Author Archives: Gary Snowdon, ASA

About Gary Snowdon, ASA

Retired Commercial Real Estate Appraiser in New York State's Hudson Valley, Capital, Saratoga, and Adirondack Regions.

Albany's Egg #4

Empire State Plaza’s “Egg” has hit the big time- The Popular Mechanics “The World’s 18 Strangest Buildings and Why We Love Them” list.

This July, the American Institute of Architects forecasted steep declines in nonresidential construction spending through 2010. Spending is projected to decrease by 16 percent this year and another 12 percent in 2010. With less money flowing through the industry, high-end design projects are likely to be scaled back; architects, builders and regular folk are opting for retrofits with more practical design. While the demand may be turning to minimal and frugal architecture, unusual design still holds a place for museums and other prominent locations, primarily because it is so effective at turning heads. Here are some of our favorite unusual designs for museums, offices, homes and libraries—and why they are so effective at drawing attention.

The Egg is in good company. The magazine also lists Frank Gehry’s “Dancing House” in Prague, Czech Republic (12), Gehry’s “Guggenheim Museum” in Bilbao, Spain (10),” “The Gherkin,” aka “The Towering Innuendo,” in London, UK, (2), and “Habitat 67,” Montreal, Canada (3). But let’s not get too excited. The list also includes “The Flintstone House” (5), “The Basket Building” (8), and “The Community Bookshelf” (9).

Here’s how they described The Egg:

Background: This building is the Center for Performing Arts. It holds two theaters for concerts and shows, one seating 450 people and the other with capacity for 892.

How It’s Strange: You won’t see many copies of this design because it requires an intensive support system. A heavily-reinforced concrete beam helps maintain the egg shape and transmit its weight to the supporting stem, which extends six stories underground. The end result is a building that looks like a sculpture, with an interior without straight lines or corners.

New York State #2 in Economic Growth

Catherine Rampell’s post in the New York Times’ Economix blog states,

the state with the second-strongest economic improvement in 2010 was New York. The rebounding finance and insurance sector was New York’s biggest source of growth, although most of the state’s other industries also grew.

Of all the states, North Dakota’s economy grew fastest in 2010. The biggest decline was in Wyoming, according to a report released Tuesday by the Bureau of Economic Analysis.

Click here for the rest of the story.

3 downtown Albany office build…

3 downtown Albany office buildings sell for $1.25M via @Business_Review

Albany’s job loss highest in…

Albany’s job loss highest in NY via @Business_Review

49th. Ouch!

From the Business Review:

New York is not the worst state in the country to do business.

It’s the second worst state in the country to do business.

The good news is New York didn’t slip in the latest rankings from Chief Executive magazine, staying at 49. (It’s been 49 now three years in a row). The worst state to do business, in case you’re wondering, is California.

NAR's Statement on Appraiser Independence

The National Association of Realtors has released a statement in support of appraisers:

NAR 2010 President Ron Phipps said “asking for up to 10 comps, reducing turnaround times, and expanding the scope of the assignment without appropriately adjusting the fee is adding unnecessary risk to an already fragile mortgage market system. We must maintain an environment where our independent appraisers are treated fairly as they are the lynchpin of the mortgage transaction.”

You can read the rest here:

Awesome ride! Our thanks to ou…

Awesome ride! Our thanks to our friends, family, supporters, MMRF, Bike NY, and the Hampton Inn for our 5 Boro Bike Tour experience.

5 Boro Bike Tour…Traffic jam…

5 Boro Bike Tour…Traffic jam on the BQE

5 Boro Bike Tour…Astoria Par…

5 Boro Bike Tour…Astoria Park… 30 miles left