There’s an old joke that no two economists can agree on the economy, but as the nation, California and the Capital Region continue to weather the worst downturn since the Great Depression, economists are showing remarkable solidarity: They think we’re in a mess.
At a time of extreme economic stress, our state government has taken aim at one of the few resources communities have to repair their bruised economies — local redevelopment funds.
Just because you can design, doesn’t make you an architect. That was certainly the message sent when the California Architects Board issued two fines of $2,500 each in September 2008 to Diana Suhanova, owner of All in One in Sacramento.
The design-build industry has been absolutely battered by the spoiled economy. Architecture and design firms lament layoffs, nonexistent financing and an utter lack of optimism for 2010. Yet a number of large regional projects are keeping local firms afloat and offering a silver, albeit temporary, lining.
City planners and private developers in Sacramento envision a downtown shopping and entertainment hub pulsing with revenue and pedestrians. The mind’s eye replaces vagrants with decorative park benches and rundown storefronts with shiny new facades. And rather than dispersing at sundown, restaurant patrons and theatergoers would linger into the wee hours.
No part of the region has been immune to the retail woes that come with a lagging economy, but the Highway 50 corridor — Rancho Cordova, Folsom and El Dorado Hills — entered the slowdown crippled by its own geography.
It might be hard to imagine, but Sacramento will start building thousands of houses and condominiums again — some day.
If there was a soundtrack to banking this summer, it sounded something like the theme from “Jaws” — tense, ominous and hinting at unknown dangers below the surface.
A drive past a neglected home in Natomas or a shuttered Mervyn’s in Roseville is more than a sign of the strained Capital Region economy. It is also an expensive risk that can hit property owners at the knees.
Liz Lum knew her 79-year-old mother, Anne Fong, wanted to live independently as long as possible, but Lum also knew that her mother’s Greenhaven house would need some modifications.