Implode-Explode Heavy Industries news feed http://implode-explode.com/ Tracking the many faces of the global credit implosion. en-us iehi-feed-64773 Sun, 16 Jun 2019 15:50:56 GMT Minneapolis Leads The Way By Abolishing Single Family Home Zoning http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2019-06-16_MinneapolisLeadsTheWayByAbolishingSingleFamilyHomeZoning.html Don't be misled by the construction cranes that punctuate city skylines. The number of housing units completed in the United States last year, adjusted for the size of the population, was lower than in any year between 1968 and 2008. And the problem is most acute in major urban areas along the east and west coasts. Housing prices, and homelessness, are rising across the country because there is not enough housing.

Increasing the supply of urban housing would help to address a number of the problems plaguing the United States. Construction could increase economic growth and create blue-collar jobs. Allowing more people to live in cities could mitigate inequality and reduce carbon emissions. Yet in most places, housing construction remains wildly unpopular. People who think of themselves as progressives, environmentalists and egalitarians fight fiercely against urban development, complaining about traffic and shadows and the sanctity of lawns.

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What went right in Minneapolis? The story begins with a crop of young politicians who want more housing: The city is conducting an early experiment in government by and for millennials. For the first time in the city's modern history, more than half of its residents are renters, including Mayor Frey. Many residents -- again, younger people in particular -- also describe density as a necessary response to climate change. Environmentalism, which began as an effort to protect people from cities, is increasingly embracing cities as the best way to protect the planet from people.

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All of this deserves wide emulation by other American cities. But Minneapolis has an important advantage: Its housing prices still are relatively modest, so its population includes a lot of middle-class families. Housing debates in coastal cities pit the wealthy against the poor, and middle ground has been hard to find.

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iehi-feed-64765 Sun, 09 Jun 2019 02:02:55 GMT Millennials are unable to save the California housing market: Inflated prices and a labor force that is aging http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2019-06-08_MillennialsareunabletosavetheCaliforniahousingmarketInflatedpric.html iehi-feed-64736 Fri, 24 May 2019 13:51:14 GMT Google to buy New York building for $600m; 100 times 1996 price http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2019-05-24_GoogletobuyNewYorkbuildingfor600m100times1996price.html

Google has agreed to pay $600m to acquire a historic building in Manhattan's Meatpacking District -- a hundred times what it was sold for in 1996 -- in a deal that reflects the tech company's growing footprint in New York City.

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The first time he sold the building, in 1996, the cobbledstoned neighbourhood was a gritty outpost with a reliable supply of transgender prostitutes and illicit drugs. It went for $6m to Moishe Mana, an Israeli immigrant who grew wealthy after founding a local moving company, Moishe's Moving, and his partner, Erez Shternlicht.

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https://www.ft.com/content/e46c1558-7ccf-11e9-81d2-f785092ab560

n 2004 Mr Harmon helped them sell the building to investment firm Angelo Gordon for $55m, and then flipped it four years later to Stellar Management for $161m, who then shifted it -- with his assistance -- to Jamestown, a developer, in 2013 for $284m.

Now comes Google, whose $2.4bn purchase of the nearby Chelsea Market last year reinforced the neighbourhood's status as New York City's technology capital. It also helped to cement Mr Harmon's standing as one of two uber brokers in a real estate-obsessed city.

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For Mr Harmon, a born talker with a touch of showbiz panache, the Milk sale is evidence that there is still juice in the city's real-estate market -- even after a prolonged run whose sheer duration has set many executives on edge, with a sharp retreat of Chinese buyers and a fall in prices for luxury condominiums.

In one sign of the market's fragility, brokers have taken to selling some buildings privately, approaching potential buyers without making a formal listing to avoid the risk of disappointing headlines.

Rising US interest rates would cause some dislocation, Mr Harmon said. But overall, he argued that New York's property market was stronger than many sceptics realised -- particularly for those who understood how to navigate it.

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iehi-feed-64732 Thu, 23 May 2019 22:23:51 GMT New York Passes Bill Giving Congress a Way to Get Trump's State Tax Returns http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2019-05-23_NewYorkPassesBillGivingCongressaWaytoGetTrumpsStateTaxReturns.html New York State lawmakers on Wednesday gave their final approval to a bill that would clear a path for Congress to obtain President Trump's state tax returns, injecting another element into a tortuous battle over the president's refusal to release his taxes.

The bill, which is expected to be signed by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, a third-term Democrat and regular critic of Mr. Trump's policies and behavior, will authorize state tax officials to release the president's state returns to any one of three congressional committees.

The returns -- filed in New York, the president's home state and business headquarters -- would likely contain much of the same information as the contested federal returns, though it remained unclear whether those congressional committees would use such new power in their investigations.

The Legislature's actions put the state in a bit of uncharted legal territory; Mr. Trump has said that he is ready to take the fight over his federal tax returns to the Supreme Court, and it seems likely that he would seek to contest New York's maneuver.

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Steven M. Rosenthal, a tax lawyer and senior fellow at the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center, said he would not be surprised if the president fought the state law, though he believed it passed legal muster.

"Of course, the Legislature was motivated by Donald Trump's current refusals," Mr. Rosenthal said, but added that he thought the bill was written broadly enough to avoid the "bill of attainder" accusation.

That opinion was echoed by Brian Galle, a law professor at Georgetown University Law School, who said that "bills of attainder have been interpreted really narrowly by the courts," and noted that legislation often describes targeted industries or municipalities in vague terms.

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iehi-feed-64730 Thu, 23 May 2019 04:07:45 GMT Judge Rejects Trump Effort to Block Deutsche Bank Subpoena http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2019-05-23_JudgeRejectsTrumpEfforttoBlockDeutscheBankSubpoena.html A federal judge in New York rejected President Donald Trump's request to keep his banks from producing financial records to lawmakers, handing House Democrats a second convincing courtroom win this week in their efforts to delve into the president's finances.

U.S. District Judge Edgardo Ramos, ruling from the bench on Wednesday, denied Trump's request for a preliminary injunction, saying that while the president, his family and his business would suffer irreparable harm from disclosure of the records, they were "unlikely to succeed on the merits" with their argument that the congressional subpoenas are improper.

The decision comes two days after U.S. District Judge Amit Mehta in Washington ruled that Congress has the authority to demand records from Trump's accounting firm, Mazars USA LLP.

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Trump is appealing the Washington ruling and both sides have asked for a quick hearing. Trump is also likely to appeal Wednesday's decision.

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iehi-feed-64728 Wed, 22 May 2019 13:30:00 GMT Home sales unexpectedly fell in April despite a big drop in mortgage rates http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2019-05-22_HomesalesunexpectedlyfellinAprildespiteabigdropinmortgagerates.html iehi-feed-64727 Wed, 22 May 2019 12:58:08 GMT Iconic Waldorf Astoria hotel is part of China's US property fire sale - but don't expect a bargain http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2019-05-22_IconicWaldorfAstoriahotelispartofChinasUSpropertyfiresalebutdont.html iehi-feed-64725 Sun, 19 May 2019 20:37:01 GMT WeWork Wants to Become Its Own Landlord With Latest Spending Spree http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2019-05-19_WeWorkWantstoBecomeItsOwnLandlordWithLatestSpendingSpree.html Neumann says only two things are holding his company back: "Cash," he says, pausing for a beat of suspense, "and space." In addition to SoftBank tightening its spigot, some buildings with WeWork as a major tenant have had trouble getting bank loans. And some landlords have grown leery of leasing much more space to Neumann, afraid of what terms he might be able to negotiate. He says alternative sources of funding and real estate can pick up the slack.

Now, after more than a year of planning, WeWork is creating an investment fund that aims to raise billions of dollars to buy stakes in buildings where it will be a major tenant. If all goes according to plan, the fund, called ARK, will start with $2.9 billion, including $1 billion from Canadian real estate investor Ivanhoé Cambridge Inc. WeWork has long said it mostly stuck to leasing space because it believed in being "asset-light." Now it's wagering that buildings become more valuable with WeWorks in them, in which case ARK will put more of that added value back in the company's own pocket.

The fund's pitch to investors revolves around the relative safety of a real estate play with a large tenant in hand. It also depends on a gut-level faith in WeWork's vibes. Sylvain Fortier, Ivanhoé Cambridge's chief investment and innovation officer, says the company's strength is what he calls a "recipe." "People actually want to be in the office, actually want to be together. They feel a little bit like home," Fortier says. "I bet you that sooner rather than later, a WeWork-branded building will be attracting other tenants the same way you will never have a vacant space next to an Apple Store."

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ARK won't exactly put to rest concerns about conflicts of interest. "The question will be, what happens when the interests of the limited partners diverge from the interest of WeWork?" says Charles Elson, a corporate governance professor at the University of Delaware. "The more complicated structures someone comes up with, the more difficult it is to explain."

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iehi-feed-64723 Sun, 19 May 2019 17:16:51 GMT De Blasio admin. moves to strip equity from hundreds of homes in black and Hispanic neighborhoods in "third-party transfer" foreclosures http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2019-05-19_DeBlasioadminmovestostripequityfromhundredsofhomesinblackandHisp.html In the Council districts that include Williamsburg, Bushwick, Brownsville and East New York, the city has initiated third-party proceedings on at least 107 homes and foreclosed on 20. In three South Bronx districts, 83 third-party proceedings have been launched since 2015, records show. Of those, 18 properties have changed hands.

The city has foreclosed on 62 properties citywide through the program overall since 2015, officials said. Critics from homeowners to elected officials and lawyer-advocates claim the city has failed to notify property owners who are losing long-term investments.

"A lot of these homeowners had no idea these properties were being taken out from under them," said Scott Kohanowski, an attorney and the director of the Homeowner Stability Project. "And the city takes all that equity. That's the most appalling part."

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City officials contend they notify both landlords and tenants through mailed notices, robocalls, flyers and forums. But some say tenants don't find out about what's happening until it's too late.

A lawyer for tenants at a foreclosure in the Bronx, Serge Joseph, said their co-op board did not receive notice.

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"[The city] told people there would be no more shareholding, but they didn't explain anything. They didn't say why," Jones said. "This whole group is just taking away people's housing. That's their purpose."

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iehi-feed-64721 Sun, 19 May 2019 16:59:20 GMT The suburban lifestyle: coming to a city near you (FOR $2M+ OF COURSE) http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2019-05-19_ThesuburbanlifestylecomingtoacitynearyouFOR2MOFCOURSE.html the idea of a city itself is changing. In some ways, living in a dense urban area has become much more pleasant for certain types of people -- namely the affluent and those who prize proximity to the action above all else. You can now live within easy walking distance of your favorite restaurants, go see a play and shop at Target nearby. But what does it mean when urban living becomes a luxury good and a lifestyle brand?

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At the Dahlia, a 38-unit building under construction on Manhattan's Upper West Side, developers say the idea is to set up condos large enough that they could reasonably replicate the feeling of a house in suburbia. The building has no studios or one-bedrooms. The largest units, with four bedrooms, are around 2,100 square feet with prices starting just over $4 million.

One of the Dahlia's biggest selling points? It has its own parking garage. "You can pull in with your S.U.V., unload and take your things in a private manner," said Shlomi Reuveni, the president of the company that is handling sales for the building. "That's very appealing." And very suburban.

In some high-end buildings, architects are giving apartments the feel of single-family homes by replicating the layouts of suburban houses. At the Quay Tower, which overlooks Brooklyn Bridge Park, there are just five condos on each floor, two of which have private elevator access. Inside, the larger units have something you see a lot of on HGTV suburban house renovation shows: large mudrooms off the back door with locker-like cubbies and sturdy ceramic-tile floors.

In Seattle, there's a new luxury apartment building with a rooftop lounge with hammocks and a chicken coop you might see in a more permissive (or at least chicken-friendly) suburb. In New York, the developer Extell is wrapping up construction on the Kent, a building on the Upper East Side that has, in addition to a stroller valet and a swimming pool where kids can take lessons, an area called "Camp Kent." It's a play space that looks like a woodsy country scene with a treehouse and a carpeted "river" leading to a private outdoor playground.

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iehi-feed-64719 Fri, 17 May 2019 18:38:48 GMT Trump in His Own Private Slump (EXCEPT FOR EMOLUMENTS!!) http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2019-05-17_TrumpinHisOwnPrivateSlumpEXCEPTFOREMOLUMENTS.html President Trump's family business saw its overall revenues decline modestly in 2018, according to his annual financial report released Thursday, suggesting a disconnect between the Trump brand and the still-growing national economy.

The revenue declines were most pronounced at some of Mr. Trump's best-known properties, including the Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida, which experienced a nearly 10 percent drop. Hotels in Chicago and Hawaii, as well as golf courses in Los Angeles, Philadelphia and the Bronx, also saw declines, suggesting that sales are being affected by consumers deciding to turn away from the Trump brand, industry analysts said.

The results were somewhat better for the Trump International Hotel in Washington, which has become a favored spot for Republicans, lobbyists and some foreign governments and accounts for nearly 10 percent of the Trump Organization's revenues.

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That retrenchment appears driven mostly by political factors, given that the economy has been relatively strong for the past several years. Mr. Trump's polarizing policies and increasingly intense clashes with Democrats have turned off some potential customers and clients, particularly in heavily Democratic cities like Chicago.''

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iehi-feed-64709 Wed, 08 May 2019 19:56:58 GMT Donald Trump's emperor-has-no-clothes moment on his wealth is here http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2019-05-08_DonaldTrumpsemperorhasnoclothesmomentonhiswealthishere.html Put plainly: The story that Donald Trump has been telling himself and the American public for much of his life -- and especially since becoming a presidential candidate in 2015 -- isn't true. And it's more than an exaggeration. It's the opposite of what happened. Trump was gifted huge amounts of money by his father. He lost it at eye-popping rates.

Will any of this matter to Trump's supporters or, more broadly, to the 2020 electorate? Probably not. Minds have been made up -- on both sides -- about Trump for a very long time. Facts and reality don't seem to puncture those opinions about the President.

But whether voters vote on this issue next November is, really, beside the point. And the point is this: Donald Trump is not the person he sold himself to be to the American public in 2016. Period.

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iehi-feed-64708 Wed, 08 May 2019 03:52:34 GMT Fraud Prince: Leaked Trump Tax Figures Show Over $1 Billion in Business Losses Thru '94 http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2019-05-07_FraudPrinceLeakedTrumpTaxFiguresShowOver1BillioninBusinessLosses.html By the time his master-of-the-universe memoir "Trump: The Art of the Deal" hit bookstores in 1987, Donald J. Trump was already in deep financial distress, losing tens of millions of dollars on troubled business deals, according to previously unrevealed figures from his federal income tax returns.

Mr. Trump was propelled to the presidency, in part, by a self-spun narrative of business success and of setbacks triumphantly overcome. He has attributed his first run of reversals and bankruptcies to the recession that took hold in 1990. But 10 years of tax information obtained by The New York Times paints a different, and far bleaker, picture of his deal-making abilities and financial condition.

The data -- printouts from Mr. Trump's official Internal Revenue Service tax transcripts, with the figures from his federal tax form, the 1040, for the years 1985 to 1994 -- represents the fullest and most detailed look to date at the president's taxes, information he has kept from public view. Though the information does not cover the tax years at the center of an escalating battle between the Trump administration and Congress, it traces the most tumultuous chapter in a long business career -- an era of fevered acquisition and spectacular collapse.

The numbers show that in 1985, Mr. Trump reported losses of $46.1 million from his core businesses -- largely casinos, hotels and retail space in apartment buildings. They continued to lose money every year, totaling $1.17 billion in losses for the decade.

In fact, year after year, Mr. Trump appears to have lost more money than nearly any other individual American taxpayer, The Times found...

...

Mr. Trump was able to lose all that money without facing the usual consequences -- such as a steep drop in his standard of living -- in part because most of it belonged to others, to the banks and bond investors who had supplied the cash to fuel his acquisitions. And as The Times's earlier investigation showed, Mr. Trump secretly leaned on his father's wealth to continue living like a winner and to stage a comeback.

...

The new information also suggests that Mr. Trump's 1990 collapse might have struck several years earlier if not for his brief side career posing as a corporate raider. From 1986 through 1988, while his core businesses languished under increasingly unsupportable debt, Mr. Trump made millions of dollars in the stock market by suggesting that he was about to take over companies. But the figures show that he lost most, if not all, of those gains after investors stopped taking his takeover talk seriously.

...

the president has filed lawsuits against his banks and accounting firm to prevent them from turning over tax returns and other financial records.

In New York, the attorney general's office is investigating the financing of several major Trump Organization projects; Deutsche Bank has already begun turning over documents. The state attorney general is also examining issues raised last year by The Times's investigation, which revealed that much of the money Mr. Trump had received from his father came from his participation in dubious tax schemes, including instances of outright fraud.

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At his nadir, in the post-recession autumn of 1991, Mr. Trump testified before a congressional task force, calling for changes in the tax code to benefit his industry.

"The real estate business -- we're in an absolute depression," Mr. Trump told the lawmakers, adding: "I see no sign of any kind of upturn at all. There is no incentive to invest. Everyone is doing badly, everyone."

... [But] While Donald Trump reported hundreds of millions of dollars in losses for 1990 and 1991, Fred Trump's returns showed a positive income of $53.9 million, with only one major loss: $15 million invested in his son's latest apartment project.

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iehi-feed-64706 Mon, 06 May 2019 00:53:08 GMT Is WeWork really worth nearly $50bn? http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2019-05-05_IsWeWorkreallyworthnearly50bn.html As it prepares for a stockmarket listing, the parent company of WeWork, provider of trendy shared office space, looks set to be valued at around $47bn (£36bn).

...

Underneath the beautiful decor though, some argue We Company is really just a real estate company, prompting the question: should it have such a high market value?

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Mr Neumann told Forbes magazine the firm's valuation has more to do with its size, its "energy and spirituality" than its revenues. While revenues are growing, it hasn't met its most recent targets and it is loss-making.

...

While WeWork, WeLive and WeGrow may have the look and feel of a disruptive tech company with their light, airy designs, colourful squishy sofas and beer taps, analysts like Calum Battersby, at Berenberg argue it is not so very different from rivals IWG, which used to be known as Regus, and Australia's ServCorp which also offer serviced office space.

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the firm hasn't hit projected financial targets. Instead of expected revenue of $2.8bn last year sales were $1.8bn. It had hoped for a profit of $941.6m. It made a loss $1.9bn.

We has surpassed its target for 260,000 WeWork members. But it wanted 34,000 WeLive members and the residential business was supposed to make up a third of total revenue, neither of which has happened.

So far, the furnished apartment business WeLive only has two sites, in New York and Washington DC, though it is planning to open in Seattle in 2020.

But Artie Minson, We's president and chief financial officer, is upbeat, recently telling investors it ended 2018 with $6.6bn in cash and is still "in the early stages of disrupting real estate, the largest asset class in the world."

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iehi-feed-64703 Sun, 05 May 2019 19:39:06 GMT The New Mall Tenant Is Your Office http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2019-05-05_TheNewMallTenantIsYourOffice.html Westside Pavilion, a dying mall in Los Angeles, ticked all of the boxes for Hudson Pacific Properties... as Hudson Pacific started planning to outfit the mall, along came Google, a Hudson Pacific tenant elsewhere in the city. "The stars kind of aligned," said Alexander Vouvalides, the developer's chief investment officer.

The old mall would become new office space. The 584,000-square-foot Google complex, to be called One Westside, is projected to be finished in 2022 at a cost of up to $410 million.

The Westside Pavilion redevelopment is one of the latest examples of a nationwide trend in commercial real estate: the conversion of malls into office space. Offices are less risky than retailers, and in some cases they can generate foot traffic for the mall's remaining stores and restaurants.

The biggest beneficiaries of the conversions are co-working enterprises, like WeWork, which provide shared work spaces primarily to entrepreneurs, freelancers and start-ups. The highest concentration of co-working spaces in retail nationally is in malls, according to an August study by the global property company Jones Lang LaSalle. The same study predicted that co-working space in retail in general would grow at an annual rate of 25 percent through 2023.

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"It used to be you wanted to be kind of a purist, and if you built a mall you just wanted specific mall tenants. In fact, mall tenants used to state things like that in their leases," Mr. Karp said. "In today's day and age, you've got to create a different experience."

...

Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield has co-working spaces in two of its malls. In Manhattan's Fulton Center, it has a partnership with WeWork, and it opened its own co-working concept, Bespoke, at Westfield San Francisco Center.

Cowork at the Mall, a New York-based start-up, plans this summer to open its first co-working space at Chicago's Water Tower mall in approximately 15,000 square feet that a Sports Authority once occupied. It is also planning two locations in the Los Angeles area.

The company originally assumed it would draw the most interest from smaller online firms that wanted a physical presence, said Mark Kennedy, chief strategy officer of Cowork at the Mall. Instead, the interest came from more established brands -- like Lego, Microsoft, Nike, Old Navy, Riley Rose and Samsung -- that told him they no longer needed larger footprints and multiple locations, he said

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iehi-feed-64697 Thu, 02 May 2019 19:10:45 GMT How a Little Money Laundering Can Have a Big Impact on Real Estate Prices | Wolf Street http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2019-05-02_HowaLittleMoneyLaunderingCanHaveaBigImpactonRealEstatePricesWolf.html iehi-feed-64694 Thu, 25 Apr 2019 02:32:02 GMT Co-living companies attract New York's millennial renters http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2019-04-24_ColivingcompaniesattractNewYorksmillennialrenters.html Co-living companies aim to disrupt traditional apartment life -- just as coworking spaces did for staid office life -- by borrowing the concept of resource-sharing. Tenants trade personal space for a fully furnished bedroom, shared common areas and sometimes group social events, all under a prix-fixe cost structure.

Say goodbye to frantically searching Craigslist for roommates, arguing over the internet bill, running to the bodega because you ran out of toilet paper, taking trips to Ikea or playing bed-bug roulette with the couch you found on the street. Say hello to, well, life in an adult dorm. Residents still have to deal with security deposits and income requirements, but the whole experience is much less Wild West than a classic New York apartment hunt.

The trend -- which some treat as a half-step between college housing and the dog-eat-dog rental market -- is growing in popularity, with companies like Ollie, Common, Roomrs, WeWork's WeLive and Dwell gobbling up square footage from East Harlem to Midwood. Advocates say co-living is the future of housing in an increasingly cramped city, allowing people to trade privacy for shared amenities, a no-chores lifestyle and fun (if chaperoned) group outings. Critics say it's a sanitized approach to city living for the generation that trusts Silicon Valley companies to solve problems, akin to eschewing the subway to take Ubers everywhere.

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For comparison, Chexnayder's $1,700 room in a two-bedroom apartment on the open market might cost about $2,031, without utilities and furniture, according to data from brokerage MNS, since the average price of a two-bedroom as of March 2019 was $4,063.

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iehi-feed-64690 Sat, 20 Apr 2019 02:07:57 GMT U.S. homebuilding near two-year low; permits extend decline http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2019-04-19_UShomebuildingneartwoyearlowpermitsextenddecline.html The prolonged weakness in homebuilding is likely the result of land and labor shortages, as well as expensive building materials. A survey on Tuesday showed that though builders reported strong demand for new homes, they continued to highlight "affordability concerns stemming from a chronic shortage of construction workers and buildable lots."

These factors are constraining builders' ability to construct homes in the lower price segment of the market, which continues to experience a shortage of homes for sale. The housing market hit a soft patch last year, with investment in homebuilding contracting 0.3 percent, the weakest performance since 2010.

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iehi-feed-64677 Thu, 11 Apr 2019 14:52:53 GMT Trump Says U.S. Is Full, but Demographic Decline Is Real Threat http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2019-04-11_TrumpSaysUSIsFullbutDemographicDeclineIsRealThreat.html iehi-feed-64675 Thu, 11 Apr 2019 04:28:12 GMT Retiring as a Judge, Trump's Sister Ends Court Inquiry Into Her Role in Clan's Tax Dodges http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2019-04-11_RetiringasaJudgeTrumpsSisterEndsCourtInquiryIntoHerRoleinClansTa.html President Trump's older sister, Maryanne Trump Barry, has retired as a federal appellate judge, ending an investigation into whether she violated judicial conduct rules by participating in fraudulent tax schemes with her siblings.

The court inquiry stemmed from complaints filed last October, after an investigation by The New York Times found that the Trumps had engaged in dubious tax schemes during the 1990s, including instances of outright fraud, that greatly increased the inherited wealth of Mr. Trump and his siblings. Judge Barry not only benefited financially from most of those tax schemes, The Times found; she was also in a position to influence the actions taken by her family.

Judge Barry, now 82, has not heard cases in more than two years but was still listed as an inactive senior judge, one step short of full retirement. In a letter dated Feb. 1, a court official notified the four individuals who had filed the complaints that the investigation was "receiving the full attention" of a judicial conduct council. Ten days later, Judge Barry filed her retirement papers.

Nothing to see here...

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