Hotel Latest of Staten Island Builder's Projects to Fizzle

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It's not just Manhattan that's getting hit hard by this economy. The Staten Island Advance tells us the Staten Island Hotel, jewel of the forgotten borough's hospitality industry, has gone into foreclosure. Its builder, Leib Puretz, is heavily invested in Staten Island real estate, with extensive properties at Bay Street Landing, the North Shore and elsewhere. Just a few years ago Puretz was riding high; In 2006 he told the Times that his St. George apartments would "be stylish in order to compete for buyers with Brooklyn neighborhoods like Greenpoint and Bedford-Stuyvesant"; City Hall News said of his waterfront developments in 2007, "The biggest developer, Leib Puretz, caters to those who can afford to buy luxury apartments at market rate"; his Richmond Valley mall was to "encourage a reverse commute of shoppers from New Jersey and the tri-state area to the South Shore." Then his investments began to dry up. "If the banks won't lend money, how are you supposed to restructure debt?" says his broker. "It's scary out there."

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