Great Park in Park
But the neighborhood next door breaks ground soon.
1. At 1,300 acres—nearly twice the size of New York’s Central Park—Great Park in Irvine, Calif., remains mostly on paper, but the community next to it is moving toward reality. Construction on the first neighborhood at the former El Toro Air Station is expected to begin this summer.
Eight home builders—K. Hovnanian Homes, Lennar, William Lyon Homes, Pulte Homes, Richmond American Homes, Ryland, Shea Homes, and Taylor Morrison—are committed to build in the first 726-home neighborhood being developed by FivePoint Communities.
“Anybody who was wondering whether this was going to happen or not, hopefully this answers that,” FivePoint CEO Emile Haddad told the news media. “This project is moving, and the next phase is going to happen very quickly.”
Out of the Ashes
A massive Phoenix property is purchased out of bankruptcy.
2. Some 15,000 acres outside of Phoenix, purchased at the precipice of the housing recession, have been plucked out of bankruptcy for $31.3 million by a company with development roots deep in the desert soil.
The estate of former Del Webb Corp. CEO and Greyhound Corp. president Robert K. Swanson bought the land in Prescott, Ariz., from Granite Dells Ranch Holdings, a venture of Scottsdale, Ariz.–based real estate developer David Cavan that filed for bankruptcy reorganization in 2012, reports the Phoenix Business Journal.
Carpet Capital to Grow
2,000 more jobs expected in Northwest Georgia.
3. Engineered Floors, a Northwest Georgia carpet manufacturer, is adding two new manufacturing plants and another distribution center in Murray and Whitfield counties, Ga., more than doubling its workforce from 1,400 to 3,400. In return for creating jobs, Georgia offered Engineered Floors $69.7 million in tax credits for the mills, and a tax exemption for power use.
Ninety percent of all carpets made in the U.S. come from Georgia, which employed 22,374 people in the carpet industry in 2012. The state exported $601.7 million carpets and other textile coverings in 2012, says the Georgia Department of Economic Development.
More Midwestern-built Toyotas roll out to sea through Baltimore.
4. Baltimore’s port ships more automobiles out of the country than any other U.S. port. Last year, 652,000 new cars boarded boats in Baltimore, up 18 percent from 2011. The automobile export business continues to grow this year. The port won a bid to ship at least 6,000 more Midwestern-built Toyotas to points around the world through its docks.
Currently about 25,000 Toyotas roll onto ships berthed in Baltimore each year. Toyota has been ramping up its North American production to hedge against the strong yen. Already about 70 percent of the cars Toyota sells in North America are made here.
Up in Ashes
The world’s biggest wooden stove goes up in smoke.
5. Before Detroit was Motor City it was the stove capital of the country, famous for manufacturing cast-iron stoves. So famous that the city sent a 30,000-pound, 25-foot-tall, and 30-foot-long hand-carved wooden replica of a cast-iron range to the 1893 Chicago World Columbian Exposition.
After the fair it was shipped back to Detroit where it was reassembled in front of the Michigan Stove Co. It moved two more times before reaching its final resting place at the Michigan State Fairgrounds, where it fell into disrepair.
In 1998, the stove was restored, only to burn down in 2011. Detroit is now returning more than 1,200 memorial paving bricks bought by those who donated money for the restoration.