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October 9, 2010 | Patt Morrison
Maybe the name "Sonny" gives you a clue. It's the nickname Hassan Astani chose from a favored singer, Sonny Bono, a scrappy underdog if ever there was one. Astani's dream downtown condo project, Concerto, has gone dissonant. The bank backing the project failed, the FDIC stepped in and the hedge fund Starwood Capital Group won the bidding on the bank's portfolio, including Astani's nearly finished $260-million project. Starwood now shares ownership with the feds, and Astani wants control of his project back.
May 24, 1992 | Walter Russell Mead, Walter Russell Mead, a contributing editor to Opinion, is the author of "Mortal Splendor: The American Empire in Transition" (Houghton Mifflin)
The '80s aren't just over; they're finished. Donald Trump, Leona Helmsley, Michael Milken; one by one, the icons of the Age of Greed have trooped offstage: broke, dis credited, jailed. Now the buildings are going bankrupt. The Canadian bankruptcy filing of Olympia & York, the world's largest and, until recently, supposedly its richest property developer, is plunging an already troubled commercial real-estate market into chaos.
Cradled by rolling hills in the north county community whose name it bears, the Agua Dulce Air Park has been controversial for much of its 36 years. Many of Agua Dulce's 2,100 residents consider the site a noise nuisance at the very least. At worst, they say, noting the elementary school a mile away, it is an aviation tragedy waiting to happen.
March 14, 2009 | Peter Y. Hong
The Obama administration's budget threatens to cut a benefit many Americans view as practically a right -- the mortgage interest tax deduction -- and powerful real estate interests are fighting back. The move would affect only households earning $250,000 or more, but opponents say it could prolong the housing crisis by slowing already torpid home sales and deal another blow to home values ravaged by the market crash.
January 15, 1995 | JOE MORGENSTERN, Joe Morgenstern is a journalist and screenwriter who lives in Santa Monica
At this time last year, when Aaron Bacon was 16, his young life was in tumult, though it was still a life. A funny, endearing kid for most of his privileged childhood, Aaron had changed, within a matter of months, into a testy, withdrawn stranger. A gifted kid who had loved to write poetry in a lyrical mode, he was ditching school and lying about it. As his grades slipped, his writing lost its literary luster. More and more, his poems read like death-rock lyrics from the backs of old vinyl-album covers.
February 7, 2013 | By Leslie Van Buskirk
The “Friends” gang might have painted the walls a cheery yellow and brought in lots of candy-colored furniture. The “Gossip Girl” brats would have made fun of anyone poor enough to live there, and Carrie probably would have been too horrified to allow her “Sex and the City” Manolos to touch the scratched floors. But the unrenovated Brooklyn brownstone where TV's modern-day Sherlock Holmes rests his head and solves some of the Big Apple's twistiest crimes hits some amusing -- and timely -- decorating notes.
March 6, 1989 | DONALD P. MYERS, Newsday
Mary Beth Whitehead-Gould, four months pregnant with her fifth child, throws up in the bathroom as the sun goes down. "Morning sickness, day and night, with all my babies," she says when she's finished. "It's a cross I have to bear." Her fourth child, 9-month-old Austin, crawls on the kitchen floor with the Shetland sheep dogs. Her first child, 14-year-old Ryan, skateboards in the street outside.
Instead of the love of her children, Hannah Nash has a condominium. It's a very nice condominium, worth maybe a million, more or less, depending on the real estate market. The condo and some other choice property are probably the closest she has to family after her self-declared Byzantine struggle with her two sons over the family's multimillion-dollar real-estate holdings. From all indications, the sons would agree. Located on the 14th floor in one of those West L. A.
March 27, 1994 | SEBASTIAN ROTELLA, Sebastian Rotella is a Times staff writer. He covers the U.S.-Mexican border from the San Diego bureau
THE BOY IS 4 YEARS OLD. WEARING A BLUE SWEAT SHIRT, BAGGY jeans and a look of solitary awe, he wanders through the Sunday afternoon tumult of the La Mesa State Penitentiary, a raucous Tijuana dreamscape. The boy passes taco stands in the central plaza, a makeshift video arcade and a general store with a hand-painted 7-Eleven sign. He gets a pat on the head from one of the scruffy tattooed men crouched in a predatory daze around the basketball court.
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