Thursday, December 17, 2015

Chinese Buyers are Buying Real Estate Across American and Beyond

The New York Times recently reported that Chinese buyers have been buying luxury high end apartments in London wealthier neighborhoods in Vancouver Canada and luxury condos in New York City and larger home in the Silicon Valley. These buyers are buying higher end properties in major cities which doesn’t affect the overall real estate market, but it does in more dense populated areas like New York and San Francisco. This pushes residences in these cities to pay more for living space and pushes up rent. These Chinese purchases make up a small amount of the overall sales in the United States. This is a disproportion of their money in high end properties according to the NT Times. They have bought one in every fourteen homes in the $1million plus range in New York. They are also buying land in the Antelope Valley. There are real estate agencies and marketing firms promoting fee simple properties in the Antelope Valley. Land has no maintenance needs so the buyer can sit and wait and just pay the property taxes. Larger condo’s need maintenance, HOA fees and security. The Chinese government doesn’t allow long term ownership of property in China. It is usually for a period of years, so property can’t be passed on to children. Additionally, in China land has to be development. This is partly why there are ghost cities in China, since the land was bought but requires development in a period of time in order to retain the property. This is why land within the path of growth that can be pass onto offspring is so enticing. The Chinese stock market and government cannot be trusted to provide security in an investment. This new overseas investment is helping property values in Lancaster and Palmdale especially closer in property to development.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Los Angeles County Approved Plan Centennial Plan but Little Development

Tejon Ranch Co.which is traded on the New York Stock Exchanged (NYSE:TRC) reported last year that the Centennial Development plan was approved by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, by a 4-0 vote. The meeting last year was a full house in Lancaster with standing room only and at least 50 people expressing their opinions. Almost immediately after the discourse the Board of Supervisors approved the plan unanimously. The centennial plan will initially encompass 23,000 homes over time with their own fire department, medical services and environmentally friendly community. On paper it looks great and will look to be a real nice place to live as it will include hiking trails and involve a great view of the mountains just east of the grapevine. This Tejon Ranch Co.'s master planned community called Centennial is included in the Antelope Valley Area Plan as part of the Economic Opportunity Area where future development would be directed for Los Angeles County. If you have been to LA County it looks like most of LA was poorly planned to begin with. This plan appears to have promise, but no development or digging has taken place just yet. Tejon Ranch Co. has three plans according to their website. One being Centennial, another is called Grapevine and the third is Tejon Mountain Development. Grapevine will be located at the base of the foothills in the San Joaquin Valley portion of the ranch near the Tejon Ranch Commerce Center. This is near the huge IKEA warehouse. They intend to have a large community as part of the overall plan. The Tejon Mountain Village will be a community of homes largely undisturbed by mankind and it looks to be a small set up of nice homes overlooking the mountain range with access to Hwy 5 not far away, or just an hour from LA central. The website says Tejon Mountain Village will be a new conservation based retreat designed to live in harmony with nature, and continue the legacy of this storied place for future generations. Well there has been a lot of talk and discourse, but if it is all approved then lets get this nice new communities started. This can only improve the western part of Antelope Valley.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Northrop Grumman’s New Bomber Gets Budget Approval, Good News for Palmdale

The Air Force said indicated it chose Northrop Grumman Corp., maker of the B-2 stealth bomber which was previously built in Palmdale Ca. Now Northrop Grumman will to build the next-generation bomber, which is highly classified. The cost is projected to be $80 billion to replace the aging bomber fleet. It may also be able to fly without a pilot aboard. It is a bid announcement for the Pentagon as they are planning to modernize their nuclear force, submarines, and long range bombers which is dubbed the B-3. The total budget is $348 billion over 10 years and other says it will be $1 Trillion in 30 years. Previously, Northrop Grumman said it could create 1,500 new jobs in Palmdale under the bomber contract. These new jobs should move the needle in the Palmdale housing market as new high tech engineers will be needed for this project as well as hundreds of admin support staff.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Los Angeles Orders Quake Retrofit for Many Older Buildings

Recent Associated Press Article This is not necessarily regarding land, but it projects that capital in Los Angeles County will focus on developed Real Estate. Thousands of older wood and concrete apartment buildings vulnerable to collapse in a major earthquake would get costly upgrades under sweeping retrofitting rules passed Friday by the Los Angeles City Council. The mandate would affect as many as 13,500 so-called soft-first-story buildings, which are typically wood-frame structures with large spaces such as parking lots on the ground floor. As many as 1,500 brittle concrete buildings would also require upgrades. The measure passed on a 12-0 vote. "There's no question that we're going to have an earthquake. The question is, when?" Councilman Gil Cedillo said. "In here we've laid out the groundwork for the seismic retrofitting that needs to be done." Before the vote, representatives for residential landlords and commercial building owners signaled their approval of the plan — while expressing concerns about potential costs. City leaders will now have to agree on how the estimated $5,000-per-unit retrofitting would be split between tenants and landlords. The law currently allows owners to increase rents up to $75 per month to pay for a required earthquake retrofit, but both sides say such a hike is too steep. One proposal is to divide the costs 50-50 and cap possible monthly rent increases at $38. To help pay for the upgrades, apartment groups are looking for certain financial support, such as breaks on property and state income taxes and business license and building permit fees for owners who retrofit. The proposed quake retrofitting mandate is part of an effort by Mayor Eric Garcetti to make the city resilient to major earthquakes. His plan released in December focuses on rapidly identifying and retrofitting at-risk residential and commercial buildings, fortifying major water systems that would be severed by a huge quake and keeping telecommunications systems operating. The goal of the mayor's broad plan is to keep the region sufficiently functional to avoid a long-term economic collapse despite what seismologists say is an inevitable jolt on the order of a magnitude-7.8 quake caused by a 200-mile-long rupture of the mighty San Andreas Fault. Wood apartments will be given seven years to complete construction once an owner is ordered by the Department of Building and Safety to retrofit the building. Owners of brittle concrete buildings will have 25 years to do the work. Estimates for upgrades for soft-first-story structures range from $60,000 to $130,000 per apartment building. Taller concrete buildings can cost millions of dollars to strengthen. Studies estimate that a massive earthquake in the Los Angeles area could kill up to 18,000 people and cause some $250 billion in damage. Sixteen people were killed in the collapse of a soft-first-story building during the Jan. 17, 1994, Northridge earthquake. The magnitude-6.7 jolt was the last significant seismic disaster in the Los Angeles region. U.S. Geological Survey seismologist Lucy Jones, the mayor's earthquake science adviser who was a consultant for the council, was on hand for the vote. She pushed for passage of the plan, saying lives would be saved. "It's not every day we have the opportunity to save lives," Council President Herb Wesson said after the vote. "Today we had that opportunity."

Friday, October 9, 2015

California is Committed to get 50% of its Power from Renewable Energy by 2030

In part from an AP article in LOS ANGELES Gov. Jerry Brown has committed the state to use renewable energy for half its electricity and to upgrade current buildings to double their efficiency by 2030. The Governor even tried to get the state to drop petroleum use by 50% by 2030, but that was rebuffed. It looks like most cars will be electric in the next 15 years. But some critics say this will be costly to the consumer. Oil is easily accessible and abundant and in use throughout the world. Moving over to renewable energy may take time and cost more for each consumer and businesses. The cost to produce food, energy, and transport it with half of that energy coming from renewable will make product cost more. It appears politicians and environmentalists with the implication that climate change will kill us all don’t think things through. Novel ideas are not always workable ideas. According to the associated press article the details of this plan will be up to the state's Air Resources Board, Energy Commission and Public Utilities Commission. These boards are led mostly by gubernatorial appointees and have broad influence over economic life. California is primarily a natural gas state. Most of the energy that produces electricity in California comes from natural gas with additional from nuclear energy, hydroelectric, and a little coal. The cost to transition to solar, wind and biomass will have to be passed onto the consumers. This will affect the least able to afford it as well. This law will also push for energy efficient buildings and require and expansion of charging stations. It will mean more support for renewable energy facilities in Antelope Valley. These solar farms are expanding now, but more and more will like get approval. The solar farms are expanding in the city limits but up until now Los Angeles County land has not given the green light to install new solar. There is a lot of solar on LA County land, but the permit process is much slower than solar on city land. Maybe this will change LA County land owners prospects as the Gov and Legislators approve it.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

XpressWest High Speed Rail which was called DesertXpress is Beginning to Take Shape

The plan is a brainchild of Marnell Corrao Associates a privately held company and it is backed and proposed by private funds. The initial plan is to connect from Victorville in San Bernadino County to Las Vegas with a connection to Los Angeles in Palmdale, Ca. It has further proposal to connect to Phoenix Arizona, Salt Lake City, and Denver Colorado According to reports the cost of the Victorville to Las Vegas section will cost $7 billion with $1.4 Billion coming from the Federal Railroad administration. The 50 mile connection between Victorville to Palmdale is part of an agreement with the LA County Metro Transportation Authority to explore a connection to Metorlink and potentially the Cal High Speed Rail. This looks to be a parallel construction. The initial proposed route between Victorville to Las Vegas looks to run along Hwy 15.This route is largely uninhabited desert land. Most of this land is owned by the Bureau of Land Management (Federal Government) and National Park Service. The uniqueness about the initial route is that there are no proposed stops between the two cities, so it looks to be a straight shot to Vegas. Further reports indicate that the investor group has applied for a loan as of Oct 2011 for a $4.9 billion through the federal Railroad Rehabilitation & Improvement Financing program. The loan and funding are far from approval as Senate and House leaders has indicated the project is a taxpayer risk. As recent as July 2013 news report indicated the loan was suspended. This essentially means denial of the loan, but the developer indicated they are proceeding without firm funding in place. The most recent report is interest from Chinese firms, but that is to build and operate the train, with no indication of Chinese funding. Thus it looks like a project under development costing billions with no firm plan in mind to accomplish it. It will most likely be part of the Presidential nomination cycle as Nevada is early on the primary list. Don’t rush to buy the land just yet.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

BYD Increases Bus Sales In Washington State

AVPress LANCASTER - BYD's electric bus factory got a boost with Washington state transportation officials' selection of BYD for 10 of 12 types of electric buses expected to be ordered by Washington transit agencies and other entities. The selection does not constitute orders for bus production, but it sets price agreements for buses that Washington transit agencies, colleges, cities, Indian nations and nonprofit organizations can order over the next five years, Washington officials said. "It's huge news, huge news," Mayor R. Rex Parris said. "We've always been very confident the world was going to wake up, that this is the new form of bus transportation. There's not any serious competition anywhere in the world." The Washington State Department of Transportation Heavy Duty Bus Request for Proposal is intended to allow agencies to buy new buses without having to perform their own solicitation, analysis and awards, said David Chenaur, a business analyst with the department's public transportation division. In all, the department approved 26 categories of buses of varying lengths and engines - clean diesel, hybrid, compressed natural gas, plug-in electric and on-route charging electric - for a potential total purchase of 800 buses, Chenaur said. Link Transit in Wenatchee, Washington, has already ordered five BYD buses, he said. "These orders put us into a great position for expansion," said Micheal Austin, BYD America vice president.The company employs more than 300 people at the Lancaster plant and elsewhere in Southern California, he said. BYD's buses were the only ones with wireless on-routing charging approved by Washington officials, the company said."Electric buses are no longer a science fair project. With BYD now producing a long-range bus in nearly every category we have proven the technology is here to stay," Macy Meshati, BYD Coach & Bus vice president of sales, said in the company's announcement. BYD has a contract with the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority for up to 25 buses, and a 10-bus contract with Long Beach Transit. The first five Metro buses were delivered in May.The Antelope Valley Transit Authority also plans to buy 29 electric buses beyond the two BYD buses it already has. BYD officials in May 2013 dedicated the Lancaster plant, which is the first Chinese-owned vehicle plant in the United States. BYD officials are talking with city officials about doubling the plant's size, not only to accommodate increased bus production but to build electric delivery trucks as well, Parris said. More expansion could follow that, he said. Parris said the firm's local employment is expected to reach 700 in two years. "BYD is going to be bigger than aircraft (employment) has ever been," Parris said. In January, GO-Biz, the state's economic development office, allocated $3 million in tax credits to BYD. The credits will be given provided the company meets certain employment and investment milestones. Under the tax credit agreement, BYD must ramp up its workforce to at least 243 workers in 2016, to 388 in 2017 and to 625 in 2018. BYD must pay a minimum annual salary of $27,040 and an average annual salary of $44,110 by 2018, under the agreement, and is required to make investments of $51 million by 2018.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

China firms sign deal for high-speed Las Vegas-Los Angeles rail link ahead of Xi's U.S. visit

Press Release regarding High Speed Rail from Las Vegas to Los Angeles BEIJING | BY BRENDA GOH A unit of China's CRRC Corp, the world's biggest train maker by revenue, on Thursday joined a group of its domestic peers in agreeing a deal to help build a high-speed link from Las Vegas to Los Angeles, underlining the rail giant's lofty overseas ambitions. Announced in a joint statement by the Chinese firms and U.S. partner XpressWest at a government forum in Beijing, the deal is the latest in a series of deeper Sino-American business ties to be unveiled before President Xi Jinping visits the United States next week. Computer maker Dell Inc said it will invest $125 billion in China, and new bilateral investment treaty offers have been exchanged. CRRC, formed from a state-driven merger of China's two largest train makers, is among a large group of the country's rail firms that has inked an accord for the project with XpressWest, a venture set up by Las Vegas-based hotel and casino developer Marnell Companies. Investment terms weren't disclosed. Gary Wong, a Hong Kong-based analyst at brokerage Guotai Junan, estimated that the project could be worth $5 billion. He said that although it would likely offer the many Chinese firms involved little financial benefit, it was significant for their long-term goals. "If this opens up the U.S. market for them, opportunities for future expansion will increase. And if (their technology) is used in the United States, it will be easier for them to sell to other countries," he said. CRRC is leading China's aggressive pursuit of overseas high-speed rail deals in competition with traditional suppliers such as Germany's Siemens AG and France's Alstom SA. Beijing recently clinched contracts in Russia, although it has faced hurdles in Mexicoand Indonesia due to bureaucratic flip-flops in those countries. US POTENTIAL The United States is a key target for China's rail industry, even though policymakers have been split over the need for high-speed rail and some have taken a dim view of Chinese involvement in potentially strategic deals. Most of a dozen or so U.S. projects lined up have struggled to gain traction, leaving the country far behind Europe and Asia in this area. XpressWest won the green light for the 230-mile high-speed line linking Los Angeles to Las Vegas in 2011 and applied for a federal loan in 2010, according to the company's website. It did not say whether its loan application had been successful. The U.S. company didn't respond to calls or emails seeking comment on the project after the partnership deal with the Chinese firms - grouped in a Nevada-based venture called China Railway International U.S.A. - was announced. XpressWest and the Chinese firms said in their statement that the accord would help accelerate the project without disclosing details of how it would achieve that. Additional regulatory approvals will be required before the construction begins, expected early as September 2016. "The United States market is huge because the fact is that their railway tracks and facilities are aging and need upgrading," Cao Gangcai, CRRC's vice chief economist, told Reuters in an interview on Wednesday, before the XpressWest deal was announced. The company plans to grow its share of revenue from work overseas to 30 percent within the next five years, he said. Having completed its merger in May, it booked first-half revenue of 91.8 billion yuan ($14.42 billion), only 12 percent of which was booked overseas. "We want to attain the position we deserve in the global market...There is no other company on earth that is able to simultaneously research and produce high-speed trains, electric multiple units, subways," he said.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Housing Tentative Tract Maps Denied and One Requesting Extension

The city of Lancaster is looking into an one year extension of a tentative tract map for zoned R-7000 at 60th West at J-8. It is a 12.6 acre lot and the proposal is to build 49 homes on the site. The tentative tract map applicant Royal Investors Group is requesting a one year extension. This group is not a home builder but a map builder, so it is not likely that any homes will be on this site anytime soon. United Engineering groups tentative tract map at 30th East at Ave K was approved to deny the request for a one year extension based on lack of findings in the staff report. This subdivision was set to be on 26 acres with a proposal to build 45 single family homes on the site. It is currently zoned R-10,000 or one house per 10,000 square feet. So no money or interest in building new homes hear. This is on top of the report today that the National Association of Home Builders index rose 1 point to 61, its highest level since November 2005. The builders or the map builders have been planning for housing development in Lancaster, but not anytime soon or at least for these two mappers. We have reported housing development about a year ago, but it looks to be still over the horizon for some builders.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Large Solar Power Facilities Underway on the West Side

This will take up 1191 gross acres bounded by Ave K, 80th Street West and 105th Street West down to the aqueduct. The first phase will be 104 acres from Ave K to Ave K-8 and between 90th Street West and 100th Street West. Then there will be another 600 acres from 95th Street West between K and L generally. They will follow up with another 322 acres between 80th and 90th West from Ave L to Quarry Ridge Road. The last phase is 95 acres from 80th to 85th West between L and L-8. This plan is being undertaken by sPower or Sustainable Power Group according to the City of Lancaster records. The city is changing the zoning from Specific plan and other zonings to RR 2.5. This will allow a 150 megawatt facility in the RR 2.5 zone. The Conditional Use Permits were adopted and approve in late July. There has been some building out there already, but large area encompasses a great deal of land and takes up a lot of APN 3248. It appears that the solar company has secured a great deal of this land already and applied for the permits with the City of Lancaster. So the adage buy land and wait has paid off for these long and even short term investors as a developer has come and is developing at the current extreme city limits of Lancaster. If your not familiar with the city of Lancaster then you have missed the solar gold rush. But the city of Lancaster and Palmdale (Antelope Valley) are situated in the most norther part of Los Angles County. This developing facility is about 8 to 10 miles west of Hwy 14 and just north of the aqueduct that runs via the the southern portion of Antelope Valley. Some of the solar panels are visible via google maps or aerial mapping. Stay tuned here for more news.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

High Desert Corridor Hwy and Railway Has Completed its Environmental Report. Can this Boom the Far East Side of Antelope Valley?

The Draft Environmental Impact Statement/Environmental Impact Report (Draft EIS/EIR) for the High Desert Corridor is now available for public review according to the High Desert Corridor website. The final report was to be completed this spring 2015. The overall plan is to build a highway link from Hwy 14 in Los Angeles County to Hwy 18 in San Bernardino County. This potential toll road would cross Hwy 395 and Hwy 15 in Victorville area. The project is expected to cost $4 to $8 Billion. It seems that nothing is cheap in California. The reason to build it is that there is projected to be a great deal of growth in Palmdale, Lancaster, Apple Valley and Victorville in the future. While growth in LA proper may decrease. The project is expected to have a toll road which seems to be vital to the funding and a bike lane. The proposal also includes a potential light rail line or at least a connection to the Metro link, so a person can ride by train from Victorville to Downtown LA. There has been planning’s and meetings and a great deal of discussion on this proposed project. It would at minimum increase land sales along its proposed route which is the far east side of Antelope Valley and also land on the far west side of San Bernardino County. Currently land in these areas sells for under $1000 an acre and even $300 per acre. Check out the proposed route and contact us if you looking for low price land in this area. An interactive map of the project and other information can be viewed at No comments:

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Problems with the Hyperloop

We continue our input on mass transit in Californian and the alternative to the currently approved High Speed Rail, which is only partially funded. Like issues with the Cal High Speed Rail and we are sure there were issues with the US highway system that was introduced in the 50’s. There are a few major issues that would have to be addresses with the Hyperloop. The Hyperloop will as all mass transit has land rights issues. Getting right of ways locally and regionally. That is an avenue that can be addressed if the system is more than a science project. There will certainly be environmental issues as any development has to address. Two big issues though may make it an unsound idea. If it proves to be sound as a prototype then practical issues would need to be overcome. The Cato Institute says a big one is how much energy the Hyperloop would require. The linear propulsion system and the air pressure pumps for the tubes would probably need much more energy than would be provided by the solar panels Musk proposes installing on the tubes and the energy recovery system he envisions having at the end of the route, said Roger Goodall, a maglev train expert and a professor of control systems engineering at the United Kingdom's Loughborough University. Another big issue is that the Hyperloop would have to go straight. If this vacuum tube runs at 800 miles per hour or more, then scientists say a human could not take a bend at that speed without deposited their lunch or breakfast on the seats or other passengers. The force of moving a human body at such speeds a few feet left or right or up and down over a hill maybe too much for a passenger. It is likely unrealistic to think you can have a straight shot from San Francisco to Los Angeles. There would have to be bends in the plan. If this can be overcome then maybe there is hope for a $20 one way ride, not including your car. But is there enough energy to do it with just solar? And will the development costs far exceed the construction costs. Things to consider.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Oar Fish washes up on California Shore and San Andreas Movie’s Debut?

New reports indicate an oar fish ran ashore off the California coast near Catalina Island. The movie San Andreas is about a major earthquake in California on the San Andreas Fault. So what do the two have to do with one another? Japanese legend says an oarfish coming ashore is an earthquake indicator. This folklore goes back centuries. News reports say this oarfish has no major injuries, so why did it come up from the deep. The Japanese myth has some science behind it. The oarfish is a deep water fish and it rarely if ever comes to the surface according to marine biologists. The oarfish comes ashore because he is sick or dying, or they feel tremor under the sea. So if an oarfish swims to the surface then you should run to the hills. Now this fish may actually be sick and if there is only one found ashore then it may just indicate this one needed a doctor. But if more come ashore then we need to ask the scientists if there are tremor readings in the Pacific. “ What science tell us about warnings from the earth. The Iquisitr news article quotes: When an earthquake occurs there can be a build-up of pressure in the rocks which can lead to electrostatic charges that cause electrically-charged ions to be released into the water,” Dr. Grant explained. “This can lead to the formation of hydrogen peroxide, which is a toxic compound. The charged ions can also oxidize organic matter which could either kill the fish or force them to leave the deep ocean and rise to the surface. The geophysical processes behind these kinds of sighting can happen before an earthquake.” The oarfish found on Catalina Island was sighted on Monday. As it just so happens, the USGS reports an earthquake occurred on Tuesday within the same general area, although it was centered further north within California. Coincidence? End Inquisitr article. So the earthquake may have already happened and in this case it only affected this fish and other not seen yet. But if you live in California and or you own real estate then earthquake have to be a concern. If you own land then it is less of a problem unless it is the “big one”. Either way it is something to pay attention to and it is great free press for the San Andreas movie.

Monday, June 1, 2015

California High-Speed Rail Authority Making Its Case in Developing the Route

The high speed rail authority is make a case for the rail system based on population projections of an increase in 12 million new inhabitants in the State by 2040. They propose that the rail system will be in place from San Francisco to Los Angeles by 2029. They have only started construction on the first 29 miles of the system began in January, and the will be building their first river crossing bridge over the Fresno River soon. An AV Press article stated from an event that the alignments for the two portions of the system going through the Antelope Valley Have not been determined. They do have a plan from Bakersfield over the Tehachapi Mountains, and from there into the northern end of Lancaster still needs to be determined. They did indicate they wanted to avoid the wind turbines and any mining so at least that is a hint. They said they will run along Sierra Highway, which is where the existing railroad track is located. According to the AVPress article: There are four major routes, plus a couple of sub-routes, being looked at between Palmdale and Burbank. The original proposals paralleled the Antelope Valley Freeway (Hwy 14) between Acton and Santa Clarita, but new alternatives include underground routes proposed to tunnel through the San Gabriel Mountains with the aim of avoiding opponents in the Acton area and the Santa Clarita Valley. And then there is the cost which is estimated to be $68 Billion. The rail authority’s case against this cost is that it will cost $158 Billion if they created new highways, expanding airports, and made new roads. So $68 Billion sounds like a bargain. It maybe a tough sell either way as the costs to do nothing will likely be congestion. If you own land along Sierra Hwy at some point you may get an offer letter, but it still maybe decades away as we don’t see a system in place by 2029 from SF to LA.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

California landowners Say the Ground Water is Theirs

CNBC Recent article on water in California Most landowners in California say they own the water underneath their land, while others argue groundwater is a common resource. Now with the drought in California, there's a topic many private landowners remain steadfast about: Water well metering. Without a drought the water from rivers lakes and reservoirs is ample enough to supply roughly two thirds of state water each year. Now farmers and drillers are digging deeper for ground water. According to a CNBC article groundwater can account for half of total state water consumed in drought years. This is usually not an issue, but now with a drought groundwater is everyone’s issue. In rural areas in outside Bakersfield, Tulare County ground water is the main water for residents. The Sustainable Ground water Act requires local districts to measure and report details on regional groundwater amounts. It was signed by Gov. Brown last year. The laws guidelines implies rural communities will have to monitor ground water removal which means metering. The argument is that driller may drill 1000 feet below their land but they are also tapping the neighbor’s water peripherally. It is further argued that the landowners say I own the water beneath my land and that is it, and it is not illegal to drill for water. The State and regulator want to regulate with water acquisition and they say that land is sinking because water is being pull out from other areas. The landowners say if it is my water why do I have to report what I take from my land? The State says they need to regulate how much water is being withdrawn. If there wasn’t a drought then likely there would not be an argument. CNBC’s article further reports that while the groundwater law is a place to start, the regulation includes a timeline for implementation, with a target date of 2040. End article. This will most likely affect the rural areas of Antelope Valley as Los Angeles County has been in a law suit with land owners in the Valley regarding the water basin below. This may increase the value of city land where water will be furnished by city services. It more affects farmers and rural residents in Antelope Valley, but as Lancaster and Palmdale are in the High Desert water rationing will likely be a way of life.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Land Investment is an Ideal hedge Increased Federal Rising Interest Rates and Coming Inflation

The global central banks have been printing money as a means to stop the most recent financial crisis. The biggest three money printing central banks have been the Federal Reserve, Japan and the European Central Bank. Gold has diminished in value instead of increasing the last five years during the QE (Quantitative Easing) era. The US Federal Reserve has ended qualitative easing and will increase rates soon likely in months according to experts. Higher interest and all this money printing to avoid deflation will likely soon cause inflation. The US debt is so large that other countries may also move away from the dollar as the sole reserve currency. There are recent news reports that outline this. These factors will all lead to inflation, and likely very high inflation. Gold is usually a very popular investment to combat inflation as it appreciates in value against a currency during inflationary times. Real estate is also a great investment at any time, and it is even better during times of rising inflation. Real Estate housing prices will likely drop with higher interest rates as the cost to buy a home will be more. The limited availability of land and rising population growth will increase housing demand and hence real estate in general has the potential to beat inflation in the long term. A reason why land is a good inflation investment hedge is because it will not lose value to zero like a stock can. Land doesn’t go bankrupt If you buy land in cash then the value may go lower, but overall will have value if it was a decent purchase price in an area that will see growth with future development. It doesn’t mean all land has value. If a person overpaid for land then the value may take decades to generations to produce a return on investment. Precious metals like Gold and Silver can increase dramatically in inflationary periods so your investment can profit much more than land. But buy land at a good price and the investment can hold its value in inflation. You can also sell it as other may want it as their inflation hold in such an environment.

Friday, April 3, 2015

Rail Versus Kit Fox

Environmentalists say the $68 Billion rail maybe unended by the Kit Fox? There are lots of animals in this trains path. Kit Fox today burrowing Owl tomorrow. The Fresno Bee reported that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service say the California Higher-Speed Rail Authority and Federal Railroad Administration are out of compliance with environmental commitments for creating the bullet-train line in the Fresno-Madera area. The contractor Tutor Perini Zachry Parsons which sounds more like a law firm infringed on the Kit Fox’s habitat. The Kit Fox is an endangered species since 67. Biologist say the Kit Fox den was not active last summer, so the Fox didn’t product kits. The Kits Fox is a very small animal about the size of a cat. What do Californians love more than Global Warming, no I mean Climate Change is an Endangered species. We are will the fox on this one as the project has been a bad idea since the beginning. Way too expensive and way too unnecessary. The Hyper Loop looks to be the way to go if you need long haul transports. Stay tuned for more on this issue in coming months.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Kinkisharyo agrees to Continue Work on new Metro Light Rail Vehicles

Back in 2012, Kinkisharyo was awarded a contract for a base order of 78 new light rail vehicles plus contract options for additional vehicles for Los Angeles Metro., Kinkisharyo agreed to assemble light rail cars at a new facility in Palmdale, but late last year unions fought the agreement and Kinkisharyo decided to move on and back to Arizona. Since then the LA Mayor Eric Garcetti and the Metro Chair announced an agreement between Kinkisharyo and the unions The mayor was quoted in Nov. 2014 “Last month, the lines were drawn in the sand and we were going to see jobs that could be in L.A. County go somewhere else. But because we brought both sides back to the table to grind out night and day negotiations with my office, L.A. County is going to see new middle class jobs and an expansion of our manufacturing base,” Mayor and Metro Chair Garcetti said. “As I oversee the nation’s largest public works project as Mayor and Metro Chair, it’s critical to me that our economy benefits from our $36 billion transportation build out, and this agreement makes that happen. Creating good, local jobs as we strengthen our local infrastructure is key to my back to basics agenda for L.A.” Now according to news reports Kinkisharyo will expand the current light rail car assembly and testing operations at its existing site in Palmdale to include manufacturing tasks, which will create up to a total of 250 jobs. The 175 cars being worked on at the facility will be put into service on the Crenshaw, Exposition and extended Gold lines. The agreement includes a neutrality agreement, as well as a commitment to explore additional skills training and assistance for disadvantaged L.A. County workers. This is an opportunity for more jobs in the valley to go along with further progress at Plant 42, and BYD’s Electric Bus in Lancaster.

Monday, March 2, 2015

HyperLoop Test Track in California

Elon Musk has has pushed the Hyperloop forward from a dream to a test track. The Hyperloop train is a proposal to move people and cars at super speeds (760 mph) via a tube system. You could move from San Francisco to Los Angeles in under 45 minutes and drive your car right away. It appears that Elon Musk’s “hyperloop” system will build a test track in Texas. Another developer is proposing to build a test track in Quay Valley in Kings County. Quay Valley has been a proposed sustainable community, or a modern 21st century town from the ground up. It runs along Hwy 5 in central California. Quay Valley is not unlike Centennial in Antelope Valley has proposed. This proposed hyperloop track will be slower and shorter than Musk’s Loop in Texas. This slower system will allow engineers to study the system to load and unloading people and movement of the system. They have the land and they indicate they have the money also. We continue to bring this up as a Hyperloop would be a less expensive alternative to the CalHighSpeed Rail.

Monday, February 9, 2015

New Stealth Bomber Could Jump the Palmdale and Lancaster Economy Spring 2015

News reports indicate a big Pentagon Project which could be awarded to Palmdale, Ca. Northrop Grumman. They are bidding to make the New Stealth Bomber. Each plane could cost $550 million or more to make. Grumman already has a facility building the earlier bomber at Plant 42. Grumman and Palmdale, Ca. are in competition with Boeing on the project. This means more jobs for Antelope Valley. News reports also indicate that Sacramento legislators have passed bills to provide tax breaks for Lockheed and Grumman last summer in hopes on getting the deal. LA Times quotes Palmdale Ca. Mayor "They've indicated that they can’t talk about it but he can," Mayor James Ledford said the prospects look good. Northrop executives have said they would build substantial parts of the company's proposed bomber in Palmdale, he said, creating an estimated 1,500 jobs. Rival Lockheed Martin Corp. who is a subcontractor to Boeing Co. indicated it also plans to work on a new warplane in Palmdale, Mayor Ledford said. That means more jobs. Military officials say they want the plant to be built for $550 million each, and not the $1 Billion a plane as in the past. Sources indicate their budget is $1.2 Billion per plane, and they want to build 100 new planes starting this spring. Both Grumman and Lockheed have a track record of going over budget. Antelope Valley has a long history with high tech planes. The B-2 was built here, as well as the first Stealth Bomber, U-2 spy plane, and the F-117 stealth fighter. There has been a lot of jobs in Palmdale and LA County from aerospace through the decades of the Cold War. Even today Virgin Galactic tests their space rocket just north in Kern County at Edwards Air force Base. Winning this project will certainly help the local economy and these engineers will have to buy a home and later invest in their community.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Tesla and Space X CEO Elon Musk Plans to Build a 5 Mile Test Track for his Hyperloop Transportation System

Elon Musk is bringing the Hyperloop project closer to reality. He said recently that he is making plans to bring a testing facility for the ultra-fast Hyperloop system. It will likely be made in Texas and it will be approximately 5 miles long. The plan according to his tweet is to create pods connected to a train system and these pods will transport passengers and likely cars at hyper speeds between destinations. The system is based on creating a vacuum and theoretically transporting passengers from San Francisco to Los Angeles in under an hour. He said in his tweets that his Hyperloop track would be open to other companies and students “to test out their pods.” This is in direct competition to the CalHighSpeed Rail which has recently broken ground in Fresno with media hype and political backing from Democrats and Gov. Jerry Brown. The Hyperloop system is projected to cost billions less than the CalHighSpeed Rail, and the Hyperloop can transport your car and you.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Cal High-Speed Rail Authority Hosts Official Groundbreaking Ceremony January 6, 2015

FRESNO Cal High-Speed Rail Authority yesterday and Governor Brown joined hundreds of supporters broke t ground on the nation’s first high-speed rail system. In addition to the support of federal, state and local dignitaries, there was strong backing from Central Valley and California-based construction crews, small businesses, and local students who were eager to highlight how high-speed rail is positively affecting California today and will continue to into the future. This construction faze is set for the next five years in the Central Valley. There was a tour of nearby construction activity, which is being done by local and statewide businesses. They also note in their press release finalization of project designs, ongoing right-of-way purchases, and workforce training. This will be a 29 mile stretch of land from Ave 17 in Madera County to East American Ave in Fresno County. The construction will include 12 grade separations, two viaducts, a tunnel, and a bridge over the San Joaquin River. It will be undertaken by California-based Tutor Perini Zachry/Parsons (TPZP) who will be designing and building this first phase of the project. Many at the ceremony were talking about the electric train taking cars off the road and renewable energy, and it potential low cost of $90 from SF to LA in the time it takes a plane to do the same. It will take some time to complete the SF to LA leg for sure. It will likely cost more than $90 once it is accomplished if it is ever accomplished. Authorities say they need to speed up the eminent domain process, since only 100 of the 500 land parcels needed for the rails and stations have been purchased. Californians approved a nearly $10 billion bond for the train in 2008, and in 2012 the Obama administration dedicated $3.3 billion in stimulus funds. Part of the greenhouse gas fees to be collected under the state's cap-and-trade program also will go to the train. There is a lot of capital both political and economic invested in this plan. We will keep you abreast of its progress.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

The Hyperloop Plan Potentially from San Francisco To Los Angeles is Still in the Loop

Elon Mush forwarded a plan that would replace the Cal High Speed Rail. In this new version the plan would be to move vehicles and people 700 mile per house via a tube system above of below ground. UCLA Students have taken up the challenge with funding from JumpStartFund a crowd funding organization. Their main objective is to bring the Hyperloop from concept to reality, and then see which state or country would like to incorporate it in their plans. This may or may not be California. The UCLA/JumpStartFund concept is to have "bubbles" stacked on top of each other going opposite directions on air compressors so as to maintain the low pressure. The cost is projected to be $6 to $10 billion which can undertake a 400 mile stretch. They are in the feasibility phase and they are trying to prove it out. They think this can be done within a decade. The proposed price tag is much much less than the CalHighSpeed Rail plan which is in the 10’s of billions. The Rail plan is underway and is currently partially funded, and partially planned. If the Hyperloop feasibility study proves out can it leap frog the Train? There is a lot of political and financial capital behind the train, and no politician is backing the Hyperloop, but if it can be done for 1/10th the cost of the rail and it incorporates vehicles instead of just people then I think the Loop should win out. Think about it if you could drive your car into a tube that will get you from LA to San Francisco in 45 minutes then it will change the entire means of human long hall transportation. How about Sacramento to San Francisco in 10 minutes? You could live in low priced housing in Sacramento and work in the Bay Area. They could run it on or above the current rail lines. A big thing Americans embrace is freedom of transportation. You can build multiple car pool lanes, but most people still drive alone, because they have to or want to. We think if this can be a proven alternative to the CalHighSpeedRail then the rail is doomed, even though it is already underway. This innovation will even effect short hall flights that Southwest Airlines is famous for.