$16m buys you Scottie Pippen's Luxury Lauderdale Mansion

By Paul Owers via sunsentinel.com

Former NBA star Scottie Pippen is selling his Fort Lauderdale palace for $16 million.

The nearly 10,000-square-foot home in the exclusive Harbor Beach subdivision has been on the market for about two years now. Former Miami Dolphins quarterback Dan Marino saw how tough the housing market is; he needed more than five years to sell his Weston home for $7.2 million -- less than half of his original asking price.

Pippen's six-bedroom home with 215 feet of water frontage is "extremely special," but it will take time to sell, listing agent Barbara Panton said, adding that the average market time for luxury properties across the U.S. is three to four years.

"There are not that many ready buyers," she said.  Panton said Pippen has listed it on and off since January 2009. She said Pippen hasn't shown any interest in reducing the asking price. The photos above are from the MLS listing.

One Broward County real estate broker says Pippen and wife Larsa, star of The Real Housewives of Miami, have an especially tough sell because the house was built on a double lot and looks across a canal. It’s a magnificent home, but it should have been built closer to the Intracoastal Waterway, the broker said.

Pippen – Robin to Michael Jordan’s Batman with the Chicago Bulls in the 1990s – paid $1.34 million for the house in 2000, property records show.  Pippen and Jordan won six NBA titles together. Pippen was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame last year. His presenter Jordan, of course.


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Posted by: sserrano
Posted on: 2/28/2011 at 12:48 PM
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ESCROW!! IN CARMEL'S JACKS PEAK CALIFORNIA...

COTTAGE CHAT II... BY JUDY BROWN TOLLNER

COLDWELL BANKER DEL MONTE REALTY-CARMEL, CALIFORNIA…THANKS TO ALL FOR THE GOOD WISHES... IT IS GREAT BEING IN ESCROW!! I advertised in the Dupont Registry and have found it to be the match for my marketing... Seems everyone is feeling good about the beginning of this year, and I think it is going to be a great year indeed... SO, WHETHER YOU ARE SELLING OR INTERESTED IN PURCHASING a primary residence or vacation home in the Carmel area, call JUDY TOLLNER with COLDWELL BANKER DEL MONTE REALTY, the market leader on the Monterey Peninsula, at (831) 402-2076.  A self-proclaimed 'Old Fashioned Realtor', Judy has combined her passions to provide her clients the absolute best in her unique way.  Originally from Michigan and Texas, Judy has resided in Carmel nearly 20 years. 


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Posted by: Judy_Tollner
Posted on: 2/26/2011 at 4:33 PM
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Virginia Condo Interiors Reflect Latest Luxury Trends

By Merlissa Lawrence Corbett via clarendonpatch.com

From European kitchens to Roman showers, the interiors at Turnberry Towers in Rosslyn reflect the latest trends in luxury home interiors.

“All the units come decorator ready,” said Turnberry Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Dan Riordan. Residents have the option of working with a Turnberry affiliated interior designer or one of their own. “The advantage of that is you’re not putting in the same floor in every unit.”

According to the National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA), the top trends in kitchen and bath design right now are shaker style kitchens, maple and alder cabinetry finishes, quartz countertops, pull-down/pull-out kitchen faucets, dishwasher drawers for small loads, and bronze and stainless steel finishes.

Most of those NKBA trends are most popular with suburbanites and those in middle America. The ultra modern styles available in the Turnberry represent trends hot with urbanites.

When it comes to cabinetry, Washingtonians prefer simple and classic, said Jennifer Gilmer, of Chevy Chase based Jennifer Gilmer Kitchens and Baths, LTD,  “They like the simplicity,” said Gilmer. “Life is so complicated because of all the things going on out there. In the last five years I’ve seen more people asking for more clean-line kitchens.”

Simple and sleek best describe the kitchens in the Turnberry units. The kitchens feature Snaidero Italian cabinetry. This style of cabinetry offers horizontal lines and deep drawers. Although engineered stone and solid surfaces are an option, granite countertops remain the most desired counter surface, and they are standard in Turnberry kitchens.

Turnberry kitchens contain the state of the art cooking appliances with programmable features. This includes the ones from Meile, like the built-in coffee system for making lattes and cappuccinos.

Large Roman showers with multiple shower heads are considered luxuries for most, but come standard in the Turnberry. And the use of large wall to wall marble represent a trend in bath remodeling. When Case Remodeling and Design released its top trends for 2011, among them was large format bathroom tiles, those 12 x 12 feet or larger.  These larger tiles are replacing smaller square tiles, producing flooring and walls that showcase more tile and fewer grout lines, said Bill Millholland, a veteran remodeler and Case’s Executive Vice President.

Merging form and function, each of the 247 residences at Turnberry offer Simplikate home technology that allows residents to request maintenance and valet services from their smart phones.


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Posted by: sserrano
Posted on: 2/25/2011 at 10:38 AM
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Style, luxury, and practicality come together in a showcase of dressing rooms created with both fashion and function in mind

Shared via ArchitecturalDigest.com

 “I’m interested not so much in interior design as in designing environments,” says maternity couturière Lauren Sara, who created the interiors of her home near Philadelphia. Throughout, she wanted a uniform palette of black and white and the rooms to have a minimalist, gallery-like feel. In the dressing area, floating shelves hold shoes and leather boxes. Past a stair that leads to her third-floor office stands a wire dress form. A former protégée of Calvin Klein’s, she is the author of Expecting Style, a style guide for pregnant women. (June 2006) 

 In the medieval hill town of Ménerbes, France, a fortified château dating to the 11th century was sensitively renovated by an American couple, with the help of French designer Michel Biehn. The philosophy of the renovation was “nothing gimcrack, ersatz, or new,” the wife explains. “We used original materials only.” Closets in the dressing room were built from old louvered shutters. The 18th-century carved gilt-wood mirror is from a Scottish castle. (July 2005)

Martin Kemp, head designer at Candy & Candy, conceived the interiors of a 17,500-square-foot penthouse in La Belle Epoque, which overlooks the port of Monte Carlo. Art Deco styling influenced one of the two master suites—a true gentleman’s quarters, with an adjoining dressing area, pictured here. (November 2009)

Eleven AD 100 designers transformed Apartment 73A at New York’s One Central Park into a glamorous showhouse. Roderick N. Shade imagined the master dressing area to be “a place where girlfriends get together and snap on their shoes and have a glass of Champagne” and a spot “to put on the finishing touches before going out on the town.” (February 2004)

“It’s ideal for someone who wants a traditional home with a modern feel,” architect James Paragano says of the house he designed for New York Yankees pitcher C. C. Sabathia and his family in Alpine, New Jersey. Adding a second floor above the great room gave Sabathia a new closet, providing plenty of storage for his extensive collection of signature sneakers. The space also boasts a dry bar with a microwave and refrigerator drawers. (November 2010)


Read full article here.


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Posted by: sserrano
Posted on: 2/24/2011 at 4:30 PM
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New Series 'Luxury Lifestyles' Features Southern California Dream Homes

Shared via broadwayworld.com

This March, Emmy Award winning Actor Stuart Damon of ABC's General Hospital and son Christopher Damon will unlock the doors to private celebrity estates, architectural masterpieces and never-before-seen luxury homes on the premiere of the new original series Luxury Lifestyles. The magazine-style show takes viewers on the ultimate open house tours of some of the finest real estate in Southern California. Produced by Luxury Lifestyles TV, this series premieres Sunday, March 6 at 11 a.m. on KCOP Channel 13.

"The fascination with luxury homes and estates is tremendous," said Stuart Damon. "We are honored to share the work of some of the world's finest residential architects, designers and builders as we explore these luxurious Southern California residences."

In the first episode of Luxury Lifestyles Stuart puts on his best suit to take in a private polo game at a magnificent $19.5 million classic Mediterranean estate designed by Britt Jewitt. The 10,378+-sq.-ft, 6 bedroom, Italian villa-style residence sits on more than 22 pristine acres of equestrian bliss, with a private polo field, state-of-the-art equestrian facilities, mouthwatering olive and citrus orchards, formal gardens and a luxurious infinity edge pool and spa. In Laguna Beach, Stuart puts up his feet to enjoy the picturesque ocean views offered by a beautiful beach house retreat, then heads to the heart of downtown Los Angeles to experience the luxurious amenities of the trendy $110 million, 35-story new luxury residential building, WaterMarke Tower.

Christopher, laid back and fun loving, packs his surf board to visit a sexy $18.888 million Christian Light designed ocean front home where he treks through an indoor tropical forest to find an expansive 2-story estate with a home spa, indoor gym, wine cellar, theatre room and a luxurious infinity knife-edge pool. In Beverly Hills, he takes in a $10.895 million contemporary masterpiece, designed by Ed Niles. The two-story estate exemplifies California's indoor-outdoor luxury lifestyle with its endless walls of glass that encircle a private central garden, with ultimate city views and a luxurious infinity edge pool.

In addition to exploring these multi-million dollar properties, the 30-minute series introduces an array of colorful personalities and some of Southern California's most high-powered real estate agents including, Joyce Rey, Executive Director of Coldwell Banker Previews International; Ernie Carswell, founder of Teles Properties; Danielle Purcell, founder of Team Laguna; Suzanne Perkins, luxury agent with Sotheby's International Realty; Christophe Choo and Jade Mills, both luxury agents with Coldwell Banker Previews International.

Stuart played one of daytime television's most recognizable characters on ABC's General Hospital, Dr. Alan Quartermaine, for more than 30 years. He also started with Leslie Ann Warren as Prince Charming in Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella. For millions, Stuart is still known as their "Prince". Christopher began his career in television as a producer for non-scripted TV. Very quickly climbing the ladder, Christopher became one of the youngest executive producers in Hollywood having sold several shows to networks such as NBC, USA and Fox by the time he was 25 years old.

Viewers can tune in to experience some of the finest real estate in Southern California when episode 1 of Luxury Lifestyles premiers Sunday, March 6 at 11:00 a.m. on KCOP Channel 13.


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Posted by: sserrano
Posted on: 2/22/2011 at 12:10 PM
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La Jolla, California, Stunning Coastal Property

By Elyse Umlauf-Garneau from duPont REGISTRY Homes.  March 2011 Issue.

Amble through Bill and Dawn Davidson’s estate overlooking the Pacific Ocean in La Jolla, California and you just might be tempted to ask, ‘Where’s the bodega? I’d like to buy a nice bottle of tempranillo.’

The 10,000-square-foot home appears rather modest from street level, but once inside it possesses the kind of warm majesty that brings to mind an uncommonly luxurious Spanish village. “In that sense it’s mystical,” says Dawn, an interior designer who completely re-imagined and rebuilt the property with Bill, a high-end homebuilder, over three-and-ahalf years. “It does look kind of like a village.”

The Davidson’s home is terraced to take advantage of the ocean topography. Its near-acre-sized lot is located on a point overlooking the world-renowned Big Rock surf spot.

“None of the nearby houses create blinders,” Dawn says.  “The views are unimpeded.” And may we add, breathtaking.  The home has eight water-facing balconies overlooking  135 feet of oceanfront. Seven courtyards provide intimate lounging areas, along with four outdoor fireplaces, a large pool and custom Jacuzzi. Among the living spaces are, “A lower apartment with its own fireplace that overlooks the ocean,” Dawn outlines.

“A bedroom that opens onto the pool; and another with a large deck that opens onto a private garden with a fountain.”

“The home was a low-slung ranch style when we got it and had been remodeled several times,” Dawn sums up. “We wanted it to look like an old grand classic from the 20s.”

It’s safe to say they more than succeeded. 

Find out more details on duPont REGISTRY Homes.


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Posted on: 2/21/2011 at 4:37 PM
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ONE OF A KIND EQUINE ESTATE, SANIBEL ISLAND

Equine zoned 6+ acre island property offering a custom main house with 4 BR/3 BA, 4th bedroom could be used as an exercise/rec. room. Custom tack closet w/saddle racks and bridle brackets. Crown molding throughout, Travertine marble floors, custom cabinetry, granite counters, tray ceilings, recessed lighting, formal dining and spacious bedrooms. Master bedroom has a private screened porch, sitting area, whirlpool tub, and walk-in shower. Impact resistant glass, property irrigation from lake, zoned for 3 equines. Property includes full size dressage arena, 24x60 pole barn w/5 bays and 3 stall horse barn with sand paddock walkouts. Perimeter chain link fence and 3 board cross fence. Property backs up to conservation land.  Asking $2,999,000

Equine Features

 2029 Periwinkle Way, Sanibel Island


Find out more here.


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Posted on: 2/21/2011 at 2:32 PM
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Quispamsis, New Brunswick Luxury Home Featured on April Cover

Shared via Telegraph-Journal.com

QUISPAMSIS - Nestled in tall trees at the Kennebecasis River's edge sits the home that will be featured on the cover of an international fine homes magazine this spring.

Realtor Katherine Bacon's listing in Quispamsis has been chosen to run on the cover of an international real estate magazine, the duPont REGISTRY, in April.

Realtor Katherine Bacon stands in front of the balcony library in the home located on the Model Farm Road.

The open-concept, lodge-style home, located on Model Farm Road, will grace the cover of the duPont REGISTRY in April.  Listed by Katherine Bacon of Prudential Real Estate, the custom-designed home is being sold for $889,000.  But the honour of being chosen for the cover goes beyond a price tag, Bacon said.

"It's exciting as a realtor to have a property that's accepted in such a prestigious magazine," said Bacon, noting that the cover spot cannot be purchased but has to be chosen among competing properties across North America.

"I'm excited about it because I love New Brunswick and I think it's so beautiful here and I think we have such a great lifestyle, but I feel like we're the best kept secret."

Bacon said she first learned about duPont REGISTRY's monthly magazine at a fine homes sales training session in Beverly Hills, Calif., in 2005.  She began advertising her high-end listings in the magazine, and once a year, she would submit her top-25 properties to be considered for the cover.

This year, on her third try, the Quispamsis home was chosen.

"They've always told me they're extremely fussy with what goes on that cover," Bacon said. "The owner, when he saw this photo, he just fell in love with it."

The 4,200-square-foot home is unassuming at first glance, hidden by a plethora of trees that surround it. Inside, it boasts 35-foot ceilings, river views through massive windows, a beach-stone fireplace, four bedrooms, a wine cellar, a balcony library and hand-crafted wrought-iron railings.  Exposed, hand-hewn timbers from a 200-year-old New Brunswick barn cross the vast ceiling, and at the heart of the main floor sits a lush stone planter overflowing with greenery.

Realtor Katherine Bacon's listing in Quispamsis has been chosen to run on the cover of duPont REGISTRY Homes, in April.

"What caught me first is when you pull up in the yard, it looks like a medium-sized chalet," Bacon said. "I was blown away because when you open that front door you see the 35-foot ceiling, the stone fireplace, the huge windows, the view...it's all right there in front of you when you enter the foyer. I've never seen a home here that has the wow factor to this extent, and I've seen a lot of properties."

Bacon said the 11-year-old home has been on the market since late summer 2010.  She said it serves as an example of the options for buyers looking to live in the province.

"It lets people outside of New Brunswick know what we have available here in our province," Bacon said. "It lets them know the standard of the homes we have available, the type of lifestyle that we have available and our waterways. They don't realize until they get here the quality of the homes we have available. They're not expecting it. We have some very upscale, high-end fabulous homes here and they have no idea until they arrive or see an ad or go on the website."

Bacon said agents from across North America, from places like New York, California and Arizona, vie for the monthly cover spot.

"I'm really excited about it. I didn't know if I would ever get a property on the cover because the restrictions are so extensive," she said. "The property that goes on the cover has to be extraordinary. It has to be really unique. There can't be anything basic about it."

Once printed, the April issue of the duPont REGISTRY will be on newsstands in the United States, Canadian provinces and 45 other countries and will be distributed to major CEOs and sports teams across North America.


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Posted by: sserrano
Posted on: 2/18/2011 at 9:25 AM
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Google Grows In Ireland With EUR99.9M Building Buy

By Margot Patrick via wsj.com

 LONDON (Dow Jones)--Google Inc. (GOOG) is expanding its operations in Dublin by agreeing Thursday to pay EUR99.9 million for the city's tallest office building, in one of Ireland's largest property deals since the financial crisis.

The 67-meter Montevetro building in Dublin's Grand Canal Dock district, has 15 stories, 210,000 square feet of office space and can house about 2,000 staff.  Google Ireland head John Herlihy said the new building will give it extra space to relocate some teams at other Dublin sites, including its European headquarters on Barrow Street, and "have the space and flexibility to support our future operations."

The technology company has about 1,700 people working in the Irish city, and said last month is aims to add about 1,000 people in Europe in London and other parts of the region. International revenue made up just over half of Google's total take in 2010.  

Montevetro's developer, Treasury Holdings, started construction in March 2008, just as property prices were starting to slip into what would become a dramatic plunge. After running out of cash to complete the project, Treasury Holdings got working capital from Ireland's National Asset Management Agency, the government-body that has bought up large slugs of banks' impaired real estate development loans, including those that backed Montevetro.  The seller of the building is Anglo-Irish property investment fund Real Estate Opportunities PLC (REO.LN), a vehicle of Treasury Holdings whose largest holding is London's Battersea Power Station.

REO Chairman Ray Horney said the sale is one of the largest in Irish commercial property for several years, "and the company believes it has achieved a very good price in the current market environment."  NAMA Chairman Frank Daly said it got more than its money back on the bank loans it received, as well as on the additional funding it extended for the building's completion.

"The successful completion of the Montevetro development and its sale again reflect the positive potential of NAMA to support the commercial property market in Ireland without compromising its objective of recovering monies owed to the taxpayer," he said.

Ireland set up the agency as part of its effort to restore its banks to health but has since needed a EUR67.5 billion bailout from the European Union and International Monetary Fund. The country's biggest banks were hit hard by huge losses on loans to property developers, as a decade-long real-estate boom turned to bust.


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Posted by: sserrano
Posted on: 2/17/2011 at 10:33 AM
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Categories: duPont REGISTRY Celebrity Properties | Luxury Real Estate
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Jennifer Aniston Selling Luxury Mansion in Beverly Hillls For 42 Million...

Shared via showbizspy.com

JENNIFER Aniston is selling her newly-renovated Beverly Hills mansion.  The former Friends actress is quietly working with a real estate broker to unload the 9,000-plus square foot property.  The pad is on the market for a whopping $42 million. Aniston bought the property in 2006 for $13.5 million.

One year ago, Jen opened the doors of her estate — which has sweeping views of Los Angeles — to Architectural Digest and they featured a spread in their March 2010 issue.  “I am so proud of this house,” Jen said at the time. “And I want to celebrate the people who made it: the master craftsmen who poured so much of themselves into its creation.”

Jennifer recently revealed she wants to move back to New York.  The actress has been spotted looking at a $15 million West Village condominium apartment, and has confessed she misses the city where she spent most of her childhood.

“I’ve been looking and looking and looking. I grew up in New York. I miss it,” she said.  “There is nothing like being in the city that is just the city of Everyman. It’s all walks of life – I love that!”


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Posted by: sserrano
Posted on: 2/17/2011 at 10:06 AM
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The £1.7m house whose sea view just got closer: Home at cliff edge as 15ft garden disappears

Shared via DailyMail.com

A couple who paid £1.7million for a spectacular clifftop home are facing life on the edge after their garden crashed into the sea.

They bought the property only 18 months ago, aware that it had already suffered a devastating landslip in 2007.

By yesterday its value had plummeted by an estimated £600,000 and they face a major bill to stabilise what remains of the cliff following the disappearance of 15ft of garden last week.

However, they are still hopeful that the house will remain standing … even though its boundary wall is only a yard away from a dizzying drop.

The property at Dawlish, south Devon, was built by Nick Skilton, managing director of Wessex Products, which supplies hand driers and dispensing machines to the prison service, hospitals and fast-food restaurants. 

Despite its apparently precarious position he was granted planning permission in 2005 for a four-bedroom house with glass spiral staircase and indoor pool.

Read the full article here.


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Posted by: sserrano
Posted on: 2/14/2011 at 10:33 AM
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Frank Gehry Designs Downtown Skyscraper for the Digital Age

By NICOLAI OUROUSSOFF via TheNewYorkTimes.com

Many New Yorkers have been following the construction of the new residential tower at 8 Spruce Street, just south of City Hall, with a mix of awe and trepidation.

Frank Gehry, the building’s architect, has had a rough time in this city. His first commission here, years ago, was for an Upper East Side town house that was never built; his client, an oil heiress, fired him over Champagne and strawberries. A more recent foray, the massive Atlantic Yards development in Brooklyn, drew the ire of local activists, who depicted him as an aging liberal in bed with the devil — a New York City real estate developer.

The Spruce Street project (formerly called Beekman Tower) would not only be Mr. Gehry’s first skyscraper, but it was also being built for the same developer, Bruce Ratner. And as the tallest luxury residential tower in the city’s history, it seemed to epitomize the skyline’s transformation from a symbol of American commerce to a display of individual wealth.

Only now, as the building nears completion, is it possible to appreciate what Mr. Gehry has accomplished: the finest skyscraper to rise in New York since Eero Saarinen’s CBS building went up 46 years ago. And like that tower, and Philip Johnson’s AT&T (now Sony) building after it, 8 Spruce Street seems to crystallize a particular moment in cultural history, in this case the turning point from the modern to the digital age.

The tower, 76 stories high and clad in a rumpled stainless-steel skin, stands at the northern edge of the financial district on a tight lot hemmed in by one-way streets. The Pace University building, a wide, Brutalist-style structure completed in 1970, cuts it off from the rest of the city to the north; just beyond are the spaghettilike access ramps of the Brooklyn Bridge. To the east, across City Hall Park, are two early landmarks of skyscraper design, Cass Gilbert’s 1913 Woolworth building and McKim, Mead & White’s 1912 Municipal building.

Mr. Gehry’s design is least successful at the bottom, where he was forced to plant his tower on top of a six-story base that will house a new public grammar school and one floor of hospital services — an odd coupling of private and public interests that was a result of political horse trading rather than any obvious benefit that would be gained from so close a relationship between the two.

The school is clad in conventional orange brick, with heavy steel frame windows that give it the look of a converted factory. Its main facade, with a glass-fronted lobby facing William Street to the east, is relatively straightforward, but it’s a letdown after you’ve seen the gorgeously wrought exterior of the tower above. (Mr. Gehry did not design the interiors of the school, which is still under construction, and students may ask why the pampered young professionals living above them get to live in apartments designed by an architectural superstar while they will have to make do with a no-name talent.)

Not surprisingly, the two groups won’t be mixing. Residents will enter through a covered drive that cuts through the block along the building’s western side. Framed by massive brick pillars and a glass-enclosed lobby, the space’s generous proportions will accommodate taxis and limousines ferrying people in and out of the building, making it feel more like a luxury hotel than a classic Manhattan apartment building.

None of this matters much, however, once you see the tower in the skyline, a view that seems to lift Lower Manhattan out of its decade-long gloom. The building is particularly mesmerizing from the Brooklyn waterfront, where it’s possible to make out one of the deep setbacks that give the building its reassuringly old-fashioned feel. In daylight the furrowed surfaces of the facades look as if they’ve been etched by rivulets of water, an effect that is all the more dramatic next to the clunky 1980s glass towers just to the south. Closer up, from City Hall Park, the same ripples look softer, like crumpled fabric.

(The flat south facade is comparatively conventional, and some may find perverse enjoyment in the fact that the building presents its backside to Wall Street.)

The power of the design only deepens when it is looked at in relation to Gilbert’s Woolworth building. A steel frame building clad in neo-Gothic terra-cotta panels, Gilbert’s masterpiece is a triumphant marriage between the technological innovations that gave rise to the skyscraper and the handcrafted ethos of an earlier era.

Mr. Gehry’s design is about bringing that same sensibility — the focus on refined textures, the cultivation of a sense that something has been shaped by a human hand — to the digital age. The building’s exterior is made up of 10,500 individual steel panels, almost all of them different shapes, so that as you move around it, its shape is constantly changing. And by using the same kind of computer modeling that he used for his Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain, more than a decade ago, he was able to achieve this quality at a close to negligible increase in cost.

But Mr. Gehry is also making a statement. The building’s endlessly shifting surfaces are an attack against the kind of corporate standardization so evident in the buildings to the south and the conformity that it embodied. He aims, as he has throughout his career, to replace the anonymity of the assembly line with an architecture that can convey the infinite variety of urban life. The computer, in his mind, is just a tool for reasserting that variety.

That mission is expressed inside the building as well. Mr. Gehry has sometimes been criticized for creating wildly sculptural forms that are nothing more than masks: elaborate wrappers draped over conventional interiors. Here the ripples that run up and down the facades form angular window bays inside, creating pockets of space that give the apartments an unusually intimate feel. They also provide dramatically angled views of the surrounding skyline. (Some apartments will even get occasional, unexpected views between neighboring apartments, a side effect that could be good or a bad depending on how many exhibitionists live there.)

Read full article here.


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Posted by: sserrano
Posted on: 2/10/2011 at 10:36 AM
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Chatham Cape Cod...Baby Boomers by the Sea Weekend - March 25 – 27, 2011

Welcome to Chatham Cape Cod...

Bordered on three sides by water - the Atlantic Ocean, Nantucket Sound, and Pleasant Bay - Chatham, Cape Cod, Massachusetts is located at the elbow of Cape Cod. Our seaside hamlet enjoys an outstanding sixty-six miles of shoreline which nearly surrounds our 16 square miles. Is it little wonder that so many activities we enjoy in Chatham center on the water?

Baby Boomers by the Sea Weekend - March 25 – 27, 2011

 If You are thinking of purchasing a home in Chatham, then this special weekend has been designed for you!

In Association with The Carriage House Inn, a Cape Cod bed and breakfast in the heart of Chatham Village, John C. Ricotta & Associates has put together a weekend getaway package for interested Boomers to discover the ins-and-outs of purchasing Cape Cod real estate. A highlight of the weekend will be a fun and low-key wine and tapas reception held at the former Port Fortune Inn – now a skillfully renovated, award-winning private home!

Based in Chatham, Cape Cod, MA, John C. Ricotta & Associates, Inc. is a boutique real estate firm focused on premier waterfront properties throughout Cape Cod. We specialize in the sale and seasonal rental of salt waterfront and water view real estate on the Lower Cape.  Some of our agents were born here-some of our agents moved here-we all choose to live here. We are all passionate about our region and our work; and we look forward to offering you the best in Cape Cod real estate whether you are looking to come for a vacation or for a lifetime!

Find out more here.


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Posted by: sserrano
Posted on: 2/9/2011 at 3:48 PM
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Cruises Where the Grass Is Greener

By ANDREA PETERSEN via wsj.com

Cruise lines are trying to solve a peculiar dilemma: How to make it actually feel like you're on water.

That may seem unnecessary when you're vacationing in the middle of the ocean. But on many cruise ships, while you may be sailing across the Caribbean's turquoise waters, you often don't feel like it. It's especially true when you're in a huge onboard casino, indoor theater or the windowless, low-ceilinged hallway leading to your stateroom.

"As they've gotten bigger and bigger, ships are almost fortress-like," says Frank Del Rio, chairman of Prestige Cruise Holdings, which owns the Regent Seven Seas Cruises and Oceania Cruises lines of upscale small and mid-sized ships.

The ship employs two full-time lawn keepers aboard to ensure the grass stays healthy and attractive. Here Eugene Creencia, of the Philippines, watered the grass before a wine and cheese event later in the night aboard the Celebrity Eclipse docked in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Now, cruise lines are increasing the amount of outdoor space on both small, luxury ships and large, mass-market ships. They are also offering a bunch of new alfresco activities. Silversea Cruises' newest vessel, the 540-passenger Silver Spirit, has 60% more outdoor deck space than previous ships, including larger guest-room verandas and the company's first restaurant serving dinner outdoors. (Guests can cook their own meat and fish over hot volcanic rocks.)

Celebrity Cruises' Silhouette, which sets sail in July, will have two new restaurants with outdoor seating, an open-air art studio where guests can take painting lessons and VIP sea-view cabanas for rent. All will be located on the top of the ship surrounding a 12,000 square-foot lawn of growing grass. Norwegian Cruise Lines' 4,100-passenger Epic, which debuted in the summer of 2010, has an open-air nightclub: The dance floor rises from the pool. The Magic from Carnival Corp.'s Carnival Cruise Lines, which begins sailing in May, will feature a 9,300-square foot water park, an outdoor video game area and an open-air sports facility with exercise bikes and rowing machines. Some suites on Oceania Cruises' new 1,250-passenger ship, the Marina, have balconies outfitted with Jacuzzis and 42-inch flat-screen TVs specially made to withstand wind and salt water.

The Lawn Club on Celebrity's new ship, the 2,884-passenger Silhouette, which sets sail in July, will include two new restaurants with outdoor seating, an open-air art studio and private sea-view cabanas.

"There's a perception that I'm going to be on this piece of metal out at sea and I'm confined," says Rod K. McLeod of cruise and tourism advisory firm McLeod.Applebaum & Partners.

The focus on the outdoors is part of an ongoing push to attract younger customers. "The old adage that cruises are meant for the newly wed and the nearly dead isn't true anymore," says Brad Ball, a spokesman for Silversea. Fifteen years ago, the typical Silversea passengers were in their upper 60s to mid 70s. Today, the guests are generally in their 50s, Mr. Ball says.

Cruise companies are aiming to shed their reputation for bland buffets and hokey variety shows and compete more directly with shore-side resorts. In recent years, they have introduced lavish spas, high-end restaurants, rock-climbing walls and Broadway shows such as "Chicago" and "Hairspray."

To pack all that in, cruise ships are now longer and wider. Bigger ships are also more efficient to operate. But, just 20% of Americans have taken a cruise, according to data from the Cruise Lines International Association Inc.

When it comes to adding outdoor spaces, ships face challenges that land resorts usually don't. Nobody is going to want to eat outside if the wind is blowing cocktail napkins into your umbrella drink, for example. (Ships usually do add glass wind screens that help shield outdoor areas.) When the winds get too intense, Nippon Yusen Kaisha's Crystal Cruises sometimes ropes off the jogging track that wraps around its Symphony ship.

When planning the Magic's outdoor gym, Carnival considered—and then abandoned—a plan to include free weights, fearing dangerous projectiles rolling around the deck. Environmental regulations and concerns also restrict what cruise ships can do outdoors. Carnival wanted to add a driving range to the 3,690-passenger Magic, but would do so only if it could use biodegradable golf balls, since some would surely end up overboard. But the ball the company found didn't pass muster with a group of test golfers. "They didn't go as far or spin as much," as a normal ball, says Ruben Rodriguez, Carnival Cruise Lines' executive vice president, ship operations. "When you hit them hard, they'd deform."

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Posted by: sserrano
Posted on: 2/9/2011 at 2:38 PM
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Categories: Luxury Real Estate | Luxury Vacation Rentals
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Airport luxury lounges see spike in users

Shared via gulfnews.com

Dubai: Ordinary to affluent travellers are increasingly using upscale airport lounges, once the exclusive domain of frequent-flyer business travellers.

Soukalin Ghosh, business manager for the Middle East and North Africa at Priority Pass, said in the last 18 months his company recorded a 25 per cent spike in non-business travellers using private airport lounges. A greater segment of travellers are seeking to escape the bedlam of flight delays, crowded waiting and departure areas.

Founded in 1992 with 55 lounges globally, Priority Pass operates more than 600 lounges at 300 airports in more than 100 countries. "Lounges have started to realise that there is a target market other than the business traveller," Ghosh said.  That said, business travellers are also signing in to private lounges more than before, he said, given cutbacks in the global corporate community in air travel costs resulting in more professionals flying in economy class. "Companies in the last two years have downgraded their staff flying business class," said Ghosh. "Everyone is flying economy."

Lounges are now a "good tool for employees to relax before a flight," he said. The surge in demand has led to the addition of 82 new airport lounges in 2010 around the world to the Priority Pass programme.  Six new lounges have been added in the Middle East at airports in Abu Dhabi, Sharjah, Jeddah and Riyadh, said Ghosh. A recent global survey of Priority Pass members rankedDubai International Airport as the third best in the world behind Singapore and Hong Kong.

The Dubai lounge offers services to members such as shower facilities, television, wi-fi, fax, flight monitors and refreshments and separate enclosed smoking facilities away from the main lounge. There is a maximum five-hour stay in the lounge. Two additional lounges are offered at Dubai International Airport by Marhaba.

Jonathan French, head of brand at Priority Pass, said with new demand by different clientele, it is working "ensure we react to shifting patterns of air travel and ensure we have lounges where our members need them".  Eight new lounges in China were added for a new total of 52; 11 in India for a total of 26 lounges and a further eight lounges in Brazil which now boasts 17. Several new lounges were added in the UK, including The Escape Lounge at Manchester, the No 1 Stansted Lounge and also lounges through new partner airline Flybe.  New additions this month include the British Airways Galleries Lounge at Washington Dulles, the International Lounge in Las Vegas, and a first lounge for the programme in New Zealand at Wellington.

"With more lounges, more lounge visits and more members than ever before," said French. "We will continue to try to ensure the maximum possible lounge coverage so that our members will always have a lounge available wherever they travel."

With increased demand, however, comes the challenge of not overselling the lounge service at the risk of filling the spaces to capacity and reducing the feeling of exclusivity and space. "We have to keep a fine balance," Ghosh said.  "People don't want to go to a lounge with screaming people in it. Keeping that balance is crucial for us."


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Posted by: sserrano
Posted on: 2/8/2011 at 3:56 PM
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