Introducing Yerba Buena Island

Yerba Buena Island will be a residential development like no other in San Francisco! Boutique developer Wilson Meany and real estate investment firm Stockbridge Capital Group recently announced the start of the vertical construction of this two-decade long milestone project. 

The 266 luxury residences will have sweeping 360 degree views of the city, a first of this area’s kind. A naturally formed island in the heart of San Francisco Bay, the island’s community will feature a number of “wellness-minded amenities” such as hiking trails, access to parks and more. Residents will be able to lounge out on Clipper Cove Beach and travel only 10 minutes to the city’s downtown. 

“Sustainable” is a keyword for this new development as the island’s diverse topography was kept in mind when designing each condominium, flat and townhome. Meany’s developments, which include the historic San Francisco Ferry building, typically reflect the importance of holistic living and people’s connections with each other and the nature that surrounds them — Yerba Buena Island will be no exception. 

More than half of the island’s environmental space is being reserved for open area parks,  sandy beaches, and hiking and biking paths. A team of award- winning architecture firms —Hart Howerton, BDE Architecture, Inc., Cliff Lowe Associates, Inc., Hood Design Studio, Edmonds + Lee Architects, Meyer Davis and Aidlin Darling Design — teamed up to create residences that incorporate and celebrate the island’s unique geography. 

 

Residential sales will begin in early 2020, with the The Agency Development Group being the exclusive marketing and sales firm for Yerba Buena Island.

Photos courtesy of Hayes Davidson. 

Mariann Cordova

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties

111 Corporate Dr., Suite. 210, Ladera Ranch, CA 92694
Phone: 949-307-4040 | mc@southorangecountyliving.com | www.marianncordova.agent.bhhscalifornia.com

Mariann is a multi-award-winning Realtor and marketing expert with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties. Her goal always has been successful marketing of residential properties, employing professional ethics, sound planning, persuasive skills and a strong support system. With a Bachelor of Arts from the University of California and a certificate of interior design from the Los Angeles Design Center, Mariann carries years of in-depth real estate and current market knowledge. Her fluency in English and Swedish and working knowledge of Norwegian, Danish and German are valuable assets in assisting international clients and those looking to relocate.

Listing by Mariann Cordova

Coto de Caza, California

23111 Maravilla Lane, Coto de Caza

Stunning Georgia estate is situated on 5.8 acres. Visit www.23111Maravilla.com for more information.

Video: https://vimeo.com/273382691  |  Brochure: https://bit.ly/2tveiOj

Offered at $15,900,000.

 

 

Mariann Cordova originally appeared as an Elite Agent in the Unique Homes Spring ’19: Elite edition. See her page here.

 

Photo courtesy of LuxuryRealEstate Events. 

Washington D.C. provided the backdrop for this year’s Luxury Real Estate Fall Conference. Members of the global Who’s Who in Luxury Real Estate (LRE®) network arrived on September 24th — kicking off the four-day event, according to a press release

Members connected with fellow real estate agents and got the chance to participate in expert discussions. During the panels, topics included the tools that are provided to agents for marketing. Further discussed was the balance between agents being supported and overwhelmed with marketing and technology choices. Other topics included how real estate agents are choosing to spend their money and how to be there for their clients.    

Keynote speakers at the event included Molly Bloom, author of the book Molly’s Game, and Matthew Ferrara, distinguished philosopher, photographer, speaker and writer. Bloom shared her presentation entitled “Make Every Customer Feel Like a Highroller” where she talked about who personal journey and success. Ferrara talked about how agents should aim high when it comes to self-discipline and their mindset, taking ordinary activities and using them as inspiring moments. 

Molly Bloom. Photo courtesy of LuxuryRealEstate Events. 

Matthew Ferrara. Photo courtesy of LuxuryRealEstate Events.

The Fall Conference came to an end with a dinner and (LRE®) Award’s presentation. Founders/Owners of Chinowth & Cohen Realtors, Sheryl Chinowth and Lee Cohen, received the Lifetime Achievement Award. Their real estate peers honored them with the award due “relentless hard work and persistent dedication to the real estate industry.” 

 

To view the full list of award recipients click here

Photo courtesy of LuxuryRealEstate Events. 

Peter Barkin & Mark Gilman

Compass, Barkin-Gilman Group

 

 

1200 E. Las Olas Blvd Suite 103, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301

Peter: (954) 675-6656Mark: (954) 557-8777  | www.barkingilman.com

Peter Barkin and Mark Gilman have been successfully supporting the real estate dreams of buyers and sellers in South Florida for more than 20 years. In 2002, Peter and Mark teamed together to create the Barkin-Gilman Group, a highly respected and successful brand within the South Florida real estate community.

Listing by Peter Barkin & Mark Gilman

Fort Lauderdale, Florida

AQUABLU

There are 2-bedroom and 3-bedrooms available at the beautiful development, as well as dockage.

Starting at $1,395,000.

Peter Barkin & Mark Gilman originally appeared as Elite Agents in the Unique Homes Spring ’19: Elite edition. See their page here.

 

Tropical decor is a bold statement that can be difficult to balance. Avoid over-the-top details and learn how to embrace muted accents and elements that elevate a space without making it too whimsical. 

If tropical brings to mind luxurious retreats and dream vacations, you may want to incorporate the look into your home. Here are a few tips for bringing tropical to a high-end level that you’ll love throughout the seasons.

 

Photo courtesy of English Blinds

Bold Wallpaper

Most tropical decor involves a playful wallpaper or large piece of art. There are a variety of quality wallpaper brands that can help create an oasis of color and charm for your space. Have fun with your wallpaper, there are many to choose from and it is the quickest way to transform a space. 

Photo courtesy of  Wallsauce.com

Add Foliage

Tropical prints are just the beginning. If you are looking for an authentic feel and want to avoid a staged look, incorporate real tropical greenery that will play off accents, prints and other details in your decor. A snake plant or peace lily truly capture the tropical feel, yet they are low maintenance and easy to care for. Greenery can also bring out muted tones that might appear in prints. 

Photo courtesy of Mindthegap

Try Traditional 

Fun details can be luxurious. Black and white, monochromatic, or muted prints can still embrace tropical imagery. A palm tree wallpaper or a pink flamingo statute can be toned down in terms of color, allowing more flexibility in your decor. Don’t shy away from traditional items but the balance between just enough and too much is delicate.

Photo courtesy of Brabbu Design Forces

Keep it Neutral

Neutral tones help to balance bright colors and bold shapes that appear in tropical wallpapers and prints. If you’ve decided on a statement wallpaper and you’re worried about overwhelming your senses, it helps to choose natural accents such as wood furniture and flooring. Light grays and white also tone down the intensity of a space. 

Photo courtesy of Essential Home

Mix and Match

If you want to truly embrace the tropical sentiment, be bold and confident with your choices. For an earthy tropical feel, mixing a variety of prints that play off of each other with color palettes that work together will bring your space to life. Mixing and matching prints, designs and elements can come together to create a luxurious balance. 

Photo courtesy of Essential Home

“Real estate was not what I wanted to do,” states Los Angeles super-agent Gary Gold who explains “I always envisioned myself as a writer and/or cast member for Saturday Night Live.” But Gold applies his penchant for creativity — he spent years as a stand-up comedian and has written seven screenplays — to the rarified L.A. luxury market. In 2016, Gold sold the Playboy Mansion for a then-record $105 million.

“It was the most iconic home in the world and the highest-priced sale in L.A. history, so closing the deal gave me a whole new level of confidence,” says Gold, who adds, “It was like getting a Super Bowl ring!” Currently, Gold is a listing agent for the 25,000-square-foot Chartwell Estate in Bel-Air, priced at a staggering $245 million. The veteran real estate professional reports the home occupies the most coveted 10 acres in Southern California, offering a unique combination of privacy, acreage and views.

Gold, who approaches life with an infectious sense of humor, reports he entered the business at age 17. “I tried painting my car — Jews should never paint cars, by the way — and ruined it,” he jokes. “My brother was a real estate agent and said, ‘Come work for me and I’ll buy you a car,’” recounts Gold, who proceeded to create a marketable persona for his new boss. “Back then everybody was so square, like buying from your elderly aunt, so we transformed Rich into a compelling brand, which now, 30 years later, is very common.

Gary Gold, Hilton & Hyland. Photo courtesy of Gary Gold. 

 For more than five years in his thirties, Gold flexed his creative muscles, a passion more powerful than real estate. Encouraged by a Hollywood agent who saw him deliver a toast at a wedding, Gold began performing at comedy clubs and writing screenplays. “I loved it, but it destroyed my real estate business because all of my mojo and passion were being invested elsewhere,” he explains. “I asked myself, ‘What can I do in real estate that’ll give me the same buzz as a stand-up routine’ and eventually found ways to channel my creativity into the business,” he recalls.

With the emergence of Internet marketing, Gold discovered he had a gift for transforming the mundane business of real estate into something creative and sexy. “Now I get as jacked up preparing real estate marketing campaigns as performing at the Comedy Store,” he says.

 

The Playboy Mansion. Photo courtesy of Jim Bartsch.

Gold is very open about his former cocaine addiction, which began in his late teens and reoccurred in his mid-twenties. “Oddly enough, the drug had the effect of making me obsessive about work and success, and when I got sober I worried if I could function without it,” says Gold. “But I discovered that energy was actually in me,” he explains, and has now been sober for 33 years. “Those painful experiences gave me humility, and sharing them makes me a more effective public speaker,” suggests Gold, who is in demand for his humor-laced keynote addresses. The agent’s candor also inspires audience members struggling with their own sobriety.

Gold currently serves as Executive Vice President at Hilton & Hyland, the prominent Beverly Hills-based luxury agency for which he has worked for 25 years. He places a priority on providing consistent value to clients in the ultra-competitive L.A. luxury market, delivering insights and intelligence beyond the reach of other agents.

Most importantly, the influential luxury agent insists on bringing creativity, a powerful asset, to his profession every day.

Kitchens and bathrooms are established markers of luxury — without updated, high-end versions of these important rooms, a home is likely to quickly decrease in value regardless of how elegant its other elements may be. However, the most luxurious homes need more than just above-average indoor spaces to be considered grandiose.

An entertaining, opulent addition to a large backyard, outdoor kitchens have become popular staples among luxury homeowners. From small-scale pizza ovens accompanied by an understated seating area to a fully furnished kitchen tailored to outdoor cooking, having access to a means of preparing food in an outdoor space is crucial to high-end homebuyers, especially in warm
weather states.

Arcadia White Pane. Photo courtesy of Kalamazoo Outdoor Gourmet.

Photo courtesy of Brantley Photography. 

Kalamazoo Gaucho Grill. Photo courtesy of Kalamazoo Outdoor Gourmet.

Russ Faulk, Chief Designer and Head of Product at Kalamazoo Outdoor Gourmet, says that one of the biggest outdoor culinary trends is cooking on a live fire. 

“Live-fire cooking isn’t new; in fact, it is the oldest form of cooking,” Faulk says. “But more recently, people are re-embracing wood-fired cooking and its primal nature. It started with the chef community. Restaurant menus described dishes as wood-fired or wood-grilled steaks, seafood, vegetables, and even dessert. It was all about capturing the char, smoke and unique flavor that comes when you grill using wood. Now people can capture that same experience right in their backyards.”

Outdoor kitchen design used to capitalize on the novelty of the out-in-the-elements nature of the space, but lately, Faulk has seen homeowners transition their outdoor kitchens to mirror their indoor ones.

Photo courtesy of Brantley Photography.

“We’re seeing indoor kitchen trends move into the outdoor kitchen. That includes more transitional designs, more cabinetry drawers versus doors, and more color,” he says.

These spaces can serve as a poolside dining area made for entertaining, or more simply as a peaceful place to cook on a summer night. The versatility and unconventionality of an outdoor kitchen makes a statement even among the most luxurious of homes.

Debra Johnston

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices

Georgia Properties

 

3500 Lenox Road NE, Suite 300, Atlanta, GA

404.312.1959 | DebraAJohnston.com

Listing by Debra Johnston

Atlanta, Georgia

40 Cates Road

Perhaps one of the rarest estates on over 8.4-plus acres available near Buckhead. Gated and completely fenced to the back gate, this unique and manicured property is surrounded by protected state land. The estate includes a lake with fountains, waterfalls, pergola, koi ponds, guest cottage and caretaker home. Entertain with tennis, batting cages, new pool and spa, outdoor dining pavilion and full bar. Enjoy the latest in Control4 home technology.

$7,950,000.

 

Debra Johnston originally appeared as an Elite Agent in the Unique Homes Spring ’19: Elite edition. See her page here.


The busy summer season is coming to a close, but here are a few unforgettable destinations around the world that should be shared! These curated experiences are opportunities to immerse yourself in new cultures, taste new foods, appreciate art, design, history and enjoy time for yourself to rejuvenate.

Photo courtesy of São Lourenço do Barrocal

Wild Terrains — Portugal

As the only travel company leading women-only group trips that partner exclusively with local, female-owned businesses, Wild Terrains has expanded and launched their second destination – Portugal. This new eight-day/seven-night journey takes women travelers to Lisbon, Alentejo, and Porto, where the dynamic history, delicious food, and breathtaking landscapes are just the beginning. Guests stay at stylish women-owned hotels like The Lisboans in Lisbon and Duas Portas Townhouse in Porto. Experience a Lisbon street art tour designed by Vanessa Teodoro, a South African street artist. Enjoy a tasting menu dinner at women-owned Prado with wine pairings by Portugal’s top female winemakers, and so much more!

Other activities:

Foraging with Portuguese mixologist Constança Cordeiro, private mixology lessons, biking through the countryside of Alentejo Visit. Travelers will learn more about Portuguese food history with cooking classes and eating your way through Porto with a food crawl. Another option is to take a day trip to Douro Valley to meet some female winemakers in the region, and so much more!

Photo courtesy of Prado Restaurant                                                                                                                                              Photo courtesy of  The Lisboans

Photo courtesy of Wild Terrains

On Foot Holidays — Catalonia

The hills of Catalonia are perfect for a fall getaway, with the grape harvest in full swing in September. On Foot Holidays’ self-guided hiking vacation will take you through the terraced vineyards of the famed Priorat winemaking region to the town of Porrera, where there are, of course, plenty of opportunities to sample the local wines in celebration of completing your walk. Starting at Montsant, only an hour from Barcelona, the route through quiet hills with magnificent vistas also passes two fine abbeys – Poblet and Escaladei – the former thriving and active, the latter now being restored as an archaeological site of major significance. 

Did you know?

All of On Foot Holidays’ 32 routes throughout Europe are designed by a local – someone who lives near every route and is responsible for the upkeep of the route, hotel liaison and providing telephone support for all walkers during their trip. For this route, the locals recommend a stay in Barcelona at the end (or start) at one of On Foot Holidays’ hand-picked hotels or B&Bs.

Photos courtesy of On Foot Holidays

Les Ilets de la Plage – Saint Barth

The sixth edition of the Saint Barth Gourmet Festival takes place November 6-10, 2019 on the island of Saint Bathélemy. Now considered a major culinary event, the Festival’s cast of participating chefs is once again star-studded and comprises iconic figures of haute French cuisine. The Saint Barth Gourmet Festival is counted as one of the major events in the world of culinary excellence and one of the best gourmet festivals on an international scale. 

In addition: 

The intimate, family-owned beach resort offers 12 private villas with direct access to the white sand beach and azure sea. Secluded yet central, Les Ilets has been a well-kept secret for years, combining the privacy and serenity of a villa with a hotel concierge service at an affordable price. 

Photo courtesy of Pierre Carreau

Photo courtesy of Gerald Tessier

Ignacia Guest House — Mexico City

Stay in the beloved Colonia Roma neighborhood at Ignacia Guest House, a trendy eco-friendly bed and breakfast. Featuring just five unique suites, the hotel’s namesake is Ignacia, the housekeeper who took care of this 1913 colonial mansion for more than 70 years. In celebration of Dia de los Muertos, the chef will bake the traditional holiday bread for breakfast that week – Pan de Muertos or “bread of the dead,” a slightly sweet, brioche-like bread covered with orange blossom water and anise seeds. 

In addition:

Foodies will love Eat Like a Local Mexico City’s special Dia de los Muertos food tour where founder Rocio Vazquez Landeta shares her personal approach to the celebration. Start the day with coffee, sweet bread, and street tacos with a visit to the flower market to enjoy delicious food while shopping for candy skulls, flowers, candles, colorful papers, and more. 

Photo courtesy of Jaime Navarro

The Liming — Bequia 

To Caribbean locals, liming means ‘the art of doing nothing.’ At The Liming Bequia, this leisurely way of passing the time comes with added luxury. Set on the tiny island of Bequia, this boutique hideaway is refreshingly off the beaten track compared to larger islands. With lush gardens, a private marina and views towards Canouan and Mayreau, The Liming instantly rewards you for going that bit further. 

Did you know?

Reopening after the off-season on November 9th, 2019, The Liming Bequia recently announced a special offer for travelers –

stay for 7 nights, pay only for 5” – so guests can enjoy liming for even longer. 

Photos courtesy of The Liming, Bequia

With prices for residential real estate hitting and then exceeding $250 million, stratosphere was the word often used in recent years to characterize the pinnacle of the market. This year, prices for the most expensive in the U.S. are holding steady, perhaps moderating slightly (Refer here for last year’s lists). With the ultimate price remaining at $500 million and the lowest of the top 10 at $135 million, down from 2018’s $138.8 million, it would seem “holding steady” would be an appropriate sobriquet this year. 

When the first edition of Ultimate Homes was published 14 years ago, the highest-priced property in the U.S., an extensive estate in the Hamptons with a huge array of amenities including a golf course, was $75 million. The prospect of a $100 million home was denitely on the horizon, but anything nearing a billion was not even on the radar. Yet, for the last two years, the reported asking price for a mega mansion touted as “the most expensive home in America,” has been $500 million; the lowest price among the top 10 exceeded $100 million for the last four years. Geographically, Ultimate stars have appeared in many of the country’s top luxury locales. Recent years have seen a move toward the West with L.A.’s million-dollar meccas dominating the top group. Timeless blue chip estates, many with extensive pedigrees including notable architects, owners and visitors, comprised most of the top 10 in the initial years.

La Follia, Palm Beach, Florida. Photo courtesy of Giles Bradford 

Billion-Dollar Building Lot?

Undeveloped land without a house does not qualify for the Ultimate list, but it’s worth noting that last summer a $1 billion listing was posted in the multiple listing service for a 157-acre mountaintop spread in Beverly Hills. Since then, the price has been reduced by 35 percent to $650 million. Also, not on the Ultimate list is a $150 million parcel, One Enchanted Hill, that was the estate of Paul Allen, also in Beverly Hills. The property has many improvements including roads and two entrances, but the main house was razed.

Many see prospects for the premier market, particularly in L.A., as positive. Three years ago, Gary Gold with Hilton & Hyland sold the Playboy Mansion for $100 million, a record at the time for Los Angeles county. “Ever since then, we’ve seen more really big sales than ever before,” he observes. “The reason I think the ultra-luxury market is going to do well this year is there happens to be product worthy of big numbers. If there is no product available, nothing is going to trade, just because there’s nothing available. And there happens to be enough really nice, expensive big houses that are going to trade.”

Over the last 10 years, wealth globally has had a remarkable surge. Stephanie Anton sees growth in the number of ultra wealthy as a driver pushing the evolution of luxury, particularly in the highest-priced echelons. As buyer profi les evolved, luxe penthouses in new super towers along with newly constructed mega mansions created new residential categories and pushed prices upward. Properties with provenance such as Chartwell and Beverly House, along with classic estates, still have a place among best of the best. The “ultimate trophy and legend cherished for generations” is the way Beverly Hills broker Jade Mills characterizes Chartwell, a Bel Air legend designed by Summer Spaulding in 1930. A French Neo Classical exterior comprised of symmetrical cut limestone imparts a timeless presence. Henri Samuel, whose work includes estates owned by the Vanderbilts, Rothschilds and Valentino, refurbished the interior in the late 1980s. Located in the heart of Bel Air, Chartwell sits on 10.3 acres and is often described as the crown jewel of
Bel Air. 

Chartwell, Bel Air, California. Photo courtesy of Jim Bartsch.

The property also includes a guesthouse designed by Wallace Neff and acres of manicured gardens. Multiple agents including Jeff Hyland and Gary Gold of Hilton & Hyland; Joyce Rey, Jade Mills and Alexandra Allen with Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage; and Drew Gitlin with Berkshire Hathaway Home Services California Properties are representing the property. “Chartwell certainly ranks as one of the most prestigious and beautiful properties I have ever represented. Additionally, the acreage is most unusual with four separate parcels and the exceptional panoramic views of downtown Los Angeles and the Pacific,” comments Rey. This property would appeal to a very specific buyer, explains Jeff Hyland, “one who has class, sophistication and taste.” 

Prime Assets

Steller architecture along with extensive and amazing amenities are a prerequisite for every top property. They add value and promote an over-the-top lifestyle, but architecture and amenities alone will not merit prices at the very top. Where they are located still matters and almost every property this year has a prime address. 

“Location is still a top consideration for potential buyers,” says Rey. Also important for long-term value, according to Rey, is the land. Just five minutes from the Beverly Hills Hotel, with over seven acres, Villa Firenze is the largest single property in Beverly Park, the largest collection of single-family mansions to be built in the U.S. in the last 50 years. With its own street, the property is its own Italianate village and includes two guest houses in additional to a 20,000-square-foot mansion. 

Meadow Lane in Southampton, New York, priced at $150 million, offers 14 acres, four separate lots and a 12,000-square-foot main residence as well as a tennis court with a tennis house, two golf greens with golf houses, and a pool and spa house. Harold Grant with Sotheby’s International Realty says the views up and down the Atlantic, in addition to unobstructed views across the bay, will “take your breath away.” In Palm Beach, only a handful of homes reach from the ocean to Lake Worth. La Follia, priced at $135 million, is the only direct ocean-to-lake estate on the entire island, according to Ashley McIntosh, executive director of luxury sales at Douglas Elliman in Palm Beach. “It is one of the most signifi cant properties on the island of Palm Beach,” she says. Italian Renaissance in style, the home is entirely wrapped in cream Coquina coral stone that extends into the two-story foyer. The top fl oor was designed for the master suite, which has “staggering views” of the ocean, along with his and hers baths, each with a balcony and dressing room, overlooking the ocean. 

Villa Firenze, Beverly Hills, California. Photo courtesy of Tyler Hogan. 

Irreplaceable

In nearby Manalapan, a 15-acre estate dubbed Gemini offers approximately 1,200 feet of dune-lined beach on the Atlantic and 1,300 feet on Lake Worth. A series of tunnels, including one that is a 15-foot-wide gallery, connects the two. The site, perched on top of a dune, offers 360-degree views, yet it’s only minutes to Worth Avenue in Palm Beach. In addition to the main house, it offers two, four-bedroom beachside cottages, a seven-bedroom house, and an additional staff or guesthouse, making it a true family compound with more than 30 bedrooms. Like Gemini, many Ultimate properties would be diffi cult to replicate. Agents call them “once-in-a-lifetime opportunities.” Mesa Vista, a massive ranch in East Texas, is another such property. Billionaire Boone Pickens has devoted more than 50 years to transform this 100-square-mile expanse of Texas panhandle into an unmatched oasis and wildlife habitat.

Improvements include 20 lakes over the course of 20 miles. In addition to a 12,000-square-foot main lodge, there is a 33,000-square-foot lodge and several other houses, plus housing for staff. The chapel, a site for both weddings and funerals, is stunning, and a 6,000-foot runway and hangar facilitates getting there. The ranch is listed at $250 million.

“It seems impossible to comprehend all of the improvement made to this property, whether it is structural improvements, water enhancements, landscape or wildlife conservation features. To our knowledge, no other ranch can replicate Boone’s Mesa Vista Ranch,” says Monte Lyons, managing director of Hall and Hall, who is representing the property along with Chas. S. Middleton and Son.

Super-Sizing Luxury

In addition to being the most expensive, The One is also one of the largest homes in the country, with an estimated 100,000 square feet. The estate is nearing the end of a half-decade-long construction process, and agents expect completion in the next few months. It also reflects a new bent for ultra properties, particularly in Los Angeles, which takes the term “trophy property” to a completely new level. In addition to expansive views, a huge number of very premium amenities from multiple pools and elevators to garages, these estates include almost everything a newly minted billionaire might want, taking the idea of a turnkey home to a new level. 

Billionaire, once again No. 6 on the Ultimate list, is priced at $150 million after a $38.8 million price reduction. It’s completely furnished, staffed and decked out with a huge array of indulgent features and additions, including more than 100 curated art installations, two stocked wine/champagne cellars, a multi-million dollar collection of cars in a custom design gallery and a 40-seat 4K Dolby Atmos Theater. Unlike custom homes which are designed for an individual buyer, new mega spec homes are geared toward a group of buyers with a great deal of specificity.

What hasn’t changed over the years are the diverse features of every Ultimate home, although what were once perks are now considered a “must-have,” including all of the tech bells and whistles, as well as privacy and state-of-the-art security. Wellness has always been a consideration, but now expands beyond space for gyms, yoga and massage. Priced at $135 million, 2571 Wallingford Drive is located in another prime Beverly Hills location and offers a one-of-a-kind indoor sports complex with basketball, pickleball, gym, a boxing ring, sports bar and outdoor lounging, according to Ginger Glass with Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage.

Meadow Lane Oceanfront, Southampton, New York. Photo courtesy of Sotheby’s International Realty.

“These are consumers who can afford anything they want, but that is nothing new. Ultra high-net-worth consumers want it all, and they can afford it all,” says Anton. “Today in the ultra premium category, we are seeing demand for a lot of square footage in a beautiful setting, and/or view lots with fabulous outdoor space for entertaining and plenty of room to entertain guests, among other things. People are looking for homes that meet the needs of their busy, over-the-top, social, connected lives, but also for their home to be a safe refuge to get away from it all.”

On three occasions Joyce Rey sold the most expensive home in the nation, establishing multiple benchmarks for price — in 1978 for $4.2 million, 1990 for $19.9 million, and 2010’s $50 million record. Last year, the highest priced sale was a $110 million oceanfront compound in Malibu, which was also the most expensive sale ever in Los Angeles. So far, 2019 could be seen as a record-setting year, with the sale of a $238 million penthouse residence at 220 Central Park South in New York, which was an Ultimate top property last year. The sale set a record for a U.S. residential property. Designed by Robert Stern and located adjacent to Central Park, the building has become one of Manhattan’s most renowned properties. The price is more than impressive and surpasses other records for the U.S., which include a $147 million estate in the Hamptons that sold in 2014 and Copper Beech in Greenwich, which sold for $120 million also in 2014. Both eclipsed previous records, including a Woodside, California, estate that sold for $117.5 million in 2012.

When it comes to indications of what might occur in the future, and even the correct context within which to understand the present market, a look back doesn’t always provide the best insights. Regarding this year’s recent record sale price, appraiser Jonathan Miller cautions in his blog that the price may not be an indication of future trends because the contract was finalized in 2015, at the height of Manhattan’s supertall and super-luxurious building craze. However, Jeffrey Hyland believes there are several good indicators that bode well for future ultra-luxury sales in California. He estimates a large number of IPOs this year. “All these people are going to have so much money they will be looking to dispose of.”

This editorial appeared in the Unique Homes Ultimate ’19 Issue. 

See the Top 12 list here.

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