mens ugg slipper boots A DNA Sequence Class in Perl

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A DNA Sequence Class in PerlUsing Perl’s object oriented and text manipulation features By Lincoln SteinLincoln develops databases, applications, and user interfaces for the Human Genome Project at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory in Long Island, NY. Obtaining this information means pushing around massive amounts of information estimates quickly run into the terabytes. This in turn requires sophisticated software engineering, fault tolerant information systems, and rapid application development.

In this article, I describe a Perl library for manipulating DNA and RNA sequences. In the course of examining this library, you’ll see how Perl’s object oriented features work together to create an elegant API. And hopefully, you’ll learn a little biology as well.

DNA, RNA, and ProteinsThe stuff of the genome is deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA), a long thin molecule that is usually compactly coiled into the chromosomes of our cells. DNA consists of four distinct subunits, called “nucleotide bases,” which are repeated across its entire length. The four bases have been assigned the convenient single letter names A, G, C, T abbreviations for their longer chemical names.

In DNA, the nucleotide bases are linked together into long chains that can be written down as an ASCII string. Figure 1(a), for example, is a DNA sequence consisting of 39 nucleotides.

DNA doesn’t usually float around the cell in its single stranded form. Instead it spends its time in a stable double stranded form, the famous “double helix.” In the double stranded form, each nucleotide is paired with another nucleotide. Because of their chemical nature, A always pairs with T, and G pairs with C. Written down in a text representation, the double stranded form of this short sequence looks like Figure 1(b).

Because the nucleotide bases are paired, they are often referred to as base pairs (bp). I’ve labeled the left end of the top strand 5′ and the right end 3′. On the bottom strand, the numbering of the two ends is reversed. This numbering system is related to the way that DNA is put together chemically. Here, the only significance of this is that it emphasizes that DNA strands are directional. The two strands are often arbitrarily labeled the “plus” and “minus” strands to distinguish them.

DNA can do just two things: It can replicate, and it can be transcribed into RNA. The replication process is the key to both cell replication and to propagation of the species. The two strands of DNA unwind like a zipper, and each strand dictates the assembly of its complementary second strand. Schematically, the process looks like Figure 1(c).

More interesting is the transcription and translation process. Along its length, DNA encodes the instructions for many thousands of proteins, everything from the crystalline protein of the eye lens to the enzymes that make up the digestive juices of the gastrointestinal tract. These protein coding regions, separated from each other by large tracts of DNA of unknown function, are in fact genes.

To make a protein from the DNA sequence of a gene, the cell performs two phases of chemical transformation. In the first phase, the gene is transcribed into ribonucleic acid (RNA). RNA is like DNA in many ways, but instead of being double stranded it usually exists in single stranded form. In addition, instead of being composed of the four bases A, G, C, and T, RNA has no T, but uses a different nucleotide abbreviated as U.

To transcribe RNA, DNA unwinds just a bit in the region of an activated gene, and the nucleotide sequence of the DNA is read off by enzymes that synthesize an RNA copy of the gene. Sometimes the plus DNA strand is transcribed, and sometimes the minus strand, depending on whether the gene is oriented right to left or left to right.

Represented in text form, an RNA strand looks just like its parent DNA strand except for the substitution of U for every T. Figure 2(a) depicts our example DNA in RNA form.

Unlike DNA (which never leaves the nucleus of the cell), RNA is free to travel through the nuclear envelope into the cellular cytoplasm. Once there, the RNA is translated into a protein. Like RNA and DNA, proteins are also long strands of repeating units. However, instead of there being only four units, proteins are made up of 21 different “amino acid” subunits. Proteins fold into complex structures dictated by the order of their amino acids. The folding determines the protein’s structure and function.

Like the nucleotide bases, biologists use one letter abbreviations to refer to the amino acids as well. Protein sequences use the letters A, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, K, L, M,
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N, P, Q, R, S, T, V, W, and Y. Because there just aren’t enough letters in the Latin alphabet to go around, the protein alphabet overlaps with the nucleotide alphabet, but don’t let that confuse you. An A found in a nucleic acid sequence has nothing to do with the A of a protein sequence.

Because only four RNA bases must dictate the order of 20 amino acids, there is obviously more to protein translation than the simple one to one encoding that takes place during transcription. In fact, the protein translation machinery uses a three letter code to translate RNA into protein. During translation, the RNA is divided into groups of three letter “codons,” as in Figure 2(b).

The codons are used as a template to synthesize a protein sequence, using a little lookup table that’s hardwired into the biological machinery. AUG becomes the amino acid M, UUC becomes F, CGA becomes R, and so forth. Our example DNA is translated into a 12 amino acid protein in Figure 2(c).

There are two things to notice in this example. One is that certain amino acids are encoded by several different codons. For example, the amino acid K is encoded by both AAA and AAG. This should be expected from the fact that there are 64 possible codons, and only 20 amino acids for them to encode. The other thing to notice is that certain codons (three in all) don’t encode any amino acids. Instead they are “stop codons,” which tell the translation machinery to stop translating and release the finished protein. Generally, the RNA molecule extends farther to the left and right than the protein it encodes (I’ve glossed over this fact for simplicity of illustration). Like the stop codons, the AUG codon is special because it tells the protein translation machinery with which codon to begin.

A Sequence Class Library for PerlA lot of Genome informatics involves splicing, dicing, and processing long strings of DNA sequences. I created a library of Perl routines specialized for dealing with DNA (available electronically; see “Resource Center,” page 5), with a small class hierarchy like Figure 3.

Sequence::Generic is an abstract class that implements a few generic methods that all biological sequences share, such as a method for determining the sequence’s length and a method for concatenating two sequences together. Sequence::Nucleotide is a subclass of Sequence::Generic that adds support for DNA and RNA specific operations. One of these new operations is the reverse complementation method, which transforms one strand of DNA into its complement; another is a method to translate RNA into protein.

Sequence::Nucleotide::Subsequence is a descendent of Sequence::Nucleotide. Because the chunks of DNA that need to be analyzed are usually quite long (100,000 bp is not unusual), it’s typical to work with one subregion at a time. A Subsequence represents a subregion of a longer sequence.

The Sequence::Alignment class is a utility class that stores information about how two similar sequences are related. It is useful for figuring out how a smaller sequence fits into a larger one.

For completeness, there should also be a Sequence::Protein class descended from Sequence::Generic, but that was too much to squeeze into this article. Instead of returning a real Sequence::Protein object, the method that translates RNA into proteins just returns a simple character string.

The Sequence::Generic ClassSequence::Generic (Listing One) defines three methods that are intended to be overridden by child classes: new(), seq(), and type(). The new() method is the object constructor. It does nothing but call the croak() function from the Carp package to abort the program with an error message. This prevents the generic class from being instantiated. The seq() method is a low level routine that returns the raw sequence information as a text string. This method also croaks in case. Sequence ::Generic is subclassed without the seq() method being overridden. The type() method returns a human readable string describing the type of the sequence, and is intended for debugging work. It’s intended to return something like DNA, RNA, or “Protein.” In the abstract class, this method returns “Generic Sequence.”

The remainder of the methods are generic ones that will work with almost any biological sequence. One of these is length(), which returns the length of the sequence data; see Example 1. By convention, Perl methods are invoked with a reference to the object as the first argument on the subroutine argument list. This method begins with the idiom my $self = shift. The effect of this statement is to shift the object off the argument list and to copy it into a local variable named $self. The methods then invoke our object’s seq() method with the Perl method invocation syntax $self >seq and pass it to the Perl string length function length() (this is a normal function call, not a method call). The result is then returned to the caller.

Another method defined in this file, concatenate() (see Example 2), concatenates two Sequence::Generic objects together or concatenates a Sequence::Generic object with a string, returning a new sequence object as the result.

In addition to its object reference, the method takes two arguments. The first is the new sequence to concatenate to the current one. The second argument is a flag that indicates whether the new sequence is to be prepended (true) or appended (false). concatenate() is usually called via operator overloading, and the Perl overload machinery actually takes care of setting up the two arguments.

The method first checks whether the new sequence is an object by calling the Perl built in ref(), which returns the class name for objects, and the undefined value for nonobjects. If ref() indicates that the new sequence is an object, concatenate() checks whether it is a subclass of Sequence::Generic by using the built in isa() method. The __PACKAGE__ token is replaced by the Perl run time with the name of the current package, and avoids having to hardcode the name of the class. If the object is not a subclass, the routine aborts with an error message. Otherwise, it recovers the sequence as a string by calling its seq() method. If the $new_seq argument isn’t an object at all, the method treats it as a string.

The last statement of this method uses the Perl built in concatenation operator “.” to combine the sequence strings together in the order dictated by the $prepend flag. The concatenated string is passed to the object’s new() constructor to create a new Sequence object, which is returned to the caller. Because concatenate() will be called from a subclass of Sequence::Generic, the new() constructor that gets called will belong to the subclass, not to Sequence::Generic. In Perl there is no strong distinction between constructors and object methods, which may be a source of confusion for C++ and Java programmers.

Perl lets you overload many of its built in operators so that when they are applied to objects they invoke a method call rather than take their default actions. I overload three different operators in the Sequence::Generic class (Example 3). For example, by binding the “.” operator to concatenate(), each of the constructions in Example 4 will work in the natural way.

The Sequence::Nucleotide ClassSequence::Nucleotide (Listing Two) is a dual purpose class that represents both DNA and RNA. Because DNA can be transformed into RNA and vice versa simply by exchanging Ts and Us,
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I store the data as DNA and transform it into an RNA form on demand.

ladies short ugg boots A Day in the Life of Todrick Hall

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“I sometimes think, Do people find this interesting?” Todrick Hall shrugs. “Because this is my life every day and, you know, people could do this if they wanted to.”

We are standing just backstage at the historic Theatre at Ace Hotel immediately following the Outfest screening of Behind the Curtain: Todrick Hall, a documentary that followed Todrick as he wrote and recorded a full length visual album, Straight Outta Oz, then turned that album into a stage show and toured nationwide to perform it. I’ve asked Todrick if this all feels as glamorous to him as it seems.

“I thought at one point I would get to a certain place and I would be like, OK, now I’m quote unquote famous which, I hate that word and people know who I am and I feel different,” he explains.

That point never came. “You’re always going to be a human being who needs human things and feels human things,” he rattles off. “I don’t feel like Beyonc is a human. This has helped me really put into perspective that she is just a person on the planet, living her life, who just has a special gift and was in the right place at the right time.” At the risk of sacrilege, Todrick adds, “And she is a special, gifted human being. But she’s still human, first and foremost.”

Hours earlier, there is little to be found in the way of glamour. It is Thursday afternoon in the Valley and I’m waiting for Todrick in a corner studio on the second story of a strip mall in Studio City. An oversized green screen wraps around one corner of the room, lit by large fluorescent lamps. Sound pads cover the remaining cement walls. Black mats line the cement floor. Todrick is set to film something here, though no one is 100 percent sure what that is a YouTube video? A music video? A comedy sketch? except, I suppose, Todrick.

A cameraman arrives and begins hauling in more lights, sandbags, a tripod, and the room slowly begins to resemble an actual set. Team Toddy, which is comprised of four personal assistants, shows up next, buzzing around to make sure that things run smoothly when their boss arrives. Which Todrick does, nearly an hour late, with a Dsquared hat reading “Icon” pulled low over his face as he dedicatedly types on his iPhone.

“I’m so sorry. I just want you to know that when you’re working with drag queens which I’m not, only just sometimes,” he apologizes, referencing the fact that, in addition to a black cut off tank top and sweats, he is donning a full face of makeup, pink lipstick and blue eye shadow that glitters in the greenroom lighting, “it is always unpredictable what you’re going to get. Everyone’s running so late. I’m usually never, ever late.”

If Beyonc and Lin Manuel Miranda had a baby, and that baby was raised on the Disney backlot by a local theater troupe, he would grow up to be Todrick Hall, a multihyphenate who first garnered notice on the ninth season of American Idol the season Lee DeWyze won, with Todrick being voted off in the Top 16. Fans from the show followed him to his YouTube channel, which now boasts more than 2.6 million subscribers, with his videos tallying over 470 million views. One video, a flash mob in a Target store set to Beyonc’s “End of Time,” has racked up over 15 million views alone and led to a shout out from Bey herself (“Thank you so much for that. It really made me happy.”) and the opportunity to co choreograph her “Blow” music video. His Outfest bio refers to him as a “singer, dancer, actor, director, American Idol sensation and YouTube superstar.”

“I took stripper off of that, because I didn’t know who was going to be reading it,” he deadpans. “But that’s something that I would also like for you to know.”

Todrick talks at a rapid fire clip, and you find yourself speeding up to keep pace. “I just say ‘performer,'” he adds. “I don’t really like to be labeled as one thing. And I’m not the guy that’s like,” he feigns a British accent, “‘Oh, my God, I don’t want to be labeled. I’m an artist.'” Instead, he just loves everything he does, and having a platform like YouTube allows him to bring his entire vision to fruition himself. “In my mind, even if it’s a crazy mess, it feels like the same crazy mess from the same brain.”

The past year saw Todrick step away from the platform to create Straight Outta Oz and star in Kinky Boots on Broadway,
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where he donned the famous knee high high heeled boots for four months. Now, he is plotting his return and is on set to film his sixth video in one week. It’s another installment in his popular Once Upon a Crime series, in which Todrick plays the dishonorable Judge Ratchet. “It’s been a year since I’ve been really creating content that goes viral and that gets views and subscribers and helps grow my brand,” he explains. “This is a show that always gets over a million views on each one. And I love drag queens.”

Todrick slips a giant, curly brown wig on his head and stares at himself in the vanity. “This wig looks crazy. But it does look kind of ratchet, though, don’t you think?” He yanks at the curls a bit and sits down with me, though he can’t help stealing glances at himself.

“I can’t take myself seriously. I have to take this wig off.” He drops it on the counter. “So we can talk like regular people.”

Forty minutes after Todrick, the drag queens finally pull in. Alyssa Edwards, a fan favorite on RuPaul’s Drag Race, is heard before she’s seen. “How dare all of these people! How dare all of these people,” she cries, swooping into the studio wearing a black turban and flowing, sheer shawl and feeling the Mommie Dearest fantasy. “Barbara, please! BARB ARA! Clean. This. Mess. Up, Valentina!” Valentina, season nine’s contentious Miss Congeniality, follows, wearing a black cowboy hat and T shirt from her own merchandise store.

Todrick’s affinity for queens led him to Drag Race, on which he is a full time judge. But he has done enough drag himself, both amateur (Judge Ratchet) and professional (playing Lola in Kinky Boots) that I ask where he considers himself on the drag spectrum.

“I would never think of myself as a drag queen, because I feel like they’re artists and I don’t possess any of the skills to, like, do my own makeup, to get into my own outfit,” he says as he considers the question. “I would be honored if someone thought of me as a drag queen, because I think that they’re brilliant and I secretly want to be one.”

In today’s skit, Valentina will play Snow White and Alyssa will play Belle. Once Upon a Crime is purported to be fully improvised “I have no idea the buffoonery that is going to come out of their mouths,” Todrick chuckles early in the day but if this all sounds like chaos in the making, Todrick is in full control.

Every single decision is run past him, down to the most minuscule of tasks, like where the Disney princess costumes should be hung. As the queens lace their corsets and sip Red Bull through straws, Todrick preps them with dossiers about their characters, spitballing jokes they might use: “Sliding into the DMs” could mean “Dwarf Messages”; for Belle’s character witness, “Mrs.

“When you wish upon a star,” Alyssa begins singing.

“That’s Pinocchio,” Valentina coos.

“No, it’s Disney, bitch,” Alyssa barks.

“It is from the movie Pinocchio, but it’s also just, like, the theme to all the Disney movies,” Todrick clarifies.

“Girl, that’s all of Disney. I don’t give a fk if it’s Pinocchio or whoever, bitch,” Alyssa laughs. “You’re lying, that’s why your nose is growing, bitch. It’s all the Disneys!”

The case before Judge Ratchet is Belle suing Snow White for the title of fairest in the land or, as Alyssa proclaims on set, “fan favorite fraudulent, infringement and flooziness.” The sketch is shot in two parts, with Alyssa and Valentina performing first and Todrick reacting with his lines offscreen. It is sweltering in the studio because the A/C has to be turned off for sound, but Todrick stays in full judicial drag robes and that curly wig as he paces back and forth behind the camera, slamming the gavel against his hand and feeding lines.

“I think you should say, ‘She thinks she’s fairest in the land. She is not fairest in the land. She is not the fan favorite,'” he directs Alyssa.
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ugg slippers size 7 A Cheat Sheet of Beauty Product Chemicals to Avoid

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Scan the beauty department of your favorite department store or go to beauty boutique. Chances are, more than half of labels on the shelves read and even But because the personal care industry is completely unregulated, unless the label reads organic (a food term regulated by the FDA), these beauty products still can be chock full of chemicals dangerous to your health. So print out and pocket this cheat sheet of what to look for on labels. Then seek out some amazing brands that are leading the pack in eschewing chemicals for truly natural alternatives.

Petroleum its derivatives petrolatum, mineral oil and paraffin the old school go to for an ingredient that softens skin. Unfortunately, it also derived from fossil fuels. Why worry about the fuel consumption of your car only to turn around and slap the stuff on your skin? And in addition to beauty products, softeners ethylene glycol and propylene glycol are also found in brake fluid and antifreeze, respectively latter being linked to kidney damage and liver abnormalities. We prefer softeners derived from fruits and vegetables, like the sustainably sourced shea butter in One with Nature amazing Dead Sea Mud line. We don know if it the vegetable and shea butter base or the heavy mineral content of the Dead Sea mud, which has been used in skin care regimens since Cleopatra time, but these soaps, body washes and lotions hydrate like nothing we ever seen a drop of petroleum in sight.

And on that note, the petrochemically derived butylene glycol is used to keep products from drying out. Unfortunately, it also linked to respiratory failure, kidney failure, coma and death and is not in the FDA GRAS ( recognized as safe list. The naturopathic line WAI HOPE Organic Skincare has found alternatives in plant based humectants like Brazilian mandacaru cactus extract, and saguaro and agave cactus extracts from California and Arizona moisture binders that can retain as much as 4,000 times their weight in water.

Although it classified by the EPA as a human and animal carcinogen, 1,4 dioxane, a nasty byproduct of processing harsh chemicals with ethylene oxide to make them less harsh, is prevalent on beauty shelves. Got sodium lauryl sulfate? Ethyoxylate it and you get sodium laureth indicates the process. Unfortunately you also get 1,4 dioxane, most commonly found in things that bubble. A better (and biodegradable) bubble can be found in products made with coconut or sugar derived decyl glucoside, sodium coco sulfate or cocamidopropyl betaine, or castille based safe sudsors that can be found in body lathers from Blooming Lotus.

Look for nail polishes that are free of dibutyl phthalate or DBP, a reproductive toxin that banned in Europe because of links to birth defects, toluene (or butylated hydroxyl toluene, as it labeled in skincare products), which affects the central nervous system and can cause headaches, and formaldehyde, a known carcinogen that also responsible for turning your nails yellow when you take off the polish. Even big box brands are now three free, but if your favorite nail salon is still using toxic polish, just remember to BYOB! And speaking of formaldehyde, many common chemical preservatives release the stuff over time, so also avoid the words quaternium 15, DMDM hydantoin, urea and (imidazolidinyl and diazolidinyl) on your labels. Many organic essential oils like thyme, eucalyptus and rosemary are natural preservatives and antiseptics. We recently taken to toting Desert Essence Tea Tree Relief Spray, created with essential oils harvested from the foremost ecologically sensitive plantation in Australia, and spritzing it on post mani/pedi to fight off fungi that might be lurking in the bowl. Ick.

In 2006, the FDA proposed a ban on hydroquinone, a chemical used to reduce skin pigmentation, because of links to cancer and a serious skin discoloration condition known as ochronosis. Fortunately, many companies are turning to natural fruit acids from pineapple and papaya to exfoliate and lighten the skin. RAW Skincare found Brassicaceae extract decreased unwanted pigmentation by 41% within four week, and packaged it in their Ambiaty Concentrated Serum, which is also free of synthetic fragrances and preservatives, free of artificial colorants and free of parabens and petrochemicals.

Finally, a red flag on any beauty label are ingredients ending in the word like methylparaben, propylparaben, butylparaben and hexylparaben, among others. These are preservatives used to give products a longer shelf life the decades are a basic ingredient of chemical beauty product composition. Where you see parabens, more chemicals are sure to follow. Unfortunately, these ubiquitous chemicals can mimic estrogen, leading to hormonal disruption, and are linked to cell mutations and cancer: A 2004 study published in the Journal of Applied Toxicology found high levels of parabens in 100% of the breast cancer tumors sampled. Not the best statistic.

And honestly, if you haven used your favorite product up in a year, isn it time to think about finding a new one?
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Tom Davies (Pronounced Davis) is 19 years old and lives in London. He finished high school last summer and wanted to do something “different” for his gap year, which is a British expression for the year many high school students take off before starting college. So, being an enthusiastic cyclist he decided to bicycle around the world.

“I’m often asked how and when I came up with the idea, and I have to say I’m not really sure. It wasn’t a sudden eureka moment, it happened over a while, and it was more the conclusion of a thought process whilst thinking up a way to combine cycling and travelling. Eventually coming up with this slightly ‘unconventional’ plan.”

So in January of this year (2015) Davies set out on his epic journey. Not only is he attempting to become the youngest person to cycle around the world, he’s also raising money and awareness for three separate charities: Prostate Cancer UK, The Sohana Research Fund and Carney’s Community.

So far, he’s managed to raise approximately $80 K, which is impressive considering he’s a bit shy, soft spoken and not big on self promotion not to mention the fact he hasn’t gotten much press. So why is he driven to accomplish such a feat? What inside him has compelled him to push his mind, body,
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spirit, soul and safety to such extreme limits?

“Quite frankly I am yet to think of an answer to that question. But simply put: with a love of cycling and wanting to see the world, it seemed the obvious adventure. I also wanted to give myself a proper challenge, to see what I was capable of.”While Davies is not absolutely sure if he’ll be the youngest person to cycle around the world, he thinks he probably is.”There are no official records of anyone younger who has done it. I’m aware that people younger than me have started on cycle trips around the world, but if all goes to plan, I’ll finish it at a younger age. I’m planning on taking around 200 days to complete the ride. The current record for fastest circumnavigation stands at 125 days, held by Briton Alan Bate.”

Even without being sure that he’ll capture the coveted title of”youngest person to cycle around the world,”he still wants to try. The Guinness Book of World Records stopped giving”youngest person”awards due to safety concerns, but Davies is still using their criteria for his journey. Here’s some of the Guinness World Record Rules that he’s intent on following:

1The same bike (frame) must be used throughout trip unless it’s damaged beyond repair.

2No drafting. (Using the air currents from another cyclist in front of you.)

3Start and finish points must be the same.

4 The journey should be continual and in one direction.

5 The total distance traveled must exceed the length of the equator 24,900 miles

6Use of private or chartered transport (including taxis) is not permitted.

7You must pass through two approximate antipodal points (opposite points on the Earth, For instance Wellington (NZ) and just north of Madrid (Spain).

So,
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what do you pack on a bicycle that’s going around the world? As little as you can. Here’s Davies complete kit list:

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Staten Island Advance/Jan Somma HammelWork has resumed on The Pointe at 155 Bay St. The apartment building with its glass balconies and its skyline views at the corner of Richmond Terrace and Nicholas Street may look more like a lost opportunity than the promise it once held as part of the North Shore’s rebirth.

Called “The View,” it was slated for 40 luxury condominiums, the kind typically found on the other side of the Verrazano Narrows and the Goethals bridges, but instead it sits empty, about 95 percent complete, marked by graffiti, broken windows and rust slowly settling in.

But its fortunes may be changing: The View is on the market now, though it was left with an outstanding balance of nearly $15 million when high profile developer Leib Puretz fell into foreclosure on properties stretching from the North Shore to the South.

“Its location is the key asset,” said Robert A. Knakal, chairman of Massey Knakal Realty Services, who is selling the note on behalf of an unnamed lender. “It’s in very good shape and presents a great opportunity to be a rental building or a condominium. We’re looking for buyers who want to pick up the loan and step into the lender’s shoes.”

That has already been the case with $37 million in loans scooped off the discount rack for planned high rises in St. George, and also for an outlet mall in Charleston, by buyers who still see the potential that Puretz envisioned when he arrived here eight years ago carrying a hefty portfolio and big dreams.

Neighborhood residents are hopeful that new ownership means an influx of people who will contribute to the North Shore’s up and coming hipster vibe which finds expression in trendy restaurants, renovated storefronts, a minor league ballpark, a theater that attracts marquis names and a redeveloped home port on its way, all within walking distance of the ferry.

Staten Island Advance/Hilton FloresMike Behar of the upscale Oznico clothing store on Water Street in Stapleton said, “We’re becoming more in tune with global Staten Island than just downtown Staten Island and building an urban sense of community that’s been lost. Housing is a key component to that.” (Staten Island Advance/Hilton Flores)

“We need more of a critical mass in the neighborhood,” said Theo Dorian, president of the St. George Civic Association. “We need a diversity of residents. The retail climate is tough. It is very, very difficult for it to establish itself here. If there are more residents, there is more demand for those businesses.”

Bay Street may be the starting point.

Meadow Partners a real estate investor and asset manager that recently acquired a retail and office block on London’s couture Kensington High Street received a $24 million loan in October to refinance and complete The Pointe at 155 Bay St. and The Pearl at 130 Bay Street Landing.

A spring opening is projected for The Pointe, a six story building where a handful of residents moved in before Puretz defaulted on a $20 million loan in 2009, according to Meadow Partners’ spokesman George Cahn, who offered the first details of what to expect there since news of the loan was announced in the fall.

The mix of one bedroom and two bedroom condos with prices starting in the $300,000s will be sold by The Marketing Directors, which has handled similar buildings on Park Avenue, the Financial District, Tribeca, Hoboken and Jersey City, and which counts Ironstate Development the New Jersey firm remaking the former Stapleton home port among its clients.

Cahn could provide no details on The Pearl, a former dry cocoa warehouse that Puretz was retrofitting into 110 units, but Ben Caref, president of the Bay Street Landing Homeowners Association, said there has been activity on the site ever since Meadow Partners took over.

“There has been near constant work happening in the last six to eight weeks,” said Caref, who anticipates a meeting with Meadow Partners in the weeks ahead. “They have been in and out multiple times to review the work. It’s a good sign.”

City Councilwoman Debi Rose (D North Shore) said the purchase of the Bay Street buildings is just “one of many soon to come projects that will significantly contribute to the vibrancy of St. George.”

“After much anticipation, my office, as well as Bay Street Landing, is appreciative of the efforts that are being put forth to ensure that this development will be fully occupied and secure. It is reassuring that the landlord has a 15 year commitment to the success of this complex with careful attention being given to the upkeep of the building and the surrounding area.”

Puretz was the face behind a number of high profile projects across the Island, but rarely appeared in person when his ambitious proposals went before the community.

“I’m not emotionally attached to Staten Island,” he told the Advance in 2008, the only time he agreed to speak to the paper. “I just saw an opportunity to develop buildings here. It’s a business opportunity. Would you rather live in St. George and see the water, or sit in Dumbo [in Brooklyn] and breathe the air from the BQE?”

Delays in obtaining city approvals followed by the credit market bust jeopardized his projects. The toppling of the housing market squashed them and he foreclosed on more than $80 million in signature projects.

Among them was the Staten Island Hotel in Graniteville, now slated to become a luxury assisted living facility called the Esplanade. The touted September/October opening went by the boards.

And loans were also purchased in July by a still unidentified buyer for Liberty Towers, where Puretz proposed a 16 story, 164 unit condominium on Stuyvesant Place in St. George, and for Waterfront Commons, where he planned a 400,000 square foot outdoor shopping mall with 60 stores, a 14 screen movie theater, restaurants and underground parking in Charleston.

“Puretz had a good vision, I was rooting for him,” said Michael Behar, chairman of the Downtown Staten Island Council and owner of Oznico, a clothing store on Water Street in Stapleton that carries brands like Uggs, Ralph Lauren, Diesel, North Face and G Star.

“He established a level of pricing that was too high for the community,” he said. “If his pricing was more realistic, he would have sold out before the market turned.”

Behar hopes that is something developers new to the neighborhood will take into account.

“The young professionals, the artists, the hipsters, they’re already here,” he said. “We’re becoming more in tune with global Staten Island than just downtown Staten Island and building an urban sense of community that’s been lost. Housing is a key component to that.”
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