March 28, 2011
Festive Groundbreaking at Seaside Mariana
Signals Official Beginning of Construction on Seaside Community
San Rafael del Sur, Nicaragua – After four years of meticulous planning, an exciting and innovative resort community, Seaside Mariana, is beginning to rise on a 923-acre site on Nicaragua’s Pacific Coast, with the groundbreaking held on March 18. Local and national dignitaries, property owners and representatives of developer Grupo Mariana gathered on the beach to celebrate the official start of construction on the project that will feature a range of residential offerings, a Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course, Wyndham Hotel & Casino, town center and spa, and a full range of amenities.
“It was indeed a happy moment when we turned over the first shovelful of sand,” said Kevin Fleming, Chairman of Grupo Mariana. “We have worked tirelessly toward this and now begin to demonstrate the vision that will create a very special community, which will have a profound impact on all of Nicaragua as it progresses.”
In addition to the groundbreaking ceremony, a press conference was held to outline development at Seaside Mariana and the involvement of Wyndham Hotels & Resorts. Among those participating were Javier Chomorro Rubiales, Executive Director of ProNicaragua, and Louis Alicea, Wyndham Worldwide’s Director of Development for the Latin American and Caribbean region. The project at Seaside Mariana is Wyndham’s first in Nicaragua. Also highlighted was the commitment of Grupo Mariana to reinvest 5% of each real estate transaction at Seaside Mariana back into the economic development of the surrounding area.
The special events were part of a four-day fact-finding tour for a contingent of North American visitors, including individuals who already have purchased property at Seaside Mariana. A day-long meeting included presentations and discussions on a broad range of topics, including Nicaragua’s tourism and economic development, as well as detailed information on real estate acquisition in the country.
Grupo Mariana is involved in the development and sale of Nicaraguan real estate, the creation and management of authentic Nicaraguan hospitality experiences, and the export and promotion of Nicaraguan products. A core part of the company’s mission is to constantly reinvest in the country’s growth and economic development.
For additional information on Seaside Mariana or the 5% for Futures Program, contact Phil Alexander, Executive Vice President-Sales & Marketing, at email@example.com.
March 24, 2011
Here is a simple fact that many people don’t know: Nicaragua possesses more than 7% of the world’s biodiversity. The country is quite simply an oasis that is incredibly rich in natural life and beauty within its amazing coastal and marine habitats and its expanse of tropical rain forest, which is the largest remaining in Central America. As a result, Nicaragua is considered to possess outstanding potential for environmental preservation and sustainable development.
While unfortunately known more for its history of political conflict, Nicaragua is Central America’s melting pot for species due to its role as the land bridge between the Americas. The country’s land features are extremely diverse, including rain forests, rugged mountains, active volcanoes, lowland forests, coastal mangroves and coral reefs. Both the Pacific Ocean and Caribbean Sea brush Nicaragua’s lengthy coasts, while the interior features numerous bodies of water.
A LAKE THE SIZE OF PUERTO RICO?
Gigantic Lake Cocibolca (“sweet sea”), sometimes called Lake Nicaragua, is nearly 100 miles long and roughly the size of Puerto Rico. It is Central America’s largest freshwater lake, containing more than 300 islands, and the 20th largest in the world. The lake and its shoreline teem with native flora and fauna, including a unique freshwater shark.
One of the lake’s most dramatic features is Isla de Ometepe, an island comprised of two joined volcanoes—one active, one dormant. Inhabited since pre-Columbian times, the island has a rich and mythical history that still gives it a strong sense of mystery. For the adventurous, Isla de Ometepe offers an array of activities, including volcano hiking, biking, fishing, kayaking and, interestingly, surfing. The lake’s huge, flat surface receives almost constant wind that produce waves that draw surfers from around the world.
MORE THAN 9,000 PLANT SPECIES ARE FOUND HERE
Within the forests and along its shores, Nicaragua is a natural paradise in which over 9,000 plant species have been identified, with perhaps another 4,000 yet to be discovered. Living within this incredible collection of flora are more than 750 species of birds and 200 mammal species. Not to mention more than 200 species of reptiles and amphibians. Nicaragua’s natural habitats provide critical protection for creatures that are endangered or have disappeared entirely from other areas.
Preservation of the country’s natural resources is becoming more and more important within Nicaragua, particularly as ecotourism becomes a more significant economic factor. At present, the country has 76 protected regions, as well as more than 20 privately owned reserves—many of which are open to visitors. The total protected area represents nearly 20% of the country’s land, providing evidence of the desire to maintain and enhance Nicaragua’s natural assets, while still fostering much-needed economic growth.
PROTECTING THE NATURAL ENVIRONMENT IS A PRIMARY OBJECTIVE OF GRUPO MARIANA
At Grupo Mariana, protection and preservation of the natural environment are key aspects of our development activities in conjunction with Audubon International. To harm these wonderful settings and the creatures that inhabit them would run counter to our stated mission to support the country of Nicaragua and its people. As you watch Seaside Mariana, Isla Mariana and other communities rise, you will plainly see our commitment to the land and its inhabitants.
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March 21, 2011
Wow! What a wonderful day here at North Beach Plantation!
But that’s not uncommon when you’re living at an oasis like North Beach.
Here we have an environmentally sound beach retreat like no other. Nestled on the pristine sands of North Myrtle Beach, North Beach Plantation is truly unique.
We have a very recognizable Georgian-inspired classic architecture, which reflects the look of other southern Atlantic coast cities like Savannah and Charleston. In addition, North Beach also showcases architectural transcendence with our North Beach Towers, which are the crown jewels of North Beach.
The 18-story towers are joined by upper and lower bridges located on the third and fourteenth floors, which also feature fine dining restaurants. The Towers house large oceanfront residences, which have breathtaking views, and range from approximately 1,000 to more than 3,000 heated square feet for each of the eight different floor plans.
In addition to the awesome views and breathtaking design of the Towers, every unit is equipped with high-speed cable wiring for data, telephone and the Internet. In addition, all of the walls are sound attenuated and each residence has their own storage room outside of the home. Needless to say, all of the creature comforts are here!
With all of this said, it’s highly recommended that you come experience everything North Beach Plantation has to offer for yourself. We’re sure you won’t be disappointed!
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Potomac Yard will be opening their doors in Spring 2011. These elegant, chic, and ultra convenient new DC Condo place everything you love about the DC area within easy reach. Near Old Town Alexandria, close to fine retail, a few Metro stops to the Capitol area and minutes to Reagan National Airport. This is the ultimate in new urban living in an extraordinary 167-acre setting that will include new parks and recreational spaces. Here, architecturally distinctive townhomes offering three bedrooms and up to 3,000 square feet of living space will reside in harmony with thoughtfully planned surroundings. Potomac Yard- The Place-To-Be this Spring!
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March 8, 2011
Homes sales at Landmark Palm Beach Gardens have been strong in 2010, despite the sluggish economy. Landmark is the only condominium property in Palm Beach County that offers the ultimate lifestyle package, combining high-rise condominium living with the most desirable conveniences and amenities of an all-inclusive resort.
“Our sales team is thrilled to report that we sold ten residences in the off-season, at an average price of $210 per square foot,” said Joan Masaitis, Landmark Sales Associate. “Most notably, we sold six residences in six weeks and are now 80 percent sold. We attribute our sales success to being able to offer homebuyers everything they could want – luxury living, superior amenities and convenient location.”
Landmark’s extra comforts and luxury conveniences are enhanced by the property’s resort-style setting; in fact, Landmark residents are known to remark that they feel as though they “live like they’re on a permanent, indulgent vacation.”
Residents may avail themselves of an extensive array of luxurious amenities including: elegant club room overlooking Lake Victoria; media room with plush theater seating and a large screen projection; top notch fitness center, with the latest equipment; heated swimming pool accented with an expansive landscaped sun deck equipped for outdoor events; and a game room with card tables and ample space for hosting a variety of social activities. Homeowners also enjoy an unmatched level of service and attention from a highly trained staff, on duty 24 hours per day. A valet parking attendant and doorman greet residents and their guests under an elegant porte cochere entrance, while the front desk concierge assists residents with tasks ranging from the mundane to extraordinary requests.
Residents of Landmark enjoy the picturesque lakeside setting and one-mile waterfront promenade to meet their neighbors, walk their dogs, and frequent the adjacent Downtown at The Gardens for dining, shopping and entertainment.
If you can’t wait another moment to call Landmark “home,” expedited closings are one more advantage to buying a condominium residence at Landmark. “Another benefit to purchasing at Landmark is that the owner is fair and motivated, enabling buyers to close quickly on residences, unlike the complicated resale process,” added Masaitis. “In fact, we have conducted turnkey closings in just two days from contract execution.”
Landmark Palm Beach Gardens comprises 166 total residences, beautifully appointed two- and three-bedroom and penthouse condominium residences that feature generous layouts ranging from 1,870 – 5,125 square feet in size (note: most residences are 2,300+ square feet). Prices range from the low $300,000s to over $1,000,000 (nearly 50 percent off original pricing).
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Many words have been used to describe Fifteen Twenty-One Second Avenue, ranging from “sleek” to “transformative.” Architectural critic Lawrence Cheek calls it “a crisp, clean building … with magic pleats and ‘pop-outs,’ and with the balcony issue neatly resolved with indoor solariums.” The downtown Seattle condominium tower, which stands 440 feet above Pike Place Market, is largely the design product of Blaine Weber, director of the High-Rise/Urban Projects Design Studio at the Seattle architecture firm Weber Thompson. The 143 units at Fifteen Twenty-One Second Avenue are now 75 percent sold. During the process of designing Fifteen Twenty-One Second Avenue, Weber became a resident, too. “Our clients directed us to design a sophisticated high-rise residential tower with a real ‘Seattle sensibility,’ ” says Weber. “Our clients wanted an elegant yet understated tower design that would harmonize with its historic location and would also grace the Seattle skyline. To that end, my personal objective was to help create a building of its own time -an innovative, state-of-the-art tower that would make a definitive design statement – but not too bold, because that is not what Seattle is about. “The playful, angular and curvilinear geometry, the faceted façades and the bold sculptural elements of this tower are – more than anything else -the result of strategically pushing and pulling on the façades in an effort to create great living units so each has stellar views of Elliott Bay. The result is an all-glass building that many have called ‘a sculpture for living’,” he says. Weber says Fifteen Twenty- One Second Avenue was designed without the traditional terraces that can clutter a tower’s façade. Such high-rise balconies “are rarely used in Seattle, thanks to our windy and rainy weather,” he says. The solution was to create internal solariums with bi-fold windows that open at deck- railing height. Known as the “Glass Room,” these indoor- outdoor rooms typically include a fireplace and can be used year-round. Weber says he’s toured dozens of homes in the building and has seen Glass Rooms used as an open-air dinette off the kitchen, a music room, a reading room and a daylight art studio. “The ‘see forever’ views of this project are made possible by avoiding the letterboxing effect that results from terrace projections or any up-turned or down-turned beams,” says Weber. “Our unique structural design, combined with the unmatched quantity of vision glass, offers spectacular wrap- around vistas and fantastic light in all the homes.” The developer at Fifteen Twenty-One Second Avenue acquired view easements over existing buildings to the west to ensure bay vistas would never be blocked by future development. Weber Thompson architects then set out to create a water view from every home. “People don’t believe this is possible until they tour the project and see how it was accomplished with some very creative geometry and a favor- able street grid,” says Weber. There are three to five homes per floor. Average floor plans measure 1,946 square feet, which Weber says feels like a penthouse on every level. “Judging from the very positive comments that I hear from other city dwellers and fellow homeowners, people seem to like the way the tower responds to its neighborhood context and the skyline — that is a good feeling,” he says.
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As first-time buyers at The Decatur on Seattle’s First Hill can attest, the decision to own a home, start building equity and realize tax advantages is becoming more popular. “Everything came into focus and we finally pulled the trigger,” says Steve Cukier, who purchased a one-bedroom condominium at The Decatur last year with his partner, Alexander. “We fell in love with the building, the location and the lifestyle. The price was right and the financing was very attractive. Now we’re building our future and not treading water.” The couple joins an increasing number of city dwellers who are making the switch from renting to owning. The Decatur is making that move easier through an FHA financing program offered by Cobalt Mortgage. Home prices start at less than $200,000, and first-year interest rates of 3.25 percent (3.574 percent APR) are available.
According to Jeff Bell, a partner in Cobalt Mortgage, analysis performed by his company and Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty concluded that owning at The Decatur is cheaper than renting in the Capitol Hill/First Hill neighborhood, even when including a down payment, monthly payments, property taxes, home-owners dues and utilities costs. Cobalt Mortgage is the preferred lender for The Decatur.
“Prospective homebuyers need to remember they can deduct their mortgage interest from their income taxes, adding additional benefits each year,” says Bell. “And unlike rent – where you’re helping to pay your landlord’s mort- gag – you’re investing in your own equity position over time while fixing your monthly housing costs. That’s becoming a factor as many renters are being caught by surprise upon lease renewals. It’s a good idea to explore your options well ahead of your lease expiry.” Rebecca Gelbart moved to Seattle in the summer of 2009 and had been renting in the Lower Queen Anne area before buying a home at The Decatur. “I had been thinking about moving to a bigger place,” says Gelbart. “I lived in New York City for a year after college graduation. The rent is obnoxiously, ridiculously high for extremely cramped, less- than-ideal spaces. I knew that I wanted to stay in Seattle for the next few years and enjoy other city-living experiences. I also knew I wanted a place where I could walk downtown if I wanted to. “The location of The Decatur appealed to me right off the bat because of all the different things nearby and local neighborhood places that were easy to get to. I bought because rent was starting to add up, and buying seemed like a logical option.” That’s a common theme among buyers making the switch to homeownership. “It was a smart time to buy,” says Cukier. “In our situation, we look at the principal we’re paying like a savings account.”
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March 4, 2011
Plant 51 offers a variety of home styles and floorplans, ranging from 1- and 2-bedroom flats to 3-level lofts and everything in between. The range of sizes and layouts are matched by varying interior styles that let you choose between a loft look with exposed brick, steel and concrete or a more refined look of contemporary comfort. Whatever home you choose, it will be crafted and detailed with the quality and longevity of brand new construction.
Be sure to check out Plant 51’s collection of parkside 3-Level Lofts, featuring spacious, flexible living spaces with unique details like window walls, steel staircases, 20’ ceilings, stylish finishes, patios and private balconies overlooking Cahill Park. They’re truly one of a kind and we have limited availability, so come see them soon.
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