Market Mondays: Hotel Vancouver Up For Sale

79671569_ee9361f2cdThe iconic Hotel Vancouver is on the market. Owned by Canada’s second largest pension fund, the historic hotel is for sale as the fund seeks to reduce its hotel holdings. Also for sale by the same owner is the Fairmont Empress Hotel in Victoria and the Royal York in Toronto. Apparently, the owners wish remove themselves from the hotel business, especially older properties, where the upkeep and remodeling costs can be staggering.

No price has been released nor any estimate by the owners on the present value of the properties, but one would expect a sale price in excess of $100 million. All the properties will continue to be managed by the Fairmont chain, who have a decades long management agreement in place and will have to approve the final buyer to ensure they have the financial capacity to maintain such a venture.

The Hotel Vancouver is one of Vancouver’s most recognized buildings. Completed in 1939, it took 11 years to complete, including a 5 year delay caused by the after effects of the Great Depression. During the 5 year delay, the uncompleted structure loomed over the city as a constant reminder of hard times, much like the incomplete steel and glass buildings scattered about Las Vegas in modern times. Or the empty houses and businesses prevalent in many US cities, such as Detroit and New Orleans.

The original cost to build the hotel was $12 million, which is apparently the same amount the current owners spent to recently renovate the restaurant and lounge areas of the building. We have a personal connection to the hotel, as Randy’s grandmother worked in the restaurant as a waitress for over 25 years, beginning in the 1940’s. During the time she worked there, she became well-known to the business men and politicians who frequented the establishment. Her retirement lunch, held in the restaurant, drew the mayor and many other dignitaries to say goodbye. She was even mentioned in the Vancouver Sun Newspaper. Not bad for an Italian immigrant with a grade eight education!

For more information on the Hotel Vancouver, visit the Fairmont Web Site at: Historic Hotel Vancouver






Market Mondays: Aston Kutcher Looking For $12,000,000 For Glass House

6478219015_23e0f99d23_zAccording to the LA Times, Ashton Kutcher is shopping his home in the Hollywood Hills for a reported $12,000,000. The actor purchased the home in 2011 for approximately $8.5 million. The reason for the quick sale? He and Mila Kunis are expecting a baby, and this house is very hard to baby proof!

When you take a look at the pictures, you’ll agree. But what a beautiful property. The home makes extensive use of glass and water features throughout almost every room. If you’re looking for privacy, this is definitely not the home for you. Floor to ceiling glass is standard in every room on the view side of the house, with minimal draperies for cover. But what a view! If you look through the pictures you might even notice the Hollywood Sign in the background on one picture. Nice touch!

You can check out a full picture gallery of the property at: Curbed Los Angeles. The first picture is a real eye opener, a full frontal nude of Aston himself. With a few pixels thrown in for a G rating.



Market Mondays: Count Dracula’s Castle on the Market for Reported $85,000,000!

4493957732_c8514d1cec_zCount Dracula’s famous castle, otherwise known as Bran Castle, is now on the market for a reported $85,000,000. Although Dracula was of course a fictional character, the Irish author Bram Stoker was apparently inspired by this real life castle located in Transylvania.

The castle has an incredible history, and was once the prison for a real life evil villain by the name of Vlad “The Impaler” Tepes. One doesn’t have to think too much to figure out what Vlad was imprisoned for!

The castle was completed in 1388, but the site was originally occupied as a fort by The Teutonic Knights as far back as 1211. The history really does read like a chapter from the Da Vinci Code. There is an excellent and humorous article in the Telegraph regarding the castle here: Buy a Stake in Dracula’s Castle

You can also get a complete look at the castle, one of Transylvania’s most popular tourist attractions, at: Bran Castle



Market Mondays: Elvis Presley’s Honeymoon Home For $9,500,000

When Elvis Presley married Priscilla in 1966, they spent their honeymoonarticle-2612988-1D5815B900000578-926_964x641 in this beautiful home located in Palm Springs. Their daughter was born exactly 9 months later, so one would imagine the house has a good vibe!

Elvis rented the home for a year for $21,000. At the time it was known as the “Home of Tomorrow” with unique architecture and all the modern amenities available in the late sixties.

The newlyweds only spent 3 days there before heading back to Graceland. The property is now set up as a sort of Elvis museum, so when you check out the pics imagine the home without the Elvis posters and cardboard cutouts of the couple dotted throughout the house. There might be a prize for the first person that correctly lets us know the actual number of Elvis images that are shown in the listing picture gallery at:  Million Dollar Listing.

Final point…if you recognize the listing agents it’s because you may have seen them on the reality show “Million Dollar Listing Los Angeles”

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Market Mondays: Versailles North of Toronto for $18,000,000?

We’re always on the lookout for unusual properties, but while searching the Toronto area we came across this very2443315_10_bi “different” estate located in Vaughan, less than an hour from downtown Toronto. This is definitely a rare find, and will not fit everyone’s tastes. But you can tell from the pictures the owners have really put their heart and soul into creating this home.

We’re talking almost 24,000 square feet of opulent luxury in a palatial setting. Hand painted, sculpted ceilings, custom iron work and decor worthy of the most worldly nobility. The listing agent says you can entertain royalty in this home and they mean it!

Definitely worth taking a look. If you have to ask about the payments you can’t afford it! See the entire listing here:

Ontario Palace Fit For a King



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Market Mondays: What Does $600,000 Get You At Trump Tower in Vancouver?

Donald Trump will soon be opening his combination luxury hotel and residences in the heart of Vancouver. renderingDayScheduled for completion in mid 2016, the beautiful tower will offer fantastic amenities for both hotel guests and residence owners alike.

We have to admit that when we began to research this new Trump project, we were expecting a bland rectangle with an enormous TRUMP sign at the top of the building. Anyone who has visited Las Vegas recently will know what we’re talking about. The golden Vegas Trump building is a true eyesore in a city where it’s actually quite an accomplishment to create an eyesore!

Vancouver though, is a totally different story. The design of the structure should be a fantastic addition to the existing skyline. If there’s a giant TRUMP sign on the roof you can’t see it in any of the available drawings of the project.

The amenities are what you might expect from a Trump project. A pool night club, champagne lounge, signature restaurants and a Mediterranean inspired boutique spa are among the highlights. The Trump website for the project makes it a little difficult to get plan information, as you have to register to do so. We did, but we’re still waiting for approval at the time of posting. Having said that, it looks like residences range in size from 644 to 4,400 square feet, with prices ranging from approximately $600,000 to over $5,000,000 for one of the exclusive penthouses.

The website is worth taking a look at. You can view it here:  Trump’s Vancouver Hotel and Residences And yes, you are at the right site if the page shows a woman making out with a stuffed bear! Not sure what to say about that…

Try to be patient as you work your way through the site and get past the typical Trump portraits of Donald and his family. We were very surprised at just how spectacular a building this is, probably much to the credit of Trump’s partner in this development, Joo Kim Tiah, CEO of Holborn Group. Credit should also be given to the late Arthur Erickson, famed Canadian Architect and the designer of this building. This was Erickson’s final project, who passed away in 2009. His other credits include Simon Fraser University, The Bank of Canada Building in Ottawa, the MacMillan Bloedel Building in Vancouver as well as Robson Square, the Vancouver Art Gallery and the Provincial Law Courts, also in Vancouver.

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Market Mondays: Jennifer Lopez’s Miami Home On Market for $40 Million

630180_1200Jennifer Lopez has listed her magnificent Miami Beach property for $40,000,000 usd. The 12,000 plus square foot home was originally built in 1929 but don’t let that deter you. The property features extensive updating both inside and out. Sweeping palms, pools, boat mooring and unobstructed views of the Miami skyline highlight this one of a kind location.

The home has all the amenities you would expect at this price point, including an 800 bottle capacity wine cellar, state of the art security including security doors to the master suite, master chef kitchen, exceptional stairways, and 200 feet of private beach.

The realtor has an excellent photo and video presentation on the property that is well worth viewing, especially if you are a fan. The decorating and interior designs are quite simple, yet the home is beautifully appointed.

You can view the entire property at: J-Lo’s Miami Estate