Sometimes we forget that behind the everyday tasks of waking up, getting dressed, eating breakfast, and just getting to school or work are people making alarm clocks, clothes, frozen waffles and driving buses to help us along the way. In higher level economics courses, it is called the “Multiplier Effect“, where a change in input, or spending, causes a larger effect on output, or Gross National Product. For the average person, we don’t think about all the work people put into things that help us get through our everyday life, but it drives our economy and enriches our life.
Just Getting The Kids To School Can Be Challenging
Getting children to school doesn’t seem complicated: a bus pulls up in front, kids get in and are delivered to the front of the school building where they get out and go to class. But behind that one bus is a host of people making sure that everything goes right. Recently Louisiana Commercial Realty helped one owner of a school bus company find a new location for his buses, which turned out to be a real challenge. Louisiana Commercial president Robert Hand explained,
“The bus company owner asked for our help to find a new location because his current location on France Road was being sold. He was unsuccessful in looking on his own for several months. To complicate things, he was running out of time because he had a contract to provide transportation for 5 charter schools which were starting up in 6 weeks. Even worse, he had not researched the zoning required and almost all the zoning where he needed to be was recently changed, so there were no sites available anywhere near a central location. His business helped hundreds of kids get to school, so we went into overdrive to help.”
The school bus owner stood to lose not only his contract, but several other revenue streams if he could not find a properly zoned location, fast. Hand worked every day, all day, scouting locations for the bus owner. He researched the proper zoning, and used the latest technology to find sites that worked. Hands says, “We had to think outside the box. First we contacted the city zoning department to confirm the zoning. Most of the industrial properties in New Orleans East where most buses are parked had recently had zoning changed from Industrial to Business Industrial Park, which does not allow bus parking.
What Nobody Knew About The Required Zoning
What nobody realized was that school bus parking is not deemed a use as a parking lot but a motor vehicle facility which is not allowed in BIP, and requires light industrial zoning. Hand confirmed this in writing with not just one but two employees in the city zoning department, including Ed Horan, the department director. Hand says,
“We compiled a list of all potential sites with that zoning. There were none already listed for lease, so we drove the neighborhoods, scouting locations that nobody else knew about. We found one location that was zoned correctly and had space that was not being used. It was not listed for lease anywhere, so nobody knew about it, but with just good ol’ boots on the ground and our technology, we found the right location, then researched who owned the property, contacted the owner and negotiated the details, then drafted the lease agreement to include specific terms for our client.”
Thank Your Bus Driver
So next time you have a tough time just getting going and getting to work or school, remember that there are thousands of people that have already been up for hours, prepping to provide goods and services to help get you on your way. There is an invisible hand of commerce and free enterprise, guiding you along that you don’t even have to think about but it’s enriching to know they are there for you.
For more information on zoning and how to research it, see these articles in Louisiana Commercial Realty Commercial News: