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Everything posted by monsoon

  1. The head of Division 10 of the NCDOT has said that contractor quotes for performing on the stimulus money projects are coming in low and hence there is more money available for other uses. His theory for the reason for the low quotes is the contractors really need the work so are being more competitive on their bids. He has sent a request to the MPO for recommendations. Regardless of their recommendations, apparently this head gets to make the final decision and it sounds as if he is looking at spending the extra money on the Hwy 73 widening between Hwy 115 and Hwy 21. (Exit 25 in Huntersville) This obviously comes with the support of the local politicians there as it means the town won't have to spend its own money on the project. They also question why this project is 7th on the list when it ought to be first.
  2. Sure. This wasn't front page news as far as I know, and it does say exactly what I said. It isn't CATS fault. CATS is only responsible when ridership goes up, but isn't responsible when it goes down. It's an amazing double standard that goes completely unnoticed by what are otherwise educated sensible people.
  3. Ahh, but wasn't one of their stated goals to get people out of their cars? They never added on, but only if gas prices double. Or are you saying their ridership gains, which were so loudly touted as huge success, were not do to anything that CATS did, but was due to people avoiding high gas prices? i.e. The 2030 Plan continues to fail at the goals put forth as reasons to support it.
  4. From the other topic about aquariums, the thought occured to me that they can take The Park and turn it into a big paintball urban warfare amusement park. They just need to clean the grounds up some, put some fences on it and paint it some complementary garish colors to add to the already decaying look. Perfect for re-creating those guerilla warfare scenarios, first person shooter in real life games, and reliving those scenes from apocalyptic scifi movies where you shoot the various and sundry radiation created mutants and crazed robots. Of course don't leave out the standard cops and robbers stuff. They could do Road Warrior go cart racing on the floors of the parking deck. Should be quite the tourist draw. I can't think of anything else like that in the USA
  5. You can try to look at the minutes of the Mecklenburg MTC meetings that are on ridetransit.org. Sometimes CATS will present ridership reports that are entered into the record. The APTA publishes ridership reports for the transit agencies, but they tend to lag by at least a quarter and the information is dependent upon reporting by the transit agencies. See http://www.apta.com/research/stats/ridership/ You could also try to contact CATS directly. If ridership goes up, CATS does a lot of press releases to the idiotic press in Charlotte which will report whatever they say without question. If ridership is going down, CATS is usually silent on the issue. My guess is that since we have not heard much about CATS, the numbers are no that flattering.
  6. As usual you simply didn't read what I have posted. I never said that housing is built strictly out of need. If I did, then point it out and we will discuss it. I can only wonder if you do this constantly in a vain attempt to avoid the issue at hand.
  7. That is a pointless statement to be honest with you. I am sure a homeless person would like to live in a place such as that. However when judged against what it really costs to own something such as this, the demand disappears. If it didn't there would still be lotteries for the foolish to gain a spot in line to buy one.
  8. LOL. You continue to make logical fallacies. Nobody said we can't protest. But your idea of doing such, "if you can dish it out be ready to receive the same treatment", is nothing but revenge as much as you try to explain otherwise. The community as a whole has better things to do than to go and try to teach a few wing nuts something they are never going to learn. You have proven that some don't get this message and that is fine as I accept that is to be the case.
  9. Sure. Never said otherwise. The point being made however is there isn't enough of them who can afford it, to support these things in downtown. That much is obvious now. There is no practical reason to build a residential skyscraper in downtown, not when so much of it is just parking lots. So what you are talking about are luxury or vanity towers and that is the market that doesn't exist anymore.
  10. Ahh so you are giving "not likely" scenarios Normally to be elegible for maximum retirement benefits, you have to have full time status at a job. I can't imagine someone holding 2 full time jobs for 40 years simultaneously. If this is the research that people here are applauding you for, it just goes to prove to me there is still some unrealistic belief the collapse we have seen in Charlotte isn't normal and somehow all will be reversed and we will be selling condos, and tiny houses near downtown at nose bleeding prices again. If you believe the local media, this will be some time in 2010. Or just several minutes into the future. My guess is this belief is mostly held by those who have a vested interest in this property now.
  11. ^The numbers I posted for NJ firefighters are readily available on-line. I don't know what you mean by our friend Victor but I contend that firefighters from NJ don't get retirement benefits anywhere close to $150K/year. What you are saying is someone making $55K-$65/year somehow used tricks to bump the final year salary to $300K.
  12. You are way off on that one. Maximum salary for a NJ firefighter is around $70K/year. Most make in the $55-$60K range. Retirement benefits for a NJ firefigher are limited to a maximum of 70% of salary and that would occur only if you held the job for 40 years. Otherwise, it's less. Given this guy is only 45, my guess is he doesn't have 40 years service and is going to get the 50% pay out. This means that at most he will get $35K/year for retirement, more likely around $30K/year. (plus medical) Personally I don't think they are paid enough for what they do. However given these numbers, it only proves how insane the real estate market had become. Maybe he was counting on selling off the first home to pay for this one. Unfortunately for him, it would be my guess that plan didn't work out so well either.
  13. The "overall market" excuse for The Park, which this topic is about, doesn't fly. The point being made is the building was unnecessary, not wanted, and was the result of the hysteria surrounding high end properties and especially those downtown. I've point out before the complete idiocy of building skyscrapers in cities with no land pressures and very low population density. Take away the "investment" part of this, now that prices are falling, and the market for these things collapses. I do agree the downtown market has faired relatively well, but that is because the disaster of the collapse of BofA and Wachovia, has come at the expense of great amounts of federal social welfare. What is going on on the shores of Lake Norman, which has experienced much of the same mentality, is really irrelevant to this point.
  14. I am not sure what you said here that disagrees with what I said. Without hysterical buyers willing to plunk down a ton of money for these units, Verna would have never gotten it off the ground. You don't consider the construction of an empty building a problem? Sure he did. And he couldn't get it off the ground until he substantially raised the prices over what he was first going to charge for these units. He could only do that after people started losing their minds, like the firefighter, and pay these kinds of prices. Verna did after all take ~7 years to get this plan off the ground, and did back out of the original pricing scheme, and only went forward at the height of the real estate hysteria downtown. This completely proves what I said. If there was a real market for this building, then some developer would have come in and taken it long ago. It would have been in Verna's self interest to have done this. The problem. Is there is no market for these buildings now. On look over at
  15. ^Maybe, but not likely. I would say that most likely he got caught up in the same hysteria that most of America bought into from watching HGTV and listening to bankers and real estate agents that buying a property worth many times his yearly income was a good investment. It's the same hysteria that led to a project as broken as The Park.
  16. Gays and Lesbians generally have better things to do than to get involved in the same vindictive tactics used by these people.
  17. Would be interesting to see if Purdue would sign the bill. Have not heard one way or the other. There is political risk in doing so given all the other taxes the state is voting in, and little risk to saying no.
  18. ^The "I might be wrong comment" was in regards to the $30M earmark, not what is happening to the North line. It would help to try and read what I posted. However it is the inaction of the MTC as to why this line isn't being built now. It's ready, it's designed, the people around it support it, yet it isn't going anywhere, because the MTC is afraid of the Charlotte city council. I do believe however this stalemate might change after the November elections. It will depend on what the people vote in for new members of this organization.
  19. It appears that Purdue has asked the federal government for an additional $300M from the federal government to rebuild the I-85 bridge over the Yadkin river. This is a project often discussed in this topic.
  20. Here is one in Ft. Myers which is not in South Florida. It's a 32 story condo tower with just one resident. It is interesting that a firefighter can afford to pay $450K for a second residence. But then again, maybe he can't. It was the insanity of this run up in real estate prices. See this story.
  21. I might be wrong and what isn't being reported, is this is money that CATS has already spent without knowing if they would get the funding or not. The Charlotte city council decided to take the chance on this. If I am correct then of course the local media isn't reporting this part now. The interesting thing to note however in the article about the House turning down the $30M request, is the single line at the bottom of the article that says an internal memo at CATS says it won't have the money to build the North line for at least the next decade. I am not sure how this leaked out, but then again I have contended for a long time that CATS has incompetent and that includes keeping their own secrets, well... secret. However I've also said for a long time they have no intention of building the North line next, no matter what they have indicated, as it's clear they intend to pull all the stops to build that LRT extension. It's why the North line won't be built, why the city of Charlotte is stuck with the streetcar, and why they pushed so hard to keep LRT from being the plan of record for the SE line. While they may be incompetent, even they know the value of a $2B federal funded project. In any case, it will be interesting to see if this funding request survives. If this earmark is approved, it will be, by far, the largest earmark assigned to the state on this go around. The next project even remotely close to this is the dredging of Oregon Inlet.
  22. I never understand corporate decisions, re: building an expansion while attempting to reduce workforce. I think BMW has some issues with the need for this plant. They didn't exactly do it any favors by moving Z4 production back to Europe so now the only thing that is built there is the SUVs. This was always a questionable market for BMW and now that these things have fallen out of favor, even more so. I would be happier if BMW put one of its mainline sedans in there. Preferably something in the 3 series line.
  23. I used to live in South Florida and maybe I am missing something, but there are a huge number of single family homes there. This is after all a metro of 5M-6M people. I have no idea what the rest of your statement means. My post was in regards to condos like the Park and nothing else.
  24. Just as a sign on how tough this will be to resurrect, here is a story about $550,000 water front luxury condos, that are now selling for $32,000. The investor & cheap financing spurred market for condos is over. What remains are the people who smartly didn't buy on the highs or foolishly got into lotteries, who can now come in and get these things on pennies on the dollar. We are not to $67/sq ft housing yet, but I still contend something like it, is coming. When the governmental handouts to BofA and Wells dry up, watch out. (we are probably another election from that though)
  25. Right now there are only two plans on the books for this station in regards to rail. First it is supposed to be the terminus for the planned North commuter rail line. It is starting to look very unlikely this rail line will be built. The second plan is that it will be the replacement for the old 1960s Amtrak station on N. Tryon. The plan is to move the station to part of GW station. I believe it is actually the NCDOT that is funding this portion mostly due to the activity related to the two state funded train lines, The Carolinian and The Piedmont. I have no idea where this currently stands. The station will also serve as a replacement bus station for Greyhound and possibly CATS will use it for buses too. This part would be built and paid by the entities above in return for Greyhound surrendering the land. There may also be taxi service. So basically this portion depends upon the Amtrak station being built. The city also had plans to construct an office building as part of the station. It would be my guess this part isn't going to be built now. Those plans were announced before we had an economic collapse of real estate. I think that covers it. The station was planned so each portion, office tower, Amtrak platform & Greyhound station, CR platform and office tower, can be built independently from each other. It's assumed if the CLT to DC high speed rail is built, then it would simply use the Amtrak station. It could use the station on N. Tryon so there is no requirement for Gateway station for it to be implemented. Keep in mind the current plan on the books, High Speed means trains that go 110 mph instead of 70 mph.
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