03 January 2008

End of An Era...?

"With Builder in Bankruptcy, Buyers Are Left Out," New York Times (January 3, 2008):
  • "Levitt & Sons, a unit of the Levitt Corporation... ran out of cash in October and declared bankruptcy in November."
  • "The collapse of Levitt, the first big home builder to fail in the current slump, illustrates how the turmoil in real estate is spreading far beyond subprime borrowers who cannot pay their mortgages."
  • "Sixty-one years ago, Levitt began mass-producing homes on a patch of Long Island potato fields. It quickly built tens of thousands of houses in Long Island, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, creating the modern suburb in the process."
  • "William J. Levitt, son of the company founder and chief engine of its success, took the company public in 1960. It was acquired by International Telephone & Telegraph in 1968, and then sold in a court-ordered divestiture three years later. The company went through a succession of owners, relocating to Florida in 1979 and declining into insignificance."
From Wikipedia:
  • "[William] Levitt subsequently lost much of his wealth in unsuccessful investments."
  • "Levittown [NY -- built between 1947 and 1951] was the first truly mass-produced suburb and is widely regarded as the archetype for postwar suburbs throughout the country."
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