Could LA’s lack of land be holding its economy back?

Article found on TheRealDeal.com on 08/31/2018

A lack of developable land could be holding back the economy in Los Angeles.

That’s according to one Bloomberg columnist, who says that Southern California’s issues with supply could be contributing to its recent slowdown in job growth.

The L.A. Metro, which encompasses L.A. and Orange counties, posted a job growth of 1.1 percent over the 12 months ended in July, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That’s lower than the national average, at 1.6 percent, and other major metropolitan areas, including Chicago, New York and Miami.

Yet jobs in L.A. have actually been growing rapidly in the last decade, and surpassed the national average in 2010 for the first time in three decades. That could mean that housing affordability — a more recent economic issue — could be playing a role in the sluggish job growth.

In July, a National Association of Realtors survey ranked L.A. as the least affordable place in the entire country. A typical household in L.A. can barely afford to buy four percent of the homes listed for sale, according to the study.

L.A.’s increasing unaffordability — more than 17 percent of homes are valued above $1 million — could be keeping workers away from the city, driving them to other more affordable cities in the state, or out of California altogether. A severe housing shortage, driven by a lack of developable land, has been a key reason for the price hikes.

Other metro areas in California picked up most of the slack, bumping up the statewide figure to 2 percent. Both the Riverside – San Bernardino and San Jose metros posted job growth upwards of 3.2 percent, surpassing major job hubs like San Francisco and San Diego.

San Francisco, with 1.6 percent in growth, ranked ninth out of the 12 biggest metropolitan areas. San Diego, meanwhile, trailed with 1.5 percent growth. [Bloomberg] – Natalie Hoberman

Top 10 Home Design Trends To Expect In 2017

By Mitchell Parker

Looking for some great ideas for your home? How about a voice-activated assistant that will give you a weather update while you pour coffee into a preheated mug from a warming drawer? Not your style? No worries — there’s something for everyone in this preview of 2017 design trends. We plowed into Houzz data, sifted through popular photos and articles, and talked to industry leaders for this look at 10 things we think you’ll be seeing more of in the home in 2017.

  1. Satin brass. Brass finishes have been making a comeback in recent years, cherished for their ability to bring shiny golden tones to a space without the high price tag. But more recently, designers like Elizabeth Lawson have been turning away from the reflective finish of polished brass and embracing satin or brushed brass, which is more muted and warm.

“I especially like a satin brass finish because it’s transitional and can complement a number of styles,” says Lawson, who used the finish in the kitchen shown here. “It also looks amazing against almost any color of the rainbow. I think we’ll continue to see rooms with satin brass for quite some time and also possibly mixed with other finishes for a more eclectic look.”

  1. Voice-activated assistants. There’s been a lot of talk about voice assistants in the home. It’s something Shawn DuBravac, chief economist of the Consumer Technology Association, which puts on the Consumer Electronics Show every year in Las Vegas (Jan. 5 to 8, 2017), says will be big in 2017.

Amazon’s Alexa, which is enabled in the Echo Dot shown on this side table, acts as a voice-activated interface for many smart home devices. Google Home’s voice assistant launched about a month ago.

These devices work through activation phrases like “Alexa” or “OK Google.” The devices, placed throughout your home, are always listening in somewhat of a dormant state. Say the activation phrase, and the device fires up and awaits your command. Ask it to give you the weather or play a song from Spotify or dim your lights or power up the hot tub.

Early last year, Amazon opened its platform to third parties and has since added thousands of integrated features from smart home companies like Lutron, Crestron, Philips Hue, Wemo, Honeywell, Nest, Samsung Smart Home to other services from Uber, Domino’s, NPR and more.

Google Home just launched its voice-activated assistant about a month ago, and DuBravac says he expects the company to open the platform to third-party companies soon.

“What you’re seeing is continued maturing of the smart home ecosystem,” he says. “It’s still a very nascent technology. Maturing isn’t something that happens instantaneously, but over time.”

  1. Vanity conversions. If you’re having trouble finding the right premanufactured vanity for your home, try thinking outside the cabinet box. Many savvy homeowners are finding chests of drawers, old file cabinets, vintage consoles and more, and converting them into one-of-a-kind vanities.
  1. Hardworking kitchen storage walls. In search of more open space, many homeowners and designers are doing away with expanses of upper cabinets and pushing all that storage onto a single hardworking wall. This one-stop hub frees up the rest of the space to create a breezy look.
  2. White with off-white. There’s just something refreshing about a room bathed in white. But when done in one stark white tone, things can start to feel clinical. Balancing a white palette with creamy off-whites and natural linen hues creates a breathtaking look that can be rich with character.
  1. Greenery. Pantone’s verdant color of the year for 2017, Greenery, seems to be an instant hit for those looking for a revitalizing, back-to-nature hue that brings zest while still managing to work with warm wood tones.
  2. Splurging on laundry rooms. Everyone knows that kitchens and bathrooms get the big remodeling dollars, but many homeowners are seeing value in making every space look great. And laundry rooms in particular are seeing more love. Design tricks to bring in more light, smarter storage and better function resonate with homeowners who realize that since they spend a lot of time doing laundry, why not do it in a space that makes them feel good?

According to the 2016 Houzz & Home Report, people remodeling their laundry rooms of 150 square feet or more will spend an average of $2,700. Take away appliances, and that’s a sizable budget to splurge on tile and other details.

  1. Splurging on entryways. The entry, like a powder room, is a compact place where you can have fun with design without blowing a budget. Homeowners will spend on average $2,500 to make over their entryway or mudroom that’s 150 square feet or more ($1,400 for a space that’s less than 150 square feet), according to the 2016 Houzz & Home Report.

Sometimes all it takes is a small area to feature a fun piece of wallpaper, a statement mirror or a narrow table with a tray for shoes underneath. After all, first impressions matter.

  1. Outdoor-feeling indoor showers. An outdoor shower is highly desirable but not practical year-round in most areas of the country. To get around the weather dilemma, designers and homeowners are looking to intimate courtyards and strategic site placement to create bathrooms that connect deeply to the outdoors while still maintaining privacy.
  1. Counter-depth fridges. For small to modest-size kitchens, remodeling is often a game of inches. Counter-depth refrigerators sit flush with adjacent cabinetry and countertops, freeing up just a bit more space while creating a streamlined look.

How to Design a Fun and Cheerful Bedroom

Designer Melissa Warner Rothblum shares her wisdom for decor that children can grow up with—not out of.

Blue for boys and a set of superhero sheets. Pink for girls, plus a frilly dust ruffle. Such old-fashioned design parameters just won’t cut it for today’s youngsters—or their parents. “Clients are looking at kids’ rooms as an opportunity to do something whimsical and different that they may not wish to do elsewhere in the house,” explains designer Melissa Warner Rothblum of the Los Angeles– and Seattle-based firm Massucco Warner Miller Interior Design. “It’s a safe place to do something fun.” Fun with serious functionality, of course. “Aside from looking great, kids’ rooms have specific requirements when it comes to both visible and hidden storage, as well as an open, comfortable area for play,” says Warner Rothblum, mom to a 2-year-old herself. “Versatility in space planning is also important. For example, making sure there’s room for a desk, even if children are too little for homework now.” Ahead, Warner Rothblum shows how to create environments that are cool, not cutesy, and easily adaptable as kids grow from toddlers to teens.

Photo: Kimberly Gavin
While the rustic vibe suits a client’s Deer Valley, Utah, vacation home, the industrial feel of the bunk beds and sconces keeps it from veering hokey or juvenile. “I prefer not to do themes or tie decor to a child’s particular interest because that can get dated quite quickly,” Warner Rothblum says. With bold stripes on the textiles and locally sourced touches like the blue-legged bench, this room has a playful appeal that suits the family’s offspring, who range in age from 5 to 13. Light colors contrast against the deep blue walls—a smart paint choice to hide dirt.
Photo: Grey Crawford
Designing for sister-and-brother roomies can be especially tricky. Warner Rothblum kept things classic (and gender-neutral) with simple lines and pale, soothing colors in this Montecito, California, bedroom. At 180 square feet, it’s large enough for two (close quarters can breed bickering, as any parent will tell you), but horizontal stripes help ground the height of the 10-foot ceilings for a cozy feel. Jenny Lind–style beds boast trundles for sleepovers, and the vintage wool rug between them invites kids to sit on the floor and play.
Photo: David Fenton
Though designed for a girl now age 7, this lovely nook with a headboard upholstered in Quadrille fabric could easily see the San Francisco child through adolescence. “The secret is to go classic with the main elements—the bed, seating, etc.—and add personality with art and accessories that can be swapped out over time,” Warner Rothblum explains, noting that the cameo pillows depict the child at the time the room was done. At just 10 feet wide, the space presented a storage challenge that was admirably met with a bed/bookshelf built-in. Special items go on display while deep drawers keep messy stuff like art supplies out of view. The palette sticks to two brights plus white to avoid color overload when dolls, toys, and collections enter the mix.
Article written by Nina Malkin  and Posted July 18, 2017 on http://www.architecturaldigest.com

10 of the Most Beautiful Streets in the World

Not all streets are created equal. Take the colorful Caminito that anchors Buenos Aires’s La Boca neighborhood—not only does it provide visitors with a vibrant photo op, but it also serves as a reminder of how the neighborhood was built in the 19th century. Streets, however, don’t have to offer a history lesson or be rendered in Technicolor to be charming. Some are notable for their stunning natural features, such as the cherry blossom tunnel in Bonn, Germany, which makes an appearance for a few short weeks every spring. Here, AD surveys ten of the most beautiful streets in the world.

The multicolor homes that line the La Boca neighborhood of Buenos Aires, Argentina, still reflect much of their late-19th-century history. When European immigrants arrived from the Italian city of Genoa, many of them became dockworkers, who, with little to no disposable income, built their homes with thin pieces of corrugated sheet metal from the docks, coated with leftover paint. When one color inevitably ran out, they would simply use another one. And thus a colorful neighborhood was born. Today, Caminito (shown) is brought to life by an artist’s re-creation of the old tenement dwellings that used to line La Boca’s streets.
 

2/10

San Francisco’s Lombard Street has become one of the city’s most visited sites. Tourists often gather to watch as drivers make their way through the hairpin turns. Completed in 1922, the street was designed to slow cars down on its steep hill. Drivers are advised to proceed at 5 m.p.h.
Photo: Getty Images/iStockphoto

3/10

The streets of Chefchaouen, a small city in northwest Morocco, are famous for their different shades of blue. Founded in 1471, the city was once used as a fortress for exiles from Spain. Over the centuries, many Jews moved to Chefchaouen, bringing with them the ancient belief that using blue dye would remind people of God’s power. For the most vivid experience, visitors should stroll down such streets as Al Hassan Onsar, Rue Outiwi, and the tight stairs leading up and down Rue Bin Souaki.
Photo: Getty Images/iStockphoto

4/10

Located in Andalusia, Spain, Jerez de la Frontera is a city known for its exquisite wine. Here, a street in the historic center is shaded by grape leaves from vines grown along the surrounding walls.
Photo: Getty Images

5/10

A UNESCO World Heritage site, the 1,000-year-old Old Town in Lijiang, China, is famous for its orderly canals and walkways. Walk along Qiyi Street Chongron Alley or Wuyi Street Wenzhi Alley for some of the more spectacular street views.
Photo: Getty Images

6/10

For two to three weeks each spring, the magical tunnel created by the trees lining Cherry Blossom Avenue in Bonn, Germany, brings in tourists and photographers alike.
Photo: Getty Images

7/10

Bregagh Road in Ballymoney, Northern Ireland, is a birch-lined street designed in the 18th century. Nicknamed Dark Hedges, the road will be instantly recognizable to fans of the HBO show Game of Thrones.
Photo: Getty Images

8/10

Paris’s Champs-Élysées could well be the most famous street in the world. Beautifully manicured trees line the 1.2-mile-long avenue, which stretches from the Place de la Concorde to the Arc d Triomphe (shown).
Photo: Getty Images

9/10

Lined with boats and bicycles, Amsterdam’s many canals have drawn tourists through the ages. But the Brouwersgracht, located a little more than half a mile northwest of the central train station, just might be the most picturesque in the Dutch capital.
Photo: Getty Images

10/10

Águeda’s Umbrella Sky Project began in 2011 as a part of the Portuguese city’s annual Ágitagueda Art Festival. Each summer, when temperatures soar, a handful of Águeda’s narrow streets feature canopies of colorful umbrellas that provide shade to the pedestrians below.
Article from Architectural Digest.

How to Design a Fun and Cheerful Bedroom

Designer Melissa Warner Rothblum shares her wisdom for decor that children can grow up with—not out of.

Blue for boys and a set of superhero sheets. Pink for girls, plus a frilly dust ruffle. Such old-fashioned design parameters just won’t cut it for today’s youngsters—or their parents. “Clients are looking at kids’ rooms as an opportunity to do something whimsical and different that they may not wish to do elsewhere in the house,” explains designer Melissa Warner Rothblum of the Los Angeles– and Seattle-based firm Massucco Warner Miller Interior Design. “It’s a safe place to do something fun.” Fun with serious functionality, of course. “Aside from looking great, kids’ rooms have specific requirements when it comes to both visible and hidden storage, as well as an open, comfortable area for play,” says Warner Rothblum, mom to a 2-year-old herself. “Versatility in space planning is also important. For example, making sure there’s room for a desk, even if children are too little for homework now.” Ahead, Warner Rothblum shows how to create environments that are cool, not cutesy, and easily adaptable as kids grow from toddlers to teens.

While the rustic vibe suits a client’s Deer Valley, Utah, vacation home, the industrial feel of the bunk beds and sconces keeps it from veering hokey or juvenile. “I prefer not to do themes or tie decor to a child’s particular interest because that can get dated quite quickly,” Warner Rothblum says. With bold stripes on the textiles and locally sourced touches like the blue-legged bench, this room has a playful appeal that suits the family’s offspring, who range in age from 5 to 13. Light colors contrast against the deep blue walls—a smart paint choice to hide dirt.
Photo: Kimberly Gavin
While the rustic vibe suits a client’s Deer Valley, Utah, vacation home, the industrial feel of the bunk beds and sconces keeps it from veering hokey or juvenile. “I prefer not to do themes or tie decor to a child’s particular interest because that can get dated quite quickly,” Warner Rothblum says. With bold stripes on the textiles and locally sourced touches like the blue-legged bench, this room has a playful appeal that suits the family’s offspring, who range in age from 5 to 13. Light colors contrast against the deep blue walls—a smart paint choice to hide dirt.
Designing for sister-and-brother roomies can be especially tricky. Warner Rothblum kept things classic (and gender-neutral) with simple lines and pale, soothing colors in this Montecito, California, bedroom. At 180 square feet, it’s large enough for two (close quarters can breed bickering, as any parent will tell you), but horizontal stripes help ground the height of the 10-foot ceilings for a cozy feel. Jenny Lind–style beds boast trundles for sleepovers, and the vintage wool rug between them invites kids to sit on the floor and play.
Photo: Grey Crawford
Designing for sister-and-brother roomies can be especially tricky. Warner Rothblum kept things classic (and gender-neutral) with simple lines and pale, soothing colors in this Montecito, California, bedroom. At 180 square feet, it’s large enough for two (close quarters can breed bickering, as any parent will tell you), but horizontal stripes help ground the height of the 10-foot ceilings for a cozy feel. Jenny Lind–style beds boast trundles for sleepovers, and the vintage wool rug between them invites kids to sit on the floor and play.
Though designed for a girl now age 7, this lovely nook with a headboard upholstered in Quadrille fabric could easily see the San Francisco child through adolescence. “The secret is to go classic with the main elements—the bed, seating, etc.—and add personality with art and accessories that can be swapped out over time,” Warner Rothblum explains, noting that the cameo pillows depict the child at the time the room was done. At just 10 feet wide, the space presented a storage challenge that was admirably met with a bed/bookshelf built-in. Special items go on display while deep drawers keep messy stuff like art supplies out of view. The palette sticks to two brights plus white to avoid color overload when dolls, toys, and collections enter the mix.
Photo: David Fenton
Though designed for a girl now age 7, this lovely nook with a headboard upholstered in Quadrille fabric could easily see the San Francisco child through adolescence. “The secret is to go classic with the main elements—the bed, seating, etc.—and add personality with art and accessories that can be swapped out over time,” Warner Rothblum explains, noting that the cameo pillows depict the child at the time the room was done. At just 10 feet wide, the space presented a storage challenge that was admirably met with a bed/bookshelf built-in. Special items go on display while deep drawers keep messy stuff like art supplies out of view. The palette sticks to two brights plus white to avoid color overload when dolls, toys, and collections enter the mix.
Article written by Nina Malkin  and Posted July 18, 2017 on http://www.architecturaldigest.com

Should You Invest In Los Angeles Real Estate?

Quick Hits: If you’re planning to buy a home, do it now, because prices are going up for the next few years. Investments in single-family rental properties have weak potential because of high home prices. Apartment developments have the best potential in LA County. Mortgages have higher risk even though prices are rising. Best bets for investments in retail or restaurants are in Riverside County.

The LA economy is different than it was. In the last twenty years it’s lost a half million manufacturing jobs, many in the aircraft business. Tourism picked up some of the slack but at lower pay, and many jobs now revolve around services to the a population of 17 million that’s increasing very slowly. Healthcare is the fastest growing industry. The demographics are different too; 48 percent of residents in LA County are Latino, 14 percent Asian, a third are immigrants.

 

Getty

The population isn’t growing very fast, but home prices are – that’s partly because LA is running out of room. Growth is mainly in the cheaper, outer communities in Riverside and San Bernardino. Home prices were up 30 percent in the last three years – although it’s difficult to separate real home sales from the boom in foreclosed subprime properties. Whatever the cause, you can expect prices to go higher in the next few years, so don’t wait if you plan to buy. In LA County, prices are up the most in West Hollywood, the least in Torrance.

Home prices are high compared to rents, except in Riverside-San Bernardino, which makes single-family rentals a difficult investment except in special circumstances. Overall, high home prices force the majority of people to rent, and rents are high compared to incomes. This makes apartment buildings a good investment – at the right price – and encourages investors to cut single-family homes into multiple rental units. LA County, with the highest percent of renters, has the best investment potential, Riverside the lowest.

Mortgages are a difficult investment right now. Because home prices will keep rising the next few years, the equity cushion for new mortgages will grow quickly; on the other hand, prices are already too high, which means these mortgages will have a rising risk of default. Just because the last bust is over doesn’t mean a new one isn’t around the corner . Lenders should back away from high loan-to-value mortgages during this period. The same is true for construction loans; new projects should be financed in very careful stages.

 

Article posted on www.forbes.com on June 21st.

2016 interior design update: Top trends in tiles

National Tiles lists out the Top Trends in tiling for 2016, especially for the benefit of those working on interior design and renovation jobs.

1. Rustic Chic 

Best expressed through exposed brick wall designs, Rustic Chic will continue to be popular for living spaces, bedrooms and even bathrooms in 2016. Brick look tiles can be used instead of real bricks to create a stylish loft-inspired environment, or elements representing country living can be incorporated within the home or workplace. National Tiles’ Chicago Brick range is a rustic European tile that can be used to achieve this look.

2. A Touch of Luxury

Classic and luxurious will be a key trend in 2016 for bathroom and kitchen renovations to achieve a timeless vibe. National Tiles’ Moroccan Lantern range renders an old world charm and sophistication – add accessories and furnishings complementing this elegant style to continue the luxurious theme.

3. Sophisticated Scales

An increasingly popular range due to their unique shape and dramatic charm, fish scale tiles can fill any space from kitchens to bathrooms and restaurant bars. Particularly suitable for bathrooms, or to enhance water features due to their whimsical mermaid-style scales, National Tiles’ Fan Tiles are a sophisticated scale-inspired range suitable for wall applications.

4. Stay Glossy

Traditional white gloss rectangular tiles are a classic favourite for their clean, simple and neutral vibe. A simple white gloss tile can enhance the space with a feature colour that complements the decor theme. A glossy finish is also a great choice when tiling the kitchen, bathroom or laundry for both added style and ease of cleaning.

5. Embrace Patterns

Patterned tiles are set to take over floors and walls in a big way during 2016, particularly styles such as National Tiles’ Exagon and Modena ranges. Patterned tiles are a great way to bring life to smaller spaces, whether it’s a bathroom feature wall, kitchen splashback or flooring in wet areas.

6. Terrific Timber

Timber look tiles will continue to be a crowd favourite as an alternative to wooden floors for their ability to bring warmth to a space without the hassles of maintenance associated with real timber floors. Timber look tiles can also be applied to walls to achieve a luxurious yet rustic environment – particularly in bathrooms, bedrooms, living rooms and laundries. National Tiles’ natural Taiga tile range has a linear chromatic design that evokes an unspoiled natural setting in any contemporary interior.

7. Splash Some Colour

This year’s trends also indicate a preference for bright colours over neutral shades. Bright coloured tiles are going to be popular for kitchen splashbacks or feature walls in 2016. One can simply choose a single bright colour, or mosaic a selection of colours for greater impact, with National Tiles offering endless tile colours to suit specific tastes and budgets.

8. Get Geometric

Used for centuries to enhance the mood, tone and texture of a living space, geometric shapes and patterns such as those from National Tiles’ Teakwood hexagon mosaic tiles are available in a stone finish and are suitable for creating a subtle or bold feature within a room. A geometric tile is a contemporary design element inspired by European bathroom styles.

9. Classic Marble 

Marble inspired accents to achieve high-end design outcomes on a budget will be a popular trend in 2016. A marble feature wall is a stunning way to bring class and sophistication into the home without the hefty price tag of actual marble. National Tiles’ Carrara White Marble Hexagon Mosaics are a great way to achieve a beautiful natural feature in new builds or renovations.

Image: Timber look tiles will continue to be a crowd favourite as an alternative to wooden floors

 

Article Ported on May 1st on architectureanddesign.com

Is L.A.’s housing market really as unaffordable as it seems?

The average asking price for a home in some of Los Angeles’ most recognizable communities ranges from $269 per square foot in Boyle Heights to $1,118 per square foot in Malibu.

Based on these averages, one might reasonably expect that a 1,000-square-foot residence in Boyle Heights would cost about $269,000, while a similarly sized one in Malibu would go for $1,118,000. If you’re a prospective home buyer looking for affordable housing, it would seem reasonable, staring at these numbers, to steer as far clear of Malibu as possible in your search.

But is that the right approach?

We often hear about how unaffordable the L.A. housing market is. When we look at the average cost of a home in an area like Venice, the Southland’s reputation for being hopelessly unaffordable certainly appears justified. Stories of bidding wars pushing up prices in once-affordable neighborhoods like Highland Park often discourage prospective buyers from even trying to purchase a home.

More from Livable City>>

The reality, however, is that while many neighborhoods may seem out of reach based on price averages, those numbers don’t tell the whole story. The range of prices behind these averages can vary significantly — meaning affordable properties are available in areas where many might never think to look.

Los Angeles housing price ranges by neighborhood as compiled by real estate data provider NeighborhoodX.
Los Angeles housing price ranges by neighborhood as compiled by real estate data provider NeighborhoodX. (NeighborhoodX)

For example, while Boyle Heights has the lowest average asking price of the areas we analyzed, the prices within the neighborhood range significantly from $188 per square foot to $524 per square foot. On a per-square-foot basis, the most expensive listing in Boyle Heights is pricier than the most affordable properties in Beverly Hills ($474), Bel Air ($403) and Santa Monica ($423).

Conversely, there are neighborhoods where the average listing price is more expensive than that of Boyle Heights, but with a greater price range. In other words, these neighborhoods have properties than are more affordable than the lowest priced properties in Boyle Heights. Deals can be found in Mount Washington (as low as $155 per square foot), El Sereno ($163), East Los Angeles ($173) and Hollywood ($186) that are all cheaper than the lowest priced property in Boyle Heights ($188).

This holds true for the upper end of the Los Angeles neighborhoods, too.

For example, while the average listing price in Beverly Hills is $1,089 per square foot, it ranges from $474 to $3,206. To put this in context, the most affordable listing in Beverly Hills ($474) is less expensive than the average listing in Eagle Rock ($499). Similarly, the most expensive listing in Los Feliz ($1,030) is still more affordable than the average listing in Bel Air ($1,080).

In short, while data can help in the search for a residence or investment property, the right kind of data is even more useful. At any time, neighborhood averages can be skewed higher by new development or lower by foreclosures — and this can steer buyers away from certain neighborhoods.

Instead of simply flooding a neighborhood like Boyle Heights because it appears to be the most reasonably priced — and in doing so helping to create bidding wars — Angelenos might be better served by expanding their searches beyond what might appear to be possible at first glance.

Looking at the range behind the neighborhood averages can help buyers recognize that there are often some relative bargains even in some of Los Angeles’ most affluent neighborhoods.

Article by : Constantine A. Valhouli published in the LA times on May 5th 2016

Floating Villa in Dubai

You Could Own a Floating Villa in Dubai for $2.7 Million

 

Located 2.5 miles off Dubai’s coast, the homes will feature breathtaking views of marine life in the Persian Gulf

Nick Mafi
Kleindienst Group

Posted March 21, 2016 on Architectural Digest

A rendering shows all three levels of one of Dubai’s new Floating Seahorse villas.
A rendering shows all three levels of one of Dubai’s new Floating Seahorse villas.

For years, Dubai has been known as a playground for extreme urban design. From Ski Dubai, the city’s massive indoor ski slope, to the towering Burj Khalifa, daring architecture seems limitless in the United Arab Emirates’ capital city. Soon, Dubai will be adding yet another innovative wonder to its roster: the Floating Seahorse villas, located roughly two and a half miles off the coast in the waters of the Persian Gulf. Spearheaded by the design firm Kleindienst Group, the units have a current asking price of $2.7 million. The floating homes will consist of three levels—the main floor at sea level, an upper deck, and a lower level completely submerged in water. The main floor, which includes an outdoor shower, a kitchenette, and glass-bottomed jacuzzi, will be ideal for entertaining. The lower, underwater level houses a master bedroom and bathroom with floor-to-ceiling windows for breathtaking views of marine life.

Each floating villa will also feature a man-made coral garden, spanning 495 square feet, that’s connected to the underwater level. “We will create an artificial coral reef beneath the luxury retreats,” said CEO Josef Kleindienst about the design element that gave the complex its name in a statement. “It will be a protected area in which seahorses can safely live and breed.”

floating-seahorse-dubais-aquatic-holiday-home-02.jpg
The master bedroom will have views of the adjoining coral garden.

The first phase of the Floating Seahorse villas should be completed by late 2016 and ready to use. The aquatic homes have been designed for vacations, not permanent residence, as they are only accessible by sea or air.

floating-seahorse-dubais-aquatic-holiday-home-03.jpg

A view from the main room, at sea level, looking out toward Dubai.

Onetime home of Benny Goodman, the King of Swing…

A former home of legendary jazz musician and “King of Swing” bandleader Benny Goodman has sold in Pacific Palisades for $5.85 million.

Found along a tree-lined street in Palisades Riviera, the Spanish-style house retains its 1920s charm with beamed ceilings, original windows, wood-burning fireplaces and wrought iron details.

The roughly 5,000-square-foot house opens to a rotunda entry with a saltillo tile floors and a sweeping staircase embellished with decorative tile risers. Living, dining and family rooms, an updated kitchen and a study/office are among the common spaces.

Five bedrooms and 5.5 bathrooms include a master suite with a walk-in closet and heated bathroom floors. A detached guest house is set up as a music/recording studio.

Grounds of about a third of an acre contain multiple patios, a built-in barbecue and a swimming pool and spa. Privacy hedges, formal landscaping and front and back lawns complete the setting.

The property came to market in summer for $6.195 million and was more recently listed at $5.995 million. It previously sold a decade ago for $4.65 million, records show.

Anthony Marguleas of Amalfi Estates was the listing agent. Marco Rufo of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices repped the buyer.

Goodman, who died in 1986 at 77, was a clarinetist and dance band leader in the 1930s. His noted hits include “Sing Sing Sing,” “Taking a Chance on Love” and “Let’s Dance.”

Article by Neil J Leitereg in LATIMES.com