulder, ColoradoShutterstockThere's never a shortage of outdoor fun to be had in Boulder, with more than 60 parks and 155 miles of hiking trails at residents' disposal. Downtown, locals enjoy the prominent arts scene, craft breweries, and farmer's markets. Major employers in Boulder include companies in the technology, aerospace, and bioscience industries.Population: 324,682Average annual salary: $70,450Quality of life: 7.7Value index: 5.1 3. Green Bay, WisconsinJamesBrey/Getty ImagesThe oldest settlement in Wisconsin, Green Bay used to be a key shipping center. Today, it's better known as the home of the Green Bay Packers. Residents can enjoy craft breweries and wineries, boutique shopping, museums and art galleries, and outdoor fun on trails and the Fox River.Some of Green Bay's largest employers include insurance companies like UnitedHealth Group and Humana and shipping firms like Georgia-Pacific.Population: 320,827Average annual salary: $50,020Quality of life: 7.1Value index: 8.5 2. Colorado Springs, ColoradoColorado Springs, Colorado.John Coletti/Getty ImagesColorado Springs is "booming, with new residences popping up alongside quality schools, parks, and cultural attractions," touts a local expert. The city is just an hour's drive from Denver and in close proximity to Aspen and Vail's world-class ski resorts. Military jobs influence Colorado Springs' culture and economy, but jobs are also available in medical innovation and tech.Population: 735,480Average annual salary: $55,540Quality of life: 6.4Value index: 5.7  1. Huntsville, AlabamaHuntsville, Alabama.ShutterstockThe once-sleepy town of Huntsville, Alabama, gained fame in the 1960s when it became a hub for NASA. Now Huntsville is undergoing another renaissance, with tech companies, craft breweries, and artists all flocking to the town in recent years.Huntsville is the fastest-growing city in Alabama, and residents are enjoying an emerging downtown shopping and dining scene even as the city maintains a low cost of living. If you can handle the heat and humidity, you might find yourself at home there.Population: 464,607Average annual salary: $58,730Quality of life: 6.8Value index: 8.5  Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytAug 6th, 2022

Democrats are now united behind the new climate package. For you, it means cheap energy, clean air, and jobs.

By cutting greenhouse-gas emissions and funding a new climate plan, the Inflation Reduction Act promises to help your wallet, health, and security. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen. Joe ManchinDrew Angerer/Getty Images Sen. Chuck Schumer and Joe Manchin agreed to a surprise $369 billion climate package on July 27. Arizona Sen. Kyrsten Sinema said she would support the bill on Thursday, poising Democrats to pass it into law. The Inflation Reduction Act would lower energy bills, make EVs affordable, create 1.5 million jobs, and cut pollution. Senate Democrats are on the brink of passing the most significant climate bill in US history, paving the way for cheaper energy and a more livable planet.On Thursday, the last Democratic holdout in the Senate, Sen. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona, announced she was willing to move forward with the new legislation. That leaves Democrats united and poised to pass the bill into law.The surprise deal between Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia would dole out about $369 billion for climate programs as part of the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022.The new climate package aims to expand renewable energy such as solar, wind, and cleaner fuels, while making it less expensive to buy electric vehicles and home appliances.Solar panels are installed at a floating photovoltaic plant on a lake in Haltern, Germany, Friday, April 1, 2022.Martin Meissner/AP PhotoIf Congress approves the bill, it would put the US on track to cut its greenhouse-gas emissions by up to 44% from 2005 levels by the end of the decade, according to multiple assessments.Experts say the new climate plan also promises savings, health boons, and higher quality of living for everyday people across the US. The sun sets behind power transmission lines in Texas, on July 11, 2022.Nick Wagner/Xinhua via Getty Images"This isn't about the sky, or the polar bears," Jonathan Foley, executive director of Project Drawdown, a climate nonprofit, told Insider, adding, "This is about you and your pocketbook, your jobs, the air your kids breathe, the town you live in, our national security."Here are five ways the new climate-change package could make your life better:Lower energy billsA woman prepares dinner for her family at her home in Schnecksville, Pennsylvania, on September 22, 2021.Hannah Beier/ReutersThe new climate proposal includes about $30 billion in loans and grants for states and electric utilities to adopt more renewable energy, plus more than $60 billion in tax credits for manufacturers of solar panels, wind turbines, batteries for electric vehicles, energy storage, and other technology, according to a summary from Senate Democrats.Solar and wind already generated cheaper electricity than fossil fuels, even before oil and gas prices soared this year. Yet they still only account for about 20% of US energy use. The Schumer-Manchin deal could speed up a shift away from fossil fuels and also make it less expensive to hook up your home with electric.Vesta wind turbines in Palm Springs, California, on July 21, 2022.David Swanson/ReutersA total of $9 billion in home energy rebates would help Americans insulate their homes and replace stoves, furnaces, water heaters, and other appliances with electric alternatives. Homeowners could deduct up to 30% of installation costs from their taxes. A similar deduction for solar would be guaranteed for homeowners and expanded to residential battery storage."This is really about delivering lower energy bills for everyday Americans," Leah Stokes, an environment and energy politics professor at University of California, Santa Barbara, said in a press briefing on Thursday. She noted that high oil and gas prices are a major driver of inflation that ripples across every industry, from transportation to manufacturing to agriculture.A family eats dinner at their home in Calumet Park, Illinois, on December 8, 2020.Shannon Stapleton/Reuters"When fossil fuels go up, other goods and services go up," Stokes said.The average household could save $1,800 on their energy bill each year by installing a modern electric heat pump and rooftop solar and buying an electric vehicle, according to an analysis by Rewiring America, a think tank that promotes electrification.Cheaper electric vehiclesA Scion IQ electric car is plugged in in a garage in Irvine, California, on January 26, 2015.Lucy Nicholson/ReutersThe bill would extend an existing $7,500 tax credit for new EVs — offered as a discount at the point of sale — and offer up to $4,000 for used EVs and plug-in hybrids.It would also lift the cap on the number of tax breaks automakers can offer, benefiting companies like Tesla, General Motors, and Toyota that already hit the limit, as long as the vehicle is assembled in the US.  "Once people own an electric car, they're going to laugh every time they drive by a gas station, when they see $5 a gallon," Foley said, adding, "I think this will help us reach a tipping point, where five to 10 years from now you won't see gas cars sold anymore, or very few."Gas prices over the $6.00 mark are advertised at a Mobil Station in Santa Monica, California, on May 23, 2022.David Swanson/ReutersThere are some caveats, like your income, the vehicle's price tag, and where its parts are made.If you earn $150,000 or more a year, or $300,000 in joint family income, you won't qualify for the new car tax credit. There's a limit on the price of the car, too. Bigger vehicles, such as SUVs and pickup trucks, must cost less than $80,000, and smaller cars less than $55,000, to qualify for the credit.For used cars, the income limit is $75,000 for single tax filers and $150,000 for joint filers. The sticker price must be $25,000 or below. The bill also requires vehicle batteries to be made with 40% of minerals extracted or processed in countries the US has a free trade agreement with, or recycled in North America. But supply chains for those minerals don't exist yet, E&E News reported. The majority of lithium, cobalt, nickel, and other minerals used in EV batteries come from China, Russia, and the Democratic Republic of Congo, although analysts told E&E News they hope the mandate spurs a made-in-America market.Cleaner air to breatheA man rides his skateboard at sunset while doing a trick in the Venice Beach area of Los Angeles, California, on November 12, 2019.Carlo Allegri/ReutersWith fewer gas-guzzling cars on the road, and fewer industrial sites powered by fossil fuels, air would be cleaner and safer to breathe."These sorts of climate measures could also reduce particulate matter or ozone smog, as kind of a side benefit that would directly, immediately improve health," Scot Miller, an assistant professor of environmental health and engineering at Johns Hopkins, told Insider.That drop in air pollution could prevent up to 3,900 premature deaths and 100,000 asthma attacks by 2030, according to an analysis by the policy-research firm Energy Innovation LLC.A layer of air pollution hangs over Denver, Colorado, on January 21, 2020.Jim Urquhart/ReutersThe American Lung Association pointed to those clean air and health gains in a statement Thursday, urging Congress to "move swiftly" and "without delay" to pass the new bill into law.The bill also includes provisions to fund cleanup of dangerous pollution sites, which are disproportionately concentrated in low-income communities of color.The investment is "probably not enough, but it's more than we've ever spent before," Foley said.Jobs, jobs, jobsFord Assembly workers install a battery onto the chassis of a Ford Focus Electric vehicle at the Michigan Assembly Plant in Wayne, Michigan, on November 7, 2012.Rebecca Cook/ReutersBy investing about $60 billion in manufacturing — everything from heat pumps to wind turbines — this climate plan would help keep clean-energy companies in the US, securing "good paying, and hopefully union, jobs," Stokes said.It's not just manufacturing. Renewable-energy infrastructure needs to be installed and maintained. The bill would fund new electricity-transmission lines, offshore wind projects, housing retrofits, renewable-energy projects in rural areas, and repurposing or replacing defunct energy infrastructure.A worker sits at the base of a wind turbine blade at TPI Composites in Newton, Iowa, on December 22, 2011.Joshua Lott/ReutersAll that work requires workers. The bill would create up to 1.5 million jobs by 2030, according to the Energy Innovation analysis.The bill also focuses on communities historically associated with oil, gas, and coal extraction, by providing a tax incentive for companies that create renewable-energy jobs in those places. Protection from extreme weatherDaniel Bosquez shades the face of Timothy Jalomo, 10 months, from the afternoon sun as he fills a plastic pool with water, as San Antonio, Texas is placed under an excessive heat warning, on July 11, 2022.Lisa Krantz/ReutersClimate change is making droughts, floods, wildfires, and heat waves more severe and more frequent. These weather events cause serious damage to human property and infrastructure and cost lives.The bill would provide funding for communities to mitigate the health effects of extreme heat, to prevent and respond to wildfires, and to prepare for coastal climate impacts like severe hurricanes and flooding from sea-level rise. It now includes billions of dollars to fight droughts, a request Sinema made before giving her approval, according to The New York Times.The bill also gives the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) a funding boost for forecasting and research.A house is fully engulfed by flames during the Dixie Fire, a wildfire near the town of Greenville, California, August 5, 2021.Fred Greaves/ReutersWhile the new funds would help communities adapt to extreme events, the bill could also help prevent weather from getting even more extreme. If the world cuts emissions enough to keep global warming below 2 degrees Celsius, that could prevent a significant acceleration in the severity and coverage area of extreme weather."I think everyone I work with in the emissions community is sort of holding their breath and hoping that this [bill] goes through," Miller said.This story has been updated with new information. It was originally published on August 3, 2022.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderAug 5th, 2022

The Hudson Companies, The Jericho Project and HELP USA Close on $215 Million Logan Fountain Mixed-Used Affordable Housing Development in Brooklyn’s East New York

 The Hudson Companies, The Jericho Project and HELP USA today announced the closing on $117 million in financing for affordable and supportive housing and $97 million for a new shelter at Logan Fountain, a mixed-use project developed under the 2016 East New York rezoning that will transform a defunct gas station... The post The Hudson Companies, The Jericho Project and HELP USA Close on $215 Million Logan Fountain Mixed-Used Affordable Housing Development in Brooklyn’s East New York appeared first on Real Estate Weekly.  The Hudson Companies, The Jericho Project and HELP USA today announced the closing on $117 million in financing for affordable and supportive housing and $97 million for a new shelter at Logan Fountain, a mixed-use project developed under the 2016 East New York rezoning that will transform a defunct gas station into permanently affordable housing, transitional housing for homeless families, and retail space. Financing for the affordable housing was provided through tax-exempt bonds from the NY State Housing Finance Agency along with Citi, which provided the construction period Letter of Credit, a subsidy from the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development, funding from former Council Member Rafael Espinal, and tax credit equity with Hudson Housing Capital as syndicator and JP Morgan Chase as investor. Citi provided the loan for the shelter portion, which is backed by a contract with the New York City Department of Homeless Services. Citi will manage the construction disbursement and monitoring for the entire project. The project was designed by MHG Architects and will be built by Broadway Builders, an affiliate of Hudson. “Logan Fountain is an innovative model for new affordable housing and transitional housing in a single sustainable building,” said Sarah Pizer, Development Director, The Hudson Companies. “Residents in both components of Logan Fountain will receive on-site support services tailored to their needs. We are proud to partner with HELP USA and The Jericho Project, who will provide those critical services, and we thank all of our partners for their ongoing collaboration to bring this transformative development to fruition.” Located at 265 Logan Street, Logan Fountain is the city’s second development designed with a hybrid model that will include two separate components of affordable housing and a shelter in a 13-story building. The eastern wing will consist of 69 affordable homes for low-income families earning between 50 and 70 percent of area median income (AMI) and 105 homes for formerly homeless individuals. The western wing will consist of 169 homes for homeless families and individuals being served by the New York City Department of Homeless Services. The building will also include approximately 7,677 square feet of ground-floor retail space. Construction will begin in August, with an expected completion in late 2024. “Jericho Project is thrilled to be partnering with The Hudson Companies to provide supportive housing to 105 homeless households, including single adults, adult families, and families with children,” said Tori Lyon, Chief Executive Officer, Jericho Project. “Our person-centered, comprehensive supportive services will ensure that tenants are able to maintain long-term stability and thrive in the community.”  “HELP USA congratulates the Hudson Companies on closing the Logan Fountain project and we are thrilled to be the selected transitional housing provider, ” said David Cleghom, President, HELP USA. “Logan Fountain aligns homelessness and housing solutions into one holistic plan to solve the city’s affordable housing crisis,” said HPD Commissioner Adolfo Carrión Jr. “This innovative approach, as expressed in our Blueprint for Housing and Homelessness, combining permanently affordable, supportive, and transitional housing in the same development is exactly what our city needs. We’re grateful to Hudson Companies, Jericho Project, and HELP USA for an outstanding proposal and look forward to breaking ground on this project very soon.” “This project exemplifies the kind of innovation that drives the re-envisioning of underutilized city spaces to create high-quality affordable, supportive, and transitional housing for vulnerable New Yorkers,” said Department of Social Services Commissioner Gary P. Jenkins. “We are proud to partner with The Hudson Companies, The Jericho Project, HELP USA, and others, as we continue to raise the bar on how we are serving and supporting New Yorkers in need. The Logan Fountain model notably aligns with this Administration’s special focus on revitalizing East New York and investing in our underserved communities.” “Citi Community Capital is proud to have been a part of the financing of Logan Fountain, which is among the most innovative housing projects in the country,” said Richard Gerwitz, Managing Director, Citi Community Capital. “The project will provide desperately needed affordable housing for working families and service-enriched transitional shelter housing units for families who were previously homeless. The Hudson Companies worked tirelessly with their partners at HELP USA and The Jericho Project to plan, structure, and finance this unique hybrid model.” “Hudson Housing Capital is proud to partner with The Hudson Companies to finance affordable and supportive housing at Logan Fountain,” said Sam Ganeshan, Managing Director, Hudson Housing Capital. “This property will provide some of the City’s most vulnerable individuals and families with a high-quality, safe place to live independently. We thank and commend all parties involved, including our investor J.P. Morgan Chase, for their commitment, creativity, and determination to achieve this exciting milestone, and we look forward to seeing Logan Fountain come to fruition.” “Broadway Builders is proud to be selected to build this landmark project,” said Sally Gilliland, Chair of the Broadway Builders. “We look forward to delivering the highest quality housing, using local partners and community members on the construction team, and providing a safe and inclusive workplace for all.” Logan Fountain will offer an array of amenities to its residents. On the affordable housing side, amenities will include a fitness room, a landscaped common courtyard with a children’s play area, multiple terraces with a garden area, bicycle storage rooms, and laundry rooms. On the transitional housing side, families will have access to outdoor and indoor childcare space, bicycle storage, and laundry room. In addition, on-site providers will offer supportive services tailored to each individual resident’s needs. The Jericho Project, a venerable non-profit provider for the homeless, will introduce a host of on-site supportive services and programming for formerly homeless families in the affordable housing residences. At the same time, HELP USA, a nationally-known social service provider for the homeless, will operate and provide client care coordination and services for residents in the shelter.  Logan Fountain is conveniently located two blocks from the Norwood Avenue J train subway station and a short walk from the Euclid Avenue A train subway station. The project is a key component of the 2016 East New York rezoning, which will bring $16.7 million of capital investments to the neighborhood. In developing the investment strategy, the city engaged with the community in 2014 and created the East New York Community Plan to prioritize the need for new infrastructure, parks, community facilities, affordable housing, and support for small businesses. The post The Hudson Companies, The Jericho Project and HELP USA Close on $215 Million Logan Fountain Mixed-Used Affordable Housing Development in Brooklyn’s East New York appeared first on Real Estate Weekly......»»

Category: realestateSource: realestateweeklyAug 4th, 2022

The Senate climate bill may get you cheap energy, clean air, and a job

By cutting greenhouse-gas emissions and funding a new climate plan, the Inflation Reduction Act promises to help your wallet, health, and security. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen. Joe ManchinDrew Angerer/Getty Images Sen. Chuck Schumer and Joe Manchin agreed to a surprise $369 billion climate package on July 27. The bill could cut energy bills, make EVs affordable, create 1.5 million jobs, and save lives with cleaner air. If the Inflation Reduction Act passes, its climate plan could help your wallet, health, and security. Senate Democrats could pass the most significant climate bill in US history this week, paving the way for cheaper energy and a more livable planet.The surprise deal between Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia would dole out about $369 billion for climate programs as part of the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022. It aims to expand renewable energy such as solar, wind, and cleaner fuels, while making it less expensive to buy electric vehicles and home appliances.If Congress approves the bill, it would put the US on track to cut its greenhouse-gas emissions by up to 44% from 2005 levels by the end of the decade, according to multiple assessments. Experts say the bill also promises savings, health boons, and higher quality of living for everyday people across the US. The sun sets behind power transmission lines in Texas, on July 11, 2022.Nick Wagner/Xinhua via Getty Images"This isn't about the sky, or the polar bears," Jonathan Foley, executive director of Project Drawdown, a climate nonprofit, told Insider, adding, "This is about you and your pocketbook, your jobs, the air your kids breathe, the town you live in, our national security."Here are five ways the new climate-change package could make your life better:Lower energy billsA woman prepares dinner for her family at her home in Schnecksville, Pennsylvania, on September 22, 2021.Hannah Beier/ReutersThe new climate proposal includes about $30 billion in loans and grants for states and electric utilities to adopt more renewable energy, plus more than $60 billion in tax credits for manufacturers of solar panels, wind turbines, batteries for electric vehicles, energy storage, and other technology, according to a summary from Senate Democrats.Solar and wind already generated cheaper electricity than fossil fuels, even before oil and gas prices soared this year. Yet they still only account for about 20% of US energy use. The Schumer-Manchin deal could speed up a shift away from fossil fuels and also make it less expensive to hook up your home with electric.Vesta wind turbines in Palm Springs, California, on July 21, 2022.David Swanson/ReutersA total of $9 billion in home energy rebates would help Americans insulate their homes and replace stoves, furnaces, water heaters, and other appliances with electric alternatives. Homeowners could deduct up to 30% of installation costs from their taxes. A similar deduction for solar would be guaranteed for homeowners and expanded to residential battery storage."This is really about delivering lower energy bills for everyday Americans," Leah Stokes, an environment and energy politics professor at University of California, Santa Barbara, said in a press briefing on Thursday. She noted that high oil and gas prices are a major driver of inflation that ripples across every industry, from transportation to manufacturing to agriculture.A family eats dinner at their home in Calumet Park, Illinois, on December 8, 2020.Shannon Stapleton/Reuters"When fossil fuels go up, other goods and services go up," Stokes said.The average household could save $1,800 on their energy bill each year by installing a modern electric heat pump and rooftop solar and buying an electric vehicle, according to an analysis by Rewiring America, a think tank that promotes electrification.Cheaper electric vehiclesA Scion IQ electric car is plugged in in a garage in Irvine, California, on January 26, 2015.Lucy Nicholson/ReutersThe bill would extend an existing $7,500 tax credit for new EVs — offered as a discount at the point of sale — and offer up to $4,000 for used EVs and plug-in hybrids.It would also lift the cap on the number of tax breaks automakers can offer, benefiting companies like Tesla, General Motors, and Toyota that already hit the limit, as long as the vehicle is assembled in the US.  "Once people own an electric car, they're going to laugh every time they drive by a gas station, when they see $5 a gallon," Foley said, adding, "I think this will help us reach a tipping point, where five to 10 years from now you won't see gas cars sold anymore, or very few."Gas prices over the $6.00 mark are advertised at a Mobil Station in Santa Monica, California, on May 23, 2022.David Swanson/ReutersThere are some caveats, like your income, the vehicle's price tag, and where its parts are made.If you earn $150,000 or more a year, or $300,000 in joint family income, you won't qualify for the new car tax credit. There's a limit on the price of the car, too. Bigger vehicles, such as SUVs and pickup trucks, must cost less than $80,000, and smaller cars less than $55,000, to qualify for the credit.For used cars, the income limit is $75,000 for single tax filers and $150,000 for joint filers. The sticker price must be $25,000 or below. The bill also requires vehicle batteries to be made with 40% of minerals extracted or processed in countries the US has a free trade agreement with, or recycled in North America. But supply chains for those minerals don't exist yet, E&E News reported. The majority of lithium, cobalt, nickel, and other minerals used in EV batteries come from China, Russia, and the Democratic Republic of Congo, although analysts told E&E News they hope the mandate spurs a made-in-America market.Cleaner air to breatheA man rides his skateboard at sunset while doing a trick in the Venice Beach area of Los Angeles, California, on November 12, 2019.Carlo Allegri/ReutersWith fewer gas-guzzling cars on the road, and fewer industrial sites powered by fossil fuels, air would be cleaner and safer to breathe."These sorts of climate measures could also reduce particulate matter or ozone smog, as kind of a side benefit that would directly, immediately improve health," Scot Miller, an assistant professor of environmental health and engineering at Johns Hopkins, told Insider.That drop in air pollution could prevent up to 3,900 premature deaths and 100,000 asthma attacks by 2030, according to an analysis by the policy-research firm Energy Innovation LLC.A layer of air pollution hangs over Denver, Colorado, on January 21, 2020.Jim Urquhart/ReutersThe American Lung Association pointed to those clean air and health gains in a statement Thursday, urging Congress to "move swiftly" and "without delay" to pass the new bill into law.The bill also includes provisions to fund cleanup of dangerous pollution sites, which are disproportionately concentrated in low-income communities of color.The investment is "probably not enough, but it's more than we've ever spent before," Foley said.Jobs, jobs, jobsFord Assembly workers install a battery onto the chassis of a Ford Focus Electric vehicle at the Michigan Assembly Plant in Wayne, Michigan, on November 7, 2012.Rebecca Cook/ReutersBy investing about $60 billion in manufacturing — everything from heat pumps to wind turbines — this climate plan would help keep clean-energy companies in the US, securing "good paying, and hopefully union, jobs," Stokes said.It's not just manufacturing. Renewable-energy infrastructure needs to be installed and maintained. The bill would fund new electricity-transmission lines, offshore wind projects, housing retrofits, renewable-energy projects in rural areas, and repurposing or replacing defunct energy infrastructure.A worker sits at the base of a wind turbine blade at TPI Composites in Newton, Iowa, on December 22, 2011.Joshua Lott/ReutersAll that work requires workers. The bill would create up to 1.5 million jobs by 2030, according to the Energy Innovation analysis.The bill also focuses on communities historically associated with oil, gas, and coal extraction, by providing a tax incentive for companies that create renewable-energy jobs in those places. Protection from extreme weatherDaniel Bosquez shades the face of Timothy Jalomo, 10 months, from the afternoon sun as he fills a plastic pool with water, as San Antonio, Texas is placed under an excessive heat warning, on July 11, 2022.Lisa Krantz/ReutersClimate change is making droughts, floods, wildfires, and heat waves more severe and more frequent. These weather events cause serious damage to human property and infrastructure and cost lives.The bill would provide funding for communities to mitigate the health effects of extreme heat, to prevent and respond to wildfires, and to prepare for coastal climate impacts like severe hurricanes and flooding from sea-level rise. It also gives the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) a funding boost for forecasting and research.A house is fully engulfed by flames during the Dixie Fire, a wildfire near the town of Greenville, California, August 5, 2021.Fred Greaves/ReutersWhile the new funds would help communities adapt to extreme events, the bill could also help prevent weather from getting even more extreme. If the world cuts emissions enough to keep global warming below 2 degrees Celsius, that could prevent a significant acceleration in the severity and coverage area of extreme weather."I think everyone I work with in the emissions community is sort of holding their breath and hoping that this [bill] goes through," Miller said.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderAug 3rd, 2022

Scarcity at Root of Housing Crisis, Researchers Say

An imbalance as dramatic as the pandemic-era housing market is almost always going to have complex causes and a long history. Despite this, many people continue to view the pandemic as the primary driver of the current affordability, equity and supply issues that are making headlines and driving policy conversations at both the national and… The post Scarcity at Root of Housing Crisis, Researchers Say appeared first on RISMedia. An imbalance as dramatic as the pandemic-era housing market is almost always going to have complex causes and a long history. Despite this, many people continue to view the pandemic as the primary driver of the current affordability, equity and supply issues that are making headlines and driving policy conversations at both the national and local level. But as the crisis deepens, it is becoming more obvious that there were fundamental problems in housing before Covid’s disruptions. Parsing out the specific issues that preceded—and will continue past—the pandemic is increasingly urgent as policymakers seek to guide the market away from a recession or crash. It is this work that researchers and advocates at housing think tank Up for Growth have attempted with a recent landmark study, tracing most of the biggest housing issues to a single trend—underproduction. According to their analysis, 47 states (and Washington D.C.) did not produce enough housing over the last decade, including 230 metro areas, for a total nationwide deficit of 3.79 million units. “Ensuring we build enough housing that is affordable to all Americans won’t be easy. But there is growing data that the housing shortage is too great to ignore, and the problem is only growing,” the researchers wrote. This is hardly revelatory by itself. Other recent studies by Freddie Mac and the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) have offered similar top-line estimates of the crisis, ranging from around 1.8 million to as much as 6.8 million. But the Up for Growth analysis—which was supported by big industry players including NAR, Zillow and Holland Partner Group—sought to go further, pinpointing exactly how much individual markets are suffering in addition to the specific, localized causes for their lack of housing, as well as presenting what researchers described as a new approach to solving the crisis. “A more-of-the-same approach to housing policy will not only fail to narrow the gap between the housing we have and the housing we need, it will also worsen the social, economic and climate problems that threaten our nation today,” they wrote. At the highest level, Up for Growth’s plan—dubbed “A Better Foundation”—would seek to significantly change the areas where housing is built, make it significantly more sustainable and accessible, and focus on efficiencies with land in “high opportunity” areas. This includes a huge emphasis on gradually transforming existing communities to have more diverse, affordable housing. But what does this look like for those in real estate in these individual markets? Do people at the ground level in these regions see the same issues? Or do the solutions they suggest make sense to someone who deals with housing in these areas every day? Nikki Beauchamp is an associate broker at Engel & Vӧlkers, working in New York City, which, before the pandemic, underproduced by 342,144 units, or 4.4% of its total housing stock, according to Up for Growth (those numbers are likely bigger today). She says some issues are only just being acknowledged and discussed, as the problems with zoning, suburban sprawl and racial inequities are laid bare. “There’s got to be a way to piece together that puzzle,” she says. “Not that everyone is going to be unhappy in one way, shape or form, but it’s almost like, you can’t please everyone…I think there is a bigger divide in this pandemic world that we’re in.” The report highlighted New York City’s walkability—the most walkable city in the country by some measures. But only 2.5% of the larger metro area qualifies as walkable, and apartments in these areas are 236% more expensive than a comparable “drivable suburban rental.” This is a result of what Up for Growth calls a false dichotomy between “expensive versus expansive” growth, where new housing in desirable urban cores or suburbs is out of reach to all but the very rich, and anything affordable is built hours away from jobs and amenities. As a solution, they suggest identifying areas with lower density and building a high proportion of denser, more affordable “missing middle” housing that serves moderate income families. But most of those neighborhoods are the kind that have long been exclusionary, insular and segregated. Beauchamp says she is not optimistic that in New York City at least, radically changing the housing stock in these types of areas will happen anytime soon. “I think it’s really, really hard to accomplish that,” she says. “You have people who will lobby against it—they don’t want to see that change occur. You can argue that there are political motivations. And you also have inherent, either direct or implicit, fair housing implications.” Another very different community about 2,000 miles south and west of New York was also identified in the study for its severe and long-running issues with underproduction of housing. Laredo, Texas, sitting right on the U.S./Mexico border and boasting a population of nearly 260,000, had a deficit of 8,373 housing units in 2019—equivalent to 9.9% of its housing stock. Laredo’s small MLS only includes about 700 agents, according to Leo Saenz, broker/owner of a Better Homes & Gardens franchise and longtime Laredo resident. “We have about 209 pendings,” he explains. “So only like 400 agents are going to get checks in the next two months.” Saenz says that for many years, a handful of developers have controlled much of the buildable land in the area, and as the city has grown (increasing its population by more than 20,000 over the last decade, according to the U.S. Census Bureau), housing has not gone up to match it. “We’re not getting as many houses on the market to take care of everybody,” Saenz says. Texas, as a state, is one of the top three worst for housing underproduction, according to the Up for Growth analysis, along with consistent population growth—particularly with Latinos, who make up about 95% of Laredo’s population. Saez used to build houses himself in the area before getting into real estate, he says. The big landowners in Laredo are “really, really particular” about who they allow to build houses, according to Saenz, and they essentially decide when and where homes are built—more recently focused on more expensive houses on smaller lots. Developers are nearly always looking to maximize their profits with land, which often translates to more expensive housing, according to the Up for Growth study. Explicitly incentivizing entry-level housing is one way to begin rebalancing the current housing environment. Saenz says that from a purely real estate perspective, scarcity is creating a pattern of negativity and turnover in the area, with agents finding it hard to stay motivated. “They start losing focus on their primary job, and there’s no growth,” he says. “I recruited this year, maybe 22 agents, and inactive licenses within a year was maybe five. “I try to motivate everybody,” he adds, “but at the end of the day, they see that they’re losing a lot of time and putting in a lot of effort trying to make this business work.” History and Change Not everyone is seeing these issues the same way. An employee at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices (BHHS) Georgia Properties in Gainesville, Georgia (who declined to provide her name), says that from her experience, housing production has been humming right along. “Back when we were having a strong boom , there was a chance that you had to wait several months in order for you to get your house finished,” she says. “Things have slowed down just a little, but new construction is still booming.” Gainesville was identified by Up for Growth as having the worst housing underproduction per capita, with a deficit equal to 11.5% of its total housing stock. Why this seemingly extreme underproduction hasn’t shown up qualitatively is not clear, as Gainesville has also seen significant population growth over the past decade. The BHHS employee admitted that housing at certain price points and locations is becoming more difficult to find, with buyers widening the areas they search to find something affordable. The past three years have seen a significant increase in building, she said, which could potentially have narrowed that gap. Whether there is truly a national solution to underproduction—at least in the short term—is still a difficult question. Up for Growth, while still trying to offer a framework that could work for housing across the country, acknowledged that every market is defined by local, unique factors and history. “In Detroit, underproduction is driven by uninhabitable units,” the researchers wrote, “while in Sacramento, a lack of housing is driving the shortage. In Washington, D.C., underproduction is fueled by a lack of household formation.” Beauchamp, who is Black, describes experiencing something that is unarguably a factor in every housing market in the country, when she noticed how different family members saw different outcomes based on where they lived in Long Island. “I remember my uncle…this particular uncle was able to buy in this particular town,” Beauchamp describes. “The difference between the value in their house and the value of the houses of some of my cousins’ other friends, who were just on the other side of the town—sort of the White versus the Black side of the town, basically—just the difference between what my aunt and my uncle were able to do, and help their kids with, versus the same family, two kids just in the other side of town…literally the same structure on the other side of a line, one property can be worth twice as much.” Redlining, racial covenants, appraisal bias and racial steering by real estate agents (something that was graphically exposed by a landmark 2019 investigation on Long Island) have all contributed to racial inequalities in housing, with huge gaps in homeownership, home values and lending between White families and families of color. Up for Growth does not offer direct, specific solutions to address this, only arguing that future policies need to explicitly account for each region’s individual racist history (and current racist environment) when looking to create more housing. Some communities are starting to take explicit steps in this direction. In Los Angeles, California, a stretch of waterfront property valued at $20 million was returned to the descendants of a Black family, the Bruces, who were robbed of the land by city officials in the 1920s. Beauchamp says she hasn’t heard of anything to that level in her region, but that she is encouraged that conversations are starting up around those topics. “I’m fascinated by people like Don Peebles, things people are actually trying to do to create equity and create more opportunity for maybe developers who are descendants, or of that background,” she says. “It feels qualitatively that there is more opportunity and more possibility, and I don’t know if that is just because the conversations are actually happening more in the open.” Whether it is through these and other racial equity changes, densification or redefining growth direction, the Up for Growth researchers make a holistic argument for changing housing policies: It improves society for everyone. They claim that filling that 3.8 million housing deficit using their methodology will increase GDP by $209 billion more than if the country built the way it has in the past. And less commuting, easier and more equal access to jobs and amenities, more efficient transportation and sustainable, cheaper energy usage could become part of the necessary, ongoing project of bringing the country’s housing stock up to meet people’s needs. “This report is an effort to deliver practical and tangible solutions to advocates and policymakers. By providing regionally relevant, annually replicable data that considers unique drivers of housing underproduction, advocates and policymakers can spot trends more easily and respond to them in ways that will improve lives, economies and the planet,” the researchers wrote. The post Scarcity at Root of Housing Crisis, Researchers Say appeared first on RISMedia......»»

Category: realestateSource: rismediaAug 1st, 2022

Biden just announced a 6-step plan to lower your electricity bill

New measures announced by the White House Wednesday are aimed at helping more Americans get solar power and creating more jobs in clean energy. President Joe Biden motions while boarding Air Force One at Los Angeles International Airport after attending the Summit of the Americas in Los Angeles, Calif., on June 11, 2022.AP Photo/Evan Vucci The White House announced six measures to combat rising energy prices as the US endures another heat wave.  They're all focused on connecting lower-income households with cheaper clean energy. Because of the rising price of natural gas, utility prices are spiking this year.  The White House has some good for those with air conditioners blasting this summer as the weather gets increasingly hot. President Biden is betting his administration can help by lowering electricity costs while investing in environmentally friendly infrastructure. For many, keeping cool is already cost-prohibitive, in a time when other expenses are also surging in price. In May, Barclays projected that US households could see a 30% to 40% hike in monthly energy bills in 2022 if natural gas prices remain high. Residents in Fort Piece, Florida, for example, said their power bills shot up this summer. Many reported that the Fort Pierce Utilities Authority charged them double their usual cost, according to NBC's Meghan McRoberts. One resident said that his power bill went up to nearly $2,000 in June. The Biden administration announced on Wednesday that it would be implementing six new measures to temper the price of electricity, and make clean energy homes more widespread and affordable overall. "As extreme heat continues to affect tens of millions of Americans, hitting low-income families harder than others, President Biden is implementing new programs to help maintain a consistent and affordable energy supply to cool their homes," the White House said in a statement. Detailed below are the six measures the White House is installing. Helping families in low-income rental housing pay for solar power According to the White House, for the first time, families in rental housing partially subsidized by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) will be able to connect to local community solar power, where available.It estimates that 4.5 million families will benefit, and can save 10% per year on their electric bills as a result. Low-income families in five states can get access to solar power Households participating in the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) will also connect with local solar power wherever available, in five pilot states, as well as Washington, D.C: Colorado, Illinois, New Jersey, New Mexico, and New York. The Department of Energy (DOE) estimates that households in these six locations will see over $1 billion in combined electric bill savings per year.Small rural housing authorities will make energy efficiency upgrades HUD is launching a program to help small rural housing authorities make energy efficiency upgrades intended to help those authorities save money. The authorities will then use those savings to invest in improvements at HUD-supported rental housing.Hundreds of thousands of solar jobs over the next decade The DOE will announce that $10 million in funding will be available to support new jobs in the solar industry, intended to pull talent from underrepresented groups. The funding will be pulled from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law's Advancing Equity through Workforce Partnerships  program. Award programs for solar-powered communities The White House announced the "Sunny Awards for Equitable Community Solar," $100,000 in prizes for 55 projects and programs working to increase community access to solar power. More affordable housing supply Over the next 90 days, HUD will meet with stakeholders to "highlight federal funding sources," for the purpose of supporting public facilities and increasing their energy-efficient, affordable housing supply.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: dealsSource: nytJul 27th, 2022

Transcript: Graham Weaver

     The transcript from this week’s, MiB: Graham Weaver, Alpine Investors, is below. You can stream and download our full conversation, including the podcast extras on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, Google, Bloomberg, and Acast. All of our earlier podcasts on your favorite pod hosts can be found here. ~~~ ANNOUNCER: This is Masters in Business… Read More The post Transcript: Graham Weaver appeared first on The Big Picture.      The transcript from this week’s, MiB: Graham Weaver, Alpine Investors, is below. You can stream and download our full conversation, including the podcast extras on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, Google, Bloomberg, and Acast. All of our earlier podcasts on your favorite pod hosts can be found here. ~~~ ANNOUNCER: This is Masters in Business with Barry Ritholtz on Bloomberg Radio. BARRY RITHOLTZ, HOST, MASTERS IN BUSINESS: This week on the podcast, I have an extra special guest. Graham Weaver is the founder and partner at Alpine Investors, a private equity firm, focusing on software and services. Graham has a really interesting background, both engineering at Princeton and essentially launching a PE firm while he was a graduate student at Stanford. Everybody knows the story about Michael Dell launching a computer business out of his dorm room in Texas. This could be the first PE firm I’m familiar with, that got started in a dorm room. What makes Graham so interesting is while everybody else in the world of private equity is focused on the analytics and crunching numbers and creating econometric models that will tell you where to invest, I think they’ve found a very different model that has been extremely successful for them, where the key focus is on talent. How do we find the best talent, put them in place running our investment companies and allow them to generate the sort of returns that you don’t really generate by just looking at a model? I found our conversation absolutely fascinating and I think you will also. With no further ado, my discussion with Alpine Investors’ Graham Weaver. Let’s jump right into this, starting with your background. When I hear someone has an engineering degree, I tend to think of venture capital, not private equity. Tell us a little bit how you went the PE route instead of the VC route. GRAHAM WEAVER, FOUNDER AND CEO, ALPINE INVESTORS: Well, I actually started in private equity right out of undergrad. I really didn’t know the difference between private equity or consulting, or anything. I had zero knowledge of that. And I was fortunate to end up in Morgan Stanley’s private equity group, I loved it and I’ve kind of been at it ever since. RITHOLTZ: Really interesting. So is it from Princeton to Morgan Stanley, and then Stanford, or am I getting the order right? WEAVER: Yeah. When I was at Princeton then I went to Morgan Stanley in their private equity, then I worked at a firm called American Securities for a couple years, and then went to went to business school after that. RITHOLTZ: And somewhere in the middle of this, there’s a pig farm in Missouri that I am having a hard time figuring out what a pig farm has to do with private equity. WEAVER: So the very first deal I worked on, so I come out of school, I’m wearing my Cross pen and my lapel, and I’m like wearing a tie and — RITHOLTZ: All buttoned down. WEAVER: Exactly. And I think I’m a big shot being on Wall Street, and I get shipped out to this pig farm in Missouri which was a deal Morgan Stanley had invested in. They’ve invested a total of a billion, almost a billion dollars of debt and equity, and then suffice to say was not going well. So not that I was going to go save it as a 22-year-old analyst, but I’ve got shipped out. I lived in a CFO’s basement for about five months, and we did everything we could, but it turned out not to be a great investment. RITHOLTZ: So there’s not big money in pigs? WEAVER: Well, it turns out hog prices are wildly cyclical. And you know, there’s the expression, how does a six-foot man drowned in a river that averages five feet? You know, it’s because there’s parts of the river that are deeper. Well, you know, we build our whole model on hog prices being $47 and when we then — RITHOLTZ: And that’s what they average, right? WEAVER: That’s what they average. RITHOLTZ: But that doesn’t tell you how much they swing up and down. WEAVER: It turns out — yeah, they went to $18 and we had $700 million of debt, and that didn’t — RITHOLTZ: $18? WEAVER: That didn’t go well. So yeah. RITHOLTZ: That’s the old joke. It’s not the price, it’s the volatility. WEAVER: Yeah, it was rough. But it was a — that was my introduction to the glamorous business of private equity. RITHOLTZ: And you didn’t turn around and say, “I want nothing to do with this?” WEAVER: I had the time of my life. RITHOLTZ: Really? WEAVER: It was so fun. RITHOLTZ: How was — how was sleeping in the CFO’s basement — was his house on the pig farm? WEAVER: It was. Yeah, it was. The whole entire town smelled like a pig farm and everyone — RITHOLTZ: Which was not especially delightful? WEAVER: It’s not. No, it turns out. And pretty much everyone in the town worked and had some affiliation with the pig farm. The CFO was also a Morgan Stanley guy, and he was probably 27. So neither of us had any idea — RITHOLTZ: So many years, years of experience over you? WEAVER: Yeah, yeah. Exactly. Neither of us had any clue what we were doing. But it really wouldn’t have mattered when your revenue gets cut by like 80%, there’s just not a lot you’re going to do to turn that around. RITHOLTZ: So there’s a cliche about tech firms being started in dorm rooms. How does a private equity firm start in a dorm room? WEAVER: So I show up at Stanford, and I’m in my first week of class. And then similar as today, you have to take these core classes in your first year, which are just not that — you know, they’re just fundamental. They’re not that exciting. So the first class I sit down, and there’s this 25-year-old who’s never worked a day in his life. He’s a PhD student. He’s never taught before, and he’s kind of just reciting out of this strategy book. And I just thought to myself, oh, my God, what have I signed up for? So I had this idea that I was going to go try to buy a business. And I had — you know, in your first three years as an analyst, you basically build a financial model. But I had the confidence of someone I thought I was much more — much better than I was. So I convinced an owner — I started cold calling companies in a sector that I had looked at previously, and I convinced this owner to sell me his business, and then I had to go raise the money, most of which was debt and the little bit of equity that was needed. I financed with credit cards. So that was literally how I started, not your typical private equity founding story. RITHOLTZ: How did that initial PE transaction work out? WEAVER: I did a total of three labeled deals with some add-ons, lost money on one, made money on — or lost a little bit of money on — loss — made a little bit of money on the second one. And then the third one was a total homerun, which actually just sold this year, 20 years later. So that that one turned out well. RITHOLTZ: 20 years? That’s impressive. That’s not the typical private equity holding period. WEAVER: Yeah, well, it was just me. I was the — it was just my — RITHOLTZ: So you could afford to be patient. WEAVER: And it was awesome. It was great. That one — RITHOLTZ: What space was that at? WEAVER: It was the — we had these companies that made these little labels that went on products, like for example in Trader Joe’s private labels things, we made all those labels. It’s a totally unsexy business. RITHOLTZ: Right. WEAVER: But it was very consistent and — RITHOLTZ: And it’s profitable. WEAVER: It was really profitable. And no one wakes up and says, “You know, I’m going to be a hero because I’m going to save half a cent on my label.” So it tends to kind of like just clip along like a bond. RITHOLTZ: Right. WEAVER: So it turned out — it turned out well, but I mean, I had absolutely no idea what I was doing. And so I made every mistake you can imagine. RITHOLTZ: And it still worked out. When you launched in 2001, you started with $50 million, $55 million, something like that? WEAVER: Yeah. RITHOLTZ: And now it’s up to $8 billion close to eight funds. WEAVER: Yeah. RITHOLTZ: And your most recent fund just closed about $2 billion, more or less? WEAVER: Yeah, about 2.4. Yeah. RITHOLTZ: All right. So that’s real money, 2.4. Obviously, you’re doing something right. The track record has to be attractive. Is it the same investors rolling over, or new and different investors? Who is the clientele for this? WEAVER: In the very early days, it was a number of individuals because no institution was going to back — RITHOLTZ: Right. Well, you have to have a certain track record, be around for certain length of period, be able to check all of their due diligence boxes, and that takes time and money. WEAVER: Yeah. And I checked zero of those boxes. RITHOLTZ: Right. Dorm room, check. What else? What else we got? WEAVER: Yeah. Track record. RITHOLTZ: How old is he? 22? WEAVER: No. RITHOLTZ: Sure. Let’s write him a big check. WEAVER: Exactly. I checked no boxes. And that took me like almost a year to figure out. I went to all these institutions and I never got past the first meeting anywhere. And then I found a number — really two individuals who, thank God, I still owe everything to these two. One, I don’t know if I can — RITHOLTZ: Sure. You can say whatever you like. WEAVER: So, one was Tom Steyer, who ran for president. RITHOLTZ: Oh, sure. WEAVER: He was one of the early ones. And then Doug Martin from the Stephens family. And they were just the two best investors you could ever have. They were supportive. And most importantly, they were supportive after Fund I which was not a good fund. So that’s the reason we’re still in business today. RITHOLTZ: Why not good fund, just performance wise, or was it — because when you launch in ’01, we’re still in the early days of a massive downfall in technology, media, Internet straight across the board. Not — you know, it’s not — unless it’s a distressed fund, that’s not the ideal time to launch. WEAVER: Yeah. I would love to say that it was the market, but it wasn’t. It was self-inflicted. RITHOLTZ: Yeah. WEAVER: It was me making a lot of dumb mistakes, being overconfident, you know, and just investing in companies that looked great in the spreadsheet and didn’t — what looks great in the spreadsheet is low purchase price and a lot of leverage. That looks — always looks good in a spreadsheet, but the — RITHOLTZ: Leverage is the problem. WEAVER: The qualitative — yeah, the leverage is the problem and the qualitative things about is it a quality business? Those things you can’t model in a spreadsheet. And so, I just made a lot of dumb mistakes. And actually the whole fund, overall, lost money. I would highly, Barry, not recommend having your first fund when you launched and lose money. It was a — RITHOLTZ: Probably not the best long-term strategy? WEAVER: Yeah. It was anchored around our neck for pretty much a decade. RITHOLTZ: So that raises the question, if the first fund was a bit of a stiff, how did you raise money for the second fund? WEAVER: Well, thankfully, we were — I really communicated a lot with Doug and Tom, and they understood. They could see us getting better. You know, they could see us making a lot of improvements, fixing a lot of the things that we got wrong. And both of them were pretty seasoned investors, both of them had had mistakes they’ve made before. And so they, you know, thank God, were really supportive. And then it wasn’t like immediately we started knocking out of the park either, but we started getting better and better. And then really around the time of the recession was when we really completely transformed and became kind of the business that we are today. RITHOLTZ: And it’s a little bit of a cliche, they’re not so much investing in a fund as they’re investing in you as the manager. Obviously, they saw something that was, “Hey, needs a little seasoning, but there’s a lot of potential here.” WEAVER: Yeah. They saw someone who was willing to literally run through walls and run through a burning building to make it work, and I almost literally did. I mean, it was that — we were — and not just me, but our whole team was really committed to try and make it work, and I think they saw that. RITHOLTZ: Quite interesting. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) RITHOLTZ: I have to talk a little bit about your growth rate. You began with $54 million. All-in, you’re $8 billion in assets totally. Obviously, a lot of that is not just growth, but new investors coming along. But still that’s a — as a PE company, Alpine has really seen quite a corporate growth trajectory. Tell us what led to this success rate. WEAVER: Yeah. So when the recession hit, we were in — we were not well positioned. We didn’t — RITHOLTZ: Now, when you say recession — WEAVER: Yeah. RITHOLTZ: — because some of our audience is, you know, older than 25, I’m assuming you mean, ’08. ’09, the financial crisis? WEAVER: ’08. ‘0. RITHOLTZ: Okay. WEAVER: Yes. RITHOLTZ: Not the one in 2020. WEAVER: Right. RITHOLTZ: And not the one that maybe happened sometime in 2022 and certainly not 2000. WEAVER: That’s right. RITHOLTZ: So the great financial crisis — WEAVER: So great financial crisis happens. We were — we invested the last dollar from our third fund two weeks before — two weeks before Lehman Brothers blew up. RITHOLTZ: Wow. WEAVER: And so we were out of money and we had — it took us forever to raise the next fund. But that period, where we didn’t have any money, turned out to be the most important period for us. RITHOLTZ: Why? WEAVER: Because we started deciding we were going to look at our own business, you know, kind of like rather than working in the business, we’re going to start working on our business. So I hired an executive coach — RITHOLTZ: Really? WEAVER: — and he helped — he really helped me kind of redefine the business that I truly was in, which I’ll come back to. We hired a consulting and coaching firm for our whole organization. And so, we really started doing some soul-searching for lack of a better word. And then — and from that, we really, you know, changed our strategy and developed kind of a new playbook. RITHOLTZ: So let me interrupt you there because that you raise something that I’m fascinated by. So first, what leads you to say, “We need a pro to come in and show us how to do this?” And second, how do you even go about finding an executive coach? That sounds like, man, that’s a consulting field fraught with, you know, let’s be polite and just say high risks. WEAVER: Yeah. It’s a great question. And I am a huge fan of executive coaching. I’ve had a coach since 2009. RITHOLTZ: Wow. WEAVER: I talk to a coach every week or every other week since ’09. RITHOLTZ: No kidding? WEAVER: And we, at Alpine, have 23 coaches that are part of our — they’re 1099 folks, but they’re part of our ecosystem that’s available to our people at Alpine and our executive. So I’m just a huge fan of coaching. And basically what I love about coaching is you create space away from the busyness of the day to day. You ask yourself a bunch of really important questions. You know, what do I want? What success look like? What do I want in — what does a five-year plan look like? And you actually have to really burn some energy and some thinking time, thinking about those answers, which are really hard answers, which most of us never spend time thinking about. RITHOLTZ: Was it just in the midst of the crash and recession that you said, “Hey, maybe we just need a little help. We’re not — we don’t have the professional background to run the business. We know the investing side, but the business side is something very different.” How did you get to that — WEAVER: Yeah, 100%. I mean, I think one of the benefits of phase planning in your first fund is that you get some humility. RITHOLTZ: Right. WEAVER: And you — I’ve always just been open to learning from people that are smarter and better than I am. And so, coaching was an exercise — back then in 2009, it was not very well known and it was definitely an exercise in humility of saying, “I think I need some help.” RITHOLTZ: That’s the old joke. Experience is what you get when you don’t get what you want, right? WEAVER: Yeah. Exactly. Yeah. RITHOLTZ: So once you make the decision, “Hey, we want to bring in a professional to show us ways to improve our business methods,” how does one go about finding a business coach? WEAVER: So I had an introduction from a friend and then we had a number of lunches, and his business wasn’t going well in ’09 either, as you could imagine, so — RITHOLTZ: Well, who’s on — and other than people doing distressed debt investing, whose business was going great in ’08? WEAVER: Yeah. Exactly. Nobody. So — RITHOLTZ: Then in short sellers, everybody else was in trouble. WEAVER: So we had this awesome conversation. I can still — it’s one of these conversations you can still remember where you are and what you — you know, exactly the moment. So we had — this is actually after I brought him on. We have this awesome conversation where I said, “Hey, I have to” — his name is JP Flaum, and I said, “Hey, I have to cancel our coaching engagement. I’m just too busy,” which was like we’ve already decided ahead of time that that was no go. I had to stick with the — we made an agreement. RITHOLTZ: Right. WEAVER: So he texts back immediately says, “No, we’re having it.” So I get on the phone, he says, “Well, what’s — you know what’s so crazy that you’re so stressed?” I said, “Oh, my God, JP, you know, I got to fly to Dallas and fix this. And then I got to — you know, we got to deal we’re about to lose and then we lost a huge customer in Chicago. And then I got to go to D.C.” and then, you know I’m going on and on. And he said, “Okay, well, let’s kind of slow down and chill out. Let’s talk about Dallas. What’s going on there?” “Well, we — you know, we just missed our bank projections a second time,” and I’m going on and on. And he starts saying, “Well, tell me about the CEO in Dallas.” I’m like, “What does that have to do with anything? You know, we’re in the middle of the Great Recession,” like, blah, blah, blah. You know, it’s not — you know, it’s the markets or whatever. Anyway, it comes to points, he says — well, eventually, he says, “Well, how would you — how would you rate that CEO, you know, A, B, C?” I was like, “Oh, he’s probably a B.” He said, “Well, Graham, in one of our engagements, you said you wanted to build the greatest private equity firm of all time. Are you going to — are you going to do that with a B CEO?” And I just — it like hit me between the eyes. And then he asked me another question, he said, “And Graham, if you’re someone who keeps a B CEO” — RITHOLTZ: What does that make you? WEAVER: — “how would you rate yourself as a CEO?” RITHOLTZ: Right. WEAVER: and I just — like, it stopped me dead in my tracks. And that was really this light bulb that went off, that ended up having us — having me realize I’m actually in the talent business. That’s the fundamental business that I’m really in. And that was like ’09 that we came to that realization, and then started completely redesigning our firm to like build our companies around talent, build our firm around talent, build our investment strategy around talent. So that was just a huge turning point. RITHOLTZ: So let’s talk about that because all of your investments eventually get a CEO that’s been trained at Alpine and has the benefit of all of this coaching, all of this training, all of this expertise. It’s not that you’re just looking for attractive balance sheets, it’s where can we put someone in charge to move the needle by taking our expertise and applying it to this business model. Is that what you mean by when you say, you’re in the talent business? WEAVER: Yeah. I think that’s what I mean. There are two parts of it. One is our investment strategy, which is what you described the others, how we run our own firm. But sticking with what you were talking about, Barry, the investment strategy, we found that the single most important investment decision we make is the management team. And it’s more important than the price we pay. It’s more important than the leverage levels. It’s more important than the prior growth rate. And so, we just said, “Well, if that’s really the most correlated, most effective, or most important criteria, you know, let’s make sure we get that right. And so let’s actually kind of build our own CEOs and put our own CEOs in so that we can make sure that we’re getting a world-class person to run each one of our companies.” RITHOLTZ: So in some ways, this is almost parallel in the public markets to activist investing, where they identify a very attractive business that isn’t quite living up to potential, right? WEAVER: Yeah. RITHOLTZ: And they say, “Hey, with a few management changes, we can turn this into a really good business.” On the private equity side, I’m assuming the conversation is something like, “We want to either buy 30%, 40% of your business or your entire business. But regardless, we want one of our professionals to come in and manage it.” WEAVER: Yeah, that’s right. A lot of the companies we’re buying don’t have management. You know, it might be a corporate carve-out. It might be a management team that wants to retire, or exit. And that’s great. So there’s never any conflict. We’re totally transparent. We’re not doing hostile deals, nothing like that. It’s always the transaction that the seller wants to do is they want to retire. So it’s always very friendly. But we — there aren’t a lot of private equity firms that want to go through the process of changing management because it’s very, very hard to do. RITHOLTZ: And that’s the value add that you guys bring. WEAVER: That’s a big part of it. Yeah. RITHOLTZ: Yeah. That’s really quite fascinating. So there’s a quote of yours I have to lead with, which I find really intriguing quote, “People create returns, not deals, not price.” That’s a huge statement, considering most of the analyst community, especially private equity, is so analytical and modern driven. You’re saying this is a people business. WEAVER: Yeah, 100%, Barry. I think that if you want to do something different than people, you have to have some fundamental belief that’s different than what other people believe. And our belief is that returns come from people. They come from talent. And I think maybe one of the reasons why people shy away from that is it’s hard to analyze, it doesn’t fit in a spreadsheet, and it’s incredibly hard to manage. It’s a lot easier to manage the hard numbers, the financial statements and things than it is to, you know, really manage a team of people. RITHOLTZ: So we were talking earlier that you appoint the CEO at these purchased businesses that you’ve trained yourself. Tell us a little bit about what that in-house training looks like. WEAVER: So a lot of the CEOs we’re hiring, we’re bringing right out of MBA programs, and they have five years of experience typically before they go into business school. And that could be anything, that could be they’re in the military. They could have been in consulting firm. They could have been in investment banking. And we have success with any of those — any and all those backgrounds. So — and they’ve just been in two years of business school, so we don’t want to put them back in business school. But what we’re really teaching them, the fundamental thing we’re teaching them is how to hire, how to build their team, how to set a vision, how to create priorities, how to get everyone in their organization excited and aligned behind what they’re trying to do. Those are things that not a lot of business schools teach. It’s one of the things I try to teach in my class, but it’s something that we bring in — it’s the biggest thing we bring in that training program that we do. RITHOLTZ: Hiring has been described as the most difficult aspect of building a company versus everything else. WEAVER: 100%. RITHOLTZ: How do you teach good hiring? WEAVER: You can actually, to some extent, make hiring a science. And the simple — I could talk for you — I could talk for three hours about this, but I’ll try to do it in about two minutes, which is you build a scorecard for what you want that role — in that role, a specific list of outcomes you want that role to do. And then as you’re assessing a candidate, you’re looking for very specific evidence that they’re going to be able to perform against that scorecard. And you have two things, you’re looking for attributes and experience. Those are the two different parts of the interview process. RITHOLTZ: But we all know what experience is. Define what attributes mean. WEAVER: So attribute is about who somebody is versus what they’ve done. So an example for us, when we’re hiring young people to become CEOs, we’re looking at, you know, do they have a will to win? Do they have emotional intelligence and self-awareness that they can get along with people? And then did they have grit? Can they — are they going to be able to see things through after getting kicked in the teeth, because they’re going to get kicked in the teeth. So those are the three attributes that we’re looking for. Those are wildly more important than experience, because they’ll get experienced quickly. And you can teach experience, you can’t teach those three things. You can’t teach, you know, the will to win. They’re kind of coming to us with that or not. RITHOLTZ: That’s an — that’s an intrinsic aspect of the personality. You either have it or you don’t. There’s no way you’re going to learn that. WEAVER: Not in a period of time, or we don’t know how to teach it if it is writable. RITHOLTZ: Right. WEAVER: Yeah. RITHOLTZ: Really, really interesting. So you mentioned your class, let’s talk about the management course that seems to be related to that, CEOs-in-Training. Tell us about that. WEAVER: Yeah. So the CEO-in-Training is the — that’s the name for the people that we’re hiring. Did you want to talk about that, or the class itself? RITHOLTZ: Both, either/or. WEAVER: Okay. All right. So the CEO-in-Training is the name we give to those people we’re hiring right out of business school. We’re giving them that experience — training that I mentioned, and then we’re putting them right in. A lot of them are CEOs on day one of add-on acquisitions, and they get the reins and they’re — you know, they’re off to the races. And you know, there aren’t a lot of positions out of business school that you can become a CEO within — you know, right when you graduate. So we’re — we’ve designed that and it’s been — it’s been a homerun. We — I underestimated how amazing these students would do and the roles that they’ve done. And it’s been fantastic. RITHOLTZ: Do you end up hiring people right out of your classes or — WEAVER: Yeah. I mean, I don’t — RITHOLTZ: So this is really devious recruitment. WEAVER: I don’t interview anybody from Stanford, period. I don’t even know if they applied. I keep a wall between — RITHOLTZ: Right. WEAVER: — you know, my teaching and recruiting. But I will say probably teaching there has helped the Alpine brand. RITHOLTZ: Sure. WEAVER: And helped me — and more importantly, helped me understand what students are capable of, which is a lot, and what they want, which is they want to be the boss right away. And I think — so it’s helped — it helped me learn a little bit more about how to build a program that the students want to actually do. RITHOLTZ: So one of the things the CIT program does is to try and increase underrepresented individuals in PE. Tell us a little bit about what diversity does for your business. WEAVER: Yeah. Well, it’s awesome what we can do. If you — the great thing about hiring for attributes over experience is that we can actually have a huge impact on diversity. So for example, if I said we’re hiring a CEO to run a healthcare software business and our criteria is they have to have done it for 20 years. RITHOLTZ: Right. WEAVER: Then I’m — that battle has been won or lost 20 years ago. RITHOLTZ: Right. WEAVER: Yeah. I could hire someone who’s a diverse candidate from one of my competitors, but I haven’t really created any value. If I hire someone right out of business school, let’s just use women as an example and that woman wouldn’t have necessarily seen a path to become a CEO, and I can provide her a clear path, then I can actually increase the number of women that become CEOs, which is exactly what we’ve done. We have over 50% of our CEOs-in-Training that we’ve hired have been women. About 30% to 35% have been underrepresented minorities. And so we have — we can have a — we can really move the dial on creating more diversity in CEO ranks. RITHOLTZ: That’s really kind of interesting. Let’s talk a little bit about software and services, why focus on those areas in particular? WEAVER: So one of the things that we figured out, which probably took us way too long to figure out, is if you buy recurring revenue, there’s just a lot fewer things that go wrong. So we’re not unique in focusing on recurring revenue, but that we turn the dial in around that Great Recession time, and decided that was all we were going to do. RITHOLTZ: And so it’s less focused on winning that one big sale and it’s more about building a business that has a fairly steady revenue stream? WEAVER: That’s right. And then if you marry that with what I was saying before, about putting young people to run them, recurring revenue is really helpful because in the first year, they have a big learning curve. And you — RITHOLTZ: Right. WEAVER: You know, they — we need them to have a little bit of a cushion for them to get up to speed. So recurring revenue helps a ton because it does take a little while to learn how to be a CEO. RITHOLTZ: That’s really interesting. Software obviously has been really hot over the past couple of years. Any chance that that changes or slows down, or is software just the driver of the future? WEAVER: I mean, I think software is the driver of the future. And I think anything, even the driver of the future can get overpriced. RITHOLTZ: Sure. WEAVER: And you can overpay for any asset. And I think in the last few years, you know, people have gotten a little ahead of themselves with some of the multiples that were paid. But I don’t think that changes fundamentally that I think software — you know, software is here for a long time and it’s got a lot of really exciting trends. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) RITHOLTZ: I’m going to ask you a question. I’m going to have you put this back earlier in the hiring discussion because I missed something and I want to come back to it. You’ve discussed episodic versus programmatic hiring. Explain the difference between the two. WEAVER: Yeah, great question. So I might have made up those two terms, but — RITHOLTZ: Well, that’s why it jumped out at me. I don’t know what either those things are. I have to ask that question. WEAVER: I think I did make them up, but — so episodic hiring is what everyone does. Okay. We need a — RITHOLTZ: We have an opening. WEAVER: Yeah. RITHOLTZ: Fill this — go to LinkedIn — WEAVER: Exactly. RITHOLTZ: — put out an ad, get me somebody here. WEAVER: Exactly. Or yeah, we’ll hire Russell Reynolds to get us a CFO, whatever. That’s how everyone hires. That is two problems — well, a number of problems. One is it’s slow, and two is it’s expensive. And three is it actually doesn’t even work that well. Like, the hit rate is pretty low. The hit rate across the board in hiring statistically is about 50%, but that’s measured as are they still there in three years? Not this they — were they successful? So it’s even worse than that. So that’s the problem with episodic hiring. So programmatic hiring is you’re going to hire the same role a lot, and so how do you make that more of a program? So for example, you know, we’re hiring 17 people from business schools that start next month, or we’re hiring 27 undergrads to be interns who will matriculate into full time roles. And so, there’s a group of people that are graduating. You can kind of have a class of folks. You can give them way more training. You can build a whole program using the — to use the programmatic term around that, and it’s just a lot more effective. That’s two roles that we do at Alpine, the CEOs-in-Training and then the analysts. But then in our companies, you know, in some cases, that’s engineers, technicians, where that’s their recurring hire that they’re doing. And we’re helping them build programs to start with people who don’t know how to do those functions, and bring them up, you know, through training to learn those. RITHOLTZ: Really quite interesting. WEAVER: And you can scale — you can just scale a lot better, and you have a way higher hit rate doing that. RITHOLTZ: So you’re constantly maintaining a pool of either potential hires or actual employees that you’re waiting to promote? WEAVER: Absolutely. Yeah. RITHOLTZ: Before we get into the current market environment for private equity, I have to circle back to you teaching at Stanford, at the graduate school, tell us a little bit about the courses you teach and what students learn. WEAVER: So I teach two courses there. I teach — they’re both — they’re both basically similar. One is for first years, and one is for second years, but they’re both centered around entrepreneurship. And the idea of the courses is that there’s lots of classes on analysis and accounting and finance; and there aren’t a lot of classes around how to actually manage people, lead people. And I’m talking the nitty-gritty stuff of literally like what to say, if you have to fire someone. My students have to rule — my students will say, “Oh, I would just fire that person.” I said, “Okay, great. I’ll be them and you tell me.” RITHOLTZ: Right. Fire me. WEAVER: Fire me, and then they have to do it and they realize — RITHOLTZ: It’s harder than it looks. WEAVER: It’s a lot harder than it looks. So they’ll say — RITHOLTZ: That’s why people just cheat and send email. He’s so mortified. WEAVER: Yeah. That would not be something we teach. We do not — we not teach people to send an email. RITHOLTZ: So tell us about the role-playing. What does that — WEAVER: So we — so the student will actually play the protagonist in the case, and I’ll play the antagonist for lack of a better word of the other characters. And then they’ll fire me, or they’ll have to demote me, or they’ll have to tell me that they no longer want to be my partner, or whatever the situation is that they’re trying to get through. And then we’ll play around with it. And they’ll realize, you know, some things they do right, some things they do poorly. And then the entrepreneur about whom we’ve written the case is in the class, and so then they’ll chime in and say, “Well, wow, this is — you did this this way, this is why I didn’t do that,” or “I wish I would have done it that way. Instead, I did this.” So it’s a really — it’s a really, really fun class. It’s — and it’s something that they don’t get anywhere else where they actually have to kind of implement the stuff they’re talking about. RITHOLTZ: So aside from firing, what else do you teach them? WEAVER: So everything, we actually teach a lot on hiring. We have whole modules and playbooks and videos and things I’ve made and we do a class on that, which is really important. We talk about complex partnership issues, things with your board. They have to sell stuff. They have to fundraise, how to make an offense and defense deck to sell — to sell something, you know, a whole list of basically things that entrepreneurs are going to have to face in their life. RITHOLTZ: Really intriguing. I have to imagine having been a graduate student at Stanford, it’s deeply satisfying teaching there. WEAVER: It’s a blast. I started off as a case guest, where they wrote a case about me buying stuff in my dorm room, and I was a case guest and I kept — I would come home all energized. And it was my favorite day of the year. And then when the — Irv Grousbeck, who wrote the case about me, who’s a legend at Stanford, when he — he called me one day and said, “Hey, you know, I’m going to stop teaching this class, would you want to teach in?” And my first response was, “No, I have a job, you know, and I can’t,” but I didn’t say that. I said, “Hey, I’ll think about it.” And then, thankfully, everyone I was around was like, “Graham, you have to do this. And it’s your favorite thing you do.” And we figured out a way to make it work. So it’s a blast. RITHOLTZ: That sounds like — that sounds like it’s a lot of fun. WEAVER: One more thing I would just add is what I realized after a few years is I’ll teach students all about entrepreneurship, and we have this great class. And then they go take a job, you know, in consulting or investment banking; they never become entrepreneurs, even though that was what they wrote their essay about and that was what they’re excited about. So I added to the class a whole part on, okay, wait a second, what is it you really want to do with your life? You know, what’s holding you back? How’d you make a plan to go do that? What are your limiting beliefs? What are the things — what are your fears? So we have a whole thread, probably 25% of the class is on those things because I’m like what’s the point of teaching people to be entrepreneurs if they don’t become entrepreneurs? RITHOLTZ: Right. WEAVER: So I’ve invested a lot into, like, personal growth. And that’s a really, really fun part of us, too. RITHOLTZ: Are any of those skill sets transferable to consultants who arguably — WEAVER: Oh, 100%, a 100%. RITHOLTZ: — they’ll be working with other entrepreneurs and maybe haven’t been exposed? WEAVER: Yeah, a 100%. It wasn’t so much that I have anything against consulting, it was just that the student at the beginning of the class said, “My goal is to do X, and then they don’t do X.” That was all. RITHOLTZ: So tell us a little bit about your approach, what’s your process like to finding a potential acquisition target. And since we look at both private and public markets, what do you think of in terms of valuation? How do you come up with a number? WEAVER: Yeah. Yeah, great questions. We have a large team that looks for potential companies. We have actually 52 people at Alpine and in our portfolio companies that are looking for deals. RITHOLTZ: 52? WEAVER: 52. RITHOLTZ: So that’s a lot of people. WEAVER: Yeah. RITHOLTZ: How big is the firm overall? WEAVER: Overall, if you include the CEOs-in-Training and we have — RITHOLTZ: And your 1099 consultants. WEAVER: We probably have roughly 200. RITHOLTZ: All right, so that’s a — WEAVER: Yeah. RITHOLTZ: That’s a decent size. WEAVER: The 52 also includes a number of people that are working at the company who’s doing sourcing, but they’re doing the same thing. They’re calling companies, looking for investments. So we have 52 people looking for deals, and then a lot of those conversations are directly with founders. And what we’re trying to do is figure out — the way we think about it is we can pay a price, that we can hit our target returns, which I can’t talk about on, you know — RITHOLTZ: Right. WEAVER: But if we can hit our target — RITHOLTZ: We all have compliance departments. WEAVER: So we can pay a price so we could hit our target returns with like a 70% base case. And then we need there to be a lot more upside to that than downside. So we want there to be like a case where we could hit many multiples of our target returns. And so based on that, we kind of back into a price. And then where we get in trouble or where things get turned down at Investment Committee is when everything in the world has to go perfectly to hit that target. RITHOLTZ: Right. WEAVER: Because I’ve been in this business for 28 years, and when you start pricing in perfection, that’s a time when you realize you’re overpaying. RITHOLTZ: Right. WEAVER: So that’s — it’s that 70% probability and less a margin of safety thing that you really — as someone who’s like a little bit more senior at our firm, I have to bring that to the discussions. RITHOLTZ: Yeah. That perfect 10 stuck at landing, those are the outliers. You certainly can’t rely on that. WEAVER: Exactly. You can’t underwrite to that, for sure. RITHOLTZ: Yeah. So when you look at this macro environment, it seems to be pretty supportive of economic expansion generally. How closely do you pay attention to things like, hey, the Fed is raising rates pretty rapidly, maybe they’re going to cause a recession next year? WEAVER: We pay attention to it to some extent. If you go back to the ’08 crisis — RITHOLTZ: Now, that’s a recession. WEAVER: Yeah. And we’re just in a very different position. I think we’re way underbuilt on housing. So you know, I don’t see — RITHOLTZ: Wildly. WEAVER: Wildly underbuilt on housing, so I don’t see — you know, I don’t see things happen — you know, crashing there. I think we have — the consumer isn’t as leveraged as they were back in 2008. Businesses aren’t as leveraged as they were. I just think it’s a lot healthier. On the flip side, we also don’t have — the Fed can’t print money like they did in ’08 because of inflation. But I think, generally, it just feels like we’re a lot healthier than we were back then. RITHOLTZ: Right. You’re singing my song. I’m in the exact same place. I’m kind of perplexed by all the recession chatter. I mean, what are we? 27, 28 million new jobs in this year? That’s not what you usually see. Although, to be fair, some past recessions, we were creating jobs right until the moment it stopped and the bottom dropped out. But you know, it really depends on how aggressive the powers that you’re going to get about inflation. So here’s the question related to that in ’08, ’09, let’s say the naysayers are right and the end of this year or 2023, we see something more than just a mild shallow recession, we see a real recession. How does that affect the companies you look at? And do you start doing, for lack of a better phrase, distressed private equity investing? WEAVER: You know, I think that what we’ve been trying to do over the last 14 years is underwrite companies that would do well in a recession. So hopefully, we’re going to — our company is going to hold up well in that time. In terms of what we look for, it does open up the door when — you know, when there is a recession, there’s a lot more different things that are for sale at different prices. And I think one of the great assets is if you have a whole team of managers that you can put in to run distressed things, you have a lot of options open to what you can look at. So there — you know, there will be a lot more interesting things to do with, you know, if that happens. Certainly, we don’t wish that on the economy. RITHOLTZ: On anybody else. And then, finally, I have to ask about the way you score software companies and services companies, you use a metric. I really am not familiar with eNPS. Can you tell us a little bit about that? WEAVER: Yeah. So I think in general, that there are leading indicators and lagging indicators. Lagging indicator is revenue EBITDA. Those are lagging indicators. But yet, a lot of managers, they try to manage to lagging indicators. It’s like — and that’s just not very effective. So what we try to do is develop what are the leading indicators that are going to predict success. And the number one most important leading indicator, you’re not going to be surprised to hear me say, is talent. So if you tell me, “I’m on the board of your business, and we’re starting to build the world-class management team, I can tell you in two years, we’ll have a homerun investment.” So one of those leading — two of those leading indicators related to talent are employee net promoter score, which is the eNPS. RITHOLTZ: Meaning how employees rate their employee? WEAVER: Exactly. Yeah. Would they — would they recommend this company to a friend? And we measure that every quarter for every one of our companies. We measure it at Alpine. We measure it for a whole bunch of different groups within Alpine. And then retention is the other big one. So if we can be managing those and getting those right, those are leading indicators that are going to help us set up, you know, the revenue EBITDA that come later. And those are hard things to manage. Getting those metrics right takes a lot of work. That’s actually where I spend most of my time at Alpine, believe it or not, is making sure that we’re creating an environment where the best people want to be and stay. And most people again in the finance world, they don’t think about kind of squishy, soft metrics like that, but they should be. RITHOLTZ: Well, because they have a really outsized impact on the performance of a company. WEAVER: Absolutely. That’s my view is they have — they have the biggest impact. RITHOLTZ: And my last question before I get to our favorite questions we ask all our guests, so a little bit of a curveball, you are a captain on a national championship rowing team. WEAVER: I was. Yeah. RITHOLTZ: Tell us about that. WEAVER: So — RITHOLTZ: You look like you row. WEAVER: So I came to college not even knowing anything about rowing. I didn’t even know that the boats went backwards till I got in a boat. RITHOLTZ: Well, it’s not that they’re going backwards. It’s just that you’re facing backwards. WEAVER: Exactly. Yeah. I didn’t even know that. So I started as a novice, I walked on the team. And it seemed like everyone else on the team had rowed before, so I was horrible, absolutely horrible. I got cut, and then just kept kind of — and so there’s a funny story where the coach says, “Okay, these are the people who are going to boats. The rest of you are, quote, “land warriors.” And you’re a land warrior means you go on the rowing machines. And so that night when he kind of posted the boats and I wasn’t in the boat, he said, “All right.” So I did this calculus, and I’m like, okay, well, gosh, all the land warriors are going to show up before class. You know, classes — first class is at 9:00. So they’re going to show up at 8:00, but — so I got to show up at 7:00. No, no, no, everyone is going to think that, so I’ll show up at 6:00. So I show up the next morning, zero people. And one of the guys is like, “Hey, idiot, land warrior is another way to say you got cut.” But I still stayed as a land warrior, and kept getting better at — getting my Erg times better and better over time. And it was one of the greatest things I ever did. I had a great time and — RITHOLTZ: And when were they national champions? WEAVER: My senior year, I was — RITHOLTZ: So by then, you’re on the team? WEAVER: By my — yeah, by my senior year, I was pulling one of the best Erg times in the nation at the rowing machine — RITHOLTZ: Erg time? WEAVER: On the concept to rowing machine like you see in the gym, they actually have a standard test, which is 2000 meters which you submit, you know, nationally. And by my senior year, I had one of and maybe a few times the number one Erg time in the country, and I was elected captain by my teammates of our team. And then that year, we were supposed to have a rebuilding year because we lost all these seniors and we actually won the whole thing. RITHOLTZ: That’s amazing. WEAVER: So it was awesome. RITHOLTZ: Wow. That’s really amazing. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) RITHOLTZ: Let’s jump to our favorite questions that we ask all of our guests, starting with what kept you entertained during the pandemic lockdown? Tell us what you were streaming. WEAVER: I went on this whole Buddhist thing during the pandemic and I started reading a lot about Buddhism and streaming Buddhism, and it was — it was amazing. RITHOLTZ: Meditating or — WEAVER: Meditating and just kind of learning about Buddhism, and you know, why we all suffer and how to — you know, how all these thoughts we have in our head, our own imagination. And I went on this whole kick during the pandemic, which was phenomenal. I highly recommend it. And basically, the concept is that your reality is going through a filter. And everything that’s happened externally, you’re telling yourself a story about what that means, and whether that’s good, or whether that’s bad. And that that’s really — your reality isn’t what’s happening, it’s the story you’re telling yourself and that you have complete control over that story. RITHOLTZ: Right. That’s the classic narrative fallacy. WEAVER: Yeah, that’s the narrative fallacy. And that’s kind of the fundamental premise of Buddhism, which is your suffering is coming, not from what’s happening, but the story you’re telling yourself. So I went on this long, you know, meditating and reading, and kind of journaling about that. And that was — that was a lot of fun. RITHOLTZ: So the — we had this old joke about, we had a softball team here over in Central Park and we had the Buddhists playing the stoics and the game never finished. Everybody just sat down instead of having a long conversation. But I’m right there with you. You mentioned your — two of your mentors, who were some of your earliest investors. Are there anybody else you want to mention as mentors? The professor at Stanford you referred to also. WEAVER: Yeah. I’ll — both of those, Tom Steyer. Doug Martin and Irv Grousbeck were super important in my life. I’ll talk about Irv. He is probably if you had — there’s probably literally, Barry, a hundred people you could have on this podcast that would list Irv as one of their most important people. RITHOLTZ: Really? WEAVER: Yeah. RITHOLTZ: Wow. WEAVER: He a professor at Stanford and just, you know, makes time for folks. He built an incredible business. And he just has this, you know, unwavering moral code. He was an early investor. He’s the one who asked me to teach at Stanford. And I just — I just find the way he set up his life and his — just the way he treats other people, you’re always the most important person in the world when you’re with him. And so, I’ve definitely learned a lot from him. RITHOLTZ: Really interesting. Let’s talk about books. What are some of your favorites and what are you reading currently? WEAVER: I — it’s funny, I ended up rereading like the same 10 books. In terms of my favorites, I read — I have some I read currently too, but “Good to Great,” Warren Buffett’s Biography “Snowball,” Steve Jobs biography by Isaacson, Walt Disney’s biography by Neal Gabler, “Switch” by Dan and Chip Heath, “Made to Stick” by Dan and Chip Heath, Buffett’s annual letters. Like, those are like — I reread those and every time I reread them, I get kind of reenergized. And we’ve modeled a lot of our business and a lot of my life around some of the things I learned in some of those books. And a lot of those required reading and help. RITHOLTZ: I can imagine. What are you reading currently? WEAVER: And right now, I started getting on this Brene Brown kick. I don’t know if you’ve read some of her stuff, but “The Gifts of Imperfection” I’m reading right now, which is just phenomenal. She is — I actually downloaded it on Audible so I get to hear her talk about it. But she has just this incredible way of talking about things that other people don’t talk about, like shame and how to — how to deal with the things you’re not good at, and how to be intellectually honest and admit when you don’t know things. And she’s — I love her work. RITHOLTZ: What’s the title of the book you’re reading currently? WEAVER: “The Gift of Imperfection.” RITHOLTZ: It sounds really — WEAVER: Yeah, it’s phenomenal. It’s phenomenal. RITHOLTZ: Before I forget, just as an aside and you could edit this out. So I went to law school with a guy named Lawrence Cunningham, who was the first person who recognized, hey, all these letters from Warren Buffett, they’re really fascinating, deep stuff. He bound them. WEAVER: Yeah. I bought that book. I own that book. RITHOLTZ: That book has been like a perennial bestseller. WEAVER: Yeah. RITHOLTZ: And it’s — you know, the old joke about the two economists walking down the street. One says, “Is that a $100 bill on the floor?” And the other says, “No, if it was a $100 bill, someone would have picked it up.” It’s the same theme with that. WEAVER: He picked it up. Yeah. RITHOLTZ: These have been around for literally — WEAVER: Yeah. RITHOLTZ: I mean, I think he first started in like ‘90 or ‘92, something like that. And Buffett had been around for 30 years by then already, or 25 years, nobody had thought of doing that. WEAVER: And you know what, like, it doesn’t matter if it’s crypto or software valuations or the Internet. The stuff Buffett writes about is still the right stuff. RITHOLTZ: Fundamental common sense, block and tackling. WEAVER: You’re going to discount the cash flows back and decide what you can pay. You’re going to put a premium on the discount rate if the stuff is a lot more uncertain. It’s this — it is exactly the right formula today and it was 50 years ago, and it will be 50 years from now. And anytime that there’s something new, where people says this time, it’s different, you should be really skeptical. RITHOLTZ: Always. All right. Our final two questions, what sort of advice would you give to a recent college or business school graduate interested in a career in private equity? WEAVER: Well, I’ll start with the first part, just general advice, and then I’ll go the private equity. But, you know, as you can imagine, I actually give this advice all the time teaching. But the first thing that I think a lot of people graduating don’t ask is like, what they — what do I want? What is five years from now, 10 years from now, if I could — if I knew I wasn’t going to fail, what would I want to do with my life? And they can start with that question. And then start working backwards from that about what job you should take now and next year and five years from now. Instead, a lot of people just think, “Oh, these firms are interviewing on campus, and I’ll go here, I’ll go here.” And that’s okay. But if you know where you want to be 10 years from now, it will inform which firm you go to work and what skills you’re trying to acquire. So I think — I think that would be my advice is like, in 10 years, you will — you can do almost anything you set your mind to and so give yourself permission to really answer that question, what do I want to do in 10 years? RITHOLTZ: Why does it matter if you quote, “know you wouldn’t fail?” WEAVER: Yeah. RITHOLTZ: Just to open the set of possibilities or — WEAVER: Because — yeah, I always frame it as if you knew you wouldn’t fail, what would you do? Because without that, people already jumped to, “I can’t do this,” like subconsciously in the mind. RITHOLTZ: Fear of failure, is that big really? WEAVER: Fear of failure is so powerful. RITHOLTZ: Even amongst really high performing talent — WEAVER: I think it’s even — RITHOLTZ: I mean, Stanford graduate students, I have to think that’s the cream of the crop out there. WEAVER: In some ways, it’s almost more prevalent because they have had so much success, and they don’t — you know, they have this incredible track record. But I would say the number one thing that Stanford Business School students or really just about anyone in the world, it’s the same thing, which is their subconscious mind defaults to fear and fear of failure. RITHOLTZ: That’s fascinating because when I have discussions like this with colleagues or friends in Europe, the thing — or even Asia, the thing that makes United States so unique in the developed economy world is that failure isn’t a scarlet letter, especially in Silicon Valley. It’s almost a badge of honor. Look at all the VCs that list all, “Hey, we missed Apple and Cisco. We invested money in Pets.com. Look how terrible we are, except for our 40% compounded returns.” It’s a badge of honor to say, “We tried this face planted, brush yourself off and moved on.” WEAVER: But when you’re starting out your career and you don’t have anything to fall back on, and you haven’t yet had the success that you can look back, it’s really scary for people. And the thing that they miss is they underestimate what they could really do in 10 years and they underestimate themselves. They forgot what got them in that seat at Stanford Business School. RITHOLTZ: Sure. WEAVER: And they compare themselves to, you know, their roommate or their classmate or something. RITHOLTZ: So the other half of the question is advice about private equity. WEAVER: Yeah. I would say — I would say if someone is interested in a career in private equity, I would — I would say all private equity is not created equal. And there are — literally, like probably a thousand different models, and figure out, you know, go talk to a bunch of companies that are doing private equity in a whole bunch of different ways, and figure out what resonates with you and your interests and your superpowers, and where are you going to line up because it’s, it’s a very diverse industry. And you know, there are some firms that are making their money based on, you know, hardcore fundamental analysis. You know, we’re making our money on talent. There’s others that are, you know, doing cost cutting. There’s a whole bunch of different ways and one or more of those is going to line up a lot better with what you’re excited about. RITHOLTZ: And our final question, what do you know about the world of software services in private equity today that you wish you knew 28 years or so ago, when you were first getting started? WEAVER: Well, two things. The first thing is I wish I knew that it was going to work out fine. So I was so stressed and I put so much pressure on myself, that I wish — if I could go back and tell myself anything, it would be like, “Hey, Graham, you know, it’s going to be okay,” because I went through a lot. RITHOLTZ: That’s a really — that’s a really interesting answer because, you know, we just don’t realize how much we freak ourselves out and very often, unnecessarily. What’s the second thing? WEAVER: The second thing would be I would — if I could have realized earlier on just how important the world of talent is, and how that was really the thing that drove performance because that that would have saved me a decade. RITHOLTZ: It sounds really like you’ve honed in on exactly what makes your business work and really quite fascinating. Graham, thank you for being so generous with your time. We have been speaking with Graham Weaver, founder and partner at Alpine Investors. If you enjoyed this conversation, well, be sure to check out any of our previous 400 discussions that we’ve had over the past eight and a half years. You can find those at iTunes, Spotify, wherever you feed your podcast fix. We love your comments, feedback and suggestions. Write to us at mibpodcast@bloomberg.net. Sign up for my daily reading list @ritholtz.com You can follow me on Twitter @ritholtz. I would be remiss if I did not thank the crack team that helps put these conversations together each week. Robert Bragg is my audio engineer. Atika Valbrun is my project manager. Sean Russo runs all of our research. Paris Wald is my producer. I’m Barry Ritholtz. You’ve been listening to Masters in Business on Bloomberg Radio. END   ~~~   The post Transcript: Graham Weaver appeared first on The Big Picture......»»

Category: blogSource: TheBigPictureJul 26th, 2022

Great Potential Found in SoHo/NoHo Rezoning PlanEconomic Mix a Great Benefit for Retail

By Nathaniel Mallon As Mayor Eric Adams recently laid out plans to reimagine New York City with a better and more prosperous future for all, the City Council passed a SoHo/NoHo rezoning proposal with new housing plans for the city’s underprivileged residents. In December 2021, Council members voted to adopt... The post Great Potential Found in SoHo/NoHo Rezoning PlanEconomic Mix a Great Benefit for Retail appeared first on Real Estate Weekly. By Nathaniel Mallon Nathaniel Mallon As Mayor Eric Adams recently laid out plans to reimagine New York City with a better and more prosperous future for all, the City Council passed a SoHo/NoHo rezoning proposal with new housing plans for the city’s underprivileged residents. In December 2021, Council members voted to adopt a mandatory inclusionary housing requirement that will create thousands of new subsidized apartment units to meet the needs of NYC’s low- and middle-income residents. The plan aligns with the mayor’s recently articulated intention to create greater equality and more economic opportunities for all citizens in response to the perception that prosperity has not been “available to all” in the city’s recent past. The sheer number of proposed new housing units means that the SoHo/NoHo neighborhood will experience an influx of working families and others, creating an unparalleled opportunity to improve the retail climate in this area. Retail tenants will also benefit from new zoning plans that allow for a less burdensome process for occupying new commercial spaces. In addition to increasing affordable housing in the area and strengthening its status as a “regional hub for jobs and commerce,” the proposal intends to “encourage good design and respond to the historic character” of the neighborhood while continuing “collaboration with DOT [Department of Transportation], DSNY [Department of Sanitation], and local stakeholders to explore public realm improvement strategies” and sustaining “SoHo/NoHo’s cultural legacy by promoting public presence of the arts.” More Inclusive Programs Create Greater Economic Opportunities A more inclusive growth program will allow for greater diversity in the neighborhood, along with fresh economic activity and incentives that are expected to generate increased demand for new retail goods and services. Older, more obsolete regulations that previously barred businesses from fully realizing their potential in the area – which is ideally situated as a retail destination – have been revised in an effort to create a stronger local economy. Storefront vacancies will be filled with small businesses, artists, and creative services in an effort to give voice to new faces as part of the Small Business Services’ Storefront Start-Up program. SoHo and NoHo are two of the city’s most iconic neighborhoods. Years ago, SoHo was home to a thriving arts community made up of lower income residents, while NoHo quickly became an enclave for New York’s most affluent families. The demographics and economic conditions of the area have changed dramatically over years as it was rezoned as a manufacturing district in the 1970s. Instead of a mash-up of outdated variances and zoning rules designed for a manufacturing landscape, the new plan seeks to eliminate outdated regulations that hinder small businesses and introduce sensible rules that recognize the area’s economic and retail potential. It will pair manufacturing with residential districts to support a “dynamic mix of residential, commercial, manufacturing, and community facility uses.” This new rezoningproposal will be a win-win solution for both retailers and residents as the area is expanded to be more inclusive and home to a broader range of individuals, families, and businesses. It will be the first overhaul of the area’s local zoning regulations in half a century. Infrastructure Plans Preserve Known Landmarks and Rich Cultural History Infrastructure and quality of life are also at the forefront of the new zoning plans. Transportation, reconstruction of parks, and improved sanitation initiatives are planned in an effort to create a comprehensive new landscape. Alterations to the Broadway and Canal Street corridors for transportation will serve as a major incentive for visitors, making the area increasingly accessible for those commuting to SoHo/NoHo for its amenities and other attractions. Increased foot traffic will in turn serve retail tenants and those offering and participating in commerce and new business activity in the area. Support for the arts and a commitment to historic preservation are cornerstones of the new plan, which calls for “contextual building envelopes,” where the shape and size of buildings must respect the neighborhood’s context and enhance its historic character. In addition, height limits will be imposed on buildings in the area under the auspices of the NYC City Landmarks program. This will act to preserve the loft structures and architectural nuances for which the SoHo neighborhood is so well known. The plan also supports the area’s rich cultural history with a new arts fund that will ensure a steady stream of investments. Ultimately, the rezoning plan will enhance the best of SoHo/NoHo, inviting affordability in housing and providing more New Yorkers with an opportunity to enjoy the benefits of living and shopping in the area. Open Space and Public Realm Improve Livability for All The goal of ensuring greater equity and diversity through the creation of more affordable housing while reinvigorating the area’s legacy as a creative community is supported by other strategic investments. The SoHo/NoHo proposal also involves enhancing open streets around the neighborhood, improving and expanding programming at Sara D. Roosevelt Park, working with Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to transform two sites into new public spaces for community members, partnering with DOT to reconstruct and expand the Pike and Allen Street Malls, exploring the renovation of Petrosino Square and other neighborhood locations, and advancing various DSNY programs including Commercial Waste Zones and Clean Curbs Pilot. Model Economic Hub and Significant Retail Opportunity This will be the first time affordable housing has been brought to the SoHo/Noho neighborhood as a vehicle of growth – both economic and cultural. Overall, the new zoning act will provide an equitable solution for lower- to middle-income New Yorkers while ensuring the community’s history, architecture, and cultural qualities are preserved and enhanced for the benefit of the entire community. In the end, the newly reimagined Soho/Noho area is designed to be a model economic hub and significant retail opportunity for commercial landlords and their tenants. REW REW REW REW REW REW REW REW REW REWThe post Great Potential Found in SoHo/NoHo Rezoning PlanEconomic Mix a Great Benefit for Retail appeared first on Real Estate Weekly......»»

Category: realestateSource: realestateweeklyJul 14th, 2022

Red States Chart Faster Economic Recovery Than Blue States

Red States Chart Faster Economic Recovery Than Blue States Authored by Nicholas Dolinger via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours), Throughout the United States, an unmistakable pattern has emerged in economic recovery from the lingering effects of the Covid-19 pandemic: Conservative-leaning states have seen rapid and major economic growth, while the coastal economic powerhouses in the Northeast and West Coast have often lagged behind or stagnated. The skyline of Miami, Florida, on Sept. 29, 2021. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images) A recent analysis by Moody’s Analytics attests to this pattern, using a combination of 13 metrics to chart each state’s progress toward normalcy. A majority of the best-performing states were found to have Republican governments, while 8 out of the 10 worst performers were governed by Democrats. The impacts on local and state economies are already starting to be felt. Last May, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis announced that his state had closed out at $20 billion for the most recent fiscal year, a record surplus that reflects the influx of capital into the state. Another driver of the economic success of the red states has been the combination of astronomical real estate and rent prices in states like California and New York and new work-from-home opportunities, incentivizing workers to move away from the most expensive cities and seek more affordable housing elsewhere, where they can continue to work at jobs based in those cities. Demographers have predicted an exodus from the coasts to the American interior for years, but the trend has greatly accelerated as a result of the CCP virus pandemic and its downstream consequences. All four of the states that have reported job growth since February 2020 are alike in having maintained relatively relaxed restrictions throughout the pandemic, blunting the impact of the virus on these states’ economies. Businesses have also begun to migrate toward the American interior and other red-tinted outliers such as Florida. Last December, Tesla relocated its corporate headquarters from Palo Alto, California, to Austin, Texas, following years of conflict with California regulators and rising operational costs. Other companies have also expanded their operations in Florida and other red states. Florida has seen an explosion of population, drawing over 200,000 new residents from July 2020 to July 2021—second only to Texas for net population growth. Furthermore, hedge-fund company Citadel recently announced its plans to move to Miami, joining a growing community of businesses in the Magic City. This rapid growth in trendy red state metros is complemented by stagnation and net population loss on the coasts. In 2020, for the first time in over a century, California recorded a net loss in its total number of residents, with over 182,000 fewer Californians at the end of the year than at the beginning. The pattern continued, albeit to a lesser degree, in 2021, which saw a population decline of nearly 118,000 for the Golden State. At the same time, New York City saw a population decline of around 4 percent in just the first year of the pandemic, according to Cornell analysis of U.S. Census data. #BREAKING: Gov. Ron DeSantis responds to Newsom ad: "Until the last few years, I rarely if ever saw a California license plate in Florida -- now you see a lot of them." pic.twitter.com/50Ok7Sr0MY — Forbes (@Forbes) July 8, 2022 For political conservatives, these results are a vindication of Republican policies. With a combination of low corporate and state income taxes, non-intrusive CCP virus policies, and tough-on-crime law enforcement policies, these red-state metros once on the margins of the U.S. economy have become its fastest-growing hubs. “If the numbers were reversed, and Blue States were consistently outperforming Red States, we’d never hear the end of it,” said Richard Hanania, a political scientist and writer who serves as president of the Center for the Study of Partisanship and Ideology. “This should be seen as strong empirical data useful for adjudicating different realities, but it’s ignored or explained away.” In many respects, the traditional coastal hubs remain the dominant engines of the U.S. economy. The New York City Metropolitan Area still ranks first in total GDP, followed by the usual suspects: Los Angeles, Chicago, and the San Francisco Bay. However, they have seen slower recovery and a net loss of population since the beginning of the pandemic, and it is clear that they will face new competition after decades of undisputed hegemony, as more workers and businesses seek greener pastures in the conservative-leaning Sun Belt. Tyler Durden Sun, 07/10/2022 - 10:30.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeJul 10th, 2022

Meritage Homes (MTH) Sharpens Competitive Edge: Here"s How

Meritage Homes' (MTH) strategic shift to a pure-play entry-level and first-move-up builder is expected to drive growth amid industry headwinds. Higher mortgage rates and rising home prices are definitely taking a toll on signing activity in the housing market. Nonetheless, Meritage Homes Corporation MTH is one of the homebuilders that has seen no slowdown in demand and remains on track to grow the community count through 2022.Shares of Meritage Homes Corporation, a Scottsdale, AZ, homebuilder, have lost 15.6% in the past year. However, it has outperformed the Zacks Building Products - Home Builders industry’s 25.1% decline. In fact, MTH shares have risen 3.1% over the past three months, outperforming the industry’s 1.4% decrease. Image Source: Zacks Investment Research The 2022 earnings estimates for this Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) company have moved 2.7% upward over the past 60 days. This positive trend signifies bullish analysts’ sentiments, indicating robust fundamentals and the expectation of outperformance in the near term. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.Let’s delve deeper into the major driving factors.Affordable Homes: Meritage Homes remains focused on growing demand for entry-level homes with its LiVE.NOW product that addresses the need for lower-priced homes, given the rising interest rates and home prices. The successful execution of strategic initiatives to boost profitability, along with focus on entry-level LiVE.NOW homes boosted the upside.During the first-quarter 2022 earnings call, Phillippe Lord, the CEO of MTH, said, "With interest rates increasing, we believe that our affordable entry-level and first move-up homes that offer “surprisingly more” allow us to expand our customer base to include those that are being priced out of move-up communities and consider our homes an attractive alternative. Our mid-year goal of a 300 community count is within reach. We continue to carefully navigate the still-constrained operating environment by expanding our trade base and strengthening critical relationships.”Robust Earnings Trend: MTH has an impressive earnings surprise trend, with its earnings surpassing the Zacks Consensus Estimate in 25 of the trailing 26 quarters. The trend is likely to continue in the near term as well, courtesy of its robust results for first-quarter 2022, where it marked the highest quarterly sales order volume, second-highest first-quarter home closings and highest quarterly home closing gross margin along with the fifth sequential quarter of community count growth.Earnings surged 68% year over year for the period to $5.79 per share. The uptrend can be attributed to higher pricing, expanded gross margin, improved overhead leverage and a lower outstanding share count in the quarter. A strong brand presence and strategies relating to entry-level and first-move-up communities are providing a boost to the stock’s performance.Solid 2022 Expectation: For 2022, the company expects 14,500-15,500 home closings compared with 12,801 in 2021. Home closing revenues are expected in the range of $6.5-$6.9 billion, up from $5.1 billion in 2021. It projects home closing gross margins in the low 28% range, up from the 2021 level of 27.8%. Meanwhile, 2022 earnings per share are projected in the range of $26.30-$27.90.The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2022 earnings of $27.52 per share indicates 42.7% year-over-year growth. The solid growth rate depicts the stock's promising future.Higher ROE: MTH’s superior return on equity (ROE) is also indicative of its growth potential. The company’s ROE currently stands at 28.2%, which is higher than the industry’s 22.2%. This indicates efficiency in using shareholders’ funds and the ability to generate profit with minimum capital usage.Other Top-Ranked Stocks in the Construction SectorPrimoris Services Corporation PRIM, currently carrying a Zacks Rank #1, provides a wide range of construction, fabrication, maintenance, replacement and engineering services.PRIM’s 2022 earnings are likely to rise 19.4%. The company’s earnings estimates have increased to $2.59 per share from $2.49 over the past 60 days.KBR, Inc. KBR, currently carrying a Zacks Rank #2, provides professional services and technologies, across the asset and program life cycle within government services and hydrocarbons industries, worldwide. Its mission-critical government services, high-end and differentiated government business work, strong margin performance, proprietary technology solutions and a significant increase in backlog (particularly in Government Solution) are expected to boost 2022 earnings.KBR’s 2022 earnings are likely to rise 7.9%. The company has seen a 0.4% upward estimate revision for 2022 earnings in the past 60 days.AECOM ACM, currently carrying a Zacks Rank #2, is a leading solutions provider for supporting professional, technical and management solutions for diverse industries across end markets like transportation, facilities, government and those in environmental, energy and water businesses.AECOM’s expected earnings growth rate for 2022 is 21.6%. The consensus mark for its 2022 earnings has moved up to $3.43 per share from $3.40, in the past 60 days. Zacks Names "Single Best Pick to Double" From thousands of stocks, 5 Zacks experts each have chosen their favorite to skyrocket +100% or more in months to come. From those 5, Director of Research Sheraz Mian hand-picks one to have the most explosive upside of all. It’s a little-known chemical company that’s up 65% over last year, yet still dirt cheap. With unrelenting demand, soaring 2022 earnings estimates, and $1.5 billion for repurchasing shares, retail investors could jump in at any time. This company could rival or surpass other recent Zacks’ Stocks Set to Double like Boston Beer Company which shot up +143.0% in little more than 9 months and NVIDIA which boomed +175.9% in one year.Free: See Our Top Stock and 4 Runners Up >>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report AECOM (ACM): Free Stock Analysis Report KBR, Inc. (KBR): Free Stock Analysis Report Meritage Homes Corporation (MTH): Free Stock Analysis Report Primoris Services Corporation (PRIM): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksJul 6th, 2022