When George Lucas Imagines a Museum

Lucas Museum of Narrative Art.jpg

If Los Angeles is eager to be identified as a city of museums along with Washington, DC, Paris, and Málaga, Spain, this week brought good news. After nearly five years looking for a suitable location, the board of the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art (LMNA) announced that the museum’s new home would be L.A.’s Exposition Park.

After considering both Chicago and San Francisco, the choice is a coup for L.A.. Mayor Eric Garcetti called it an “incredible gift.” In fact, it is a gift, the entire $1 billion project to be funded by Mr. Lucas and his family without cost to taxpayers.

Don’t get in line quite yet–a 2021 opening is anticipated–but the institution promises to be a valuable addition to the city’s eclectic collections. The fourth museum in Exposition Park (along with the California Science Center, the California African American Museum, and the Natural History Museum) LMNA is projected to look like something out of a George Lucas film–sleek and futuristic–and it would be unsurprising to see visitors ferried in by spaceship.

The museum is designed by MA Yansong, MAD Architects, who is known locally for his design of the greenery-clad condo/townhouse development 8600 Wilshire, now under construction. In addition to 90,000-100,000 square feet of gallery space, it will have an impressive range of amenities, including restaurants, theaters, lecture halls, classrooms, library, store, and an extensive variety of digital capabilities.

The collection, seeded by Lucas’s tremendous personal art holdings, will focus on narrative art, which, according to the LMNA website, “is visual art that tells a story. It manifests itself in every kind of medium, in every culture, in every form that you can imagine.” Along with plenty of Star Wars art, the museum will highlight the works of Norman Rockwell, Maxfield Parrish, and N.C. Wyeth, as well as works by Edgar Degas, Winslow Homer and Pierre-Auguste Renoir. There will also be models, production stills, storyboards, costumes, and much, much more.

The future is on its way, and it will be landing in Exposition Park.

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Top Luxury Housing Markets 2016

Inboxes are abuzz with the latest reports on the luxury home market. In particular, I’d like to share the news from the National Association of Realtors Luxury Home Index and the “Move Over Miami” report from Redfin. When these reports are issued each fall, it’s always fascinating to see how the market measures up to the myths. Working within the market, seeing day-to-day transactions, hearing the “buzz” about prices and trends, is just one perspective. These studies are another.

The Luxury Homes Index identifies and ranks the top luxury markets in the U.S., measuring by price, sales volume, and luxury market absorption and velocity. It covers 277 counties and 63 metropolitan areas, generating metrics and rankings at both levels of geography.

October’s report finds California in a position of strength. Ranked by county, seven of the top ten are in California, with San Francisco County in number one position. Although Manhattan still holds top ranking for both listing and sales price, California’s market shows significant recovery from the recession, with improved activity and prices. Los Angeles County’s luxury market, which includes Beverly Hills, is in third position overall (after Brooklyn), but takes the prize for both total sales volume and average number of monthly sales.

There are a few stand-out curiosities in the report. For sales prices among the top 1% of the market, Kauai, Hawaii, is in first position (followed by Manhattan and Maui). Among the “Biggest Movers” in the luxury market, San Juan County, Washington, is at the top (followed by Clackamas, Oregon, and San Bernardino County)–and if you’ve been to the San Juan Islands, that’s no surprise.

Redfin tracks the most expensive 5 percent of homes sold in more than 1,000 U.S. cities. In its brand new report, Move Over Miami: Luxury Home Prices Soar in Delray Beach and Boca Raton,” Redfin puts Palm Beach County in the sizzle category. In both Delray Beach and Boca Raton, average prices soared year-over-year: 70% and 38%, respectively.

The heated market is thanks in part to new development in the waterfront and downtown areas, bringing luxury accommodations to areas that were once occupied by more modest single family homes. Water access and nearby restaurants are appealing to both full-time residents and second-home buyers.

 In Redfin’s list of the top-performing fifteen luxury markets, San Francisco was the only California city, with average sales prices climbing 22 percent. While Los Angeles didn’t make the cut for Redfin, luxury prices in L.A. were up 5 percent year over year–great news for our market.

Redfin also tracks the “bottom 95 percent” of the market and found positive change there as well, with average sales prices up year over year. Delray Beach was again in top spot, with a 21% gain.

In addition, Redfin tracks the “biggest losers” in both the luxury market and the rest of the market. (Fremont, Oakland, and San Diego appear on that list, showing luxury sales price downturns of 8%, 2%, and 1%, respectively.) Interestingly, Redfin notes that “in every city on our ‘biggest losers’ list, only luxury home prices fell in the third quarter, while the bottom 95 percent of the market saw prices rise.”

You can view the Redfin report and the Luxury Homes Index online or read Mansion Global’s editorial, which offers additional detail. And of course, if you have any questions about the luxury marketplace, I would be happy to talk with you.

Source: http://www.joycerey.com/blog/top-luxury-ho...

What do Luxury Buyers Want?

Coldwell Banker® recently convened a small group of sales associates and broker/owners to find out what they see as top-of-mind concerns for today’s buyers. The results are intriguing. Here’s a quick overview.

The panel noted a surprising trend away from the expected downsizing-to-condominiums among baby boomers. Instead, the 50-to-70 year olds are taking advantage of the small-house market, with greater accessibility, single-level living, and the privacy afforded by single family homes. Where multiple levels can’t be avoided, elevators are increasingly finding their way into new home design.

On the other hand, younger buyers, primarily in their 30s and 40s, are still going big. New affluence and dynamic technology allow them to choose lifestyle over location, with a primary residence offering all the bells and whistles of quality of life, and a secondary residence more convenient to the workplace. Nontraditional spaces–converted lofts, barns, and churches–continue to appeal to these buyers.

The panel also noted an ongoing blurring of the boundary between inside and out. Outdoor living, dining, and even sleeping areas are more popular and lavish than ever. They also mentioned the increased use of unusual building materials–metals, glass, porcelain, and manufactured materials of exceptional quality. Improved durability, lower maintenance, and reduced environmental impacts are attractive to buyers along with the aesthetic appeal of combining unexpected materials.

New residents are also influencing the housing market as they arrive with their own requirements. For example, some Chinese and Middle Eastern buyers expect a house to have a second kitchen and many buyers want accommodations for an extended family.

Some panelists observed the “off-shoring” of residences, with attractive benefits for those who move, for example, to the Caribbean, Bermuda, and countries in the Eurozone.

Finally, two familiar features were added to the list: dual closets and dual offices. When it comes to closets, bigger is better. And when it comes to offices, two is better than one–no matter the age of the homeowners.

You can read the full report in Previews Inside Out.

Source: http://www.joycerey.com/blog/what-do-luxur...

Gehry Sunset Strip Project Approved

Great news — love Frank! Curbed LA reports the Frank Gehry project on the Sunset Strip has received its last approval from the LA City Council.

 Rendering by VisualHouse

Rendering by VisualHouse

More from the article:

A big residential and commercial complex designed by Frank Gehry for the eastern end of the Sunset Strip got the final approval it needed Monday from the Los Angeles City Council.

Developer Townscape Partners plans to erect a complex of five buildings holding 229 residential units (38 will be set aside for low-income tenants) and about 60,000 square feet of commercial space at the corner of Crescent Heights, where a strip mall stands today. The council, which approved the plans unanimously, only did so after Townscape agreed to a number of compromises to win support from City Councilman David Ryu, who reps the neighborhood.

The biggest change? Reducing the height of its tallest tower from 234 to 178 feet. Townscape also agreed to spend $2 million to try to keep traffic from getting worse in the area, including by adding new bus stops.

Still, Ryu says the developer didn’t agree to all of the changes requested by him and area residents. “I’ll be the first one to say this project isn’t perfect,” he said.

Ryu had implored Gehry to preserve a 1960s Chase bank building on site. Once home to Lytton Savings, the building was designed by architect Kurt Meyer and is described by the Los Angeles Conservancy as a, “significant example of postwar-era bank design in Los Angeles.” The city’s Cultural Heritage Commission has recommended it be designated a city landmark.

But Gehry says it’s not suited for his design, and he intends to knock it down.

“I’ve had four or five of my buildings torn down … some buildings you can’t save. They outlive their time. I’ve had that happen. It’s difficult, but we move on. Somehow i’m going to figure out how to recognize Kurt as part of our project,” he said.

It’s likely that this is not the end of the road for his project, called 8150 Sunset. An attorney representing some of its opponents, who say it’s too big, has vowed to sue.

Source: http://www.joycerey.com/blog/sunset-strip-...

Life at the Top: Wealth X Report

Each year, Forbes supplies its readers with a ranked guide to the world’s richest people. Since John D. Rockefeller was confirmed as the first billionaire (in U.S. dollars) in 1916, the number of billionaires has crept slowly upward.

To understand more about the upper echelons of the world’s most affluent citizens, Wealth-X conducts an annual Billionaire Census. A widely quoted authority on global wealth, Wealth-X looks beyond the names and personalities to examine assets and lifestyles, including where the wealthiest get their money and where they’re most likely to spend it.

According to the recent study, those with a net worth of US$1 billion or more “form one of the most exclusive clubs in the world; there is only one billionaire for every 2.95 million people on the planet.” The world’s billionaire population is now a record-setting 2,473 with a total wealth of $7.7 trillion.

The number of billionaires may fluctuate with the global economy (there was a sharp drop in their numbers worldwide in 2009) and the number of billionaires among the ultra high net worth (UHNW) population (those with US$30 million and above in net assets) may change as well. In 2015, it was reported that while the increase in the number of billionaires among the UHNW was small (1%), their “wealth accounts for an ever larger share of the world’s UHNW individuals.”

With each census, these are the notable trends. For 2015, the census shows that

  1. Billionaires are holding more liquid assets than in years past.
  2. There continues to be an over-representation of males among billionaires both in numbers (88%) and in total wealth (88.6%).
  3. The wealth of female billionaires is more likely to come from entrepreneurial activity than in past years, when inheritance was their primary source of assets. (This trend holds true among the larger population, with 55% of billionaires self-made and the number with inherited wealth down by 29% since 2014.)
  4. There is an increased diversification of business holdings among billionaires, and a substantial reduction in the number of billionaires coming from the finance, banking and investment industries.
  5. Worldwide wealth is distributed 6% in Europe, 26.1% in Asia, 25.4% in U.S., and the balance divided among the Middle East, Latin America/Caribbean, Africa, and the Pacific. Geographically, the growth in the number and assets of billionaires is most dramatic in Asia.


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