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The latest news on Real Estate from Business Insider

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    A visitor walks past a Hyundai Motor logo at a Hyundai dealership in Seoul April 25, 2013. REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji

    SEOUL (Reuters) - A $10 billion bid by Hyundai Motor Co. and two affiliates for a plot of land in Seoul could delay resolution of perennially contentious wage talks, with auto workers angered by news of the deal striking for a second day on Wednesday.

    The Hyundai-led group - which includes sister firms Kia Motors Corp. and Hyundai Mobis Co. - last week made a record $10 billion bid for land to house a headquarters, hotel and theme park complex, more than triple the property's appraised amount.

    Shares in the three companies have since lost more than 10 percent.

    This week's strike also comes as Hyundai and Kia are planning to build new factories in China and Mexico, closer to export markets and where wages are lower than in South Korea.

    "Before the land bid, I expected Hyundai to reach a wage deal this week. But the land bid complicates wage talks," said Park Tae-ju, a professor at the Employment & Labor Training Institute, who previously advised the car company on its two-shift system.

    "I expect the talks to drag on longer than expected," Park said.

    Hyundai's 47,000 union workers in South Korea were on strike a second day on Wednesday over the land deal, while Kia's union also staged a partial strike.

    Workers "are angered by the astronomical amount of money" to be spent on the land in the high-end Gangnam district of Seoul, Kia's union said.

    "Chairman Chung Mong-koo should not be betting the future on land, but investing in people," Hyundai's union said in a newsletter.

    Hyundai, the world's fifth-biggest automaker along with its affiliate Kia, has been hit by strikes in all but four years of the union's 27-year history, although they usually make up losses with extra work later that year.

    Recurring labor disputes, high wages at home and strong currency are expected to put further pressure on the automaker to accelerate overseas production. Hyundai made 62 percent of its cars last year overseas, up from 20 percent in 2004.

    Since annual wage talks began in early June, Hyundai Motor and union negotiators have wrangled over a new wage calculation, which the company says would sharply increase labor costs.

    Hyundai's domestic employees, excluding executives, earn an average 94 million won ($90,419) per year.

    The country's supreme court ruled last year that regular bonuses should be counted as base wages used to calculate overtime allowances and other benefits, putting pressure on businesses to change their wage schemes to reflect the decision.

    "With the currency, land issue and then strike, investors now appear to be exhausted," said Hong Jin-ho, an auto analyst at IBK Investment & Securities.

     

     

    (Reporting by Hyunjoo Jin; Additional reporting by Chris Lee; Editing by Tom Hogue)

    SEE ALSO: Hyundai Spends $10 Billion To Go 'Gangnam Style'

    Join the conversation about this story »


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    group teenagers

    Members of Gen Y have made it pretty clear that they aren’t ready to take the homeownership plunge anytime soon.

    They aren’t quite ready to move out of Mom and Dad’s basement, and having a piece of the American Dream no longer seems to be a priority for them.

    Looks like Gen Z, however, isn’t going to follow in those footsteps.

    According to recent research, Gen Z — those born roughly between 1994 and 2010 — is actually on track to reverse the trend set by their predecessors. According to this survey by Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate, a whopping 82% of 13- to 17-year-olds say homeownership is the most important part of achieving the American Dream. And nearly every single teen surveyed (97%) believes they’ll own a home in the future.

    In fact, despite research suggesting that today’s teens make up the most entrepreneurial generation yet, 77% of survey respondents said they’d rather own a home than own a business.

    Just how serious are these teens about reaching that goal? Apparently, a lot. 53% would give up social media or do twice as much homework every night for a year if it meant they could buy their own place.

    happy teens

    And while it’s easy to write off these youngsters as having their heads in the clouds, they actually seem pretty realistic about their future dream home: When asked to estimate how much they’d pay for their digs, most teens guessed about $274,000, which is almost exactly the median cost of a home today, according to the U.S. Census. (Still, more than half of teens said they think their parents will probably help them buy their first home.)

    Most members of Gen Z expect to own their first home by age 28, which is three years younger than the median age of first-time homeowners. But they also have a lot of milestones they want to reach first: Most expect to earn an advanced college degree and/or get hitched prior to purchasing their property.

    Of course, it remains to be seen whether these teens’ home-buying aspirations are realistic — or mere pipe dreams. But at least they’re thinking about their futures. If you’ve got an adolescent at home, give him a little insight into the world of real estate by letting him play around with one of these digital house-hunting tools.

    SEE ALSO: Here Are The 10 Best US Markets For Homebuyers And Sellers

    Join the conversation about this story »


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    520 PARK AVE penthouse $130 millionNew York City has some of the most expensive real estate in the world, and there are no signs this will change.

    On Tuesday, it was revealed that the city's latest most expensive condo will be a $130 million triplex penthouse in the yet-to-be-completed 520 Park Avenue building 

    This mansion in the sky will have over 12,000 square feet, a 1,257-square-foot terrace, and gorgeous views of Central Park. It will go on sale with other units beginning early next year, according to Bloomberg, and will be completed with the rest of the building in 2017.

    The 54-story tower is being designed by Robert A.M. Stern Architects (RAMSA) and developed by Zeckendorf Development Co., the same firms behind the celebrity-haven 15 Central Park West as well as 18 Gramercy Park.

    It will be nearby other luxury high-rises on the so-called Billionaires' Row, sitting between 60th and 61st Street.

    There will be a total of seven duplexes in 520 Park Avenue with over 9,000 square feet each and starting at $67 million. Twenty-three single-floor units will make up the rest of the building's condos and will be priced at a more modest $16.2 million with 4,600 square feet, according to the company press release.

    The building itself will also have plenty of amenities, including a swimming pool, bi-level health and fitness center, sauna, children’s playroom, and screening room.

    The $130 million triplex will join the Woolworth Building’s $110 million penthouse and the $118 million trio of penthouse apartments at Battery Park City’s Riz-Carlton residences as some of the most expensive homes ever listed in New York City.

    Aside from the exterior, the only other rendering available shows what the building’s pool will look like.

    520 PARK AVE pool

    See a few pictures of the exterior and interior of RAMSA's 15 Central Park West below to get an idea of the luxuries that may await at 520 Park.

    15 Central Park West is famous for attracting numerous celebrities and power players. The building, left, has numerous setbacks on its upper floors, much like 520 Park will.

    15 central park west

    Here's the entrance of 15 Central Park West. The limestone is a signature Zeckendorf style.

    15 central park west

    The pool of 15 Central Park West also has tall ceilings.

    15 central park west

    The lobby for 15 Central Park West is huge. 520 Park Avenue's lobby will probably be just as gorgeous.

    15 central park west


    NOW WATCH: America's Most Expensive Hotel Room Costs $45,000 A Night — And It's Non-Negotiable

     

    SEE ALSO: THE NEW BILLIONAIRES' ROW: See The Incredible Transformation Of New York's 57th Street

    DON'T FORGET: Follow Business Insider's Life on Twitter!

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    radpad signup flow

    If you're a renter whose landlord insists on a paper check in the age of credit cards, auto-pay, and mobile payments, you aren't alone.

    In fact, your dilemma is so common that RadPad, an app that lets users browse real estate listings, has released a feature that translates your credit or debit card payments — and soon, according to the press release, Apple Pay — into paper checks.

    It's a pretty simple concept: You pay the app, using Visa, Discover, or MasterCard (American Express should be available shortly), and then the app takes the responsibility of printing out a paper check and sending it to your landlord, with your information attached so they know it came from you. You can set it up to pay automatically every month or not, and your landlord doesn't need to sign up for the app.

    The app also keeps track of your payment history, and sends a notification when your landlord cashes the check. 

    It sounds easy ... so what's the catch?

    The catch is the fees.

     Screen Shot 2014 09 26 at 2.00.02 PM

    RadPad isn't free. The app costs $4.95 a month for debit cards, and 3.25% of your rent for credit.

    "We really wish we didn't have to charge you, but we do in order to cover the fees that are incurred to process your payment," the company writes in its FAQs. "We also have to cover the cost to print and mail your check each month."

    The nearly $5 flat rate for debit is straightforward. But if you're looking for a payment method with some sort of insurance and to "earn those credit card points even faster," as the site uses as one reason to justify its fees, you'll want to pay with credit. 3.25% doesn't sound like all that much, so I used the calculator handily provided on the site to figure out what it would cost to pay credit.

    • For a $700 rent, you'd pay $22.75.
    • For a $1,500 rent, you'd pay $48.75.
    • For a $2,800 rent, you'd pay $91 (!).

    In order to pay as little for credit as you would to use debit ($4.95), your rent would have to be about $152 a month. Considering that the average US national rent in 2013 was $962 — that's a $31.27 credit card fee, by the way — $152 is laughable. 

    For people who aren't even sure where their checkbooks are or where stamps are purchased, RadPad is a cool concept. But that convenience comes at a steep price.

    SEE ALSO: Millennials Are Thinking About Their Future — And It Might Be In Suburbia

    Join the conversation about this story »


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    The upside of dropping temps is undoubtedly the anticipation of tearing through fresh powder. The sexiest spaces to call home base while you're at it? Right this way.

    A Modern mountain hideaway in Telluride, Colorado:

    telluride ext

    telluride int

    telluride 3

    Price: $10,495,000
    Size: 9,406 square feet
    Key selling points: This Telluride mansion may be just steps from the ski slopes, but with perks like a steam shower, elevator, wine cellar, and hot tub, tearing yourself away from the comforts of home will be no easy task.
    Listing:Sotheby's

    A mountain contemporary home in Promontory, Utah:promontory ext

    promontory int

    promontory 3

    chalet cocon3
    Price: $4,995,994
    Size: 9,491 square feet
    Key selling points: Why buy one ski home when you can have two? The main house boasts one of Park City's largest all-stone decks, multiple wet bars, and a gourmet kitchen, and a guest house with its own, yeah, you guessed it—wet bar.
    Listing: Christie's

    A Woodlands log home in Whistler, British Columbia:

    kadenwood ext

    kadenwood int

    kadenwood3

    Price: $6,987,898
    Size: 5,000 square feet
    Key selling points: This ski-in, ski-out woodlands home only looks rustic. A geothermal radiant heating system, climate-controlled wine cellar, and zoned cooling make it perfect for the most sophisticated of skiers.
    Listing: The Whistler

    A modern ski chalet in Rhone-Alps, France:

    chalet cocon ext

    chalet cocon int

    Price: Upon request
    Size: 10,763 square feet
    Key selling points: This French ski chalet strikes the perfect balance between a sleek modern aesthetic and a cozy cabin vibe, with smooth marble flooring and flawless woodwork. Bonus points for the indoor pool, gym, and well-kept gardens.
    Listing: Propriétiés de Megève

    A sleek Patagonian compound in Rio Negro, Argentina:

    Arelauquen extArelauquen 3Arelauquen int

    Price: Upon request
    Size: 16,000 square feet
    Key selling points: Don't be fooled by the green lawns—this Patagonian country club home is minutes from an international ski resort, and will satisfy the most accomplished outdoorsman with offerings like extensive polo grounds, fly fishing sites, and golf courses just minutes away.
    Listing: Christie's

     

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    Roman Abramovich fifth avenue new york city penthouse $75 million

    The gorgeous Fifth Avenue mansion that Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich almost bought for $75 million is now available to rent for $150,000 a month, according to The Real Deal.

    Almost a year ago, Abramovich was in contract to purchase three of the five apartments in the building at 828 Fifth Avenue from the family of late British real estate developer Howard Ronson, which included the penthouse, a triplex, and a duplex apartment.

    The deal fell through after the seller — Ronson's widow, heiress Engelika Ivanc — reportedly held out because she thought she could get more money from the Russian mogul.

    Abramovich had reportedly bought another apartment in the building, and was trying to purchase the final unit so he could restore the mansion to its former glory. Now it looks like that dream may never happen.

    But for those with $150,000 to throw around each month, the eight-bedroom co-op is now available to rent on Stribling & Associates.

    An interesting mix of classic and modern with tall ceilings and eight bedrooms, the home even has a rooftop terrace that looks out over Central Park.

    The Manhattan townhouse sits directly across from Central Park Zoo.



    It's currently divided up into five units.



    Abramovich was hoping to buy them all and create a single-family mansion.



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    lebron james house 2014

    LeBron James is selling the Miami estate he called home when he played for the Heat, the South Florida Business Journal reports.

    It's listed by Opulence International Reality, which calls the house"the most opulent estate in Miami."

    It's on the market for $17 million.

    It has an infinity pool that overlooks Biscayne Bay, a maze of terraces, a movie room, and a massive master suite. The photos make it look incredible.

    The outdoor space is the best part.



    The concrete dock has room for two 60-foot yachts.



    The infinity pool overlooks Biscayne Bay.



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Le Palais Royal Pool_Area_02A French-inspired mansion has just hit the market for an astronomical $139 million, making it the most expensive home for sale in the U.S.

    The 60,000-square-foot estate, called "Le Palais Royal," sits on over 4 acres and 465 feet of beachfront on Millionaires Mile in Hillsboro Beach, Florida.

    The "palace" features 11 bedrooms, 17 bathrooms, and the first-ever private IMAX Theater with seating for 18, a bar, and a lounge. It also has a 492-foot private dock for a megayacht, an underground garage with space for 30 cars, a putting green, and 4,500-square-foot infinity pool.

    "This grand palace will be a landmark that rivals Europe’s greatest palaces. A true masterpiece, it is adorned with custom detailing exclusive to its design and incomparable finishes," said listing agent William P.D. Pierce of Coldwell Banker Previews International.

    While the home is currently under construction, the property is owned by a trust connected to construction magnate Robert Pereira, according to The Wall Street Journal.

    The house is currently in its final phase of construction and slated for completion before the end of 2015.

    Welcome to Le Palais Royal, the new most-expensive home for sale in the country.

     



    It's expected to be completed by the end of 2015, so this exterior shot is just a rendering of the $139 million "palace."



    When you pull up to the estate, there will be a 13-foot, 22-carat gold-leaf gate, and conveniently, a water fountain right next to the garage.



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Like everywhere else in Manhattan, the Upper West Side and Manhattan began as bucolic farmland, settled with farmhouses and later large mansions away from the commercial fray downtown. Grand mansions were built from the Revolutionary era through the Gilded Age, by a variety of characters ranging from robber barons to respected surgeons. Famous names like Boss Tweed, John James Audubon, A.T. Tewaert, CKG Billings and Charles Ward Apthrop once graced these halls, but their homes all fell to the same fate–the wrecking ball.

    1. Charles M. Schwab Mansion

    Charles M. Schwab House Riverside Drive Demolished NYC

    Charles W. Schwab was president of U.S. Steel (founded by Andrew Carnegie) and also founded Bethlehem Steel Company. On Riverside Drive between 73rd Street and 74th Street, he built a 75-room mansion in a French chateau style over the course of four years from 1902 to 1906. He dubbed it Riverside, giving a nod to its great views of the Hudson River. Schwab was also the first to acquire an entire block in Manhattan, according to The New York TimesThe 50,000 square foot abode came replete with a pool, a bowling alley, a gaym and three elevators. As late as 1930, Schwab still staffed the mansion with 20 servants, mostly English-born. Schwab ended up going bankrupt, and according to this personal story, a Boticelli was smuggled out of the mansion and sold, which kept Schwab going financially for the remainder of his life.

    Schwab tried to sell his home and property to the city as a mayoral residence but Fiorelli LaGuardia refused to live in it. In 1948, it was demolished and replaced with an apartment building.

    2. The Apthorp Mansion

    Apthrope Mansion Charles Ward Apthorp Bloomingdale Road Broadway Upper West Side NYCCharles Ward Apthorp, member of the Governor’s Council during the American Revolution, built The Apthorp Mansion just west of what is now 91st and Columbus Avenue on an 168-acre property. Known as Elmwood, the grand home overlooked the Hudson River and the New Jersey Palisades. The mansion was taken over by both American soldiers and leaders, as well as the British, in different periods of the Revolution. Apthrop was charged with high treason after the war, but was released and allowed to keep the property.

    After Apthorp’s death in 1797, the property became exceedingly contested by its new owner and Apthorp’s children, and in the meantime was left to decay. In the 1850s and 1870s, the 68th Regiment used it as a parade ground and by 1890, it became a picnic ground, with the house turned into a beer and dance saloon. In 1870, it was also the site of the Orangeman riots. It was slated for demolition in 1891, with The New York Times noting that “An old house is like an old citizen, in that it deserves an ‘obituary.'”

    3. Dr. Valentine Mott Mansion

    Dr. Valentine Mott Mansion 93rd Street Broadway NYC

    Still amazing that this mansion at 93rd Street was actually built as a summer home. It was the country abode of Dr. Valentine Mott, a celebrated surgeon whose principal place of residence was at 1 Gramercy Park. This home if standing today, would be right in the middle of Broadway.

    4. Fort Tryon Hall, CKG Billing’s Estate

    outside (1)With over $2 million lying around, Cornelius King Garrison Billings (1861-1937) built an estate overlooking the Hudson River that fit right into the excessive culture of the Gilded Age. Completed in 1907, the Billings estate on Fort Tryon at Washington Avenue and Riverside Drive, was originally meant to only be his summer dwelling and included a bowling alley, a heated indoor swimming pool, and a maple squash court among the living quarters.

    Soon after finishing an elaborate stable for 60 horses in 1903, Lowell started designing an estate for the millionaire and his family in the lavish style of Louis XIV. Completed in 1907 and named Tryon Hall, it included 21 rooms and was centered around a courtyard of flowers. Since the mansion was 250 feet above the Hudson River, the Statue of Liberty could be spotted from the observatory. To keep up with all the chores and maintenance, Billings had 23 live-in servants.

    Despite his extravagant surroundings, Billings didn’t enjoy living in Upper Manhattan so in 1917, only 9 years after construction was completed, he sold the property to John D. Rockefeller, Jr. for $35,000 per acre. Rockefeller planned to turn the estate into a park, while demolishing the estate, which was met with resistance. A fire took down the house in 1918 while it was being rented out. Today, the only thing left of the Billings estate are these grand arches just west of Corbin Circle.

    5. Libby Castle/Woodcliffe Castle

    Libby Woodcliffe Castle Boss Tweed A.T. Stewart Fort Tryon Park Washington Heights NYC

    Across from the Billings estate once stood Libby Castle, designed in 1855 by Alexander Jackson Davis, an architect also responsible for Federal Hall and various other mansions in the New York area. The most famous residents of Libby Castle included Boss Tweed, who in turn lost the home due to foreclosure to A.T. Stewart, who was owed the value of the furnishings for the Metropolitan Hotel. After Stewart’s death, the castle became the property of his business partner William Libby, for whom the castle is named. Following Libby’s death, New York mayor Hugh J. Grant bought it, followed by Rockefeller. By 1919, the mansion had become a school for choirboys under a Father Finn, given to the  Paulists for use by Rockefeller. In 1939, Libby Castle was demolished to make way for Fort Tryon Park.

    6. William A. Wheelock Mansion

    William A. Wheelock Mansion 158th Street Washington Heights NYC

    The William W. Wheelcock mansion was once owned by John James Audubon, though much less Victorian in style, built on land purchased in 1841. The Wheelocks lived next to Audubon and helped Audubon’s wife following his death. She sold the property to the Wheelocks in 1862. The countryside mansion gradually became surrounded by row houses as urbanization marched northwards in Manhattan and in 1941 the house was demolished for a housing project.

    Sabrina Romano contributed to this post.

     

    Now check out some awesome vintage photos of Times Square > 

     

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    40 riverside condo1This post first appeared on The Real Deal.

    Some developers faced with public outrage over creating a so-called “poor door” would, well, duck out the back door. Not Gary Barnett.

    As controversy over the poor door — a separate entrance for lower-income tenants in luxury buildings — at his planned 33-story building at 40 Riverside erupted over the summer, the founder and CEO of Extell Development dug in, defending the practice and arguing that without it, developers would opt out of incorporating affordable housing into their projects.

    “I don’t think it’s worth making such a big issue over,” Barnett told The Real Deal during an interview in his Midtown East office last month. “Let’s get the affordable housing and let’s not worry about these optics.”

    gary barnettBarnett’s appetite for risk is fabled in real estate circles. But lately, he’s become the poster boy for controversial industry issues, ranging from the poor-door debate, to a probe by a state ethics commission over 421-a tax breaks he received for his super-luxury tower One57, to his alleged cozy relationship with Governor Andrew Cuomo.

    And against the backdrop of the city’s new political climate ushered in by Mayor Bill de Blasio, who is trying to tackle the gaping income gap between the rich and poor, Barnett is unapologetically developing some of the most opulent residential towers in the city.

    Extell is “a sort of emblem of what the divided New York is, and what the average voter was worried about in the 2013 election,” said CUNY political science professor John Mollenkopf.

    Barnett is, of course, building two mega skyscrapers on “Billionaires’ Row” on West 57th Street — the Christian de Portzamparc-designed One57 and the Nordstrom Tower at 225 West 57th Street, which is slated to be the tallest residential tower in the city. He’s also putting up a 68-story residential tower on the Lower East Side, and is angling to acquire a site that would let him develop a large condo on West 66th Street.

    Yet Barnett isn’t just ruffling feathers of the average voter. He’s also tangled with industry rivals along the way.

    Donald Trump

    A few years ago, he feuded with fellow developer Bruce Ratner after making last-minute — and ultimately unsuccessful — bids for the New York Times headquarters and the Atlantic Yards site. He also enraged Donald Trump when, unbeknownst to the Donald, he bought a majority stake in the giant development site the mogul partially owned known as Riverside South. More recently, he completed tense deals with archrivals Vornado Realty Trust and the Related Companies, and pulled off an audacious transaction to wrest control of the Ring brothers’ office building portfolio, which many others tried, and failed, to do.

    But it’s the most recent controversies that have, to some, made Barnett the embodiment of everything that’s unsavory about New York’s development industry.

    “When I think of Gary Barnett, I think of what’s wrong with New York City real estate,” said Jaron Benjamin, executive director of the Metropolitan Council of Housing, the city’s oldest tenant union. “It seems like everything he does, I have to look into what’s legally and ethically wrong with it.”

    Real estate attorney Adam Leitman Bailey, who is fighting Barnett in court on behalf of some clients, said that the developer is bound to attract criticism given the high visibility of his projects.

    “When you build the biggest buildings, you’re going to be glued to controversy,” Bailey said, “and that’s what’s happening.”

    Put a ring on it

    Though it didn’t generate citywide headlines like the poor-door issue or the 421-a probe, Barnett’s recent dust-up with the Ring brothers showed industry insiders just how cunning he can be.

    The deal, which was finalized in October 2013, involved the complicated takeover of a coveted 14-property, 1-million-square-foot package of office buildings owned by Frank and Michael Ring in Manhattan’s white-hot Midtown South.

    It essentially became an end-run around Frank Ring, who was trying to hang on to his family portfolio for dear life, despite the fact that he and his brother, who each held a 50 percent stake, had left it largely run down and vacant for years.

    In a nutshell, here’s how it unfolded: In 2011, Princeton Holdings’ Joseph Tabak and his partners entered into an agreement with Michael Ring to buy a controlling interest in his stake for a reported $112.5 million. But soon after, Michael got cold feet and tried to back out, leading to a court battle with Tabak.

    “It was a transaction that he [Michael] regretted pretty shortly after going into it,” Barnett said. “He’s nervous about it, so he comes to us. He knows that we are honorable businessmen.”

    Barnett then swooped in, paying Tabak and his partners $74 million in June 2013 to get them to walk away from the deal. He then paid Michael Ring an undisclosed sum to buy most of his stake.

    But that was just Barnett’s opening gambit.

    “We instantly filed for partition for all of the other Ring properties,” he said. “I think at this point Frank, who’s a very smart guy, realizes that the jig is up.”

    The court battle culminated with Barnett buying Frank’s 50 percent portfolio stake for $308 million.

    “To give him [Frank] credit, we paid through the nose,” Barnett said, “but at the end of the day, we end up with a whole portfolio under our control.”

    The very next month, Barnett and his team began working out a deal to sell ground leases for four of the 14 buildings to Manhattan-based landlord the Kaufman Organization. That deal, valued at upwards of $175 million, closed in April.

    “Gary had the wherewithal to move exceptionally fast,” said broker David Ash of Prince Realty Advisors, who represented Kaufman in the deal.

    Alan Miller, a principal at commercial brokerage 5Points Group who closely followed the deal, said that the Ring portfolio deal was Extell being “their crafty and expert selves, taking down a fabled New York City portfolio over the many different suitors that were gunning for it.”

    “Extell outmaneuvered everyone to get those buildings, and now is taking advantage of a rising market by flipping the buildings they don’t plan on developing themselves,” Miller added.

    The piece de resistance, however, came in July, when Barnett and co-owner Jared Kushner sold Frank Ring a 235,000-square-foot building at 80 West End Avenue for $195 million. That’s a stunning $110 million mark-up over the $84 million the partners bought it for less than a year earlier.

    “It’s just obvious that Frank Ring overpaid,” said a broker active in the area. “Jared and Gary are probably pretty happy.”

    “It’s a nice trade,” Barnett said with a grin, but added that he and Kushner created value by bringing a long-term tenant, United Cerebral Palsy of New York City, to lease most of the building.

    Real estate chess

    220 Central Park SouthIn other instances, Barnett has fought a war of attrition.

    In 2011, Extell had six years left on a garage lease beneath Vornado’s planned $400 million residential condo project at 220 Central Park South, and rebuffed the REIT’s buyout offers.

    It took two years before Barnett agreed to give up his lease, at which time he also sold Vornado his development lot at neighboring 225 West 58th Street, along with additional air rights, for a total of $194 million, according to a release from Vornado. That price tag translates into about $1,400 a buildable square foot — a huge premium over development rights around the city.

    A source said that Vornado “had to take care of him [Barnett]” to make the 220 Central Park South project feasible.

    But Barnett said the trade was mutually beneficial and that Vornado did not pay an inflated price.

    “You think it’s high, but it’s not high at all,” he said. “They turned around and refinanced at $1,500 a foot. I’m not sure Vornado has a dollar left in that project!”

    Vornado declined to comment on the Extell deal. But a source familiar with the Steve Roth-led REIT said that “it was a big game of real estate chess, in which both sides had something that the other wanted — and a lot of value was at stake.”

    Barnett has also sparred with Stephen Ross’ Related.

    In 2012, Extell announced plans to build an office tower dubbed One Hudson Yards at a site on 34th Street and 11th Avenue that he owned since 1998. The proposal did not sit well with Related, which is developing the giant Hudson Yards complex adjacent to that site. Barnett was also planning on asking rents that would have undercut Related’s asking rates.

    “We were in the position of being the low-cost provider,” he told TRD, noting that Extell had purchased the land at a low cost, and that the infrastructure was in place. “We would have been quickest to market.”

    In September 2013, Extell and Related buried the hatchet and agreed to a property swap — Barnett traded the One Hudson Yards site for a development site farther away, at Eighth Avenue and West 45th Street, that Related co-owned with Boston Properties. To sweeten the deal, Related also paid Barnett $168 million in cash.

    Now, Related is planning a 1.1-million-square-foot, 51-story office tower known as 55 Hudson Yards at the site. Representatives for the firm declined to comment.

    Not free agents

    One Riverside ParkUnlike many New York mega developers, Barnett isn’t a fixture on the real estate social scene. Although he builds Manhattan’s most ostentatious residences, the father of 10 lives in the middle-class neighborhood of Richmond Hill, Queens, and remains mum about his private life. He’s also a lifelong Democrat, something of a rarity in the development world.

    Still, there’s one key Democrat with whom Barnett is not scoring brownie points: de Blasio.

    Although de Blasio, then a City Council member, voted in favor of the 2009 zoning change that allowed developers more design discretion and square footage in exchange for building a certain number of affordable apartments, his administration is now working to reverse the change.

    During his mayoral campaign, de Blasio was extremely critical of what he saw as Mayor Bloomberg’s overly cozy relationship with the development community, saying it needed a “reset.”

    Since coming into office, however, the new mayor has shown a willingness to work with developers. And sources say despite the fact that he was not at the city’s helm when the law allowing poor doors was passed, that he is facing political backlash from tenant groups over the issue.

    A City Hall source familiar with the poor-door discussions disputed that, saying that given how far along Extell’s project was when de Blasio took office, the administration “had pretty limited ability to affect the outcome.”

    The administration source cited Silverstein Properties’ 10 Freedom Place, which also has a poor door, as a project where the mayor was able to step in earlier and secure concessions such as lower-income residents getting shared access to a courtyard and a roof deck. Those changes made the separate entrance more palatable, said the source, who noted that the project would serve as a model until new zoning codes are in place.

    Barnett said that without the poor door, developers could walk away from the inclusionary housing program, exacerbating the city’s affordable housing shortage.

    “It’s complete obfuscation and does a disservice to the problems of income disparity and inequality by going after the rich door/poor door,” he said.

    Barnett also pointed out that once Extell decided to create a separate portion of the building for the affordable rental units, it was actually required under current zoning regulations to include a separate entrance.

    But his views aren’t sitting well with anti-poverty activists. Elise Goldin, a tenant organizer, said that Barnett’s use of the poor door was a violation of Jewish values.

    “Seeing this poor door used, especially by a religious Jewish person, is an abomination,” Goldin said. “It’s creating segregation, shame and barriers between us.”

    Barnett, who grew up in an Orthodox Jewish community on the Lower East Side and is the son of a prominent Talmud scholar, said that part of the reason that he has been so vocal on the poor door is that he wants people to understand why the separate entrances are being used.

    “We’re not in the business of discriminating against people, he said. “We never have and we never will be.” Not only are separate entrances mandated, they also help investors breathe easier, Barnett said.

    “I recognize that there’s legitimacy and logic on other sides of the opinion as well,” he said. He’d be willing to consider tweaks to the poor door at 40 Riverside, he said, if he was approached with a “proposal that made sense” and had the consent of his financial backers.

    “We’re not free agents here,” he said. “We have partners, and they have a voice as well.”

    Despite his outspokenness, a high-ranking City Official said that Barnett has “never been arrogant.”

    “He says what he thinks and he gives his reasons for doing it,” the official said.

    Playing politics

    andrew cuomoIn the mayoral race last year, Barnett donated just under $5,000 to Christine Quinn, who at one point was the frontrunner, and only $400 to Bill Thompson and de Blasio, campaign finance records show.

    Barnett said despite de Blasio’s “leftist credentials,” he was “practical and fair.”

    On the statewide front, Barnett’s support is single-minded. He donated more than $200,000 to Cuomo, a shoo-in for reelection, in this election cycle, according to an analysis by the nonprofit New York Public Interest Research Group.

    “We certainly believe in our constitutional right to have input into the election,” Barnett said, noting that he’s supported Cuomo since he first ran for Attorney General. He continued his support, he said, despite the fact that as AG, Cuomo ruled against Extell in a case involving buyers’ deposits at the Rushmore.

    Cuomo’s decision, Barnett said, “led to tens of millions of dollars in lost deposits, and I think he was wrong on that. Still, he ruled against us, so no one can say that this governor is doing us any special favors.”

    Yet recently, when the governor’s anti-corruption panel known as the Moreland Commission was preparing a report that prominently featured Extell, Cuomo’s office pushed the panel to remove references to the developer, according to the New York Times.

    Meanwhile, in January, just days before Cuomo approved a controversial 421-a tax extension bill that benefited One57, entities tied to Extell gave $100,000 to the governor, the New York Daily News reported.

    But Barnett said that the bill was expected to pass in June, well before Extell made those donations.

    The Moreland Commission, which was investigating Extell’s donations along with those made by four other developers, was prematurely disbanded by Cuomo in March. But its case files were turned over to Preet Bharara, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, who is still looking into the matter.

    ‘Davening’ for the market

    Over his 20-plus year career in New York real estate, which he began as a principal in Property Markets Group along with Kevin Maloney and Ziel Feldman, Barnett has shown a willingness to take on deals that others won’t touch or don’t know about, industry players said. And despite his spats with some rivals, many in the industry view Barnett with awe.

    “He’s a magician and one of the smartest guys that I’ve met in my three decades in NYC real estate,” Miller of 5Points Group said. “He’s the master assembler.”

    “We marvel at what he’s doing,” said Jim Wacht, president of commercial brokerage Lee & Associates, who isn’t involved with any Extell projects.

    Meanwhile, Douglas Elliman veteran Gilad Azaria said that Barnett’s projects showed a knack for “predicting the future.”

    “Before people even knew what $2,000 per square foot was, Gary was planning to sell units [at One57] for $10,000 per square foot,” Azaria said.

    “We’ve been lucky,” Barnett said of his successes.

    Now though, faced with soaring land costs, Extell is becoming more cautious, he said.

    Still, the company is at the mercy of the market, and Barnett is praying that its strength continues.

    “This Rosh Hashanah,” he said, “we will be davening.”

     

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    waldorfastoria

    When the Chinese government allowed the country’s insurers to invest more money in foreign real estate in 2012, China hands predicted a surge in investments in overseas commercial property. The boom never fully materialized – only a few blockbuster deals in London were done.

    But the first major New York City property purchase by a Chinese insurer could signal the race is on.  On Monday, Anbang Insurance Group agreed to purchase the Waldorf-Astoria from Hilton Worldwide Holdings for $1.95 billion in what could wind up as the city’s largest single-asset transaction this year. Anbang beat out at least two other bidders ahead of a planned campaign to market the hotel, a source familiar with the development told the Wall Street Journal.

    “These [Chinese] institutional investors are studying the market,” said James Murphy, executive managing director of the investment sales group at Colliers International. “And when they find something they can compete on, they’ve obviously shown that they have the ability to close.”

    Market insiders recently told The Real Deal that Chinese insurance giants have been seeking opportunities to purchase properties in New York City, even making trips to inspect the sites. Until today’s announcement about Anbang’s buy, however, none have pulled the trigger. Part of that stems from insurers’ typically conservative approach to capital outlays.

    The nearly $2 billion purchase price for the iconic hotel trumps the $1.5 billion that David Werner and a group of investors paid for 5 Times Square in June, said Adrian Mercado, vice president of research at Massey Knakal Realty Services. It also tops the $660 million sale of the Park Lane Hotel last year, making it New York’s priciest hospitality purchase, he added.

    The deal comes amid a huge ramp up in investment by Chinese buyers in New York real estate. In 2013, China surpassed Canadian buyers as the top purchasers of New York City office property, with two deals worth a combined $1.4 billion. Chinese property developer Fosun International acquired One Chase Manhattan Plaza for $725 million, while Zhang Xin, co-founder of developer Soho China, partnered with a Brazilian investor on a $700 million stake in the GM Building.

    Those deals were done by individuals and companies that tend to be more aggressive than big Chinese insurance companies, according to experts. Further, most Chinese companies are still studying the US market, explained Murphy, and do not have the infrastructure to make timely acquisition deals.

    “They still  have multi-level decision-making processes which require senior-level approval at the home office,” said Murphy. “They have more success pursuing off market transactions but not properties offered via the brokerage community which require timely decisions.”

    But insurers and developers in the People’s Republic are very sophisticated and capable of tackling a number of barriers to competing with domestic buyers, said Dan Cashdan, senior managing director at HFF Securities.

    “Chinese insurance companies will be entering market. They just need to find out what the strategy is going to be and who the right partners are,” Cashdan told The Real Deal recently.

    Under the deal announced today, Hilton will continue to operate the Waldorf-Astoria for the next 100 years. Through a strategic partnership, the hotel will undergo a major renovation.

    Anbang Insurance Group is one of China’s largest insurance companies, with 700 billion yuan ($114 billion) in assets under management, according to the company. It has expanded rapidly under chairman Wu Xiaohui since he founded the company in 2004, acquiring holdings in a number of Chinese banks, as well as a potentially lucrative development site near Beijing’s CCTV building, Chinese newspaper Caixin reported in a recent profile of the company.

    New York is not the only U.S. market that Chinese institutional investors are exploring. The big insurance groups are also looking at properties in Chicago, San Francisco and Los Angeles, as well as tertiary markets, such as Seattle, Brendon Frye, senior manager at Colliers International in Hong Kong, told The Real Deal in a recent interview. Investments in smaller markets could be further off though.

    “I don’t see them pulling the trigger on a Seattle office building tomorrow,” said Frye.

    SEE ALSO: Meet The Most Loved And Hated Man In New York Real Estate

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    Take our quiz to see if you can guess how much above or below list price these recently-sold New York City properties cost. Tips on how to make the right bid follow below.

    MANHATTAN — Bidding wars are still brewing for apartments priced about $1 million and under in many parts of Manhattan and Brooklyn, with many house hunters getting emails a few days after visiting an open house asking for their "best and final" or "best and highest" offer.

    For buyers who want to compete, there's often a gnawing question: What's should their best offer be?

    That's not always easy to answer.

    It often involves a complicated calculus of what someone can afford, their emotional attachment to the space and how long someone has been searching for a home — and losing out to other bidders — brokers said. But as a starting point, it's important to understand what an apartment's fair market value is.

    That, too, can be tricky given the limited inventory and pressure to bid above asking price. Manhattan, for instance, saw 49 percent of homes sell for asking price or above, which was the highest share in six years, according to a Douglas Elliman report on third quarter sales.

    "Figure out what it's truly worth to you and maybe before going to best and final, put in a preemptive offer that possibly circumvents best and final," Douglas Elliman's Josh Rubin said. "Consider: If I don't buy this, what are my other options and what is it going to cost?"

    1. Understand what the comps are.

    Good brokers can usually help you understand whether an apartment is priced fairly based on "comps,"or comparable sales.

    Since New York City real estate is hyper-local — where one building with certain amenities can be valued very differently from its next door neighbor — the best comps are same-sized units in the same building that sold recently.

    Such sales, however, don’t always exist, and it can take time to comb through data to figure out the best comps.

    Noah Rosenblatt is a former equities trader who brought his data-driven focus to Manhattan's real estate market as the founder and CEO of the research site UrbanDigs.com. He believes his site’s new feature, “Price Your Own Apartment,” can help.

    Launched last week, the tool lets you input a Manhattan address and gives you a list of possible comps, accounting, for instance, for differences of floors (suggesting a $25,000 premium for each additional floor) and allowing you to adjust for anticipated renovation costs. It has a unique "time index” that is based, among other things, on the signed contract date rather than the closing since those are sometimes months apart — and therefore represent different market, Rosenblatt explained.

    Brooklyn buyers will have to wait until 2015 to find use the tool.

    “It only helps to add transparency,” Rosenblatt said.

    Working as a buyer's broker, Rosenblatt said that his quantitative approach helps sellers feel more comfortable accepting offers, buyers feel better about making offers and brokers feel more comfortable with giving advice.

    "My buyers, they love it," he said. "It gives them confidence to say, 'Now I can justify bidding this.'"

    So far, the majority of users have been other brokers, said Rosenblatt, whose tool has a 30-day free trial before a monthly fee kicks in.

    “Computers are never going to know the nuances from building to building,” added Douglas Wagner, of BOND New York, which is soon rolling out a new comps tool for its agents. “But it’s nice to have someone do a quick snapshot.”

    2. Don't bid if you're only casually interested in the apartment.

    The first thing Douglas Elliman's Brian Meier asks his clients before they submit a bid is whether they truly want the apartment.

    If not, move on because the bidding process is often stressful.

    “If you're buying in this market, you have to have a stomach for it. You have to be aggressive," he said. "You're going to overpay."

    You should offer the highest amount you feel “comfortable” with, so that in the event you lose out, “you’ll feel OK about it,” he said.

    “A lot of times it pays for someone to pay above fair market value if you've been looking for a long time,” added Jeff Schleider, founder and managing director of Miron Properties, explaining that you make your money on long-term appreciation.

    3. Bid over the asking price if you’re serious.apartment

    You're going to have to bid over the asking price if something is priced at fair market, said David Maundrell, founder and president of aptsandlofts.com.

    If you submit an offer that’s 5 percent less than asking price, a seller won’t likely ask for a counter offer.

    “It means that a buyer is not serious," Maundrell said.

    "If someone puts an offer that’s $10,000 above the asking price, that means they’re serious, and an extra $10,000 on a mortgage is peanuts," he added. "Don’t loose out on your home for the next 5 to 10 years for a few thousand dollars."

    4. Understand pricing strategies.

    Some brokers look at the market value and base prices on that. Others like to price low and have buyers bid up.

    Rubin listed a Greenwich Village 2-bedroom recently for $2.15 million even though his market analysis estimated its worth at $2.5 million. The offers came in at and above the market value.

    "You find someone who emotionally wants it more," Rubin said. "They put the clinical aside and proceed with the emotional and will ultimately leapfrog the pack."

    The home is in contract for $2.8 million.

    This strategy only works if things are "carefully managed," said aptsandlofts' Maundrell, who has seen house hunters get caught up in the "frenzy" only to wake the next morning with buyer's remorse and later back out.

    5. You may still get the apartment even if you weren't the highest bidder.

    Many brokers have seen bidders who didn't win a bidding war end up with the home in the end.

    This can happen when a winning bidder realizes the offer was overblown or when the momentum is lost when a contract takes too long to execute, which sometimes happens if a seller's broker gets "too confident" that a better offer might still come in, Meier explained.

    "Two weeks later you get a phone call, 'Our first two deals didn't go through.' A lot of times you're second or third in a bidding war and all is not lost," said Meier, who estimates this happens in a quarter of bidding wars.

    Conversely, you might still lose an apartment if you win a best and final because sellers will sometimes accept a higher offer that comes in later after a contract goes out to a best and final winner, many brokers said.

    "You're not binding until both parties sign," Wagner said.

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    The Summit House on Aspen's Red Mountain

    Aspen, sometimes called the “Rocky Mountain playground of the rich and famous,” reigns over expensive ski resort real estate.

    The newest listing on the block, which is selling for $65 million, is no exception. 

    The 17,000-square-foot home sits atop the well-known Red Mountain (aka Billionaire Mountain), and looks over Aspen and all four of its ski areas.

    The mansion features 7 bedrooms, 11 baths, and a 4,150 square foot deck — not to mention floor-to-ceiling windows with some pretty breathtaking views.

    Welcome to the Summit House.



    The lot is 5.98 acres in total on Aspen's Red Mountain.



    The mountain is sometimes known as Billionaire Mountain because of its expensive real estate.



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    donald trump

    Donald Trump catapulted himself into the spotlight with his gilded real estate ventures and vibrant personality.

    The latter is what has made his show "The Apprentice" such a huge success.

    And over the years, he's had an opinion or two about the business world.

    "In the end, you're measured not by how much you undertake but by what you finally accomplish," Trump once said.

    But like any successful business person, Trump has had his share of setbacks.

    Here, we present to you 12 Trump businesses that went belly up or no longer exist.

    Trump Mortgage (announced in 2006 - closed in 2007)

    What happened:
    Trump launched his own mortgage company, and his son predicted that it would be the No. 1 home-loan lender in the US. And then ... the housing market completely crashed in 2007. Trump's mortgage company was shut down after a year and a half.

    Shortly after the company's launch Trump said on CNBC:
    "I think it's a great time to start a mortgage company ... who knows about financing better than I do?"

    Source: Time



    Trump Steaks (2007 - unknown)

    What happened:
    Trump launched his name-brand steaks specifically for Sharper Image (and naturally graced the cover of the Sharper Image catalogue) in 2007. They have since been discontinued.

    The prices ranged from $199 for a pack of 12 steak burgers and four steaks, all the way up to $999 for a selection of 16 top cuts.

    Bonus: The Trump Steakhouse in Las Vegas was briefly shut down following 51 health code violations, including expired yogurt and five-month old duck.

    What Trump said about his namesake meats
    "When it comes to great steaks, I've just raised the stakes! ... Trump Steaks are the world's greatest steaks ... Treat yourself to the very, very best life has to offer ... One bite and you'll know exactly what I'm talking about. And believe me: I understand steaks. They're my favorite food."

    Source: Business Wire



    Trump Vodka (2006 - circa 2011)

    What happened:
    Trump dipped his toes into the "super premium" vodka industry around 2006. It's unclear when exactly Trump Vodka was shut down, but by 2011 the drink was no longer being produced "under the Trump trademark because the company failed to meet the threshold requirements," Trump's people said, according to Gothamist.

    However, perhaps Trump should have considered expanding into the global "super premium" vodka market. Much to his annoyance, in 2011 Trump's name-brand vodkas were being sold in Israel without authorization.

    What Trump said about the vodka when it launched
    "By the summer of '06, I fully expect the most called for cocktail in America to be the T&T or the Trump and Tonic."

    Source: Gothamist



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    South Beach Home

    In early January, Jonathan Postma was hired to market a seven-bedroom mansion with an expansive view of the Intracoastal Waterway.

    The Boca Raton-based broker at Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate immediately began planning what he hoped would be the biggest open house party Deerfield Beach’s The Cove neighborhood had ever experienced.

    “I must have spent $10,000 just advertising the event,” Postma said. “And we had about 1,000 guests stop by. By throwing a big party, you have a good chance of finding a buyer right away.”

    Sure enough, someone who attended the bash stepped up and paid $2.7 million for the waterfront estate on Jan. 21.

    When it comes to hosting open houses for South Florida’s luxury homes, wine and cheese platters just won’t cut it anymore. From West Palm Beach to South Beach, brokers marketing lavish multi-million dollar mansions and penthouses are spending tens of thousands of dollars on over-the-top parties to reel in buyers. While they might be smaller than the parties thrown by developers for entire new condo projects, they’re impressive in their own right.

    Richard Goihman, director of the Goihman Group at Douglas Elliman, says high net worth individuals want to be wowed by a residence when they first see it.

    “It’s not enough to just hold an open house,” Goihman said. “You have to do something upscale that appeals to an upscale crowd.”

    Goihman said brokers are trying all kinds of quirky party ideas to create a buzz for their listings, from hosting fashion shows to converting driveways into exotic car showrooms to throwing theme parties.

    Postma has organized several elaborate open houses.

    For the house party in The Cove, he hired models to dress up like Geishas and serve guests sushi and sake. Postma also threw a “South Beach” party at a waterfront mansion in Boca Raton by parking 15 Lamborghinis in the driveway and staging a swimsuit fashion show.

    “Every listing I take, I commit to spending from Day 1 on marketing,” Postma said. “People like to party.”

    Events can help potential buyers envision what they could do if they owned the property, according to Postma. “Anybody can stick an open house sign on the front lawn and hope for the best,” he said. “But if you give people a reason to come in, it can be more effective.”

    David Pulley, principal of the Pulley Group at Opulence International Realty, has a system for coming up with themes for his open houses.

    “The first thing to take into consideration is what message you want to send about the home you are selling,” Pulley said. “You want to make sure buyers see the lifestyle and what makes a specific property so special.”

    When he wanted to show off a spacious, luxurious condo on South Beach, for example, Pulley organized an Art Deco theme party to play up the history of the neighborhood. The cocktail servers and models were dressed in period costumes that incorporated Charleston dresses with long white gloves or one-piece swimsuits.

    “The atmosphere was cool, refined sophistication,” Pulley said.

    Of course, Pulley points out, there is a limit to how much an individual broker might want to spend on an one-off open house.

    “It would be extremely foolish to spend $25,000 on a $1 million property, because that is your entire commission,” Pulley said. “Party budgets don’t have to be over the top.”

    Some agents are even throwing outlandish fetes when it’s just other brokers in attendance. For instance, Goihman organized an awards ceremony honoring Miami’s top 100 real estate brokers at an ocean view penthouse in the Bella Mare condo in Aventura’s Williams Island. At the time, he was marketing the $4.9 million pad.

    “It was a great opportunity because getting the top 100 brokers in one venue is hard to achieve,” he said. “Holding an awards ceremony is going to get everyone to come.”

    Goihman brought in a film crew to document the festivities, highlighted by award presentations to the top sellers in Aventura, Bal Harbour, Miami Beach, Sunny Isles and the downtown Miami/Brickell area with the most transactions for more than $1 million. Tui Lifestyle decorated the terrace space like a cocktail lounge. Goihman estimates he spent north of $20,000 putting the party together.

    And brokers don’t expect this trend to stop anytime soon. “Everybody in Miami likes to have a good time” Pulley said. “The idea behind doing these events is to sell a lifestyle to the potential buyer.”

    SEE ALSO: QUIZ: How Much Do These New York Apartments Cost?

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    Bunny Mellon's TownhouseA gorgeous townhouse in the middle of New York's Upper East Side has just gone into contract for $41 million, according to the Observer

    Tony and Claire White, the sellers of the townhouse, wanted $46 million for the property, but the asking price eventually fell to $41 million. 

    Built in 1965, the 11,100-square-foot, 14-room townhouse was designed by Rachel 'Bunny' Mellon, the heiress to the Listerine fortune who was married to the banking legend Paul Mellon.

    She was a close friend of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis and a notable horticulturist who redesigned the White House Rose Garden — needless to say, she had impeccable taste. 

    Her gorgeous UES townhouse with its own private garden, listed with Sotheby's International Realty, is a testament to that. 

    Welcome to 125 East 70th Street, Bunny Mellon's former home on the Upper East Side.



    Let's step inside the home. The townhouse has 11,100 square feet and a total of 14 rooms.



    It was designed in a French neoclassical style, and is basically decorated like a palace.



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    A mortgage is considered "good debt," meaning it's a debt that could be considered an investment in yourself. By paying this debt, you're securing a place to live.

    That's not to say that a mortgage isn't serious. According to credit bureau Experian, the average amount of money owed on a mortgage in the US is over $157,000, ranging from an average of about $93,000 in West Virginia to an intimidating $275,000 in Washington, D.C.

    Using data provided to Business Insider by Experian's Decision Analytics group, we made a map showing the average mortgage balance — how much is still owed on existing mortgages — per account in each state:

    average mortgage balance state map

    Here's a table showing the average balance for each state, along with the average for the US as a whole:

    average mortgage balance state table

    SEE ALSO: Why Paying Off A Mortgage Early Isn't Always The Right Move

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    woody johnson jets nflNew York Jets owner Woody Johnson, who has been quietly shopping around his 834 Fifth Avenue co-op, has reportedly accepted a record-breaking $80 million offer.

    Should the deal for the 14-room duplex close for that amount, it would set a new record for the most expensive co-op ever sold in New York City.

    Currently, that title is held by Israel Englander’s $71.3 million purchase of the French ambassador to the United Nations’ 18-room duplex at 740 Park Avenue in June. Prior to that deal, Egyptian billionaire Nassef Sawiris briefly held the record following his $70 million purchase of the Bronfman penthouse at 960 Fifth Avenue, as The Real Deal reported at the time.

    The billionaire, who is also heir to the Johnson & Johnson fortune, listed the 11th- and 12th-floor unit for $75 million earlier this month. The pad boasts five-and-a-half bathrooms and three maids’ rooms, and is located in a 16-story Art Deco building designed by Rosario Candela.

    Johnson reportedly never actually lived in the apartment, and now resides at One Central Park West. [NYP] and [Curbed]

    SEE ALSO: The Best New Buildings On The Planet

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    432 park ave

    On Friday, construction topped out at 432 Park, a luxury condominium that's now arguably the tallest building in New York City. It even has the new One World Trade Center beat, not counting that building's spire.

    At 1,396 feet, 432 Park towers above a row of super-tall buildings rising on the southern end of Central Park, an area that's already earned its "Billionaires' Belt" nickname. These skyscrapers are so tall they needed approval from the Federal Aviation Administration before construction could start.  

    “It’s almost like the Mona Lisa,” developer Harry B. Macklowe said Friday, The New York Times reported“Except instead of it looking at you, you’re looking at it wherever you are. You can’t escape it.” 

    The building, which cost $1.3 billion to construct, has two penthouses, one on the 96th floor that sold for $95 million and another on the 95th, currently priced at $85 million. 

    The building's architect Rafael Viñoly made news back in September 2013 when his Walkie Talkie building wreaked havoc on London's streets, emitting a reflection so hot it melted cars and literally fried eggs on the sidewalk. But if these renderings are any indication, this building should be more of a success. 

    We recently saw renderings of the apartment building's interiors, and the designs are magnificent.

    Designer Deborah Berke says her focus was to make the most of the apartments' perch above the city. Double-height ceilings and beautiful oak flooring are highlights, while huge square windows provide an unparalleled view.  

    432 Park contains 104 apartments, which start at $7 million.

    From the outside, rows of six 100-square-foot windows give the building the square look of a waffle iron. 

    432 Park aveInside, Berke's design is just as geometric. The huge windows are in a straight line from the front door, making the most of the apartment's perch above the city. 

    432 park aveAccording to Berke, the oak herringbone floors are a take on Park Avenue's more traditional apartment buildings.

    432 park aveThe kitchens will be outfitted with sleek marble countertops and stainless steel appliances. 

    432 park aveBut the kitchen's best feature has to be this 10-foot-long marble breakfast bar framed against the window. Just imagine enjoying your morning coffee here, with all of Manhattan sprawled out below you. 

    432 park aveThe master suite's floor plan was designed so that the bed would be perfectly aligned with the window, offering the best views possible first thing in the morning. 

    432 park aveThe master suite has separated his and hers bathrooms. Looking north from the marble-covered shower, you'll get a peek of Central Park and the Upper East Side. 432 park aveAnd to the south, views of the Chrysler Building, the Empire State Building, and the Freedom Tower can all be enjoyed from this free-standing tub. 

    432 park ave432 Park will dramatically change the skyline around Central Park once it's completed in 2015. 

    432 park aveListen to designer Deborah Berke discuss her renderings and concept below.

    SEE ALSO:  THE NEW BILLIONAIRES' ROW: See The Incredible Transformation Of New York's 57th Street

    Join the conversation about this story »


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