Who’s Who Luxury Real Estate Retreat Announces World Record Holder As Keynote Speaker for Spring Retreat

Want to learn how to become the real estate industry’s go-to professional? Ryan Avery is the expert you’ve been looking for.

Emmy award-winning journalist, two-time best-selling author and world record holder, Ryan Avery, was announced as the keynote speaker at this April’s 18th Annual Luxury Real Estate Spring Retreat, where he’ll share his strategies on how to Go from A to THE® in luxury real estate.

Through effective storytelling techniques, Avery will encourage the audience to become the real estate industry’s go-to professionals by identifying what makes them different from their competition and transforming their communicating strategies, as well as their mindset.

“It is no longer acceptable to offer A product, A solution or even be A leader,” says Avery. “Today’s consumers, employees and followers want THE product, THE solution and THE leader to follow.”

At 25-years-old, Avery became the youngest World Champion of Public Speaking, after going up against over 300,000 contestants from 116 countries and winning the World Championship for Toastmasters International in 2012. Since then, he’s delivered more than 500 keynote speeches in over 30 countries around the globe.

The Spring Retreat will take place from April 19 to 22 at The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel in California.

Photo courtesy of Ryan Avery

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

Situated on the west end of Bermuda in Southampton and Sandys Parishes, The Ritz-Carlton Reserve at Caroline Bay is the largest development to come to the island in over 40 years. 

By Alyssa Gautieri

renderings courtesy the ritz-carlton

“The Ritz-Carlton Reserve brand provides a new level of luxury through immersive, transformative and unique experiences, which is the cornerstone of the brand.”

— Sandra Christensen,
Sales and Marketing Manager at Coldwell Banker Caroline Bay.


Embracing Bermuda’s iconic pink sand and crystal clear beaches, this luxury residence is also the first five-star resort on the island. “(The Development) will have a tremendous impact on Bermuda as we welcome a new breed of visitors who have been seeking an amenity-rich, luxury experience,” says Sandra Christensen, the sales and marketing manager at Coldwell Banker Caroline Bay.

In addition to striking views, the island offers a range of luxury amenities from exclusive access to the Caroline Bay Marina to spa treatments at the world-class spa. “The Ritz-Carlton Reserve brand provides a new level of luxury through immersive, transformative and unique experiences, which is the cornerstone of the brand,” Christensen says.

The first phase of development includes the construction of The Cove, a 35-home development. The first residential buildings are slated for occupancy between July and August. Prices will range between $2.5 million and $3.9 million. 

For more information, visit BermudaLuxuryResidences.com

THIS STORY WAS FEATURED IN OUR WINTER 2018 ISSUE.

CLICK HERE FOR THE FULL DIGITAL VERSION.

Photo courtesy Maxwell Mackenzie.

In 2017, Unique Homes is traveling the U.S. to find the dominant stories in each region of the country — This issue covers the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic.

By Camilla McLaughlin

To say 2017 is a year of change is an understatement, and real estate is no exception. Prices are up … and down. Condition matters, and design and architecture have almost become a national obsession. In our yearlong series, we are taking a look at all the regions of the country in an attempt to answer the question of the year,

WHAT NOW?

For real estate in major East Coast cities, 2017 culminates a decade of change. In many locations, it is a turning point of sorts with new value equations being forged and entirely new standards for luxury properties emerging. Lifestyle matters more than ever. Whether it’s a desire for arts and culture or an escape from ever-increasing gridlock, a penchant for urban living has become a prime driver for real estate in many markets. What changes also stays the same, as neighborhoods that were hot hundreds of years ago are back in vogue.

Photo courtesy ©getty images. 

New York

“We used to say cash is king. I think right now value is king. Everyone from luxury down to the $1 million range wants to feel some value,” says Diane Ramirez, chairman and CEO of Halstead Property, about real estate in the Big Apple. 

Few real estate markets received as much scrutiny in 2016 as New York. Reports from the first quarter of 2017 point toward a revival, with prices and transactions for resale apartments increasing by 5 percent year-over-year. Closing prices for new development averaged $4.3 million, 15-percent higher than the first quarter 2016. “Post election, we’re seeing a great deal of interest. In Manhattan, the luxury market is bubbling, very interesting and active. We’re seeing activity, but the higher you go up the more challenging it is. Yet, we recently closed on a $41-million-plus sale,” says Ramirez.

Years of white-hot demand tempered in 2016, and sellers have had to fine tune expectations and adjust to the new market reality. Ramirez explains: “Buyers, whether it’s $30 million or $16 million or $1.5 million, want to see or feel they got some value.” It doesn’t necessarily have to be price. It could be some type of a concession or initiative.

What’s hot here continues to be new. “People love new construction. They just love the newness. It’s no longer just about space,” Ramirez says, listing the benefits new construction delivers — views even from the kitchen, open plans with excellent flow, collaborative spaces and technology. And big windows that make these urban dwellings almost seem like a suburban home.

Fewer permit applications suggest development is slowing. New buildings currently in the pipeline are not on ultra prime streets. While still very upscale, they will come to market at lower price points. “I am happy to see some of the newest development coming in prices that are still in the $6 million range or higher but not starting at $8 million,” says Ramirez.

Highest-priced listing: $110 million penthouse in the Woolworth Tower Residences

On the Radar: 121 East 22nd Street

New upscale buildings with lower price tags such as 121 East 22nd Street, which straddles Gramercy Park and Madison Square. Prices range from $1.3 million to $10.5 million. The first residential building in Manhattan designed by Rem Koolhaas’ firm, Office of Metropolitan Architecture (OMA), this building offers 67 unique floor plans and was developed in conjunction with Tolls Brothers. Also on the books is 75 Kenmare, perched on the site of a former parking garage at the intersection of SoHo, NoHo, the Lower East and Little Italy.

Rendering courtesy Toll Brothers City Living.

Motoring Toward a Car-Fewer Future

Last year, planners at the Urban Land Institute speculated how ridesharing and self-driving cars will change cities. This year, the vision of cities with fewer cars is beginning to look like a real possibility. Our focus cities rank high for living without a car, according to a recent report compiled by Redfin. “Transportation is a big deal these days,” observes Paul Grover. Access to transportation and walkability often determine target locations for buyers. Grover says it’s not uncommon for clients to say they are planning to not have a car or to reduce the number of cars they own. San Francisco ranked highest on Redfin’s list of best cities to live in without a car, followed by New York, Boston, Washington D.C. and Philadelphia. Walkability is only part of the equation, which includes bike sharing, bike lanes and transit.

Photo courtesy ©istockphoto.com / csfotoimages.

Boston

“Boston is becoming a little shinier. The public gardens and esplanade, all the things we love about it, are still here, but you can definitely see change,” says Paul Grover, a partner at Robert Paul Properties. More than the skyline is being altered as recent construction, such as the 60-story Millennium Towers, introduces a new paradigm for premium properties.  Unlike the townhouses prized by Boston’s legendary Brahmin, the lifestyle is ultra luxurious with services, architecture and amenities comparable to prime buildings in New York and San Francisco. For example, the Millennium has a private restaurant and bar, under the helm of Michael Mina, solely for residents.

Change is not new to Boston. For almost two decades, the city has been in a constant state of flux as one neighborhood after another is rediscovered. Some of the most compelling real estate stories today are coming out of old towns that ring city center. Newton, Brookline, Chestnut Hill and Weston remain luxury stalwarts, but close-in communities like Watertown, Chelsea and Everett are seeing record prices. Cambridge is white hot. In Somerville, once a haven for first-time buyers, million-dollar prices are not uncommon.

Right now, Boston has one of the hottest real estate markets in the country with the number of single-family homes for sale down 35.2 percent year-over-year in February; condos were down 27.6 percent. Statewide, February marked the 60th time in the last 61 months with a year-over-year inventory decrease.

What’s hot: Close-in locations with access to transportation. 

Highest-priced listing: Woodland Manor, a $90 million estate on 14 acres, less than 6 miles from the center of the city in Chestnut Hill.

Top: ©getty images; Bottom: 2 Avery Street, courtesy Robert Paul Properties.

Photo courtesy ©getty images. 

Washington, D.C.

“The thing with D.C., it’s always been a solid market with so many people moving in and out,” says Katherine Herndon Martin with McEnearney Associates. Long before the recession, Washington’s real estate star was on the rise, and in recent years it has charted among top markets nationally. In March, homes were selling within two weeks, with the number of units sold up 15 percent vs. a year ago.

The recent focus on ultra properties on Kalorama Road has pushed upscale Washington into the limelight. Until recently, prices above $12 million were rare, but billionaire interest, beginning with Jeff Bezos’ purchase of a $23 million property on S Street, puts new upscale dynamics in play. Similar to Beverly Hills, new estates, rather than new towers, create rising benchmarks for luxury here.

The most expensive property on the market in the District of Columbia is a $22 million estate on Chain Bridge Road on the second-highest point in the

city. (The National Cathedral is the highest.) At first glance, the regency-styled home seems to be one of the city’s historic estates, but it is newly built and constructed with a level of materials and attention to detail comparable to that found in the most expensive areas of the country. 

The other facet of the D.C. real estate story is continued redevelopment and gentrification of neighborhoods and parts of the city, a process that began decades ago. Some of the newest hot areas include Brookland near Catholic University as well as neighborhoods around Logan Circle. In many of the suburbs, bigger continues to have great appeal with buyers often adding on to what is already substantial square footage in properties in Potomac, Maryland and McLean, Virginia.

Highest Price in the Region: $24 million for new construction in McLean, Virginia.

Highest Price in the District: $22 million for a newly constructed estate in the Foxhall Neighborhood.

Philadelphia

Eds and meds is how Mark Wade with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Fox and Roach Realtors sums up part of the draw to Center City Philadelphia. But, based on the large number of downsizers exchanging suburb for city, arts and culture are easily in the mix. The big news here is new super premium buildings that fetch unheard of prices, especially for condominium residences. “Basically, what we have is that Philadelphia is a town of Toyotas and Mercedes. That’s our high-rise market. What’s coming down the pike are Bentleys. There is a huge disparity between the two. The gap is unbelievable,” Wade says referring to the recent sale of an 8,900-square-foot, two-story penthouse at 500 Walnut for $17.85 million, a record in a city where the previous high priced sale was a $12.5 million penthouse, set in 2010.   

Newcomers, particularly those drawn by the universities and medical systems, also opt for a home in the city. “Twenty-five years ago, the trend was the exact opposite. Somebody would move here, say from Atlanta, and they would bypass the city and magically end up in the suburbs. Today, when we get a transferee like that, it’s the exact opposite,” observes Wade. Additionally, the city attracts a large contingent of commuters to Manhattan, who happily trade an hour in the car for a productive hour on the train.

Highest-priced listing: $16.795 million for a
Society Hill condo.

On the radar: New ultra-luxury buildings, such as the Residences at the Ritz Carlton, are setting records over $10 million.

Market Insight: “When our market rises, it does so at a sustainable pace,” says Wade. “When our market falls, it does so gradually — we don’t have the crazy ups and downs of say a Miami, or New York, or D.C. We seem to chug along either up or down. Nothing wrong with that!”

Photo courtesy ©Mefmanoo/Wikimedia Commons.

The Residences at The Ritz-Carlton, Philadelphia. Photo courtesy Ritz-Carlton.

Baltimore

Photo courtesy ©getty images.

Charm City is more than just a catchy moniker. “Baltimore is a hotbed,” and when you are here you discover that it literally is Charm City, observes Charlie Hatter, owner of Prime Building Advantage and Monument Sotheby’s International Realty in Baltimore. “Luxury real estate is doing very, very well,” he says, citing a recent $6 million sale. “Anything above $2 million is considered ultra luxury for this market.” High-end suburbs including Roland Park and Towson and properties in the horse country see strong demand.   

The ambiance of the city and prices bring a number of new residents who have children in New York or Washington, D.C., which are both an easy train ride away. Revitalized areas in the city and inner harbor area are in demand. Like many places, sales were slow or even stagnant in summer and fall. On the other hand, Charlie Hatter describes the spring market as “huge” with lots of activity around the inner harbor, as well as areas that have been revitalized. “People love the charm and the uniqueness of the older properties,” he says.

Highest-priced listing: $12.5 million for a Four Seasons penthouse with skyline and water views.

This story originally appeared in Unique Homes Ultimate ’17. Click here to see the digital version.

Nestled at the base of the Sierra de la Laguna Mountains overlooking the Sea of Cortez, the 27 single-family villas at West Enclave, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve Residence, are being celebrated not only as Mexico’s first Ritz-Carlton Reserve branded residences but as a signal of a new era of architecture in the luxurious Baja California beach town.
Designed by Mexico City’s Fernando de Haro, a young architect that is quickly gaining national acclaim, West Enclave forges a connection with nature while embodying the essence of mid-century modern design with open space, large glass windows and elements that bring the outdoors in. The sleek and modern design of the Reserve Residences arrives in high contrast to the traditional colonial and Moorish-inspired architecture that is prevalent in the region. De Haro’s contemporary approach manages to blend local materials, customs and living style with a unique and modern twist – all inspired by the natural terrain of Los Cabos.

Each single-family, single-level Reserve Residence is focused on flow and a truly open design concept, with a total of 10,000 square feet of indoor/outdoor living space, floor-to-ceiling windows and an expansive living and dining room that opens up entirely to 4,000 square feet of outdoor living space. Inside each Residence, elements of nature and open living continue with four to five bedrooms each featuring en-suite bathrooms complete with outdoor showers and massage gardens.
“The desert landscape of Los Cabos provided both a challenge and opportunity when designing the Residences,” said De Haro, architect for West Enclave, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve Residence. “When you are here, you instantly feel there is a deep relationship between the desert sand, the sea and the warm ocean breeze. My goal was to create an environment that marries these elements, and allows the air to flow openly through each home while also providing a protective environment.”

Priced from $4.1 million, 12 Reserve Residences remain available within West Enclave, with each featuring a double kitchen finished with Sub-Zero and Wolf appliances, choice of cream marble and black granite countertops, an entertainment room with en-suite bathroom, service room with 3/4 bathroom, two powder rooms and a quietly efficient background of premium technology. Outdoor amenities include more than 4,000 square feet of outdoor living space complete with a private swimming pool and spa, covered living and dining area with bar, fireplace and BBQ, open-air courtyard with fire feature, fire pit, two golf cart parking spaces and a two-car garage.

Owners will have access to legendary Ritz-Carlton service including a full-time Director of Residences, an owners-only concierge and additional residential staff dedicated to the needs of residence owners and their guests.  Owners will enjoy a private, Owners’ Welcome Center, and experience ambassadors who can arrange special outings. A la carte services from the adjacent Ritz-Carlton Reserve hotel include in-residence dining and catering, butler service, housekeeping and specialized children’s programs.
The Enclaves, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve Residence, is owned and being developed by Grupo Questro. In addition to the single-family villas within the West Enclave neighborhood, a second phase of Reserve Residences will include 60 condominium homes. The Reserve hotel will feature 120 rooms and is slated to open in late 2017. Delivery of homes will follow the hotel opening.

The Reserve hotel and The Enclaves are a $430 million undertaking led by Grupo Questro, one of Mexico’s most highly respected developers. It is located within Grupo Questro’s multibillion dollar, master-planned resort community of Puerto Los Cabos in San Jose Del Cabo that spans 2,000 oceanfront acres. With three miles of pristine, private beaches, residence owners have exclusive access to a world-class marina accommodating yachts up to 400 feet, private beach clubs, an estuary, rolling hills robed in exotic flora, signature golf courses from both Jack Nicklaus and Greg Norman, a private sculpture garden and a 12-acre cactus botanical park.
The sales gallery for The Enclaves is located at Paseo de los Pescadores S/N, Anita, Puerto los Cabos, 23403 in San José del Cabo, B.C.S. It is open daily from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. For more information, visit  www.theenclaves.mx or call 011+52 (624)105 6047 (within San Jose Del Cabo), 1-855-375-2266 (from U.S.) or 01 800 322 2675 (from Mexico).

Photo credit to J. Lauren

By: Camilla McLaughlin

From the Tucson airport it’s an easy drive to Dove Mountain. The last part of the drive is a gentle climb into the foothills of the Tortolita Mountains. The trip is not long, but once you arrive at The Ritz-Carlton Dove Mountain you really do feel like you have left the world behind. And it doesn’t take long to realize there is something special about the setting. The feeling of serenity is almost as palpable as the scent of sage in the breeze. It’s a feeling that only comes in a place deeply rooted and in harmony with the setting.

The residences are no less authentic. Each design reflects historic forms characteristic of the High Desert — Pueblo, Spanish Colonial or Arizona Ranch — but the interpretation is contemporary with a floor plan centered around outdoor living and entertaining family and friends. Home sites range from a setting adjacent to the two Jack Nicklaus Signature golf courses to open spaces that showcase the desert landscape. There are also a select number of custom estate homesites.

Nearly one third of Dove Mountain’s 6,200 acres is preserved as open space. This unique sanctuary is named after gentle Inca doves, which can be heard cooing in the evening.

Although there are 27 holes of spectacular golf and The Golf Club at Dove Mountain, on this visit in early December, it was hard to resist exploring the high Sonoran Desert. On a morning hike near Wild Burro Trail (an everyday offering), the ranger introduced us to traditions of the Hohokam people and also pointed us toward ancient petroglyphs nearby. Later, at the spa, which garners its own share of acclaim, we had the opportunity to experience the restorative power of ancient healing remedies.

It’s no surprise this resort is the only Forbes Five Star and AAA Five Diamond hotel in Arizona. The service — from every staff member you encounter, starting the moment you arrive — is exceptional, and it extends to the owners of the residences.
At night, the patios and terraces surrounding the resort’s pools come alive with light flowing from firepits. Every evening, guests and homeowners gather for cocktails on the patio, while a Native American flutist on a distant hill plays traditional refrains to celebrate and honor the end of the day. It’s an experience that lives with you long after you leave, and one that makes you promise a return visit — or even to make The Ritz-Carlton Dove Mountain home.

Photos courtesy of Ritz-Carlton Dove Mountain

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