Posts tagged with "California":
To be a member of the middle class in San Francisco, California, it currently requires a minimal annual income of $192,000, more than double the national average of $78,442. While the rest of the country pays a mere average of $1,216 a month to rent a one-bedroom, the same space in San Francisco can easily set you back over $3,600. California has the highest poverty rate of any American state and the recent influx of tech companies in the Bay Area—along with the sudden increase in the cost of housing that followed—is cited among the biggest culprits. With accommodations for over 12,000 employees in Menlo Park, Facebook has become one of the largest companies headquartered in the area and critics have shown little restraint in pointing the cause of the local housing crisis squarely at the social media giant. In response to long-standing complaints, Facebook announced on October 22 that it will partner with the state of California and allocate $1 billion to address the housing crisis the company took part in producing.According to Facebook Newsroom, the $1 billion will divided five ways: $250 million will go toward developing mixed-use housing in a partnership with the state of California; $150 million will be given to the Bay’s Future Fund toward the construction of affordable housing in the Bay Area; $225 million will be used to create roughly 1,500 affordable housing units on land in Menlo Park previously purchased by the company; $350 million will aid in the construction of affordable housing in other cities with Facebook offices (including Atlanta, Boston and Ashburn, Virginia); and the remaining $25 million will be used to develop housing on county-owned land for teachers and other “essential workers.”
Altogether, the pledge will bring an estimated 20,000 additional housing units to the Bay Area, with an emphasis on helping teachers, nurses, and first responders “live closer to the communities in which they work.”
The news comes months after Google, another tech giant with headquarters in the area, also pledged $1 billion towards affordable housing in June. Just yesterday Apple shared it would one-up both Facebook and Google's offerings with a $2.5 billion commitment.
The North Coast Journal reported that Indian Island, the largest island in Northern California's Humboldt Bay, will be returned today to the native Wiyot tribe that once owned it 160 years ago. Shortly after a unanimous vote made last week by the Eureka City councilmembers, Wiyot Tribal Chair Ted Hernandez and Eureka Mayor Susan Seaman signed a deed that formally transferred ownership of the 200-acre property.
“[The agreement is] a really good example of resilience,” tribal administrator Michelle Vassel told the New York Times, “because Wiyot people never gave up the dream...It’s a really good story about healing and about the coming together of a community.”
Also known as Duluwat Island, the territory represents sacred land for the 600 remaining members of the Wiyot tribe, whose ancestors were decimated by settlers in the Wiyot massacre on February 26, 1860.
Historic day: After 160 years, the Eureka City Council officially transferred Tuluwat (200 acre island) back to the Wiyot Tribe. The island, once home to tribal villages, holds significant cultural & spiritual significance. The land was illegally taken from the Wiyot’s in 1860. pic.twitter.com/SxmeTKKY3K— Mike McGuire (@ilike_mike) October 22, 2019
The news comes after several decades of many smaller land acquisitions, beginning with the first request made by the tribe to the city of Eureka in 1970. In 2000, the tribe raised $106,000 to purchase 1.5 acres of the island, after which the city provided an additional 40 acres. Because the island is heavily contaminated by a century of livestock grazing and its proximity to a former shipyard, the Wiyot tribe and members of the local community have since come together to clean up the land, including the restoration of a millennium-old mound containing ancient burial sites.
In 2014, the site was deemed adequate for ceremonial practices by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The tribe has since also begun attempting to revive the language and cultural practices that originated on the site prior to the 1860 massacre.
Bob Anderson, the director of the Native American Law Century at the University of Washington School of Law, commented on the recently-made deal by adding that “it sets an important precedent for other communities that might be thinking about doing this.” Now that the sacred piece of land is given back to the tribe, its members are planning to grow native plants and conduct annual ceremonies on the site, the first of which is scheduled for next March.
Luxury automaker Aston Martin Lagonda has unveiled a new custom design resource for car enthusiasts with big dreams and even bigger wallets. This month at Monterey Car Week in Pebble Beach, California, the company introduced their "Aston Martin Automotive Galleries and Lairs" service, that allows customers to work closely with the company’s designers and architects to create personalized bespoke garages for their vehicles. According to Aston Martin Lagonda’s chief creative officer Marek Reichman, the spaces will serve as more than just garages: The lairs are “A bespoke auto gallery designed by Aston Martin that either focuses on showing off the car or is part of a larger, integrated entertainment space with simulators and such like, takes Aston Martin ownership to the next level.”
The custom garage program will expand the company’s efforts to render car ownership more personal. The brand has already established "Q by Aston Martin," which enables buyers to work with representatives to create an ideal vehicle for them. The newest service, though, will be the company’s first foray into architectural services. The Galleries and Lairs project will be led by both the Aston Martin Design Team and Reichman’s own team, which has already collaborated with architects on the design of the company’s global brand center in Tokyo and several dealership interiors.
Austrian firm Obermoser arch-omo Architecture has produced visuals of what some of the galleries and lairs could look like, complete with dramatic spiraling staircases, glass walls, and water features that evoke James Bond films, the Batcave, or any supervillain’s dream hideout. Many of the concepts make use of circular motifs, including glass-enclosed turntables that can spotlight a car as the central focal point in any space. Aston Martin Lagonda suggests that the service can be used to build anything from small galleries for individual cars to entire luxury homes or collectors museums. In promoting the service, the company is emphasizing not only its collaboration with top architects but also its expertise in displaying and maintaining luxury cars.
Pricing will vary greatly depending on the size and scope of each project, but there certainly will not be any affordable options. The cheapest Aston Martin car—that's without the lair—will currently set you back $149,995. Customers interested in Aston Martin Automotive Galleries and Lairs can begin to make requests through the Aston Martin Partnership Team.
Kanye West had big plans to shake up the development market with a new affordable housing community, but it seems like the dream might be short-lived. News of the project in Calabasas, California broke just last month, but TMZ, who also obtained first images of the development from a Los Angeles County Public Works inspector, is reporting that state authorities are threatening its demolition if West does not comply with construction permit laws by September 15.
West, who identifies with the pseudonym Yeezy, has demonstrated his interest in residential architecture and the housing market before, establishing the studio Yeezy Home and unveiling renderings of a stark concrete affordable housing complex in 2018. On a 300-acre forested plot of land in Calabasas, near West and Kim Kardashian’s shared home, his latest endeavor took a less conventional route. Writing for Forbes last month, Zack O’Malley Greenburg compared the prototypes for the development to Tatooine settlements from the first Star Wars movie, which in turn were inspired by vernacular housing design in Tunisia. While images of the interiors of the homes have not been released, it is clear from Greenburg’s account and photos shared online that they are igloo-like in form, with wooden skeletal frames “dozens of feet tall.” According to the photos released by TMZ, that description appears to have been accurate; they show rounded domes framed in timber and slightly sunken into the ground, with holes cut in the top to let in natural light.
Since the inception of the project, though, West’s foray into affordable housing has been mired in local controversy. At least two of his neighbors complained about construction noise, prompting state inspectors to pay the site a visit. While they were initially told that the structures were intended to be temporary and thus did not need a permit for permanent construction, inspectors later returned and noticed the homes’ concrete foundations. Concerned that West and his property managers were building something more lasting, they issued a citation last week that requires West to apply for approval from the city within 45 days or dismantle the buildings altogether. Although West and his team reportedly claimed that the foundations were simply added for increased stability, not longevity, it is unclear what West’s next steps will be.