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Costco eyes Harlem location

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Home Depot may back out of a planned retail development on the Upper East Side of New York City, according to a story in the Daily News. Costco chairman Jeffrey Brotman told the newspaper that his company was “in talks” with Home Depot about subletting a 110,000-squre-foot space on FDR Drive between 116th and 119th Streets.

The Atlanta retailer signed a lease several years ago to occupy the ground level of a five-story project called East River Plaza. The second level will hold a Target store, and Best Buy will be the tenant for part of the third floor.

Originally scheduled to open in the fourth quarter of 2008, the 485,000-squre-foot shopping center, which sits on six acres, has stalled over financing issues. The new projected opening is October 2009.

Home Depot already has two locations in Manhattan.

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NAHB urges Congress to pass housing stimulus bill

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Trying to spur Congress into action on housing stimulus legislation before its July 4 recess, the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) has placed “An Open Letter to Congress” ad in The Washington Post and USA Today, as well as two of the most widely read publications on Capitol Hill, Roll Call and Politico.

Under the headline “A Time for Leadership,” NAHB president and West Virginia home builder Sandra Dunn writes, “The landmark housing stimulus legislation now before both the House and Senate would help end the downward housing spiral that is the biggest threat to the health of our economy.”

Acentral component of this legislation is a temporary home buyer tax credit to stimulate home purchases by qualified first-time buyers, which the NAHB believes would help reduce excess supply in housing markets.

“Housing is in the grips of the most crippling downturn since the Great Depression, consumer confidence has plunged, economic growth has slowed to a crawl and unemployment lines are growing longer,” the letter continues. “This is not the time for demagoguery or partisanship. It is the time for flexibility and compromise. It is the time for action.”

NAHB executive vp and CEO Jerry Howard called the temporary home buyer tax credit “the best stimulative measure — it will get buyers off the fence, shore up home prices and halt the downward spiral in the housing market.”

This legislation also includes several other provisions to help revive housing and the economy, including the following: FHA modernization; reform of housing government sponsored enterprises Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac; expansion of the mortgage revenue bond program; and enhancement of the Low Income Housing Tax Credit to help spur production of much needed affordable rental housing.

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Wolseley opens green building showcase in United Kingdom

BY HBSDEALER Staff

In an effort to accelerate the United Kingdom’s move into green construction, Wolseley has opened a 6,800-square-foot showcase to display 170 types of products including photovoltaics, micro-wind, sedum roof; e-glazing, natural lighting and insulation; green flooring coverings; combines heat and power; rainwater harvesting; biomass; ground source heat pump; engineered timber; low energy lighting; water saving devices; solar thermal; and sustainable drainage.

Built at the company’s 18-acre site in Leamington Spa in Warwickshire, England, at a cost of $3.2 million pounds, the building is the first of its kind in the United Kingdom. Products featured in the two-story building are currently available through Wolseley’s 1,800 branch network in the U.K. Specially trained staff is on hand to provide visitors with information and guidance on appropriate materials for specific projects, from single-family homes to large-scale commercial developments.

Wolseley is one of the world’s largest distributors of building materials, with operations in 27 countries throughout Europe and North America. In the United States, Stock Building Supply and Ferguson are part of Wolseley North America.

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