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Commoner

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Everything posted by Commoner

  1. This (and A2's intellectual honesty) is a great discussion, and reminds me of the exciting (for sure) 2007-2009 time period. I also stayed away from UP for years, and for some reason, the irrational exuberance (and the development that ensues) lures me back, as usual, just in time for a reset. As a not-yet-but-approaching-40 year old, the Great Recession happened at a critical (early) juncture in my career. It was life-changing, It affects every economic decision I make. But the dichotomy for me, personally, is going to make this one even more impactful. On the one hand, I'm in the asset management business. We're liquid and hungry for any reset in asset valuations and investment terms. It's been silly for over half a decade. Financing is "secured" (to paraphrase Elon Musk) and locked in for the long haul. It couldn't come fast enough. On the other hand, I've been divorced TWICE since the Great Recession. I'm silly broke. All assets and over half of my income is gone. I'm personally levered beyond reason, and need a miracle to dig out. I'm dreading the impact. Should be exciting.
  2. Completely agree. My favorite one - between 6th and 7th, on the south side of 58th street, has a lot of Charlotte customers. The family is incredibly knowledgeable, generous with tastings, knows everything about the supply chain and remembers everything. I picked up a bottle of Codigo Rosa (can't get it in NC anymore...) this weekend.
  3. The ABC regime is atrocious. I understand the supply issue with certain (delicious) products like Blanton's, but there's no rational public policy reason why the State should operate a cartel for a consumer product. Get out of the way, NC!
  4. Steve Cummings (US CEO for MUFG) still has his home (and roots) in Charlotte. MUFG's corporate bank is in NYC and retail in LA. He wants to go from a large (West Coast) regional bank to a national top-10 deposit share bank. I don't know what M&A deal makes sense for them, but it wouldn't surprise me to see a deal and then more investment here. The Charlotte mafia used to be a thing, and it has its vestiges, and he's no doubt the best bet for its renaissance. We had lunch with him in UBS's dining room a few years ago and he was still a Charlotte guy, through and through, 40 floors above Park Ave in a Swiss Bank.
  5. I love the Grill. The staff is great. Selfishly, it's right across the street from my office. But I would love a Halls. I hope you're prescient.
  6. Southpark Grill Update: The rumors of the grill's demise (or Hall's arrival) are premature. They full revamped their dinner menu, and are serving very good steaks and typical accoutrement. Give them a try.
  7. This is a real disappointment. If you think about the end of the 20th century and the first few years of the 21st century, that's when this city's leadership approached opportunities like this with a refusal to lose, and fought with an underdog mentality, taking absolutely nothing for granted. That leadership (business, civic and social) took nothing for granted and absolutely would have connected something like this to Charlotte's future economic growth. Barings fell in our lap. This was a must-have, if you understand that the high paying jobs that used to exist at true banks have left the banking system (for a decade now) and are moving into alternative asset management. Trillions of dollars over the course of this generation's watch are moving into the hands of professional asset management firms like AB. Charlotte happens to have a unique, opportunistic ecosystem to nurture this industry. We already punch way above our weight in this growing, extraordinarily visible (to the rest of the world) and lucrative industry. The end of this decade should {have been}{be} a "big bang" of sorts - much like the mid-1990s was. Charlotte will grow and will be successful, and 80% of the city will never have a clue what AB is or does, but you could say the same thing about broker dealer activities or interstate banking in 1989. I'm quite disappointed in the individuals who pursued this opportunity for not bringing to bear every resource and angle that was in play. I am absolutely sure that they did not. The prior leaders wouldn't have let this slip past.
  8. I haven't read it, but in an "institutional" deal as I would imagine this partnership agreement to represent, there is a slate of standard market "minority protections" including but not limited to tag along rights (i.e., you own 10% but the plurality owner is selling, and you want to sell down pro rata with the majority/plurality), drag along rights (i.e., a group of 50% plus of the aggregate ownership wants to sell; the 10% owner can't hold the 50% plus hostage, who want to sell, so the minority gets "dragged" along) and others that don't really apply here ... well, maybe the ROFO and ROFR, i.e., if a member wants to sell, then other members get the right to buy at the price the seller received in his or her offer from the third party (if Jerry gets an offer for $10 for 48%, Hugh has the right to buy the 48% for $10). While nobody does know (and unless someone steps in it and violates a core confidentiality provision of the partnership agreement, we won't know), these are the presumptions that people can/should make, if they're just speculating (as we are).
  9. Artificial turf has gotten to be much higher quality and less costly (to produce and install) over the last decade. It's come a long way from the horrid green sandpaper of the Astrodome. I would argue that it is quite environmentally friendly in certain applications. It lasts 10-15 years with even heavy traffic, it is not susceptible to infestations and it doesn't need to be watered. I would expect to see it gaining acceptance in Charlotte over time, as it becomes more residentially viable and also the next time water scarcity is a concern.
  10. Same here - is the lounge (fireplace, small menu, couches and tables, bar service) that is currently in place, right outside of the BLT entrance, not what they're talking about?
  11. That's a shame. I agree with ATL and you in that Restaurant Week is sometimes a bad time to form a first impression. BLT is above my paygrade for everyday dining as well, but when you feel like you can swing it, it's well worth it. I also like Del Frisco's and Ruth's Chris a lot, but don't care to go during Restaurant Week. As an alternative to Restaurant Week, I like to hit different places that have cocktail menus. McCormick and Schmick sort of pioneered this I guess. But Aria has a great $5 menu at the bar. BLT also happens to have one. I think they might work some kinks out, but I generally spend a lot less and have more fun with bar menus.
  12. Isn't there an empty building at Gateway?
  13. Get out of here. NM Charlotte carries Thomas Pink? I've only walked through the men's section once and didn't notice. @ StevenRocks - They now have a significant GOB markdown. 75%, I believe. It pains me to write this, because I won't be able to go until next week. Don't say I never gave you anything...
  14. Thought I, too, would drop in to pay my respects to Billy Reid (the store - not the designer). They filled a great niche in Charlotte. I always had great help from sales associates. I hate to see the store leave, but I would love to hear more about NM carrying his products. The candies were great (psssst... you can get them at Candy Candy in Founders Hall), but I agree that the bourbon was a hit - especially when you're trying to carry your lunchtime buzz forward.
  15. Oh man. At the risk of being called out for my lack of urbanity, I'd love a Houston's in Charlotte. Perfect location, too.
  16. The gist of the signs was something about breaking promises to employees. I assumed it would be the use of non-union labor, but maybe it's something different.
  17. I guess this means I can come back now ; )
  18. It could even be a topic for the NC Rules of Civil and Appellate Procedure.
  19. How does the single family development encourage driving any more than the multi family developments? You have a parking spot for your car and access to and from secondary roads with each project. Depending on the number of guest spots available at each multi family project, the single family project might discourage driving. It doesn't have any spots for guests. I think the most obvious problem is the lack of on-street parking on Bland, Winnifred and Church Streets.
  20. Has anyone tried Punta Cana on South Boulevard? I'm looking for some Caribbean/Jamaican food and don't care to drive to WT Harris for Anntony's. Any other near-downtown Caribbean recommendations are also welcome.
  21. Now on PBS ran a great feature on the allocation of transit project stimulus dollars. It featured the Lynx Blue Line and interviews with Mayor McCrory and other North Carolinians regarding North Carolina's (and States in general) competence in allocating transportation resources. It's especially complimentary of the Lynx's effect on South End. http://www.pbs.org/now/shows/507/index.html
  22. I think a relocation of GMAC would be newsworthy in Charlotte, NYC and Detroit. The relocation of MS's depository institution to Charlotte would probably only be newsworthy here. You're talking about one division of a much larger company. Wachovia Securities has changed bases several times in the last ten years and, if I recall, that wasn't particularly newsworthy on its own (as opposed to it being in the context of an acquisition). With respect to the Thain remodeling story, are you surprised that this is a much bigger story? Would this be the first time that MSM has opted for the sensational or tabloid story over something of substance? Or, if that's not the angle you want, how about the fact that it was fodder for the public's view of all individuals in banking as (my personal fav) "fat cats"? Also, let's remember that GMAC hasn't announced yet. THIS is where the discussion takes place before the actual story (the announcement). I guess if certain site admins wanted this to be more like the comments section to CNN or the Huffington Post, where we didn't discuss silly rumors like relos of bad auto finance companies*, we could wait for news to break and all congregate to discuss it. *Incidentally, Fortune Magazine classifies GMAC as a "Diversified Finance Company", like GE. As an aside, I've wondered where that Wachovia thread went. It suspiciously disappeared around the same time the big C dropped below $5.
  23. I would think that the leases with Target and perhaps Trader Joe's contain covenants prohibiting the leasing of space at Midtown to a warehouse club or maybe even an additional grocery store. Subdividing doesn't sound like a bad idea. Does anybody else think that the modern furniture store (I can't remember the name off the top of my head) is on deck? They always have a lot of empty space in the store.
  24. Is this a steel-built tower? Didn't a concrete core lead the concrete exterior of the Wachovia Corporate Center too? This has probably been banged out in another thread, but do steel built highrises go up faster than reinforced concrete (like Wachovia)?
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