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May 11, 2015
Noble Experiment


(NEW ORLEANS, LA) Affordable housing and golf courses may seem like strange bedfellows, but in New Orleans a new model is bringing the two together. According to The Times-Picayune, “when City Park's new championship course and golf complex is fully operating, as much as 45 percent of its profits will go to the Bayou District Foundation, a nonprofit that has steered a transformation of the troubled St. Bernard public housing into a mixed-income community in the years since Hurricane Katrina.” The Bayou District Foundation is taking a cue from Atlanta’s East Lake Golf Club, which turned a crime-riddled community into one that has 542 mixed-income townhouses, duplexes and apartments, a charter school, a nine-hole public golf course, an urban garden, a YMCA and early education facilities.  The championship golf course at Park City is expected to open in late 2016 or early 2017. 

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May 08, 2015
A Resort Rises in the Desert


(LA QUINTA, CA) The drought in California has reached biblical proportions and has golf courses struggling for ways to remain viable without being a drain on the dwindling supply of water. Despite those concerns, SilverRock Resort has been given the go-ahead to proceed on a $420 million expansion. It will be the first large-scale golf course resort built in the Coachella Valley in almost three decades, according to the Palm Springs Desert Sun. The expansion is to include a luxury hotel tucked against the mountain overlooking the Arnold Palmer golf course, another nearby lifestyle hotel, a convention center, promenade of shops and retail, a mini-Riverwalk, high-end camping, residential units, hiking trails and a public park. Three holes at the Arnold Palmer golf course will be relocated to accommodate the luxury hotel. Work is set to begin in 2016.

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May 06, 2015
The King’s Mansion


(MIAMI, FL) Golf’s King never had palatial surroundings as opulent as basketball’s King. But for a mere $15 million, you could. According to Cleveland.com, LeBron James has reduced the price for his six-bedroom mansion in Miami to $15 million, down from $17 million. If you buy, you’ll have some big shoes and tall spaces to fill. King James’ mansion measures 12,178 square feet with six bedrooms, nine baths, a huge kitchen, wine cellar, office, theater, elevator, generator, large private roof-top sun deck and a detached guesthouse. Odds are that you won’t have to duck through doorways. Outside is a stunning infinity pool, outdoor kitchen and boat dock that can accommodate, not one, but two mega yachts. And maybe with that reduced asking price, a membership at Doral is within reach.

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May 04, 2015
Fractionals Future Improving


(SEA ISLAND, GA) If you’re wondering if a private residence club, or fractional ownership, is a good investment, it probably isn’t the right choice for you. The New York Times has been putting the spotlight on these type of offerings over the last few weeks, and the numbers, at this point, aren’t rosy. Sales are expected to top $1 billion this year, down from $2.3 billion in 2007. For those who bought shares at the peak, their investments have dropped 25%-30% from the peak. But those who are bullish on the concept say looking at it from an investment point of view is the wrong way to approach this type of ownership. John Rhodes, who paid $1.5 million in 2007 for his quarter-share in a three-bedroom, four-bathroom condo at the Cloister Ocean Residences (which are now selling for $1.1 million) told the Times, he did not buy it as an investment. At the time, it was one of the least expensive ways to acquire a Sea Island Club membership that includes golf. “For Mr. Rhodes and others, the selling point of these shares was often the ease of use, the amenities and the realization that most people do not use a vacation home more than 13 weeks a year,” said the newspaper.

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May 01, 2015
Meet the Large, Luxurious Villa


(BOERNE, Texas) We might have to rethink our notion of the villa. In the U.S., the term often comes with the connotation of a vacation rental, but abroad the villa enjoys a grander, more luxurious reputation. At Cordillera Ranch in the Texas Hill Country, they’ve just broken ground on one of their Benedira villas and the floorplan blows you away in both size and luxuriousness. Listed at $1.49 million and 4,780 square-feet, the villa features authentic Tuscan finishes including imported Italian clay tile roofs, sealed-stucco exteriors and aluminum-clad wood windows. Vaulted ceilings with Douglas fir beams, solid eight-foot mahogany doors and red oak (or natural) travertine flooring provide powerful, clean interior accents. Benedira’s three-bedroom main floor houses the master suite, great room, study, formal dining, outdoor living area with summer kitchen, and a two-car garage with golf cart storage. A chef-inspired kitchen is framed by rustic, cherry wood cabinets with the latest appliances and gourmet technologies. A lock-and-leave residence, it features an available “Technology Package” with Internet access to climate control, lighting, audio-visual security and other household systems. And it sits just a short iron from Cordillera’s Jack Nicklaus Signature course.

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