November 14, 2014 on 5:03 pm | In Fascinating Information, Property Wish List, Uncategorized, world | 1 Comment

by Jodi Summers

And now for something completely different > Industrial Art. Specifically, the Detroit Industry Murals by Mexican muralist Diego Rivera (1886–1957). A series of 27 fresco panels, covering 447 square yards, the Detroit Industry fresco cycle was conceived as a tribute to the city’s manufacturing base and labor force of the 1930s. It was completed with the support of Henry Ford in eleven months, from April 1932 to March 1933. It is considered the finest example of Mexican mural art in the United States, and the artist thought it the best work of his career.

In this epic industrial mural which surrounds the Rivera Court at the Detroit Institute of Arts, Rivera captures men of differing skills and ethnicity all toiling together in a cavernous automobile factory to achieve the same end result: putting America on wheels and down the road. It’s a snapshot of a day in the life of 1930′s industrial America.

Rivera was a controversial Mexican artist — both praised for his rich, storytelling murals and frescoes, and criticized for his left-leaning politics. He often depicted the heroism and struggle of the worker, and preferred public murals as his medium for their ability to bring art to the masses.

The two main panels on the North and South walls depict laborers working at Ford Motor Company’s River Rouge Plant. Other panels depict advances made in various scientific fields, such as medicine and new technology. The series of murals, taken as a whole, represents the idea that all actions and ideas are one.

Rivera believed that art belonged on public walls rather than in private galleries. He found his medium in the fresco, where paint is applied to wet plaster. Its vast size allowed him to explore grand and complex themes, which would be accessible to a large audience.

In the mural, Rivera depicts the workers as in harmony with their machines and highly productive. This view reflects both Karl Marx’s begrudging admiration for the high productivity of capitalism and the wish of Edsel Ford, who funded the project, that the Ford motor plant be depicted favorably. Enjoy.



November 1, 2014 on 12:29 am | In Charts + Statistics, Economy, Fascinating Information, Problem Solving, Uncategorized, world | 2 Comments

edited by Jodi Summers

“I consider the major challenge for the industrial sector to be what’s known in the industry as ‘the last mile,’” astutely observes Bill Waxman, executive vice president of CBRE’s Global Port Logistics Group. Recently, he sat down for a series of interviews with to talk about the changes in the industrial real estate market. Here are some highlights…

How is the industrial real estate sector changing?

Waxman: I consider the major challenge for the industrial sector to be what’s known in the industry as ‘the last mile.’ Last Christmas, UPS and FedEx were overwhelmed by the huge demand from companies like Amazon and Target and, as a result, weren’t able to deliver packages on time.

Consumers, however, are demanding quick and reliable service. Think about when you go the grocery store and you breeze through the aisles and fill your cart quickly but get to the checkout and find only two cashiers and very long lines.

That’s the comparison for the issue that logistics and delivery services today are faced with. If consumers get in that line and it’s a negative experience, they either won’t come back or will purchase less goods the next time around. However, ‘the last mile’ issue is being addressed and many companies, including our clients, are working hard to improve the process.

The other big industry challenge is planning for the unknown. This includes accounting for fuel prices, labor strikes at the ports, government regulations, terrorism, etc.

How do you deal with the unknown?

Waxman: It’s not so much an issue for the investors and owners as it is for the occupiers. However, developers and owners have done a good job of taking older buildings and converting them to meet the standards needed to be a key player in the e-commerce world.

Similarly, new buildings that are being constructed are thought of in terms of e-commerce capabilities. In this day and age, development is not just about bricks and mortar, but also about how the building and layout will “perform” for different types of users.

Developers and owners are doing a great job of thinking from the perspective of the occupiers and really taking into account the end use. Instead of just acting as landlords, many owners are serving as partners not just landlords to their tenants, which is an integral part of real estate health.

Manufacturing? Distribution? What will be the sectors to watch?

Waxman: The industry should definitely keep an eye on the e-commerce sector. In the larger markets, including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Seattle, we’re seeing quick growth in same-day and next-day delivery.

Companies like Fresh Direct, Blue Apron, Peapod, and even Amazon that deliver groceries and prepared food to the home are major contributors to this trend in the e-commerce space. Technology supply, pet supply, home goods, and hardware companies are also keeping up with the trend in these larger cities.

The key areas to watch are the regions where this trend is still up and coming. In the near-term, we can expect to see an influx of same-day and next-day deliveries in the Houston, Dallas, Phoenix, and Denver markets. After that, we’ll likely see further expansion into areas such as Oklahoma City, Kansas City, Cincinnati, and Memphis.

For more information please contact Jodi Summers and the SoCal Investment Real Estate Group @ Sotheby’s International Realty – or 310.392.1211, and let us move forward together.





October 16, 2014 on 8:41 pm | In Charts + Statistics, Fascinating Information, Uncategorized, world | 4 Comments

by Jodi Summers

Man may now be aware of global warming, but we’ve been melting ice caps for more than 150 years. A NASA-led team of scientists has uncovered strong evidence that soot from a rapidly industrializing Europe caused the abrupt retreat of mountain glaciers in the European Alps that began in the 1860s, a period often thought of as the end of the Little Ice Age.

The research, published September 2013 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, reveals that in the decades following the 1850s, Europe underwent an economic and atmospheric transformation spurred by industrialization. The use of coal to heat homes and power transportation and industry in Western Europe began in earnest, spewing huge quantities of black carbon and other dark particles into the atmosphere.

This NASA photo from the summer of 2012 looking south into the Bernese Alps shows how air pollution in the Alps tends to be confined to lower altitudes, with the deposits of soot and dust on the lower slopes. At center left in the picture, a glacier can be seen extending from a high-altitude snow field, above the pollution layer, down into the valley where its lower reach is bathed in pollutants.

Scientists have concluded that black carbon is the strongest sunlight-absorbing atmospheric particle. When these particles settle on the snow blanketing glaciers, they darken the snow surface, speeding its melting and exposing the underlying glacier ice to sunlight and warmer spring and summer air earlier in the year. This diminishing of the snow cover earlier in each year causes the glacier ice to melt faster and retreat.

The Little Ice Age, loosely defined as a cooler period between the 14th and 19th centuries, was marked by an expansion of mountain glaciers and a drop in temperatures in Europe of nearly 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit (1 degree Celsius). The curious thing is, that between 1860 and 1930 temperatures continued to drop, yet large valley glaciers in the Alps abruptly retreated by an average of nearly 0.6 mile (1 kilometer). Glacier records note this rate of retreat had not been seen in the previous few hundred years. Glaciologists and climatologists have struggled to reconcile this apparent conflict between climate and glacier records…until now.

“Something was missing from the equation,” said Thomas Painter, a snow and ice scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., who led the study. “Before now, most glaciologists believed the end of the Little Ice Age came in the mid-1800s when these glaciers retreated, and that the retreat was due to a natural climatic shift, distinct from the carbon dioxide-induced warming that came later in the 20th century. This result suggests that human influence on glaciers extends back to well before the industrial temperature increases.”

To help the scientists understand what was driving the glacier retreat, Painter and his colleagues turned to history. The researchers studied data from ice cores drilled from high up on several European mountain glaciers to determine how much black carbon was in the atmosphere and snow when the Alps glaciers began to retreat. Using the levels of carbon particles trapped in the ice core layers, and taking into consideration modern observations of how pollutants are distributed in the Alps, they were able to estimate how much black carbon was deposited on glacial surfaces at lower elevations, where levels of black carbon tend to be highest.

The team then ran computer models of glacier behavior, starting with recorded weather conditions, then adding the impact of the lower-elevation pollution. When this impact was included, the simulated glacier mass loss and timing finally were consistent with the historic record of glacial retreat, despite the cooling temperatures at that time.

“We must now look more closely at other regions on Earth, such as the Himalaya, to study the present-day impacts of black carbon on glaciers in these regions,” said Georg Kaser, a study co-author from the University of Innsbruck, Austria, and lead author of the Working Group I Cryosphere chapter of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s upcoming Fifth Assessment Report.

“This study uncovers likely human fingerprints on our changing environment,” said co-author Waleed Abdalati, director of the Cooperative Institute for Research and Environmental Sciences (CIRES) at the University of Colorado Boulder. “It’s a reminder that the actions we take have far-reaching impacts on the environment in which we live.”



September 28, 2014 on 12:55 pm | In 4 Sale, Bravo, Charts + Statistics, Fascinating Information, Investment Opportunities, Market Snapshot, New Developments, Problem Solving, Uncategorized, world | 5 Comments

by Jodi Summers

Ask the industrial real estate experts, they’ll tell you, Los Angeles is a crucial market because of its ports…and the Los Angeles industrial market is highly dependent on the twin ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach.

Currently, the twin ports account for more than 40% of all the container traffic entering the nation. When the wider channel of the Panama Canal opens at the end of 2015, competition will be fierce with the East Coast Ports. In preparation, our ports have allocated approximately $5 billion on port infrastructure upgrades from 2012 to 2017.

In an effort to maintain dominance in the segment, the Port of Los Angeles and Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway are pushing for a $500 million rail yard near the port that would prevent the need for trucks to carry containers nearly 25 miles inland to Commerce before being loaded on trains.

Colliers notes, “The Southern California ports see the Panama Canal as a big deal, and intend to surrender nothing to East Coast ports.”

It is expected that the ability for post-Panamax ships to reach Houston, Miami and the New Orleans port complex will certainly put a dent into operations in Southern California.

Owners with port-related tenants may consider more secure assets. Although many tenants are likely to remain in the county, leases that expire in 2016 could potentially be renewed at lower rental rates as available space heightens competition.

It’s a good time for owner/users, as interest rates on SBA loans are still low.

Marcus and Millichap’s Industrial Market Outlook for the 2nd half of 2014 keeps Los Angeles as the top industrial real estate market for the following reasons:

■ Investment in transportation corridors to the ports and a decline in construction support Los Angeles’ top ranking.

■ Employers in the metro will expand payrolls by 2% in 2014 as 81,000 positions are added. (In 2013, 76,900 jobs were created in the market.)

■ The pace of development will slip to 1.7 million square feet in 2014, down from 2.9 million square feet last year.

■ Vacancy will dip to 4.7% in 2014.

■ As vacancy falls below the 5%, operators will elevate asking rents 5.1% to $7.27 per square foot by year-end 2014.

■ Redevelopment of the Warehouse District could gain steam for investors as the new rail yard near the ports moves forward. Owners in the area may consider divesting to developers seeking to reposition assets.

“The overall state of the industrial market has continually improved since last year, though national asking rents are about the same,” concludes Bill Waxman, executive vice president of CBRE’s Global Port Logistics Group. “There hasn’t been a spike improvement but, rather, slow and steady improvement in leasing demand, development, and investment.”

For more information please contact Jodi Summers and the SoCal Investment Real Estate Group @ Sotheby’s International Realty – or 310.392.1211, and let us move forward together.




August 30, 2014 on 9:23 am | In Bravo, Fascinating Information, Government, Green, Investment Opportunities, New Developments, Problem Solving, Property Maintenance, Uncategorized | 4 Comments

from  Jodi Summers

The Gerald Desmond Bridge in Long Beach is a through arch bridge that carries four lanes from the end  of Interstate 710 across the Cerritos Channel to Terminal Island.  The bridge is named after Gerald Desmond, a civic leader and former city attorney for the City of Long Beach.

Built in the 1960s (with Bethlehem Steel), the Gerald Desmond Bridge was not designed to handle today’s supertankers and traffic volumes and it has been deteriorating, so it is being replaced.

The new bridge, due for completion in 2016, will allow access to the port for even the tallest container ships. It will be the first long-span cable-stayed bridge in California. (A cable-stayed bridge has one or more towers (or pylons), from which cables support the bridge deck.)

Time-lapse video featuring new footage of the SB I-710 Freeway connector demolition work that took place from May 23 – June 22, 2014. The connector to WB Ocean Blvd. was demolished to make room for the new bridge foundations.

In order for the bridge to be so tall, long approaches will be required to allow heavy trucks to cross the structure. A joint venture of Parsons Transportation Group and HNTB performed preliminary engineering for the main span and the approaches.

The current bridge proved to be obsolete in March 2012, when the 155-foot (47 m) vertical clearance of the bridge was not enough to allow the Fabiola to enter the Port of Long Beach. At 12,562 TEUs, the Fabiola was, to date, the largest container ship to date to enter the Port of Long Beach. The height restriction prevented the ship from docking at the Mediterranean Shipping Company dock; it docked at the Hanjin terminal instead.

The Gerald Desmond Bridge will continue to be a vital link in the nation’s trade system and a major commuter corridor.


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