A prominent medical marijuana company has submitted a rezoning application with the City of Phoenix in order to repurpose an existing commercial space.
Based in Tempe, Harvest Health & Recreation Incorporated is one of the largest cannabis companies in the country, enjoying revenues of nearly $56 million in the second quarter of this year, an increase of just over $29 million from the same quarter last year.
The company currently has 35 locations up and running in seven states. In Arizona, Harvest has fourteen dispensaries.
If all goes according to plans, its fifteenth location would open at the northwest corner of Tatum Boulevard and Shea Boulevard in the city’s Paradise Valley neighborhood and would see the reconversion of nearly 4,000 square feet of space.
According to city documents, work repurposing the space would include renovating the structure’s south façade through the construction of a window wall that would match another window wall on the west side of the building, thus creating “a more symmetrical appearance.”
The project will also see construction of a front canopy, updated landscaping, and the addition of around 1,000 square feet of operating space.
In addition, Harvest is committed to installing energy efficient lighting, as well as a drip irrigation system in order to minimize water waste.
The project is awaiting the approval of the Phoenix Planning Commission, as well as the Phoenix City Council.
By Garry Boulard
After a dismal second quarter, depressed by the economic impact of the Covid-19 outbreak, the nation is poised for unprecedented growth this fall, says the President of the Federal Reserve at St. Louis.
James Bullard is predicting not just a strong 2020 third quarter, but one of the “best quarters ever for economic growth in the U.S.”
Bullard made his prediction on CNBC’s interview program Closing Bell, noting additionally that the recession caused by the pandemic and subsequent national economic shutdown, was most likely officially over by early summer.
Earlier this month, a panel of 35 forecasters surveyed by the Federal Reserve predicted that the economy in the third quarter will expand at an annual rate of 19.1%, significantly up from earlier forecasts of 10.6 %.
Bullard also forecast additional growth for the final quarter of this year, as well as the first four months of 2021.
Bullard’s remarks followed on the appearance of Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell, who spoke before an economic policy symposium in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, and said that an inflation rate above a targeted 2% might be manageable for the time being as the county moves out of a recessionary economy.
But Powell was quick to add: “We have not changed our view that a long-run inflation rate of 2% is most consistent with our mandate to promote both maximum employment and price stability.”
As a means of supporting a more robust economy, the Federal Reserve has now formally embraced an “average inflation targeting” policy, meaning that for the time being it will allow inflation to run marginally above the desired 2% goal.
That approach has won the unanimous backing of the Federal Open Market Committee, which serves as the policymaking arm of the Federal Reserve.
By Garry Boulard
Work is expected to begin soon on a new 122-room hotel set for the north side of Colorado Springs.
The project is being developed by the Kansas City, Missouri-based Genesis Companies and will be branded as a Woodspring Suites.
As planned, the hotel will go up near the intersection of Interquest Parkway and Voyage Parkway in a part of the city that is also seeing the construction of a new 119-room Hyatt Place hotel.
Both new hotels come at a time of additional hotel construction in downtown Colorado Springs.
Late last year work launched on another Hyatt Place, this one with 12 rooms at Kiowa Street and Nevada Avenue.
An additional project is seeing the construction of a 261-room Springhill Suites hotel in South Tejon Street.
The hotel building boom is partly in response to continually increasing tourism numbers which, pre-Covid 19, were seeing up to 23 million people visiting the area annually.
According to new data released from the Rocky Mountain Lodging Report, hotel occupancy in Colorado Springs fell to around 18 % in April. But the numbers dramatically climbed to 66% as of last month.
There are currently just under 200 Woodspring Suites extended stay hotels nationally, wit
h at least two dozen more in the development stage.
By Garry Boulard
Preliminary documents have been submitted to city officials in Denver for the construction of a 75-foot tall automobile retrieval facility, otherwise known as a car vending machine.
The Tempe, Arizona-based Carvana wants to build one of its unique facilities at a 1.5-acre undeveloped site on the southeast side of the city at 4700 E. Evans Avenue, adjacent to Interstate 25.
The project would see the construction of office space and a showroom, topped by several glass-walled stories relegated for vehicles soon to be purchased by customers.
Thought to be one of the fastest growing car dealerships in the country, Carvana lists and sells its vehicles entirely online. Once a customer selects the car of their choice, they show up at a Carvana facility to pick up the vehicle themselves.
According to Investor’s Business Daily, the company, which was founded 8 years ago, sold around 177,000 vehicles in 2019, generating nearly $4 billion in revenue.
Carvana facilities vary in size: earlier this summer it began work on a 200,000 square foot outlet in Trenton, Ohio, while completing work on a 190,000 square foot location in Concord, North Carolina.
To date, Carvana’s facilities have been largely located to the east of the Mississippi River,
A construction schedule for the new Carvana location in Denver has not yet been announced.
By Garry Boulard
Cities and communities across the country may be eligible for up to $100 million in federal funding to mitigate the effects of heat islands if a new bill introduced in Congress wins passage.
Those islands are identified as buildings, streets, roads, sidewalks, and other infrastructure that absorb the sun’s heat, raising temperatures in particularly dense areas.
The Preventing Health Emergencies and Temperature-Related Illness and Death Act, otherwise known as the HEAT bill, would see communities receiving grants to, among other things, build cool roofs and install building HVAC retrofits.
Cool roofs are often painted lighter colors and made up of asphalt shingles or metal.
The measure will also provide funding for the creation of cool pavements, as well as the planting of more trees.
Proposed by Massachusetts Senator Edward Markey, the legislation would be particularly available to lower-income neighborhoods, with individual grants topping out at $2.5 million.
In introducing the legislation, Markey said that the “combination of extreme heat and the coronavirus has made this summer especially dangerous.”
Noting that many public pools and community centers with air conditioning have been closed because of the Covid-19 outbreak, Markey said an extreme heat environment is only making the virus more persistent.
His bill, continued the Senator, will “provide the funds, coordination, and help that our communities need to prepare for and respond to extreme heat events.”
The bill has now been sent to the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation for review.
By Garry Boulard
With plans underway for the renovation of its Bergin substation, which is a part of a network of substations operated by the Farmington Electric Utility Service, a Request for Proposals has been issued to build a new bridge leading to that station.
The City of Farmington, which owns the Farmington Electric Utility Services, has issued the RFP for a project that will see a new irrigation bridge crossing the Citizens Ditch in Bloomfield.
Bloomfield, some 14 miles to the east of Farmington, is part of the larger service area covered by the utility company.
Farmington city officials say studies conducted on an existing bridge crossing the ditch revealed that it is not sturdy enough to accommodate the large equipment and loads that will be needed when work on the Bergin substation, located off of Bergin Lane, finally begins.
The new bridge will be located some 100 feet upstream from the existing bridge structure.
According to city documents, required material to be used for construction of the new bridge includes surface powder coated steel for the structure’s pedestrian railings, barrier gates, and base plates.
The Farmington-based Souder, Miller & Associates is the engineer for the project.
Farmington Electric Utility Services has nearly forty substations, and has been in the process of upgrading some of the existing stations that are a part of the utility’s network, a process that usually takes around two years from the planning stage to completion.
The bridge project RFP has a submission deadline of September 9.
By Garry Boulard
Plans have now been confirmed for the construction of a new hotel on the north side of Colorado Springs.
The four-story project will go up on a 43-acre site near the intersection of InterQuest Parkway and Voyager Parkway in a section of the city that in recent years has witnessed unprecedented residential and commercial growth.
The 119-room hotel will be branded as a Hyatt Place, one of the line of hotels belonging to the Hyatt Hotels Corporation, and generally regarded as a mid-tier line known for its large hotel rooms.
As planned, the hotel will include a fitness center, dedicated work spaces, and up to 5,000 square feet of meeting space.
Last year the Hyatt Hotels Corporation announced plans to build sixteen new Hyatt Place hotels in the West, with a particular focus on California.
Besides California, the largest number of Hyatt Hotels in the West are located in Colorado, with a current total of ten such properties.
Projects documents have now been submitted to the city by the private equity firm Mission Hill Capital of Colorado Springs.
Work on the new hotel is expected to begin early next year with a general completion date in the third quarter of 2021.
By Garry Boulard
Whether Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden wins the White House in November or Donald Trump is re-elected to a second term, both have pledged themselves to a vigorous road and bridge-building effort for the next four years.
So says a new report published by the Washington-based American Road & Transportation Builders Association, noting that the two candidates are calling for more investment in the country’s transportation infrastructure.
The report notes that former Vice-President Biden has announced his support for a $2 million economic stimulus program that would include investments in road and bridge building and upkeep, while also emphasizing transit and what is known as “green infrastructure.”
Last November, Biden additionally proposed investing some $50 billion in road work during his first year in office, with federal funds going directly to cities and towns.
Addressing himself to the nagging issue of funding, Biden has also proposed raising corporate tax rates, while also closing tax loopholes in an effort to stabilize the federal Highway Trust Fund.
President Trump has re-emphasized his continuing support for what he called his Building a Stronger America plan, originally introduced in early 2018.
That plan calls for up to $200 billion in investments from Washington to pay for highway, transit, rail, and water infrastructure work.
Trump’s most recent transportation initiative, as a fiscal year 2021 budget proposal, would set up a 10-year, $810 billion surface transportation bill. That proposal includes $190 billion in “additional infrastructure investment.”
Neither Biden nor Trump specially address how to get around what has proven to be a durable Congressional opposition to raising the country’s federal fuel tax - revenues which would go into the Highway Trust Fund to pay for infrastructure work.
That tax of 18.4 cents per gallon on gasoline and 24.4 cents per gallon on diesel fuel has remained unchanged since 1993.
By Garry Boulard
Funds could be made available by the end of this year for nearly a dozen road, bike lane, walking trail, and sidewalk improvement projects in Albuquerque.
Members of the Albuquerque City Council are reviewing a proposal to sell a $50 million bond that would be backed by a twenty-five cent transportation tax earlier approved by voters.
The bond, which will have a 15-year lifespan, will pay for projects with price tags ranging in size from $1 million and $12 million.
The $12 million will fund work on the four lane expansion of the busy Paseo Del Norte from Kimmick Drive NW to Rainbow Boulevard, a project that city officials have said is essential in order to accommodate the city’s west side population boom.
Some $5 million of the bond will be slated for a Vision Zero transportation program that will include new arterial street lighting in the vicinity of the University of New Mexico’s north campus.
The completion of street improvement work in the Los Altos, Midtown, and Mile High Districts would see just over $4.8 million in funding.
The council is expected to vote on the bond question during its next scheduled meeting, set for September 9.
By Garry Boulard
denver public schools asking for bond to pay for facility construction and upgrade projects
In an effort to update and maintain its existing facilities, the Denver Public Schools will present local voters in November with a $795 million bond proposal designed to address those needs.
Members of the Denver Public Schools board have voted unanimously in favor of putting the bond question on the ballot.
The school board vote comes after months of deliberation by a citizens’ committee made up of educators, parents, and students who reviewed the big district’s current facility needs.
Four years ago, Denver voters gave their approval to a $527 million bond designed to both build new school facilities and upgrade existing ones.
Out of the $795 million being asked for approval this time around, $130 million will go for the building of new facilities, as well as the expansion of existing schools across the district.
Exactly $332 million is slated for maintenance projects, including HVAC system upgrades and both electrical and plumbing system improvements.
Up to $65 million will target classroom technology and school security measures.
The Denver Public Schools system comprises, at 155 square miles, the largest district in Colorado, with just over 160 schools serving around 93,000 students.
By Garry Boulard
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