A special home from a cement factory

by​ Stella

Architect Turns Old Cement Factory Into His Home, And The Interior Will Take Your Breath Away

When Ricardo Bofill stumbled upon a dilapidated cement factory in 1973, he immediately saw a world of possibilities. La fábrica was born, and almost 45 years later, the structure has been completely transformed into a spectacular and unique home.
The factory, located just outside of Barcelona, was a WWI-era pollution machine that had closed down, and came with many repairs to be done when Ricardo Bofill and his team purchased it. After years of partial deconstruction, the determined architect proceeded to lace the exterior of the property with vegetation, and furnish the interior as a modern living and work space.
La fábrica is a work in progress to this day, to which Bofill likens his own life, as his visions for the future continue to change shape. The industrial chimneys that once filled the air with smoke now overflow with lush greenery, a fine example of the beautiful transformations that result from creative thinking.

In 1973, Spanish architect Ricardo Bofill purchased a WWI-era cement factory near Barcelona

He immediately saw potential in the building, and began renovating it into his home

After years of partial deconstruction, his team proceeded to furnish the interior as a modern living space

The exterior was laced with vegetation, and now overflows with lush greenery

The structure has been completely transformed into a spectacular and unique home

“The Cement Factory is a place of work par excellence” Bofill writes on his official website

Each room is designed with its own special purpose, and no 2 look quite alike

“I have the impression of living… in a closed universe which protects me from the outside and everyday life” Bofill writes

“Life goes on here in a continuous sequence, with very little difference between work and leisure”

A variety of indoor and outdoor relaxation spots can be found throughout the property

Work space is also a crucial component here, as Bofill’s team uses part of the residence as a studio

The exterior is mostly covered by grass, but also eucalyptus, palm, and olive trees

This gives the building a “mysterious aspect of romantic ruin that makes it unique and unrepeatable”

“The kitchen-dining room located in the ground floor is the meeting point for the family”

Despite its incredible transformation, the factory is still a work in progress to this day

Bufill likens the project’s constant evolution to his own lifestyle and creative visions

La fábrica will always have further work to be done, which is part of its symbolic charm

With enough creative thinking, any space can become something new and beautiful

The Most Expensive Home Ever Listed In America

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Inside A $250 Million Mansion: The Most Expensive Home Ever Listed In America

The most expensive home for sale in the United States just hit the market for $250 million—and it includes a helicopter, complete car and art collection, and seven full-time staff.
As CNBC reported, the 38,000-square-foot Bel-Air mansion stands four stories tall with 12 bedrooms, 21 bathrooms, and three kitchens.
With kitchens both indoor and out, a live-in chef provides a bespoke dining experience around the clock.
With kitchens both indoor and out, a live-in chef provides a bespoke dining experience around the clock.
Real estate developer Bruce Makowsky (of BAM Luxury Group) largely builds properties for billionaire buyers, and he designed this home "on spec"—without a buyer in mind—but with the confidence that it would inevitably entice another billionaire. His assurance wasn’t overshot, as the house has already attracted more than half a dozen potential buyers after less than a day on the public market.
Talk about fantasy land: the candy itself is worth about $200,000.
Makowsky spared no expense in creating the most excessive adult (and child) fantasy land—curating a lifestyle unique and exclusive to billionaires. His ideal homeowner would be somewhat of a homebody—someone who appreciates extravagant amenities at home so he/she never feels the needs to leave.
"People spend over half their lives in their house," he told CNBC. "So when you're home, it should be the ultimate oasis. You should have every single entertainment aspect you could have in one home."
The mansion is just as much a party-pad as it is a family-friendly home.
The 4K Dolby Atmos Theater is usually seen in commercial movie theaters instead of private houses.
Thus, Makowsky kept recreation in mind while designing: the four-lane bowling alley is lined with gold pins; the 40-seat entertainment room with a 30-foot TV is the most advanced home theater in the country; and the game room may as well be the "glass room"—with glass ping-pong and Foosball tables, a $12,000 glass pool table, and glass candy dispensers.

Built for entertaining and hosting, the house will live quite a while before the alcohol runs out...
Though the home boasts two wine cellars stocked with the world’s finest Champagne, the 85-foot-long infinity pool outside also includes a swim-up bar and outdoor theater.
Makowsky likes to measure his TVs by feet--so this 18-foot-wide hydraulic screen rises over the pool and costs $2 million alone.
“Today, people are spending $300 million on a boat, and they use it about eight weeks a year,” Makowsky explained to the Los Angeles Times. “Then they are living in a $30-million to $40-million home.”
Commuting across this massive compound? Take an elevator lined with alligator skin or a $2 million handcrafted steel staircase.
The mansion's moat (pictured above) and its nautical décor reflects Makowsky's love for ships and travel.
So, Makowsky filled this discrepancy by designing the mansion with the idea of “more is more” in mind. A multi-millionaire himself, Makowsky—infatuated with ships, collectible vehicles, and luxury travel—furnished the home with the opulence of a mega-yacht and nautical-themed décor.
In lieu of a garage, the 12 vehicles take up almost the entire bottom floor along with the auto lounge.
Appropriately, Makowsky encircled the estate with a moat of canals, as if to compensate for the fact that the property doesn’t sit by a sea shore. A Hobie Cat sailboat even rests on the deck, albeit with nowhere to sail. Wide-screens on each floor project panoramic city-to-ocean “views”—and Makowsky, whose BAM Luxury Group also develops audio-visual systems, ensures that every room is a cinematic experience.
As functional as the home is, though, the sailboat in the moat and the decommissioned helicopter on the roof serve solely as accessories—both unusable, but there for simply as another display of wealth.
Even the staff gets a brand new white Ferrari 488 to chauffeur residents around town.
Across the house's entire bottom floor, 12 of the most exotic vehicles sit next to a lavish auto lounge. The collection, worth $30 million, contains a one-of-a-kind Pagani Huayra, the legendary "Von Krieger" 1936 Mercedes 540 K Special Roadster (valued at more than $15 million); and 10 of the rarest, fastest motorcycles ever created.
The home is impeccably decorated with the finest artwork from around the world.
In addition to an auto gallery, the home features 130 art installations, including an interactive series of the Seven Dwarfs.
The modern-day castle appropriately features an installation of Snow White's seven dwarves.
Makowsky has even offered to pay a two-year salary for seven full-time, live-in staff—including a chef, chauffeur, and masseuse—over a two-year period to attend to every nook of the home.
A masseuse resides in the home to be of service at any hour.
The mansion has far surpassed recent record listings in the Los Angeles area, including the Playboy Mansion and the former Spelling Estate, both of which held $200 million asking prices. The property has even eclipsed the current U.S. record holder, a $195 million mansion in Manalapan, Florida.

FSBO is not a good idea

In today’s market, with home prices rising and a lack of inventory, some homeowners may consider trying to sell their home on their own, known in the industry as a For Sale by Owner (FSBO). There are several reasons why this might not be a good idea for the vast majority of sellers.

Here are the top five reasons:

1. Exposure to Prospective Buyers

Recent studies have shown that 94% of buyers search online for a home. That is in comparison to only 17% looking at print newspaper ads. Most real estate agents have an internet strategy to promote the sale of your home. Do you?

2. Results Come from the Internet

Where did buyers find the home they actually purchased?
  • 51% on the internet
  • 34% from a Real Estate Agent
  • 9% from a yard sign
  • 1% from newspapers
The days of selling your house by just putting up a sign and putting it in the paper are long gone. Having a strong internet strategy is crucial.

3. There Are Too Many People to Negotiate With

Here is a list of some of the people with whom you must be prepared to negotiate if you decide to For Sale By Owner:
  • The buyer who wants the best deal possible
  • The buyer’s agent who solely represents the best interest of the buyer
  • The buyer’s attorney (in some parts of the country)
  • The home inspection companies, which work for the buyer and will almost always find some problems with the house
  • The appraiser if there is a question of value

4. FSBOing Has Become More And More Difficult

The paperwork involved in selling and buying a home has increased dramatically as industry disclosures and regulations have become mandatory. This is one of the reasons that the percentage of people FSBOing has dropped from 19% to 8% over the last 20+ years.

The 8% share represents the lowest recorded figure since NAR began collecting data in 1981.

5. You Net More Money When Using an Agent

Many homeowners believe that they will save the real estate commission by selling on their own. Realize that the main reason buyers look at FSBOs is because they also believe they can save the real estate agent’s commission. The seller and buyer can’t both save the commission.
Studies have shown that the typical house sold by the homeowner sells for $185,000, while the typical house sold by an agent sells for $245,000. This doesn’t mean that an agent can get $60,000 more for your home, as studies have shown that people are more likely to FSBO in markets with lower price points. However, it does show that selling on your own might not make sense.

Bottom Line

Before you decide to take on the challenges of selling your house on your own, sit with a real estate professional in your marketplace and see what they have to offer.

City Lights | Aperitif | Elite Brokers

Casa Blanca Utila | A rare find for sale

Casa Blanca is a rare Main Street home with income potential located near the center of town.
This four bedroom, three bathroom, three-story home is located near the center of town and is set back one lot from the bay affording beautiful views of the Caribbean Sea and the mountains of mainland Honduras from the back and side porches which wrap three quarters of the way around the third floor. Views of bustling main street Utila can also be had from the front of the home.
This convenient location allows for easy access to restaurants, stores, dive shops and other amenities within a short walking distance. Reach the public beach by foot in less than 10 minutes.
The home has a high clearance, cement slab floor (36 feet by 36 feet), ground level with 1300 additional square feet of space which could be converted and utilized as a commercial business space such as a restaurant, cafe or shop. The home is such that the second floor could be utilized as a hostel or hotel with an owners suite on the third floor – the possibilities for income generation on this property are many.
There is an outdoor parking space and storage area (bodega) on the ground level, which contain the water heater and a 2,800 gallon water cistern.
The living quarters are accessed via an outdoor staircase which leads to the second floor. Enter the home through a hallway that leads to an interior stair case up to the third story porch or access the bedrooms through a closed off hallway. The master bedroom with attached bath and the three other bedrooms and an additional full bathroom are located on this level as well as a covered porch with views of the sea.  All bedrooms have air conditioning and three bedrooms have closet storage spaces.
 Take advantage of the climate in Utila and the warm weather which allows for year-round outdoor living in this home with its large, third story covered porch area. The living room leads seamlessly out to the covered patio through sliding glass doors. There is abundant space for a barbecue, dining table and chairs as well as a couple of hammocks to relax in and enjoy the stunning views of the famous Utila sunsets.
The large kitchen features an island and plenty of storage space above and below the counter tops.  An indoor dining table can seat 8 people with views out of the windows of Utila Bay.
Be comfortable when the weather is hot with two separate high efficiency air conditioners on this level which quickly cool down the space with the help of 4 ceiling fans.  A spacious and open area for entertaining this floor also features a large bathroom which contains the laundry facilities and a room which can be utilized as an office or additional storage.
The home is bright and airy with exposed wood beams across the ceilings of the third floor which give the space character and added charm.  
It is rare to find a property in this price range in the center of Utila town with income potential.

Class: ResidentialType: HouseStatus: AvailableListing ID: 141Price: $220,000
Access: Road AccessView: Ocean ViewSocial Beach: Chepes BeachYear Built: 2008Lot Size: 0.04 acresSq. Ft.: 2,500
Beds: 4 | Baths: 3

Modern Doral a new and great housing development

Modern Doral consist of 3 Separate communities, each individually gated and with their own clubhouse, with pools, gym,  libraries etc. They require 40% deposit, 20% at contract, 10% at the beginning of construction of your individual house and 10% at rooftop. HOA is $414 and includes, alarm, Cable, Wifi, 24 hr security, Clubhouse and maintenance of all common areas.

Call me for more info, this community is PERFECT!
Prices from $895,000 to $1,695,000
4beds/4baths to 6beds/7baths

Miami Beach is getting a Trader Joe’s in 2018!!

The Miami Beach grocery shopping scene is about to get very crowded.
A Trader Joe’s is coming to South Beach in the latter half of 2018, according to The Real Deal, giving Miami-Dade County its second store. The first opened in Pinecrest a few years ago and, judging from the perpetually packed parking lot, is an enormous hit.
It will be in a new building dubbed 17 West (off 17th Street and West Avenue), designed by Touzet Studio with Stantec. Trader Joe’s will lease 11,500 square feet in the mixed-use development, which was approved in May to include over 28,000 square feet of retail space, 36 residences, and around 200 parking spaces.
The location is one block from The Fresh Market, two blocks from Publix (one of three just on South Beach), and seven blocks from Whole Foods, giving South Beachers a diverse array of grocery shopping options.
The project is a joint venture between Rock Soffer of Turnberry Associates and Elion Partners.

Most Lincoln Road cafes cited for too many outdoor tables win appeals against Miami Beach

Even Pizza Rustica, which had lost its appeal, has requested a rehearing
February 03, 2017 04:00PM 
By Francisco Alvarado
What a difference a few weeks make: Most of the 13 Lincoln Road operators given suspensions last month for allegedly putting out too many tables and chairs at Halloween have had their violations dismissed and the rest are still pursuing their appeals.
Three weeks ago, Miami Beach city officials hailed a crackdown on scofflaw Lincoln Road restaurants and cafes clogging up the pedestrian mall with sidewalk tables as a resounding success.
During a staff report at the Jan. 11 city commission meeting, Miami Beach City Manager Jimmy Morales noted 13 Lincoln Road operators had been held accountable for thumbing their noses at city warnings and would face 20 day suspensions of their outdoor permits.
“We often get criticized about why we pass a rule if it won’t be enforced,” Morales said. “Hopefully, our message has been sent.”
Miami Beach Commissioner John Elizabeth Aleman said violators had learned their lesson. “All operators should be on notice that it is in their best interest to follow instructions in advance,” she said. “The businesses should know that we are serious about enforcing the rules.”
However, the city’s plan to punish the 13 operators that allegedly put out too many sidewalk tables and chairs on Halloween night, the busiest evening on Lincoln Road, was largely a dud. After throwing out suspensions issued to five restaurants and cafes on Jan. 4, Miami Beach special master MaryAnne Lukacs has since dismissed violation orders issued to Caminetta at 607 Lincoln Road; Aura at 613 Lincoln Road; Sibilla at 833 Lincoln Road; 938 Lincoln Road; and Quattro at 1014 Lincoln Road.
On March 9, the special master will hear pending appeals from the owners of Yuca at 501 Lincoln Road and Segafredo l’Originale at 1040 Lincoln Road. Only the operators of Pizza Rustica at 667 Lincoln Road had lost their appeal and were facing the 20-day suspension order. However, the owners have requested a rehearing that has also been scheduled for March 9, according to the Miami Beach City Clerk’s office.
During the Jan. 4 meeting, representatives for the 13 operators argued city officials failed to document the alleged violations. For instance, Alfredo Gonzalez, a lobbyist for Quattro, said the restaurant managers were constantly in contact with code enforcement personnel that told them their seating arrangement had to be changed, but never said they had violated their outdoor table permit.
“Code enforcement came by several times, but issued no warnings,” Gonzalez said. “There is no record of photographs or that [the alleged violation] was brought to the attention of anyone at the restaurant.”