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Inside Real Estate

Inside Real Estate (Feb 11th, 2019)

1. Developers and elected officials are dusting off their HQ2 proposals in the wake of the news that Amazon may be reconsidering its plans for Long Island City. Marc Weller of Weller Development, the developers of Baltimore's Port Covington project, confirmed to the Baltimore Sun that his team has reached out to Jeff Bezos and resubmitted their headquarters bid. Illinois Governor J. B. Pritzker has also reached out to Amazon to make a case for Chicago. Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont's office reported on Twitter that his team has also been in touch with Amazon. — BALTIMORE SUN

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2. Plans have been scrapped to put a WhyHotel in a new Charleston, South Carolina apartment building. WhyHotel is a startup that created pop-up hotels inside multi-family buildings. As units are gradually rented out, the hotel decreases in size. Guests have access to building amenities as well as housekeeping and on-site hospitality services. The planned 137-unit hotel in Charleston faced opposition from local groups. WhyHotel currently has around 400 units in three buildings in Baltimore, Arlington, and Washington, DC. WhyHotel raised $10 million in funding at the end of 2018. — BISNOW

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3. Paris has sued Airbnb for $14 million over 1,000 listings that it says are illegal. French laws allow people to rent out their homes as short-term rentals for 120 days. Inspections by the city turned up the rentals that had exceeded this time limit. A spokesperson for Airbnb called the terms set by the city "disproportionate and against European regulations." Paris and Airbnb have had a long and contentious relationship with the city officials threatening to ban short-term rentals last year. There are over 65,000 Parisian rentals listed on Airbnb, and the city is one of the site's most searched destinations. — BUSINESS INSIDER

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4. Italy may sell of $2.1 billion of real estate to help boost the country out of a recession. Italy has created an inventory of all state-owned properties. Properties that could be sold off include former army barracks and vacant government buildings. One concern for potential buyers may be Italy's rezoning laws which could make it hard to repurpose some of the real estate. The move follows a variety of city-led initiatives to attract new residents to smaller cities including selling off real estate at reduced rates and offering stipends for moving to underpopulated villages. — BLOOMBERG

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5. Thailand dominated foreign property searches by Chinese investors in 2018 on Juwai, a Chinese-language real estate search portal. Buyers from China spent $2.3 billion on Thai real estate in 2018. There are some concerns that some areas of Thailand are becoming overbuilt as developers create more condominiums. One in five Thai condos is purchased by a Chinese buyer. Prices have risen by 20 percent in Bangkok where Chinese buyers bought an estimated 15,000 apartments in 2018. The Bank of Thailand is tightening mortgage rules to help prevent a bubble from forming. — CNBC

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Property Spotlight: The Flagship

The lure of the coastline of Massachusetts often has as much to do with its history as with its beauty. Perched on the outermost fingertips of Cape Cod's flexing arm, Provincetown has long attracted artists and individuals drawn to the scenic bluffs and the sense of living at the narrowest division between land and ocean. 

The Flagship is a historic Provincetown landmark that was once Ambrose Webster's art school during the area's early flourishing as a summer art colony. Later, as has been breathlessly reported on a variety of publications, the Flagship was the restaurant where Anthony Bourdain started his career, toiling as a dishwasher in the summer of 1972. The property is on Commercial Street, which runs parallel to the coast and is a popular tourist destination in the summer months. 

Now a private property, the traditional shingled home sits partly on a Chapter-91 compliant rebuilt wharf on Provincetown harbor with views of the Pilgrim Monument and Truro's windswept dunes. It was built in 1911 and has 2,989 square feet of space. A 2012 renovation kept the property's distinctive porthole windows and its distinctive 18-foot bar formed from a dory boat. Wood floors, beamed ceilings, and wood paneling give the entire building the sense of being inside a yacht docked in the harbor. This property is listed for $5.75 million.

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6. CoesterVMS — once one of the country's larger appraisal management services — has apparently closed up their headquarters and has laid off all employees. No public statement has been issued but rumors of the company's demise have been popping up since late last year.  — HOUSINGWIRE

7.  Colorado State University's former Hughes Stadium will become a new neighborhood development. Lennar paid $10 million for the site in Fort Collins and could build as many as 700 homes. CSU has been looking for a developer to create housing that is affordable for faculty, staff, and the surrounding community. — THE COLORADOAN

8. A $200 million skyscraper project could become one of the tallest buildings in Omaha, Nebraska. The structure will have two towers above a nine-story parking structure. Developer Jason Lanoha bought the city block that 1416 Dodge St.rests on in 2014. No tenants for the building have been announced but Lanoha believes the time is right for a new office project in the city. — OMAHA WORLD-HERALD

9. The former world headquarters of Bethlehem Steel in West Bethlehem, Pennsylvania will become a 53-acre development of offices, houses, and stores. No date has been set for the demolition of the 21-story Martin Tower that forms the core of the campus. The skyscraper is on the National Register of Historic Places and while some locals feel it is time for the vacant building to be torn down, others believe it should be preserved in some way.  — LEHIGH LIVE

10. Photos of a home for sale in Pennsylvania went viral because it touted an "adult sexual oasis" in the basement. The listing has been viewed on Redfin over 500,000 times. The home is also available for rent on Airbnb. — SLATE

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Written and curated by Deidre Woollard. Deidre is based in Los Angeles and has a background in real estate public relations. Tweeting real estate stories daily @deidre.

Editing team: Lon Harris (editor-in-chief at Inside.com, game-master at Screen Junkies), Krystle Vermes (Breaking news editor at Inside, B2B marketing news reporter, host of the "All Day Paranormal" podcast), and Susmita Baral (editor at Inside, recent bylines in NatGeo, Teen Vogue, and Quartz. Runs the biggest mac and cheese account on Instagram).

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