Terwilliger Gift J. Ronald Terwilliger, chairman and CEO of Trammel Crow Residential, has donated $5 million to the Urban Land Institute to create a center for work-force housing. The new center will focus on private-sector workforce housing. The vision is for the seed money to pay for local ULI chapters to get into communities and advocate for workforce housing, educate politicians and developers, and testify at local hearings. Pilot efforts are underway in Atlanta, Southeast Florida, and Washington, D.C.—S. Zurier
Call First It can be a home builder's or homeowner's worst nightmare. While working on a project, you hit a gas line, a sewer line, or a buried electric line. Your jobsite, or your home, instantly becomes an outpost of the local utility company and a safety risk. But a quick call to 811 could prevent such dangerous situations. The number was designated in April 2005 by the Federal Communications Commission as the national “Call before you dig” hotline. A call to 811 will connect someone to a call center, which will then notify local utilities, who will send crews to the proposed work site to mark the location of underground lines—all for free. Utility industry watchdog Common Ground Alliance and the Associated General Contractors of America have teamed up to promote use and awareness of 811. The service will be operational in late April, and a nationwide awareness campaign will kick off May 1, says CGA spokesperson Erika Andreasen. To learn more about 811, visit www.call811.com.—E. Butterfield
Road Trip The Federal Highway Administration has awarded a $2 million contract to the American Institute of Architects (AIA) to study the benefits that well-designed community transportation projects bring to American communities. The study, which will be completed by July 2007, will measure how transportation projects of various types promote economic development; protect public health, safety, and the environment; and enhance the architectural design and planning of communities. The AIA is partnering with the University of Minnesota's Center for Transportation Studies to complete the research portion of the study.—N. F. Maynard
The Break Up Piscataway, N.J.–based American Standard Cos. announced recently that it will separate its three businesses this year. Once the split is completed, American Standard will focus on its air-conditioning systems and will change the company's name to Trane. It will spin off its global vehicle control systems as a publicly traded company to be known as WABCO and will sell its American Standard bath and kitchen business. The company expects to complete the split by early fall of this year.—N.F.M.
Currency Exchange Ever wonder how U.S. home prices match up against certain overseas markets? The 2006 Coldwell Banker Home Price Comparison Index does the math, using your basic 2,200-square-foot, single-family abode with four bedrooms, two-and-a-half baths, a family room, and a two-car garage as a benchmark. Houses fitting this profile in Amsterdam, Holland, are priced comparably to those in Bend, Ore. ($482,750), while residences in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, tend to go for the same asking price as those in Portland, Maine ($375,500). Warsaw, Poland parallels Atlanta ($322,210), and Sydney, Australia is on par with Bellevue, Wash. ($658,000). To do your own comparison shopping, visit http://hpci.coldwellbanker.com.—J. Sullivan
Royal Ties Looking for land to develop, SunCal Cos. of Irvine, Calif., along with investment firm D. E. Shaw group, based in New York, bought 57,000 acres west of Albuquerque, N.M., for $252 million. The Atrisco Land Grant, more than twice the size of Boston, was originally granted to Spanish settlers by King Charles II of Spain in 1692, 14 years before Albuquerque was founded. SunCal bought the land from Wetland Development Co., which was established in 1967 by the heirs of the original grantees to manage the property. SunCal, which bought all 800,000 shares of Wetland for $315 apiece, now plans to work with area leaders to design residential developments along with business and recreational spaces.—E.B.
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