Archive for March, 2011
Below is a press release about a national study on shadow inventory, or homes that would probably enter the market if conditions improved.
CoreLogic a leading provider of consumer, financial and property information and business services, reported on March 30 that the current residential shadow inventory as of January 2011 declined to 1.8 million units, representing a nine months’ supply. This is down slightly from 2.0 million units, also a nine months’ supply, from a year ago. CoreLogic research indicates that although a material portion of the shadow inventory can be optimally treated via modification or short sale, only a small share can be effectively remediated from the shadow supply.
CoreLogic estimates current shadow inventory, also known as pending supply, by calculating the number of distressed properties not currently listed on multiple listing services (MLS) that are seriously delinquent (90 days or more), in foreclosure and real estate owned (REO) by lenders. Transition rates of “delinquency to foreclosure” and “foreclosure to REO” are used to identify the currently distressed non-listed properties most likely to become REO properties. Properties that are not yet delinquent but may become delinquent in the future are not included in the estimate of the current shadow inventory. Shadow inventory is typically not included in the official metrics of unsold inventory.
Below is a post from Google’s official blog making the announcement about the winner of its Google fiber project: Kansas City, Kan. Bellingham was one of the cities in running for the award:
As part of our overall goal to make the web better for users, last year we announced a new project: to provide a community with Internet access more than 100 times faster than what most Americans have today. The response was overwhelming—nearly 1,100 cities felt the need for speed—and we were thrilled by the enthusiasm we saw across the country for better and faster web connections. Thank you to every community and individual that submitted a response, joined a rally, starred in a YouTube video or otherwise participated.
After a careful review, today we’re very happy to announce that we will build our ultra high-speed network in Kansas City, Kansas. We’ve signed a development agreement with the city, and we’ll be working closely with local organizations, businesses and universities to bring a next-generation web experience to the community.
Later this morning we’ll join Mayor Reardon at Wyandotte High School in Kansas City, Kansas, for an event we’ll carry live on the Google YouTube channel—be sure to tune in at 10am PDT to watch.
In selecting a city, our goal was to find a location where we could build efficiently, make an impact on the community and develop relationships with local government and community organizations. We’ve found this in Kansas City. We’ll be working closely with local organizations including the Kauffman Foundation, KCNext and the University of Kansas Medical Center to help develop the gigabit applications of the future.
Pending approval from the city’s Board of Commissioners, we plan to offer service beginning in 2012. We’ll also be looking closely at ways to bring ultra high-speed Internet to other cities across the country.
Over the past decade, the jump from dial-up to broadband has led to streaming online video, digital music sales, video conferencing over the web and countless other innovations that have transformed communication and commerce. We can’t wait to see what new products and services will emerge as Kansas City moves from traditional broadband to ultra high-speed fiber optic connections.
Now it’s time to get to work.
This will be in Wednesday’s retail column, but here’s a sneak-peak:
After six years in a small space, Tom Traibush is ready to give customers and employees of Fairhaven Pizza Company a little more elbow room.
Traibush is planning to move the pizza place into the former Flats Tapas Bar space at 1307 11th St., near Skylark’s café. Plans for the move have begun and he expects to be in the new space by June.
The move will allow Fairhaven Pizza to have more customer seating. The area also has more pedestrian traffic, so once in the new space Fairhaven Pizza will begin serving lunch, which includes selling the pizza by the slice.
To date Fairhaven Pizza has primarily served as a take-out place for customers, particularly those on their way to Trek Video for a pizza and movie night.
“We never had enough seating to do much else,” Traibush said.
Before starting Fairhaven Pizza, Traibush worked as a commercial fisherman for 25 years. He still makes the trip up to Alaska each fall for the prawn season and plans on incorporating that seafood into his business plan. He’s pondering ideas such as having a guest chef come in to make dishes with the prawns on Mondays, when the pizza place is typically closed.
The bigger space and the increased seating will also give the company a chance to hire a few more employees.
Although he’s excited about the new changes, he hopes it doesn’t impact the loyal neighborhood customer base that’s helped the business thrive.
“The take-out portion will remain an important part of our business,” Traibush said. “The good friendships I’ve made in this neighborhood and the great staff makes this enjoyable.”
For details about the company, call 360-756-7561.
Below is an article by The Associated Press about Northrop Grumman’s plans to exit the shipbuilding business. Some of you might recall Bellingham-based Aluminum Chambered Boats had a business partnership with the company in 2006. ACB ceased operations in November.
NEWPORT NEWS, Va. — Just after the closing bell on the New York Stock Exchange on Wednesday afternoon, Northrop Grumman Corp. will officially be out of the shipbuilding business.
That evening following market close, the Los Angeles-based defense contractor will go back to doing what it believes it does best: high-tech systems like electronics, robotic systems and cyber security. Its 10-year experiment with Navy shipbuilding will be over.
Since July, when Northrop first announced it was seeking to exit the capital-intensive and thin-margined business of building military vessels, CEO Wes Bush repeatedly explained that shipbuilding had little synergy with Northrop’s other businesses.
He has said both Northrop and the new stand-alone unit, Huntington Ingalls Industries Inc., will be better off without each other.
The Bellingham Target store is busy these days with a $900,000 remodel to bring in more fresh food and upgrade its equipment and fixtures.
The remodel is part of the company’s PFresh Stores program, which includes expanding the grocery, produce, deli and bakery departments. The store will be open regular hours during the remodel, which is expected to be completed sometime in June, said Brent Bebe, one of the store’s team leaders.
Bebe said extra employees will be on the retail floor to help customers find products during the remodel. Certain sections will be closed off and products temporarily moved into other sections of the store.
Once completed, Bebe estimates the Bellingham Target will have 80 percent of the products seen in a Super Target store.
A former Bellingham resident has received a distribution agreement with Washington state liquor stores to sell “White Dog” un-aged whiskey.
Cameron Rogers, co-founder of Woodinville Whiskey Co., announced the agreement on Tuesday, March 29 to sell Headlong White Dog Whiskey in more than 130 Washington liquor stores, including those in Whatcom County. Rogers said it’s the first distribution agreement with the state for this type of whiskey.
White Dog whiskey was once known as the harsh-tasting moonshine whiskey during prohibition days, but craft distillers have used new equipment and techniques to make it a more flavorful spirit without the burn, Rogers said.
Rogers was born and raised in Bellingham and his mom, Vicki Rogers, operates three Bellingham businesses – Pacific Chef, Halibut Henry’s and Inside Passage.
“Receiving statewide distribution in Washington state liquor stores is a huge win for whiskey drinkers wanting to try something new,” Rogers said. “It’s a tough process because shelf space is limited (at the liquor stores).”
Cameron Rogers and his business partners opened Woodinville Whiskey Co. in September with the goal of creating a craft whiskey, similar to what’s happen in the coffee and beer industries in recent years. The company hired David Pickerell, former master distiller of Maker’s Mark, to help create the Headlong White Dog Whiskey. The company also uses 100 percent USDA certified organic ingredients, Rogers said.
The company also received approval for statewide distribution of its Peabody Jones Vodka.
For details about the company, click this (link).
Here’s a list of companies registering to do business in Bellingham between March 10-21:
Sparkling Clean Company, Cristen E Curtright, 2160 Washington St #105, Ferndale
Fastenal Company, 1726 Franklin St., Bellingham
Precision Approach Engineering, 119 Grand Ave #D, Bellingham
CAP Technology, Craig A Palmer, 919 41st St., Bellingham
Sims Masonry, Matthew M Sims, 2631 Utter St., Bellingham
A new pet-boarding facility is scheduled to open on Friday, April 1.
Ken and Charmae Scheffer are starting Rover Stay Over at 6451 Hannegan Road near Lynden. The new facility will be taking in dogs for now, but should have an area ready to take in cats by June, said Charmae Scheffer. It will have indoor and outdoor areas for the pets to play and have a more home-like atmosphere, she said.
Both Ken and Charmae grew up in Whatcom County before moving to a different part of the state in 1994 and returning to this area in 2009. The Scheffers have seven children and have had a wide variety of different pets over the years. Several of the children have 4-H and kennel experience.
The facility will have check-in and check-out times seven days a week, offering both daycare and overnight stays. To get details on those times, as well as other information, visit this (link) or call 360-306-5931.
A new martial arts school has opened in Sudden Valley.
Regular classes are just now starting at Boom! Elite Martial Arts for Sudden Valley. The school was started by Greg Moench, who has been teaching martial arts locally for several years, as well as his other head instructor, Carl Rice. The focus of Boom! is to bring the benefits of martial arts to the Sudden Valley and Glenhaven areas, to develop self-discipline in students and to learn respect for themselves and others, Moench said in an email.
The classes are held Monday through Friday for children ages 4 to 16. There’s also an adult fitness class that meets on Monday and Friday evenings. Classes are held at the Sudden Valley Adult Center in Gate 2, near the Dance Barn.
For details, click this (link) or call 360-303-3334.
Government regulators shut down one bank so far this afternoon, details below. It’s the 26th bank to be closed so far in 2011. If it continues at this pace, it will mean significantly less bank closures than 2010.
I’ll update with a new post if I spot any more closures before leaving the office.
No. 26: Bank of Commerce, Wood Dale, Ill. was shut down, then taken over by Advantage National Bank Group, Elk Grove, Ill. Estimated cost to the FDIC: $41.9 million.