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Thursday's Real Estate Headlines September 29, 2011

Thursday's Headlines

September 29, 2011

 

NY Times

Not All Buy Christie’s Assertions of Bipartisanship
If he runs for president, Chris Christie might highlight the themes he mentioned on Tuesday night in his speech at the Reagan Presidential Library, promising a new era of bipartisanship and compromise like the one he largely takes credit for achieving as governor of New Jersey.

U.S. Mortgage-Aid Program Is Shutting Down, With Up to $500 Million Unspent
In summer 2010, Congress set aside $1 billion for a program intended to bail out people in danger of losing their homes to foreclosure. It was estimated that the program, administered by the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development, would help as many as 30,000 households.

Council Will Not Require Mayor to Disclose Travel
A bill that would have required New York City mayors to disclose when they make long-distance trips will not get a hearing in the City Council, the bill’s sponsor, Peter F. Vallone Jr., said on Wednesday.

Daily News

Camille Grammer lists Colorado ski retreat for $7.9 million
Many of Bravo's "Real Housewives" have used the show to help them launch careers – and Camille Grammer has used the reality program as a way to promote that her ski home is on the real estate market.

Jennifer Lopez buys $18 million Hamptons bachelorette pad
As Gatecrasher recently reported, Jennifer Lopez had been eying an $18 million Water Mill home and was in the process of purchasing it through an LLC. Now People and US Weekly are reporting it's a done deal.

NY Post

Living Legend
This apartment’s got soul.
Nine-time Grammy Award-winner John Legend’s East Village condo is on the market for $2.95 million.
The stylish two-bedroom, two-bathroom apartment at 52 E. Fourth St. is in a modern, glassy, 15-story building with 18 units, a landscaped roof deck, a swimming pool and interiors by Andres Escobar.

Fall into place
August was a nerve-wracking month.
The stock market was still reeling over the debt-ceiling crisis when Standard & Poor’s decided to downgrade the US credit rating. While this was happening, Europe was dealing with its own debt crisis, sending ripples into the stock market. Oh, and did we mention the earthquake and hurricane?

Radio shack
‘We love the whole experience of eating at home and cooking with each other,” says WNYC radio host Leonard Lopate, standing in the generously sized eat-in kitchen of his two-bedroom, one-bathroom, third-floor rental, where he has lived since October 2009.

Just sold!
Manhattan
FIDI $770,000
88 Greenwich St.
One-bedroom, one-bath condo, 681 square feet, with dining area, central AC and Hudson River views; building features doorman, roof deck, gym, yoga and Pilates classes, billiards room and library with grand piano. Common charges $735, taxes $280. Asking price $799,000, on market 17 weeks. Brokers: Eileen Kim and Michael Signet, Bond New York and Gisela Vergara and Eileen Blydenburg, Prudential Douglas Elliman

Christie seriously considering presidential bid after GOP prodding
After months of hedging, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is giving serious thought to jumping into the ring for a GOP presidential run -- and could make his decision next week, The Post has learned.

Keys of leadership
Excerpted from Gov. Chris Christie’s speech at the Reagan Library on Tuesday.
My favorite Reagan story happened 30 years ago, in August 1981. The air-traffic controllers, in violation of their contracts, went on strike. President Reagan ordered them back to work, making clear that those who refused would be fired. In the end, thousands refused, and thousands were fired.

Run, Chris, run -- Pt. II
Chris Christie’s flirtation with destiny continues apace.
The Post reports this morning that the New Jersey governor is still on the fence regarding a presidential run -- with a final decision probably to be made over the weekend.

Will Christie run for Prez? America could do worse
The Issue: Whether New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie should join the 2012 presidential race.
***Thanks for writing the editorial “Run, Chris, Run?” (Sept. 26).
I’m a conservative Republican and totally agree that the current field of candidates for the GOP presidential nomination is not very exciting.
I hope The Post’s editorial and urging by others, particularly from GOP bigwigs, will cause New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie to seriously reconsider his previous position about running.

Poster boy de Blasio to pay 300G
Public Advocate Bill de Blasio has tossed in the towel in a two-year battle over more than $300,000 in fines accumulated by his campaign for putting up posters illegally on city property in 2009.

Mike’s money for nothing
It was all for nothing.
Bill Thompson, Mayor Bloomberg’s Democratic rival in the 2009 race, says he wouldn’t have made a big deal of a $1.1 million poll-watching operation that the mayor secretly mapped out for Election Day, even if he had known about it at the time.

Harlem i$ ‘up’ town
The economy may still be on Skid Row, but in Harlem and downtown, the streets are paved with gold, according to a new apartment-rental report.

Trump Place sites available
Two of the Trump Place development sites on the Upper West Side are up for grabs and could fetch nearly $400 million as the Carlyle Group joint venture with Extell Development seeks to pare down its holdings.

GSA lease deal makes 1 WTC over half-full
The US General Services Administration has signed a preliminary agreement to lease 300,000 square feet at 1 World Trade Center, The Post has learned -- a deal that will push the iconic tower over the psychologically crucial 50 percent-full mark.

Crain's

High times at the top end
Who knew? Sure, we’re all aware that the third quarter brought us Hurricane Irene and an earthquake beneath our feet, as well as a still-mounting number of temblors of greater magnitude in global financial markets. But the news reported in The Wall Street Journal, that the quarter also brought the highest number of closed sales of super-lux apartments—$4 million and up—since the second quarter of 2008 comes as a bit of a shocker.

Pending-home sales plummet in the Northeast
Contracts to purchase previously owned homes fell 1.2% nationwide in August from a month early, and 5.8% in the Northeast, according to the National Association of Realtors, which blamed Hurricane Irene for the region's drop.

Port Authority chief is said to resign; Cuomo to pick successor
Chris Ward, executive director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, intends to resign by the end of October; announcement comes less than three months after Metropolitan Transportation Authority CEO Jay Walder also announced his resignation.

U.S. mortgage rates hit record low
The average rate for a 30-year fixed loan dropped to 4.01%, the lowest level in Freddie Mac records. This comes after the Federal Reserve announced a plan to reduce borrowing costs even further.

MetLife closes on $550M in loans on 2 buildings
MetLife Inc.'s real estate investments department closed on two commercial real estate loans, one in San Francisco and the other in the nation's capitol.

The real story on the Pearson incentives
When Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced that publisher Pearson Education was moving 650 jobs to Manhattan from New Jersey and Westchester, he claimed that there were virtually no incentives. Pearson would receive only $4.5 million in energy discounts from ConEd, he said.

Observer

On The Market: History in Bed Stuy; Luxury Condo Booming Again; Times Square Haunted House
This Crown Heights home has major possibility if you’ve got half a mil. [Daily News] An historical re-discovery in Bed Stuy. [NY Times]

Brookfield Bummer! Occupy Wall Street’s Occupation of Zucotti Park Will Continue, NYPD Says
Besides free pizza, pepper spray and those Guy Fawkes/V for Vendetta/Anonymous masks, one of the enduring symbols of the Occupy Wall Street protests has been the base camp at Zucotti Park. The park reopened in 2006, rebuilt by landlord Brookfield Properties after years of neglect followed by damage on 9/11.

Ed Westwick on The Edge: Actor Shacks Up in Williamsburg
Gossip Girl character Chuck Bass may prefer old money penthouses on the Gold Coast, but actor Ed Westwick has shown a penchant for a different (though arguably equally pretentious) kind of real estate. Reports are out that Mr. Westwick has taken a place at The Edge, a Williamsburg highrise.

Cobble Hill’s Favorite Radio Personality Can’t Afford Cobble Hill
Leonard Lopate loves his Cobble Hill home. In a recent interview with the Post the radio host gushed about life in Brooklyn, where he moved in 2009 after spending 25 years in Chinatown.

Law Journal

Matter of Sierra v. NYC Dept. of Housing Preservation & Development

Wall Street Journal

High-End Apartments Deliver Banner Sales
Since the dog days of August, a steady stream of buyers has walked through the limestone entrance of the Laureate, a new condominium on the Upper West Side, many armed with cashier's checks and ready to close on sprawling apartments costing an average of $4.8 million.

Foreclosure Prevention Effort Ending With Roughly $500 Million Unspent
The Obama administration expects to spend only about half of the $1 billion set aside last year for a foreclosure-prevention program targeting the unemployed.

Now Available: Homeowner’s Insurance You Needed in 2006
Here’s the good news for homeowners: They can now buy an insurance policy that protects against declines in values. The bad news is that the insurance can’t be applied to the last five years of carnage in the housing market, when most homeowners might have needed it.

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