The BuildZoom blog

Building Levi’s Stadium for Super Bowl 50

On its opening day in July 2014, the 1.2 billion dollar Levi’s Stadium was hailed as one of the most technologically advanced structures of it’s kind, but development didn’t stop there. Since the 49ers’ final game in 2014, at least 56 permits for additional work on the stadium have been pulled, at an estimated value of over 3.2 million dollars. A handful of permits were pulled to build temporary stages for the likes of One Direction and Luke Bryan, but most are in preparation for the 2016 Super Bowl. All permits for the property can be found on the BuildZoom [...]

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Since 2010, the Number of Gun Sellers has Grown 4.7 Times Faster than the Population

Written by BuildZoom’s Chief Economist Dr. Issi Romem and Jack Cookson There are many, many gun sellers in the United States. In fact, there are more than five times as many gun sellers as Starbucks locations, and four times as many as McDonalds restaurants. Not impressed? The number of gun sellers in the country is about the same as the number of elementary schools, and is about half the number of gas stations. The staggering number helps explain how 23 million guns were sold in the US in 2015 alone – approximately one new gun for every thirteen Americans.  We used [...]

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The BuildZoom And Urban Economics Lab Index: Third Quarter 2015

* Residential remodeling is arguably a better indicator of consumer sentiment than new construction, and is of similar importance as an indicator of national economic health. * Remodeling of existing homes has fully recovered since the housing bust, and is 3.7% above its 2005 level. In contrast, new home construction is recovering gradually and remains 54.0% below its 2005 level. * However, year-over-year, residential new construction increased by 15.9% while residential remodeling decreased by 1.7%. * * *   National Indices For New Home Construction And Existing Home Remodeling (Seasonally adjusted) Metropolitan Area Indices The following tables and graphs present [...]

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The Rising Income of First-Time Home Buyers

During the housing boom mortgage lending was available to people with a broad range of incomes. Since the bust, first-time buyers have grown more financially select. During the last decade’s housing boom it became much easier to obtain a mortgage and many people who previously couldn’t buy a home grasped the opportunity. In 2005 the annual number of first time home buyers in the U.S. hit an all time high of 3.2 million, but by 2008 it fell below 2 million and remains below that level to this day. The relative absence of first-time buyers from the current housing recovery [...]

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Why First-Time Buyers Matter For The Housing Market

As the housing recovery progresses, there is growing concern that first-time buyers – often equated with millennials – are buying too few homes. “Too few” in this context means less than the historical norm. Why should this worry us? The obvious reason is that it could indicate that the barriers to homeownership are rising, but when reporters cover the shortage of first-time buyers they usually invoke a very different reason. One reporter phrased the go-to reason particularly well by saying that “millennials are… akin to guppies in the housing market food chain: When a first-time buyer moves into an entry-level [...]

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Are First-Time Buyers Buying Too Few Homes?

The current housing recovery is an uneasy one. Even as it unfolds before our eyes, with home sales and prices steadily rising and talk of underwater homes giving way to talk of bubbles, there is a sense that something is very wrong. According to Lawrence Yun, the Chief Economist for the National Association of Realtors, the recovery’s missing link is that there are too few sales to first-time home buyers – often equated with millennials. Why are too few sales to first-time buyers so troubling? One reason is that it can dampen the housing recovery.  Another is that it could [...]

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Apple Spending $80 Million On Visitor Center at its New Campus

Does the Bay Area need a new tourist destination? The folks at Apple think so, as they are building a lavish new visitor center overlooking Apple’s new campus. Apple will spend 79.9 million dollars on its new visitor center located at 10700 N. Tantau Avenue in Cupertino, according to building permits filed today (December 17) with the City of Cupertino. The 20,135 square foot visitor center will be complete with glass walls, a 2,386 square foot cafe and a 10,114 square foot store as well as a rooftop observation deck for visitors to admire the spaceship-like campus across the road. [...]

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Automatically uploading email attachments to FilePicker using Mailgun via Ruby on Rails

This is a guest post by our Fall ’15 Software Developer Intern, Rohit Verma. As part of my internship at BuildZoom, I was responsible for many tasks and projects. One of the most interesting ones is simplifying photo uploading. The goal of this project was to allow users to directly upload their photos via email. It can be outlined in the following steps: User emails photo to an email ID Email is routed to the web app through Mailgun The web app receives the email and its attachments The web app uploads the attachments to Filepicker and saves its details [...]

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United Airlines is spending $35 million upgrading their baggage claims in Houston

United Airlines is clearly upgrading their presence in Houston. While lots of people are talking about the new $244 million United Terminal coming to IAH no one seems to be mentioning the $35 million being spent to remodeling United’s baggage claim area in Terminal B.  The baggage area will offer something new to United customers not flying from new terminal. On November 12th, 2015  Brookstone LP, a Houston based construction company, received its first permit for the project. The project will be Brookstone’s 6th aviation related  project and will contribute to their $20-$50 million dollar revenue stream. *** Check out [...]

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Grand Canyon University Invests 90.9 Million Dollars in Building

Pono Construction continues their relationship with Grand Canyon University for an estimated $90+ million in new building projects. Permits for a $26.8 million apartment complex, $25.3 million engineering building and a $38.7 million  office shell, were issued on November 3rd. The partnership between Pono Construction and GCU began in 1986 when Pono built Grand Canyon University’s first residence hall. Since then Pono has built every subsequent residence hall and many of the academic buildings for the university and its 10,600 students.   *** These permits were issued on November 3rd and appeared in the BuildZoom permit database on that same [...]

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26.6 Million Dollar Hotel Coming to Downtown Minneapolis

Minneapolis is getting a another new hotel. Previously limited to Spain, Italy, France, Portugal AC hotels expanded to New Orleans in 2013 and are now heading to Minneapolis.  The “upscale urban-inspired” hotel founded by Antonio Catalán will be located on the corner of Hennepin and South 4th St.   Mortenson Construction’s permit received the go ahead on October 20th, 2015.  Mortenson Construction, one the 200 largest private company in the US, estimates the nine story 245 room hotel will cost 26.6 million dollars to construct.   Located in Minneapolis’s downtown, the hotel is just blocks away from the Target Center, Target [...]

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How to populate AngularJS $templateCache server-side with Rails

AngularJS custom directives are a great way to modularize front-end functionality. I think of each one as a Lego piece to be mix-and-matched for different solutions. One downside of the basic set up of directives is that directive templates are asynchronously loaded after the directive is initialized. Having a dozen components on a page leads to a dozen HTTP requests as the page loads. The basic solution is inline templates via the script tag. The downside is code maintainability. If you have all the templates in a single file, you have a really long and fragile template code base. Even if you [...]

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