Friday Link-o-Rama

  • Carol Lloyd interviews an expert who promotes a lot of real estate debt: "Now that the market has changed, I asked him, don’t investors need to adopt different strategies? He told me he has insured himself against the down market by buying homes people want to rent and by maintaining plenty of cash reserves. Indeed, Dexter’s actual investing seems quite a bit more conservative than his advice for readers. "I haven’t bought anything for the last two years," he said. In the end, he had some dark things to say about the financial instrument his book seems to applaud. "There are two things that can kill you, and one is disease and one is debt. I’ve been putting people in debt for 16 years. I’m a merchant of debt. It’s a tool to prosper [but it’s also] a sword that can cut you down." Indeed, his next book gives a sense of just how he might profit from those who mistake his current book as an invitation to incur debt willy-nilly. Its working title? "How to Profit From the Coming Wave of Foreclosures."
  • Get ready for the tallest building in SoHo, courtesy of Donald Trump. Lore Croghan reports: "Trump is already doing excavation and site prep – for which he does have city permits – at his property at 246 Spring St., which had been a parking lot. He’s planning a luxurious glass tower with 411 units designed by high-profile architect David Rockwell. Most floors will have superb views because it will be the tallest building between 23rd St. and lower Manhattan. There will also be a rooftop pool with cabanas. The Hudson Square nabe where the site is located is full of low-rise industrial buildings, mostly used as offices. Its zoning allows regular transient hotels to be constructed, but not residential buildings. Trump plans a condo hotel – which opponents call an apartment building in disguise."
  • Meet the people of Zillow on video. They don’t look so scary on Robert Scoble’s home video.
  • Seems like the Stuyvesant Town sale is not exactly derailed, at this point. Justin Rocket Silverman writes: "Councilman Daniel Garodnick (D-Manhattan), a resident of Stuy Town, sent a letter to city Comptroller William Thompson on Tuesday asking him to examine a clause in insurance giant MetLife’s original 1942 contract to manage Stuy Town. A subsidiary of MetLife got a 25-year tax break in exchange for keeping its earnings on the property under six percent. Garodnick says it is not clear that the subsidiary was dissolved before last month’s sale. Garodnick said Thursday that MetLife has a responsibility to the city to live up to its agreement. He stopped short of saying this snag could derail the sale of the vast East Side complex. ‘There is no specific goal here other than to ensure that MetLife did what it was supposed to do under the law,’ Garodnick said ‘That’s why I reached out to the comptroller.’"
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