National market report

Jul.July 01, 2012 07:00 AM

Los Angeles


The landmarked Providence Biltmore, a 292-room hotel, has sold for $16 million, the Providence Journal reported. The new owner, Boston-based Finard Coventry Hotel Management, is planning a $10 million renovation slated to begin this summer. Earlier this year, a Superior Court judge approved the sale of the Biltmore, which had been pushed into state receivership by lenders looking to recoup $25.3 million from the previous owners of the property. The overhaul is slated to include a new roof and a face-lift for the hotel’s ballrooms, meeting rooms, lobby, guest rooms and hallways. The work is expected to be completed within two years, and the hotel — originally constructed in 1922 — will remain open during the renovation.

Los Angeles

The South Park neighborhood of downtown Los Angeles is getting its first new construction project since 2008, with a new 440-unit luxury rental apartment complex, Commercial Property Executive reported. The two-phase development, known as Avant, is a $170 million joint venture between Fifield Companies and Cypress Equity Investments. The first phase includes two seven-story residential towers at 1340 South Figueroa and 1355 South Flower streets, with 11,000 square feet of retail space on the ground level. The apartments are expected to hit the market in November 2013, with rents ranging from $1,350 to $3,500 per month, according to the Los Angeles Times. The second phase, slated to begin construction in early 2013, is a 194-unit building at 1500 South Figueroa Street. In downtown Los Angeles, some 2,700 apartment units were under construction and 3,900 were planned in the first quarter of this year, according to a report by Marcus & Millichap Real Estate. In California as a whole, 41,790 new and previously owned houses traded hands in May, the Times reported, up 9.3 percent from April and 17.6 percent from May 2011. The state’s median home price hit $270,000, rising 8.4 percent year-over-year.


The 89th-floor penthouse at Trump International Hotel and Tower hit the market last month for $32 million, Forbes reported, making it Chicago’s priciest residential listing. The 14,620-square-foot home is listed with Chezi Rafaeli of Coldwell Banker. Chicago’s luxury real estate market has seen an uptick in activity this year, Forbes reported, with 10 homes priced at $6 million and higher hitting the market since February, and nearly half of those now sold. “Sales have lead to a limited amount of inventory in high-end properties, and the market has picked up so the seller believes this is the best time to sell the penthouse,” Rafaeli told Forbes. According to, the median Chicago home sale price in May was $180,000, down 2.7 percent from the same month of last year.

Washington, D.C.

Washington, D.C., mayor Vincent Gray and congressman Darrell Issa want to ease the city’s federally mandated building height limits, the Wall Street Journal reported last month. Buildings in the district can be no taller than 130 feet, but Gray and Issa want to give developers of office and residential properties the option of adding an extra 15 feet, or one floor. Washington’s population has risen 8 percent since 2000, but new development sites are in short supply, the Journal said. According to an April 2012 report from the brokerage M Squared Real Estate, the number of new residential listings in the city was down 19.7 percent year-over-year, while closed sales rose 6.9 percent. The median sales price was $404,500, up 12 percent from the same month of last year.

Casa Casuarina

Miami Beach

The onetime home of the late fashion designer Gianni Versace hit the market last month for $125 million, making it the most expensive home for sale in the nation. Versace purchased the 10-bedroom home, called Casa Casuarina, in 1992 for $10 million. But in 1997, he was shot to death on the doorstep of the mansion. Now a boutique hotel, the house is listed with Coldwell Banker’s Jill Eber and Jill Hertzberg.

Kim Kardashian and Kanye West

Beverly Hills

Hot new celebrity couple Kim Kardashian and Kanye West have quietly listed their homes amid rumors the two are moving in together, E! Online reported. Two years after buying her Tuscan-style Beverly Hills mansion for $3.4 million, Kardashian listed the five-bedroom home for close to $5 million. West, meanwhile, has reportedly pocket-listed his 4,214-square-foot Hollywood Hills home for just under $4 million.



The Texas-born musician Meat Loaf and his wife have purchased a newly constructed home outside of Austin for $1.48 million, the Real Estalker reported. The 5,200-square-foot home has four bedrooms, five and a half bathrooms and heated marble floors in the master bathroom. The couple previously owned a 7,142-square-foot, seven-bedroom home in Calabasas, Calif., but sold it in May 2011 for just over $3 million.


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