Denver's increasingly popular Cherry Creek North neighborhood may see the construction of yet one more condo project.
A national development and investment firm is proposing to build a 5-story upscale structure at 185 N. Steele Street. That street is dotted with modern multi-story office buildings and apartment complexes.
As envisioned, the structure will measure around 172,000 square feet and will include nearly forty individual residential units, along with some 9,600 square feet of restaurant, bar, and retail space.
Project developer is the PMG company, which has offices in New York and Miami, and specializes in luxury mixed-use properties primarily in the South, but also in New York and Colorado.
Additional project amenities include underground parking for up to 70 vehicles, an amenity deck, and balconies for each residential unit.
Project designer is the Denver-based architecture firm of Shears Adkins Rockmore.
The Cherry Creek North neighborhood makes up one of the most affluent sections of the Mile High City, with average rents for a one-bedroom apartment now nearing the $3,000 mark.
Work on the 185 N. Steele Street project is expected to begin early next year, with a completion date of sometime in 2026.
By Garry Boulard
With access to credit absolutely essential for the nation's small businesses, a new survey is indicating that many small business owners are increasingly worried about increasingly higher financing costs.
The survey, conducted by the Nashville-based National Federation of Independent Businesses, revealed that a strong 58% of small business respondents pointed to ongoing high interest as their number one concern in obtaining financing.
A smaller 14% reported that the process of obtaining credit was too slow. Other complaints: too much paperwork, repayment schedules that are too short, and collateral requirements that are too large.
"The health of the financial system is essential to small business operations," Holly Wade, executive director of the NFIB's Research Center, said in a statement.
"While most owners are currently satisfied with their ability to borrow," Wade continued, "the escalating cost of financing associated with high interest rates is a significant issue for many."
Roughly a third of small business owners responding to the survey said they had tried to obtain credit in order to meet inventory and operating expenses; while 26% said they needed new financing to either make repairs or replace capital assets.
A smaller 20% said they tried to obtain new financing to expand their businesses.
While reports of bank closures last year troubled a significant percentage of respondents in an earlier survey, overwhelmingly today the vast majority reported confidence in the stability of the banks they do business with.
On a separate but related question, 52% of respondents said they think the U.S. is currently in a recession, with 17% saying they think the recession will hit later this year, and 20% pegging the January to June period of next year as the most likely time for a downturn.
By Garry Boulard
A school district based in metro Phoenix and Tempe is hoping to secure $161 million in new bonds to fund a series of school facility projects.
The Kyrene School District is a K to 8 district that is served by just over two dozen individual schools of varying sizes.
The $161 million bond to be decided on by voters in November will largely go for security upgrades at all of the district's schools as well as the District Office complex in Tempe.
Those upgrades include building front office security spaces and perimeter campus fencing, as well as putting in new security cameras.
Because most of the buildings in the district were built before 1990, the bond funding will also pay for heating and cooling system upgrades, updated electrical systems, and overall structural repairs and improvements.
Voters in the Kyrene School District last approved a school facilities bond in 2017. That $117 million bond has since gone to pay for school building repairs and upgrades, as well as the replacement of an underground fuel tank.
By Garry Boulard
Plans are underway for the modernization of a wastewater treatment plant that serves the town of Anthony, Texas, roughly 20 miles to the north of El Paso.
Work at the facility, located at 401 Wildcat Drive, will allow the plant to remove arsenic from Anthony's potable groundwater supply.
The project is now expected to receive nearly $600,000 in federal funds via appropriations legislation now winding its way through Congress.
According to the office of Texas Representative Veronica Escobar, the El Paso metro area is in line to receive a total of around $19.2 million out of Washington for exactly 15 projects, some of which are centered on infrastructure improvements.
The combined projects, said Escobar in a statement, "will make a tangible impact on El Pasoans from all walks of life."
Some $850,000 in funds is expected to go to the Lower Valley Water District for a new ground storage tank; while the University Medical Center of El Paso will receive not quite $1.4 million to replace an emergency generator.
The long-planned Terminal Bridge Reconstruction Project at the El Paso International Airport is slated to receive $850,000 for design and construction work. That project is replacing an existing traffic structure that serves as the airport's primary exit.
By Garry Boulard
A first of its kind report just issued by the Department of the Treasury asserts that membership in a labor union is almost always good for a worker's pocketbook.
The report says that on average wages are increased anywhere from 10% to 15% for workers who are unionized. Even more, union membership tends to improve fringe benefits and retirement plans.
Unionization, says the report, also brings with it a spillover effect: "Competition means workers at nonunionized firms see increased wages, too," as well as improved worker safety procedures.
Such improved workplaces, "contribute substantially to middle class financial stability and worker well-being."
And in helping to create a larger middle-class demographic, unions also reduce overall inequality: "Income inequality often feeds back into inequality of opportunity, which impedes growth if disadvantaged people cannot access the resources necessary to acquire job skills or start businesses."
The American labor movement dates to the mid-19th century but saw its greatest growth in a largely factory economy during the Great Depression with the passage of the National Labor Relations Act.
That legislation provided a legal standing to workers attempting to organize unions. In its wake, the country saw a steady increase in the number of unionized workers, peaking at around 35% in the early 1950s, but steadily dropping after that to 23% in 1980.
According to a Bureau of Labor Statistics report issued earlier this year, the number is now down to 10.1%. Of that figure, roughly 7.1 million workers are employed in the public sector, while 7.2 million are in the private sector.
Despite the ongoing decline in organized workers, the very idea of labor unions remains popular: according to a Gallup survey released late last year roughly 71% indicated their approval of labor unions in general--the highest level of popular support since 1965.
By Garry Boulard
Construction is expected to begin later this year on a massive lithium battery manufacturing plant within the borders of the Aerospace Research Campus in Tucson.
The project belongs to the company American Battery Factory, which is based in the northern Utah city of American Fork and is expected to cost around $450 million to complete.
It is thought that upon completion, the plant will be capable of producing a massive 3 billion watts of power on an annual basis.
The project will go up on a 267-acre site just to the south of the Tucson International Airport that is owned by Pima County. Altogether, the larger Aerospace Research Park measures just over 500 acres.
Founded in 2021, the American Battery Factory specializes in the production of high-performance prismatic Lithium Iron Phosphate batteries.
Members of the Pima County Board of Supervisors late last year agreed to sell the Aerospace Research Campus land to the American Battery Factory.
Upon the Supervisors' vote, the Utah company announced that the new plant would comprise "an estimated $1.2 billion in capital investment, $3.1 billion in economic impact to the state," accelerating the growth of a national clean energy economy.
The new plant is expected to be completed in 2026, with an expansion to be built in 2028.
By Garry Boulard
Voters in a growing school district in northern Colorado will be tasked in November with deciding on a $100 million bond that will mostly go for the construction of new employee housing.
Like many other parts of the state, Eagle County has seen a substantial increase in housing costs in the last several years, large enough to make it difficult to recruit new schoolteachers and other public employees for work.
In response, members of the Eagle County School District's Board of Education placed on the November ballot a proposed $100 million bond to be used for new housing construction.
"The lack of affordable housing really keeps us from filling the positions that we have vacant in our organization," District Superintendent Philip Qualman recently commented to the Vail Daily newspaper, noting that the district currently has at least one hundred openings, representing 10% of its staff.
The bond proposal does not represent the district's first foray into the housing world: it earlier opened a 37-unit apartment complex called Miller Flats, which has since been flooded with applicants.
That project has been funded using 30-year certificates of participation.
Besides being used to target new housing construction, the $100 million bond is expected to fund safety and security upgrades at the district’s nearly two dozen elementary, middle, and high schools.
The average rent for a one-bedroom apartment in Eagle County, according to the site RentData. org, is currently slightly over $1,300. Ten years ago, the average stood at just under $950.
In 2020, the district approved a master plan calling for the construction of at least 120 new housing units for employees by the end of the decade.
By Garry Boulard
A battle over what kind of ceiling fans can be installed in new residential construction is growing more intense in Washington.
New proposed standards announced earlier this summer by the Department of Energy are designed to make ceiling fans more energy efficient.
As published in the Federal Register, the new rules are in keeping with the Energy Policy and Conservation Act, which "prescribes energy conservation standards for various consumer products and certain commercial and industrial equipment, including ceiling fans."
Under the proposed rules, the energy consumption for belt-driven and large diameter ceiling fans would be decreased. Fans containing the equipment needed to comply with the new rules are expected to cost around $10 more for consumers.
The cost for ceiling fan manufacturers could equal nearly $87 million per year, according to the Energy Department.
But in a public letter sent to the Energy Department by the House Committee on Small Business, it is asserted that the new ruling would "require numerous small business fan manufacturers to redesign their products and may put between 10% and 30% of small business ceiling fan manufacturers out of business."
The letter adds: "It appears that the Department of Energy may not have properly considered small entities during this rule making process."
Trying to sort out the different numbers, The Hill publication contacted the Energy Department and was told by a spokesperson that the "one-time total conversion cost would be about $107 million for all manufacturers."
Overall savings to the consumer, the spokesperson added, would be "more than triple the incremental costs."
If made final, the Energy Department's new ceiling fan rule is not expected to take effect until 2028.
By Garry Boulard
More than 300 acres of land in Gilbert, Arizona has been sold in order to build one of the largest mixed-use developments in the area in recent memory.
The Power Ranch Land Company purchased the acreage from the Phoenix-based Dale C. Morrison Trust, which has been in control of the land for years.
The purchase opens the way for development of a project that has been long planned and is expected to see exactly 221 acres given over to light industrial construction. An additional 34 acres will be designated for commercial development, which will include a small office, fitness center, grocery store, and several restaurants.
Residential development at the site will see the building of both two- and three-story multi-family homes, along with some 16 acres of green space that will include walking trails.
The property in question went for $107.5 million and is thought to be one of the largest such land transactions in Maricopa County this year.
Site planning and design work is now underway on what is being called The Ranch, with actual construction expected to begin sometime in late 2024.
The site is part of an historic 3,000-acre alfalfa, corn, and cotton farm owned and operated for decades by the Morrison Family, once regarded as one of the most important working farms in Gilbert.
The Morrison Trust has been instrumental in transitioning the Morrison Ranch into a multi-use master planned community, with transformation of the land almost seen as a metaphor for Gilbert itself, with a population of less than 1,000 people when the farm was in its early years, to nearly 270,000 today.
At full build-out, The Ranch is expected to include around 15 buildings with retail shops, storage facilities, convenient stores, and even a dental office.
By Garry Boulard
A well-known developer with offices in Albuquerque has just wrapped up the building of an 80,000-square-foot multifamily project in San Diego.
What is being called The Parkline belongs to Titan Development and is designated as a Class A project comprised of a six-story structure housing 94 residential units. With its 4250 Oregon Street address, the project is located in the trendy North Park neighborhood, which in recent years has become particularly popular for its coffee shops, brewery pubs, and sushi lounges.
Done in conjunction with Malick Infill Development and Thornberg Real Estate Ventures, the Parkline includes 28 studios, 57 one-bedroom and half a dozen two-bedroom units.
According to a Titan press release, each unit includes “washers and dryers, dishwashers, air conditioning, modern wood-style flooring, soft-closing kitchen cabinet hinges, quartz countertops, porcelain tile backsplashes, and oversized windows and doors to maximize natural light.”
The project for Titan, which was founded in 1990, represents just the latest in the company’s geographical reach. With offices in Austin, Titan has emerged as a leading development and real estate firm in the Southwest, with more than $3 billion in project costs.
Earlier this year, Titan began work on a 253-unit multifamily community project in Colorado Springs carrying an $86.6 million price tag.
In June, Titan unveiled the latest of its Allaso projects to be built within the borders of the Allaso Journal Center in Albuquerque: a $35 million multifamily complex measuring some 175,000 square feet.
By Garry Boulard
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