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In Tim Schaffer"s crystal ball: More office relocations, but fewer square feet

This Kansas City commercial real estate expert thinks companies will continue to relocate their downtown offices in search of better amenities and fewer square feet......»»

Category: topSource: bizjournalsMay 14th, 2022

Leasing Activity Heats up at The Gateway at Wynwood

As Miami continues to experience a post-pandemic boom, The Gateway at Wynwood – the newest office building in the Wynwood area – announces tech start-up OpenStore’s expansion and the growth of its impressive roster of tenants with the addition of two new leases.   Aron Rosenberg, the developer behind The Gateway at Wynwood, has... The post Leasing Activity Heats up at The Gateway at Wynwood appeared first on Real Estate Weekly. As Miami continues to experience a post-pandemic boom, The Gateway at Wynwood – the newest office building in the Wynwood area – announces tech start-up OpenStore’s expansion and the growth of its impressive roster of tenants with the addition of two new leases.   Aron Rosenberg, the developer behind The Gateway at Wynwood, has signed a lease with OpenStore for an approximately 26,000-square-foot expansion, bringing the company’s total footprint in the building to over 40,000 square feet. At the same time, The Gateway at Wynwood signed a new lease with Baseline, a vertically integrated platform investment company, for 5,000 square feet of office space. It also signed a lease with Mediterranean-Asian-Fusion Steakhouse concept DALIYAH and MIZU Rooftop Garden for approximately 6,000 square feet of ground-floor restaurant space plus the nearly 3,000-square-foot rooftop area.  The Gateway at Wynwood was represented by Colliers’ Executive Managing Director Stephen Rutchik, Managing Director Tom Farmer and Director Tyler de la Pena in the office lease transactions. CBRE’s Alex Cesar, First Vice President of Retail Advisory and Transaction Services, and Drew Schaul, Senior Vice President of Advisory and Transaction Services, represented The Gateway at Wynwood in the retail lease.  “Leasing activity has ramped up since the building’s opening, and we are excited to welcome these new tenants and see a current tenant expand so fast at The Gateway at Wynwood,” said Shelby Rosenberg, R&B Realty’s Head of Development and Acquisitions, Asset and Property Manager, US Portfolio. “Our building continues to remain a hub for new-to-market tenants, expansions and relocations to Wynwood, the ‘place-to-be’ for companies looking for a live-work-play environment. We are proud of the role we have played in the transformation of this community into one of Miami’s hottest neighborhoods.” The Gateway at Wynwood, which opened in 2022 as the first tenant took occupancy in January, recently achieved LEED Gold Certification. The building implemented practical and measurable strategies and solutions in areas including sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection and indoor environmental quality. Green buildings allow companies to operate more sustainably and give the people inside them a healthier, more comfortable space to work. OpenStore, the building’s first tenant to officially move in, is a platform that allows entrepreneurs with Shopify businesses to sell their companies and receive liquidity for what they’ve built. Founded by Keith Rabois of Founders Fund, Jack Abraham of Atomic, and Michael Rubenstein, the former President of AppNexus, OpenStore connects merchants and customers into a single unified shopping experience through access to data, information, and capital. The company announced in July that it raised $30 million in Series A funding, with a valuation of $250 million. OpenStore’s goal is to offer instant liquidity for eCommerce entrepreneurs. Baseline is focused on developing and operating short and long-term single-family rentals. Baseline’s principals have delivered over 4,000 market-leading vacation rentals and 20,000 single-family homes with an aggregate value of over $7 billion. This will be the Orlando-based company’s first Miami office. DALIYAH and MIZU Rooftop Garden’s concept was created by DZYNE Hospitality and OPSO Group, which are partnering with Canada’s A5 Hospitality. DZYNE Hospitality, led by Derrick Orosa, aka “DZYNE,” is working with OPSO Group, the company behind some of Miami’s trendiest restaurants, including Midtown’s MAÜ MIAMI and KAVO MIAMI, on the new concept. Founded by Alexandre Besnard and Patrick Hétu, A5 Hospitality has been a leading player in Montreal’s hospitality industry for 15 years. A5 has a varied yet targeted offering, ranging from high-end Japanese dining to large-scale entertainment projects, specializing in the development and operation of restaurants and bars. MIZU Rooftop Garden is set to open first, in time for Art Basel 2022, with the downstairs restaurant, opening by Summer of 2023. “Our Rooftop Garden has the most amazing views of the entire Miami Skyline, South Beach, Brickell, Downtown, Midtown, Design District and of course, Wynwood”, said DZYNE of DZYNE Hospitality. “Our high-end Mediterranean Japanese Steakhouse will be situated in between all the action of Wynwood, making it the ideal destination location, where you can have amazing Japanese cuisine with disco, retro and high energy music playing throughout the restaurant or take our private elevator directly to the Rooftop Garden and lay back for some specialty cocktails, bottle service, Japanese Krudos, fresh sushi and cold Japanese dishes, as well as Wagyu and Kobe BBQ.”   The Gateway at Wynwood offers about 195,000 square feet of leasable Class A office space and nearly 25,900 square feet of prime street-level retail space. Designed by renowned architect Kobi Karp, the environmentally responsible building features flexible floorplans, a private rooftop terrace, gym, unique bay window system, 24/7 on-site security, vibrant exterior cladding, and 2:1,000 on-site covered parking. The Gateway at Wynwood announced the building’s first office lease with biotech company Veru Inc in the summer of 2021. The eight-year, 12,155-square-foot lease will serve as the company’s global headquarters and triple Veru’s current office space.  The post Leasing Activity Heats up at The Gateway at Wynwood appeared first on Real Estate Weekly......»»

Category: realestateSource: realestateweeklyMay 19th, 2022

HPD, NYCHA, & HDC announce plans and partners to build a 195-home, wellness-centered, sustainable mixed-use development for low-income seniors in the Bronx  

The New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) joins NYC Housing Authority (NYCHA) and the NYC Housing Development Corporation (HDC) today to announce plans to build approximately 195 deeply affordable homes for seniors in the neighborhood of Morrisania Bronx. The Sol on Park development will give rise to a... The post HPD, NYCHA, & HDC announce plans and partners to build a 195-home, wellness-centered, sustainable mixed-use development for low-income seniors in the Bronx   appeared first on Real Estate Weekly. The New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) joins NYC Housing Authority (NYCHA) and the NYC Housing Development Corporation (HDC) today to announce plans to build approximately 195 deeply affordable homes for seniors in the neighborhood of Morrisania Bronx. The Sol on Park development will give rise to a 15-story mixed-use building paired with a new community health center, a nutrition education facility, and a career-training spaces accessible to residents and the community at-large.  “As we try to make New York City healthier, greener, more affordable, and more prosperous, we need projects like this one that do everything at the same time,” said New York City Mayor Eric Adams. “We are creating homes for hundreds of Bronxites and New Yorkers, and we are doing it the right way — with access to the economic opportunity and health resources we all need.” “Seniors are the heart and soul of our communities and Sol on Park exemplifies the highest quality of housing and support we ought to provide seniors to age in place with dignity and comfort,” said HPD Commissioner Adolfo Carrión Jr. “With new facilities for healthcare, nutrition, and career training, Sol on Park allows us to invest in the entire neighborhood’s health and future well-being while bringing much needed affordable homes to the Morrisania neighborhood. Thank you to our development partners NRP Group, Selfhelp, and Foxy Management for such a creative and holistic plan. Congratulations!” “NYCHA is committed to ensuring that the population of older New Yorkers who enrich our neighborhoods are able to thrive here, and we will continue to use our underutilized assets in support of this goal,” said NYCHA Chair & CEO Greg Russ. “We are excited to assist HPD, HDC, and the development team assembled to bring the Sol on Park project to fruition – and look forward to realizing this exciting new model for safe and affordable senior housing.”  “In addition to 195 deeply affordable homes, the sustainably designed Sol on Park will offer educational and wellness services to support our senior residents and the surrounding community,” said HDC President Eric Enderlin. “Congratulations to the development team and thank you to all of our partners for their ongoing efforts to create a healthier, more affordable city for all New Yorkers.” Council Member Althea Stevens said, “I am excited about the introduction of the new development planning to enter the Morrisania community. It is important that we are investing in our older adult population to ensure healthier and equitable accessibility in their daily lives. Also, this development will serve vital assent in the progress in establishing more opportunities for permanent housing, rather than temporary housing.” “The NRP Group has always strived to deliver high-quality “healthy housing” developments that put betterment and wellbeing at the center of apartment living,”said NRP Group Senior Vice President Jonathan Gertman.“That is why we are so pleased to join with our team members, along with the NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development and the NYC Housing Authority, to bring Sol on Park to life. Located on the Morris Houses campus, Sol on Park will deliver critical wrap-around services that enable senior residents – and community members of all ages – to fulfill their highest potential. This special development will feature 195 beautifully designed apartment homes activated with premium healthcare services, health and wellness amenities, workforce training and job placement, and other life affirming services. It will be a launch pad for personal and community development, economic revitalization, and pathways of opportunity and hope.” A development team comprised of NRP Group, Selfhelp Realty Group, and Foxy Management was selected to construct Site 1 of the Seniors First Kingsborough and Morris Houses RFP located at the corner of St. Paul’s Place and Park Avenue within the Morris II public housing development in Morrisania Bronx. Sol on Park employs a health-centric design and a robust social services model for senior households earning up to 50 percent of the Area Median Income (AMI), or approximately $41,800 annually for a single occupant. All households will receive project-based Section 8 vouchers, with a portion of homes set aside for both NYCHA residents and seniors experiencing homelessness. Social services for the seniors will be provided by Selfhelp’s Active Services for Aging Model (SHASAM), helping residents to manage chronic health issues, aging, and providing culturally competent health programming. The project is part of the City’s Seniors First initiative to develop and preserve senior housing on NYCHA land and support the growth of New York’s aging population.  NYCHA staff met with residents and resident leaders of Morris Houses in 2019 to inform the developments plans which honor residents’ preferences for senior affordable housing designed to support healthcare services, outdoor activities, nutrition, jobs, and amenities that serve seniors. “Housing is health; health is housing”   The development team gave the project the theme “housing is health; health is housing,” speaking to its design and features that promote healthy living and healthy lifestyles. NYCHA and HPD sought community input to determine the development’s public-facing facilities and partnered with highly regarded local organizations on utilizing 11,500 square feet of space for new community resources including new healthcare, nutrition, and career training facilities. Sol on Park plans include:   The Union Community Health Center, delivering a combination of primary care, dental services, behavioral health services, physical and occupational therapy and will include career fellowship programs in healthcare, dental care, and health administration.The Green Bronx Machine’s National Health & Wellness Center to bring urban agriculture and nutritional education programming dedicated to youth and intergenerational engagement.    The SUNY Bronx Educational Opportunity Center to focus on adult education and training for careers in healthcare and technology, helping to grow the area’s healthcare workforce and career development opportunities.   Selfhelp’s Home Care Program and Training Center for Home Health Aides to prepare community members for careers in at-home care.   Magnusson Architecture and Planning brought to life the development’s health-focused design. The new apartments allow for natural light and ventilation while creating a sense of eyes on the streets and connection to the community. Additionally, the homes are designed to have distinct spaces for cooking, dining, socializing, and sleeping.  Cascading roof terraces, multiple floors of community space, a large pedestrian plaza and a shared walkway with the adjacent NYCHA campus will top off the development’s dynamic design.    Sol on Park is also designed to achieve a LEED Platinum Rating for sustainable design, an ENERGY STAR certification for emitting fewer greenhouse gases, and the highest rating from Fitwel, which sets global standards for the building design and development practices in support of healthier and equitable access to a higher quality of life.   “Selfhelp Realty Group is extremely proud to be partnering with NRP Group and Foxy Management to expand the availability of affordable housing for seniors, NYCHA residents, and formerly homeless individuals in Morrisania,” said Selfhelp Community Services CEO Stuart C. Kaplan. “For decades, Selfhelp has been building affordable housing and offering services through its recognized service model, SHASAM (Selfhelp Active Services for Aging Model). We’re honored to further our partnership with HPD, NYCHA and HDC and to join with our partners to promote health and wellness, education, and career development for the community. Selfhelp will expand its Home Care Training Program to Sol on Park, providing new employment opportunities for the community.” “The need for affordable senior housing is tremendous and is getting more dire as the senior population is expected to triple, costs of living continue to rise, and the aging housing stock in our city is less and less accessible to our most vulnerable residents,” said Foxy Management Principle Jeff Fox. “Sol on Park will address this need head-on, in part by creating a health-centric senior community that will serve as an anchor for a better future. Foxy is dedicated to the communities it serves and particularly to developing senior communities where older adults may thrive and live in dignity.  We are thrilled to work with NRP, Selfhelp and MAP to bring the proposal to life.” “For Magnusson Architecture & Planning, aging in place with dignity is an essential theme of Sol on Park, driving a design process that went from the inside out,” said Magnusson Architecture & Planning Director of Planning and Urban Design Brian Loughlin. “Turning the floor plates 45-degrees will yield light-filled apartments with multiple exposures and alcoves for more livable spaces. An emphasis on indoor air quality, healthy materials, access to the outdoors and shared amenity spaces, will bolster both mental and physical health. Opportunities for socialization and connections to neighbors continue through thoughtful urban design. The building’s site placement, terraced massing, and pedestrian-friendly open spaces preserve light and air between the nearby structures and make the development’s health-focused community programming easily accessible to residents of the surrounding area.” “One of the largest and most trusted community health centers in New York, UNION has been providing continuous healthcare services to Bronx residents for over 100 years.  We are excited about our partnership with HPD, NYCHA, HDC and even more so for the seniors of Sol on Park and the Morrisania community,” said Dr. Douglas L. York, President and CEO of Union Community Health Center. “Our commitment to the Sol on Park senior residence and wellness center will further allow us to respond to the social determinants of health our community faces daily and extend our mission to reach those most in need of quality healthcare and specialty services.” “This is what commUNITY looks like!” says Stephen Ritz, Founder of Green Bronx Machine. “At Green Bronx Machine, intergenerational programming has been at the heart of our award-winning work and curriculum. This partnership allows our children to take their knowledge, passion, purpose, and hope and work together with the eyes, ears, and gatekeepers of our community, to inspire healthy living, healthy learning, combat climate change and grow something greater while systemically addressing our most pressing needs; a wholly virtuous cycle. With our national headquarters in Claremont Village, we could not be prouder to be part of this brilliant team.” “The SUNY Bronx Educational Opportunity Center is excited to partner on this project to provide adult education and workforce development to support this housing development,” said SUNY Bronx Educational Opportunity Center Executive Director/CEO Ronnie Hector. “While housing remains a crucial concern for New Yorkers, it is refreshing to see that a developer comprehensively understands the need to partner with local institutions to support community upliftment and upward mobility.  The SUNY Bronx EOC is delighted to be a part of this creative and innovative way of housing and community development. The SUNY Bronx EOC will provide entry-level allied health training along with GED, college preparation and Microsoft office specialist training in support of the community residence economic and social upward mobility.” “Today’s announcement is a huge win and a step forward towards ensuring our older New Yorkers have access to safe, quality, affordable housing in our borough. Our seniors are the pioneers and trailblazers that paved the way for us to be here and they deserve housing that addresses their unique needs,” said Bronx Borough President Vanessa L. Gibson “I want to congratulate The New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development, NYC Housing Authority, the NYC Housing Development Corporation, NRP Group, Selfhelp Realty Group, and Foxy Management for their work on this important mixed-use housing development. The partnerships with The Union Community Health Center, The Green Bronx Machine’s National Health & Wellness Center, The SUNY Bronx Educational Opportunity Center, and Selfhelp’s Home Care Program and Training Center for Home Health Aides brings important amenities to this project that address health and wellness, holistic care and wraparound services for our older adults.” “This 15-story affordable housing project will take advantage of an underused lot in Morris Houses and provide low-income seniors in my district with a much-needed affordable place to live. Further, these residents will have access to a one-of-a-kind community health center that will offer them a variety of resources and services that will help them lead a healthier lifestyle,” said State Senator Gustavo Rivera. “I want to thank all public and private partners including trusted Bronx health institutions such as UCHC and The Green Bronx Machine for creating this unique model that will increase access to affordable housing while integrating access to healthy activities in my district.” “As was made clear by a survey our office recently administered, people in the Bronx desperately want to see increases in the borough’s stock of affordable housing, health services, and resources for seniors,” said Assemblymember Chantel Jackson. “With these goals in mind, I am excited by the HPD’s decisions to construct a new affordable development in the Morrisania area that will prioritize the needs of seniors and host multiple community health centers.” “Providing our seniors with decent and affordable housing is essential,” said Congressman Ritchie Torres (NY-15). “This development is a model for affordable housing that provides residents with the resources that holistically invests in the health and success of our communities. I look forward to the completion of Sol on Park to ensure the seniors in our borough get the support they deserve.”  The post HPD, NYCHA, & HDC announce plans and partners to build a 195-home, wellness-centered, sustainable mixed-use development for low-income seniors in the Bronx   appeared first on Real Estate Weekly......»»

Category: realestateSource: realestateweeklyMay 5th, 2022

The Praedium Group Acquires The Reid in Atlanta, GA MSA

The Praedium Group (Praedium), a national real estate investment firm, announced the acquisition of The Reid, a 242-unit suburban multifamily property located in Tucker, GA, part of the greater Atlanta MSA. Peter Calatozzo, Principal at Praedium, announced the transaction. Following the purchase of The Sound at Pennington Bend in Nashville,... The post The Praedium Group Acquires The Reid in Atlanta, GA MSA appeared first on Real Estate Weekly. The Praedium Group (Praedium), a national real estate investment firm, announced the acquisition of The Reid, a 242-unit suburban multifamily property located in Tucker, GA, part of the greater Atlanta MSA. Peter Calatozzo, Principal at Praedium, announced the transaction. Following the purchase of The Sound at Pennington Bend in Nashville, TN, Winter Park 2 in the Orlando, FL MSA, and Atlas Crown in the Dallas-Fort Worth, TX MSA this represents Praedium’s fourth acquisition since December 2021. Praedium’s investment strategy targets rental housing in suburban markets with above average job and population growth. Completed in 2021, The Reid consists of three four- and five-story elevatored residential buildings with extensive lifestyle amenities. This property is well-located in northeast Atlanta, adjacent to I-285, one of the metro’s main thoroughfares. The property boasts unique features compared to other multifamily communities in the submarket including enclosed, air-conditioned corridors and a two-story, 24-hour fitness center. The units feature two interior color schemes, modern gourmet kitchens with stainless steel appliances, polished granite countertops with mosaic tile backsplash, wood-style plank flooring in living rooms and kitchens, full-sized washers and dryers, programmable thermostats, and private patios or balconies. Community amenities at The Reid include a resort-style pool with poolside cabanas, outdoor firepits, outdoor kitchen with grilling stations, modern clubhouse and leasing office, social lounge with kitchen and arcade games, co-working lounge, dog wash and grooming area, Amazon Hub package lockers, and electric car charging stations. “We believe the Reid’s proximity to several major employment centers, access to walkable retail and lifestyle attractions, and its state-of-the-art amenity set make this an attractive investment for Praedium,” said Mr. Calatozzo. “Dekalb County, where The Reid is located, continues to benefit from the population growth being seen throughout the Atlanta MSA. We believe in-migration to the MSA will continue as a result of the business-friendly environment which has attracted several corporate relocations and expansions, and several major employers have recently announced job expansion plans over the next five years, including NCR Software (5,000 jobs), Anthem Healthcare (4,800 jobs) and Amazon (1,000 jobs).” The Reid is walkable to many retail and restaurant offerings, including a retail power center directly across the street featuring a Sprout’s Farmer’s Market, Dick’s Sporting Goods, DSW Designer Warehouse, Ross Dress for Less, Hobby Lobby, Einstein Bros Bagels, Jimmy John’s, IHOP and Waffle House. The property’s Northeast Atlanta location provides access to the city’s major employment hubs as well as a concentration of nearby educational institutions, including Emory University and Mercer University. Emory University, a private research university with enrollment of 15,000 students and an $8 billion endowment, employs more than 35,000 workers at the University and across its healthcare system. The Reid is also 15 minutes from a major cluster of hospitals and doctors’ offices in northern metro Atlanta near the Perimeter Center. The area is the largest healthcare hub in Atlanta with three hospitals, hundreds of physician practices and multiple outpatient centers. In total, there are 4.2 million square feet of medical space and more than 1,300 hospital beds. The two largest hospitals are the Northside Hospital and the Emory Saint Joseph’s Hospital. “The Reid’s location in Northeast Atlanta just off I-285 is favorable for our tenants as it provides direct access to employment hubs,” said Josh Kogel, Vice President at Praedium. “Tenants can easily access well-paying employment opportunities in Perimeter Center, Cumberland, Midtown Atlanta, Downtown Atlanta, and Buckhead all within 30 minutes, allowing residents to capitalize on growth throughout the Atlanta MSA.” Additionally, the Tucker submarket offers future growth and redevelopment as the city and property are expected to benefit from two major proposed redevelopment projects both located within one mile of The Reid including the Northlake Mall Redevelopment and a proposed multi-use redevelopment plan for the Northlake Festival Center shopping center into the Tower Park and Convention Center Development, adjacent to the Northlake Mall. The post The Praedium Group Acquires The Reid in Atlanta, GA MSA appeared first on Real Estate Weekly......»»

Category: realestateSource: realestateweeklyApr 4th, 2022

ACRES Originates $67M Loan for Boardwalk Apartments in Garden City, ID

ACRES Capital Corp. (together with its subsidiaries, “ACRES”), a leading commercial real estate middle-market lender, has originated a $67 million loan to fund the development of Boardwalk Apartments (the “Property”) in Garden City, Idaho.  The plan is to develop a mixed-use, mid-rise structure consisting of 234 rental units, 17,000 square feet... The post ACRES Originates $67M Loan for Boardwalk Apartments in Garden City, ID appeared first on Real Estate Weekly. ACRES Capital Corp. (together with its subsidiaries, “ACRES”), a leading commercial real estate middle-market lender, has originated a $67 million loan to fund the development of Boardwalk Apartments (the “Property”) in Garden City, Idaho.  The plan is to develop a mixed-use, mid-rise structure consisting of 234 rental units, 17,000 square feet of commercial space and 312 parking spaces. Once constructed, amenities will include a roof deck, pickle ball courts, a playground and 16,000 square feet of open plaza space on the ground level.  “Located along the scenic Boise River and River Greenbelt, Boardwalk Apartments will offer a multifaceted, walkable community for residents while providing easy access to the central business district of downtown Boise,” said ACRES Chief Executive Officer and President Mark Fogel. The loan was provided to Vida Properties, a developer based in Boise, ID and was arranged by Gary Mozer of George Smith Partners. Chris Hetzel of ACRES’ Philadelphia office originated the loan. The post ACRES Originates $67M Loan for Boardwalk Apartments in Garden City, ID appeared first on Real Estate Weekly......»»

Category: realestateSource: realestateweeklyMar 30th, 2022

A leaked video exemplifies what Black migrants endure in US detention centers

Detainees and immigration lawyers say there is a disturbing and overlooked problem of anti-Black racism in immigration detention. Brandon fled his native Cameroon at the age of 26.Anna Watts for Insider A leaked video obtained by Insider shows guards violently tackling a Black asylum seeker at a  Louisiana detention center. Detainees and immigration lawyers say there is a disturbing and overlooked problem of anti-Black racism in immigration detention. The criminalization of immigration has meant that migrants and asylum seekers are placed in a system with a long history of mistreatment.  In the fall of 2020, Brandon was playing the FIFA 2020 video game in the rec room of the LaSalle Correctional Center in Louisiana, where he had been locked up for five months.  A Salvadoran man, watching the action over Brandon's shoulder, started joking around, covering Brandon's eyes and distracting him from the game. "It was annoying," said Brandon, an asylum seeker from Cameroon. He lifted up his hand to mock punch the Salvadoran. The horseplay never escalated into anything serious, and, after a little while, the Salvadoran left Brandon alone and he finished his game. He lost, 2–1.What neither of them realized was that the mock punch had been caught on LaSalle's video monitors. A few minutes later, guards entered the rec room and approached Brandon. They told him he was being transferred to a new dorm – which meant away from fellow Cameroonians and the other Africans he had befriended. Brandon asked to stay where he was. Being with other Cameroonians was a lifeline for him in detention. "I felt like family with them," he said. Calmly, he continued trying to explain himself. "I never even raised my voice," he said. In a video obtained by Insider, Brandon is seen walking down a hallway and being followed by three guards. As he approaches the camera, one of the guards grabs him by the shoulder and pushes him against the wall. In the next few seconds, they ram his head into the wall, put him in a chokehold, spin him around, throw him to the floor, and pin him down. One of the guards briefly puts his knee on Brandon's neck. With the guards dog-piled on top of him, he felt like he was fighting to survive: "I was struggling to breathe. I couldn't move. I was feeling so weak."Six guards from the LaSalle Detention Center, which is privately run by LaSalle Corrections, kept Brandon pinned to the floor as one of them slapped handcuffs on him. They then yanked him to his feet and pushed him back against the wall. "Why are you treating me like I'm not a human being?" Brandon recalled asking them. After the guards tackled him, Brandon was thrown into a solitary confinement cell, where he remained for three days.Brandon suspected bias was at work when the guard shoved him against the wall. "He was doing it because I was Black and from Africa," Brandon said. LaSalle Corrections did not respond to repeated requests for comment. ICE spokesperson Sarah Loicano also declined to discuss the specifics of Brandon's case but commented: "U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) does not tolerate the mistreatment of anyone in the agency's custody and takes all allegations of abuse seriously," Loicano said. "Allegations of misconduct by ICE employees or contractors are reported to ICE's Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) and are reviewed by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Office of the Inspector General (OIG)." Months later, after two transfers, Brandon was finally released from detention and allowed to continue pressing his asylum case while out on bond. When he opened his package of personal effects, he was surprised to find an unlabeled CD tucked in with the clothes he'd been wearing when he was first taken into custody. It took him a few weeks to find a player, but when he finally did he discovered it was a video of the guards tackling him. He has no idea who had slipped the CD into his things, or why.Less food, longer stays in solitaryBrandon was born in Cameroon, a country in West Africa that, since 2016, has been locked in a bloody civil war between the ruling Francophone party and separatist Anglophones. The government's crackdown, including extrajudicial killings, has led to charges of genocide. At age 26, he fled the country after his mother was killed by government agents, and he was subsequently targeted. "They tried to extinguish my life," he said. "But I never participated in anything like politics." In August of 2019, he crossed the US border at Brownsville, Texas, and told Customs and Border Patrol officials he was seeking asylum. He was promptly handcuffed and taken into custody. Soon thereafter, he was sent to Louisiana, the country's incarceration capital and, more recently, host to a vast network of immigrant detention facilities. According to Brandon, the mistreatment of detained Black people at LaSalle went beyond physical violence. It was more pervasive, more quotidian, more constant than any explosion that could be caught on video. "Officers didn't attend to Black detainees," Brandon explained, trying to capture the extent of the discrimination. "They didn't give us the same privileges," he said. While he saw other detainees occasionally get a little extra food, one or two additional slices of bread, or new razors for shaving, Black detainees were rarely if ever on the receiving end of these gestures.Brandon entered the US in August of 2019 at Brownsville, Texas, and was taken into custody.Anna Watts for InsiderBrandon's story points to a larger problem. The increasing criminalization of immigration has meant that migrants and asylum seekers – men and women who have not been convicted of any crime – are placed in jails and prisons, sometimes for years. They're also subjected to punishing conditions like solitary confinement, medical neglect, unpaid labor, and the kind of excessive force by guards that prison reform advocates have long documented and decried. For advocates, tracking the scope and severity of abuse in the immigration detention system can be daunting. Latinos are ensnared — and sometimes mistreated — at rates higher than any other demographic. But the U.S. immigration system levies particular violence against darker-skinned migrants, no matter their ethnicity. The numbers of migrants from Africa and the Caribbean showing up to or crossing the U.S.-Mexico border has been increasing in the last decade — leading to more detentions for Black migrants and, advocates claim, greater chances of abuses born out of bias. Detainees are frequently kept out of view by being locked up or swiftly deported, and their stories are rarely heard, or come filtered through NGO reports or official complaints to the government."The treatment of Black immigrants is normalized so much, to a point where departments and staff are numb to it," said Allen Morris, an attorney with Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services, or RAICES, an immigrant rights organization based in Texas. Morris said that he's heard of other Black migrants suffering similar racist abuse at LaSalle, where Brandon was detained, but this was the first time he'd seen it captured on video. ("This is just despicable," Morris said after viewing Brandon's video.)A report published this year by Human Rights Watch documented 24 cases of abuse against 18 Cameroonian asylum seekers who were later deported, including "forced fingerprints on documents, pepper spray, painful restraints, and abusive solitary confinement, isolation, or segregation." Current and former Black detainees, as well as advocates and researchers, have responded to the appalling detention conditions and alleged discriminatory treatment by filing official complaints about their mistreatment, as well as reaching out to the media and organizing and staging protests both within and outside of detention centers. Last month, yet another official complaint was filed alleging racist abuse of Black migrants — including frequent use of the N-word and claiming that "Africans have a certain kind of smell" — as well as generalized violence and medical neglect, in New York state. 56 of the detained migrants recently went on hunger strike in protest. And still, the abuse continues. In 2018, Freedom for Immigrants conducted the first national study on hate and bias in U.S. immigration detention centers and documented at least 800 complaints of abuse in 34 different jails and prisons based on race, ethnicity, or nationality. It included the examples of someone detained in southern Texas being called a "monkey" before being thrown into solitary confinement. At an ICE facility in New Jersey, according to a complaint from American Friends Service Committee, a sergeant locked a detained Black migrant in his cell, told him, "You're never going home" —  then added, "White power." In another watchdog report, the Southern Poverty Law Center documented racial slurs and the use of pepper-spray at Florida's Glades County Detention Center. "When it comes to us, the Africans, they have a problem with us," one of the abused detainees said. A peer-reviewed study published in "Punishment and Society" found that Black immigrants were six times more likely than others in ICE detention to be sent to solitary confinement. The study further found that African and Caribbean immigrants represented "24 percent of all people subjected to solitary confinement," even though they made up just 4 percent of those in ICE detention. A report from Freedom for Immigrants looked at ankle shackling in a sample population, and found that 31 percent of those subjected to that treatment were Black even though they made up just 15 percent of the population of that sample.Lawmakers are finally starting to take notice. In January, Representative Cori Bush (D-MO) and Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) called for a "holistic review of the disparate treatment of Black migrants." 'Eat his dog food'In autumn 2021, Insider sent an informal survey to immigration attorneys and advocates to ask about a wide range of discriminatory and abusive practices. We then spoke with more than two dozen attorneys, advocates, and currently or formerly detained migrants, all of whom described a pattern of widespread bias and discriminatory treatment of Black detainees in U.S. immigration detention centers. Two attorneys echoed Brandon's complaint about not getting enough to eat, and reported that their clients were given insufficient food, or were placed at the back of the line to receive food, for no reason other than that they were Black. Other responses noted that Black detainees sometimes struggled to access basic supplies, such as soap, were subjected to solitary confinement at a high rate, and faced racist and abusive language by guards and other staff."In detention facilities where immigrants are held alongside individuals in criminal custody, Black immigrants are type-cast as being in criminal custody rather than ICE custody," said attorney Romelia Solano, co-founder of the immigrants' rights organization Mariposa Legal.Brandon was held at the LaSalle Correctional Center in Louisiana, Louisiana, which is the country's incarceration capital.Anna Watts for InsiderSolano said that one of her clients, a Black man held at a facility in Kentucky, told her that requests for cleaning supplies and other necessities needed to go through Latino or white inmates because his requests were ignored. That same client was not provided with a mattress and forced to sleep on the floor when the detention center was overcrowded, Solano said.A guard in another detention center called a Black man a dog and told him to "eat his dog food."Another detained Black man, according to his attorney's response to our survey, had a pepper ball thrown in his cell, wasn't allowed to follow his Rastafarian vegan diet, was repeatedly thrown in solitary confinement — once for complaining of a headache — and was regularly subjected to strip searches that kept occurring around visits from his attorney. "After 7 years of practice, I can confidently say that the Black clients I have represented or whose representation I have supervised are consistently subjected to greater degrees of abuse and discrimination," his attorney said.The incarceration capital of the world No state better illustrates the criminalization of immigration detainees, and its collision with longstanding patterns of racism, than Louisiana. It's both the incarceration capital of the world and the solitary confinement capital of the world: 19 percent of prisoners in the state experience some form of solitary confinement, a rate that's four times higher than the national average.It's also been at the forefront of the private prison industry. Across the state, eight new immigration detention centers have been opened in the past three years – all privately run. There are now 11 in total, including the LaSalle Correctional Center where Brandon was detained. Some of these detention centers are operating within state prisons or jails that also detain non-immigrants charged or convicted of crimes.And some of these immigration-only facilities are run by the same staff that used to run the prisons — and the anti-Black bias remains, says ACLU attorney Eunice Cho, who co-authored "Justice Free Zones," an extensive report on conditions in immigration detention centers, "It's just a new phase of mass incarceration of Black folks, whether they are citizens or non-citizens," Cho said."It should not be surprising that Black people continue to suffer disproportionate consequences and treatment in U.S. immigrant detention facilities," said Sami Disu, an adjunct lecturer at the Department of Africana Studies at John Jay College of Criminal Justice. "The routine abuses of imprisoned Black peoples in the regular criminal justice system is extended to Black immigrants in U.S. detention facilities, whether in custody of CBP or stewards in private detention facilities."While the flourishing of private prisons is often associated with the Trump administration, its history extends to prior administrations, and Biden has given for-profit companies a pass to detain migrants.  Just days into office, President Joe Biden signed an executive order to "eliminate the use of privately operated criminal detention facilities," which was welcome news to critics of mass-incarceration. Private prison companies, however, have found ways to circumvent the order and continue operations, and immigration facilities were exempt from the order. Most immigrants today are detained in facilities run by for-profit companies which largely follow the prison model of restrictive and punitive conditions.Since the 2010s, immigration detention has increasingly come to rely on prisons and jails — the brick-and-mortar manifestations of a mass incarceration system that has notoriously and disproportionately targeted Black people. Even as states and the federal government dialed down the number of people held in for-profit prisons, ICE stepped in to contract out and fill recently emptied beds. In Louisiana, after prison reform measures in 2019 led to a drop of 9,000 fewer people in prisons, ICE obtained contracts to detain 6,000 more people in the state. In just Texas and Louisiana, 11 separate facilities in recent years have shifted from prisons or jails to immigration detention centers.Brandon was released from custody In the summer of 2021.Anna Watts for InsiderAnd while the Biden administration has promised to reform and humanize immigration policy, "for the most part they're continuing the detention agenda," said Silky Shah, the executive director of Detention Watch Network. One Black immigrant who spent more than two years in a Louisiana jail and who asked not to be identified because of an ongoing immigration case and a history of retaliation against him, said guards pitted Black and Latino detainees against one another, frequently separating detainees by race. He described how detained Black people were consistently shorted food, passed over for jobs, not given new or clean clothes, subjected to invasive and humiliating body searches, and threatened to be sent to "the hole" — solitary confinement. Though he's been released now for over a year, he continues to have nightmares of his treatment there. "The racial profiling was scary," he said. "I've never experienced racism like that in my life."A 2021 Civil Rights complaint brought by the ACLU and over a dozen partner organizations called for "immediate intervention into the abusive and racially discriminatory pattern of treatment, unlawful conduct, and lack of oversight and accountability" at facilities in five southern states, including Louisiana, that were under the jurisdiction of the New Orleans ICE Field Office.  "Anti-Black racism underlies most of the abuses described in this letter and is an inherent aspect of the US immigration system itself," the report said. At one facility, majority-Black dorms deal with more frequent water shortages, for example.Last May, in Winn Correctional Center — which is operated by LaSalle Corrections, the same company that runs the facility where Brandon was detained — the anti-Black racism reached a pitch, harking back to some of the most vile practices of the Jim Crow South. As detained men were cutting down trees, according to a lawyer who visited the facility, ICE personnel made a joking comment to the effect of "now we can't lynch them." That same attorney reported another incident that occurred when two Cameroonian men asked guards at Winn if they would wear masks to prevent the spread of COVID-19. One of the guards responded by saying "fuck Black people" and pushed one of the detained men, injuring him enough that he had to use a wheelchair. Last July, the SPLC filed a complaint to the head of the Department of Homeland Security and the attorney general on behalf of four formerly detained people who described the persistent abuse and racial discrimination they faced in Allen Parish Public Safety Complex and Pine Prairie ICE Processing Center, both in Louisiana. They said they suffered severe medical abuse, ridicule, and punishment for expressing their support for Black Lives Matter. Among a host of disturbing complaints, the migrants were also refused water when they asked for it. When one of the Black men was attacked by a group of other detained people, "instead of the attackers, the Black victim was locked up [in solitary] for more than 4 days," according to the complaint. Sarah Decker, staff attorney at RFK Human Rights, described the use of these carceral facilities as part of the "Southern Strategy," referencing Nixon's move to appeal to racist sentiments in the south to turn out white voters: transferring detained immigrants to detention centers in the South, where they face much higher asylum denial rates, are more isolated from attorneys and advocacy groups, and suffer more abuse. Over half of all detained immigrants now are locked up in just four states: Texas, Louisiana, Arizona, and Georgia. Those four states also have some of the strictest immigration judges, granting asylum at rates far below the national average. In the New Orleans immigration court, among five judges, the denial rate averages almost 90 percent, whereas the national average is far lower, at 73 percent.Louisiana has become a "place of no return" for migrants, said Decker. "It's where folks, when they get transferred there, have this really intense fear reaction because they know that not only do they have a lot less likelihood of winning their case, but they're also going to experience really enhanced racism while they're waiting for their case in detention." DHS's own Office of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties recommended that ICE stop sending immigrants to Louisiana's Winn Correctional Center due to a culture of egregious abuse and "serious concerns expressed about the health and safety of detainees."Abuse 'at all stages of the process'Racism in the U.S. immigration enforcement regime is nothing new. The very first federal immigration laws, passed in the late 19th century, specifically targeted Chinese women. The Chinese Exclusion acts, which effectively barred almost all immigration from Asia, were on the books from the early 1880s until 1943. Until 1952, US law (even if it was not always enforced) held that only a "free white person" could naturalize, or become a U.S. citizen.In the 1980s, after Ellis and Angel Island, the country's first immigration detention centers were used  mostly to lock up Haitian asylum seekers as they fled US-backed dictators regimes. Years before the post-9/11 era, when the US Naval base in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, was used to indefinitely detain and torture "enemy combatants," it was established as a detention center for Haitians seeking asylum. "I felt like they saw me like I was an animal from Africa," Brandon said of his time in detention.Anna Watts for InsiderRebekah Wolf, an attorney with the American Immigration Council, who previously managed a legal access program for a detention center in rural New Mexico, calls the modern U.S. detention system "a response to anti-Haitian animus" or "the fear that Black people would come here in boats." To be sure, no person locked in the network of U.S. immigration detention centers — over 200 facilities run largely in the shadows by a mix of government and government-contracted private corporations — has it easy. To be imprisoned, frequently in poor conditions and sometimes for years is one of the poignant cruelties of the increasingly militarized immigration enforcement regime. In the U.S., where more migrants are imprisoned than in any other country in the world, there are certain groups who face particular difficulties. Detained Indigenous people from Central America and elsewhere are often overlooked and left without access to proper interpretation or counsel. Transgender people are brutalized and frequently forced to live, sleep, and even bathe with people not corresponding to their gender. People from countries less represented in the detention system, such as those from South Asia or Eastern Europe, can face serious linguistic and cultural obstacles, as well as isolation. Muslims and Sikhs allege that they are often not offered religiously appropriate diets and are singled out on the basis of their religion.Amid all the systematic and acute cruelties, the treatment of Black migrants from Africa, the Caribbean, and Central and South America in immigration detention, advocates say, reflects the longstanding societal racism in the United States, and particularly in its carceral system.That bias came into sharp relief last September, when thousands of Haitians crossed the U.S.-Mexico border in Texas. Images of Border Patrol agents on horseback whipping and chasing down adults and children seeking asylum were roundly condemned. Critics held it up as a bald-faced example of anti-Black racism. This culminated in one of the largest mass expulsions from the United States in recent history: around 4,000 Haitians were deported from the country in just over one week.The mistreatment of Haitian migrants not only renewed the public's attention to immigration enforcement, but demonstrated who is most negatively affected by the brutality of U.S. immigration enforcement. Part of the reason that Black people suffer disproportionately in immigration detention is that their experience, and they themselves, are largely ignored. "They're not believed," Morris said. "We're not listening to Black immigrants." Anti-Black racism "is so normalized, especially anti-Haitian sentiment, on behalf of career ICE officials," said Wolf. She said a high-ranking ICE detention center official in the state told her that, because Haitians "didn't know how to behave," they needed to be detained under more restrictive circumstances. According to other statistics also compiled by RAICES, among the 10 nationalities with the most asylum decisions from 2012-2017, Haitians had the second-highest denial rate, at 87 percent, despite coming from an extremely politically unstable country beset by persistent violence. In the years before that period, Jamaicans had the highest asylum denial rate. According to the American Bar Association, Somalis also had one of the highest asylum denial rates, as well the highest rates of deportation over the same time period. Between June 2018 and June 2020, the average bond paid by RAICES to get immigrants out of detention was $10,500. But bonds paid for Haitian immigrants averaged $16,700, or 54 percent higher than for other immigrants. Overall, Black immigrants from various countries pay significantly higher bond prices, the researchers found.An American flag blows in the wind near where Brandon is living.Anna Watts for Insider'They saw me like I was an animal from Africa'In the summer of 2021, Brandon was released from detention. With Black people disproportionately being denied asylum, he knows the odds are stacked against him, but he is still fighting for his claim.His next court hearing isn't for another 18 months. During the wait, he is living with a cousin and spending his time helping around the house. Despite repeated requests, he has yet to receive his work permit. Though he is free, for now, his memory of what happened to him still stings. At the same time, the anxiety of what may happen if he is deported, makes it hard to exercise and enjoy that freedom. Back in Cameroon, the repression against anyone labeled a political dissident continues, with stories of denied and deported asylum seekers being imprisoned and tortured. Knowing that others like him were being detained, disappeared, or killed, he headed for refuge in the U.S. "My mind and my head was on one thing: my freedom," he said. That's not what he found. "I felt like they saw me like I was an animal from Africa."On January 14, 2021, five officers in Winn Correctional Center in Louisiana, in an episode hauntingly similar to what happened to Brandon, attacked Cameroonian asylum seeker Acheleke Fuanya "without provocation," according to a complaint filed in U.S. federal court. The complaint says that "the officers surrounded Mr. Fuanya, tripped him to the ground, and kneeled on his neck." The government has not yet responded to the complaint, and ICE spokesperson Sarah Loicano declined to comment on pending litigation.Fuanya said it felt like "they were trying to break every part of my body." As he pleaded for his life and struggled to breathe, the officers "continued to choke him until they grabbed his fingers and forcibly fingerprinted him," according to the complaint, allegedly trying to forcibly deport him. ICE has deported dozens of Cameroonian asylum seekers over the past year in similar ways, even resorting to using a medical restraining device called The Wrap, to threaten and punish asylum seekers during their long deportation flights. Fuanya said the officers' assault against him was rooted in racism. "They way they would talk to you," he explained. "'You people are Black, you are from Africa,'" ICE officers would say to them, according to Fuanya, "like you were shit, like you were nothing."Additional reporting from Sophia Diez-Zhang.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderMar 26th, 2022

State Governments Shedding Millions Of Square Feet Of Office Space Amid Hybrid Work Revolution

State Governments Shedding Millions Of Square Feet Of Office Space Amid Hybrid Work Revolution By Jarred Schenke and Matthew Rothstein of BisNow, State and local governments lease tens of millions of square feet of office space across the country, but that number is falling fast as the push for remote and hybrid work has made civil servants rethink their real estate. From California to Georgia and Maine to Utah, the pandemic thrust government agencies into an entirely new way of working. Two years later, many have found that offering flexible working arrangements can solve two ever-present challenges they face: attracting and retaining their workers and maximizing taxpayer dollars. “The savings are real,” Nebraska Department of Administrative Services Director Jason Jackson said. “I think future administrations are going to be hard-pressed to say, ‘We should be spending more on office space.’” Philadelphia City Hall sits across the street from the Municipal Services Building, a more conventional office home to many of its departments. At the end of 2019, state and local governments leased 22.6M SF of privately owned, corporate-grade office space across the U.S., comprising 21.6% of all government tenants, according to data compiled by JLL U.S. Office Research. By the end of last year, that total had dropped by 2M SF. That nearly 10% reduction may be the tip of the iceberg, said Bob Hunt, the national leader of JLL’s public institution and higher education department. Over time, state and local office footprints could shrink by as much as 25% or 30%, Hunt told Bisnow. The pandemic and its effects on remote work policies have prompted 87% of state governments to rethink their real estate strategies, according to a JLL survey conducted between February and April 2021. Forty percent of respondents said the rethinking would likely result in a reduction in office space, Hunt said during a November webinar with the National Association of State Facilities Administrators, while the other 60% were unsure what level of impact these considerations would have. “That's a profound amount, for the vast majority [of states] to say, ‘Hey we're thinking about doing something differently as a result of this,’” Hunt said during the webinar. For private companies, expenses on office space can be as much as 50% of their net income, according to a 2017 paper from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. The equation is less straightforward for the revenues and financial outlays of state and local governments, and functions like emergency services or community-based programs have non-negotiable space requirements. But plenty of administrative functions have been carried out remotely since the pandemic began, and the offices they left behind represent real financial commitments. “My impression is that last year and two years ago, when everyone was looking at empty buildings, they saw dollar signs,” said James Burroughs, an associate professor at George Mason University’s Schar School of Public Policy. “They were paying for things they couldn’t use when they emptied out a lot of departments and agencies. Now, I think discussions have evolved to be about the broad future of work.” The city of Fort Worth, Texas, purchased the former Pier 1 Imports headquarters in 2021 to redevelop it as the new City Hall State officials across the country told Bisnow in recent weeks that their workers have embraced the ability to go remote, and they see a chance to redefine their real estate portfolios to tilt more toward employee attraction and retention. How much less space they take remains to be seen, as does how future budget impacts could play out. But the opportunity to spend more on services rather than office space isn’t lost on the civil servants making these decisions. “I think whenever you're talking about several hundreds of thousands of dollars, you're talking about money that is meaningful to Nebraskans,” Jackson said. “For us, when we're talking about managing our real estate strategically, the total size of the opportunity there is pretty substantial.” California has already cut 767K SF of its 14.4M SF office footprint, providing an annual savings of $22.5M. Over the next three years, California is looking to reduce 20% of its overall leased office portfolio, which will save the state $84.7M annually, California Department of General Services Deputy Director Monica Hassan said in an email to Bisnow. By comparison, the state already expects to have a surplus of $20B in its discretionary fund for fiscal year 2022-2023. The Georgia State Properties Commission works with nearly 50 state agencies that occupy 12M SF of office, half of which is leased from private landlords, said Lee Nelson, GSPC's leasing manager and assistant director of space management. “It seems like just about all of [the agencies] are in some stage of figuring out the proper way for us to be organizing our in-office experience going forward,” Nelson said, adding that many agencies have budgetary motivations to reduce leased space.  The Georgia Department of Education has already decided to shrink its footprint at its 150K SF, state-owned headquarters in Downtown Atlanta down to 70K SF, with part of the staff working from home or in remote counties, Nelson said. “We’ll find a state entity to backfill it,” Nelson said. “And whether that [entity] gets pulled from space that is leased from a private sector landlord hasn't been determined yet.” The Maine state government recently consolidated a 180-employee department, which was spread across three office buildings, into a single space, Maine Bureau of General Services Director Bill Longfellow said during the NASFA webinar. About 75% of those 180 workers expect to work remotely three days a week as part of the arrangement, he said, which took away assigned desks. Nelson and Longfellow also cited cost savings as a motivation behind their respective consolidation drives. The state of Tennessee introduced a remote work option for employees of 16 departments starting in 2016, initially as a cost-saving measure. Tennessee Department of General Services’ former deputy commissioner, Reen Baskin, told Governing.com that the state only realized the benefits for worker retention after the fact, but well before the pandemic forced the consideration onto other jurisdictions and the private sector. In Nebraska before the pandemic, the concept of remote work “wasn’t even on our radar,” said Jackson, the state’s director of general services. Now 18 of 80 state agencies, accounting for 13,000 employees, continue to employ remote or hybrid work arrangements. “We surprised ourselves with our own capability to leverage this [situation],” Jackson said. The potential for budget savings is just one motivation for states to look at reducing their office usage; work flexibility has been a major factor in employee recruitment and retention, particularly in a job market increasingly defined by labor shortages. State and local governments are used to doing more with less, but allowing remote and hybrid work is already necessary to stop a major brain drain, Hunt and Burroughs said. “At the end of the day, state and local governments are employing knowledge workers, just in a different regulatory environment [from the private sector],” Hunt said. “And they had an issue with attraction and retention to begin with.” Figuring out how to formulate long-term work strategies is what JLL’s public sector and higher education division, led nationally by Hunt, has been focusing on since before the pandemic. His team consulted on a 2019 pilot program in the state of Utah with the goal of getting 8,000 employees to work from home part time over three years, but around 10,000 Utah employees signed up for the program in just three months, Hunt said.  His team is now under contract to consult with Oregon’s state government, with the assumption that hybrid work will be a permanent part of its real estate equation. Allowing workers to stay remote, in full or in part, is as easy as sending an email in many cases, but amounts to a triage effort for keeping workers happy, Burroughs said. For the model to be sustainable long-term, it requires a right-sizing of real estate usage and a redesign of often outmoded office spaces to the shared desks, conference and breakout rooms heavily utilized by coworking operators and private companies with permanent remote work plans, and such overhauls come with price tags. “No one’s going up to a legislator and suggesting a $1B plan to redesign an office so that it will eventually save money,” Hunt said.  The easiest and cheapest option for transitioning to a new work model is to simply let leases in private office buildings expire and move those functions either to another space with more time on its lease or one that a jurisdiction owns. “They’ve got to address the human problem immediately, but if you do it without addressing the design problem, ultimately you’ve got a lot of idle space,” Hunt said. There are very real limitations of remote work in the public sector, which go beyond the need for police stations and schools. Departments having staff available for local residents who struggle either with internet access or phone usage is key to ensuring equitable access to government services regardless of means. Smaller local governments have less need to radically rethink their real estate, especially since so many already own their own city halls and county complexes, said Chrelle Booker, the mayor pro tem for the town of Tryon in western North Carolina. For much of the pandemic, city employees came to work in person when they were allowed at Tryon Town Hall, Booker said, and public meetings were still held in person in the town of fewer than 2,000 people.  “The pandemic didn’t change anything for us,” Booker said. “It's almost as if we were in another part of the world I guess. Our own little private island.” Booker, who is on the board of directors for the National League of Cities and is running for a seat in the U.S. Senate, said her peers in larger cities could benefit from building a one-stop shop for multiple city services. In Tryon’s case, no consolidation was necessary. “Our police station is part of the same building, and of course, they can't just sit at home,” she said. Office footprints of bigger cities could increasingly look more like Tryon’s as they consolidate departments and lean on hybrid work.  Last year, Fort Worth, Texas, purchased a 20-story, 425K SF tower that had been the headquarters of Pier 1 Imports to convert into its new seat of government. The new Fort Worth City Hall will be home to 16 different departments that had occupied nine other city-owned buildings between them, Fort Worth Director of Property Management Steve Cooke told Bisnow. The consolidation helps especially in the case of individuals or businesses who need permits or forms from multiple departments. Whereas previously, someone might be running all over town to get the correct materials, the new City Hall can function as a one-stop shop, Cooke said. “We're going to be putting that big, pretty building on the front of everything so that it becomes the face of the city,” he said.  The city of Fort Worth paid $69.5M for the building and initially estimated that renovations would cost around $30M, compared to the $200M it estimated new construction would cost. Unlike many other jurisdictions, Fort Worth is amenable to selling the properties it is vacating, further defraying the cost of the move. “We’re going to empty them and sell them for the most part. To sit here and say that it’s going to save us 30 million bucks, I can’t do that sitting here right now,” Cooke said. “But it certainly helps.” Tyler Durden Fri, 03/18/2022 - 21:40.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeMar 19th, 2022

"A Disaster In Plain Sight" - Why San Francisco Is Doing Nothing To Curb Brutal Fentanyl Crisis

"A Disaster In Plain Sight" - Why San Francisco Is Doing Nothing To Curb Brutal Fentanyl Crisis The San Francisco Chronicle just published a lengthy multimedia report about the most devastating public-health crisis currently afflicting the city. And no, it's not COVID-19. It's the rash of super-potent synthetic opioids like fentanyl that are causing a surge in deaths among the city's vast homeless community, as well as among others. Nearly 3/4ths of the thousands of drug overdoses that have been reported in the City by the Bay have involved fentanyl; for the last two years, Fentanyl has been killing far more people in San Francisco than COVID. It's not even close, really. In San Francisco, roughly 1,310 people died from drug overdoses in 2020 and 2021. That's more than double the roughly 710 people who have died from the virus in the city since the start of the pandemic. The city's fentanyl death toll would be higher if it wasn't for narcan, the antidote now used more than 500 times a month to yank people back from the brink of death. Source: Chronicle Overdose deaths happen all over the city, but by far the biggest concentrations are found within a few square blocks on Tenderloin and South of Market, a part of the city that has long plagued law enforcement. A large percentage of the older addicts are blacks who have been living on the city's streets for years, if not decades. What's more, the scourge of fentanyl has transformed the Tenderloin into an open-air drug market. Source: Chronicle Despite budgeting more than $70M for resources for the indigent last year alone, the city of San Francisco has barely managed to make any kind of positive difference in the lives of the city's homeless. Overdose prevention programs in the last fiscal year alone have accomplished little. And police have been stymied by the progressive DA's insistence that city cops not arrest peopl ity leaders have not created a clear, urgent and cohesive plan to intervene despite budgeting $71.4 million for treatment and overdose prevention programs in the last fiscal year alone Since then, however, the problem has only gotten worse. While drugs were once smuggled into San Francisco via complex networks of criminals, nowadays, the biggest drug carriers in the city are DHL and USPS. But the illicit fentanyl now killing people in San Francisco is cooked up in labs — often in China and Mexico — and trafficked via delivery services like UPS and DHL. Doses bound for the city are sometimes mixed with other drugs or fillers, packaged in foil and sold for $20 to $40 a gram. Amazingly, the city's leadership has so far failed to treat the fentanyl crisis with anywhere near the same gravitas as the COVID pandemic. Despite the death toll, San Francisco leaders have not treated the fentanyl crisis as the all-hands emergency that many residents and advocates recognize. The Department of Public Health says that typically, people can access treatment as soon as they’re ready. But some of those seeking help, as well as social workers assigned to them, say they commonly wait days, and sometimes weeks, for a bed that meets their needs. Meanwhile, San Francisco has so far failed to cut the flow of the drug into the Tenderloin and South of Market, where the city has concentrated services and housing for vulnerable people, including those experiencing addiction. Drug dealers operate on the streets with abandon. One of the most surprising details from the report is a depiction of an interaction between an SFPD officer and a homeless addict sleeping in a doorway. As police walk through the Tenderloin, Sgt. Heather Fegan approaches a woman slumped in a doorway. “It’s San Francisco police, honey,” Fegan says. Another officer gently taps the woman’s shoulder, rousing her awake. “We’re just making sure you’re all right,” the officer says. “You’re not in trouble or anything.” It seems the only thing officers are empowered to do when dealing with SF's population of homeless drug addicts is revive them with Narcan when they overdose. On particularly bad days, police in the Tenderloin revive up to 10 or a dozen people, sometimes returning to the same individual just hours later. Still, police usually don't make arrests when they find people dying from an overdose, nor do they investigate to try and ascertain where the drugs came from.   Who's decision was this? Well, unsurprisingly, the Chronicle lays the blame at the feet of Chesa Boudin, the San Francisco DA facing a recall election because of his notoriously soft on crime (critics call them 'pro-criminal') policies. There's also Mayor London Breed, who has apparently ordered police to "get tough" on crime - at least, that's what she's telling the public. On the street, it doesn't seem like much has changed. Mayor London Breed’s new get-tough public stance is consistent with her longtime views, but still marks a shift from programs she spent much of the last year championing, which aim to reduce police interactions with people in need of mental health care and addiction treatment. "It’s time that the reign of criminals who are destroying our city...come to an end," the mayor said, adding that San Francisco should be “less tolerant of all the bulls—." Somehow, progressive do-gooders like Boudin and Breed have embraced the idea that the 'broken windows'-style tactics used in the 1980s to clean up NYC simply aren't effective. Progressives have taken another view: that the welfare of criminals and drug addicts should be prioritized above all else. One common saying is "kilos, not crumbs". Police Chief Bill Scott and District Attorney Chesa Boudin agree, though, that the city cannot focus on arresting and prosecuting users or lower-level drug dealers, some of whom are supporting their own addictions. Boudin, who faces a recall election this year fueled by critics who say his policies are too lenient, says it’s not effective to prosecute quality-of-life crimes, including street drug use, and favors seizing “kilos, not crumbs” of narcotics. As priorities have shifted, the city police force presented about 40% fewer drug-related arrests to the D.A.’s office in 2021 than in 2019, according to data obtained by The Chronicle. But the cases that police still bring are more serious — and Boudin is more frequently filing charges. Even so, Boudin acknowledges that the Tenderloin “has not gotten better." "We need it to be easier for people to get help than it is to get high," he said. The problem with this 'treatment first' narrative is that drug addiction treatment in the US is notoriously expensive. It involves rehabs, medication, outpatient therapy. It's a lot. And most of the time, it doesn't work. For more thoughts on why treatment often isn't enough, click here. But at least Big Pharmaceutical companies are lining their pockets while progressive politicians are building a new indomitable political machine, Tyler Durden Sun, 02/06/2022 - 20:30.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeFeb 6th, 2022

32 cheap tech gifts under $25, from smart bulbs to wireless earbuds

These are the best cheap tech gifts under $25, including speakers, earbuds, cables, wireless keyboards, accessories, and more. Prices are accurate at the time of publication.When you buy through our links, Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.There are plenty of great tech gifts available for under $25.Alyssa Powell/Business Insider Tech gifts can be expensive, but there are tons of affordable options out there for shoppers on a budget. Some gift ideas under $25 include the Tile Mate Bluetooth Tracker, Fire TV Stick, and more. For more recommendations, check out all of our gift guides. Tech products make great gifts, as there are plenty of cool gadgets and accessories available in the $25 and under range.These affordable items are often designed to solve little problems or complement other products, making them easier to use. Better yet, they're usually things that friends and relatives never think about getting for themselves, making them excellent gift ideas.For under $25, you can find all sorts of fun, useful, entertaining, and creative tech gifts. With different needs in mind, we rounded up several budget-friendly products perfect for that special tech fan in your life. You'll probably find a little something for yourself in here, too.A streaming device to bring popular apps to any TVAmazonAmazon Fire TV Stick with Alexa Voice Remote, available at Amazon, $19.99This inexpensive media device brings access to apps like Netflix, Hulu, Disney Plus, and many more to any TV with an HDMI port. It can also make an older smart TV that's become sluggish feel snappy again.The Fire TV Stick plugs right into your TV's HDMI input and includes an Alexa voice remote. This model maxes out at HD quality, though, so you'll need to pay more for a device that can stream in 4K.A pair of wireless earbudsBest BuyJlab Go Air Pop True Wireless Earbuds, available at Best Buy, $14.99There's no need to spend big to ditch the wires and get on the popular wireless earbuds train. The Jlab Go Air Pop may lack premium features like noise cancellation, but they do a great job focusing on the basics and punch way above their price tag in sound quality. Jlab says the earbuds get a total of 32 hours of music playback, with the case's charge included. We also love the built-in USB charging cable that means you'll never have to fish for a cable when you're out and about. More storage for their Nintendo SwitchAmazonSanDisk 128GB microSDXC Card for Nintendo Switch, $20.95Nintendo's standard Switch model comes with a paltry 32GB of storage space, which can easily become full with just a few games. This SanDisk 128GB microSDXC card quadruples the console's storage space, and it has all the proper standards so you know it'll work with any Nintendo Switch. A high-speed HDMI cable ready for next-gen gamingAmazonAmazon Basics 48Gbps HDMI 2.1 cable (6 feet), available on Amazon, $9.74Between streaming boxes, video game consoles, Blu-ray players, AV receivers, and computers, there's never a shortage of devices we need to plug into a TV or monitor. HDMI cables always come in handy, and this Amazon Basics high-speed model is rated for all the latest and greatest video specifications. With a bandwidth capability of 48Gbps, this HDMI 2.1 cable will properly transmit 4K and HDR content, even at 120Hz. This makes it a great fit for next-gen gaming consoles like the PS5 or Xbox Series X. A plug-in for more Wi-Fi coverageAmazonTP-Link AC750 Wi-Fi Extender, available on Amazon, $23.99Wi-Fi signals can sometimes struggle to reach every corner of large living spaces. This can be especially challenging if you're working from home. The TP-Link AC750 WiFi Extender can plug into most common outlets to cover up to 1,500 square feet in your home. After you hit the WPS button on your home router, you'll have to hit the range extender on your TP-Link device. After that you'll be able to get dual-band speeds of up to 750 Mbps in otherwise difficult-to-reach areas in your home.A charger without the hassle of untangling wiresAmazonYootech Wireless Charger, available on Amazon, $12.99The Yootech Wireless Charger covers a number of bases. It supports a 7.5W charging mode for select iPhones, a 10W charging mode to cover select Samsung Galaxy Notes, and a 5W charging mode for Google Pixel models and other Qi-chargeable phones.As long as these types of phones have a case less or equal to 4 mm, the charger should be able to charge them. And aside from smartphones, the charger will let you charge AirPods and AirPods Pro as well.A fun phone caseCase MateCase-Mate Phone Cases for iPhone and Samsung, available on Amazon, from $19.95For the colorful types out there, Case-Mate has a wide range of cases for iPhones and Samsung phones, including ones that are iridescent, full of glitter, or covered in real pressed flowers. Colorful, shiny, and glittery isn't everyone's style, and Case-Mate has a selection of more reserved and sleek cases, including leather cases, clear cases, and stylish plastic cases that offer protection for that person who simply won't get a case for themselves.Keep in mind, however, that while Case-Mate offers several models in the $25 and under range, some of its cases do exceed that budget, including some of its new iPhone 13 models.A ring light to upgrade your Zoom callsAmazonLED Ring Light with Tripod Stand & Phone Holder from UBeeSize, $21.99Now that working from home has become more common, we're relying on video calls more than ever — often in less than ideal lighting conditions. This ring light can help improve the quality of your daily Zoom calls with three different lighting modes, a tripod for your phone, and a Bluetooth remote so that you can control your phone while it's in the stand.Give AirPods a protective homeInsignia / Best BuyInsignia Case for Apple AirPods Pro, starting at $11.99This AirPods Pro case by Insignia is a super easy and inexpensive gift that AirPod owners will appreciate. The case is made of protective silicone that not only prevents scratches and damage from drops and impacts, but reduces the amount of dirt and dust that can make its way into an AirPods charging case. The carabiner is a great little touch that lets the user attach their AirPods case to anything they often carry out with them. It's a nice solution to keep AirPods where you know they'll always be found. The case is available in a variety of different colors, too.A desk stand for your phone that doubles as a chargerAmazonAnker Wireless Charger, available on Amazon, $19.99This desk stand from Anker makes it easy to prop up your phone on any surface and wirelessly charge it at the same time. It can charge Android phones at up to 10W charging speeds, and iPhones up to 7.5W. A PopSocket gripPopSocketPopSocket Grip, available on PopSocket, from $8PopSocket grips stick on the back of any phone or tablet to provide a comfortable grip, but they can also be used as a stand. The thing that makes PopSockets so giftable is their affordability and sheer usefulness — people love them, as they help devices keep more secure in your hands and help prevent accidental drops. That, and they come in so many different styles. You can give your loved one a PopSocket with their favorite sports team, pop culture fandom, or animal on it.A smart light bulb that can add some color to your living roomAmazonTP-Link Kasa Smart Wi-Fi Bulb, available on B&H, $9.99You don't need to spend a lot of time or money to add some smart lighting to your living room. This color-changing smart light bulb from TP-Link could make a great gift for anyone looking to spice up their home lighting with different color and brightness options to fit the mood. It also doesn't require any extra equipment like a hub or a bridge; just connect it to your home Wi-Fi, download the Kasa app, and you're good to go. It works with Amazon Alexa and the Google Assistant, too.A compact Bluetooth speaker for everywhereAnker / WalmartAnker SoundCore Mini Bluetooth Speaker, available at Amazon, $24.99The SoundCore mini is a compact wireless speaker with a 15-hour battery life, a 66-foot Bluetooth range, and 5W of sound. It doesn't have water resistance, but it'll still work just fine in a bathroom. It brings better sound and louder volume than a phone can deliver, and it's perfect for listening to podcasts and music around the house, chilling outside, and on camping trips.  Replacing those lost headphone dongles for iPhonesHollis Johnson/Business InsiderApple Lightning to 3.5mm Headphone Adapter dongle, available on Amazon, $7.20Apple's iPhones used to come with a headphone adapter but new models no longer include one. This is one of those items that shoppers ache to buy for themselves because it shouldn't cost you an extra $10 to use your wired headphones. This makes the dongle an excellent gift, however, as many iPhone owners can make good use of it.Tech-friendly touchscreen glovesAmazonAchiou Winter Knit Touchscreen Gloves, available on Amazon, from $10.99Anyone who lives in a place where it gets cold in winter knows that you have to remove gloves to use a smartphone outdoors. Essentially, a phone's screen doesn't register a finger's touch through a standard glove's material. But Aichou's bestselling winter gloves have special pads on the thumb, forefinger, and middle finger that can be registered by your phone's screen, letting the wearer keep the gloves on when it's freezing outside.  A next-level screen cleaning kitAmazonWhoosh! Screen Cleaner Kit, available on Amazon, $17.50The Whoosh! Screen Cleaner Kit is an alcohol and ammonia-free screen cleaner that's safe on phone screens. Unlike harsher cleaners, it won't strip screens from the factory coatings, namely the oleophobic coatings that prevent screens from getting all gummed up with finger oils. Coming with a pocket-sized bottle of cleaning spray and two cloths, this kit will also clean tablets, e-readers, TVs, Kindles, and almost anything else with a display. We should note, however, that Whoosh doesn't claim that its cleaner kills bacteria or viruses. Also, we've had mixed results with the Whoosh cleaner on MacBook screens, so you may want to avoid using it with Apple laptops.An iPhone tassel cable with chargingAmazonOneenjoy Tassel Cable for iPhone, available on Amazon, $11.59This handy leather tassel keychain includes a hidden USB-to-Lightning cable for charging an Apple device on the go with an external battery or with a charging brick. A water-resistant smartphone armbandAmazonTribe Water Resistant Cell Phone Armband Case, available on Amazon, from $14.98A great gift for runners and fitness enthusiasts, the Tribe cell phone armband case secures your phone to your arm in a case that repels rain. The arm band is fully adjustable elastic, and it comes in three sizes that can accommodate pretty much any phone size. Your phone retains full touchscreen functionality while it's in the case, and the band also includes a handy key holder and headphone jack. A charging brick to quickly power phonesAmazonAnker 20W Nano Pro USB-C charger, available at Amazon, $19.99Anker's USB-C 20W Wall Adapter will charge iPhones and most Android phones at their top capable speeds. Anyone who has a newer iPhone will appreciate being able to take advantage of faster charging speeds. Just note, this item does not include a cable.Grips for the Nintendo Switch's Joy Con controllersAmazon / FyoungFyoung Controller Grips for Nintendo Switch Joy Con, available on Amazon, from $10.99These Joy Con controller grips by Fyoung give players a better and more comfortable traditional console-style grip on the small Switch Joy Con controllers. They have full-size left and right bumper buttons, and they stay in place, even when you move them and shake them around for certain games. These are a no-brainer for Switch-owning friends and family. They come in a variety of colors to match controller colors, too. An adjustable phone standAmazonLamicall Adjustable Phone stand, available on Amazon, from $9.99The Lamicall Phone Stand lets you (or your loved ones) mount your phone at an adjustable angle, which works great when you don't want to hold or touch your phone. Think streaming a video while you cook or sitting at a table, holding a video call with friends or family, or keeping a recipe visible while cooking. It fits any phone and can accommodate most cases, but thicker cases may not fit in the stand's lower arms. It's also easy to adjust, and can flip between portrait and landscape modes. The stand is made of metal and comes in a variety of colors, too.A headphone holder for their deskAmazonBrainwavz Hengja Headphone Hanger, available on Amazon, $14.99The Brainwavz Hengja is an essential gift for a friend who has on-ear or over-ear headphones. This adjustable headphone hanger clamps horizontally or vertically onto a table, shelf, or even a thin wall. The clamp is tightened onto a surface with a flat piece of metal that you can screw to tighten with the included tool.It's made entirely of metal, so it's quite sturdy and will fit and support pretty much any headphone size. It only comes in a black color option. A Wi-Fi smart plug for smart homesAmazonKasa Smart Wi-Fi Plug Mini (2-pack), available on Amazon, $17.99You can connect any device to the Kasa Smart Wi-Fi Plug Mini, from lamps to fans and air conditioners, to make it a smart device that you can control from a phone via the Kasa app, or via a smart assistant like Amazon's Alexa and Google Assistant. Some of the "smart" things you can do with the Kasa smart plug includes adding routines to turn your plugged-in devices on or off. You can also check up and turn on or off those electrical devices remotely via the Kasa app, which works great to give you peace of mind when you're away from home. Glasses with a blue-light filterAmazonCyxus Vintage Retro Blue Light Filter Glasses, available on Amazon, $19.99It seems every day, more and more research is coming out about the dangers of over-exposure to blue light from phone and computer screens. A 2018 study showed that too much blue light can increase your risk of blindness.The Cyxus Vintage Retro Blue Light Filter Glasses filter out 90% of the blue light emitted from screens and barely affects the image. Blue light filters prevent eye dryness and general fatigue from staring at a screen too long, and these glasses are a good, affordable gift for anyone who you know to work in front of a computer screen for long hours.A cheap but effective laptop bagAmazonAmazonBasics Laptop Bag, available on Amazon, $13.15Amazon is full of laptop bags of all prices, but the AmazonBasics Laptop Bag is one of the top-rated, and it gets the job done for an affordable price. It comes in 10-, 11.6-, 14-, 15.6-, and 17.3-inch models to accommodate different laptop sizes, as well as a smaller version for tablets. Plus, it has extra pockets for mice, cell phones, pens, and other small gadgets you might be carrying. A long USB-A to Lightning charging cableAmazonAnker Powerline+ II Lightning Cable, available on Amazon, $19.54No one ever has enough charging cables for their iPhones or iPads. Plus, longer cables like this 10-foot model make it easier and more comfortable to use your iPhone or iPad while it's charging, as the included 3-foot cables don't let you get very far from the charging brick.You don't want to go cheap with cables, and one way to avoid cheap cables is to go with a well-known brand that's proven its reliability over the years. The Anker 10-foot Powerline+ is a proven, reliable, and long-lasting cable that also comes in a variety of colors. A solid wireless keyboard and mouse combo from LogitechLogitech / Best BuyLogitech MK270 Wireless Keyboard and Mouse, available at Target, $19.99A full wireless keyboard and wireless mouse combo from Logitech for under $25 is a great deal and an easy gift for someone you know who needs one. There's no other combo we'd recommend to get someone who needs a mouse and keyboard up and running. There's nothing fancy here, apart from the value. The keyboard is powered by two triple-A batteries, while the wireless mouse is powered by a single double-A battery. The keyboard and mouse communicate with your computer with a tiny USB adapter, and it doesn't need pairing because it doesn't use Bluetooth. An effective gaming mouseWalmartLogitech G300s Optical Gaming Mouse, available on Amazon, $21.99The Logitech G300s is a great gift for someone who enjoys gaming, but doesn't yet have a top-notch gaming mouse. It has a comfortable ambidextrous grip and six programmable buttons you can adjust with Logitech's gaming software. And, for under $25, it's been praised by multiple reviewers as the best budget gaming mouse you can buy. Don't let the price tag fool you: The G300s isn't a bad mouse; it's just an older model.The G300 comes with a gaming-grade optical sensor for better accuracy and tracking than standard mice, and some sleek and modest lighting strips that accent the all-black matte plastic G300s. It plugs into a computer's standard USB port. An big, wide mouse pad for work or gamingWalmart / CorsairCorsair MM100 Cloth Gaming Mouse Pad, available at Walmart, $12.99A mouse pad seems strange as a gift, but this one is large and well made — it's one of those things that can make a surprisingly significant improvement to comfort and efficiency while using a mouse for gaming, work, or general use. The Corsair MM100 mouse pad is larger than standard office mouse pads at 14.5 x 10.6 inches (370mm x 270mm) with 3mm thickness, making for greater surface area. That means fewer mouse lifts as you're moving the cursor around the screen. And, of course, it's great for gaming, which is this mouse pad's primary intention. An effective dashboard phone holderAmazoniOttie Easy One Touch Phone Holder, available on Amazon, $22.95If you know anyone who is still using an ancient GPS to navigate, have mercy on them and give them the iOttie Easy One Touch Phone Holder. This car mount has a one-touch release mechanism for easily inserting and removing your phone, and its arm can pivot 225 degrees to ensure a comfortable viewing angle.The Phone Holder stays on a car's dashboard via a suction cup, which sticks to an included dashboard pad that sticks firmly on a car's dash. You can simply use the suction cup on a car's windshield if the driver would rather not use the dashboard pad that sticks onto the dash.  A Tile Bluetooth item trackerAmazonTile Mate, available on Amazon, $24.88Attach the Tile Mate to your keys, luggage, backpack, briefcase, or any other valuable possession to ensure you never lose that item again. If you misplace the object that includes your tracker, just check the Tile app to see its location in seconds. As a bonus, if you lose your phone, you can press your Tile Mate to make it ring. The Tile Mate has 250-foot range and it's water-resistant, making it an actual realistic option to track your pets, too. If items with the Tile Mate are out of range, there's a chance that the someone else with a Tile can pick it up and relay its location back to you via the Tile Network and Tile app. The Tile Mate supports up to three years of battery life. A subscription to a popular streaming serviceHulu/Alyssa Powell/Business InsiderHulu gift card, available on Amazon, from $25This recommendation technically breaks our under $25 threshold, but it's such a convenient gift that it's hard not to include. Hulu is one of our favorite streaming services thanks to its affordable price and big selection of network shows, original series, and entertaining movies. Though the platform doesn't sell annual gift subscriptions, you can buy Hulu gift cards. A $25 card will cover three and a half months of Hulu's ad-supported plan ($7/month), or just under two months of Hulu's ad-free plan ($13/month).Once your recipient's gift credit expires, they must provide another payment method to continue their Hulu subscription. Similar gift cards are also available for Netflix and Paramount Plus.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderJan 21st, 2022

Highwoods (HIW) Progresses in Raleigh Via Real-Estate Project

Highwoods Properties' (HIW) plan to expand presence in Raleighis in line with its efforts to expand in the high-growth Best Business District markets. Highwoods Properties, Inc. HIW plans to develop GlenLake III in Raleigh for a projected investment of $94.4 million. This is in line with the company’s efforts to expand in the high-growth Best Business District markets.GlenLake III is a mixed-use project which encompasses 218,000 square feet. It is entitled to the development of 205,000 square feet of office space and 13,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space.Mixed-use developments reduce distances between housing, workplaces, retail businesses, and other amenities and destinations. Hence, the same enables companies to grab the attention of people who prefer to live, work and play in the same area.Thus, the development of this Raleigh property offers Highwoods Properties the scope to work with high-quality retail and hotel developers besides retaining full control of the office development sites.With 16% of the office portion already pre-leased to McKim & Creed, the property seems attractive.The development also positions the company well to capitalize on rising office demand. Amid the favorable migration trends and a pro-business environment, corporate relocations and expansions in the Sun Belt markets gain immense prominence. This, in turn, is driving demand for office spaces. Hence, Highwoods Properties is well poised to capture healthy demand.Highwoods Properties developed five office buildings in GlenLake from 2001 through 2020. These five office properties are 98% occupied on an aggregate basis and encompass 732,000 square feet. The most recent project was GlenLake VII, a 125,000 square foot fully-occupied office building, which was placed in service during the first quarter of the ongoing year.This presently Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) company has underperformed its industry over the past six months. Shares of Highwoods Properties have appreciated 8% while the industry has rallied 11.2% during this period.Image Source: Zacks Investment ResearchOther Stocks to ConsiderThe Zacks Consensus Estimate for CubeSmart’s CUBE 2021 FFO per share has moved marginally north to $2.05 in the past week. The company carries a Zacks Rank of 2, currently. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.Extra Space Storage Inc. EXR carries a Zacks Rank of 2 at present. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the ongoing year’s FFO per share has been revised marginally upward to $6.62 over the past week.The Zacks Consensus Estimate for Duke Realty Corporation’s DRE 2021 FFO per share has moved marginally north to $1.73 in the past month. The company carries a Zacks Rank of 2, currently.Note: Anything related to earnings presented in this write-up represent funds from operations (FFO) — a widely used metric to gauge the performance of REITs. More Stock News: This Is Bigger than the iPhone! It could become the mother of all technological revolutions. Apple sold a mere 1 billion iPhones in 10 years but a new breakthrough is expected to generate more than 77 billion devices by 2025, creating a $1.3 trillion market. Zacks has just released a Special Report that spotlights this fast-emerging phenomenon and 4 tickers for taking advantage of it. If you don't buy now, you may kick yourself in 2022.Click here for the 4 trades >>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 Highwoods Properties, Inc. (HIW): Free Stock Analysis Report Duke Realty Corporation (DRE): Free Stock Analysis Report Extra Space Storage Inc (EXR): Free Stock Analysis Report CubeSmart (CUBE): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksNov 10th, 2021

Babies are increasingly dying of syphilis in the US - but it"s 100% preventable

Babies with syphilis may have deformed bones, damaged brains, and struggle to hear, see, or breathe. A newborn baby rests at the Ana Betancourt de Mora Hospital in Camaguey, Cuba, on June 19, 2015. Alexandre Meneghini/Reuters The number of US babies born with syphilis quadrupled from 2015 to 2019. Babies with syphilis may have deformed bones, damaged brains, and struggle to hear, see, or breathe. Routine testing and penicillin shots for pregnant women could prevent these cases. This story was originally published by ProPublica, a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative newsroom, in collaboration with NPR News. Sign up for The Big Story newsletter to receive stories like this one in your inbox.When Mai Yang is looking for a patient, she travels light. She dresses deliberately - not too formal, so she won't be mistaken for a police officer; not too casual, so people will look past her tiny 4-foot-10 stature and youthful face and trust her with sensitive health information. Always, she wears closed-toed shoes, "just in case I need to run."Yang carries a stack of cards issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that show what happens when the Treponema pallidum bacteria invades a patient's body. There's a photo of an angry red sore on a penis. There's one of a tongue, marred by mucus-lined lesions. And there's one of a newborn baby, its belly, torso and thighs dotted in a rash, its mouth open, as if caught midcry.It was because of the prospect of one such baby that Yang found herself walking through a homeless encampment on a blazing July day in Huron, California, an hour's drive southwest of her office at the Fresno County Department of Public Health. She was looking for a pregnant woman named Angelica, whose visit to a community clinic had triggered a report to the health department's sexually transmitted disease program. Angelica had tested positive for syphilis. If she was not treated, her baby could end up like the one in the picture or worse - there was a 40% chance the baby would die.Yang knew, though, that if she helped Angelica get treated with three weekly shots of penicillin at least 30 days before she gave birth, it was likely that the infection would be wiped out and her baby would be born without any symptoms at all. Every case of congenital syphilis, when a baby is born with the disease, is avoidable. Each is considered a "sentinel event," a warning that the public health system is failing.The alarms are now clamoring. In the United States, more than 129,800 syphilis cases were recorded in 2019, double the case count of five years prior. In the same time period, cases of congenital syphilis quadrupled: 1,870 babies were born with the disease; 128 died. Case counts from 2020 are still being finalized, but the CDC has said that reported cases of congenital syphilis have already exceeded the prior year. Black, Hispanic, and Native American babies are disproportionately at risk.There was a time, not too long ago, when CDC officials thought they could eliminate the centuries-old scourge from the United States, for adults and babies. But the effort lost steam and cases soon crept up again. Syphilis is not an outlier. The United States goes through what former CDC director Tom Frieden calls "a deadly cycle of panic and neglect" in which emergencies propel officials to scramble and throw money at a problem - whether that's Ebola, Zika, or COVID-19. Then, as fear ebbs, so does the attention and motivation to finish the task.The last fraction of cases can be the hardest to solve, whether that's eradicating a bug or getting vaccines into arms, yet too often, that's exactly when political attention gets diverted to the next alarm. The result: The hardest to reach and most vulnerable populations are the ones left suffering, after everyone else looks away.Yang first received Angelica's lab report on June 17. The address listed was a P.O. box, and the phone number belonged to her sister, who said Angelica was living in Huron. That was a piece of luck: Huron is tiny; the city spans just 1.6 square miles. On her first visit, a worker at the Alamo Motel said she knew Angelica and directed Yang to a nearby homeless encampment. Angelica wasn't there, so Yang returned a second time, bringing one of the health department nurses who could serve as an interpreter.They made their way to the barren patch of land behind Huron Valley Foods, the local grocery store, where people took shelter in makeshift lean-tos composed of cardboard boxes, scrap wood, and scavenged furniture, draped with sheets that served as ceilings and curtains. Yang stopped outside one of the structures, calling a greeting."Hi, I'm from the health department, I'm looking for Angelica."The nurse echoed her in Spanish.Angelica emerged, squinting in the sunlight. Yang couldn't tell if she was visibly pregnant yet, as her body was obscured by an oversized shirt. The two women were about the same age: Yang 26 and Angelica 27. Yang led her away from the tent, so they could speak privately. Angelica seemed reticent, surprised by the sudden appearance of the two health officers. "You're not in trouble," Yang said, before revealing the results of her blood test.Angelica had never heard of syphilis."Have you been to prenatal care?"Angelica shook her head. The local clinic had referred her to an obstetrician in Hanford, a 30-minute drive away. She had no car. She also mentioned that she didn't intend to raise her baby; her two oldest children lived with her mother, and this one likely would, too.Yang pulled out the CDC cards, showing them to Angelica and asking if she had experienced any of the symptoms illustrated. No, Angelica said, her lips pursed with disgust."Right now you still feel healthy, but this bacteria is still in your body," Yang pressed. "You need to get the infection treated to prevent further health complications to yourself and your baby."The community clinic was just across the street. "Can we walk you over to the clinic and make sure you get seen so we can get this taken care of?"Angelica demurred. She said she hadn't showered for a week and wanted to wash up first. She said she'd go later.Yang tried once more to extract a promise: "What time do you think you'll go?""Today, for sure."The CDC tried and failed to eradicate syphilis - twiceSyphilis is called The Great Imitator: It can look like any number of diseases. In its first stage, the only evidence of infection is a painless sore at the bacteria's point of entry. Weeks later, as the bacteria multiplies, skin rashes bloom on the palms of the hands and bottoms of the feet. Other traits of this stage include fever, headaches, muscle aches, sore throat, and fatigue. These symptoms eventually disappear and the patient progresses into the latent phase, which betrays no external signs. But if left untreated, after a decade or more, syphilis will reemerge in up to 30% of patients, capable of wreaking horror on a wide range of organ systems. Marion Sims, president of the American Medical Association in 1876, called it a "terrible scourge, which begins with lamb-like mildness and ends with lion-like rage that ruthlessly destroys everything in its way."The corkscrew-shaped bacteria can infiltrate the nervous system at any stage of the infection. Yang is haunted by her memory of interviewing a young man whose dementia was so severe that he didn't know why he was in the hospital or how old he was. And regardless of symptoms or stage, the bacteria can penetrate the placenta to infect a fetus. Even in these cases the infection is unpredictable: Many babies are born with normal physical features, but others can have deformed bones or damaged brains, and they can struggle to hear, see, or breathe.From its earliest days, syphilis has been shrouded in stigma. The first recorded outbreak was in the late 15th century, when Charles VIII led the French army to invade Naples. Italian physicians described French soldiers covered with pustules, dying from a sexually transmitted disease. As the affliction spread, Italians called it the French Disease. The French blamed the Neopolitans. It was also called the German, Polish, or Spanish disease, depending on which neighbor one wanted to blame. Even its name bears the taint of divine judgement: It comes from a 16th-century poem that tells of a shepherd, Syphilus, who offended the god Apollo and was punished with a hideous disease.By 1937 in America, when former Surgeon General Thomas Parran wrote the book "Shadow on the Land," he estimated some 680,000 people were under treatment for syphilis; about 60,000 babies were being born annually with congenital syphilis. There was no cure, and the stigma was so strong that public-health officials feared even properly documenting cases.Thanks to Parran's ardent advocacy, Congress in 1938 passed the National Venereal Disease Control Act, which created grants for states to set up clinics and support testing and treatment. Other than a short-lived funding effort during World War I, this was the first coordinated federal push to respond to the disease.Around the same time, the Public Health Service launched an effort to record the natural history of syphilis. Situated in Tuskegee, Alabama, the infamous study recruited 600 black men. By the early 1940s, penicillin became widely available and was found to be a reliable cure, but the treatment was withheld from the study participants. Outrage over the ethical violations would cast a stain across syphilis research for decades to come and fuel generations of mistrust in the medical system among Black Americans that continues to this day. People attend a ceremony near Tuskegee, Alabama, on April 3, 2017, to commemorate the roughly 600 men who were subjects in the Tuskegee syphilis study. Jay Reeves/AP Photo With the introduction of penicillin, cases began to plummet. Twice, the CDC has announced efforts to wipe out the disease - once in the 1960s and again in 1999.In the latest effort, the CDC announced that the United States had "a unique opportunity to eliminate syphilis within its borders," thanks to historically low rates, with 80% of counties reporting zero cases. The concentration of cases in the South "identifies communities in which there is a fundamental failure of public health capacity," the agency noted, adding that elimination - which it defined as fewer than 1,000 cases a year - would "decrease one of our most glaring racial disparities in health."Two years after the campaign began, cases started climbing, first among gay men and, later, heterosexuals. Cases in women started accelerating in 2013, followed shortly by increasing numbers of babies born with syphilis. The reasons for failure are complex: People relaxed safer sex practices after the advent of potent HIV combination therapies, increased methamphetamine use drove riskier behavior, and an explosion of online dating made it hard to track and test sexual partners, according to Ina Park, medical director of the California Prevention Training Center at the University of California San Francisco.But federal and state public-health efforts were hamstrung from the get-go. In 1999, the CDC said it would need about $35 million to $39 million in new federal funds annually for at least five years to eliminate syphilis. The agency got less than half of what it asked for, according to Jo Valentine, former program coordinator of the CDC's Syphilis Elimination Effort. As cases rose, the CDC modified its goals in 2006 from 0.4 primary and secondary syphilis cases per 100,000 in population to 2.2 cases per 100,000. By 2013, as elimination seemed less and less viable, the CDC changed its focus to ending congenital syphilis only.Since then, funding has remained anemic. From 2015 to 2020, the CDC's budget for preventing sexually transmitted infections grew by 2.2%. Taking inflation into account, that's a 7.4% reduction in purchasing power. In the same period, cases of syphilis, gonorrhea, and chlamydia - the three STDs that have federally funded control programs - increased by nearly 30%."We have a long history of nearly eradicating something, then changing our attention, and seeing a resurgence in numbers," David Harvey, executive director of the National Coalition of STD Directors, said. "We have more congenital syphilis cases today in America than we ever had pediatric AIDS at the height of the AIDS epidemic. It's heartbreaking."Adriane Casalotti, chief of government and public affairs at the National Association of County and City Health Officials, warns that the US should not be surprised to see case counts continue to climb."The bugs don't go away," she said. "They're just waiting for the next opportunity, when you're not paying attention."Syphilis has fewer poster children than HIV or cancerYang waited until the end of the day, then called the clinic to see if Angelica had gone for her shot. She had not. Yang would have to block off another half day to visit Huron again, but she had three dozen other cases to deal with.States in the South and West have seen the highest syphilis rates in recent years. In 2017, 64 babies in Fresno County were born with syphilis at a rate of 440 babies per 100,000 live births - about 19 times the national rate. While the county had managed to lower case counts in the two years that followed, the pandemic threatened to unravel that progress, forcing STD staffers to do COVID-19 contact tracing, pausing field visits to find infected people, and scaring patients from seeking care. Yang's colleague handled three cases of stillbirth in 2020; in each, the woman was never diagnosed with syphilis because she feared catching the coronavirus and skipped prenatal care.Yang, whose caseload peaked at 70 during a COVID-19 surge, knew she would not be able handle them all as thoroughly as she'd like to."When I was being mentored by another investigator, he said: 'You're not a superhero. You can't save everybody,'" she said.She prioritizes men who have sex with men, because there's a higher prevalence of syphilis in that population, and pregnant people, because of the horrific consequences for babies.The job of a disease intervention specialist isn't for everyone: It means meeting patients whenever and wherever they are available - in the mop closet of a bus station, in a quiet parking lot - to inform them about the disease, to extract names of sex partners, and to encourage treatment. Patients are often reluctant to talk. They can get belligerent, upset that "the government" has their personal information, or shattered at the thought that a partner is likely cheating on them. Salaries typically start in the low $40,000s.Jena Adams, Yang's supervisor, has eight investigators working on HIV and syphilis. In the middle of 2020, she lost two and replaced them only recently."It's been exhausting," Adams said.She has only one specialist who is trained to take blood samples in the field, crucial for guaranteeing that the partners of those who test positive for syphilis also get tested. Adams wants to get phlebotomy training for the rest of her staff, but it's $2,000 per person. The department also doesn't have anyone who can administer penicillin injections in the field; that would have been key when Yang met Angelica. For a while, a nurse who worked in the tuberculosis program would ride along to give penicillin shots on a volunteer basis. Then he, too, left the health department.Much of the resources in public health trickle down from the CDC, which distributes money to states, which then parcel it out to counties. The CDC gets its budget from Congress, which tells the agency, by line item, exactly how much money it can spend to fight a disease or virus, in an uncommonly specific manner not seen in many other agencies. The decisions are often politically driven and can be detached from actual health needs.When the House and Senate appropriations committees meet to decide how much the CDC will get for each line item, they are barraged by lobbyists for individual disease interests. Stephanie Arnold Pang, senior director of policy and government relations at the National Coalition of STD Directors, can pick out the groups by sight: breast cancer wears pink, Alzheimer's goes in purple, multiple sclerosis comes in orange, HIV in red. STD prevention advocates, like herself, don a green ribbon, but they're far outnumbered.And unlike diseases that might already be familiar to lawmakers, or have patient and family spokespeople who can tell their own powerful stories, syphilis doesn't have many willing poster children. Breast Cancer survivors hold up a check for the amount raised at The Congressional Womens Softball Game at Watkins Recreation Center in Capitol Hill on June 20, 2018. Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call "Congressmen don't wake up one day and say, 'Oh hey, there's congenital syphilis in my jurisdiction.' You have to raise awareness," Arnold Pang said. It can be hard jockeying for a meeting. "Some offices might say, 'I don't have time for you because we've just seen HIV.' ... Sometimes, it feels like you're talking into a void."The consequences of the political nature of public-health funding have become more obvious during the coronavirus pandemic. The 2014 Ebola epidemic was seen as a "global wakeup call" that the world wasn't prepared for a major pandemic, yet in 2018, the CDC scaled back its epidemic prevention work as money ran out."If you've got to choose between Alzheimer's research and stopping an outbreak that may not happen? Stopping an outbreak that might not happen doesn't do well," Frieden, the former CDC director, said. "The CDC needs to have more money and more flexible money. Otherwise, we're going to be in this situation long term."In May 2021, President Joe Biden's administration announced it would set aside $7.4 billion over the next five years to hire and train public health workers, including $1.1 billion for more disease intervention specialists like Yang. Public health officials are thrilled to have the chance to expand their workforce, but some worry the time horizon may be too short."We've seen this movie before, right?" Frieden said. "Everyone gets concerned when there's an outbreak, and when that outbreak stops, the headlines stop, and an economic downturn happens, the budget gets cut."Fresno's STD clinic was shuttered in 2010 amid the Great Recession. Many others have vanished since the passage of the Affordable Care Act.Health leaders thought "by magically beefing up the primary care system, that we would do a better job of catching STIs and treating them," Harvey, the executive director of the National Coalition of STD Directors, said.That hasn't worked out; people want access to anonymous services, and primary care doctors often don't have STDs top of mind. The coalition is lobbying Congress for funding to support STD clinical services, proposing a three-year demonstration project funded at $600 million.It's one of Adams' dreams to see Fresno's STD clinic restored as it was."You could come in for an HIV test and get other STDs checked," she said. "And if a patient is positive, you can give a first injection on the spot."'I've seen people's families ripped apart and I've seen beautiful babies die'On August 12, Yang set out for Huron again, speeding past groves of almond trees and fields of grapes in the department's white Chevy Cruze. She brought along a colleague, Jorge Sevilla, who had recently transferred to the STD program from COVID-19 contact tracing. Yang was anxious to find Angelica again."She's probably in her second trimester now," she said.They found her outside of a pale yellow house a few blocks from the homeless encampment; the owner was letting her stay in a shed tucked in the corner of the dirt yard. This time, it was evident that she was pregnant. Yang noted that Angelica was wearing a wig; hair loss is a symptom of syphilis."Do you remember me?" Yang asked.Angelica nodded. She didn't seem surprised to see Yang again. (I came along, and Sevilla explained who I was and that I was writing about syphilis and the people affected by it. Angelica signed a release for me to report about her case, and she said she had no problem with me writing about her or even using her full name. ProPublica chose to only print her first name.)"How are you doing? How's the baby?""Bien.""So the last time we talked, we were going to have you go to United Healthcare Center to get treatment. Have you gone since?"Angelica shook her head."We brought some gift cards..." Sevilla started in Spanish. The department uses them as incentives for completing injections. But Angelica was already shaking her head. The nearest Walmart was the next town over.Yang turned to her partner. "Tell her: So the reason why we're coming out here again is because we really need her to go in for treatment. [...] We really are concerned for the baby's health especially since she's had the infection for quite a while."Angelica listened while Sevilla interpreted, her eyes on the ground. Then she looked up. "Orita?" she asked. Right now?"I'll walk with you," Yang offered. Angelica shook her head."She said she wants to shower first before she goes over there," Sevilla said.Yang made a face. "She said that to me last time." Yang offered to wait, but Angelica didn't want the health officers to linger by the house. She said she would meet them by the clinic in 15 minutes.Yang was reluctant to let her go but again had no other option. She and Sevilla drove to the clinic, then stood on the corner of the parking lot, staring down the road.Talk to the pediatricians, obstetricians, and families on the front lines of the congenital syphilis surge and it becomes clear why Yang and others are trying so desperately to prevent cases. J.B. Cantey, associate professor in pediatrics at UT Health San Antonio, remembers a baby girl born at 25 weeks gestation who weighed a pound and a half. Syphilis had spread through her bones and lungs. She spent five months in the neonatal intensive care unit, breathing through a ventilator, and was still eating through a tube when she was discharged.Then, there are the miscarriages, the stillbirths, and the inconsolable parents. Irene Stafford, an associate professor and maternal-fetal medicine specialist at UT Health in Houston, cannot forget a patient who came in at 36 weeks for a routine checkup, pregnant with her first child. Stafford realized that there was no heartbeat."She could see on my face that something was really wrong," Stafford recalled. She had to let the patient know that syphilis had killed her baby."She was hysterical, just bawling," Stafford said. "I've seen people's families ripped apart and I've seen beautiful babies die." Fewer than 10% of patients who experience a stillbirth are tested for syphilis, suggesting that cases are underdiagnosed.A Texas grandmother named Solidad Odunuga offers a glimpse into what the future could hold for Angelica's mother, who may wind up raising her baby.In February of last year, Odunuga got a call from the Lyndon B. Johnson Hospital in Houston. A nurse told her that her daughter was about to give birth and that child protective services had been called. Odunuga had lost contact with her daughter, who struggled with homelessness and substance abuse. She arrived in time to see her grandson delivered, premature at 30 weeks old, weighing 2.7 pounds. He tested positive for syphilis.When a child protective worker asked Odunuga to take custody of the infant, she felt a wave of dread."I was in denial," she recalled. "I did not plan to be a mom again." The baby's medical problems were daunting: "Global developmental delays [...] concerns for visual impairments [...] high risk of cerebral palsy," read a note from the doctor at the time.Still, Odunuga visited her grandson every day for three months, driving to the NICU from her job at the University of Houston. "I'd put him in my shirt to keep him warm and hold him there." She fell in love. She named him Emmanuel.Once Emmanuel was discharged, Odunuga realized she had no choice but to quit her job. While Medicaid covered the costs of Emmanuel's treatment, it was on her to care for him. From infancy, Emmanuel's life has been a whirlwind of constant therapy. Today, at 20 months old, Odunuga brings him to physical, occupational, speech, and developmental therapy, each a different appointment on a different day of the week.Emmanuel has thrived beyond what his doctors predicted, toddling so fast that Odunuga can't look away for a minute and beaming as he waves his favorite toy phone. Yet he still suffers from gagging issues, which means Odunuga can't feed him any solid foods. Liquid gets into his lungs when he aspirates; it has led to pneumonia three times. Emmanuel has a special stroller that helps keep his head in a position that won't aggravate his persistent reflux, but Odunuga said she still has to pull over on the side of the road sometimes when she hears him projectile vomiting from the backseat.The days are endless. Once she puts Emmanuel to bed, Odunuga starts planning the next day's appointments."I've had to cry alone, scream out alone," she said. "Sometimes I wake up and think, 'Is this real?' And then I hear him in the next room."There's no vaccine for syphilis A health worker tests a migrant from Haiti for HIV and syphilis to in Ciudad Acuna, Mexico, on September 25, 2021. Daniel Becerril/Reuters Putting aside the challenge of eliminating syphilis entirely, everyone agrees it's both doable and necessary to prevent newborn cases."There was a crisis in perinatal HIV almost 30 years ago and people stood up and said this is not OK - it's not acceptable for babies to be born in that condition. [...We] brought it down from 1,700 babies born each year with perinatal HIV to less than 40 per year today," Virginia Bowen, an epidemiologist at the CDC, said. "Now here we are with a slightly different condition. We can also stand up and say, 'This is not acceptable.'" Belarus, Bermuda, Cuba, Malaysia, Thailand, and Sri Lanka are among countries recognized by the World Health Organization for eliminating congenital syphilis.Success starts with filling gaps across the health care system.For almost a century, public health experts have advocated for testing pregnant patients more than once for syphilis in order to catch the infection. But policies nationwide still don't reflect this best practice. Six states have no prenatal screening requirement at all. Even in states that require three tests, public-health officials say that many physicians aren't aware of the requirements. Stafford, the maternal-fetal medicine specialist in Houston, says she's tired of hearing her own peers in medicine tell her, "Oh, syphilis is a problem?"It costs public health departments less than 25 cents a dose to buy penicillin, but for a private practice, it's more than $1,000, according to Park of the University of California San Francisco."There's no incentive for a private physician to stock a dose that could expire before it's used, so they often don't have it," she said. "So a woman comes in, they say, 'We'll send you to the emergency department or health department to get it,' then [the patients] don't show up."A vaccine would be invaluable for preventing spread among people at high risk for reinfection. But there is none. Scientists only recently figured out how to grow the bacteria in the lab, prompting grants from the National Institutes of Health to fund research into a vaccine. Justin Radolf, a researcher at the University of Connecticut School of Medicine, said he hopes his team will have a vaccine candidate by the end of its five-year grant. But it'll likely take years more to find a manufacturer and run human trials.Public-health agencies also need to recognize that many of the hurdles to getting pregnant people treated involve access to care, economic stability, safe housing, and transportation. In Fresno, Adams has been working on ways her department can collaborate with mental health services. Recently, one of her disease intervention specialists managed to get a pregnant woman treated with penicillin shots and, at the patient's request, connected her with an addiction treatment center.Gaining a patient's cooperation means seeing them as complex humans instead of just a case to solve."There may be past traumas with the healthcare system," Cynthia Deverson, project manager of the Houston Fetal Infant Morbidity Review, said. "There's the fear of being discovered if she's doing something illegal to survive. [...] She may need to be in a certain place at a certain time so she can get something to eat, or maybe it's the only time of the day that's safe for her to sleep. They're not going to tell you that. Yes, they understand there's a problem, but it's not an immediate threat, maybe they don't feel bad yet, so obviously this is not urgent.""What helps to gain trust is consistency," she added. "Literally, it's seeing that [disease specialist] constantly, daily. [...] The woman can see that you're not going to harm her, you're saying, 'I'm here at this time if you need me.'"Yang stood outside the clinic, waiting for Angelica to show up, baking in the 90-degree heat. Her feelings ranged from irritation - Why didn't she just go? I'd have more energy for other cases - to an appreciation for the parts of Angelica's story that she didn't know - She's in survival mode. I need to be more patient.Fifteen minutes ticked by, then 20."OK," Yang announced. "We're going back."She asked Sevilla if he would be OK if they drove Angelica to the clinic; they technically weren't supposed to because of coronavirus precautions, but Yang wasn't sure she could convince Angelica to walk. Sevilla gave her the thumbs up.When they pulled up, they saw Angelica sitting in the backyard, chatting with a friend. She now wore a fresh T-shirt and had shoes on her feet. Angelica sat silently in the back seat as Yang drove to the clinic. A few minutes later, they pulled up to the parking lot.Finally, Yang thought. We got her here.The clinic was packed with people waiting for COVID-19 tests and vaccinations. A worker there had previously told Yang that a walk-in would be fine, but a receptionist now said they were too busy to treat Angelica. She would have to return.Yang felt a surge of frustration, sensing that her hard-fought opportunity was slipping away. She tried to talk to the nurse supervisor, but he wasn't available. She tried to leave the gift cards at the office to reward Angelica if she came, but the receptionist said she couldn't hold them. While Yang negotiated, Sevilla sat with Angelica in the car, waiting.Finally, Yang accepted this was yet another thing she couldn't control.She drove Angelica back to the yellow house. As they arrived, she tried once more to impress on her just how important it was to get treated, asking Sevilla to interpret. "We don't want it to get any more serious, because she can go blind, she could go deaf, she could lose her baby."Angelica already had the door halfway open."So on a scale from one to 10, how important is this to get treated?" Yang asked."Ten," Angelica said. Yang reminded her of the appointment that afternoon. Then Angelica stepped out and returned to the dusty yard.Yang lingered for a moment, watching Angelica go. Then she turned the car back onto the highway and set off toward Fresno, knowing, already, that she'd be back.Postscript: A reporter visited Huron twice more in the months that followed, including once independently to try to interview Angelica, but she wasn't in town. Yang has visited Huron twice more as well - six times in total thus far. In October, a couple of men at the yellow house said Angelica was still in town, still pregnant. Yang and Sevilla spent an hour driving around, talking to residents, hoping to catch Angelica. But she was nowhere to be found.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytNov 2nd, 2021

31 cheap tech gifts under $25, from Bluetooth speakers to smart light bulbs

These are the best cheap tech gifts under $25, including speakers, cables, keyboards, accessories, and more. When you buy through our links, Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more. There are plenty of great tech gifts available for under $25. Alyssa Powell/Business Insider Tech gifts can be expensive, but there are affordable options out there for shoppers on a budget. Some items under $25 include the Tile Mate Bluetooth Tracker, Echo Dot (3rd Gen), and more. For more recommendations, check out all of our gift guides. Tech products make great gifts, but finding one for the right price can be tricky. Though high-end gear gets pricey, there are plenty of gadgets and accessories available in the $25 and under range.These affordable items are often designed to solve little problems or complement other products, making them easier to use. Better yet, they're usually things that friends and relatives never think about getting for themselves, making them excellent gift ideas.For under $25, you can find all sorts of fun, useful, entertaining, and creative tech gifts. Regardless of whom you're shopping for, we think we've found at least one budget-friendly product that would serve that loved one in your life well without running up your credit card bill. You'll probably find a little something for yourself in here, too. A budget-friendly smart speaker Best Buy Echo Dot (3rd Gen), available on Amazon, $24.99Amazon's third-generation Echo Dot is on sale for just under $25 during the holiday shopping season. There is a newer fourth-gen model with a more modern, spherical design, but that one costs double the price. This older version has all the same Alexa features, making it a full-fledged smart speaker that you can gift on a budget.If your giftee prefers Google's ecosystem, you can also find the Google Nest Mini on sale for just right $25. Both devices are reliable, compact speakers with hands-free controls and helpful digital assistants.  A high-speed HDMI cable ready for next-gen gaming Amazon Amazon Basics 48Gbps HDMI cable (6 feet), available on Amazon, $9.99If there's one thing home entertainment fans can never have too many of, it's HDMI cables. Between streaming boxes, video game consoles, Blu-ray players, AV receivers, and computers, there's never a shortage of devices we need to plug into a TV or monitor. HDMI cables always come in handy, and this Amazon Basics high-speed model is rated for all the latest and greatest video specifications. With a bandwidth capability of 48Gbps, you can rest easy that this cable will properly transmit 4K and HDR content, even at 120Hz. This makes it a great fit for next-gen gaming consoles like the PS5 or Xbox Series X.  A plug-in for more Wi-Fi coverage Amazon TP-Link N300 Wi-Fi Extender, available on Amazon, $14.99Wi-Fi signals can sometimes struggle to reach every corner of large living spaces. This can be especially challenging if you're working from home. The TP-Link N300 WiFi Extender can plug into most common outlets and add up to 800 square feet to your home Wi-Fi coverage. After you hit the WPS button on your home router, you'll have to hit the range extender on your TP-Link device. After that you'll be able to get speeds of up to 300 Mbps in otherwise difficult-to-reach areas in your home. A charger without the hassle of untangling wires Amazon Yootech Wireless Charger, available on Amazon, $13.99The Yootech Wireless Charger covers a number of bases. It supports a 7.5W charging mode for select iPhones, a 10W charging mode to cover select Samsung Galaxy Notes, and a 5W charging mode for Google Pixel models and other Qi-chargeable phones.As long as these types of phones have a case less or equal to 4 mm, the charger should be able to charge them And aside from smartphones, the charger will let you charge AirPods and AirPods Pro as well. An all-in-one speaker with lights, music, and an alarm Amazon Tranesca Bluetooth Speaker with Lights, available on Amazon, $24.95This speaker from Tranesca acts as both a night-light and a home listening experience. After you connect your music device to the speaker via Bluetooth or an aux cable, you'll be able to hear your favorite songs. One charge will let you listen to music for up to four and a half hours. You can also switch the speaker to an alarm clock mode, making it a versatile product to place by your bedside. A fun phone case Case Mate Case-Mate Phone Cases for iPhone and Samsung, available on Amazon, from $24.95For the colorful types out there, Case-Mate has a wide range of cases for iPhones and Samsung phones, including ones that are iridescent, full of glitter, or covered in real pressed flowers. Colorful, shiny, and glittery isn't everyone's style, and Case-Mate has a selection of more reserved and sleek cases, including leather cases, clear cases, and stylish plastic cases that offer protection for that person who simply won't get a case for themselves.Keep in mind, however, that while Case-Mate offers several models in the $25 and under range, some of its cases do exceed that budget, including its new iPhone 13 lineup. A ring light to upgrade your Zoom calls Amazon LED Ring Light with Tripod Stand & Phone Holder from UBeeSize, $17.59Now that working from home has become more common, we're relying on video calls more than ever — often in less than ideal lighting conditions. This ring light can help improve the quality of your daily Zoom calls with three different lighting modes, a tripod for your phone, and a Bluetooth remote so that you can control your phone while it's in the stand. Give AirPods a protective home Insignia / Best Buy Insignia Case for Apple AirPods Pro, $12.49This AirPods Pro case by Insignia is a super easy and inexpensive gift that AirPod owners will appreciate. The case is made of protective silicone that not only prevents scratches and damage from drops and impacts, but reduces the amount of dirt and dust that can make its way into an AirPods charging case. The carabiner is a great little touch that lets the user attach their AirPods case to anything they often carry out with them. It's a nice solution to keep AirPods where you know they'll always be found. The case is available in a variety of different colors, too. A desk stand for your phone that doubles as a charger Amazon Anker Wireless Charger, available on Amazon, $19.49Smartphones are our daily companions — from displaying recipes in the kitchen to playing music, hosting our social gatherings over Zoom, and serving as a TV you can take to any room. This desk stand from Anker makes it easy to prop up your phone on any surface and wirelessly charges it at the same time. A PopSocket Grip PopSocket PopSocket Grip, available on PopSocket, from $8PopSocket grips stick on the back of any phone or tablet to provide a comfortable grip, but they can also be used as a stand. The thing that makes PopSockets so giftable is their affordability and sheer usefulness — people love them, as they help devices keep more secure in your hands and help prevent accidental drops. That, and they come in so many different styles. You can give your loved one a PopSocket with their favorite sports team, pop culture fandom, or animal on it.PopSockets can also be re-applied a few times to reposition or transfer to a different phone or tablet. They can be attached on bare phone or tablet surfaces, or on most smooth and flat cases. They pop in when not in use, but even then they offer some support.  A smart light bulb that can add some color to your living room Amazon TP-Link Kasa Smart Wi-Fi Bulb, available on B&H, $14.99You don't need to spend a lot of time or money to add some smart lighting to your living room. This color-changing smart light bulb from TP-Link could make a great gift for anyone looking to spice up their home lighting with different color and brightness options to fit the mood. It also doesn't require any extra equipment like a hub or a bridge; just connect it to your home Wi-Fi, download the Kasa app, and you're good to go. It works with Amazon Alexa and the Google Assistant, too. A compact Bluetooth speaker for everywhere Anker / Walmart Anker SoundCore Mini Bluetooth Speaker, available at Amazon, $24.99I have a small, portable, battery-powered Bluetooth wireless speaker just like the Anker SoundCore mini, and it's one of the most used devices at my home. It brings better sound and louder volume than my phone can ever deliver, and it's perfect for listening to podcasts and music in the shower, in the kitchen, chilling outside, and on camping trips. The SoundCore mini has a 15-hour battery life, a 66-foot Bluetooth range, and 5W of sound. It doesn't have water resistance, but it'll still work just fine in a bathroom. It's pricier than some other similar compact Bluetooth speakers out there, but most of them in the $25 range come from brands we've never heard of before, and you can't go wrong with Anker. Replacing those lost headphone dongles for iPhones Hollis Johnson/Business Insider Apple Lightning to 3.5mm Headphone Adapter dongle, available on Amazon, $7.99Apple's iPhones used to come with a headphone adapter but new models no longer include one. This is one of those items that shoppers ache to buy for themselves because it shouldn't cost you an extra $10 to use your wired headphones. This makes the dongle an excellent gift, however, as many iPhone owners can make good use of it.The dongle can be found for $8 on Amazon and Target compared to Apple's $9 price.  Tech-friendly touchscreen gloves Amazon Achiou Winter Knit Touchscreen Gloves, available on Amazon, from $8.49Anyone who lives in a place where it gets cold in winter knows that you have to remove gloves to use a smartphone outdoors. Essentially, a phone's screen doesn't register a finger's touch through a standard glove's material. It's not the worst problem in the world, and it may not warrant someone to get a pair of these touchscreen gloves themselves, thus leaving you the perfect opportunity to give them a pair. Aichou's bestselling winter gloves have special pads on the thumb, forefinger, and middle finger that can be registered by your phone's screen, letting the wearer keep the gloves on when it's freezing outside.   A next-level screen cleaning kit Amazon Whoosh! Screen Cleaner Kit, available on Amazon, $14.99The Whoosh! Screen Cleaner Kit is an alcohol and ammonia-free screen cleaner that's safe on phone screens, and unlike harsher cleaners, it won't strip screens from the factory coatings, namely the oleophobic coatings that prevent screen from getting all gummed up with finger oils. Coming with a pocket-sized bottle of cleaning spray and two cloths, this kit will also clean tablets, e-readers, TVs, Kindles, and anything else with a display. Even glasses can be wiped clean with this kit. The company even claims that Apple uses Whoosh cleaner in the Apple stores to keep display devices clean worldwide.We should note that Whoosh doesn't claim that its cleaner kills bacteria or viruses.  An iPhone tassel cable with charging Amazon Oneenjoy Tassel Cable for iPhone, available on Amazon, $10.99This handy leather tassel keychain includes a hidden USB-to-Lightning cable for charging an Apple device on the go with an external battery or with a charging brick.  A water-resistant smartphone armband Amazon Tribe Water Resistant Cell Phone Armband Case, available on Amazon, from $14.98A great gift for runners and fitness enthusiasts, the Tribe cell phone armband case secures your phone to your arm in a case that repels rain. The arm band is fully adjustable elastic, and it comes in three sizes that can accommodate pretty much any phone size. Your phone retains full touchscreen functionality while it's in the case, and the band also includes a handy key holder and headphone jack.  A tabletop Burger Time machine My Arcade My Arcade Micro Burger Time Cabinet, available at Amazon, $23.99For the retro game fan in your life, give them the gift of digital burgers at their desk with a miniaturized version of the original Burger Time cabinet. The Burger Time game was released in the US in 1982 as a large arcade cabinet, but this modern reproduction is small enough to hold in one hand, and can be placed on any flat surface like a desk. The tiny arcade cabinet has a 2.75-inch screen with original Burger Time artwork on the exterior, and it comes with speaker and a headphone jack. It's powered either by four double-A batteries, or with a microUSB cable. Grips for the Nintendo Switch's Joy Con controllers Amazon / Fyoung Fyoung Controller Grips for Nintendo Switch Joy Con, available on Amazon, from $9.99These Joy Con controller grips by Fyoung give players a better and more comfortable traditional console-style grip on the small Switch Joy Con controllers. They have full-size left and right bumper buttons, and they stay in place, even when you move them and shake them around for certain games. For less than $10, these are a no-brainer for Switch-owning friends and family. They come in a variety of colors to match controller colors, too.  An adjustable phone stand Amazon Lamicall Adjustable Phone stand, available on Amazon, from $9.99The Lamicall Phone Stand lets you (or your loved ones) mount your phone at an adjustable angle, which works great when you don't want to hold or touch your phone and frees up your hands for hands-free usage. Think streaming a video while you cook or sitting at a table, holding a video call with friends or family, or keeping a recipe visible while cooking (just remember to adjust your screen's timeout to keep your phone's screen on). It fits any phone and can accommodate most cases, but thicker cases may not fit in the stand's lower arms. It's also easy to adjust, and can flip between portrait and landscape modes. The stand is made of metal and comes in a variety of colors, too. A headphone holder for their desk Amazon Brainwavz Hengja Headphone Hanger, available on Amazon, $13.99The Brainwavz Hengja is an essential gift for a friend who has on-ear or over-ear headphones. This adjustable headphone hanger clamps horizontally or vertically onto a table, shelf, or even a thin wall. The clamp is tightened onto a surface with a flat piece of metal that you can screw to tighten with the included tool.It's made entirely of metal, so it's quite sturdy and will fit and support pretty much any headphone size. It only comes in a black color option.  A Wi-Fi smart plug for smart homes Amazon Kasa Smart Wi-Fi Plug Mini (2-pack), available on Amazon, $14.69You can connect any device to the Kasa Smart Wi-Fi Plug Mini, from lamps to fans and air conditioners, to make it a smart device that you can control from a phone via the Kasa app, or via a smart assistant like Amazon's Alexa and Google Assistant. Some of the "smart" things you can do with the Kasa smart plug includes adding routines to turn your plugged-in devices on or off. You can also check up and turn on or off those electrical devices remotely via the Kasa app, which works great to give you peace of mind when you're away from home.  Glasses with a blue-light filter Amazon Cyxus Vintage Retro Blue Light Filter Glasses, available on Amazon, $19.99It seems every day, more and more research is coming out about the dangers of over-exposure to blue light from phone and computer screens. A 2018 study showed that too much blue light can increase your risk of blindness.The Cyxus Vintage Retro Blue Light Filter Glasses filter out 90% of the blue light emitted from screens and barely affects the image. Blue light filters prevent eye dryness and general fatigue from staring at a screen too long, and these glasses are a good, affordable gift for anyone who you know to work in front of a computer screen for long hours. A cheap but effective laptop bag Amazon AmazonBasics Laptop Bag, available on Amazon, $13.49Amazon is full of laptop bags of all prices, but the AmazonBasics Laptop Bag is one of the top-rated, and it gets the job done for an affordable price. It comes in 10-, 11.6-, 14-, 15.6-, and 17.3-inch models to accommodate different laptop sizes, as well as a smaller version for tablets. Plus, it has extra pockets for mice, cell phones, pens, and other small gadgets you might be carrying.  A long USB-A to Lightning charging cable Amazon Anker Powerline+ II Lightning Cable, available on Amazon, $22.99For a stocking stuffer or gift exchange, you can never go wrong with a charging cable — no one ever has enough charging cables for their iPhones or iPads. Plus, the longer cables like this 10-foot model makes it easier and more comfortable to use your iPhone or iPad while it's charging, as the included 3-foot cables don't let you get very far from the charging brick.You don't want to go cheap with cables, and one way to avoid cheap cables is to go with a well-known brand that's proven its reliability over the years. The Anker 10-foot Powerline+ is a proven, reliable, and long-lasting cable that also comes in a variety of colors.  A solid wireless keyboard and mouse combo from Logitech Logitech / Best Buy Logitech MK270 Wireless Keyboard and Mouse, available on Best Buy, $24.99A full wireless keyboard and wireless mouse combo from Logitech for $25 is a great deal and an easy gift for someone you know who needs one. There's no other combo we'd recommend to get someone who needs a mouse and keyboard up and running. There's nothing fancy here, apart from the value. The keyboard is powered by two triple-A batteries, while the wireless mouse is powered by a single double-A battery. The keyboard and mouse communicate with your computer with a tiny USB adapter, and it doesn't need pairing because it doesn't use Bluetooth.  An effective gaming mouse Walmart Logitech G300s Optical Gaming Mouse, available on Amazon, $22.35The Logitech G300s is a great gift for someone who enjoys gaming, but doesn't yet have a top-notch gaming mouse. It has a comfortable ambidextrous grip and six programmable buttons you can adjust with Logitech's gaming software. And, for under $25, it's been praised by multiple reviewers as the best budget gaming mouse you can buy. Don't let the price tag fool you: The G300s isn't a bad mouse; it's just an older model.The G300 comes with a gaming-grade optical sensor for better accuracy and tracking than standard mice, and some sleek and modest lighting strips that accent the all-black matte plastic G300s. It plugs into a computer's standard USB port.  An big, wide mouse pad for work or gaming Walmart / Corsair Corsair MM100 Cloth Gaming Mouse Pad, available at Walmart, $12.96A mouse pad seems strange as a gift, but this one is large and well made — it's one of those things that can make a surprisingly significant improvement to comfort and efficiency while using a mouse for gaming, work, or general use. The Corsair MM100 mouse pad is larger than standard office mouse pads at 14.5 x 10.6 inches (370mm x 270mm) with 3mm thickness, making for greater surface area. That means fewer mouse lifts as you're moving the cursor around the screen. And, of course, it's great for gaming, which is this mouse pad's primary intention.  An effective dashboard phone holder Amazon iOttie Easy One Touch Phone Holder, available on Amazon, $16.06If you know anyone who is still using an ancient GPS to navigate, have mercy on them and give them the iOttie Easy One Touch Phone Holder. This car mount has a one-touch release mechanism for easily inserting and removing your phone, and its arm can pivot 225 degrees to ensure a comfortable viewing angle.The Phone Holder stays on a car's dashboard via a suction cup, which sticks to an included dashboard pad that sticks firmly on a car's dash. You can simply use the suction cup on a car's windshield if the driver would rather not use the dashboard pad that sticks onto the dash.    A Tile Bluetooth item tracker Amazon / Tile Tile Mate, available on Amazon, $24.99Attach the Tile Mate to your keys, luggage, backpack, briefcase, or any other valuable possession to ensure you never lose that item again. If you misplace the object that includes your tracker, just check the Tile app to see its location in seconds. As a bonus, if you lose your phone, you can squeeze your Tile Mate to make it ring. The Tile Mate has 200-foot range (60m) and it's water-resistant, making it an actual realistic option to track your pets, too. If items with the Tile Mate are out of range, there's a chance that the someone else with a Tile can pick it up and relay its location back to you via the Tile Network and Tile app. The Tile Mate has a one-year battery life that can be replaced by the user.  A subscription to a popular streaming service Hulu/Alyssa Powell/Business Insider Hulu gift card, available on Amazon, from $25This recommendation technically breaks our under $25 threshold, but it's such a convenient gift that it's hard not to include. Hulu is one of our favorite streaming services thanks to its affordable price and big selection of network shows, original series, and entertaining movies. Though the platform doesn't sell annual gift subscriptions, you can buy Hulu gift cards. A $25 card will cover three and a half months of Hulu's ad-supported plan ($7/month), or just under two months of Hulu's ad-free plan ($13/month).Once your recipient's gift credit expires, they must provide another payment method to continue their Hulu subscription. Similar gift cards are also available for Netflix and Paramount Plus. Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: nytOct 29th, 2021

Highwoods Properties (HIW) Grows Presence in Franklin With Buyout

Highwoods Properties' (HIW) land acquisition is in line with its efforts to expand in the high-growth Best Business District markets. Highwoods Properties, Inc. HIW has acquired the remaining 77 acres of development land at Ovation in the Cool Springs district of Franklin for $57.8 million. The buyout is in line with the company’s efforts to expand in the high-growth Best Business District markets.Reflecting positive sentiments, shares of Highwoods Properties moved marginally up during Thursday’s trading session.Ovation is the largest planned mixed-use project in Williamson County. It encompasses 145 acres and according to the 2015 plan, it was fully entitled for the development of 1.4 million square feet of office, more than 400,000 square feet of retail, 950 residential units, 450 hotel rooms and 56 acres of perpetually-dedicated green space.Mixed-use developments reduce distances between housing, workplaces, retail businesses, and other amenities and destinations. Hence, the same enable companies to grab the attention of people who prefer to live, work and play in the same area.Thus, the acquisition of this Nashville property offers Highwoods Properties the scope to work with high-quality retail, multi-family and hotel developers besides retaining full control of the office development sites.The buyout also positions the company solidly to capitalize on the rising office demand. Amid the favorable migration trends and a pro-business environment, corporate relocations and expansions in the Sun Belt markets have been prominent, which is driving the demand for office spaces. With 1.2 million square feet of additional office development potential at Ovation, Highwoods Properties is well poised to capture healthy demand.This Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) company has underperformed its industry over the past six months. Shares of Highwoods have appreciated 5.1%, while the industry has rallied 7.7% during this period.Image Source: Zacks Investment ResearchOther Key PicksThe Zacks Consensus Estimate for Condor Hospitality Trust, Inc.’s CDOR ongoing-year FFO per share has been revised significantly upward to 31 cents over the past two months. The company flaunts a Zacks Rank of 1, currently. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 (Strong Buy) Rank stocks here.The Zacks Consensus Estimate for CorePoint Lodging Inc.’s CPLG 2021 FFO per share has moved 25.3% upward over the past two months. The company currently sports a Zacks Rank of 1.The Zacks Consensus Estimate for Apple Hospitality REIT, Inc’s APLE 2021 FFO per share has moved 5.3% upward over the past two month. The company currently flaunts a Zacks Rank of 1.Note: Anything related to earnings presented in this write-up represent funds from operations (FFO) — a widely used metric to gauge the performance of REITs. Infrastructure Stock Boom to Sweep America A massive push to rebuild the crumbling U.S. infrastructure will soon be underway. It’s bipartisan, urgent, and inevitable. Trillions will be spent. Fortunes will be made. The only question is “Will you get into the right stocks early when their growth potential is greatest?” Zacks has released a Special Report to help you do just that, and today it’s free. Discover 7 special companies that look to gain the most from construction and repair to roads, bridges, and buildings, plus cargo hauling and energy transformation on an almost unimaginable scale.Download FREE: How to Profit from Trillions on Spending for Infrastructure >>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 Highwoods Properties, Inc. (HIW): Free Stock Analysis Report Condor Hospitality Trust, Inc. (CDOR): Free Stock Analysis Report Apple Hospitality REIT, Inc. (APLE): Free Stock Analysis Report CorePoint Lodging Inc. (CPLG): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksOct 8th, 2021

Cousins Properties (CUZ) Signs Lease With Visa in Midtown Atlanta

Cousins Properties (CUZ) signs a lease with Visa for 123,000 square feet of space at 1200 Peachtree in Midtown Atlanta. Cousins Properties CUZ has signed a lease with Visa for approximately 123,000 square feet at 1200 Peachtree in Midtown Atlanta, as part of the digital payments leader’s efforts to establish a permanent office presence in the Atlanta market.This is a long-term lease and initial occupancy is expected during fourth-quarter 2022. By setting up the office, this behemoth in the financial technology space is expected to create roughly 1,000 new jobs in the region over the next several years. The move comes as Atlanta continues to lure large and growing companies hiring new talent.Cousins Properties has an unmatched portfolio of class A office assets concentrated in the high-growth Sun Belt markets. This region is experiencing a population influx. Amid the favorable migration trends and a pro-business environment, corporate relocations and expansions in the Sun Belt markets have been prominent, which is driving the demand for office space.Assets in these markets are also anticipated to command higher rents compared with the broader market. Hence, Cousins Properties’ leading trophy portfolio of class A and highly-amenitized office realties across the Sun Belt region is well positioned to benefit from the emerging trend.Acquired in 2019 from Norfolk Southern Corporation NSC as part of a larger transaction involving development of Norfolk Southern's new headquarters, 1200 Peachtree has a central location, proximity to well-known research institutions and enjoys superior accessibility, which is likely to lure companies interested in the Midtown submarket.Cousins Properties plans to reposition the property for multi-customer use, following the moving-out of Norfolk Southern from 1200 Peachtree into its new building by the end of this year. It will comprise the full renovation of the ground floor setting up both indoor and outdoor amenities, and capitalize on the building's prime location within the submarket.However, the office real estate market has been significantly affected by the coronavirus pandemic and the flexible working environment, and its recovery is likely to be prolonged.    Shares of this Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) company have gained 7.9% over the past six months compared with the industry’s rally of 9.5%. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.Image Source: Zacks Investment ResearchStocks to ConsiderThe Zacks Consensus Estimate for OUTFRONT Media Inc.’s OUT 2021 FFO per share has moved 8% north to 94 cents over the past two months. The company carries a Zacks Rank of 2 (Buy), currently.The Zacks Consensus Estimate for Extra Space Storage Inc.’s EXR current-year FFO per share has moved up 3.6% to $6.57 in the past two months. The company currently carries a Zacks Rank of 2.Note: Anything related to earnings presented in this write-up represent funds from operations (FFO) — a widely used metric to gauge the performance of REITs. Zacks’ Top Picks to Cash in on Artificial Intelligence This world-changing technology is projected to generate $100s of billions by 2025. From self-driving cars to consumer data analysis, people are relying on machines more than we ever have before. Now is the time to capitalize on the 4th Industrial Revolution. Zacks’ urgent special report reveals 6 AI picks investors need to know about today.See 6 Artificial Intelligence Stocks With Extreme Upside Potential>>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 Norfolk Southern Corporation (NSC): Free Stock Analysis Report Cousins Properties Incorporated (CUZ): Free Stock Analysis Report Extra Space Storage Inc (EXR): Free Stock Analysis Report OUTFRONT Media Inc. (OUT): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksSep 30th, 2021

As North Texas construction slows, so does office space absorption

As commercial construction slows in North Texas, the region is also seeing fewer tenants moving into available space. According to new statistics released by Cushman & Wakefield, 632,068 square feet of office space was absorbed in the second quart.....»»

Category: topSource: bizjournalsJun 29th, 2018

Clarion Partners, Westbridge Begin Final Phase of  Award-Winning Stockyards Atlanta with 926 Brady

Clarion Partners, LLC, and Westbridge have started 926 Brady, the adaptive reuse of the final undeveloped building in the core West Midtown submarket.  The 1930s warehouse is the last remaining piece of the industrial complex that made up the Miller Union Stockyards. Redeveloped by Westbridge in 2017, the urban reuse... The post Clarion Partners, Westbridge Begin Final Phase of  Award-Winning Stockyards Atlanta with 926 Brady appeared first on Real Estate Weekly. Clarion Partners, LLC, and Westbridge have started 926 Brady, the adaptive reuse of the final undeveloped building in the core West Midtown submarket.  The 1930s warehouse is the last remaining piece of the industrial complex that made up the Miller Union Stockyards. Redeveloped by Westbridge in 2017, the urban reuse project has attracted major companies while becoming a popular dining and entertainment destination.  926 Brady will have more than 36,000 square feet of large-format creative office space with a second-floor addition featuring an outdoor rooftop terrace with skyline views. The project is targeting creative companies interested in retaining and attracting talent in a new-to-market space that reflects the character of the historic neighborhood. “We are thrilled to start work on the final piece of this three-acre campus steeped in 120 years of Atlanta history,” said Joshua Mandelberger, Vice President, Asset Management Clarion Partners. “926 Brady will complete the original vision of Stockyards Atlanta and tie into West Midtown’s rapidly evolving urban core with something truly unique in the market as the area transitions to mid-rise and high-rise new construction projects.”  926 Brady is on the corner of 10th Street and Brady Avenue. Dating back to the early 1900s, it served as a stockyard and meatpacking plant for Atlanta’s growing population. Several of the historic buildings have been updated and adapted, making Stockyards one of Atlanta’s premier creative communities.  “I am excited to work with Clarion on the final phase of one of our signature projects in West Midtown,” said Chris Faussemagne, Westbridge. “It continues the legacy of West Midtown and Stockyards Atlanta, and the ongoing transformation of this historic neighborhood.”  The regional headquarters of energy drink giant Red Bull is in Stockyards Atlanta, as is global manufacturer Mannington Commercial and advertising and marketing firm Fitzco. Painted Duck, a high-end duckpin bowling alley and game bar; Baffi Atlanta, a casual, Italian-inspired restaurant from culinary legend Jonathan Waxman and neighborhood gathering spot Nick’s Westside anchor the highly-curated retail destinations. The Urban Land Institute (ULI) honored Stockyards Atlanta for Excellence in Office/Commercial Mixed-Use Development. Architectural firm ai3 is the architect for 926 Brady, and Gay Construction Company is the general contractor. The Transwestern team of Zach Wooten and Stephen Clifton is managing leasing. Construction is currently underway, with an estimated delivery in the second quarter of 2023.   The post Clarion Partners, Westbridge Begin Final Phase of  Award-Winning Stockyards Atlanta with 926 Brady appeared first on Real Estate Weekly......»»

Category: realestateSource: realestateweekly4 hr. 11 min. ago

Ariel Property Advisors closes $13 million in sales across Three Properties in New York City

Ariel Property Advisors has arranged the sale of three propertiestotaling $12.9 million located in Brooklyn and Northern Manhattan. ● A vacant two-story commercial building comprising three commercial units spanning11,009 SF at 222-226 West 145th Street sold for $5.05 million, or $460/SF. The propertyoffers 14,970 SF of air rights and 65... The post Ariel Property Advisors closes $13 million in sales across Three Properties in New York City appeared first on Real Estate Weekly. Ariel Property Advisors has arranged the sale of three propertiestotaling $12.9 million located in Brooklyn and Northern Manhattan. ● A vacant two-story commercial building comprising three commercial units spanning11,009 SF at 222-226 West 145th Street sold for $5.05 million, or $460/SF. The propertyoffers 14,970 SF of air rights and 65 feet of frontage along a well-traveled commercialcorridor on the south side of West 145th Street between Adam Clayton Powell Jr. andFrederick Douglass Boulevards in Central Harlem. Situated within an Opportunity Zone,222-226 West 145 th Street is near City College of New York, Columbia University’sManhattanville campus, Jackie Robinson Park and other local green and outdoor spaces.The transaction was brokered by an Ariel team including Jason M. Gold, Director,Investment Sales; Michael A. Tortorici, Founding Partner; and James Nestor, AssociateDirector, Investment Sales. ● An 18,150 SF, four-story, 21-unit mixed-use building at 649 Argyle Road in the DitmasPark neighborhood of Brooklyn sold for $4.75 million. Located on the northeast corner ofArgyle Road and Foster Avenue, the property consists of 12 rent-stabilized units, sevenfree market residential units and two commercial units. The area is well-served by publictransportation with easy access to the B and Q subway lines and nearby bus routes.The transaction was brokered by an Ariel team including Lawrence Sarn, Director,Investment Sales; Victor Sozio, Founding Partner; and Shimon Shkury, President andFounder. ● A vacant three-story, 7,638 SF warehouse/flex office building at 11 Herkimer Place inthe Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn sold for $3.1 million, or $406/SF. Thetransaction represents the highest price per square foot for an office building in theBedford-Stuyvesant area since 2018. The elevator building consists of two floors of newlyconstructed office space with terraces and a roof deck above an existing renovatedgarage warehouse space. Located off Atlantic Avenue between Bedford and NostrandAvenues, 11 Herkimer Place boasts a brick façade and includes windows roughly ninefeet tall to allow natural light into the 3,600 SF open office space.The transaction was brokered by an Ariel team including Dov Chein, Director, InvestmentSales, and Sean R. Kelly, Partner. The post Ariel Property Advisors closes $13 million in sales across Three Properties in New York City appeared first on Real Estate Weekly......»»

Category: realestateSource: realestateweeklyMay 21st, 2022

I visited a newly licensed marijuana farm in New York, and was shocked by how far there is to go before legal sales begin

An idyllic upstate New York farm owned by a Rockefeller is one of the first few dozen to be granted a recreational-marijuana cultivation permit. The front of the main office building at Hudson Hemp, one of the first farms in New York State to receive a license to grow high-THC cannabis for recreational sales beginning in late 2022.Ben Gilbert/Insider Legal sales of recreational marijuana are set to begin in New York City in late 2022. The first legal growers were granted licenses in April so that they could have harvests ready for sale. I visited one of the first licensed farms in upstate New York and saw how far there still is to go. Sometime later this year — no one seems to know exactly when — New York City will legally allow recreational marijuana to be sold, opening what's expected to be one of the most lucrative legal cannabis markets in the world. And right now, in preparation for the feeding frenzy, dozens of farmers are growing the marijuana that will become New York's first legal crop. Last Friday, I visited one such farm two hours north of New York City in rural, idyllic Hudson, New York — and saw just how far there is to go before sales open.Hudson Hemp, in Hudson, New York, is among the first few dozen farms to receive a license from New York to legally cultivate marijuana.The view of the farm from the office, which is set inside a gorgeous old farmhouse.Ben Gilbert/InsiderTwo hours north of New York City, on a 2,700 acre farm property owned by John D. Rockefeller's granddaughter, Hudson Hemp is producing one of New York state's first-ever legal marijuana crops.Don't let the name fool you: Hudson Hemp is officially, as of this season, a full-time marijuana farm.The difference between hemp and marijuana is simple: They're both cannabis plants, but hemp has less than 0.3% THC — the psychoactive constituent that is most directly responsible for feeling high.Beyond being used for textiles and manufacturing, hemp can be used to extract CBD oil. For the last several years, Hudson Hemp has been doing just that.But no longer.The farm's first crops will be grown outdoors, both in open air and in a greenhouse.Chief Cultivation Officer Brandon Curtin and Cultivation Manager Adam Smith surveying the farmland that will house Hudson Hemp's first legal marijuana crop.Ben Gilbert/InsiderHudson Hemp is one of the first 88 farms that was granted a license to produce marijuana by the newly-created New York State Office of Cannabis Management. That number has since swelled to 146 in total.By approving farms like Hudson Hemp first — thus giving farmers time to grow, dry, cure, and process marijuana for sale — the state is hoping to adequately prepare for when legal sales begin at an unspecified date later this year. But even for the first licensed farms, the process is just barely getting started.The greenhouse will enable the farm to more carefully control the environment of its first legal marijuana crop.The new greenhouse was just being finalized when I visited in mid-May. Hudson Hemp had started construction a few weeks before, despite not knowing if the state was going to grant its application to grow — one of many unknowns that businesses entering the cannabis market face.Ben Gilbert/Insider"This is where we're gonna be prepping our beds in the next 48 hours and planting ASAP," Hudson Hemp CEO Melany Dobson told me, referring to the newly constructed greenhouse.Before getting marijuana plants in the ground directly, Hudson Hemp is starting in the greenhouse with raised beds. "We're gonna build raised beds in here," Chief Cultivation Officer Brandon Curtin explained. "There's gonna be five of them, on a span of a hundred feet."Those raised beds, full of soil from the farm, will grow four or five different strains of high-THC cannabis intended for the first legal sales later this year. With just seven months of 2022 left to go, Hudson Hemp — like the rest of the legal cannabis industry in New York state — is starting from zero.Ben Gilbert/InsiderAs of mid-May 2022, the legal marijuana growers of New York state are still months away from harvest. It takes anywhere from three to eight months to grow a cannabis plant to maturity, depending on a wide number of variables, and another several weeks to cure the product after that. Yet, when legal marijuana sales open later this year, the only product that will be legally allowed for sale is product grown and processed in New York state. Moreover, there are limitations on how much can be grown by one cultivation licenseholder: 43,560 square feet of "flowering canopy" is allowed, Dobson said."That restriction creates a lot of variables in how much someone could potentially produce this year," she added. That's because you could technically have a subsequent crop growing and, as long as it isn't in the flowering stage, it doesn't count against your total canopy allotment."Had we had our greenhouse already up," she said, "we could have run two cycles." There are still major unknowns going into the opening of legal sales later this year. Hudson Hemp doesn't even know how its marijuana will be sold.Ben Gilbert/InsiderHow does a business produce goods for a market that doesn't exist yet?That question quietly hovers over every step of the operation at Hudson Hemp. Do consumers want pre-rolled joints, or whole packaged flower? What stores will even be able to sell marijuana when legal sales open up later this year?"At this moment in time, I do not know where we will transact our first sales," Dobson told me. "Right now that is one of the largest uncertainties," she said. "We're putting a ton of money into our cultivation, our harvesting, our curing, our trimming — the whole packaging line."New York's Office of Cannabis Management has yet to open the application process for retail licenses, and it's unclear when the process will begin, though educational workshops for applicants have begun. Nationwide, delays between between legalization and recreational sales have become extremely common. Dobson suspects that the first licensed retailers will be existing medical dispensaries, which are all owned by so-called "multi-state operators" — national or international cannabis companies like Curaleaf that are backed by private equity and venture capital — despite New York's marijuana legislation explicitly including social equity mandates.In the meantime, marijuana producers like Hudson Hemp are attempting to maximize their first harvests while dealing with a vegetative product that doesn't have an infinite shelf life.Like the garlic and banana peels in Hudson Hemp's compost pile, cannabis is an organic product that breaks down over time.Ben Gilbert/InsiderWhen you get home from the dispensary later this year and open up an eighth of New York City Diesel, it will already be degrading. Like produce and cut flowers, marijuana is organic material that breaks down over time. So when Hudson Hemp harvests its first crop later this year, the clock begins ticking on the quality of that product.There are industrial processes that slow down the process, of course — if packaged in an oxygen-free container and kept in a cool, dry, dark place, marijuana can last "for like a year," Dobson said, "but that's very expensive packaging." Hudson Hemp plans to get around this issue by only offering pre-rolled joints in its first year of sales, "so that it smokes beautifully and consistently," Dobson said, "and also resealable so that you can maintain the freshness of the pre-rolls for longer."Got a tip? Contact Insider senior correspondent Ben Gilbert via email (bgilbert@insider.com), or Twitter DM (@realbengilbert). Use a non-work device to reach out. PR pitches by email only, please.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderMay 21st, 2022

SL Green (SLG) Down 19% Since Last Earnings Report: Can It Rebound?

SL Green (SLG) reported earnings 30 days ago. What's next for the stock? We take a look at earnings estimates for some clues. It has been about a month since the last earnings report for SL Green (SLG). Shares have lost about 19% in that time frame, underperforming the S&P 500.Will the recent negative trend continue leading up to its next earnings release, or is SL Green due for a breakout? Before we dive into how investors and analysts have reacted as of late, let's take a quick look at its most recent earnings report in order to get a better handle on the important drivers.SL Green's Q1 FFO Beats Estimates, Leasing ReboundsSL Green Realty reported first-quarter 2022 FFO per share of $1.65, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate by a cent.Results reflect a better-than-expected top-line number. SLG also experienced healthy leasing activity in the quarter.Net rental revenues of $136.5 million in the first quarter surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $135.4 million.However, the reported FFO per share compared unfavorably with the year-ago quarter’s $1.73. Also, net rental revenues declined 16.2% from the prior-year quarter’s $162.8 million.Concurrent with the first-quarter earnings release, SL Green announced a contract with Oxford Properties to buy 450 Park Avenue for $445 million. This transaction is expected to close in the second quarter, subject to customary closing norms.Quarter in DetailDuring the first quarter, the same-store cash net operating income (NOI), including SL Green’s share of same-store cash NOI from unconsolidated joint ventures, increased 9.3% year over year. This excludes the lease termination income.For its Manhattan portfolio, SL Green signed 37 office leases encompassing 820,989 square feet of space. This included three new leases at One Vanderbilt Avenue, taking its total leased figure to 97%. For the same period, the mark-to-market on signed Manhattan office leases decreased 15.1% from the previous fully-escalated rents on the same spaces.The average lease term for the office leases signed was 9.8 years, while average tenant concessions were 12 months of free rent with a tenant improvement allowance of $108.34 per rentable square foot. This excludes the leases signed at One Vanderbilt Avenue and One Madison Avenue.As of Mar 31, 2022, Manhattan’s same-store office occupancy, inclusive of 275,295 square feet of leases signed but not yet commenced, was 92.7%, having shrunk 30 basis points from the prior quarter’s level.As of Mar 31, 2022, the carrying value of the company’s debt and preferred equity portfolio was $1.1 billion.LiquiditySL Green exited first-quarter 2022 with cash and cash equivalents of $223.6million, down from $251.4 million recorded at the end of 2021.Investment ActivityFrom the beginning of 2022 through Apr 20, SL Green repurchased 2 million shares of its common stock.In February, SLG closed on the previously announced sale of its ownership interest at 707 Eleventh Avenue for a gross sale price of $95 million, generating net cash proceeds of $91.3 million. How Have Estimates Been Moving Since Then?It turns out, fresh estimates flatlined during the past month.VGM ScoresCurrently, SL Green has a poor Growth Score of F, however its Momentum Score is doing a lot better with an A. However, the stock was allocated a grade of C on the value side, putting it in the middle 20% for this investment strategy.Overall, the stock has an aggregate VGM Score of D. If you aren't focused on one strategy, this score is the one you should be interested in.OutlookSL Green has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). We expect an in-line return from the stock in the next few months. 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 SL Green Realty Corporation (SLG): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksMay 21st, 2022

Highwoods (HIW) Continues Assets Sale With $98M Dispositions

Highwoods Properties (HIW) announces sale of its non-core assets worth $98 million as part of its capital-recycling strategy. Highwoods Properties, Inc. HIW recently announced $98 million of non-core asset sales. The move comes as part of Highwoods’ disciplined capital-recycling strategy that entails disposing of non-core assets and redeploying the proceeds in premium asset acquisitions and accretive development projects.Particularly, HIW sold the FBI Tampa Field Office, which is a 138,000 square feet office building, for $70.4 million. It was built-to-suit for the FBI in 2005 and was renewed in 2020 under a long-term lease.Moreover, the company is expected to clock in the sale of the remainder office buildings in Greensboro for $20.3 million, either later in the current quarter or in early third quarter this year. The buildings encompass 299,000 square feet with an occupancy of 88.2%.In total, these properties were projected to generate $6.3 million of annual GAAP net operating income and $5.7 million of annual cash net operating income, inclusive of the effect of free rent, in 2022.Additionally, the company has disposed an 8.9-acre non-core land parcel next to its One Independence office building in Tampa’s Westshore BBD for $6.9 million. It was sold off to a developer who intends to construct apartment units. As a result, Highwoods expects to record $2.3 million of land sale gains (included in FFO) in the second quarter.According to Ted Klinck, president and CEO of Highwoods “With these sales, we will have sold $464 million of non-core properties since we announced our acquisition of a portfolio of office properties from PAC in mid-2021 and remain on pace to return our balance sheet to pre-acquisition metrics by the middle of 2022.”Highwoods’ well-diversified tenant base and its efforts to expand in the high-growth markets, sell non-core assets and invest the proceeds in further expansion bode well for long-term growth. HIW is seeing a recovery in demand for its high-quality, well-placed office properties as highlighted by a rebound in the new leasing volume.A large part of its portfolio is concentrated in high-growth Sun Belt markets, which have long-term favorable demographic trends and are expected to continue experiencing above-average job growth. This will likely support Highwoods’ rent growth over the long term.Highwoods currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Its shares have lost 12.9% against the industry’s decline of 4.3% over the past year. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.Image Source: Zacks Investment ResearchKey PicksSome better-ranked stocks from the REIT sector are Prologis PLD, Extra Storage Space EXR and OUTFRONT Media OUT.The Zacks Consensus Estimate for Prologis’ 2022 funds from operations (FFO) per share has moved 1.8% upward in the past month to $5.15. PLD presently carries a Zacks Rank of 2 (Buy).The Zacks Consensus Estimate for Extra Storage Space’s ongoing year’s FFO per share has been raised 1.1% over the past month to $8.01. EXR carries a Zacks Rank #2, currently.The Zacks Consensus Estimate for OUTFRONT Media’s current-year FFO per share has moved 35% northward in the past month to $2.09. OUT carries a Zacks Rank of 2 at present.Note: Anything related to earnings presented in this write-up represent funds from operations (FFO) — a widely used metric to gauge the performance of REITs. 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 Prologis, Inc. (PLD): Free Stock Analysis Report Highwoods Properties, Inc. (HIW): Free Stock Analysis Report Extra Space Storage Inc (EXR): Free Stock Analysis Report OUTFRONT Media Inc. (OUT): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksMay 20th, 2022

EXCLUSIVE: One and Two Olympia Park reach 100% occupancy — here"s what it means for the market

The office buildings, which total more than 250,000 square feet, are now fully occupied. Two local brokers weigh in on what this could signify for the Louisville office market......»»

Category: topSource: bizjournalsMay 20th, 2022