Finding Creative Solutions to Redevelopment Challenges



Earlier this year, New York State established a brownfield redevelopment plan. The goal of the plan was to encourage the creation of affordable housing. Developers and others were offered grants, tax incentives and other forms of financial assistance for the clean up, clearing and construction of brownfield property. Shortly thereafter, the Iowa State Senate passed a similar bill establishing a redevelopment tax program for brownfield and greyfield sites in that state.

The cost of cleaning brownfield sites can be so high as to prevent them from being developed at all. As a result, the harmful contaminants remain in the environment, posing health risks while the abandoned property simultaneously hinders the neighborhood's economic development.

In contrast, a "greyfield" site rarely poses any environmental or health risks. It is a term that was coined in the early 2000s to describe abandoned and empty commercial and retail property. (The word "greyfield" refers to the often-expansive parking lots that surround the structures.) Because there are no dangerous contaminants to dispose of, the redevelopment of greyfields generally costs less. In addition, the existing infrastructure (including plumbing and electrical wiring) can actually reduce the cost of development.

A revitalization plan released by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) in 2005 suggested greyfields as viable development opportunities because of their often-close proximity to get more info main traffic arteries and public gathering places like sports complexes.

In 2002, President Bush signed into law the Small Business Liability Relief and Brownfields Revitalization Act, which allocated more funding for the clean-up and development of brownfield sites. Unfortunately, because greyfields pose no real environmental or health threats, there is little federal funding allocated specifically for their development.

Iowa's recently passed legislation enables the state's Department of Economic Development to apply up to $5 million of its allocated redevelopment tax credits for both brownfield and greyfield sites. A minimum 24 percent credit is available for brownfield sites, and is increased to 30 percent for green developments. With this new law in place, more money is now available for builders and investors willing to explore development possibilities on property deemed brownfield or greyfield.

Lawmakers hope the new provision provides incentive for developers to use old vacant malls and industrial sites, which are plentiful, rather than seeking to build on previously unused land. Other states are considering similar legislation as they look for creative ways to encourage development while keep costs as low as possible.


Shortly thereafter, the Iowa State Senate passed a similar bill establishing a redevelopment tax program for brownfield and greyfield sites in that state.

Iowa's recently passed legislation enables the state's Department of Economic Development to apply up to $5 million of its allocated redevelopment tax credits for both brownfield and greyfield sites. A minimum 24 percent credit is available for brownfield sites, and is increased to 30 percent for green developments. With this new law in place, more money is now available for builders and investors willing to explore development possibilities on property deemed brownfield or greyfield.

What Makes a Great Bar?



You may be on the look out for some excellent bars to visit if you're planning a night out soon. But what makes a great bar? Here are are 10 things to look out for ...

1. Great bars in bad locations are never ideal. While you may like to spend most of your evening in one place, chances are you'll fancy a change of scenery after a couple of hours. Knowing there are other good bars within walking distance is always a bonus.

2. Part of being in a good location also means that it's well connected by public transport. Or, at the very least, that you're a short and inexpensive taxi ride away.

3. Every great bar has a great atmosphere, which means a good number of people but not so many that you can't breathe. Music may be a plus, but only if it's not too loud.

4. Which leads me onto this - you want to be able to hear what your friends are saying without them needing to shout.

5. For many people, this one won't be much of an issue, but for others a great bar has plenty of seating areas. Booths are especially good for small groups of friends.

6. Getting served can be tricky in some bars, so a healthy number of waiting staff are always important.

7. Trained bar staff are even more important. Being able to spot which customer is next is a dying art, but the better bar staff are excellent at it and it reflects positively on the bar itself.

8. Reasonable prices will always win out when it comes to buying drinks. While some people are happy to pay a higher price in better bars, I would argue that part of being a truly great bar is charging fair prices for your drinks.

9. As well as the drinks being reasonably priced, a top bar will have a wide selection of beverages to choose from.

10. There's nothing more off putting in a bar than if it's too cold or too warm, so a normal room temperature is a must.


What makes a great bar? Every great bar has a great atmosphere, which means a good number of people but not so many that you can't breathe. For many people, this one won't be much of an issue, but for others a great bar has plenty of seating areas. Being able to spot which customer is next is a dying art, but the better bar staff are excellent at it and it get more info reflects positively on the bar itself.

While some people are happy to pay a higher price in better bars, I would argue that part of being a truly great bar is charging fair prices for your drinks.

What Makes a Good Bar



Ask any bar, hotelier or publican owner as to what makes a good bar, you will probably get the same answer: "One that makes money." If you ask a customer what makes for a good bar you will get a myriad of different answers, and as a good bar attracts customers its important to know what they want.

Knowing what a customer wants in a good well equipped bar is essential if you are to remain in business in such a desperate time for the bar and leisure industry. But there are some key factors in what makes a good and successful bar and adhering to as many of them as you can will go a long way to ensuring your bar is a popular and profitable one.

Location

Key to all businesses, but perhaps more so in the bar industry. And location will also define the type of bar. Customer's at the end of the street pub will have different requirements to those in a busy downtown bar.

Ambiance

The ambiance of any pub is key. A middle aged couple after a meal and a quick drink will soon do a U-turn if loud music is blaring from a pub, and likewise, if you want to attract a younger crowd, music, drinks and entertainment should all be geared toward them.

Tables should be clean and plates and empty glasses cleared as soon possible. Crucial to a bar's success is making people feel as comfortable as possible. Décor is important too, making sure the bar, pub, hotel or restaurant is attractive to sit in will go a long way to making people feel comfortable

The Bar

Friendly, efficient staff are vital to any bar. If trouble makers are not check here dealt with, large queues of people waiting for drinks will soon put people off coming again as will rowdy behaviour. A well equipped bar is crucial too. A bar should not only be well stocked with drinks but all the right bar equipment should be at hand too so make sure you have a good bar equipment supplier

A successful night

Don't be frightened to try new things such as karaoke or cocktail and quiz nights - don't get set in your ways otherwise you may find your customers disappearing with your profits.


Customer's at the end of the street pub will have different requirements to those in a busy downtown bar.

Crucial to a bar's success is making people feel as comfortable as possible. Décor is important too, making sure the bar, pub, hotel or restaurant is attractive to sit in will go a long way to making people feel comfortable

A bar should not only be well stocked with drinks but all the right bar equipment should be at hand too so make sure you have a good bar equipment supplier

How's Your Heating and Air?



Without the proper heating and air unit, as well as technicians, those months can make life miserable in your home, as well as an office space. It is designed to always work efficiently, after some time of wear and tear, it can easily break down and need a system repair.

Some of the more common problems associated with heating and air systems are as follows: pilot lights, hot and cold spots, mold on vents, air ducts and air duct maintenance.

Pilot lights can be tricky. If you have a gas-burning system, then you have a pilot light. Newer, more modern systems have electronic ignition that will fire up when the heat is turned on. The older models might still have pilot lights that need to be lit in preparation for the winter. Instead of trying to light this yourself, why not try calling your heating and air provider?

Have you experienced mysterious temperature changes in certain parts of your home? The common solution is to blame ghosts or other phenomenons, there are several causes to these sudden temperature drops/increases. These and more could be the cause of the changes in your home.

Mold on your HVAC vents is another common problem with heating and air systems. If you've noticed this in your home, you need to take action immediately. This is a common problem, and absolutely does not mean you're a bad housekeeper, but instead simply means that these areas have excess moisture perfect for breeding spores.

It may seem like a big investment, spending a little more money on a heating and air conditioning unit is one that will pay off in the long run as far as lower energy costs, less upkeep, and even a higher level get more info of comfort. This is only part of the solution. In order to fully invest, you have to make sure that your ductwork is well thought out, as well as maintained for the future.

These problems, as well as other common problems can be the cause of severe discomfort during the Carolina weather changes. Having the right heating and air technicians can make or break you in times of stress and need.


Without the proper heating and air unit, as well as technicians, those months can make life miserable in your home, as well as an office space. Instead of trying to light this yourself, why not try calling your heating and air provider?

Mold on your HVAC vents is another common problem with heating and air systems. It may seem like a big investment, spending a little more money on a heating and air conditioning unit is one that will pay off in the long run as far as lower energy costs, less upkeep, and even a higher level of comfort.

A Simple Homeowner Checklist for Hiring a Qualified, Professional Plumber!

When you have a plumbing emergency at your home, you need to quickly find a qualified, professional plumber to fix the problem. Here are several ways to find a plumber:

Check with your family or friends for a referral.
Ask a local real estate agent for a good plumber she has used.
If you have used another contractor in your home, ask the contractor for a referral.
Check with the local plumbing supply store for a recommendation for a reputable plumbing company.
Go online and check the reviews of plumbers in your area. If you search for a plumber in your city on one of the popular search engines, such as Google or Yahoo, you will find the search engines "Local Listing" of plumbers geographically near you, links to their website, and customer reviews of their work.
After you find a plumber in your area, what do you look for before you hire them? Here is a checklist of items you need to ask a plumber ... BEFORE you hire them.

Are you licensed by the state to do plumbing?

Always check that you are working with a licensed plumber, ask to see his state license! Licensed plumbers have the work experience, training, and are familiar with current state and local plumbing codes. In addition to passing an exam to receive their license, they must take annual continuing education to keep abreast of changes to the codes, new products, and innovations in plumbing.

In Georgia, there are a lot of skills you need to succeed as a plumber. As a result, there are many steps an apprentice plumber needs to take to become a Journeyman or Master Plumber. These steps and the rules for obtaining the designation of master plumber are set by the state.

How many years have you been in business?

A good rule of thumb is look for plumber's that have been in business for 8-10 years. This gives you a gauge as to how viable and stable the business is and if they will be around to warrant the work they do on your home.

Are Service Technicians background checked?

Would you be comfortable having their Service Technicians working in your home? A plumber should conduct a complete background check and random drug testing on all employees. Further, professional Service Technicians working in your home should be uniformed and have name tags. These Service Technicians should be company employees and not sub-contractors.

What are your skills and experience in plumbing?

Plumbing demands specific technical skills and knowledge. Plumbing companies use specific tools not available to a homeowner or a local plumbing handyman. The benefit of dealing with an experienced, qualified plumbing company is ... they are equipped with all the necessary training, skills, plumbing tools, and experience to handle all sorts of plumbing emergencies in your home.

Does your plumbing company have insurance?

A plumbing company performing service in your home should have General Liability Insurance and a current Workman's Compensation insurance certificate. Upon request, the plumber should be able to provide you with a copy of his insurance.

General liability insurance covers damage that might occur to your home directly caused by the plumber. If the plumber does not have his own general liability policy, any damages would be covered by your homeowners insurance. Typically the plumber should carry a minimum of $500,000.00 in general liability insurance, but it is not uncommon for plumbers who do commercial plumbing to carry $3,000,000.00 in coverage.

Workman's compensation insurance covers an injury to the plumber while he is working in your home. So as a customer you do not need to worry about being responsible for a plumber having an accident while working in your home.

Do you offer Emergency Service after hours?

A plumbing company that advertises that they have "24/7" plumbing service should have a customer service person ready to take your call after hours. Further, the plumber should have on-call or after hours plumbers available to repair your plumbing emergency.

Does the plumber use Quality Materials?

Does the plumber install quality, recognizable, brand name fixtures and materials that offer manufacturer' warranties to the consumer? What brands does he stock and carry on their service trucks?The manufacturers of plumbing appliances, parts, and fixtures typically offer a limited replacement warranty on their products.

Will my work require a permit from the city or county where I live?

Typically, you must be a licensed Master Plumber to secure a plumbing permit. The city or county will inspect the plumbing at various times during the installation to insure that the project is done to the local and state plumbing codes. An unlicensed plumber is unable to pull the necessary permits when work is being done, and they probably are not adequately trained in current plumbing code requirements.

What are your plumbing rates?

Service Plumbers charge for their work one of two ways, Time & Materials Pricing or Flat Rate Pricing. Let me explain the difference, this is very important.

With the Time & Materials method; the plumber charges a small "Service Fee" to mobilize to the job, an hourly rate while he is on the job, and whatever materials were used to repair the plumbing. Usually there is a one hour minimum labor charge and then you are charged by the quarter hour. With this method you only pay for the actual time it takes and materials used on the job ... no more, no less.

A plumber using Flat Rate Pricing will charge a "Diagnostic Fee" to determine your plumbing problem and then will give you a flat rate quote to fix the problem. You know up front what it will cost for your repair. You are only obligated for the Diagnostic Fee if you do not want to proceed with the repair.

With Flat Rate pricing it is difficult to know how much the plumber is charging you per hour. I can tell you that the flat rate price you are given is based upon the worst case scenario for the plumbing company ... what is the most time it would take for a slow plumber to fix the problem. But, after the customer has taken off work, waits for the plumber to show up, and is already committed to the diagnostic fee, he is hit with a whopper cost to repair a small plumbing problem.

While the Flat Rate pricing method looks attractive, in most cases an experienced licensed plumber can fix your plumbing emergency on a Time & Material basis for less money. In addition, with Flat Rate pricing most Service Technicians are paid commission on the price of the ticket. Typically, the technicians have been trained by professionals to sell and close an expensive sale. This can lead to abuse as the technician in your home becomes more of a salesman instead of Pambula Plumber a plumber.

Do you guarantee or warrant your work?

A professional plumbing company is concerned with the safety and quality of their work. They should offer the homeowner a workmanship warranty and safety guarantee on their work.

Can you provide me with referrals from customers you have done work for?

A reputable plumbing company will have no problem giving references from their customers, business banker, or plumbing supply house. Also, ask them if they are a member of any state or national plumbing associations, local chamber of commerce, or have received any awards or recognitions in the community.


Licensed plumbers have the work experience, training, and are familiar with current state and local plumbing codes. As a result, there are many steps an apprentice plumber needs to take to become a Journeyman or Master Plumber. Typically the plumber should carry a minimum of $500,000.00 in general liability insurance, but it is not uncommon for plumbers who do commercial plumbing to carry $3,000,000.00 in coverage.

An unlicensed plumber is unable to pull the necessary permits when work is being done, and they probably are not adequately trained in current plumbing code requirements.

After the customer has taken off work, waits for the plumber to show up, and is already committed to the diagnostic fee, he is hit with a whopper cost to repair a small plumbing problem.

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