Halstead Property

Welcome to the official Halstead Tumblr Blog, where our local agents are your local experts. Halstead Property is the largest privately owned real estate firm in the New York Metropolitan Area and we strive to innovate and modernize your real estate experience. Through this blog, we aim to act as your neighborhood and real estate ambassador. We have daily contributors whose primary goal is to investigate and produce daily commentary and rich content that will give you a taste of the areas we service and you live in. If you have any feedback we invite you to contact us at social@halstead.com.

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BACK TO SCHOOL FOR EMPTY NESTERS

By: Team Hermann, Licensed Real Estate Salesteam at Halstead Property’s Washington Heights Office.

As Labor Day approaches, many parents are in the thick of getting their children ready for school, but there are some parents who are having a very different experience. Their status has changed, they are empty-nesters. All the kids are grown up and have moved out. 

What to do? DOWNSIZE! 

When empty-nesters come to us to begin the search for their new home, they are very excited to do so, but they all have the same question,

 What do we do with a lifetime’s accumulation of possessions?

George and I are well prepared to help because we did this ourselves. 

We had already embraced the well known saying that less is more. Our goal became to create the clean lines and calm we always felt upon stepping into a freshly made up, well-appointed hotel room, (within the parameters of real life!). 

Visualize yourselves in the space that would make you happy. Here are some real-life tips to help you start un-encumbering yourselves from your no doubt lovely, but excess of possessions: 

1. The good china you have packed away, up on that high shelf, do you love it? Make it your china, period. Use it daily and for company, but If it’s not dishwasher safe, replace it. Now, moving along to salad bowls and platters, do you really need enough to cater a State Dinner? Our children were very happy to take some of those, and you can donate the rest.

2. LOVE that big, brilliant red coat you last wore, once, December of 2012? Keep it, but be prepared to go through all of your clothes, and be scrupulous about your decision on every single item, whether to keep or donate. Local charitable organizations would be very happy recipients of your gently worn donations.

3. Not the books! I was adamant that I could not part with a single one of the 14-foot tall, floor-to-ceiling bookcase worth of books. That is, until I went through them. I survived, and some local libraries and community centers were very happy to receive wonderful selections to sell in their bookstores or put into their circulation.

4. Break the chain. Insisting that our children take things could be passing on the burden of owning too many possessions. Let them chose what they like, and that’s all! The fabulous carpet we couldn’t use remained rolled up until we got the message. 

5. Time to go shopping! This may sound counter-intuitive, but it’s very necessary. Now is the time to go check out all the wonderful new designs and components that have been designed with city apartments in mind. Downsizing does not mean your family will not have a place to stay when they visit. We have 2 love seats that turn into twin size beds simply by removing the pillows and lowering the arms. As for that oversized credenza you walk passed all the time, the one that is full of things you rarely if ever use, it may not work in your new apartment. Measure it. If it does not fit on paper, it won’t fit. It is far easier to find a new and very appreciative home for it before you move. 

Happily, you will find that what you do keep instantaneously becomes much more special. You will be reminded of the value of all of your lovely, special, meaningful things. Moving is known to be stressful; Fulfilling a longtime plan to downsize and begin a new wonderful time in your life does not have to be. In fact, here is how we describe the experience,  it’s LIBERATING! 

Some of our favorite resources for interior furnishings that will look great, while providing the ease of living that you are aiming for include ISS Designs and Resource Furniture.

Visit Team Hermann’s website and connect with RoseAnn Hermann over email, and George Hermann over email to learn more.

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Thoughts and opinions presented in this post are those of RoseAnn and George Hermann and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Halstead Property, LLC.

US OPEN: CENTRE COURT SERIES ADVANTAGE: 260 SOUTH LAKE DRIVE

With the 2014 US Open in town, we found nearby homes that are equipped with all you need to perfect that grand slam-winning backhand serve, since before you become the next Serena Williams or Roger Federer, the world’s greatest tennis stars would not be here without an appropriate place to practice on. Halstead Property presents the Centre Court Series Advantage, starting with 260 South Lake Drive in Stamford, CT.

A world-class tennis court is yours for the taking whenever you need it at this sprawling gated estate on over 8.5 gorgeous acres of impeccably manicured land. The newly renovated court is built with post tension concrete and classic turf sport surface material that suits tennis, basketball and multi-sport courts, and the versatile high-tech cushioning system allows for less physical wear and tear on players, as it is 30% softer than asphalt or concrete. While we cannot guarantee your tennis-playing skill level, we can guarantee it is this kind of court that allows for customized speed of play, and provides 100% consistent ball bounce – thus increasing your chances to excel.

With grounds that boast the highest-quality, all weather sport court available, and is as attractive as Rod Laver Arena at the Australian Open, this is an athlete’s paradise complete with a private, fully-equipped in-home fitness center that offers all the comforts a budding tennis pro needs to stay in good health including a sauna, steam shower and cabana kitchenette. The 2,500 square-foot lower level fitness area conveniently flows out onto the poolside tennis court, ideal for when you need to take a refreshing dip in the free-form pool after a long and sweaty practice session. Inside features more than 9,000 square-feet of interior living space with striking details found in every room. 10-foot high vaulted ceilings welcome you into a master bedroom that has its own fireplace, while 5 additional bedrooms are located throughout the remainder of the house. A brick colonial living room and a separate family room with vaulted ceilings each reveal their own fireplace, and last but not least, rich cherry-wood built-ins decorate the gracious library and home-office.

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Click here to learn more about this Stamford property with Centre Court Advantage, or contact Halstead Property’s local Stamford agent, Bill Olsen to inquire over email

EYE CANDY OF THE DAY: ENCHANTING PARADISE

Poised high in the hills of Millbrook, NY in the midst of 85 acres of luscious, gardens and landscaped terrain, this Frank Lloyd Wright inspired home takes full advantage of stunning long range Berkshire Mountain views from all around. Arrive by land and enter the gates, or arrive by air on your private heliport where a half mile drive to this secluded paradise takes you through three ponds, rolling green hills, two brooks, and many open trails that are just waiting to be explored.The immediate acres surrounding the main property are filled with fascinating gardens, fully lit sitting areas, two waterfalls, and both a tennis and basketball court, in addition to a secluded garden and gazebo behind the in-ground swimming pool and Jacuzzi that are enclosed by an electric ceiling for year round use which can be accessed from the main living level.

The main house boasts multi-level terraces all with imported French stone natural pavers, stone walls, hand forged railings, sky lights, and countless glass windows and entrances to display the beauty of every season. On the second level lies 1 of 2 master suites with a private entrance and a 35 x 40 art and entertainment center, while the next level hosts the 2nd  master suite complete with a meditation room, and an incredible sky lit bath. Hidden near the main home is a private guest house with its own decking, gardens and parking.

Click here to discover so much more about this captivating New York estate.

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Don’t miss our Snapshot of the Day for more stunning imagery, find us on Instagram @Halstead or visit our online gallery here

YOUR EYE CANDY OF THE DAY: Old World Charm

From the stone façade to multiple paned windows and mahogany front door, this 1932 old world style home has undeniable character. Its location on over an entire acre of land above the Goodwives River in Darien, CT allows for lush, and beautiful vegetation and landscaping in addition to plenty of privacy. The home boasts 5 bedrooms and a master suite with an incredible stone fireplace that mirrors the equally as impressive fireplace in the lower level family room, and we can picture ourselves spending many lazy afternoons relaxing on the wraparound patio and deck.

Click here to learn more about this inviting Connecticut property.

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Don’t miss our Snapshot of the Day for more stunning imagery, find us on Instagram @Halstead or visit our online gallery here

Tennis Anyone?

Your Guide to the Best Free (Or Low Cost) Outdoor Tennis Courts in New York

By Duncan Ashley Lonsdale, Licensed Real Estate Salesperson - West Side Office

Today’s beginning of the US Open may signal the end of the “Grand Slam” season for professional tennis, but there are still a few more good months weather-wise for the rest of us to pick up a racquet on the many free (or close to free) outdoor courts in Manhattan and elsewhere in the city.

Brian Watkins Tennis Center

East River Park at Houston St. under the Williamsburg Bridge (walk east over FDR Drive)

# of Courts/surface: 12 Hard Courts

Contact: (212) 529-7185

Comments: Free with a permit from Paragon Sports (867 Broadway between 17th and 18th Sts; 800-961-3030, paragonsports.com Applications can also be found at nycgovparks.org; a seasonal permit is $100; a day pass $7. Tranquil setting adjacent to the East River.

Central Park Tennis Center

93rd St. near West Drive

# of Courts/surface: 4 (Hard) & 26 (Fast Dry)

Contact: 212-316-0800 centralparktenniscenter.com

Hours:Daily 6:30am–8pm; free with permit. Reservations suggested. Permits available at nycgovparks.org season permit (good through late November) $200; single-play permit $15.

Comments: Because these are the most well known and offer the most amenities (bathrooms, lockers, showers, a snack bar, and pro shop), they are also the most difficult to secure at peak times. Lessons Offered.

Fort Washington Park

Located by the Hudson River at 170th St.

# of Courts/surface: 10 Hard Courts

Contact: (212) 304-2322

Comments: These courts may be Manhattan’s best-kept secret until they aren’t. They are relatively difficult to access, even for those who live in the neighborhood. Perhaps the most efficient way to access these courts is along the west side path – by bike (about 20-25 minutes each way from the upper west side). It’s a beautiful setting under the GWB and near the beloved Little Red Lighthouse.

Frederick Johnson Playground

Located at 151st St., east of Adam Clayton Powell Blvd.

# of Courts/surface: 4 Hard Courts & 4 Rubberized Courts

Contact: (212) 234-9609

Hours:7 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily and until 8:30 p.m. on Mondays and Tuesdays.

Comments: Affectionately known as “The Jungle” where Althea Gibson trained in her youth. Players must have either a permit or a single-play pass. “Easier to get court time here than many of the other outdoor courts in the city.” Lessons Offered.

Inwood Hill Park

Located at 207th St. and Seaman Ave.

# of Courts/surface: 9 Hard Courts

Contact: (212) 304-2381

Riverside Park

Riverside Drive and W. 96th St. (West of the highway and adjacent to the river)

# of Courts/surface: 10 Clay Courts

Contact: (212) 978-0277 rcta.info

Hours:Daily 7am–8pm April to November. Free with permit.

Comments: Very popular! Be prepared to wait (as long as 2 hours on weekends), but beautiful setting along the river. Avoid the lines by playing on weekday afternoons. Lessons Offered.

Sportime

Located at Randall’s Island Park 

# of Courts/surface:: 20 Hard (Indoor) Courts

Contact: (212) 427-6150 www.sportimeny.com/Tennis

Comments: 5 indoor hard courts, 5 indoor/outdoor hard courts, and 10 indoor/outdoor clay courts. 10 of the 20 courts are available to permit holders during the outdoor permit season (May through the day before Columbus Day). Adult and junior instructional, competitive, and recreational tennis programs offered.

Washington Market Park

Greenwich St (between Chambers and Duane Sts)

# of Courts/surface: 1 Hard Court

Contact: chamberstreettennis.com

Hours:Daily 7am–midnight; free with permit.

Comments: Regulars typically arrive around 6:30am to get a good spot. Getting a spot is dicey since there is only one court. This single lighted court is open year-round.

Hudson River Park

Located at the river, between Canal and West Houston Street

# of Courts/surface: 3 Hard Courts

Contact: (212) 627-2020, hudsonriverpark.org

Hours:6 a.m. to midnight

Comments: Free! No permit required.1 hour limit if others are waiting. Beautifully situated along the Hudson and lights for evening play.

119th St. Tennis Association

Location is mid-promenade level of Riverside Park (above the path that runs by the river).

# of Courts/surface: 10 Hard Courts

Contact: www.119ta.net

Hours:8:00 a.m. until sundown

Comments: Annual membership dues: $40 per year. NYC Parks and Recreation Tennis Permits are required from Saturday, April 5 through Sunday, November 23, 2014. See the NYC Parks and Recreation website for further information and to renew online. Permits are sold at the Arsenal at 61st Street and 5th Avenue: Adults $200, Seniors $20, Juniors $10; Single Play passes $15 per person.

William H. Seward Park

Located at Essex and Hester Sts. in the lower east side.

# of Courts/surface: 3 hard courts

Comments: Not much information about these courts on the internet. Perhaps a well-kept secret?

Octagon Park Tennis Courts

Located on Roosevelt Island. Located at north end of Main Street, Roosevelt Island.

# of Courts/surface: 6 Plexicushion courts

Contact: (212) 832-4563, rioc.com.

Hours:6 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.

Comments: Prime-time hours are 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. weekdays and 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on weekends and holidays. There are usually plenty of open courts on weekend afternoons. The rubberized surface plays fast, but the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation is studying how to slow things down. The middle courts offer the best lighting at night. Bring water, as there’s no water fountain. A Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation permit is needed to get onto the courts.

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For additional tennis information in all five boroughs, visit the NYC Gov Parks Website.

To find a home with the fits all your niched demands and needs, contact Duncan today via email or his website.

EYE CANDY OF THE DAY: CHIC AND SECLUDED OASIS

Complete privacy abounds at this designer-owned 1950’s style cape house set on over 1.5 acres of lush, ivy-covered land in East Hampton. Style and character found inside the two-bedroom home can’t be denied, starting with striking floor to ceiling subway tiles in a custom eat-in kitchen that leads to a wood-burning fireplace in an inviting and open living area. Relax by the massive in-ground saltwater pool outback, and enjoy alfresco dining or sip on refreshing summer cocktails on the spacious, poolside cedar patio complete with an elegant outdoor seating area.

The best Hamptons attractions and amenities like pristine beaches in Amagansett are not far from this secluded paradise.

Click here to learn more about this East Hampton escape.

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Don’t miss our Snapshot of the Day for more stunning imagery, find us on Instagram @Halstead or visit our online gallery here

YOUR EYE CANDY OF THE DAY: PRETTY IN PARK SLOPE

Acquaint yourself with the perfect blend of contemporary and classic at this 2 bedroom condominium in Park Slope, Brooklyn. Designer touches can be found throughout starting in the kitchen built with a beautiful porcelain tile backsplash, and a stainless steel sink with a Nottingham faucet to hardwood floors and double-paned windows that offer a constant stream of natural light. Private outdoor space can be found just beyond the living area for even more sunlight, in addition to a private storage unit. Last but not least, the location cannot be beat with iconic landmarks such as Prospect Park and the Brooklyn Museum located just blocks away. 

Click here to learn more about this fine Brooklyn home.

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Don’t miss our Snapshot of the Day for more stunning imagery, find us on Instagram @Halstead or visit our online gallery here

YOUR EYE CANDY OF THE DAY: ISLAND ESCAPE

Who hasn’t dreamed of living on a private island? With a serene sandy beach, dock and deep water channel - this crown jewel Victorian home is situated on almost 2 acres of land on Pot Island, Connecticut and is considered the “Queen of the Thimble Islands.” The entire residence offers breathtaking views from its unrivaled location atop a picturesque bluff with rolling green hills all the way down the lawn straight to the water’s edge, and a total of 11 bedrooms and 5 1/2 baths spread throughout 6,300 square feet of interior living space offers maximum comfort for any, and all of your guests. A dreamy chef’s kitchen with cathedral ceilings and a dining hall with a separate breakfast and sunset porch combine to complete this incredible home.

Click here to discover more of this stunning Connecticut property.

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Don’t miss our Snapshot of the Day for more stunning imagery, find us on Instagram @Halstead or visit our online gallery here.

DO YOU KNOW THIS BUILDING? 

By: Deborah Zavon, Licensed Associate Real Estate Broker, Park Avenue Office. 

Tortoise and the Hare at 1040 Park Avenue and 86th Street, Upper Eastside, Manhattan.

I have shared my enjoyment of the rats climbing the Graybar building, and here is other architectural fauna that I glance at whenever I pass, more appealing in theme, though not less frenetic.

Above the third floor windows at 1040 Park Avenue and 86th Street on Manhattan’s Upper Eastside, the tortoise and the hare have been chasing each other around the building’s façade for almost a century.

Design legends Delano & Aldrich are architects known for building upper-class town houses and clubs, were employed by developer Joseph L. B. Mayer in 1923 to design this residential building at a time when apartment development above 86th Street on Park avenue was just taking off. The architects gave it a chaste limestone base of three floors and they happily included some whimsy in the design with an amusing third-story frieze of tortoise-and-hare figures.

In 1991, former New York City Parks Commissioner Henry J. Stern founded the American Association for the Advancement and Appreciation of Animals in Art & Architecture which conducts safaris to view the most beautiful local examples of animal sculpture in architecture, and have adopted the well-known frieze as their official logo.

There are many surprising architectural finds in the city that are intriguing and interesting to come across. Share your own “Do You Know This Building?” photo with me in the comments below, or over email.

Visit my agent website to learn more and for all of your New York City real estate needs. 

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Thoughts and opinions presented in this post are those of Deborah Zavon and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Halstead Property, LLC.

TOP HALSTEAD PROPERTY EXECUTIVES TAKE THE #ICEBUCKETCHALLENGE

Two of Halstead Property’s Top Executives, CEO Diane Ramirez and President Jim Gricar, yesterday proudly accepted the nomination by Director of Web Marketing and Social Media Matthew Leone to take the ALS #IceBucketChallenge. Both stood atop Halstead’s Park Avenue Flagship Office Building rooftop flanked by their Executive Team who had front row seats to the ice filled plunge. 

WATCH THE VIDEO HERE

Ramirez and Gricar agreed to also join other Halstead agents and executives and donate to the ALS Association to do their part to help #StrikeOutALS. The success of the #IceBucketChallenge social phenomenon has been staggering over the course of the last two weeks with $14M being raised for ALS Association coffers, compared with $1.7 million during the same period last year. To donate to an incredible cause or to become better educated on ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease, we invite you to click here. 

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Special thanks to the Oxford Café for providing the large amounts of ice as well as the 499 Park Security Detail and Property Management Team for their help in the event.

 

HALSTEAD PRESIDENT JIM GRICAR DEBATES HOME AFFORDABILITY ON FOX BUSINESS NEWS 

Halstead Property President Jim Gricar recently sat down for a video segment with Fox Business to discuss a new report on home affordability. While numbers show that homes are becoming less affordable for families across the country, Halstead Property President Jim Gricar explains the context in which these numbers should be interpreted in is crucial. In New York City, for example, affordability is especially challenging due to unique variables such as shear infrastructure, and the acquisition of land which is a lengthy and time consuming process in Manhattan. In addition, Gricar touches on the fact that in New York City, developers are catering to a hyper-luxury product that is the average Manhattan buyer, which gives the impression that there is nothing affordable for family buyers, and in defense of New York City Mayor de Blasio’s new initiative, Gricar says that “adding housing units to our city is something that we desperately need, it’s a growing city.” He reminds us that the product of housing for middle income does exist in Manhattan, and Mayor De Blasio’s plan seeks a balance of middle income housing in Manhattan which is a priority that all in the real estate industry can agree on. 

Click here to watch the full video segment on Fox Business, and to learn more about Halstead Property President Jim Gricar, visit his webpage

QUOTE OF THE DAY - BAN LEOW TO THE NEW YORK POST 

August 5, 2014

Our very own Ban Leow of our Bedford Stuyvesant Office was interviewed by the New York Post last week on the recent surge in bidding wars and home prices in Bed-Stuy—a Brooklyn neighborhood populated with stunning limestone and brownstone homes. Ban also spoke about how brokers are introducing a new wave of buyers from Manhattan, New Jersey and Connecticut who can afford the historic townhomes in the once crime-ridden neighborhood. Two of his clients can attest to this growing trend: a former Vogue editor and restaurateur sold their Park Avenue penthouse and moved into a $1.8M townhome in Bed-Stuy, according to Leow. Our Quote of the Day perfectly captures Ban’s interview on Bed-Stuy’s real estate upswing. 

Read the full article here.

Connect with Ban over email and click here to view his current listings in Bed-Stuy and other sought-after Brooklyn neighborhoods. 

EYE CANDY OF THE DAY: MODERN IN MIDHAMPTON

In the quaint Hamptons Village of Quogue is this five bedroom post modern home with beautifully landscaped grounds that feature an outdoor playground of epic proportions from the expansive deck, to an inground heated pool, hot tub, and outdoor shower. As you enter the spacious foyer you are greeted by a large great room with an impressive 18 ft. tall ceiling, fireplace and dining area adorned with glass sliders that leads onto a stunning deck as you perch over the backyard oasis pictured above.

This wonderful deck is also directly accessible through sliding doors in the first floor master bedroom complete with a fireplace and en-suite bath, while the home’s four additional bedrooms are located throughout both the first and second floors.

Click here to learn more about this fine Hamptons property.

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Sample all of our Real Estate Eye Candy Powered by Pinterest here.

Don’t miss our Snapshot of the Day for more stunning imagery, find us on Instagram @Halstead or visit our online gallery here

BARAK’S THOUGHTS ON IT’S NOT PERSONAL, IT’S BUSINESS

In the 6th installment of regular Halstead Blog series from Halstead Property’s Barak Dunayer, we bring you Webisode 6 “Pricing to Win – It’s Not Personal, It’s Business”

Barak discusses the importance of improving your home’s curb appeal as a means to attract potential buyers. No need to undergo a renovation, says Barak, but freshening up your space or rearranging furniture could make a dramatic difference. He insists that this is not a criticism of your taste and lifestyle.

“But, from years of experience and hundreds of homes sold, I’ve learned that in order to get the biggest bang for your buck it’s better to transform it from being your home to looking like the most marketable property.”

Click here to watch the most recent Webisode 5 – “Selling is a Process, Not an Event” and for the entire collection of videos from Barak’s Thoughts series, click here.

Share your thoughts and connect with Barak on Twitter or over email, and visit his agent website to learn more and for all of your real estate needs 

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Thoughts and opinions presented in this video series are those of Barak Dunayer and do not reflect the official opinions of Halstead Property, LLC.

YOUR PROPERTV TOUR OF HARLEM 

Let Halstead Property’s Executive Directors of Sales Sandy Wilson along with Gus Perry guide you through the historic and cultural highlights of the Harlem section of Manhattan, a place seemingly fit for Mr. Rogers as Sandy professes it is “one of the only few neighborhoods in the city where people will graciously wish you a good morning, and a great day!” First we stop by Sylvan Terrace — a small street that is part of the Morris Jumel historic area and is currently featured in HBO’s hit series Boardwalk Empire.  Gus points out that it’s hard not to look up and notice the expansive wide open blue skies that can be seen from any vantage point in Harlem thanks to the areas unique architectural makeup of brownstone buildings that typically range no more than 4-5 stories high, versus the towering hi-rise structures that dot the skyline in Midtown Manhattan. Some impressive Pre-War structures in the area include The Grinnell and Graham Court with its notable arched Venetian entryway.  Aside from stunning architecture, the neighborhood has the most parks in Manhattan and boasts foodie-approved restaurants that represent a myriad of cultures, as evident in the annual Summer Sizzles Sidewalk Café Crawl along Lenox Avenue.

We hope you enjoyed the tour and invite you to visit our website to connect with Halstead Property’s Harlem Neighborhood Expert agents to learn more about this amazing section of New York City.

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Follow Halstead Property on Foursquare to learn more about the best events in Harlem, and for hundreds of other neighborhood tips. 

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