Sam Chang sells Garment District hotel site for $32M
Message* Email Address* Tagsgarment districtHotelsSam Chang Full Name* Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on LinkedinShare via Email Share via Shortlink Share via Shortlink 338 West 39th Street and Sam Chang (Photo via Google Maps)Sam Chang’s McSam Hotel Group sold off a Garment District hotel site for $31.5 million, marking his firm’s second sale in the past two months.McSam sold the property at 338 West 39th Street — where the developer had been planning to open a 25-story, 175-key hotel — to the New Jersey-based real estate firm Ivy Realty.The Pestana hotel was scheduled to open for business this year but the pandemic likely threw a wrench in those plans. The property was branded under Pestana’s lifestyle hospitality flag CR7, a partnership between Pestana and soccer superstar Cristiano Ronaldo.McSam bought the property, which originally housed a 12-story factory building, for $22.4 million in 2015, records show.Chang and a representative for Ivy Realty did not immediately return a request to comment.Chang is one of the developers with the largest exposure to Manhattan’s struggling hospitality industry. His firm helped establish a new type of budget hotel in the 1990s and he quickly became among the most active hotel developers in Manhattan.Last year, Chang said he would retire to focus on the obscure hobby of pigeon racing, but he is still making deals and has filed plans to build a new hotel in Midtown Manhattan.In October, Chang’s firm sold off a newly completed hotel in Chelsea at 140 West 28th Street for $147 million. McSam received a $121 million construction loan for the project in early 2018 from Bank OZK and Square Mile Capital Management.Hotels have been hit particularly hard in New York, where business travel and tourism have ground to a halt since March. About 80 percent of hotel properties tied to the commercial mortgage-backed securities market are showing signs of distress, according to recent figures from Trepp.Contact Keith Larsen
Alex Burton Is Against Any Tax Increase
Alex Burton Is Against Any Tax IncreaseCity Council At-Large candidate Alex Burton stated today he is absolutely against raising taxes after several current members of the council stated they would consider raising taxes to help the city’s finances.“The taxpayers of Evansville should not be roped into a political game. Property taxes continue to rise and we shouldn’t stack an increase in the local income tax on top of that. I’m not convinced that the Mayor and current City Council has exhausted all possibilities to control spending,” he said.“Burton believes that it is imperative that the City focus on the basic needs of our city. He also believes that public safety officials must be fully equipped and adequately trained.”“2016 and beyond is dependent on what this current council and administration can agree on. We cannot continue to kick the can down the road as it relates to our city’s finances. I urge both the administration and current City Council members to make decisions to improve the health of our city’s finances.” Burton said.Alex continues to campaign on the basis of teamwork, good policy, and the future of Evansville. “He understands that in order for Evansville to be its best we must learn from the past, make sound decisions in the present, and prepare for the future”.FacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmail
News story: Master and vessel owner ordered to pay £22,459 for fisheries offences
We are pleased the judge recognised the seriousness of these offences as a deliberate attempt to undermine regulations. In cases like these MMO will always take proportionate and appropriate action, including prosecution, to ensure offenders do not benefit from such illegal activity and to protect fish stocks for the wider fishing industry and future generations. The court heard that in February 2017 information was received by MMO officers that led them to investigate the landing and subsequent sale of fish that had been declared by the fishing vessel Charisma (NN111).Through analysis of CCTV footage from Sutton Harbour in Plymouth, officers identified that the vessel had not been out to sea. The vessel owner, Graeme Searle was also master of the Emma Louise (PH5557), which had been fishing at the relevant time. It became clear that the incorrect vessel had been declared as having made the landing in order for the Emma Louise to land excess Pollock over her quota limit.Mr Searle pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing on 9 July 2018, which was adjourned for sentencing until 31 July 2018. He was ordered to pay a fine of £13,295, costs of £8,994.30 and a £170 victim surcharge.A spokesperson for the MMO said:
Speech: RESI Conference 2018
Mark, thanks very much for making me sound like the political equivalent of a fruit fly, that is a great way to start.“Minister, the conference is in New York” is what I heard, but obviously I am delighted to be here in Newport, with the property industry I know and love I would easily have taken the economy option.Because for those of you who are furiously googling who the hell is this guy, I was for a while a commercial property developer back in the 1990s as the finance director of a small boutique development firm that built actually quote a lot of industrial space across the UK, JCT design and build, M&E options for tax, it is all familiar stuff to me.So I guess I come to the job with a smattering of some experience on the development side.I also had a career in City and local government in central London, and as those of you who operate in that market will know it’s very hard for anybody to avoid the property industry while in local government in the capital.As a backbencher since 2015 I spent quite a lot of time campaigning on planning issues. I represent the constituency of North West Hampshire, which is all the beautiful land to the west of Basingstoke, which should take something like 20 to 30 thousand houses over the next 30 to 40 years, which is a critical issue for me.And finally the job I had before this one at the Department for Work and Pensions was the minister responsible for housing benefit, so the dynamics of social housing and affordable housing are very familier to me as well.So I come to this job with what politicians call convictions, and what everyone else calls prejudices, about the industry but also some of it born of experience, and the Prime Minister has set me a relatively simple task you’ll think, or relatively a simple mission statement, which is more, better, faster.Those are the 3 words by which I live. Now on that mission, as an industry, thanks to you we are doing pretty well.And with net additions to the housing stock up 55% since 2010, we’re hitting about 217,000 new net additions a year, up from about 134,000 back then.EPC certificates, I don’t know if you follow these leading indicators, but EPC certifcates for the first quarter were very good, with about 60 odd thousand up from around 40 thousand as has been the average.Everything is looking pretty good, and so words I wanted to pass to you, which you don’t hear very often, is thank you.You are increasing your output and obviously the numbers are moving in a good direction and both you and we in government are moving into a serious delivery mode, but there is still loads more to do.We have to keep up the momentum to deal frankly with decades, and we all know, decades of under investment in housing, exacerbated by the crash back in 2007/8, and we have got to work together to get to those targets of 300,000 a year.Now the title of this session is innovation and productivity, so I want to talk to you a bit about that because I think there is some critical aspects to it which will help us to reach the 300,000 target.In particular I wanted to try and scotch 3 of the myths which for the first 6 weeks or so in the job I’ve heard from a number of quarters.The first myth which seems to me is a false one is that disruption is not possible in housing, that somehow housebuilding, the housing market is impervious to changes in technology in the way that other industries have been.From book keeping to banking you have seen the wave of innovation disrupt those markets amazingly. Now housing does have its own characteristics, it is not a fast moving consumer good in the same way as an iPhone or a book.People are making all sorts of decisions around their housing which are important life decisions, where they want their kids to go to school, how long will I be on the waiting list for an allotment [political content removed], all these kinds of questions are on people’s minds.But nevertheless I think it would be a big mistake for people in this industry to think that the wind of change, innovation and disruption isn’t coming.I don’t want any of you to make the mistake of becoming the Kodak of the house building industry.And we don’t have far to look to another industry which is quite similar which has seen this change: the finance industry,You know a highly regulated industry like the housing industry, which has over the years conglomerated into a small number of players,It was only 10 years ago that financial services was dominated by just 5 or 6 large players.Over the years and decades since we have seen an incredible change in financial services.People are paying with Monzo, buying currency on transfer wires, getting loans from peer-to-peer lenders, Apple Pay is now eating Visa’s lunch on a regular basis. There is something Apple Pay and Google and that are projected having 60% of contactless transactions by 2030.These are really enormous changes for the financial services industry and that industry is being shaken up by technology but also by talent,And I think the same is going to be true in housing, and we certainly need it.We are already seeing some big changes in technology which are going to have an impact on productivity, you go online and Google it, you can find construction robotics in their infancy, but they will accelerate fast.There are lots of YouTube films of robot brick layers who can build a house 4 times faster than a human can.Push fit plumbing is revolutionising that industry. Pretty soon we have got near-field electric charging now, we are going to have far-field connectivity which will change the life of electricians up and down the world and will make life easier and quicker from a building point of view.That will change the landscape and lift some of the barriers to entry.We also need to see a new wave, frankly, of talent come through in the industry.The crash killed a number of small and growing developers and we haven’t seen that talent pool emerge yet, but I’m pretty certain that they will and if we are going to improve innovation and productivity in the industry we are going to need to do that.What will we do as a government to help?Well we are trying hard to put your money where our mouth is, through the Home Building Fund, which we’re targeting SMEs trying to give them the confidence to grow and build, to start even to get going, we are hoping that new wave of house builders will start to come through.We have championed new modern methods of construction, putting funding behind that too, working with the finance industry to make things mortgageable that come from MMC (modern methods of construction).We are pushing self and custom build, we think that has huge potential. I learnt just the other day that in Austria that 4 out of 5 houses are self or custom build. It does have potential to be big volume if we can get it right. Kevin McCleod is with us, right? from Grand DesignsIt’s not just about a financial investment, it’s a decision people make about how they want to live, they invest much more in it than just their money.So pushing some of those growing sea of innovations is great, and our right to build changes and the other bits and pieces, hopefully will help to boost this idea of innovation,So myth number 1, get ready for change because, whether you like it or not, I think it’s coming.Myth number 2 is actually only the private sector can innovate.We are trying quite hard as a government, and my predecessors, for all their short lifespan, have put together quite a lot of smart thinking in governmental terms about some of the clever things we can do.Mostly some of that is what we can do with our money, some of you may have seen the launch yesterday of this Barclays house building fund,We have gone for significant leverage, so we put in I think £125 million and they have topped it up to a billion, targeted directly at house building, with a tilt towards SMEs.As I say, we stimulated new markets like the Build To Rent market, back in 2012 it hardly existed, now because of the guarantee structure we provided in a political incentive, we have got something like 125,000 homes delivered or in the pipeline.In fact just today, we published new guidance from the National Planning Policy Framework(NPPF) encouraging local authorities to look at this market and plan for it in their housing allocations.We have invented new tenures of affordable private rents for people who come between social housing and affordable housing, and then we are looking at changing, or we have changed the policy around employer-led housing, housing for over 55s.We are open to ideas, we are trying to promote them, we want a thousand flowers to bloom, in terms of tenure, developers, innovation.We need a big, vigorous, vibrant market to deliver the houses me need. We can innovate and I think you must as well.And then finally the third myth that I just wanted to squash is this constant battle about quality over quantity.Those of you who are scholars of Chinese literature will know there is an extremely famous poem in the Chinese cannon that was written in the UK.It was written by a guy called Xu Zhimo, who studied at Cambridge in the 1920s, and he was so awestruck by the beauty of Cambridge and heartbroken to leaveAnd he wrote this poem called “Leaving Cambridge Again“ and it has become a seminal poem in Chinese society. Lots of people in China take their view of the UK from this poem.And in fact the hotels and shops in Cambridge benefit from it still – they should erect a statue to him from the number of visitors that it still links to go there.Now I’m not sure that there are many Chinese visitors in this country that will return to China and write poems about a lot of the stuff we have built over the past few years.I’m not sure everything needs to look like Cambridge, but how many people in this room believe they have built the conservation areas of the future. Probably not that many.And this is a problem for us, because when we are building this number of houses, if we can get to 300,000, we are not really just building houses we are building neighbourhoods.Developments of a thousand or 500 units are bigger than most villages,and we need to think in those neighbourhood terms, we need to think about the place, the design and beauty, where it fits and what we are, frankly, leaving to posterity.So when they look back on this hopefully golden age of house building, they do so not with a wrecking ball to flatten it all as we are already doing for quite a lot of housing built in the 60s and 70s, but look back at it and treasure it, preserve it and invest in it so that it lasts into the future.Now in the NPPF, the new planning framework, we are trying to encourage that.We are trying to get local authorities more confidence to turn things down on the basis of design, stuff that doesn’t fit in the local neighbourhood, stuff that people don’t like the look of frankly, so we get much more sense of vernacular.When I was a London Assembly Member, there was a proposal, a plan developed for Chelsea Barracks, some of you may know a huge site in the centre of London.There was no attempt to create any sense of neighbourhood in this vast site, this very big site in London,And if you stood in the middle of it you would not know where you were. There was no attempt to link it, or relate it, to the locality.It didn’t look like London and never would.And as a result, there was a big residents campaign which I played a small part to get it turned down.We need to recognise that it is perfectly possible for modern, efficient, technology driven design to reflect the local area, and to reflect historical proportion without becoming pastiche.Critically, from a marketing point of view, and in the end we are all interested in selling houses, as much as anything else, whether it is to invest or as owner-occupiers, design improves acceptability over terms of planning but also in terms of marketability.How this is stated funnily enough, and as someone who represents a constituency which is something like 60% Area of Outstanding National Beauty and with a large number of houses coming, councils will also tell you that you’re much more likely to get permission, much more likely to get marketability, much more likely to get support from everybody around if it looks good, looks like the area, recognises the right materials and gets the design right.So if we can get those 3 things together, harness innovation, work together to innovate and get design right, then I think we can meet that triple challenge of more, better and faster.I will do what I can to help you over the time that I am allowed on this earth to do that.Bring me your ideas. We are open to new thinking, whether it’s on finance, whether it’s on planning, whatever. As I said before, we want a thousand flowers to bloom.If we can get to this big, vigorous, vibrant market in which you all compete, and you all allow your talent and your ambition to let rip.Those of you particularly who are halfway down a huge organisation, have the courage to go out and do your own thing.We do our best to support you and together we can hit that 300,000 targetThank you very much.
News story: Government announcement to end UK’s contribution to climate change
I’m delighted to see the Prime Minister set a legal target for the UK to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2050. This is not only the right thing to tackle the climate emergency for future generations but a huge opportunity to increase our energy efficiency, improve our resilience and deliver a greener, healthier society. We know that investing in zero carbon solutions is good for growth – boosting jobs and the economy – and it is cheaper for business, organisations and government to tackle climate change now than to manage its impacts in the future. When I launched a consultation on the Environment Agency’s Flood and Coastal Strategy up to 2100, a few weeks ago, I talked about the importance of building a nation of climate champions – people aware of the risks of the climate emergency and empowered to take positive action to help their communities become more resilient. We know how passionate young people are across the country about tackling complacency in the face of catastrophe and taking action now to safeguard their environment for the future. So it’s encouraging to see the Government has established a Youth Steering Group which will advise them and review progress against their commitments. Our individual actions count too, no matter how small – from the amount of water we use at home to the products we recycle and reuse. We have no option but to do this and we all have a part to play. The Environment Agency is already working to tackle the climate emergency. Today’s announcement gives a powerful boost to all our prospects for the future and a common goal to achieve together.
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D’Angelo, The Roots, And More To Perform Prince Tribute At BET Awards
The 2016 BET Awards are going down this Sunday, June 26 at 8PM EST, and will include a very special tribute to Prince. Early this morning, on the Purple One’s birthday, the network revealed the specific performers with a video announcement that included an initial lineup of The Roots, D’Angelo, Sheila E., Janelle Monae, and others.While musicians have been paying tribute to the legend worldwide, this certainly isn’t the first televised performance. Madonna honored Prince at last month’s Billboard Awards, performing “Nothing Compares 2 U” and “Purple Rain” with help from Questlove and a surprise special guest appearance from Stevie Wonder, which you can watch here. Happy Birthday, Prince!Learn more about the BET tribute here.
The Haitian partnership
When a devastating earthquake struck Haiti on Jan. 12, Louise Ivers narrowly escaped a building as it crumbled around her.As it happened, Ivers, an assistant professor at Harvard Medical School (HMS) and clinical director in Haiti for Partners In Health, was in Port-au-Prince to discuss disaster preparedness. Soon she was tending to acute injuries in a local hospital. She also had to take quick action when needed, such as providing urgent, life-saving surgery to a man without easy access to an operating room or anesthetics.Such moments illustrate the “living links between Harvard and Haiti,” said Paul Farmer, co-founder of Partners In Health, a Harvard-affiliated aid agency, during a noontime address to the Harvard medical community today (Feb. 11). The discussion, titled “Harvard and Haiti: A Collaborative Response to the January 12 Earthquake,” included other tales displaying the fortitude of the Haitian people, the responsiveness of the Harvard community, and the power of partnership.But the talk also focused on potential.“What is the role of the American research university in addressing the great social problems of our time?” asked Farmer, HMS Maude and Lillian Presley Professor of Social Medicine. “How do we solve the problems of poverty, privation, inequity, and disasters, both natural and unnatural?”The answer, according to Farmer and a cadre of panelists, is to act strongly. “To do global health, we have to do global health,” said Farmer. That is, he said, the only way to get at the root of international health care problems is to examine them in the process of delivering health care around the world.Farmer described his approach in medical terms. To make a diagnosis, he said, “You have to do the physical exam yourself.” Having spent the past 25 years providing and examining health care in Haiti, Farmer characterized the current situation as “an acute injury on top of a chronic condition.”As for prescriptions, Farmer also took a page from the clinician’s handbook: “Plans for patients, if they are to succeed, must be plans made with the patient.” In the past, he said, there have been too many recommendations for Haiti, and too little done to strengthen the hands of the Haitian people.Haiti has long suffered from health and poverty problems. Now, with government buildings reduced to rubble, with its only public teaching hospital in ruins, with 225,000 homes destroyed and millions of people in need of food and clean water, action is imperative. But, according to Farmer, such action must come in harmony and cooperation with the Haitian people.“A university like ours can offer its own brand of pragmatic solidarity and set the highest standards for research, teaching, and service,” Farmer said.More than 500 people attended the session, including Harvard President Drew Faust and HMS Dean Jeffrey Flier, who both gave introductory remarks; Provost Steven E. Hyman; and Dean Julio Frenk of the Harvard School of Public Health. Panelists included Ophelia Dahl, executive director of Partners In Health, and HMS instructors in medicine David Walton, Claire Pierre, and Koji Nakashima. Walton and Nakashima are also Partners In Health physicians.The event was part of the Talks @ 12 series, periodic lunchtime discussions featuring faculty members and special guests who speak to the Harvard medical community.
Professor discusses thesis project turned iconic Grotto fountain
While approaching the Grotto, several things might catch your eye: the imposing rocks, the hundreds of white candles or a trickling fountain on the left. This fountain may not be the most iconic part of the Grotto, but it has its own stories from seven decades of keeping watch over visitors.The fountain was made in 1943 by William Schickel, who completed the project as a thesis for his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree at Notre Dame. The original fountain was built using concrete, stone and terrazzo, but was remade in bronze this summer during a period of general renovations for the Grotto site.The fountain’s name is uncertain, though some people call it the “Trinity Fountain,” or “Living Waters.”Fr. Austin Collins, a professor in the Department of Art, Art History, and Design, does not call the fountain “Living Waters,” but is more inclined to agree with that imagery.“The images of water; the washing of the feet, the calming of the storm, the woman at the well, are just images of water and making a fountain,” he said, referring to the three artistic representations on the sides of the work.Regardless of the name, Collins says the fountain and the Grotto around it hold a special place in the hearts of all who visit.“It’s really been a place of pilgrimage,” he said. “Whether you’re Catholic, or whether you’re Christian, or not, you see people down there. It’s a sacred, holy place.”A letter written by Dr. Tom Dooley, an alumnus who cared for ill, impoverished children in Asia, defends Collins’s characterization. The letter, written while the author was gravely ill in Asia, is memorialized in a plaque on the site. It reads in part:“How I long for the Grotto … especially now when there must be snow everywhere and the lake is ice glass and that triangular fountain on the left is frozen solid. … Knowing prayers from here are just as good as from the Grotto doesn’t lessen my gnawing, yearning passion to be there.”Tags: fountain, Grotto, Living Waters fountain, news podcast, The Grotto, Trinity Fountain
Paraguayan Parlasur Legislators Uneasy About Argentine Nuclear Plan
By Dialogo March 31, 2011 Paraguayan Parlasur legislators have expressed their concern about an Argentine plan to install a nuclear plant in the border province of Formosa, near the Paraguayan capital, according to a declaration made public on 29 March. If the plan comes to fruition in the border area, “it will constitute a serious threat to public health and to the surrounding ecosystem, due to the risks entailed in an energy source with these characteristics,” according to the declaration. The group of legislators expressed concern about the nuclear plants already in existence in both Argentina and Brazil, two in each of those neighboring countries. They recalled that some countries, such as Venezuela, have suspended nuclear-plant construction projects, and others have taken very old plants, which would not be able to withstand failures or accidents, out of service. At the same time, at the opening of an international meeting on renewable energy, Paraguayan Environment Secretary Oscar Rivas reminded his audience of the tragedy experienced by Japan in relation to its nuclear plants and recalled the risks of atomic energy, still not overcome. Parlasur is the deliberative body of Mercosur (Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay, and Paraguay).