Insignia in Seattle Announces Sales Success

Northwest’s largest condominium development reaches 100 units sold.

Insignia in Seattle, the Northwest’s largest condominium development, has reached 100 units sold. Construction on the project’s first tower is now up to the 28th floor, announced Bosa Development.

The twin 41-story towers designed by architect Perkins & Company will be located where Downtown, Belltown and South Lake Union intersect, just two blocks from Amazon’s planned 3.3 million-square-foot office building.  Phase One, which is scheduled to open in late spring 2015, features 350 residences ranging from one- to two-bedrooms, with prices from the high $400,000s to approximately $2 million. “We are pleased with the pace of sales so far at Insignia, and anticipate an increase in contracts being signed as we move into the busy season for residential real estate,” stated Alan P. Mark, founder and president of The Mark Company, Northwest, the broker of record at Insignia.

Located at Sixth Avenue and Bell Street, Insignia features a collection of one- and two-bedroom homes with dens in select residences designed by Mitchell Freedland. Conceived by renowned developer Nat Bosa, the new condominium merges modern architecture, sophisticated style and breathtaking views.

Building amenities include a 41st floor sky retreat and resident lounge, open-air park terrace with outdoor grilling area, outdoor fireplace gathering area, fitness atrium with yoga and Pilates studio, screening room with entertaining bar, and signature lobby by Mitchell Freedland. The building is targeting LEED Silver certification.

There will also be an outdoor pet retreat, pet wash and grooming area, gated parking garage, residential assigned parking, electric car charging stations, a car wash bay, bike storage with work area and retail shops along a pedestrian-friendly street. Proposed future additions in Phase Two, North Tower include an indoor lap pool, spa, steam room and sauna.

“Downtown Seattle has become a bustling, diverse environment with eclectic boutiques, new restaurants, performing arts, museums and more,” noted Nat Bosa, president of Bosa Development. “With the nearby Microsoft campus and planned Amazon campus expansion, we are at the heart of the city’s growth.”


Jonathan Charles Launches a Lighting Collection

The 36 additions were made to complement Jonathan Charles’ existing furniture collections.

Occasional furniture manufacturer Jonathan Charles expands its design portfolio to include portable lighting. The 36-piece new collection, comprised of various styles that range from traditional to Art Deco, is modeled after Jonathan Charles’ existing furniture collections as a way for both to complement each other, like a set.

“I wanted to explore lighting design after I got requests from clients wishing they had lamps that pair seamlessly with my occasional furniture without looking like exact replicas of my tables or chairs,” explains Jonathan Sowter, founder and designer of Jonathan Charles.

“Of course these lamps are architecturally dynamic so they stand out by themselves, but they add even more interest to a room when paired with their furniture counterparts because the details on the lamp bases highlight the beauty of the occasional furniture on a grander scale,” adds Sowter.

Available to the trade at design showrooms and to the public at retailers, Jonathan Charles’ new lighting collection takes the company towards a new direction of design that encompasses all aspects of home furnishings.

 


Mansion in May 2014 to Support Two Children’s Charities

Event pledges support for expanded pediatric intensive care unit and new autism center.

The Women’s Association of Morristown Medical Center’s 17th Mansion in May Designer Showhouse and Gardens at BLAIRSDEN was inspired by “One Great House – Two Great Causes for Kids.” Proceeds from this signature fundraiser will benefit the expansion of the Joan and Edward Foley Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) and the addition of a new Autism and Child Development Center within the Goryeb Children’s Hospital at Morristown Medical Center.

Currently, the PICU cares for 750 patients annually but must redirect approximately 25 more per year due to lack of space. The PICU expansion plan will provide additional patient rooms and a specialized inpatient unit to treat children with cancer and those needing special surgery, as well as a dedicated Epilepsy Monitoring Unit. Special rooms will allow parents to stay overnight with their sick children in a comfortable setting.

“We care for the children who are in the most fragile condition,” said Dr. Juan Gutierrez, director of pediatric critical care and inpatient hospital services. “Because of Goryeb’s strengths as a top children’s hospital, the sickest children are often referred to us. We need more beds in order to avoid having to turn these children away to other hospitals.”

The new Autism and Child Development Center will provide gold-standard testing for diagnosing Autism Spectrum Disorders and fill the void for a hospital-based facility in Morris County. The center will help address the growing needs of children and their families who come to the medical center.

“The new Autism Center will offer expert diagnosis and medical care, improved access to behavior, speech and occupational therapy, individual treatment and compassionate guidance. Families are overwhelmed after receiving this diagnosis for their child and often not sure how to proceed next. Our model introduces the concept of a ‘care navigator’ who can guide them through the complicated web of autism services,” said Tara Gleeson, DNP, APN, coordinator of autism services. “We will help families advocate for services and assist them with insurance issues and other financial concerns that they may be faced with in the future.”

“We are grateful to the Women’s Association for their support of our campaign to expand the PICU and create a new Autism and Child Development Center,” said Dr. Walter Rosenfeld, chair, department of pediatrics. “This support will help to provide the much-needed funds that will make our dream a reality.

In June 2013 Goryeb Children’s Hospital Pediatric Intensive Care Unit was the first in the tri-state area to achieve a Gold-level Beacon Award for Excellence by the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses, of Aliso Viejo, Calif. The award signifies excellent and sustained unit performance and patient outcomes.

Mansion in May 2014 at BLAIRSDEN in Peapack-Gladstone, N.J., will be open May 1-31, 2014. Advance tickets are $40, available through April 30. Tickets purchased online and at the door during May will be $50.


The Quintess Collection Celebrates Its 10-Year Anniversary

The luxury travel leader grows from 100 members traveling to one continent to more than 600 members traveling to six continents.

The Quintess Collection, a leader in private luxury travel, celebrates its 10-year anniversary by announcing several new special partnerships, more luxury residences and awe-inspiring adventures, a revamped website and more. After a decade, Quintess is one of the most established, top-tier destination clubs in the industry. Since the 2008 recession, club membership has grown by more than 30 percent. Quintess is poised for further growth and continues to lead innovation in the membership-based luxury travel category.

“From the beginning, Quintess has focused on being the best, and after 10 years we continue to believe that our members are the most important element of the club,” said Trent Sutton, president of the Quintess Collection. “Quintess enhances our members’ lives and expands their horizons in world travel. Our members receive extraordinary value at often below-market rates, unique experiences, and highly customized service from our expert travel planners and amazing local hosts. In addition, Quintess, LLC has refined our business model to achieve positive operational cash flow and positive EBITDA status. We believe we are the first club in the category to achieve that, and our financial stability provides a tremendous amount of flexibility.”

Within recent months, Quintess announced 14 new homes and adventures and nine new destinations to accompany the club’s already robust collection of worldwide experiences. New destinations include St. Barts, St. Croix, Santorini and Snowmass along with more homes in established destinations such as Aspen, Nantucket and St. Thomas. New adventures were created in Burma, Cambodia, China, Israel and Vietnam. The club is actively working on additional real estate offerings and will roll out even more choices in the near future.

This year, Quintess aligned itself with more luxury service organizations in order to provide additional benefits to members. In addition to its longstanding relationship with PGA TOUR Experiences and IfOnly, Quintess members now receive preferred access with ASI Aviation, LifeStream MD and M life.

The Quintess Collection offers two ways to enjoy a world of luxury travel – club card and membership. Both offer extensive pre-trip planning and exemplary onsite service. Memberships start at $75,000 for 14 nights plus annual dues. The club card is $100,000 for 50 nights of usage over a three-year period, with no membership fees.

“Quintess believes in having members who travel often with the club, who are delighted with their experiences, and who recognize the value of the lifestyle and services that the club provides,” says Sutton. “We believe we have the highest membership utilization rate of any club in the field, proving the value of a truly vested membership model.”


Real Estate Agents Join Cause To Fight Hunger Nationwide

By Kimberly Turner

Real estate professionals across North America and Move For Hunger — a non-profit organization aimed to help hunger relief efforts — have teamed up to strengthen the efforts of the nation’s food banks.

When relocating many homeowners often throw out food items in order to make the process easier. “Relocating can be one of the most stressful things someone can go through — the last thing they are thinking about is the extra box of pasta or the few cans of corn in their pantry,” says Michael Oppler of Prominent Properties Sotheby’s International Realty in New Jersey. “Our company has teamed up with Move For Hunger because, not only is it simple and effortless to incorporate their program into our daily process, but it is effective.”

Real Estate professionals and other partners of Move For Hunger help by offering to arrange boxing and pick up for unopened non-perishable food times during the moving process. “We simply incorporate Move For Hunger materials into our marketing proposals, open houses, and social media marketing,” says Oppler. “This is a great way to show our clients what the local hunger need is.”

Just starting the program, Prudential Indiana Realty plans to “have a box in plain view at all our offices to remind our agents and employees to promote it and even donate on their own,” says relocation director Ann Gioe.

With one in seven Americans relocating every year, and one in six struggling to find their next meal, the help offered can be astronomical for food banks. Since 2009, Move For Hunger’s partnership with real estate professionals provided enough support for over one million meals to those in need.

“I’m always blown away by the amount of food drives we pump out every year,” says Max Lowy, the program manager for Move For Hunger. “But, what truly excites me is the idea that we have the chance to set an entire industry to a common purpose in a way that betters their businesses and supports their communities.”


Education Key Factor for Asian Real Estate Investors

Unique Homes’ Nick Antonicello speaks about the importance of proximity to quality location for luxury buyers at the 2014 Asian Real Estate Association of America Global and Luxury Summit, reports China Daily.

The adage in real estate goes, “location, location, location,” but for Chinese investors looking for U.S. property, it might change to “location, education, and luxury,” said real estate marketer Nick Antonicello.

While location is important, wealthy Chinese are now looking for a combination of factors to spot real estate opportunities, one of the primary ones being proximity to quality education, said Antonicello, director of new business at Unique Homes.

These words came in a panel discussion at the Waldorf Astoria hotel in New York, part of the 2014 Asian Real Estate Association of America Global and Luxury Summit.

Elizabeth Harrington, North American publisher of the Hurun Report, a Shanghai-based publishing group best known for its annual “China Rich List,” said that the Hurun Report now releases a school guide series for its clients as well because of the demand for education information.

“We had wealthy individuals asking us about advice on schools – where to apply to, how to get in, what the process is – and that eventually led us to the School Guide Series,” she said. The series compiles listings of top preparatory, secondary, undergraduate and post-graduate schools, and features articles from famous alumni and leading figures at big-name schools.

The West Coast of the U.S. has always had the highest concentration of Chinese and Chinese Americans, and about 50 percent of Chinese real estate buyers focus on California because of the schooling opportunities.

“It is the education. Why is that important? We know that statistically, between 30 and 40 percent of specifically the Chinese students, mom and dad are buying them a house,” said Antonicello.

International students make up a $24 billion industry in the U.S. and real estate agents should realize the potential for even more education-fueled real estate investments,” said Bill Hunt, international business consultant at Keller Williams Worldwide. “As the world becomes a global economy, the United States and China play the key role in developing education.”

Read the full article here.


The Bergen to Launch Leasing in April 2014

Located in the heart of Brownstone Brooklyn in Boerum Hill, this boutique building offers renters sophisticated homes with sleek refined finishes.

The Naftali Group and AEW Capital Management have announced that leasing for The Bergen, located at 316 Bergen St. in Boerum Hill, will officially launch on April 18. The 8-story, 84-unit rental building will be exclusively leased and marketed by aptsandlofts.com, one of NYC’s leading privately owned full-service real estate brokerages.

“I am extremely proud of The Bergen. We have put a great deal of time and care into the project and I believe that we have truly set a new standard of design and lifestyle for a rental property in Boreum Hill,” said Miki Naftali, chairman and CEO of The Naftali Group. “We focused on every detail that we thought was important and approached the building as if it were a boutique hotel. The result was bold design, bespoke amenities, luxury services, unique outdoor spaces and fantastic layouts.”

Located at the corner of 3rd Avenue and Bergen Street in Boerum Hill, the building is just a few blocks from the recently opened Whole Foods, Brooklyn Academy of Music and The Barclays Center. The property location also provides easy access to numerous transportation options at Atlantic Terminal.

“We feel The Bergen is in an amazing central location, providing residents with the best of both worlds, traditional Brownstone Brooklyn charm and the excitement and conveniences found in a bustling urban center,” said David Maundrell, founder and president of aptsandlofts.com. “With this balance, we predict that the building will draw a wide demographic.”

This stunning building features a mix of studios, one- and two-bedroom apartments with exquisite interiors designed by ODA Architecture. The open layout homes include floor-to-ceiling windows, spacious closets and solid white oak hardwood floors. Select homes include private balconies or terraces and washers and dryers in most residences.

The Bergen features a wide range of amenities including a landscaped roof deck furnished with cabanas, private dining areas, outdoor showers and BBQ, as well as offers dramatic views over the low-rise neighborhood that surrounds it. Other amenities include a fitness center with outdoor workout space and a yoga deck, landscaped outdoor lounge and a media lounge with wet bar entertainment area. The building also includes a full-time doorman, concierge services by Abigail Michaels, laundry facility and onsite parking.

For more information, visit their website.


Luxury Residential Condo 520 Park Avenue Announced

Robert A.M. Stern designs new Park Avenue luxury residential tower.

Zeckendorf Development, Eyal Ofer’s Global Holdings and Park Sixty LLC, an entity formed by Rafael and Ezra Nasser, recently announced 520 Park Ave., a 51-story residential tower located at East 60th Street between Park and Madison avenues, on Manhattan’s prestigious Upper East Side.

“World renowned architect Robert A.M. Stern at 520 Park Ave. has designed another timeless and classic Manhattan residential building. 520 Park Ave. will set a new standard for elegant design on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, and we are certain this luxury residential building will become a landmark in a treasured city neighborhood,” said William L. Zeckendorf.

Featuring 31 magnificent residences with expansive interior layouts, this intimate residential condominium will offer many features unique to the Upper East Side, including 4,000 square feet of dedicated residential ground floor space.

The 31 residences will comprise 23 full-floor apartments each approximately 4,600 square feet, with 225 feet of exterior exposures and spectacular city views; seven duplex apartments each approximately 9,100 square feet; and 1 triplex apartment with 12,400 interior square feet and 1,150 square feet of exterior space. The duplex and triplex apartments will have uninterrupted views of Central Park, the Upper East Side and Midtown.

The building will be entirely clad in Indiana limestone articulated with French balconies and stone detailing evocative of the great New York apartment buildings of the 1920s and 1930s. A multi-story crown tops the building adding a new dimension to the New York City skyline.

“We are excited to partner again with Zeckendorf Development in another outstanding luxury residential Manhattan development. 520 Park Ave. will be a remarkable and sought after Upper East Side residential address,” said Eyal Ofer, chairman of Global Holdings, Inc.

Luxury amenities will complement the elegance of the residences. Included will be a private, two-story 8,000-square-foot, world-class health club featuring exercise room, pool and locker rooms facilities to match the finest spa standards. Enhancing the residences is a 1,800-square-foot ground-floor private exterior garden, a wine storage, bicycle storage, private resident storage spaces and a library.

Construction is expected to be completed in early 2017 with sales and marketing to commence imminently.


The Bailey House Gala & Auction Takes Place at Chelsea Piers

Proceeds from the event provide housing and services for people living with HIV/AIDS.

The 2014 Bailey House Gala & Auction recently took place at Pier 60 at Chelsea Piers. The Gala honored the heroism of individuals and organizations that help further the Bailey House mission of providing housing and services for people living with HIV/AIDS and advocating on their behalf. Honorees included: Jason Sheftell, a respected real estate correspondent who changed hearts and minds through his moving articles about Bailey House in The Daily News and whose award was accepted by his mother, Karen Sheftell, in memory of her late son; longtime Bailey House supporter Betsy Lawrence for her extraordinary commitment to the success of Bailey House’s new Behavioral Health Center; Carver Federal Savings Bank, for helping Bailey House ensure the well-being of the East Harlem community through Bailey House’s nutrition assistance program; and State Senator Brad Hoylman, State Assembly Member Robert Rodriguez and VOCAL-NY for their tireless efforts to pass the 30 percent Rent Cap legislation for people living with HIV/AIDS.

The Gala was hosted by Tom Postilio and Mickey Conlon, stars of HGTV’s Selling New York and leaders in New York real estate with CORE. The storied auction followed the gala and remains one of the hottest parties in town. Featured auction items included a Robert Mapplethorpe photograph; a luxurious stay in a beachside villa in Rio de Janeiro; tickets to the much-anticipated Cabaret, including a backstage meet-and-greet with actor Alan Cumming; an extraordinary vacation package to Switzerland courtesy of SWISS; a dream getaway to Villa Amor in Mexico and many more fashion, travel, art, home décor and entertainment items.

Through generous sponsorships, celebrity support and phenomenal auction items, Bailey House has raised over $15 million since its inaugural event in 1988. Lead sponsors of this year’s event included Pfizer, Giorgio Armani, Bingham McCutchen and Mount Sinai Hospital. All proceeds benefit Bailey House programs that help transform the lives of low-income New Yorkers living with HIV/AIDS.


Clifford Ross Participates in The Fabergé Big Egg Hunt

The American artist designs the Wave Egg for the April event.

Clifford Ross will be participating in The Fabergé Big Egg Hunt with the creation of his Wave Egg. This charitable cause will take place in all five boroughs of New York City to raise money for children through Agnes Gund’s Studio in a School and conservation efforts of Mark Shand’s Elephant Family that saves the endangered Asian elephant and its habitat.

“When asked to design an egg, it was natural to think of imagery from my best-known series, ­the Hurricane waves. Rather than simply transfer a photograph onto the egg, I wanted to accomplish something more interesting and unique – a hand painted egg that celebrates the edge of a breaking wave,” said Ross.

Throughout the month Ross’ Wave Egg and over 250 other egg sculptures, each individually crafted by the world’s leading artists, designers and creators, will be displayed across the city.

“I was so glad to have introduced Mark Shand and Agnes Gund, the respective founders of Elephant Family and Studio in a School, who came together to launch New York City’s Big Egg Hunt,” said Ross. “The success of the project will help ensure the goals of both organizations – the preservation of Asian elephants and fostering the creative development of children in New York City. We are spreading environmental awareness and the joy of great design across diverse communities. How great is it to unite artists with children to carry out a common mission?”

Created by Mark Shand as an innovative and engaging platform to raise funds for Elephant Family, his non-profit organization, The Fabergé Big Egg Hunt caused a frenzy in London last year, set two Guinness World Record titles and ultimately raised over $1.5 million for charity. The 2014 hunt in New York will benefit both Elephant Family and Studio in a School.

In partnership with Sotheby’s, the highly collectable sculptures will be auctioned at the end of the event, raising substantial funds for economically disadvantaged children and critically endangered wildlife. The general public is challenged to venture throughout the five boroughs to discover and locate each egg. As an incentive, Fabergé has offered gemstone prizes that include eggs with rubies, emeralds, sapphires and amethysts.

The Fabergé Big Egg Hunt is taking place April 1 to April 26 throughout the five boroughs of New York.

For more information, visit their website.