5th Street Lofts in Long Island City

The website for 5th Street Lofts in Long Island City says they are 75% sold, so if you're interested in these digs you better get over there. New residents will be moving in this winter, and it's just a short subway hop over to Manhattan. 5SL offers Studios, 1, 2 and 3 bedrooms up to 1,500 square feet. A 2 bedroom, 2 bath listing with 1,207 square feet is being offered for $929,990.

High Line sparks development boom

The High Line park in Manhattan is starting a development boom along its route from the Meatpacking District north through West Chelsea. The High Line is a 1.5-mile-long elevated rail structure being converted into a public green space intended to create a quiet space above New York's busy streets. There is an estimated $900 million in new residential and commercial development planned for the area. Ten of at least 30 planned projects are already under construction.

"This is development that would not have occurred but for the rezoning and the development of the High Line," said Deputy Mayor Dan Doctoroff.

Once slated for demolition, the High Line has been embraced by some of the same property owners who once wanted it gone.

"During my first few weeks on the job, I was visited by a number of property owners that insisted that the High Line come down. We were one court decision away from demolition," Doctoroff recalled of his first days as deputy mayor in 2002.

"Now people are calling their buildings the 'High Line this,' or the 'High Line that.' "

It's One El of a Park
Desks, Marshes and Trees Set for High Line
Friends of the High Line

Off the Grid

The zeroHouse, designed by New York architect Scott Specht, takes sustainability to a new level. The two-bedroom home generates its own power, collects its own water and recycles its own waste. Each house has two bedrooms, one bath, a kitchen and living room. And, no, going off the grid doesn't mean giving up the modern necessities of air conditioning and heating.
Design of the Times

Listing Voyeur: $12 Million on Chicago's Gold Coast

This 15,000 square foot residence at 25 E. Banks St. on Chicago's Gold Coast is being offered for $12 million. Built in the 19th century and redesigned by architect Marvin Herman, the home has 26 rooms spread over four stories. The home includes 900 square feet of rooftop terrace. Gawk.
Asking: $12,000,000
Bedrooms: 8
Baths: 9 full and 2 half
Square Footage: 15,000

Whose Turn to Mow the House?

The University of Maryland LEAFHouse took its inspiration from nature's solar collector the leaf, and won second place in the 2007 Solar Decathlon in Washington. It also took the People's Choice Award at the event. (Link: DOE Solar Decathlon Web site)

Cue Violins (and VizzVox)

With VizzVox, your home can star in its own slickly narrated video as well as have its own Web site. French bistro soundtrack optional. (Links: New York Times | VizzVox)

Listing Voyeur: $2.29 Million for Mike Ditka's House

The house of former Chicago Bears Coach Mike Ditka is on the market in Bannockburn, Ill. Ditka moved out of the house in 1997 when he left to coach the Saints. The house has been owned since then by a couple who owned an ethnic beauty-supply company. The house has four fireplaces, a swimming pool, a basement wine room and an exercise room with a sauna. Gawk.
Asking: $2,290,000
Bedrooms: 4
Baths: 4.5
Square Footage: 3,500
On the Market

Metal Houses

Architect Shigeru Ban’s Metal Shutter Houses condominium in West Chelsea is a paradox in outdoor urban living. Huge 20-foot window walls pivot fully open to create an appealingly open and airy environment. On the flip side, however, when the windows are down and huge metal shutters lowered one can only imagine the claustophobic effect of living in a storage locker. We do concede that from the outside it is quite a stunning look. The 9-unit condo, on Manhattan's West Side at 524 West 19th Street, is scheduled for completion in late 2008. A 4-bedroom unit on the 6th and 7th floors with 2,695 square feet of living space is being offered for $5.2 million.
Shigeru Ban Architects
Shutters in West Chelsea
Shutter to think

Sub-Zero Solar

Solar houses no longer mean clunky designs and doing without. Check out the designs from the Department of Energy Solar Decathlon. (New York Times) View full size.

$150 million deal not so certain

It turns out that mogul Len Blavatnik's record $150 million residential real estate deal may not be such a sure thing, after all.

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