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