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8 résultats trouvés

  1. http://www.theatlanticcities.com/neighborhoods/2014/03/fascinating-remains-rochesters-subway/7055/
  2. mtlurb

    Madrid: Leganés Museum of Sculpture

    The proposal for the new Sculpture Museum of Leganés by MACA is the result of setting a few specific objectives to accomplish. Their main objectives include the importance of providing appropriate exhibition spaces, adapting the new building to the urban surroundings and gardens nearby, and demonstrating flexibility while creating an iconic design for visitors. More images and architects’ description after the break.
  3. etienne

    And the blog goes on

    January 25, 2009 And the Blog Goes On By SAMANTHA STOREY KNOWING what your neighbor paid for his apartment is a juicy morsel of gossip, and in New York, gossiping about real estate is an obsession. It is so captivating that an entire niche of blogs was created to cover it. In the past four years, sites like Curbed.com, Brownstoner.com, UrbanDigs.com, TrueGotham.com and The Matrix have been scrutinizing the housing boom with pithy observation and, in some cases, snide commentary. For readers, it was fun to pillory the design flaws of new offerings and to read about how one broker had trashed another in an overheard conversation in an elevator. But with the recession in full swing and the housing market waning, what will these blogs write about now? It’s not entertaining to skewer a market where property values are falling and scores of people are losing their homes to foreclosure. The guiding lights behind these blogs say that they are evolving, becoming more serious and focusing on the nuts-and-bolts details of the market. True Gotham, for instance, is writing about how long transactions are taking. Others are becoming more general sites for neighborhood news. Curbed’s tip line once passed on information from a reader who said that there was a truck in the neighborhood giving out free meat. For some blogs, the real estate slowdown has led to a leveling off in readership. But all of the bloggers say they are confident their services are not only in demand, but will be increasingly valuable as the market gets trickier. The reader community that formed as a result of these blogs is a fundamental part of their success. “These sites are fulfilling the needs of people to connect with each other and stay on top of the ever-changing market,” said Sarah Rotman Epps, a media analyst for Forrester Research. “Real estate is a topic ripe for discussion — it is competitive, emotionally charged and fast changing.” Nevertheless, the blogs’ founders worry about declines in page views and advertising, and like the owners of other forms of media, they are trying to find strategies to deal with the recession. Jonathan Butler, the founder and owner of Brownstoner, said he laid off his sole employee in December and had gone back to writing the entire site himself. Profits have not gone down, he said, but he fears that with the economic downturn, they might. “It is somewhat pre-emptive,” he said. “But I’d rather be safe than sorry — I have two kids.” Curbed, the most popular of the New York City real estate blogs, with two million page views a month, has not had an increase in page views since September. “Traffic on Curbed has been flat,” said Lockhart Steele, the president of the Curbed.com media company, speaking from a coffee shop in the East Village. “I think we are seeing a little of the ‘401(k) syndrome,’ ” Mr. Steele said, referring to people who are ignoring recent financial statements because they know they will present bad news. “There are probably people who are thinking, ‘I am not going to look at that for a few months.’” Although not radically so, the blogs are also becoming more tasteful. Curbed has a feature called Price Chopper that before the downturn was illustrated with a bloody ax. Now that some sellers are taking a bath, the ax has been axed. In the spring of 2004, when Mr. Steele started Curbed.com, many of his posts picked up information about new buildings and commercial real estate from other publications, with links to their articles at the bottom. But as the site grew in popularity, Mr. Steele started to receive news tips from his readers and posted those. “The thing that happened is the readers took over,” said Mr. Steele, 35. “I think what makes the site vital is the fact that we cannot be everywhere, but readers are everywhere, and people love to participate.” Mr. Steele said reader involvement had not declined even with the faltering market. He continues to get tips from readers; these are followed up by two full-time editors. Mr. Butler, who used to work in marketing for a hedge fund, is also optimistic about the future of Brownstoner and other blogs. “I think real estate is the topic in New York,” said Mr. Butler, 39, speaking from an architecture firm in the Dumbo neighborhood of Brooklyn where he rents cubicle space. “You have plenty of people who couldn’t tell you what the S.&P. 500 is, but they can talk about real estate values.” Brownstoner, which gets 1.2 million page views a month, was started in 2004. Initially, Mr. Butler wrote about brownstone homes on the market in Brooklyn, and linked to resources about renovating them. This was mainly because he was renovating a brownstone that he had bought six months earlier. The posts were so well received that he started a forum specifically to discuss renovation of historic homes. These days Brownstoner has around 15 to 20 posts a day, covering community news, market analysis and new developments. But Mr. Butler still links to listings for interesting Brooklyn properties, and sometimes follows the entire selling cycle, from when a home is listed, through price cuts and the contract, to when the deed is transferred, giving the reader a sort of real-time play by play. Despite a shaky housing market, advertisers say that Curbed and Brownstoner are vital ways to find buyers. “You will see us moving toward more Web-based, cost-efficient advertising,” said Stephen Kliegerman, the executive director of development marketing for Halstead Property, a Manhattan brokerage firm that advertises on Curbed and Brownstoner. “Blogs, in particular, have buyers and sellers who are sharing their stories,” he said. “As more people come to their sites to read about the market, we feel like we will reach more potential buyers than ever before.” Halstead started placing banner advertisements on both sites about nine months ago. “We have backed off on the number of print ads we are doing,” Mr. Kliegerman said, adding that Halstead would continue advertising on blogs at the same level this year. Although some people go to the blogs only when they are hoping to buy, sell or rent, for others they become a habit. Louis Rosenfeld, who lives in Park Slope, started visiting Brownstoner last summer when he was looking for an apartment. He closed on a co-op in the fall, but is still reading the site. “I find it interesting to use as a lens for what’s going on in the borough,” said Mr. Rosenfeld, a book publisher. He said he liked the site’s broad approach. “I can find out what is happening with the Atlantic Yards and in neighborhoods like Ditmas Park and Flatbush.” He also said it was difficult to find news about these smaller neighborhoods in mainstream media. Some see the chance to comment as a way to promote their neighborhoods. On Brownstoner, one commenter used the log-in name Crown Heights Proud. “I would talk about the good things about Crown Heights and Bed-Stuy,” she said. “I liked to talk about the positive aspects of living in the community, the years of middle-class black people who raised their families there and were not afraid to go out on the streets. There is a history.” Crown Heights Proud, who did not give her real name because she wants to protect her privacy, now posts as Montrose Morris. While Curbed and Brownstoner are run by real estate entrepreneurs who derive income from the blogs, several are put out by people who have day jobs in the real estate business. They are less interested in gossip and more oriented to exposing the wizard behind the curtain. Jonathan Miller, the president of Miller Samuel, a Manhattan research and appraisal company, said that the blog genre had given the industry a great deal of transparency. With so much property information available online, “most people do an extensive amount of research before they even call an agent,” he said. “The blogosphere has brought an in-your-face approach to housing, and as a result, the agent’s role has changed from information provider to adviser.” He writes a blog called The Matrix (matrix.millersamuel.com), which has the tag line “Interpreting the Real Estate Economy.” He said his goal was to filter “a lot of the spin consumers are given.” He may write about what a change in federal policy could mean to housing demand, for instance. “I learn a tremendous amount by researching topics, which makes me a better appraiser,” he said. “This is purely a selfish endeavor because it’s like doing homework you like to do.” He doesn’t think interest in blogs will wane. “I think the influence of real estate blogs will continue to grow in this downturn,” Mr. Miller said. “I think they will become more and more mainstream. If you are a passionate real estate follower, people are craving quality and relevance, and these blogs are very fun to read.” Mr. Miller’s blog receives around 60,000 page views a month, which is double what it got a year ago, he said. “I have no way of correlating it to the financial crisis,” he said, “but it might be because of a thirst for information.” Douglas Heddings, a senior vice president of Prudential Douglas Elliman, started his blog, TrueGotham.com, in 2006, to burnish the image of real estate agents. “I really wanted to fight the used-car-salesman stigma that real estate brokers have,” said Mr. Heddings, who has been a broker since 1992. “I was so sick of going into a relationship with a potential customer and having them be defensive the moment they met me because of the bad reputation of agents.” He started to write about the day-to-day intricacies of brokers’ jobs and the things they should be doing for the buyers and sellers they represent. Initial posts had titles like “A Broker’s View of Unscrupulous Real Estate Brokers” and “Things You Can Overhear in a Real Estate Office.” But being forthcoming backfired, he said. “At the beginning I took a self-righteous tone,” he said. “Airing the dirty laundry of an industry that already struggles with its reputation is not the most effective way to change its perception.” Mr. Heddings said that his blog had replaced more conventional forms of marketing, like sending postcards, and that as a result, most of his clients had found him through reading it. One of them was Naomi Novik, a fantasy fiction writer. She got the idea to search real estate broker blogs from thesavilerowtailor.co.uk, a blog run by a British tailor. Since she had come to know the tailor through his blog, she thought she could get to know brokers through their blogs, too. That’s how she found Mr. Heddings. “New York City real estate has a terrible and well-deserved reputation for being a nightmare,” she said, “and Doug’s blog was endlessly valuable because he seemed like someone who was articulate and trustworthy. I live a good portion of my life online, in a way, and have always found people and services that way.” Noah Rosenblatt, a vice president of Halstead Property, writes UrbanDigs, which started in 2005. From the outset he has tracked macroeconomic indicators like unemployment rates and stock-market strength to gauge the housing market. On the blog, “people can learn about me and how I view the markets,” said Mr. Rosenblatt, who worked as a trader before becoming a broker in 2004. “I tell it like it is, real time, ahead of the curve, as opposed to lagging quarterly reports that get spun by brokers.” As a result, he said, he has attracted a readership that over time has come to know him and to trust his opinion of the market. “It takes a lot of time to build something from nothing,” he said. “You can’t just launch a blog and get 5,000 visitors a day.” Now, all of his clients are people who have found him online. Propertygrunt.blogspot.com, named in part for Grunt, a soldier in the G.I. Joe comic book series, is run anonymously by someone in the real estate industry. In an exchange of e-mail messages, he said he had no plans to change the tune or the tone of his four-year-old blog, which gives his perspective of the real estate market as a whole. A recent entry, he said, “was about how brokers kept using the word ‘confidence’ after the dismal fourth-quarter market reports.” He lampooned brokers’ use of the word, and wrote seven sizzling paragraphs in boldface capital letters to get his point across. But whether gung-ho or down at the mouth, New Yorkers, so far, seem to have an insatiable appetite for real estate news. “It just is, and maybe it always has been, the great New York obsession,” Mr. Steele said. “Maybe it’s because Manhattan is an island, and from Minute 1 there has always been a fixed amount of space. “Jeez, I don’t know,” he said. “Real estate just makes people crazy.” http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/25/realestate/25cov.html?pagewanted=1
  4. ErickMontreal

    TD and Royal downgraded to sell

    TD and Royal downgraded to sell Posted: January 16, 2009, 8:47 AM by Jonathan Ratner Both Royal Bank and Toronto-Dominion Bank were downgraded to a “sell” at Dundee Securities on expectations for weaker credit quality, bringing them in line with the firm’s bearish view on the sector as a whole and its recommendations for all of the Big 5 banks. Despite significant deterioration in its U.S. loan portfolio’s credit quality, Royal’s earnings have held up reasonably well on the back of its domestic retail banking programs, analyst John Aiken told clients. However, since Canada is unlikely to escape the “economic carnage” occurring in the U.S., he said it is only a matter of time before domestic credit quality begins to weaken materially, as credit card exposures have already started to show. “Consequently, although Royal will likely fair relatively well and should retain a premium to the group, absolute risk still exists,” Mr. Aiken said, cutting his price target on the stock from $38 per share to $35. It closed at $34.04 on Thursday. His forecast for TD moves from $51 to $44 as a result of expectations for a challenged outlook in the coming quarters as a result of additional deterioration in credit quality. It ended the day at $44.05. While Mr. Aiken said TD’s operations remain strong and its long-term prospects are solid based on its U.S. growth platform, he thinks 2009 will be the second straight year of declining earnings. “TD will not be immune and we believe that there is a risk that current expectations for credit losses have a significantly greater chance of being too low rather than too conservative,” the analyst said. Mr. Aiken did upgrade Laurentian Bank from a “sell” to “neutral,” but lowered his price target from $36 to $33. The stock closed at $31.41 on Thursday. “We believe that Laurentian’s valuation is much more reasonable at these levels,” he said, adding that while the bank does not have any direct exposure to the U.S., it will still feel pain on the domestic front. In general, Mr. Aiken feels the impact of underlying economic weakness and credit woes in the U.S., which has produced an earnings drag, increased write-downs and higher loan loss provisions, has also filtered into the Canadian market and will likely linger into the first half of 2009. “Consequently, we believe that headwinds to the banks’ earnings and concerns of capital adequacy will remain in the forefront as the banks begin the journey into 2009, and with it, the remaining perils from the past year, plus those yet unknown,” he said. As a result, the analyst said now is not the time to change his cautionary stance on the sector. Instead, he said it is time to remain “selective and mindful.” Mr. Aiken suggested that strong domestic operations should bode well for the retail market leaders TD, Royal and to a lesser extent CIBC. He also expects higher provisioning will come from the U.S. exposures of TD, Royal and Bank of Montreal, as well as the ripple effects to Bank of Nova Scotia’s Latin America assets. “Overall, valuation outlook will be largely predicated on the depth and breadth of the U.S. economic slowdown,” the analyst said. “Further credit deterioration will result in higher provisions, while added margin compressions will also depress earnings, offering little justification for any meaningful near term increase in valuations.”
  5. Prosperity gap to widen, Conference Board says Growth in Quebec expected to hit 1.4% DAVID AKIN, Canwest News Service Published: 8 hours ago Booming Saskatchewan will lead all provinces in economic growth this year, while Ontario and Quebec will suffer through a difficult year, said forecasters at the Conference Board of Canada. The widening prosperity gap between the West and those in central and eastern Canada presents federal policy-makers with some unique challenges. The West may need policies that slow growth and curb inflation, while central Canada has few inflationary worries but needs some economic stimulus to encourage growth. In its semi-annual provincial outlook, the Conference Board says Saskatchewan's economy is booming thanks to surging commodity prices, particularly oil and potash, and as a result, the provincial economy there will grow by 4.2 per cent this year. In fact, the Conference Board said workers are leaving Alberta and heading to Saskatchewan to make their fortune. The report says that, as a result, retailers in Canada's flattest province may be in for a particularly good year. "The positive labour outlook, combined with lofty wage gains, is spurring a spending spree. Retail sales are expected to soar by 12.2 per cent in 2008," it said. Meanwhile, in Quebec, things will be a bit better this year, where growth of 1.4 per cent is expected. "Since the middle of 2007, the Quebec economy has been at a near standstill. The weakness in the manufacturing sector has eroded economic gains made in other industries,' the report said. Next door in Ontario, where manufacturers had particular trouble coping with the one-two punch of a fast-rising loonie and skyrocketing energy prices, economic growth will be just 0.8 per cent, the Conference Board said. Only Newfoundland and Labrador will see slower economic growth than Ontario this year. After a stellar year in 2007 with double-digit economic growth, the Conference Board said the pace in Canada's most eastern province is stalled. It predicts growth there of just 0.2 per cent this year. Overall, the Conference Board believes Canada's economy will grow by 1.7 per cent. The forecasters at the independent think-tank are much more optimistic than the Bank of Canada, which said last month it believes Canada's economy will grow by one per cent.
  6. ErickMontreal

    Salmond : No safe seat for Labour in Scotland

    Salmond : No safe seat for Labour in Scotland The Scotsman samedi 26 juillet 2008 ALEX Salmond yesterday claimed there was no safe Labour seat left in Scotland as the full impact of the SNP’s sensational victory in Glasgow East emerged. The First Minister issued what amounted to a battle cry, suggesting the SNP would be unstoppable after ousting Labour from its third-safest seat. If the 22 per cent by-election swing was replicated across Scotland in a general election, it would leave just one of Labour’s 39 MPs in place – Tom Clarke in Coatbridge – with casualties including Gordon Brown, the Prime Minister, and Chancellor Alistair Darling. The scale of the defeat piled further pressure on Mr Brown, who faced demands from Paul Kenny, the leader of the GMB union, and the Labour back-bench critic Graham Stringer, to consider his position. David Cameron, the leader of the Conservative Party, said the defeat showed the country was desperate for change and challenged Mr Brown to call a general election after the summer. But Mr Brown refused to budge, saying he was "getting on with the job" while again trying to empathise with voters about the soaring cost of bread and eggs. Simple arithmetic shows that the SNP would have 49 MPs, the Liberal Democrats seven, the Tories one and Labour one if Labour’s vote collapsed in a similar manner at a general election. The calculation excludes the Glasgow seat currently held by the Commons Speaker, Michael Martin. As for what the result would mean if replicated in a Holyrood election, a source close to Mr Salmond said : "We are still doing our calculations, but there is no doubt that the swing last night would wipe out all Labour’s constituency MSPs. "They would receive some list MSPs in compensation for the proportion of their vote … but there is no doubt that we would be by far the largest party, although not necessarily in a majority." By-elections are unreliable indicators of future governments and success can often be short-lived. Of the four SNP by-election victories prior to the success of John Mason in Glasgow East, all but one failed to hold the seat at the subsequent general election. However, Mr Salmond yesterday maintained that Glasgow East’s voters had been in a "unique" situation. Rather than having a choice between a government and opposition, for the first time they were able to weigh the merits of two parties in power – Labour at Westminster and the SNP at Holyrood. There was also the belief among many Labour loyalists that their party had become "arrogant" and needed to be given a sharp kick, he told The Scotsman. "We have now demonstrated that there are no safe seats for the Labour party anywhere in Scotland," he said. "They used to say that it was the Tories who could only get one MP in Scotland." Several other factors also give the Nationalists hope that they are on the cusp of smashing Labour’s historic dominance in Scotland – and in particular in Glasgow. They point to the fact that the Glasgow East result was the first recent victory against a Labour government. In 1995 in Perth and Kinross, the Tories were in power at Westminster, as they were during the Govan victories of 1973 and 1988. It was only with the SNP’s first by-election victory in 1967 that it defeated a candidate representing a UK Labour government. Then there is Thursday’s turnout. At 42 per cent, it was only six percentage points short of the 48 per cent at the 2005 general election. This gives credence to the argument that electors would vote the same way in the next general election, due by June 2010. Labour could face an earlier test as Jack McConnell, an MSP and former first minister, will be forced to stand down from his Motherwell and Wishaw seat if his posting as High Commissioner of Malawi is activated next year as expected. Then there is the promised referendum vote in 2010, a year before the next elections to the Scottish Parliament. Roseanna Cunningham, who achieved the last SNP by- election victory when she took Perth and Kinross in 1995, said the benefits to the party this time were likely to be greater. This would be seen most obviously by an increase in younger supporters and a boost in membership. Asked what the victory would mean for the SNP’s hopes of ending decades of Labour dominance and driving forward its aim of independence, Ms Cunningham said : "What we can take from (the by-election] at an absolute minimum is that scaremongering about independence simply doesn’t work. That is the difference from between five or ten years ago. That is another sign you can’t simply frighten people away from voting SNP." Labour’s search for a new leader in the Scottish Parliament starts on Monday, following the resignation of Wendy Alexander, and many believe the amateurish attempts to canvass support in a supposedly rock-solid constituency – with imported teenage activists getting lost on a daily basis – showed the absence of a grass-roots organisation. However, Des Browne, Labour’s Scottish Secretary, said it was nonsense to suggest that a by-election result could be used as a guide to future voting intentions across the country. He said voters had wanted to register a protest against high prices caused by world economic conditions, and said Labour was already working to re-establish support in Glasgow. However, he did concede that it was a "significantly bad result". But he compared Glasgow East to the 1999 Hamilton South by-election, which Labour held by just 556 votes from an SNP charge with a virtually identical swing to Thursday. "I remember the SNP issued a press release, which my local paper carried, saying they were about to sweep me away on the basis of that," he said. "It wasn’t replicated at the general election and I have defended that seat twice since then."