USO Tour with Scarlett Johansson and Ray Allen

JOINING SCARLETT JOHANSSON, RAY ALLEN ON A USO TOUR

USO Tour with Scarlett Johansson and Ray AllenEvery year, the USO (United Service Organizations) follows its tradition of supporting the US troops stationed abroad by arranging a holiday tour with some of America’s most talented celebrities [think Marilyn Monroe 1954.]

This year, the USO Holiday Tour teamed up with Scarlett Johansson, Ray Allen, Chris Evans, and our very own SPACiO president Alex Wertheim. We sat down with Alex to talk about what it meant to him to see what the Military really does day to day in bases around the world, including Ireland, Turkey, Qatar, Afghanistan, and Germany.

“We as Americans have no idea of what these Troops do on a day in and day out basis,” Alex said. “They are true heroes and we don’t give them enough credit and respect for them putting their lives on the line each day to help keep our country the safest in the world.”

The experience has made Alex prouder to be an American and changed his outlook on life.

“We take it for granted that we are over here and don’t have a worry in the world, while the Soldiers are fighting for us each day risking their lives. Spending time with them taught me to live life to the fullest because life isn’t guaranteed and, often, it comes at a great cost to those protecting our nation.”

BRAVO’S MILLION DOLLAR LISTING BROKER CHAD CARROLL DISCUSSES 2017 TRENDS AND TIPS ON FIXER UPPERS

Chad Carroll Broker

Guest contributor broker Chad Carroll, who starred on Bravo’s Million Dollar Listing Miami and is one of Douglas Elliman’s Top Producing Agents in South Florida, sat down with SPACiO for a Q&A on trends we will see in the luxury residential market in 2017 and tips on fixer-upper homes in exclusive neighborhoods.

How do you expect buyers to react to the economic environment as it shapes up for 2017?

Buyers are going to be more cautious with their purchases. Interest rates are on the rise and a slowdown of foreign capital will definitely affect pricing. Sellers are going to have to adjust their prices to the new market conditions. Inventory levels are high and demand is relatively low compared to a year or 2 ago.

In terms of home decorating and renovation, what are some of the interior design trends your high-end clients are gravitating towards?

While they continue to prefer the modern interior design, they are increasingly introducing a touch of ‘home’ by incorporating different shades of warmer colors and finishes. Before, it was all about glass and white throughout the house but that style can feel a little stark. Now, I am seeing a lot more woods / artificial woods used alongside fabrics to soften everything up. Many of my high-end clients want their houses/condos to be a combination of ‘art’ and ‘home’.

Based on your years of experience selling homes in Coral Gables, the Brickell area and Miami Beach, what tips can you give us about buying a fixer upper?

Buyers need to be cautious that the house doesn’t have structural or roof issues. Often buyers don’t look into those things well enough and after closing problems appear and dip into their profit. Buyers also need to hire architects and general contractors who have experience working with similar types of properties. A house is not just a house. There are many types of construction and each requires a specific set of skills. Doing due diligence is key to the success of the project.
 

 

Marriott Stanton Hotel South Beach Miami

THE MAKING OF A “BEACH CHIC” SOUTH BEACH HOTEL

Marriott Stanton Hotel South Beach MiamiWith the conclusion of the Marriott Stanton South Beach renovation, hotel guests will now experience the confluence of historical and modern casual.  As the general contractor, renovating and repositioning the oceanfront hotel has been one of our favorite projects.

The main goal was to change the feel of the hotel to offer a modern take on beach chic. In order to remain competitive, hotels reposition themselves every few years to meet the guests’ evolving preferences and demands.

To refresh the hotel’s ambiance, Marriott Stanton used a lot of wood and natural products including bamboo, rattan, reclaimed wood, stone and tile with beach colors such as greens, blues, yellows and pinks.

The renovations transformed the hotel’s meeting room, two pools and decks, the main deck overlooking the pool, main lobby and check-in area, entry and driveway and the spa and gym. We replaced several ground-floor rooms to bring new amenities to the hotel, including three concept-driven restaurants.

A small section of the hotel has been designated historic so we are diligently working with the City of Miami Beach to protect the historic façade while converting the structure from wood to steel and concrete. That part of the hotel will house, once again, Starbucks. The work has been challenging but rewarding as we are honored to play a small part in helping protect and preserve a piece of Miami Beach’s history.

Working at Marriott Stanton isn’t new to us. Back in 2013, we renovated 224 rooms and the corridors from floors 4 to 11. We are looking forward to the opening of the additional restaurants that we are currently building out. Stay tuned for more information.