This month, the newest listing I'm delighted to represent is a stunning four-bedroom, four-bath loft-like residence in one of Nob Hill’s most iconic Park Avenue-style doorman buildings -- The Francesca.
With a transitional-modern 21st Century remodel that artfully compliments the building's original design details from 1923 (a gorgeous carved-wood front door, coffered and beamed ceilings, and original fireplace), the residence caught the eye of design expert Emily Landes, who wrote about it for a fascinating article at SFGate.com.
The style was inspired by some of the world’s great restaurants, such as Michael Mina’s RN74 in San Francisco, and Buddha Bar in Paris.
The Golden Gate Flyer
Previews of the New SF
In New York, a Sandcastle and a Crown
Speaking of the Carters, Dan Rattiner's dishy piece about the Hamptons reports "the fur will fly" now that the neighbor of their recently purchased $26 million Georgica Pond estate wants to build a house that would block part of their view!
Meanwhile, in Manhattan, e-commerce billionaire Michael G. Rubin is reportedly paying $43 million for a penthouse at 160 Leroy, Ian Schrager's new development designed by Herzog & de Meuron, making it the most expensive residence sold south of 14th Street.
Another penthouse in the news is the Crown Penthouse, designed by Pembrooke and Ives, which had been listed for $68.5 million when I first wrote about it in October 2016 when still under construction.
With construction finished, it's now listed for $73.8 million. The lavish three-story residence atop 212 Fifth Avenue (built in 1913, it's one of New York's first skyscrapers), offers over 10,000-square-feet of indoor living space, 5,730-square-feet of terraces, and a ballroom.
Another iconic New York landmark from 1913 is about to get a dramatic transformation -- the Frick Collection. Its new expansion has just been approved by the Landmarks Preservation Commission, with construction starting in 2020.
Fashion, Jewels and Homes of the Queens
Along with the boom in high-end real estate, collectables such as fine jewelry are seeing unprecedented levels in value as seen in the intense interest in the upcoming auction of Marie-Antoinette’s jewelry.
One of the most important royal jewellery collections ever to come to auction, The Royal Jewels from the Bourbon Parma Family will be shown in eight cities before being auctioned in Geneva on November 12.
Queen Marie Antoinette resided, of course, in one of the world’s most valuable pieces of real estate -- the Château du Petit Trianon, used as her private getaway on the grounds of the Palace of Versailles.
Held November 28, 1973 in the Palace of Versailles to raise money for its restoration, the gala showcased the talents of five American designers (Bill Blass, Stephen Burrows, Halston, Oscar de la Renta, and Anne Klein with Donna Karan), and five French designers (Yves Saint Laurent, Emanuel Ungaro, Pierre Cardin, Marc Bohan for Christian Dior and Hubert de Givenchy).
Clothing was modeled in theatrical vignettes along with performances by Liza Minnelli, Josephine Baker, Jane Birkin, Zizi Jeanmaire, Danielle Darrieux and Nureyev.
Legend has it that Taylor and husband-at-the-time Michael Wilding (number 2 of 8) reportedly decided to buy the property after trespassing (literally scaling the fence) to see it for themselves!
Writing about it years later in her memoir, she said "It was the most beautiful house I’ve ever seen." The original architect, George MacLean, became godfather to Elizabeth’s son, Christopher.
The home was scene of many a glittering soiree for Hollywood royalty (Taylor was reportedly “fashionably late” for her own parties!).
Our third royal residence of the month is Cher's -- or more precisely, the Beverly Hills compound of her son, Elijah Blue Allman, which just went on the market for $2.5 million.
Billion Dollar Listing
Currently owned by luxury handbag entrepreneur Bruce Makowsky, the 21,000 square foot estate at 924 Bel Air Road boasts 17 bedrooms and 21 bathrooms, linked over four floors, by lifts lined with crocodile skin.
Once sold, neither of these properties would hold their titles for long as construction of developer Niles Niami's 100,000 square foot mansion, The One, is expected to be completed soon. The incredible property, which I first told you about in my March 2016 issue, will have a price tag of $500 million.
But just when you thought prices couldn't possibly get higher, global super-luxury numbers have hit the stratosphere this month with the unveiling of the One Billion Dollar Listing!
Stay tuned for further updates!
Prices at The Peak
In real estate news outside the U.S, another sales record was recently shattered with the $115,000,000 purchase of a 5,579 square foot home on Hong Kong's Victoria Peak.
Victoria Peak is certainly the world’s priciest neighborhood, with land at 75 Peak Road selling for $657.8 million in 2015, (the new owner has approval to build two villas on the site valued at around $400 million each!)
Chen Hongtian (chairman of Shenzhen's Cheung Kei Group), paid $267 million for a home at 15 Gough Hill Road (which I wrote about in my June 2016 issue)
China is also home to one of the most exciting new highrises in the world -- the first skyscraper with its own massive 350 foot waterfall just opened!
Straight Out of a Fairy Tale
One of the world’s most unique pieces of real estate just came on the market -- England’s historic Hadlow Castle.
Having enchanted lovers of architecture and fairy tales for centuries, the tower looms high at 175 feet, holding the title of Britain’s tallest folly.
The origins of the tower are marred with scandal, with one story claiming that in 1838 a jealous husband built the structure to keep watch on his unfaithful wife who had left him for another man.
Today the eight-floor tower is equipped for lavish royal living, with four bedrooms, four bathrooms, a living room, dining area, kitchen and home cinema!
In Northern Ireland, a wing of Gosford Castle -- used for scenes on hit fantasy TV show Game Of Thrones -- is on the market for approximately $650,000 (that's not a typo -- it's 650 thousand!)
Parts of the exterior appeared on the show as Riverrun Castle.