From a getaway once owned by Cher to a groundbreaking in West Palm Beach, there is always something new happening in the world of real estate. In this roundup, AD PRO has everything you need to know.
On the Market
Cher lived in this midcentury Miami mansion. Now it can be yours for $42.5 million
A six-bedroom estate in Miami Beach once owned by entertainment icon Cher is being listed with Dina Goldentayer of Douglas Elliman for $42.5 million. Built in 1955, with renovated interiors by Menin Homes + Design, the Spanish contemporary is located on La Gorce Island, an ultra-exclusive gated community that’s home to just 30 waterfront properties.
Beyond a courtyard draped with bougainvillea, the home features a foyer with Brazilian oak flooring, dual grand staircases, and 19-foot ceilings. During her time there, the Grammy winner added Moorish-influenced archways and windows that allow sunlight to stream into nearly every corner of the 11,460-square-foot space—including the palatial primary suite, which has its own sitting room and enclosed terrace. Other highlights include an Art Deco–style bar with custom wallpaper and a 50-foot statement pool that’s perfect for celebrity photo shoots.
Cher purchased the home for $1.5 million in 1993, selling it three years later for $4.35 million. The current owners, Canadian financier James Eaton and his wife, Cecily, bought it for $17 million in 2020.
Liberace’s West Hollywood hideaway up for grabs
When Liberace needed to get away from the glitz and glam, he decamped to his West Hollywood condo, which is on the market for $3.59 million. The four-story residence is located in the Shoreham, a 15-unit development built by MGM Studios in 1937. Over the years, the Hollywood Regency development has welcomed numerous showbiz standouts, The New York Post reported, including Olivia de Havilland and Marlene Dietrich.
While Mr. Showmanship’s old haunt doesn’t come with a piano, it does retain the original fireplace and columns. It also boasts three bedrooms, a private courtyard, a 2,000-square-foot rooftop terrace, and a downstairs suite with its own entrance.
Chris Laib and Michael Remacle of Sotheby’s International Realty share the listing.
A whale of a house surfaces in Santa Barbara
The Santa Barbara Channel provides regular sightings of humpback and blue whales. But architect Michael Carmichael always claimed the Modernist work of Antoni Gaudí was the inspiration for the Whale House, which Carmichael built in Mission Canyon in 1978. A popular Airbnb rental for many years, the three-story marine masterpiece is now listed for $3.25 million with Daniel Carpenter of Sotheby’s International Realty.
Entering through the creature’s “mouth,” visitors encounter mammoth wood beams, undulating Venetian plaster walls, and some 270 Belgian leaded and stained glass windows. Venture up the spiral staircase or make haste to the rock-covered elevator shaft to reach the primary suite on the second floor and a guest bedroom on the third.
The whale’s “belly” is, in actuality, a courtyard with an outdoor dining area and bamboo-lined shower. And standing in for the tail is a 75-foot lap pool that flows into a hidden grotto.
This Brentwood mega-mansion has its own moss wall
Over the past 10-plus years, luxury developer-designer Ramtin “Ray” Nosrati has put up more than 100 luxury homes in LA. His latest, dubbed Allure, was carved into the mountainside, requiring the removal of 680 truckloads of dirt to create a 1.3-acre plot.
The seven-bedroom, nine-bathroom compound has its own putting green and pickleball court, as well as a Michael Jordan–themed basketball court and a movie theater with a Rolls Royce Starlight ceiling embedded with fiber-optic lighting. There’s even a glass window in the swimming pool to offer a view to the 16-person sunken fire pit.
But the house’s most eye-catching elements are the living moss walls suspended 30 feet about the living room.
Extending up to the skylight, the two planes cover approximately 5,000 square feet, according to the listing with Sally Forster Jones at Compass, and include four varieties of moss.
“Designing and building Allure was an opportunity to push the boundaries of luxury and design in Los Angeles,” Nosrati said in a statement. “Every detail is a piece of a larger narrative that speaks to my team’s relentless pursuit of perfection.”
No right angles in this Will Bruder masterpiece
On a hillside in Phoenix’s upscale Biltmore neighborhood sits a unique five-bedroom abode completed by architect Will Bruder in 1986. Sure, the cinder block walls and patinated copper exterior are unusual, but it’s the circular shape that’s truly a standout—there’s nary a right angle in sight.
In the kitchen, the cabinets and appliances form a ring of domesticity, while the living room boasts a curved wall of 20-foot windows that frame views of the mountains and city lights. Even the shower in the primary suite is a curved wall of glass bricks.
5749 North Canyon Drive last sold in 2013 for $1.1 million. It’s currently listed for $3.49 million with Benjamin Marsh of the Marsh Partners.
Alba breaks ground in West Palm Beach
West Palm Beach’s renaissance continues, with developers eyeing the city for high-end properties. Savanna Fund is readying Olara, a 275-unit residences with prices starting at $2 million. And Related has four residential projects underway in the city, including 575 Rosemary, a 21-story mixed-use development slated for completion in 2024.
The latest arrival is Alba Palm Beach, which had its groundbreaking on August 10. Designed by WPB firm Spina O’Rourke + Partners for BGI Companies and Blue Road Group, Alba will offer a total of 55 residences on North Flagler Drive, including four two- and three-story townhomes with plunge pools and unobstructed views of the Intracoastal Waterway. Residents will have access to 25,000 square feet of top-of-the-line amenities, as well as a one-year complimentary membership to the Palm Beach Yacht Club.
“Our vision for this rare piece of land began years ago,” Alba principal developer Kenneth Baboun said in a statement. “And we believe it was the catalyst for the neighborhood’s healthy condo market we see today.”
Pricing at the Alba begins at $3 million, with penthouses going for $25 million.
Apartment conversions boom on the horizon
The trend in apartment conversions is still going strong, though the market has seen a slight dip: According to data from RentCafe’s parent company, Yardi Matrix, 10,090 apartments were flipped from other uses in 2022, down from 11,422 in 2021. Completed projects declined, but the number in the pipeline keeps growing: Some 122,000 converted units have been announced, with 45,000, or 37%, being adapted from former office buildings. The remainder are mostly from hotels (23%) and factories (14%).
Architect Steven Paynter, who analyzes the adaptive reuse sector, said the pandemic slowed down completion on many projects. “I believe there will be a huge boom in the next year and the year after, in terms of project starts, and from 2024 to 2027 in terms of project completions,” Paynter told RentCafe.
The top city for conversions is New York, with 2,609 apartments on the way, according to the report. One of the largest is 25 Water Street, the former offices of the Daily News and JPMorgan Chase, which is being converted into 1,300 apartments. Dallas landed in the top five with 1,500 apartment conversions. This summer, Pacific Elm Properties completed the transformation of a dozen floors in the Santander Tower in downtown Dallas into 228 one- and two-bedroom rentals. The development, called Peridot, also includes a swimming pool, two restaurants, and a private club on the 48th floor.
The adaptive-reuse trend is also good news for the environment: According to a study published by the National Bureau of Economic Research, flipping old buildings could decrease greenhouse gas emissions by 80% in 2050.
Patrice Frey, former sustainability director for the National Historic Preservation Fund, told NPR that conceiving of buildings as having more than one life “has to be integrated into everything we construct into the future."
“Because we've got to be designing for centuries, not for decades,” Frey added.