Monday, March 7, 2016

The Hyperloop is Coming and Maybe to a Town Near You

A half billionaire and venture capitalist who has funded Uber, Airbnb, Munchery among other ventures is backing Hyperloop Technologies. He is Shervin Pishevar and not long ago he made a pitch to Senator Harry Reid. Granted Senator Reid will soon be out of office, but this science fiction project is gathering attention. The billionaire Elon Musk is also pushing the program and both parties are conducting test programs in Texas and Las Vegas. The Hyperlook may not supersede the CalhighSpeedRail, but it will give many to pause. If cargo can be transported from Los Angeles to Denver or beyond via a Hyperloop then that changes transport costs. I will really change the way transport is done. It should clearly be a threat to the HighSpeed Trains, and the Airline industry. It this takes off like these innovators see it then it can eliminate the commute. A loop could run above a freeway and zip people for under ten dollars from downtown to LAX, or from San Francisco to San Jose and then maybe you can hope into a driver-less car to take you to the office. It is not that far off to being a reality.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Antelope Valley is the Silicon Sky

This is a reprint of an article from the AVPress by Jim Keen After suffering more than its fair share of down time, the Antelope Valley is on the upswing and the outlook for its leading industry, aerospace, is bright. In an essay titled "The Unfolding of Silicon Sky," economist Christopher Thornberg notes the Antelope Valley suffered through hard times in the 1990s from defense cutbacks and was hit hard than most areas in the housing market bust of the Great Recession. "The good news is that the Antelope Valley is on an upward swing and clearly recovering from the recession," Thornberg wrote in the essay, which appears in the 2016 Economic Roundtable Report produced by the Greater Antelope Valley Economic Alliance, or GAVEA. Thornberg is the founder of Beacon Economics and has been a frequent visitor to the Antelope Valley. Thornberg says signs of that upswing include home prices that are increasing at a 9% pace, falling unemployment, taxable sales growing at a healthy 5% rate, population growth holding steady at just under 1%, and overall job growth being at just above 2%. "While new construction remains subdued locally, growing unaffordability in the core areas of Los Angeles will undoubtedly create a new surge in local demand over the next few years," Thornberg wrote. The biggest bright spot is aerospace. "This isn't your father's aerospace industry, back when gutsy test pilots and bigger jet engines defined the industry," Thornberg wrote. "Today, it is all about material sciences and advanced computer technology." Thornberg notes some of the industry's recent milestones, including billionaire Paul Allen opting to build a giant airplane in Mojave to launch satellites into space, Northrop Grumman winning the contract to develop America's next bomber, and activity by the Air Force and the Navy in redesigning major weapon systems in the region. "All of these efforts require massive R&D activity and extensive high-tech supply chains - bringing in a new wave of suppliers and sub-contractors. These will be high-tech firms with highly skilled employees and represent an opportunity for the area to become a high-tech hub," Thornberg wrote. The key for the region is to make it as easy as possible for these companies and workers to come to the Antelope Valley, Thornberg said. The region will also need to make sure the area is a place where tech workers would want to live by improving education, expanding entertainment and retail options, and making space for high-end housing, Thornberg said.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Several Multiple Housing Tract Maps recently approved and extended in Lancaster

A recent planning commission meeting extended tentative tract map approval for a couple of investment firms. 64 acres at 80th West and Ave L was approved for a 60 day extension. The subdivion is for 204 homes zoned R-10,000. There was another 42 acre plot approved for a 60 day extension 40th Street West at H-8. This is approving 156 homes of R-7000 zoning. Another firm was approved for 66 home on R-10,000 zoning at 35th Street West at K-4. The same firm is getting another 39 home approved near this parcel. Another 40 acre parcel at 15th East at H-8 was approved for a 60 day extension on 151 homes also zoned R-7000. These extensions are currently only approving the tract map, so building doesn’t appear to be around the corner, but it looks positive that these firms are moving their plans forward for future housing development. It these all move forward then that is at least 550 new homes on the horizon. This will certainly put a dent in housing inventory. Stay tuned for future updates on these new developments.