Gov. Cuomo puts $190M on the table for apartment builders

Real Estate Weekly

(Francisco Kjolseth | Tribune file photo) Bicyclists make their way through Salt Lake City traffic. Officials are pushing to promote more walking and biking as the Wasatch Front population is predicted to double in coming decades.Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced $190 million for both building and preserving affordable housing, available by application to groups with shovel-ready projects.

“Everyone deserves a safe, affordable place to live, and this funding will help get more New Yorkers into a place to call home,” Governor Cuomo said. “These funds will not only get housing projects off the ground, but are also an important step to creating stable, healthy communities. We will continue working with local partners and organizations to support affordable housing alternatives.”

The funding, available through Homes and Community Renewal, makes resources from a variety of programs available to eligible organizations.

Applicants with shovel-ready projects that support state housing goals of revitalization and economic development, mixed-income and mixed-use development, workforce housing, and affordable housing preservation may apply for an Early Award and receive an accelerated application review.

Interested applicants are encouraged to complete the Homes and Community Renewal’s Unified Funding Application, a single-source, streamlined process to apply for several funding streams for affordable, multifamily developments. Read more

3 Ways To Ensure California’s Prosperity Emerge From CA Economic Summit’s Capitol Day

Justin Ewers | Fox & Hounds

Three big themes emerged from Tuesday’s California Economic Summit Capitol Day, where more than 250 civic leaders representing the state’s diverse regional economies met with lawmakers and state officials to discuss how to build on the success of the Summit’s statewide prosperity strategy. This action plan, shaped by participants in last November’s Summit, outlines how regional and state leaders can work together to support the training of California workers for the 21st-century economy, make the promise of sustainable, affordable communities a reality, and champion long-term investments in the state’s transportation infrastructure, water systems, and unparalleled working landscapes.

It’s a big agenda, and by necessity. “Your goal—economic prosperity, environmental quality, and expanding opportunity for everyone—is right on target,” Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins told Summit leaders Tuesday. “I believe one of our most important jobs in the Capitol is finding the right balance, a balance where California has a strong business climate that generates jobs and revenue, where we’re also safe, healthy, and financially able to live, work, and raise our families. That’s really it. The solutions aren’t so easy.”

Even so, over the last two years the Summit’s unique partnership between California Forward and the California Stewardship Network has steadily advanced these priorities. “But never more so than this year,” as Summit Steering Committee co-chairs Paul Granillo of the Inland Empire Economic Partnership and Eloy Oakley of Long Beach City College put it in a letter to attendees. Read more

Take a Look at Twitter’s New Buildings in Santa Monica

Lee Davidson | Santa Monica Daily Press

(Francisco Kjolseth | Tribune file photo) Bicyclists make their way through Salt Lake City traffic. Officials are pushing to promote more walking and biking as the Wasatch Front population is predicted to double in coming decades.Twitter, the short-form social networking service, is opening an office on Pico Boulevard at Main Street.

City Hall issued the company a business license for 150 Pico Blvd. back in June. It lists the company’s start date as Aug. 1. The business type is listed as “Sales Marketing And Engineering.”

“Not sharing anything else at this time,” Twitter spokesperson Jim Prosser told the Daily Press in an e-mail.

Brown paper covers the large glass windows at the single-story building on Pico. Twitter appears to be taking over an adjacent property at 1916 Main St. as well; a Notice of Non-Responsibility from the investment company that owns the building – posted on a door – acknowledges that improvements to the space began back in March and that Twitter Inc. is the tenant.

City Hall’s Economic Development Administrator Jennifer Taylor said that she’s excited for Twitter, and its employees, to move into the space.

“They picked a fabulous location, just two blocks from the beach,” she said in an e-mail. “We know that Pico Blvd and Main Street merchants are eager for the SM Twitter office to open, with the prospect of attracting some new loyal customers who will eat, shop and play local.” As Santa Monica – arguably the center of the Southern California tech boom- fills up and as fledgling startup companies turn into international players, exodus has become a common theme. Read more

Future Utah transportation revolution: biking, walking?

Summit » Officials envision walkable, rideable solutions to congestion woes.
Lee Davidson | The Salt Lake Tribune

(Francisco Kjolseth | Tribune file photo) Bicyclists make their way through Salt Lake City traffic. Officials are pushing to promote more walking and biking as the Wasatch Front population is predicted to double in coming decades.As they looked out picture windows at the Salt Lake Valley below to imagine how growth may change it, officials held a summit Tuesday to discuss a possible revolution in transportation to reduce congestion and improve health.

What is that novel change? Encouraging more walking and bicycle riding, what officials like to call “active transportation.”

“Active transportation can really yield significant economic, environmental and health benefits,” Michael Allegra, president and CEO of the Utah Transit Authority, told the Active Transportation and Health Summit.

It was sponsored by such groups as UTA, the Utah Department of Transportation and the Utah Department of Health. They spent the day talking about efforts from expanding bike-share programs to adding more bike lanes or “bike boulevards” and incorporating active transportation into new road projects.

The summit met atop the Rice-Eccles Stadium tower at the University of Utah. As he opened the meeting, Allegra said many plans for the 2002 Winter Olympics and UTA’s TRAX light rail were worked out there amid its stunning valley view, and he hopes the move toward more active transportation will also have roots there. Read more

Why Portland Is Building a Multi-Modal Bridge That Bans Cars

Brian Libby | The Atlantic CityLab

A rendering of the Tilikum Crossing, designed by San Francisco's Donald McDonald. (HNTB)

A rendering of the Tilikum Crossing, designed by San Francisco’s Donald McDonald. (HNTB)


It’s an early-summer morning at the construction site for Portland’s first new bridge in a generation, the Tilikum Crossing, and Dan Blocher is feeling good about its progress. Completion is still a year away, but since the two ends of the bridge were connected in the middle several weeks ago, public response in self-described Bridgetown (when it’s not, say, the Rose City, Stumptown or Rip City) has been positive.

“Most people can sort of viscerally recognize an inherent beauty when the bridge is properly designed for its need,” says Blocher, executive director of capitol projects for TriMet, the city’s transit agency. “I think you know when you’ve got it right when the completed product just seems to fit, just like it belongs there. And we feel very good about the feedback we’re getting on this bridge now that you can see what it’s going to look like.”

As we stand along the banks of the Willamette River, where workers are toiling both above us on the recently completed deck and below in small boats where the footings meet the water, Blocher points to a number of the bridge’s unique design features. The H-shaped towers are smaller than those of most cable-stay bridges, for example. That’s because Tilikum threads single cables up through the towers and down again to the deck, rather than using two sets of cables connected separately to the tower. The bike and pedestrian paths on either side also jut out in the middle, he says, to reduce wind drag. The angle of the white cables is meant to recall the triangular form of Mount Hood, standing tall in the distance and visible from the bridge. Read more

$11 Billion Later, High-Speed Rail Is Inching Along

Ron Nixon | The New York Times

Amtrak’s Acela near Baltimore. The 150-mile-per-hour Acela averages only 80 m.p.h. on the New York to Washington corridor. Credit Luke Sharrett for The New York TimesHigh-speed rail was supposed to be President Obama’s signature transportation project, but despite the administration spending nearly $11 billion since 2009 to develop faster passenger trains, the projects have gone mostly nowhere and the United States still lags far behind Europe and China.

While Republican opposition and community protests have slowed the projects here, transportation policy experts and members of both parties also place blame for the failures on missteps by the Obama administration — which in July asked Congress for nearly $10 billion more for high-speed initiatives.

Instead of putting the $11 billion directly into those projects, critics say, the administration made the mistake of parceling out the money to upgrade existing Amtrak service, which will allow trains to go no faster than 110 miles per hour. None of the money originally went to service in the Northeast Corridor, the most likely place for high-speed rail. Read more


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