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Private Mansions on the Rise; A Pied-à-Terre in Midtown

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Welcome to It Happened One Weekend, our weekly roundup of The New York Times real estate section...

1) Rich people. What are they spending millions of dollars on? What are they complaining about? This is What's Up With Rich People?
You don't see too many real mansions in Manhattan these days, but according to the Real Estate section, that may soon change. Case in point: the 12,000-square-foot Eastern Bloc dungeon home that was recently built at 802 Greenwich Street by a Texas oil heiress and her screenwriter husband (yes really). The article also warns readers of a plan to convert a garage at Perry and Greenwich Streets into a 40,000-square-foot mansion (yes really). The suburbanization of New York City marches on. ["Palaces-in-the-Making"]

2) Every "The Hunt" column begins with the Hunters describing the apartment they want, and ends with them rationalizing whatever they came away with. This is The Hunt: Dreams vs. Reality
The Hunter: a Westchester couple looking to buy a second home in the city
Price
Dream: around $500,000
Reality: $650,000
Neighborhood
Dream: Theater District
Reality: Hell's Kitchen
Amenities
Dream: spacious, sunny, balcony
Reality: washer-dryer, private entrance, spacious
Summary
The Hunters this week are a couple from Bedford Hills looking to buy a pied-à-terre close to the Theater District. They looked around the city, starting in the Village, but were unimpressed with most offerings, with Mr. Stake irritated by walkups and dingy laundry rooms ("I can't do my laundry in that ugly paint"). They found an alcove studio condo at Worldwide Plaza in Hell's Kitchen going for $650,000. They immediately offered $610,000 but the sellers balked, so they offered the asking price in cash. [The Hunt/"Arranging an Encore in Manhattan"]