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Inside Real Estate (Nov 27th, 2017)

The Trump SoHo Hotel in New York City will be losing the Trump name. The Trump Organization has accepted a buyout of its operations and licensing arrangement for the 46-story hotel and condo building. The project was first debuted over a decade ago on “The Apprentice” but struggled to sell its luxury condos and fill the hotel rooms. CIM Group took over the project in 2014 after a foreclosure auction. Since President Trump's inauguration, several professional sports teams have stopped staying at the Trump SoHo and other Trump hotels around the country. The Trump name will come down from the building by the end of the year and the project will be rebranded as a St. Regis. – FORTUNE

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Wunderflats, a German platform for renting furnished apartments, has raised €3 million ($3.58 million) in venture funding. The funding was led by Creathor Venture and will be used to fund expansion into other European cities. Wunderflats currently serves Berlin, Munich, Hamburg, and Frankfurt. The amount of furnished apartments in Germany has doubled in the past four years. The platform offers furnished apartments for one month or longer. All apartments are furnished and the rent includes all ancillary costs. Wunderflats verifies potential tenants, provides listing photograph and advertisements as well as handling the contract signing and payment. Jan Hase, co-founder and CEO of Wunderflats, sees his company's future in the "housing as service" niche where all aspects related to the home are available to be ordered up from a single platform. – PROPERTY PORTAL WATCH

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A short-term rental startup, Stay Alfred, has leased out ten floors in Nashville’s tallest residential tower. The company has leased out 140 of the 45-story 505 building’s 340 units with the plan to turn them into furnished short-term rentals. Units in the top 16 floors of the tower will be sold as condos. Stay Alfred raised a $15 million funding round earlier this year and plans to have units in 1,000 buildings around the country by the end of the year. It plans to focus on having a larger presence in centrally located projects rather than having a few units spread out all over a local area. – GEEKWIRE

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Nesterly, a platform to connect young renters with older homeowners, has expanded its pilot program in Boston. The site is free to use but Nesterly charges a fee of between $95 and $195 once a match is made. It also charges a monthly maintenance fee for an automated payment system. The interface pairs older homeowners with renters who may be willing to exchange help around the house for reduced rent. The system was created by two former MIT students, Noelle Marcus and Rachel Goor, and was a winner of the MIT Global Ideas Challenge. – FAST CO DESIGN

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Tennis star Maria Sharapova is being investigated in relation to a failed luxury housing project in India. Ballet by Sharapova was to be a luxury apartment complex in Gurgaon, a suburb of New Delhi. The real estate firm, Homestead Infrastructure, took deposits for units in the project which was never completed. Sharapova was in India in 2013 to launch the project which included a tennis academy. A lawyer representing one of the buyers stated that Sharapova’s name was the main reason his client invested. – NY POST

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Popular tech festival and brand SXSW had broken ground on a new 12-story headquarters in Austin, Texas. The SXSW Center on the corner of Lavaca and 14th Street will be a 145,000-square-foot facility with retail and office space, parking, and a rooftop terrace. The site was formerly home to the Farm & Home Savings Association. The wave-like design preserves existing live oak and pecan trees on the property and will include a limestone walkway, rain gardens outside the building, and a rooftop terrace with a 13th-floor penthouse. It will be built to LEED Gold standards and completion is planned for 2019. – AUSTIN CHRONICLE

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HOT PROPERTIES OF THE WEEK

Luxford House, a Grade-II listed home in East Sussex, England has been listed for auction with a guide price of £1.4million. The property was a Tudor smokehouse that dates back to the early 16th century and was renovated in the 1930s when it was purchased by Sir Hugh Beaver, who later became the founder of the Guinness Book of World Records. In the 1970s, Sir Hugh’s daughter rented the home to music manager, Tony Stratton-Smith, who brought many of his famous clients there including Neil Diamond, Leonard Cohen, and Genesis. Genesis recorded their third album at the property. It has six bedrooms, four reception rooms, Inglenook fireplaces, historic carvings, and a library. The grounds ramble over two acres including gardens and stone walls. – MANSION GLOBAL

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Billionaire Andy Beal has listed the Crespi-Hicks mansion in Dallas, Texas for auction on December 20 with Concierge Auctions. The 25-acre property is the most expensive estate in Dallas and has been for sale for $48.9 million since January. In 2015, it was listed for $100 million. Beal bought the home in 2016 but never moved in. The limestone mansion was built in 1938 for Count Pio Crespi and was designed by architect Maurice Fatio. In 2003, the home was renovated and expanded with interiors done by Peter Marino. The ten-bedroom house has over 27,000 square feet of space including two home offices, a library, wine cellar, and home theater. The grounds feature a guest house, pool house, sports court, tennis court, and a resort-style pool as well as greenhouses, ponds, walking paths and stone bridges. –DALLAS MORNING NEWS

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Kathy Griffin has sold her Hollywood Hills home for $4.492 million. Griffin purchased the property in 2004 for $2.85 million and listed it for $5.5 million last year. The five-bedroom mansion known as “Wings” for its bird-in-flight appearance, has over 8,000 square feet of space with dramatic views from the wraparound balconies and floor-to-ceiling windows. It also has a screening room, elevator, saltwater pool, and an outdoor dining area. Last year, Griffin bought an estate in the elite Bel Air Crest neighborhood for $10.5 million. – VARIETY

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