The Shipyards Project

23 02 2017

The Downtown Investment Authority (DIA) has expanded the scope of a proposal for redevelopment of the Shipyards project to also include Metropolitan Park. Previous discussion and negotiations with Shad Khan, who submitted a proposal in 2015 to redevelop the Shipyards, have been scraped and the process for redevelopment will start over. The DIA has officially begun soliciting proposals on Jan. 4, with a due date of March 20.

shipyards-activity-deck-750xx530-298-0-82The Shipyards has long been seen as a key property along the St. Johns River that would be a catalyst for more development.

There are federal strings attached to Metropolitan Park, which was developed with the help of a $1.8 million federal grant with the understanding the property would be used for public use.

DIA CEO Aundra Wallace said some portion of the about-70 acres that are being proposed for development will be public space, meeting the federal requirements with Metropolitan Park. The National Park Service would have to sign off on the plan.

The amount of time the DIA would take to select the most suitable bid was not discussed, but once that bid has been selected and approved by the City Council, an 18-month time frame was provided for negotiations.

Jaguars President Mark Lamping released the following statement following the DIA meeting.

“We support and welcome the DIA’s decision and look forward to the opportunity to take a new and broader look at a riverfront development that includes Met Park. Shad’s interest in developing the Met Park site and Downtown Jacksonville has been well documented and is consistent with the Jaguars’ overall commitment to the revitalization of our downtown core. The Daily’s Place project is an ongoing example of that commitment, and a potential riverfront development that included the Met Park property would represent a logical next phase.”

Source: Jacksonville Business Journal


Feng Shui Prediction: Year 2017 – Yin Fire Rooster Year

18 02 2017

year-of-the-fire-rooster-topYear 2017 is the Year of the Rooster, in the Chinese Hsia calendar, is symbolized by two elements – with Yin fire sitting on top of metal. According to the cycle of birth and destruction (which governs the interrelationship between the elements), Fire conquers metal and so they are on the destructive cycle and have fighting relationship. Normally, such conflicting elements means disharmony. In particular, Yin Fire symbolizes a candle flame, which is flickering and unstable, therefore, it represents an emotional, sentimental and sensitive personality which is not quick temper like Yang fire, but it can be tense and nervous, and its temper will accumulate and once explode, it will be more serious than yang fire. There is a Chinese saying, “A Spark of fire can burn down the field.” Therefore, Yin fire is often associated with fire disasters and explosions. As fire and metal are in conflicting relationship, there will be international conflicts and clashes. Yin fire also symbolizes bullets and guns, which can bring more clashes with fire arms.

In general, the Yin Fire Rooster year, with fire on top and metal below, is symbol of optimism, innovation and progress. There is still conflict and disharmony in international relationship and may not be a peaceful year but people are optimistic, open-minded, confident and innovative to bring solutions to any obstacles. There would be natural disasters such as fire, explosion, nuclear issues, some environmental disasters and disease and epidemic still prevail.

Feng Shui Remedy

2017afflictionsBecause Feng Shui energies change from year to year, it is necessary to watch out for the re-allocation of good and bad energies at the beginning of each year so that we can take necessary precautions if some bad energy happens to arrive at important locations of our residence or offices. In 2017, the year of the Rooster, the bad energy called “Five Yellow” – symbolizing obstacles and misfortune, will arrive at the South. It is recommended that one hangs a metal wind chime in the South of your dwelling to dissolve this bad energy. The worst months will be in March, September, and December in 2017. Another bad star number 2, symbolizing sickness, will arrive in the Northwest in 2017. The traditional method to dissolve this 2 bad star is to hang a string of six metal coins in the affected area in the Northwest of your dwelling. The Grand Duke this year is located in the West, so it is not favorable to “move earth” or make substantial construction work in this direction. It is also not recommended for one to sit with back against East as you will be sitting against the unfavorable energy called “Three Shars” or “Three Killings.” The East is also in the “crash position” against the Grand Duke which is also not good to sit. The bad star 3, a star of conflict and robbery, is present in the west. It is necessary to put a piece of red paper in this position to minimize such bad influence this year. Also the bad star 7, representing scandals will arrive in the Southwest. The traditional solution to negate the affect of this bad star 7 is to place 3 pieces of bamboo plant grown in clear glass vase of water in the Southwest location.

The annual star 1 located in the center of your dwelling is the Trigram Water. It is anticipated that more water related disaster could happen in 2017 and the affected area could be the Central and South area. This can potentially mean Middle East and countries and regions associated with the name “Central.”

Bad months to watch out this year will be March as Yin water Rabbit is in total clash against the year of Yin fire Rooster with flying star 2 and 5 in the South. With serious clash between fire and water, one can experience heart attack, stroke, fire disaster and explosions. Similar clash will likely happen in January 2018.

The Yin fire on Rooster is a rare occasion for both “Nobleman and Academic stars.” This means every child born in 2017 are born into the period with good stars. Nobleman star helps make a person’s life more smooth with support from others. Academic star is a symbol of intelligence so the person born this year will have a strong appetite for knowledge and advanced study. Both stars are essential for successful career. In the year with both Nobleman and Academic star appears together usually occurs twice in the 60 year cycle – yin fire Rooster year and yin water Rabbit year. So this year is an auspicious year to give birth to children. The next chance with similar good year will occur in 2023, the yin water Rabbit year.

The animal sign which is most unfavorable this year is the Rabbit which is in direct clash against the Rooster. Such clashes will bring about turbulence, movements, accidents or changes. As with metal wood clash, this year can lead to misfortunes related to traffic, injury by metal knives, and injury to the bones and back. As both Rooster and Rabbit symbolize the “Flowers of Romance” in Chinese feng shui, this year can bring sex scandals. The Rooster creates self penalty with Rooster so this year we will see health problems related to lung, breathing organ, skin and teeth. As Yin fire is on top, it can trigger problem with heart, brain and nerve system. People born in the year of Rabbit will anticipate more traveling or moving such as changing jobs or buying/selling homes. To minimize the negative affects, it is recommended that they carry the pendant of a Dragon to attract the Rooster away. For the Rabbit people, the clash against the Rooster could bring accidents related to injury of back, bones and limbs. For people who are under clash this year, it is okay for you to travel, making career change or relocate. However, people born in the year of Tiger are not recommended not to travel directly towards the West direction this year. The other animal’s sign facing unfavorable position is the Rooster people which offend the Grand Duke so this year could bring disharmony, irritation, worries and frustrations, as well as sickness. You can carry the Dragon pendant to minimize the negative effects.

The animal signs that are compatible with the Rooster are the Dragon, Snake and Ox. These animals form harmony with the Rooster so they will see productive year in 2017. Please do keep in mind that the Chinese zodiac is not to be used and misconstrued as fortune telling. For a more reliable assessment of one’s fortune in the year of Rooster, it is recommended that one checks with the Four Pillars of Destiny, which requires full birth data information of the Year, Month, Day and Hour of birth. As the animal signs can appear in all four pillars in a person’s birth data, the clash and penalty relationship with the year of Rooster will not only cause impact on people born in the year of Rabbit and Rooster, but the clash and penalties can also impact anyone who has such animals in the birth month, birth day, or birth hour.

Some examples of famous people born in the year of the Rabbit and in clash against the Rooster this year include Tiger Woods, Brad Pitt, David Beckham, Angelina Jolie, Maria Sharapova, Novak Djokovic, Jamie Oliver, and Jeff Bezos. For people not born in the year of Rabbit but are under clash (because they are born on the day of Rabbit so they will face a challenging year) include Prince Charles, Harrison Ford, Nicole Kidman, Stephen King, Rachel Ray, and Christine Lagarde. The clash against the Day Pillar will usually cause movement or conflict in the family or human relationship area, especially in the relationship with the spouse or opposite sex.

People born in the year of Rooster are said to be “offending the Grand Duke” and are in self penalty this year. It is recommended that they carry a pendant of the Dragon to minimize the negative effects. Some famous people born in the Rooster year include Paris Hilton, Cate Blanchett, Kate Middleton, Jennifer Lopez, Beyonce, Britney Spears, Eric Clapton, Roger Federer, and Emperor Akihito.

People born on the day of Rooster could suffer self penalty which will affect relationships and marriages. Penalty is a hidden danger and will cause irritation, worries and serious disharmony in relationships. It can lead to health problems. Some examples of people coming up with self penalty in 2017 are Jodie Foster, Camilla Duchess of Cornwall, Mick Jagger, Matt Damon, Larry Page, and Jamie Oliver.

The Rooster is symbolized as “Flower of Romance” in Chinese Feng Shui. People born in the years or days of Monkey, Rat, Dragon can expect a more sociable year with more opportunity to develop friendship with the opposite sex. People born in the year of Pig and Rabbit will have more chances to travel and moving this year.


The warmth of fire in a Rooster year will point you in the direction of family and home. It’s the real reason you work so hard! Single Roosters seeking partnership and marriage will find less obstacles in their way this year. Real happiness will be found with those born in an Ox or Snake year, but Roosters are also compatible with the Tiger and the Dragon. Roosters are generally attractive and witty with a good sense of dressing style, so naturally, they attract many other zodiac signs. But relationships may not be so lasting with the Rat or the Rabbit, when differing opinions often lead to conflict.

Roosters are capable and energetic so those born in a Rooster year are prepared to put in the hard yards and seize the opportunities it brings.

Roosters already in committed relationships will have plenty of opportunities to fill their lives with love and happiness this year. This year Rooster is a yin sign, promoting warmth and closeness in the family. To make the most of it, arrange holidays where there are not too many people, such as camping in quiet retreats close to beautiful scenery. Date nights are a lovely way for couples to reconnect as lovers, and romantic weekends away will bring back the spark. The important thing to remember is to have a balance between the Rooster’s strong work ethics and the sheer pleasure of taking a break with loved ones.

In a chaotic world, where anything is likely to happen to upset the smooth routines that Roosters love, it can be hard finding that balance. The wisest course is always for Roosters to simply focus on what needs to be done. If finances become an issue, find your inner frugal Rooster and reduce costs without reducing the happiness factor. A romantic night in is just as effective as a romantic night out, and in business, look for ways to reduce costs without reducing quality. These are the strategies that favor all the zodiac signs in a Rooster year when the poor decisions and lack of planning in previous years literally come home to roost.

Starting in mid 2016, the Chinese calendar entered a long cycle of metal, earth and water without the yang elements of wood and fire. The next wood year will not come up until 2022, the year of water tiger. For the next five years, the powerful metal and earth are not favorable to strong metal people. The prominent world leaders who would be affected will include David Cameron, Shinzo Abe, Hollande, Tsai Ing-wen, and C.Y. Leung. On the other hand, leaders whose favorable elements are metal and earth will enter a phase of smooth luck, will include Putin and Xi jinping.

Historically, there were grave disasters related to Yin fire. For an example, the 911 attack on World Trade Towers in 2001 occurred on Yin fire day in Yin fire rooster month. The first atomic bomb was dropped in Hiroshima on 6/8/1945, a Yin fire day in Rooster year. Osama Bin Laden was killed on a Yin fire day on 2/5/2011. Yin fire sits on a rooster, which is relatively weak as the metal below does not support the fire above. However, we cannot discount the strength of such fire as the Rooster is considered as the “birth place” of yin fire, in the Yin element life cycle. It is expected there will be serious explosions, fire disaster and conflicting war in 2017.

The Rooster is a strong yin metal element symbolized by jewelry and decorative metal, such as necklace and bracelets. It is charming and beautiful on the outside, but is cold and has hard metal quality inside. Hence, it also represents a dagger, which can associate with killing and assassinations. The Yin fire rooster year will not be peaceful and it is predicted we will have wars, gun battles, killings and possible terrorist attacks this year.

The Chinese calendar of Heavenly stems and Earthly Branches goes on 60 years cycle. This means that we had experienced the same Yin fire Rooster year 60 years ago in 1957 as well as 120 years ago in 1897. The year 1957 saw the Vietnam war escalating with serious insurgents by the Viet Cong against the Government under Ngo Dinh Diem. In 1897, China was under Qing Dynasty ruled by Empress Dowager Cixi and the country’s political power in declining with aggressive invasion by Russia and other western countries. However, Yin fire also symbolizes optimism and rooster is portrayed by a symbol of “Peach Blossom”, which represents romance and beauty so there is sentiment for entertainment and happiness. Therefore, Year 2017 will be a favorable year for entertainment and glamorous industries. Yin fire over Rooster represents by Nobleman and Academic star in the Four Pillars of destiny. In 1897 and 1957, these were remarkable years with scientific developments. In 1957, the first satellite Sputnik 1 was launched by Soviet Union in October followed by Sputnik 2 in November. The U.S. launched the first satellite Explorer 1 into orbit in January 1958. The Laser was invented by Gordon Gould in 1957. In 1897, the word “computer” first appeared; Aspirin was invented and electron was discovered that same year.

The musical “West Side Story” made its first appearance on Broadway in 1957. Also, it was the year John Lennon met Paul McCartney and formed the band Quarryman, which was the group preceded the Beatles. In 1897, Bram Stoker’s novel “Dracula” was published in London. Dracula is a novel about vampire and blood; Yin Fire is related to blood. Bram Stoker was born on 8/11/1847 which was on the day of Yin fire in the year of Yin fire. The movie series Twilight starring Rob Pattinson was originated on day of Yin Fire.

There were many explosions and fire disasters in 1957. There was a coal mine gas explosion in Virginia which killed 37 people on February 5, 1957. The Warrenton Nursing Home fire took place at the Katie Jane Memorial Home for the Aged in Warrenton, Missouri on February 17, 1957 and killed 72 people. A 42,000 pound hydrogen bomb accidentally fell from a bomber near Albuquerque on May 22, 1957. The Kyshtym disaster was a radioactive contamination accident that occurred on 29 September 1957 at Mayak, a plutonium production site for nuclear weapons. The Windscale fire of 10 October 1957 was the worst nuclear accident in Great Britain’s history.

In Chinese Metaphysics, Yin fire represents the heart and blood circulation. It also refers to the brain, nerve system and the eyes. Therefore, a Yin fire year tends to bring sickness of the heart, blood, inflammation problem, brain and nerve problem (such as hyper tension and stroke.) For example, Hillary Clinton was born in 1947, the year of Yin fire pig. In 2013, the year of Yin water snake was in clash against her Yin fire year. She accidentally knocked her head against the wall and subsequently discovered blood clot in the brain which forced her to resign from the post of Secretary of State. Bruce Lee died on a Yin fire day which was in clash against Yin water year in 1973. The post mortem found water in his brain. James Blunt, the car racing champion, died of heart attack in 1993, a clash between Yin water and Yin fire year.

Metal in the human body is related to lung and breathing organ. With fire attacking metal, there is a chance of flu and other breathing organ or skin problems. Yin metal attacks yin wood, which is related to small bones in the body, so it is also necessary to beware of accident causing injury to back bones, limbs, finger and toe. There are several examples of people broke their back during the rooster year or rooster day. For example, Brandon Lee, the son of Bruce Lee, died in 1993, the Rooster year, from a bullet breaking his back on The Crow movie set. Madonna fell off the horse and broke her bones in the Rooster year in 2005.

Yin fire is associated with the Heart so it is often compared to the candle flame which is flickering and unstable. Yin Fire people are warmhearted, but are emotional, sentimental and sensitive in feelings. The well-known Yin fire people are David Bowie, Robert Pattinson and Harrison Ford. They are performing artists who are known for their sensitivity and dramatic innovative performance. David Bowie was regarded as the master of innovative music with dramatic visual presentation. It is interesting to note that Yin Fire people, particularly Yin Fire Rooster, are commonly found in the Four pillars of influential people in the Chinese history. The powerful Chinese politicians, including Emperor Song Taizu , Emperor Hongwu of Ming Dynasty, Dr. Sun Yat Sen, Chairman Mao Tse Tung, Chairman Xi Jinping were all born on the day of Yin fire, with the latter three born on Yin fire Rooster day. The Yin Fire Rooster year can also bear significance in world politics and economic prosperity.

Yin fire people are warmhearted and kind but can also be nervous, tense and suspicious. Strong yin fire people can be funny and enjoy comedy. Famous comedians born on the Yin fire day were Bob Hope, Chris Rock and Rowan Atkinson.

The fire element symbolizes happiness in the Five Quality of people. They are honest, warmhearted and kind. Yin fire is optimistic but illusive. They are reliable people and trustworthy friends but can be dramatic and moody. The Yin fire year often boost peoples confidence about the economy bringing good performance to the stock market. Particularly, during the spring and summer seasons when the wood and fire seasonal element make the candle burn very bright and such illusive fire will drive up the stock market sky high. However, once the seasonal support of wood and fire expires in August and afterward, there will be dramatic downturn as the illusive candle flame is dying. So take heed and prepare to take profit in the stock market as there could be big disappointment after the summer of 2017. This pattern of sizzling stock market in first half of the year and then collapsed in the autumn appeared in previous yin fire years before, such as in 1987, 1997, and 2007. The bearish market may commence around August 2017 and this time the impact can be long lasting for the next five years as there will not be any support to fire element between 2018 to 2022.

The Rooster is a strong metal element. In Chinese metaphysics, the Rooster is a “Peach Blossom” or “Flower of Romance”, which brings beauty and charm particularly to people who were born in the year or the day of Monkey, Rat and Dragon. The Peach Blossom year will be beneficial to glamorous industry such as beauty, fashion, entertainment, and music. Yin fire also relates to the kitchen and energy so it will bring prosperity to restaurant and catering business, as well as energy healing, sport and exercise such as fitness and yoga. The negative aspect of such “Peach Blossom” will be sex scandals.

As fire is hot air so this element is often related to birds, airplane and flying objects. This year Yin fire is flickering and unstable so it can bring air disasters. In 1957, the Philippine President and 24 passengers died in a plane crash on March 17, 1957. A flying boat crashed on the Isle of Wight with 45 dead in November 1957. The Yin fire element also brings development in flying objects and space exploration. Year 1957 was the year when both Soviet Union and the U.S. raced to launch satellites into space. The Rooster is a strong metal which relates to machinery, cars and trains. It is predicted that there will be more traffic accidents involving cars and trains in 2017. In 1957, there were many serious traffic accidents. On September 1957, there were 175 people died in railway disaster in Jamaica. Two trains collided in Turkey killing 95 people in October 1957. The Lewisham rail crash in London killed 92 in December 1957.

In Chinese medicine, fire element is related to heart, blood circulation, brain, nerve system and eyes. Yin Metal is associated to breathing organ, lung, and skin. The Rooster year will create “self penalty” when it meets with another Rooster; the metal penalty will trigger flu and breathing organ or skin problem. Since this year is Yin fire year, the fire is burning the metal so we have to take extra caution of skin inflammation and breathing organ symptom. The flu pandemic can be more serious in 2017. The suitable supplements to improve our immune system and minimize the chance of heart and breathing organ problems are anti-oxidant, vitamin C and omega 3 oil. CO-Q10 is vital to people having weak fire.

The Rooster is the animal in clash against the Rabbit. It is small metal cut into small wood. So be weary of cutting knife, surgery operations, injury to back bone and neck, injury to small bones such as fingers and toes.

People who were born in the year of Rooster and Rabbit are affected this year. There will be more movements and travelling in 2017 so it is okay to take chances to make necessary changes such as buying new homes, relocating, moving offices, changing jobs or taking trips. However, please take extra care and refrain from extreme sports such as car racing, flying airplanes, sky diving, parachuting, and so on. It is recommended that you carry the pendant of a Dragon which helps attract the Rooster to minimize the negative influence of the clash. For people born in the year of the Rabbit, it is best to limit travelling directly towards the west direction as it is the direction of the Grand Duke in 2017.

For the last three years from 2013 to 2015, we have experienced fire and earth years. Fire is associated with blood circulation, carbohydrate, energy and sugar. Earth is associated with stomach and muscles. Therefore for the past three years, we saw people gaining more weight easily. Last year, the arrival of metal element begins to exhaust the excessive amount of earth so this year is the year suitable to do more exercises, watch your diet and lose weight. One will find the Year of Monkey in 2016 and the Rooster year in 2017 will be more effective to trim down excessive weight.

According to Flying Star feng shui, the current twenty year period from 2004 to 2024 is called “Age of 8.” The number 8 represents the Trigram of Mountain and symbolizes young children. Beginning in 2004, there were more disasters, troubles and misfortune affecting children. The number 8, representing children, will be present in the center of the flying star chart for 20 years starting from 2004 to 2024. It is always important to pay attention to children safety and well being between now and Year 2024.

When it comes to economy, the fire element is often the driving force behind the stock market. The five element is also affecting people’s mood. In general, fire is associated with joy, water is fear, earth is meditation, metal is sadness, and wood is anger. In fire year, it often generates optimism and drives up the stock market. For example, the last financial tsunami happened in 2008 as a result of a strong water year of the Rat. The economic crisis deepened and continued until 2012 as there was no fire element during this period. When fire element returned in 2013 in the year of the Snake, the U.S. economy enjoyed a strong recovery with Dow Jones industrial Average surpassed 18000 points in 2014, the strong wood fire horse year. In 2015, the year of wood Sheep did not show apparent fire, but there was fire hidden in the Sheep, therefore the optimism continued until January 2016 with the arrival of the month of Ox came into clash against the Sheep and extinguished the hidden fire. We saw a serious setback in the stock market, terrorist attacks, many celebrities passed away, and extremely cold weather and snow storms. In 2016, the year of fire Monkey saw the “sun setting in the west,” so the economic atmosphere suffered a slow down. However, this year is the Yin Fire so we remain positive as we expect the economy and the optimism to continue to bring confidence in the stock market particularly in the Spring and Summer when the candle flame gains seasonal support and drives up the illusory optimism. However, as the Yin fire is illusory candle flame, it will be extinguished in the Fall and Winter. There will be serious setback in August and October. The bearish market will return and it will remain bearish until 2002, the Year of the Tiger.

As Yang fire is compared to the Sun, Yin fire the Stars. With yin fire weakening on metal, there could be more passings of movie stars and celebrities expected in 2017.

The fire and metal element in 2017 are expected to bring prosperity to the fire and water industries. As fire conquers metal, the metal element is a symbol of money to the fire industry, which includes energy, entertainment, stock market, finance. The second best industries would be water, as water conquers fire, so fire is money to water industry. Water industries would include transportation, communication, and shipping. Earth industry is positive as Earth produces metal, so it will be an active year for earth element such as real estate market, construction, high tech industry and mining. Metal industries would suffer including banking, engineering, computers, and automobile. In a strong metal year, these industries will be very active, but competition is also very strong and the Rooster year brings many competitors into the scene. Wood industry including textiles, paper and environment will be active because wood produces fire, however the money to wood industry – earth is absent.

In summary, the industries that will perform well in the year of the Rooster will be ones related to Fire and Water elements. Fire industries include energy, stock market, finance/banking, and entertainment. Water elements include transportation, shipping and communication. Earth industry will be active and productive but money element to earth is water which is not apparent.

Mayo Clinic Scheduled for $100M Expansion

15 09 2016

A rendering of the new destination medical building at Mayo Clinic.

A rendering of the new destination medical building at Mayo Clinic.

Mayo Clinic is beginning construction on the first building within its $100 million three-building expansion project in October 2016 – and it’s setting its sights on more expansion in the future.

The CEO of Mayo Clinic’s Jacksonville campus, Dr. Gianrico Farrugia, said work on the 150,000-square-foot destination medical center will have just under a two-year timeline, with the projected completion being summer 2018.

The building has a number of unique features, including specialized care for patients with neurological problems, as well as patients who require neurosurgery, hematology and oncology. It will also have a chemotherapy section, which Farrugia says will be private and include an outdoor patio.

Farrugia said one of the most interesting features of the destination medical center will be its ability to extend up to 15 floors eventually, making more room for expansion down the road.

The second building in the expansion – a 6,400-square-foot building that will house a cyclotron, a machine that speeds up protons to create atoms with short-lived isotopes that can be used in molecular imaging for cancers that are hard to detect otherwise – will begin by the end of this year.

The technology in that building will be used for detecting the recurrence of patients who suffer from cancers like prostate cancer, which can’t be easily detected otherwise. It is also the first facility in the southeast to use Carbon-11 Choline, which can be injected into patients and used to break down the imaging at a cellular level.

“The side benefit is that you can get an answer much sooner if you do find cancer,” Farrugia said. “Therefore, you’re going to get a better outcome.”

The third building, the “net zero” lung restoration and transplantation center, will begin construction in either the first or second quarter of 2017, and is scheduled to be completed in quarter two of 2019 as long as everything goes according to plan.

That center will be primarily focused on lung restoration and will include a 25,000-square-foot incubator. Researchers will be working with lungs that would have usually been discarded in order to advance transplantation medicine.

Farrugia said the expansion is meant to build up Mayo Clinic’s medical tourism and attract a regional, national and international reach. He said there are plans to move on additional buildings, which may be announced by the end of the year.

“Certainly our plans are to continue to invest. We’ve been able to do some fairly significant recruitment, such as Dr. Alfredo Quinones-Hinojosa [former neurosurgeon with Johns Hopkins Hospital], and some remarkable robotic technology. As part of that, we know we need to continue beyond the three buildings and continue to invest locally. We want to grow as a destination medical center, and we’re setting our sights on future buildings,” Farrugia said.

Farrugia said the potential for growing Mayo’s medical tourism footprint is huge, and that there are about 37 million people that live within an hour’s flight of Jacksonville who can not just visit Mayo, but other hospitals in Jacksonville. He said the aim is to make Jacksonville a “southeastern hub” for medical treatment.

“We’re already seeing, even in 2016, the number of international patients who come to see us continue to increase,” Farrugia said.

That’s also benefiting the local economy, with Mayo already having hired 500 employees locally and looking to hire 500 by the time the expansion is completed.

Farrugia said the other goal is to make sure Mayo is addressing needs that are there. Lung transplantation is a good example of that.

“The first patient we ever did a transplantation for came to see us a week ago to celebrate his 15th anniversary. He’s seen his children grow into adults, he’s enjoyed time with grandkids. What we want to do is be inspired by the human example. We know our mortality rate is half the expected rate. We know our survivor rate exceeds the expected rate,” Farrugia said. “We want to make sure we’re doing it not just because we can do it, but because we can change people’s lives.”

Source: Jacksonvillle Business Journal

Pending Home Sales Hit a 10-Year High in April

28 05 2016

Pending home sales rose for the third consecutive month in April and reached their highest level in over a decade, according to the National Association of Realtors® (NAR).

All major regions saw gains in contract activity last month except for the Midwest, which saw a meager decline.

The Pending Home Sales Index – a forward-looking indicator based on contract signings for homes that have not yet sold – hiked 5.1 percent higher to 116.3 in April from an upwardly revised 110.7 in March. Year-to-year, it’s 4.6 percent above April 2015 (111.2).

After last month’s gain, the index has now increased year-over-year for 20 consecutive months. Vast gains in the South and West propelled April’s pending sales in April to its highest level since February 2006 (117.4), says Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist.

“The ability to sign a contract on a home is slightly exceeding expectations this spring, even with the affordability stresses and inventory squeezes affecting buyers in a number of markets,” Yun says. “The building momentum from the over 14 million jobs created since 2010 and the prospect of facing higher rents and mortgage rates down the road appear to be bringing more interested buyers into the market.”

Mortgage rates have remained below 4 percent in 16 of the past 17 months, but Yun says it remains to be seen how long they will stay this low. Along with rent growth, rising gas prices – and the fading effects of last year’s cheap oil on consumer prices – could edge up inflation and push rates higher. For now, Yun foresees mortgage rates continuing to hover around 4 percent in coming months, but inflation could potentially surprise the market and cause rates to increase suddenly.

“Even if rates rise soon, sales have legs for further expansion this summer if housing supply increases enough to give buyers an adequate number of affordable choices during their search,” adds. Yun.

Following the housing market’s best first quarter of existing-sales since 2007 (5.66 million) and a decent increase (1.7 percent) in April, Yun expects sales this year to climb above earlier estimates and be around 5.41 million – a 3.0 percent boost from 2015. After accelerating to 6.8 percent a year ago, national median existing-home price growth is forecast to slightly moderate to between 4 and 5 percent.

Pending sales in the Northeast climbed 1.2 percent to 98.2 in April, and are now 10.1 percent above a year ago. In the Midwest, the index declined slightly (0.6 percent) to 112.9 in April, but it’s still 2.0 percent above April 2015.

Pending home sales in the South jumped 6.8 percent to an index of 133.9 in April – 5.1 percent higher than last April. The index in the West soared 11.4 percent in April to 106.2, and it’s now 2.8 percent above a year ago.

Source: National Association of Realtors

Clint Eastwood is Moving to Jacksonville, Florida

7 03 2016

I saw this in the news yesterday. In a big surprise to everyone in Los Angeles, Hollywood actor Clint Eastwood reveals in a new interview that he is moving to the Jacksonville, Florida area. He tells the magazine that he is “tired of the California lifestyle” and is looking for a big change in life.

“I’m just tired of the California lifestyle and the fake people, honestly, and I feel like, at this point in my life, I’d rather just live in a place full of real, genuine people. I’ve been to Jacksonville a few times over the years and the people there are real… they’re genuine, and yeah every community has its problems but the people there are good, decent people and they care about their community. Those are the things I find most important in deciding where to live,” Eastwood told the magazine.

“I’m not retiring, I’m just looking for a change in life and I think I’ve found that in Jacksonville, Florida,” Eastwood reassured fans. Let us know what you think in the comments section below especially if you’re a resident of the Jacksonville, Florida area.

June Home Starts Surge – Highest Pace in 28 Years

18 07 2015

The U.S. Commerce Department announced that housing starts in June climbed 9.8 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.17 million homes. All of that growth came from a 28.6 percent surge in multi-family housing that put apartment construction at its highest rate since November 1987. Starts for single-family houses slipped 0.9 percent last month.

U.S. builders broke ground on apartment complexes in June at the fastest pace in nearly 28 years, as developers anticipate that recent job gains will launch a wave of renters.

The gains show that what had been a sluggish construction sector is now running on economic adrenaline. Strong job growth and a rebounding economy have increased the numbers of buyers and renters searching for homes, while gradually rising mortgage rates have spurred homeowners to finalize deals.

Housing starts jumped 35.3 percent in the Northeast because of apartments, while climbing 13.5 percent in the South. Home construction slumped in the Midwest and West in June.

Nationwide, housing starts have risen 10.9 percent year-to-date.

Over the past 12 months, employers have added 2.9 million jobs, meaning there are more people with paychecks to spend across the broader economy. The impact of those job gains and the unemployment rate drop to 5.3 percent has surfaced in housing, where demand is outpacing the supply of homes and creating more pressure to build houses and apartments.

The market for new homes for sale had just 4.5 months of supply in May, compared to 6 months in a healthy market.

Approved building permits increased 7.4 percent to an annual rate of 1.34 million in June, the highest level since July 2007. The bulk of that increase came for apartment complexes, while permits for houses last month rose just 0.9 percent.

There are other signs that builders are increasingly optimistic.

The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo builder sentiment index released Thursday climbed to 60 this month, a level last reached in November 2005 – shortly before the housing boom gave way to the mortgage crisis that triggered the Great Recession. Readings above 50 indicate more builders view sales conditions as good rather than poor.

Mortgage rates have started to rise, although they remain low by historic standards.

Source: The Associated Press

U.S. New-Home Sales in May Climb to Best Levels Since 2008

24 06 2015

Purchases of new U.S. homes surged in the Northeast and West in May, as steady job growth over the past year has lifted the real estate sector.

The Commerce Department said that new-home sales rose 2.2 percent in May 2015 to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 546,000, the strongest pace in more than seven years.

Sales of new homes have soared 24 percent year-to-date, helped by the additional incomes from the employers hiring 3.1 million workers in the past 12 months and relatively low mortgage rates. The sharp increase in purchases could help drive more employment in the construction sector and broader economic growth, potentially offsetting the setbacks to growth in the manufacturing sector caused by cheaper oil prices and a stronger dollar that has hurt exports.

Last month’s sales gains were concentrated in the Northeast, where sales jumped 87.5 percent. New-home sales increased 13.1 percent in the West, but slipped in the Midwest and South.

The median sales price has fallen slightly, dipping 1 percent over the past 12 months to $282,800.

The increases have caused the supply of new homes to dwindle to 4.5 months, compared to the six months’ supply generally associated with a healthy market.

Still, homebuilders are preparing to meet this demand, having broken ground on more houses this year and plan to continue construction. Approved building permits rose increased 11.8 percent to an annual rate of 1.28 million, the highest level since August 2007, the Commerce Department reported last week.

Existing homes are also seeing strong sales as the economy continues to muscle up.

Sales of existing homes climbed 5.1 percent in May to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.35 million, the National Association of Realtors said Monday. Tight supplies have lifted prices, which have climbed 7.9 percent over the past 12 months to an average of $228,700, about $1,700 below the July 2006 peak.

Much of the increased buying activity flows from a stronger job market and relatively affordable mortgage rates.

Borrowing costs are low by historical standards, but they have been rising in recent weeks at a speed that might prompt more people to buy homes.

Average 30-year fixed rates were 4 percent last week, according to the mortgage giant Freddie Mac. That average has increased from a 52-week low of 3.59 percent.

Soure: Associated Press

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