Landscape Architect & Specifier News

SEP 2017

LASN is a photographically oriented, professional journal featuring topics of concern and state-of-the-art projects designed or influenced by registered Landscape Architects.

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September 2017 103 I n f o r m a t i o n R e q u e s t # 6 4 1 Wright Home for Sale in Ohio In 1953 Frank Lloyd Wright began the design of the first Louis Penfield house at 2203 River Rd. in Willoughby Hills, Ohio. Penfield had asked Wright if he could design a home for his 6'8" frame. Wright could. He opted for high ceilings and a floor-to-ceiling glass-walled living room. The house, constructed in 1955, overlooks the Chagrin River and contains all the original furniture Wright also designed. It is priced at $1.3 million. Editor's note: Given that two homes on a little bluff in Corona del Mar, Calif. just sold for $55 million, this is a steal. Wright was working on the design of a second home on the same property in 1959. His vision was a "river rock house," aptly named for its design of walls and columns of slabs of river rock inside and out. It was the last home designed by Wright, who passed away April 9, 1959. The Louis Penfield house sale includes Wright's original plans for Riverrock. Paul Penfield and his wife, Donna, hope to one day have Riverrock constructed and open to the public. Big Firms Buying and Renting Homes, Mostly in the Southern Corridor With the homeownership rate at its lowest level in 50 years (now about 63%), Wall Street investment firms are buying homes, sprucing them up and flipping them as rentals. Blackstone is one example. This NYC asset management/financial services company is the largest real estate private equity firm in the world, although real estate makes up only 28% of the company's total business. Blackstone has 451 real estate professionals in offices around the world, and created Invitation Homes to manage its rentals. The Wall Street Journal reports that, beginning in 2011, four firms began buying up homes in Spring Hill, Tenn., just south of Nashville, and now own 5% of all homes in town. Those companies are: American Homes 4 Rent (founded by Public Storage founder Wayne Hughes); Colony Starwood Homes (merger of Starwood Waypoint Residential Trust and Colony American Homes—rebranded as Starwood Waypoint Homes); Progress Residential; and Streetlane Homes. Real-estate research firm Green Street Advisors estimates that big investors have bought about 200,000 U.S. homes to renovate and rent. This represents a little less than 2% of all U.S. rentals. The top markets for 5 of the largest single- family-home rental companies is, in order: Atlanta, Tampa-St. Pete, Phoenix, Miami/ Ft. Lauderdale, Charlotte, Orlando, Dallas, Houston, Chicago and Vegas. PHOTO: PENFIELDHOUSE.COM

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