Luxury watch retailer sells adjacent Miami Beach homes for $44M

John Simonian with 6360 North Bay Road and 6342 North Bay Road (Getty, Google Maps)

John Simonian with 6360 North Bay Road and 6342 North Bay Road (Getty, Google Maps)

The owner of a luxury watch retailer sold two neighboring waterfront properties in Miami Beach to the same buyer for $44 million.

Property records show 6342 North Bay Rd LLC and 6360 North Bay Road LLC sold the homes to North Bay Palms LLC, a Florida company managed by attorney Mark S. Meland of Meland Budwick. The houses sold for nearly $10 million more than their previous trade last year.

Jean Simonian, known as John, sold the properties. Simonian owns the watch store Westime, which has three locations in Southern California and one in Miami.

The 12,651-square-foot mansion at 6360 North Bay Road sold for $32 million. The nine-bedroom home, built in 2018, has nine bedrooms, twelve full bathrooms and four half bathrooms, according to property records. It includes a guesthouse, pool and dock with 112 feet of water frontage.

The four-bedroom, four-bathroom home next door, at 6342 North Bay Road, sold for $12 million. Originally built in 1935, the house, which sits on a 24,407-square-foot lot, was advertised as a teardown.

Simonian bought both properties in August 2019 for a combined $35.4 million.

North Bay Road is among the Miami Beach neighborhoods where luxury home sales have soared in recent months.

The waterfront property once home to Pablo Escobar sold for nearly $11 million earlier this month. Also, a company linked to Witkoff Group purchased a waterfront lot for $8 million and the CEO of AmeriSave Mortgage Corp. bought a home for $8.2 million.

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Former J. Crew CEO Mickey Drexler sells Idaho estate

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Former J. Crew CEO Mickey Drexler and 760 N Walnut Ave, Ketchum (Getty; Realtor)

Former J. Crew CEO Mickey Drexler and 760 N Walnut Ave, Ketchum (Getty; Realtor)

Former J. Crew CEO Mickey Drexler sold his Idaho estate and a pair of neighboring lots for $11 million.
The property hit the market last year asking $13.9 million, according to the Wall Street Journal. The home plot alone without the two neighboring properties was recently asking $8.9 million.

The 6,600-square-foot home sits on a hillside in Ketchum’s Knob Hill neighborhood and has views over the Smoky Mountains. It was designed by architect Thierry W. Despont.

The house has three bedrooms and five bathrooms. It comes fully furnished with some notable pieces including a chandelier made by artist Dale Chihuly; the kitchen and elevator, meanwhile, have gold-leaf ceilings.
Suzanne Devitt Levit, who bought the home with her husband Carson Levit, said she has no plans to change anything in the house.

“When friends ask me are you going to change anything (because they know what a design buff I am), I say, ‘Absolutely not! I would never have the audacity to alter Thierry and Mickey’s creation,’” she said.

The couple is moving from Napa Valley in California and said the move wasn’t motivated by the pandemic.

Some 16 million Americans have moved since the pandemic hit this year. Cities like New York and San Francisco have seen disproportionately large number of people leaving. Some rural markets have seen an increase in demand. [WSJ] — Dennis Lynch 

The post Former J. Crew CEO Mickey Drexler sells Idaho estate appeared first on The Real Deal South Florida.

Singapore luxury market rebounds despite fewer foreign buyers

Singapore (iStock)

Singapore (iStock)

Singapore’s housing market has rebounded from the lows brought on by the pandemic earlier this year, even with fewer foreign buyers.

Since January, 2,177 apartments have sold in central Singapore, compared to 1,797 in the same period last year, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Some developers dropped prices as much as 10 percent during a partial lockdown this summer, but the median price per square foot in central Singapore is up 7.5 percent year-over-year to $1,705.

The country is one of most expensive places to live in the world, but these days, homes priced on the lower end of the market are moving quicker than those at the higher end.

Agents say the $3.5 million mark is the dividing line; units below that price are selling, but the market is slower above it.

Because of government restrictions on foreigners owning large plots of land, those wealthy buyers tend to buy the most expensive real estate in the country: apartments in luxury towers.

The dearth of foreign buyers is contributing to the bifurcation of the market. Some agents say that wealthy Chinese buyers in particular are beginning to shop again.

The Chinese government’s crackdown on political dissent in Hong Kong is also driving some wealthy residents of that territory to Singapore.

Singaporean government policy has also helped stabilize the country’s housing market. Property tax rebates helped the market earlier this year.

The government also caps debt to 60 percent of a real estate buyer’s gross monthly income and promotes gradual price appreciation through measures including stamp duties, according to the Journal. [WSJ] — Dennis Lynch 

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UK tax break expiration could hurt struggling retailers

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The tax break allows foreign visitors to reclaim a sales tax of 20 percent on items bought in the country for more than £30 (Getty; Unsplash)

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A popular tax break is expiring in the United Kingdom in January, threatening the country’s status as a shopping destination and potentially dealing another blow to struggling retailers.

The scheme allows foreign visitors to reclaim a sales tax of 20 percent on items bought in the country for more than £30, or roughly $40, according to the Wall Street Journal. That can add up, especially for foreign visitors dropping serious coin in pricey shops on London’s high streets — which are already seeing an exodus of retailers — and premier shopping districts.

The tax break expires after the U.K. formally withdraws from the European Union Customs Union and European Single Market on Dec. 31.

British business owners worry that shoppers will stop coming to the U.K. in favor of other European destinations, such as Paris or Milan, that have similar tax schemes. Visitors from outside the European Union can claim 20 percent of their spending in France and 22 percent in Italy.

A recent survey of tourists found that at least 70 percent of visitors from Asia and the Middle East, along with 70 percent of Americans, are less likely to visit the U.K. after the tax break expires.
The coronavirus pandemic is also putting pressure on British retailers. More than 7,800 retail stores closed in the first half of the year.

The owners of Heathrow Airport are leading a legal challenge against repealing the tax refund, claiming in the British High Court that the government failed to consult parties most affected by the change and for miscalculating the financial details of the repeal. [WSJ] — Dennis Lynch

The post UK tax break expiration could hurt struggling retailers appeared first on The Real Deal South Florida.

Turkish mall valued at $1B in deal with Qatar

Istanye Park in Istanbul (Photo via Wikipedia Commons)

Istanye Park in Istanbul (Photo via Wikipedia Commons)

Turkish investment giant Dogus Holdings AS has agreed to sell a 30 percent stake in a high-end Istanbul shopping mall to a wing of Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund.

The deal is said to value the Istanye Park property at $1 billion, Bloomberg News reported. The buyer is Qatar Fund, which is owned by the Qatar Investment Authority.

Dogus is expected to use the $300 million or so in proceeds to pay its bank lenders, per a $2.7 billion debt restructuring deal that closed last year. Dogus committed to sell assets to meet those debts.

Dogus is negotiating agreements with banks to delay payments on the debt restructured last year. The conglomerate has businesses in numerous sectors, including auto dealerships and construction. Among its holdings is the Nusr-Et chain of steakhouses run by Nusret Gökçe, better known as Salt Bae.

Dogus was one of a number of Turkish companies that hit troubles with its debt obligations following the rapid devaluation of the Turkish lira in 2018. The coronavirus pandemic has complicated any recovery.
In the past few years, the Qatari government has pledged as much as $15 billion in investment and credit to the Turkish government. [Bloomberg News] ­— Dennis Lynch 

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