Builders are used to eye-popping anecdotes about the cost of land or the price of insurance. But these tales weren't the only attention-grabbing stories in the construction industry this year.
Smooth sailing: Tired of fighting for land deals? Look to the sea, where a Norwegian company recently launched The World, a 644-foot cruise ship of 110 condominiums. Prices start at $2 million for the condos, which have between two and six bedrooms, and the ship is 80 percent sold, according to The New York Times.
Trading spaces: If you think the housing market is tight in California, consider this: More than 600 people have expressed an interest in a "stylish apartment" being redeveloped in London, England. The apartment's former life? As a public toilet. "It's an Edwardian building with lots of original features," the developer told The Wall Street Journal.
Ultimate safe room: People who stockpiled water and canned goods for Y2K now have a housing option as security-conscious as they are: a converted missile silo. Listed (where else?) on eBay with an initial bid of $550,000, the property is located in the Adirondacks, where a chalet home conceals below it the former silo and launch control with its 2,300-square-foot luxury living space.
Sky high: If above-ground life is more your style, consider the Blur Building, which The Economist called "mistifying--and delightful." Built as a pavilion for the 2002 Swiss Expo, the $7.5 million building gives people the sensation they're visiting a cloud, thanks to a complex water system that creates fog.
Places to Build a Business
Vegas, baby: Nevada, home to one of the country's best housing markets, also ranks as the second-best state for entrepreneurs in 2002, according to the Washington-based Small Business Survival Committee. The worst? The District of Columbia. Best States for Entrepreneurs to do Business
Worst States for Entrepreneurs to do Business
1.District of Columbia
Source: Small Business Survival Committee