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Development Update-o-rama: Down the Hobbit Hole

[Architect John Simpson wonders what the fuck he's supposed to do with this thing; from The Stanhope's website]

Remember the pre-summer sales troubles at the converted Stanhope Hotel on Fifth Avenue and 81st Street? Well, it looks like the cold streak extended through the hot season, because Josh Barbanel reports in the Times that "only a few buyers have signed contracts" after a year on the market. We don't know exactly how many because Extell chief Gary Barnett won't tell us, but it's not pretty. So what's a guy to do? Drop the price tags on the $10.5-million-and-up condop units? Heck no. You launch a new marketing campaign for Wall Street bonus season!

At the heart of this effort is a dusty construction site on the fifth floor of the Stanhope, where workers have begun fitting thick sections of cast plaster moldings into the recessed nine-foot-high ceilings for two model apartments, which will be completely finished and furnished to evoke the grandeur of old Fifth Avenue buildings.Will the new pitch work on the hedge fund crowd? Put it this way: Barbanel broke out the tape measure (oh snap!), and it still only reads nine feet. There better be some hobbits out there who put in a good fiscal year for their company.
· A Classic Candela With a Storied Past, but Few Takers [NYT]
· Yo, You Want a Stanhope Apartment? [Curbed]
· Floorplan Porn: Stanhope Residences [Curbed]