Bow Wow Factor

New York City-based Metro Loft Management's newest Manhattan luxury apartment building offers every amenity that spoiled SoHo renters must have: a 24-hour door man, concierge, valet, fitness center, billiards room, and landscaped sundeck. Now, Big Apple pets are clamoring for their owners to lease one of the 350 studio, one, and two-bedroom apartments. Why? On move-in day, all 20 Exchange Place resident pets are treated to a full day at South Street Seaport's Salty Paw day spa, and are pampered with a bath and nail trim, as well as an eye, ear, and teeth cleaning. "As a pet-friendly building, we understand the pressure moving brings on both the renter and the pet," says Metro Loft Management vice president Jack Berman. "We wanted to ease the stress for our new residents and their furry friends." Both cats and dogs are eligible for the complimentary service, which also includes a 10 percent discount coupon for Salty Dog retail items -- including pet carriers, collars, jewelry, and clothing.

Coop D'Etat

Multifamily residents should be able to enjoy an enhanced lifestyle rivaling that of single-family home owners -- including, of course, the unalienable right to keep and raise chickens. So says Marcia Rummel, a Madison, Wis., city council member working to change city ordinances to allow for in-unit roosting. Madison is in the midst of a chicken craze -- spurred on in part by the success of Mad City Chickens, a local independent film documenting the area's affinity for backyard fowl-raising. Current law allows residents of single-family homes to raise up to four hens after acquiring a $10 license. Rummel says the law should be extended to allow licenses for residents of multifamily dwellings as well.

Skin Job

Blade Runner -- the seminal 1982 science fiction movie directed by Ridley Scott and starring Harrison Ford -- was clairvoyant in its depiction of Los Angeles in 2019. The cinematic city was overpopulated, genetically engineered, globalized, and subject to harsh climate changes. Renowned for its visual effects, Blade Runner also depicted a downtown L.A. awash in LED screens and video commercials flashing across the entire expanse of building facades. Now, developer and Blade Runner aficionado Sonny Astani is trying to bring that aspect of the film's vision to life. His firm, L.A.-based Astani Enterprises, is installing a 14-story, animated sign on the Concerto condo project he is building in the city's downtown. Although critics argue that the last thing L.A. needs is more light, sound, motion, and commercialization, Astani maintains that the signs can be unique, artistic additions to the visual palate of the urban skyline. "We don't want to create a monster," Astani told the Los Angeles Times. "If this is bright or intrusive, we cannot sell the condominiums."

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