Some of the lat­est and most al­lur­ing lux­ury neigh­bour­hoods are blos­som­ing on once-bar­ren soil, bring­ing vi­brant new life to their for­merly undis­tin­guished lo­ca­tions.

Robb Report (Malaysia) - - Money & In­vest­ments - By ALEXAN­DRIA ABRAMIAN AND RE­BEKAH BELL

Storms, ne­glect, com­mer­cial and in­dus­trial en­croach­ment or so­cial de­cline can take a heavy toll on even the most charm­ing com­mu­ni­ties. Yet many long-suf­fer­ing neigh­bour­hoods have shed their prob­lem pasts to be­come newly minted seats of res­i­den­tial splen­dour. The forces driv­ing such trans­for­ma­tions are many but in­clude scarcity of avail­able land, ease of ac­cess, the ex­pan­sion of up­scale com­mer­cial venues and ameni­ties, and ad­vances in tech­nol­ogy that al­low plan­ners to ex­e­cute in­creas­ingly am­bi­tious feats of en­gi­neer­ing. Those seek­ing to em­bel­lish their real es­tate port­fo­lios should take a closer look at the fol­low­ing dy­namic mar­kets.

Palm Beach and West Palm Beach may be con­nected by three bridges, but his­tor­i­cally the two neigh­bour­hoods have re­mained worlds apart. “West Palm Beach was des­o­late with many empty lots — even into the 1990s,” says real es­tate agent Chris Leav­itt. This bias, how­ever, has been lifted thanks to Palm Beach’s lim­ited acreage, the vastly im­proved trans­porta­tion in West Palm Beach, and a spate of high-end re­tail­ers and de­vel­op­ers who are mi­grat­ing across the bridge. The largest new West Palm de­vel­op­ment is The Bris­tol, a just- com­pleted 25-storey water­front con­do­minium project con­tain­ing 69 units priced be­tween US$5 mil­lion and US$40 mil­lion, more than 70 per cent of which were sold prior to com­ple­tion. Own­ers of these spa­cious dwellings, which av­er­age 380sqm, have ac­cess to an on- site beauty suite, air­con­di­tioned garages, a club lounge and a cater­ing kitchen. But Leav­itt be­lieves the un­ob­structed views of the In­tra­coastal Wa­ter­way, At­lantic Ocean and Palm Beach Is­land are the best fea­tures of all. “You can’t build past eight sto­ries on Palm Beach Is­land,” he says. “In West Palm, you not only get the views, but you also get these amaz­ing high ceil­ings. It’s like a bea­con in the sky.”

Even the less-lofty ex­ist­ing sin­gle­fam­ily homes are feel­ing the up­ward mo­men­tum, he notes. “While not quite yet at Palm Beach lev­els, prices have started ris­ing dra­mat­i­cally in the past few years.” In­vest­ment hunters, take note.

West Palm Beach The Bris­tol con­tains 69 units priced be­tween US$ 5 mil­lion and US$ 40 mil­lion.

No­su­perla­tives have been spared in de­scrib­ing Hud­son Yards on Man­hat­tan’s West Side. Lo­cated on 11 hectares of some of New York’s first rail yards, this prime piece of ur­ban land — the largest pri­vate real es­tate de­vel­op­ment in the his­tory of the US — is be­ing trans­formed into an up­scale city within a city. When com­pleted, Hud­son Yards will in­clude ap­prox­i­mately 4,000 res­i­dences, of­fice tow­ers, a pub­lic school, a col­lec­tion of restau­rants cu­rated by Thomas Keller, and more than 100 shops, among them New York’s first Neiman Mar­cus. De­vel­oped by Re­lated Com­pa­nies and Ox­ford Prop­er­ties Group, the mega-project will also in­cor­po­rate open spa­ces as well as art-in­stal­la­tion and per­for­mance venues. “This was once a no­man’s land that just wasn’t on the radar,” says Lisa Si­mon­sen of Dou­glas El­li­man. “And now you have prices that are over US$3,000 a square foot. That’s a huge num­ber for a new area.”

Slated to open in 2018, Hud­son Yards’ con­dos start at about US$3.8 mil­lion for a two-bed­room and top out at US$32 mil­lion for a du­plex pent­house with panoramic views. Prices per square foot are com­pet­ing with those in long- es­tab­lished lux­ury neigh­bour­hoods such as Fifth Av­enue, and many be­lieve this could be­come one of the city’s most valu­able cen­tres. “This is the very be­gin­ning,” says Sherry Tobak, se­nior vice pres­i­dent of Re­lated Sales. “Hud­son Yards is an op­por­tu­nity for buy­ers to get in on the first res­i­den­tial build­ing be­fore prices go up.”

New York Many be­lieve this could be­come one of the city’s most valu­able cen­tres.

Los Ca­bos, lo­cated on the tip of Mex­ico’s Baja Cal­i­for­nia penin­sula, is ex­pe­ri­enc­ing an ex­plo­sion of ul­tra-lux­ury-home con­struc­tion. Many of the new projects are ho­tel-based res­i­dences that of­fer own­ers not only valu­able prop­erty but also round-the-clock re­sort ser­vices. Among the new­est of­fer­ings is a col­lec­tion of 30 pri­vate res­i­dences from Las Ven­tanas al Paraíso, a Rose­wood Re­sort. Homes will boast authen­tic Mex­i­can de­sign, pri­vate in­fin­ity pools, 24-hour but­ler ser­vice and rooftop putting greens. Pen­t­houses are priced at US$7 mil­lion and in­clude views of the Sea of Cortez.

Next year sees other re­sort brands in­tro­duc­ing res­i­den­tial projects. Four Sea­sons will un­veil its Re­sort and Res­i­dences Los Ca­bos at Costa Pal­mas. The en­clave will com­prise 145 res­i­dences and a Robert Trent Jones Jr– de­signed 18-hole golf course. Homes will range from US$1.5 mil­lion to US$20 mil­lion. Ritz- Carl­ton will of­fer 27 four- and five-bed­room homes ad­ja­cent to its new Re­serve ho­tel; there, prices start at US$4.1 mil­lion. And the Mon­tage ho­tel group is de­vel­op­ing Res­i­dences Los Ca­bos, also ex­pected to open in 2018. Whole-own­er­ship res­i­dences will start at US$2.7 mil­lion. ¬

Los Ca­bos

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