The only thing that is constant is change

The statue quo is comforting.  Change can be difficult.

Our front yard had three large red oak trees. In the fall, the one on the left fell after the rain and wind of Hurricane Florence. We had an arborist take a look at the situation and inspect the remaining two trees.  His opinion was that these trees were all in very good shape and had been there for 60-80 years – the fallen tree was an anomaly.

During one of our heavy spring rains, the one on the right fell.  Anomaly indeed.
So we are adapting to change and proactively taking down the remaining tree in the middle.

When conditions change, the status quo is no longer appropriate.  And The Times They Are a-Changin’.

This is a lesson in Commercial Real Estate, too.  We all see this quite strongly in the brick and mortar retail sector.  Big boxes were once new and disruptive; now in many places, they are out of fashion.  Co-working is disrupting traditional office space.  Of course it is not just real estate – major disruptions are occurring in the transportation, television, and grocery businesses.  Income inequality is growing, our population is aging, and, of course, The Robots are Coming.

At Amy Bush Commercial, we might not know where all of this change is going, but we are in touch with the Triangle Commercial Real Estate market every day.  We talk with bankers, appraisers, landlords, tenants, investors, developers, and other clients.  We identify what is selling, what is leasing, where the action exists and where it does not.  We know the ever changing market and would be pleased assist you with your Commercial Real Estate needs.

Amy Bush Commercial at the Good Old Hockey Game

The headline in the newspaper read, “Hurricanes win double-overtime thriller on McGinn goal to top Caps, win series“!  Even watching the hockey game last night and reading about it this morning, it is still hard to believe that the Canes pulled off this upset.

April has been a very busy month at Amy Bush Commercial.  And today is business as usual: showing property, writing up offers, a closing, an exciting listing presentation, and ending with a wonderful fundraiser that we are thrilled to be a sponsor.  But there is a special spring in our step – feeling happy and confident and proud of our Carolina Hurricanes.

First Day of Spring 2019

My favorite poet is Robert Frost, and while I do not have a favorite Frost poem, I do have ones that I particularly enjoy every season.  Today is the first day of Spring 2019!  When I searched for the text of my favorite spring time poem, I was delighted to read that it was published in 1923 and I can copy it in full here since it went into the public domain (after 95 years) in the United States on January 1, 2019.

This is one of Frost’s shortest poems and I hope you enjoy it and enjoy this wonderful time of year.

Nothing Gold Can Stay

Nature’s first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf’s a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.

One of the most amazing studies in psychology is that when there is an outstanding speech or event, the number of people who say that they were there and really have convinced themselves of that despite the facts – cognitive dissidence – is huge.  Neil Gaiman’s speech at the University Arts in Philadelphia in 2012, the keynote address at their graduation ceremony, was one of these. The auditorium held only about 1500 people, but one survey from the university estimated that there could be 20,000 people or more who said they were there.  The speech was entitled “Make Good Art.”

The address was directed to new Arts graduates by an famous Art graduate, but most importantly its a metaphor for life.   

From Make Good Art:

Life is sometimes hard. Things go wrong, in life and in love and in business and in friendship and in health and in all the other ways that life can go wrong. And when things get tough, this is what you should do.
Make good art.
I’m serious. Husband runs off with a politician? Make good art. Leg crushed and then eaten by mutated boa constrictor? Make good art. IRS on your trail? Make good art. Cat exploded? Make good art. Somebody on the Internet thinks what you do is stupid or evil or it’s all been done before? Make good art. Probably things will work out somehow, and eventually time will take the sting away, but that doesn’t matter. Do what only you do best. Make good art.

Neil is one of the most fascinating writers of our time. He was into comic books and graphic novels before they became major motion-picture extravaganzas.  You certainly have heard of his work even if you haven’t heard of his name.  He is a major award winner and has a wry English wit.  I highly recommend his wonderful essays in his collection “The View from the Cheap Seats.”

At Amy Bush Commercial, we pride ourselves in our responsiveness, reliability, and success in fulfilling your Commercial Real Estate needs.   We do what we do best, make good art.

Chinese Farmer Story

A couple of weeks ago, I got a flat tire. It was late on a Friday evening and I was quite exhausted from a hectic day ending a busy week. Of course, it was raining and miserable outside. The roadside assistance took a while, there were many accidents and traffic jams on that yucky afternoon, but eventually I was able to get back home on with my spare tire – tired and dwelling on my bad news.

The next day, the rain had passed, It was one of our sunny warm and beautiful December Saturdays! I went to get my tire repaired. Turns out that there was another nail in my tires and the tread wear was uneven and they needed alignment and I was due for new tires anyway. Just down the street from the tire store is Bond Brothers Beer Company, so we went there and relaxed, enjoyed the delicious food truck, partook in the libations, meet some friends, and shared in downtown Cary’s social life with the hundred or more others who were there to enjoy the awesome day. My car now handles wonderfully, and with the return of all the bad weather, I have felt great about driving with new tires – refreshed and kvelling on my good news.

This experience reminded me of the old parable of a Chinese farmer:

A Chinese farmer gets a horse, which soon runs away. A neighbor says, “That’s bad news.” The farmer replies, “Good news, bad news, who can say?”

The horse comes back and brings another horse with him. Good news, you might say.
The farmer gives the second horse to his son, who rides it, then is thrown and badly breaks his leg.

“So sorry for your bad news,” says the concerned neighbor. “Good news, bad news, who can say?” the farmer replies.

In a week or so, the emperor’s men come and take every able-bodied young man to fight in a war. The farmer’s son is spared.

Good news, of course.

“The farmer’s tale captures many of those. In short, it reminds people that it’s best not to get too upset — or attached — to what happens to us. Even something that seems dark and confounding can turn out to be an opportunity when looked on in hindsight.”  [source]

Alexander Hamilton portrait by John Trumbull 1806
                     Hamilton tells a story

Each of the properties listed at Amy Bush Commercial are special and we like them all the same, so I do not usually write about a specific one here, but there is a story.  Walking in the snow this past week, I met another Commercial Real Estate broker who sold a building about 40 years ago that we have listed today.  That got me thinking about history, though seeing Hamilton at the DPAC the previous week might have been another reason that history is on my mind.  It wasn’t that long ago that the city of Raleigh didn’t extend beyond Crabtree creek, Millbrook was a village, not a road, Kildare Farms was a farm…

Here is some history on a building for sale on Wake Forest Road near Crabtree Creek.

The road, was “originally” the trail from Richmond and DC to the new capitol city in North Carolina, but before that I would image it was a trading route and before that an animal path.  I wonder about all the different bridges that were built there over the creek through the years.  It was the major US North-South Route-1 for many years – before the Downtown/Capitol Boulevard highway US-1 and now the 440 Beltline US-1.

The neighborhood has pre-war mill worker houses, GI Bill “suburban” homes, Brady Bunch split levels.  Now, of course, the area is in full Millennial Mode with a Wegmans under construction no less.

The property itself has probably had dozens of different uses over the years.

But the most interesting history is the story of the people who have lived, worked, traveled, invested, and contributed – and are continuing to contribute to the story – on that land.  As Hamilton would sing, “The Story of Tonight”.

What is your story?

The decision by Amazon not to locate their HQ2 in the Triangle was not a surprise – our area was in the running, but a very long shot.  The process reminded me of a book I read a few years ago, “When the elephants dance”.   The title comes from a saying that the protagonist’s father often uttered, “When the elephants dance, the chickens must be careful.”   Amazon is the elephant and we are the chickens.  And we are very careful chickens.

The Triangle has incredible research universities, world class labs and development centers, some big players (SAS, Cisco, GSK among others), an outstanding entrepreneurial  climate, and wonderful small businesses.  Our schools, hospitals, and public services are not too shabby, either.   We chickens know how to thrive.

The Amazon opportunity was exceptional, but what we have built and nurtured here is extraordinary!   We chickens are wise.

Everyone at Amy Bush Commercial looks forward to pausing this week to give thanks for all our blessings.  We wish you and your family safe travels, plentiful feasts, and a very Happy Thanksgiving.

Raleigh City Farm

What do community gardens have in common with shared work spaces for technology startups?   We get a lot of inquiries office space from professionals who have just moved to the Triangle.  They are attracted to the Triangle’s quality of life attributes that we read about everyday and are rightly so proud about.  And nothing epitomizes high quality of life scores more than the live, work, play attributes of the shared work space culture.   So, while none of these Commercial Real Estate inquiries ask directly about food security issues, it is because the Triangle has strong, supported food banks, food pantries, and even a large number of community gardens that technology startups are attracted here.

The connection between those in the Triangle who struggle to have basic needs met and those who could live anywhere and choose the Triangle might not be obvious.  What connects the two are the people in between — those  Rooted in Community.

What does it mean to be rooted in community?    Many sociologists, like  Richard Florida, are “dividing Americans into three classes: the mobile, who derive the benefits of economic dynamism; the stuck, who are trapped in place and unable to move; and the rooted, who are strongly embedded in their communities and choose not to”.   Much of the divisiveness in our times is found in the tension between the stuck and the mobile.   But is it the rooted who hold the key to the renewal of our communities.

The Triangle has all three groups, with the mobile class making all the top-10 list headlines.  Yet the success of the Triangle is in those who are rooted here with their commitment to the community and their helping those who are stuck pull themselves up.   We at Amy Bush Commercial have deep roots in the community, but the depth of our roots isn’t a measure of how long we live here or how many deals we have done.   There are many who have recently moved here or just started a business, but choose to plant roots and make a difference in our community.

Here’s a related calendar event:  The North Carolina State Fair is an amazing institution and everyone has their favorite activity (including those who’s favorite is choosing to avoid West Raleigh entirely during the 10 day run of the fair!).   Our favorite is the Hunger Relief Day canned-food drive which takes place on Thursday.  The canned-food collected benefits the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina.  With 5 cans you get into the fair for free, but you are also demonstrating your roots in the community.

Harvest Moon – 2018

John Keats’ “To Autumn”  sums up the season perfectly.   The full moon represents the fruitfulness of the harvest and the longer nights encourage the autumnal mists.  And this week is the beginning of fall – our favorite season.

I’m sure there’s some naysayers out there. We’ve just experienced Hurricane Florence.  The election season is upon us.  The stores are filled with tacky Halloween decorations.  And the coffee shops are loaded with pumpkin spice monstrosities.


Hurricane Florence visits Amy Bush Commercial

But fall brings the leaves changing colors. The cooler weather.  Quality time with our families.  Football!

From all of us at Amy Bush Commercial, we wish you all a very pleasant and productive autumn and we will look forward to seeing you all at the Fair.

Hurricane Florence

We wish everyone has a safe place to sit out Hurricane Florence.  I am sure that the wind and rain damage is as troubling to you as it is to us, but things can be repaired or replaced.   Please be safe.

We heard on the television news that they get feedback from people who are tired of hearing the some, repeated warnings.  Well, we are sure that you have heard them over and over again, too.  But we will repeat them as well:
– STAY INDOORS. Do not venture out during the storm.
– Do NOT drive or walk through stagnant or moving floodwaters.
– If your power goes out, do NOT operate gas powered generators or charcoal grills in or near your home.
– Have your emergency kit ready!

Amy Bush Commercial is proud to be affiliated with Keller Williams — our culture’s mission statement rings true in everything we value.  “Whether it’s serving each other, serving our communities or serving our planet, a culture of doing more than just selling real estate defines us as a company.”

Already, KW Cares has reached out to us;  we will be here to reach out to you.

We hope you stay safe.