The Chicago Journal

Yulia Petrus: Creating a Better World for Your Pet with PETs R US

In the world of entrepreneurship, there are stories that remind us that with passion and determination, even the most audacious dreams can come to life. Yulia Petrus, a trailblazing entrepreneur of Ukrainian origins, embodies this spirit as she pioneers her business, PETs R US. Ranked among the Top 100 USA Entrepreneurs with Ukrainian Origins, Yulia’s journey is a testament to her unwavering commitment and heart dedicated to making a difference.

Who is Yulia Petrus

A decade ago, Yulia left her home country of Ukraine with nothing but a suitcase to come to the USA. She arrived in the States without her parents or any close friends to help her. Regardless of her humble beginnings in the USA, Yulia focused on her passion and motivations. 

Her love for animals goes far back, as her father was the one who fostered a love for nurturing animals. She took this passion to care for animals and turned it into a full-blown business that helps our furry friends in many ways. 

Yulia Petrus: Creating a Better World for Your Pet with PETs R US

Photo Credit: Yulia Petrus

Overcoming Challenges and Shining Bright Through It All

Yulia’s journey in establishing her business wasn’t without its share of challenges. With her first venture, she stepped into uncharted territory, armed with passion but lacking prior experience. The fear of failure loomed, but Yulia’s determined spirit prevailed.

Juggling a full-time job while building her business demanded an immense amount of time and effort. Yet, this challenge didn’t deter her; rather, it fueled her motivation. She turned each obstacle into a stepping stone, using her limited free hours to craft her brand.

Yulia’s inspiration to keep persevering, “Nothing motivates you more than a job you don’t like,” resonated deeply. Her unwavering dedication was guided by the sheer joy and fulfillment she derived from working on something she cherished. The belief that her efforts could bring positive changes in the world and create something of value ignited her determination.

The support of her customers, evident through heartwarming reviews, became a wellspring of motivation. Witnessing the impact of her creations on both pets and their owners affirmed her path and spurred her forward.

Her father’s influence, though he wasn’t present to witness her success, remained a guiding force. His early nurturing of her love for animals laid the foundation for her unwavering dedication.

Yulia Petrus: Creating a Better World for Your Pet with PETs R US

Photo Credit: Yulia Petrus

Achieving Greatness and Beyond; Top 100 USA Entrepreneurs with Ukrainian Origins

Yulia’s path was far from easy, marked by tight budgets, lack of experience, and fierce competition. However, she demonstrated that exhaustion could never overcome enthusiasm if one had passion. 

Then came a wonderful surprise when she was invited to a preliminary interview for a Top 100 project during the spring of this year. This project quickly took hold of a special place in Yulia’s heart as it was dedicated to hardworking people of Ukrainian origin. 

With already 5,000 other applicants, it was hard to envision herself winning a place. Later she would go on to take part in a few more interviews and waited for the analytics team to review her work. 

The Top 100 USA Awards project employed distinct criteria to identify exceptional and inspiring individuals of Ukrainian origin. These businesses should exhibit substantial annual revenues, emphasize a unique founding narrative, and demonstrate qualities that would show a significant impact on the business landscape in the USA.

And after two months of waiting, Yulia received word that she had made the Top 100 list! 

Founding PETs R US

With a deep love for animals cultivated by her parents, Yulia’s journey took a remarkable turn when she adopted a French Bulldog named Gucci. Upon adopting her furry buddy, Yulia’s love for her pet helped her realize there was something missing that our pets needed. Combined with her love for fashion and art, Yulia was inspired to found PETs R US

She created an enterprise that offers cruelty-free, fashion-forward dog clothing. Something that’s hard to find nowadays in a world focused on fast fashion with the cheapest price. But Yulia’s brand doesn’t only focus on creating sustainable fashion for pets, it also offers affordable prices so anyone can give their pet the best. 

Pets R US Today: Who are They and What do They Stand For

In the present day, Pets R US stands as a testament to Yulia Petrus’ dedication and the brand’s unwavering commitment to its core values.

At the heart of PETs R US is a passion for pets, fashion, and ethical practices. Yulia’s brainchild has evolved into a pet brand that offers not just stylish attire but a conscious way of caring for our four-legged companions.

The essence of PETs R US lies in their dedication to cruelty-free, fashion-forward pet products. Each item they offer is a careful blend of aesthetics and ethics.

PETs R US goes beyond aesthetics; it’s a brand with substance. With a portion of their profits directed towards animal charities, they actively contribute to the welfare of animals in need, aligning with their belief that pets should live free from suffering. The brand resonates with dog enthusiasts who seek quality, style, and compassion. PETs R US’ journey is an embodiment of the love shared with pets.

Through open communication with customers, PETs R US has created a community that echoes their values. This relationship-driven approach allows continuous improvement, guided by genuine feedback from their customers or, as the company sees them, extended family.

Exploring the latest offerings from PETs R US means becoming part of a movement—a movement that prioritizes ethical consumption, compassionate choices, and the celebration of the bond between humans and their cherished animal companions.

Yulia’s Plans For the Future

As Yulia Petrus looks to the future she hopes to inspire others around her to persevere and continue maintaining the momentum her business currently holds. She also looks to focus her efforts on helping more animals in need. She wants to do everything she can to give our furry friends a better life. 

What We Can Learn from Yulia’s Story

Through Yulia’s journey, we are reminded that every obstacle can be transformed into an opportunity, and every challenge can be surpassed with the right blend of passion, dedication, and unwavering belief in oneself.


Yulia Petrus’ journey with PETs R US underscores the transformative force of passion and ambition. As a Top 100 USA Entrepreneur with Ukrainian Origins, she embodies the spirit of forging ahead against challenges.

Her love for animals ignited a mission to craft a conscious pet brand where fashion meets ethics. Overcoming obstacles and juggling commitments.

PETs R US stands as a testament to her dedication to fostering a community that celebrates the bond between pets and their owners. Yulia’s story resonates as a beacon of inspiration, proving that with unwavering belief, every journey can lead to a meaningful impact.

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Energy-Efficient Garage Doors: Saving Money and the Environment

In an era where environmental consciousness and cost-saving measures have become paramount in modern living, the choices we make for our homes matter more than ever. Energy efficiency has emerged as a cornerstone of responsible homeownership, and one often overlooked area that plays a crucial role in this regard is our garage doors.

This article shines a light on the remarkable benefits of energy-efficient garage doors, emphasizing their impact on both your wallet and the environment. Your garage door might seem like a humble component of your home, but it wields considerable influence over your overall energy consumption. By choosing energy-efficient options, you can not only enjoy significant savings on your utility bills but also contribute to the global effort to preserve our planet.

We’ll delve into the world of energy-efficient garage doors, exploring their standout features, cost-effectiveness, and the undeniable advantages they bring to an environmentally conscious world. So, fasten your seatbelt as we embark on a journey to discover how these doors can help you save money and protect our environment simultaneously.

The Importance of Energy Efficiency

In recent years, the concept of energy efficiency has gained unprecedented traction in the realm of home design and improvement. With the world’s focus shifting towards environmental sustainability and the desire to reduce household expenses, making energy-efficient choices has become more critical than ever before.

One area often underestimated in terms of its impact on energy consumption is the garage. While we may concentrate on energy-efficient appliances, lighting, and insulation within our homes, the garage door remains an overlooked facet. Surprisingly, garage doors are not mere barriers; they significantly influence the energy dynamics of your home.

Energy-efficient garage doors hold the promise of substantial benefits. They are pivotal in reducing the overall energy consumption of your residence, leading to lower utility bills and a smaller carbon footprint. As we move forward in an increasingly eco-conscious world, the importance of adopting eco-friendly choices cannot be overstated.

In this article, we’ll delve deeper into the world of energy-efficient garage doors, unraveling the ways in which they contribute to cost savings and environmental preservation. Join us on this journey to explore the features, cost considerations, and environmental advantages of these doors, and discover how they can transform your home into a model of energy efficiency.

Energy-Efficient Garage Door Features

When it comes to energy-efficient garage doors, the devil is in the details, and these details can make a significant difference. Let’s explore some key features that set these doors apart:

  1.   Insulation: Energy-efficient garage doors often come with advanced insulation. This insulation serves as a thermal barrier, helping to regulate the temperature within your garage. It prevents excessive heat loss during the winter and keeps your garage cooler in the summer. This not only ensures a more comfortable garage environment but also reduces the strain on your home’s heating and cooling systems, resulting in lower energy bills.
  2.   Weather Sealing: An essential feature of energy-efficient garage doors is effective weather sealing. High-quality seals around the door frame and bottom edge help prevent drafts and air infiltration. This tight seal maintains a consistent indoor temperature, reducing the need for your HVAC system to work overtime. It also keeps out dust, debris, and pests, ensuring a clean and well-insulated space.
  3.   Energy-Efficient Windows: Some energy-efficient garage doors are equipped with energy-efficient windows. These windows are designed to allow natural light to enter your garage while still providing insulation. They are often made with multiple layers of glass and low-emissivity coatings to minimize heat transfer. By utilizing natural light during the day, you can reduce your reliance on artificial lighting, further conserving energy.

Cost Considerations

While energy-efficient garage doors may come with a slightly higher initial price tag compared to standard doors, the long-term cost savings they offer are impressive. Here’s why they make financial sense:

Initial Cost: It’s true that energy-efficient garage doors typically have a higher upfront cost due to their advanced features and materials. However, this initial investment pays off over time through reduced energy bills and maintenance savings.

Energy Savings: Energy-efficient garage doors excel at keeping your garage’s temperature stable, meaning your heating and cooling systems won’t have to work as hard to maintain comfort. This translates into lower monthly utility bills, which can add up significantly over the years.

Return on Investment (ROI): The ROI of energy-efficient garage doors is undeniable. As your energy bills decrease, you’ll recoup the initial cost of the door, and then some. Plus, the enhanced insulation and weather sealing can extend the lifespan of your garage door, reducing the need for costly repairs or replacements.

Incentives and Rebates: Many regions offer incentives or rebates for homeowners who choose energy-efficient options. These can further offset the initial cost and enhance your savings.

Environmental Advantages

The environmental advantages of energy-efficient garage doors extend beyond your own home:

Reduced Greenhouse Gas Emissions: Lower energy consumption means reduced greenhouse gas emissions. By choosing an energy-efficient garage door, you’re playing a part in mitigating climate change and creating a more sustainable future.

Alignment with Sustainability Goals: Energy-efficient choices, including garage doors, align with broader sustainability goals. Governments, organizations, and individuals are increasingly focused on reducing carbon footprints and conserving resources. Your decision to invest in an energy-efficient garage door contributes to these shared objectives.

Homeowners’ Role in Energy Conservation: As homeowners, our choices have a collective impact on energy consumption and environmental health. By choosing energy-efficient products, we demonstrate our commitment to responsible resource use and set an example for others to follow.

Embrace the Future: Energy-efficient garage doors are not just a trend; they represent a shift towards a more energy-conscious and environmentally responsible way of living. By embracing these doors, you’re embracing a brighter, greener future.

Maintenance and Longevity

Maintaining the energy efficiency of your garage door is crucial to ensuring it continues to perform optimally. Here’s how you can preserve its efficiency and extend its lifespan:

Regular Maintenance: Just like any other part of your home, energy-efficient garage doors benefit from regular maintenance. Perform routine checks for wear and tear, and address any issues promptly. Lubricate moving parts, inspect weather seals, and tighten hardware as needed.

Practical Tips: Keep your door’s insulation and weather sealing in good shape. Check for any gaps or cracks in the insulation and replace weather seals if they become damaged. These simple steps can go a long way in preserving the door’s energy efficiency.

Extended Lifespan: Proper maintenance not only enhances energy efficiency but also extends the lifespan of your garage door. By taking care of your door, you reduce the likelihood of premature wear and tear, ultimately saving you money on replacements.

Professional Inspections: Consider scheduling professional inspections and maintenance services at regular intervals. Garage door experts can identify issues that may not be immediately apparent and perform adjustments to keep your door operating efficiently.

Taking Action

As we wrap up this exploration of energy-efficient garage doors, it’s clear that these doors offer a win-win scenario for homeowners. To recap:

  •     Energy-Efficient Features: We’ve uncovered the energy-efficient features that make these doors stand out, from insulation to weather sealing and energy-efficient windows.
  •     Cost Considerations: We’ve discussed how the initial investment in an energy-efficient garage door is more than justified by long-term cost savings and a high return on investment.
  •     Environmental Advantages: We’ve highlighted the environmental advantages of reducing energy consumption, aligning with sustainability goals, and demonstrating your role in energy conservation.

Now, it’s time for action. If you’re looking to save on energy bills, reduce your carbon footprint, and embrace a more sustainable lifestyle, consider energy-efficient garage doors installation for your home. The potential for significant cost savings and positive environmental contributions is within reach.

Making informed choices that benefit both your personal finances and the planet is a decision you can feel good about. So, take the first step towards a more energy-efficient and environmentally conscious home by exploring the options for energy-efficient garage doors today.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q1: What are energy-efficient garage doors, and how do they differ from standard ones?

Energy-efficient garage doors are designed with features such as insulation, weather sealing, and energy-efficient windows to reduce heat transfer and maintain a consistent indoor temperature. They help regulate the garage’s temperature, resulting in lower energy consumption and reduced utility bills, distinguishing them from standard doors.

Q2: Are energy-efficient garage doors more expensive than regular ones?

Energy-efficient garage doors typically have a higher initial cost due to their advanced features. However, they offer long-term cost savings through reduced energy bills and lower maintenance expenses. Their return on investment (ROI) makes them a financially sound choice.

Q3: How can energy-efficient garage doors benefit the environment?

Energy-efficient garage doors reduce energy consumption, leading to a decrease in greenhouse gas emissions. Choosing eco-friendly options aligns with sustainability goals and demonstrates a commitment to conserving resources and protecting the environment.

Q4: Can I install energy-efficient garage doors myself, or should I hire a professional?

While some homeowners may choose to install garage doors themselves, it’s often recommended to hire a professional installer. Proper installation ensures the door functions correctly and maintains its energy efficiency. Additionally, professionals can provide expert advice on door selection and customization.

Q5: How can I maintain the energy efficiency of my garage door?

To maintain the energy efficiency of your garage door, perform regular maintenance. This includes lubricating moving parts, inspecting weather seals, and addressing wear and tear promptly. Consider professional inspections and maintenance services for optimal performance.

Q6: Are there any incentives or rebates for choosing energy-efficient garage doors?

Many regions offer incentives or rebates for homeowners who choose energy-efficient home improvements, including garage doors. Check with local energy authorities or government programs to explore available incentives in your area.

Q7: Can I add energy-efficient features to my existing garage door?

In some cases, you can enhance the energy efficiency of your existing garage door by adding insulation or weather sealing. However, it’s essential to consult with a professional to determine the feasibility and effectiveness of these upgrades based on your door’s design and condition.

Bridging the Communication Gap: Quality Voice & Data’s Journey to Excellence

In an era of rapid digital advancement, effective communication stands as the bedrock of successful enterprises. Enter Quality Voice & Data (QVD) – an industry titan with a proven track record spanning over three decades. This telecom giant stands tall with a remarkable collection of over 100 industry accolades, underscoring its undisputed expertise in the realm of telecommunication.

At the heart of QVD lies a mission to revolutionize the way businesses communicate. Leading the charge is Dean Garfinkel, a nationally acclaimed call center technical solutions expert with an illustrious career that stretches over 30 years. Under his astute leadership, QVD is poised to ensure that its clients make the most out of every call. Their unique selling proposition? Actionable and sustainable solutions designed to drive measurable results.

Quality Voice & Data is not merely a service provider; they are an Authorized SHAKEN Service Provider capable of delivering calls with full “A” attestation. What truly sets them apart, however, is their prowess in spam remediation. In a world where spam calls are an increasing annoyance, QVD stands as a beacon of hope. By aiding businesses and enterprises in managing and monitoring their phone number reputations, QVD ensures optimal answer rates. Their meticulous approach extends to building outbound dialing strategies and dialer strategies, offering a comprehensive suite of technical solutions to amplify delivery and answer rates.

A glowing testimonial from the VP of Outbound at a Top 50 Insurance Company sums up their efficacy: “With QVD’s SIP, monitoring & remediation and local Caller ID numbers, we get premium results. Over time we moved all of our voice traffic to QVD and we’re very satisfied.”

So, what is the secret behind QVD’s remarkable trajectory of success? The answer lies in their ethos. They don’t merely provide solutions; they implement ones that make a tangible difference. By identifying cost-saving measures that can fuel future initiatives, they carve a roadmap for businesses to thrive both in the present and in the future.

Collaboration is at the core of QVD’s approach. By forging solid partnerships with their clients, they ensure that every objective is met or exceeded. This collaborative spirit fosters a rich knowledge exchange, ensuring that clients are equipped with the tools they need to maintain the momentum even after the engagement concludes.

Flexibility is another cornerstone of QVD’s operations. Recognizing that every business is a unique entity with distinct requirements, they meticulously tailor their services to ensure seamless integration with minimal operational disruption.

But above all, it’s their unwavering commitment to client success that truly distinguishes them. With a deep-seated belief that their success is intrinsically tied to their clients’, QVD’s team dives deep, offering creative, insightful recommendations that stem from their profound experience in technology, telecom, and business process management.

In essence, Quality Voice & Data isn’t just a brand; it’s a promise. A promise of quality, efficiency, and unparalleled expertise in the realm of telecommunication. For those eager to bridge the communication gap and propel their businesses to unprecedented heights, QVD stands ready as the trusted partner in this journey. Discover more about their transformative solutions at

Chicago Fire Watch Guards: Your Trusted Fire Safety Partners

When it comes to safeguarding lives and property from the ever-present threat of fire, Chicago property owners know that compliance with safety regulations is non-negotiable. If your building’s fire alarm system or water-based fire protection system is inoperational, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and Illinois Statute require you to implement a fire watch. In such crucial moments, the Fast Fire Watch Guards Company steps in as your trusted fire safety partner.

Diverse Services to Meet Your Needs

Fast Fire Watch Guards offers a range of services designed to cater to the specific needs of different property types:

Residential: From apartments to nursing homes and homeowner associations (HOAs), Fast Fire Watch Guards provides the fire watch services necessary to protect lives and property in Chicago’s residential spaces.

Commercial: Construction sites, retail establishments, and businesses of all kinds benefit from the expertise of Fast Fire Watch Guards. They ensure fire safety during critical phases, such as construction, maintenance, or system repairs.

Special Events: Schools, festivals, and trade shows often require specialized fire watch services during events or pyrotechnic displays. Fast Fire Watch Guards steps in to ensure safety.

A Swift and Reliable Solution

Fast Fire Watch Guards understands the urgency of fire safety. Their commitment to delivering swift services is evident in their:

Fast Dispatch: With watch patrols in Chicago ready and waiting for your call, Fast Fire Watch Guards guarantees that your guard will arrive on time and fully prepared to fulfill their duty.

Full Equipment: Your fire watch security will be equipped with everything they need from the moment they set foot on your property.

Fire Marshall Compliance: Fast Fire Watch Guards ensures strict adherence to city and state ordinances, with guards maintaining logs and monitoring the area diligently.

Emergency Training: All fire watch officers are trained to identify hazards and collaborate seamlessly with local 911 authorities in case of emergencies.

Proven Excellence

Chicago Fire Watch Guards reputation speaks for itself. With over 10,000 fire watch jobs completed nationwide, their professionalism, quality, and commitment to customer service have garnered praise from a diverse clientele.

A recent study conducted among their customers, involving over 26,000 participants, revealed a remarkable statistic: 100% of their clients would recommend Fast Fire Watch Guards to friends and family. This vote of confidence reflects the exceptional level of service they consistently provide.

Accessible and Affordable Fire Watch Services

Fast Fire Watch Guards has offices nationwide and operates in all 50 states, making their services accessible to clients across the country. Whether you require short-term or long-term fire watch services, planned or in response to an unexpected equipment failure, their licensed fire watch security officers are ready to protect you and your property from potential disasters.

When it comes to fire safety in Chicago, Fast Fire Watch Guards stands as a beacon of reliability and professionalism. Their unwavering commitment to delivering swift, efficient, and compliant fire watch services has earned them the trust of numerous property owners, from residential to commercial and special events.

Whether you’re a property owner in need of immediate fire watch services or you’re planning for the future, Fast Fire Watch Guards is your partner in safety. With a strong track record, 24-hour availability, and a commitment to excellence, they are the go-to choice for fire watch services in Chicago and beyond. For the peace of mind that comes with expert fire safety solutions, contact Fast Fire Watch Guards today.

6 Startup Innovators Shaking Up the Self-Storage Industry

The self-storage industry has been undergoing a remarkable transformation in recent years, propelled by shifting consumer demands and evolving business landscapes.

This change is underscored by a compelling statistic: The global self-storage market, valued at US$ 51.32 Billion in 2021, is projected to surge to US$ 71.37 Billion by 2027, reflecting a substantial Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 5.65%. This surge in market value represents not just a financial evolution but also a paradigm shift in how people and businesses approach storage solutions.

As this dynamic sector continues to expand and innovate, the traditional notions of self-storage are being redefined. Gone are the days when it was merely a space to stash seasonal belongings or excess furniture.

Today, self-storage has become a versatile solution catering to a myriad of needs, from accommodating the inventory of burgeoning e-commerce businesses to providing convenient, accessible options for individuals during transitional phases of life. It has become a reflection of people’s evolving lifestyles and entrepreneurial endeavors.

One of the primary catalysts driving this transformation is the influx of startups into the self-storage arena. These entrepreneurial trailblazers have been at the forefront of redefining the industry, offering innovative solutions that cater to the evolving needs of a dynamic market. 

Here are the 6 most innovative startups that are changing the way self-storage is being done:


Flex, headquartered in Miami, represents a pioneering force reshaping the landscape of the US storage industry through the integration of cutting-edge technology into portable storage solutions. Established in 2020 by veterans with specialized expertise, Flex leverages an ingenious approach, employing custom-designed smart trailers. These innovative trailers are equipped with a sophisticated array of features, including climate-monitoring sensors and state-of-the-art security systems, ushering in a new era of storage solutions. Flex’s unique model grants customers unprecedented control and accessibility, effectively eliminating common storage-related hassles.


Bounce operates a global platform that facilitates luggage storage and package acceptance, aiming to redefine the landscape of brick-and-mortar businesses. The platform not only empowers businesses to maximize their space for increased revenue but also offers a user-centric product that simplifies the lives of travelers. This innovative solution was born out of the founder’s extensive global experiences and a desire to streamline the way people interact with their belongings while exploring new cities.


Stuf is a forward-thinking startup in the self-storage industry, offering a contemporary, technology-driven storage solution for both individual consumers and businesses. The company collaborates with real estate proprietors to leverage underutilized spaces like basements and garages in commercial properties, transforming them into valuable storage assets. Stuf addresses the pressing need for extra storage space, whether it’s for accommodating excess belongings or stowing seasonal items, positioning itself as a reliable extension of one’s home.


Djeepo stands as a pioneering platform within the sharing economy, dedicated to solving the contemporary challenge of storage space. The platform acts as a bridge, connecting individuals seeking physical storage space with those who possess unused space, encompassing both personal homes and commercial properties. This ingenious approach transcends geographical boundaries, as travelers and expats can securely store their baggage while away, while locals can conveniently find nearby solutions to accommodate their excess belongings.


Beam offers a sophisticated technological response to the perennial dilemma of having items that are indispensable yet difficult to accommodate. This innovative solution provides a seamless, user-friendly, and cost-effective approach to storing personal belongings, be it winter socks, crucial business documents, or outdoor equipment like tent poles. The Beam app streamlines the process, allowing people to arrange the pick-up of their items with a simple tap.


OpenUnit is a comprehensive solution every self-storage facility requires, regardless of its scale, be it a single-family-owned site or a vast multi-facility corporation. The platform offers a diverse array of indispensable tools designed to cater to the specific needs of storage operators, simplifying the management of storage facilities. At its core, OpenUnit equips storage operators with a potent online presence, a streamlined reservation system, essential legal agreements, insurance options, and merchant solutions, all wrapped in one efficient management software.

Cal Coast Companies Announce Exciting New Project at Monarch Bay, San Leandro, CA

San Francisco, CA  – Cal Coast Companies, is thrilled to announce their upcoming project set to launch later this year at the San Leandro Marina Park. This integrated master planned development, a public/private partnership with the City of San Leandro, promises to transform the 52-acre area surrounding the marina, into a vibrant and inclusive community space.

After a rigorous Request for Proposal (RFP) process in 2008, the City of San Leandro selected Cal Coast as the master developer for the ambitious redevelopment project. This redevelopment endeavor will encompass a comprehensive range of facilities and amenities, including a 285-unit multi-family apartment complex, a 220-key hotel, a 7,500-square-foot conference center, 200 units of single family housing and Townhomes, three new restaurants, a new community library, a 25-acre passive public park, and almost 2 miles of public promenade. These elements will seamlessly integrate with the existing restaurants, hotel, and marine facilities to create a cohesive and inviting environment.

The San Leandro Marina Park project holds tremendous promise for the local community and the region as a whole. It is estimated that the redevelopment will generate approximately 1,660 new jobs along the shoreline, providing a significant economic boost to the area. Moreover, the project’s emphasis on public amenities, such as the expansive passive public park and the public promenade, will create recreational opportunities and contribute to the overall quality of life for residents and visitors alike.

Rich Lamphere, recognized for his expertise in commercial and mult-family construction, expressed his excitement about the project, stating, “I’m honored and appreciative to be working with Cal Coast and the City of San Leandro on this transformative and ambitious project. The integrated master planned development at San Leandro Marina Park will not only enhance the local landscape, it will also create a vibrant community space that promotes growth, economic prosperity, and a sense of belonging.”

Cal Coast, known for their commitment to sustainable and innovative developments, is eager to contribute their expertise to this landmark project. Their dedication to creating inclusive and environmentally conscious spaces, aligns perfectly with the vision for San Leandro Marina Park.

The City of San Leandro is enthusiastic about the partnership and the tremendous potential this project holds for the community. The collaboration with Cal Coast promises to bring new opportunities, jobs, and a revitalized space for residents and visitors to enjoy. 

The launch of the San Leandro Marina Park redevelopment project is eagerly anticipated, and construction is set to commence later this year, or early 2024. With its integrated master planned design, the project will undoubtedly elevate the San Leandro community, offering a diverse range of amenities and contributing to the economic prosperity of the region.

For more information and updates on the San Leandro Marina Park project, please visit

About Cal Coast Companies:
Cal Coast is a leading real estate development company focused on creating vibrant, sustainable, and community-centric projects throughout California, particularly in Los Angeles and the Bay Area. Committed to delivering high-quality projects, Cal Coast aims to foster positive change and enhance the well-being of the communities it serves.

About San Leandro Marina Park:
San Leandro Marina Park is a public/private partnership project in collaboration with the City of San Leandro, and Cal Coast Companies. The integrated master planned development aims to transform the 52-acre area surrounding the marina into a thriving community space, offering an array of amenities and fostering economic growth.

About Rich Lamphere:
Rich Lamphere is a highly respected builder known for his commitment to excellence and transformative projects. With a wealth of experience in the industry, Lamphere has built a reputation for delivering innovative and sustainable developments that create a lasting impact.

Retirement is now pricier, according to a new survey

Retirement Americans’ retirement savings needs vary depending on their lifestyle, location, and personal aspirations.

However, it is typically recommended that you aim for a retirement fund that is 70-90% of your pre-retirement income.

A $52,000 annual salary suggests a retirement savings target of $1.05 million.

This involves saving and investing wisely, as well as perhaps relying on employer-sponsored retirement plans such as 401(k)s and IRAs.

Seeking professional financial advice and reevaluating retirement goals on a regular basis can help individuals customize their savings strategy to their own circumstances.

However, several financial disasters have occurred as a result of the recent economic crisis and inflation.

As a consequence, Americans would need to save $1.27 million to qualify for a decent retirement.

Read also: Investors behavior now leaning towards regional bank stocks

The increase

According to a Northwestern Mutual poll, the typical American will need $1.27 million to retire.

The values are $1.25 million more than those found in the 2022 research.

Between February and March, the financial services firm polled 2,740 people via an online survey.

The survey found that respondents in their 50s will need more than $1.5 million to retire.

People in their 60s and 70s, on the other hand, have set a goal of less than a million dollars.

According to Akao Patel, a certified financial advisor and Northwestern Mutual asset management specialist headquartered in Chicago, it is not surprising that retirement expectations have climbed while inflation remains high.

If Americans retire at 60 and want to live beyond 100, they must plan for the following 40 years, according to Patel.

“It’s not just about your expenses, but it’s also the mentality of feeling assured that you can spend money throughout retirement,” he added.

Savings & retirement goals

Many persons of all ages stated that their current retirement savings were insufficient to meet their million-dollar objectives.

They reported an average savings of $89,300, a 3% rise over 2022.

Meanwhile, persons approaching retirement in their 50s saved a median of $110,900.

People in their 60s and 70s saved an average of $112,500 and $113,900.

According to the research, older people are modifying and minimizing their expectations about how much money they must earn to get older, and they wish to work longer hours.

According to the poll, the average American plans to work until the age of 65, which is older than the age of 64 in 2022 and 62.6 in 2021.

Boomers were also discovered to be the most likely to work until the age of 71, followed by Generation X (65), millennials (63), and Generation Z (60).


While 44% of retirees are concerned about their health, the vast majority are concerned about their financial situation.

Cerulli Associates reports that 58% of retirees and savers are concerned about outliving their investments.

Many individuals are focused on calculating how much money they should set aside.

Winnie Sun, managing director and founding partner of Sun Group Wealth Partners, stated:

“A lot of people get so overwhelmed that the number is so big that they have to save this much by this age.”

Calculating the ‘magic number’

According to Patel, understanding one’s income needs is more important than focusing on a huge retirement target amount.

They may examine their credit card and bank statements to see where their money is going.

“By multiplying your estimated annual budget – for example, $100,000 – by a factor of 25, you may arrive at a generic lump sum you may need to cover your retirement years which, in this example, would be $2.5 million,” said Patel.

He also suggested that people cut back on their spending in order to meet their retirement commitments.

Sun, on the other hand, stated that in order to help individuals reach greater goals, she breaks them down into smaller pieces of action, such as a month-long debit or credit card ban to allow for better financial management.

“That will give them a sense of how much they’re spending,” she explained.

Sun also uses a savings test to determine a savings target for the following three months.

“If we put pressure to have them do it sooner, even when they think they’re not ready, it will help develop better patterns long term.”

Three expenses

In the words of Akao Patel, everyone has three types of expenses:

  • Mundane costs – groceries, property taxes, utilities
  • Discretionary expenses – vacation
  • Aspirational spending – anniversary trips or children’s wedding

“As you think about retirement, in an ideal world, you would have enough guaranteed zero-risk income to cover your guaranteed expenses,” he said.

Patel also advised retirees to consider looking into annuities.

People may be more willing to take risks in other areas of their portfolio if their monthly expenses are covered by guaranteed income.

Mortgage rate hit 6.9% in new report

Mortgage — The economy has been in turmoil since the Covid pandemic erupted in 2020, with inflation wreaking havoc in 2022. As a result, many firms have felt the effects of the Federal Reserve’s continued efforts to contain inflation. Inflation persists, despite small respites.

One of the most evident issues in today’s economic landscape is the rise in mortgage rates.

According to statistics issued on Thursday, interest rates rose for the third week in a row. However, one critical aspect of growing rates is that it remains below 7%.

Read also: Retirement is now pricier, according to a new survey

The news

According to new Freddie Mac data released on Thursday, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 6.96% in the week ending August 10. It has increased over the 6.90% level released a week ago, according to the most current figures. In 2022, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage was significantly lower, at 5.22%.

The Federal Reserve’s historic rate hike campaign has resulted in rising mortgage rates, driving down affordable housing to its weakest point in decades.

Those intending to buy a home may realize that the added cost of financing the mortgage makes it difficult on the wallet. Furthermore, homeowners who were able to obtain lower mortgage rates are now unwilling to sell their homes. As a result, prospective buyers must pick between a restricted supply and a high price.

Since the end of May, rates have been over 6.5%. The most recent average rate reached an all-time high in November.

“There is no doubt continued high rates will prolong affordability challenges longer than expected,” said Freddie Mac.

“However, upward pressure on rates is the product of a resilient economy with low unemployment and strong wage growth, which historically has kept purchase demand solid.”

The average mortgage rate is derived from the receipt of mortgage applications from a range of lenders across the United States by Freddie Mac. Consumers with excellent credit who paid down 20% are included in the poll.

Employment and inflation data

The rate stayed high this week as the Federal Reserve announced that its July monetary policy meeting would be focused on employment and inflation data.

Markets awaited the release of July inflation data on Thursday morning, which revealed that inflation jumped to 3.2% year on year, up from 3% in June. According to the latest figures, this was the first increase in inflation since 2022. Furthermore, according to the report, housing expenditures accounted for 90% of the overall increase in inflation last month.

“July’s Consumer Price Index holds significant importance for the Fed’s upcoming decision,” said economist Jiayi Xu.

Xu went on to caution that the Fed’s concern about inflation persisting longer than expected may be compounded by faster price increases. The Federal Reserve will also examine the incoming August employment and inflation statistics before the next policy meeting in September.

Furthermore, according to Xu, the most recent job numbers provided inconsistent signals regarding the labor market, since fewer net new jobs were added yet the unemployment rate declined.

“While July’s jobs report itself is very unlikely to have a direct impact on the Fed’s upcoming decision, the decline to a 3.5% unemployment rate may imply that more significant slowing is needed to align with the Fed’s projected year-end rate of 4.1%,” she said.

Mortgage affordability problems persist

Borrowing costs will continue high until the Federal Reserve sends the “all clear” signal to financial markets, according to Keeping Current Matters senior economist George Ratiu.

Although the Fed is not directly accountable for mortgage interest rates, it does have considerable power. Mortgage rates, for example, track the 10-year US Treasury yield, which fluctuates in reaction to Fed activities, what they do, and how investors react.

Mortgage rates rise when Treasury yields rise, but decline when yields fall.

Mortgage rates, according to Ratiu, are presently higher than they should be in contrast to the 10-year Treasury. He also mentioned that the interest rate difference between a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage and a 10-year Treasury note is about 300 basis points. Only a few times in the previous 50 years has the quantity been seen, generally during periods of substantial inflation and economic turbulence.

“In the absence of the elevated risk premium and hewing closer to a historical average of 172 basis points, today’s 30-year fixed mortgage rate would be around 5.7%,” said Ratiu.

According to the Mortgage Bankers Association, homebuyers are still apprehensive about increasing interest rates, as seen by a drop in mortgage applications last week.

“Due to these higher rates, there was a significant pullback in mortgage application activity,” said MBA president and CEO Bob Broeksmit. “Both prospective buyers and sellers are feeling the squeeze of higher rates as well as low housing inventory, which has prompted a pronounced slowdown in activity this summer.”

Existing home sales have stayed steady, according to George Ratiu, despite real estate markets benefiting this year from more people finding jobs and earning more money.

“The challenge comes mainly from too many buyers chasing not enough available properties,” he added.

Using historical data, Ratiu discovered that mortgage rates often decline six to eight months following the end of inflation.

Investors behavior now leaning towards regional bank stocks

Investors Despite the fact that the United States is in the grip of a financial crisis, Wall Street is rushing to buy bank stocks.

The tendency shows that cheap pricing, even when triggered by the fear of an approaching collapse, entices customers to invest in a particular industry.

Early trading

In January and February, individual investors purchased more than $20,000 in First Republic Bank (FRC) shares every day.

Following the liquidation of Silicon Valley Bank on March 10, the daily average increased to $10.3 million on April 10, according to VandaTrack.

Clients of the TD Ameritrade Investment Movement Index made net purchases at First Republic Bank in March, according to the index.

Concerns about the banking system’s overall viability, as well as uninsured deposits, resulted in a more than 88% decrease in the company’s value.

Despite the fact that it is still early, the optimism has yet to bear fruit.


The stock price of First Republic has dropped to $15, down from $115 to $145 in early 2023.

PacWest Bancorp (PACW) observed a surge in post-SVB retail net purchases of its shares to an average of $2.9 million per day, up from $0 in early 2023.

The regional bank has also suffered as a result of the current disaster.

Buyers got a good bargain, paying $9 per share for a firm that was previously valued at around $30.

The average daily net buy of the SPDR S&P Regional Banking ETF, which invests in a small number of mid-sized banks, has risen to $3.9 million.

The commerce has developed swiftly from net sales of $120,000 in the first two months of 2023.

Regional banks, on the other hand, are not the only ones who have suffered.

According to VandaTrack data, individual investors were flocking to large bank shares such as:

  • Bank of America (BAC)
  • Citi (C) Group
  • JPMorgan Chase (JPM)
  • Wells Fargo (WFCPRL)

According to TD Ameritrade, retail investor purchasing interest in the banking business has decreased by around 10% over time.

According to Marco Iachini, senior vice president of research at VandaTrack, individual investors were seeking a way to profit from the banking industry’s resurgence.

He further asserted that institutional investors, or “smart money,” were withdrawing funds from riskier regional bank stocks.


Last week, JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon cautioned that the banking crisis was far from finished.

He also cautioned that the crisis’s consequences will be seen in the coming years, casting doubt on investors’ expectations for substantial increases in regional bank shares.

Iachani classed it as speculative and cautioned that it might be risky for average investors.

Retail inflows into bank equities have been strong, but have slowed since mid-March.

“That tells me retail capital isn’t here to stay,” said Iachini.

He also claimed that no major healing had yet occurred.

Instead, we’re witnessing a watered-down version of what occurred early in the epidemic, when ordinary investors backed meme stocks.

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Japan trading houses

Warren Buffet, the “Oracle of Omaha,” has moved his focus to Japan.

Buffet told the Japanese news site Nikkei on Tuesday that he intends to invest in Japan.

Berkshire Hathaway announced in August 2020 that it has acquired a 5% investment in the following companies:

  • Itochu
  • Marubeni
  • Mitsubishi
  • Mitsui
  • Sumitomo

In November, Buffet extended his holdings in Japanese financial “trading houses.”

Because of the immense complexity of Japanese trading firms, which have branch offices all over the world, and their involvement in the following:

  • Financing
  • Importing/exporting
  • Investing
  • Trading

Japanese businesses are likewise notoriously secretive about their operations.

On the other hand, Buffet remarked on Wednesday that he is unconcerned about the problems associated with investing in them.

“We feel that these five companies are a cross section of not only Japan, but of the world,” said the Oracle of Omaha.

“They are really so much similar to Berkshire. They own a lot of different things.”

This week, Warren Buffet intended to visit all five firms to evaluate their operations and express his support.

Buffet would also like to invest in other Japanese enterprises.

“At the moment, we only own the five trading companies,” he said.

“There are always a few I’m thinking about.”

The stock prices of the five firms increased following the interview.


On Tuesday, Chicago Fed President Austin Goolsbee addressed the collapses of Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank, as well as the subsequent volatility.

“At moments of financial stress like this, the right monetary policy is really caution and watchfulness and prudence,” said Goolsbee.

“And I don’t say that because I think we should stop prioritizing the fight against inflation just because the markets got upset.”

He also emphasized the importance of monetary policy beyond financial difficulties, saying:

“History has taught us that in moments of financial stress, even if they don’t escalate into a crisis, they often mean tighter credit conditions and have a material impact on the real economy in a way that the Fed absolutely needs to take into account when setting monetary policy.”

DraftKing to bag a win with Super Bowl’s betting scene

DraftKings Nowadays, gambling is legal in many places, especially when it includes sports.

Super Bowl LVII is conceivably the biggest event now occurring in the gambling industry.

High stakes

The American Gaming Association predicts that more than 50 million wagers totalling more than $16 billion will be placed before the Philadelphia Eagles vs. Kansas City Chiefs NFL game.

Because of the importance of the game, the following giants of the gambling industry had the possibility to bring in more customers:

  • DraftKings
  • FanDuel owner Flutter Entertainment (PDYPF)
  • MGM
  • Caesars (CZR)
  • Wynn (WYNN)

The event also had an impact on various sports betting businesses’ stock valuations, with some of their shares improving in 2023 as the market as a whole rallied.

However, a few of the shares are still recouping some of their big losses.

Stock progress

Over the past year and the previous, DraftKings experienced declines of 30% and 75%, respectively.

Barstool Sports is still owned by Caesars and Penn Entertainment (PENN), despite a 40% value decline from the prior year.

Rush Street Interactive, the parent firm of BetRivers, had a decline of more than 65% over that time.

Each business invested significantly in pricey advertising initiatives.

While Jamie Foxx has been in MGM advertising, Kevin Hart has been seen endorsing DraftKings.

Caesars has received endorsements from JB Smoove and the Manning family in television commercials.

Sportsbooks have also started to spend money on promotional initiatives like “free bets.”

Two birds and one stone

Providers of sports betting now have to use strategies that achieve two objectives at once:

  • Gain new customers
  • Restore investors’ confidence

But MGM presently has the upper hand over its competitors.

Only one physical sportsbook is staffed at its BetMGM location for the NFL game. BetMGM is a 50/50 joint venture between the major Las Vegas casino and UK gambling provider Entain.

The Phoenix Stadium relocated there in 2022, taking over the area next to State Farm Stadium, the previous home of the Chiefs and Eagles.

There is no denying that gamblers have placed wagers using mobile devices.

The CEO of BetMGM, Adam Greenblatt, emphasized that activity at the sportsbook should move quickly both before and during the game.

“We have prepared for this Super Bowl like never before, said Greenblatt.

“We are staffing up for a lot of demand.”

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Marketing opportunity

In the 17,000 square foot sportsbook next to the stadium, according to Greenblatt, there are 38 HD TVs and a sizable display wall where bettors can watch the game.

To encourage fans to wager on the game, there are 25 betting incentives.

According to Adam Greenblatt, having a real presence at the Super Bowl presents a significant marketing opportunity in a market where websites like DraftKings, FanDuel, and other bookmakers compete.

He wants people to download the BetMGM app, create an account, and place bets at the sportsbook on Sunday.

By reminding participants that MGM is a respected casino brand rather than a start-up like DraftKings, FanDuel, or Barsteel, Greenblatt emphasized the significance of marketing.

“We’re fun and sophisticated. Ocean’s Eleven. That was an MGM experience,” he said, reminding people it was the MGM Grand in the 2001 film.

“We want to be both aspirational but also accessible.”

Sports betting companies vs. casino companies

Even if there is competition, people who are new to the sector are not excessively concerned about casino operators.

Amy Howe, CEO of FanDuel, asserts that with sports betting being permitted in Ohio, Maryland, and Kansas in 2022, there will be lots of room for expansion.

“This should be the single biggest day in FanDuel’s history,” Howe said.

She said that for Super Bowl LVII, FanDuel expected 17 million bets, or more than twice as much as those made on the Super Bowl in 2022.

Howe claims that FanDuel expects the betting to attract over 500,000 new clients who will gamble on the game, particularly as more women do so.

Jason Robins, the CEO of DraftKings, thinks that bookmakers have realized they cannot continue to invest in expensive promos.

“If anything, the competition now is less intense than last year,” said Robins.

“Last year was the peak. It was somewhat irrational.”

Businesses like DraftKings used to face sanctions from Wall Street for striving to increase their market share at any costs.

“Investor tolerance for the types of undisciplined spending during the NFL season last year has waned,” said Robins. “Investors want to see a path to profitability.”

“That’s different from 2021 when customer growth was being rewarded.”

More Super Bowl LVII advertising is still anticipated from FanDuel and DraftKings.

NFL player Rob Gronkowski’s field goal for the FanDuel ad was touted the “kick of destiny,” while Kevin Hart is the subject of another DraftKings commercial.