A section of vacant land totaling about 115 acres near the corner of Yerba Buena Road and Old Yerba Buena Road in south San Jose.
SAN JOSE — An East Coast real estate firm has taken full ownership of a huge chunk of land in South San Jose, but it’s unclear if the property will ever be developed.
DLJ Real Estate Partners, acting through an affiliate, has bought about 115 acres near the corner of Yerba Buena Road and Old Yerba Buena Road.
New York City-based DLJ Real Estate paid $5 million for the vacant land, documents filed on Nov. 29 with the Santa Clara County Recorder’s Office show.
Before the property purchase, San Mateo-based Legacy Partners, Chicago-based Walton Street Capital and DLJ Real Estate all had ownership stakes in the property.
With the transaction complete, DLJ’s affiliate is the sole owner of the property, the county documents show.
It is uncertain whether any property owner will be allowed to develop the vacant land.
About two decades ago in 2000, a prior owner, Syntex, floated plans to develop large industrial buildings on the site. Those plans never came to fruition and the property wasn’t developed.
Now, proposals are being circulated at San Jose City Hall to change the property’s zoning to open space, a designation that could preclude any sort of massive development, or even a low-density project, on the site.
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The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has proposed a rule that would allow Natural Asset Companies (NACs) on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). Under this rule, NACs must be managed for sustainable purposes, removing natural resource production from some federal lands.
The Garfield County Board of Commissioners (GCBC) discussed NACs at their board meeting on Nov. 20, opposing the SEC’s proposed rule.
“Natural Asset Companies would provide a vehicle for investors and governments to profit from the protection of natural resources,” said Board Commissioner Mike Samson. “It would allow foreign entities to own these NACs.”
NACs are defined by the NYSE from an article by Reuters, as a tradeable asset class based on sustainable enterprises that hold the rights to ecosystem services, such as carbon sequestration, produced by natural, working or hybrid lands.
The NYSE says that natural assets globally produce $125 trillion annually in ecosystem services, like water purification and biodiversity.
The Intrinsic Exchange Group (IEG) worked with the NYSE to develop NACs. The IEG said on their website of NACs, “The purpose of the company is to actively manage, maintain, restore (as applicable), and grow the value of natural assets and their production of ecosystem services, with the objective of maximizing ecological performance.”
Nerdwallet broke down what stocks are: stocks are an investment. When you buy stock, it becomes an ownership share in that company, and you own it.
If NACs are created, stockholders would be able to control stock in these NACs. To create a NAC, according to IEG’s website, a resource must be identified, then a NAC must be formed as a new corporation with license rights to ecosystem services, like the identified resource, then the natural asset value will convert to finance capital.
The possible NACs in question are federally owned land; however, the IEG, alongside their Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), are working with the Costa Rican government, other sovereign nations, private landowners and public companies on the development of NACs.
IEG has investments from the NYSE, IDB, The Rockefeller Foundation and Aberdare Ventures.
Commissioner Samson on Nov. 20 went on to explain that air and water are included in SEC proposal, and this proposal failed to have a benefit analysis done and that the proposal skirts congressional authorization. He also said that NACs don’t allow for extractional activity.
The Garfield County Commission has written a letter to SEC in opposition of this NAC proposal. stating about Garfield County:
“Approximately 62% of these lands are public lands owned and managed by the federal government, the Bureau of Land Management manages 615,973 acres and the U.S. Forest Service manages 515,865 acres,” the commission stated in the letter.
The commission said that Garfield County’s ability to provide resources for schools, hospitals, emergency services, roads and other necessary services are directly dependent on the productive use of these federal lands.
The letter also explains in further detail why Samson said that the proposed analysis skirts congressional authorization.
“There is also no guidance or limitation on the ‘management authority’ the SEC NAC rule will convey,” the letter states. “It is simply blanket permission that appears to give private companies unlimited ability to set rules, definitions, permissions, and possible penalties that will directly impact our county.”
The letter also states that the proposal infringes on the right, stated by federal statute, that requires federal agencies to “coordinate” the management of federal lands with local jurisdictions. Congress requires this so as not to do harm to the surrounding communities in that jurisdiction.
“The Intrinsic Exchange Group (IEG) claims the new natural asset company economy will be $5,000 Trillion economy, four times larger than today’s economy, which is $105 Trillion,” the letter states “This is because they are creating an entirely new set of values — quantifying and monetizing “natural processes” and “ecosystem services” that every human being must have to live, and no one has a right to own. They are quite literally attempting to profit from, and control, the air we breathe.”
Commissioner Chair John Martin answered questions about NACs and what investing in their stocks could mean.
“The SEC runs the NYSE, and they want to create companies that manipulate all natural resources, including air and water, including wave generation, and all mining, which can be bought, sold, and traded by anyone who can form a company — is it conservation or a way to make money on the NYSE? When are public lands no longer public lands?” Martin said.
He also said this is a worldwide movement, because the NYSE affects world economies.
The Senate has also gotten involved in this proposal, and three senators in particular have also written a letter to the SEC on Nov. 2. Senators Pete Ricketts (Republican, Nebraska), Mike Crapo (Republican, Idaho), and James E. Risch (Republican, Idaho) stated in their letter similar concerns to the Garfield County Commission about publicly-owned lands being included in private investment portfolios.
“We are concerned that corporate involvement in the stewardship and control of our federal lands would create unintended consequences,” the Senate letter states. “We are also alarmed by the SEC’s allowance under the proposed rule of foreign investment in these uniquely U.S. assets.”
The letter requested the SEC provide members of Congress and the public with potential risks and benefits of the proposal. They also requested six questions be answered no later than Nov. 30.
McALLEN, Texas – The final man involved in a fatal smuggling conspiracy has been ordered to federal prison for two separate smuggling events that occurred just weeks apart, announced U.S. Attorney Alamdar S. Hamdani.
Orlando Andres Garcia, 24, Mission, pleaded guilty to human smuggling resulting in death and conspiracy to harbor undocumented aliens within the United States Feb. 3, and Nov. 29, 2022, respectively.
U.S. District Judge Micaela Alvarez has now ordered Garcia to serve 120 months for the conspiracy to harbor in addition to 151 months for the smuggling event resulting in death. The sentences will be served in part consecutively for a total of 251 months in federal prison to be immediately followed by three years of supervised release.
At the hearing, the court heard how Garcia had been communicating with the other driver in the fatal smuggling event and encouraged him to reach dangerous speeds. Judge Alvarez also considered the life-altering and permanent injuries the survivors sustained in the accident and that Garcia was involved in stealing people and holding them for ransom a mere 18 days after the fatal accident.
In handing down the sentences, Judge Alvarez considered how the smugglers utilized multiple weapons, including firearms and a machete, further noting Garcia’s disregard for the well-being of the migrants and emphasizing the repetitiveness of his smuggling and the effects and harm his conduct has had on the victims and their families.
“Garcia trafficked in humans, not caring about the multiple lives he destroyed,” said Hamdani. “His actions led to the death of three migrants and to the kidnapping of nearly 50 at gunpoint. He saw migrants not as human beings but as property to buy and sell. Now, the only property he can buy or sell for years to come is what he can find in the prison’s commissary.”
“The fact that this unscrupulous smuggler put lives in danger to support his criminal activity is reprehensible. Today, justice was served,” said Special Agent in Charge Craig Larrabee for Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) San Antonio. “These deaths could have been prevented were it not for this individual’s concern more for his own greed rather than the safety of others. HSI remains committed to working with our law enforcement partners and utilizing our unique investigative authorities to bring to justice those responsible for horrible tragedies like this.”
On Oct. 22, 2021, Brandon Cibriano-Gonzalez acted as a brush guide to smuggle a group of 10 non-U.S. citizens from Mexico into the United States. Francisco Javier Quintanilla-Alcocer and Garcia then picked them up and began to drive them in a Chevrolet Impala and Chevrolet Malibu, respectively. Law enforcement attempted to conduct a traffic stop, but both vehicles failed to yield and a high-speed chase ensued. Evidence showed that Garcia had been communicating with Quintanilla-Alcocer and telling him to go faster. They reached speeds of 130 miles per hour.
Quintanilla-Alcocer eventually turned onto a dirt road in Mission where the Impala rolled and crashed into a homeowner’s fence. Authorities located a total of seven individuals on scene. Three had been ejected, two of whom died at the scene. Three months following the crash, a third migrant succumbed to his injuries.
Just a couple weeks after this event, Garcia was involved in another smuggling scheme and holding people for ransom. On Nov. 9, 2021, several conspirators had arrived at a stash house, screamed “immigration” and directed 47 fleeing individuals to multiple vehicles staged outside the residence. They then transported them in the backseats and trunks of vehicles to multiple residences before being transported once again.
While held at the stash houses, conspirators possessed and brandished firearms and contacted the families for additional funds to facilitate transportation north. Garcia also used the aliens as payment to co-conspirators for their assistance in the stealing the aliens. But when they were unable to secure monies for some of the aliens, several conspirators sold them to members of a third alien smuggling organization.
12 others have been convicted in relation to this scheme and received sentences of up to 80 months.
Mexican nationals Quintanilla-Alcocer, 39, and Cibriano-Gonzalez, 22, also pleaded guilty in the case resulting in death and have also been sentenced.
HSI led the investigations of both cases. Border Patrol, Palmview Police Department, and Texas Department of Public Safety assisted with the case resulting in death. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Lee Fry and Devin Walker prosecuted the cases.
NEW YORK (1010 WINS/WCBS 880) – The Professional Women’s Hockey League inaugural season begins New Year’s Day, and PWHL New York is set to have four regular season games out of its new Long Island home venue, UBS Arena, the league announced Thursday.
The 72-game season has each of the league’s six teams competing 24 times, with four PWHL New York games being played at Belmont Park’s UBS Arena, home of the Islanders, which opened in 2021.
“We are extremely pleased to be welcoming the PWHL to UBS Arena during their inaugural season,” said Kim Stone, president of UBS Arena. “I’m proud that women’s hockey is getting a beautiful new building to call its home for a number of games during this historical moment in women’s sports history.”
In a post on X, UBS Arena wrote “LET’S GOOO! 🔥 Proud to be a home venue for @PWHL_NewYork this upcoming season! @thepwhlofficial.”
According to the post, tickets go on sale next week. Fans can sign up for updates here.
“Having the privilege to showcase our skills in front of our dedicated fans, in a top-tier arena, represents an opportunity that impeccably aligns with the professional standards upheld by the PWHL,” said Pascal Daoust, PWHL New York General Manager. “It promises to be a premier sports experience.”
Five home games will be played at Total Mortgage Arena in Bridgeport, CT, the other home venue of PWHL New York.
“Mark your calendars 📆,” the arena posted on X. “The @PWHL_NewYork schedule is here!”
The locations of the three remaining PWHL New York home games are TBA.
The PWHL regular season runs from Jan. 1 until playoffs begin the week of May 6.
Following the season schedule release, PWHL New York announced that the team website is live.
“Live from New York, our new website!” the team said. “Check it out for updates, schedule, and everything PWHL New York!”
The schedule for PWHL New York is below:
• Monday, January 1, 2024
12:30 p.m. ET – New York at Toronto – Mattamy Athletic Centre
• Friday, January 5, 2024
7:00 p.m. ET – Toronto at New York – Total Mortgage Arena
• Wednesday, January 10, 2024
7:00 p.m. ET – Montreal at New York – UBS Arena
• Sunday, January 14, 2024
4:00 p.m. ET – New York at Minnesota – Xcel Energy Center
• Tuesday, January 16, 2024
7:00 p.m. ET – New York at Montreal – Place Bell
• Saturday, January 20, 2024
12:30 p.m. ET – New York at Boston – Tsongas Center at UMass Lowell
• Friday, January 26, 2024
7:00 p.m. ET – New York at Toronto – Mattamy Athletic Centre
• Sunday, January 28, 2024
1:00 p.m. ET – Minnesota at New York – Total Mortgage Arena
• Sunday, February 4, 2024
1:00 p.m. ET – New York at Ottawa – The Arena at TD Place
• Saturday, February 17, 2024
4:00 p.m. ET – New York at Boston – Tsongas Center at UMass Lowell
• Wednesday, February 21, 2024
7:00 p.m. ET – Montreal at New York – UBS Arena
• Friday, February 23, 2024
7:00 p.m. ET – New York at Toronto – Mattamy Athletic Centre
• Wednesday, February 28, 2024
7:00 p.m. ET – New York at Ottawa – The Arena at TD Place
• Sunday, March 3, 2024
12:30 p.m. ET – Minnesota at New York – UBS Arena
• Wednesday, March 6, 2024
7:00 p.m. ET – Montreal at New York – Total Mortgage Arena
• Sunday, March 10, 2024
3:30 p.m. ET – New York at Boston – Tsongas Center at UMass Lowell
• Saturday, March 16, 2024
3:30 p.m. ET – New York at Minnesota – Xcel Energy Center
• Wednesday, March 20, 2024
7:00 p.m. ET – Ottawa at New York – Total Mortgage Arena
• Monday, March 25, 2024
7:00 p.m. ET – Boston at New York – UBS Arena
• Friday, April 19, 2024
7:00 p.m. ET – New York at Montreal – Verdun Auditorium
• Sunday, April 21, 2024
Time TBA – Boston at New York – Venue TBA
• Wednesday, April 24, 2024
7:00 p.m. ET – Toronto at New York – Total Mortgage Arena
• Tuesday, April 30, 2024
Time TBA – Ottawa at New York – Venue TBA
• Saturday, May 4, 2024
Time TBA – Minnesota at New York – Venue TBA
The PWHL replaced the Premier Hockey Foundation after it was bought out and dissolved in July 2023 and is comprised of three U.S. teams (New York, Boston, Minnesota) and three Canadian teams (Ottawa, Toronto, Montreal).
Galleria Fort Lauderdale is hitting the market as a redevelopment opportunity, and the team listing the former luxury shopping mall is targeting a sale price north of $100 million.
A CBRE team led by Robert Given and Brad Capas is marketing the 800,000-square-foot indoor shopping center at 2442 East Sunrise Boulevard in Fort Lauderdale. There is no asking price, but Capas said: “We’re expecting the property to trade above $100 million.”
Galleria owner Keystone-Florida Holding Corporation, led by president William O’Connor, is also advised by O’Connor Capital Partners, a New York-based real estate investment firm, a press release states.
The listing does not include a Dillard’s department store building, which is separately owned, and a Macy’s store that has a ground lease.
According to a CBRE marketing brochure, Galleria is currently 67 percent occupied.
Keystone-Florida has twice tried unsuccessfully to redevelop the former luxury mall, most recently last year. The city of Fort Lauderdale did not approve the mall owner’s proposed development agreement to build a project with at least 1,900 apartments on the 31.6-acre site.
The property is permitted for 1,899 residential units, or 60 units per acre, and buildings with a maximum height of 150 feet, according to a CBRE brochure. However, a new owner could take advantage of Florida’s Live Local Act to develop a larger project as long as 40 percent of new units are workforce housing.
Opened in 1980, Galleria consists of multiple retail buildings, primarily empty big box stores that were previously occupied by Saks Fifth Avenue, Lord & Taylor and Neiman Marcus.
Keystone-Florida had proposed demolishing most of the shopping center and replacing the mall with buildings that wouldn’t exceed 150 feet in height and would taper down in areas close to nearby residential neighborhoods.
In 2017, due to opposition from residents, the Fort Lauderdale City Commission tabled a proposed vote that would have allowed Keystone-Florida to move forward with a redevelopment plan to build 1,250 condo units in three buildings taller than 20 stories and four shorter buildings.
Keystone-Florida withdrew its proposal.
It’s hard to say precisely when Silverton, Colo., started to come apart, but the town election of April 7, 2020, might be a good moment to begin the story.
That was when a young, progressive New York lawyer and adventure skier named Shane Fuhrman beat the longtime fire chief Gilbert Archuleta, part of Silverton’s old guard, by 10 votes to become the new mayor.
To supporters, mainly of his generation, Fuhrman, 42, represented progress. After working at top finance firms in Manhattan, he had returned to his native Colorado and renovated the old Wyman Hotel on Greene Street, not in the mountain-town Victorian style of the Grand Imperial a block away, but as an elegant, hip boutique inn, with rooms going for as much as $385 a night.
To Fuhrman’s opponents in the former mining town of 796 residents, he was the incarnation of the T Word, Telluride, and the A Word, Aspen, with their staggering housing prices, luxury outposts and billionaire denizens.
Their skepticism turned to anger 14 months into Fuhrman’s tenure when he declared that the council would stop reciting the Pledge of Allegiance until further notice. He said he was concerned about a town trustee who had received threats for not participating in the pledge, but that didn’t stop his critics from standing during a council meeting and shouting their allegiance to Old Glory as the mayor glumly watched.
Soon, Fox News broadcast a “Fox & Friends” episode from the Grand Imperial Hotel in which Mayor Fuhrman’s critics questioned his motives.
“There was a feeling like the mayor was monopolizing Silverton,” said Cole Davenport, a Marine Corps combat veteran who opened his cannabis dispensary on Greene Street in 2019.
Death threats poured into Fuhrman’s office. City Hall was shuttered for safety’s sake. An effort to recall the mayor was begun, a deeply personal affront in a tiny town where there is no anonymity even in a trip to the one grocery store. Silverton split along familiar political lines, with pickup trucks suddenly flying giant Trump signs.
The skirmish was a sobering rebuke to those who believe that if Republicans and Democrats, liberals and conservatives, could just live and work together, the forces of division pulling the nation apart would find no purchase. But as in the country at large, it seemed the town would become hopelessly divided.
Then, a kind of miracle happened. Silverton came back together again.
A town built on division.
Silverton, nestled 9,318 feet above sea level in a shallow valley of the majestic San Juan Mountains, is by no means Anytown, U.S.A. From Durango, more than an hour away, one road leads in from the south, with hairpin turns and breathtaking passes. Aspen forests shimmer in gold in mid-October, but the snows that can close U.S. Route 550 for days started falling before Halloween.
The town’s roots were planted in 1860, when miners tapped the Sunnyside silver vein. The government pushed out the Southern Utes by treaty in 1874, and the rush was on. Fashionable citizens built graceful Victorian hotels, shops and homes along Greene Street, still the only paved road in town, while miners and prostitutes crowded into boardinghouses and bordellos on Blair Street, which ran muddy and rough a block east. Silverton became known as the Queen City of the San Juans.
“Our town was built on social division and classism,” said DeAnne Gallegos, who heads Silverton’s tourism outreach and its Chamber of Commerce, and the public information office of rugged San Juan County, in which Silverton is the only municipality. Her grandparents came for the mines, which supported livelihoods in town until the last one closed in 1991.
What saved Silverton was tourism. The town’s population nearly triples in the summer, catering to visitors passing through by car, hiking in from the Colorado Trail and Molas Pass, or disgorged by the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad, from which some tourists claim Bigfoot was spotted in October.
A hundred or so seasonal residents nudge up the population in the winter, drawn by helicopter skiing and backcountry hike-and-skis on the ungroomed black-diamond trails of Silverton’s peaks.
“We like that it’s rough around the edges,” said Klem Branner, the 51-year-old, Danish-born founder of Venture Snowboards on the edge of Silverton.
And yet the town is growing, little by little, with an influx of educated young professionals, lured from Denver, the suburbs of Milwaukee and even New York. Silverton’s new preschool houses 21 babies and toddlers, and 87 students attend the town’s state-of-the-art K-12 school, which offers experiential learning and progressive education. Housing prices are creeping up and the threat of chain stores looms as an omnipresent worry.
The factors that divided Silverton will be familiar to even the casual student of America’s partisan divide. Less educated workers and “old-timers” — baby boomers with links to the mining past — felt left behind, manipulated and even persecuted by the new liberal, educated millennial professionals imprinting their ideas on Silverton with little or no consultation, according to their critics.
“We used to be close-knit,” said Gary Davis, a retiree and part-time volunteer at the San Juan County Historical Society who came to Silverton a quarter-century ago. “Then the newcomers came and tried to change the town into what they wanted it to be.”
A new mayor arrives at City Hall.
In retrospect, Shane Fuhrman and his political rise seem almost preternaturally designed to bring Silverton’s generational tensions to a boil. Fuhrman grew up in Colorado and Oregon but went to college at Skidmore in upstate New York and law school in Brooklyn and worked at top finance law firms in Manhattan.
To those who find his Wyman Hotel renovation a bit froufrou, he counters that he created a dormitory in the back with beds for as little as $75, and that a Montucky Cold Snacks tall boy sells at the bar for two bucks. “Tasteful growth” is how a supporter, Daniel Clute, put it.
But Silverton residents also point to the bulldozers leveling the land that Fuhrman bought, after his election, for buildable housing lots that many could just as soon do without.
Grumbling turned to bitterness in May 2021 over the brash, noisy four-by-fours that tourists liked to ride into town. Aesthetically minded Silvertonians found them awful, “like living in a Mad Max movie,” Branner said. But many small-business owners, largely Republicans like Gigi Raine, whose Mountain Memories sells photos of the Rockies and other mementos, were convinced they were a lifeline.
With what supporters of the vehicles insist was little warning, Fuhrman and his allies on the board of trustees banned them.
Around that time, residents just returning to in-person town council meetings after the pandemic noticed that another young progressive on the board, Jordan Bierma, who opposes nationalism and tribalism in all forms, was not saying the Pledge of Allegiance. For weeks after, Fuhrman said, Bierma was harassed, and his wife was yelled at with their baby in the park.
The mayor decided the pledge was the problem. On June 14 — Flag Day, of all days — Fuhrman declared that its recitation would be suspended until further discussion could resolve his concerns.
“Any other unilateral decisions we need to know about?” an indignant council member, Molly Barela, asked him.
Not long after, a group at a council meeting used the comment period to angrily stand and recite the pledge on their own. A clip made its way to Fox News.
“That’s my fault, I’m being 100 percent honest,” Albert Heirich, 63, conceded in the lobby of the Villa Dallavalle hotel, which he and his wife manage. He confessed that he had sent the clip to Sean Hannity as a display of “true patriotism.” Heirich also peppered town officials with inflammatory letters and emails.
“When people were making bomb threats to town hall, I felt awful,” he said, “because that wasn’t my intent.”
Dayna Kranker, a 40-year-old town trustee who moved to the small town from a downtown neighborhood in Denver, summed things up this way: “The town got Trumped.”
“Fox & Friends” interviewed Barela and two other townspeople, introducing them as “proud Americans” who were “standing up for their country.” Representative Lauren Boebert, whose vast House district includes Silverton, declared Fuhrman an “anti-American disgrace.”
The board of trustees soon resumed saying the pledge, but the threats against Bierma accelerated, most from out of town, he said. Kelli Fries, the town clerk, said she was forwarding so many death threats and violent phone messages to the sheriff that town hall and the visitors center had to be closed. When the Proud Boys promised a visit, Fuhrman left town for 10 days or so after San Juan County sheriff deputies told the mayor the threats on his life were credible and he didn’t have the resources to protect him.
“That was rough,” Fuhrman said. “It almost ruined Silverton for me.”
Then Davenport, the weed dealer, Raine, the knickknack seller, and Floyd Barela, a brewery owner and the husband of Molly Barela, moved to recall Fuhrman, Bierma and the mayor pro tem, Sallie Barney.
Still clearly shellshocked, Barney sat on her couch in Silverton in October, her two daughters playing in earshot, her husband guiding heli-skiers in Patagonia, and contemplated how to explain the personal damage done that summer.
“It wasn’t fun,” she said, with no trace of irony. “I wouldn’t want to go through it again.”
Brokering a peace.
What the world was seeing that pandemic summer was a town pulling apart. Unseen were the first efforts to restore peace.
Well before the trouble started, Community Builders, a nonprofit in Glenwood Springs, Colo., had been hired by Silverton to draft a new 10-year master plan for the town. The Compass Project, as the effort was known, would evolve from a prosaic task into a prolonged effort to heal the community.
One summer night, Melody Skinner, a retired sheriff’s dispatcher, was invited by two men from Community Builders to a meeting of just three citizens at the Benson Lodge on Greene Street. She entered the hotel’s work space and encountered a county commissioner named Pete McKay. Having taken opposing sides on town issues in the past, they eyed each other and both declared they could not sit down together.
Instead, Skinner, 66, went off alone with Clark Anderson, Community Builders’ executive director, to talk over the town’s future — and vent her feelings of disorientation, anger and grief.
“We’d had big rows before, but this one was vicious because of the national political spectrum,” Skinner said, referring to the era of Donald J. Trump. “Trump had opened the spigot of being openly mean and just bad to other people.”
Community Builders would try to shut off that spigot by bringing residents together in the smallest of groups, away from microphones and public spaces, to see if they could find a common vision for Silverton’s future.
Since its formation in 2016, Community Builders had worked throughout the Mountain West on economic development and town planning projects. It navigated the divide between citizens who wanted an expansion of tourism around the resort town of Crested Butte, Colo., and those who wanted more limited growth. In Taos, N.M., the organization tried to bridge the social divisions splintering the “legacy” Hispanics whose Spanish forefathers created the picturesque town, the “white hairs” (Anglos who turned it into a chic artists colony), the Native Taos Pueblos and the Latino workers.
In Silverton, Anderson found the bitter politics of the Trump era in a town that had prided itself on neighbor helping neighbor.
“Silverton’s always struggled with community tensions; it probably always will,” he said. “But the tenor of our leadership at the national level and the voices we listen to on the news, on the radio, online, they have tremendous influence, more than they used to.”
Community Builders asked questions that were intentionally open-ended: Why do you love to live here? What are your hopes for the future and your life here? What are your fears?
“That approach gets at something more visceral than, ‘What do you want to see in the downtown?’” Anderson explained.
Over a year and a half, virtually every resident of Silverton took part. Branner, the Venture Snowboards founder, still marvels at the impact of those meetings.
“The only thing they could have done to get more was go door to door and make people show up at gunpoint,” he said.
It turned out that newcomers and old-timers, millennials and baby boomers pretty much wanted the same thing for Silverton, to let the town grow slowly but keep it cohesive and self-supporting. Fears of rampant growth were largely misplaced: Tourism was way up, but residency was barely climbing, and new businesses were opening, but worries over Starbucks and McDonald’s seemed overblown once laid on the table.
“People are afraid of what they don’t know, and their tendency isn’t to go into the cave that they’re afraid of but go around it,” Anderson said.
The Coffee Bear, a favorite hangout, became something of a Compass Project headquarters, though Holly Huebner, the cafe’s owner, conceded that not everyone in Silverton felt comfortable there.
“We got labeled the Millennial Coffee Shop,” said Huebner, who grew up in Massachusetts and bought the cafe in September 2020.
Through painstaking conversations, the temperature began to drop, the groups grew larger and common ground was re-established.
The new climate was apparent on Oct. 12, 2021, when voters cast their ballots on whether to recall the mayor. The news crews were gone. The town hall was back open. Fuhrman survived, with 263 rejecting his ouster against 214 who wanted him out. The trustees, Bierma and Barney, survived by slightly wider margins.
Community Builders’ work wasn’t finished. When Anderson arrived in town, he was told a center of dissent was the firehouse, where the volunteer fire chief of 35 years, Archuleta, stubbornly took pot shots at Mayor Fuhrman’s management style.
Archuleta wanted nothing to do with the Compass Project and publicly objected to the way Community Builders was hired, with $40,000 put up by the town, $40,000 from the state and $17,250 raised by Community Builders from the Gates Family Foundation. (By the end, that figure raised and contributed by Community Builders surpassed $65,000.)
“I was saying, ‘This guy has to follow the same rules as everyone else,’” he said of Anderson as he washed down his truck behind the fire station that bears his name. “They said, ‘You don’t understand. These guys are coming in to save us.’ Well, nobody’s coming in to save us.”
Anderson leaned on an intermediary who implored Archuleta to open his doors. What followed were a half dozen meetings at the firehouse stretching into 2022 to go over matters of affordable housing, snow removal and trust.
“In the end, everyone was pretty much in agreement,” Archuleta conceded.
On April 12, 2022, the firefighters held a happy hour and taco bar at the station to unveil the master plan.
“We just stopped listening to each other.”
The 77-page document does not jump out as extraordinary, but the process that produced it was, Silvertonians say.
“We were desperate,” Gallegos, the head of tourism outreach, admitted. “We could have never done that by ourselves. We wouldn’t have known how.”
Even Heirich, the curmudgeonly conservative who had tipped off Fox News, got involved. His view wasn’t popular — he opposed building affordable housing in town because, he said, “it’s part of mountain culture to sleep on the couch” in group houses, not rely on government.
But he publicly apologized to the town for his behavior, attributing his contrition in part to Community Builders.
The Compass Project “helped shift the power dynamic in town,” said Bierma, the trustee who had declined to say the Pledge of Allegiance. “When we don’t give voice to some of our community members, it gives them that perception of, ‘Maybe I don’t have a say.’”
In retrospect, much of Silverton’s discord was tied to the Covid-19 pandemic, the retreat from common spaces and the advent of Zoom calls, with their alien feel.
Covid “pushed people back to tribalism,” Jim Harper recalled in October. Harper, a self-described “hard-core, right-leaning independent,” was standing on Greene Street waiting for tourists to disembark from the vintage steam train his family operates between Durango and Silverton.
“Whether it was locally or on a national level, we just stopped listening to each other,” he said contritely. “Silverton is a microcosm.”
Davenport, the cannabis dispensary owner who started the mayoral recall drive, also has apologized, calling his petition “the great mistake.” But his role in it hasn’t been easy to live down. Davenport agreed to meet a reporter for dinner and a frank discussion — but in Durango, more than an hour from his shop.
On a Tuesday evening in mid-October, Anderson stopped by town hall to see how the peace was holding. Silverton’s town administrator, Gloria Kaasch-Buerger, was planning a new round of “learning sessions” with citizens and was pleading with Anderson to help at least with the first few sessions.
“I don’t want to say you’re a big celebrity here, but you’re a big celebrity here,” she said, to which he replied, “Being a big celebrity in Silverton is like being taller than my grandma. But I’ll take it.”
There are still skeptics who think the Compass Project will soon be forgotten and the town will resume its brawling. The coming election season, with Trump likely on the ballot, could be enough to pick the scab.
“I’ve been here long enough to see people come to town in their fancy clothes, with their business cards, then leave town, and all they did was spend our money,” said Davis, the Historical Society volunteer, standing outside his house, its roof of soil, rock and scrub giving it the feel of a bunker.
Heirich agreed that the strife dividing America could easily return to Silverton — “This town has a love of grudge,” he cautioned — but he had kind words for a mayor he once threatened and accused of bullying.
“Overall, I think Shane has been a positive force,” Heirich said. “He made a lot of amateur political errors that cost him, but you know, if he wasn’t who he was, all that New York lawyer stuff, I think people would really see the good he’s done.”
An oceanfront condo in a place such as Miami’s South Beach has tempted many would-be vacation homeowners. (Getty Images)
The beach-condo pipe dream began unfolding in June, but really, it goes back to my childhood — a big idea with a miniscule chance. What was I thinking? Second homes are for other people. One home is more than I can handle.
But in June, my husband and I sold a condo our youngest daughter had lived in while she attended grad school. And suddenly, we had funds that for once didn’t need to go toward a child’s tuition, orthodontia or some other form of child support. The last kid had flown.
Meanwhile, several friends who live near us in the Orlando area, only an hour’s drive from the Atlantic, were getting beach condos. Adding to the motivation: I grew up in Southern California and as a teen, spent my summers on the sands of. Newport Beach.
So, timing, friends, proximity, nostalgia and those freed-up funds conspired. When I could no longer keep this crazy dream to myself, I shared my idea with my husband, DC, one summer night during a rare inning when the Pirates were winning. He raised his eyebrows and matter-of-factly said words I loathe. “We’ll have to look at the budget.”
But I was ready with my Marni math. I showed him how we could not quite break even, if we bought a modest place that generated exceptional rental income through Airbnb. (OK, the plan made some big assumptions.) The plan also promised that I would never, ever in my whole life stop working. DC stayed quiet, which I took as the door opening a crack.
Then came a stroke straight from heaven. In July, our condo-owning friends Chris and Cindy, whom I just might have told about my pipe dream, invited DC and me to spend a weekend at their place to see how we liked beach life. “We have selfish motives,” Cindy confessed. “We want you to get a place.”
DC liked the getaway more than he wanted to. (YES!) We spent the next two months talking each other into and out of the idea by turns, while seeing properties with our realtor. Let’s call him Saint Bob. We wanted a two-bedroom, two-bath condo with a straight-on ocean view (not one where you can only glimpse the ocean if you look out the bathroom window on tiptoes and crane your neck), that was also popular with renters and in our price range. Our first day out proved this would be impossible.
Over the next few months, we saw dozens of condos in person and online. We almost, but not quite, bought two and kept searching. Here’s what we learned along the way.
Run the numbers. Before we went condo hunting, we researched what expenses we might incur beyond the price of the property. Cindy and Chris kindly shared what they paid annually for insurance, property taxes, HOA fees and utilities, as well as rental income less property management and cleaning fees.
Talk to your accountant. My level-headed, financially conservative accountant is a great sounding board, who has talked me out of many cockamamie ideas over the decades. When I ran this one by him, his answer surprised me: “Go for it,” he said. “It’s a lifestyle. You will love it.” He added this caveat: “But make a pact. One year from the day you close the deal, if either one of you wants to sell it, for whatever reason, sell it. It only takes one vote.” Agreed.
Look under the hood. Liking a property for its view, location and amenities is not enough. We liked a condo enough to want to buy it, but a review of the association minutes revealed that owners needed to pay a large assessment to retrofit oceanside balconies. The two-year construction project would shut down rentals much of that time. The minutes also revealed that many of the condos in the complex, including the one we were considering, had popcorn ceilings containing asbestos. Hard pass.
Read HOA documents. A complex’s bylaws and covenants contain important details such as rental rules, what HOA dues cover and pet restrictions.
Talk to other owners. We seriously considered one possibility, until we talked to the listing agent, who also owned a unit in the complex. He made clear that most owners in the building frowned on renters. A well-established property manager confirmed that the complex was not renter friendly. If you can afford the luxury of a second home that you don’t have to rent out to defray costs, this type of place is for you. We, on the other hand, kept looking.
Join me next week when I tell you about the deal that stuck.
Marni Jameson is the author of seven books including the forthcoming “Rightsize Today to Create Your Best Life Tomorrow,” due out Jan. 2. Reach her at www.marnijameson.com.
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A Boston-based investor has made a major Dallas industrial property buy.
Rockpoint Group LLC has purchased almost 1.2 million square feet of warehouses in more than a half dozen Dallas locations. Most of the buildings are in West and Northwest Dallas and were built in the 1970s and 1980s.
Rockport bought the buildings from Dogwood Industrial, a property company owned by TPG Real Estate Partners, county records show. Dogwood had owned the buildings since 2021.
The largest of the buildings purchased – on French Settlement Road near Interstate 30, west of downtown Dallas – totals more than 600,000 square feet.
Buyer Rockpoint has a portfolio of 37.4 million square feet of real estate in metro areas that include Austin, Boston, New York, San Francisco, South Florida, Southern California and Washington, D.C. The investor manages about $15 billion in assets.
In 2020, Rockpoint formed a partnership with Dallas’ Invitation Homes to acquire 2,600 single-family homes located across the southern and western U.S.
Last year, Rockport established a property platform with a subsidiary of the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority to target $2 billion in industrial investments.
Early this month, Rockport said it was developing an almost 88-acre industrial park in Broward County, Fla., in a partnership with The Cordish Cos. and Caesars Entertainment.
The Cordish Cos is developing the Texas Live! mixed-use project that surrounds Globe Life Field ballpark in Arlington.
Dallas-Fort Worth is one of the country’s top industrial investment markets with $2.9 billion in building sales in the first nine months of 2023. Almost 49 million square feet of warehouse space is being built in the area.
More older adults will experience housinginsecurity in the coming years unless the country dramatically increases its supply of affordable homes for people ages 65 and up, who make up roughly one-fifth of the nation.
A growing share of people with low and fixed incomes will struggle to afford appropriate housing in the coming decade, as the number of older Americans is expected to skyrocket, Harvard researchers said in a report this week. By 2040, the number of households headed by someone age 80 or older will balloon to 17 million, according to the report.
“There is a good news part of this, in that it’s not a bad thing that there are a lot more older people living longer,” Jennifer Molinsky, the report’s lead author, told USA TODAY. “We just don’t have the housing and supports that we need for this growing population.”
Because incomes decline later in life, especially after around age 80, people with the lowest incomes and the most serious health problems will have the hardest time affording both housing and necessary health care and assistance, Molinsky said.
“The older population is growing especially at those ages when people’s incomes are going down,” Molinsky said, adding that people in their 60s and 70s often have significantly higher incomes than octogenarians.
The report’s findings match other data showing a growing number of Americans will struggle with housing costs later in life, said Linna Zhu, a fellow at the Urban Institute whose research focuses on housing for older adults.
“It’s very sad. As researchers we’re looking at these numbers, but behind all that is people’s daily lives. It’s really frustrating to see the challenges seniors are facing in the housing market. We will all be there one day,” Zhu said, adding that there are key differences in housing security among people who have paid off their homes, people who still have a mortgage and renters.
Which is better?Taking Social Security at 62 or 67? It depends.
The effects of America’s widening income inequality will be more visible among older adults, as people who have faced a “lifetime of disadvantage” enter the later stages of life, Molinsky said, noting that homelessness is growing among older adults.
“The next decade is going to challenge millions of people to find adequate housing and supportive services that they need to stay in that house,” she said.
Most older adults can’t afford both housing and care
Very few older Americans can afford both their housing costs and the price of assisted living or a home health aide.
In 97 U.S. metropolitan areas, less than 1 in 5 adults age 75 or older could stretch their budgets enough to pay for both housing and care, the researchers found.
All kinds of disabilities increase with age, the report says, and more than half of people over the age of 80 report having trouble with their vision, mobility, hearing, cognition or another health issue.
The problems posed by health issues are often worse for people of color and those with lower incomes, Molinsky said.
“We see those beginning at younger ages for people of color, people with low incomes, renters,” she said referring to disabilities.
Among older adults who have paid off their mortgages and attempt to leverage their homes’ equity to get cash, applicants of color are more likely to be rejected, Zhu’s research found, making it that much harder to pay for care costs.
“The reality is it’s challenging for them to tap on their home equity,” she said. “So even if they want to age in place, there’s challenges within that bucket.”
Homeless tragedy:Four people found dead at North Carolina homeless encampment
More older adults spending a third of income on housing
Thursday’s report from Harvard’s Joint Center for Housing Studies found an all-time high of adults age 65 and older are cost-burdened, meaning they spend more than 30% of their income on housing − either a mortgage or rent.
In 2021, more than 11 million older adults were cost-burdened, up from 9.7 million in 2016, the report says.
Among older renters, 56% of households were cost-burdened in 2021, representing 4 million households, the report says. For older homeowner households, 26% were cost-burdened in 2021.
A growing share of older adults are also holding onto mortgage debt as they age, researchers found:
- In 2022, more than 40% of homeowners between the ages of 65 and 79 were paying off a mortgage.
- For homeowners aged 80 and older, that number was just over 30% in 2022.
Homelessness rising among older adults
A combination of high housing costs and lower incomes among older adults is also pushing more of them into homelessness, data shows.
Between 2019 and 2021, the number of people living in homeless shelters or other temporary housing who were between 55 and 64 rose from 19.7% to 21.3%, according to the report. And the proportion of Americans ages 65 and up in shelters ticked up too: from 5.5% to 7.4% between 2019 and 2021.
Older renters are in a particularly tough spot, Zhu said, and are far more vulnerable to homelessness because they lack home equity, have less money in their pocket after paying rent, and are more likely to have children who also are not homeowners.
There’s also a serious lack of affordable, “aging-friendly” rental units on the market, she said.
The housing market pressures, combined with the threat of eviction means, “in the end a lot of them tend to become homeless, and have rapidly declining health,” Zhu said.
In California, a recent study found more than 40% of older homeless individuals first fell into homelessness after age 50. In gentrifying Boston neighborhoods, Molinsky said, the same trend was recently observed when landlords raised rents to levels past what longtime older residents could afford.
More older adults will be renters, researchers found
Systemic inequality has led to more older adults renting because they can’t afford to buy a home, researchers found.
“The unaffordability and rising house prices make homeownership a more challenging task for all us,” Zhu said. “Baby boomers, they are also facing this affordability crisis.”
Among adults ages 50-64, homeownership rates have been decreasing steadily for more than a decade, pointing to a future scenario where more adults in their 70s and 80s will be renters, Molinsky said.
Rates of homeownership among Black Americans continue to be lower than for whites, according to the report, due to racist housing policies that prevented generations of would-be Black homeowners from getting approved for mortgages. In turn, Black families pass down less generational wealth, according to Molinsky.
“That’s a significant reason for many of these disparities,” she said.
Alternative investment platform Yieldstreet announced today that it has agreed to acquire Cadre, an online real-estate-focused investment platform aimed at institutional and high net worth investors.
Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Founded in 2015, Yieldstreet gives people a way to invest in areas like real estate, marine/shipping, legal finance, commercial loans and other opportunities that were previously only open to institutional investors. Milind Mehere and Michael Weisz co-founded Yieldstreet with the mission of making investing more inclusive for non-institutional investors.
Cadre, founded by Ryan Williams and Joshua and Jared Kushner in 2014, is an online marketplace that helps connect accredited investors to real estate operators. It claimed to give investors a way to delve into commercial real estate deals in “a far more transparent way.” The company was once valued at $800 million but its value has reportedly dropped sharply in recent years. The Information reported earlier this year that an acquisition by Yieldstreet could value the company at around just $100 million. It has raised more than $133 million in debt and venture funding from investors such as Andreessen Horowitz, General Catalyst, Khosla Ventures, Goldman Sachs and Thrive Capital, among others.
The two companies have a collective investment value — defined as the combined capitalized transaction value in real estate equity plus committed amounts across all other investments since inception in 2014 and 2015 — of more than $9.7 billion. Investors have allocated a combined $5.3 billion on the platforms and received $3.1 billion in returns to date, according to a statement by Yieldstreet.
Together, Yieldstreet and Cadre serve more than 500,000 members across eight institutional and retail distribution channels — 450,000 of which come from Yieldstreet and 50,000 from Cadre.
Both companies are based in New York.
Williams will remain CEO of Cadre and spearhead a new division focused on broadening access to the institutional audience as Yieldstreet’s global head of Institutional Partnerships & Clients. Mike Fascitelli, an investor in and advisor to Cadre, will now serve as the global chairman of real estate and head of Cadre’s investment committee.
TechCrunch has reached out to Yieldstreet for additional details and will update the story as we get them.
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