Connect with us

Real Estate

City Offices and Facilities Closed for Thanksgiving

Garbage, Recycling and Yard Waste Collection
There will be no collection services Thursday, Nov. 24. Crews will visit residences scheduled for Thursday collection Saturday, Nov. 26. Residents should set their waste on the curb by 6 a.m. the day of the collection.

630-CITY Call Center
The office will be closed Thursday, Nov. 24, and Friday, Nov. 25. Citizens can submit a request for City service online anytime.

Jacksonville Public Library
All public libraries will close at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 23, and remain closed through Friday, Nov. 25. All locations will reopen Saturday, Nov. 26.

Tennis Centers
Tennis centers will be closed Thursday, Nov. 24, and Friday, Nov. 25. Southside Tennis will open at 9 a.m. on Friday, Nov. 25.

Huguenot Memorial Park
Huguenot Memorial Park will be open from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 24, and Friday, Nov. 25. The admissions gate close for entry at 5 p.m. Camping is available.

Periodically, Huguenot Memorial Park managers must implement limited beach parking plans in preparation for high tides or other natural occurrences which could cause beach and/or park closures if maximum vehicle capacity is reached.  Park-goers are always encouraged to check conditions before visiting the park by calling (904) 255-4255 or visiting .

Kathryn Abbey Hanna Park
Kathryn Abbey Hanna Park will open at 8 a.m. and will close at the regular time of 6 p.m. Early bird and annual passes required for entry from 6 a.m.- 8 a.m. Park Day-users and campground visitors may enter from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. All visitors, with the exception of permitted campers and their authorized visitors with passes, must depart by 6 p.m. Camping reservations close at 6 p.m. daily. Only campers with prepaid reservations can gain access from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. People without a prepaid pass waiting for them will not be admitted after 5:30 p.m. All campers must check in by 9 p.m., and have tents and RVs set up by 9:30 p.m. After 9 p.m., no one may enter to set up on a campsite.

Continue Reading

Real Estate

ARCHIVE: Unidos: Inclusivity for a Stronger Nation

This story is an archived copy and may not reflect the most up to date information.

By FSIS Hispanic Special Emphasis Program Manager Denise I. Lauletta, OFO

All Bolivian coins bear the inscription “la unión es la fuerza,” meaning “union is strength” in Spanish. This principle is also key for our own country as it becomes a more inclusive, diverse and stronger nation. Currently, Hispanics represent a substantial portion of the U.S.

population: 18.7 percent. According to the Census projections, the U.S. Hispanic population will continue to grow, reaching more than 111 million people by 2060. President Joe Biden has said that because a quarter of children in the U.S. are Hispanic, the nation’s collective success depends on the success of the Hispanic community.

Hispanic Heritage Month, observed every year from Sept. 15 through Oct. 15, recognizes and celebrates the success of the Hispanic community and is a reminder of how much strength can be drawn from immigrant roots and values. Hispanic influence can be seen in our culture such as in some of the foods we enjoy, the rhythm of the music we listen to, the literature we read, television shows and movies that we watch and more.

The Hispanic community has also contributed to America’s prosperity, technological advancement and national security. They have served proudly in the U.S. military; they are teachers, elected officials, doctors and more.

FSIS celebrates the Hispanic workforce and recognizes the importance of the representation of qualified Hispanics at all levels within the agency. FSIS is also committed to continue paving pathways to maintain a diverse workforce and removing barriers to hiring and retaining workers. As we further inclusivity and unity, we will be a stronger nation.

Continue Reading

Real Estate

Thanksgiving Day 2022 what’s open and closed

Stores and businesses across the United States will be closed Thursday as Americans celebrate Thanksgiving — but it can be confusing to figure out what will remain open. Many stores that were once open on Thanksgiving have changed policy since the pandemic, shuttering for the day before Black Friday sales.

Here are the businesses and institutions that will be open and closed on Turkey Day.

Target, Walmart, Best Buy and Kohl’s will all be closed, a policy that started in 2020  and has continued. The outbreak of the pandemic pushed these chains to close their doors on Thanksgiving to limit crowding and spread out the holiday shopping season.

“It’s a thing of the past. We’ll again be closed on Thanksgiving,” Walmart US CEO John Furner said in an October  onterview on NBC.

Target  announced last year that its stores would close on thanksgiving going forward.

“What started as a temporary measure driven by the pandemic is now our new standard,” Target CEO Brian Cornell said last year. “Thanksgiving store hours are one thing we won’t ‘get back to’ when the pandemic finally subsides.”

Macy’s, Dick’s Sporting Goods and Bed Bath & Beyond locations will also be shuttered for the day. Costco  Home Depot  , Nordstrom , Publix, Sam’s Club, Trader Joe’s and others have been closed on Thanksgiving for many years.

Last minute grocery shopping can be done at ACME, Albertsons, Fairway, Giant, Ralphs, Safeway, ShopRite, Sprouts Farmers Market, Wegmans and Whole Foods among others, though hours depend on locations. Big Lots, Dollar General and Family Dollar will also have some open hours.

As for retail pharmacies on Thanksgiving Day, CVS, Walgreens and Rite Aid will be open with varying hours.

Make sure to check with local businesses to see if they’ll be closed in observance of the holiday.

Federal offices, government buildings and post offices will be closed Thursday. State and local courts, as well as Department of Motor Vehicles offices, will also be closed.

Since Thanksgiving is a bank holiday, most banks will be closed. Online banking and ATMs will be still be available for use. The stock market will also be closed.

USPS, UPS, FedEx and DHL will all be closed.

Continue Reading

Real Estate

Two Young Roommates Are Building An Artificial Intelligence Real Estate Empire – Forbes

Zuma Cofounders Shiv Gettu and Kendrick Bradley

For many years, people dreaded the emergence of artificial intelligence and new technologies. Those who grew up before the iPhone and internet felt that their jobs would be put into jeopardy.

The pandemic made even the most fervent Luddites change their attitude toward robotics, AI and technology. While sheltering at home, riding out the Covid-19 outbreak, they turned to online shopping on Amazon, ordering food deliveries via DoorDash and having others shop for food with the Instacart app. If a person needed to venture outside, and didn’t want to risk going on public transportation, they requested an Uber or Lyft car.

Now that we’ve become accustomed and dependent upon tech platforms for most of our activities, we don’t want to turn back. There is nearly an app for all aspects of our lives. Instant information and results are what we want.

Just as there is an Uber app, a driver is needed—at least until we have autonomous driverless cars. In many industries, AI will start the process and a person will be around to help. Car salespersons, real estate agents and clerks at department stores will supplement the initial interaction between AI and the customer.

If you think about it, most any sector can offer a better experience with the introduction of technology. Real estate is a great example of how AI, chatbots and tech can make the renting of an apartment a better experience. If you’ve rented before, you know how irritating it can be.
Two young entrepreneurs, Shiv Gettu and Kendrick Bradley, saw a need in the real estate rental market. Bradley left his engineering job to work at a property management company to learn the space, as a leasing agent. He noticed that there was a lack of technologies to support real estate sales teams. Roommates, Gettu and Bradley, while both working full-time jobs, set out to build a hospitality property company. It grew to $2 million in revenue in nine months.
However, when Covid-19 hit in 2020, Gettu and Bradley’s company had long-term lease commitments, and with business and leisure travel at a standstill, were running out of runway and needed to get their properties leased. The cofounders quickly turned the company into a virtual leasing office powered by AI to automate the conversion process, and that grew to become Zuma, launching today with a $6.7 million seed round in funding led by Andreessen Horowitz.

Their idea is to change the way apartments are rented. If you’ve ever shopped for a new apartment, you may have run into a hardened, tough-talking real estate agent. They  schlep you around to apartments that are “amazing, beautiful and priced at a bargain price.” When you actually see the property, you think a mistake was made, since they’re not amazing, beautiful nor a bargain. After being shown five more apartments, you call it quits, as you’ve lost trust in the agent’s judgement and feel pushed into something you don’t want.
The next outing, you’re supposed to meet the building’s property manager, who can’t be found. An hour later, you spot him fixing something on the premises and gruffly orders you to follow him to see the apartment. His phone keeps ringing with tenants calling. You politely leave, and he doesn’t notice or seem to care.

The Zuma app
Consider how different this would be if the process was started online. You can send a text inquiring about an apartment listing. The AI will send a blueprint, the rental prices, amount of money required for deposit and the their terms of the lease. The texts can offer rich graphics, photos and videos highlighting the place. This could all be done from the comfort of your home. It’s less running around and a more productive use of time.

Automation also benefits the property owners. Consider a multifamily building with a property manager. If there is an interested renter who wants to make a quick decision, but it’s a night or weekend, this lead will go unanswered. The prospect will go elsewhere.

Zuma’s dynamic AI platform automates lead qualifications, engagement, follow-ups,  demo and appointment scheduling. The platform, called Kelsey, is an “AI-powered sales assistant that answers complex questions in minutes, to qualify, nurture and convert leads to customers.”

“Kelsey understands which conversation tone, architecture and patterns are most successful at converting leads to sales, and converses with all inbound leads via text message within minutes to keep prospects engaged.” A human will step in to supplement Kelsey.
Connie Chan, general partner at lead investor Andreessen Horowitz, said, “Zuma’s blend between human support and AI creates a magical conversation experience for prospective customers that drastically increases conversion.”

The guys are working toward growing their business in the multifamily and related real estate sector. Ultimately, they plan to use their concept to apply to other industries. It’s amazing to see that the pandemic has created a boom in entrepreneurialism and shown how AI and tech, along with the human touch, can both improve the lives of people and build new innovative businesses.


Continue Reading