No Reserve?
Apparently in an effort to set some minimum value thresholds for distressed real estate within its portfolios, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has shot down an application from a Rocky Hill, Conn., developer to purchase the Riverview Apartment Complex in Granite Falls, Minn., for $1,000. In November, the developer was the only one who showed up at a Chippewa County Courthouse to bid on the asset, which HUD has put a fair-market value of $750,000 on. Although the city passed on its first right of refusal to purchase the property, officials were surprised that HUD went into negotiations with the developer following the low-bid auction, negotiations which were ultimately unsuccessful at bringing the property out of foreclosure. HUD plans to remarket the property for a new auction at the courthouse on April 15. No word yet if any Connecticut Yankees will be showing up, maybe this time with two grand in hand.

You Never Give Me Your Money
A Manhattan judge ordered a Norwalk, Conn., auction house to turn over proceeds from an auction of one of John Lennon’s suits to a landlord that was left in the lurch by his psychic resident. Though purportedly a clairvoyant, Biond Fury was unable to predict that the iconic white suit worn by Lennon on the cover of the Beatles’ Abbey Road LP would fetch only $46,000 in the auction after he paid $140,000 for the threads back in 2008. The judge has ordered auction house Braswell Galleries to direct half of the winning bid ($21,000) plus interest to Fury’s landlord Mark Arrow, who has not been paid rent since July of 2009. Arrow’s lawyers attempted to stop the auction via restraining order but were unsuccessful. But maybe memorabilia will be a way for Arrow to be made financially whole: Fury is also a collector of Marilyn Monroe ephemera as well as additional items from the Fab Four.

Credit: TEAM Management

Pulling a Wooly
Anyone who has jumped into the world of sustainable building knows that green roofs—those that vegetation and/or reflective materials to provide an environmental boost to energy efficiency and storm water purification—will get you major granola points when it comes to certifying a green building. Getting residents engaged in a community feature that they hardly ever look at has been a little bit more challenging… until now. Courtesy of Susan Kissinger, president and founder of Milwaukee, Wis.-based Team Management comes the story of a badger state developer that not only included a green roof as part of a Section 42 build-out, but put fake sheep on top to bring instant attention to the community’s sustainability efforts. “The sheep can even be seen from the highway, and they look real,” says Kissinger of the marketing tactic, which hopefully will bring residents and the community some additional curb appeal, three bags full.

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