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first_imgThe home’s foundation is constructed as a conditioned crawlspace with insulated concrete forms. The exterior walls consist of a double 2 by 4 structure separated by a space that’s filled with dense-pack cellulose.While this particular pilot program is new to Van Everen, he has a background in energy-efficient building. In addition to being an Energy Star-certified building partner, he is an energy rater and building analyst, and was a national finalist in the 2010 Energy Value Housing Awards.In 2009, a home he constructed became the second house in Montana to attain a Gold Certified Green Residence designation. That house was built to use 60 percent less energy than a typical home of the same size built today.Standing in the home on Eighth Street, Van Everen points out that the house doesn’t look out of the ordinary, yet its performance should be anything but ordinary.“It’s kind of a typical home,” Van Everen said, “but it’s going to operate really well.” Many people are familiar with Energy Star when it comes to appliances. See an Energy Star label when you’re shopping for a washing machine and you know the machine is expected to perform to a certain energy-efficiency standard. But most people are likely less familiar with Energy Star homes, which are built to meet the strict energy-efficiency guidelines set by the Environmental Protection Agency. Energy Star-certified homes are at least 15 percent more efficient than code-built homes. Yet the principle is the same with homes as with appliances – an Energy Star verification is an energy-efficiency guarantee, which is an increasingly desirable guarantee as the benefits of conserving energy become more widely known.Mark Van Everen, owner of Bridgewater Innovative Builders out of Whitefish, is not only familiar with Energy Star certification standards, he is part of a project that could lay out a cost-effective framework for advancing those standards.Van Everen was selected to build one of 10 homes in a four-state area – Montana, Idaho, Washington and Oregon – as part of a pilot program that will generate data intended to help establish future high-performance energy-efficiency guidelines. The pilot program is conducted by the Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance in cooperation with Northwest Energy Star Homes.Van Everen is hoping to finish the 1,800-square-foot home on Eighth Street West and O’Brien Street in Whitefish by the end of the month. He said the homeowners, who currently live in Seattle, are excited about participating in the project. For one, they will have a highly efficient home. And they’ll be able to contribute to other efficient homes down the road through the data collected at their house. After the owners move in, the home will be monitored for 13 months, gathering information on variables such as temperature, gas and electrical usage, relative humidity, and carbon dioxide. The data will be available on a website, creating what Van Everen calls an “energy dashboard” that both the project coordinators and homeowners can access.“It’s really a neat idea,” Van Everen said of the energy dashboard. “It shows you what your usage is. It’s right there. You can’t ignore it.”The idea is to create a home that is tightly sealed yet also has a constant supply of fresh air, achieved through a heat recovery ventilator that brings in a fixed amount of outside air. As cold outside air enters the house, it pulls heat from the stale outgoing air to maximize efficiency. A similar heat recovery system is used for heating water. A home is seen under construction in Whitefish. Lido Vizzutti | Flathead Beacon Stay Connected with the Daily Roundup. Sign up for our newsletter and get the best of the Beacon delivered every day to your inbox. Emaillast_img read more

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first_img Small Firms Association says enterprise must be encouraged in budget Homepage BannerNews Facebook Disruption to cancer service will increase mortality – Oncologist By News Highland – August 28, 2017 Previous articleSean Cavanagh on retirement and the might of the DubsNext articleNot enough school bus places for the national school in Gleneely News Highland Google+ Pinterest RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR The Small Firms Association says economic growth cannot be taken for granted.Launching it’s pre-budget submission today, it says the Government must deliver on it’s commitment to end discrimination against the self-employed.SFA Chairperson and business owner Sue O’Neill says it’s vital to create an environment that supports small business……………Audio Playerhttp://www.highlandradio.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/08oneillsfa.mp300:0000:0000:00Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume. WhatsApp Pinterestcenter_img WhatsApp Twitter Twitter Google+ Today is the 30th anniversary of Eddie Fullerton’s murder Facebook Hospitalisations rise as Donnelly suggests masks will stay ’til autumn Donegal hoteliers enjoy morale boost as bookings increase 45 new social homes to be built in Dungloe Consultation launched on proposal to limit HGV traffic in Cladylast_img read more

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first_imgA person close to Langman said he has recused himself from all WeWork board votes relating to the company’s real estate investment vehicle, including the Lord & Taylor building lease.A spokesperson for Canada-based Hudson’s Bay said in a statement that Langman and Gross recused themselves from all board decisions regarding the Lord & Taylor building before the sale was complete “to avoid any conflicts of interest.”In a statement, a WeWork spokesperson said “its decision to lease space in 424 Fifth Avenue was reviewed and approved in accordance with the procedures of the board.”A spokesperson for Neumann declined to comment.The “Adam and Steven Show”In March 2017, WeWork went beyond its primary business — leasing office space — and began looking at buying properties. It launched WeWork Property Advisors, a joint venture with Langman’s Rhône Group.The venture is now part of an investment vehicle called ARK, which has purchased properties across the U.S., including a 4.7-acre development site in Austin, Texas. Although it acts as a siloed entity to WeWork, they share advisers. One current employee described it as the “Adam and Steven show,” before Neumann left the company.Its first target was the Lord & Taylor building, which since its completion in 1914 had been the flagship store for the storied company. But with ecommerce undermining traditional retailers, its parent company, HBC, found itself desperate for cash.“It was an above-market purchase price, and we had to sign an above-market lease to save Langman’s ass and save the deal.”A 2016 appraisal commissioned by HBC valued the landmark building at $655 million. The following year the company had advanced discussions with prospective buyers, including Brookfield, which dangled a $700 million offer, according to the Wall Street Journal. But a person close to HBC said no formal offers were made until WeWork Property Advisors put in a bid.An agreement was reached in October 2017. The $850 million deal called for WeWork Property Advisors to acquire the building and its managing partner, Gross, to take a seat on HBC’s board. WeWork also committed to taking space in some HBC locations.Separately, Langman’s Rhône Group would take a $500 million stake in HBC — almost a third of the company — earning him a board seat. In December, WeWork Property Advisors put down a $75 million deposit on the building.A HBC spokesperson said the building acquisition and Rhône’s investment in HBC were “negotiated at arm’s length” with HBC management. The deal was approved unanimously by HBC’s board before Langman and Gross became members, the spokesperson said.“They overpaid by $150 million to $200 million,” said one person close to the matter. A current WeWork executive said, “We clearly overpaid, and it was no secret.”The initial plan involved Lord & Taylor staying in the building through 2018. After that, the retailer would occupy a 150,000-square-foot retail space, and WeWork would move its headquarters there and take office space for its clients, HBC said in a press release at the time.But plans to fill the retail portion of the building with Lord & Taylor fell through. As a result, prospective lenders began demanding that WeWork lease the entire building to secure debt, according to three people with knowledge of the situation. The lenders were also wary of the high purchase price of the property.In addition, more than $200 million was needed for a gut renovation of the building. In November 2018 Manhattan Community Board 5 recommended rejection of the new designs, which were led by Bjarke Ingels Group and included a two-story glass cube on the roof. The Landmarks Preservation Committee ultimately approved the project.Pressure to close the deal increased as WeWork’s investment arm missed two deadlines and paid $50 million to keep the seller from walking.Meanwhile, tensions grew between WeWork’s real estate division and WeWork Property Advisors over the cost of the rent. They ultimately agreed to a $105-per-square-foot lease — a figure boosted by the higher-priced retail space. Office asking rents for that neighborhood were $75 a square foot in first quarter of 2019, according to CBRE.As WeWork’s board signed off on the lease, JPMorgan and Starwood committed to provide a $900 million loan to WeWork Property Advisors for the purchase and renovation of the building.A landmark’s murky futureWeWork Property Advisors closed on the sale of the Lord & Taylor building in February, more than a year after agreeing to buy it. The building is now a construction site, with WeWork overseeing extensive renovations.But the company’s options for the building appear to be dwindling. Efforts to attract other tenants have failed. In July, Amazon briefly discussed taking over the building. And with massive job cuts looming at WeWork, the prospect of its employees filling the Lord & Taylor building is unlikely.Last week, Crain’s reported that the company hired a leasing broker and is considering marketing the building to enterprise clients. Rumors that WeWork is mulling a sale are circulating in New York’s real estate industry, but unloading it could involve a significant markdown of the building, some prominent city brokers said.In a statement, WeWork said it “remains committed to 424 Fifth Avenue,” and that it is “excited” to reopen the building next year once it completes renovations.Regardless of its future, the building has served as a stepping stone for Langman and his firm Rhône Group. With its Hudson’s Bay stake, Rhône joined HBC’s chairman in taking the company private this month, at a valuation of about $1.3 billion. This content is for subscribers only.Subscribe Now Former WeWork CEO Adam Neumann and Rhône’s Steve Langman with the Lord and Taylor Building at 424-434 Fifth Avenue (Credit: Getty Images)As WeWork attempts to scrub its image clean of Adam Neumann, some of the ousted CEO’s transactions serve as a bitter reminder of the company’s former culture of excess.One is WeWork’s $850 million purchase of the Lord & Taylor building. Six current and former WeWork employees familiar with the acquisition told The Real Deal that WeWork overpaid, perhaps by as much as $200 million. Moreover, some said, the deal was rife with potential conflicts of interest.A particular concern was the role of Steve Langman, a WeWork board member who held interests in the buyer, the seller and the tenant in the Midtown building before the sale closed.“I’ve never seen a more conflicted situation,” said one person close to the deal. A source close to Langman countered that the board member had recused himself from votes that would have entailed a conflict of interest.ADVERTISEMENTThe future of the iconic property, at 424 Fifth Avenue, is now being considered as WeWork looks to cut costs.The company abandoned its planned public offering in the fall and its valuation has plummeted by $39 billion. SoftBank, its largest investor, has since agreed to extend a roughly $9 billion lifeline to save the company from potential bankruptcy and has installed a new chairman, former Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure.New co-CEOs Artie Minson and Sebastian Gunningham have committed to focusing on WeWork’s core office-space business and offloading side ventures launched by Neumann, who left earlier this month.Most of WeWork’s heavily scrutinized transactions have been unwound, including ones involving Neumann — notably his purchase of properties that he then leased back to WeWork. (Those have been sold to WeWork’s real estate investment group.) A $5.9 million payment he received for giving the company rights to the trademark “We” was returned after withering criticism. And a $60 million Gulfstream jet the company purchased has been put on the market.Like the Lord & Taylor building’s lease, these transactions were approved by WeWork’s board members, most who remain in place.Among them is Langman, whose $5.5 billion private equity firm, Rhône Group, is a major investor in WeWork’s real estate investment vehicle. He was an early investor in WeWork and is known to be close to Neumann, whom he met through links to the Kabbalah Center, a spiritual organization that promotes Jewish mysticism.Langman was chosen along with Neumann’s wife, Rebekah Neumann, and board member Bruce Dunlevie to nominate a replacement for the CEO in the event that he was incapacitated or died.“Langman became involved at an early point, before Adam had the world circling around him,” said one current WeWork employee. A former executive said, “Langman has some weird control over Adam.”424 Fifth Avenue (Credit: Getty Images)According to four current and former employees of WeWork, Langman’s tight relationship with Neumann clouded the Lord & Taylor building transaction. Some questioned how he was allowed to have interests in so many sides of the deal.After Lord & Taylor abandoned plans to stay in the 10-story, 105-year-old building, WeWork was forced to take over the entire property to satisfy lenders for the purchase. It then had to negotiate a lease with its real estate investment vehicle, WeWork Property Advisors, which was buying the property.Langman sat on both WeWork’s board and the investment advisory committee of WeWork Property Advisors. In addition, after the deal went into contract, he and another WeWork Property Advisors executive, Eric Gross, joined the board of Hudson’s Bay Company, the seller of the building.“It was an above-market purchase price, and we had to sign an above-market lease to save Langman’s ass and save the deal,” said one former WeWork executive. A current employee familiar with the matter said Neumann drummed up support for the acquisition. “The rationale internally was, this was a crown jewel.”Read moreWeWork’s IPO filing sheds light on a startup posting massive losses, while issuing huge loans to execsWeWork continues its hunt for investors at $850M Lord & Taylor buildingAdam Neumann is leaving, but it won’t be on WeWork’s jet planelast_img read more

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