The (Big) Round-Up: Monday

The U.S. may be in the midst of the longest and most severe recession since the end of World War II. [NY Times]

Preliminary investigation into Greenpoint homes finds evidence of toxic gas stemming from the area’s industrial past. [NY Times]

Even when hospitals offer expensive and below-average care, it may be difficult to shrink or close them—just look at Syracuse’s University Hospital. [NY Times]

As sales stall, more developments—like Williamsburg’s Northside Piers—offer rent-to-own options. [NY Times]

National firm ZipReality rates the quality of its brokers online based on client surveys, and a five-star rating means an extra $250 in the bank. [NY Times]

The View at EastCoast in LIC is offering a five-year “buyback guarantee.” [NY Times]

New Jersey’s Erickson Retirement Community is one of the first in the country to offer professional assistance to clients trying to sell their old homes. [NY Times]

Two residential “villages” planned for East Meadow, Long Island at the 64-acre site of two hospitals. [NY Times]

Hoping for better sales in the spring, NYC developers are shutting down sales operations for the winter on a handful of top-flight projects. [NY Times]

A West 76th Street townhouse hits the market for $25 million—60 percent more than the most expensive house ever sold in the area. [NY Times]

Some developers are looking to subdivide Holly Hills—Brooke Astor’s 64.5-acre weekend retreat in Briarcliff Manor—but there may be obstacles beyond its $12.9 million price tag. [NY Times]

An unfinished condo in Riverdale continues to menace residents even after the construction has stopped. [NY Times]

Big questions remains as to how the state would legally gain control over the East and Harlem River bridges in order to impose tolls on commuters. [NY Times]

Congregants of St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church—destroyed in 9/11—grow frustrated waiting for the Port Authority funds needed to rebuild their church. [NY Times]

As the still-unfinished Plaza Retail Collection opens underneath the famous hotel, the timing couldn’t be much worse. [NY Times]

An UWS building struggles to balance the needs of an odd mix of tenants: undergraduates and seniors. [NY Times]

Bloomberg tells M.T.A. board members to save express bus-riders from major fare hikes and service cuts. [NYDN]

Two major protests planned this week against the city’s efforts to rescind the long-standing rebate on the tolls charged to cross the Cross Bay Bridge. [NYDN]

Highlighting Hunts Point’s revival, developers scoop up the neighborhood’s treasured, 405,000-square-foot American Bank Note Company Building. [NYDN]

While their landlord refuses to make needed repairs, Greenpoint tenants have been left out in the cold since a 2004 fire destroyed their rent-stabilized apartments. [NYDN]

Playground and performance space coming soon to Queens’ Elmhurst Tanks Park. [NYDN]

Comptroller Bill Thompson criticizes Ravitch’s bridge toll plan and attacks Bloomberg for not taking a clear stance on the issue. [NY Post]

NYC Transit data shows bus-drivers suffer 150 assaults a year, while their subway counterparts only face a third of that amount. [NY Post]

Working with fewer officers, the NYPD has eliminated some patrols focusing on quality-of-life issues, such as noise and graffiti. [NY Post]

In a sign of the new trouble in store for commercial real estate, Extended Stay Hotels is in early talks to turn itself over to its lenders. [WSJ]

Facing a 20 percent loss in revenue despite increased visitors, the New York Botanical Gardens plans to shed 480 jobs. [Crain’s]

The (Big) Round-Up: Monday