Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Mid-Nov. Econ News: UVa Endowment, Landmark Hotel, Whole Foods Market, John Casteen, City Budget Woes

These links appeared on our sidebar from 11/16-18

UVa has lost about $900 Million in Endowment investments since August. The school has over $1 Billion of further exposure due to private equity investments. President Casteen wants to reassure folks that everything is fine.

At least Everything is Fine with Casteen, who pulls down $800,000 per year. There's only one other public U prez who makes as much. Son of a shipbuilder to landed gentry in just one generation. It's the American Way--or used to be.

Whole Foods Market construction of the new grocery on Hydraulic has stopped, due to the company's weak sales during this recession. It's unclear whether the project will be finished.

The Landmark Hotel saga just gets nuttier by the day. Now owner Halsey Minor has fired developer Lee Danielson. Too bad. Danielson was responsible for major attractions on the west end of the mall, including the skating rink, a restaurant, and the movie theatre.

Later, it was reported that few construction workers showed up at the Landmark Hotel worksite, so apparently the project is "on." And Lee Danielson hasn't been fired. The hotel's construction blog hasn't been updated in a month.

The City of Charlottesville, like many American consumers, needs to tighten its proverbial belt, or its budget shortfall will rise in staggering amounts over the next five years.

All the numbers point to the City having budget woes for years. State budget cuts, lower sales tax and property tax revenues, rising costs of goods and services, weak national economy, few buyers for municipal bonds.

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