The Arch: Where it came from and why it’s here to stay

According to The Architectural Review, “The arch was used as early as the 2nd millennium BC, but it was the ever precocious Romans who began the systematic use of the arch, in their greatest engineering feats and as a means of celebrating their greatest military victories.”

Photo courtesy of

The Colosseum is an iconic historical site that is recognizable for its grandeur and the well-known arches that make up the exterior. But other cultures and builders throughout the world have also embraced and embellished arches in their architecture. The pointed arch, as seen at Tintern Abbey, Wales and in other gothic architecture, the Gateway Arch in St. Louis, and The Leaning Tower of Pisa are just a few examples of arches found around the world. Arches are often marveled at for their complex structure and their seeming ability to defy gravity.

Photo courtesy of

Here and Now

The Parlour

In an effort to honor the historical identity of Brooklyn’s highly sought-after Park Slope enclave, INC infused classic elements from the neighborhood with a modernized approach into the design of the new boutique residences at Parlour.

                                                                                                Photo courtesy of

The custom-crafted, mullion-free arched windows from Europe are an homage to the signature arched bridges in Prospect Park, and the limestone brick a nod to the limestone townhomes with arched motifs that face the park.

Photo courtesy of


Also, located in Brooklyn, New York is Luna — 39 condominium residences designed by Luca Andrisani with a host of amenities tailored to make every day a holiday, according to

Building Rendering: Credit PAX Brooklyn

130 Williamby David Adjaye in New York City

“At 66 stories and nearly 800 feet tall, Adjaye’s first New York City high-rise tower is an important contribution to the New York City skyline. 130 William’s hand-cast concrete facade creates a striking form against the cityscape of Lower Manhattan,” according to the 130 William website.

130 William also includes the intriguing arched windows. At the top of the building, the theme has been turned on its head, with upside down arches lining the upper floors.

Every year we select locations to highlight as Markets to Watch. This year change is underway and we take a look at some top performers, others that are beginning to transition, and a handful of under-the-radar locations that are emerging.

Austin, Texas

On track for another record with sales up more than 3 percent, Austin’s luxury patina shines ever brighter. In October, the medium home value in Barton Creek increased to $1.02 million, making it the city’s first million-dollar neighborhood. Austin’s charms include no income tax to win over newcomers, but music and tech might be tops.

Bozeman, Montana

Bozeman might seem like a sleeper on this list, but with ranches, the Yellowstone Club and Big Sky country it’s an under-the-radar hangout for demi-billionaires and billionaires.

Brooklyn, New York

No longer second best! Buyers are making Brooklyn a first choice. Median prices in the most expensive neighborhoods hit the $1 million mark. Israelis, Chinese and Western Europeans also gravitate here. It’s no surprise this New York City borough is No. 2 on Urban Land Institute’s Markets to Watch. 




Chicago, Illinois

By August, the Chicago area recorded as many luxury sales as in all of 2016 or 2017. Sales of $1 million-and-up properties set a record in the third quarter with a 19-percent increase over 2017. According to RE/MAX, luxury is booming in the west loop area. Upscale suburbs trail the city. Lots of new condos and stunning new buildings open doors to more urban opportunities in a market that hangs in the balance.

Dallas, Texas

Few cities have charted a post-recession course as strong as Dallas and the city remains Urban Land Institute’s No. 1 location for overall real estate prospects in 2019. But the dramatic post-recession price increases are over, say economists. Moderating prices and adjusting inventories are positive indicators that that a move back to a normal market is underway.


Denver, Colorado

Real estate’s Rocky Mountain high isn’t over yet. Denver continues to rank in the top group on many lists. In the upscale bracket, a shift toward balance is underway with the inventory of $1 million-plus homes at about seven months. Year-over-year prices are up on average 9.29 percent. Boulder remains a sweet spot for luxury, ranking 10th among cities and towns with at least 10 neighborhoods considered million-dollar.

Las Vegas, Nevada

Projections call for appreciation as high as 10 percent this year. Nevada was the fastest growing state, with new platinum communities; forward-looking, innovative architecture; and spectacular views capturing the attention of buyers looking for lifestyle and tax relief.

Hilton Head, South Carolina

Coastal South Carolina and Georgia are ground zero for demographic shifts and the growing ability among the affluent to live wherever they want — a trend just taking off. New developments including Palmetto Bluff add to demand for the Hilton Head region.

Minneapolis, Minnesota

Moving toward balance. A long-awaited uptick in homes on the market is one of several hints of a market shift. Median prices reached a record high this fall, and homes still sell quickly. Still the inventory of homes for sale is one of the lowest in the country. Upper tier and move-up brackets are less competitive.

Northern Virginia

D.C. continues to be in the top group on watch lists but Amazon’s recent announcement makes real estate in Northern Virginia much more interesting. What the prospect portends for current homeowners is uncertain, but sure to make this a market to watch in 2019.

Park City, Utah

No longer just a ski hangout, this Salt Lake neighbor is luxury’s newest player. The most desirable neighborhoods see a shortfall of inventory. Land prices increased by 25 percent with the highest number of sales occurring at Promontory. Opportunities abound: new projects at The Canyons, a large expansion of Deer Valley, a $4 billion renovation of the Salt Lake airport and a bid for the 2030 Olympics.

Wikimedia Commons / Don Lavange

Portland, Maine

Beaches and skiing, does it get any better than that? Hipsters meet old money here. Ranked among the top 20 for entrepreneurs, the city has a growing tech industry and one of the best foodie scenes in the Northeast. Look for more new construction. Prices will continue to ease upward as more people discover this hidden gem.


Santa Barbara, California

Opportunities for buyers in many California locales continue to increase as markets shift. Median prices in Santa Barbara in November were down more than 25 percent, which is good news for buyers. The area remains a prized luxury refuge and lower prices open the door for newcomers to enjoy one of the most unique locations in the U.S.

Sarasota, Florida

The city’s iconic waterfront is being reimagined with a vision to increase cultural programming and urban amenities. Median prices have been increasing steadily, up 25 percent since 2014. New construction means more inventory with more on the horizon. Agents report steady and growing interest in individuals from high tax states.


Seattle, Washington

Happier times are ahead for buyers in Seattle with active listings up by 41 percent. Even though inventories are still slim, it’s a good indication the frenzy is over. Closed sales in November were down 28 percent. Homes continue to appreciate but the increase has slowed to 5 percent. For buyers and sellers this is definitely a market to watch. The city still is in top groups in many rankings, but the frenzy is over.

Wikimedia Commons / Jeff Gunn

Toronto, Canada

Canadian Baby Boomers and Millennials came together and turned up the heat on the luxury condos in 2018; single-family home sales decreased by as much as 44 percent. While the foreign buyers tax has reduced sales to overseas buyers, it’s also opening new opportunities for locals. Local buyers will continue to drive demand for condos here.

Resort Markets

Luxury’s top performers in 2018. Not only are residences in demand, but new resorts are raising the bar for luxury and reinvigorating current markets. New developments in Turks and Caicos, including the ultra-indulgent Gansevoort Villas, turn up the heat on interest in the Caribbean. Easy reach from the U.S. and private enclaves generate new interest in the Bahamas. Cabo San Lucas, Mexico is seeing new resorts and other regions along the Sea of Cortez are seeing new development. Mandarina in Nyarit is the site of One & Only’s first collection of private homes. Owning a private island continues to be an ultimate purchase and the Bahamas is ground zero.

Thanks to:

Austin Board of Realtors

Michael Saunders, Founder and CEO Michael Saunders & Company

Anthony Hitt, President and CEO, Engel & Völkers Americas

Aleksandra Scepanovic, Co-Founder and Managing Director of Ideal Properties Group

National Association of Realtors

Northwest Multiple Listing Service, Kirkland, Washington

RE/MAX  Canada



This story originally appeared in the Winter 2019 issue of Unique Homes Magazine. 

A stunning penthouse at Quay Tower — the new luxury high rise designed by LA-based Marmol Radziner on the Brooklyn Heights waterfront — just sold for more than $20 million, setting a new record for the most expensive home sale in Brooklyn history.

This is the first time Marmol Radziner has brought its California modernist aesthetic to New York City — the firm is best known for renovating iconic mid-century modern homes out west, including the famous Kaufmann House in Palm Springs.

With Quay Tower — and this penthouse in particular — Marmol Radziner creates a similar modernist experience of living in a home surrounded by nature. With tranquil views of the East River and New York Harbor, it’s easy to forget you’re in a 30-story structure in New York City.

Despite its elegant, modern design built with high-quality and natural materials, the ultra-luxe penthouse is meant to be lived in and loved. In the living room, a fireplace creates an intimate and inviting gathering space with stunning views of Manhattan.

The record-setting home combines two penthouses at the top of the building to create one incredible mansion with five-plus bedrooms and 7,433 square feet of living space, as well as a private 1,179-square-foot terrace.

A balance of intimacy and openness, indoor and outdoor and modernist meets warmth is tough to strike in a high-rise, and that is the real triumph of Marmol Radziner’s vision for Quay Tower.

Photos courtesy of Allison Walker.

Wynwood, recently named one of America’s hippest neighborhoods by TripAdvisor, will get its first micro-style units with the addition Wynwood 25, where, “The Sky is the Limit.” The micro-style living is a growing trend in Miami, as it is aiding the transition from just a vacation hotspot to an authentic, urban center for young professionals.  


Brooklyn-based interior designer, Meshberg Group, who are lauded for giving Brooklyn much of its design identity, was pegged to design Wynwood 25’s amenities and units with a Brooklyn touch. The project will feature a garden rooftop terrace with a pool, spa, grill, indoor/outdoor co-working spaces and green areas. Other building amenities will include a fitness and yoga center, coffee lounge and outdoor courtyard, and is slated for completion in summer of 2019.

Micro-style units are becoming more and more popular in the Miami real estate market. Though  Miami is currently pushing their luxury development, so much that it is now the sixth least-affordable major market in the U.S., according to a recent Demographia International Study, these micro-style units are providing another option for potential buyers. The majority of micro-unit dwellers are young professionals and first-time renters under 30, considering location the most important priority.  


“The design for the micro-style units is for efficiency and a modern minimalist style, like smaller New York-style spaces, which are uncommon in the heart of Miami,” said Adam Meshberg from Meshberg Group, “For contextual visual elements, we used brick, exposed concrete and natural wood materials throughout the interior. This decision is shaped by our adaptive re-use experience in NYC where land is expensive and converting old buildings is the norm.


He continued, “Directly influenced by the latest in NYC, the programming of amenity spaces caters to the new way people live in urban areas. For instance, we created co-working indoor and outdoor spaces to encourage collaboration and comfort to work from home spaces, as well as a larger state of the art gym with on demand fitness studio,”


Wynwood 25 will be affordable and convenient, offering units ranging from 400–1,200 square feet for $1,600 to $1,750 per month. Rooms will be equipped with state-of-the-art kitchens and bathrooms, including access to the spectacular rooftop lounge, merging culture and recreation.

Renderings courtesy of Kobi Karp

Parts of the Hamptons are priced (on a per square foot basis) more affordably than parts of the Rockaways or even Staten Island, according to data analyzers NeighborhoodX.

As one of America’s most elite summertime destinations, the Hamptons are home to many celebrities, CEOs, and New York’s many socialites. Though considered one of the most expensive real estate markets in the country, other parts of the NYC Metropolitan area are surpassing the Hamptons in price by square foot.

Based on a study conducted for August 2018, NeighborhoodX found that several part of the Hamptons, typically thought to be untouchable real estate, are more affordable than beach towns elsewhere in the New York City area. For example, the average asking price per square foot in Riverhead, on the North Fork of the Hamptons, is  $267/sq.ft., which is more affordable than City Island in the Bronx, where the average asking price is $362/sq.ft.


NeighborhoodX, who gathered the data in this study, is a real estate & data analytics firm whose data has been featured in The Real Deal, Wall Street Journal, Curbed, and several other real estate outlets, founded by Constantine Valhouli and advisor Jonathan Miller.

Courtesy of Wiki Commons / Mark Jenney

This set of data further suggests that Brooklyn’s beach towns are currently surpassing the Hamptons in terms of price by square foot. The average asking price for Brooklyn’s Manhattan Beach is $619/sq.ft., and in Brighton Beach, the price is $617, both of which are higher than those in some of the leading Hamptons sections, including Sag Harbor, at $614/sq.ft., Amagansett at $598, and Southampton at $554/sq.ft., according to the study conducted by NeighborhoodX in 2018.


The average asking price in Rockaway Beach, which is $335/sq.ft., is on par with the Hamptons’ East Quogue, at $373/sq.ft. Meanwhile, on Staten Island, South Beach ($388) and Midland Beach ($372) are priced on par with Shinnecock Hills ($392) and East Quogue, respectively.


In another set of data, NeighborhoodX found that the average property in Manhattan is more expensive per square foot than the trophy properties in many cities, as the average property in Manhattan is $1,773/sq.ft., surpassing Portland ($1,053), New Orleans ($1,308), Austin ($1,466), Philadelphia ($1,643), and Denver ($1,708).

New York City is now in full summer swing, with the dark days of winter and the snowy skyline a thing of the past. New Yorkers are heading outside to enjoy the city streets, as well as waking up to sunny skyline views from their apartments.

Though the towering buildings of the city are notorious for their unobstructed views, several low-rise properties have changed that. Thanks to ingenious architectural design, these buildings provide the same high-rise views as the skyscrapers towering over them. Here are three properties currently listed that provide the high-rise views for the low-rise convenience:

The d’Orsay Pristinely located on 14th Street in Downtown Manhattan while neighboring Greenwich Village, the Meatpacking District, and the West Village, the d’Orsay is a 11-story luxury condominium that provides a view of the city reaching all the way to the Financial District. Though there aren’t many neighborhoods left in New York City where a 11-story building isn’t getting swallowed by taller buildings, the d’Orsay is structured to have just as breathtaking a view as its neighboring buildings. Hill West Architects designed the d’Orsay with these views in mind, as most of the bedrooms are situated at the front of the building with oversized windows, so residents feel like they’re looking down on the city right from the comfort of their beds.

363 Bond Street and 365 Bond Street Located in the architecturally innovative Gowanus, this pair of buildings represents the first new developments in the neighborhood — with varying scale and height to maximize the views of surrounding Brooklyn on the historic canal. Also designed by Hill West Architects, even the ground-level townhouses offer unrivaled views of the canal and neighborhood through the floor-to-ceiling windows.

70 Henry Designed by the world-renowned architect Morris Adjmi, this luxury residential property is in the heart of Brooklyn Heights. Emulating the classic brownstone architecture for which the neighborhood is known, 70 Henry features five exclusive residences, including a full-floor penthouse. This penthouse is complete with stunning views of the surrounding classic architecture and vibrant NYC sunsets from the roof deck.

Photos courtesy of The Neighborhood (the d’Orsay), Tim Williams (365 Bond) and Hill West Architects (363 Bond Street), and 70 Henry

The Massive Sale of the Jehovah’s Wittnesses estate has further changed the Brooklyn real estate scene.

By Alyssa Gautieri

Solidifying its role in the Brooklyn market, Leslie J. Garfield & Co., has sold two of the final properties within the Jehovah’s Witnesses’ $1 billion Brooklyn Portfolio.


Ravi Kantha and Matthew Lesser of the Lesser Kantha Team represented Hawkins Way Capital in both transactions. The duo oversaw the sale of 97 Columbia Heights for $58 million and 117-125 Columbia Heights for $18 million.


Selling properties that they’ve accumulated for nearly a century, the Jehovah’s Witnesses is relocating to Warwick, New York. This relocation is changing the Brooklyn Heights market.


“[The Jehovah’s Witnesses] owned some of the most trophy real estate in all of New York,” Lesser said. “[These transactions] will create a new neighborhood, which already has so much history, but is evolving, changing and growing.”


97 Columbia Heights sits on the site of the former Hotel Margaret, which was destroyed in a 1980 fire. The current 12-story building boasts 88,610 square feet and offers 97 residential units. “The building is certainly more modern for Brooklyn Heights,” Lesser said. “But, its uniqueness lies in its location, which overlooks the promenade. It offers views of the water from nearly every floor.”


Nestled amongst quintessential townhouses and charming brownstones, 117-125 Columbia Heights is made up of three townhouses. Eluding rare, Brutalism architecture, the five-story, 53,629-square-foot building occupies the southwestern corner of Columbia Heights and Pineapple Street.


Hawkins Way Capital, a real estate investment firm headquartered in Los Angeles, purchased both properties. “The purchaser recognized that these assets are truly one of a kind,” Lesser said. “The sales solidify the desire to invest heavily in the Brooklyn Heights market.”


Brooklyn Heights has seen average sales prices increase by 300 percent within the last decade, according to a New York Townhouse Report published by Leslie J. Garfield & Co. “We have started to see a shift in Downtown Manhattan buyers moving to Brooklyn Heights,” Lesser said. “From a value standpoint, the fact that people are willing to spend $70, $80 or $90 million on assets in Brooklyn Heights assures the fact that Brooklyn Heights is a real market competitor with Manhattan.”


Photos by Leslie J. Garfield

Sales have begun at 62-66 North Third Street, a boutique condominium situated in the heart of Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

Flatiron Real Estate Advisors, Duke Equities, and MJM have announced the commencement of this luxury development, which consists of 13 exclusive residences between two buildings. 62-66 North Third is the first project in Williamsburg to present a viable offering to buyers looking for newly constructed, family-sized residences.
62-66 North Third Street addresses the needs of the fast growing Williamsburg market, delivering expansive open-floor plans, over 11-foot ceilings, walk-in closets, and outdoor spaces,” said David Dweck, the principal of Duke Equities. “What sets this project apart from other developments is the quality of design, bringing together a design team to offer Williamsburg its finest product — an intimate, boutique building. It caters to the ever-growing population of families looking to set their roots in the area, as Williamsburg is quickly becoming the ideal living and working neighborhood with luxury retail, cultural offerings, great schools and the best recreational activities.”


62-66 North Third
is comprised of two distinct buildings. While the exterior of each building appears identical, their interiors feature their own unique design themes.
The development features eight homes — a mix of 1-, 2-, 3- and 4-bedroom residences — ranging from 731 to 2,000 square feet.
66 North Third also features 5 full-floor residences, with direct key-lock elevator access to each of the grand 3- and 4-bedroom homes. Four of these loft-like units are approximately 2,000 square feet and have large, open kitchens, oversized islands and outdoor space.

Each building offers a grand second floor home that boasts an open and airy 1,200-square-foot terrace, located right off of the kitchen and living room area, perfect for entertaining. The development also offers two 3-bedroom penthouses, which each boast an incredible amount of outdoor space.
In conceiving 62-66 North Third, architecture firm SRA Architecture and Engineering created a modern interpretation of traditional Williamsburg through the expressed concrete and brick structure, with a unique Jack Arch, black railings and Shuco windows that distinguish the façade. Providing residents with the ultimate privacy, each building has its own lobby, featuring polished dark concrete floors, Japanese charcoal wood walls, Italian tile and a black steel chandelier. Interior designer, Kimberly Peck, masterfully curated interiors that flow naturally from the building’s exterior and reflect Manhattan loft style finishes.

“62-66 North Third is delivering a much-needed experience for Williamsburg families and is filling the gap in the luxury boutique condominium market,” said Andrew Barrocas, CEO of MNS, the exclusive sales and marketing firm on the development. “We’re excited to be involved in a project that will strengthen Williamsburg’s bustling community, especially being the first development in the area to provide four-bedroom residences. With its proximity to the borough’s most well-known retail spaces, restaurant scene and business offices, we are confident that potential buyers will be drawn to the project and all of its bespoke offerings.”
Creating the ideal home for families of any size, 62-66 North Third’s modern, smart and sleek design elements will offer residents expansive living spaces, with high exposed concrete ceilings, oversized windows, outdoor space, tons of natural light, endless views, a virtual doorman, smart-home capabilities, private storage spaces and bike parking.
62-66 North Third is conveniently steps away from major transportation options — including the L, G, J, M and Z line subways, Williamsburg ferry, East River ferry and Citi Bike stations — making it easy to get anywhere in the five boroughs and beyond.

The project is scheduled to be completed by December 2017, with pricing starting at $1.1 million.

Photos courtesy of Indira Lourenço

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