Ismael Leyva Architects to Design New Project

The firm has started work on a plan for a waterfront Park in Boca del Rio, Veracruz, Mexico.

New York-based Ismael Leyva Architects is known for their contemporary design aesthetic and the plan for this waterfront park will “become the Battery Park City Waterfront of Boca del Rio, Veracruz.”

Designed as a gateway to the sea, this waterfront park measures 60 meters wide and enjoys 5 kilometers of waterfront. An organic walking esplanade is open to the sea while pathways and cycling paths lead pedestrians and cyclists towards urban furniture for relaxing, recreational areas, cafes, restaurants and commercial spaces, all of which enjoy magnificent vistas.

“We are extremely pleased to have been selected by Municipal President, Sr. Miguel Angel Yunes Marquez, to create this grand vision for the thriving waterfront in Boca del Rio, Veracruz. As a native of Veracruz I am particularly honored to have been chosen to undertake this important assignment, and wish to thank both President of the Municipality of Boca del Rio and the citizens of the State of Veracruz for their confidence in me,” says Ismael Leyva, president of Ismael Leyva Architects.

Boca del Rio is a tourist and residential area with many hotels, fine restaurants and cultural activities. This waterfront plan will further enhance this attractive municipal area.

Historic Nixon Mansion On The Market in Reno, Nevada

By Kimberly Turner

Rich in history, the Nixon Mansion takes its name from its original owner, Nevada Senator George S. Nixon, who built the prestigious estate in 1907 on property purchased from fellow Senator Francis G. Newlands. The Italian villa, on 2.03 acres in Reno, Nevada, originally had 33 rooms, and was one of the first residences in Reno to have an elevator.

Recently listed for $20.4 million by Sandi Solomonson, Donna Spear and Trinkie Watson of Chase International, the home commands spectacular views of downtown Reno, the Truckee River and Peavine Mountain. Following a fire in 1979 that left the mansion uninhabitable, current owners (who purchased the property in 2002) spent the past decade restoring the 17,964-square-foot property both inside and out.

“It is a beautiful home and is a nice contribution back to the city of Reno because it has been beautifully done,” says Watson.

Reminiscent of Old World elegance, the stately formal dining room with a carved mahogany fireplace, provides seating for 60 guests under the original crystal chandelier. Serve guests from the new 860-square-foot kitchen wing, which features a butler’s pantry, laundry room and a 60-inch La Crue French range.

An 800-square-foot grand ballroom with Boiserie finish walls offers additional space for entertaining, as well as a 1,800-bottle wine cellar and tasting area, a game room with wet bar (which can easily serve as a theater, music studio or private gallery) and a sun-lit morning breakfast room. The expansive outdoor covered terrace overlooking the Truckee River provides another space for entertaining.

Though grand in nature, the home also lends itself to intimate social gatherings in the parlor, library, and the river-view bar. Also, the nine fireplaces throughout the home lend an air of warmth to any occasion.

“It is very light and cheerful,” says Watson. “And even though it is a grand formal house, it still feels comfortable inside so you don’t have to feel like you have to wear your white gloves.”

The master suite includes two Carrara marble bathrooms, each with a custom mahogany walk-in closet, a garden-view Juliet balcony and a private office that provides views of the river below. Seven additional en suite bedrooms offer ample accommodations for guests.

“This home lends itself to a family that has kids and is active,” says Watson. “It could also be used as a corporate retreat or someone that entertains a lot and wants to accommodate their guests with a place to stay.”

Just a short drive to the Reno Tahoe International Airport, Lake Tahoe’s azure waters and University of Nevada sports and cultural events, this Northern Nevada crown jewel is well-located. In addition, it is walking distance to the River Walk, a stretch along the Truckee River with restaurants, bars, a movie theater and more.

“Because it is such a large home, the fact that somebody went to the extent to restore is it is amazing,” says Watson. “The décor and finishes are beautifully done.”

Dwell On Design Celebrates Largest Show To Date

The 9th annual event grew to 300,000 square feet at the Los Angeles Convention Center producing a 3-day design laboratory for a global audience.

Dwell on Design LA, the largest design event in the U.S., returned to the Los Angeles Convention Center June 20 to 22. This unique 3-day show welcomed attendees and participants from around the world for a celebration of modern design. Dwell on Design offered continuous content from more than 200 top minds of design, dynamic exhibitions by more than 400 exhibitors, and thousands of products and materials to inspire the design enthusiast in everyone. Attendance at DODLA increased to a record 31,550 participants over the weekend, and was the culmination of Dwell Design Week, which took place June 13 to 22 and included a series of events and home tours in east and west Los Angeles.

“The unique and extraordinary experience produced by the Dwell Media team exceeded everyone’s expectations,” said Dwell Media’s president and CEO Michela O’Connor Abrams. “It is a testament to the Dwell brand that so many people gathered—and stayed—for an entire weekend of ideas, inspiration and demonstration of what it means to be ‘At Home in the Modern World.’”

This year’s keynote speaker was American designer Stephen Burks, who shared his passion for craft and conveyed lessons for young designers on how to marry personal goals with marketable design. Other notable speakers and presentations included designer Ty Pennington, who closed the show with a discussion on better living through design; architect Peter Williams, who shared his work building housing for vulnerable populations through his organization ARCHIVE Global; authenticity in the design world with Eames Demetrios; the Smart Kitchen of 2025, as presented by GE Monogram and the AIA Restaurant Design Awards.

Dwell Outdoor transformed more than 24,000 square feet of the show floor into a botanical oasis. Curated by Shades of Green Landscape Architecture, FormLA Landscaping and Mountain States Wholesale Nursery, the show floor came to life with 25,000 plants and trees, including living walls by Bella Builders.

The fourth annual Dwell on Design Awards were announced recognizing exhibitors for outstanding showing across 11 categories. Winners included: GE Monogram (Kitchen); TOTO (Bath); Arpa, (Design Materials); Parquet by Dian (Sustainability); Fringe Studio (Furniture); Cerno (Lighting); Sprouting Sprocket Studio (Dwell Outdoor); Paper Punk, led by Grace Hawthorne, (Modern Lifestyle); LivingHomes, (Overall – Best Booth); and Stikwood (Overall Best in Show).

Dwell programming continues this fall with the inaugural Dwell on Design New York, debuting at 82 Mercer in SoHo October 9 to 11, 2014. More than 5,000 members of the design elite will gather for innovative installations and onstage discussions centering on contract design, public space, urban infrastructure and more.

ReComm Global Launches in Colorado

First real estate specific communications firm in the state.

The launch of ReComm Global, the first public relations firm in Colorado focused solely on real estate and development communications, was recently announced. Patricia Peeples and Jens Werner, co-founders and managing partners of the new firm, have more than 35 combined years of experience in the field of public relations.

With clients varying from resort owners and operators, developers, land planners and trade associations to brokerage groups, metro-districts and homeowners associations, ReComm Global focuses solely on real estate communications for clients from all facets of transactions involving real estate. As a result of the specialization, ReComm is able to deliver results for clients and, consequently, drive business.

“ReComm is a new communications concept that evolved from our years in the travel and tourism industry,” said Patricia Peeples, managing partner of ReComm Global. “Our client base has shifted over the last decade and much of our business has been focused on real estate and development. We developed expertise in this type of communication platform and have grown to enjoy the collaborative, solution-oriented approach we have with our clients and their stakeholders.”

Utilizing strategic communications to drive sales and navigate the waters of development approval, ReComm Global creates and executes targeted plans for clients based on years of research and the best practices.

“Our company has worked with the ReComm Global team on five projects varying in size and scope of work since 2010,” said Peter Wells, managing partner of Condo Capital Solutions, a division of Real Capital Solutions. “They’ve repositioned and raised awareness about projects in Beaver Creek, Colorado; Las Vegas, Nevada; Denver, Colorado; Scottsdale, Arizona and now at Winchester Country Club in Meadow Vista, California. Their professionalism, acumen in the real estate and development industry and ability to activate quickly has exceeded our expectations on each project.”

“I’m excited to launch ReComm Global because I feel that in today’s business world, specialization is critical,” said Jens Werner, managing partner of ReComm Global. “Leading communications campaigns in the real estate and development space before, during and after the recent recession caused us to constantly refine and redefine our tactics for a varying group of clients in a constantly changing financial landscape. We became experts in meeting each client’s goals and overcoming a project’s challenges with a wide variety of solutions. It wasn’t long before we determined that we wanted to direct our focus specifically toward real estate and development.”

Record-Breaking Penthouse Sale in Bal Harbour

A 15th-floor penthouse went up for sale following a live auction in beginning of June, setting a record price at the New Harbour House condominium development in Bal Harbour, Florida. While the final sale price for the property will be released upon settlement, Platinum Luxury Auctions reported the figure as “significantly exceeding” the building’s existing price record of $1.36 million. The property was sold in cooperation with listing agents Eloy Carmenate and Mick Duchon of the Eloy Carmenate Group of ONE Sotheby’s International Realty.

During a four-week preview period, the property received significant attention from both local and international buyers, with more than 2,250 recorded views of the property’s digital brochure, 80 direct inquiries and 62 on-site property visits. The buyer is a Brazilian businessman and owner of multiple properties in Miami-Dade County. He out-bid six others from France, Brazil, Miami and the northeast U.S. in order to purchase the condominium.

The three-bedroom residence offers floor-to-ceiling windows highlighting captivating views of the Atlantic Ocean. The building, formerly known as the “Harbour House,” was completely renovated by developer, The Related Group in 2006, and now boasts amenities such as 24-hour concierge and security services, valet parking, cafe, gym and spa, as well as an oceanside pool and sundeck.

On the northern tip of Miami Beach, Bal Harbour is just a 15-minute drive from the heart of South Beach, and has been home to a notable list of residents such as Frank Sinatra and the Rat Pack, as well as Presidents Kennedy, Johnson and Nixon. The community is best known for its oceanfront developments and for the renowned Bal Harbour Shops, the world’s leading luxury retail mall.

For additional information on the sale please visit

CMH Heli-Skiing To Unveil Refurbished Iconic Properties

The upgrades will be unveiled for the winter 2014/2015 ski season, as part of the company’s 50th anniversary celebrations.

CMH Heli-Skiing, recently revealed that several of its iconic backcountry properties will undergo significant renovations this summer, with upgrades to be ceremoniously unveiled for the winter 2014/2015 ski season, when the organization celebrates its golden anniversary.

“In 2015, CMH will celebrate its 50th anniversary and its legacy as the pioneer of Heli-Skiing,” said Joe Flannery, president of CMH. “It’s a natural time for reflection and nostalgia, but it is also a milestone that beckons us to look forward. It’s as important to us that we remain responsive to the desires of the modern guest as it is to maintain the traditions of rustic comfort that our loyal, returning guests love.”

Fortunately for CMH, the world’s largest Heli-Skiing operator with 11 properties dispersed throughout more than three million acres of British Columbia’s best powder skiing terrain, the capacity to innovate, renovate and re-create accommodations that appeal to just about every possible taste is as deep as the snow in which it operates.

Refurbishments will take place at three CMH properties – Bugaboos, Gothics and Valemount – and all will be spearheaded by Portland-based design firm Skylab Architecture, a company dedicated to bridging the long and hallowed history of CMH with the next generation of discerning ski traveler.

“We strive to design environments that create lasting effects on the natural and built worlds,” said Jeff Kovel, AIA, principal of Skylab Architecture. “CMH properties are based amidst some of the most magnificent surroundings on earth and we look forward to designing areas that are sympathetic to those amazing environments, as well as functional and aesthetically pleasing for their guests.”

The Bugaboo Lodge was the first backcountry lodge built exclusively to service Heli-Skiers by CMH in 1968. The flagship property has since seen several updates over the years, including a significant expansion in 2003, but will now undergo more extensive renovations including a relocation of the main bar, a new wine cellar and upgrades to the common areas.

Following the refurbishments of its lounge and dining areas in 2013, the Gothics Lodge will see its rooms renovated in the coming months to match the more contemporary look of the new areas. CMH Valemount, the exclusive lodge catering to small private groups and notable as the property rated by SKI Magazine as “one of the world’s five most luxe ski lodges,” will also receive upgrades to its common areas and spa.

Oceana Bal Harbour Loans Sculpture to Jeff Koons Exhibit

“Pluto & Proserpina” sculpture is the first work of art owned by residents of a condominium on loan for a world tour.

Estimated to become one of the most valuable pieces of art ever created by Jeff Koons, “Pluto & Proserpina” made its debut at the Whitney Museum in New York City in June as part of the opening of Koons’s highly publicized exhibit, “Jeff Koons: A Retrospective.” The piece will follow the exhibit on a tour to the world’s top museums before permanently residing at Oceana Bal Harbour, an ultra-luxe condominium in the Miami area scheduled to be completed in 2016. This is the first time a world-class work of art owned by residents of a development project is on loan for a world tour.

“Pluto & Proserpina” is a larger-than-life sculpture purchased by revered billionaire real estate magnate and MALBA museum-founder Eduardo Costantini for his art-themed luxury condominium, Oceana Bal Harbour. Costantini is loaning the sculpture to the Whitney Museum for a retrospective exhibit of Koons’s work, the first time the museum has filled the building with one artist’s work. “Pluto & Proserpina” will then travel to the Pompidou in Paris and the Guggenheim in Bilbao before permanently residing at Oceana Bal Harbour in 2016.

“’Pluto & Proserpina’ will be enjoyed by millions of people at first-class museums all over the world, only to come back home to the Oceana Bal Harbour residents who will get to call it their own,” said Costantini, the founder of Argentina-based real estate development company Consultatio. “Jeff Koons was the natural choice to represent our project; he is a global artist and the residents of Oceana Bal Harbour are global citizens who are coming from all corners of the world,” he said.

Residents of the roughly 240-unit development, priced from $3 to $30 million, will share sole ownership of the piece and will be credited in the exhibit, a first. The residents will also share ownership of another Koons piece, the yet-to-be-completed “Ballerina”, which will first travel to Costantini’s MALBA museum in May 2015 and then to the famed Bal Harbour Shops for Miami’s 2015 Art Basel. Both pieces are part of Jeff Koons Antiquity series and will be permanently displayed in the beachside gardens and the reflecting pool that connects the building’s ocean and bay facades. They will join 10 other museum-worthy pieces in the lobby, which will be an integral part of the residents’ personal art collection, as their ownership will belong to the Oceana Bal Harbour residents.

Koons’s “Balloon Dog (orange)” recently sold at Christies for a record-breaking $58.4 million, making him the priciest living artist in the world, and just a few weeks ago Koons sold his “Jim Beam J. B. Turner Train,” for $33.7 million and “Popeye” for $28.1 million.

New Lots Available with Golf Course Frontage in Texas

Texas Hill Country’s premier luxury community, Cordillera Ranch, has new lots available fronting its Jack Nicklaus signature design golf course — the development’s first residential golf course frontage in seven years.

In the coveted, 900-acre Clubs Village neighborhood, they feature vistas of the acclaimed course (recently ranked No. 4 in Texas by the Dallas Morning News) and historic Guadalupe River Valley. Adjacent to the par-5 ninth and par-4 10th holes, the one-plus acre parcels favor the prevailing southeast breezes, while offering views of several holes and the stunning limestone-and-timber clubhouse.

“The lots are covered by some of the largest oak trees at Cordillera Ranch, providing privacy and a sense of historical connection with the land,” says Charlie Hill, Vice President of Development at Cordillera Ranch. “Unique to the community, they jut out into ‘the turn’ of the golf course and gently slope from front to back to accentuate the commanding views.”

Lot prices range from $300,000 to $425,000 and three have already been sold.

There also is development at other Cordillera Ranch enclaves, including the first villa in the Di Lusso Phase II has been completed; lots are now available at Springs of Cordillera Ranch; and more.

For more on Cordillera Ranch, visit here.

World Ambassador for FIABCI Announced

Manhattan Real Estate Broker Danielle Grossenbacher, of Brown Harris Stevens, has been elected the 2015-2016 World President of The International Real Estate Federation (FIABCI). She will be inducted on May 30, 2015 at the FIABCI World Conference in Kuala Lumpur.

FIABCI is a non-political entity whose objective is to help its members add an international dimension to their businesses and helps members acquire knowledge, develop networks and optimize business opportunities all over the world. FIABCI has chapters in 65 member countries and impacts real estate professionals worldwide. Currently, Danielle is also a representative of FIABCI to the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC).

“We are overjoyed that Danielle has been chosen as the Global President of FIABCI for 2015-2016,”’ said Hall F. Willkie, president of Brown Harris Stevens. “She is an exemplary real estate professional and has deep experience with FIABCI and with international real estate. The organization could not have chosen a better global ambassador.”

Danielle has been a successful Licensed Associate Real Estate Broker with Brown Harris Stevens, the exclusive affiliate of Christie’s International Real Estate, since 2007. Her focus is on selling luxury homes, as well as commercial and investment properties in New York City. She has over 30 years of experience and belongs to several organizations, including the Real Estate Board of New York. Danielle holds a Master’s Degree in Political Science and International Studies from the Graduate Institute of International Studies (IUHEI), located in Geneva, Switzerland. She spent the first part of her career as a Canadian diplomat, and later established herself in the real estate industry.

Conrad Fort Lauderdale Beach Residences to Hit Market

Sales for the elite oceanfront residences will be re-launched this summer following more than $30 million in luxury renovations and upgrades.

Sales for Conrad Fort Lauderdale Beach Residences, by Hilton Worldwide’s luxury brand Conrad Hotels and Resorts, will be re-launched by Douglas Elliman Development Marketing this summer. Acquired by CFLB Partnership, Inc., the 24-story oceanfront property is currently undergoing more than $30 million in luxury renovations and upgrades. The 290-condo residences combine resort-style amenities with a luxury residential living experience all in a prime location at 551 North Fort Lauderdale Beach Boulevard.

The Conrad Fort Lauderdale Beach Residences will offer a mix of condo-hotel and pure play residential units ranging from studio, one-, two- and three-bedrooms, and penthouses designed by Edge of Architecture and Steven G Interiors. There will be fully furnished and appointed deluxe condo hotel studios, one- and two-bedroom suites with flat screen televisions, spacious private balconies, private owner’s storage closet and marble entry foyers as well as exquisitely finished kitchens with top-of-the line appliances including Sub Zero refrigerators and Wolfe cooktops. Luxury bathrooms will boast marble vanity tops, separate shower and baths.

Originally designed by world-renowned architect Michael Graves, the property is being re-imagined to the next level of luxury with spectacular new architectural and design features by architectural firm Garcia Stromberg in collaboration with interior design firm Edge of Architecture. Upgrades include a porte-cochere entrance with 24-hour valet service, a striking new lobby and a dramatic glass-encased area “Jewel Box” connecting the property’s East and West towers, two stories above ground level.

“The Conrad Fort Lauderdale Residences offer a unique opportunity to experience an international style of appointments blended with a luxury getaway atmosphere,” said Jose Luis Zapata, developer. “Douglas Elliman has a proven track record of success, not only representing waterfront properties, but also with handling unique luxury properties across South Florida and New York, making them the perfect fit for our project.”

Prices for residences start at $500,000 and range to multi-million dollar penthouses. An on-site sales office will open once sales re-launch.