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Trump Soho Saving Splash for Better Times; Owners Hunt for Rental

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1) Donald J. Trump Jr. dishes a little on Trump Soho to the Times. Sales so far have come in at about $2,900/square foot, and the plans are "to open subtly, then once we're back in the fall and the world's in a little better place, we'll do something a little more lavish." And until the world's in a better place, there's a still a whole menu of pillows to choose from. [Square Feet/'The 30-Minute Interview - Donald J. Trump Jr.']

2) File under signs of a possible spring thaw: things are looking better for borrowers of jumbo mortgages, which, in the tristate area, are mortgages over $729,750. Rates for adjustable jumbo loans are lower, at about 4.5 percent, with fixed-rate jumbos clocking in at around 5.125 percent, and buyers can get away with smaller down payments. Time to go after that dream townhouse? [Mortgages/'Lenders Loosen Reins on Jumbo Mortgages']

3) An Argentinean artist/architect couple needed to leave their live-work loft once their son's arrival made it too hard to get any work done. The goal: a $1 million or less place in Chelsea, but it turned to be hard to find one that compared favorably to their 2,500-square-foot loft. The solution: a rental, for which they agreed to pay $4,500/month plus half the tab for a $24,000 renovation. The old loft remains the artist husband's work space. And round 3,487 of the rent vs. buy debate begins...now. [The Hunt/'When "Live-Work" No Longer Works']
4) Related Companies honcho Steve Ross saved $36,555 on the $260,000 tax bill at his Time Warner Center condo by filing a successful challenge to his city tax assessment. Ross's company also got $243,000 off its tax bills for condos at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel. Makes our refund look like a ten-year-old's allowance! ['The tax-chop champ'/NYP]

5) Photographer Jeanne Moutoussamy-Ashe, the widow of tennis great Arthur Ashe has sold her duplex at the UES's Leighton House for $2.125 million. Not quite a grand slam, though: the place was first listed in February 2008 for $3.495 million. [Big Deal/'Tennis Star's Widow Sheds Duplex']

Trump Soho

246 Spring Street, New York, NY 10013