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This week in celeb real estate: Tinder co-founder eyes breakup with Montecito home, Beck’s former home lists for sale… and more

Aside from one $16 million sale in the South Bay, celebrities looked outside L.A. for their real estate fix this week. Two multi-million-dollar listings came up in Montecito, a celebrity enclave in Santa Barbara known to attract A-listers like Ellen DeGeneres and Oprah Winfrey. In Montecito, Tinder co-founder Sean Rad is looking to part ways with a ranch home he picked up from Ellen DeGeneres last year. The scenic six-acre compound is on the market …

Freshly renovated manse heads to the auction block with no reserve

A newly remodeled mansion on the eastern edge of Los Angeles County is hitting the auction block with no reserve. The 7,250-square-foot Mediterranean-style mansion sits in a gated community in the city of Diamond Bar and will go to the highest bidder at an auction on June 1, according to Mansion Global. It’s a no reserve auction, which means the seller isn’t setting a bottom-end threshold for bids In other words, it could sell at …

One of Karl Lagerfeld’s final works, a luxury apartment tower, is rising in Taiwan

Those mourning the loss of fashion icon Karl Lagerfeld will soon be able to turn to a new high-rise in Taiwan to purchase a piece of the late designer’s final works. In 2014, developer Jut Group teamed up with the late Chanel and Fendi creative director to design an apartment tower in Taichung City, Bloomberg reported. The building is expected to be completed by 2022. Lagerfeld designed almost every aspect of the building, from the …

Architecture’s final frontier: Here’s what houses on Mars might look like

The most Earth-like planet in the solar system, Mars has always looked like an obvious choice for future human colonization. But what would houses on Mars actually look like? A NASA-sponsored contest, called the 3D-Printed Habitat Challenge, seeks to answer that question. Launched in 2015, the contest’s third and final phase is set to wrap up next month. Though the premise is literally out of this world, technology developed for outer-space living

Long shadow of Toys “R” Us closure boosts competitors, leaves toymakers reeling

Toymakers are struggling to stay afloat in a world without Toys “R” Us. Mattel saw its annual sales fall by 8 percent last year, according to The Associated Press. Hasbro had a 12 percent drop in sales, as the sudden absence of Toys “R” Us stores made it harder to find shelves for their products. Competing retailers like Target, Walmart and Party City all expanded their toy offerings since last spring, when Toys “R” Us …

Fancy a dip? Here’s how much value pools add to homes

How much extra would you pay for a house with pool? In Los Angeles, a pool can add over $95,390 to a property’s value, while in Austin, Texas, the water feature could boost the value by over $50,220, a new analysis by Redfin has found. To work out how much value a pool can add to a home, Redfin ranked metro areas where at least 5,000 homes had sold in 2018 and more than 2 …

Why South Africa’s construction industry is on shaky ground

A South Africa construction group is calling on the government to intervene following a series of recent episodes in which $1.8 billion worth of building projects have been disrupted by armed groups around the country. A letter from the South African Forum of Civil Engineering Contractors, a lobbying group, to the country’s finance minister, Tito Mboweni, details the incidents and their impact on investor confidence and the country’s construction industry, which has seen a flight …

Two more retail tenants sign on at Macklowe’s 432 Park

UPDATED March 16, 2019, 9:21p.m.: The massive photo portrait of Harry Macklowe and his new wife isn’t the only new thing at 432 Park Avenue. At a panel at 92Y’s third annual City of Tomorrow summit, Cushman & Wakefield’s executive vice chairman Joanne Podell revealed that two more tenants had signed leases at the 130,000-square-foot commercial component of Macklowe’s luxury condominium tower. New York Post columnist Steve Cuozzo was making a larger point about how […

Hudson Yards’ tax breaks are bigger than Amazon’s would have been

Over a period of more than 10 years, government tax breaks and incentives to support Related Companies and Oxford Properties Group’s development of Hudson Yards total about $6 billion. That’s double the package of tax breaks and incentives Amazon’s Long Island City campus was trying to secure before the company scrapped its plans, the New York Times reports. Related Hudson Yards’ president L. Jay Cross told the publication the 28-acre complex that contains 13 buildings …

What the trade of this luxury hotel brand means for the hospitality industry

In what is thought to be the first deal of its kind, Best Western has acquired European indie hotel chain, WorldHotels. The global hotel industry has been going through big changes in recent years, as online booking and homesharing cracked open new opportunities for independent hotels. In response, large hotel chains have launched dozens of “soft brands”, semi-independent collections of hotels that can offer differentiated experiences to travelers. This week, Best Western upped the ante …

Amazon on why its NYC campus fell through: “Look, the political climate was just really, really hard”

New York politics sent one of the most valuable companies in the world packing this week. A survey of Amazon representatives, lawmakers, public officials, lobbyists and others involved in the negotiations between Amazon, New York City and the state by the New York Times pieced together the final days of the efforts to finalize a deal for its now-scuttled Long Island City campus. The resulting picture is a company overwhelmed by New York’s political arena. …

The cost of natural disasters last year? $91B

Natural disasters caused $91 billion in damage to the United States last year, a federal government study has found. Amid growing global concern for climate change, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration analyzed the aftermath of 14 natural disasters that occurred during 2018, and found that it was the fourth most costly year on record for such events, as reported by CNBC. The most devastating events were the California wildfires, Hurricane Florence in the Carolinas …

This is the world’s “money-laundering paradise”

Everything’s bigger in Dubai. Home to the world’s tallest building since 2010, the emirate’s real estate industry could also be one of the world’s largest money laundromats. Transparency International, the anti-corruption group behind the annual Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI), has now joined the chorus of voices decrying the city-state’s weak regulations and lax enforcement, according to Forbes. With the release of its latest CPI results, Transparency International singled out Dubai for special

A Sicilian town is selling homes for a single Euro

Got a buck? Or, rather, a Euro? That could get you a home in scenic Sambuca de Sicilia, Italy. The town on the island of Sicily is selling off 17 properties there for as little as €1 to help attract people to a community experiencing depopulation, according to the New York Post. Of course, there’s a catch. New owners are obligated to invest at least $17,000 into improvements of the property within the first three …

Billionaire Henry Kravis’ 19K sf ranch is on the market

Want to ride horses, hunt big game, play golf, and fly in a helicopter, all in the same day? Then this $46 million luxury ranch in Colorado is for you. The seller, Henry Kravis, co-founder of investment company KKR, has an estimated personal net worth of approximately $5.4 billion, according to Forbes. He bought the property for $5.5 million in 1991, according the Wall Street Journal. The ranch, known as “Westlands,” spans about 4,600 acres …

Relaxing the rules: Millennial buyers are prompting some co-op boards to loosen up

Vying to lure in more young buyers, some co-op boards are loosening their rules. Some boards are trying to ease requirements about approvals and subletting to make home values more in line with condos, Forbes reported. “So many mindful co-ops are trying to act more like condos these days, so they can attract higher prices from a wider audience,” Compass agent Brian Lewis told Forbes. “I’ve never encountered a condo that wants to act more …

Love thy neighbor — then buy their apartment

It can take years — sometimes decades — but New Yorkers looking to trade up can sometimes do just that by buying the apartment next door. Combined units represent only a fraction of the market, around 2 percent to 5 percent of sales in the city, according to Miller Samuel Real Estate. But with a dose of luck, they do happen regularly, as the New York Times reported. “I’ve heard of lots of people who …

Scammed homebuyer to recoup lost money through job as a cybersecurity spokesman

An Oregon resident who lost the down payment on his new home to a scam will recoup the money he lost by working as a cybersecurity spokesman for his title company. Aaron Cole had received an email on Dec. 3 with instructions for wiring a $122,850 down payment on his new home, so he followed the instructions and transferred the funds only to find out days later that he had sent the money to scammers …

Upstate casinos eye tax break to compete with NYC-area rival

From left: Michael Treanor and Nevele Casino rendering At least three casino developers are seeking hundreds of millions of dollars in property tax breaks for upstate gaming venues, in part because the incentives will help them compete with a casino project that would be located about 45 minutes from New York City. Michael Treanor, CEO of Nevele, told Capital New York that his company’s $640 million casino in Ulster County’s Ellensville would have a harder time attracting customers if the state grants …

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1. Urban Compass raises $40M from Salesforce CEO, others 2. Manhattan’s office building values near pre-crash levels 3. Yair Levy gets defiant Like The Real Deal on Facebook for breaking industry stories, links to quirkier pieces and lively conversation about important properties in New York and around the world. TRD’s Facebook Page

High-end Riverdale market lags despite citywide rebound

From left: 4941 Arlington Avenue, 5000 Iselin Avenue and 421 West 250th Street in Riverdale While the New York City luxury real estate market has long bounced back since the recession, one high-end corner of the Bronx still lags behind. From 2009 to 2013, properties priced at and above $1 million in the western Bronx neighborhood of Riverdale saw 30 percent fewer sales than they enjoyed before the market bottomed out in 2008, according to New York City Department of Finance data cited by the New York Observer. Currently, at least several dozen listings of homes in that price range have sat…

Leroy Schecter gets $28M for Miami Beach manse

12 Indian Creek Drive, Miami Beach From the South Florida site: Steel magnate Leroy Schecter got $28 million for his waterfront Miami Beach mansion, The Real Deal has learned. The Leroy Schecter Revocable Trust sold the 12 Indian Creek Drive home on Monday, according to a written statement from Clear Title Group, which handled the closing. The transaction has not been recorded by Miami-Dade County. Schecter paid $18.7 million for the property in April 2006. Indian Creek #1 LLC is the buyer of the seven-bedroom, 16,474-square-foot manse. The company is managed by New York attorney Lawrence Markowitz. Nelson Gonzalez of EWM represented…

Robert Durst urinated on CVS cash register: cops

Robert Durst Robert Durst, an estranged member of the Durst real estate family, was arrested Sunday for allegedly exposing himself and urinating on a cash register at a CVS in Houston. The 71-year-old Texas millionaire was charged with criminal mischief. Police said he paid for his prescription prior to exposing himself. “There was no argument,” a spokesperson for the Houston Police Department told the New York Daily News. “He did not seem agitated, he did not…

SL Green’s 1 Vanderbilt gets mixed reviews at Landmarks meeting

1 Vanderbilt rendering (Kohn Pederson Fox) Opinions on SL Green’s 1 Vanderbilt were mixed at a meeting on Tuesday of the Landmarks and Preservation Commission, which sought to weigh in on the design of the 65-story building’s base and its effect on Grand Central Terminal. James von Klemperer represented building architect Kohn Pederson Fox at the meeting, pointing out new views of the Terminal afforded by a set back and the inclusion of terra cotta to complement Grand Central, Curbed reported. The majority of the commission, including chair Meenakshi Srinivasan, came out in favor of the design. Commissioner Michael Devonshire called it “well thought-out,” according to the news site, and fellow commissioner …