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Condo-Hotels Run Into Trouble, Architecture Has A Banner Year

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1) While the world waits with bated breath for Trump Soho and its pillow menu, it turns out the forecast for the Hudson Square hot spot's boom-born condo-hotel brethren is...not so hot. Banks haven't been financing condo-hotel buyers, including even those at Trump Soho, where 10 or 15 percent of buyers probably won't be able to close. And the limited condo-hotel financing that is available tends to have floating interest rates. Developers are placing most of their eggs in the all-cash foreign buyer basket. [Posting/'Developers Reconsider the Condotel']

2) A Jersey City renter decided it was time to buy when she got fed up with roommates and their "living issues." She ruled out a number of neighborhoods as unsafe, too pricey for her $200,000 to $250,000 budget, or not as nice as her rental. But she found an alcove studio at new development Hamilton Square for $274,000. Among the amenities: wine receptions, building-wide brunch one Saturday each month, and back stairs this owner can sneak up when she doesn't want the doormen all up in her business. [The Hunt/'For Jersey City Hunter, Nothing Else Compared']

3) Blockbuster condo conversion Devonshire House, already popular with cash buyers, is also getting hot among the crunchy set. Shayne McQuade, who sells bags that generate solar power, has purchased a $2.5 million apartment in Dev House's tower. McQuade had to agree to take the unit, which wasn't yet on the market, raw. Just as well, since, among other renovations, he'll be installing a set-up for testing new solar thingamajigs. [Big Deal/'The Buyer Who Aimed High']

4) Internet-savvy youngins looking to sell their apartments are doing so without brokers, maybe even calling the future of the real estate agent into question. One laid-off financier, worried that she can't handle the costs of keeping up her Upper East Side studio while she transitions to a career in acting, is selling the pad on her own with an ask of $444,000. Kids these days! ['Agent or No Agent?']

5) Unlike pretty much everyone else, architects have had a decent year, according to Times critic Nicolai Ouroussoff: "New York...a city that has been notoriously cautious about embracing contemporary architecture, seemed to turn a corner this year." He waxes rhapsodic about the High Line, the new Cooper Union building, and the still-rising Beekman Tower. What's even more momentous is that architects are getting excited about infrastructure. Infrastructure! So what if none of the changes they're envisioning ever actually happen? ['A Few Architectural Triumphs Brighten a Bleak Time']

The Devonshire

28 east 10th street, New York, New York