What To Do With Ugly Apartment Buildings?

Facing a tightening supply of elegant older buildings, real-estate developers are turning to 1970's-era ugly buildings and transforming them into the hottest new-home addresses around.
April 16, 2004, 1pm PDT | Chris Steins | @urbaninsight
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A new type of apartment and condo conversion is taking hold in some cities. For example, "the former headquarters of the Getty Oil Co. on Wilshire Boulevard in Los Angeles is a similar tale. The 22-story marble-clad monolith, which sat vacant for 10 years and almost became a building housing telecom equipment, save for the Internet bubble bursting, has its first open house for renters next month. One-bedrooms will go for around $1,150, larger units for over $3,500... Inside such conversions, form often follows the original office function, which presents a problem: Floor sizes are too large to get light deep into the apartments. 'The views were very beautiful, but the apartment layouts were difficult,' says Nancy J. Ruddy of Cetra/Ruddy Architects, the New York firm that worked on the interiors at 90 Washington. She says new apartment buildings are usually 60 feet deep but 'a lot of these office buildings are 100 feet deep.' "

Thanks to Chris Steins

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Published on Thursday, April 15, 2004 in Wall St. Journal
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