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Own a Canyon in Colorado, Lodge and Shooting Range Included

February 27th, 2015 admin

  • Location:

    Garfield, CO

  • Price: $35,000,000

This approximately 15,000-acre ranch was built as a family retreat with room for hunting and fishing—Sarah Tilton

Condos Fused to Solve Space Crunch

February 27th, 2015 admin

The French doors into the formal living room of this Chicago home show where two apartments were combined to create a 6,000-square-foot space.

A view of the living room of the Chicago condo, owned by Laura Kofoid and David Ricci.

A hallway in the Chicago home, which was part of the newly added unit. The owners wanted to create a more traditional space rather than the modern style of the next-door apartment.

The project created space for a home office.

The game room was formerly part of the entryway of the newly added unit.

An apartment in New York’s Chelsea neighborhood was combined with the unit next door to create a larger, more open living space by interior designer Frederick Wildfoerster.

A renovated kitchen in the Chelsea apartment. Sometimes combined apartments have ‘wet-over-dry’ restrictions that help minimize damage in a plumbing emergency but make it harder to relocate kitchens and bathrooms.

The condo building in Bay Harbor Islands, Fla., where Christopher Gentile purchased a second unit next to his home, after his neighbor died.

Christopher Gentile’s renovated master suite, which was part of the new addition.

The kitchen of the Bay Harbor condo was the dividing line between the two units.

A view of Mr.Gentile’s living room, which was in the original unit he purchased.

Christopher Gentile, left, and his partner, Gary Schwartz, in their expanded home.

The floorplan of Mr. Gentile’s original unit in Florida.

Floorplan of an adjacent unit purchased after its elderly owner died.

Floorplan of the combined units after renovations.

Sometimes, the best next-door neighbor is … you.

The low inventory of luxury condos has owners looking for alternative ways to solve their space crunch. Increasingly, that means combining two smaller condos to make one large unit. In New York City, about 6% of condos and co-ops are now combinations, compared with just 1.5% four years ago, according to

Jonathan Miller,

president, Miller Samuel Real Estate Appraisers, which tracks the real-estate markets in New York and Miami. Right now, “it’s more affordable to overpay for an adjacent apartment than it is to go out and buy a new one,” Mr. Miller says.

Christopher Gentile, left, and his partner, Gary Schwartz, at their Bar Harbor Islands, Fla., home.The couple bought a neighboring condo to expand their existing condo to 3,100 square feet.
ENLARGE

The extra square footage is a blessing on its own, owners say, but the boost in property values is an added bonus.

Christopher Gentile

purchased a two-bedroom condo in Bay Harbor Islands, Fla., for $475,000 in 2005. After an elderly neighbor died, Mr. Gentile and his partner,

Gary Schwartz,

purchased his unit for $135,000 and spent another $700,000 to combine and renovate them.

The six-month project, which was completed in 2013, bumped their living space from 1,900 square feet to 3,100 square feet, including a butler’s pantry, a spacious master suite and two guest bedrooms. The combined units “are really seamless,” says Mr. Gentile, 57, an online-education company founder. Today, he estimates the property is worth upward of $1.5 million.

Combining condos is easiest while the building is under construction. In Dallas, for example, potential buyers in the Bleu Ciel luxury-condo building get to choose between two floorplans: one for a standard unit and another for a larger combined unit, says

Alan Mark,

who is the marketing adviser for the developer, Harwood International. “Right away we have more inventory to offer,” says Mr. Mark. When the high-rise opens in late 2016 or early 2017, prices will range from $800,000 for a two-bedroom unit to more than $1 million for a three-bedroom penthouse.

A living room in the Bay Harbor Islands home, which underwent a six-month renovation, costing about $700,000.
ENLARGE

Homeowners in competitive housing markets, such as New York, Chicago and Miami, are most likely to combine condos in existing buildings. Growing families want to remain in prime locations, where the inventory of three- and four-bedroom units is limited. Rather than moving, buyers are creating “mansions in the sky,” says

Susan Wachter,

a real-estate professor at the University of Pennsylvania. “There’s a new need out there and supply hasn’t caught up,” she says.

In New York, prewar apartments divided into smaller units in the 1930s and ’40s are being put back together again. Designer

Frederick Wildfoerster

has worked on several of these projects. Before the renovation begins, he often looks back at the building’s original plans—which are especially helpful when tackling plumbing issues. Many buildings forbid “wet-over-dry” layouts in which a bathroom on one floor, for example, is located directly above a living room on the floor below. This restriction helps minimize damage in the event of a plumbing emergency.

Mr. Wildfoerster says he tells clients to be upfront with condo boards about their intentions to combine units. “It’s a very bureaucratic process,” he says, and honoring the board’s directives will avert fines or the need to revert condos to their condition before the sale.

New York-based interior designer

Damon Liss

says he mostly discourages clients from combining units because it can often result in awkward configurations. And jobs done poorly—mismatched fixtures, wood tones, flooring and other finishes—may make it difficult to recoup the investment when selling.

Richard Marx,

a 48-year-old fashion designer, and his wife, Madeline, purchased a two-bedroom apartment in New York’s Greenwich Village in 2008 and the one-bedroom next door the following year. The couple and Mr. Wildfoerster designed the enlarged space to include laundry hookups in the kitchen, a home office and a master bedroom separated from the kids’ two bedrooms with a larger living room. Mr. Wildfoerster also negotiated the changes with the co-op board. To hide a doorway that would no longer be used and block noise from the public hallway, Mr. Wildfoerster reinforced the wall with foam and sheetrock.

The condo now has a spacious entryway.
ENLARGE

In all, the project took one year, says Mr. Marx, who paid $1.1 million for the first unit and $900,000 for the second, smaller unit. Another $1 million was spent to join and renovate the entire home, an investment he says is worth it because similarly sized homes nearby sell for $5.5 million. “There aren’t too many large apartments in good shape,” he says.

In addition to money, homeowners should expect to invest a lot of time into fusing two units, says attorney Marc Luxemburg, president of the Council of New York Cooperatives and Condominiums, a nonprofit supporting co-op and condo buildings. Filing architectural plans and getting proper permits from the city can take months. And buyers who need to annex part of a hallway when combining two units can expect a lengthy approval process from the condo or co-op board, Mr. Luxemburg adds.

Once the bureaucratic hurdles are cleared, homeowners face the challenge of giving the units a singular feel. In Chicago,

Laura Kofoid

and her husband, David Ricci, own a unit with traditional décor in a 1927 condo building on Lake Shore Drive. They purchased a unit next door that had modern décor. To create a flow between two units, the couple hired designer


Fred Wilson

—aided by a surprise discovery. “We found a closet full of chandeliers and crystals downstairs” in the apartment, says Ms. Kofoid, chief executive of a custom handbag company.

The expense of combining units can catch clients off guard, says Mr. Wilson, who is based in Evanston, Ill. Finding the point where to break through the wall is often trickiest, since chimneys, stairwells or elevator shafts are often in the way. Ms. Kofoid declined to divulge the cost of her renovation, but Mr. Wilson says his charges typically range from $100,000 for a simple connection to $800,000 for a more extensive renovation, which includes construction costs. “We basically we want to make it look like we were never there,” he says.

The finished condo now includes a family room for their two children, a guest room and home office in a condo that now totals 6,000 square feet. The renovation doubled their space while allowing them to remain in their mid-rise, doorman building on the lakefront, she said.

The renovation took a year, and the family of four stayed in their home during the renovation. “We camped on different sides of the apartment,” Ms. Kofoid said.

Write to Alina Dizik at alina.dizik@wsj.com

A Saudi Prince’s New York Nest Is Listing for $48.5 Million

February 27th, 2015 admin

The Upper West Side triplex apartment of Prince Nawaf bin Sultan bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud is listing for $48.5 million.

The roughly 10,500-square-foot apartment has four bedrooms, four bathrooms and six half-baths. The apartment may be sold furnished.

The apartment was created by merging six smaller units on the fifth, sixth and seventh floors of the 31-story condo building.

The apartment has a suite of customized spaces, including three bullet-proof panic rooms, a fitness center, billiards room, hair salon and a ventilated cigar room. The space overlooks the Hudson River.

There is a six-person Jacuzzi in a lounge area overlooking the water.

Part of a bedroom suite.

A bathroom in the home

A staircase in the home.

A space was created for private appointments with hair stylists.

There is a spa and relaxation area in the apartment.

An exercise area.

The listing agents are Ryan Serhant and Brian Chan of Nest Seekers International and Raphael De Niro of Douglas Elliman.

A roughly 10,500-square-foot triplex apartment owned by a Saudi prince on New York’s Upper West Side is listing for $48.5 million, according to public records and people familiar with the property.

A corporation is listed as the owner of the apartment; a lawsuit relating to a past sale in the building identifies the principal of that corporation as

Prince Nawaf bin Sultan bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud.

Steven Isser, an attorney involved in the lawsuit, declined to comment because the case is ongoing. The prince couldn’t be reached to comment.

In the Heritage at Trump Place, the apartment is a four-bedroom, four-bathroom and six half-bath home that was created by merging six smaller units on the fifth, sixth and seventh floors of the 31-story condo building, city records showed. The apartment has a suite of customized spaces, including three bullet-proof panic rooms, a fitness center, billiards room, hair salon, a ventilated cigar room and a 60-foot living room overlooking the Hudson River, the listing said.

There are also built-in saltwater aquariums, a sushi island bar, outdoor terraces and a six-person Jacuzzi in a lounge area overlooking the water. Large slabs of Calacatta marble and other stones are used throughout the space, and the apartment is fully automated with smart-home features.

Ryan Serhant,

one of the listing agents, said the owner, who he declined to identify, is selling the unit because he rarely used it.

A billiards room with a saltwater aquarium
ENLARGE

The unit is selling for roughly $4,600 a square foot, which is high for the Upper West Side and more in line with units listing on so-called “billionaire’s row,” a stretch along 57th street where condo sales are breaking price records, said

Jonathan Miller,

president of appraisal firm Miller Samuel. Mr. Serhant said they compared the apartment to those high-end 57th Street units to set the price. He said the apartment may be sold furnished

The listing agents are Mr. Serhant,

Brian Chan

of Nest Seekers International and

Raphael De Niro

of Douglas Elliman.

Greta Van Susteren Cuts the Price on Her Maryland Home

February 27th, 2015 admin

The 18th-century home of Greta Van Susteren in Annapolis, Md.
ENLARGE

Fox News host

Greta Van Susteren

and her husband,

John Coale,

have reduced the asking price on their 18th-century Annapolis, Md., home to $1.825 million, down from $2.1 million last April.

The couple bought the 3,684-square-foot home for about $1.8 million in 2010, according to public records and Mr. Coale. Located downtown near the waterfront, the home has five bedrooms, three full bathrooms and two half-baths. Its price was reduced in December.

Built around 1776, the Federal-style home has Georgian influences and retains many of its original architectural features, said Meggen Taylor, founder of Find Everything Historic, a listing portal for historic homes that is hosting this house.

A view of the interior, which the couple filled with period-relevant antiques.
ENLARGE

Mr. Coale, a retired trial lawyer, is known in part for his role in the class-action lawsuits against the chemical company Union Carbide after a disastrous gas leak in Bhopal, India, in 1984. A history enthusiast, he said he and Ms. Van Susteren were interested in the area’s rich history. Ms. Van Susteren, a former lawyer, is the host of the Fox News show “On the Record with Greta Van Susteren.” (


News Corp
.

, owner of The Wall Street Journal, was part of the same company as


21st Century Fox

until mid-2013.) Among her favorite features: the burn marks on the original living-room floor, where residents used to sit around a fire for warmth, she said.

The couple filled the home with period-relevant antiques and restored architectural details like moldings and windows. They said they are selling the home because they are spending more time at a house in Washington, D.C. Besides the history, Ms. Susteren will miss the home’s four parking spaces—a rare find in downtown Annapolis, she said.

The home is listed with the couple’s daughter-in-law,

Kathleen Coale,

of Lacaze Meredith Real Estate, a Long and Foster Company.

San Francisco Penthouse Under Construction Seeking a Record $49 Million

February 27th, 2015 admin

A rendering of the under-construction, 15,000-square-foot penthouse at the Lumina.
ENLARGE

A roughly 15,000-square-foot penthouse apartment in an under-construction tower in San Francisco is listing for $49 million, a price that may set a residential real-estate record for the city.

Located on the 41st and 42nd floors of one of two new towers collectively called the Lumina, the unit will have 20-foot-tall ceilings in parts of the apartment along a curvilinear wall of glass overlooking the Bay Bridge. The unit, shown in renderings here, will also include two kitchens, eight terraces that cover 1,200 square feet and private access to a rooftop deck. There will be five bedrooms, five full bathrooms and two half-baths.

A rendering of the development
ENLARGE

The buildings, with a total of 656 units, are in the city’s South of Market district and are expected to be completed in summer 2016. Prices start in the $2 million range for two-bedroom units. The developer is Tishman Speyer.

The listing agent,

Gregg Lynn

of Sotheby’s International Realty, said the price sets a record for San Francisco. Sales began in the last quarter of 2014 and roughly 200 of the 656 units are under contract. About 80% of buyers so far have been local to the area, Mr. Lynn said, noting that the booming tech industry is fueling the sales. “We see a technology guru” buying the unit, he said.

Residents will also have access to building amenities like a fitness center and a mobile-app service that delivers organic groceries, Mr. Lynn said

Write to Stefanos Chen at stefanos.chen@wsj.com

A Hamptons-Style Home in Australia

February 26th, 2015 admin

  • Location:

    Melbourne, Australia

  • Price: $7,800,000

This estate, a little more than an hour’s drive from Melbourne, includes landscaped gardens, a swimming pool and a guest cottage. —Andre Cooray

A Saudi Prince’s New York Nest Is Listing for $48.5 million

February 26th, 2015 admin

The Upper West Side triplex apartment of Prince Nawaf bin Sultan bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud is listing for $48.5 million.

The roughly 10,500-square-foot apartment has four bedrooms, four bathrooms and six half-baths. The apartment may be sold furnished.

The apartment was created by merging six smaller units on the fifth, sixth and seventh floors of the 31-story condo building.

The apartment has a suite of customized spaces, including three bullet-proof panic rooms, a fitness center, billiards room, hair salon and a ventilated cigar room. The space overlooks the Hudson River.

There is a six-person Jacuzzi in a lounge area overlooking the water.

Part of a bedroom suite.

A bathroom in the home

A staircase in the home.

A space was created for private appointments with hair stylists.

There is a spa and relaxation area in the apartment.

An exercise area.

The listing agents are Ryan Serhant and Brian Chan of Nest Seekers International and Raphael De Niro of Douglas Elliman.

A roughly 10,500-square-foot triplex apartment owned by a Saudi prince on New York’s Upper West Side is listing for $48.5 million, according to public records and people familiar with the property.

A corporation is listed as the owner of the apartment; a lawsuit relating to a past sale in the building identifies the principal of that corporation as

Prince Nawaf bin Sultan bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud.

Steven Isser, an attorney involved in the lawsuit, declined to comment because the case is ongoing. The prince couldn’t be reached for comment.

Located in the Heritage at Trump Place, the apartment is four-bedroom, four-bathroom and six half-bath home that was created by merging six smaller units on the fifth, sixth and seventh floors of the 31-story condo building, city records showed. The apartment has a suite of customized spaces, including three bullet-proof panic rooms, a fitness center, billiards room, hair salon, a ventilated cigar room and a 60-foot living room overlooking the Hudson River, the listing said.

A billiards room with a saltwater aquarium
ENLARGE

There are also built-in saltwater aquariums, a sushi island bar, outdoor terraces and a six-person Jacuzzi in a lounge area overlooking the water. Large slabs of Calacatta marble and other stones are used throughout the space, and the apartment is fully automated with smart-home features.

Ryan Serhant,

one of the listing agents, said the owner, who he declined to identify, is selling the unit because he rarely used it.

The unit is selling for roughly $4,600 a square foot, which is high for the Upper West Side and more in line with units listing on so-called “billionaire’s row,” a stretch along 57th street where condo sales are breaking price records, said

Jonathan Miller,

president of appraisal firm Miller Samuel. Mr. Serhant said they compared the apartment to those high-end 57th Street units to set the price. He said the apartment may be sold furnished.

The listing agents are Mr. Serhant,

Brian Chan

of Nest Seekers International and

Raphael De Niro

of Douglas Elliman.

A Modern, Minimalist ‘Miniature Museum’ for $2.395 Million

February 26th, 2015 admin

  • Location:

    Santa Barbara, CA

  • Price: $2,395,000

A visual artist in Santa Barbara, Calif., has created his own ‘architectural art piece’ on a street ravaged by the 2008 Montecito Tea Fire. –Monika Anderson

A Saudi Prince’s New York Nest Is Listing for $48.5 million

February 26th, 2015 admin

The Upper West Side triplex apartment of Prince Nawaf bin Sultan bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud is listing for $48.5 million.

The roughly 10,500-square-foot apartment has four bedrooms, four bathrooms and six half-baths. The apartment may be sold furnished.

The apartment was created by merging six smaller units on the fifth, sixth and seventh floors of the 31-story condo building.

The apartment has a suite of customized spaces, including three bullet-proof panic rooms, a fitness center, billiards room, hair salon and a ventilated cigar room. The space overlooks the Hudson River.

There is a six-person Jacuzzi in a lounge area overlooking the water.

Part of a bedroom suite.

A bathroom in the home

A staircase in the home.

A space was created for private appointments with hair stylists.

There is a spa and relaxation area in the apartment.

An exercise area.

The listing agents are Ryan Serhant and Brian Chan of Nest Seekers International and Raphael De Niro of Douglas Elliman.

A roughly 10,500-square-foot triplex apartment owned by a Saudi prince on New York’s Upper West Side is listing for $48.5 million, according to public records and people familiar with the property.

A corporation is listed as the owner of the apartment; a lawsuit relating to a past sale in the building identifies the principal of that corporation as

Prince Nawaf bin Sultan bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud.

Steven Isser, an attorney involved in the lawsuit, declined to comment because the case is ongoing. The prince couldn’t be reached for comment.

Located in the Heritage at Trump Place, the apartment is four-bedroom, four-bathroom and six half-bath home that was created by merging six smaller units on the fifth, sixth and seventh floors of the 31-story condo building, city records showed. The apartment has a suite of customized spaces, including three bullet-proof panic rooms, a fitness center, billiards room, hair salon, a ventilated cigar room and a 60-foot living room overlooking the Hudson River, the listing said.

A billiards room with a saltwater aquarium
ENLARGE

There are also built-in saltwater aquariums, a sushi island bar, outdoor terraces and a six-person Jacuzzi in a lounge area overlooking the water. Large slabs of Calacatta marble and other stones are used throughout the space, and the apartment is fully automated with smart-home features.

Ryan Serhant,

one of the listing agents, said the owner, who he declined to identify, is selling the unit because he rarely used it.

The unit is selling for roughly $4,600 a square foot, which is high for the Upper West Side and more in line with units listing on so-called “billionaire’s row,” a stretch along 57th street where condo sales are breaking price records, said

Jonathan Miller,

president of appraisal firm Miller Samuel. Mr. Serhant said they compared the apartment to those high-end 57th Street units to set the price. He said the apartment may be sold furnished.

The listing agents are Mr. Serhant,

Brian Chan

of Nest Seekers International and

Raphael De Niro

of Douglas Elliman.

A Modern, Minimalist ‘Miniature Museum’ for $2.395 Million

February 25th, 2015 admin

  • Location:

    Santa Barbara, CA

  • Price: $2,395,000

A visual artist in Santa Barbara, Calif., has created his own ‘architectural art piece’ on a street ravaged by the 2008 Montecito Tea Fire. –Monika Anderson