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Spitzer Tries Hand At Real Estate

Disgraced former Gov. Eliot Spitzer is working as a commercial real estate investor and has bought an office building just a block from the site of the infamous encounter with a high-class prostitute that led to his downfall.

Working with his father's real estate company, Spitzer worked on the deal to buy 1615 L St. NW, a 13-story building that counts among its tenants the Washington outpost of the Nixon Presidential Library, The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday evening on its Web site.

The former governor says he walked through the building, talked to the tenants and made "sure the building was in every respect what we wanted." His family, which owns a number of towers, intends to keep the building for years, and so is unconcerned that its value might fall in the short term, he told the newspaper.

"We are optimists," he said, adding of the economy overall: "What we are facing is as much a psychological hurdle as a real economic hurdle."

The former New York attorney general stepped down as governor on March 12, 2008, after details of a tryst with a prostitute in the Mayflower Hotel were revealed. Investigators had been looking into Spitzer's affairs after noticing unusual activity - later shown to be payments to prostitutes - in the governor's bank accounts.

Spitzer declined to speak of the scandal that led to his resignation, saying of his years in government: "Obviously it brought great joy for a great period of time."

He told the newspaper he is enjoying his new endeavor. "I love the vitality and the dynamism and the competition of the marketplace," he said.

Asked if it's better than government, he said: "They are different."

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