Blog contributions are provided exclusively from Luxury Real Estate members throughout the world.
By: Randy Heinitz
Nestled in a cove on the southern end of The Coachella Valley on a plot of land once known as Happy Hollow, is The La Quinta Resort & Club. Originally built in 1926 as The Hotel La Quinta the structure remains an area historical icon and since its opening has been a key destination for the rich, the famous, and the serenity seeker.
Although many a famous Hollywood legend has booked a room there, none more special this time of year as Frank Capra. Back in the 1920’s Frank booked Suite 136 and wrote the screenplay for It Happened One Night. When that film went on to win five Academy Awards including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Actress and Best Screenplay, Frank gave credit to his stay at The Hotel La Quinta. He returned to that very same suite to write Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, Mr. Deeds Goes to Town, Lost Horizon, You Can’t Take It With You and, of course, It’s a Wonderful Life. That very hotel room also houses the typewriter Frank used to write the scripts and it can be reserved by the general public.
So every year at Christmas time The LaQuinta Resort pays homage to Mr. Capra and turns the setting into Bedford Falls and decorates the entire premises in a holiday glaze. You see, it’s also rumored that Irving Berling also came up with the lyrics of I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas while staying at the hotel.
Many an aspiring writer will visit the hotel at all times of the year hoping to capture the muses that obviously mingle amongst the palms there.
Happy Holidays and may the season bring you much inspiration.
By Jim Walberg
From his blog: Some East Bay Real Estate Is On The Slippery Slide Of FEAR!
Once you get on the Slipper Slide of Fear, it is difficult to get off! Please stay off that slippery slide!
So, I picked up USA Today last Saturday on my flight to the Luxury Real Estate Fall Conference in Philadelphia where I was a presenter. The USA Today headline was, “FEAR is a slippery slide!” In some of my past comments I have used the sailor’s mantra, “Do not be fearful!” It still applies today, in spite of an almost 900-point recovery on the Dow Jones the past two days. Don’t forget… once you step on the “slippery slide” of fear, the momentum carries you away very quickly.
The voice of experience, the voice of the local authority, and the voice of credibility can still prevail. And we are the ones that need to be that voice. I just completed a walk from the Philadelphia Ritz Carlton to Constitution Hall, the Liberty Bell, and other reminders of the work our founding fathers did on our behalf 230+ years ago. What an inspiring day! (You may recall this is the organization that is the acknowledged authority of luxury real estate! It was founded by John Brian Losh with a vision of connecting the best luxury brokers and agents in the world – 1,900 members from 65 countries.)
Do you think they were afraid? Of course they were. But, the consequence of letting fear paralyze them from action was not acceptable. Instead of the “slippery slide” of fear taking them away from the liberty and freedom they so dearly wanted for our country, they discovered – step by step – the actions needed to create the most incredible democracy in our world’s history. It was very hard. Thousands of lives were lost as part of that payment for liberty. And, the founding fathers never lost site of end result that was required – FREEDOM!
There is a book I have enjoyed reading several times – “The Tipping Point.” They have a very insightful analysis of Paul Revere’s ride in Boston a few days before the Revolutionary War was officially declared. His ride was so effective that it mobilized the citizens along his route in a manner that called them to action in stopping the British from confiscating their arms stored in Concord. Did you know there was a second rider who was sent in a different direction to alert another section of Massachusetts to immediately prepare to defend Concord. Does anyone remember his name? In fact, I had never heard of him before I read “The Tipping Piont.” He was totally and utterly ineffective in his call to arms.
What was the difference between these two men with similar intentions? Paul Revere was one of the most respected local authorities on what was happening within the colonies which he believed required a liberation movement to break away from British rule – even if it meant war. I would like to be as effective as Paul Revere during these uncertain economic times. We are the local citizens calling our “citizens” to action in order to work through the financial crisis we are in. Will you join me as we serve our clients and communities, and help them off the “Slippery Slide of Fear?” (You get bonus points if you email me with the other freedom rider’s name whose ride was a waste of time.) Contact me with your thoughts. Until next time…
Jim Walberg is the co-Broker/Owner of The Bay Area Team, the most-successful team at Keller Williams Realty-Danville. He is also a member of the global Luxury Real Estate network. Jim is an exceptional blogger, as you can see by visiting his blogs, East Bay Real Estate and Caribbean Islands Realty, and reading his great blog entries like the one above. He is the master of fractionals and other luxury homes in the Bay Area and the Caribbean, and he always has a lot of great opportunities to share. Simply marvelous. This is the last blog entry from Jim that I will have the privilege of editing and posting to the Luxury Real Estate Blog. I am always impressed by his enthusiasm, cheerful disposition and unparalleled kindness. Thank you, Jim, for being such a good person and being a light to a world of shadows and fear. You are amazing.
By Robert Lockard
I have some very fun news to share. A new TNT movie starring Oscar® winner Cuba Gooding Jr. is currently filming in the Detroit area, and part of the filming is being done at a waterfront luxury home on Windmill Point Drive in Grosse Pointe Park. This property is being represented by Higbie Maxon Agney, Inc. Realtors, a member of Who’s Who in Luxury Real Estate and the Board of Regents.
Check out this wonderful story in the Grosse Pointe News that I received earlier this week. Sorry I don’t have a link to the story online. Apparently, that newspaper doesn’t post some of their stories on their Web site, but luckily I have a PDF version of the printed article.
The movie is called “Gifted Hands: The Story of Ben Carson” and it follows the life of Ben Carson, born into poor conditions, who was able to lift himself up and become a famed pediatric neurosurgeon. It’s scheduled to debut on TNT on Feb. 7, 2009. I love inspirational stories about good people triumphing over difficult circumstances. Actually, this discussion reminds of a blog entry that Jim Walberg, the co-Owner/Broker of The Bay Area Team, just wrote about not giving in to fear despite our difficult financial market.
The luxury property on Windmill Pointe Drive is quite remarkable. It includes near two acres of land, its own private dock and 12,000 square feet of living space for $7.3 million. If you’d like more information, you can contact Heather Adragna Ulku or check out this brochure on the property.
Robert Lockard is the Public Relations & Media Specialist with LuxuryRealEstate.com. I am Robert. I create all of Luxury Real Estate's newsletters, write the editorials in LuxuryRealEstate.com Magazine and much more. Feel free to share your good news like this with us, as well. I love reading and writing good stories for the Luxury Real Estate Blog. The photo of Cuba Gooding Jr. is from www.flickr.com/photos/rafamado/2635448556 and it is the copyright of Rafael Amado Deras.
By Robert Lockard
Rosita Sarnoff, the Executive Vice President of Stribling & Associates, Ltd., recently shared some great activities her company is planning for Luxury Real Estate members who are attending the Post-Conference Networking Trip to New York City from Oct. 14-16, 2008. This Networking Trip will begin right after the 13th Annual Luxury Real Estate Fall Conference in Philadelphia.
From 3-7 p.m. on Oct. 15, Rosita said that Luxury Real Estate members will enjoy tours of magnificent luxury properties and a cocktail dinner in a $38 million Penthouse and at the newly renovated Plaza Hotel. “We’re going to give them a terrific afternoon,” Rosita said.
The afternoon will begin in a full-floor condominium overlooking Central Park that was recently offered on the market by Stribling & Associates. It includes 4,400 square feet of living space, four bedrooms, 4.5 baths, a personal gym and library. After spending some time in that luxury home, they’ll head next door to the world-renowned Plaza Hotel. They’ll be given a grand tour of the hotel, eventually finding their way to the Rose Club restaurant, where they’ll enjoy gourmet food.
By the way, the Plaza Hotel was recently redesigned so that it now includes both hotel rooms and hotel condominiums. I wrote an article about hotel condos in the winter 2008 issue of LuxuryRealEstate.com Magazine. Check it out if you’d like to know more about those interesting properties.
Only one Luxury Real Estate member from each geographic area will be able to attend this Networking Trip and reservations are sure to go fast, so be sure to sign up today! Brokers and agents will be able to speak freely and build relationships they otherwise might miss out on at both the Fall Conference and Post-Conference Networking Trip. We look forward to seeing you there.
Robert Lockard is the Public Relations & Media Specialist with LuxuryRealEstate.com. I am Robert. I create all of Luxury Real Estate's newsletters, write the editorials in LuxuryRealEstate.com Magazine and much more. Stribling & Associates is a member of the Board of Regents, an exclusive group of brokers that leads the Luxury Real Estate network. The photo of the Plaza Hotel is from www.flickr.com/photos/oquendo/2463578547 and it is the copyright of Oquendo.
By Yvonne Harvey
LuxuryRealEstate.com is planning a post-conference networking trip to New York for those attending the 13th Annual Luxury Real Estate Fall Conference, October 11-14, 2008. This trip is not just any networking trip … oh no. We have added some great entertainment!
Of my years in event planning, one of my most memorable trips was to New York City. Since the group I was taking included sports advertisers and die-hard Seattle Mariners fans, we went to Yankee Stadium to see the Mariners womp the Yankees! Hopefully there aren’t too many Yankee fans out there!
I decided in their trip package to add a Broadway musical … Tarzan. I got everyone together to go to the play, and I felt it was like pulling teeth from some of these sports fanatics to go to a musical. It never came to mind that it may not be cool to see a musical! So picture this, as we are leaving the play, I have all these people saying this was the highlight of the whole trip! Well hello! I’m guessing it’s cool now!
That’s why it wasn’t even a second thought … I had to add a Broadway musical into the post trip to New York, October 14-16, 2008. The play is Billy Elliot and it is getting RAVE reviews! An unprecedented smash in the West End, where it has won 9 Best Musical awards, broken U.K. box office records and continues to sell out nightly. Among the creative team is the music legend Elton John. You will not want to miss this play!
To confirm your participation, please contact Luxury Real Estate at 1.800.488.4066. Join us!
Yvonne Harvey is the Events Coordinator for Luxury Real Estate. So when you come and enjoy the wonderful presentations, discussions and networking opportunities at Luxury Real Estate conferences, you know who to thank. You definitely don’t want to miss out on the Fall Conference or the networking trip.
By Robert Lockard
There are so many fun one-liners I could use to sum up this story, it’s hard to pick just one. I’ll go ahead and try this one: Elvis has left the building, and now that building can be yours! Yeah, that’ll work.
Elvis Presley’s “Graceland West” estate in Palm Springs, Calif. is now for sale. Talk about a house with some history, this two-acre estate, nestled in the foothills of the San Jacinto Mountains, is where Elvis (the king of Rock and Roll) lived for almost eight years, recorded eight songs in the living room in 1973 and spent his last birthday. He died on Aug. 16, 1977 at the age of 42.
The seller of the estate is being represented by Honey Brooks of Pacific Union GMAC Real Estate, a member of Luxury Real Estate in the San Francisco Bay Area. If you’d like more information about this historic luxury property, email Honey Brooks or call her at 415.345.2585. You can also read much more about this property in a news release by Karen Monroe on LuxuryRealEstate.com.
By the way, whenever I think of Elvis Presley, the first thing that comes into my mind is the scene from “Top Secret” (1984), one of the funniest movies I’ve ever seen, where Val Kilmer sings his hilarious rendition of Elvis’ famous song “Are you Lonesome Tonight?” Thanks to the magic of YouTube, you can watch Val Kilmer’s version and Elvis’ original below. Toward the end of his parody of the song, Val Kilmer sings so well that it’s hard to distinguish him from the king!
Robert Lockard is the Public Relations & Media Specialist with LuxuryRealEstate.com. I am Robert. I create all of Luxury Real Estate’s newsletters, write the editorials in LuxuryRealEstate.com Magazine and much more. I was really tempted to call this blog entry “Wake up with the King” Luckily, I refrained. You can share your blog entries on the Luxury Real Estate Blog by emailing them to me. The Elvis Presley portrait is from www.flickr.com/photos/bootbearwdc/2491351807 and it is the copyright of dbking.
By Iain Stewart
As recently reported by Nadine Hawa in her CNBC article “International Brands Eye Dubai Real Estate,” all eyes are on Dubai at this moment. In her article, Hawa notes that world-famous real-estate developer Donald Trump is particularly interested in “The Palm Jumeirah.” While many other international luxury brands are also seeking to build new luxury developments in Dubai, current new constructions, such as Verde Residences and Offices, are going totally green and present the most innovative eco-friendly technologies and amenities.
The Power of Green
Spanish for the color green, Verde symbolizes the very essence of life and all things living in perfect harmony with the elements. An expression that conjures up a sense of wellness and optimism for the future of our planet, Verde reinforces the eternal belief that making peace with nature is prerequisite to making peace in the world and finding peace within VERDE.
Verde – The Project
The next big thing in contemporary lifestyle, Verde elevates environmental consciousness to a whole new level. Towering over the clear blue skies of the world’s first purpose-built maritime centre that is Dubai Maritime City, Verde Residences and Offices are designed to achieve Gold Standard rating (LEED). It combines the best of luxury and green engineering to offer you a new investment opportunity in the most exciting freehold waterfront community in the heart of Dubai.
Like the prow of a ship, the elegantly curved glass tower that is Verde Residences points directly towards the harbor, enhancing its relationship to the ocean and marina, and its prominence within Dubai Maritime City. Masterfully designed to open up panoramic views to the ocean, Verde’s orientation and shape allows it to shield itself from the strongest solar gain yet harness the wind, and features an integrated wind turbine at its top, where wind speeds are the greatest.
The 40-story residence tower includes luxurious 2- & 3-bedroom residential units and 4-bedroom deluxe harbor-side townhomes. With a swimming pool, kids’ pool, gymnasium and world-class retail and leisure facilities, Verde Residences offer a plethora of amenities that bring day and night alive.
At the heart of Dubai Maritime City, the world’s first purpose-built maritime centre, Verde Offices set a new international standard for a high-performance building. Shaped to harness the power of natural forces, Verde Offices utilize advanced technologies and climate appropriate building systems to offer tenant profitability through increased productivity. With podium offices and the unique sky garden, Verde Offices offer various exercise and leisure spaces that are embellished with trees, plants and generous water features; an oasis that promises a respite within the confines of the high-end business experience.
Dubai Maritime City, the world’s first purpose-built maritime centre, is a 227-hectare, fully-equipped, iconic and multi-dimensional maritime centre providing a world-class infrastructure and environment for the global maritime industry and related sectors. Dubai Maritime City is driven by the needs of both local and international marine and maritime communities for a dedicated hub.
Located at the heart of Dubai, next to Port Rashid, Dubai Maritime City capitalizes on the strengths of Dubai as a regional and international hub for trade and commerce, redefining the global maritime industry. It will provide a strategic location for the maritime industry sectors across the full spectrum of maritime business, maritime management, maritime services, maritime retail and recreation, maritime education and research, ship and yacht repair and maintenance.
Buildings can have a profound effect on the environment, and the way we live our everyday lives. And Green Building brings to life the philosophy that architecture must strike a balance with its environment. It is the practice of increasing the efficiency with which buildings use resources – energy, water and materials, while reducing the building’s impact on the environment through better site planning, design, construction, operation and maintenance. Verde, like a classic Green Building, takes advantage of renewable resources, through solar hot water, photovoltaic cells, a grey water system, and an efficient glass facade with integral shading devices, to name a few of the techniques to achieve not only ecological but aesthetic harmony between a structure and its surrounding environment, natural and constructed. The triumph of Green Building practices and sustainable systems in Verde can reduce electricity usage and carbon emissions to such an extent that it is as good as planting over 300,000 trees or taking 340 cars off the road.
Iain Stewart is the Luxury Specialist at Whole World of Property. He is a highly respected figure in the international property industry, specializing mostly in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, London, Berlin, Caribbean, New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and India. He can be contacted at +44 (0)207 788 7994 or +44 07910 891 917. This is great – a blog entry on Dubai just after we heard from an expert on another city rising in international importance, Marrakech, Morocco. It’s great to see so many Luxury Real Estate members enjoying success in their global markets
By John Brian Losh
I am currently watching John Adams on DVD, it is a seven-part biopic miniseries about John Adams and the story of the first fifty years of the United States. The miniseries is based on the book “John Adams” by American historian David McCullough. It is one of best history films I have ever seen, and has received lots of critical acclaim.
It has given me a whole new appreciation for our founding fathers, the Declaration of Independence, and the Constitution of the United States of America. Many of the scenes from this miniseries were filmed in historical sites throughout Philadelphia, like Constitution Hall. Join us this fall in Philadelphia for our conference in October, and see for yourself! It’s a real-life history lesson!
John Brian Losh is the CEO/Publisher of LuxuryRealEstate.com and the President, CEO and Broker of Ewing & Clark, Inc. in Seattle. He tirelessly trots the globe meeting with members of LuxuryRealEstate.com and getting the scoop on industry trends. The Founding Fathers are some of the best people who ever lived. They are some of my biggest heroes, especially George Washington. There’s a great movie about the creation of the Constitution called “A More Perfect Union,” which I highly recommend.
By Jim Johnson
From his blog: Move to Bend Oregon for the Music
One of the reasons people are buying homes in Bend, Oregon is the music. The Les Schwab Amphitheater is where a lot of that music happens. It is a beautiful outdoor riverfront amphitheater built in the historic Old Mill District in 2001. The amphitheater was named in honor of a remarkable Central Oregonian, Les Schwab.
The amphitheater canaccommodate approximately 8,000 patrons for concerts and other events in a casual outdoor setting. All summer long it will host some of the biggest names in entertainment plus free concerts by local and national performers every Sunday.
BB King just finished a concert here. Brooks and Dunn will perform on Wednesday, August 6th. Cheryl Crow will be here on Thursday, August 28th. There are many other great artists who will be performing through August. Music is one of the many reasons people live in Bend. You can see the schedule of performers here.
Jim Johnson is the Principal Broker of Century 21 Gold Country Realty. He has lived in Bend, Oregon since 1981 and is familiar with its finest properties. In case you’re familiar with the Western United States and you’re curious, yes the Les Schwab mentioned in the first paragraph is that Les Schwab. We welcome wonderful blog entries like this in the LuxuryRealEstate.com Blog. Share the positive points of your communities so potential buyers can see different sides of cities they might miss otherwise.
By Patrick Randi Real Estate
Patrick Randi opened his real-estate agency on the left bank of Paris in 1989. Since that date, our office has been playing an important part in the sales on the left bank, which includes the famous V, VI and VII districts and arrondissements of Paris.
While the V district is the oldest, it features many XVI-century buildings, made out of stones and beamed ceilings. It is a colorful district, attracting many students (the Sorbonne), and the apartments are generally smaller and charming.
The VI district is a mixture between the V and the VII centuries, with different periods of construction going from the charming little place to the more exclusive residences.
The VII district is prestigious since, historically, in the XVII, XVIII and XIX centuries enormous mansions with unbelievable gardens were built. Most of them are occupied by French government institutions (Hotel Matignon, house of our Prime Minister), therefore leaving less space for privately owned properties. It is divided in two different areas: St Germain, which is busy with hotels, restaurants and high-end shopping, and the Champs de Mars (Eiffel Tower), which is more residential and quiet. Foreigners adore these three districts, the entire world enjoy walking their attractive streets, where watching is an endless game to play. The Marais is quite similar to the left bank, very active and intriguing.
We also sell many properties on the right bank, the most exclusive being the VIII-century (Avenue Montaigne) and the XVI district (Etoile). These areas are glamorous and we have for sale there a choice group of XIX district apartments. Foreigners also find there the Museums (Grand Palais, etc.), the restaurants and shopping, they are attracted by wider avenues and very large flats (10,000 square feet on Avenue Foch or Avenue d’Iéna), suitable for clients from Russia, the Persian Gulf and United States. In Neuilly, the exclusive suburb of Paris, we handle sales of large mansions with enormous gardens, it is a greener space.
Old prominent French families(most of them a client) live in all these privileged arrondissements, in secluded and amazing properties, featuring the parquet floors, fireplaces and moldings, marvelous showcases for precious family antiques.
The attraction of Paris all over the world is always growing and therefore it may take some time finding the property of one’s dream. Private individuals, as well as investors, are willing to place their money on an ever-increasing market and take advantage of a unique lifestyle.
In Paris, the supply has never been able to keep up with demand, and the prices increase accordingly.
Our most important sales have been to French tycoons, Europeans, Americans, Persian Gulf residents and now we start to welcome Russians and Asians, all of whom are looking for a typically Parisian apartment.
We are lucky enough to be confronted each day with this diversity and vast history. It is fun to encourage and help our foreign clients to «play the French», showing them the open air-markets, the quaint unknown areas, all the little «codes» that make up the French mind or way of life. If we take good care of our long-time French families, we enjoy very much meeting and helping clients from all over the world to settle in Paris for a while or why not forever?
Patrick Randi is the Founder and President of Patrick Randi Real Estate in Paris, France. He is a distinguished member of Who’s Who in Luxury Real Estate. This is a great blog entry, giving us a taste of the French luxury market and Parisian delights. By the way, Paris is where the 4th Annual Luxury Real Estate International Conference will be hosted. Be sure to sign up for it! The photo is from www.flickr.com/photos/tangysd/2139262874 and it is the copyright of skinnydiver.
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