Sweet Goes Sour
British billionaire real estate magnate Christian Candy is set to go up against Mexican banker (and the world’s third-richest man) Carlos Slim in court over the development of 9900 Wilshire Boulevard, a 235-unit luxury condominium complex in Beverly Hills, Calif., that lists Candy’s interior design firm Candy and Candy as project manager. According to an article in the Telegraph, Slim’s Banco Inbursa has begun foreclosure proceedings on the property after $356.5 million loan missed a number of payments, defaulting in October of 2008. Slim is seeking $22 million for loan carrying costs, a figure Candy disputed in pre-trial written testimony on the basis that his firm never granted Banco Inbursa the right to extend the loan and incur fees in the process. A court hearing to determine the suitability for summary judgment in the case will be held in New York City on December 14.
There by the Grace of God
No sooner did Arlington, Va., affordable housing complex overcome NIMBYism to break ground in October, the project is stalled again as a neighborhood resident says construction of the mid-rise over the First Baptist Church of Clarendon—which is largely contingent on a $4.5 million loan from the Arlington Affordable Housing Investment Fund—is a church and state collusion in violation of the First Amendment. “Such an unprecedented and irresponsible use of affordable housing dollars suggests that the County, at worst, actually acted with the purpose of establishing and promoting religion,” argues Arlington resident Peter Glassman in a suit filed in U.S. District Court. “At best, its actions have the perceived and actual effect of advancing religion." First approved five years ago, plans for the Views at Clarendon include 46 market-rate and 70 affordable-housing units. Plans were overturned in 2006 by the Virginia Supreme Court, which ruled that the county skipped a step in its rezoning process. Arlington then amended its zoning ordinance to grandfather in the project.
Housing is Hot Again?
Talk about absorption—163 of 214 condos in a downtown Vancouver luxury high-rise were sold on opening day to buyers who camped out in frigid temperatures the night before for the opportunity to grab a unit at The Mark, the latest condo tower to hit Vancouver’s trendy Yaletown district. Despite expectations of a massive market correction in real estate sales volumes and prices similar to what is being experienced just south of the border in the United States, Canadian sales as of October were up 74 percent and prices were 20 percent ahead of what they were at their low point in 2008. In some markets, sales and prices have recovered to the crazy 2007 levels and beyond, argues Gary Mason from the Globe and Mail. How crazy is that? According to a TD Bank report sited by Mason, the average home in Canada right now is about 12 per cent overpriced. Sounds like distress all over again.
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