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The Wall Street Journal‘s June Fletcher’s piece in Feb. 21 editions tracks the development of ersatz loft buildings in places like Reston, Va.

Coming to a subdivision near you: the McLoft. Amid ranch houses and McMansions, developers are putting up buildings that look like they’re out of downtown Manhattan or Chicago. Unlike urban lofts, which started out as last-resort housing for arty types, these condos can be some of the priciest housing in suburbia. Instead of stepping out into sidewalks where vendors peddle gyro sandwiches and counterfeit handbags, residents are just minutes from mountain-bike trails or the mall. And while city lofts are known for creaky freight elevators and exposed ventilation ducts, their country cousins come with floating faucets, bidets and designer kitchens.

Meanwhile, closer to home, The Daily News charts how old-school businesses on Court Street are struggling to remain alive in the face of increasing national-chain interest.

– Tom McGeveran