Thursday, December 18, 2014
CNBC news reported recently that Shares in BYD which is traded in Hong Kong plunged nearly 47% or more than $1.2 Billion. BYD in based in Shenzhen China and makes electric vehicles, batteries and mobile phone handsets. It also makes the Electric Bus in Lancaster, Ca. According to the Business News reports the company can’t account for the sudden drop in price. Stock price drops of this magnitude are most usually based on hard company information. So why the drop? It is not known at this time, but it appears someone knows something. The 20% increase in stock sales volume indicates something. Local news reports speculated it has something to do with the Russia, yet other news reports indicate BYD has little exposure to the Russian market as most of their sales are in the Chinese mainland.
Monday, December 1, 2014
Lancaster and Palmdale Water Reclamation Plants Continue the Environmental Friendly Direction of County of Los Angeles
Many ask us what are those big pond near Hwy 14, and what are they building at 120th Street West? Well lets let LA Count tell the story about these Environmentally Friendly Projects: The Lancaster Water Reclamation Plant (WRP) is located at 1865 West Avenue "D" in the City of Lancaster and occupies 554 acres east of the Antelope Valley (14) Freeway. The plant was placed in operation on September 24, 1959, with an initial capacity of 6.5 million gallons per day. It replaced a previous plant which was located on Avenue H between 20th and 30th Streets West. This original plant began operation on December 2, 1941. THE CURRENT OPERATION The Lancaster WRP provides tertiary treatment for up to 18 million gallons of wastewater per day (see flow diagram below). The Lancaster WRP plant serves a population of approximately 160,000 people. In addition to producing reclaimed water, the Lancaster WRP processes all wastewater solids generated at the plant. The wastewater solids are anaerobically digested, centrifugally dewatered, and stored in concrete lined drying beds where some additional drying occurs. The dried bio-solids are hauled away and beneficially reused. Methane gas is produced during the digestion process and is used to fuel the boiler used to heat the anaerobic digesters. The Lancaster WRP has historically supported the Antelope Valley Tertiary Treatment Plant, which uses chemical coagulation and dual-media filtration to remove additional amounts of phosphorus from reclaimed water. On average, 3 million gallons per day of the Lancaster WRP effluent is reused at a local farm for irrigation of fodder crops, nearly 3 million gallons per day are sent to Piute Ponds to maintain 200 acres of wetlands as a wildlife refuge, and approximately 0.5 million gallons per day of water is reused at the Apollo Lakes Regional Park during most of the year to maintain the water level in the lakes and for irrigation. The Palmdale Water Plant The Palmdale Water Reclamation Plant (WRP) is located at 39300 30th Street East in the City of Palmdale. The plant currently occupies 286 acres east of the Antelope Valley (14) Freeway. It was placed in operation in September 1953 and had a capacity of 0.75 million gallons per day. THE CURRENT OPERATION The Palmdale WRP is a tertiary treatment plant with solids processing facilities. The plant provides primary, secondary, and tertiary treatment for a design capacity of 12 million gallons of wastewater per day (see flow diagram below). The plant serves a population of approximately 150,000 people. Effluent is reused for irrigation of trees and fodder crops on City of Los Angeles Department of Airports' property and also for parks in the city of Palmdale. The Palmdale WRP processes all wastewater solids generated within its service area. The wastewater solids are anaerobically digested, stored, and then dewatered using centrifuges. The dewatered cake, or biosolids, is hauled away for agricultural land application.
Wednesday, November 12, 2014
The city of Palmdale was ready to complete a deal with Kinkisharyo International a Japanese company who agreed to build a $60 million factory on a city owned property. Kinkisharyo has a $890 million contract to build potentially hundreds of light rail cars for the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority. But now the company is taking its project to another state and many indicate a union is to blame. The plant would have employed 300 at a 400k square foot plant. The plant known as Site 9 was a warehouse space used in numerous movies like “Pirates of the Caribbean”, and “Terminal”. This would have been a big economic opportunity for the City of Palmdale as Kinkisharyo International recently moved its U.S. headquarters from Boston to El Segundo, Calif. Palmdale Mayor Ledford was recently quoted this summer as saying "I believe this is just the beginning of a manufacturing renaissance here in the Antelope Valley,”. An environmental group backed by the International Brotherhood Workers Union Local 11 challenged the company. They produced an appeal claiming that construction of the proposed factory would violate state environmental laws. The union wanted to organize the plant without any interference from the company, but the company said no. So the Union backed the environmental group which turned the project into a potential environmental hazard. “They are using California’s environmental laws as a pretense to put leverage on the company to get what they want,” Kinkisharyo spokesman Coby King told FoxNews.com. Thus the Unions demands were not met so they used environmental laws of water rights to reduce “dust spores” which killed the deal. Initially the Union push the card check agreement. Which is a plan also approved by the Obama administration? Card check is where a company must accept a union if the majority of workers accepts the union. A union spokesperson said they didn’t kill the deal, and that it was the environmental laws, but Kinkisharyo is now looking to build their plant in another state. Kinkisharyo paid $2 million to fight to build the plant in Palmdale. It looks like it is too expensive to do manufacturing business in California.
Saturday, November 1, 2014
Rural Land in Antelope Valley May Soon Lose Significant Value, While Other Areas will be Subject to a SEA Zone Restrictions
We have posted before regarding the upcoming proposed changes by Los Angeles Regional Planning under their Town and Country Plan. Many parts of the valley are changing from rural residential land allowing one home per 2 acres currently to Rural Land 20 (RL-20) allowing one dwelling per 20 acres. This is happening all over the valley from the far west to the far-east in places like High Vista, and east of Lake Los Angeles. Other areas like of Redman, and Roosevelt and Tierra Subida. Other areas are changing from the current one home per 2 acres to one home per 10 acres for a domicile RL10. This may drastically reduce the value of many parcels that are not in the city limits of Lancaster or Palmdale. A great number of these parcels are under 5 acres and even if you own a 10 acre lot but the zoning in that area maybe changing to RL 20 you may only be able to build one home on the property. It appears that parcels that are currently 2.5 acres will be allowed to build one home on the property. But parcels that are 20 acres or more with a zone change to RL 20 will only be able to build one home on the property, so property owners with large parcels of 40 or 80, or even 160 acres will only be able to build one home on that property per 20 acres. This will make a huge impact on larger parcels, and less on smaller parcels. Most of the west side county areas are targeted to be zone RL-10 with some exceptions. The county seems to want these rural areas to be country ranch land or farmed land. The best solution for these areas maybe farming if there is enough water, or alternative energy if approved. There have been meetings and invitations have been sent out earlier this year, and there last meeting was on September 27th 2014. Other changes are SEA zones. SEA zones are Significant Ecological Zones. These are areas where burrowing owls, kangaroo squirrels and the desert tortoise live. They will also include areas where the Joshua trees and poppy flowers grow naturally. Most of these SEA zones are near waterways like the Little Rock wash, and even near the duck ponds between Hwy 14 eastward to 10th Street West from Ave H north to Ave E. In this area virtually everything north of Ave G maybe in a SEA zone. The SEA zones run along the mountains along the west side from generally Lake Elizabeth area to Centennial and Gorman. The good news is that many areas the zoning has change positively. 90th east to 105th East running on Palmdale Blvd is proposed to all be Commercial Zoning. Also from Ave F south to G and almost all of the area from Division to 15th Street East will be industrial/Manufacturing zoned M1 or M2. There is also some land west of Division near Sierra Hwy that will be Industrial zoned. Additionally, land running along Hwy 138 from 72nd Street East to 90th Street East is proposed to be Commercial land, and a few areas will be Industrial. The maps and the details of these proposed zoning changes can be found via the Los Angeles Regional Planning’s website under their Town and Country plan. LA County doesn’t want much growth in the outskirts of Lancaster and Palmdale. There may be some influence from UN Agenda 21, which we have written about not long ago. Agenda 21 is implemented locally, but push globally to reduce development drastically to its current levels and allow much much more open space and areas for plants and animals.
Thursday, October 16, 2014
ARCADIS, and their parent company, ARCADIS NV, are respected industry leaders in construction management, design and consulting. Some of their past projects include the Germany Ebensfeld-Erfurt High-Speed Rail, Los Angeles Metropolitan Transit Authority’s Metro Regional Connector Transit Corridor, the Port of Long Beach’s Middle Harbor. Phase 1 construction, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Hurricane Katrina Levee Reconstruction and the Chicago Transit Authority’s Wilson Transfer Station Reconstruction. ARCADIS U.S. Inc. is headquartered in Highlands Ranch, Colorado, but will open an office in the Central Valley. ARCADIS meets the Authority’s aggressive 30 percent goal for Small Business (SB) participation, with a commitment of 30.5 percent. In addition, the company surpasses the Authority’s 10 percent Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) and 3 percent Disadvantaged Veteran Business Enterprise (DVBE) goals; reaching a 15.6 percent and a 4.8 percent commitment, respectively. Work on CP 2-3 will extend in excess of 60-miles through the Central Valley beginning at East American Avenue in Fresno and continuing south to approximately one mile north of the Tulare-Kern County line. The route will bring thousands of jobs to the Central Valley, an area with one of the highest unemployment rates in California and the nation, provide environmental benefits, relieve roadway congestion and spur economic development.
Wednesday, October 1, 2014
The stock market keeps moving up to all-time highs the past six years, and gold continues to drop, yet many people don’t believe this economies “growth” is real. There are a number of books like Crash Proof by Peter Schiff, The Death of Money by James Rickards, The Coming Collapse by Harry Dent, and the research firm Stansberry & Associates who reference that the US deficit, demographics and a potential collapse of the dollar will bring hard times in the America. There is also loan obligations in mortgage insurance, and underfunded social security and Medicare benefits compound the US deficit into the tens of trillions. The dollar is currently the world’s reserve currency, but in the future that may not be the case due to debt obligations and a dollar currency collapse will change the way of life in America. These authors suggest a number of protective remedies to a collapse, and a main remedy maybe physical gold and silver in the form of coins or bars. These are a hedge against inflation, but they may also may be the money of the future. As currencies may go back to the gold standard. Central Banks may be forced to back fiat currencies with gold in their vaults. Additionally, land is also a means to preserve your wealth or investment in the event of a stock market crash and loss of the dollar as a reserve currency. Farm land can be ideal as it can be used simply to feed your family, and to grow enough to sell in a collapsed economy. Any commodity that can be sold will help you get by when the US has been turned upside down. Land is better than real estate with improvements in an economic collapse scenario as there is no maintenance, taxes are lower and an angry mob can burn down your rental home or building. Also, if there is an economic collapse then residents and commercial tenants can’t pay their lease or rent so a building with a mortgage and taxes can cause insolvency. Land also doesn’t lose a lot of value over time. It may fluctuate with the real estate market, but as long as you bought at a reasonable price then your land will hold its value. Most of the time land is bought with cash so it is a safe haven in hyperinflation When the collapse runs its course then you can sell your land later at a higher price when development comes you way. We have property at vacantlanddeals.com that may just fit a depression or longer term recession scenario.
Wednesday, September 3, 2014
Article from AV Press-The Antelope Valley College is putting up for sale five acres at 30th Street West and Avenue K that now is a vacant lot covered with California juniper bushes but which once was to get the college $1.25 million and be turned into a shopping center - before the "Great Recession" intervened. Under state law, the college first must offer the land to another government agency or a charity at fair market value, which the college is not disclosing, before it could be sold to a shopping center developer or other private buyer. "We've had several indications of interest," Antelope Valley College President Edward Knudson said Wednesday. "We couldn't act on it because we have to go through this process." Owned by the college for decades at the southwest corner of the intersection, across the street from the campus, the land once was described as an environmental study area, then was offered in the late 1980s as a potential site for a performing arts center. Posted there now is a real estate sales company's sign advertising "retail center coming soon." Lancaster officials in 2009 agreed to use the city's redevelopment agency as an intermediary, buying the property from the college for $1.25 million and selling it at the same price to a Newport Beach-based developer that planned to build a shopping center with 35,000 square feet of business space, including a restaurant. But the sale never took place, and college officials have declared the land is surplus to the college's needs, Knudson said. "I think because of the recession and the business climate, the developer or developers was not able to complete the work," Knudson said. College officials expect that whatever is built at the corner will be compatible with nearby neighborhoods, college students and traffic, he said. The property has a zoning designation of Commercial - Planned Development, which means any project proposed there must undergo a public hearing before the Lancaster planning commission and receive a permit setting conditions for its development, City Manager Mark Bozigian said. Any government agency or nonprofit organization interested in buying the land for fair market value must notify the college by Aug. 26, records show. If none does, the college can move forward with putting the land up for sale to private buyers, Knudson said. The property up for sale at the southwest corner of Avenue K and 30th Street West is different from the controversial site of a separate proposal at the intersection's southeast corner. Neighbors objected to the 8-acre project proposed at the southeast corner by J.P. Eliopulos Enterprises of Lancaster.
Monday, September 1, 2014
Cal High Speed Rail has been approved another 114 Miles From Bakersfield to Fresno adding to the Connection from Madera to Fresno
This is an article in part by Reuters from a CalHighSpeedRail press release. California's high-speed passenger rail project won approval from federal officials at the Surface Transportation Board on Tuesday to construct a 114-mile section from Fresno to Bakersfield. The line will be the second section of a larger statewide high-speed rail line plan, which runs 500 miles from San Francisco to the Los Angeles basin. The Central Valley stretch will be subject to environmental considerations, noted the Surface Transportation Board, which regulates railroad and transportation matters. On Tuesday, the California High-Speed Rail Authority announced it had selected ARCADIS U.S. Inc to oversee a 60-mile section of rail from Fresno to the Tulare and Kern County line. ARCADIS would be responsible for the design and construction oversight and could receive nearly $72 million for the work over a five-year period, according to the California High-Speed Rail Authority. The total $68 billion high-speed rail project is estimated to be completed by 2029 and will transport passengers across the state in under three hours. The state has already started construction on a 29-mile stretch from Madera to Fresno. (Reporting By Robin Respaut reuters
Monday, August 18, 2014
Portions contributed by Jim Skeen in AV Press article Palmdale Regional Medical Center opened in December 2010, it ended Palmdale's 14 years of being the largest city in California without a hospital. According to a recent AV Press article the facility has 157 beds and can increase to 230. According to the article, the region does have to do a better job at building up the number of primary care physicians. There appears to be a lack of initial care facilities, and not more primary care facilities, but not enough primary care doctors. We previously wrote about the new Kaiser Medical center in Lancaster. It will open this month on 5th Street West at Ave L. This is an expansion for Kaiser as they have been in the area since the late 60’s. They have expanded this past decade as well with a Palmdale clinic in 2003, and expanded the Lancaster facility in 2008. Part of the need for this growth by Kaiser is its own growth. They have over 100,000 members in the valley today with over 10 increase over this past decade. Antelope Valley Hospital on 60th West near the prison was the main hospital in the Valley for decades. It currently serves about 200,000 patients. It has been the only full service facility in the Valley for decades. The AV Press article indicated that there are lack of mental health facilities in the valley. Due in part to the lack of psychiatrists. Our research has shown that Psychiatry has become merely a pharma drug pushing practice. They have gone away from the talk therapy, and happy left the lobotomies, electric shock treatments and strait-jackets in their past. Just this past June High Desert Regional Health Center Opened a $141.5 million High Desert Regional Health Center opened at Avenue I and Third Street East, which is run by LA Dept. of Health. Antelope Valley has seen a number of medical groups, and hospitals open or expand. This shows that these facilities see populations expanding in the valley spurning growth of these facilities. Growth and expansion is what the Antelope Valley needs to ensure a vibrant future.
Saturday, August 2, 2014
Dear Property Owners in Antelope Valley, LA County is progressing on making significant changes to the zoning in the County land Areas in Antelope Valley. Some of the changes will make some land parcels worthless unless you buy all the neighbors properties. They plan on only allowing a home to be built on 10 or even 20 acres on the far east side in High Vista Areas. The changes will also not allow you to build in areas where there are endangered plants and animals. There is a new hearing this week, so you need to do your research quickly and send a letter to Richard Bruckner and Supervisor Antonovich to slow this process to at least debate it more. The following is a sample letter we forwarded. More help is needed. Thank You property owners County of Los Angeles Department of Regional Planning 320 West Temple Street Los Angeles, CA. 90012 Attn: Mr. Richard Bruckner Aug. 2, 2014 RE: The Pending Hillside Management and SEO Hearings It is our understanding that the Los Angeles County General Plan 2035 includes two ordinances within it; the Significant Ecological Area (SEA) and Hillside Management Area (HMA). These two ordinances will drastically affect any future housing needs and job creation within the county of Los Angeles if adopted as it is currently written. our opinion is that these changes go too far and are unneeded, and the amount of land that these plans affected is enormous. We request that the Planning Commission move to a continuance on any further discussion on the SEA and HMA. Allow property owners to review this and debate it further. Sincerely, Property Owner Cc: Supervisor Antonovich
Thursday, July 10, 2014
EIR (Environmental Impact Report) is Under Way for Thousands of Future Solar Acres of Land in Lancaster and Los Angeles County
The Lancaster City officials recently authorized an environmental impact report on a proposal to install solar panels on 1,350 to 1,500 acres in west Lancaster. The Sustainable Power Group (sPower) (formerly Silverado Power, LLC) has filed a conditional use permit (CUP 14-10) for the development of 250 megawatts (MW) of photovoltaic solar Power on approximately 1,500 acres. Due to the size of the proposed project, the preparation of an EIR is required as part of the approval process. Lancaster Planning Dept. on May 27, 2014 had a request for proposals (RFP) for the preparation of an EIR for the proposed project was sent out for consideration to 12 environmental consulting firms. Seven proposals were submitted to the City by the deadline of 4 p.m. on Tuesday, June 17, 2014. Staff and the developer have reviewed the consultant proposals, and staff is recommending that the City retain the services of Stantec to prepare the EIR. Stantec will prepare the environmental impact report at a cost of more than $246,000. The cost would be paid by the Sustainable Power Group, which also would be required to pay a $25,000 deposit to cover city administrative costs. A recent article by the AV Press indicated that the 250-megawatt project is the largest ever proposed within city limits, though other larger solar plants have been approved elsewhere in the Antelope Valley. The planned solar area is generally bounded by 80th and 105th streets west, Columbia Way (Avenue M) and Avenue K-4. Just last month sPower Group received approval from Los Angeles County planners for six solar power fields proposed to cover nearly 1,000 acres around Antelope Acres and west of Lancaster. This 1500 acre Lancaster Solar Project is similar to the Antelope Valley Solar Ranch One which was approved for 230 megawatts on 2,100 acres at Avenue D and 170th Street West. Billionaire investor Warren Buffett's has a 579-megawatt Solar Star development is 3,230 acres straddling the Kern County-Los Angeles County line between 110th and 190th streets west. The Silverado Power/Sustainable Power Group projects approved last month by the Los Angeles County Regional Planning Commission are proposed on Avenue B east of 110th Street West (20 megawatts, 240 acres), Avenue K west of 110th Street West (40 megawatts, 157 acres), Avenue G west of 70th Street West (35 megawatts, 135 acres), Avenue I west of 112th Street West (20 megawatts, 160 acres), Avenue D at 35th Street West (5 megawatts, 38 acres), and between avenues J to H-8 between 85th and 97th streets west (52 megawatts, 256 acres). In giving their approval, county planners attached a condition to the project at Avenue J and 85th Street West that requires the developer to provide an air filtration system for the adjacent Summerhaven Ranch All-Nations Retreat Center prior to construction. A condition was added to the project on Avenue K west of 110th Street West that requires the developer to dedicate one-third of the site as permanent open space. The Antelope Valley is quickly becoming the Solar Capital of the US. This bodes well for land owners on Lancaster’s West side. Buy land and wait still holds true in Los Angeles County.
Thursday, July 3, 2014
The California Public Utilities Commission created Renewable Auction Mechanism RAM program to drive utilities to procure more distributed renewable energy generation projects of twenty megawatts or less as part of the States 33% by 2020 plan. The RAM program established a regulated auction in which developers bid to sell at their lowest price and, because projects rely largely on existing transmission and distribution infrastructure. This has created numerous smaller solar projects. Silverado Power (SP) have won power purchase agreements (PPAs) with California utilities Southern California Edison (SCE). Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) and San Diego Gas and Electric (SDG&E) in RAM auctions. These six new solar PV projects amount to a total of 41 megawatts. They have projects in San Bernardino County called Expressway A and Expressway B, each with two megawatts co-located in Victorville, CA. Also co-located in Victorville are Victor Mesa Linda A, a two-megawatt project with an SCE PPA, and Victor Mesa Linda B, a five-megawatt project with an SDG&E PPA. The Lancaster projects are Western Antelope Blue Sky A at 110th West at K on 157 acres, Western Antelope Dry Ranch 256 acres at 90th West and J. They also have American Solar Greenworks 70th West at G on 135 acres, Lancaster WAD 35th West and D using 40 acres, North Lancaster Ranch 105th West at B on 80 acres, and Silver Sun Greenworks at 120th West and I on 80 acres. This is part of Silverado’s plan to develop lots of solar with a low profile, so this could be the beginning of what could be a new trend in solar development. They indicate that they are creating smaller project to help minimize the impact on the local communities and environment. They estimate they need 5 to 7 acres per megawatt according to reports. They expect to create 200 jobs via these projects and construction running through 2016.
Wednesday, June 18, 2014
Over the past decade, the City of Lancaster has been updating its General Plan and Zoning Code along with other planning documents that include the Lancaster Design Guidelines, the Master Plan of Trails and Bikeways, the Downtown Specific Plan, and vision plans for selected areas – with the goal of making Lancaster a more sustainable, livable, walkable, bikeable and valuable community. A key strategy and central focus of this work has been to restore, intensify, and reanimate the City’s historic downtown and surrounding neighborhoods and corridors, an effort that has already yielded remarkable positive results in the form of the transformed Lancaster Boulevard (The BLVD) and a rebounding Downtown economy. The 2030 General Plan defines a set of Transit Village Planning Areas surrounding the Downtown core, and directs that new zoning standards be prepared for these areas to implement more walkable, mixed-use, transit-oriented development patterns. The City applied for and received a funding grant from the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) – part of a larger Sustainable Communities grant that Metro received from the Strategic Growth Council – to prepare these T.O.D. Zones for the Northeast, Southeast, and Southwest Transit Planning Areas. These T.O.D. Zones provide a means of implementing the community’s vision and expanding the revitalization that is already under way by providing unique and focused development standards that enable and promote high quality, walkable, mixed-use and transit oriented neighborhoods surrounding The BLVD core and the Metrolink Station. They define development standards and use standards for the design of buildings and related site improvements in the areas. This zoning is vision-based and describes community expectations for the urban character and form of these neighborhoods. These place-specific zones encompass the subjects of land use and development intensity, but also include significant amounts of information about the design of the neighborhood streetscapes, the scale and form of new buildings, and the intended physical character of each area. They provide clear direction for how pedestrian-oriented streets and other public open spaces are made, and how private buildings are located and designed to physically shape and overlook those streetscapes and public spaces, fostering a strong sense of community security while encouraging pedestrian activity. Such are the foundation of transit-oriented places and neighborhood environments that build and hold their value over time. The T.O.D. Zones are based on general objectives, which are central to making safe, valuable, walkable transit-oriented urban places: This transit zone is between Ave I and Ave J running north to south along Division and diagonally along Sierra Hwy. It also encompasses some area west of Sierra Hwy and south of Lancaster Blvd (I-8). Within in this T.O.D zone there will be subzones such as SA Station Area, CC Corridor Commercial, EC Employment Commercial, and WD Workshop District. This is all part of the 2030 General plan. This area will eventually be more bike oriented and walkable with shops and services and a connection to the Metrolink. The area is currently developed and some areas do not conform to the current future plan. For example there are homes east of Sierra Hwy and South of Lancaster Blvd. They will not be destroyed, but they must at least conform to the prior zoning and codes. It is unlikely anyone can change their current zone to anything else but what would in the future conform to the T.O. D. So if you have a duplex then you will not be able to change the house to something else unless it is change to a new T.O. D zone.
Sunday, June 1, 2014
Golden Oak Ranch (ABC Studio at the Ranch) is an 890 acres movie ranch owned by Disney. It is meant to serve as a back lot and filming location. It is located off of Placerita Canyon Road in Canyon County. Just last year ABC studio planned to expand the project an additional 58 acres into a new TV and film production studio. The project has been approved by L A County Regional Planning. According to ABC’s studio website the area uses natural settings like forests, creeks, hillsides, meadows, country roads, a lake and farm and prairie sets. The ranch set has been used by numerous movie and TV sets like Bonanza, Electric Horseman, a Pirates of the Caribbean movie and Mad Men (Don Draper’s childhood scenes). The ABC ranch studio offer a permanent studio location that can help the local economies in this area. Additionally, Tejon Ranch Centennial offers Film set opportunities. There have been a number of commercials, TV and films using the desert of Antelope Valley as a back drop. These are featured on a movie set tour, and they were specifically built as movie backdrops. The Viagra commercial with a man in a 1968 Camaro overheating is set at a road side gas station which is called Club Ed. It is located at 150th east at K. This site has been used in other films such as Martin Lawrence’s “Nothing to Lose”. There are three different sets on this stretch of road such as the Easy Rest-Inn used in the film “Eye of the Storm”. Also the “Kill Bill” Church is at 198th East at Ave G. The Terminator movie has a few locations in Antelope Valley, including the last seen at the Super Store, where a boy takes a picture of the Sarah Conner character.
Wednesday, May 14, 2014
San Francisco based Silverado Power Plans to build Six Solar Sites in parts of Lancaster and Los Angeles County
Silverado Solar plans to build six solar energy fields within almost 1,000 acres in unincorporated Los Angeles County. The projects are on the west side of Hwy 14 and they all have been partially approved by Lancaster Planning Department and Los Angeles Regional Planning. They run between 30th Street West and 120th streets West. Lancaster planning’s website indicates that two of them will be above Ave D near Hwy 14, while the other four will be south of Hwy 138. Silverado is currently buying the land and negotiating prices with realtors and sellers. What seems unique is that some of the parcels are 2.5 acres in size such as the area at 100th West at Ave K. Most of the time we have found that solar firms target large parcels. This causes the solar firm to negotiate with numerous sellers while getting approval from LA Regional Planning. According to AV Press, the six projects will generate a combined 172 megawatts of energy with the largest one being a 52 megawatt facility on 256 acres, running from avenues J to H-8 between 85th and 97th streets west. There are a lot of individual parcels in this area as well. Officials have yet to fully approve the plans and are still receiving public comments as part of the environmental impact review process. Dust and the availability of water seems to be a hurdle. Silverado claims to have a solution to use water outside of the area or reclaimed water. There have been a lot of solar projects and this dust issue was not addressed with the other projects now run by First Solar. Silverado came late to the game and now they have to implement dust control guidelines as part of the environmental report. It is very likely they will have a number of other mitigation procedures because of the impact on the burrowing owl, ground squirrel and other plant and animal species that maybe affected. The west side of Antelope Valley has seem an increase in land sales because of all of the solar projects in the area. Many local homeowners don’t like this alternative energy growth so close to home, but the land owners who live elsewhere have been happy to unload their land. Stay tuned here with vacantlanddeals.com and we will provide current updates on this project and others as they affect real estate in Lancaster and Palmdale, Ca
Thursday, May 1, 2014
There are at least 3 major housing projects on the East side in Lancaster Ca. They are being undertaken by KB Homes. The first on our list is a 13.60 acre housing development called KB Homes Ol Bel Sol at 25th East and Ave K. This is a 41 single family home tract. The second is a 38.75 acres project called Dorado Vista at the south east corner of 30th East at Ave J, this project is a subdivision of 141 single family homes. The third project is a 40 acre project at the south eastern corner of 35th East at Ave J. This subdivision is a project for 169 single family homes and it is called Dorado Skies Community. According to KB Homes website the priced target of Dorado Skies is $238-$275k per home and there is no HOA. They look to plan five different types of tract homes. The 2000 square foot homes are 3 to 4 bedrooms and the 3200 square foot homes at 4 to 5 bedrooms. 141 Single family home at The Dorado Vista site which is located at 30th east and Ave J. The average listing price is $167,564. They are 3 beds, 2 baths, approximately 1,988 square feet, and will be built this year. The smaller project in O' Bel Sol, is sold out. The average listing price is $167,564. The floor plan has 4 beds, 2 baths, approximately 2,548 square feet, and they were built in 2013.
Thursday, April 17, 2014
BYD presented a recent press release for the Media and local government officials as there Bus factory will be ready to build buses later this month. BYD has a complete electric Bus which it has been constructing in Lancaster Ca near Sierra Hwy just north of Ave H. Company officials indicate the new bus can run entirely off battery power lasting up to 24 hours on a single charge, and it can recharge within 3 to 5 hours.They are completely battery powered without a transmission or a clutch. The bus also doesn’t have steps as it has low floors making it elderly and disability friendly, and it will be very environmentally and emission friendly. They also claim to be able to have the ability to save 2+ trees per day, literally a forest each month on U.S. roads. BYD already has an agreement to supply these buses to the City of Long Beach. It was the impetus to build the bus in Lancaster since they already had a buyer. BYD Motors Inc. is an American manufacturing company, and a subsidiary of BYD China. They are also the largest manufacturer of rechargeable batteries. They also own BYD motors, which makes electric cards and e-taxi’s. They are publically traded with most of the investors being from the US including Warren Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway who is the largest shareholder with 10% owner.
Wednesday, April 2, 2014
There is a massive new solar site that is now operational in Ivanpah, Ca. in the eastern portion of San Bernardino. It was created by BrightSource Energy, NRG Energy, Bechtel, with some Google funding, and it is the largest in the world of its type. The tax payer essentially owns it as they were given $1.6 Billion in loan guarantees from the Department of Energy(DOE). The plant has about 350,000 mirrors each the size of a garage door in several circles across the Mojave Desert. These mirrors focus the suns rays on a central tower which has a large boiler about 340 feet high. The boiler makes steam which turns turbines that will make electricity. It is projected that this project will power 140,000 homes. There have been several controversies including relocating the desert tortoise, which didn’t go well as many died during relocation. The other issue has been that this project received preferential treatment from the Energy Department. This was during the time of the Solyndra solar panel plant debacle in Fremont, Ca. Solyndra also received preferential treatment. It looks like large projects like this maybe a thing of the past as this project was so expensive, and The DOE loan guarantees are now drying up. Also, prices have come down with newer technologies, so future plants look to be smaller in scale. News reports indicate that NRG was asked to invest in another project, but they said they have $300 million in this one and are looking into smaller projects overseas. Others are saying individual projects on homes and businesses maybe the future, but if this project proves out well then maybe future investment in large scale projects will be on the desert horizon. BrightSource Energy is mostly invested in large scale projects, and an executive acknowledged at an opening ceremony that this solar thermal technology only worked on a large scale and in certain locations, and without the $1.6 Billion in loan guarantees this project would have failed. A NYTimes article indicated that the technology is already changing as BrightSource said that Ivanpah could stabilize voltage but has little storage, though it does have natural gas backup. At the dedication, Mr. Ramm said that in the future, BrightSource’s boilers would use molten salt to store the heat longer. Berberich, the president and chief executive, said that “on an apples-to-apples basis, it is more expensive than photovoltaic, but it has a heck of a lot more capabilities than photovoltaic does.” End NYTimes quote. So the project is now up and running, and it does show that even desert land out this far can be useful. This particular land was government land or BLM(Bureau of Land Management). There are other solar projects working and some underway in and just outside of Lancaster, Ca.
Sunday, March 16, 2014
The City of Lancaster is planning for future development iof an area of 150 acres from Ave K to Ave L between Sierra Hwy and 10th Street West. The site is called Amargoso Creek site, and they plan it to be mixed used development in this area. This would include office retail, medical facilities, (Kaiser Hospital), and a potential for Hotels, and residents. They also anticipate areas for people to linger (Cities words). This will likely be a park and or plaza area. The medical facility part seems to be getting the most attention. They have three phases with a full build out within 25 years. The Hospital will be in the southeastern part of the Amargosa site. Phase one will be a medical campus with a proposed support building containing offices. This part is expected to be completed by 2015. Phase two is where they plan to add 100 to 150 bed hospital with an expected opening on or before 2018. The final phase will depend on the areas growth, but may include a 50 bed expansion and additional office buildings. This part will be completed by 2020 or 2030. Contingent on this overall plan of the Hospital and Commercial sites will be the backbone infrastructure. The commercial phase one will go along with the medical facility. They anticipate the commercial demand will be general merchandise, specialty retail, full service dining, with a pedestrian area, shopping district and outdoor space likely a major plaza. Commercial phase two will be an area of a build out of 10th west and Ave K-8. Phase three commercial is a flex commercial in the northeastern part of the quadrant. This is the final commercial phase which will build upon the prior commercial and medical phases. It may move faster as the area needs it and as the growth demands. This area is looking and will start to look much better. This area has been vacant unused land with the surrounding area being built up. If you own land in or around this area you should see an uptick in prices. It may also be an area to buy and hold as well. Contact us at vacantlanddeals.com for land opportunities here and elsewhere.
Tuesday, March 4, 2014
Many property owners own their property under a trust, but most property is owned just as an individuals. You may need an attorney to address this issue thoroughly as an LLC or Inc. can protect you but the corporate vale can be pierced depending on how you operate your small business. There are a number of reasons to transfer your real estate into an LLC or corporation, primarily for your personal economic protection. You will not want you personal assets exposed due to an investment. For a number of reasons, you may choose to transfer real estate or other property into an LLC. An LLC or corporation alone may be enough protection, but they are no full proof. A corporation can also be looked at differently for tax reasons, so a simple LLC maybe a better vehicle for the small business or family land owner. Owning and operating a small business adds a lot of responsibility and accountability. Although you may operate with the utmost care and provide the best quality and services, a client or customer may perceive you did them wrong. This is where liability insurance can come in handy. Who Needs Business Liability Insurance? According to sources almost 8 out of 10 small businesses are a sole proprietorship or a partnership. This can make you personally liability. Additionally there is a misconception that an LLC or Corporation has protection,, but you can be personally liable if you guarantee a loan, personally injured someone even by negligence, acted irresponsibly, or illegally. Added protection would be Business Liability insurance. An LLC’s vale can be pierced if you don’t separate the use of your bank account. You can’t use the LLC funds as a personal piggy bank. Business liability insurance can protect your small business in the event of a lawsuit for personal injury or property damages. It usually covers the damages from a lawsuit along with the legal costs. Depending on your business needs, liability insurance can be purchased in many forms. The main type of insurance you would need is Commercial General Liability policy or General Insurance. This insurance can protect you from injury claims, property damage and possible advertising claims if in error. So a combination of an LLC and liability insurance will give you added protection and piece of mind. You can talk to your accountant or attorney for the best advise.
Monday, February 10, 2014
Lancaster Recognized Again as the “Most Business-Friendly City” by the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation
City of Lancaster Press Release: This is a portion of the release from this past November Lancaster, CA. 11/15/2013 – The City of Lancaster was named “Most Business-Friendly City” at the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation (LAEDC’s) 18th annual Eddy Awards Thursday evening. Lancaster is the first city in the history of the program to have won the award twice, with its first win in 2007. “We are deeply honored that an organization of this caliber has once again recognized Lancaster with this very prestigious award,” said Mayor R. Rex Parris. “Since 1996, LAEDC and its president, Bill Allen, have played a key role in many of Lancaster’s recent successes, including the attraction of BYD’s e-bus and battery manufacturing facilities.” The LAEDC is the premier economic development organization in Los Angeles County, since 1996 having helped retain or attract more than 190,000 annual jobs in the County with an estimated labor income of $11.8 billion. During last night’s ceremony, the City of La Mirada was also named Most Business-Friendly Smaller City, with a population under 50,000. “This year’s Most Business-Friendly Cities, Lancaster and La Mirada, understand that domestic and global competition for jobs, businesses and entire industries has never been fiercer,” said Bill Allen, LAEDC president and CEO. “The City of Lancaster vigorously competes by training its residents for tomorrow’s jobs, not for yesterday’s; by keeping costs and fees down to attract new businesses and jobs; and by supporting its start-up sector, which will drive the city’s economic growth in the future.” The winners were selected based on the following criteria: • Demonstrated commitment to economic development as a priority • Programs and services designed to facilitate business entry, expansion, and retention • Economic development activity over the past three years • Competitive business tax rates and fee structures • Availability of economic incentives • Effective communication with and about business clients “Considered one of the least expensive places to conduct business by the Kosmont-Rose Survey, Lancaster’s economic stimulus package, streamlined permit process, and reduced transactions fees have spurred economic, community and real estate development,” states a press release issued by the LAEDC. “The downtown revitalization project created a vibrant urban center with 50 new businesses and hundreds of new jobs.” The LAEDC also recognized three world-class private sector entities for their outstanding contributions to economic development in Los Angeles County: SpaceX, Yang Ho Cho, and the University of Southern California. About the City of Lancaster: www.CityofLancasterca.org The City of Lancaster is a thriving community of more than 158,000 in northern Los Angeles County. Clean air, attainable housing, wide open spaces, and a close-knit community make Lancaster an ideal place for families. A low cost of doing business, endless potential for growth, and a strong commitment to business from local leaders has twice earned Lancaster the Eddy Award for “Most Business-Friendly City” in Los Angeles County from the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation. In addition, Lancaster boasts more than 300 days of sunshine per year, making it the ideal place to pioneer new solar energy technologies. No matter how you look at it, it's positively clear that Lancaster is the perfect place to live, work and play.
Saturday, February 1, 2014
UN Agenda 21 if implemented in its entirety would make George Orwell’s 1984 look like a picnic. Agenda 21 would force all humans into city centers leaving roughly 90% of the US solely inhabited by plants and animals. The agenda 21 map shows most of the US underpopulated. In the darkest sense humans would have to ride treadmills, and bikes to produce their own energy daily. You would get nourishment cubes instead of eating animal and plant by products. There wouldn’t be cars for you just mass transit only within habitable zones, or human powered buses. Part of this Agenda is the need to depopulate the planet from its current 7 billion and projected 10 billion people by 2050. Recently at the World Economic Forum 2014 both Al Gore and Bill Gates agreed that contraception was the key to reducing climate change. As part of Agenda 21 Book by Harriet Park, you would not marry but would be paired with a partner as the government knows better who you should live with and your child will be raised by the government and taken away from you. Sounds impossible right? No it is slowing taking place without your knowledge and may take a catastrophic event of many years to be fully implemented. Both the right and left appose this. The book Agenda 21 by Harriet Park and Glenn Beck outlines what it may look like. Also democratesagainstunagenda21.com is another site with the book Behind The Green Mask by Rosa Koire outlining the plan for you. LA Regional planning has a General Plan 2035, and with that they had proposed zoning changes for LA County land in Antelope Valley called Town and Country. They were supposed to have it within the approval process by this year, but it looks like they are delayed. The Town and Country plan would change the zoning in many parts of the AV from Rural Residential and Agricultural currently allowing one home per 2 acres (in most areas). This would change dramatically in the far-east side and west side to one dwelling every 10 to 20 acres. We wrote about these changes a year or so ago. This would mean that many property owners with 2.5 and 5 acre parcels in the County zone would be worthless unless they bought the neighbors parcel to get to 10 acre or more. This looks to be part of UN Agenda 21 which is implemented by ICLEI, ICLEI is an International Association of Local Governments committed to sustainable growth head quartered in Bonn, Germany. Los Angeles County is part of ICLEI. ICLEI is the arm of the UN that bypassed the State and Federal Governments and works directly with local governments on the “sustainable development”, and your current lifestyle is not sustainable. LA Regional Plannings website talks about General Plan 2035 by encouraging infill development, pedestrian-friendly and community-serving uses near transit stops. Their goal is to encourage walking, bicycling, and transit use. They prefer mixed use and high density uses (commercial and residential) development along major commercial corridors near transit stations. They want to expand SEA zones. Significant Ecological Zones. A Significant Ecological Area (SEA) designation is given to land that contains irreplaceable biological resources. This is habitat supporting valuable and threatened species. In addition it would include corridors to promote species movement. Is LA County going to create trail signs for deer and squirrels to roam? Yet a great deal of this land in privately held and the County recognizes that for now. They also want to keep farmland as farmland and not change it to incompatible uses. So, no condos next to the farm. UN Agenda 21 is a very, very scary agenda on your future freedom and civil rights. It is essential for property owners in LA County and within the State to know and understand what this means to you and your family.
Monday, January 13, 2014
This past Friday, Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo, which is a six-passenger, two-pilot spacecraft conducted its third rocket-powered test flight on Friday. Several news reports indicated that SpaceShipTwo soared to an altitude 21 640 meters above ground about twice as high as commercial jetliners, which Virgina Galactic also posted on Twitter. The test flight was very short, just a 20 second rocket burn. The operation has been taking place above the Mojave Desert in Kern County, which is part of the Antelope Valley. The California company Mojave makes scaled composites and it is a subsidiary of Northrop Grumman Corp. which also has operations in Palmdale at Plant 42. Spaceship one gets hauled into the edge of space by White Knight Two, and then it is released and enters space and glides back to Edwards Air force Base at Mojave Air and Spaceport. The plan is that the operation will be the beginning of space tourism with an individual or corporate cost of $250k, which may take place later this year. There is competition though from other companies. Like XCOR Aerospace which is building Lynx and Blue Origin. Virgin Galactic indicates they will also use WhiteKnight Two for cargo payloads as well. Antelope Valley is not just a bedroom community for Los Angeles County as technology is present here with Virgin Galactic, State of the Art Solar and Wind Technology and it is home to the Stealth Bomber.
Thursday, January 2, 2014
“The China Connection” The Antelope Valley and Other US Cities recent Growth has been from Chinese Nationals and Chinese Business Investment
Mayors across the US have been wooing the Chinese for Investment in their cities. Just recently the NY Times reported that the Mayor of Toledo Ohio has made a trip a year to China the past four years, and Chinese Companies have paid $10 million in investment to hotels, restaurants and purchased land their. At the same time Mayor Rex Parris has taken numerous trips to China, and has talked about opening an office in Beijing. BYD has taken to Lancaster with their Electric Bus plant located at Sierra Hwy and Ave H. The city is hoping for 1,000 of jobs and millions in future tax revenue on the deal. BYD has had some labor relations issues recently, but the mayor thinks those issues can be fixed easily. Despite the issues, The LA Times reported that Mayor Parris remains upbeat about BYD, and hints at negotiations with another Chinese company that he said is "much bigger in scope" compared with BYD. A deal could be announced within the next year, he said. California is ranked fifth in investment from Chinese firms in the US(LA Times reports), and it looks like Southern California is getting their share of that investment. The small individual Chinese Investor has been investing in Lancaster and Palmdale, Ca. A lot of the property that has changed hands the last year or so has a foreign address according to information we get from LA County tax records. Individual Chinese investors are buying land directly through Brokerages in Antelope Valley and from LA County land owners. Without this foreign investment the land market could be as dry as the land. We at vacantlanddeals.com also have connections to land owners and the individual Chinese Investors, so if you are looking to sell you land then come to us and we can connect you with a cash investor.