All posts by Mark Moffa

Exceptional Luxury in Michigan

Jeff Leonard of Advanced Realty Global represents exceptional lifestyles and waterfront properties in West Michigan. Some of the stunning properties he represents include:

Cooper Castle — La Joie De La Maison — On one of the highest elevations in Kalamazoo, this re-mastered Tudor classic offers breathtaking valley views, 25 forested acres, gated access, groomed trails, a tennis court, refurbished swimming pool, and a remodeled kitchen and master bath. There has been a sundry of interior and exterior improvements in 2019 and 2020, and over a quarter mile of new driveway. Additionally, there is potential for helicopter access. Offered for $1.375 million. For more information, contact Jeff at 269-281-3954.

Eagle Lake Estate — With over 483 feet of sandy frontage and 3.7 acres on beautiful Eagle Lake in Paw Paw Township, this 6,600-square-foot, all-brick custom home is one of the finest estate residences available on any inland lake in Southwest Michigan. There were many updates, renovations and new features added in 2019. For more information visit 43535CarlaDrTour.com or 43535CarlaDr.info. Offered for $1.65 million.

Gull Lake Island House — When ordinary isn’t your style, come discover what makes The Little Island in Gull Lake Southwest Michigan’s most enchanting and desirable vacation destination. Enjoy private island paradise. For more information, visit  LaPequenaIsla.com or GullLakeIslandHouse.com. Offered for $699,000.

America’s Third Coast, Lake Michigan — On a winding road, in a gated community, through densely forested dunes is a simple rustic bungalow. It sits on a low-bluff, picturesque site just waiting for your story to unfold. Condé Nast Traveler voted the Lake Michigan shoreline as one of the best beaches! Own your little piece of paradise. For more information, visit 45400BlueStarHwy.info. Offered for $795,000.

Rural Private Getaway — Get back to the basics and self-sufficient living. This casually sophisticated Tudor-style home is surrounded by 40 beautiful acres in a rural farming community. Accessory buildings, fenced pastures, woodlands, tillable acreage and frontage on US Hwy 131 make this parcel ideal. It is conveniently located approximately 30 miles from the Michiana border and about 20 miles to Kalamazoo. For more information visit 51704US131.info  or 51704US131Tour.com. Offered for $875,000.

Willow Lake Sportsman’s Club/Private Homestead Estate/Business Opportunity — With all the privacy of a desert island and with all the potential conveniences of a 5-star resort, this incredible 218-acre private residential estate or multi-dimensional business opportunity offers insane potential. It is unparalleled in Southwest Michigan. It includes an 8,800-plus-square-foot lodge, a 12-plus-acre private Cotherman Lake, 5,200-square-foot pole barn, tillable acreage, woodlands, grasslands, undulating terrain, some marshland and over 600 feet on Spring Creek. For more information visit 51378US131.info or  51378US131Tour.com. Offered for $2.65 million.

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A Priceless Mount Rushmore View

The first thing you notice is the view through the 13-foot-tall bank of windows that lines the entire south side of the house. The hills and rock formations against the vivid blue sky are what gave the home its name: Seven Peaks.  

“Then, after you’ve soaked in that spectacular view, when you turn to face the west, it just keeps getting better!” say owners Karen and Steve Kowalke. “Because there’s Mount Rushmore clearly visible! Morning is the best time to appreciate that view, as the rising sun hits the faces on the monument. But evening is great too, because the monument is lit up. And when they shoot off Fourth of July fireworks on top of the monument, we don’t have to go anywhere to enjoy the spectacle!”

Yet as amazing as that sounds, the owners believe it was something else that earned their home a “House of the Week” feature. “We think it was probably the tower that caught the attention of The Wall Street Journal,” they say.

The guest “tower” beside the main home is made to look like the Harney Peak lookout tower; it has living spaces on the first two levels and a 360-degree viewing deck on the top with a spiral staircase connecting all. The tower is connected to the main house via a bridge, so access is easy between the two buildings.  

While unbelievable views and a unique tower might entice a buyer, it’s probably the finer details of this home that will win someone’s heart for good. Entering the home through a massive glass door designed by Thomas Schwaiger from California, and go through a barn-style hanging custom sliding door to the open kitchen/dining/living room area with solid scraped hickory floors and a vaulted wood ceiling that continues out over huge deck.

The kitchen has custom cupboards from Dakota Cabinets, granite countertops, a copper sink, breakfast bar, Hammerton lighting pendants, a custom rangehood by Creative Iron Works and more. The living area is centered around a custom fireplace with stonework by West River Masonry and a custom designed hood and doors.

Yet despite all of that, when asked of their favorite details, the property owners speak of the community.

“Our home is located within the 80-acre Lakota Lake Encampment development, which was developed to preserve wildlife movement, provide privacy between lots and protect the environment,” they say. “All 18 property owners have access to a community lodge where they can host events, grill on the deck, sit around a fire or just meet other neighbors for a talk overlooking the garden. And, an old cave on the property has been converted to a wine cave where owners can store wine at a constant 57 degrees, and have a tasting at the picnic table outside the mine!  Plus, we’re surrounded by natural forest so there are all kinds of hikes starting from or very close to the property.”

Whether reading a book in the living room next to the fire on an evening with a slight chill to the air, or hunkering down in the bedroom —which feels almost like a tree house sanctuary among the pines with views of the night stars after dark — Seven Peaks provides the details, comfort, peace and community needed to feel at home.     

This property is listed by Faith Lewis of Keller Williams Realty Black Hills for $1.599 million. 

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You Have Arrived: Frank Aazami and the Private Client Group

Those who know us have seen that the Private Client Group brand at Russ Lyon Sotheby’s International Realty has a passion for offering first-class service coupled with top-tier print to web marketing exposure of our listings.

Your trust and commitment to working with us has given us a ranking as the No. 1 Sotheby’s International Realty team in Arizona — and No. 9 team worldwide in 2018. Our properties have historically sold at the highest values within the shortest time. Our successes have also set us apart by conversing with and serving collectors and trendsetters who are connoisseurs of Sotheby’s International Realty fine living lifestyle from around the globe.

Click here to view Frank’s ELITE agent ad in Unique Homes ELITE 2020.

Click here to view Frank’s info on the Unique Homes Elite page.

Our ability to elaborate on topics that matter most to our clientele has truly defined who our members are: We like to say they are veterans of making dreams come true. Our exclusive partnership with media giants has also helped us assemble the content within this issue that we hope you’ll enjoy. These efforts have garnered savvy and refined international buyers for our properties.

We achieved our reputation by affiliations—best practices and best strategies to sell a home—not just to “list a home,” but to sell a home not merely by “showing it.” The Private Client Group expansion and footprint in over 75 international luxury markets will promote and unite the best sales our market can earn. Earlier this year, we set the record for selling the highest residential sale ever recorded on the Arizona Regional MLS.

When you’re ensconced in that unique experience of a property, particularly one that has been the labor of passion or love, the home almost becomes a window to the soul. To have the opportunity in understanding the life journey within a home is exactly why it’s so easy for us to become passionate about real estate.

The Private Client Group is ready to make your real estate journey a memorable experience… all by design, not by luck. We very much look forward to personalizing our extensive services for you.

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How To Make Your Home Sports-Friendly

By Jordan Fuller
Golf Expert / Editor-in-Chief
E: jordan@golfinfluence.com | www.golfinfluence.com

Whether you’re looking to add a basketball or tennis court, or something more adventurous like a putting green, home golf simulator or bocce ball court, having the ability to play these sports while at home can provide countless hours of enjoyment.

Here are a few ideas that can convert that downtime into a fun time.

Tennis Court

If tennis is your game, and you have the room, a backyard tennis court can be a convenient solution for stepping up your game. Traditionally, tennis court surfaces are made from clay, grass or asphalt, all of which are available for backyard construction.

Opting for synthetic grass makes a better option for an all-weather court, providing a lower-impact playing surface that can be easier on your ankles and knees. Another benefit of opting for artificial turf for your court is that it can be easily converted into something else if your interests shift. 

Keep in mind that tennis courts take up more space than almost any other common backyard sports court, so unless you have an unused space that is at least 130 feet long, a backyard tennis court might not be an option.

Basketball Court

Most homeowners with a driveway, and kids, will have a basketball hoop assembly of some sort. Of course, there are ways to take that to another level. If you went ahead with the tennis court and opted for an asphalt surface, the same area can be utilized as a full-court basketball court as well.

However, if you’re only interested in a half-court setup, you’ll only need about 50 feet of court space in front of the hoop, and about 40 feet of overall width to provide the realistic feel of being on the hardcourt.

There are several options for surfaces available, with court designs and graphics to suit your style.

Baseball/Softball Batting Cage

Depending upon the available size of your project, there are batting cage setups that range from a full-length pitching distance to a shorter, screen protected delivery. 

Pitching machines are now readily available from simple, self-fed models to those with sophisticated automatic feeds. It’s probably a good idea to incorporate some artificial surface for the batters’ boxes to provide a level, sturdy, and most importantly durable spot to take your swings.

Golf Simulators and Putting Greens

Installing an outdoor putting green is a great addition for any golfer’s backyard, particularly if you are wanting to work on your short game and is a great way to get your kids interested in taking up the game. 

Artificial turf is a common choice for most at-home greens and is the best way to ensure a proper putting surface without the maintenance that comes along with using natural grass. If you’re looking for an all-year option, there are many indoor putting greens available as well.

For those seeking a more advanced golfing experience while at home, indoor golf simulators have become increasingly popular. Golf simulators have revolutionized how golfers experience the game, and playing and practicing indoors is now more realistic than ever. Simulators allow for a good game of golf regardless of the weather. There are many options to suit all purposes and budgets.

Interesting read: 5 Trends In Kid Bedroom Decor

Bocce Ball Court

Bocce ball is an easy, low-impact game enjoyed by players of every age, making it a popular choice for many backyards. Courts for bocce ball can be made of clay or by manufactured grass, which provides an easily maintained, level surface that is necessary for a good game of bocce.

An advantage to a bocce ball court is that it can be installed in an underused area of your yard, and without much maintenance can give a lush, green appearance when not in use. The long and narrow dimensions of the playing court allow for some flexibility in locations, and many players opt to install them in little-used side yards.

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Finish This Castle in the Sky

In 1859, Charles Dickens wrote, to begin A Tale of Two Cities: “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.” Millennium, a property near Sturgis, South Dakota, that is unlike any other, is built to allow its owner to enjoy the best of times, while being prepared for the worst of times.

Partially completed and marketed as an amazing mansion, museum, place of worship or retreat, the first thing that strikes a visitor is the beautiful 360 acres of varied terrain. Long-range views, meadows, pine and scrub oak, and a large artesian-water-fed pond provide for the ultimate in year-round wildlife habitat. But Millennium is unique not only because of its setting. The home is designed to last 1,000 years.

“My wife and I have traveled extensively and with my medical missionary experiences have been to many uncommon locations, such as Mongolia, Cambodia, Western Africa and Vietnam,” says owner Edward J. S. Picardi. “We wanted to create something which would be a monument to the World — and one which would last, really last.”

The Millennium’s basement (basically a 5,000-square-foot safe room) is in place and is supported by 48 subterranean pillars and reinforced with rebar every 4 to 8 inches, both vertically and horizontally. The large four pillars in the center are 30 inches in diameter and extend to 24 feet below the surface. The main open level is graced with beautiful ornate columns and dividing walls.

“My wife and I traveled to various regions to view structures that have withstood time,” Picardi says. “We examined the Great Wall of China, examined both the exteriors and interiors of over a dozen pyramids in Egypt, countless Roman, Greek and Trojan ruins and even the Taj-Mahal. I took what they did and utilized modern building techniques to make something which will last just as long.”

 Picardi talks at length about both the location and the construction of the Millennium. “It is located, quite literally, in the center of the nation. In fact, the ‘Geographic Center of the Nation Monument’ is about 15 minutes west of the Millennium.” Also, he adds, “It is located in the most geological stable regions in the USA. There are no earthquakes here.”

For Picardi, his engineering background is a source of pride and came in handy as he worked on Millennium.

“The four center Roman columns, which extend over 25 feet below the ground level, are designed to each support over 75 tons by the sides alone. That doesn’t even include the load support from the ground underneath the columns,” he says. “There is so much steel reinforcement within the walls that there is a magnetic compass deflection of about 30 degrees inside the structure. For that reason I embedded a compass relief showing true north in the concrete.”

For the best of times, Millennium’s location is perfect for enjoying the sheer beauty and natural diversity of this region. “Devil’s Tower, Mt. Rushmore, the Black Hills, the Bad Lands National Park are all in this vicinity and are all quite breathtaking. Being nestled on the east side of the Black Hills helps block the winter storms which originate in Wyoming and creates a more temperate climate, Picardi says.

And for the worst of times? “The foibles of both human nature and Mother Nature have not escaped me,” Picardi says. “As there has never been a 1,000-year period of peace since the dawn of man, I considered such issues in the construction.”

This property is listed by Faith Lewis of Keller Williams Realty Black Hills for $3.8 million. 

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On Location: Perfect in Paradise at Wymara Villas

Providenciales, Turks and Caicos

By Mark Moffa

Each bedroom enjoys oceanfront balconies.

The view from the living room.

An oceanside deck has steps directly into the ocean.

In my 13 years with Unique Homes, I’ve been fortunate to travel to so many amazing places for this On Location feature. Yet a recent visit to the Wymara Villas in Turks and Caicos provided the most luxurious accommodations I’ve experienced yet.

 

What are the truly affluent seeking in a Caribbean property? Seclusion. Safety. Sophistication. Convenience. High-end finishes, amenities and technology. And on-site personnel who provide an unsurpassed level of service. You’ll find it all here.

 

After a less-than-four-hour direct flight to Providenciales from New York City, we arrived midday Friday for lunch on the pure, white sand of Grace Bay beach at the Wymara Turks and Caicos (a Wymara Resort). Once settled on the other side of the island at our $4.75 million Atlantic Ocean-front villa — only a short, 10-minute shuttle ride away — we felt at home.

 

A Maldives-inspired design with Greek island architectural elements is both modern and timeless, breathtaking and comforting. Part of an exclusive six-villa site designed to take advantage of unique topography and stunning elevated sea views, the indoor/outdoor feel is exhilarating and the high ceilings are invigorating. We didn’t want to leave the infinity pool or multiple decks — one with steps directly into the ocean — but Brendan O’Neill of The Agency insisted on touring us around the island.

 

“We don’t have really high density. We’ve managed to find this niche. People really want to come here. There’s a real brand for Turks and Caicos,” he says as he shows us how manageable the island is. “No nightclubs stay open late. The people who are here embrace what is great about the place.”

 

The Turks and Caicos brand is one that can’t compete with Jamaica or the Dominican Republic for volume or lower-spending clientele — nor does it want to. The island uses U.S. currency, has no limitation on foreign ownership (unlike the Bahamas), and has no limitation on how long you can work in residence (unlike the Caymans and the Bahamas). Private schools, private jet FBOs and a population of less than 40,000 add to the draw for the likes of Bruce Willis, Donna Karan, Dick Clark and Prince, all of whom have owned property or spent significant time on the islands.

 

Before returning to the U.S. on Monday, we experienced an array of memorable moments: blissful beach time, the most relaxing massages ever at the resort’s Spa (and we have had our share of great massages), snorkeling at the third largest barrier reef in the world, and unique encounters on Iguana Island (Little Water Cay) chief among them. But without a doubt, the most romantic and unimaginably indelible aspect of our escape was the villa itself. Impressive.

Photos courtesy of The Agency

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U.S. Real Estate Company Introduces $8 Million Penthouse

New penthouse located in the Nine on the Hudson development in the Port Imperial neighborhood of West New York, New Jersey showcases Alexander Hovnanian’s inspiration from a variety of developers and architects.

By Brielle Bryan

K. Hovnanian at Port Imperial Urban Renewal VI, LLC has introduced its $8 million dollar penthouse at its Nine on the Hudson development, which consists of beautiful new luxury condos and is located in the Port Imperial neighborhood of West New York, New Jersey, which is just north of Jersey City and Hoboken. Nine has spacious floorplans with views of New York City and five-star amenities.
The penthouse showcases Alexander Hovnanian’s inspiration from a variety of developers and architects that he admires. Nine pushes the envelope with the penthouse’s design by creating a zen oasis, inspired by Japanese design and Dutch aesthetics a design incomparable to other penthouses in New Jersey or New York City.
The one-of-a-kind dining room, inspired by a hibachi concept, was designed to bring people closer together in a less than typical arrangement. The minimalistic designed kitchen has a greenhouse. The penthouse also has a private zen garden and a dedicated tatami room. A floating staircase graces the foyer, and leads up to a modern-glass cube on the penthouse’s expansive private terrace.

Photos courtesy of VDP

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On location: The Residences at The Ritz-Carlton, Philadelphia

By Mark Moffa

To say that the location of The Residences at The Ritz-Carlton, Philadelphia, is its greatest asset, is not to diminish the magnificence of the homes themselves, or the friendly services, elegant amenities and unparalleled lifestyle. It is to simply say that life at these residences provides owners with unbeatable views, enviable access and a unique experience impossible anywhere else.

“It’s an important blend of exceptional service, central location and high-quality construction, fit and finish,” says Craig Spencer, founder and CEO of the developer, Arden Group. “Within four blocks you can experience all the arts, the finest restaurants, shopping, history and the best medical facilities in the country. Our building was designed by Handel Architects, who are the designers of the World Trade Center Memorial.”

Unique Homes was fortunate to live for two nights in a gorgeous, two-bedroom, three- and one-half-bath, 2,115-square-foot model on the 44th floor, designed by Barbara Nipon Spencer of BJS Design. It is available furnished for $2.45 million. Most of the residences (including our unit) offer cinematic views of iconic City Hall, and Dilworth Park, the city’s newest centerpiece, just unveiled after a $55 million renovation.

Our home was the perfect base to experience phenomenal food and service from the neighboring Ritz-Carlton hotel, along with the city’s holiday offerings during a December weekend. We enjoyed new and old seasonal traditions, all within easy walking distance. We marveled at a 61-year-old Christmas light show that has entertained generations of Philadelphians in a historic department store Grand Court, punctuated by the Wanamaker Organ, the largest playing pipe organ in the world. Then, a few blocks away, the Comcast Holiday Spectacular delighted young and old, a digital wonder on one of the world’s largest, highest-resolution LED displays. We were charmed by the German-style Christmas Village in LOVE Park, and awed by the Philly Pops along the Avenue of the Arts.

“Philadelphia is a kinder, friendlier and more manageable New York, with all of its rich history, world-class parks, world-renowned museums and far too many great restaurants to ever conquer — all within walking distance,” says Gary Greenip, vice president of sales and marketing. “Travelers can be at their airport gates in 25 minutes from The Residences. Once you live here, you will never move. You’ll be spoiled, pampered and think of your staff as family!”

Only 32 of the building’s 270 residences remain. Developer residences still available start with a one-bedroom, one- and one-half-bath unit with spectacular views of City Hall and Dilworth Park for $770,000. The most grand is a 9,515-square-foot penthouse on the 47th floor. It comes with breathtaking views from over 1,500 square feet of outdoor balcony space, and is completely customizable for $14 million. Other listings with two or three bedrooms range from $800,000 to $3.4 million.

 

Photo courtesy of The Residences at The Ritz-Carlton

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What Will Happen to Your Shopping Center?

By Camilla McLaughlin

What’s on the horizon for retail?

Everything from enhanced technology that will point customers toward stores, sales or experiences based on past behavior, to a menu of ever-evolving, engaging venues including theaters, art galleries, craft brewers and distillers, luxury motoring, spas, yoga and fitness, rooftop restaurants, farmers’ markets and concerts.

Photo courtesy of the Taubman Company LLC

In January, Macy’s released a list of 68 stores to be shuttered, a number that later grew to 100; the next day Sears announced the closing of 150 stores, a number that later swelled to 250. A month later, J.C. Penney announced plans to close 138 stores. It seemed that a “retail apocalypse” might be at hand as if one of the largest industries in the U.S. was going to suddenly disappear. But commercial developers, contractors and planners have an entirely different take on the situation. Instead of sudden death, they see a metamorphosis into something more experiential, authentic and consumer- and community-oriented.
“Headlines might make it seem every shopping center is going to be vacant, but that’s not the case. We are in a period of evolution. If you can’t adapt, you can’t evolve. The one constant in this industry is change,” said Jeff Kreshek, senior vice president West Coast Leasing, Federal Realty Investment Trust, speaking on a panel focused on retail at a recent Urban Land Institute (ULI) conference.
Even though industry observers acknowledge change and recognize the need for further change, a scenario in which brick and mortar stores will fade as the preferred outlet by consumers is unlikely, according to ULI’s 2018 retail outlook. “Retail itself is alive and well,” says Brian Andrus, president of the Florida Gulfcoast Commercial Association of Realtors. Spending might fluctuate with the economy, but the long-term average growth for retail sales is 4.18 percent, significantly higher than the U.S. GDP. The National Retail Federation’s annual consumer spending forecast expects holiday shopping in November and December to increase retail sales between 3.6 and 4 percent.
Overall, online only accounts for about 10 to 11 percent of all yearly retail sales. Surprisingly, this number is equal to the amount captured by catalog and mail-order sales in 1995.

Online shopping often takes the blame for empty retail spaces, but that’s only one of several factors at play. Another is simply an overabundance of space. A study by Cowan and Company estimated the U.S. has 40 percent more shopping space per person than Canada, five times more than the U.K. and 10 times more than Germany. Expectations are that some portion of this excess capacity will be refocused. One example is The Mark 302, which is an old Sears building in Santa Monica being redeveloped by Seritage Growth Properties. Reconfigured from the inside out, the new building is infused with light. Green walls and the use of wood lend an organic feel. Half of the space is devoted to creative offices. Lower levels include small retail shops as well as a diverse food hall.

Photos courtesy of Santana Row

 

“You have to engage with people on a sensitive level and give people a reason to be there without being crammed down by shopping. It’s not the shopping, but the experience,” explained Kreshek, using the example of Santana Row in San Jose.

Demographics and shifting consumer priorities require retailers to give consumers a reason to go to a mall. “You have to engage with people on a sensitive level and give people a reason to be there without being crammed down by shopping. It’s not the shopping, but the experience,” explained Kreshek, using the example of Santana Row in San Jose.
“Malls are dying, but not all of them. The demise of the department store contributed to that. Retail is changing, but it’s not broken, it’s not dead. We’re seeing a lot of new projects coming out,” said Steven Siegel, executive vice president, Sagamore Development Company. Increasingly, he says, new retail entails meeting the consumers where they are and being responsive to their needs, a challenge he expects technology to augment.
New projects are likely to extend beyond the traditional concept of a mall as a separate contained entity. Rather, they are connected to the community and often incorporate a carefully calculated mix of spaces, including residential and office, as well as places for community gatherings and events.

Meeting Consumers on Their Terms

Look for omnichannel, which refers to a seamless shopping experience across multiple outlets, to be retail’s buzzword of the year, as Amazon and others explore ways to integrate multiple modes of purchasing and delivery. Amazon has moved away from pure-play distribution, opening pick-up centers near college campuses as well as actual bookstores in Boston, San Diego, Portland, San Jose and Seattle. Savvy companies from Nordstrom to Walmart to Chico’s already sync online with bricks and mortar, so one enhances the other. A strong online component also augments in-store inventories.
For luxury, omnichannel is expected to be a top 2018 trend, according to the Luxury Client Experience Board and the Luxury Institute. Milton Pedraza, CEO of Luxury Institute explains: “There is a digital transformation that’s required across all channels as companies realize that the consumer experience is non-linear. They may research products in one place,obtain pricing information at another, and then choose to make the final purchase either in-store or online.

“They may purchase online, and bring returns to the store. A seamless channel goes beyond having access to products either in-store or online. Consumers should be able to transact in any way they choose via any channel that the brand offers, and 2018 is a critical year for this objective to be met.”
Chuck Taylor, director of operations for Englewood Construction and Management in Chicago, says the move from online to bricks and mortar also reflects a growing recognition among online brands that “the one thing missing from the shopping experience is the experience itself.”
The hottest retail outlets today, according to Taylor, incorporate an experience. To illustrate, he points to an Englewood project — American Girl Place, the brand’s flagship store, in Chicago. Here shoppers can immerse themselves in the brand experience that includes creating one-of-a-kind outfits, a salon visit with expert in doll hairstyles, even doll pampering and spa treatments.
While innovative retailers are important to attracting visitors to a mall, a number of other factors ranging from authenticity to local flavor to the physical setup and a carefully curated mix are equally essential. Wellness is also growing as a mall addition, and these features offer a way to engage with consumers who increasingly want to do something important with their lives.
Taylor also sees a growing presence of high-end automotive brands like Tesla and motorcycle manufacturers, whether as pop-up shops or full-on sales galleries. “These luxury motor brands are being considered by developers as unique and creative additions to their tenant mix,” he says.

Outward Orientation

Traditional malls were typically inward focused; new power malls connect with the outside with light-filled atriums, green walls and water features enhanced by well thought out connections between retail outlets, restaurants, other experiences, parking and the outside. Many, both open and enclosed, are organized around the concept of a main street, whether this entails turning several streets into an iconic shopping district or creating one in an entirely new setting.
Built during the recession, City Creek Center in Salt Lake City (pictured at top and below) covers several city blocks. A retractable roof turns the enclosed space into an open-air venue. A creek runs along the main walkway, and there are multiple entrances from adjacent streets. Like many new malls, this project includes a mix of residential and office space with local and national retailers.
“The appeal of the surrounding shopping center or village is rivaling the importance of the individual store in attracting traffic drawn to a retail destination for the quality of the overall experience. The entire shopping center, or the mall, has to create a great experience, and those on the leading edge of luxury offer shoppers spas, art exhibitions, music and other entertainment to enhance the shopping experience,” says Pedraza.
Already, landlords and developers are drawing on local communities to provide input into new retail developments, and the local synergy lends more authenticity.

Photo courtesy of the Taubman Company LLC

Big Box Business

The discount sector continues to resonate with consumers with Ultra, T.J. Maxx and Dollar General opening new stores. Big Box retailers such as Target are also experimenting with new formats and smaller spaces.
“Landlords and developers are finding they have to be creative in what they do with a space,” says Taylor regarding renovations and repurposing. Suggestions for large spaces from shuttered stores include a theater, night club or rock-climbing spaces. Another consideration for a shuttered store, part of an existing mall, was to demo the building and create a large outdoor gathering space. Outdoor or indoor spaces for everything from concerts to farmers’ markets are becoming a mall essential.
Restaurants continue to be a focus for landlords and developers, and many see food along with local breweries and craft distillers as a magic bullet. Food and a connection to the local community are central to the revitalized Packing District in downtown Anaheim, which turned a former citrus packing facility and Packard showroom into a food-oriented venue that includes a food hall, a large central atrium surrounded by café and kiosks for communal dining, an outdoor garden and a long outdoor porch for dining.
“It’s not about the food, but more about the community and what these spaces do for the neighborhood and bringing people together,” shared Chris Bennett, director of development for LAB Holding.
For most retail spaces, food is only one element in a successful mix. “Good food is really important, but it is not the panacea,” adds Kreshek. Still, food, wellness and fun events might be the secret sauce that will convert more e-commerce entities to bricks and mortar. And overall, look for the new retail to increasingly become a place for community connections.

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The Top 25 Santa Barbara Homes

Santa Barbara, or “The American Riviera,” as some call it, is known for its clear blue beaches, stunning mountainous scenery and Mediterranean-style buildings. In this edition of Unique Homes, we researched the 25 most expensive listings in the coastal California city. These luxurious Santa Barbara offerings range from a $108 million ranch spanning 2 miles of oceanfront, to a 4-bedroom beachfront estate featuring extensive landscaping for $22.5 million.

$108,000,000
10045 Calle Real, Goleta
Las Varas Ranch, an 1,800-acre coastal gem with 2 miles of unspoiled oceanfront, a classic hacienda main house, numerous ranch buildings, lemon and avocado orchards, and a private lake.
• Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties
• Douglas Elliman Real Estate

$85,000,000
2500 East Valley Road, Santa Barbara
Rancho San Carlos, an approximately 237-acre estate property that for nearly 100 years has been under the ownership of one family.
• Sotheby’s International Realty

$67,000,000
5225 Figueroa Mountain Road, Los Olivos
Sycamore Valley Ranch, formerly known as Neverland Ranch, is both residence and retreat — 3 parcels, totaling approximately 2,700 acres, bordering on historic family ranches and the Los Padres National Forest.
Joyce Rey, Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage

$65,000,000
120 Montecito Ranch Lane, Summerland
World-class 19-acre polo ranch estate includes a grand main house, 3 detached guest suites, private polo field, quality stables/office/clubhouse complex, 128-foot pool, poolside cabana and more.
Randy Solakian, Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage

$55,000,000
2825 Padaro Lane, Carpinteria
Providing privacy and exclusivity, this estate site boasts approximately 500 feet of unparalleled ocean frontage affording breathtaking 360-degree views of the majestic Pacific, nearby islands and tranquil Santa Barbara mountains.
Erik Wilde & Cathy Titus, Coldwell Banker Property Shoppe

$50,000,000
Rancho Dos Pueblos, Santa Barbara
This 214-acre ranch estate includes the stately Casa Grande mansion built in the 1920s in the classic California Spanish style.
• Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties

$48,500,000
1627 East Valley Road, Santa Barbara
Magnificent estate with glorious ocean and mountain views, splendid architecture and historic gardens on over 9 acres in Montecito’s world-renowned estate enclave.
• Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage

$45,000,000
Hills of Santa Barbara (address undisclosed)
The pure pastoral ambience of the Tuscan countryside pervades this elegant stone villa, with its gentle light, rugged stone and wood, and reverence for the natural surroundings.
• Sotheby’s International Realty

$40,000,000
2955 East Valley Road, Santa Barbara
Breathtaking views of ocean and mountains greet you upon arrival to this extraordinary Balinese and Asian-style contemporary estate on approximately 8.24 acres.
• Sotheby’s International Realty

$39,000,000
256 Eucalyptus Hill Drive, Montecito
Solana, circa 1916, is shining from a stunning restoration, unfolding gracefully over 22,000-plus square feet and 11-plus acres.
• Village Properties, Realtors

$38,500,000
13600 Calle Real, Goleta
Immersed in privacy and serene natural beauty, this gracefully designed villa offers unparalleled opportunities to experience the vibrancy of unspoiled surroundings from 287 grassy acres.
Randy Solakian, Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage

$37,500,000
1104 Channel Drive, Santa Barbara
Rare wide-open oceanview contemporary built in 2008 captures the essence of paradise and elegant modern architecture.
• Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties

$35,000,000
14200 Calle Real, Goleta
Five-bedroom Villa della Costa on 106 acres overlooks the Gaviota Coast and its panorama of spectacular untouched seaside landscape with breathtaking 360-degree views.
Randy Solakian, Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage

$32,750,000
4347 Marina Drive, Santa Barbara
A legacy property in Hope Ranch — a reimagined Wallace Neff architectural masterpiece with new theater room, wine cellar, guesthouse and ocean views.
• Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties

$27,900,000
1590 E Mountain Drive, Santa Barbara
Sweeping ocean views, stunning architecture, impeccable quality and timeless elegance coalesce on nearly 2.5 lush acres to create a remarkable 10,000±-square-foot estate.
• Village Properties, Realtors

$27,500,000
700 Park Lane, Montecito
One of Montecito’s great architectural estates by George Washington Smith, circa 1923, on over 5 manicured and magnificent acres; tastefully updated in 2006.
Randy Solakian, Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage

$27,000,000
121 Hollister Ranch Road, Goleta
Five-bedroom home on 115-plus acres with ocean views.
• Hollister Ranch Coastal Properties

$26,750,000
771 Garden Lane, Montecito
In Montecito’s coveted Riven Rock, a commanding 5.5-acre country estate offers a stellar 7-bedroom residence, extensively remodeled in 2007.
• Village Properties, Realtors

$26,500,000
2709 Vista Oceano Lane, Summerland
A majestic estate of nearly 20 acres inspired by the Italian countryside, Tuscany Oaks Farm combines magnificent vision with seductive beauty in a setting with sublime coastal and mountain views.
Joyce Rey, Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage
Emily Kellenberger, Village Properties, Realtors

$25,500,000
3055 Padaro Lane, Carpinteria
This estate on 2 parcels has 4.37 acres; 350 feet of ocean frontage.
• Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties

$24,900,000
3271 Padaro Lane, Carpinteria
On Padaro Beach, this 7,287-square-foot, 6-bedroom Hamptons-style estate is built on a knolltop with 105 feet of beachfront.
• Sotheby’s International Realty

$24,000,000
Santa Ynez Mountains, Carpinteria (undisclosed)
This 40±-acre estate includes an over 6,000-square-foot main residence, a 2-bedroom guesthouse and multi-room cabana.
• Sotheby’s International Realty

$22,900,000
765 Rockbridge Road, Montecito
On more than 7 acres, Rockbridge has a sprawling main residence, sweeping lawns, magnificent landscaping and a guesthouse.
• The Icon Realty, Inc.

$22,500,000
3365 Padaro Lane, Carpinteria
Gated beachfront estate with a 4-bedroom contemporary main residence, 2-bedroom guesthouse and extensive landscaping.
• Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties

$20,000,000
851 Buena Vista Drive, Santa Barbara
Offering a 12,000-plus-square-foot main house, guesthouse, poolhouse and 2 garages is this estate with 7 bedrooms and 13 baths.
• Compass California Inc.

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