Search the Community

Showing results for tags 'florida'.



More search options

  • Search By Tags

    Type tags separated by commas.
  • Search By Author

Content Type


Forums

  • Real estate projects
    • Proposals
    • Going up
    • Completed
    • Mass Transit
    • Infrastructures
    • Cultural, entertainment and sport projects
    • Cancelled projects
  • General topics
    • City planning and architecture
    • Economy discussions
    • Technology, video games and gadgets
    • Urban tech
    • General discussions
    • Entertainment, food and culture
    • Current events
    • Off Topic
  • MTLYUL Aviation
    • General discussion
    • Spotting at YUL
  • Here and abroad
    • City of Québec
    • Around the province of Québec.
    • Toronto and the rest of Canada
    • USA
    • Europe
    • Projects elsewhere in the world
  • Photography and videos
    • Urban photography
    • Other pictures
    • Old pictures

Calendars

There are no results to display.

There are no results to display.

Blogs

There are no results to display.

There are no results to display.


Find results in...

Find results that contain...


Date Created

  • Start

    End


Last Updated

  • Start

    End


Filter by number of...

Joined

  • Start

    End


Group


About Me


Biography


Location


Interests


Occupation


Type of dwelling

Found 11 results

  1. Reclusive billionaire Robert Miller built a business empire far from the public eye. Now, a bitter divorce has thrown his legacy into question. By Joe Castaldo From Canadian Business magazine, September 27, 2010 http://www.canadianbusiness.com/managing/strategy/article.jsp?content=20100927_10022_10022&page=1 To say Robert Miller is a reluctant interview is a grand understatement. He has avoided attention his entire career, and there are no doubt countless activities he would much rather be doing right now than standing in his opulent office with a reporter. He has previously given a single media interview since co-founding Future Electronics Inc., a multinational distributor of electronic components based in Pointe-Claire, Que., that generates nearly $4 billion in revenue each year. Miller is the sole owner. He has never authorized a picture of himself to be published, and his name is rarely, if ever, attached to his extensive charity work. Miller does not do public appearances. He will never be seen at a ribbon-cutting ceremony or posing with an oversized novelty cheque. His desire for privacy has been his most identifiable trait — aside from his wealth. This magazine estimated his net worth last year at $1.19 billion. Forbes magazine valued him at US$2.5 billion. In the absence of any visible public image, the one surrounding Miller is that of an eccentric billionaire recluse. But now he has welcomed a reporter into his office, extending a large hand and wearing a warm smile. He is a tall, lanky man with a slightly stooped posture, sporting a pair of chunky black orthopedic shoes and rimless glasses. At 65, his hair is tinged with grey. He says he would like to write a book about Future Electronics some day. "It's an amazing story," he says in a gravelly baritone. "It could fill 600, 700 pages." The meeting comes at a time when the comfortable, profitable obscurity in which both Miller and his company have operated is threatened. He is in the midst of a long-running and acrimonious divorce proceeding with his ex-wife, Margaret Antonier, which has thrown this most private of men and his business empire into an unflattering spotlight. The pair was married for nearly 38 years before Miller filed for divorce in 2005. Assets likely totalling hundreds of millions of dollars, if not billions, are at stake, but the exact details of the proceedings are sealed in a Montreal court. The legal battles do not end there. In June, Miller filed lawsuits in Florida and Montreal against Antonier and the real estate development company they co-own, Miromar Development Inc. He is alleging Antonier and another executive are shutting him out of the company, and have even siphoned money from the firm. Antonier's lawyers, meanwhile, have accused Miller of "horrendous personal behaviour," the specifics of which are outlined in a filing Miller's lawyers have requested the court keep sealed. A Florida newspaper picked up on the case, followed by the Journal de Montreal, which splashed a picture of Miller across its front page, the first photo of him ever published. What it all means for the business empire he built remains to be seen. For Miller himself, it means reluctantly inching from the shadows to take hold of his public image. But that image is anything but simple. Current and former employees — even competitors — describe him as a genius and a visionary. Everything about him, from the way that he operates his company and interacts with employees to the many varied causes he supports (cryogenics research, for one) contribute to the image of a tycoon unlike any other. The more he reveals, the question "Who is Robert Miller?" becomes all the more difficult to answer. The basic biographic details are simple enough: Miller was born in 1945 and raised in Montreal, and later studied at what was then called the Rider Business College in New Jersey. He worked as a radio disc jockey in New Jersey in the 1960s, where his music program, The Bob Miller Show, aired three hours a day during the week and six hours on Sundays. He moved back to Montreal and joined a small wholesaler called Specialty Electronics. Owner Ben Manis, an acquaintance, hired him. Miller threw himself into the job and became close with Manis's son, Eli, who also worked at Specialty. But the younger Manis eventually had a disagreement with his father and left the company. Miller suggested he and Eli go into business for themselves. In 1968, they started Future Electronics out of a small rented office in Montreal. They essentially acted as middlemen, buying obscure electronic parts from component manufacturers and selling them to makers of finished products, ranging from consumer goods to industrial equipment. Manis says he came up with the name. "I just sort of said, let's forget the past. Look to the future," he says. The company grew steadily, and Miller proved to be a workaholic. To Manis, who didn't share his partner's devotion, it wasn't evident Miller had any outside interests. "Something came into his head, and he said, 'What do I need him for?'" Manis recalls. In 1976, Miller bought his partner's half of the company for $500,000. Future operated differently nearly from the start. Distributors in this industry are essentially stores for electronic components, but typically try to limit their inventory, reducing costs and risks. Component prices are volatile, and no one wants to sell product at a loss. Instead, Miller bought large quantities of components when they were cheap. He then charged a significant markup selling to equipment manufacturers when demand hit. Put crudely, Miller made his name as a speculator in electronic parts, and he's an exceptionally gifted one. One former vice-president who asked to remain anonymous recalls only one slip-up in his 15 years at the company, and there were consequences. "Some people were demoted," he says. Miller is often credited with having an intuitive sense of the market, but his moves are based on excellent intelligence. He got to know many of the executives at component makers in part to find out where manufacturing would be constrained. "Just through networking, he got a feel for what commodities would be hot," says the former VP. Holding inventory has another major advantage. "We became known for being the one place you could go to and always find product," says Gregg Smith, another former vice-president, adding that was how Future won new customers. The model works because Future is privately held. Building out the infrastructure to hold loads of inventory is expensive and tough to justify to shareholders. So too are speculative bets. But as the sole proprietor, Miller is accountable only to himself. Today, the product marketing department, mostly housed at headquarters, is the heart of the company. The department buys from suppliers and sets resale prices for Future branches across the world. Competitors assign product marketers to work with specific suppliers, but Miller turns the model on its head. His employees focus exclusively on a component group, becoming experts able to see trends in the market for specific parts. The job is demanding. "The phone is ringing non-stop," recalls a former employee. "It would be usual to have three or four lines on hold while taking another call and trying to close a deal." The pace takes its toll on some. One former employee recalls developing migraines, another, stomach pains. (Future has a medical clinic on-site). Lindsay Blackett worked at Future for six years in sales and marketing, and is now Alberta's culture minister. "Politics, people think it's hardball. But it's nothing compared to Future," he says. In the 1990s, when Blackett worked at Future, Miller would call up individual workers on the floor to inquire about particular deals. "That could be very intimidating, or very rewarding," he says. "He knew what everyone was doing in that building." Competition thrives at Future, which not everyone can handle. "Robert Miller sat on a cloud like Zeus and said, 'Go at it, boys,'" recalls the former VP. "He saw that through confrontation, people would excel." Those who do perform rise quickly through the ranks, and salespeople can make hefty commissions. More than 10 years ago, Future bought massive amounts of tantalum capacitors, used in mobile devices, before the wireless boom hit. When it did, supply was scarce — except at Future. The company sold millions of them a month with a markup as high as 2,000%. Gross profits were so large that for a couple of years, Miller held monthly meetings with sales staff in the auditorium. He handed out their commission cheques individually, from smallest to biggest, announcing the sum for all to hear. The largest topped six figures. Those at the bottom were driven, not only by the desire for bigger commissions but out of embarrassment, to make more and bigger sales. Employees who have little interaction with Miller tend to regard him with a mixture of apprehension and awe. Spotting their boss loping through the hallways is akin to a celebrity sighting. Usually the only opportunities for many to lay eyes on their leader are the addresses he gives roughly once a quarter. He'll often speak for well over an hour, sometimes two. "I always say the intellectual property for Future Electronics is Robert's brain," says Lindsley Ruth, a corporate vice-president. Even employees many years removed from the company still respectfully refer to him as Mr. Miller. Those who work more closely with Miller say he offers plenty of encouragement and room to be entrepreneurial. A few years ago, Jamie Singerman, currently a corporate vice-president at the company, was rolling out a new division called Future Lighting Solutions, which is focused on the LED market. Future didn't have expertise in that area, and building it up required lots of investment. "I went in with a presentation," Singerman recalls. Miller didn't look at it and instead asked if it was the right thing to do. "I said yes, and he said, 'Done.'" Miller is sometimes unpredictable, however. A few years ago, some of the product specialists in Montreal were told not to come in for a month to allow their managers to fill in and become more knowledgeable about the parts the company was dealing with. A former product specialist says many of his colleagues felt they would no longer be needed, and started looking for other jobs. The managers, meanwhile, were overworked and started polishing up their resumés, too. "If the exercise was a natural culling exercise," says the former employee, "it worked." The first time people outside the industry heard of Future Electronics or Robert Miller came on May 7, 1999, when some 30 RCMP officers, in the presence of an FBI agent, raided corporate headquarters. They toted away dozens of boxes of material for reasons officials would not disclose. The company's lawyers successfully fought in court to keep investigators from looking at the seized material, arguing the search was unjust. After six months of media lawyers wrangling in court, the search warrant detailing the reason for the raid was unsealed by the Supreme Court of Canada. The U.S. Department of Justice alleged Future was defrauding a handful of U.S.-based suppliers out of approximately US$100 million a year. The company was accused of maintaining two sets of accounting records — one real, one false — and only Miller and select executives, dubbed the A-Team, had access. The false records were allegedly used to take advantage of debits and rebate programs from suppliers so that Future could pad its margins. Miller never spoke to the press, but Future issued statements denying any wrongdoing and calling the allegations "absurd." There were also whispers the whole investigation was sparked by disgruntled ex-employees, and based on a misunderstanding of how the distribution business worked. More than a year later, Future's lawyers succeeded in quashing the search warrant that justified the raid, and the seized material was returned without having been examined. Nearly three years after the initial search, the U.S. Department of Justice dropped its investigation entirely. Neither that investigation nor anything else has kept Miller from expanding his company to become the fourth-largest electronics distributor in the world. Future Lighting Solutions is booming, scaling up from virtually nothing in 2004 to nearly $350 million in revenue today. The division, which doesn't simply distribute parts but works with customers to meet specific lighting needs, could some day rival the size of the components business. The company is also re-launching a division called Future Active Industrial that focuses on the countless smaller customers generally ignored by larger distributors. The beneficiaries of Future's success spill far beyond the company's headquarters. Miller committed years ago to giving away more than half his earnings to charity. Much of it goes to employees and their families. Miller receives many letters from employees seeking help, often for medical issues. Gina Galardo joined Future 17 years ago as an administrative assistant, but over the years, fielding these requests eventually took over her job. Lori-Ann MacDonald was brought on six years ago to assist. In an interview in a Future boardroom, they explain that when a letter comes in, they conduct research to find the best doctors or specialists, book appointments, provide moral support or anything else that needs doing. Miller has a deep interest in medical research with extensive connections in the community, and can usually immediately recommend a doctor or clinic. He has paid for expensive medical procedures for countless employees, and finds time for hospital visits and phone calls. "Should we get the binders?" MacDonald asks. She makes a phone call, and two other assistants enter, each with two five-inch-thick binders in their arms. The binders are brimming with letters and thank-you cards from employees, organized alphabetically by name. Galardo and MacDonald are soon lost recounting the stories on each page. There is even a section on Ben Manis, the man who hired Miller at Specialty Electronics back in 1967. Manis is in his mid-90s today. Miller employed him at Future for a time and set him up with an apartment across from headquarters. He now supports Manis's accommodations in a seniors' residence, and has allotted money for his funeral. The two have lunch plans for Manis's 100th birthday, however. "I think this sums up Mr. Miller," Galardo says, turning the page. The allegations being made in a Florida civil court against Miller by his ex-wife stand in stark contrast to the benevolent man who never says no to a worthy cause. Miller married Margaret Antonier in 1967. They had two sons, and Antonier remained an active businesswoman. She originally worked in radio advertising, and in 1988, Miromar Development Inc. was formed and received financing from Future Electronics. Miller and Antonier each own 50% of the real estate firm, and Antonier serves as chief executive officer. "I have learned the business from the ground up," Antonier wrote in response to e-mailed questions. "I am pretty hard on myself when it comes to succeeding." Miromar built Canada's first outlet mall, in Montreal, and in the mid-1990s, began developing properties in Lee County, Fla., including an 1,800-acre residential resort with a private beach and golf course. Employed at Miromar was Robert Roop, who had worked at Future for 20 years prior. He served as the company's chief financial officer at the time he resigned and moved to Florida to work at Miromar with Antonier. The lawsuit against the firm states Antonier and Roop became "romantically involved," but does not specify when. In 2005, for reasons that remain under seal in a Montreal court, Miller filed for divorce. Antonier's lawyers in Florida say she filed a demand in the divorce proceeding for Miller's stake in Miromar, a company "she created and operated for decades," be transferred to her and that loans owed to Future Electronics by Miromar be forgiven. Miller sought a valuation of Miromar's assets, and in 2008, he filed a lawsuit in Florida to get access to its corporate records that he was allegedly being denied. The case plodded on until February, when Miller voluntarily dismissed it. But in June, Miller filed new lawsuits in Florida and Montreal, including a declaration from Frank Holder, a senior manager at a forensic consulting firm hired to probe Miromar. Holder concluded Antonier and Roop are violating Miller's rights as a shareholder and director in Miromar by excluding him from the company, and refuse to provide full access to corporate documents. He also claims to have discovered Antonier and Roop engaging in "various acts of misconduct, including theft and diversion of corporate funds." Miller is seeking for a receiver to be put in place. Lawyers for Antonier in Florida refute all of the charges and dismiss Holder's account as baseless, arguing criteria for installing a receiver have not been met. They also contend the suit is designed to delay the divorce proceedings, alleging "wrongful acts" on Miller's part and arguing he has a "desperate desire to avoid the consequences of the Canadian divorce proceedings." That case is sealed, and it is unknown what either party is seeking in those proceedings. None of the allegations in the Miromar litigation have been proven in court, and neither side will comment on the cases. But the disputes and the resulting publicity cut very close to the bone for Miller. Not even during the three-year-long ordeal with U.S. authorities did he speak with reporters. But after researching Future Electronics for weeks, this magazine received a call from the company's general counsel with an almost unprecedented invitation: Miller was willing to sit down and talk. Miller is reticent to say too much about himself or the company. He wants to save the best material for the book. But he has agreed to an interview, provided it is not recorded. Similarly, he would not pose for a photograph. He certainly is not afraid of the camera, however. Hanging on the wall opposite his desk are two huge portraits, one of Miller solo in a suit, another of him shaking hands with Quebec Premier Jean Charest. His aversion to published photographs, he explains, stems from his desire for security for himself and his sons. Miller speaks slowly, but has an intense manner. He leans forward when talking, his bushy eyebrows shooting up when he wants to emphasize point, and rarely breaks eye contact. He has a habit of saying whatever pops into his head. While making a point tangentially related to health, he offers that "I have colonoscopies with startling regularity." He also has a knack for numbers. He can remember exactly when Eli Manis phoned him to say he had quit Specialty Electronics: Nov. 20, 1968, at 4:45 p.m. The phone number at Future Electronics' first office? 418-7701. The number of stairs leading up to that office? Thirty-two. He politely deflects most personal questions. He is more comfortable expounding on Future's unique operating model — based on inventory and market research, rather than pipelining product. "It's so basic that it amazes me that our competitors don't recognize the benefit of having inventory," he says. "Inventory drives sales." He attributes much of the company's success to its privately held status. As a sole proprietorship, it can move much more quickly than its competitors. The fact that Miller doesn't have to answer to shareholders or a board of directors also allows Future to offer the longest customer payment terms in the industry, up to 180 days. "Our competitors can't compete with us. They would be clobbered if they did that," he says. The possibility of taking Future public has never seriously crossed his mind. Miller says he had no business mentors. "It all came to me. It's a gift. I just knew what to do," he says. A strange, metaphysical thread runs through some of his other explanations for his success. Take his work ethic. There was a time he worked 765 days in a row, without a day off, and rarely left the office before 11 p.m. He accounts for this drive by telling a story of walking the streets of Montreal once as a teenager and seeing a red Thunderbird convertible. He knew he had to have one some day. "I recall talking to myself. I said, 'Boy, you're really special.' I think that was a real turning point." He pauses. "But I had just been swimming, and I later read swimming releases endorphins. It's a natural high." He reached another turning point in the early-1970s, when his motivation shifted from material wealth to something larger. When one of his acquaintances passed away, Miller was one of only three people to attend his funeral. "I didn't want that to be me," he says. Charity took on a greater importance from that moment. In fact, growing Future's profits in order to have more money to give away is his primary motivation. "I believe you give till it hurts," he says. Talking about specific causes would take hours, he adds, but he does tell a story of a former employee diagnosed with cancer. Miller sent her to a specialist and ultimately paid hundreds of thousands of dollars for her treatment. "Your encouragement ... for treatment gave me the last three years of my life," she wrote to Miller in a letter delivered after her death in 1995. Nearly all of his charity work has been done anonymously. "I'm not seeking attention," he says. The one area to which Miller's name has been attached is cryogenics research. The Alcor Life Extension Foundation in Arizona has even described Future Electronics as its greatest benefactor. "These people are doing so much," he says. "They're pure, pure people." There have long been rumours Miller will have himself cryo-preserved when he dies. "I'll leave it to my sons to decide," he says. He is in good health today, though. In fact, he recommends the line of "life extension" vitamins marketed by the foundation. "They're the finest vitamins known to man," he boasts. "You should take them." After talking for a couple of hours, Miller signals an end to the interview. It's 10:30 p.m., and he's been awake since five in the morning. He walks to the door, again proffering his hand and a smile. There are still many unanswered questions: the backstory to all of the legal proceedings, what he has in store for Future, and whether his new-found openness will last. But he's closed the door. We'll have to wait for the book.
  2. World best awards rankings for: 1- Top 10 Cities U.S. and Canada Rank Last Year Name 2006 Score 1 1 New York 84.75 2 2 San Francisco 84.29 3 4 Chicago 82.52 4 6 Charleston 82.48 5 3 Santa Fe 82.06 6 5 Vancouver 81.45 7 7 Quebec City 80.98 8 9 Victoria, BC 79.92 9 8 Montreal 79.46 10 n/a Seattle 79.05 2- Top 100 Hotels in Continental U.S. and Canada Rank Last Year Name 2006 Score 1 5 The Aerie, Malahat, Vancouver Island 91.67 2 28 Sooke Harbour House, Sooke, Vancouver Island 91.54 3 n/a Charlotte Inn, Edgartown, Martha’s Vineyard 91.25 4 27 Inn at Little Washington, Washington, Virginia 90.87 5 6 Wickaninnish Inn, Tofino, Vancouver Island 90.83 6 n/a Inn at Montchanin Village, Montchanin, Delaware 90.00 7 n/a WaterColor Inn, Santa Rosa Beach, Florida 89.82 8 69 Four Seasons Resort, Jackson Hole, Wyoming 89.82 9 7 Post Ranch Inn, Big Sur, California 89.67 10 3 The Point, Saranac Lake, New York 89.09 11 13 Hotel Bel-Air, Los Angeles 88.81 12 4 The Peninsula, Beverly Hills 88.75 13 12 The Peninsula, Chicago 88.66 14 38 Four Seasons Hotel, Chicago 88.48 15 n/a Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch, Beaver Creek, Colorado 88.26 16 8 Tu Tu’ Tun Lodge, Gold Beach, Oregon 88.03 17 10 Monmouth Plantation, Natchez, Mississippi 87.84 18 29 Little Nell, Aspen, Colorado 87.78 19 n/a Cliff House at Pikes Peak, Manitou Springs, Colorado 87.71 20 43 Ritz-Carlton, Naples, Florida 87.67 21 2 Blackberry Farm, Walland, Tennessee 87.66 22 n/a L’Auberge Carmel, Carmel-by-the-Sea, California 87.62 23 n/a Ritz-Carlton Orlando, Grande Lakes, Florida 87.34 24 n/a Château du Sureau & Spa, Oakhurst, California 87.33 25 26 Mansion on Turtle Creek, Dallas 87.13 26 18 Auberge du Soleil, Spa du Soleil, Rutherford, California 87.04 27 n/a Inn at Thorn Hill & Spa, Jackson, New Hampshire 87.00 28 n/a Ritz-Carlton Lodge, Reynolds Plantation, Greensboro, Georgia 86.99 29 n/a Fairmont Le Château Montebello, Quebec 86.82 30 81 Four Seasons Resort, Palm Beach 86.74 31 n/a Sanctuary at Kiawah Island Golf Resort, South Carolina 86.70 32 n/a Blantyre, Lenox, Massachusetts 86.67 33 n/a The Lancaster, Houston 86.66 34 23 Lodge at Pebble Beach, California 86.62 35 42 Post Hotel & Spa, Lake Louise, Alberta 86.50 36 33 The Broadmoor, Colorado Springs 86.49 37 36 Ritz-Carlton, Central Park, New York City 86.47 38 57 Wheatleigh, Lenox, Massachusetts 86.36 39 67 Fairmont Château Laurier, Ottawa 86.35 40 n/a Montage Resort & Spa, Laguna Beach, California 86.31 41 58 Campton Place Hotel, San Francisco 86.31 42 n/a Townsend Hotel, Birmingham, Michigan 86.26 43 16 Ritz-Carlton, Chicago (A Four Seasons Hotel) 86.16 44 31 Little Palm Island Resort & Spa, Little Torch Key, Florida 85.94 45 52 Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel, Dana Point, California 85.93 46 11 Windsor Court Hotel, New Orleans 85.93 47 32 Regent Beverly Wilshire, Beverly Hills 85.91 48 34 Bellagio, Las Vegas 85.89 49 n/a Bernardus Lodge, Carmel Valley, California 85.85 50 44 Ritz-Carlton, San Francisco 85.83 51 n/a Watermark Hotel & Spa, San Antonio 85.83 52 n/a St. Regis Resort, Aspen, Colorado 85.79 53 88 Inn at the Market, Seattle 85.77 54 n/a Wentworth Mansion, Charleston, South Carolina 85.75 55 n/a Rancho Valencia Resort, Rancho Santa Fe, California 85.68 56 59 Stein Eriksen Lodge, Park City, Utah 85.64 57 n/a The Phoenician, Scottsdale, Arizona 85.62 58 24 Four Seasons Hotel, Las Vegas 85.62 59 14 Mandarin Oriental, Miami 85.61 60 21 Four Seasons Hotel, San Francisco 85.50 61 89 Boulders Resort & Golden Door Spa, Carefree, Arizona 85.49 62 50 Fearrington House Country Inn & Restaurant, Pittsboro, North Carolina 85.45 63 95 Trump International Hotel & Tower, New York City 85.45 64 37 Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise, Alberta 85.44 65 45 The Greenbrier, White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia 85.38 66 19 St. Regis Hotel, New York City 85.35 67 99 Rimrock Resort Hotel, Banff, Alberta 85.35 68 n/a Hotel Telluride, Colorado 85.32 69 76 Ventana Inn & Spa, Big Sur, California 85.28 70 n/a Charleston Place, Charleston, South Carolina 85.25 71 n/a Bellevue Club Hotel, Bellevue, Washington 85.20 72 n/a Inn at Shelburne Farms, Shelburne, Vermont 85.19 73 n/a Madrona Manor, Healdsburg, California 85.13 74 48 Four Seasons Hotel, Philadelphia 85.11 75 n/a Lowell Hotel, New York City 85.06 76 84 San Ysidro Ranch, Montecito, California 85.04 77 n/a Hotel Healdsburg, California 85.00 78 63 Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay, California 84.97 79 25 Inn at Spanish Bay, Pebble Beach, California 84.80 80 61 Four Seasons Resort, The Biltmore, Santa Barbara, California 84.79 81 79 Mandarin Oriental, New York City 84.72 82 15 XV Beacon, Boston 84.72 83 22 Four Seasons Hotel, New York City 84.72 84 n/a Inn on Biltmore Estate, Asheville, North Carolina 84.72 85 n/a Spring Creek Ranch, Jackson, Wyoming 84.62 86 93 Inn of the Anasazi, Santa Fe 84.53 87 20 Raffles L’Ermitage, Beverly Hills 84.44 88 n/a Hôtel Le Germain, Montreal 84.40 89 82 Fairmont Banff Springs, Banff, Alberta 84.39 90 n/a Ritz-Carlton Huntington Hotel & Spa, Pasadena, California 84.38 91 n/a Cloister Hotel, Sea Island, Georgia 84.28 92 64 Wedgewood Hotel & Spa, Vancouver 84.28 93 65 Rittenhouse Hotel, Philadelphia 84.26 94 9 Marquesa Hotel, Key West, Florida 84.24 95 30 The Wauwinet, Nantucket 84.11 96 n/a Hôtel Le St.-James, Montreal 84.06 97 54 Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island, Florida 84.01 98 n/a Lake Placid Lodge, New York 84.00 99 n/a Beverly Hills Hotel & Bungalows 83.99 100 49 American Club, Kohler, Wisconsin 83.97 Information from: http://www.travelandleisure.com/worldsbest/2006/results.cfm?cat=citiesusca
  3. Montréal est 20ieme dans la liste de 20 villes. Challengers to Silicon Valley include New York, L.A., Boston, Tel Aviv, and London. RICHARD FLORIDA @Richard_Florida http://www.citylab.com/tech/2015/07/the-worlds-leading-startup-cities/399623/?utm_source=SFFB sent via Tapatalk
  4. Voir document: http://www.fdimagazine.com/cp/13/Cities%20of%20the%20Future%20%20April%2023rd%20press%20release.doc Voici les tableaux comprenant des villes du Québec: NORTH AMERICAN CITIES OF THE FUTURE Top ten major cities of the future 1 Chicago Illinois United States 2 Toronto Ontario Canada 3 Pittsburgh Pennsylvania United States 4 Atlanta Georgia United States 5 Guadalajara Jalisco Mexico 6 Baltimore Maryland United States 7 Montreal Quebec Canada 8 Mexico City Federal District Mexico 9 Boston Massachusetts United States 10 Miami Florida United States Major cities - best economic potential 1 Chicago Illinois United States 2 Guadalajara Jalisco Mexico 3 Atlanta Georgia United States 4 Mexico City Federal District Mexico 5 Montreal Quebec Canada Major cities - quality of life 1 Toronto Ontario Canada 2 New York New York State United States 3 Chicago Illinois United States 4 Boston Massachusetts United States 5 Montreal Quebec Canada Large cities - quality of life 1 Quebec Quebec Canada 2 Charlotte North Carolina United States 3 Philadelphia Pennsylvania United States 4 Orlando Florida United States 5 Richmond Virginia United States Small cities - best development and investment promotion 1 Huntsville Alabama United States 2 Windsor Ontario Canada 3 Durango Durango Mexico 4 Sherbrooke Quebec Canada 5= St. Johns New Foundland and Labrador Canada 5= Waterloo Ontario Canada Small cities - best infrastructure 1 Halifax Nova Scotia Canada 2 Gatineau Quebec Canada 3 Huntsville Alabama United States 4 Waterloo Ontario Canada 5= Matamoros Tamaulipas Mexico 5= Windsor Ontario Canada
  5. Montreal faces uphill battle in new economic order KONRAD YAKABUSKI Report on Business April 9, 2009 MONTREAL -- The Montreal Exchange, now part of TMX Group, is forwarding journalists' calls to Toronto. The new head of BCE Inc. has not taken up residence in the city that, officially anyway, is still home to the telecom giant's headquarters. Alcan's "head office" is shrinking under parent Rio Tinto. AbitibiBowater answers to its bankers in Charlotte, N.C. When Michael Sabia had a getting-to-know-you lunch last week with Quebec Inc.'s grands fromages, the new head of the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec found himself talking to a sparser crowd than any Caisse chief before him would have likely faced. The ranks of Quebec Inc., that Quiet Revolution embodiment of Quebec's French-speaking business class, are thinning. Where will this all leave Montreal if, as Creative Class guru Richard Florida recently predicted in The Atlantic magazine, "the coming decades will likely see a further clustering of output, jobs and innovation in a smaller number of bigger cities and city-regions"? Can Montreal aspire to be one of them? Or has its fate already been sealed? Prof. Florida, now director of the Martin Prosperity Institute at University of Toronto, warns that "we can't stop the decline of some places, and we would be foolish to try. ... In limited ways, we can help faltering cities to manage their decline better, and to sustain better lives for the people who stay in them." Let's be clear: Montreal is not Detroit. St. Jude himself could not save Motor City. The unemployment rate there now stands at 22 per cent. When only one in 10 Detroiters has a college degree, the jobless rate won't be coming down any time soon. If ever. The current economic crisis, as Prof. Florida notes, will "permanently and profoundly" alter the economic geography of North America. Montreal needs to get busy if it is to carve out a place for itself in this new economic order. It has a lot going for it: A vibrant inner city, a deep talent pool of "knowledge" workers, a diverse population and creativity to burn. Its problem is just that Toronto has even more of these things. Toronto also has the support of its provincial government. Montreal's provincial masters seem at best indifferent to it, if not chronically at war with it. How else do you explain why, despite decades of promises, the current Liberal government has yet to proceed with the construction of two new mega-hospitals in Montreal to replace a complex network of antiquated institutions spread over multiple sites? If the new hospitals do get built - delivery is now promised between 2013 and 2018 - will there even be enough doctors to work in them? Quebec pays its general practitioners and specialists about a quarter less than Ontario, and a new interprovincial labour mobility agreement will make it easier for them to practise elsewhere. But Montreal can't afford to lose any more of its "brain surgeons," regardless of their profession. In 1976, Montreal and Toronto had nearly identically sized populations, each with about 2.8 million people living within its Census Metropolitan Area (CMA). Since then, the population of the Toronto CMA has doubled to 5.6 million; Montreal has only managed to reach 3.7 million, a 30-per-cent increase in three decades. In its latest Metropolitan Outlook, the Conference Board of Canada predicted that Montreal will post the weakest growth of any major Canadian city over the next half-decade. Though its economy will not contract as much as Toronto's this year, Montreal's output will expand much more slowly once the recession lifts. Part of the explanation for this may lie in another report out this week, this one also supported by Conference Board data, on Toronto's status as a global city. Though the Toronto Board of Trade's Scorecard on Prosperity highlighted Toronto's shortcomings when compared to the 20 other cities studied, it provided even grimmer news for Montreal. Toronto ranked fourth over all. Calgary was first. Montreal was 13th, the poorest performance of any Canadian city on the list. There are grounds for optimism. The proposed Quartier des Spectacles - the redevelopment of a run-down downtown intersection into a hub for the arts - will help Montreal catch up, or at least decline more slowly relative to Toronto's now superior cultural infrastructure. But it's hard not to be disheartened when the top news story in city politics these days is how Mayor Gérald Tremblay's former right-hand man vacationed in the Caribbean on the yacht of a construction magnate just before the latter's consortium won a juicy municipal contract to install water meters. When this much energy gets absorbed in damage control, how much is left for the kind of creative thinking needed to ensure Montreal's position in Prof. Florida's new economic landscape? Or is it already too late for that? [email protected] http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/GAM.20090409.RYAKABUSKI09ART1924/TPStory/TPComment
  6. January 11, 2009, 10:00 pm What Will Save the Suburbs? For a long time now I’ve been obsessed with suburban and exurban master-planned communities and how to make them better. But as the economy and the mortgage crisis just seem to get worse, and gas prices continue to plunge, the issues around housing have changed dramatically. The problem now isn’t really how to better design homes and communities, but rather what are we going to do with all the homes and communities we’re left with. In urban areas, there’s rich precedent for the transformation or reuse of abandoned lots or buildings. Vacant lots have been converted into pocket parks, community gardens and pop-up stores (or they remain vacant, anxiously awaiting recovery and subsequent conversion into high-end office space condos). Old homes get divided into apartments, old factories into lofts, old warehouses into retail. Projects like Manhattan’s High Line show that even derelict train tracks can be turned into something as valuable to citizens as a vibrant public park. A brownfield site in San Francisco has been cleaned up and will house an eco-literacy center for the city’s youth. Hey, even a dump (Fresh Kills, on Staten Island) is undergoing a remarkable metamorphosis into a recreation area. But similar transformation within the carefully delineated form of a subdivision is not so simple. These insta-neighborhoods were not designed or built for flexibility or change. So what to do with the abandoned houses, the houses that were never completed or the land that was razed for building and now sits empty? Lands cleared to make way for houses that were not (and may never be) developed. (DigitalGlobe, Sanborn, GeoEye, U.S. Geological Survey; 2008 Google Imagery) Cover of Julia Christensen’s “Big Box Reuse.” Take as an analogous example their symbiotic partner, the big box store. As I learned in artist Julia Christensen’s new book, “Big Box Reuse,” when a big box store like Wal-mart or Kmart outgrows its space, it is shut down. It is, apparently, cheaper to start from scratch than to close for renovation and expansion, let alone decide at the outset to design a store that can easily be expanded (or contracted, as the case may be). So not only does a community get a newer, bigger big box, it is also left with quite an economic and environmental eyesore: a vacant shell of a retail operation, tons of wasted building material and a changed landscape that can’t be changed back. The silver lining in Christensen’s study are the communities she’s discovered that have proactively addressed the massive empty shells they’ve been left with, turning structures of anywhere from 20,000 to 280,000 square feet into something useful: a charter school, a health center, a chapel, a library. (And, in Austin, Minn., a new Spam Museum.) The repurposing of abandoned big-box stores is easier to wrap one’s head around: one can envision within a single volume (albeit a massive one) the potential to become something else. But exurban communities are a unique challenge. The houses within them are big, but not generally as big as, say, Victorian mansions in San Francisco that can be subdivided into apartments. So they’re not great candidates for transformation into multi-family rental housing. I did visit a housing development last year that offered “quartets,” McMansions subdivided into four units with four separate entrances. These promised potential buyers the status of a McMansion with the convenience of a condominium, but the concept felt like it was created more to preserve the property values of larger neighboring homes than to serve the needs of the community’s residents. There has been a nationwide shift toward de-construction (led by companies like Planet Reuse and Buffalo Reuse, the surgical taking-apart of homes to salvage the building materials for reuse, but often the building materials used in these developments aren’t of good enough quality to warrant salvaging. I don’t have the perfect solution for how to transform these broad swaths of subdivisions, and while I’ve heard much talk of the foreclosure tragedy, I’ve heard nary a peep about what to do about it. A recent article in The Times spotted an emerging trend of kids usurping the abandoned pools of foreclosed homes for use as temporary skate parks. (Interestingly, this was big in the ‘70s, as you can see by watching the rad skate documentary “Dogtown and Z-Boys.”) It’s a great short-term strategy for adolescent recreation (and for ridding neighborhoods of fetid pools, which often harbor West Nile virus), though it’s not a comprehensive solution to the problem of increasingly abandoned, ill-maintained and more dangerous streetscapes. But there are some interesting avenues to be pursued. Part of President-elect Obama’s proposed massive public works program, for example, is to be dedicated to clean tech infrastructure. Included in this is the intent to weatherize (that is, make energy-efficient) one million low-income homes a year. One can already see how those in the construction industry can begin to make the shift from new construction to home retrofitting. It’s the centerpiece of “The Green Collar Economy: How One Solution Can Fix Our Two Biggest Problems,” the best-selling, Al Gore- and Nancy Pelosi-endorsed book by environmental activist Van Jones. Though we hear a lot in the news about new LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design/) buildings and incentives for implementing the latest green technology, it’s often the case that fixing leaks and insulation are just as effective in reducing the carbon footprint of single-family homes (which account for about 18 percent of the country’s carbon footprint). As people increasingly stay put — and re-sell homes less — this retrofit strategy makes sense. Millions of homes, not just low-income ones, are in need of the sort of weatherization the Obama plan describes. The non-profit Architecture 2030, established in 2002 in response to the global warming crisis, is leading a major effort in this arena with the goal of dramatically reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of the building sector by changing the way buildings and developments are planned, designed and constructed. And after decades of renovation-obsession that has simply gotten out of hand, it seems a prudent time to swap Viking ranges for double-paned windows and high-efficiency furnaces. It’s the perfect moment to fix what we’ve got. Despite their currently low numbers, green homes typically re-sell for more money than their conventional counterparts. I still dream that some major overhaul can occur: that a self-sufficient mixed-use neighborhood can emerge. That three-car-garaged McMansions can be subdivided into rental units with streetfront cafés, shops and other local businesses. In short, that creative ways are found not just to rehabilitate these homes and communities, but to keep people in them. __________________________________________________________ “The Ponzi State” New Yorker, February 9, 2009, p. 81 ABSTRACT: A REPORTER AT LARGE about Florida’s real-estate market and the economic downturn. Writer visits a number of inland real-estate developments near Tampa, Florida. Developers there dreamed up instant communities, parceled out lots, and built look-alike two-story beige and yellow houses. The houses sold to some of the thousand or so people who moved to Florida every day. Now many are ghost subdivisions. In one community, Twin Lakes, property values dropped by more than a hundred thousand dollars in the past two years. Writer interviews Angie Harris, a Navy veteran and mother of five, who says of her neighbors, “It used to be people would wave. Now they don’t.” In another community, Hamilton Park, the writer interviews a woman named Lee Gaither, whose only income came from Disability payments. She was facing eviction and planned to sell many of her possessions on eBay. Florida is one of the places where the financial crisis began. Gary Mormino, a professor at the University of South Florida in St. Petersburg, tells the writer that, “Florida, in some ways, resembles a modern Ponzi scheme. Everything is fine for me if a thousand newcomers come tomorrow.” The state depends for revenue on real-estate deals and sales taxes. By 2005, the housing market in Florida was hotter than it had ever been. Flipping houses and condominiums turned into an amateur middle-class pursuit. Writer tells about Floridians with modest incomes who made money buying and selling real estate. Mentions one case in which a house appreciated in value by almost fifty per cent overnight. According to an investigation by the Miami Herald, government oversight of the real-estate market was so negligent that more than ten thousand convicted criminals got jobs in the mortgage industry. Flipping and fraud burst the bubble. But in places like Pasco County, it was the ordinary desire of ordinary people to buy their own home that turned things toxic. Tells about Anita Lux, who moved to Florida from Michigan with her husband, Richard. Gives a brief history of Cape Coral, Florida, which was first developed in the fifties by two businessmen from Baltimore. Writer interviews a number of Florida residents who have lost their jobs or homes. A Fort Myers real-estate agent named Marc Joseph tells the writer, “Greed and easy money. That was the germ.” By last year, the highest foreclosure rate in the country could be found in Fort Myers and Cape Coral. Mentions other indicators of the economic hard times, including the closure of auto dealerships and the theft of copper. Writer visits the office of Tampa’s mayor, Pam Iorio, who is determined to build a light rail system to revive the city’s fortunes. A number of people in Florida told the writer that the state needs a fundamental change in its political culture.
  7. Air Canada instaure un service sans escale entre Montréal et Bruxelles MONTREAL, le 20 août /CNW Telbec/ - Air Canada a annoncé aujourd'hui l'instauration d'un service sans escale assuré toute l'année entre Montréal et Bruxelles, comprenant un vol direct à destination et au départ de Toronto. Sous réserve de l'approbation gouvernementale, les vols quotidiens seront assurés à compter du 12 juin 2010, à temps pour la haute saison estivale. 20090820 Air Canada to launch Montreal - Houston from Dec 09 Air Canada starting 30NOV09 launches Daily Montreal - Houston service with CRJ705. Schedule as follows: AC7997 YUL0900 - 1155IAH CRA D AC7998 IAH1225 - 1640YUL CRA D Montreal-Fort de France, Martinique - New Air Canada flights launched in July will continue year-round, departing every Sunday onboard 120-seat Airbus A319 aircraft. Montreal-Fort Myers, Florida - New Air Canada flights will depart Sundays beginning December 6 onboard 120-seat Airbus A319 aircraft. Montreal-Samana/El Catey, Dominican Republic - New Air Canada flights will depart Saturdays beginning December 19 onboard 120-seat Airbus A319 aircraft. Montreal-Puerto Vallarta, Mexico - New Air Canada flights will depart Fridays beginning December 25 onboard 120-seat Airbus A319 aircraft. Montreal-Tampa, Florida - Weekly flights doubled with flights departing Thursdays and Saturdays beginning November 7 onboard 120-seat Airbus A319 aircraft. Montreal-Punta Cana, Dominican Republic - Increase to four times weekly, departing Mondays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays onboard 140-seat Airbus A320 aircraft.
  8. 1-Fort Lauderdale 442 139 2-Chicago 278 979 3-NYC (LGA) 259 779 4-Miami 256 049 5-Orlondo 209 187 6-NYC (NWK) 201 617 7-Las Vegas 185 989 8-Atlanta 181 850 9-Los Angeles 151 409 10-NYC (JFK) 137 210 Florida and NYC area are the biggest Market le comparatif avec 2013 sera disponible prochainement les amis
  9. Le renouvellement perpétuel qui se passe dans les 50 états et milliers de villes que forment les USA. State of renewal The federal government could learn some lessons from the states Jun 2nd 2012 | from the print edition THE American political system, as all the world thinks it knows, is gridlocked, not to mention dysfunctional and broken. The tea-maddened Republicans who seized control of the House of Representatives are holding Barack Obama and the Democrat-controlled Senate to ransom, refusing either to balance the federal budget or to pass any of the administration’s legislation without first getting swingeing cuts in taxes for the rich and in aid for the poor. In the White House Mr Obama is too busy planning his re-election to govern, while the economy races towards a “fiscal cliff” of tax increases and spending cuts that will take effect on January 1st next year unless they can find consensus; that seems more elusive than at any time since the end of the civil war. All true, up to a point; but not the whole story. Across America, most obviously in the battered Midwest and the property-busted sunnier climes of Florida and Nevada, a turnaround is under way. Thank many things for that: lower energy prices, recovering demand in at least a few places abroad, exceptionally loose monetary policy at home and the effects of the stimulus that Mr Obama was able to push through Congress before he lost control of it at the 2010 mid-terms. But also thank the fact that gridlock in Washington does not mean gridlock in the real drivers of America’s prosperity, its 50 competing states and its hundreds of self-governing cities. It is in those states and those cities that America is endlessly renewing itself. It is at city and state level, for instance, that America’s education system is being rewired, thanks to the independent or “charter” school revolution that was pioneered in places as diverse as New York City and Texas and is growing all the time. Experiments with health care in states as far apart in every way as Utah and Massachusetts pre-dated anything done at the federal level. A clutch of new Republican governors elected at those mid-terms have been driving forward the reform of the public sector, often controversially but in the long-term interest of their states. In Republican Indiana Mitch Daniels, the governor, has made his state the only one in the Midwest to ban the closed shop; other states in the region may have to do the same if they don’t want to be left behind. And, it bears repeating, since states and cities are not supposed to run deficits, it is at these levels that most progress has been made in restoring public finances. Jon Kasich, the new Republican governor of Ohio, for instance, has made up an $8 billion shortfall while cutting taxes. A number of states, mostly Republican ones, have “rainy-day funds” which saw them through the worst of the post-Lehman storm, though the federal government also helped a lot. Slashing red tape and opening government to inspection by the public by means of “sunshine laws” have also played their part; here again, the record of Republican states has been better than Democratic ones. California, for the eighth year in a row, has just been voted the worst state in which to do business, with New York (also strongly Democratic) a close second, thanks to high taxes and excessive regulation. According to Chief Executive magazine, which did the survey, all top ten spots are held by Republican states, with Texas in the lead. As we report here, a feature of the past year or so of the recovery is that among the dozen “swing states” that will determine the outcome of the election, unemployment has fallen by more than the national average. You might think that this is bad news for Mr Romney: his pitch is that Mr Obama has failed to sort out the economy and that he can do better. Actually, it is potentially good news for the man who this week clinched his nomination with a spectacular victory in Texas. Florida, Michigan, Ohio, Virginia and Wisconsin, probably the five states most critical to the election, are all run by new small-government Republican deficit hawks. Mr President, learn from your enemies The newcomers do not deserve all the credit, of course. The bail-out of the car industry, for instance, was what saved Michigan. Yet Mr Obama should take note. Sound public finances, opening up government, taking on unions, privatising services: the mid-terms showed that there is a great appetite in America for these right-of-centre remedies. http://www.economist.com/node/21556247
  10. Technically it is not BMO Harris yet, only in a few months. Seeing they bought Marshall & Ilsley of Wisconsin, that have multiple foreclosures all over the states. Link You can find 2 acres of land in Arizona for like US$24,900. There is also some properties in Florida (nothing in Naples or Miami). There is even land for sale in Vegas
  11. Un excellent regard sur la densité. Ceux qui s'intéressent à l'urbanisme, à l'architecture et la conception des villes aimeront cet article! Bref, la densité, ce n'est pas une question de tours.