Home Blog Page 3

Are you dealing with an accident case in Nevada state?

0

Accidents are traumatic. The victims are doubly traumatized if they are in a maze of legal issues to claim compensation.

Understanding the nuances of various state jurisdictions covering accidents is a complex challenge. You can read more on the specifics of state laws to get a better idea.

This article takes you through the general issues around motor vehicle accidents and the professional legal aid available in the domain.

Let’s begin!

Accidents in America

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, America witnesses 5.25 million accidents annually.

Common auto accidents include

  • Car accidents
  • Truck accidents
  • Motorcycle accidents
  • Drunk driver accidents

Most of them occur due negligence of someone else. It is a challenge to prove who is at fault in motor vehicle crashes due to varying liability laws across the United States.

For instance, Nevada state follows a comparative negligence law whereby the driver at fault compensates the victims in proportion to his/her quantum of fault in the crash.

Trauma of accidents

The victims in an accident suffer due to various factors. Some of them include

  • Medical issues: The victims undergo complications like fractures, spine injuries, head injuries, blood loss, amputation, and even death.
  • Financial costs: It includes medical bills, wage losses, and vehicle damages.
  • Productivity loss: Lost days at work due to hospitalization, the mental and emotional trauma of the crash.
  • Insurance: Lowballing of victims by insurance companies who are averse to paying fair amounts claimed.
  • Legal issues: Lawsuits for establishing fault, seeking appropriate damages, etc.

All these factors make accidents more than a medical issue.

How can professional legal aid help you?

An accident attorney is a specialized legal practitioner dealing with cases of injuries associated with accidents.

Benefits of hiring your state based accident attorney:

  1. Legal acumen in understanding the nitty-gritty of your state’s accident law jurisdiction.
  2. Professional investigation of the scene of the accident to gather relevant pieces of evidence.
  3. Accurate reconstruction of the accident with the aid of safety engineers and other technical personnel.
  4. Drafting witness testimony to strengthen the case in your favor.
  5. Fighting the insurance company legally to ensure a fair settlement.
  6. Ensuring a fair compensation that covers the medical bills, productivity losses, property losses, and mental trauma.

It reduces the strain on the victim and ensures speedy recovery.

Concluding thoughts

An accident victim needs to recover from physical injuries peacefully. Hiring a professional accident attorney can help the victim immensely. So, choose a reliable legal partner to fight your case on your behalf while you recover.

Stocks look past rate risks in late rally, yen wilts

0
Stocks look past rate risks in late rally, yen wilts

NEW YORK, March 28 (Reuters) – World stock markets cast aside fears of rising interest rates on Monday with the tech-heavy U.S. Nasdaq index rallying 1.3%, even as parts of the Treasury yield curve signaled recession risks while oil prices tumbled on fears of weaker Chinese demand.

After a choppy session where stocks oscillated between gains and losses, U.S. shares finally broke higher, with electric car marker Tesla (TSLA.O) surging almost 8% on news that it will seek investor approval for a stock split.

But the buoyancy in stocks was foreshadowed by several signs and analyst warnings that it may not last, as global interest rates will likely climb higher this year and could drag on economic growth.

In the Treasuries market, for example, the yield curve for two- and 10-year Treasuries presaged growing recession risks on Monday, even though the curve for three-month bills and 10-year Treasuries still pointed to robust economic expansion.

Expectations of rising global interest rates prolonged a sell-off in European government debt, enabling Dutch and Belgian two-year bond yields to turn positive for the first time since 2014.

The tide of rising global yields led Japan’s central bank to declare on Monday a steadfast attempt to defend its 0.25% yield cap, vowing to buy an unlimited amount of government bonds for the first four days of the week.

The announcement sent the yen reeling to a six-year low at one point. Unlike other major economies that are battling surging price pressures, inflation in Japan remains well below its 2% target.

By early evening, MSCI’s gauge of stocks across the globe (.MIWD00000PUS) gained 0.39%.

The Nasdaq Composite (.IXIC) jumped 1.31%, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (.DJI) rose 0.27% and the S&P 500 (.SPX) climbed 0.71%.

A lockdown in China’s financial hub of Shanghai to contain surging COVID-19 cases, on the other hand, weighed on Chinese shares (.CSI300) and dragged on oil prices, as investors anticipated weaker demand from the world’s No 2 economy.

U.S. crude fell a whopping 9.14% to $103.49 per barrel and Brent skidded 9.1% to $109.70.

In the currency market, the Japanese yen shed 1.4% versus the dollar to 123.87 per dollar, after skidding as much as 2.5% at one point to notch its biggest one-day drop since March 2020.

Japan should intervene in the currency market or raise rates to defend the yen if it weakens beyond 130 to the dollar, the country’s former top currency diplomat, Eisuke Sakakibara, said.

With some investors betting that U.S. rates could rise by 50 basis points in April, analysts warned that stocks could succumb to deeper losses in coming months.

“One of the more confounding developments during the past two weeks has been the strength of the rebound in the tech-heavy Nasdaq-100 Index at the same time interest rates soared to cycle highs,” said Lisa Shalett, head of the global investment office at Morgan Stanley Wealth Management.

“As this and other yield curves head toward inversion, the nascent rebound in megacap tech stocks may stall.”

Indeed, the U.S. Treasury yield curve, as measured by the gap between five and 30-year yields, inverted on Monday for the first time since early 2006, as a sell-off in the bond market resumed, with short-dated yields jumping to their highest since 2019.

Fixed-income analysts said the inverted yield curve indicated that some investors believe the Fed’s policy tightening will put the brakes on economic growth.

The two-year Treasury yield climbed to 2.334%, from 2.299%, while 10-year U.S. Treasury yields retreated to 2.459%, after initially pushing above the 2.5%-marker for the first time since 2019 .

Francois Savary, chief investment officer at Swiss wealth management firm Prime Partners, said portfolio rebalancing ahead of quarter-end helped explained strength in equities in the face of surging bond yields.

“A day of reckoning is coming because at the start of April you have earnings season and you will get a sense of the impact of rising energy prices and guidance for the future,” he said

“I would not bet on the rally continuing in a straight line,” Savary added.

Euro zone bonds continued their move into positive-yield territory, while money market pricing suggested investors were now anticipating 60 bps worth of rate hikes from the European Central Bank by year-end compared with 50 bps last week.

British 10-year bond yields hit their highest levels in six years, Swiss 10-year yields and Australian three-year bond yields rose to their highest levels since 2014 , .

In commodity markets, gold softened to $1,931 an ounce , down about 1.35%.

Stock futures rise slightly ahead of consumer confidence data

0
Stock futures rise slightly ahead of consumer confidence data

Stock futures were in positive territory on Tuesday morning, ahead of consumer confidence data and a big week for economic data.

Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 60 points, or 0.17%. S&P 500 futures were up 0.27%, while Nasdaq 100 futures rose 0.26%.

During Monday’s regular trading session, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 94.65 points or 0.27%. The S&P 500 climbed 0.7%, while the Nasdaq Composite gained 1.31%.

The gains came amid a tech-heavy market rally during regular trading led by shares of Tesla, which rose 8% on news that it will ask shareholders to split its stock to pay dividends to investors.

“I think anyone has to be impressed with the resiliency of the market and I go back to there is no alternative,” Erin Browne, PIMCO’s managing director and portfolio manager told CNBC’s “Closing Bell: Overtime” on Monday. “Do you want to invest in bonds when you know that the Fed is raising rates or do you want to invest in equities where you can get some type of dividend return, you can get real earnings growth and it’s gonna give you a comfortable return in your portfolios?”

Meanwhile, the 5-year Treasury note rose above the 30-year on Monday, marking the first inversion since 2006. The shift stoked some recession fears, although economists typically watch the spread between the 2-year and 10-year rate, which remains positive.

Oil prices, which have fluctuated in recent weeks amid the ongoing geopolitical tensions abroad, fell on Monday. Both U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures and Brent crude futures slid about 7%, settling at $105.96 and $112.48 per barrel, respectively. The slide led energy stocks such as Chevron to tumble.

Market watchers continue to monitor the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine as peace talks are set to continue in Turkey. Meanwhile, investors are also watching the Fed, as more Wall Street banks pencil in half-point increases after chair Jerome Powell indicated that more aggressive hikes are possible.

Investors are awaiting consumer confidence and home price data to be released Tuesday, ahead of Friday’s monthly jobs report. Economists expect to see 460,000 jobs added in March and the unemployment rate to fall to 3.7%, according to Dow Jones estimates.

Lululemon Athletica and RH will also report earnings after the bell on Tuesday.

TOP 10 REAL ESTATE MARKETS ON THE RISE

0
TOP 10 REAL ESTATE MARKETS ON THE RISE

COVID-19 has shaken the norms of homeownership and market expectations across the United States throughout the pandemic. As many industries transitioned to remote work, more homebuyers find themselves free to move anywhere they’d like while keeping their jobs, which is especially convenient for those seeking homes in more affordable real estate markets.

As a result, this trend has led to plenty of homebuyers moving to communities with cheaper listings and more space. But much to our surprise, per Realtor.com’s latest emerging markets report, pricey housing markets are making a comeback.

Less likely markets during these trying times are now becoming economic hotbeds—also known as emerging markets—which results naturally from an influx of homebuyers into these communities and their increasing populations.

The quarterly Wall Street Journal/Realtor.com® Emerging Housing Markets Index reported the current top 10 emerging markets in the United States:

City Median List Price
Naples, FL $667,000
North Port, FL $445,000
Kahului, HI $937,000
San Luis Obispo, CA $899,000
San Jose, CA $1,224,000
Cape Coral, FL $380,000
Fort Wayne, IN $215,000
Huntsville, AL $362,000
Raleigh, NC $387,000
Burlington, NC $285,000

Even though none of the U.S.’s biggest cities made it onto the list, it’s worth noting that the average population of the top emerging markets hit 500,000 residents this quarter—100,000 more than the previous.

Real estate is plenty active during this time of year given seasonal changes and those looking for homes in regions with less harsh winters, which is why coastal real estate markets, especially in Florida, are seeing tons of action alongside less expensive communities in the South and Midwest.

Danielle Hale, Realtor.com chief economist, states, “Some of what we’re seeing is a bit of a seasonal shift. These real estate markets tend to be more active this time of year.”

Naples, North Port, and Cape Coral all made the top emerging markets list, proving Florida’s popularity with homebuyers, especially now.

According to Brad O’Connor, chief economist at Florida Realtors, “Florida has always been popular with buyers, but it increased considerably during the pandemic.”

“The ability to work remotely really opened the door for many people to come to Florida,” says O’Connor. “Beach towns big enough to have the amenities people would like, and you can get a nice-sized home. And they’re more affordable than some of the places people are coming from, like New York. For the untethered worker, it’s a nice place to be.”

What is an emerging market?

Although cities with emerging markets tend to have a high cost of living, their economies are strong, wages high, and unemployment rates low. With homebuyers free to move to different cities as the rate of remote work increases, these markets tend to see more than two-thirds of homebuyers coming from other major metropolitan areas. That’s why top emerging markets are showing a population growth of 1%; meanwhile, 300 of the largest markets are only seeing growth of about 0.4%.

These emerging markets also see faster home sales than most major metros, with home listings typically lasting only 40 days before being sold—a full 13 days faster than you’d see on average in most major markets.

Lastly, emerging markets tend to see a higher percentage of foreign populations, increasing international market interests as they attract those with similar backgrounds and heritages to the same market. These top markets saw 2.2% of their home listing viewership from foreign buyers, whereas the 300 largest markets only saw 1.2%.

Hollywood Park Retail Eyes 2023 Opening

0
Hollywood Park Retail Eyes 2023 Opening

The retail component at Hollywood Park, a 300-acre mega-development in Inglewood centered on SoFi Stadium, is well underway.
In total, there will be up to 890,000 square feet of retail surrounded by creative office space. Residences, a park and the stadium are nearby as well.

Stan Kroenke’s Kroenke Group is leading the Hollywood Park development with Wilson Meany acting as the development manager. Kroenke owns the Los Angeles Rams.
“It’s not just retail but with Hollywood Park we’re working on placemaking,” Jason Gannon, managing director of SoFi Stadium and Hollywood Park, said of the overall project.

Christopher Meany, managing partner at Wilson Meany, added that in order to create that special sense of place you need retail to give visitors and residents a walkable area.
The retail component of Hollywood Park, which is already 65% leased or under negotiations, is scheduled to open next March. The shells for the buildings need a few more months before spaces are further improved for specific tenants.

Hollywood Park will have a combination of large tenants, such as a Cinepolis movie theater and smaller tenants, including Sky’s Gourmet Tacos, Red Bay Coffee and Antojitos Martin, a juice and snack bar.

“To get the charm, we felt the project needed smaller tenants,” Meany said.
Will Heidel, who works on development and leasing at Wilson Meany, said the stores ranged in size from less than 500 square feet to 55,000 square feet.

Meany said that with the tenant mix, the center is hoping to become a place for people to come to daily, and not just on days when there is a game or event at SoFi Stadium.
And Hollywood Park is helping further interest in Inglewood as a whole.

“There’s a lot more eyeballs on it. There’s a lot more interest in it locally, nationally and internationally,” said Terrison Quinn, managing principal at SRS Real Estate Partners. “More people are recognizing that it’s going to be an entertainment and sports mecca, one of the larger in the county if not nationally. More and more people are paying attention to it.”

He added that developers are interested in hospitality and mixed-use projects in the nearby area with a retail component to build on the expected success of the Hollywood Park development.

Locals and visitors

Key to the retail development, Meany said, is “duality.”
“It lives two lives,” he said, adding that the area must cater both to the local market as well as people expected to visit for events.
“The local community with 900,000 people is woefully underserved,” he said.

The center will have a mix of retailers, resulting in opportunities for a variety of tenants.
And while there are no quotas for how many of the retailers will be local companies, Meany said the company is working to get local and national tenants and have at least 30% of the center feel “authentic and local.”

National tenants are every bit as important in setting the tone,” he said.
This is true for tenants like Cinepolis which Meany said was the “best luxury theater offering without equal,” and would help with the overall feel of the center despite being based in Mexico.

Other tenants such as Antojitos Martin are hyperlocal, as is GRDN by Three Weavers, a tasting room and restaurant for the brewery which is an Inglewood staple. Founded by Lynn Weaver, it will remain open at its current location.

“She’s really putting her heart and soul into this. It’s going to be an amazing addition,” Heidel said.
And while there will be a lot of local tenants, Meany said a good mix is key.
“It’s not about the numbers. It’s about finding the mix of great international, national and local tenants,” Meany said.

Despite being food and entertainment heavy, Meany said there will be some soft good retailers as well.
“We hope to find a synergy between the offerings,” Meany said.

Other tenants already announced for Hollywood Park are Iconix Fitness, Grilled Fraiche and Residency Art Gallery.
“They are trying to create a cool mix,” Quinn said of the tenants that have been announced. “You see it going in that direction to create that sense of community.”

Changes in Inglewood

Hollywood Park isn’t the only development going up in Inglewood.
The Los Angeles Clippers will be moving to an arena under construction in the area. The Intuit Dome, which is expected to be completed in 2024, will be a state-of-the-art indoor arena.

In 2020 Clippers Owner Steve Ballmer purchased the nearby Forum from Madison Square Garden Co. for $400 million after facing obstacles related to building the new Clippers stadium.
And other developers have started mixed-use projects nearby as well.

Quinn said that while retail leasing rates are still lower in Inglewood than in some other areas of Los Angeles, “land values are in certain cases as high as anywhere in Southern California. And that’s related to the demand from hospitality and mixed-use developers.”
Meany said Hollywood Park was taking on the role of the epicenter of the area.
“We are 100% the center of Inglewood and we embrace that. We are also the center of a region and we embrace that,” Meany said.

Inglewood, he said, is poised for a breakthrough.
“This part of the city, one of the densest parts of the city…was one of the most underserved areas in terms of retail,” he said. “We see the opportunity here to create a new node within L.A. and give this community what people in Santa Monica or Pasadena have.”

Sandy Sigal, chief executive and chair of Woodland Hills-based NewMark Merrill Cos. Inc., has long been a believer in the area. His company owns retail real estate in the city.
He said “the beauty of Inglewood” is its great access to transportation, nearby jobs and a residential population.
“You have a long-term, very loyal community who live there,” he said. “It has been a great place for us to invest in.”

Hollywood Park, he said, was a “very positive addition to the area.
“You’re adding a huge job creator like SoFi and all of the buildings that are around it. Maybe Inglewood was a little bit of a secret or people had a perception that really wasn’t reality, and now that they have a reason to go there, they see that Inglewood is a really well-situated and welcoming community.” Sigal said. “It’s a big deal, a little bit like what happened in downtown with the Staples Center (now Crypto.com Arena).”

In the next few years, he sees awareness of the area increasing and the quality of tenants and services increasing.
“You’ll have people who have reasons to be there seven days a week,” he said. “You will find more people located in Inglewood and near Inglewood and more jobs located in Inglewood and near Inglewood. That’s a great recipe for growth and stability.”

Sigal added that his company would be interested in other retail properties in the area.
And people expect that the developments in Hollywood Park and the area surrounding it will cement Inglewood’s role as a destination.

“What Stan (Kroenke) brought to the table with SoFi Stadium, it’s not just going to be a big thing within L.A., it will be a big thing within the world,” Meany said.

How have the COVID variants impacted the global stock market

0
How have the COVID variants impacted the global stock market
From an initial plunge across the board to strong rebounds in key sectors and incredible gains for a chosen few companies, the COVID-19 pandemic has caused dramas for the global stock market, which continue to play out in several acts.

The early days of the pandemic

The first few months of the crisis, back in early 2020, saw historically steep declines across all sectors. With global markets selling off rapidly, it would have taken a bold prediction to anticipate how fast the recovery would ultimately be.

Yet, by June 2020, the market became more discerning in terms of assessing the impact of the pandemic on different sectors. Most pharmaceuticals and biotechnology companies fully regained their losses, while technology businesses benefiting from the shift to work from home also received a shot in the arm.

Meanwhile, many industries such as oil and gas, aerospace, travel, tourism, banking and insurance remained down significantly from their pre-pandemic peaks.

This gulf continued to grow throughout 2020, with the high-performing sectors gaining strongly and widening their lead on the lagging industries. The impact of economic stimulus packages across the globe were also felt.

We saw a broad range of performances in different sectors, as we are seeing again in 2022, with commodities having their best year ever, but tech getting off to a shambolic start.

The impact of COVID-19 has even varied within sectors. For example, the entertainment sector encompasses online gaming as well as theme parks and casinos. While online gaming performed well in 2020, travel bans and lockdowns took a heavy toll on casinos and theme parks.

News of imminent vaccines in late 2020 led to the anticipation of recovery, with the worst-hit industries partially regaining their market losses. Even so, the spread between the best and worst-performing sectors grew, from 27% in March 2020 to 80% in March 2021 – the widest in recent history, according to McKinsey.

The Delta variant and investing

After the initial wave of lockdowns and economic struggles, the world looked set to return to normal. Then Delta appeared around June 2021. One of the deadliest variants of COVID-19, Delta triggered some of the strongest lockdowns globally, particularly in Australia, which brought a new level of uncertainty.

At the end of 2021, as lockdowns eased again and economies gradually reopened, the arrival of Omicron once again sent shockwaves through the market, with a huge amount of uncertainty globally over its deadliness.

Markets hate uncertainty, something which investors should know, but future COVID-19 variants will likely see markets react in a more subdued manner.

Economies, companies and consumers are becoming more and more resilient with each new virus wave. This is thanks to rising vaccination rates and better preparation for the impact of new variants on societies and economies.

Covid-19’s lasting impact on the market

While variants come and go, one clear long-term impact of COVID-19 on global economies is rising inflation, which has reached 40-year highs in the US.

The world effectively shut down for an extended period of time, emptying some of our largest cities. Then we began to re-open rapidly, with a whiplash effect playing havoc on the economy.

Global supply chains seized up and costs soared as demand rose and supply fell. Most companies passed along those pressures in the form of higher prices to consumers. At the same time, hiring workers became almost impossible, with job listings in the US soaring to around 11 million at the back end of 2021.

Another significant trend that has stood out among the COVID-19 variants is the need for consumers to invest to fight soaring inflation.

With interest rates at rock bottom and many people unable to work, putting their capital to work was critical. With seemingly no other alternative investors turned towards equities. This trend saw most global markets rally.

The MSCI All Country World Index, tracking the performance of equities across some of the world’s largest economies and emerging markets, returned 33% from January 2020 to January 2022.

COVID-19 has pushed more capital into global stock markets than we’ve ever seen. Yet, the impact as central banks start to unwind stimulus and raise interest rates is still uncertain.

Looking ahead, what is clear is that economies are becoming more resilient to each new wave of the virus. Especially as vaccination rates rise and vaccine manufacturers develop more efficient vaccines and boosters.

Future variants will still have an impact, but it appears as if the market is less concerned as we begin to live with the virus. Particularly with many world leaders stating they have no intention to implement further lockdowns. Even so, the most sensitive sectors will continue to be affected by the pandemic, such as travel and tourism.

This virus continues to throw everything at global economies, but it appears that new variants are dampening economic growth rather than derailing it.

Stock futures slip ahead of a big week of economic data

0
Stock futures slip ahead of a big week of economic data

Stock futures were lower early Monday morning as investors look ahead to a series of key economic reports and continue to keep a close eye on the Federal Reserve’s planned interest rate hikes.

Futures tied to the Dow Jones Industrial Average moved lower by 131 points, or 0.38%. S&P 500 futures and Nasdaq 100 futures fell 0.42% and 0.58%, respectively.

The Dow and S&P rose in the previous session to close out their second consecutive winning week. The Dow gained 153 points, or 0.4%. The S&P 500 advanced 0.5% and has more than erased its losses since Russia invaded Ukraine in late February. Meanwhile, the Nasdaq Composite dipped 0.2% but still finished the week in the green.

The moves came as investors continue to monitor developments in Russia’s war on Ukraine and expectations about the Fed’s plans to hike interest rates.

“It seems the skyrocketing move higher with commodity prices has taken a break and that has allowed investors a chance to pile back into equities,” said Edward Moya, senior market analyst at Oanda. “Geopolitical risks remain very elevated and the rally in equities over the past two weeks is impressive. The U.S. economy is still in good shape, but buying every stock market dip probably won’t be the attitude for most traders going forward given how hawkish the Fed has turned.”

Investors continue to keep a close eye on the Fed. Wall Street firms from Goldman Sachs to Bank of America penciled in half-point hikes in future Fed meetings this year after the central bank’s chair Jerome Powell vowed to be tough on inflation and said rate increases could become more aggressive if necessary.

On Friday, the benchmark 10-year yield touched a fresh multi-year high of 2.5% as investors priced in a more aggressive rate hike cycle, which helped lift financial stocks while tech stocks pulled back.

Investors are looking forward to the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey, or JOLTS, this week. The JOLTS report is one set of employment data that the Federal Reserve is watching closely as it tightens monetary policy. ADP will also release its private payrolls data ahead of the main show, the closely watched monthly jobs report, on Friday.

Monday is a light day for earnings reports but several big companies are scheduled to report their quarterly results this week, including BioNTech, Micron and Walgreens Boots Alliance.

Region’s commercial real estate market expected to keep trending up

0
Region’s commercial real estate market expected to keep trending up

The commercial real estate market in Central Arkansas should continue to stabilize heading into the last nine months of 2022 as covid anxieties ease and more workers return to the office.

The region ended 2021 with recovery in sight for key industrial, office and retail sectors, with the industrial market generating low vacancy rates and a boom in speculative builds to meet growing demand. That momentum continued in the first three months of this year and should remain strong throughout 2022, according to a report from Colliers of Arkansas that outlines real estate market trends in Central Arkansas.

“As the pandemic persisted and users’ needs for multi-purpose space surged, industrial vacancy tightened up and stayed that way throughout the year,” the report notes of activity last year. “Speculative builds began popping up across the metro to help ease the unprecedented demand. Still, there was minimum availability across the board throughout the Central Arkansas industrial market and lease rates continued to rise.”

No change seems to be in sight. Investors need more multitenant flex properties, and that need should fuel increased rental rates in the area, Colliers predicts. Industrial markets will continue to outperform other sectors this year as property owners and landlords remain in prime position to demand higher rent.

It’s a different story in the office market, which held its own in 2021 — with vacancy rates remaining flat from January to December. Nevertheless, the remainder of 2022 is an open book, though Colliers is projecting a “hold steady” approach as suburban markets continue to outperform downtown Little Rock, which is filled with older skyscrapers with huge lobbies that were built for a different banking environment.

Suburban growth and downtown decline is projected to continue. “This trend will likely continue for the foreseeable future as the leading downtown properties struggle with over-sized lobbies no longer in demand by banking institutions,” Colliers reports.

More of the same for the office market is the outlook for 2022. “Overall, the central Arkansas office market has held up reasonably well during the two-year covid-19 pandemic,” the report says. “We are cautiously optimistic that this will continue in the near term.”

Retail should see a lift with rising consumer spending and “explosive growth” in the leisure and hospitality sectors. Hotel and restaurant owners report business this year should return to 2019 levels and a pre-covid environment. However, slow population growth and inflation are concerns and could be a drag on the retail sector.

Real-estate development increased in 2021, bolstered by a favorable lending environment that charged growth in multifamily, single-family, industrial and banking-related developments. Much of that growth, like the office market, is occurring in suburban areas such as Benton, Bryant and Conway.

While construction picked up, supply chain issues and labor shortages remain challenges for the real estate sector. “While 2022 looks hopeful, we expect to see a continued strain due to the supply chain disruption, higher material costs and rising interest rates,” Colliers reports.

Colliers, a global real estate investment and management company, has offices in Little Rock and Northwest Arkansas. It has more than 19.3 million square feet of space under management and more than $550 million in total sales in Arkansas.

BROADBAND EXPANSION

Little Rock-based Windstream Holdings Inc. reports it is fast deploying the nearly $523 million in federal funding it won to expand 1 gigabit service across its 18-state footprint. The company says it eventually will reach more than 19,000 new residents and businesses in Arkansas with the funding.

Company officials say about 2,800 Arkansas customers will receive the service this year. Under federal funding rules, Windstream has six years to complete the buildout.

“As the pandemic demonstrated, robust broadband has become an essential service as more and more of the nation’s economy moves online, and public-private partnerships are essential to making it available in the most rural areas of America,” said Tony Thomas, president and chief executive officer of Windstream. “That’s why Windstream is participating in network expansion partnerships at the federal, state and local levels to deliver future-proof fiber broadband connectivity to our customers, and we have a strong track record of meeting our commitments.”

Windstream’s efforts are being funded through the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund, which was established by the Federal Communications Commission to accelerate high-speed internet delivery for rural communities in hard to reach and costly areas.

Federal funding will allow Windstream to deliver fiber internet to more than 192,000 locations in its service area, the company says.

ENTERGY REBATES

Entergy Arkansas customers are eligible for cash rebates when they purchase electric technologies under a new initiative that has been approved by state regulators. This includes purchases of forklifts, cranes, golf carts and electric vehicle chargers.

The program will help the utility with sustainability efforts and improve control of greenhouse gas emissions, the company says. “It will help manage greenhouse gas emissions while supporting the technology-forward options our customers desire,” said Laura Landreaux, president and chief executive officer of Entergy Arkansas.

The eTech initiative, which is known as a beneficial electrification program in the industry, can be used by any Entergy Arkansas customer, including homeowners and businesses. More than 40 utilities across North America provide similar programs.

The Arkansas Public Service Commission approved 14 technologies that are eligible for rebates, such as refrigeration trucks, school and transit buses, drayage trucks, digital billboards, scissor lifts, scrubbers and sweepers, tug and tow tractors and belt loaders.

Rebates range from $150 for a golf cart up to $5,000 for a digital billboard. The company said it does not have an annual limit on the number of rebates per customer.

Surfing the Metaverse’s Real Estate Boom

0
Surfing the Metaverse’s Real Estate Boom

High prices have pushed some toward collective ownership, but the future of virtual properties is uncertain MATTHEW S. SMITH18 HOURS AGO3 MIN READ

The real estate boom isn’t limited to reality. A prime plot in Decentraland, a metaverse platform, sold for the equivalent of 2.4 million dollars in November of 2021, and less desirable land often sells for six figures.

This creates a problem all too common in the real world. Many who’d like to own a plot in the metaverse are now priced out. So Metaverse decentralized autonomous organizations (a.k.a. DAOs, sometimes jokingly referred to as “group chats with a bank account”) are forming to solve this. In the process, the DAO creates a new model for virtual property ownership.

But is the demand truly sustainable?

DAOs purchase, sell, and hold blockchain assets without control from a central authority. Buying the DAO’s token grants rights to influence decisions, often in proportion with ownership, though the specifics vary between groups.

The purpose of a metaverse DAO might seem straightforward: Buying gives you a stake in the metaverse even if you can’t afford a plot—right? Well, that depends.

PangeaDAO is among the more traditional groups. A recent post on the DAO’s Mirror page claims “virtual land will one day be a yield-bearing, high-appreciation asset” that consistently generates revenue. PangeaDAO wants to buy virtual real estate, develop it, lease it, or sell it as an asset, much as real estate investment trusts do with real-world properties. The DAO is still in a very preliminary (what’s called a “pre-whitelist”) phase, though, and so it does not yet own actual properties in the metaverse.

The real estate boom isn’t limited to reality. A prime plot in Decentraland, a metaverse platform, sold for the equivalent of 2.4 million dollars in November of 2021, and less desirable land often sells for six figures.

This creates a problem all too common in the real world. Many who’d like to own a plot in the metaverse are now priced out. So Metaverse decentralized autonomous organizations (a.k.a. DAOs, sometimes jokingly referred to as “group chats with a bank account”) are forming to solve this. In the process, the DAO creates a new model for virtual property ownership.

But is the demand truly sustainable?

DAOs purchase, sell, and hold blockchain assets without control from a central authority. Buying the DAO’s token grants rights to influence decisions, often in proportion with ownership, though the specifics vary between groups.

“It’s largely a combination of a long-term, rather speculative investment, and the current utility that digital land provides, with the former currently dwarfing the latter.”
—Mihai Vicol, Newzoo

The purpose of a metaverse DAO might seem straightforward: Buying gives you a stake in the metaverse even if you can’t afford a plot—right? Well, that depends.

PangeaDAO is among the more traditional groups. A recent post on the DAO’s Mirror page claims “virtual land will one day be a yield-bearing, high-appreciation asset” that consistently generates revenue. PangeaDAO wants to buy virtual real estate, develop it, lease it, or sell it as an asset, much as real estate investment trusts do with real-world properties. The DAO is still in a very preliminary (what’s called a “pre-whitelist”) phase, though, and so it does not yet own actual properties in the metaverse.

EnterDAO is already renting metaverse property in Decentraland, which puts it ahead of the curve. Yet that’s not its only goal. Its land rental marketplace, Landworks, is just one of two major initiatives. The other is MetaPortal, a desktop app meant to serve as a portal into multiple metaverse games. Both projects are related to the metaverse, but that’s where the similarities end.

Another spin on the concept can be found at MetaOasis DAO (not to be confused with MetaOasis, a separate metaverse project). Though pitched as a “new paradigm in real estate development,” activity on the DAO’s Discord channel, and a recent council meeting, seems focused on development of City Oasis, a specific plot the DAO owns in The Sandbox metaverse. The DAO has also moved to issue NFT avatars called Zzoopers, each with its own backstory. The result looks like an investment group and a video game developer thrown in a blender.

Metaverse DAOs are pitched on the promise of making metaverse ownership more accessible, but it’s still early days. PangeaDAO, as mentioned, is still organizing. MetaOasis DAO owns 35 plots in The Sandbox but has yet to develop most. EnterDAO has rented a few dozen plots in Decentraland since February of 2022, though mostly at rates below 10 dollars a day.

So what, then, is the ultimate point of virtual land?

The differences between each metaverse DAO highlights the messiness of the metaverse in 2022. Interest is high, but the point of owning a chunk of the metaverse differs significantly from one buyer to the next.

“It’s largely a combination of a long-term, rather speculative investment, and the current utility that digital land provides, with the former currently dwarfing the latter,” Mihai Vicol, Junior Market Analyst at Newzoo, said in an email.

For speculators, that goal is obvious: profit. For everyone else, virtual real estate is a bet on the metaverse, an attempt to boost a brand, or an opportunity to generate revenue on virtual goods, or possibly all that, and more. A high-traffic spot is a bit like a flagship property in downtown San Francisco or Hong Kong. British multinational bank HSBC, for example, owns land in The Sandbox and aspires to entertain users with educational games.

“It is brands that stand to gain the most by establishing a 3D, digital presence in the metaverse,” says Vicol. “Owning digital land… allows brands to advertise themselves to younger generations and to interact with them in a way that users of these virtual worlds perceive as more natural.”

Vicol points out that Roblox, an online game platform that lets players create their own games and experiences, has over 200 million monthly active users. Today’s metaverse platforms are tiny by comparison, but virtual real estate in a successful metaverse could be valuable for any company or person looking to connect with a younger audience.

For now, however, everyone crowding into metaverse real estate—be it through a DAO or direct investment—is buying and building with hope an audience will eventually arrive. Whether that will prove true is anyone’s guess.

How a house remodel turned into a retail empire

0
How a house remodel turned into a retail empire

The duo behind House of Brinson made a pandemic pivot into selling housewares

Not everyone can turn their home renovation blog into a mini empire. But the husband-and-wife team of creative director Susan Brinson and photographer William Brinson have done just that with House of Brinson.

What began as musings on their Manhattan lifestyle morphed into a detailed account of their hands-on renovation of Stony Ford, a historic and once ramshackle Greek Revival mansion on 17 acres between Goshen and Newburgh. Over time, the House of Brinson brand expanded to include an Instagram page and e-commerce site featuring products with the Brinson seal of approval. The couple’s commercial photography website echoes the Brinson branding.

But let’s go back to where it all began, in Waldorf, Maryland. Susan Orvis attended public school in town, and one day a friend invited her to a 16th birthday party for a private school kid named William. Susan and William have been a couple ever since, even attending university together at the Savannah College of Art and Design.

The Brinsons had already started looking for a home in the country in 2013 when their landlord sold their Manhattan building and asked them to vacate. For years, Susan had been watching the price drop on Stony Ford — which had been on the market for seven years — when they decided to pounce. The Brinsons believe they are the seventh or eighth owners since the home was built around 1850.

“We looked at other houses, but when we saw the front hallway at Stony Ford, we said, ‘This is us,’” Susan says.

After more than a decade in advertising, Susan had joined William’s commercial photography business as creative director and photographer, and the two considered getting an apartment in the city to maintain a Manhattan presence for their business. “But moving out [of the city] created more opportunities to travel,” Susan says, because people didn’t associate them with the physical studio in New York. They have been to Milan, Italy to shoot ads for Martini & Rossi, to Chicago to shoot for Crate & Barrel, and to Colorado for to shoot for Target, among other projects.

In the meantime, their home design and renovation blog, House of Brinson, was taking off. Its launch in 2009, the early posts they wrote were about their apartment, food and travel. It caught the attention of interior designer Nate Berkus, who invited them on his TV show, and led to an appearance in a Design*Sponge podcast. By the time they moved north, “the blog already had a buzz about it,” Susan says. That buzz was about to get louder.

Out-of-pocket renovations, by hand

When they purchased Stony Ford, “everything was broken, but it was livable.” William says. “The walls were cracked, the ceilings were cracked.” However, the original hand-hewn beams and moldings were in place, and the Brinsons saw the possibilities.

They spent the first two years on necessities, like shoring up structural beams in the basement and replacing the water heater. “It allowed us to live in the house and see how it could reflect us,” Susan says.

Since then they’ve refinished floors, updated the electrical and plumbing, removed aging wallpaper and freshened walls, renovated bathrooms, and installed a vegetable garden.

They did 90 percent of the renovations themselves by watching videos, doing online research and reading books. “We’re just handy people in general,” Susan says. “Our whole house was built before there was electricity. What’s the issue with doing a hands-on renovation? We have resources like electricity and YouTube.”

Stony Ford is a cash-only renovation, so they work at their own pace. “We’ve never taken out a loan to work on the house,” William says.

“When we’re done, we’re done,” adds Susan, even if the pace of work means they still haven’t started on the kitchen.

Their followers increased exponentially when they started blogging about Stony Ford, and soon 2,000 Instagram followers grew to 122,000. Their blog gets tens of thousands of page views a month.

This came in handy when COVID hit and the photography jobs dried up. “We went through an upheaval,” Susan says. “We had to pivot and come up with a Plan B.”

Plan B was the House of Brinson shopping site, a curated selection of recommended merchandise like barware, table linens and gardening tools. Susan and William say they insist on keeping the site authentic and won’t add items they do not endorse. “If there’s something we say we like and are using, then we really like it and are using it,” William says.

They are dabbling with the idea of opening a retail store, possibly in Newburgh. “It would be a huge draw to our local area,” says William. “We see a synergy with what’s happening in Newburgh and what we do.” Last December, they dipped their toes into the storefront world with a pop-up shop at Tuxedo Park Junk Shop, an antique and art gallery.

The Brinsons say they have been contacted about making a television show but didn’t like the ground rules, which included disagreeing and arguing on camera to create dramatic tension.

“We don’t fight with each other in real life, so we’re not going to do it for television,” William says.

“No manufactured drama,” says Susan. “We try to be very thoughtful about our process so that our relationship stays in a good spot.”

As the Brinsons know, a good life takes more than a well-renovated house.

20,829FansLike
2,506FollowersFollow
0SubscribersSubscribe

Top Posts