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Thread: Shovel ready = vacant lot - Buffalo English, or used elsewhere?

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    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
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    Shovel ready = vacant lot - Buffalo English, or used elsewhere?

    In many plans, newspaper articles and press releases dealing with redevelopment/regeneration in Buffalo, the term "shovel ready" is almost always mentioned. A "shovel ready" site apparently means a once-occupied but now vacant lot with no encumbrances to development; it's not a greyfield or brownfield that requires any remediation.

    I have never heard "shovel ready" used in a context that doesn't relate to Buffalo. Did the term start in Buffalo? Is it used elsewhere?

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    Cyburbian zman's avatar
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    Like every other female being named JoAnn, "shovel ready" seems to be purely Buffalo.

    I've never heard of that, but of course I live in the land of the rampant greenfield.
    You get all squeezed up inside/Like the days were carved in stone/You get all wired up inside/And it's bad to be alone

    You can go out, you can take a ride/And when you get out on your own/You get all smoothed out inside/And it's good to be alone
    -Peart

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    Cyburbian Plus JNA's avatar
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    That phrase is used here, even on economic development websites:

    The Indiana Economic Development Corp. has certified the VIP as a "shovel ready" site, a move aimed at speeding up the permitting process for prospective tenants. Officials said the certification allows the VIP to offer lower site development costs and improves the park's marketability
    .
    Oddball
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  4. #4
    Cyburbian jresta's avatar
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    i've heard it for commercial projects.

    when one is talking about a small residential project people normally use the terms "turnkey" or "plans & permits"
    Indeed you can usually tell when the concepts of democracy and citizenship are weakening. There is an increase in the role of charity and in the worship of volunteerism. These represent the élite citizen's imitation of noblesse oblige; that is, of pretending to be aristocrats or oligarchs, as opposed to being citizens.

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    Cyburbian daytondevelopment's avatar
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    We market our "shovel ready" sites here in Belmont County. We use the term to describe the larger tracts of land that have roadways and other utility infrastructure in place, such as our commerce park. It shows the company that they can move right in and begin construction without having to worry about getting water, sewer, gas, etc., extended to the site (they just need to connect to the systems).

    While in Dayton I never heard the term used, but I have heard it in other eastern Ohio counties. So maybe it is a localized "Great Lakes" term (?).

    Edited to add: Just go to google.com and type in "shovel ready sites" - the term seems to be used in several communities across the U.S. with no official "across the board" criteria as to what is required for a site to be named "shovel ready."
    Business Development Manager
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    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
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    Some Google results:

    "shovel ready" indianapolis - 504 hits
    "shovel ready" rochester - 522 hits
    "shovel ready" pittsburgh - 554 hits
    "shovel ready" syracuse - 1,220 hits
    "shovel ready" detroit - 2,880 hits
    "shovel ready" cleveland - 3,180 hits
    "shovel ready" buffalo - 19,700 hits

  7. #7
    Cyburbian Bubba's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Dan View post
    Some Google results:

    "shovel ready" buffalo - 19,700 hits
    "shovel ready" rochester - 522 hits
    "shovel ready" syracuse - 1,220 hits
    "shovel ready" pittsburgh - 554 hits
    "shovel ready" cleveland - 3,180 hits
    "shovel ready" indianapolis - 504 hits
    "shovel ready" detroit - 2,880 hits
    "shovel ready" atlanta - 37,000 hits

    However...

    Scan the first ten hits and only one refers to something in Georgia. Three of the first ten hits actually reference...Buffalo.
    I found you a new motto from a sign hanging on their wall…"Drink coffee: do stupid things faster and with more energy"

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    Cyburbian otterpop's avatar
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    Here the term "shovel ready" usually is applied to a significant other who is really getting on your nerves.
    "I am very good at reading women, but I get into trouble for using the Braille method."

    ~ Otterpop ~

  9. #9
    Cyburbian Plus JNA's avatar
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    Off-topic:
    Quote Originally posted by otterpop View post
    Here the term "shovel ready" usually is applied to a significant other who is really getting on your nerves.
    Have we been watching/AIB The Sopranos ?
    Oddball
    Why don't you knock it off with them negative waves?
    Why don't you dig how beautiful it is out here?
    Why don't you say something righteous and hopeful for a change?
    From Kelly's Heroes (1970)


    Are you sure you're not hurt ?
    No. Just some parts wake up faster than others.
    Broke parts take a little longer, though.
    From Electric Horseman (1979)

  10. #10
    Cyburbian Mud Princess's avatar
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    It is a New York State term. Empire State Development Corporation markets its "shovel-ready sites" at http://www.shovelready-ny.com/

    National Grid (which owns the former Niagara Mohawk, our utility company) also has a website, www.shovelready.com, to market sites in NY.

    It doesn't refer to a once-occupied vacant lot. Shovel ready generally refers to the site being ready-to-develop -- i.e., pre-permitted, with infrastructure connections in place.
    Last edited by Mud Princess; 23 Mar 2007 at 2:33 PM. Reason: added a link

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    Cyburbian DetroitPlanner's avatar
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    Not common in Michigan.
    We hope for better things; it will arise from the ashes - Fr Gabriel Richard 1805

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    Cyburbian
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    The term is used in Washginton state. . .usually refering to sites with infrastructure, entitlements, lack of environmentla problems. . . when talking about single fmaily lots it the site is already sub-divided and the infrastructure is in. . .


    The funny thing is when I just googled "shovel ready" Buffalo I got Cyburbia as my first hit.

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          Downtown's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Mud Princess View post
    Shovel ready generally refers to the site being ready-to-develop -- i.e., pre-permitted, with infrastructure connections in place.
    And that's why "shovel ready" is such a big deal. In our town, a commercial project developed on a greenfield takes approximately a year to two years from pre-concept submission until building permit.

  14. #14
    Thankfully with Mayor Tony gone the term seems to be falling out of favor in Buffalo

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    Cyburbian Brocktoon's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by DetroitPlanner View post
    Not common in Michigan.
    Take a look on the west side of the state and you will find many shovel ready parcels.
    "If you don't like change, you're going to like irrelevance even less" General Eric Shinseki

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    Cyburbian Random Traffic Guy's avatar
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    Bump up from oblivion to say that last week I heard this term used by the landowner here in one of the fast-growing Dallas suburbs... I jumped up and yelled "I can't work for you damnYankees anymore!!!". Well, maybe not.

  17. #17
    Cyburbian estromberg's avatar
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    Around here, shovel ready refers to land already zoned properly and with needed infrastructure owned by a willing seller.

  18. #18
    Cyburbian GISgal's avatar
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    Shovel ready i my hayseed state means ready for a building with the necessary infrastructure in place with a shortened reiew time for approvals usually staff has a greater degree of independence from the elcted bodies.
    “I am not discouraged, because every wrong attempt discarded is another step forward.” - Thomas Edison

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