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Michael Marquette & Simon Turner

At the end of 2008, Marquette Turner launched an international competition with 99designs to find a design to commemorate our company’s winning of the title of The World’s Most Outstanding Luxury Agency Under 2 Years Old by the Who’s Who in Luxury Real Estate.

An exceptional number of quality of designs were entered from designers on all corners of the Earth, from Madagascar to New York.

The winning design, as shown below, was designed by Janet Boschen in Melbourne, Australia.

Thanks to everyone whom entered – we certainly look forward to holding more future competitions.

Simon Turner

The Ryugyong Hotel in North Korea’s capital, Pyongyang, closely resembles Kim Yong Il’s unstable, goliath-like, hollow regime.

Even though construction of the hotel began in 1987, the government’s financial difficulties meant that building ceased in 1992, leaving the building with no windows, fixtures or fittings.

This state remained for the next 16 years, until Orascom Group resumed construction in April 2008.

Currently the world’s 24th tallest building – and at one time would have been the world’s tallest hotel – there are 105 stories reaching 330m (1083ft).

The refurbishment of the hotel is estimated to be completed by 2012, marking the 100th anniversary of the birth of Kim Il Sung (the Great Leader).

Then there is just one more hurdle to overcome – finding guests that will actually pay for the “luxury” of staying in the hermit kingdom’s monolithic masterpiece.

Simon Turner

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Sydney certainly knows how to set off a cracker, and those wishing the New Year in around the Harbour certainly weren’t disappointed with the celebrations. Costing $5 million AUD, the pyrotechnic extravaganza is expected to earn the city approximately $40 million in revenue through publicity and the like.

Here are some of the photos of Sydney as it welcomed 2009.

So from The Marquette Turner team in Sydney to wherever you are, we wish you peace, happiness and health in 2009.

“Be always at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let each new year find you a better man.” Benjamin Franklin

Michael Marquette and Simon Turner

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The first skyscraper to be erected in Paris in 30 years has been unveiled by Mayor Bertrand Delanoe. Designed by Swiss architecture agency Herzog & De Meuron, the 50-storey pyramid-like tower rising 180 meters will be built at the Porte de Versailles in Paris.

The building is expected to include offices, a luxury hotel, luxury boutiques, a panoramic restaurant, a swimming pool, hanging gardens and a Babel-like “museum of languages of the world”.  Completion date is scheduled for 2012.

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The battle to take control of Wizard Home Loans, as reported a few weeks ago by Marquette Turner, is over. Despite expectations that National Australia Bank would take control of the brand and franchise network, the race has been won by Aussie Home Loans.


GE Money has offloaded its Australia and New Zealand mortgage offshoot for an undisclosed amount, but it is likely to be considerably less than the $400 million AUD it paid for it, given the drastic changes in the economic climate.

As part of the deal, the Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) will sell its 33% ownership of Wizard to Aussie Home Loans, whilst at the same time acquiring up to $4 billion AUD of mortgages originated by Wizard, dealing another blow to NAB’s expansion efforts.

The deal suggests that the non-bank sector still has some life in it yet.

The sale of Wizard to Aussie Home Loans is expected to be completed by the end of February 2009, around the same time that CBA will take hold of the first $2 billion AUD of loans by the end of February 2009. CBA remains in discussions with GE Money over acquiring the additional $2 billion of loans.

Simon Turner

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Returning to his former home of Hawaii as President-elect, Barack Obama and his family are enjoying a 13-day vacation.

Obama is secluded at a compound of oceanfront estates, guarded by seven-foot walls made of stone and lava rock and situated along a quiet sliver of snow-white-sandy beach.

The Kailua Estate seems is ideal for a Presidential retreat, sitting neatly on a peninsula, with only a single narrow road leading to it, thus offering plenty of privacy.

Behind the walls, the Obamas can enjoy picturesque beach and ocean views from the master bedroom, heavy granite in the kitchen and detailed woodwork throughout. There are Tiki torches dotting the manicured gardens, and the interior features stone imported from Peru, Jerusalem and Italy.

The entire Kailua neighborhood once was the private estate of Samuel Castle, a sugar magnate whose Castle & Cooke company was one of the Big Five firms that dominated Hawaiian politics for decades. The Obamas’ current retreat is situated close to land that was once Castle’s horse pasture and skeet ranch.

Simon Turner

FYI: Read related articles on Barack Obama; and Luxury Homes

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Marquette Turner Luxury Homes were awarded the World’s Most Outstanding Luxury Agency Under 2 Years Old in 2008 by the Who’s Who in Luxury Real Estate, and we would like a design to use on our marketing material.

Any one from anywhere can enter this competition via the award winning 99designs website.

Read the DESIGN BRIEF to find out more details of the competition and enter.

Good luck, and stay tuned for more future competitions, or email us (info@marquetteturner.com.au) if you’d like to be informed of new competitions.

Simon Turner

The annual survey for 2008 by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) has found Vancouver, Canada to be the most livable city in the world.

Vancouver

The EIU ranked 127 cities, based on their personal risk, infrastructure and the availability of goods and services.

All the cities that fell into the “most livable” bracket were based in Canada, Australia and Western Europe.

THE TOP 10

  1. Vancouver, Canada
  2. Melbourne, Australia
  3. Vienna, Austria
  4. Geneva, Switzerland
  5. Perth, Australia
  6. Adelaide, Australia
  7. Sydney, Australia
  8. Zurich, Switzerland
  9. Toronto, Canada
  10. Calgary, Canada

Sydney

THE BOTTOM 10

  1. Tehran, Iran
  2. Douala, Cameroon
  3. Harare, Zimbabwe
  4. Abidjan, Ivory Coast
  5. Phnom Penh, Cambodia
  6. Lagos, Nigeria
  7. Karachi, Pakistan
  8. Dhaka, Bangladesh
  9. Algiers, Algeria
  10. Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea


Karachi

Simon Turner

You can soon own a notorious piece of history from Chicago, Illinois, according to the Chicago Tribune.

No, this story isn’t related to Governor Blagojevich, as timely as this might be.

The modest, red-brick home once owned by prohibition gangster, Al Capone, will go on the market in early 2009  for approximately $450,000 USD.

The South Side, two-flat property, which has had just  two owners since the death of Capone’s mother in 1952, is now over a century old.  It stands near the corner of 72nd Street and South Prairie Avenue in the working-class Park Manor neighborhood.

Cook County records show the Capones bought the home for $5,500 USD in August 1923,  the Prohibition era, with his mother, Teresa, and wife, Mae, signing their names to the original deed.

Al Capone was in his early 20s when his family moved from Brooklyn to Chicago, but he was already building his legend. His bootlegging, gambling and prostitution enterprises were famously headquartered in Cicero and later moved to a suite in the old Lexington Hotel at Cermak Road and Michigan Avenue in Chicago.

Capone died in 1947, but his mother remained in the home until her death five years later, at which point the property was taken over by a local bank.

The current owner purchased the home for $29,500 USD in 1963, with little interest in the property’s notoriety.

The exterior of the six-bedroom, split-level property remains pretty much unchanged to Capone’s time, and indeed much of the interior is also original, with detailed green and white tiles in the front entrance, dark hardwood floors and narrow hallways. The home also features a large basement with a crumbling wine cellar

At an estimated $450,000, the Capone home would be on the upper end of homes for sale in the neighborhood. Typical listings for large, split-levels of that vintage are $250,000 to $400,000.

Considering its history, the home is a marvel of inconspicuous understatement.

Simon Turner

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The number of Australians living on the streets will be halved in the next 12 years, Prime Minister has asserted recently.

Launching the Government’s White Paper on Homelessness, “The Road Home”, Mr Rudd outlined the Federal Government’s plans for reducing homelessness in Australia by 2020, with specific goals to cut homelessness by half and provide accommodation to all rough sleepers who require it.

There are currently 105,000 homeless people in Australia, of whom approximately 16,000 are sleeping rough.

The White Paper allows for a significant injection of federal money, providing an additional $1.2 billion over four years, or a 55% increase in investment in homelessness.

It includes a commitment of $800 million over the next four years for new support services for homeless people and $400 million over the next two financial years for social housing, to house the homelessness.

The reforms aim to:

  • Help up to 9,000 more young people to remain connected with their families;
  • Help up to 2,250 more families at risk of homelessness to stay housed;
  • Provide day to day support to an extra 1,000 adults with mental illness;
  • Build up to 2,700 additional public and community houses for low income households who are at risk of homelessness;
  • Build up to 4,200 new houses and upgrade up to 4,800 existing houses in remote Indigenous communities;
  • Allocate aged care places and capital funds for at least 1 new specialist facility for older homeless people every year for the next four years.

Simon Turner

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When purchasing an older home, there are many things of course to consider. Asbestos is certainly one of them.

Used for more than a century as a form of building insulation and piping, homes more than approximately 30 years old have the potential to harbor asbestos. Exposure to asbestos fibers becomes a health concern when high levels are inhaled over a long period of time.

This doesn’t have to scare you off the purchase, as with increasing awareness and technology there are numerous alternatives and building materials which easily replace the need for asbestos.

THE RISKS


Used in millions of homes, asbestos insulation can be a real problem for homeowners due to causing a variety of lung ailments, such as mesothelioma. Recent studies indicate that over 2,000 to 3,000 cases are diagnosed every year in the United States alone. With no mesothelioma cure, precautions are the best assurance.

Once the removal is complete, green insulation options should be given serious consideration, such as: Cellulose, Cotton Fiber and Lcynene. The United Nations Environmental Program states that the use of recycled building materials such as cotton fiber insulation can reduce energy use by 25 to 35 percent. The numbers continue to improve as more eco-friendly options become available. These asbestos alternatives allow for a clean, healthy home, free of health damaging materials.

Simon Turner

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The head of the German division of IKEA, the Swedish home products retailer, has stated that it is the company’s female customers that excel when it comes to assembling its furniture.

It won’t come as a surprise to many to learn that the reason for this is that the men rarely look at the assembly instructions, believing they can do it without help.

Women, on the other hand, study the instructions and are both patient and methodical when it comes to getting the job done. They typically lay out all the screws and fasteners neatly whereas men simply throw them in pile, causing them to use the wrong one or even lose one.

And what about the decision makers? Well here’s a few things IKEA have noticed:

  • Approximately 70 per cent of the Swedish retailer’s customers are women;
  • Important decisions are made together, but men come along to finalise a big purchase; and
  • If a woman is against buying an item, then that puts an end to the matter for good.

Simon Turner

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Simon Turner

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A $80 million AUD luxury development in Point Piper, Sydney, has been handed over to the banks after two of the companies for which property tycoon Michael Bezzina was associated, Caprice Pty Ltd and Pyoanee Pty Ltd, were place in receivership.

Located in Point Piper, Mr Bezzine was expecting to achieve $14 million AUD for the penthouse-style apartments, however, three of the apartments have allegedly exchanged for $10 million AUD each.

The development comprises waterfront apartments, each occupying an entire floor with balconies looking out to the Harbour Bridge and Opera House. They have four bedrooms, four bathrooms and a guestroom, as well as a jetty.

In September, one of Michael Bezzina’s company’s that developed the $100 million AUD Jade complex in Surfers Paradise, was put into liquidation. The company reportedly paid $17 million for the site six years ago, of which six out of the nine apartments have sold, one of which sold for almost $20 million, while the penthouse at the complex remains on the market for $22 million.

It is worth noting that the quality of Bezzina’s developments is outstanding, and his financial troubles should not be allowed to cloud the stunning properties that he has been involved in creating.

Simon Turner

FYI: Read related articles on Sydney Property; or Luxury Homes; or Sydney Harbour

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Here are the auction clearance rates for Australia’s capital cities for the week ending December 14, 2008.

Source: RP Data

Simon Turner

FYI: Read related articles on Auctions; Clearance Rates; Buying property

THIS WEEK’S ARTICLES: Rainforest Living in Queensland; Raffles Residences Manila; Swarovski Bathroom Faucets; Chinese Property Taxes; US interest rates; Australian Banks on the Assault; The Malibu Home of Sting; The Rotating Bath Tub; The W New York…

We bring you the last installment for 2008 of our look at luxury property, design and concepts from Australia and around the world.  Your support throughout the year has made the MTLH blog the most viewed of its kind in Australia and contributed to Marquette Turner Luxury Homes being named as The World’s Most Outstanding Luxury Agency Under 2 Years Old.  Not bad in just a year, and 2009 promises to be even bigger and better.  Thank you!

Please enjoy this week’s articles, or as always you can stay here and read the MTLH blog.

We wish you a fantastic & safe festive period.

Michael Marquette & Simon Turner

Subscribe to the MTLH e-magazine.


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FINAL THOUGHT

“Cheers to a new year and another chance for us to get it right.” Oprah Winfrey

Contemporary, State of the Art, Rainforest Living

Setting a benchmark in state of the art living ‘Samara’ is without doubt one of the finest acreage properties in Queensland.

Strategically positioned amidst a previous wildlife sanctuary, ‘Samara’ is constructed seamlessly around two lakes and canter levered amidst a stunning rainforest back drop. This property is the epitome of designer living, offering only the finest in schedule of finish.

A fingerprint controls the gated entrance, and access to the estate. The circular driveway leads to a bold, resort style, port-cochere and a stunning entry with cascading ponds. Designed to embrace the Queensland lifestyle, this signature property highlights what true contemporary living is meant to be. From the commercial glass pane entrance, the property is washed with natural stone tiles, and natural lighting from the soaring ceilings and bi-fold doors.

The heart of the home is styled for entertaining with an open fire and a 50″ plasma screen, complete with 5.1 surround sound furbished by undetectable speakers. The mood of ‘Samara’ is defined by its unique use of lighting, all centrally controlled by the automation system. As you move through the house of an evening, 22 individual sensors monitor and predict movements and prepare the spaces around you, with soft lighting.

More information: Visit our website for more images and details.

Contact: Michael Marquette on +61 433 170 170 or via email michael@marquetteturner.com.au or Christine Watson on +61 414 352 680 or via email christine@marquetteturner.com.au

Marquette Turner Luxury Homes is proud to offer luxury apartments for sale in Manila, bearing the name of the legendary “Raffles”.

Raffles Manila will be superbly located right on Makati Avenue in the very heart of Manila’s bustling commercial and financial district and the Philippines’ leading business destination. Just steps from shops, entertainment and corporate offices.

Makati’s skyline is one of the most impressive sights in Metro Manila, where many of the country’s tallest skyscrapers are located. The 30 suite Raffles Hotel and 220 Residence development will be the first significant luxury branded residence in Makati, offering exceptional views of either Manila or Laguna Bay along with glittering vistas of the city. With its unique branded residence concept, Raffles Manila will be unlike anything else in the city; it is poised to become the premier address in Manila, with the first branded penthouse residences. It will be a showplace of cosmopolitan living.

The real estate condominiums for sale will occupy the top 20 floors of the Raffles Hotel (11th to 30th floor), and the 220 residence development will be the first significant luxury branded residence in Makati, offering exceptional views of either Manila or Laguna Bay along with splendid view of the Metropolis.

Following the historical success of the initial release of the Raffles Residences Makati the developer is now pleased to announce the commencement of Phase Two. With premiere residences yet to be released, now is the time to own part of this legendary offering.

The developer is now accepting fully refundable 400,000 PHP (approximately $10,000 USD) deposits through their Opportunity to Purchase (OTP) program. Furthermore a deal has been struck with HSBC with regards to borrowing.

Selling Prices Start at:
- $763,832 AUD (PhP 24,179,828) – $983,372 AUD (PhP 31,151,384) for 2 Bedrooms with a total floor area 124-164 sqm.
- $1,326,488 AUD (PhP 42,017,712) – $1,844,666 AUD (PhP 58,411,391) for 3 Bedrooms with a total floor area 209-251 sqm.
- 4 Bedroom Penthouses with a total floor area of 383-402 sqm. – Pricing available upon request.

More information: Visit our website for more images and details.

Contact: Michael Marquette on +61 433 170 170 or via email michael@marquetteturner.com.au or Christine Watson on +61 414 352 680 or via email christine@marquetteturner.com.au

There’s the Palm Shaped Island and there’s the Map of the World. And just when we thought planners in Dubai could possibly have run out of new concepts, they’re planning the Universe!

Suddenly buying a tree branch or a country doesn’t look quite the same, when Saturn or Mercury are on offer!

Whilst a couple of decades will probably be required to create the islands (when perhaps real estate throughout the world will have been through a few more cycles), Dubai certainly shows no interest in slowing down their creativity.

Simon Turner

FYI: Read related articles on Dubai; or Palm Island; or real estate

about.me

Marquette Turner Luxury Homes

Marquette Turner Luxury Homes

Buy luxury property around the world with Marquette Turner Luxury Homes

Marquette Turner Luxury Homes is an international property company showcasing outstanding global properties for sale throughout the world via our lifestyle magazine-style website MarquetteTurner.com

We have forged partnerships with international developers, agents & vendors & are proud recipients The World’s Most Outstanding Rookie 2008 & Best Luxury Real Estate Brand 2009 awards by the Who’s Who in Luxury Real Estate/LuxuryRealEstate.com

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