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Venezuela's Notorious Tower; Hours in Tel Aviv's Bus Station

Welcome to Curbed's weekly roundup of architecture, real estate, and urban planning-related feature stories. Please be in touch if you have a story to recommend.

1. Residents are moving out of the Tower of David, a notorious skyscraper in Caracas, Venezuela. The tower, "so aesthetically grim that the producers of Homeland once used it as a plotline" is missing almost half of its windows on one side and is home to thousands of squatters. Vocativ explains what's going on with the move-outs.

The Tower itself has shown a similar ability to adapt. It started as the dream of David Brillembourg, a banker who wanted to make the building the centerpiece of a Latin American Wall Street. It was to be called the Confianzas Tower, but Brillembourg died unexpectedly in 1993. The next year, the country experienced its worst financial crisis in history, and most of Venezuela's banks were wiped out. The government took over the Tower, and for a decade, the building was nothing more than a concrete skeleton wrapped in glass panels. 2. The bus station in Tel Aviv, Israel, is widely hated, but it was actually meant to be "the salvation of South Tel Aviv." Writer Naomi Zeveloff spent 18 hours in the station (which could be closed due to a fight between retailers and station owners) for The Forward.

The station was to be the biggest in the world, a harebrained ambition given the fact that fewer than 3 million people were living in Israel at the time. Filtz commissioned the Israeli architect Ram Karmi, a practitioner of the brutalist style of architecture — known for fortress-like, concrete structures — to create a building in which travelers would become so disoriented that they would get lost among the shops and spend money. Karmi envisioned the station as a "city under a roof," said Yonatan Mishal, a Tel Aviv artist who gives tours of the bus station. "He wanted to make these huge, disgusting places on purpose." 3. Oakland, California, is on the verge of major economic change, Next City explains: "The city can determine its future — choose progressive policies to stem displacement and aid existing low- and middle-income residents, or side with business interests, inviting higher-end investments and opportunities. Or it can do nothing, and let the market sort it out." Much of this economic change has had to do with housing—between 2006 and 2011, more than seven percent of Oakland homes fell into foreclosure, and many were sold to investors.

Over the last decade, thousands of Oakland residents have lost their homes to investors planning to primp, paint and flip them into more luxurious rentals. Some of those homes purchased for $135,000 now rent for $3,000 a month. For renters pushed out of San Francisco, this is a bargain, while many families who used to live in these homes have sought cheaper housing in far-flung suburbs. · Recommended Reading archive [Curbed]