Investor eyes condo projects struggling to hit key sales threshold

first_imgMessage* Urban Standard Capital president Seth WeissmanOne unintended consequence of New York’s 2019 rent law overhaul is that developers who want to switch new condo projects to rentals as a Plan B are required to sell the majority of those units to their tenants if the market improves in order to revert the project to condos.Many developers say that makes those conversions virtually impossible, but one investor sees an emerging market in buying enough unsold units — at a nice discount — so developers can avoid falling under that new requirement.“We’re telling a developer, what this does is it buys you time and it buys you optionality,” said Urban Standard Capital president Seth Weissman.Weissman’s company has a new $100 million investment platform for bulk-buying residential condominiums at projects where developers are struggling to hit the threshold of units in contract — 15 percent — to have their offering plans deemed effective.Once the plans are deemed effective, the developer and Weissman can rent the unsold units out and wait for the condo market to rebound before putting those units up for sale.That had long been the playbook for developers when sales markets were bottoming out, but things changed when New York state made sweeping revisions to the rent law in 2019. One element of the overhaul required developers who are converting rental apartments into condos to sell 51 percent of those units to tenants.Real estate experts believe the intent of the law was to discourage predatory landlords who would buy buildings and drive out rent-regulated tenants in order to convert apartments to more profitable condos. But they say lawmakers overlooked the impact on condo projects that had been approved prior to the law and now want to fall back as rentals.Once a condo developer starts renting out units instead of doing sales, Weissman said, it voids the project’s offering plan. If the developer decides that in two or three years they want to return to the sales plan, they have to file for a new offering plan, which will be subject to the 51 percent rules.Urban Standard’s platform is designed to help developers avoid that situation by buying enough units to hit the 15 percent sales threshold necessary to get the original plan deemed effective.Weissman said there are some 300 condo projects across the city that are still trying to get to the 15 percent threshold to get their plans deemed effective. The company is targeting projects where it can buy blocks of up to 50 units roughly in the $2 million to $3 million price range, and will look to buy at a discount of 25-30 percent from pre-Covid prices.The platform is backed by family offices and foundations, Weissman said, groups that have a longer-term timeline than other types of investors seeking quick, high returns.Although Weissman touts the platform is a win-win for his investors and condo developers, there is one ripple. Once Urban Standard owns a block of 15 percent of a condo project’s units, it essentially becomes a competitor to the developer — and one with a lower cost basis who can undercut the sponsor.Weissman said part of his agreements with sponsors include a timeline for when he can release his units, and it’s a deal he feels many will be willing to make.“Most developers we speak with aren’t in the business of trying to make a profit at this point,” he said. “They’re trying to recover as much capital as possible and move onto the next thing.”Contact Rich Bockmann Email Address* Full Name* Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on LinkedinShare via Email Share via Shortlink Share via Shortlink TagsCommercial Real Estatecondosnew constructionlast_img read more

“IS IT TRUE” MARCH 13, 2018

first_imgWe hope that today’s “IS IT TRUE” will provoke honest and open dialogue concerning issues that we, as responsible citizens of this community, need to address in a rational and responsible way?IS IT TRUE that the Ford Center had a capacity crowd of over 10,500 paying customers for an NCAA basketball game on Saturday night for the championship of the Ohio Valley Conference?…the winning team was the Murray State Racers that took the first automatic entry to March Madness 2019 over Belmont to finish their regular season with a record of 27 wins and 4 losses?… Murray State has a large local fan base and enjoys a very gifted player that is expected to be chosen in the top 3 of the NBA draft?…the semifinal game with Murray against Jacksonville drew over 8,500 fans to downtown Evansville?…this proves that a winning team with a shot at the NCAA tournament can draw fans to Ford Center and that lesson should not be lost for the University of Evansville Purple Aces who once drew capacity crowds to Roberts Stadium?…the Aces have no reason not to expect seasons with 25 wins and when they do the crowds will follow?  ..the City-County Observer has always stated that a winning record will bring more to fans to the Ford Center?IS IT TRUE the other games in the Ohio Valley Conference did not fare so well at the box office drawing only between 400 and 900 fans per game?…that is because there is no fan base locally for the other teams and Murray States women’s team was eliminated early?…these lessons should be learned and we do congratulate the Evansville Sports Corporation creating two nights of exceptional basketball at the Ford Center?IS IT TRUE that some legislators just stand out?  …there are times that our local legislators deserve a big “thank you” and sometimes we fail to acknowledge them? …the City-County Observer would like to thank Senators Jim Tomes and Vaneta Becker for standing up and speaking against the “Sports Book” gaming bill that was just passed by the State Senate? …we totally agree with them that this legislation discriminates against the taxpayers of Evansville?  …posted below is a link to this bill:Indiana Senate passes ‘major expansion’ of gaming allowing Terre Haute casino, sports bettingIS IT TRUE  last week an overflow crowd attended the  “Meet Your Legislators” meeting and only two (2) legislators attended this important community event?  …we want to thank State Senators, Vaneta Becker and Jim Tomes for attending this important governmental meeting? …it’s obvious that Senators Becker and Tomes realizes the importance of having direct and open communications with the people they represent?  …since this meeting was planned many months in advance one would expect that the majority of our State Legislators would have made advance plans to attend this extremely important public forum?  …we are told that at least one (1) State Representative couldn’t attend this gathering because of a funeral and another one went on vacation?  …that the remaining members of this group went to a breakfast meeting in Posey County?IS IT TRUE we are told that the University of Evansville is attempting to get the State of Indiana to drop the zoning restrictions on property they own at Lloyd near Stockwell Road next to Wesselman Woods?  …we are told that University wants to build a new health center in that area and the rezoning of this property is important to those plans?  …people that oppose the rezoning of this property feel that if this legislation is passed it would encroach on the pristine and valuable Wesselman nature preserve?IS IT TRUE  we congratulate State Senators Vaneta Becker and Jim Tomes for strongly opposing the “Payday Lending” bill?   …we are pleased that Senators that Tomes and Becker also had harsh words when they voted against this ill-advised Senate-approved bill? …It passed the Senate 26-23 and now is before the House.  …attached below is the link of the ‘Payday Lending ” bill that we urge you to read? An effort to legalize ‘loan shark’ rates could bring a new breed of a lender to IndianaIS IT TRUE last year that the Evansville DMD leased a dilapidated, vacant block building to the Davita Dialysis Center?  …right after the Davita Dialysis Center signed a lease with the Evansville DMD for a nominal monthly payment someone started to do extensive and expensive renovations on this building?  … last week we couldn’t officially verify who paid for the extensive and expensive renovations of this property?   …it’s now alleged that the costs of renovation ($350,000 t0 $400,000) of this building were paid by the Evansville DMD? …we have attached a link from the Vanderburgh County Assessor concerning the sales transactions and old and new appraisals of this building? …we look forward to getting your take on this entire transaction? http://vanderburghassessor.org/Default.aspx?PID=82-06-20-026-091.008-029IS IT TRUE that the City of Evansville made a dubious list compiled by the National Council for Home Safety and Security and the results are not flattering?… Evansville ranked at number 40 in the Top 100 nationally for the most dangerous large cities in America?… Evansville also checked in at number 45 in large cities with the highest increase in violent crime and number 38 in large cities averaged violent crime rate increase in violent crime?…as far as the most dangerous cities list is concerned, Evansville got the worst score in the State of Indiana including Indianapolis that came in at number 41?…South Bend came in at number 49 to round out the Hoosier cities that made this Hall of Shame?… Gary, Indiana which has been a perennial leader on the violent crime list did not make this list as Gary has gotten so bad that there has been an exodus large enough to remove them from the list of large cities?…the most dangerous on the list was Springfield, Missouri that is known as a center for meth as Evansville was several years ago?…to put things into perspective that longtime violent drip hole called St. Louis came in at number 99?Todays“Readers Poll” question is: Are you disappointed that not one City Council member made a request to the City Controller to give them a detailed financial accounting of the Evansville Thunderbolts?Please go to our link of our media partner Channel 44 News located in the upper right-hand corner of the City-County Observer so you can get the up-to-date news, weather, and sports. We are pleased to provide obituaries from several area funeral homes at no costs.  Over the next several weeks we shall be adding additional obituaries from other local funeral homes.  Please scroll down the paper and you shall see a listing of them.If you would like to advertise on the CCO please contact us at City-County [email protected]:  Any comments posted in this column do not represent the views or opinions of the City-County Observer or our advertisers.FacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmailSharelast_img read more

Allison Miller’s Boom Tic Boom Turns The Page With ‘Otis Was A Polar Bear’

first_imgRenowned jazz drummer, composer, teacher and bandleader Allison Miller is back with a new album, the first since 2013’s acclaimed No Morphine, No Lilies. Alongside a top notch band in Boom Tic Boom, Otis Was a Polar Bear catches Miller at a watershed moment in her life, not just as a growing musician, but now as a parent. Drawing great inspiration from her daughter Josie, Miller explains the departure from her last album to this most recent studio effort. “The last record was about such intense hardship and pain. This record is the other side of all that—it’s the beauty that comes after a storm.”The album opens with the bright, sultry Latin flair of Ben Goldberg’s charming clarinet play on “Fuster.” Inspired by Cuban artist José Rodríguez Fuster, the composition has its origins rooted in everyday life, this particular track, an unshakable melody Miller had sung to Josie in the first weeks of her life. Likewise, “Hoarding the Pod” comes from an over-caffeinated state during a recording session with Natalie Merchant. Its frantic, supercharged intro takes a backseat to a mellow groove supplied by Miller, finally giving way to the controlled chaos of Jenny Scheinman’s violin boiling over, Kirk Knuffke’s cornet beaming and Myra Melford making it rain piano keys.With a beautiful and thoughtful pairing of “The Listener” and “Lullaby For Cookie,” Miller delicately bridges the gap between life and death, the former written for a music-obsessed friend who died suddenly, while the latter was written for Miller’s daughter Josie before her birth. Miller’s relatively minimalist approach on these arrangements packs a significant punch.The album’s title track, “Otis Was a Polar Bear” evokes great imagery, not unlike the Melford-lead “Pig In A Sidecar” or “Shimmer.” Scheinman’s playful strokes and plucks on “Otis” are accented by Knuffke’s and Goldberg’s summit of brass and woodwinds while Miller and upright bassist Todd Sickafoose fill out a highly active and invigorated rhythm section.“Slow Jam” certainly lives up to its name. Miller’s simple, elegant groove is guided through the slow burner by a steady bass line and fantastic interplay with Melford and Knuffke. Miller’s final selection,”Staten Island,” was written after the tragic killing of Eric Garner by Staten Island police. “I sat down at the piano feeling hopeless and filled with rage. This is what came out,” Miller says. As in the case of Garner, there are a lot of moving parts to this track. Scattered flurries from Goldberg’s clarinet are mirrored by Milford’s frenzied piano before Miller is finally set off like a stick of dynamite into a righteous rock groove. When the groove begins its descent it’s left with only the sombre notes of Knuffke’s waning cornet.From traditional rock and jazz themes to the avant-garde variety, Allison Miller’s Otis Was a Polar Bear will present something of significance for the ear of any listener, whether the casual jazz fan or the most hardcore fan of fusion. Her chops are undeniable as is her ability to compose and elevate the separate links of her band in a way that reflects a focused and unrestrained sound.Otis Was a Polar Bear is set for release April 8 on Royal Potato Family. You can watch a behind the scenes video on the making of the album below, and don’t forget to check out Miller’s upcoming tour dates, as she and Boom Tic Boom will be out on the road this coming spring.Allison Miller’s Boom Tic Boom Spring 2016 Tour4/8 Seattle, WA @ Royal Room 4/9 Portland, OR @ Alberta St. Pub4/10 Arcata, CA @ Kate Buchanan Room HSU 4/14 Santa Cruz, CA @ Kuumbwa4/15 Los Angeles, CA @ The Blue Whale4/16 Berekely, CA @ Freight and Salvage4/17 Half Moon Bay, CA @ Bach Dancing and Dynamite Society4/27 Bloomsburg, PA @ Bloomsburg University4/28 Erie, PA @ Mercyhurst Institute for Arts and Culture: Walker Recital Hall4/29 Lewisburg, WV @ Carnegie Hall4/30 Roanoke, VA @ Jazz Club at Jefferson Center5/1 Baltimore, MD @ Creative Alliance5/3 Charlottesville, VA @ Thomas Jefferson Memorial Church5/5 New York, NY @ Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola5/6 New Haven, CT @ Firehouse 125/7 North Adams, MA @ MASS MoCA5/8 Goshen, MA @ Pioneer Valley Jazz Shares: Institute for the Musical Arts5/13 Philadelphia, PA @ Ars Nova Workshop: Philadelphia Art Alliance5/14 Washington, DC @ Kennedy Center: 21st Annual Mary Lou Williams Jazz Festival7/1 Iowa City, IA @ Iowa City Jazz Festivallast_img read more

Branford Marsalis Talks About Appreciating The Grateful Dead In Newly-Recovered 1996 Interview

first_imgBeloved saxophonist Branford Marsalis famously sat in with the Grateful Dead at the Nassau Coliseum in 1990, producing one of the most iconic performance of the Dead’s thirty-year career. While many have heard the performance, including the infamous “Eyes of the World,” few have heard Marsalis’s thoughts on the collaboration.Fortunately, thanks to YouTube user Josh Daniel, we have footage to share from a great interview with Marsalis in 1996. Held shortly after the death of Jerry Garcia, the interview talks about Marsalis’s work with the group, but dives into numerous topics about the iconic band. It’s interesting to hear Marsalis’s thoughts on how the band truly earned their audience with rigorous touring, how Dead shows were all about the music, and how open-minded the Grateful Dead and their fans were about music itself.You can enjoy this fantastic interview with Marsalis, below.Of course, an article about Marsalis wouldn’t be complete without full audio from the 3/29/90 Nassau Coliseum show. Stream it:last_img read more

CSPs and Digital Transformation: Finding Signals in the Noise

first_imgThis week, I saw a Heavy Reading white paper, in partnership with the New IP Agency (NIA) entitled “CSP Attitudes Toward Digital Transformation: A Reality Check”. In a short five pages, it’s a blistering indictment of the media and vendor marketing-led hype around next-generation CSP operations.  And I agree with it wholeheartedly.The paper summarizes the challenges and opportunities in helping the industry move forward to embrace the industry buzzwords – automation, network virtualization, big data, devops, etc. – through a complementary set of technologies that are created in a community-development model (read: Open Source) or vendor-development model.I wanted to take a few minutes to share with you my views on the message, and how I internalize this for the development of the Dell EMC strategy for CSPs.A Dell EMC Perspective First, my views – the paper is exactly on-point from both my own conversations with CSP CTIOs and my own observations into what is perceived as a slow industry transformation. Noting that such massive transformations do not happen overnight, I think that CSPs are largely where they should be – recognizing the inevitability of the transformation (45.6%), but skeptical of the conflicting messaging (40.9%), concerned on locking into a specific direction so early in the transformation (43.6%) and rationalizing their own implementation plans.There has been an absolute deluge of vendor perspectives, standards, open source projects, press coverage, and analyses on transforming network operations within CSPs since 2012 when the first NFV white paper was written. While the ambitions and goals are likely pure – to help the industry move forward – in the end, the outcomes have been distracting, keeping the industry in a constant mode of evaluation and validation, and leading to growing confusion on where to start, and start again, and again.CSPs see vendors moving “up-stack” (enterprise infrastructure vendors delivering telco cloud solutions), “down-stack” (OSS vendors delivering network infrastructure solutions), and “cross-stack” (Systems Integrators moving from complex delivery to complete solutions) – all the while an ever-increasing landscape of startups are being funded in an attempt to disrupt the Network Equipment Providers (NEPs). Never mind the fact that these “stacks” that these vendors are moving within are inconsistent to begin with!More importantly – I don’t see that the barriers to entry in the CSP space have changed drastically due to the incorporation of increasingly enterprise-originated cloud technology, based on the survey results (61% think that enterprise vendors are not yet equipped to build telco-class cloud networks). At least, not yet.So – the questions that arise are really threefold:How do CSPs move forward with an investment path that is not a dead-end, and ensure that, at the very least, the infrastructure investments today are flexible enough to be re-purposed in the future? This is highly important – because, contrary to popular belief, there are indeed technical nuances at the compute, networking, and storage layer for different software stacks and use-cases.How do CSPs embrace the transformation and innovation that is happening in the Open Source and startup community in the operational and procurement frameworks that have worked for the last 100 years? Note – this is not to say that operations and procurement frameworks don’t need to adapt, but instead that we, as an industry, cannot move forward if these remain inherently linked. Transforming technology is significantly easier than transforming processes.Where is the “white space” for Dell EMC in this confusion? Maybe that’s not a question for you – but it is certainly a question for me.(An aside: I do think that the paper inaccurately discounts the importance of Open Source in the survey to garner a specific perspective that over half the respondents view open source as “ok, or has limited application.” More importantly, my read on this is that an overwhelming percentage (86.6%) see a role for Open Source – some are crisper on what that role is (44.3%) and some are still developing their own opinions on what that role is (42.3%). Less than 15% believe that Open Source has limited or no role in telecom. Maybe I am just more optimistic than Heavy Reading – or maybe there is more raw data that I don’t have exposure to.)With a logical concern that I am just professing vendor-marketing hyperbole (Note: I’m not), I’d like to share my view into how I internalize the questions above to help in the evolution of the Dell EMC CSP strategy.The Industry Call-to-Action: Build Once, Reuse ManyThe industry goal should be to build a common platform – regardless of current and/or future procurement processes, operational models, software stack selection, or technology direction – with the end goal to make infrastructure easily consumable and services easily deployable and manageable.This common underlying infrastructure platform (dare I say, “IaaS for network virtualization”?) that spans currently-accepted principles (hypervisors, network overlays, service chaining, orchestration, etc.) but incorporates a path towards currently-incubated principles (containers, micro-services, automation and DevOps) without enforcing either a specific direction or espousing a particular end-state seems to be just what the industry needs. This allows for what I expect to be near-term divergence, and eventual convergence, in industry direction to happen.The obvious need is for an infrastructure vendor who has assembled and built a set of expertise and knowledge around the vendor software stacks – both NFV and SDN – as a means of rationalizing an infrastructure deployment framework that is:Unified across disparate use-cases, vendor solutions, and standardsOpen and flexible to incorporate an increasing set of open source componentry and “DevOps-style” toolingDelivered in a release-based implementation that allows rapid innovation to be more readily consumable by CSP operationsThis is our goal.The Dell EMC ResponseBuilding a single, standard cloud infrastructure platform that has been certified by the predominant virtualization vendors, validated by the major Network Equipment Providers (NEPs), integrated with leading startups, and delivered through current trusted telco partners – namely, Systems Integrators, OSS vendors, and the NEPs themselves – for the deployment of telco cloud is a significant challenge – but it is one that Dell EMC has taken on. We’ve done it, and we have data points confirming that such an approach has merit. Now, we are focused on replicability, scalability (scaled out for higher capacity, scaled in for the network edge), and iteration.Our ability to abstract the industry confusion and create a cloud infrastructure platform that allows telecom service providers to adopt new technologies at a pace that matches their organizational readiness without forcing a specific path at initial purchase has become a key differentiator for Dell EMC. To be forthcoming, it has been a challenge to break through all the other vendor hype out there by embracing such a practical, achievable objective.last_img read more

Many Paths, Same Direction – Cloud-Native Adoption With Hyperconverged Infrastructure

first_imgInnovation drives amazing changes in society, from self-driving cars to medicine that extends our lives. Innovation doesn’t happen in a bubble, however. It relies on human ingenuity, the right processes in place to remove obstacles, and technology which itself is a result of innovation. Businesses are looking for ways to drive innovation and beat out their competition. Which means going digital and adopting cloud-native applications and agility. In fact, based on our own research, in the next 24 months business adoption of cloud-native will jump to 67%, from 47% today.If adoption were so easy everyone would do it tomorrow, right? Well, there is a case for learning to walk before running with a staged migration, keeping legacy infrastructure and apps running alongside cloud-native apps. DevOps teams often cite the difficulties in managing the compute, networking, and storage resources of Kubernetes container orchestration in production, not to mention management of infrastructure, workload portability and securing the data wherever it resides. Yet, an overly cautious approach to cloud native might be too slow, and drive developers to find their own K8s dialtone to maintain the project velocity that they require; in this case, the effort to maintain stability creates a shadow IT problem that can lead to trouble later with cost or compliance issues.The good news is there are many platforms and tools on the market to choose from that support cloud native operations. And more good news – Dell EMC hyperconverged infrastructure supports many of these platforms, with automated lifecycle management, consolidation of compute, storage and virtualization, and easy scalability. Dell EMC has engineered tested and validated HCI for Kubernetes solutions including VMware Cloud Foundation on VxRail, the foundation for the Dell Technologies Cloud Platform, which delivers a simple and direct path to the hybrid cloud with one, complete, automated platform. Automated PKS workload deployment and infrastructure supporting both legacy and cloud-native apps make VCF on VxRail truly transformational to a business. Additionally, businesses can choose from other HCI solutions supporting Pivotal Cloud Foundry with Pivotal Ready Architecture, for Azure Stack Hub with AKS, and Google Anthos on VxFlex.In addition, an expansive Dell Technologies portfolio provides best-in-class external storage, data protection solutions through PowerProtect for Kubernetes, and Consulting Services to help you at every step in the cloud-native adoption process.And, for a true cloud experience within your modern data center, we offer Dell Tech on Demand delivering a wide range of flexible payment solutions and value-added services combined with integrated full-stack solutions to manage costs while not limiting your ability to meet changing resource demands of your app development teams.Come visit us at KubeCon + CloudNativeCon in San Diego to learn how Dell Technologies can help you as a trusted partner and adviser. We remove the complexities associated with infrastructure resource management and help you focus on the high-value initiatives that matter. Together, we can Make IT Real.last_img read more

ND professors named to ‘Highly Cited Researchers’ list

first_imgTags: faculty, research, Thomas Reuters, Thomas Reuters’ Highly Cited Researchers list University faculty members from the Mendoza College of Business, the College of Science and the College of Engineering were included in the 2015 Thomson Reuters’ Highly Cited Researchers list, a Jan. 21 release stated on Notre Dame’s news website.“The list identifies the top 1 percent of the almost 9 million scholars and scientists who publish their academic findings every year, accounting for more than 2 million journal papers,” the release stated. “Each year the list includes more than 3,000 scientists around the world who have published the highest number of articles that are cited the most frequently by other researchers. It is compiled from two separate Thomson Reuters studies that have been analyzed for publication and citation data from 22 subject fields of study, ranging from chemistry to social sciences.”In the College of Engineering, Bertrand Hochwald is the Frank M. Freimann Professor of Electrical Engineering, and J. Nicholas Laneman is an associate professor of electrical engineering, the founding director of the Wireless Institute and a fellow of the John J. Reilly Center for Science, Technology and Value.In the College of Science, professor Timothy Beers is the Notre Dame Chair in Astrophysics, and Prashant Kamat is the Rev. John A. Zahm Professor of Science in the department of chemistry and biochemistry and the Notre Dame Radiation Laboratory, as well as concurrent professor in the department of chemical and biomolecular engineering.In the Mendoza College of Business, Luis Gómez-Mejia serves as the Ray and Milann Siegfried Professor of Management.last_img read more

Chicago’s Veronica Dunne on Who She’s ‘Dying to Play’ Next & More!

first_img Age: 21Hometown: Malibu, CACurrent Role: Veronica Dunne takes on the superbly dancey role of leading diva Roxie Hart, a merry murderess turned famous femme fatale, in Broadway’s Chicago.Stage & Screen Cred:  Dunne makes her Broadway debut in Chicago. No stranger to the stage, she got her start in the Lythgoe Family production of Cinderella with Broadway alums Shoshana Bean and Jennifer Leigh Warren. Her other theater credits include Into the Woods, Cabaret and the premiere of Joe Iconic’ The Black Suits. Onscreen, you can catch her in Disney’s K.C. Undercover. Her other screen credits include Our Wild Hearts, Kickin’ It, A Woman Called Job, Star vs. the Forces of Evil and the forthcoming film, The Ninth Passenger. Veronica Dunne photographed at The Living Room at W New York – Times Square.(Photo: Caitlin McNaney) Veronica Dunne Star Files Chicagocenter_img from $49.50 View Comments Related Showslast_img read more

Making the Most of Your Kitchen Space [Sponsored]

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York In most homes today the kitchen has really become the heart of the house. It’s not only where food is prepared and served, it’s also a comfortable gathering place for friends and family.But it’s no fun for the cook if the kitchen is so cramped there’s barely elbow room between the sink, the stove and the countertop. Or the overhead lighting casts shadows on the dishes being washed. And it can feel pretty dismal if the appliances look ancient, the cabinets are out of style, and the floors are old and stained.Fortunately, Brian Curry, Alure Home Improvements‘ certified custom kitchen designer, is there to help homeowners make the most of their kitchen space. Born in Farmingdale, he grew up watching his father renovate their home and later he worked for his uncle, a general contractor, so he learned how to read blueprints at an early age. He knows how to transform a claustrophobic kitchen into a modern, free-flowing space that invites good cheer, good times, and of course, good food.Click here to learn more about Alure Home ImprovementsIn order to do what he does best, he first has to understand clearly what the homeowners need as well as what they want. It’s more than a question of style, although that is definitely important—and Alure’s kitchen showroom is full of inspiration. Curry has to know how the clients entertain, how they use their kitchen as a workspace, even if the kids do their homework at the kitchen table.“All that gives me an insight into how to design the overall room,” he says.Along the way, he also discovers what they don’t want.“For probably eight out of the 10 kitchens we do, I’ll ask the client what they dislike about their kitchen and they’ll say, ‘The kitchen!’” he says with a chuckle.The homeowners may have issues with the room’s design, the outdated products, or the overall layout. For one recent project, he relocated the kitchen to an entirely different part of the house so it could spread out more as well as make it easier for the homeowner to bring in the groceries from the car in the driveway. Some people tell Curry that they want to entertain more in the kitchen, so the solution is to add a center island with stools that can fit under the counter so when the family is together for the holidays, they can all sit and talk—maybe even chop onions—while someone stirs the pot on the stove.“The most used piece of real estate in the kitchen is the area between the kitchen sink and the stovetop or range,” Curry says. “I’ve been in people’s homes where they have only 18 inches—and that’s their preparation space!”With his custom redesign, he tries to maximize that preparation space as well as add room to the left and the right of the range top.According to Curry, a frequent request for a customized kitchen in a ranch-style house involves taking out the walls separating the kitchen from the dining room and the living room to create a large, inviting common space.“A lot of times homeowners will have hardwood existing floors in those rooms,” Curry says, “so they like to carry that through the kitchen to make it consistent.”The downside to that solution is that hardwood floors are vulnerable to the wear and tear of traffic in what is without a doubt the most heavily traveled portion of the house.If the redesign allows, Curry recommends porcelain tile installed on a mud base because it’s both scratch- and stain-resistant.“It’s a great product that is going to last a solid 30 years if it is installed properly,” he explains.From start to finish, including consultation, demolition, and total transformation, these customized kitchen projects can take four to six weeks. For a typical kitchen with 200 square feet and about 30 linear feet of cabinets and countertops, the median cost of a complete redesign and renovation can run about $60,000, Curry says. Generally, the prices tend to range from $30,000 to $150,000, depending on the scope of the work and what the homeowners desire.“We do things a little differently than a typical general contractor,” Curry says.With Alure, homeowners work with a talented designer and a crew of top-notch professionals, including licensed electricians and licensed plumbers, as well as diligent demolition experts and experienced cabinet installers. Just as important, before the project starts, the homeowners have a realistic idea of how much the job will ultimately cost, based on the scope of the project, the actual work involved, and the finalized design. There aren’t any unexpected surprises, Curry says.“You know where things are going and how things are being built,” he explains.Click here to learn more about Alure Home ImprovementsFor example, a typical general contractor may provide an estimate only for his work on the project but leave it up to the clients to choose the cabinets and the countertops.“When a lot of people start a kitchen renovation with a typical general contractor,” Curry says, “they might think they’re getting a great price, but they forget that all the little odds and ends can amount to a decent sum of money.”When Alure customizes a kitchen redesign, no detail is too small for consideration.“We’ll actually map out what’s going to go inside of what cabinet,” Curry says. “Some people might have a five-gallon spaghetti pot that they cook their pasta in, and we’ll make sure that it has a place to go. That’s really what it comes down to. We make sure that everything has a place, and that nothing is left on the countertop!”And that’s why homeowners are happy to know that they’ve made the most of their space, thanks to a job well done by Alure.last_img read more

NYSDEC wants you to be on the lookout for this invasive species in your pool

first_imgIf you believe you have located an ALB, below are a few options to contact the DEC: (WBNG) — The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation needs your help in identifying an invasive beetle species. “Over time, this disrupts the vascular system of the tree. It can’t get water, it can’t get nutrients,” said NYSDEC Forest Health Program Research Scientist Jessica Cancelliere. “It just begins to die. There’s no survival for a tree with the Asian Longhorned Beetle, if you have [the beetle], your tree is dead.” Note the location of the beetleTake photos of signs of infestationEmail your photo to [email protected] the ALB tip line at 1-866-702-9938Report the infestation to iMapInvasives “The Asian Longhorned Beetle is a continuous threat, it continuously being reintroduced on cargo ships from overseas. It can show up anywhere at anytime,” said Cancelliere. To learn more about the ALB pool survey by visiting this link. The Asian Longhorned Beetle (ALB) tunnels through trees and will kill a tree if it infests. You can spot ALB activity by looking for small holes drilled into trees. For pool owners, the DEC wants you to check your pool and filters for the beetle. If you spot one, snap a photo and save the beetle by freezing it. The DEC is looking to see if there are new infestations in New York. If you don’t have a pool, you can still be on the lookout for ALBs. To read more about the invasive species, head over to this link.last_img read more