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    Developer works on architectural changes amidst opposition to church development – The Resident Community News - January 1, 2020 by admin

    Posted on January 1, 2020By EditorSan Jose, San Marco, St. Nicholas, Top Stories

    Presbyterian Church elders want to rezone the property where their sanctuary stands into a large PUD that also allows the maximum density allowed 170 residential units as well as retail sale and service of alcoholic beverages for off-premises and on-premises consumption in conjunction with a restaurant, causing worry among San Marco residents that the historic church edifice might eventually be torn down changing forever the north entrance of San Marco Square.

    Oppositionto the effort by church elders to rezone property owned by South JacksonvillePresbyterian Church into a Planned Unit Development (PUD) is heating up asleaders of the neighborhood group RightSize San Marco aim to work with Doug Skiles, project engineer for thedevelopment team, the San Marco Preservation Society (SMPS) and independentarchitect William Jaycox, who has been hired by SMPS for advice, to make ParkPlace at San Marco, the residential development planned for the property morepalatable to the neighboring community.

    As of press time, SMPS still had not voted on orofficially taken a position on the project, said President Linzee Ott. Theboard does have several concerns about the project and has shared some of thoseconcerns with the development team. The board does feel the architecture asoriginally presented is not appropriate for San Marco, she said, adding thatJaycoxs role is not to design the building or change the site plan but tooffer specific ideas and design characteristics that will help the project lookand feel more San Marco.

    As it stands now, Park Place at SanMarco, which is being developed by Harbert Realty Services and Corner LotDevelopment Group, is a mixed-use development comprised of 143 multi-familyresidential units, a three-level, four-story parking garage, and recreationalamenities proposed to be built on approximately three quarters of campus ownedby South Jacksonville Presbyterian Church.

    Church officials are petitioning the City of Jacksonvilleto rezone their 2.87 acres of property in the heart of San Marco from CommunityCommercial General 1 (CCG-1) and Community Residential Office (CRO) to a PUD.As it is currently written, the PUD would allow 170 multi-family dwellings aswell as a four-level, three-story parking garage to support residential units,church parking and some public parking, and commercial retail sales and serviceestablishments, restaurants with outside sales and service, the establishmentof facility which includes retail sale and service alcoholic beverages foroff-premises consumption or for on-premises consumption in conjunction with arestaurant.

    The proposed PUD also requests adeviation that will allow 1.3 parking spaces be allowed for each unit in theapartment building, as opposed to the Citys normal stipulation of 1.7 spacesper unit for each one bedroom above 500 square feet in size. Parking may alsobe provided on-street, off-street or in the parking garage, with 104 parkingspaces reserved for use by South Jacksonville Presbyterian Church duringservices and other events. Parking will be located in the parking garage orwithin Area A where the existing church sanctuary now resides or on thestreet. Up to 35 spaces may accommodate compact cars, and vehicular access tothe garage will be via Mango Place and Mitchell Avenue, according to the PUDapplication.

    The church is also asking for a deviation so that theactive recreation space, be reduced from 150 square feet per unit toapproximately 80 feet per unit. Because of the urban setting of the area, itis impossible to meet the same recreational standards as would be applicable toa suburban site, according to the application.

    Design guidelines in the proposed PUD call for a setbacksfrom the apartment building of 7.5 feet from Alford Place and Mango Place rightof ways, a 0-foot setback from the garage and a six-foot setback from Area A,where the church sanctuary will be located, a 43-foot setback from HendricksAvenue right of way, a 0 setback allowance to the parking garage

    On the conceptual site plan, theparking garage on the southeastern portion of the property allows for a 20-footsetback from Area A, a 0-foot setback from Mitchell Avenue and Mango Placeright of ways and a 7.5-foot setback from the multi-family units in thebuilding from Mitchell Avenue. The maximum height of the garage will be 40 feetand will not include rooftop mechanical equipment and architectural featuresthat may extend another five feet from the roof line.

    In Area A, located on the southwestern portion of theproperty, there is allowed a 0-foot setback from Mitchell Avenue and HendricksAvenue right of ways, a 20-foot setback from the eastern Area A boundary and a0-foot setback from the northern Area A boundary. The maximum height of thebuilding is 45 feet, and this does not include rooftop mechanical equipment andarchitectural features which may extend another five feet above the roofline.

    During a Jacksonville City Councilmeeting held Dec. 10 at City Hall, 14 residents addressed the councilconcerning RE#081704 and RE#081712 during the Councils public comment session,with one resident speaking in favor of the project and 13 speaking against. Intheir comments, most residents cited increased density, traffic congestion, thesale of alcohol on the church sanctuary parcel, the possibility of increasedflooding and the large scale of the proposed apartment building and parkinggarage as the reasons they were against the project.

    During his comments, Jon Livingston,founder of Right Size San Marco, a group of residents formed to oppose thedevelopment, said his group has grown to more than 500 residents with 350homeowners now sporting yard signs in support of the organization. In hiscomments, he complained about the lack of aesthetics and integration of theapartment building and garage into the neighborhood, the ability to serve andsell alcohol on the Area A parcel, and the requested deviation of 1.3 parkingspaces per unit in the garage, noting that no spaces have been allowed foremployees, guests or future commercial enterprises that might be built in thePUD in the future.

    If they ever have a restaurant, they wont have to gothrough rezoning to allow for extra spaces, he said. Were wondering wheretheyre going to park? said Livingston. I asked the developer, and he saidthey are going to tow the people from the apartments on the bottom floor whenthe church wants to come in. Are you going to tow somebody paying $1,700 amonth for a one-bedroom? He said, they will get the point after a couple oftows. My point is, where do they park if they cant park in the parkinggarage?

    Morgan Roberts, a River Road resident,spoke in favor of the project. She said she believes San Marco will have toface increased traffic regardless of whether this happens or not. If you lookat the traffic generated by this type of project, it is much less than otherthings that could be put on the property. I think the developer has beenresponsible with the highest part of the building, and they are using expensivematerials that will help keep the San Marco look and feel. As a formerresident of Charlotte, N.C., Roberts said she saw the property values of bungalowsskyrocket once a similar multi-family project such as Park Place at San Marcomoved into the neighborhood. Jacksonville needs to stay competitive withother cities when it comes to supplying suitable housing for employees thatearn six-figure salaries, she said.

    Representing the developers, Skiles said he has met several times with representatives from Right Size San Marco and SMPS and is currently working on several changes to the plan, which will have to be approved by the church leadership. We have been meeting with SMPS to better understand the concerns. It is difficult to respond to a general statement of we dont like it, which has led SMPS to consult with local architect Bill Jaycox to provide more detailed feedback. We had our first meeting Dec. 11 with SMPS and Bill to get a sense of where we should go with future revisions. It is my understanding that SMPS will be sharing this feedback with other community members. These conversations will continue so that we can deliver a development to San Marco that will provide a valuable place for new residents to live as well as an enhanced street/sidewalk, additional parking and financial resources for the future success of South Jacksonville Presbyterian Church.

    Many San Marco residents openlyoppose the rezoning of the South Jacksonville Presbyterian Church campus becausethe Planned Unit Development will increase the density of the neighborhood and allowthe area where the church sanctuary is located to include the retail sale andservice of alcoholic beverages for off-premises consumption or for on-premisesconsumption in conjunction with a restaurant.

    Also worrisome to manywho are not members of South Jacksonville Presbyterian Church, was the terminationof employment of Pastor C.J. Dates, who worked for the church approximately 100days and gave his first sermon in August 2019, after the church membershipvoted in favor of selling and developing the property.

    We heard this last weekthat the pastor was let go from the church, and were really worried about thesanctuary, said Jon Livingston, founder of Right Size San Marco, aneighborhood group opposed to the project during a public comment sessionbefore the Jacksonville City Council Dec. 10. Were talking about them keepingthe sanctuary, but unfortunately, the church is going through some difficulttimes. They will not come to the table. They also have an incentive with thedeveloper, who agreed to give them $2 million for the first 100 apartments and$20,000 for every apartment built after that. What this has done is put thechurch in a position to make more money by having a higher density. The densityis already on the edge, and this is a travesty to the neighborhood, he said.

    Responding toneighborhood concerns, the church leadership issued a statement to TheResident via email. The dismissal of Pastor C.J. Dates was an employmentissue and was in no way connected the planned development project. In fact, C.J.was a strong advocate for the project and was excited to see the opportunitiesfor both the church and the community as a result of the planned development.

    While the proposed usesfor the retained property, outlined in the PUD seek to maximize the potentialuses of the property, our intent, as stated before, is for SJPC to have apresence on the corner of Hendricks for the next 100 years. However, the churchtrustees and elders have a fiduciary responsibility to not limit prospectiveuses and thus value. The broader descriptions outlined in the PUD will enhancethe propertys value in the unlikely event that the church decides for anyreason that it is in its best interest to sell.

    Our contract withHerbert Realty does provide the church with certain approval rights. Our rightsregarding the density of the property are intended to limit, rather thanincrease, the density of the project. Our congregation was concerned aboutselling to a developer that would maximize the property for the developersbenefit but leave the neighborhood and the church feeling claustrophobic andcongested. We believe that the current plans strike a balance between providingthe developer with a reasonable financial return yet remaining well below themaximum allowable density.

    By Marcia HodgsonResident Community News

    Corner Lot Development Group, Harbert Realty Services, Park Place, Right Size San Marco, San Marco Preservation Society, South Jacksonville Presbyterian

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    Developer works on architectural changes amidst opposition to church development - The Resident Community News

    Call for Entries: International Tender for the Architectural Design of the First Projects in Shenzhen Park of Shenzhen-Hong Kong Science and… - January 1, 2020 by admin

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    This announcement is hereby issued for International Tender for the Architectural Design of the First Projects in Shenzhen Park of Shenzhen-Hong Kong Science and Technology Innovation Cooperation Zone (Shenzhen-Hong Kong Innovation Integrated Service Center), and excellent design agencies at home and abroad are invited to join. We desire to solicit the most creative design scheme with the international vision and high standards.

    I. Project Name:International Tender for the Architectural Design of the First Projects in Shenzhen Park of Shenzhen-Hong Kong Science and Technology Innovation Cooperation Zone (Shenzhen-Hong Kong Innovation Integrated Service Center)

    II. Project Location:Shenzhen Futian Free Trade Zone

    III. Time:Deadline for submission of pre-qualification application materials: Feb. 10, 2020 (by 17: 00) 3.1 Bidders must register information on the website below before submitting prequalification documents: (If the bidder is a joint group, all members must register).

    3.2 Pre-qualification application documents and Electronic files are sealed in a sealed bag indicated with "project name" and "bidder's name". (The name of the bidder shall be the same as the name of the company registered in Shenzhen Construction Project Transaction Service Centre). The seal of the sealed bag shall be sealed and stamped with the official seal or legal person signature of the bidder (if the bidder is a joint group, the domestic firm shall be affixed with the official seal and legal person signature, and the foreign firm shall be affixed with the official seal or legal person signature).

    3.3 The bidder shall send the required information to the second floor window of Design Building, No. 8 Zhenhua Road, Futian District, Shenzhen before the deadline for submission of bidding document in the bidding announcement of Shenzhen Construction Project Transaction Service Centre ( (no mail or express delivery is acceptable, documents must be submitted on site). The tenderee will not accept pre-qualification application documents submitted after the deadline.

    3.4 When submitting the prequalification application documents, the bidder shall present a certificate of legal person and letter of authorization of legal person, so that the staff of Shenzhen Construction Project Transaction Service Centre can verify the identity of the submitting staff when accepting the prequalification application documents.

    IV. Tenderee: Shenzhen-Hong Kong Science and Technology Innovation Cooperation Zone Development Co., Ltd.Contact Persons: Mr. Tang, Mr. YangContact phones: 0755-23912284, 18503009314Email:,

    V. Organizing Agent(s) and their Contact Information:Tendering Agency: Shenzhen International Tendering Co., LtdContact Persons: Chen Shuhuan, Li Jiachan, Wan ZhuoContact phones: 0755-22965605, 83500322, 83500113,18603013345, 15989469552, 13316523090

    VI. Project Overview:Located in Futian Free Trade Zone, west wing of Shenzhen Park of Shenzhen-Hong Kong Science and Technology Innovation Cooperation Zone, Shenzhen-Hong Kong Innovation Integrated Service Center is a window for image display and transport gateway of the free trade zone, which is inside the customs fence. On the east side of the project are Futian Free Trade Zone Central Park and Changping Business Building, on the north side is Fuyuan Garden, on the west side is Turbo Logistics Building, on the south side are HGST (Shenzhen) Co., LTD and Changfu Jinmao Building. The commercial area of the project is 8118.1, the cultural and sports facilities area is 3000, and the rail transit (metro entrance) area is 249.5.

    The total floor area of commercial office plot (plot 01) included into FAR calculation is 89569.70 . The commercial office area is 75110 , the public supporting facilities area is 8600 (including public supporting housing, community health service center and police room), the tower height is up to 200m, no less than 312 underground parking spaces, and the underground public passageway area is about 530.

    The total area of the land for cultural and sports facilities (lot 02) included into FAR calculation is about 6,400 . The basement has no more than three floors. The distance between the boundary line of commercial office basement and the boundary line of office & commercial plot is zero. The commercial office basement is connected with the office & commercial plot above the ground.

    This project is designed to limit the design, construction and installation of commercial office plot (plot 01) total cost should be controlled within RMB 713.22 million, total cultural and sports facilities (lot 02) construction and installation costs should be controlled within RMB 120.00 million.(See the Design Brief for details)

    VII. Design Contents:7.1 Scope of Tender:The whole process design is for the integrated design of office and commercial (plot 01) and cultural and sports facilities (plot 02) of Shenzhen-Hong Kong Innovation Integrated Service Center. The work contents in the bidding stage include but are not limited to (see "Design Brief" for details) :

    7.2The winning bidder shall complete the following contents in the form of design general contracting and meet the corresponding requirements:7.2.1 All design and design services related to this project such as early-stage design coordination (such as coordination of land-use-related procedures), overall urban design, general drawing design within the construction land area, outdoor engineering design, building and structure design, underground engineering design, planning design and single design, including scheme design and scheme deepening design (including investment estimation), design development (including design development budget estimate), construction drawing design, construction cooperation and completion acceptance, preparation of as-built drawings.

    7.2.2The work contents and scope include but are not limited to the following: architecture, structure, building electricity, water supply and drainage, heating, ventilation and air conditioning, gas (the design contents of relevant specialties included in the above-mentioned construction projects include general layout and vertical design), design of fine decoration of model rooms for public areas and office demonstration zones (all public spaces in office, commercial and other functional spaces), design of prefabricated building, design of indoor and outdoor garden landscape and greening, outdoor general drawings, various pipe networks and roads and their integrated design; municipal supporting facilities within the boundary line and interface design of municipal pipelines outside the boundary line; deepening design of height limit, civil air defense, fire protection, anti-seismic support and hangers, reserved holes, energy conservation, water conservation, flood control, traffic, metro impact assessment, environmental assessment, geological disaster, traffic impact assessment, road opening, metro impact assessment, green building, lightning protection, floodlighting, marking system (including above-ground and basement traffic marking), intelligence, design of prefabricated building, window washer design, elevator and escalator engineering, BIM design, external wall and roof cleaning and maintenance system engineering, curtain wall, steel structure and grid structure, etc.; prepare all the special reports, including but not limited to project application report, environmental impact assessment report, Soil testing, soil and water conservation report, geological disaster report, green building, sponge city, seismic safety assessment, wind tunnel test and traffic impact assessment report, and connection of municipal pipeline network, etc.; relevant documents such as technical requirements and descriptions required for project bidding; all special consultation, special design, special research and special review (including communicating with the metro company and submitting the design at all stages to the metro company for approval) required by Party A meeting the requirements of relevant government departments for review, review materials for application and approval, meeting affairs and coordination with relevant government departments. The design of the systems, specialties, other special projects and projects included in the investment plan that are not listed above but are essential to the project.

    7.2.3The winning bidder shall also cooperate with the tenderee to complete the following work during the design and project implementation: cooperation in construction start application; cooperation in secondary deepening design and review of relevant secondary deepening drawings; all the cooperation related to project implementation (such as subway connection design coordination, engineering foundation survey coordination, foundation pit design and pile foundation engineering bidding coordination, project general contracting bidding coordination);

    7.2.4Other design work related to the project.

    7.2.5If the winning bidder has no corresponding special design qualification, or the work that requires the cooperation of other professional companies (such as curtain wall design, interior design, mechanical and electrical consulting, structural consulting)it shall entrust a unit with corresponding qualification and strength to undertake the project. For projects requiring intensive design by professional companies, including but not limited to those described in (1-4) above, the design depth must meet the design depth requirements of construction drawings. The design results shall be reviewed and approved by the winning bidder.

    7.2.6Participate in and accept the necessary and special reviews in the design process, such as over-limit reviews, accept the drawing review of third-party consulting companies entrusted by the bidder and the drawing review agencies and fine drawing review agencies, and negotiate with them to modify their opinions until the approval of the review.

    VIII. Requirements for Registration:8.1 The bidder must be an architectural design company with legal operation qualification, and the bidding contents of this project are one of its main business scope, and the application of individuals and combinations of individuals is not accepted.

    8.2The bidder (or the leading member of the joint group) shall have Grade A qualification for construction industry (construction engineering) or comprehensive engineering design issued by the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development of the Peoples Republic of China, The expiry date of the qualification certificate shall not be earlier than the cut-off date. If it expires before the cut-off date, a renewal certificate provided by the competent government department shall be provided.

    8.3This tender accepts agencies to form a joint group for tendering. The overseas bidder shall be a legal person registered independently or a member of the local construction industry association, and shall team up with domestic bidders to form a joint group for registration and tendering. The joint group shall have no more than two members. The domestic bidder shall be the leading member of the joint group, and shall meet the requirements of Articles 1 and 2 of the application conditions. The leading member of the joint group shall bear all legal liabilities and obligations to be assumed in the bidding and performance of the contract, and other members of the joint group shall bear joint and several liabilities. For units bidding in the form of a joint group, each member of the joint group shall not participate in the bidding in its own name alone or in a joint group formed with another design unit.

    8.4The person in charge of the project must be the staff of a domestic bidder and have the qualification of first-grade registered architect issued by the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development of the Peoples Republic of China.

    IX. Competition Rules (including schedule):9.1 The tender is divided into three stages, separately, Stage 1 Application &Qualification, Stage 2 Design bidding, and Stage 3 Determination of Winning bidder. Design schemes will be collected at the first stage where bidders shall submit the corresponding application documents and conceptual proposal according to the tender rules and design brief, and 5 bidders will be pre-qualified to enter the second stage, with another 2 alternative bidders (sequenced).

    9.2Tender Schedule

    This schedule is for the convenience of the bidders to understand the general process of the project. All dates and time listed are Beijing time, which shall be subject to the actual events and time of each stage of the project (dynamic announcement by Shenzhen Construction Project Transaction Service Centre) (dynamically announced by Shenzhen Construction Project Transaction Service Centre). The tenderee reserves the right to adjust the schedule.

    X. Bidding Compensation10.1 This tender will select the top two winning candidates, from which the award committee will determine one winning bidder. The winning bidder will obtain the design contract of the project, and the other candidate will receive a design compensation of RMB800,000(including tax).

    10.2 Other shortlisted bidders who have entered the design bidding process and whose schemes have been approved by the review committee will receive a design compensation of RMB 600,000(including tax).

    10.3 Payment of design compensation: the design compensation for this tender shall be paid in RMB, including tax. The bidders that have obtained the design compensation fee shall sign the substandard compensation agreement and provide the payment request information within one month after the conclusion of the bid-winning publicity (without objection). The tenderee shall go through the payment formalities after the bid-winning publicity (without objection). The payment agreement and the payment request information will be published in the tender documents.

    XI. Design Fee:The shortlisted bidders shall make a quotation for the Shenzhen-Hong Kong Innovation Integrated Service Center according to the design scheme, and submit the quotation together with the design tender outcome document.

    The total contract price for the design of commercial office plot (plot 01) shall not exceed RMB 32.69 million (tax included). The total price of the design fee is inclusive. Units bidding for 01 plots are quoted at the total price.

    The design contract design cost of the cultural and sports facilities plot (Plot 02) is tentatively set at RMB5.2664 million.Units bidding for Plot 02 shall quote at a unit price, and thebid price shall not exceed RMB 487.63/m2 (including tax). The area is based on the total floorarea in the Construction Engineering Planning Permit. The design fee is a fixed unit price. The cultural and sports facilities plot is contribution land. After the planned funds are allocated, they will be paid according to the relevant contents of the fund supervision agreement in the administrative measures for the agent construction system of investment projects of Futian District Government.

    The fees paid by the tenderee shall include tax. The winning bidder shall provide the tax payment invoice in China. Design fee payees must be domestic (excluding Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan) companies.

    XII. Special Prompts:12.1 Please download the Pre-Qualification Document via the link to the announcement released by the Construction Project Transaction Service Centre:

    12.2 Bidders (including leaders and members of consortiums) must handle the online enterprise information registration in advance according to requirements of the follow-up procedures of Shenzhen Construction Project Transaction Service Centre.Shenzhen Construction Project Transaction Service CentreOnline handling address: hotline: +86-0755-83785155; +86-0755-83787822

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    Call for Entries: International Tender for the Architectural Design of the First Projects in Shenzhen Park of Shenzhen-Hong Kong Science and...

    Best of the Valley 2020 winners – Desert Sun - January 1, 2020 by admin

    About Town

    Best Art Gallery

    A Gallery Fine Art.(Photo: The Desert Sun file photo)

    A Gallery Fine Art

    Sophistication, impeccable taste, knowledge and understanding have come together at A Gallery Fine Art on El Paseo for two decades, featuring a vast collection of contemporary paintings, sculpture, functional art, jewelry and glass art to Palm Desert collectors and art admirers. Currently highlighting the creations of more than 30 glass artists from around the world, the gallery is showcasing the effervescent works of both established and emerging artists in memorable exhibits.

    73956 El Paseo B, Palm Desert


    Galleria Marconi Palm Springs

    2668 Cherokee Way, Palm Springs, CA 92264

    Palm Springs Art Museum

    101 N Museum Dr, Palm Springs, CA 92262

    Best Auto Dealer

    Fiesta Ford.(Photo: Courtesy of Fiesta Ford)

    Fiesta Ford, Inc.

    This family-owned and operated dealer in Indio is one of the largest full-service dealerships in the country, and you dont need to drive a Ford to make full use of their services. Both the Body Shop and Quick Lane services offer customers convenient complete car care on all makes and models, making it the reliable go-to drop-off for desert drivers.

    78990 Varner Rd, Indio, CA 92203


    BMW of Palm Springs

    3737 E Palm Canyon Dr, Palm Springs, CA 92264

    Honda of the Desert

    68-025 Kyle Rd, Cathedral City, CA 92234

    Welcome to Honda of the Desert

    Best Boutique Hotel (100 rooms or less)

    The pool area at Arrive Hotel in Palm Springs.(Photo: Desert Sun file photo.)

    ARRIVE Palm Springs

    The first posh property to launch under the ARRIVE brand,this 32-room boutique hotel in Palm Springs Uptown Design District features a striking landmark design that honors the citys rich modernist legacy. Founded by Chris Pardo and Peter Karpinski, who met while working at Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts in the late 1990s, the hotel is anchored by unique and locally oriented restaurants, bars, retail outlets and public spaces, and immerses visitors and locals in the style, tastes and lifestyle that define this desert playground.

    1551 N Palm Canyon Dr, Palm Springs


    Holiday House Palm Springs

    200 W Arenas Rd, Palm Springs, CA 92262


    Kimpton Rowan Palm Springs Hotel

    100 W Tahquitz Canyon Way, Palm Springs, CA 92262

    Best Cannabis Delivery

    Flower Market Cannabis Delivery.(Photo: Courtesy of Flower Market Cannabis Delivery)

    Flower Market Cannabis Delivery

    Flower Market sprouts a curated selection of the best cannabis brands and products in the industry in order to offer a seamless shopping experience that ties into an on-demand delivery service. Order hand-picked selections to any location whether on vacation or coming home from work, shop the online menu and coordinate a delivery when its convenient for you.

    19021 Ruppert St, Palm Springs


    Atomic Budz

    68415 Perez Rd, Cathedral City, CA 92234


    Leaf El Paseo

    73740 El Paseo, Palm Desert, CA 92260

    Best Cannabis Dispensary

    Joy of Life Wellness Center.(Photo: Courtesy of Joy of Life Wellness Center)

    Joy of Life Wellness Center

    For what crystals and tuning forks cant cure, the owners of Palm Springs Crystal Fantasy offer something a little stronger: cannabis. At this family-owned, multigenerational dispensary, expert staff curate high-quality strains of specialty cannabis for both medical and recreational use, as well as offer guidance to each customer to help them find what buds are best suited for their needs.

    142 W Oasis Rd, Palm Springs


    Leaf El Paseo

    73740 El Paseo, Palm Desert, CA 92260

    Atomic Budz

    68415 Perez Rd, Cathedral City, CA 92234


    Best Carpet Cleaning Company

    Smiths Carpet, Tile & Upholstery Cleaning.(Photo: Courtesy of Smiths Carpet, Tile & Upholstery Cleaning)

    Smiths Carpet, Tile & Upholstery Cleaning

    Locally owned and operated, Smith's Carpet, Tile & Upholstery Cleaningis a IICRC Certified Firm with more than 20 years of servicing the Coachella Valley. As a WoolSafe USA service provider, they guarantee that area rugs are treated with the utmost care and provide customers with a healthier living environment through cleaning all fiber types for carpet and upholstery, as well as a four-step cleaning process for tiles that leaves grout and stone looking like new.

    31735 Thelma Ave. Thousand Palms


    Sunny Hills Chem-Dry

    74804 Joni Dr Ste 9A, Palm Desert, CA 92260

    Rapid Dry Restoration

    43695 Jackson Street, Indio, CA 92201

    Best Caterer

    The patio dining area at Spencer's Restaurant in downtown Palm Springs, owned and operated by Harold Matzner.(Photo: Courtesy of Spencer's Restaurant)

    Spencer's Restaurant

    When you need to host a party, you want award-winning cuisine and an awe-inspiring ambiance. Check, check. This four-star establishment caters to the best, in one of the valleys best locations. Tucked in a quiet Palm Springs neighborhood, Spencers offers an innovative menu and can accommodate large parties in multiple settingseach accented by beautiful gardens or mountain views.

    701 W Baristo Rd, Palm Springs, CA 92262


    Eight4Nine Restaurant & Lounge

    849 N Palm Canyon Dr, Palm Springs, CA 92262

    Cork & Fork

    47875 Caleo Bay Dr, La Quinta, CA 92253


    Best Charity

    Continued here:
    Best of the Valley 2020 winners - Desert Sun

    Spotify, Apogee Enterprises, Costco, Tesla and Microsoft highlighted as Zacks Bull and Bear of the Day – Yahoo Finance - January 1, 2020 by admin

    For Immediate Release

    Chicago, IL December 30, 2019 Zacks Equity Research Shares of Spotify SPOT as the Bull of the Day, Apogee Enterprises APOG asthe Bear of the Day. In addition, Zacks Equity Research provides analysis on Costco COST, Tesla TSLA and Microsoft MSFT.

    Here is a synopsis of all five stocks:

    Bull of the Day:

    Shares of Spotify have surged 35% in the last three months and it crushed Q3 Wall Street estimates, posting surprise positive earnings. Spotify has also continued to expand its paid subscriber base in a crowded streaming music market and focused on new ways to grow.

    Spotifys Playlist

    Spotify helped jump start the paid streaming music space back in 2008 that has helped reinvigorate a music industry that long feared illegal downloads would take over. In fact, streaming represents roughly 80% of recorded music sales, according to industry reports, and Spotify is the worlds largest streaming music company.

    Spotify beat Q3 2019 top and bottom line estimates at the end of October and reported adjusted earnings of +$0.41 per share, which destroyed our Zacks estimate that called for a loss of -$0.40 per share.

    The streaming music powerhouse also posted its 8th consecutive quarter of positive free cash flow. And SPOT saw its total monthly active users jump 30% to 248 million, which outpaced the high end of its own guidance.

    More importantly, the companys vital Premium Subscriberswho pay monthly fees for ad-free musicsurged 31% to 113 million. The growth was driven by the continued success of its $14.99 a month Family Plan and the $4.99/month Student Plans. This user expansion has helped curb some of Wall Streets worries that Spotifys much larger tech titan peers would make things far harder on the much smaller firm.

    Tech Giant Competition

    Apple Music has grown in popularity, but luckily for Spotify the iPhone giant hasnt tired to undercut its pricing models with both their individual premium plans coming in at $9.99 per month. Meanwhile, Amazons premium streaming music service hasnt gained as much steam as Jeff Bezos might have hoped.

    Overall, Spotify has been able to grow in the crowded and lucrative streaming music space compared to its rivals. Last quarter, Spotify said, relative to Apple, the publicly available data shows that we are adding roughly twice as many subscribers per month as they are. Additionally, we believe that our monthly engagement is roughly 2x as high and our churn is at half the rate. Spotify boasted similar claims about its superiority to Amazon.

    Investors should also note that Spotify has invested heavily in its podcast business over the last year and it is now the second-largest player in the growing market behind only Apple. SPOT plans to increase its podcast unit to help bring in more advertising dollars as the division only accounts for 10% of its ad revenue. It is worth noting that 90% of the companys total revenue currently comes from its non-ad supported Premium business.

    But the Stockholm-headquartered firms paid-users still hear ads through podcasts that have ads as part of their own separate business model. We continue to see exponential growth in podcast hours streamed (up approximately 39% Q/Q) and early indications that podcast engagement is driving a virtuous cycle of increased overall engagement and significantly increased conversion of free to paid users, Spotify wrote in prepared Q3 remarks.

    Other Fundamentals

    Spotify went public in April of 2018 and found early success. Then SPOT stock fell from August 2018 until near the end of the year. Shares of SPOT are now up 34% in 2019, 35% in the last 12 weeks, and 6% in the past month, all of which outpace the S&P 500s average climbs.

    Clearly, Spotify is still a growth stock, with its valuation still pretty out of whack as it spends to expand. But Wall Street seems okay with its focus on expansion in a crowded and growing space. Meanwhile, SPOT holds a B grade for Growth in our Style Scores system and it is part of an industry that rests in the top 30% of our more than 250 Zacks industries.

    Outlook & Earnings Trends

    Spotifys Q4 fiscal 2019 revenue is projected to jump 22.6% to $2.09 billion, based on our current Zacks estimates (Spotify reports its sales in euros). Looking further ahead, SPOTs full-year fiscal 2019 revenue is projected to surge roughly 28% to reach $7.56 billion, with 2020 projected to come in nearly 25% higher at $9.43 billion.

    Story continues

    For reference, Spotifys full-year fiscal 2018 revenue climbed 28.5%, which shows that the firms top-line growth is expected to churn along at a solid pace.

    At the bottom end of the income statement, the firms adjusted quarterly earnings are projected to tumble from +$0.41 per share to -$0.48. Plus, Spotifys full-year earnings are expected to sink from -$0.60 to -$0.90 a share as it spends on expansion. Then, peeking ahead, SPOTs fiscal 2020 adjusted EPS figure is projected to improve significantly to a -$0.50 loss.

    We can also see just how much more positive Spotifys adjusted earnings outlook appears. The firms full-year fiscal 2019 estimate is up 50% in the last 60 days and 73% over this same stretch for 2020.

    Bottom Line

    Spotifys strong upward earnings revision trends help the firm earn a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) at the moment. SPOT does face tough competition, but growth-focused tech investors might want to take a bite out of Spotify because of its ability to thrive in an industry that looks poised to expand for years to come.

    Bear of the Day:

    Apogee Enterprisesis a Zacks Rank #5 (Strong Sell) and it is the Bear of the Day today. Let's take a look at why this stock has fallen to the lowest Zacks Rank and became the Bear.


    Apogee Enterprises is a leader in technologies for the design and development of value-added glass products, services, and systems. The company operates under four segments, with three of the segments serving the commercial construction market:

    The Architectural Glass segment (25% of total revenues in fiscal 2019) fabricates glass used in customized window and wall systems forming the outside skin of commercial and institutional buildings. The segment consists of Viracon, a fabricator of coated, high-performance architectural glass for global markets. Its markets include the U.S. government, offices, education, health care and hotels.

    Recent Earnings

    The most recent quarter was a big miss of the Zacks Consensus Estimate. The company reported $0.57 in EPS when the estimate was calling for $0.76. That 19 cent difference translates to a negative earnings surprise of 25%.

    The company also lowered guidance when they reported and that is the reason that estimates took a tumble.

    Estimates Fall

    When earnings estimates fall, the Zacks Rank tends to fall as well. The movement in earnings estimates is the single biggest factor that influences the Rank, so when a company lowers guidance you can rest assured that the Rnak will slide.

    APOG saw estimates for the current quarter slide from 98 cents to 84 cents. The full year 2019 number fell from $3.04 to $2.84.

    The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2020 slid from $3.57 to $3.35 as well.


    At 11x forward estimates the stock looks pretty attractive after taking a steep drop. This stock has been a good one for a long time, so this reduction in guidance is something that needs to be explored in a deeper fashion. Sure the estimates fell and that pushed the Rank down, but there could be a bigger problem or it could be a buying opportunity. I am going to keep this stock on my radar screen and see how next quarter comes in.

    Additional content:

    3 Large-Cap Stocks to Improve Your Portfolio in 2020

    The stock market continued its historic run Thursday as the NASDAQ Composite reached 9,000 for the first time. The S&P 500 also rose over 0.5% to a new all-time high, while the DJIA grew over 100 points. Consumer spending continued to anchor the economy as MasterCard (MA) reported a strong holiday season that was propelled by the digital marketplace.

    As the consumer continues to display good overall health, some stocks look poised to reap the benefits in 2020. Lets take a look at a few large cap stocks that will carry positive momentum into the new year.

    Costcois a company with a business model that can weather most twist and turns. The retailer has steadily maintained customer renewal rates around 90%, which is a testament to the continued success the firm has seen with its valued memberships. The treasure hunt nature of its giant warehouses keeps shoppers coming back to its stores to find the latest deals on almost any item imaginable.

    Costco is coming off a first quarter where it saw its average transaction ticket rise 1.4% and its e-commerce sales jump over 5%. In addition to the recent success, Costco also pays out a dividend with a yield of 0.88%. The firm has also steadily raised its dividend for the better part of the past decade and has even paid out a special dividend recently.

    Costco paid out a dividend of $7 per share in 2017, $5 per share in 2015, and $5 per share in 2012. Some investors believe that this special dividend may be paid out soon, which might make this an opportune time to pick up shares of the warehouse giant.

    Our fiscal 2020 estimates call for a top-line increase of 6.5% to $162.7 billion and a bottom-line rally of 4.7% to $8.58 per share. Costco has seen its earnings revised higher, helping the stock earn a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

    Teslais a stock that has put together a strong rally recently that can propel it into the new year. TSLA shares have risen over 62% since the company reported its third quarter results, where it reported $143 million in net income. The surprisingly profitable quarter for the company was followed by an announcement that stated it was on track to deliver at least 360,000 vehicles during 2019.

    The electric vehicle manufacturer has also stoked investor optimism with its Gigafactory in China. Tesla is already making 1,000 Model 3s a week, according to a report from The Driven, which would put in on track to produce the 3,000 a week that Elon Musk expects once the factory is fully operational.

    The companys Gigafactory in China will be a key catalyst for years to come as Tesla attempts to expand its innovative products into the international market. In addition to its international endeavors, vehicle deliveries have soared, with trailing-12-month vehicle deliveries up an impressive 88%. Our 2020 consensus estimates call for earnings to soar over 1,200% to $5.73 per share and for net revenue to grow over 23% to $29.9 billion. Tesla has seen its earnings estimates revised higher giving the stock a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

    Microsoftis a blue-chip stock that has put together a spectacular year with its shares up over 56%. The tech juggernaut is coming off a quarter where it saw its bottom-line improve 21% and its top-line gain 14%. MSFT has made its cloud operations a focal point as the public cloud service market is projected to grow at an annual growth rate of 12.6% to $331.2B in 2022.

    Microsoft saw its intelligent cloud segment grow over 26% in Q1 to $10.8 billion and also secured a $10 billion cloud contract from the Pentagon in late October. The company had to beat out rival cloud services firm Amazon to earn the lucrative government contract. As the cloud computing market continues to mature, Microsoft will likely see substantial growth in its cloud computing business.

    In addition to Microsofts cloud operations, it pays out a dividend with a yield of 1.3%. The company has lifted its dividend payouts for the better part of the last 10 years and will likely continue this trend going forward, given its healthy balance sheet.

    Our fiscal 2019 estimates project a bottom-line hike of 12.6% to $5.35 per share and for its top-line to climb over 11% to $140.1 billion. The firms cloud segment is forecasted to rise over 20% to $47 billion. MSFT looks poised to cash in on the secular shift towards the cloud and currently sports a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

    Looking for Stocks with Skyrocketing Upside?

    Zacks has just released a Special Report on the booming investment opportunities of legal marijuana.

    Ignited by new referendums and legislation, this industry is expected to blast from an already robust $6.7 billion to $20.2 billion in 2021. Early investors stand to make a killing, but you have to be ready to act and know just where to look.

    See the pot trades we're targeting>>

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    Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Inherent in any investment is the potential for loss.This material is being provided for informational purposes only and nothing herein constitutes investment, legal, accounting or tax advice, or a recommendation to buy, sell or hold a security. No recommendation or advice is being given as to whether any investment is suitable for a particular investor. It should not be assumedthat any investments in securities, companies, sectors or markets identified and described were or will be profitable. All information is current as of the date of herein andis subject to change without notice. Any views or opinions expressed may not reflect those of the firm as a whole. Zacks Investment Research does not engage in investment banking, market making or asset management activities of any securities. These returns are from hypothetical portfolios consisting of stocks with Zacks Rank = 1 that were rebalanced monthly with zero transaction costs. These are not the returns of actual portfolios of stocks. The S&P 500 is an unmanaged index. Visit information about the performance numbers displayed in this press release.

    Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free reportTesla, Inc. (TSLA) : Free Stock Analysis ReportMicrosoft Corporation (MSFT) : Free Stock Analysis ReportApogee Enterprises, Inc. (APOG) : Free Stock Analysis ReportCostco Wholesale Corporation (COST) : Free Stock Analysis ReportSpotify Technology SA (SPOT) : Free Stock Analysis ReportTo read this article on click here.Zacks Investment Research

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    Spotify, Apogee Enterprises, Costco, Tesla and Microsoft highlighted as Zacks Bull and Bear of the Day - Yahoo Finance

    Select Interior Concepts (NYSE:SIC) Upgraded to Hold at Zacks Investment Research – Slater Sentinel - January 1, 2020 by admin

    Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Select Interior Concepts (NYSE:SIC) from a sell rating to a hold rating in a report published on Tuesday, reports.

    According to Zacks, Select Interior Concepts, Inc. provides interior surface products for residential and commercial builders. The Company offers natural and engineered stone slabs, cabinetry, bathroom countertops, wall tiles, shower enclosures, towel bars and rings, paper holders, medicine cabinets and mirrors. Its primary operating subsidiaries and segments consists of Residential Design Services and Architectural Surfaces Group. Select Interior Concepts, Inc. is based in CA, United States.

    Separately, B. Riley reissued a buy rating and set a $17.00 price target on shares of Select Interior Concepts in a research report on Friday, December 13th.

    Select Interior Concepts (NYSE:SIC) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, November 5th. The company reported $0.21 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $0.23 by ($0.02). The company had revenue of $159.40 million during the quarter, compared to analysts expectations of $165.80 million.

    In other news, insider Adam D. Wyden sold 2,579,000 shares of the companys stock in a transaction dated Friday, December 20th. The stock was sold at an average price of $8.75, for a total transaction of $22,566,250.00. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website.

    Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Metropolitan Life Insurance Co NY bought a new stake in shares of Select Interior Concepts during the 3rd quarter worth about $137,000. Man Group plc bought a new stake in shares of Select Interior Concepts during the 3rd quarter worth about $397,000. Squarepoint Ops LLC boosted its stake in shares of Select Interior Concepts by 91.0% during the 3rd quarter. Squarepoint Ops LLC now owns 146,127 shares of the companys stock worth $1,895,000 after acquiring an additional 69,622 shares in the last quarter. Engine Capital Management LP bought a new stake in shares of Select Interior Concepts during the 3rd quarter worth about $757,000. Finally, State Street Corp boosted its stake in shares of Select Interior Concepts by 15.1% during the 3rd quarter. State Street Corp now owns 305,781 shares of the companys stock worth $3,966,000 after acquiring an additional 40,006 shares in the last quarter.

    About Select Interior Concepts

    There is no company description available for Select Interior Concepts Inc

    Further Reading: How to Invest in the Dividend Aristocrat Index

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    Select Interior Concepts (NYSE:SIC) Upgraded to Hold at Zacks Investment Research - Slater Sentinel

    Cool hotel openings around the world for 2020 – Calgary Herald - January 1, 2020 by admin

    From a trendy Ace Hotel in Toronto to splashy projects in Las Vegas and London, 2020 looks like a big year for new hotels around the world. Heres a look at some of the new properties coming to the destinations Canadians love to visit.

    In Florida, Amrit Ocean Resort & Spa is set to open on seven acres of oceanfront on Palm Beach Countys Singer Island. Its supposed to be a wellness resort based on Eastern well-being philosophies and western technology. Look for tranquility pools, Patanjali yoga classes and sleep specialist services, not to mention a bath concierge and suites that feature circadian rhythm lighting.

    The Greystone Miami Beach is slated to relaunch in February. Steps from the white sand beach, the historic 1930s hotel embraces Miamis energy with Art Deco glamour across 91 guestrooms, a stunning rooftop pool, and a whiskey and dark spirits lounge.

    The Hotel Effie Sandestin in Sandestin, Florida will launch in June, if all goes to plan. Located on 2,400 acres of Floridas panhandle (also known as The Emerald Coast), the hotel integrates coastal charm with Southern hospitality across 250 guestrooms and 19 suites with views of Choctawhatchee Bay and championship golf courses.

    Four Seasons Resorts & Residences is supposed to open early in the year in Calistoga, California. Napa Valleys first Four Seasons will open with each of the 85 guestrooms offering mountain views. In addition to an on-site vineyard and tasting space, the property will offer a spa with steam pods in which hammocks will be suspended above geothermal pools for guests to absorb the heated vapour.

    Owners of the Circa Resort and Casino in Las Vegas say theyre on track for an opening late in the year. Its being billed as the first ground-up gaming resort in historic Downtown Las Vegas in 40 years. Located on the iconic Fremont Street Experience, its a 777-room behemoth that will be the tallest building north of The Strip.

    A drawing of the Circa Vegas Hotel and Casino.Circa Las Vegas

    Canadas first Ace Hotel, a trendy, millennial-friendly brand with properties in New York City, Palm Springs and other hot spots, is supposed to open in Toronto in the fall. Located north of King Street and a couple blocks west of Spadina Avenue, its a new building designed by the architectural firm of Shim-Sutcliffe.

    Also in Toronto, the former Marriott on Bloor Street east of Yonge, is being turned into the citys first W Hotel, another bold brand geared to a younger demographic. The hotel is set to feature its own DJ booth recording studio and should open in early summer.

    The popular and fashionable Park Hyatt at Bloor and Avenue Road is slated to re-open this summer following two years of renovations. It will have 220 guestrooms and suites, a new ballroom, meeting and event space and restaurant, as well as a fully refurbished spa and roof lounge.

    The awaited completion of the Drake Hotel expansion on Queen Street West is also set for 2020. The expansion will unveil a new lobby specifically for hotel guests, an additional 32 rooms and a new suite.

    On top of that, the former Thompson Hotel on the west side of downtown Toronto is being redesigned and is set to open in summer as 1 Hotel Toronto. Its a brand that purposefully re-uses existing structural and reclaimed materials gathered from the local community, including timber, driftwood and local limestone.

    In Hawaii, the Sheraton Maui Resort & Spa is finishing the second phase of its transformation with a multimillion-dollar renovation of its lobby. Slated for completion in November, the renovated space will welcome guests with a new lobby bar and caf, lounge, and reception area in an open-air setting designed to bring the outdoors in with an expansive lanai and viewing deck, offering panoramic views of Kaanapali Beach.

    On Hawaii Big Island, the all-new Mauna Lani, Auberge Resorts Collection is set to debut in January following a resort-wide re-imagination and renovation. Described as a luxury lifestyle resort, the property will open with contemporary guest rooms and suites, five private bungalow residences, five restaurants and lounges, three distinct pools, and a signature spa and wellness haven.

    The new Mauna Lani resort on Hawaii Big Island.Mauna Lani

    Karisma Hotels & Resorts, in partnership with Margaritaville Holdings, is taking reservations for Margaritaville Island Reserve by Karisma Riviera Cancn, the brands first all-inclusive resort experience. Its scheduled to open in March 2020. Margaritaville hotels also are scheduled to open this year in New York City and San Diego, as well as Negril, Jamaica and Cap Cana in the Dominican Republic.

    Construction is well underway on the Ritz-Carlton, Paradise Valley (Scottsdale), which will span across 20 acres and will have 215 guest rooms. Its slated for a summer opening.

    Lovers of luxury properties will want to check out the new Ritz-Carlton in Mexico City, the JW Marriott Orlando Bonnet Creek, the JW Marriott Anaheim Resort in California and the JW Marriott Tampa Water Street, which is part of downtown Tampas amazing urban renaissance.

    The brainchild of Japanese chef Nobu Matsuhisa and actor Robert De Niro, Nobu will open a 115-room hotel in Chicagos West Loop early this year, with a distinct Japanese aesthetic.

    Early in the year, NUPO, the much-awaited new restaurant by Darren MacLean, will open in Calgary in the Alt Hotel Calgary East Village. Darren currently owns Shokunin, among Canadas 100 best restaurants three years running and one of my personal faves. MacLean was on Netflixs The Final Table and in 2020 hell be one of the judges on Food Networks Wall of Chefs.

    The Fairmont Century Plaza, located in Century City in Los Angeles, will open in 2020 following a top-to-bottom renovation. This mid-century marvel has hosted generations of Hollywood celebrities, foreign dignitaries and every United States President since its opening in 1966. Surrounded by restaurants and retail boutiques, the hotel features two acres of gardens, connecting to neighbourhood plazas and fountains.

    The Fairmont El San Juan in Puerto Rico will officially join the Fairmont Hotels & Resorts portfolio as of January. El San Juan is located on the award-winning Isla Verde Beach, minutes away from Old San Juan, the downtown San Juan area and Luis Muoz Marin International Airport.

    21C Hotels, part of the Accor Group, operates boutique hotels with an art theme. Theyll open hotels in Chicago early next year, as well as Des Moines, Iowa and St. Louis.

    The first Six Senses Hotel in the U.S. is supposed to open in New York City later this year. Located adjacent to the fabulous High Line Park in Chelsea, its already garnering plenty of attention for its bold design.

    Six Senses New York City hotel.Six Senses

    Kimpton, a terrific brand that combines a hip, youthful approach with top-notch surroundings, will open several hotels in the Americas next year, including the Caribbean island of Grenada. The Kimpton Kawana Bay is slated to open in the middle of the year. A hillside retreat tucked away between tropical rain forest cliffs and Grand Anse Beach, the luxury resort will offer picturesque views and easy access to the Caribbean Sea and surrounding mountains.

    In Dallas, Kimpton is set to open in the Deep Ellum district of Dallas, solidifying its role in revitalizing one of the most historically significant neighbourhoods in the region. Other Kimpton openings in 2020 include Roatan, a stunning island thats part of Honduras, as well as Mexico City, Omaha and Asheville, North Carolina.

    Hotel Indigo, like Kimpton, is a part of the InterContinental Hotels Group and is supposed to open properties next year in the financial district of New York (a very hot area for new hotels), Miami (the Brickell area) and Spokane, Washington.

    Htel Mile-End is a 33 room, boutique property in one of Montreals hippest areas. With its four floors of stylish rooms, restaurant, rooftop terrace, basement cinema screening room and main floor gallery space, the Htel Mile-End promises to be a fitting addition to the Mile End, recognized as one of the coolest neighbourhoods in the world.

    Also heading to Montreal is the 193-room Humaniti in the International District. The Hotel Bonaventure, beloved for its rooftop pool and terrace, is completing a hotel-wide overhaul of its rooms.

    A new JW Marriott is slated to open on the river in Savannah, Georgia; one of the most popular cities in the U.S. for visitors. It will have 419 rooms and is part of a major renovation of the Plant Riverside District.

    JW Marriott SavannahMarriott Hotels

    Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts will open a luxury hotel and private residences in downtown New Orleans late in the year. The property will be in the heart of the city, next to the convention centre, the French Quarter and the Warehouse District, with clear views of both the city and the Mississippi River.

    The Pendry West Hollywood is set to launch in California this summer. Located on the famous Sunset Strip, its said to be an eye-catching design thats meant to invoke California glamour. Look for a signature Wolfgang Puck restaurant, a rooftop bar with chic cabanas, curated public art, a bowling alley and, of course, a screening room. Part of the Preferred Hotels and Resorts group.

    Montage Healdsburg is being called a transformative hideaway nestled in the hills of Sonoma County, offering travelers a convenient and luxurious base to explore the destinations celebrated wineries and farm-to-table restaurants. Its part of the Preferred Hotels and Resorts group. Look for an opening in October, 2020.

    Just a few steps from Trevi Fountain, Iberostar Grand Fontana di Trevi extends 19thcentury Art Deco design elements across 67 guestrooms, two signature restaurants, and a spectacular rooftop terrace with skyline views.

    Located off the western central coast of Italy, bordering the Tyrrhenian Sea, The Sense Experience Resort is an eco-retreat made up of 12,000 acres of natural park and pine forest with a private beach in Tuscanys Maremma region.

    Sense Experience Resort, Tuscany.Preferred Hotels and Resorts

    In Switzerland, Philippe Starck has restored the 100-year-old historic Eden au Lac hotel, the only luxury property on Lake Zurich, which will have 40 rooms and suites (the majority with lake views).

    The Guardsman is slated to open in April on Londons exclusive Buckingham Gate with 53 unique guestrooms and six exclusive residences. The Guardsman offers the atmosphere, discretion, and personal service associated with a private members club.

    Located in Leicester Square, The Londoner is being billed as the worlds first super boutique hotel, whatever that means. Look for six subterranean levels and 350 guestrooms in a property thats means to showcase the energy of Londons West End through unique design, innovative social spaces, and distinctive restaurants.

    The newest hotel from Pestana Hotels & Resorts will lie on the shores of the Douro River in Porto, Portugal.

    Kimpton Vividora Hotel in Barcelona will mark the brands debut in Spain. The hotel will be located in the citys Gothic Quarter. Kimpton also will be opening new hotels in Paris, and Manchester.

    For the Indigo brand, look for new hotels in Brussels, Bath, and Verona, Italy.

    The Chedi Mumbai is scheduled to open in March. Located in the heart of Indias commercial capital, The Chedi Mumbai is a serene and stylish oasis with rooms that offer views of Powai Lake or the city skyline.

    The Connect Busan in South Korea launches in May, 2020 with private balconies and sweeping views of Busan Harbour or Yongdusan Park.

    Luxury hotel seekers will want to try the St. Regis Cairo, The Tokyo EDITION, The Reykjavik EDITION, The Tasman in Hobart, Tasmania (part of the Marriott Luxury Collection) and the JW Marriott Muscat in Oman.

    If youre more into the W Hotel vibe, look for new properties this year in Bali and Melbourne.

    In Tokyo (and just in time for the Summer Olympics), the Kimpton Shinjuku will be close to the iconic Shibuya crossing and will have a rooftop bar open only to VIPs.

    Opening in spring 2020 upon a hill in Jimbaran Bay, Raffles Bali will offer unparalleled ocean views for just 32 private villas.

    InterContinental Hotels this year will open properties in Yokohama, Japan and also the Koh Yao Yai Resort in Thailand.

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    Cool hotel openings around the world for 2020 - Calgary Herald

    Commercial Architectural Services | Superdraft - December 10, 2019 by admin


    We bring experienced, reliable and timely service to every project were invited to work on. Thats because we know what a high priority project is for our clients. At Superdraft, weve spent years recruiting the most innovative and experienced designers. Well find a custom team that will understand your commercial project, realise your vision, and see it through to the finish. The architectural, drafting and IT departments know what it takes to provide exceptional service and unparalleled value to Superdraft clients.

    Since starting in 2011, our designers and engineers have completed over 3500 projects across Australia in just a few short years.Were likely the largestteam of architects and designers operating in Australia today, with a commitment to environmental sustainability and eco-friendly practices. Look throughour portfolioto see key features from our wide range of completed projects. Youll also be treated to a peek into the future of Superdraft through our works in progress.

    We are committed to ensuring our projects run as smoothly as possible, and we value performance feedback. When you partner with Superdraft for a commercial project our support team will be by your side every step of the way. Be confident in your choice of architectural service and enjoy watching your vision build before your eyes.

    Want to find out more? Want to begin your journey with Superdraft?Get in touchwith the team today.

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    Commercial Architectural Services | Superdraft

    Affordable housing is possible, even in Torontos downtown core – The Globe and Mail - December 10, 2019 by admin

    A partial architectural rendering of Castlepoint Numas 3C from New Yorks SHoP Architects. The connecting skybridge is a semi-industrial echo of the nearby Cherry St. bascule bridge, spanning a shipping channel on the citys Inner Harbour.

    Castlepoint Numa

    If theres one thing that Alfredo Romano is proud of when it comes to his 3C Waterfront development, it might be the way it debunks an old real estate adage the one that says you cant have dissimilar income and demographic brackets co-existing on the same piece of high-priced real estate.

    I dont want to create exclusive neighbourhoods, says Mr. Romano, president of Toronto-based Castlepoint Numa. Its not what were about and its not what the city should be about. Toronto is so tightly woven that unless you integrate housing types across the city you end up creating ghettos. Urbanistically, its better to have mixed neighbourhoods.

    3C Waterfront will be exactly that on a grand scale. A 2.5-million-square-foot community of commercial, residential and public buildings on a 13.5-acre strip of prime real estate abutting the Keating Channel, the 1,000-metre long waterway in Toronto that connects the Don River to inner Toronto Harbour on Lake Ontario. Thats an area roughly the size of Nathan Phillips Square, and 1.5 times the square footage of the Britains second tallest building, One Canada Square located at Londons Canary Wharf.

    Story continues below advertisement

    The defining structures at 3C Waterfront will be a 50,000-square-foot arts complex with multimedia programming and three towers, each a maximum height of 50 storeys. In a bid to attain Gold Certification under the globally recognized Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards, exteriors of the buildings will be made from precast, energy efficient materials instead of traditional glazing. These precast exteriors will retain heat in winter and stay cooler in summer, making the building complex more efficient throughout the year.

    Also slated for the development are mid-rise, residential finger buildings, including some 225 affordable homes (10 per cent of the total) for lower income families and professionals.

    A aerial view of the Keating and Quayside precincts, abutting the Keating Channel on Torontos eastern waterfront.

    Castlepoint Numa

    Typically, developers build separate entrances, lobbies and even structures to accommodate whats known in the industry as inclusionary zoning, but 3C Waterfront is making a point of avoiding this poor door syndrome.

    Trying to make affordability and creating a sense of community ought to be the top priority in any development, says Mitch Kosny, a long-time professor and associate director of Ryerson Universitys School of Urban and Regional Planning. Having a sociodemographic mix is normal and appropriate. Its the definition of a healthy community and its pretty much what most Canadians grew up with. Homogeneity is not what we should be building.

    At the heart of 3C Waterfront will be a pedestrian zone featuring a Barcelona-style plaza, which will serve as a kind of urban mixing bowl. Alternately fed by boulevards and compact laneways what the Dutch called woonerfs or living streets because they prioritize human movement over other forms of traffic it will be flanked by Shibuya-style shops and Les Halles-reminiscent caf terraces. Also planned is a red brick tunnel linking 3C with the historic Distillery District to the immediate north, creating a supersized pedestrian zone that will connect to the lakeshore promenade.

    A huge amount of brainpower was sourced locally and internationally to realize 3C, says Mr. Romano, who also developed Torontos 58-storey L Tower condos on the Esplanade and the new Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) in the Lower Junction. Its European in intent with high design values, which is why the first firm we hired for the master plan was Foster + Partners.

    London-based Foster + Partners is a kind of Georges Braque or Giorgio de Chirico of the design world, whose cubist-influenced designs include the Kuwait International Airport and The One skyscraper at Yonge and Bloor Canadas tallest building at 85-storeys. In total, six leading architectural firms collaborated on 3C, including Torontos KPMB Architects, Montreals Claude Cormier + Associates and New Yorks SHoP Architects.

    Story continues below advertisement

    A pedestrian area will be at the heart of 3C Waterfront.

    Castlepoint Numa

    But for all its progressive thinking and innovative design, 3C Waterfront which is being developed by Castlepoint Numa in partnership with Cityzen Development Group and Continental Ventures has been somewhat lost in the shadows of its attention-hogging new neighbour, Google affiliate Sidewalk Labs. Sidewalks controversial proposal for an experimental smart hub on a 12-acre parcel at Quayside slightly smaller than 3C Waterfront with an assessed value of $590-million has almost entirely dominated the conversation and media coverage surrounding the future of the eastern waterfront.

    What will be transformative for the area is incremental, high quality development from a variety of players, Mr. Romano says. Sidewalk Labs could become a part of that constellation.

    In fact, 3C and Quayside have much in common, with some industry watchers describing 3C as Quayside minus the surveillance and data collection. For example, both are working on a large canvas not only in terms of scale, but also coherence and vision. As the biggest private sector development on Torontos private waterfront land, terms like community building, livability and affordability were front and centre in 3C planning conversations, right from the start.

    Both projects have major roles to play in the extension of Queens Quay East as the public spine of the eastern waterfront, says Bruce Kuwabara, founding partner at Torontos KPMB Architects who helped articulate 3Cs master plan. They should complement one another by creating centres of gathering that serve both precincts.

    A rendering of how the area will look once Castlepoint Numas 3C Waterfront, lower right, and Sidewalk Labs Quayside, behind, are completed.

    Castlepoint Numa

    Waterfront Toronto, a powerful not-for-profit mandated by three levels of government (including the City of Toronto) to deliver a revitalized waterfront, is spearheading a push for housing affordability. It stipulates that at minimum, 20 per cent of residential units built on the waterfront must be made available to market at a 20 per cent discount, as defined by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC). For example, data shows that a one-bedroom apartment in Toronto today rents for an average of $1,270 a month whereas, according to Waterfront Torontos definition of affordable rent, the same unit would be available for $1,016 a month.

    According to this formula, Sidewalk Labs proposes to make 20 per cent of all residential units affordable, with at least a quarter of those going to people with pronounced affordability needs. Another 20 per cent of residential units will be set aside for middle-income households. The missing middle is an area of need that has been repeatedly highlighted by government and leading thinkers on housing, but is often left out of development plans, says Keerthana Rang, associate director of communications at Sidewalk Labs.

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    Im a big advocate for affordable housing so I like that 3C is putting together all the ingredients for a complete community, says Meg Davis, chief development officer at Waterfront Toronto, noting that 3C and Quayside together are expected to deliver about 725 affordable homes.

    By some estimates, if even 10 per cent of the kind of city-wide inclusionary zoning mandated by Waterfront Toronto had been enacted 25 years ago, an additional stock of 50,000 affordable homes would now be available in Toronto a figure that could have significantly diminished the ongoing sting of this citys worst ever housing crisis.

    But with Toronto developers cancelling numerous condo projects in recent years (Castlepoint Numas Museum FLTS among them), creating affordability has become even more difficult.

    The industry used to count on certain cost increases and timelines that are no longer reliable, Mr. Romano says. I will never again launch a project unless Im sure the regulatory framework is completely solved.

    That does not, however, change Mr. Romanos commitment to what he calls values-based development. Not everything comes down to a simple numerical value and the bottom line, says Mr. Romano, noting that Castlepoint Numa plans to build about 500 affordable homes in the next 10 years, all independently of government assistance. A majority will be erected on the eastern waterfront, where Castlepoint also owns a five-acre property on nearby Cherry Street.

    So much of Torontos future as a livable megacity hinges on successful, thoughtful expansion. But how will the area look in 10 years? Well have neighbourhoods that are diverse, walkable, compact and affordable, says KPMB Architects Mr. Kuwabara. There will be increased bicycle usage and a demand for social services including daycare and schools.

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    Adds Mr. Romano: When I first started building here 25 years ago there was almost nothing east of Yonge St. except derelict buildings. Seeing everything come together like this is enormously satisfying.

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    Affordable housing is possible, even in Torontos downtown core - The Globe and Mail

    Bolton rezoning proposal clears first hurdle, preservation deal reached with Western Reserve Land Conservancy – - December 10, 2019 by admin

    After multiple reviews, revisions and hours-long discussions, the Bolton property rezoning request is moving forward.

    The Mentor Planning Commission on Dec. 9 approved a preliminary proposal to rezone about 186 acres northeast of routes 615 and 84 from C-1, Conservation District and R-4, Single-Family Residential to Planned Mixed Use Development.

    The commissions positive recommendation now goes to City Council, which will review it and conduct a public hearing. Council can accept, reject or modify the proposal, which would also require voter approval.

    If it passes, they come back for the final site development process, Law Director Joseph Szeman said. The key is that the final plan has to be in substantial agreement with the preliminary.

    Project representative Chris Hermann, principal of Columbus-based MKSK Studios, came to the meeting armed with good news.

    He announced that a deal had been reached between the Bolton family and the Western Reserve Land Conservancy to preserve about 69 acres of ancient forest on the property, at 8021 Center St.

    Conservancy President Rich Cochran was on hand to explain the significance of protecting such a site.

    Ive been president of this organization for 23 years and, to my knowledge, theres only one (other) forest like this in Northeast Ohio, Cochran said. It happens to be in Wayne County; its called Johnson Woods. And I dont think theres another one like it, so were extremely excited to be working to preserve this property.

    I can tell you that if this becomes a preserve, tree-lovers from all over the state, and perhaps from beyond the state, will come to visit just to see these trees. Thats how unique and rare and special they are.

    About half the preservation area is in Kirtland Hills.

    The development proposal also calls for about 55 acres of residential use on the northern end and roughly 32 acres by Interstate 90 as commercial. Forty-two acres in between is designated a town center.

    Under the proposed zoning, a maximum of eight units per acre could be built, or nearly 1,500. However, the applicant is requesting permission for up to 650 total units.

    The site also could support an upper midscale class, limited-service hotel of 80 to 100 keys by 2020, according to a market study presented previously.

    Four residential types are proposed: single-family with medium lots, 50 feet wide with vehicle access and garages in the rear, and porches in the front; single-family with 30-foot-wide lots; townhouses and estates.

    Ken Kalynchuk of Project Management Consultants LLC has indicated that the development could generate more than $600,000 per year through income and real estate taxes, and 500-plus jobs.

    Build out is projected for 2030.

    We think this is going to be a fantastic development both for the people that live and work here as well as all of the residents of Mentor, Hermann said. Were excited to move forward with this. We hope you are too.

    While the applicant seeks to retain and repurpose the Bolton mansion, commission member Geoffrey Varga sought a condition guaranteeing that it wouldnt be demolished or allowed to deteriorate.

    Project representatives expressed concern about being straitjacketed by any conditions.

    The applicant has every intention of making the home a primary feature of the development, but we dont think its reasonable to provide an absolute requirement that they must maintain the residence in perpetuity if they cant find a financially viable means of maintaining it, said the applicants attorney, Thomas Coyne.

    He proposed a condition that, if the applicant cannot find an economically viable use to preserve the Bolton house, the owner would agree to provide notice to the city and a 60-day discussion period to allow the city to work with the owner to find a means to preserve the home.

    Commission member Joseph Sidoti and others were agreeable to the proposition.

    At least that gives the city, the commission, the administration the chance to re-engage with you on some discussions on how to resolve that, Sidoti said.

    The project was approved with 17 conditions, including:

    The buildings proposed along the Norton Parkway corridor (east of Route 615) within Subarea B shall be ground-floor retail with the allowance for small office. Residential shall only be permitted above retail/office space within this area.

    The residential unit count approved for Subarea A is up to 300 units and up to 350 units in Subarea B.

    The Bolton family home should be preserved and re-used as a bed and breakfast, a boutique hotel or any of the allowed uses: housing/residential care facilities (single-family, mid-rise multifamily, assisted living, nursing homes) ; retail/services (barber shops/hair and nail salons, dry cleaners, restaurants, financial institutions, hotel); offices, and research and development facilities.

    Public access shall be provided to the entire proposed conservation area (69 acres) and a conservation easement put in place over the 34 acres of the conservation zone within Kirtland Hills to guarantee it will not get developed.

    Any proposed architectural design of residential and commercial buildings, and site design, shall meet or exceed the Design Criteria set forth in the Planned Development Overlay District regulations during final plan submittal.

    A traffic impact study is required as part of the final plan submittal.

    A tree preservation plan for trees outside the conservation area.

    Any issues that may arise concerning the shortage of the required parking, due to the parking-sharing concept, shall be resolved with the introduction of structured parking.

    Commission Chairman William Snow voted no.

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    Bolton rezoning proposal clears first hurdle, preservation deal reached with Western Reserve Land Conservancy -

    InfraRisk Expands Auto Financing Cooperation with Toyota Finance, Taurus Motor Finance – PRNewswire - December 10, 2019 by admin

    MELBOURNE, Australia, Dec. 9, 2019 /PRNewswire/ --InfraRisk Pty Ltd. (InfraRisk), a leading supplier of credit management solutions in Australia, today announced it has expanded cooperation in auto financing with Toyota Financial Services to Germany and Austria to facilitate its credit process when lending to dealerships and large fleet customers.

    Toyota Financial Services is a wholly owned subsidiary of the world's largest carmaker Toyota Motor Corp, specializing in offering a comprehensive financial services lineup that caters to customers' diverse needs while strengthening the core auto sales finance operation.

    Nicholas Davies, founder and CEO of InfraRisk, said, "These two new European deployments complement existing ones in Europe and Australia demonstrating our platform's ability to operate across multiple geographies catering to a range of country specific factors including policies and languages, with modularity being the key architectural design."

    InfraRisk has been in partnership with the car loan provider since 2016, offering them a fully featured credit management platform - Credit Value Maximiser, or CVX, to Toyota's broad base of customers.

    The modularized tool is built around key origination functionalities, from profile to pricing, with each module connecting via defined APIs. By harnessing the power of big data analytics, cloud computing and artificial intelligence, InfraRisk's auto financing solution will enable a more efficient and effective, as well as regulatory compliant credit process.

    Meanwhile, InfraRisk announced today a new partnership with Taurus Motor Finance, a start-up car loans provider based in Australia with a digital, automated and real-time credit assessment and approval process. The lender is implementing InfraRisk's cloud-based and intelligent CVX platform to facilitate its commercial lending business as it looks to scale up operations.

    "InfraRisk's deep experience in the auto finance sector along with the system readiness to manage the capture of industry specific data fields has grown us into a leading provider of auto finance SaaS solutions," said Victor Li, head of Pintec International Business. "We will continue to invest in the ongoing research and development with committed efforts and build the platform into a smarter and more advanced tool catering to particular ecosystems."

    InfraRisk is a wholly owned subsidiary of Pintec Technology Holdings Limited ("Pintec",Nasdaq: PT), a leading fintech solutions provider that specializes in intelligent retail finance covering point-of-sale installment loans, personal loans, SME loans, corporate and commercial segments, wealth management and insurance services.

    About InfraRisk

    InfraRisk is a leading provider of credit management solutions in Australia. Incorporated in November 2008 and headquartered in Melbourne, InfraRisk has over 10 years of experience in providing services for financial institutions in Australia, New Zealand, Europe and the Middle East. InfraRisk has been providing long-term services, primarily commercial and retail origination systems, to multiple banks and financial institutions including the big four banks in Australia and Toyota Finance.

    Media inquiries, please contact:PintecGao JunPhone: +86 (10) 8564-3600E-Mail:

    SOURCE InfraRisk

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    InfraRisk Expands Auto Financing Cooperation with Toyota Finance, Taurus Motor Finance - PRNewswire

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