Feature Post

San Fernando Valley to get a $1-billion ‘mini-city’

The Los Angeles City Council cleared the way Wednesday for a sprawling development planned for the west San Fernando Valley, signing off on a new sports arena, two hotels, a 28-story office tower and more than 1,400 new apartments.

On a 14-0 vote, the council approved Promenade 2035, which is expected to cost more than $1 billion, replacing a closed shopping mall in Warner Center with a new “downtown district” featuring a supermarket, public plazas, high-density housing and a 10,000-seat entertainment and sports venue.

Councilman Bob Blumenfield, who represents the area, said the project’s combination of restaurants, stores, homes and workspaces makes it “the future of green planning.”

Promenade 2035 will offer a “mini-city … within this larger city,” he said, “where you can get your culture and entertainment and jobs and work — all in a smaller area for less of a carbon footprint.”

Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield, the project’s developer,

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Refrigerators, Ovens Get a Hygiene Makeover During Covid-19 Pandemic

SEOUL—The roughly $500 billion home-appliance industry is making a hard pivot toward hygiene as the coronavirus pandemic shows no sign of moderating.

LG Electronics Inc.’s refrigerators have been retrofitted with sterilizing ultraviolet lights previously used in its water purifiers, while Whirlpool Corp. has touted washing machines with built-in heating that removes germs and allergens from clothes.

Samsung Electronics Co. is scooping up scientists who specialize in water and air quality, and Beko Electrical Appliances Co., a Turkish manufacturer, recently rolled out “HygieneShield,” a range of appliances such as refrigerators and ovens equipped with disinfection drawers. It is also offering a cleaning cabinet, a stand-alone appliance that resembles a microwave oven but is designed to disinfect everyday items such as wallets and mobile phones.

According to Mark Choe, a senior vice president at Samsung’s digital appliances business division, “all of our product development now is being done through the lens of

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Mortgage refinancing is hot, but using your home as an ATM is not

Mortgage rates have been sitting near record lows since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, and while millions of Americans have already refinanced their home loans this year, very few of them have taken cash out in the process.

Cash-out deals made up just 27% of all mortgage refinances in the third quarter of this year, according to Black Knight, a mortgage technology and data provider. That is the lowest share in seven years.

Those who are taking money out of their homes are taking out less than they have in the past. The average amount dropped to $51,600 from $63,000 the prior quarter. The total volume of equity withdrawn in the quarter fell to $37 billion, the lowest equity withdrawal since the second quarter of 2019.

This, as home values rocket higher, and the amount of home equity borrowers have soars to record levels. Just over a quarter

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