Monday, January 8, 2018

Mike Tyson Plants the seeds on 40-acre Marijuana Resort Ranch in California City

News reports indicate Iron Mike Tyson has broken ground on resort in California City. The former heavy weight boxer and business partners have broken ground on a 40-acre ranch. California legalized marijuana for recreational use, and Tyson and his partners are looking to the wide open space of Antelope Valley to stake their claim. California City is a small town in the Mojave Desert near Edward Air force Base. Land is very cheap in this area, and there is nothing really appealing about California City. It is not Napa or Sonoma Valley havens to the wine growing industry of California. Can Tyson celebrity status draw enough interest to make it a desert resort? That remains to be seen. It is about 110 mile north of downtown Los Angeles. According to the news source The Blast they quote “taking care of men and women who have served in the armed forces is a top priority” for Tyson Holistic, the company that will operate the resort, to be called Tyson Ranch. The Blast also notes that there is an extract of marijuana call cannabidiol (CBD). This extract doesn’t provide the high that THC produces. According to sources this extract has been used by some veterans to treat post-traumatic stress disorder. The extract has been touted for other therapeutic qualities. California City in Kern County much like Adelanto in San Bernardino County has opened its doors to marijuana cultivation in preparation for this laws approval. These cities are looking for the revenue to boost their fledging economies. These new progressive industries may help boost their economies in the short term, but it remains to be seen how marijuana will affect California youths in the long term. There are unknown long term effects to these drugs, and the crimes that they may bring into cities. Is marijuana a precursor to a larger drug openness culture?

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

BYD Looks to Expansion of Lancaster, CA Plant

BYD started in California in 2011. Their first big order for an electric bus came from the City of Long Beach and now they have 60 new orders from Los Angeles Metro and with University orders from Stanford and Cal Berkeley. The BYD team has since established a manufacturing foothold in the Americas with the procurement of the Lancaster, California plant near Ave H and Division. The electric Bus is their foundation in Lancaster but they are working on production of electric trucks and forklifts, which they have recently started producing. They now have the largest single building in Lancaster with their 450,000 square feet facility with a total staff of 700 with plans of producing 1,500 electric buses per year. We also noticed they purchases 160 acres of land at 50th West at H according to public records. This is the only large parcel of land of this size in this area, but it is currently zoned as Rural Residential once house per 2.5 acres. It is hard to imagine that they bought this land without some zoning concessions from the city of Lancaster. This large parcel is about a mile west of Michaels Distribution center. Gas lines run on Ave H which also has electric power, but there is no water or sewage line to 50th West at this point. BYD purchased this property in 2016, so looks like some changes to the area are coming in the future.

Monday, December 18, 2017

Home Builder Confidence Index Hit Highest Level Since 1999

The HMI the Housing Market Index (HMI) is based on a monthly survey of NAHB members (National Association of Home Builders). It is designed to take an overall view of the single-family housing market. The homebuilders are ask survey questions to rate market conditions for the sale of new homes from today to six month. It also takes in to account buyer traffic for new homes. This is not a report on previously built homes. That number jumped in December 2017. It jumped five points to 74. Again, the highest reading since 1999, and a number above 50 is positive while below is a negative reading. The sentiment number a year ago was 69. Strangely, the NAHB are not in favor of the Republican tax plan, because of the mortgage interest rate deduction is reduced in this plan. CNBC reported recently on this that buyer traffic jumped eight points to 58, while current sales conditions moved up four points to 81, and the expectation of sales for the next six months increase by 3 to 79. What does this say for home builders in Lancaster and Palmdale? Well we reported a number of TTM’s (Tentative Tract Maps) have been extended for another year, so these land owners are hoping the housing developers will break ground and build more home in the valley. If the US pushes forward on the new Stealth Bomber at Planet 42 then new homes will certainly be needed for this engineering group moving in. This should also be good for land sales, and the future looks like somebody is going to dig holes as apposed to leaving parcels flat.

Monday, December 11, 2017

A number of TTM (tentative tract maps) Given Extensions on Residential Zoned Land

Several housing development plans have recently been approved for extensions of tract maps, a 20 acres plot of R-7000 zoned parcels at 67th West at J-8. They are setting up to build 109 single family homes here. Almost 30 acres at 30th East at K was approved for 45 single family homes zoned R-10,000, and 10 acres of 30th East at Nugent zoned R-7000 was also approved for a TTM extension for 39 single family homes. A 10 acre parcel at Lancaster Blvd I-8 at 30th East was approved for 25 single family homes. Along with 32 acres at 15th East at H-8 approving a subdivision of 126 single family homes zoned R-7000 with a 1 year extension. Also recently approved was 41 single family homes on 9.4 acres of R-7000 zoned land for a tentative track map with a one year extension. A 72 acre plot at 52nd West at K-8 was approved, and not to be out done a 30 acre plot of R-7000 zoned parcels was approved at 37th East at I-8 (Lancaster Blvd.) 15 acres at 15th West at K targeting 58 single family homes was granted an extension of a year with another 28 acres at 35th East at J with a TTM approved for 114 single family homes on R-7000 land was extended for two years. The activity and sanctioning of building land is progressing in Lancaster with these recent extensions

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Bitcoin Blockchain and Land Ownership

You may think what does Bitcoin and land ownership have in common? Well it might be Blockchain. Blockchain is a ledger system, which tracks transactions securely in a very insecure internet environment. A blockchain database consists of blocks and transactions. The blocks contain batches of transactions that are “hashed” and encoded. This electronically marks a transaction, and each block contains the hash of the block before it, which links the two and forms the chain. This process validates each block, all the way back to the original, and is integral to the database’s security. Blockchains are shared on numerous computers at the same time, so a hacker would have to have access to every computer to steal the data or undermine it. The technology is highly used in a volatile crypto currencies like Bitcoin How could blockchain be used for land ownership and property rights.? Currently, governments keep records of who owns a certain piece of land or property, and the owners may or may not have a piece of paper to prove it. Owners often don’t, so they rely on title insurance companies and governments agencies who have access to the prior sales, or change in ownership. Government records can be lost or manipulated. It has not been done on a grand scale thus far, but if a hacker could make money on it they will look into this easily accessible manipulable paper trail, and steal land. The blockchain could house the land transaction electronically and more securely than a stored pdf file. The chain could track an entire property transaction to prove which parties were involved and what they agreed to in the original contract which could be verified by a blockchain database that is stored securely on the ledger. Blockchain could make pdf files obsolete. Anyother area blockchain can work is in medical records. More and more people are traveling the globe, but if one got sick how does a foreign doctor know your medical records? He doesn’t today, but an international blockchain system could keep your records secure so any healthcare professional can view them and know how to treat you from anywhere around the globe.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

A Tale of Two Tracks

Currently the largest infrastructure project is both in limbo and at full-speed ahead. The Cal Rail Authority’s has a long term plan to run 500 miles from San Francisco to San Jose before turning to the valley and south to Los Angeles. The fast train is expected to take 2 ½ hour and be well under one hundred dollars, maybe under fifty. They will need a lot of riders to cover the current 64 Billion price tag and ongoing operation costs. The target is limited service from San Francisco to Bakersfield will launch in 2025. The world will have crowned two world cup champions by then. That is not far away. That will entail a lot of digging between San Francisco and San Jose. That is expensive real estate within two major California municipalities. Money: Money from Washington is critical for Jerry Brown’s dream project which can’t be funded alone by state and private financing. The government in Sacramento is at polar odds with the White House. The House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy of Bakersfield, sent a letter this since the inauguration to The Department of Transportation, requesting a halt Fed funds and grants for the electrification of Caltrain’s Bay Area corridor. This upgrade is essential for the high speed rail. Right now Fresno is booming with construction. Hwy 99 is being diverted to accommodate the rail line. Bridges are being built, homes relocated, roads changed, thousands of acres of land has been bought. Dirt is flying everywhere and Fresno is benefiting. This project has been going on since 2015, but lawsuits and land acquisitions have set things back. Wait until they get to a major city. California approved this dream in 2008, and costs have almost doubled since then. When has the government done anything under budget? It the project runs out of money and the federal government withdraws then the rail must be handed over to Amtrak. Could this be the most expensive Amtrak upgrade? Will California seek funds from abroad? If that funding comes from China then they may require China steel and Chinese trains. This is not like building the transcontinental railroad in the 1800’s with undeveloped land making the “Big Four” the richest in the west. At some point the steam will come to a head.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Where do your Property tax expenses go?

There are many taxes associated with a property tax bill, but generally it is 1% of the assessed value of a property. The state of California takes in $43 billion a year in tax revenue as of 2010-2011. Other charges like Mello-Roos, and assessments take in another $12 billion. All of that revenue remains in the county the taxes were collected, which in turn goes to 4000 local governments including School districts (K-14), and county government agencies. Owner occupied residential properties make up 39% of all property tax revenue with 34% coming from investment and vacation home property. While commercial property makes up 28% of the total. Some properties pay no tax like government owned property, religious institutions, charities and hospitals. More revenue in property taxes increases the state budget. If the tax year is high than education budgets are reduced at the state level. If the property tax revenue is low than the state needs to make up the difference. The 2008 real estate crisis hit the state hard since there was many foreclosures causing tax revenue to go down, as well as, property values. Generally according to a recent report property tax revenue is steady, since even in recessions the property tax revenue remains. People tend to pay their mortgage and taxes making them the last to go in personal financial crises. You can learn more about this from the Legislative Analysis office in Sacramento