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Energy Audit Program Shifts, Closings at Nouvel's Competitor

1) After a few months of landlord hissy fits, the Bloomberg administration has dropped part of its plan (announced on Earth Day) for energy audits and landlord-paid renovations of buildings over 50,000 square feet. The energy audits will still take place, but it will be up to building owners whether or not to actually make any of the renovations suggested in the audits. And it sounds like many building owners aren't taking too long to think about it before saying no, try again in a few years. ['Bloomberg Drops Measure to Cut New York's Greenhouse Gases']

2) Seven of 10 apartments have closed at Della Valle Bernheimer's 459 West 18th Street (yup, still there) for $2.48 million to $3.8 million. It's the first attempt at development for Jared Della Valle and was designed with lenders and skittish buyers in mind. And, of course, one particular neighbor: "Our market position was never picky, because we knew Jean Nouvel was going to be here and we wanted to be less expensive than that." How'd they do it? Prefab panels and windows made in China. [Posting/Architect-Developer-Experimenter in West Chelsea]

3) Fed up with their cramped Bronx one-bedroom and planning for a baby, a couple went looking for a suburban home in a good school district. They wound up in Darien, Connecticut, and fell for a bank-owned home with cracked windows, a wreck of a kitchen, and a facade only a mother could love. Many renovations and one baby later, they're happy with their choice, despite their lengthy commutes to Manhattan and Long Island City. [The Hunt/'House Hunters Wanted a Place for Baby']
4) The Manhattan real estate market is like...a game of chess? Retired chess master Garry Kasparov has purchased a penthouse at Robert A.M. Stern-designed the Harrison, at 205 West 76th Street. The chess champ plunked down $3.4 million, or $350,000 less than the list price. In Kasparov v. the New York City real estate market, Kasparov certainly seems to be winning: he purchased a co-op at the Lombardy, at 111 East 56th Street, for $320,000 in 2005 and sold it in October for $630,000. Checkmate? [Big Deal/'A New Castle for Chess King']

5) This article about the bad experiences that can affect residents' living choices forever is also a litany of all the things that renters dread. There's the terrace onto which cigarette butts and debris from upstairs neighbors' model car-throwing fights rained down. The rent-controlled one-bedroom where one of the residents accidentally drank coffee seasoned with mouse droppings. The bathroom that was right over the backstage of the musical "Stomp." Do not read if prone to nightmares. ['The Big Mistake']

6) The country is aging, and officials in Nassau and Westchester counties are struggling to deal with higher numbers of older residents. One solution: housing stock that looks more like Florida's, with one-story homes, clubhouses and swimming pools. Other homes are being built with a first-floor bedroom that could be home to an elderly parent. Oh, you thought that was a study? ['As Suburbs Age, the Challenge to Meet Residents' Changing Needs']

459 West 18th Street

459 West 18th Street, New York, NY 10011