Category Archives for "Design"

Jul 23

Specific opportunities and challenges facing Ottawa in a global context

By Bruce Firestone | Architecture , Design , Entrepreneurship , Finance , Ideas , Investing , Real Estate , Urban Economics

[This is the second in a 3-part series written for Ottawa Business Journal by OBJ columnist, Bruce M Firestone, PhD, who is working with the city of Ottawa to develop a new OP, official plan, one that is suited to 21st century conditions—both economic, sociological and environmental. An edited version of this article appears at, […]

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Jul 15

Nothing can go wrong in the construction industry, right?

By Bruce Firestone | Architecture , Business Coaching , Design , Finance , Investing , Real Estate , Real Estate Investment Coaching , Urban Economics

A client of mine asked me today about helping him sort through a very complex contract to fit up his new swim school. Obviously, the construction industry is perfect, right? Wrong. Here’s what I wrote him: This is scary for everyone. The four major things that can often go wrong in this biz are: 1. […]

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Jun 15

Dollars are democrats

By Bruce Firestone | Architecture , Business Models , Design , Entrepreneurship , Finance , Ideas , Investing , Real Estate , Urban Economics

Here’s an excerpt from Jenna’s Story, a learning outcome novel I wrote. It’s set in the future; the story revolves around Jenna McConnell, a young revolutionary and Tom Hatch, a business owner and wealthy person. Tom is in love with Jenna, but she views him alternately with suspicion and affection. Jenna speaks with a deep […]

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Jun 15

Planning at Macro and Micro Scales

By Bruce Firestone | Architecture , Design , Ideas , Investing , Real Estate , Real Estate Investment Coaching , Sales & Marketing , Sports & Entertainment , Urban Economics

I have long believed that the best urban condition is one that arises from multiple ownership of land, each of them doing their own thing in a kind of organic growth mode. In other words, the best towns, villages and cities in my view evolve with little in the way of interference from a modern […]

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Jun 04

How to more than double the value of rental property through animation: the PAAN Report

By Bruce Firestone | Architecture , Business Coaching , Design , Entrepreneurship , Finance , Ideas , Investing , Real Estate , Real Estate Investment Coaching , Urban Economics

Most real estate investment coaches/mentors, concentrate on house flipping, no-money-down transactions, cost-cutting, how to buy below market (often by submitting dozens or even hundreds of offers until some naive seller bites on one), purchasing foreclosed property or tax sale property… It all amounts to the same thing IMHO: Everyone is looking for a shortcut to […]

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Jun 03

Why I don’t like retirement residences as an asset class

By Bruce Firestone | Architecture , Business Models , Design , Entrepreneurship , Finance , Ideas , Investing , Real Estate , Real Estate Investment Coaching , Urban Economics

I have felt negatively about these constructs for a long time (I’ve been known to call them “vertical warehouses where people go to wait for death”), but my thoughts crystallized when a friend of mine moved from her farm into a brand-new facility. It costs her $5,500 a month for a room with a cot, […]

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