10/11/17 9:28am

Les femmes d’Alger

In 2015, a Picasso painting sold for a record $179 million. It was painted in 1955 and titled “Les femmes d’Alger” and was a tribute to friend and rival painter Henri Matisse.  Compared to that, the auction of Picasso’s last home should be a breeze where bidding will start at € 20.2 million tomorrow at Residence365.com, a Christies affiliate. Coming full circle, Les femmes d’Alger was also sold by Christies.

Unassuming, yet stunning main entrance (door behind tree)

The home, known locally as Mas de Notre Dame de Vie was the artist’s home from 1961 until his death at 93 in 1973.  It’s located in the hills about four miles north of Cannes, France. When Picasso purchased the home it already had 24 rooms. His first addition was a studio space with its own terrace. Over the ensuing years, the home grew several more times.  The main house encompasses 13,000 square feet with five bedrooms and nine full and one half baths … oh, and two kitchens. A guest house and gatekeeper’s cottage clock in at another 4,000 square feet. Not to worry, the home sits on eight acres spread across a hillside offering mind-boggling views over Cannes and the sea.

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09/23/17 11:00am

Leave town for a week and everything happens.  On September 7, a third of Molokai Island was put up for sale for $260 million.  The property includes 300 parcels covering 55,575 acres with over 20 miles of coastline.  Granted, it’s not as showy as Larry Ellison’s 2012 purchase of 98 percent of the island of Lanai for $500-ish million, but Lanai is a bit larger at 141 square miles. A purchaser would still be able to brag about being one of the top five private landowners in the state.

Sure it’s a physically beautiful location that offers unprecedented privacy and bragging rights, but it also comes with a contentious local population who are vociferously anti-progress.  Current owner, Singapore-based GL Limited found that out for themselves.

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08/15/17 8:51am

What happens when you don’t bulldoze a vibrant urban core for an urban office park?  Austin. What happens 60 years later when you finally realize the huge mistake you made? Houston and Dallas. What happens when you want the very best pied-à-terre in Austin? You head to the Austonian at 200 Congress Avenue. And putting the “high” in highfalutin is unit 50T.

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08/09/17 3:09pm

Queue the James Bond music …

Perched 1,600 feet above the St. Lawrence River, any James Bond villain would be at home plotting the fate of the world in this modern luxe pad.  Just looking at the exterior, it’s no wonder it was the winner of a 2014 Nobilis prize awarded by Provincial Association of Quebec Homebuilders. It’s doubly no wonder it was seen in the pages of Wallpaper and Architectural Digest.

This aerie is located about 90 minutes northeast of Quebec City. By the numbers, it has three bedrooms and two full bathrooms within a generous 4,059 square feet of genius architecture.  It’s listed with local Christie’s rep Profusion Realty LLC agents Guillaume L’Ecuyer and Stéphane Caron for C$1.988 million.  Thanks to a strong US dollar, that’s more like US $1.57 million to you and me.

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08/08/17 5:00pm

 

In 1962, Jed Clampett and family moved from the Ozarks to Beverly Hills after oil was discovered on their land.  So started one of the most endearing television sagas of all time lasting nine seasons and 274 episodes.  In truth, the Kirkeby Mansion was built in 1933 by Arnold Kirkeby who built a chain of 16 upscale hotels. His first property was Chicago’s Drake Hotel and also included the Beverly Wilshire in Beverly Hills.  The architect was Sumner Spaulding and has an 18th century French Neoclassical design ethos. Other movies using the mansion include Mame and Cinderfella.

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08/02/17 9:03am

In 2015 I wrote a pair of articles about Howard Hughes Corporation’s purchase and development plans for 60 acres in the Kaka’ako section of Honolulu (here, here). The development is sandwiched between downtown Honolulu and world-famous Waikiki and is slated for 16 high-rise condo towers with 4,300 units plus over 1 million square feet of restaurants and retail being rolled out in the next 10-20 years.

Work is continuing to chug along, but there is a global softness in the ultra-luxury real estate market. What to do, what to do?  In order to get the last few units sold in their first three projects, Howard Hughes is offering some sweet incentives.  Of course if you’re purchasing one of these seven-figure beauties, these incentives are baubles you could easily secure yourself.  But still … a sale is a sale.

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07/26/17 10:39am

Often when I write about second homes, I’m writing about areas to consider. This time I’m dictating exactly which second home you must purchase.  I’m doing this because it’s one thing to impress your friends by owning a second home, but it’s a complete mic drop to add that it’s a Frank Lloyd Wright prairie style home.

Known as the F.B. Henderson home, this property is situated on roughly one-half acre in the Chicago suburb of Elmhurst at 301 S. Kenilworth Avenue. It was built in 1901 during Wright’s brief partnership with Henry Webster Tomlinson and is almost a mirror to Wright’s Hickox house in Kankakee, Illinois.  I like this one better because it’s much closer to Chicago. The home has 5,500 square feet with six bedrooms and four bathrooms. It’s been on and off the market for a couple of years (with a rental period in the middle) and is currently listed with Marilyn Fisher with L.W. Realty for $1.1 million, though she’s quoted in the Chicago Tribune as saying, “The price may come down.”

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07/05/17 9:36am

As a child, my family piled into the car for a summer beachfront vacation on the shores of Cape Cod. The drive from Chicago was as you might expect when two children and a dog are in the back seat.  The dog often stood between us looking out of the windshield while my brother and I took turns pushing the dog’s butt into the other’s face.  Ahh … youth before the iPad.

Our destination was a grouping of small weathered beachfront cottages in East Sandwich, Mass. Imagine my surprise when I saw that a few of those cottages were for sale.  At two bedrooms and one bath, these 400-square-foot retreats only lasted until teenagerdom made them uninhabitable for four adult-size people. At that point we moved on up to the deee-luxe 700-square-foot model.

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