Gotham City Glamour
Take 15 aspiring fashion designers, throw in Victoria's Secret über model Heidi Klum as host and executive producer, and the only other thing you need for a hit reality TV show is a chic setting. No problem, says the New York City-based Gotham Organization, a multifamily real estate firm that has provided apartments to Bravo's Project Runway since the show's inception four years ago. "We've been trying to identify with a more youthful and edgy customer demographic," says Gotham president David Picket, recalling when Gotham's public relations firm?which also handles PR for Bravo?pitched him on the idea. "We have these great properties in the Garment District, and it fit in with what we are about. It has been more successful than we imagined."
Steven Green, the former Green Realty Development COO and CFO who defrauded Wells Fargo of $9 million by providing a false social security number for a Florida apartment deal, was ordered Tuesday to begin paying more than $4 million in restitution. The judgment was originally handed down in federal court last February. Green's excuse for being late? In May, he was hit by a car outside a New York nightclub, was in a coma for 40 days, and has been hospitalized ever since. In her order, U.S. District Judge Susan Becklew said that Green should have been taken into custody last February when he failed to pay a court-ordered fine of $10,000 that was part of his sentence on charges of fraud and tax evasion. The sentence also includes a 33-month prison term. According to The Tampa Tribune, Green's attorney, Edward Kratt, is asking the court to again postpone payments until February 2008, as Green remains incapacitated with extensive brain injuries. A team of remaining managers at Green Realty have hired a trust company to oversee the sale of remaining company assets.
Watch Your Tongue
Multifamily executives looking to place properties on Realtor.com, take note: The online listing service might kick back your ad if it contains certain prohibited language. Among the taboo terms deemed too terse by the Web site are "vampire," "wee wee," "Gandhi," "cyberhomes," and "orgy," notes Carol Lloyd in her Nov. 25 "Surreal Estate" column in the San Francisco Chronicle. According to Lloyd, the intent at Realtor.com is to avoid posting any listings that might be construed?intentionally or not?as discriminatory, a clear violation of the Fair Housing Act. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, however, says it doesn't mince words when if comes to fair housing violations. "When we get a complaint, we look at the context and the totality of the facts," HUD deputy assistant Bryan Greene tells Lloyd. "It's fair to say that HUD isn't engaged in a 'gotcha' game over the use of [certain] words."
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