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Modular Construction Gaining Traction; Gentrification Watch

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1) Two main factors come into play for this week's Hunters, Matt and Catherine, a couple in their mid-twenties. The first is that Catherine has a large, old dog who can't walk up stairs. The second is that Matt has tons and tons of clothes and furniture. So they set out to find a large Upper East Side one-bedroom either on the ground floor or in an elevator building. The first place they look at is too small. The second is large, but right next to all the Second Avenue subway construction. After a series of too-small places, they enlist the help of a broker, who finds them the perfect place on the third try. The moral of this Hunt: brokers are the best! Matt ends up donating ten garbage bags of clothes to Goodwill. [The Hunt/'The Dog Stays. We'll See About the Stuff.']

2) Breaking news: now that many parts of Brooklyn have become (more or less) fully gentrified, other parts are beginning the process, and the Times is on it with a quick primer on five of the up-and-comers. There's Sunset Park, which has "natural beauty" but lacks a good wine store, Ditmas Park (new restaurants), Northern Crown Heights (unsuccessfully rebranded ProCro), Prospect-Lefferts Gardens (beautiful limestone townhouses), and East Williamsburg/Bushwick (just got a vegan donut shop). Watch out for some very angry documentaries in about 5-10 years. ['Brooklyn's New Gentrification Frontiers'; photo by Shawn Hoke]

3) Modular construction has been around for a while, but it has never managed to gain much traction in New York City...until now. Forest City Ratner announced last year that it would use modular construction to built its first Atlantic Yards tower, and other projects have followed suit, including a 28-unit rental building in Inwood that will be constructed—mostly in Pennsylvania—for $13 million. Architecture lovers have their misgivings about all of this, but the groups that it's really making antsy are the city's construction unions. ['More Units Going Up in a Snap']