Insignia in Seattle is More than 50% Sold of its First Phase

Insignia in Seattle, the Northwest’s largest condominium development, is now more than 50 percent sold of its first phase. Construction on the project’s first tower has topped out and is on track to open in late spring 2015, according to Bosa Development.

“We are pleased with the velocity of sales at Insignia, which has exceeded our expectations due its popularity with a range of buyers from Millennials to empty nesters,”stated Nat Bosa, President of Bosa Development. “The community has also embraced us, with many purchasers moving from other neighborhoods within Seattle.”

Insignia’s 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 features 350 residences ranging from one to two bedrooms, with prices from the high $400,000s to approximately $2 million.

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.



New York Market Will be Hit if Interest Rates Rise

By Caitlin Flynn

New York real estate investment firm Mascia Development recently released a national analysis of commercial property value prospects in all 50-states, looking for US cities with the most opportunities for long-term, stable growth.

Their findings show that as interests rates rise, global gateway real estate markets, especially New York City, will be hit hardest. Secondary markets, however, like Tulsa and Phoenix will be better position to survive future interest rate hikes.

Mascia’s assessed multiple factors, including diversity and strength of employer base, 12-year population growth trends and current cast returns on real estate. Among the multiple US cities analyzed in this report, New York City will fair the worst once interest rates rise, according to the report.

This may be due to global gateway cities, such as New York, are oversaturated with international investors, creating the most risk for steep declines as interest rates rise. While secondary and tertiary real estate markets are seeing the highest population percentage growth, which will lead to higher real estate prices. Likewise secondary and tertiary real estate markets provide investors the best valuation investors.

So, once interest rates rise next year from 4 percent to 6 percent cities markets like New York and San Francisco will see a 33.33 percent drop in property values. Secondary markets, however, will only see a 20 percent drop upon the interest rate spike.

Rupert Hoogewerth Details the Rise of China’s Super Rich

By Caitlin Flynn

The Hurun Report has become renowned for its annual list of the richest people in China. A recent profile of its publisher Rupert Hoogewerf on China Central Television chronicles how the magazine produces this list, and Hoogewerf’s own views on the emergence of China’s super-rich.

Though born in Luxembourg and educated in England, over the last 20 or so years Hoogewerf has called China his home.  He’s made a living by ranking the power and net worth of China’s biggest businesses, people and brands.

Hoogewerf originally came to Beijing in 1990 for a year of study then he returned in 1997 to work and since 2004 has run the Hurun Report out of Shanghai. So he offers a unique perspective when discussing China’s economic rise over the last quarter century. “You have people wearing colorful clothes suddenly,” he said in the report. It was exactly these subtle changes that began his intrigue into China’s wealthiest class, “but then who was the people making those clothes… You come into the cities and see new buildings… who’s behind those buildings?” he asked, “those people tell the story of modern China.”

For perspective on the growth of China’s economy over that time, in 1990 China’s GDP was only $390.2 billion USD, according to a report by the guardian compiling numbers from the organizations such as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. In 2013 China’s GDP was more than $8.6 trillion with a projected GDP of more than $11.7 trillion in 2016.

Much like its American counterpart of rich list publishers Forbes Magazine, Hurun’s list has seemingly ushered in an era of people being “desperate learn how to build business,” as Hoogewerf says in the report adding that China is, “The most exciting place for entrepreneurship in the world.”

Restoring the ‘Rolex’ of Soda Siphons

A classic bar item is restored to add authentic history and culture to any home bar.

By Kimberly Turner

A rare and exclusive item, Sparklets soda siphons evoke visions of a pastime when adding fizz to a drink required the use of a handheld siphon. Die Siphon Manufaktur has restored this bygone-era item, for a prestigious use in a home bar.

“It was as much of a cultural thing back then in bars as it is now,” says founder of Munich-based Die Siphon Manufaktur, Jonas Dieterle, who restores the siphons with co-founder Martin Grabeldinger. “The company that originally made them is an English company called Sparklets, which started producing the siphons in the late 1800s. And the particular model we are restoring, they started making them in the 1920s.”

Originally the glass bottles of the soda siphons were mouth-blown in renowned glass factories of former Czechoslovikia and then manufactured on 46th Street in Manhattan. “It is a pretty captivating and fascinating product,” says Dieterle. “Especially when people hold it in their hands, it feels fantastic.“

Die Siphon Manufaktur also restores Sparklets Soda Sipohns from Paris, London and Berlin. Known as the Rolex of Soda Siphons, Sparklets evoke quality and excellence in a classic way.“Like a quality watch may give an outfit a more dignified or classy look, a soda siphon accentuates the style and class of a home bar,” says Dieterle.

Each siphon is accompanied by a certificate of authenticity that includes the year of production, the city it was made in and the place where it was found before the restoration. “A soda siphon is something you are going to treasure if you have it, keep for a couple of decades and pass on,” says Dieterle. “We define this as sustainable luxury.”

China’s Richest Man has his Eyes on Hollywood

By Caitlin Flynn

Chinese conglomerate Wanda Dalian, headed by China’s richest man Wang Jianlin, is investing $1.2 billion in a property development project in greater Los Angeles. In a statement on the company’s website, Wanda said that it has won the bidding for a site at 9900 Wilshire Boulevard. “The Los Angeles project will serve as the Wanda Group’s first important step into Hollywood,” Jailin said in the statement. The development “is expected to aid in China’s entry into Hollywood’s film industry and generally promote Chinese culture abroad.”

This is the latest step in a series of investments to place Jainlin center of the global film industry. Wanda is currently constructing the world’s largest movie studio in the coastal mainland city of Qingdao, China. In an interview Jianlin described his involvement in the film industry as a “dream,” as reported by the Wall Street Journal.  Along with the construction of this site Wanda has secured partnerships with four of America’s largest talent agencies. With these investments as well as Wanda’s purchase of AMC Theaters in 2012, Wang Jianlin is poised to become one of the most influential characters in the movie business.

The LA property was purchased for an undisclosed amount of money. Wanda Dalian outbid 10 other investors for the right to develop the land. The site is a 10-minute walk from Rodeo Drive, and is adjacent to the Los Angeles Country Club. The former department store will be transformed into a 235 condo, 21,000 square feet of ground floor retail high-rise. Demolition has already begun on the property.

Anticipation Builds for Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games

By Caitlin Flynn

A record-breaking 74 nations are heading for the globe’s most prestigious international equestrian event, the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ 2014. The quadrennial event will take place in Normandy, France from August 23 to September 7. The Games will attract the world’s best athletes and horses, and will unite the world champions of all the disciplines governed by the International Equestrian Federation (FEI), including jumping, dressage and para-equestrian dressage, eventing, driving, endurance, vaulting, and reining.

Double London 2012 Olympic dressage champion Charlotte Dujardin, London 2012 Olympic team jumping champion Scott Brash, and triple Olympic eventing team medalist William Fox-Pitt will be among the close to 1,000 riders that will gather in France for two weeks of world-class equestrian action.

Most of the competitions will be in the region’s capital, Caen. Approximately 80km from Caen, the eventing competition will be held in Le Pin National Stud, also known as the “Versailles for horses”, and the legendary UNESCO World Heritage Site of Mont St Michel will provide a magnificent backdrop for the 160km endurance ride.

Featured Speaker Luxury Real Estate Fall Conference Named

By Caitlin Flynn

Kipp Bodnar, Vice President of Marketing at HubSpot and Co-Author of The B2B Social Media Book: Become a Marketing Superstar by Generating Leads with Blogging, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Email, and More, has been invited to speak at the 19th Annual Luxury Real Estate Fall Conference which will be held October 5-8, 2014 in Boston, Massachusetts.

HubSpot is the inbound marketing software leader that provides integrated tools for marketers to generate and manage leads online. Kipp leads a team of marketers that guide and execute HubSpot’s lead to customer conversion marketing efforts. In addition to his work at the agency, he is the co-founder, the leading online resource for social media’s impact on B2B (business-to-business) marketing.

Previously, Kipp was the Social Media Marketing Manager at Howard Merrell & Partners, a full service marketing and advertising firm in Raleigh, NC. During his career, Kipp has successfully developed and implemented social media campaigns and plans for clients in business-to-business and business-to-consumer industries.

Platinum Luxury Auctions Posts its Fourth Consecutive Sale

By Caitlin Flynn

Platinum Luxury Auctions, a firm specializing in the auction sale of unique, multimillion-dollar properties, has announced its fourth consecutive auction sale in Vero Beach, Florida. The 34-acre equestrian compound known as Atlantic Crossing Stables, located just off Interstate 95 and only ten minutes from Vero’s pristine beaches, has been sold for $1.1 million. The transaction was conducted in cooperation with listing agent David Ashcroft of Treasure Coast Sotheby’s International Realty.

“The sale of four multimillion-dollar properties during the past two years in Vero Beach, including three sales within the first half of 2014, is an exceptional achievement for a community that is known to be a challenging auction market,” said Trayor Lesnock, Platinum’s president and founder. “Our continued success in this market speaks volumes of our team’s ability to execute in an area where others have consistently faltered.”

As the former clubhouse and operational facility for the Vero Beach Polo Club, Atlantic Crossing Stables has many notable features, including an 11 acre “stick and ball” field, three-acre bridle path, 48 stalls, 23 paddocks, three turnout pastures, two jumping arenas, and dressage and round pen arenas. The main barn boasts a clubhouse, laundry room, office, feed and utility rooms, three bedrooms and four bathrooms, as well as an outdoor entertainment and barbeque area.

Platinum is now setting its sight on promoting two, plus $10 million properties for it’s September/October luxury auction cycle. The offerings include a $13 million Palm Beach County oceanfront penthouse, and an architecturally significant waterfront estate in Cape Cod, Massachusetts.

Park City Luxury Home Tour

By Camilla McLaughlin 

Each year the real estate community in Park City sponsors a tour of private homes in the area to benefit local nonprofits. A brainchild of the Park City Board of Realtors, the tour began as the “Deer Valley Luxury Home Tour” and exclusively featured homes in Deer Valley’s Silver Lake Village. As Park City grew, so did its luxury home developments. The tour become the Luxury Home Tour and featured a range of premier developments in Deer Valley, The Colony at White Pine Canyon, Promontory, Canyons, Deer Crest, and Empire Pass.

This year, the tour returned to The Colony thanks to homeowners who graciously opened their homes. Vans shuttled visitors from parking at the Canyons Resort to the development’s mountain top setting. Although every stop featured a trio or other musical group and a lunch was part of the afternoon, access to individual homes sets this affair apart from other home tours. “What is most unique is that they are private homes, so you really get an insight into the lifestyle,” says Sandra Vogt, a Realtor with Keller Williams Park City and chair of the Luxury Home Tour. For anyone who loves architecture and design, it is also a chance to see the work of top architects and designers, including Barclay Butera, who designed the furnishings for the largest of the four homes featured this year.

As someone who spends a great deal time searching and identifying what’s new for upscale homes, I loved having the opportunity to see how these national trends are playing out in Utah’s resorts. For the last couple of years, contemporary has become a preferred architectural style for upscale homes all over the country, so it was no surprise that two of the four featured residences were contemporary, which is relatively new in Park City. Even the traditional mountain aesthetic of the other two homes was sleeker, evidence of a definite contemporary influence. Another trend for vacation homes (look for more on this and other resort trends in the upcoming issue of Unique Homes) is three or four season use. While The Colony has some of the premier ski-in, ski-out real estate in the country, it was clear these homes were all designed as much for winter as summer.

Now in its 23rd year, a number of Californians schedule their visits to Park City around the tour. The tour is still organized by the Park City Board of Realtors Philanthropic Foundation, and it takes scores of volunteers to pull it off. The primary beneficiary of the event is Peace House, a Park City nonprofit dedicated to ending family violence through education, outreach, support services and temporary housing.

Whitetail Club Continues 2014 Sales Surge

By Caitlin Flynn

Amid national reports indicating steady improvements in the real estate market, Whitetail Club’s sales continue to surge. The esteemed private golf club and community in McCall, Idaho, followed a strong first quarter with second quarter sales reaching more than $2.9 million. Entering the second half of 2014, the 1,300-acre community has already recorded more than $6.7 million in total sales.

“Confidence in the market is back, and prospective homebuyers are increasingly seeking the premier lifestyle Whitetail Club provides,” said President and General Manager of Whitetail Club Dan Scott.

The National Association of Realtors (NAR), a self-regulatory trade organization for real estate agents, recently confirmed the resurgence of the second home real estate market in its 2014 Investment and Vacation Home Buyers Survey. The survey attributed 2013’s impressive 30 percent increase in vacation home sales to improved consumer confidence and historically low home prices.

Tucked away in the heart of the Salmon River Mountains, just two hours north of Boise, Whitetail Club offers a lifestyle that’s unlike anything else in the world. With exclusive access to an award-winning 7,200-yard, par-72 golf course, a 14,000-square-foot indoor Tennis & Fitness Center, a 6,000-square-foot Fish & Swim Club, Shore Lodge’s many amenities and a vibrant member activity program.