That's one big honking park being planned, and a big plus for the Wilmington area economically. The location near Lorenzo Road generally makes sense. One thought, though: Will this cause enough more traffic that it will bottleneck the bridge over the Des Plaines River? I-55's three lanes are only going as far south as that bridge, I believe.
Friday, June 29, 2007
Thursday, June 28, 2007
Wednesday, June 27, 2007
I was excited to see that French Lick and the unique West Baden Springs Hotel, have been restored to their former glory as one combined resort. They have added a casino and a Pete Dye course is on the way. It looks stunning. But I think it is also very pricey, especially for southern Indiana. And, based on this story about service problems, I think I will wait a while before visiting. That being said, I hope this resort pans out, if for no other reason because I am nostalgic.
I think it is fun when companies use "themes" for their entity structures. For instance, I know one opportunistic fund in Chicago that has a common name for its main entity and then types of that common name for its subsidiaries. Example: main company is Fruit, LLC and the lower tier entities are, Pear, LLC, Mango, LLC, Peach, LLC and so on. I don't want to disclose the entity that does this for privacy reasons, but I always liked it.
This actually brings me to a practice tip: try to be consistent in naming your upper and lower tier entities from deal to deal. It makes documentation easier and reminds you of where each entity is in a chain. If you don't understand, let me know and I'll provide examples.
Tuesday, June 26, 2007
Monday, June 25, 2007
Friday, June 22, 2007
Thursday, June 21, 2007
Posted by David at 1:27 PM
Wednesday, June 20, 2007
Okay, I will admit it: these numbers absolutely boggle my mind.
Congratulations, Roger. I may be a Bears fan, but I am also a real estate fan, and you are truly a legend on both fronts.
Tuesday, June 19, 2007
1. I was not trying to imply that the Times had anything to do with his story. But I did find it interesting (and therefore posted) that the paper was the recent beneficiary of similar subsidies for its building. I should note for the record that the Times has also published stories about the incentives it received.
2. David is 100% correct in stating that investing in a public company is voluntary while taxes are mandatory. From a public perspective, my personal view is that we need to look into corporate jet trips and the deductibility from corporate taxes of the same. As to the private aspect of the trips, I do not like the practice, and our options are to vote as shareholders to change the policy or to not invest.
4. David did his homework and detailed the background research he performed. In the back of my mind I knew he did, but for whatever reason I did come off wondering whether he had. In retrospect, I guess I should not have made this implication.
As I said in my reply to David, reasonable minds can differ on subjects without disliking the other. We differ on some things, but we agree on others. And I respect his writing. So I wish him well, and hope to write again about his work.
Posted by David at 8:33 AM
Monday, June 18, 2007
Posted by David at 10:51 AM
Posted by David at 10:06 AM
Friday, June 15, 2007
Case in point: today's story about Bandon Dunes, the already-legendary golf resort in remote coastal Oregon. The Times has to (a) bellyache about some tax breaks Mike Keiser received in building the course, (b) complain about further "subsidies" to improve the local airport in the way of federal funds and lottery money, (c) bring in a token local who is being hurt by the project and (d) finally, go off on corporations subsidizing plane rides for their executives through the shareholders. Sheesh.
Subsidizing the pet projects of the Times is okay, I guess, but heaven forbid if something beautiful and profitable gets built using tax breaks, and then -- oh, no -- the wealthy (who pay most of the taxes anyway) benefit from it! What is this world coming to? I wonder if this reporter even read Stephen Goodwin's superb book about the making of Bandon Dunes and what had to be overcome to get it done. And the end product is some of the most amazing scenery in the world, with jobs and a world-wide tourist destination created. The horror of it all.
Mike Keiser (who, BTW, made his money as a co-founder of Recycled Paper Greetings) put it best: “Certainly from the recipient point of view, I’m pleased that there is a subsidy and know very well that it is a subsidy that can be changed at any point in time. That is why we have a Congress, to look at things like that.” I will at least credit the Times for not trying to make Keiser look like Gordon Gekko.
Lastly, as for the corporate subsidy? If you don't like a company's policies on travel, then DON'T INVEST IN THE COMPANY! It is that simple. Remember the divestiture movement in South African companies in the 1980s? Hello?
(Full disclosure: I do not know and have never met Mike Keiser, but I do know a member of the Keiser family.)
This is a good step in the right direction. Let's just hope it isn't, as my father used to say, "NATO: no action, talk only."
Posted by David at 8:08 AM
Wednesday, June 13, 2007
While I remain somewhat ambivalent about Avvo for now, others aren't. Lawsuits are on the way. Susan Cartier Liebel (wow, two mentions in a week!) probably has the best anti-Avvo post I've read, and Kevin O'Keefe also has a terrific post about the service, including summaries of the positions of the lawyer preparing a class-action case and that of Avvo's CEO (who also apparently spoke to Kevin recently).
As for me, I still say I am more than a number or letters. I get what Avvo is trying to do, though I'm not sure it will be successful and I have concerns the system can be worked to get a high rating. (Chuck Newton says this is already happening.) Though I may not opt out, I'd feel much better about it if I were able to do so.
Well, it looks like Peebles is joining the conventional wisdom and (wisely, in my opinion) backing out of the deal. The current market needs a little time to absorb the product that is online or in the pipeline, and this could take a while (though I think winning the 2016 Olympics may speed that up a little).
Tuesday, June 12, 2007
Monday, June 11, 2007
It is happening all over at BigLaw, so I guess it is not unexpected, but I guess I am a little sad about the news. When I was younger, I always thought of Jenner and litigation like I did Arthur Andersen (pre-Enron) and auditing: the gold standard.
But then, for many law is not so much a learned profession anymore as it a business, and I for one lament it. I guess that is why I write this blog: as a reminder that thinking thoughts and musing about the world is okay, even if it affects your bottom line of profits. I'd rather bill fewer hours and enjoy my career and my life. But that's me.
This deal is, in my opinion, a stroke of sheer genius, if you'll pardon the bad pun. Real estate billionaire Howard Milstein is buying a chunk of the Jack Nicklaus golf empire, the game's best known brand (sorry, Tiger). This gives Jack money to take cash out and allows the company to have more invested in the dirt of the golf courses it designs. Getting into the actual development end will allow them to reap more profits. Jack's had well-publicized business troubles in the past, including in the mid-1980s, right around the time he won that fabulous sixth Masters in 1986 at age 46, but those days are over. There's discipline and solid investment wisdom now and I think Jack can now laugh all the way to the bank. Since he has always been someone I admire as a professional who prioritized his career with his family, I could not be happier.
Thanks to the publishers of this week's Blawg Review, the Legal SEO and Marketing Blog, for pointing out Ken's post.
Posted by David at 9:48 AM
Friday, June 8, 2007
The property is zoned industrial, and frankly, that would be a higher and better use for the land. As a fair to middling shamateur musician who grew up in the business, I have strong opinions about concert venues, and this is just not a good one in so many different ways. Buy the dirt, tear it down and build a box. The problem is that there is still enough raw dirt in the area that demo and redevelopment costs may be a problem. But I'm not sure there's enough money to turn that facility into something I'd call a good concert venue.
Posted by David at 10:10 AM
Thursday, June 7, 2007
Why is this relevant in a blog about Chicago real estate? Take a look at the Drury Lane locations, past and present. Primo real estate. The original Drury Lane/Martinque was turned into a retail center a few years ago. I understand he had many other investments of this nature and may have made more money in dirt than under the lights.
God bless him.
Posted by David at 12:16 PM
Posted by David at 11:46 AM
Now there is a new, much-ballyhooed site opening on the web: Avvo.com. Avvo will purport to rate attorneys on a 1 to 10 scale based on credentials, experience, disciplinary history, and client recommendations. Larry Bodine has a good post on the whole concept here.
I went to the site the other day when it rolled out. It is slick, well-designed and easy for the public to access. (My base rating: 6.1, I think.) But I'm not thrilled about becoming a member (even for free) or trying to improve my rating, which I'm sure would happen if I registered and gave them my credentials, etc. Maybe the client rating thing could be useful, but I am in a niche practice area, and I can see a potential for abuse, both positive and negative. At the end of the day, I am more than a number, just as I am more than a Martindale-Hubbell letter. Judge me by my work and by what my clients say about me.
Tuesday, June 5, 2007
Looks like the gourmet grocer Fox & Obel (owned by ex-lawyers, IIRC) may add a South Loop location at the old Trailways station at Wabash and Roosevelt. Yummy. I'm not just jealous of the South Loop, I'm now hungry, too.
Posted by David at 10:14 AM
The other cool thing about Regus is the ability to use the facilities on the road. No matter where you are, find a facility and go. Gotta love it.
Posted by David at 9:33 AM
Dealbreaker.com. Great dirt. Witty writing. A can't miss blog, in my opinion. Check it out. The end.
Posted by David at 9:31 AM
Monday, June 4, 2007
This is a great idea -- in about 2014. The infrastructure, population, demographics and tenants are lacking. The necessary exit on I-57 to make this work will not be built until 2011 or 2012 at the earliest, I'm told. The senior part might be the best part of it of all; good idea. The mobile home park across the street, combined with the heavy medical office uses going in this corridor are negatives but can be overlooked. After all, the park may go someday and I think this can be a prime corner.
The story says that there was hoopla about this at ICSC, but (a) none of my sources there told me about it and (b) almost everything at ICSC is looked upon with enthusiasm.
Of course, I really hope I am wrong. I'd like to see that much good retail near my house, although I also want to see some four or six lane highways first, and some of the existing vacant retail spots in town filled in.
All in all, if this is a long-term play, then I applaud the developer. If this is something they really expect done and reasonably leased up by late 2008, then I just don't see it happening.
Friday, June 1, 2007
Posted by David at 2:16 PM
Other than our mutual affinity for Winston Churchill, I have no reason to cheer on SHR other than because I like seeing Chicago companies, in this case, do well. And this company has a very nice portfolio of luxury properties that should succeed. I hope they achieve their goal of remaining independent.