Baltimore City Council Approves Tax Break For New Apartments

Developers converting older office buildings into apartments or building new complexes could get a significant tax break under a measure the Baltimore City Council approved Monday.

The legislation is aimed at addressing a glut of vacancies in office buildings downtown, encouraging new or converted apartments in six other neighborhoods, and drawing new residents to the city.

The list of requirements to qualify for the tax break is short: The development must be in one of the seven areas, must be a project involving at least 50 apartment units, and must have an environmentally friendly certification.  Supporters said this tax break would be more “predictable” for developers, who typically have to lobby City Hall for individual incentives.

“It can open up the development market to outside developers,” said Kirby Fowler, president of the Downtown Partnership of Baltimore, which lobbied for the credit.  “Before, developers had to know the system in order to access some [tax] credits. It will create more predictability and transparency.”

Read more:  http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/baltimore-city/bs-md-ci-apartment-tax-incentive-20130408,0,332010.story

7-Eleven Stores Pass 40,000 Locations – More Stores Than McDonald’s!

7-Eleven grows at the rate of a new store opening every three and a half hours.  Really…is that even necessary?  According to 7-Eleven brass, they will add another 2,000 to 2,500 more stores worldwide in 2011.  Five hundred of those will be in the U.S. and Canada.

7-Eleven said they have significant room to grow.  Amazingly, 7-Eleven only operates in 30 U.S. states.  7-Eleven is a subsidiary of Seven-Eleven Japan.  Yes, you read that correctly.  The chain started in Dallas, Texas in 1927.  7-Eleven is now looking to buy existing convenience stores and convert them to 7-Eleven’s.  They are the Borg of the convenience store world.  Resistance is futile.

Another head-scratching factoid is that with a gazillion stores, 7-Eleven stores make up only 5% of the total number of convenience stores in our great nation.  Again, you read that correctly.  Cigarettes are 7-Eleven’s biggest selling item; however, customers can expect to see more hot food and bakery items down the road. 

The chain also has a large private-label program thereby allowing them, sometimes, to only sell the 7-Eleven brand of a particular product.  Less than half of 7-Eleven’s stores sell gasoline, which helps the company open stores faster and in smaller spaces.  On the other hand, 80% of U.S. convenience stores sell fuel.

Oh thank heaven for 7-Eleven…evidently.