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Food Network Stars in the Murano; NYC Home Renovation Costs

LONG ISLAND CITY?Q: Where do wannabe star chefs live? A: The Murano luxury condos in LIC. The latest batch of contestants on the Next Food Network Star stayed in the 80-percent-sold building during the two months they were shooting the show. The chefs, who were competing for their own cooking show on the Food Network, stayed in two-bedroom homes in the Murano, which was chosen because of its proximity to Grand Central (it's just a five minute ride on the 7 train), where the show was filmed. We wonder what the contestants thought of the big stupid light architectural LED light clock. [Curbedwire Inbox]

NEW YORK?ICO, a membership association of construction contractors in NYC, put together a comprehensive study on how much New Yorkers spent on home renovations over the past year. On average, remodeling projects cost $176 per square foot, and homeowners spent 40 percent of their budgets on electrical, plumbing, and HVAC work. Rarely do people renovate single rooms?96 percent of renovation dollars were spent on larger remodeling projects. The full report will be published on July 19, and the executive summary will be available for the public. [Curbedwire Inbox; official]