Climate Change Projected To Improve Herkimer NY Economy

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by Linda Kaidan

 We’re republishing this prophetic article, first posted in June 2017, to help those researching places to move to in upstate New York following the devastation of Hurricane Ida.

Yesterday’s New York Times discussed damage to our economy likely to be caused by climate change. Herkimer County NY (see above map) is likely to have GDP growth of at least 5% per year rather than GDP decline. This is indicated by the dark green color on the map. Similar advantages of climate are shared by west Alaska, adjacent Hamilton County and Maine.

Climate Change DEMOGRAPHICS will transform herkimer

The Herkimer Post’s recent review of Herkimer’s soaring home sales strongly hints that retirees who might once have moved South are relocating to Central New York, and especially to conveniently-located Herkimer. Given increasingly refined and alarming climate change figures, this migration trend’s likely to accelerate. 

There’s little residential construction in Herkimer and the supply of available housing is small. Competition for existing homes will become brisk. Buyers of vacation homes may also be turning their eyes from the sandy but imperiled Atlantic and Gulf beach communities north to the Mohawk Valley and Southern Adirondacks.

A critical mass of middle and upper-middle-class home buyers inevitably transform a community. Landlords either sell out or renovate properties to appeal to affluent newcomers. Empty storefronts become shops again. The police become responsive and the streets safe as criminals move on, no longer tolerated and unable to make a living. We saw this transformation happen in Boston’s Roxbury and Charlestown, and we’re seeing it begin here in Herkimer.

Promising new technologies can reduce greenhouse gas

Climate change becomes more erratic and costly every year. Yet there are many technologies that will help combat this devastating process. As our president continues to deny climate change, some technology innovators are filling the gap left by ineffectual governance.

Bill Gates is heading a $1 billion venture fund supporting development of clean energy technology, Breakthrough Energy Ventures. Co-founders include Jeff Bezos and Richard Brandon. The goal of the fund is to build companies that will provide affordable emissions-free energy. Gates is personally investing $1 billion in startups and companies starting this year.

Climeworks, a new Swiss company hopes to extract 1% of worldwide CO2 from the atmosphere by 2025. Company founders Christoph Gebald and Jan Wurzbacher invented a Direct Air Capture (DAC) technology while students at ETH Zurich. They have lowered the cost of CO2 extraction from the air to less than $600 per ton. Climeworks envisions that they can create 250,000 plants by 2025.

Reducing greenhouse gases is essential to the planet’s survival, but blocking the sun may buy some time. Today there are over 375 operational nanosatellites in space, which may help us to find and improve climate change solutions.

As the earth grows ever hotter, it makes sense to consider moving to those green places on the map which are the most sustainable to live in, places like Herkimer, NY.

From September 16, 2017:

Herkimer County Ideal for Hurricane Refugees

Herkimer Hydraulic Canal No Longer Exists Yet Lowers Property Values

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Final phase of Herkimer's Hydraulic Canal project is finished. (View from East Smith Street toward the Mohawk River.)
A section of the now completed Hydraulic Canal project, looking toward the Mohawk River from East Steele Street. Despite the out-of-date FEMA Flood maps, the area is no longer a flood risk

by Linda Kaidan
The map is not the territory. Alfred Korzybski

What is Herkimer’s Hydraulic Canal? How does it impact FEMA flood designations which influence both property values and the cost of flood insurance?

In the 1830’s Herkimer, NY was home to several major industries including furniture manufacturing and a paper mill. Local companies made use of hydraulic energy to power their production enabled by the construction of the Herkimer Hydraulic Canal. The canal’s water originated in West Canada Creek.

Ancient map of Herkimer's Hydraulic Canal, published by New Department of Environmental Conservation.
Ancient map of Herkimer’s Hydraulic Canal, published by New Department of Environmental Conservation.

Eventually, the canal was no longer used and became a dumping site and a flood hazard. By 2021, a remediation project succeeded in making the hydraulic canal area much safer. The former Herkimer Hydraulic Canal is now cleaned, filled in, and flood safe. It is now a lovely green space. Newer parts are fenced off and hopefully will become a village park that leads to the banks of the Mohawk River.

Herkimer Hydraulic Canal(left). View from East Steele St.
Hydraulic Canal (left) where it crosses beneath East Steele Street and continues on to the Mohawk River to the right.

If you think your property has incorrect FEMA flood zoning you can submit a zoning change to FEMA!

It appears that remediation has not yet become part of the FEMA flood risk map commonly used by realtor.com. FEMA still shows this area as a dangerous flood zone (FEMA flood map-featured image-top). It continues to adversely impact local property values and gives potential home buyers concern.
If you are selling a home along the former hydraulic canal please contact FEMA to change your flood zone rating using this link.  If you are planning on getting flood insurance, you should also consider examining your FEMA designation and make an effort to correct it where applicable. It can save you from higher premiums!

The current FEMA Flood Map shows flooding in zones where Herkimer Hydraulic Canal has been filled in.
The current FEMA Flood Map shows flooding in zones where Herkimer Hydraulic Canal has been filled in.

Herkimer Soars As Americans Migrate From Coasts

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Stephen Ames Berry

Herkimer’s soaring into a brave new world, as people migrating from our coasts to climate and pandemic safety zones such as upstate New York move here, contending briskly for homes. A house in our cute conveniently located village seems to sell every 90 seconds, even as prices continue ever upward. The sharp-eyed will have spotted license plates from as far away as Alaska and Washington state, California and Texas, with the Carolinas and Florida well-represented. 

There are a phenomenal number of people scoping out our once forgotten area. Linda Kaidan’s photos of the Mohawk Valley, centered on Herkimer, have had over 4 million views. In the last 30 days, The Herkimer Post has enjoyed almost 15,000 page views, 90% of them from new visitors. We have a well-earned reputation for telling it as it is. And you do want to know how it is there before you commit to someplace new. (“We Publish What They Won’t” proclaims our masthead. We are not “The Herkimer Happy Hour.”)

Herkimer Post 30 Day Page Views as of 5.4.21
Herkimer Post 30 Day Page Views as of 5.4.21

When the eviction moratorium ends, we’ll probably see more houses for sale here as nonpaying tenants are moved on and battered owners decide to wash their hands of what was once a safe, reliable investment. Even then there won’t be enough housing stock to meet the press of the demand.

Historically in boom times, undeveloped land is the next to go. Given the rapid growth of chip manufacturing in Upstate, notably Cree in Utica, this region may become the new Silicon Valley. Hopefully, New York will impose strict controls on growth. I hope we won’t see our magnificent countryside crammed with houses and choked by traffic. 

Climate change projected to improve Herkimer NY economy

 

Fast 3D-Printed Housing in New York State: A Simple Solution for a Complex Time

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Linda Kaidan

PERI, a German technology company, has been the first to create a 3D printed multistory building that is fully German certified. The BOD2 3D printer can construct a 3 story building of 10,000 square feet.

With construction supplies in short demand, it’s a relief to see the debut of a new construction methodology that can decrease construction prices by 50% or more. 3D printing robots have become more functional than ever, and now can be used to create buildings of up to 3 stories. This multi-story functionality is especially important, as it can reduce urban sprawl.  We need never again create another San Fernando Valley of congestion, unbreathable air, and unaffordable homes.

Upstate New York has experienced a massive shortage of housing in the last year. Few homes are available for sale. Housing unavailability is also driven by many who see central and northern NY as an ideal location for remote work and home offices at a more reasonable price than their current homes in more urban areas. Statistics published by the New York State Association of Realtors for the 12 month period ending January 2021 indicate that sales increased by 16.7% and inventory dropped by 26.7%.

Constructiondive.com reports significant increases in basic building material costs over the past year, much of it the result of Covid-19 disruption:

Material % change Jan. 2020
to Jan. 2021
Iron and steel 15.6%
Steel mill products 7.4%
Softwood lumber 73%

SOURCE: Associated Builders and Contractors analysis of BLS data

3D Printing to the Rescue!

3D printed homes are constructed from concrete paste, typically mixed from local materials. Floors and walls, both interior and exterior, are extrusion printed by giant robots which are programmed to manufacture predesigned and tested structures on site. This construction can often be completed in a matter of days and includes whimsical curves that are far more enchanting than right angles and parallel planes. Home construction robots can cost $250,000 and up, but careful research and selection of a manufacturer will help to quickly build cost-efficient, high-quality housing. We certainly hope to see some local 3D printed housing soon spring up here in Upstate New York.

Recent 3D print housing projects in the US include gorgeous $10k Austin TX homeless housing and a home in Millbrook, NY listed for sale on Trulia for $300,000. Don’t be shy! Buy a nice abandoned farm and turn it into an attractive, affordable 3D printed home community. Help house our future😊

Marcy’s Nanotechnology Industry Drives Central NY Housing Shortage

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Nanotechnology Industry Drives Central NY Housing Shortage
Marcy magnet for home sales in central NY

by Linda Kaidan

As New York’s population decline continues Marcy’s Cree nanotechnology manufacturer draws real-estate buyers to our neighborhoods. Data from realtor.com shows that on 6/17/20 only 3 homes of any kind were available for sale in Marcy.

Proximity to Marcy is a strong indicator of reduced number of homes for sale.

Using realtor.com’s filter of all housing types including mobile, multi-family and single-family homes while excluding homes under contract, I collected statistics of homes for sale in 10 nearby communities. US census data provides population data.  The distance of each location to Marcy is derived from Google maps. I  also created an availability statistic which is a function of population and available homes for sale.

Distance to Marcy in miles Towns
1-10 Mohawk, Frankfort, Whitesboro, Rome, Utica, New Hartford
11-20 Herkimer
21-30 Little Falls, German Flats

The highest availability of homes for sale was found in Little Falls with one home for every 95 people.

In contrast, the lowest availability was found in Utica with one home available for every 905 people.

Lower availability of homes for sale suggests that we construct new affordable housing.

As internet purchasing outstrips brick and mortar retail establishments, outdated and defunct structures become available for re-purposing as residential communities. An example of  an outstanding makeover target is the abandoned Kmart located at 200 Washington St, Herkimer. This property has over 6.7 acres of sub-dividable land and is assessed at $2 million.  In convenient walking distance to numerous amenities, it also offers  relaxing views of the beautiful Mohawk Valley hills.

A close example of such an affordable housing construction project currently underway is the Snohomish County Washington site, formerly a Kmart.  Four hundred much needed residential units will replace the unused commercial area. Building energy efficient smaller homes with multi use and shared community spaces will positively impact our quality of life.

Affordable owner-occupied homes and improved public transportation will create a stronger community and a healthy local economy.

It’s clear that Marcy’s new nanotechnology industry drives Central NY housing shortage. But we can use this to our advantage by creatively creating affordable and accessible  housing alternatives. 

 

Walmart’s Elegant Upholstery Solution: Drab Holiday Upholstery Begone!

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Walmart’s Elegant Upholstery SolutionTransform your drab, worn and stained kitchen/dining  upholstery with Walmart’s elegant upholstery solution.

Dilapidated dining chairs look worse than ever on the holidays especially when guests are coming. Walmart can offer you an inexpensive and amazing solution with a little DIY magic of your own. Cover a stool or chair in 4 easy steps for under $4 in less than 1 hour.

Our once expensive bar stools were old and stained! With a guest arriving in a matter of days Walmart offered a quick solution that looks great the first time you try it!

Gathering Materials: Fabric and protective material

Step #1 I looked in the Walmart craft section for vinyl fabric. I discovered a bolt of dark brown vinyl 56” wide selling for $6.97 a yard. One yard is enough fabric to cover 2 bar stools with round seats 18” in diameter. I have 3 stools, so I bought 2 yards which leaves extra in case of mistakes!

Step #2 I used Walmart’s 5.5” x 8.5” stick-on soft plastic sheets to cover staples. A huge pack of 50 costs only $5. These are also in the crafts department and are amazingly easy to work with.

Your Tools: Just heavy-duty stapler and scissors

Step #3 The only tools you’ll need are a heavy-duty staple gun and reasonably OK scissors. Walmart sells the Arrow electric staple gun for $27.84. That’s the one I have and it’s great for permanent or semi-permanent projects. Just make sure that all sharp edges are covered.

The Process: Cutting, Stapling, Covering

Step #4 Measure your target seat. Add enough to cover the length, width and edge leaving enough extra to pull underneath and staple.

When you are done stapling, cover the tops of each staple for a finished look.

It took me about 1 hour to reupholster the first stool.I think it will be much quicker to do the next 2.

If you are interested in some quick and inexpensive design advice, add copy, or Airbnb.com & other photo prep contact me at NYURhome@gmail.com. You can see some projects I’ve done at NYURhome.com.

Happy Holidays 😊

Linda Kaidan

Expert Google Guides Photographer Putting Central NY on the map with 875,000+ photo views

Housing for NYC’s Climate Refugees in Central NY: An Urgent Priority

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NYC2050 underwater? Housing for NYC’s Climate Refugees
What should we do to save NYC residents from near term coastal disaster?

By Linda Kaidan

Why Housing for NYC’s Climate Refugees? Everywhere we’re finally acknowledging the immediacy of coastal climate change devastation. Now is the time to replace traditional spending behaviors with healthy behaviors that can save millions of people and millions of dollars. 

For example, we might ask, can we put part of NY’s $90.2 billion FY 2020 budget to better use as an investment in new permanent housing for 1 million coastal residents migrating to inland homes in Central NY?

New Housing for 1+ Million People

NYC Climate Change Migration Housing for NYC’s Climate Refugees

$60 billion will create infrastructure and homes for 1 million people in Central NY (CNY). The existing  Utica/Rome SMSA  population is roughly 350000.  With CNY quadrupling in size, exciting opportunities will exist for workers, learners and investors.

Central NY is experiencing significant growth in Health and High-Tech Sectors. For example, Cree is investing in a $1 Billion semiconductor chip processing plant in Utica. In Syracuse, Microsoft is participating in “Smart Cities”. New residents will have good opportunities for jobs, education and growing services. Ongoing expansion in medical sectors is taking place in both these cities.

Horrible facts mean let’s act quickly for a healthy future

Central NY has elevations well above the maximum predicted sea level rise. These range from 400 ft to 800 ft above sea level. New York State has the resources and wisdom to prepare for inevitable devastation by directing investments to critical targets that will promote security and prosperity. Rerouting coastal investment to optimal inland locations is key to our success!

 

 

News of world’s largest semiconductor plant being built in Marcy New York causes boom in local real estate contracts

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By Linda Kaidan

World’s largest semiconductor plant being built in Marcy New York has an instant effect on our economy

Marcy is located near Utica, in Oneida County New York, just west of Herkimer. It is the future northern US site for Cree Inc, which will manufacture silicon carbide wafers used in electric vehicles and 5G technology. Close upon Cree’s announcement of their new facility in Marcy, in a matter of days the region experienced a boom in real estate contracts.

I was alerted to this when I noticed my Google maps photo views suddenly rise by 60,000 in a single day to over 600,000. As a Google Guide who focuses on Central New York, I was astounded by this dramatic increase and wanted to understand why. Guessing it was related to this momentous commitment to Mohawk Valley industrial development, I investigated the real estate statistics. I used realtor.com’s listings for Oneida County, which will be home to this world class manufacturing facility, and those of surrounding counties.  Using realtor.com’s filter tool, I compared total listings with listings not under contract.

Strong percent of real estates listings under contract of 25% to over 40%

Onondaga and Oneida counties, home respectively to Syracuse and Utica, have the highest volume of real estate contracts (see red counties on map), with over 45% of all listings under contract. Surrounding counties of Madison, Oswego, Herkimer, Cortland and Lewis (yellow counties), have 25% to 40% of their listings under contract.

The risk of coastal living diminishes when new jobs and homes are created in Central NY.

We can look forward to high quality jobs and an abundance of opportunities for contractors as a result of world’s largest semiconductor plant being built in Marcy New York. Creating jobs and incentives to live in central NY is a healthy way to counter the risks of coastal living.

AMAZON tiny homes sellout!

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Tiny home/cabin for under $8000 including delivery sells out on Amazon

by Linda Kaidan

Affordable housing shortage drives soaring tiny home sales

“Over Half of Urban Renter Households Experience Some Form of Housing Insecurity.” It’s possible that Amazon’s May 2019 sellout of the DIY Allwood Garden House may be a result of this perilous state of US housing deficits.

Amazon’s new low-cost tiny home immediate sellout

This May Amazon posted a $7,250 DIY guest cabin/home that most anyone can  build in 8 hours. All available supplies were immediately sold out. When 2 people share such a space each would have a one time rent just under $303 a month for the first year and no rent thereafter.  Though initial reviews indicated that purchasers were critical of the product, they illustrated the strength of demand.

Great lack of affordable housing likely factor

The amazing popularity indicates the desire many people have to own their own home in a time when housing is not affordable for 50% of the population. Such a tiny property can lead to economic freedom from the rent treadmill. It also ensures housing security in a time when so many are homeless.

New off the shelf market will spark business opportunities

Food for thought about the living small market in general ties into real estate, cooperative housing and products supporting multi-use spaces in home construction and renovation. People need affordable homes. When they live tiny, they pay less for housing and use less energy.

Rewards for homeowners, investors and affordable housing seekers

If you are a homeowner think about adding this inexpensive space to your backyard for guests or as a workshop. If you are an investor, think about how you can make it easy for individuals to finance tiny home living.

Amazon shows us that it’s possible to live better for less and that profitable home products can fuel an industry that has great positive impact on how we live. It’s important to think of the tiny home as a place to begin. It’s a springboard for new ideas and learning from experience.

Think about how you can participate in this new housing trend that contributes to affordable living, green energy and many new related industries.

Herkimer Police Crackdown Continues

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The ongoing Herkimer Police crackdown continues, with the arrest yesterday of an apparent drug gang member in front of landlord Jay Smith’s 332 Pleasant Avenue. The arrest, by Herkimer and state police, occurred at the start of Pleasant Avenue’s annual Spring Gang Swarming, a Herkimer tradition usually not challenged by police. This year was different, with an arrest that ended the festivities before they grew. Last year’s Spring Gang Swarm was sponsored by the Joyce Barton gang, its centerpiece the beating of herkimerpost.com’s editor by Herkimer street thug Shianne Hill. 

Police interrupt start of Herkimer's Spring Gang Swarming
4.7.19 Herkimer Police interrupt beginning of village’s Annual Spring Gang Swarming, this year hosted at Jay Smith’s 332 Pleasant Avenue by remains of the Stanley Sykes gang.

Herkimer Police Highly Proactive

Herkimer and New York state are aggressively challenging Herkimer gangs’ sense of ownership of village neighborhoods, this amid booming area real estate sales. As we long predicted, people are relocating to climate change  safe Upstate New York.  It’s a truism that as real estate values increase, crime decreases.
This gang appears to be the remaining dregs of the Stanley Sykes Gang, which trafficked children out of Jay Smith’s properties at 332 and 334 Pleasant Avenue and 341 Eureka Avenue.

Police arrest Herkimer gang member on at 332 Pleasant Avenue
4.7.19 Herkimer gang member arrested in front of Herkimer Post cameras. Herkimer and NY State Police officers participated. Gang members number about 11, with more in the process of joining them for the annual Herkimer Spring Gang Swarming. Then the police arrived.

Police activity along Herkimer’s Pleasant Avenue has recently been constant and vigorous. A few days ago, Joyce Barton gang member, Joyce’s daughter Kylee Figueroa , was arrested at 333 Pleasant Avenue. Earlier on the day of this arrest at 332, multiple state and Herkimer police units responded to an incident at the King Street end of Pleasant Avenue, a few doors down from PK’s Pub. The house they entered remains cordoned off as a crime scene, with Herkimer police continuing to guard the property. Perhaps sometime the local press will tear itself away from its usual gripping coverage of 4H and village trustee meetings to tell us what happened.
332 Pleasant Avenue was reoccupied as a gang property in January, with intermittent drug trafficking activity occurring since. Additional gang members appear to have moved in there recently, or else are visiting so often and for so long as to be indistinguishable from residents. Herkimerpost.com hasn’t reported their activities: they haven’t bothered us and aren’t trafficking children, and we’re very busy with a major project. Federal law enforcement surveillance drones are a regular presence over the parking lot serving 332 and 334 Pleasant Avenue and 341 Eureka Avenue, making any coverage of trafficking we’d provide redundant. But any arrest here on Herkimer’s Pleasant Avenue is always welcome news that we’re happy to share. Here’s the video of the arrest. The timeline follows below.

 

Timeline of Herkimer Arrest of 4/7/19

0.01 Gang congregates at Jay Smith’s 332 Pleasant Avenue, spilling out onto the sidewalk. Opposite, standing next to parked car: Shianne Hill, Joyce Barton gang thug, serving 1-year probation for unprovoked beating of her 63 year-old neighbor. Hill has been placed under a restraining order.
0.17 Herkimer police arrive
0.27 Gang member (woman in red top) hands off her daughter to fellow gang member from 334 Pleasant Avenue. Child taken to Jay Smith’s 334 neighboring Pleasant Avenue. Red Top’s a well-known and highly visible drug trafficker.
0.43 Arrest made
1:29 Closeup of arrest
1:48 State police arrive from crime scene at house at King Street end of Pleasant Avenue
4:24 Herkimer officer appears to offer protesting gang member (Black guy, red shirt) a ride in a police car.