Archive for the ‘Real Estate’ Category

The New Gentrifiers

August 17, 2014

The New Gentrifiers

“Look out, gays and lesbians – the straight people are coming for your real estate. In There Goes the Gayborhood, a new book for the Princeton Press, author and University of British Columbia associate professor of sociology Amin Ghaziani explores whether venerable ‘gayborhoods’ like San Francisco’s Castro and New York City’s West Village are disappearing in ‘a new post-gay era.’ As demographics shift, is it a sign of acceptance of a community – or the dilution of it? Is it possible, as the New York Times once so damningly put it, that ‘gay neighborhoods face the prospect of becoming passé’?

— “Are America’s ‘gayborhoods’ dying out?” Mary Elizabeth Williams, Salon

 More:

“The rise and fall of American gayborhoods,” Matthew Yglesias, Vox

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Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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Uline Arena. Yeah, Yeah, Yeah.

July 24, 2013

Uline Arena. Yeah, Yeah, Yeah.

It hosted the Beatles’ first American concert, boxing, hockey, speeches by Malcolm X, and Dwight Eisenhower’s first inaugural ball . It was an ice house and a trash transfer station. Now the Uline Arena will be redeveloped as offices, retail, parking, and possibly performance space.

More:

“Uline Arena, Washington Venue Where Beatles Played First U.S. Show, To Become…Offices And Retail,” Will Wrigley, Huffington Post

“Uline Arena, get ready for your next phase,” Rachel Kaufman, Elevation DC

“Pictorial History Of Uline Arena,” 1959 BHS Mustangs

“Uline Ice Plant,” HAER No. DC-66

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Short link: http://wp.me/p6sb6-h27

Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here.  Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length

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Ain’t Got No Home

August 24, 2012

Ain't Got No Home

The ProPublica team has researched the causes of the foreclosure crisis. You can read about it here, but there’s a video that explains it all, and you can dance to it:

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MERS = Mortgage MERSA?

October 13, 2010

MERS = Mortgage MERSA?

Who “abetted a fly-by-night, pump-and-dump, no-accountability model of structured mortgage finance”? An obscure corporation in Reston, Virginia. You probably should know more about the Mortgage Electronic Registration System (MERS). It may own your house.

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Fast Foreclosures

September 30, 2010

Fast Foreclosures

J.P. Morgan Chase acknowledged that employees signed off on thousands of foreclosure documents without really reading them. This was in response to a sworn statement by a Chase employee that her team signed off on 18,000 foreclosures a month without proper document review. The firm just froze the foreclosure of 56,000 homes until their documents are re-examined. 

Chase is not alone. An Ally Financial document processor admitted signing off on 10,000 foreclosures a month without reading the paperwork. “That’s barely a minute per case,” notes the Washington Post‘s Brady Dennis, “assuming he works a normal eight-hour day.”

Instead of oversight, banks have “robo-signers.” Still believe that financial institutions can regulate themselves?

 Update: “Robo-Signing: Documents Show Citi and Wells Also Committed Foreclosure Fraud,” Abigail Field, AOL Daily Finance.

 

Image (“American Dream, after Grant Wood”) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

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Eastern Market Building to Re-Open June 26

June 23, 2009

Eastern Market Building to Re-Open June 26

UPDATE: Free music at Eastern Market June 27-28.

Capitol Hill’s Eastern Market building will re-open Friday, June 26th, refurbished and re-interpreted, after it was gutted by fire on April 30, 2007. While the 1873 building is of questionable historical or aesthetic merit, it will certainly go down in history for its rehab pricetag: $22 million in public funds.

Great pains were taken to use historically accurate paint colors and streetlamp forms in the adaptive restoration, but astonishing anachronisms (lead-free paint, electric lights, air conditioning) abound. There is no word when historically-correct horse manure and flies will be installed in surrounding streets and alleys.

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Wrong End of the Telescope

April 14, 2009

Wrong End of the Telescope

Everyone loves to root for the home team, but while the sentiment is charming, it also makes bookies rich. Why should government make the same kind of dumb bet, but at higher stakes? That’s exactly what happens when the dynamics of real estate speculation are magnified by taxpayer-funded sports stadium projects.

Objective assessment of athletes is difficult; inflating the merits of a sports team with hometown loyalty and wishful thinking is a sucker’s game. Likewise, a publicly-funded sports facility is a sucker bet for citizens and a speculator’s dream.

Yesterday’s local news featured pathetic interviews with DC baseball fans. Folks in Nationals ballcaps, standing near lots laid waste by stadium-fueled development delusions, said it had taken a decade for the downtown arena neighborhood to develop, so they were willing to endure ten years of unproductive desolation caused by Nats Park construction. With all this “Wait Until Next Decade” talk it was hard to remember that Monday was Opening Day, not the end of a losing season. 

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McCain Responds to the Budget Proposal

April 2, 2009

McCain Responds to the Budget Proposal

Senator John McCain, speaking for Republicans because Rush Linbaugh was busy, presented his party’s fiscal year 2010 federal budget counter-proposal in words of two letters, all of them spelled “N-O.”

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DC Buys Bronze Bobbleheads for Billionaires

March 26, 2009

DC Buys Bronze Bobbleheads for Billionaires

As part of its economic recovery effort, the DC Government commissioned $700,000 worth of sculpture for billionaire Theodore Lerner and his family. DC already built $611 million Nationals Park for the Lerners, who own the local Major League Baseball franchise, and the government wants to decorate it to suit the wealthy tenants. Who knows, this might even encourage the Lerners to actually pay rent on the stadium.

You can admire the artistic gifts your tax dollars bought for the Lerners at 11:00 AM on Wednesday, April 8th, when the sculptures will be dedicated. RSVP to Deirdre Ehlen at the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities (DCCAH) by email or phone (202-724-5613). The event is free, so go see the art you paid for before you have to buy Nationals tickets to do it.

Forbes estimates the personal wealth of Theodore  N. Lerner at $2.5 billion, but why spend your own money on art when the taxpayers will commission it for you?  The DC Government dead- panned that the baseball art belongs to DC and is only on loan to the Lerners, an assertion worthy of a Larry Neal Award for fiction.  The sculpture  is site-specific, so saying the art is on loan is like saying you don’t own the fillings in your teeth, you only rent them.

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Save DC Public Property — March 30th Meeting

March 26, 2009

Save DC Public Property, March 30th Meeting

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Empower DC is holding a forum on  District of Columbia  laws about the sale and other disposition of District public property at  6:30 PM to 8:30 PM on March 30, 2009 at 1419 V Street, NW (U Street/Cardozo Metro).  For more information or to RSVP, contact Parisa Nourisa, parisa@empowerdc.org or (202) 234-9119

 Bill 18-0076,  the Public Land Surplus Standards Amendment Act of 2009,  introduced by Councilmember Harry Thomas, Jr.and co-sponsored by Councilmembers  Michael Brown and Phil Mendelson, will be a focus of the discussion. Read it here for a head start on the meeting.

 

 Image: Empower DC/People’s Property Campaign.