The Architect Newswire is an aggregation of news from media outlets around the world, intended to keep you abreast of all of the industry’s important developments. The stories we feature are not reported, edited, or fact-checked by Architect’s staff.


LOOMBERG BUSINESSWEEK
NH looking to prioritize school construction dollars
Legislators in New Hampshire are trying to balance tight budgets with public school construction needs. Norma Love reports that bills in the state House and Senate would establish a ranking system to establish priorities—a change from the current “blank check” approach. Critics of the proposed law are concerned that denying aid for construction might not meet the state’s constitutionally mandated provision of education for its students. “Need needs to be defined broadly,” says New Hampshire School Administrators Association executive director Mark Joyce. “It can't simply be that a school must be a fire trap before it gets any building aid.” The bills are expected to come to a vote early next year.

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THE RECORD (WOODLAND PARK, NJ)
Tax credits debated
New Jersey’s Economic Development Authority administers a $1.5 billion Urban Transit Hub Tax Credit program that provided subsidies for developments near mass transit. Andrew Tangel reports that the reviving market for rental apartments in North Jersey has some questioning whether developers are subsidizing projects that may not need support. “If you can get the land, you can certainly find financing for it,” says Marcus & Millichap Capital associate director Joshua Lipsey. But some developers disagree, including Jersey City, N.J.–based Joseph Panepinto.  His proposed $162.6 million, 495-unit apartment complex in Jersey City awaits approval of Hub credits. “We have not started this project because the cost of construction is so expensive, compared to what you can get as rents, and this bridges that delta,” Panepinto says.

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THE TIMES AND DEMOCRAT (ORANGEBURG, SC)
Transit Research Center completed
A $4.8 million, 8,500-square-foot Transit Research Building will open in January at South Carolina State University’s James E. Clyburn Transportation Center in Orangeburg. Dale Linder-Altman reports that the complex has been planned since 1998 and should eventually include 197,000 square feet. “It will serve as amenity for the region through practical research, knowledge accumulation and practical activities in the transportation area,” executive director Charles Wright says.

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WISCONSIN RAPIDS DAILY TRIBUNE
Clinic to start construction
A $43 million Marshfield Clinic is set to break ground in Stevens Point, Wis., next April. B.C. Kowalski and Nathan Vine report that the project will employ about 18 specialists plus associated staff. “This is one of the highly anticipated construction projects of 2012,” Mayor Andrew Halverson says. “This clinic in the city of Stevens Point will become a destination for health care in our community and the region.” The city provided subsidies to the clinic by selling the land for about $1.4 million less than its acquisition costs.

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LOS ANGELES TIMES
School vs. park
South Los Angeles’s $600,000 Vernon Branch Library Pocket Park was supposed to provide space for small children adjacent to the local library. But Jessica Garrison reports that the completed park was fenced for two years following its completion, then demolished to make way for a new Los Angeles Unified School District facility. Planning for both projects took place at the same time, with the school district choosing the location based on county assessor’s office information that it was a vacant lot owned by the Department of Water and Power. “This shows that government doesn't work in L.A.,” says City Project executive director Robert Garcia. “[I]n a rational world, people would coordinate.”

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THE SALT LAKE TRIBUNE
Analyzing Salt Lake City’s urbanism through photography
University of Utah doctoral student and photographer Cecile Paskett’s exhibit “Westside/Eastside: After-images of Salt Lake City” explores the city’s urbanism through photography. Glen Warchol reports that Paskett demonstrates how the upscale east side’s interest in the ideas of New Urbanism is already in place on the city’s less affluent west side. “It’s interesting that people who support shopping locally don’t go to places like Glendale, [where] the business establishments are all local businesses catering directly to the community,” Paskett says. “Even though they may not look as attractive [to east-siders], you can go into an independent business and meet the owner and meet his wife and son.” The exhibit remains on view at the Sorenson Unity Center through January.

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FORBES
Fund Apple stores, not stadiums
Urban economic and planning consultant Robert Gibbs contrasts the influence of an Apple store to sports facilities. “Sports stadiums do not generate much cross shopping: they’re nice to have but greatly overrated,” Gibbs says. “If you have an Apple store on your Main Street, though, that gives you a kind of ‘good housekeeping seal of approval,’ that’s going to attract others.” Brian Caulfield reports that the retailer brings in more dollars per square foot than any other, but Apple chooses its locations carefully—and secretively. And Chapman University professor of urban development Joel Kotkin notes that Apple avoids less affluent locales. “You’re not going to build an Apple store on a rundown crappy street where you get out of the store and there’s a bunch of beggars,” Kotkin says.

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GOTHAMIST
Designs for South Korean towers evoke 9/11
An MRVDV-designed scheme for connected twin residential towers in South Korea—dubbed the Cloud—has provoked worldwide comment due to some renderings similar to the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. “MVRDV regrets deeply any connotations The Cloud projects evokes regarding 9/11,” the firm states. “A real media storm has started and we receive threatening emails and calls of angry people calling us Al Qaeda lovers or worse.” Jen Chung reports that “It's unclear if the firm will alter the designs,” although it probably doesn’t help that the New York Daily News writes, “A Dutch newspaper quoted the firm’s spokesman as saying the designers had thought about the obvious parallels.”

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GIZMAG
A secret satellite dish
Need to keep your satellite dish stealthy? Emily Price reports that the $323 Sat Plus Sat Chair, which conceals an inbuilt dish, could be your answer. “The chair is geared specifically towards those who live in apartment buildings where residents are not allowed to install their own dish, or renters whose landlords won't give the green light for installing one,” Price writes. “Just don't sit on it when someone wants to watch TV.”

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THE NEW YORK TIMES
GW Bridge to be repaired
The iconic, 80-year-old George Washington Bridge—which spans the Hudson to connect New Jersey and Manhattan—will have its steel vertical suspender ropes replaced for the first time. Christine Haughney reports that the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey has approved an initial $15.5 million for the project—which will cost more than $1 billion before it’s completed over eight years. “We want to be sure that you don’t let the ropes get to a point where you would have to take out a lane,” says Port Authority chief engineer Peter Zipf.

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