Today’s real estate stories of interest to Bostonians (even though some take place in other cities):

And Broker Makes Five

– by Motoko Rich, The New York Times.  Buyers of condos in new developments find themselves with few options when their estimated closing dates are delayed.  One couple even moved in with their real estate agent.  Along with their two children.

Um, yeah.

British architect chosen to design 2nd WTC office tower

– by Amy Westfeldt, New York Newsday.  Lord Norman Foster, who has designed several buildings of distinction (and who is the master architect of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston’s $400 million expansion) has been chosen to design one of the five buildings to go up at the site of New York’s World Trade Center.

Which city is most overpriced?

– by Damon Darlin, The New York Times.  Good news, two Massachusetts areas have dropped off the “Top Ten Overpriced Areas” list, according to an organization called Global Insight, Inc.  Those areas are Essex County and Worcester, MA.

Developers take the required ‘open space’ to new heights

– by By Andres Viglucci, The Miami Herald.  Developers of new condo buildings in Miami have been required to set aside a certain amount of “open space” on their property.  You might think this meant access to the beach for locals, or land full of lush vegetation and trees overlooking the ocean.  No, developers found a loophole, and put the “open space” on the roofs of their buildings, accessible to residents, only.  The Miami City Council is not amused.

Test of Mayor’s Housing Assumptions Is About To Take Place in Brooklyn

by Julia Vitullo-Martin, The New York Sun.  I’m a big fan of the free market economy, and I’m also a big fan of affordable housing initiatives, which at times is hard to reconcile.  There is a development under construction in Brooklyn, right now, that is very interesting to me.

The premiere mixed-income project, Schaefer Landing on the Brooklyn waterfront, is scheduled to open by the end of the year. Thought to be the largest project in the country that combines low-income rentals with high-end condos, Schaefer Landing offers 140 “affordable” rental units in one building and 210 luxury units for sale in two adjacent towers, one 15 stories, the other 25 stories.

Tenants are chosen by lottery from a prequalified pool of households earning less than 60% of the census district’s median income, which works out to about $37,000 annually for a family of four. The condos are selling for between $390,000 and $1.9 million, many to households from Manhattan.

Will people buy condos in this price range if they are right next door to an apartment building with affordable housing income qualifications?  Will the people in the apartment building be happy?  Why did the developer build one of each – won’t people in each of the buildings feel stigmatized – the renters as underprivileged, the owners as snobs?

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