Thursday, February 25, 2010
Friday, February 12, 2010
A state judge on Tuesday ordered the foreclosure sale of the storied Riverton Houses, a middle-class Harlem enclave that ran into trouble a year ago when its new owner failed to make good on optimistic revenue projections and defaulted on his mortgage.
Justice Richard F. Braun of State Supreme Court in Manhattan ordered the sale of the complex at public auction to satisfy the owner’s $240.6 million debt. The complex sits between 135th and 138th Streets, from Fifth Avenue to the Harlem River.
Riverton, like a number of complexes during the real estate boom, was bought for top dollar in 2005 by a company led by the developer Laurence Gluck, who had a plan to increase profits by replacing tenants in rent-stabilized apartments with market-rate tenants.
“We’re about to see a wave of foreclosure sales throughout New York City,” said Harold Shultz, senior fellow at the Citizens Housing and Planning Council. “This is the first. For tenants, there’s good news and bad news. Excessive debt will be eliminated, but they will be at the mercy of the auction process as to who the new owner will be.”
In January, the owners of Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village, two middle-class housing complexes overlooking the East River, announced that they would give the keys back to the lender after they defaulted on $4.4 billion in loans.
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Thursday, February 11, 2010
The Guardian UK reported this morning that Designer Alexander McQueen was found dead in his home in London. Here's what they're reporting:
Thursday, February 4, 2010
"R&B superstar Jill Scott was sued this morning by her longtime record label, which is accusing the multi-platinum songstress of skipping out halfway through a six-album contract and potentially owing millions of dollars in damages.
The lawsuit, filed in Los Angeles Superior Court by L.A.-based Hidden Beach Records, claims that the label and its founder, Steve McKeever, helped launch Scott's career and nurtured her into a Grammy-winning singer-songwriter but was unceremoniously dumped in October after a 10-plus year relationship.
"Hidden Beach is shocked by her decision not only because Scott has apparently chosen to leave the Hidden Beach family," the complaint reads, "but also because Scott is contractually required to deliver three more albums to Hidden Beach."
The complaint alleges causes of action for breach of contract and damages owed under California's Labor Code Sec. 2855. That statute, sometimes known as the "De Havilland Law" because it stems from actress Oliva De Havilland's successful fight in the '40s against long-term studio deals, provides that talent cannot be bound by personal services contracts for longer than seven years. Hidden Beach isn't disputing that Scott's deal violated the seven-year rule but the law carves out a requirement that certain recording artists who wish to terminate their lengthy deals must reimburse their labels in the amount the labels would have received under the terms of the contracts. Since breaking onto the scene with the double-platinum selling "Who Is Jill Scott?" album in 2000, Scott's studio albums (and live albums) have generated millions in revenue. So while Hidden Beach's alleged damages are unspecified in the complaint, under California law they could total several million dollars. "
Wednesday, February 3, 2010
Tuesday, February 2, 2010
"Singing legend Etta James has been secretly battling Alzheimer's Disease for more than a year. Ms. James had been admitted to Community Hospital in southern California a week ago to treat an infection, but her son has revealed that his mother had been diagnosed with Alzheimer's over a year ago and has battled it in secret ever since. Donto James, who plays in his mother's band, says his mother is suffering from speech difficulties and has contracted the potentially-deadly MRSA virus."