Luxury Real Estate retreat to beautiful Costa Rica a success

pixelCaptureSeattle, Wa. – The 13th Annual Luxury Real Estate Spring Retreat was held Tuesday, April 7, through Friday, April 10 at the renowned Los Sueños Marriott Ocean & Golf Resort in Herradura, Costa Rica.

Throughout the Spring Retreat, Luxury Real Estate members participated on panels and group discussions that explored topics including the challenges and triumphs of changing brands, utilizing technology for marketing luxury properties, building an effective database, keys to running a successful luxury real estate business and the best practices of working in today’s competitive high-end market.

Two featured speakers, Pamela Aden and Mary Anne Aden of Aden Research, S.A, shared insight on the global financial markets and how they affect real estate cycles today. Several networking activities provided attendees with the opportunity to connect with members from all across the world.

This event, hosted by Who’s Who in Luxury Real Estate and Chairman and Publisher, John Brian Losh, is one of four annual invitation-only networking events that bring together the world’s most prominent high-end real estate brokers

“We are pleased at the great success of this event as it is the first time we have convened in Central America. Choosing a well-rounded array of locations for our Luxury Real Estate events benefits our members immensely by ensuring the opportunity for them to continuously create and strengthen connections in international markets,” said Losh. “Assembling in Costa Rica not only opened up a place for constructive dialog between these elite brokers, but also provided them with the venue to network in a more relaxed environment and get to know one another on a deeper level.

Grand Prix of Real Estate now accepting award entries

GrandPrixLOGO20131FIABCI-USA, the International Real Estate Federation, promotes the best real estate development projects from around the country.

The Grand Prix of Real Estate represents outstanding achievement in construction and design, and grants recipients with access to promotional platforms through FIABCI’s network of partners in more than 60 countries. Any project developed by a U.S.-based developer or designed by a U.S. architect that has been open for at least one year is eligible to compete for this prestigious award. This year the award will be presented as a part of the FIABCI Asia Pacific Real Estate Congress in Honolulu, HI on Thursday September 10. Complete entry information is available on FIABCI’s website.

Past Grand Prix recipients include the Levine Center for the Arts in Charlotte, NC, developed by Wells Fargo Bank, the Atlanta Beltline developed by the City of Atlanta and Roosevelt University’s Wabash Building in Chicago developed by VOA Associates. Awards are based on projects’ overall merit and evaluated by an international panel of real estate professionals and experts on such factors as their plan of development, financial success, environmental impact and benefits to the community.

“Many FIABCI members have been able to shine the spotlight on outstanding projects in their hometowns and raise their profile with local architects, developers and urban planners through the Grand Prix,” said Lance Fulford, Organizing Task Force Chair of San Francisco.

The Roosevelt Wabash Building, the 2014 Grand Prix recipient has gone on to compete for the 2015 World Prix d’ Excellence that will be awarded as a part of the 66th FIABCI World Congress to be held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia from May 26-31.

Below: The 2014 Grand Prix winner, an expansion of Roosevelt University’s Chicago campus; the auditorium where the 2014 edition was held; and the official awards from last year.


Innovative residences at China’s Krystal Laputa are complete

5With a rising demand for more high-end living in Chengdu, China, the Hollywood architecture firm 5+design has finished the design of Krystal Laputa, a collection of three multi-million dollar luxury hi-rise residential towers and one mid-rise building. All units within Krystal Laputa have been sold pre-completion since hitting the market one year ago.

Designed to evoke the sense of a floating neighborhood in the sky, the three towers hover over the lake and are connected by elevated marinas, waterways, and upper-level land bridges. Parks and recreational spaces sit on the land bridges to engage the community in outdoor activities.

Krystal Laputa takes advantage of Chengdu’s natural terrain and aims to push the interaction between residents and the outdoors. A Tea House sits on the ground floor in one of the towers and cantilevers over the water that flows in at the base, bearing full views of the expansive lake below.

To further the connection of place and nature, each unit is surrounded by its own private garden. Once exiting individual elevators, residents immediately enter into their separate green space as they make their way to the unit. All three towers and mid-rise building provide 270 degrees of undisturbed viewing that capture the scenic surroundings of the lake, lush greenery and the city of Chengdu in the distance.

The project is surrounded by an expansive lake, which was engineered to restore the canals and waterways that once existed in the region. It serves as Luxelake’s key environmental asset, providing a natural habitat to wildlife and functioning as a source of nutrients for surrounding vegetation.

New luxury condos headed to the Upper East Side

225 East 81st StNew York, N.Y. – Michael Paul Enterprises, a full service real estate investment and development firm specializing in boutique condominium development, is pleased to announce two of its newest residential offerings: two locations called The Justin, located at 225 East 81st Street, and 554 East 82nd Street. Both are on Manhattan’s prestigious Upper East Side in close proximity to top restaurants, museums, shopping, parks, transportation and more. Ryan Serhant and Jenna Amicucci of Nest Seekers International are the exclusive sales agents on both projects.

“Every Michael Paul Enterprises building is designed with the comfort and privacy of townhouse living, yet is complemented with the maintenance and security of a condominium,” said Yvonne D’Alessio, vice president of Michael Paul Enterprises. “We’re committed to developing more high-end boutique condominiums throughout Manhattan, as demand continues to grow as more buyers seek an intimate living experience where they can escape and feel at home.”

The Justin is a six-story building located on a tree-lined street between Second and Third Avenues. The building is comprised of five residences – a four-bedroom triplex maisonette with a private garden; three floor through, three-bedroom apartments; and a three-bedroom penthouse, inclusionary of a 1,700 square foot roof deck. The homes range in size from 1,766 square feet to 3,882 square feet, with prices starting at $3.3 million and range up to $5.995 million.

Located just a few blocks away between York and East End Avenue is 554 East 82nd Street, a six-story building that consists of four apartments – a mix of two-, three- and four-bedroom duplex homes that range in size from 1,506 square feet to 2,787 square feet. Asking prices start at $2.55 million and go up to $4.85 million.

“Having worked with Michael Paul Enterprises on the successful sell out at 230 East 63rd Street last year, we’re excited to deliver the same results at two more impressive, quality buildings,” said Serhant, who filmed with the developers at all three buildings for this season of Bravo TV’s “Million Dollar Listing New York,” which premiered earlier this month with the highest ratings for a season premiere in the history of the franchise. “Not all high-end buyers prefer to live in a huge, high rise building. They’re looking for something more personal, which the developers and my team are happy to deliver.”

Fantasies of building floating homes are finally fulfilled

Amillarah Dubai 2New York, N.Y. – The rare opportunity to build and inhabit one’s own, ultra-luxury floating private island is now being unveiled as a reality.

Christie’s International Real Estate – the world’s leading luxury real estate network – and its affiliate Dutch Docklands, a global leader in floating developments, are proud to announce a collaborative initiative to construct self-sufficient and eco-friendly, buoyant islands across the globe. The first of these opportunities will be realized in Maldives, and will be branded as Amillarah, which is Maldivian for “private island.”

The Amillarah Private Islands developments are spearheaded by world-renowned architect Koen Olthuis and the proven expertise of Dutch Docklands, whose technology is inspired by the centuries-old craftsmanship of Dutch on-water residences, making them completely stable and safe from rising sea levels.

“The opportunity to literally develop a private island on a body of water is a testament to Dutch Dockland’s skills in this arena,” said Dan Conn, CEO of Christie’s International Real Estate.  “Buyers are able to customize the size, shape and style of their residence, within the broadest range of locations, beginning with this first opportunity in the Maldives.”

Dutch Docklands was founded in 2005 more than 50 years after serious flooding affected the Netherlands, subsequently leading to the execution of the Delta Plan – an engineering project aimed at protecting countries from rising sea levels.

“We have not only created a new luxury global brand with ‘Amillarah Private Islands’ but also a new industry of private island development to cater to our most discerning clients,” said Paul van de Camp, CEO of Dutch Docklands. “In addition to our Maldivian project, we have new developments signed in Dubai and Miami, and are actively looking for opportunities worldwide.”

Adding to the significance of the Amillarah project is the involvement of famed oceanographer Jean-Michel Cousteau’s Ocean Futures Society.  Dutch Docklands and Christie’s International Real Estate have worked with Ocean Futures Society to make the homes free from environmental impact, as well as to create new underwater habitats for sea life.

“Each of these homes is an eco-friendly work of art that can be lived in, allowing consumers to not only create, but enjoy whatever kind of paradise they desire,” added Rick Moeser, Senior Vice President, Christie’s International Real Estate.

Elite yachting club introduces all-inclusive cruise vacations

NICE3_smClearwater, Florida – Next month The Moorings, the world’s premier yacht charter company, will debut all-inclusive Crewed yacht vacations on the award-winning Moorings 4800 catamaran in Nice, France.

Complete with a professional captain and gourmet chef, this new charter option offers travelers a carefree way to cruise along the French Riviera. From phenomenal meals to gorgeous attractions, Crewed charters deliver a highly personalized vacation experience built upon the specific needs of each guest.

Aboard The Moorings 4800 – named “Boat of the Year” by Cruising World Magazine – guests will discover a luxurious layout including three double cabins with en-suite baths, a well-appointed saloon with plush seating and a full entertainment center, as well as an aft cockpit where one can dine and drink to a panoramic view of the surroundings.

With a knowledgeable captain to navigate the journey, Crewed charters provide an effortless way to travel between the myriad attractions along the coast of France. Whether it’s the rich nightlife in Monte Carlo, the pristine beaches of St. Tropez or Antibes’ old town charm, guests can visit all of their desired stops without the worry of navigating a new destination.

Before departure, Moorings chefs make it a point to learn their passengers’ dining preferences, then craft a variety of customized meals, hors d’oeuvres and drinks over the course of their charter.  From classic French fare to modern culinary favorites, this all-inclusive experience is an ideal complement to the rich culinary traditions of France.

“Nice is really the full package when it comes to a great all-inclusive vacation. The history, the food, the art, the weather — it’s magical how they all come together on this beautiful stretch of coastline,” said Josie Tucci, General Manager of The Moorings. “With a yacht as accommodating as the 4800, you’ve got the perfect way to bring the experience to life. Not only do you get the freedom to explore on your own terms, but a dedicated crew that takes all the stress of traveling away, letting you truly relax and take in everything this cruising ground has to offer.”

Ultimate Countdown: #1, Palazzo di Amore

This listing is the last in a series of luxury estates Unique Homes is profiling on our blog. The profiled homes, all on the market, are the 22 most expensive homes in the country. This “Ultimate Countdown” series is in anticipation of our May/June issue, the Ultimate Homes edition of Unique Homes, which includes all 385 listed homes in the United States selling for $20,000,000 or more.

Capture1Name: Palazzo di Amore

Price: $195,000,000

Location: Beverly Hills, California

Agent: Joyce Rey and Stacey Gotula

Why you should care about this estate: This is itThis is the big one.

This is the most expensive home in America, the most extravagant, luxurious piece of real estate whose price we could confirm: Palazzo di Amore.

It’s described by its listing agents as a “prestigious residence,” with perfectly-conceived architecture that “represents both majesty and family. It lives up to expectations, and then some.

Palazzo di Amore is a fabulous California structure sited on a genuinely one-of-a kind, 25 acre promontory. No other home in the world can host parties for thousands of important guests — it can accommodate parking for about 150 cars — while also maintaining a perfectionist-like aesthetic throughout its 53,000 square feet of awe-inspiring architecture. Oh, and its proximity to the world class cultural opportunities of Beverly Hills and beyond is priceless.

Outstanding amenities include privacy and security up a mile-long driveway, guard house, private drivers quarters, guest house, state-of-the-art theatre, discotheque, bowling alley, wine cellar, wine producing vineyard, pool, spa, formal gardens, tennis court and city to ocean views. With all the lush beauty of the Mediterranean, and all the cosmopolitan grandeur of a Beverly Hills address, Palazzo di Amore is indisputably without rival.

And that’s it. For more homes that are $20,000,000 and up, please check out our summer issue, the Ultimate Homes version of Unique Homes. We hoped you enjoyed our 2015 Ultimate Countdown!


Ultimate Countdown: #2, Madison Ave Triplex

This listing is the next in a series of luxury estates Unique Homes is profiling on our blog. The profiled homes, all on the market, are the 22 most expensive homes in the country. This “Ultimate Countdown” series is in anticipation of our May/June issue, the Ultimate Homes edition of Unique Homes, which includes all 385 listed homes in the United States selling for $20,000,000 or more.

CaptureName: Chetrit Group Triplex

Price: $150,000,000

Location: Madison Ave, Manhattan, New York

Agent: Douglas Elliman

Why you should care about this estate: This triplex at the former Sony Tower stands out even in Manhattan’s hyper-luxurious condo market, where developer Chetrit Group is hoping to set the bar with its colossal 21,500-square-foot residence.

The residence isn’t complete, as the Sony Tower continues its transformation from corporate center to (ideally) one of the world’s finest condo residences. At the moment, not much is known about the triplex’s living space, aside from its asking price of $150,000,000.

But early floor plans show that it will have at least 8 bedrooms, 8 bathrooms, 10 powder rooms, a spa and a wine room, spread out over a crazy amount of space. And it’s gotten plenty of attention already, as one of the more ambitious projects happening in Manhattan right now. That means this triplex, located on the building’s 33rd through 35th floors, will be quite the catch if early hype is anything to be believed.

Ultimate Countdown: #3, The Owlwood Estate

This listing is the next in a series of luxury estates Unique Homes is profiling on our blog. The profiled homes, all on the market, are the 22 most expensive homes in the country. This “Ultimate Countdown” series is in anticipation of our May/June issue, the Ultimate Homes edition of Unique Homes, which includes all 385 listed homes in the United States selling for $20,000,000 or more.

Carolwood-012Name: Owlwood Estate

Price: $150,000,000

Location: Holmby Hills, Los Angeles, California

Agent: Mauricio Umansky of The Agency

Why you should care about this estate: Very often at this price point, there isn’t a whole lot of information about properties. Elite, exclusive homes like Owlwood Estate in Los Angeles’ “Platinum Triangle” are what we call off-market listings, which don’t always necessarily want to build buzz through publicity.

Yet Owlwood Estate, which is twice the size of any other Holmby Hills estate with over 10 acres of land, is one of the most sought after properties in Los Angeles. The manor is an enormous structure, at about 13,000 square feet and featuring 6 bedrooms, 6 full baths, 5 half baths and a 1,500 square feet living room.

It also has priceless Hollywood history — a little bit like #6, Holmby Hills’ “Godfather House,” yet that can only pale in comparison to the extensive trivia dotting Owlwood Estate’s rich history. The roughly 13,000-square-foot manor was once owned by Joseph Schenk, the founder of 20th Century Fox, who is said to have entertained Marilyn Monroe many times in the Italian Renaissance-style mansion — which was also the home of Tony Curtis, Sonny and Cher.

For more information, you may have to reach out to The Agency, which has kept this off-market listing under wraps despite (or perhaps because of) its glitzy appeal. But whoever does end up claiming this Holmby Hills prize will be getting at least two things: The largest property in the area, by far, and a magnificent estate lined with an unparalleled Hollywood history.

Ultimate Countdown: #4, waterfront Briar Patch estate

This listing is the next in a series of luxury estates Unique Homes is profiling on our blog. The profiled homes, all on the market, are the 22 most expensive homes in the country. This “Ultimate Countdown” series is in anticipation of our May/June issue, the Ultimate Homes edition of Unique Homes, which includes all 385 listed homes in the United States selling for $20,000,000 or more.

briarName: Briar Patch

Price: $140,000,000

Location: East Hamptons, New York

Agent: Peter M. Turino & Kathleen Coumou

Why you should care about this estate: Briar Patch is often considered, by those in the know, to be one of the most beautiful properties in the Hamptons. This is in part because of its two classic Peter Marino residences — gorgeous structures with ample space separating them on the 11.2 acre property — also thanks to the otherworldly quality of the grounds, and also because it offers 1,156 feet of waterfront sights on beautiful Georgica Pond.

It’s a lot to appreciate. And a result of its picture perfect location, Briar Patch features stunning panoramic views across the pond and towards the Atlantic Ocean in the distance. The prevailing onshore ocean breezes convey cool air throughout the summer and the southern exposure creates magical light in every season. Century-old sycamores, beeches and lindens tower over the grounds all-year long, and the grassy knoll Briar Patch was built on in 1931 has been well taken care of over the years. It’s a romantic, fantasy property that also happens to exist in real life.

Also included are a private pond, woodlands and vast expanses of elevated lawns not only provide the ultimate in privacy and security, but a sanctuary for abundant birdlife, such as swans, egrets, ospreys, and the occasional eagle. The house is ideally suited to a sunset dinner for four or a large event for hundreds of guests.