VA Hospital Chooses Eugene OR Site

The VA announced its location choice for the new Eugene Springfield area clinic, which is a major step.  The  100,000 square foot clinic is expected to some 90,000 annual patient visits and employ 235 full time workers.  This seems like a major benefit to Lane County and veterans.  Many vets I know have to go to Roseburg for some treatments, and it can be a hardship.  In a year or so, they can stay in Eugene.

Spending perhaps 75 Million dollars for construction will help our local economy.  I think the bigger projects are less locally based than smaller ones, though.  Still, any construction will help because construction was particularly hard hit during the Great Recession, and has yet to fully recover in Eugene Springfield.

Some vets choose a spot to retire based on the adequacy of VA facilities.  My hunch is that more retirees will now choose Eugene Springfield because of our excellent hospitals and clinics.  And, many of those 175 new workers will be house buyers which will help our real estate market.

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Eugene will soon get a nice VA hospital.  Springfield has River Bend Hospital.

Eugene will soon get a nice VA hospital. Springfield has River Bend Hospital.

Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP)

According to a recent WSJ article, most mortgage modifications don’t work.  Less than 2% of the projected allotment of $75 billion for the HAMP program has actually been spent to help homeowners avoid foreclosure.

Nationwide, 6.7 million homes were lost to foreclosure or short sale in the decade ending in 2010.  Half again as many are projected to meet the same fate in the next 3 years.  If projections are accurate, that should keep it a buyer’s market through 2013.

The number of distressed properties in Eugene and Springfield isn’t exactly known—but they are common and I do a lot of them.  Rejection from the HAMP program was about 3 of every 4 participants in the western states, including Oregon.  If mortgage modification doesn’t work, a short sale may be a good option for you.

Most mortgage modificatins don't work.

Oregon’s Cloud Computing

It’s no secret that Oregon is the home to clouds, with the western part of the state getting more than it’s fair share of rain. Now a different kind of clouds are moving in–cloud computing–a broad term to describe a trend in the computer industry of large data centers, or server farms.

When you Google search for “data center” your request goes up to the clouds, or in more concrete terms, is processed elsewhere, namely in one of Google’s many data centers, which house perhaps 500,000 servers in total. And there’s a fair chance that your request was routed through The Dalles, Oregon, then back to you. All at rates close to the speed of light.

The Oregon cities of Prineville, The Dalles, and Boardman are homes to data centers for some of high tech’s most recognized names: Facebook, Google and Amazon.com, who have chosen this area for it’s cheap land and cheap electricity. Washington State is also seeing a surge in these types of facilities, hosting companies as prominent as: Microsoft, Yahoo, Intuit, Ask.com and Sabey.

Industrial land in Central and Eastern Oregon ranges between $1.50 and $3.50 per square foot, compared to $3.50-$5.50 in Eugene. In San Jose, CA, Industrial dirt can go for $25/s.f and up. So, the dirt could be 10 Mm cheaper on a 10 acre parcel. The price paid for electricity is speculated to be about ½ of the market rate, perhaps some 1/4 million dollars per megawatt per year. This can translate into savings of 10 Mm dollars per year on a large server farm. Ten million here, 10 million there starts to add up.

In Oregon, nearly ½ billion square feet of structures will be built for these server farms, which is a welcomed boost to our economy. Cheap power, cheap land, and a favorable climate–the makings for success in the new information age.

Beatiful scenery abounds in Eastern Oregon.