November 28, 2012 |
When Honda's Acura brand shows off its new flagship RLX sedan at the Los Angles Auto Show on Wednesday, it will be confronted with a marketing conundrum - how to brand the car as a luxury rival to BMW or Lexus rather than just a more expensive Honda. It's a problem of Honda's own making. When it launched Acura back in 1986, Honda conceived an "intercept" brand. "It was to be the next step for the Accord owner," said John Mendel, executive vice president of American Honda Motor Co., "a place to move up without going to the European luxury models.
November 23, 2012 |
Fed up with severe water damage to her home and embroiled in litigation with contractors and real estate agents, superstar singer Rihanna put her Beverly Crest mansion up for sale last year for $4.5 million. That was roughly half what she paid for it. A local buyer pounced. He repaired the structure, gave the pool a face-lift and re-landscaped the property. A few months ago the 8,500-square-foot contemporary-style home was back on the market with a new price tag: $9.95 million. Home flipping is back - and it's going upscale.
November 23, 2012 |
Travelers headed to Las Vegas for some weekend fun may soon be able to begin their debauchery five hours earlier, if a proposed passenger train line between Southern California and Sin City materializes as planned next year. Las Vegas Railway Express Inc. hammered out a conditional agreement last week with Union Pacific Railroad to use a rail line currently limited to freight trains to shuttle passengers in high style from the Los Angeles Basin to the Strip, the company said [ hat tip to the AP ]
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 22, 2012 |
SACRAMENTO - The day after being elected to the state Assembly, several incoming lawmakers were in AT&T's luxury suite at the Sacramento sports arena, watching the Kings with the company's top Capitol executive. The next day, the California Dental Assn. feted the state's freshman legislators. That was before more than 20 legislators jetted off to Hawaii, China, Brazil, New Zealand and other locales - with some trips paid for in large part by healthcare, energy and communications companies.
November 14, 2012 |
In the next six months, half of American consumers said they'll buy luxury goods - just nothing too extravagant, according to a new report. Restrained purchases are key, according to a survey from consulting company Accenture. Out of more than 2,000 adult consumers, 53% said they'll likely pick up specialty food or drinks while 48% indicated future splurging on fancy clothing and 48% predicted spending on high-end personal care items. “Consumers want a taste of luxury in their everyday lives and are willing to spend a little extra for the experience, but the emphasis is on small items,” said Tom Jacobson, an Accenture managing director, in a statement. “They may think twice about purchasing a new handbag, but shop for a wallet as an alternative.” Quality is the most important element in a luxury acquisition, followed by price and trailed by brand name, according to the report.
November 12, 2012 |
With apartments holding strong as the hottest class in commercial real estate, developer Rick Caruso is testing the limits of the luxury category in Los Angeles with his residential complex that just opened on Burton Way. The developer, best known for his plush outdoor shopping centers such as the Grove, spent $65 million building an 87-unit complex where the cheapest apartment is $4,500 a month and many cost more than $10,000. "Those are New York rents," Caruso acknowledged. At about $8 a square foot, they are quadruple the Los Angeles average.
November 5, 2012 |
The developers of a proposed $31-million hotel near Staples Center in downtown Los Angeles are ready to seek city approval to construct an indoor-outdoor complex in the brick shell of a condemned apartment building. Plans call for gutting the empty three-story building at 1130 S. Hope St. that was erected more than a century ago and is no longer structurally sound. The developers would build inside the perimeter of the old exterior walls, creating a landscaped open-air courtyard leading to a new tower with 44 guest rooms.
October 27, 2012 |
In a quiet moment before the Lakers capped their wildly inefficient exhibition season (eight games, eight losses), Pau Gasol looked down at the floor and sighed. This thing better work. The Lakers are shelling out $100 million for their players this season. Another $30 million must be paid in luxury taxes for the NBA's largest payroll, followed by a projected donation of $49 million to the NBA's new revenue-sharing pool that punishes the haves exponentially harder than the have-nots.
October 22, 2012 |
A long-awaited luxury condominium tower developed by giant United Arab Emirates real estate company Emaar Properties has opened near the Los Angeles Country Club. Emaar Properties bought the 22-story Beverly West tower at Wilshire Boulevard and Comstock Avenue for $65 million in 2007 while it was under construction by a previous developer. The housing market crashed soon after in the economic downturn. Mohamed Alabbar, chairman of Emaar, kept the property off the market until earlier this year, said Dario De Luca, president of the company's Los Angeles operations.
October 20, 2012 |
THR Design Hollywood at the Century is the somewhat cryptic name for a simple concept: a rare look inside an exclusive, multimillion-dollar property. The design show house, opening Friday, will be staged in the same building where two years ago Candy Spelling paid $35 million for the top two floors. Plunk down $40 for a ticket and you can pass through the security gates of the 42-story, 4-acre luxury tower built by Robert A.M. Stern Architects, toss the valet your keys and ride a private elevator to the 20th floor.