If you are still in the condo conversion business in Florida, you better be creative when it comes to offering marketable amenities. Consider the competition in Tampa, where Perdido Key, Fla.-based Eden Condominiums is hoping a clothing-optional pool at the Arbors at Branch Creek community will bring in the buyers. Condos at the 390-unit property run between $170,000 for a one-bedroom unit to $370,000 for a three-bedroom unit. But clearly, all of the action is poolside-an 18-and-over sans swimsuit pool will be available to all age-verified residents, while a second pool on property will require clothing. In an interview with the Associated Press, Eden director of sales Christine Pirkle said the company is fielding calls from Louisiana to Texas to Arizona from interested purchasers. Pirkle noted that the adult pool will be surrounded by dense foliage and also have plenty of warning signage. "There will be no mistake that you are entering a clothing-optional area," Pirkle told the AP. We can only imagine.
Who goes from rebuilding hurricane-battered affordable housing in New Orleans to designing a five-star leisure community and hotel in Dubai? Actor Brad Pitt, that's who. This month, Pitt joined Los Angeles-based architectural and urban design firm GRAFT to work on a Zabeel Properties project in the United Arab Emirates. Touted as the firm's flagship green project, the yet-to-be-named Dubai property will include an 800-room landmark hotel within a larger leisure community development. Pitt is currently building 150 new affordable and sustainable homes in New Orleans and has pledged $5 million of his own cash to that project. There were no details on his personal financial involvement in the Dubai development. "Whilst acting is my career, architecture is my passion," Pitt said in a press release announcing the Zabeel project. "We will be unveiling precise plans in the next few months, but you can expect something that is not only stunning to look at, but will also be an incredible attraction to visit or stay at."
All That Glitters
New York's Union Square Park is used to the bling-the iconic Manhattan neighborhood was home to Tiffany & Co.'s headquarters at the turn of the century. Now New York City-based Brack Capital Real Estate has turned the jeweler's old stomping grounds into 15 Union Square West. The property features 36 units of unparalleled condominium luxury featuring one-, two-, and three-bedroom floor plans ranging in size from 1,763 square feet to 3,164 square feet. The stars are still shining on the property-included among the guests at Brack's grand opening party in May were actress Laura Dern and her husband, singer Ben Harper; Tony award nominees Rufus Sewell and Anna Deavere Smith; actors Jesse Spenser and Thomas Decker of television's Heroes; rock icon Debbie Harry; and fashion designer Nicole Miller. No word yet on which A- and B-listers became wait-listers for units, but we assume it wasn't actress Tatum O'Neal, who attended the party but chose instead to nab a spot in jail two weeks later after a run-in with undercover narcotics agents on the Lower East Side.
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