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Old December 22nd, 2006, 11:07 PM   #641
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Photos by Derek2k3 at Wirednewyork.


Long Island City skyline...


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Old December 23rd, 2006, 12:35 AM   #642
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this is in the queens right?
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Old December 23rd, 2006, 12:46 AM   #643
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Wow that's cool. More and more cluster of skyscrapers pop up all around the rivers in NYC.
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Old December 23rd, 2006, 03:22 AM   #644
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http://www.downtownexpress.com/de_18...llishnear.html
Volume 19 | Issue 32 | December 22 - 28, 2006

Hotels bullish near Wall St.

By Skye H. McFarlane


Downtown Express photo by Skye H. McFarlane

The Duane Street Hotel as it looked last week. Some real estate blogs had posted images indicating the hotel was about to open.


Lower Manhattan’s construction surge is no longer limited to condos and commercial office space. Research from New York City’s official tourism agency shows that Downtown is in the midst of a major hotel-athon, with the neighborhoods south of Houston St. now second only to Midtown in new hotel developments.

The hotel boom as a whole is generally welcomed as a mark of the neighborhood’s economic resurgence. Yet like many of the area’s other building projects, both public and private, individual hotel sites have run into a cornucopia of snags — ranging from mundane construction delays to full-out verbal warfare with community groups.

According to research published by NYC & Company, 15 new hotels will open Downtown in the next three years, an up-tick that is second only to the 25 planned in Midtown Manhattan. That total does not include two establishments that opened in 2006 and a number of projects that are slated for 2010 or beyond. In all, more than 3,300 hotel rooms are in the Lower Manhattan pipeline, a number that would more than double Downtown’s capacity for visitors.

Overall, NYC & Company’s Kimberly Spell said in an email, the hotel development is a sign of a robust economy and a healthy tourism industry.

“Really there’s no room at the inn right now,” said Eric Deutsch, president of the Downtown Alliance, which manages Lower Manhattan’s Business Improvement District. According to the Alliance’s third quarter data, Downtown hotels are running at 86.5 percent occupancy. Deutsch said that more rooms are needed to accommodate the influx of business travelers that will result from millions of new square feet of office space, as well as the tourists who will come to visit the World Trade Center memorial.

“Now’s the time to add more rooms and add more services,” said Deutsch.

Deutsch said that by keeping tourists and business travelers — and their money — Downtown, the new hotels will be a boon for local restaurants and retailers. That boon, in turn, will aid the Alliance in its mission to attract more businesses to the neighborhood.

“It adds another population that will be spending,” said Deutsch. “You have the corporate working population that spends fairly consistently and a residential population that spends, but those people [travelers] really spend money. They’re here to enjoy themselves.”

While the hotel picture on paper looks rosy, a number of establishments have encountered, or caused, problems in the real world. A Hampton Inn at 320 Pearl St., within the South Street Seaport historic district, was delayed after its final design irked the Landmarks Preservation Commission (the actual building did not match up with pre-approved plans). A Hilton Garden Inn at 6 York St. has battled both construction delays and community resistance to its liquor license application, although Community Board 1 eventually advised the State Liquor Authority to approve the license. For unknown reasons, Robert DeNiro’s celebrity Downtown Hotel appears complete from the outside but is not yet open, and a Four Points Sheraton, which was scheduled to open on Charlton St. in July 2006, has barely begun construction. In the most bizarre and public snafu to date, Donald Trump’s planned condo-hotel on Varick and Spring Sts. has been endangered, first by Trump’s marketing of the building for residential use, illegal under the area’s zoning laws, and then by the discovery of historic human remains on the site. In this case, the delays have come as welcome news to community members who oppose the development for a third reason — its legal, but out-of-context, 45-story height.

One property that exemplifies both the promise and the pitfalls of the Downtown hotel boom is 130 Duane St., a 45-room boutique hotel at the corner of Church and Duane Sts. The site is owned by Hersha Hospitality, a firm that works with chains like Hilton and Marriott, and was developed by prolific hotelier Sam Chang, who has also been involved with 320 Pearl St., 6 York St. and six other Downtown sites. The Duane Street Hotel, on paper, is an ideal match for its location in trendy Tribeca, just north of the W.T.C. It will offer upscale, loft-like accommodations and cater to corporate travelers, charging an average rate of $350 per night.

However, the property has been under construction for six years and is not scheduled to open until the first week of March 2007, despite a skillfully Photoshopped rendering on the hotel’s Web site that caused several real estate blogs to prematurely herald its completion. Problems with contractors have led to costly delays and created a testy relationship with nearby residents, who say the site has caused flooding and rat infestations in neighboring buildings. The hotel has changed its name twice, from the Hotel Tribeca to the Loft Hotel N.Y. to the Duane Street Hotel and the developers have been slow in showing C.B. 1 their final plans, leading to more distrust in the community.

On Tuesday, citing the development’s checkered history as well as its proximity to a local nursery school and a large number of other alcohol-serving establishments, C.B. 1 overwhelmingly rejected Duane Street’s application for a liquor license in an advisory vote. General manager Jeffrey Stegman told the board that Duane Street’s restaurant, an upscale joint to be named “Beca,” will be crucial in attracting the best clientele. Still, community members feared that licensing a small hotel would set a bad precedent and add to smoke and noise problems in the area.

“It’s not really about the quality of Hersha; it’s about the quality of life on this site,” said C.B. 1 public member Jean Grillo. “The community needs a little peace and quiet on this corner.”

Stegman told Downtown Express that Duane Street would press forward with restaurant plans and make its case before the State Liquor Authority in January. No matter what happens, Stegman is enthusiastic that the hotel is finally close to opening. And despite Duane Street’s difficulties, Stegman remains bullish about both the Downtown hotel market and the neighborhood as a whole.

“It’s an intriguing area. Obviously, there was an unfortunate situation in 2001 that brought a lot of people back up to Midtown, but this is an area that’s now in its resurgence,” he said. “There’s only going to be more hotels coming in.”

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Old December 23rd, 2006, 04:00 AM   #645
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Long Island skyline is growing fast!
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Old December 23rd, 2006, 09:10 AM   #646
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Quote:
Originally Posted by another_viet View Post
this is in the queens right?
Yes it is in Queens. These developments are right across the river from Midtown Manhattan.
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Old December 25th, 2006, 12:33 AM   #647
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Queens is on the rise

Where is the "vertical Hollywood" of Silvercup Studios West? Isn't it to be built in 2007?
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Old December 26th, 2006, 04:19 AM   #648
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On the High Line, Solitude Is Pretty Crowded



By NICOLAI OUROUSSOFF
Published: December 24, 2006

WE New Yorkers have a morbid fascination with pinpointing the death of a neighborhood scene. You wonder, for example, exactly when the seeds were planted for SoHo’s grim destiny as an open-air mall. Was it 1971, when Leo Castelli opened his downtown gallery? The advent of Dean & Deluca’s overpriced cheeses? Victoria’s Secret underwear displays?

But the artists who bemoaned SoHo’s gradual reinvention as a tourist mecca in the 1980s would have been dumbstruck by the pace of gentrification wrought by the High Line, an abandoned stretch of elevated railway tracks that will be transformed into a garden walkway from the meatpacking district to Chelsea.

Even before local activists picked the project’s design team, Field Operations and Diller Scofidio + Renfro, two years ago, developers had begun circling the site like vultures. Today, the High Line risks being devoured by a string of developments, including a dozen or more luxury towers, a new branch of the Whitney Museum of American Art and a Standard Hotel. Already the area is a mix of the fashionable and the tacky, with tourists tottering from boutiques to nightclubs across its cobblestone streets, even as they recoil from the occasional whiff of raw meat.

Not all of these are run-of-the-mill development projects: they include potential designs by renowned talents including Renzo Piano and the Polshek Partnership. And even more promising, a few younger, relatively unknown talents like Neil Denari and Work Architecture are getting the opportunity to design major projects.

But the frenzied activity surrounding the High Line shows how radically the development climate in Manhattan has accelerated. No longer content to allow gentrification to proceed at its own tentative pace, developers now view even the humblest civic undertaking as a potential gold mine. City planners who once had to coax developers to build in rundown neighborhoods are groping for strategies to keep them at bay. Pretty much everyone who has walked the length of the weed-choked High Line agrees that its magic arises largely from its isolation. Carving its way through the urban fabric two to three stories above ground, it is framed mostly by the backs of buildings and billboards, with occasional views opening out to the Hudson or across Manhattan.

The battle to preserve that ambience is being waged street corner by street corner, foot by foot. Last summer the city announced its final zoning regulations for the area, a document that is reassuring for its meticulousness. The guidelines require setbacks to protect some major view corridors; at other points, buildings are allowed to shoot straight up to maintain the sense of compression that is part of the High Line’s charm. The core of several blocks, meanwhile, will remain zoned for manufacturing in the hope of maintaining some of the area’s character.

In rare cases, the Department of City Planning has negotiated directly with developers and their architects on a particularly difficult site. In a design by Mr. Denari for a residential tower, city officials allowed him to cantilever his building several feet over the High Line to compensate for his site’s tiny footprint. In the rather dazzling result, the proposed tower gracefully bulges out over the elevated garden, a vertical tear appearing at its center as if the building were straining to squeeze into its allotted space. Views from the apartments would open up and down the length of the High Line. From below, the building would swell out over the garden walkway, adding a sense of vertigo.

But as long as they conform to the new zoning codes, the city will have little control over the form and appearance of most of the designs. And so far, few projects have risen to the standard of Mr. Denari’s. Even more crucial, perhaps, is the question of access. As Richard Scofidio, one of the architects of the High Line, put it: “We don’t want hotels putting wicker chairs and tables all over the garden. We want it to feel that it belongs to everybody.”

Striving to maintain that feel, the city has wisely limited the number of entry points. It will create four public stairways between Gansevoort and 20th Streets in the first phase.

Thankfully, the city has also limited the width of connections to the High Line from adjoining buildings to a maximum of five and a half feet. That way, any entry point from a specific building would function more as a bridge than an extension of the High Line.

With guidelines in place, it will now be up to the Parks Department to determine which of the new buildings will get direct access to the garden. Already, many of the residential developers have sought permission to build lobbies that would open onto the High Line. This would undo the spirit of the project, giving residents of a few luxury towers a connection to the site that others would not share. They should use the public stairs like the rest of us.

So far, there is no reason to doubt that the city will try to do the right thing. The partnership between city planners and High Line advocates has been one of the most sincere efforts in recent memory to protect the public interest from an onslaught of commercialization. And the Parks Department is working in partnership with Friends of the High Line, the nonprofit group that conceived the idea.

But no planner can reverse the social and economic changes that are reconfiguring the city’s identity. And the question next year will be what happens on the ground, as the neighborhood fills up with the usual cellphone stores, health clubs and Starbucks. What kind of sanctuary will the High Line be? Are we simply deluding ourselves into believing we can slow the pace of the inevitable?


Polshek Partnership’s project for a Standard Hotel.


A preliminary design for the garden, with one of its public stairways; above far right, Neil Denari’s cantilevered apartment house design.
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Old December 26th, 2006, 03:27 PM   #649
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This is crazy, soon people will talk about Brooklyn and Queens like we talk about Manhattan today, are there any major companies situated there at the moment?
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Old December 26th, 2006, 06:18 PM   #650
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Old December 31st, 2006, 06:46 AM   #651
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City's Building Boom Enters a New Phase


BY DAVID LOMBINO - Staff Reporter of the Sun
December 29, 2006


Real estate experts expect 2007 to exceed this year's record-setting mark of about $21 billion in construction spending in New York City.

While a spike in residential construction drove recent record-setting years, real estate experts say the next wave of the building boom will be driven by office projects and unprecedented public spending on infrastructure and transportation. It is the next phase in a historic building boom — spurred by low interest rates, a healthy economy, low crime, reduced taxes, and zoning changes — that is reshaping the city's skyline.

The deputy mayor for economic development, Daniel Doctoroff, said yesterday that when all is counted, construction spending will have increased by about 5% in 2006. He predicted it will continue to expand in 2007, 2008, and 2009.

"It is touching every segment of the construction industry in every part of New York, and I think it is just accelerating now," he said.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the number of building permits issued in 2006 for new privately owned residential buildings in New York City is on pace to reach last year's number of about 31,600 units, more than three times the amount issued 10 years ago. In 1995, the city issued 5,135 permits, and in 2000 it issued 15,050 permits.

Mr. Doctoroff said that in 2007 he expects a "leveling off of the market" for residential development, although he doesn't expect New York housing construction to fall off as much as it has elsewhere in the country.

"As a percentage, commercial work and public work is a slightly greater percentage of the total than it has been, and residential would be a little bit smaller," Mr. Doctoroff said. The public sector investment, he said, would create the conditions for increased private sector spending.

Still, it is the private sector development whose speed is breathtaking, with entire large buildings seeming to rise in just a year.

A year ago, the building site at the corner of Chambers and West streets was seemingly dormant behind wraparound fencing. Next month, the developer of 200 Chambers St., Jack Resnick & Sons, is aiming to open the 258-unit, 30-story glass building for occupancy. More than 85% of the units have been sold, at prices averaging around $1,300 a square foot, according to managing director, Dennis Brady. The project, he says, has been exceedingly lucrative.

"The project made sense at $1,000 a square foot," Mr. Brady said.

Still, Mr. Brady said that in today's market, it was uncertain whether the same project would be developed again, based on high land costs and rising construction costs.

"There are a number of developers that have delayed projects or pushed them back based on where they see the numbers going these days," he said.

The president of the New York Building Congress, Richard Anderson, said construction spending in New York City in 2006 would exceed $21 billion, and he predicts spending in 2007 will be even greater. Five years ago, total annual construction spending was about $15 billion.

"The demand for New York City is at an all-time high,"Mr. Anderson said."It is the strongest demand of any city in the world."

Between 50% and 60% of annual construction spending is taxpayer money funneled through the public sector into infrastructure and transportation projects, Mr. Anderson said.

"The public sector — outside of the 1930s — has never spent as much money on infrastructure as it is today," Mr. Anderson said. Among the projects under way or well into planning is an extension of the no. 7 subway line, the reconstruction of the Fulton Street transit hub, and site preparation at ground zero.

Full funding of public capital plans is a question mark for some government agencies, such as the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, which could come under pressure to reduce their project expectations if they are caught in a budget crunch.

"It is a balloon — it won't necessarily pop, but it could lose some air," Mr. Anderson said. "The grand plans will be under pressure."

Relatively low interest rates and big donations from the record year on Wall Street are also pushing institutions, like universities and museums, to build, he said. New York University continues to expand, and Columbia University has a large expansion in the works. The Whitney Museum is seeking to expand downtown.

"Every organization feels the pressure to have its largest capital program ever," Mr. Anderson said. "If you are a non-profit without an ambitious capital program, your board is not doing its job."

The president of the Building Trades Employers' Association, Louis Coletti, said most of the contractors he represents have a two or three-year backlog of projects. He said this is the busiest time during his 25-year career in construction. Because the market mix includes a high percentage of infrastructure and transportation projects, Mr. Colletti predicts the construction boom will continue as the public sector lays the foundation for more private sector development.

"This is the beginning of one of the largest and longest construction booms we have seen in many, many years," Mr. Coletti said. "Most of the union trades I've spoken with are at or near full employment today. You will see an acceleration of work in the springtime when a lot more projects will put shovels in the ground."

The construction boom has set off a transformation of neighborhoods across the five boroughs. Critics say the prolonged growth period has damaged the character of some neighborhoods, and created dangerous construction conditions. They say the city's oversight mechanisms are under-equipped to handle the increase in building.

A City Council member from Queens, Tony Avella, said he would not attend the popular annual banquet hosted next month by the Real Estate Board of New York, the powerful lobbying group representing the real estate industry. Mr. Avella, a Democrat, said that even in a period where the industry is making a lot of money, it has have resisted reforms aimed at increasing oversight and close zoning loopholes.

"Obviously a construction boom is good in many respects. Unfortunately there is an aspect of it that has really been undermining the very nature of neighborhood life in this city," Mr. Avella said. "We can no longer just have business as usual when in fact we are in a crisis mode. Not enough people are paying serious attention to overdevelopment and unsafe construction."

But for construction companies, real estate brokers, and those living and working in the newly constructed buildings, the building boom under way during the Bloomberg administration has had its benefits. And for all New Yorkers, it is changing the face of the city in ways that will be seen for years to come.


© 2006 The New York Sun, One SL, LLC.
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Old January 1st, 2007, 03:38 PM   #652
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great news, hope we'll see some new tall towers
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Old January 3rd, 2007, 12:49 AM   #653
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610 Lexington by Foster
61 floors/700'+

Construction should start soon.


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Old January 3rd, 2007, 01:21 AM   #654
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NYC, Capital of the World.
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Old January 3rd, 2007, 02:49 AM   #655
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ebola View Post
610 Lexington by Foster
61 floors/700'+

Construction should start soon.


finally.
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Old January 5th, 2007, 10:19 AM   #656
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January 3, 2007
MoMA to Gain Exhibition Space by Selling Adjacent Lot for $125 Million
By CAROL VOGEL
nytimes.com



Capitalizing on Manhattan’s robust real estate prices, the Museum of Modern Art is selling its last vacant parcel of land in Midtown for $125 million to Hines, an international real estate developer based in Houston, the museum’s director said yesterday.

As part of the deal Hines is to construct a mixed-use building on West 54th Street that will connect to the museum’s second- , fourth- and fifth-floor galleries, said the director, Glenn D. Lowry. He said the project would afford about 50,000 square feet of additional exhibition space for the Modern’s painting and sculpture collections.

A Hines spokesman said it was too early to say what the building’s other uses would be.

The property is one of several the Modern acquired during the last decade in mapping out an ambitious expansion. A glass-and-steel addition designed by the architect Yoshio Taniguchi was completed in November 2004.

Hines also plans to provide about 10,000 square feet in the new building’s basement for museum storage.

After construction expenses for the new galleries are covered, the Modern estimates that some $65 million will go to its $650 million endowment.

“This is a Christmas present,” Mr. Lowry said. “It’s a tremendous boon to enhancing what is already an extraordinary collection.” The 10 percent addition to the endowment will go toward caring for the collections and acquisitions. No firm timetable for construction has been set, he added, but he estimated that completion of the new building was at least five years away.

In 1996 the museum bought the Dorset Hotel, a 19-story building from the 1920s next door on West 54th Street, along with two adjacent brownstones in a $50 million transaction. Much of that land was used for Mr. Taniguchi’s addition. That expansion, including an increase in MoMA’s endowment to cover operating expenses, cost $858 million in total.

The museum also quietly purchased other parcels on West 54th Street, including what had been the City Athletic Club, a brownstone and a sliver building next door.

Over the years, Mr. Lowry said, the museum has been inundated with offers from developers interested in buying the land, but did not seriously consider selling until recently.

“But as the market went into overdrive it seemed like the right move to make,” he said. The Modern put out the word that it was open to offers and the response was overwhelming.

Hines was the highest bidder, Mr. Lowry said. “We ultimately settled on Hines because of its financial offer and because it has a good reputation for working with architects,” Mr. Lowry said. He added that no architect had been selected to design the new building or the Modern’s additional galleries.

When Mr. Tanaguchi conceived his design he took into consideration a possible future expansion to the west, Mr. Lowry said, making it structurally easy to break through to what will be the new building and extend each of the three gallery floors by about 17,000 square feet.

Jerry I. Speyer, a Modern trustee and real estate developer who is president and chief executive of Tishman Speyer, helped negotiate the sale. (He was instrumental in the purchase of the Dorset Hotel, too.)

“The museum is not in the real estate business, but in the business of showing art, collecting art and educating people about art,” Mr. Speyer said. “Because of the figuration of the land, there was a limit to the amount of space we could use for galleries.”

He said that the entire board agreed that now was the time to act. “Everyone felt great about the decision,” he said of the sale. “There were no issues in anyone’s mind.”

The parcel as a whole consists of about 200,000 square feet of buildable space, Mr. Lowry said.

The addition also opens the way for the museum to address wide criticism of the exhibition spaces in the Taniguchi building. When the Modern reopened in 2004 many faulted its curators for showing fewer artworks in its expanded galleries than it had before.

“The goal has always been to display the collection better,” Mr. Lowry said. Responding to the criticism, he said the display of art in the museum’s previous incarnation was “overly dense,” which people felt was “too much like a textbook.”

Trying to anticipate the museum’s needs for contemporary art display is not easy. Mr. Lowry said the new galleries would be designed to be flexible.

“We envision them to include space that will deal with the unanticipated changes of the future,” he said.

And whereas MoMA had to close its doors on West 54th Street during the 2002-04 building project, operating a temporary museum in Queens, Mr. Lowry said that would not be necessary this time.

“The construction of these galleries will not entail closing the museum again,” he said.



I did not know that the top of the MoMA looked like that
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Old January 6th, 2007, 02:22 AM   #657
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ebola View Post
610 Lexington by Foster
61 floors/700'+

Construction should start soon.


This tower looks so bland
I bet they will replace some nice brownstones to build it.
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Old January 6th, 2007, 03:40 AM   #658
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Looks sharp actually.
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Old January 7th, 2007, 05:20 AM   #659
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Nice brownstones, brownstones are ugly and eyesores this building looks GREAT!!!
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Old January 7th, 2007, 05:32 AM   #660
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amazing projects!! I have said it time and time again, I wish I could live in NYC, and I am so jealous!!! lol
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