LUXURY: GOING CHEAP

While novelty buildings are going (or attempting to go) for carefree prices, luxury condos are experiencing a less carefree time of it. During the 1930’s Great Depression (an unadulterated depression without the sweet-and-sour vagaries of today’s hallucinatory crisis), construction was certainly not booming; in fact, along with most other legitimate businesses, it was in an extremely doleful state. Nevertheless, in this more confusing and intriguing era, the fact that New York City (the USA as a whole) was/is famously sinking into the most critical economic crisis since the Flood, luxury buildings were sprouting up all over town…in defiance of logic.

Unfortunately, for all concerned, reality still prevails in this world (however inconvenient) and logic ultimately reveals itself one way or the other in the end…usually on a dead end street. Two aspiring luxury condos in Harlem and Downtown Brooklyn, their exact addresses remain undisclosed, are now going for less than luxurious prices; in fact, they’ve now reached that forever obscure, yet invariably determinable in outcome, affordable housing status. Banks have foreclosed on these properties and City Council Speaker Christine Quinn is pushing a $20 million program to market them at steep discounts for a lucky group of prospective homeowners.

Of course (the routine story accompanying such bargain basement situations), is that new homeowners would have to “meet income limits and participate in a lottery.” Heretofore $500,000 luxury pads could be discounted to $300,000 (according to Rafael Cestero, NYC housing commissioner) and developers will receive a $50,000 subsidy for their ambitions now gone kaput.

Whether the program works depends on bankers’ hunger to get rid of their distressed properties, he said……Because lots of new housing developments are overpriced, Cestero expects banks will be eager to unload some of them.

New York Post

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