Posted by: Rick Pariani in News, Tips

Falling Water at Bear Run is the internationally-acclaimed, magnum opus of America’s most famous architect, Frank Lloyd Wright (FLW). The house he designed in 1936 for Pittsburgh’s department-store magnates, Edgar J. and Liliane Kaufmann, was truly a labor-of-love on the part of both the architect and the clients.

It is said that FLW worked out the entire concept in his head – and upon being pressured by the Kaufmann’s to put up or shut up – he drew the elevations and floorplans in one afternoon, to finally be ready for his client presentation that had taken numerous months to schedule. FLW’s first completed and colored perspective rendering, that afternoon, captured the aura, character and allure of the house and the waterfall – almost precisely as the home would eventually be built.

The Kaufmann’s were quintessential patrons – in love with their property, their site and FLW’s unique and unprecedented (and quite expensive) concept. They were unbelievably accommodating – making every allowance for FLW’s prevarications. The back-and-forth challenges were wearisome – and the Kaufmann’s endured endless grandstanding from their architect, as in the following examples from FLW’s letters to Mr. Kaufmann:

“Kindly refrain all interference with me in my work at this time. Send me what I ask for. Easy to spoil the entire work by lack of confidence in my ability to handle my own work. Kindly stand by. Read my letter mailed yesterday. In circumstances like these there is only one doctor. Be thankful you didn’t lose him. Now be good enough to realize the truth of what I say.” – and this gem:

“It never occurred to me that you had not enough common sense, when we set this up, to stick to itthrough thick and thin. I must ask for this reassurance from you – in writing this time – as necessary to your own interest as well as mine if this building is to be creditably finished.”

We live in different times – an understatement, for sure. But, should you have the opportunity to work with experienced, capable and enlightened design professionals in the creation of your dream home and property – you will be well-served to challenge, yet follow, their advice. Collaboration is fun, but better, more finely crafted results are often created when there is a clear voice of design leadership. And remember, when it comes to intrinsic home values for generational use or re-sale, home and gardens conceived by design professionals maintain the highest returns.

At one particularly difficult summit, FLW submitted a form for his client, Mr. Kaufmann, to sign : “I hereby agree to do all in my power to see that the architect’s instructions to the builder – are faithfully executed and that no exterior advice or criticism be allowed to interfere with the architect’s authority over matters concerning the character and integrity of the building I have engaged him to build for me. And this is to continue until the building is completed to our mutual satisfaction.”

Yes – we do live in different times!

If you are looking for some great advice, contact one of our a trusted Real Estate professionals who can guide (not coerce) you on a clear path to your goals.

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Posted by: Rick Pariani in News

In March, 2003* the Wall Street Journal Magazine of Personal Business, Smart Money, featured a special report on how one’s home values are boosted by good landscape.

At the time, the then president-elect of the National Association of Realtors, Walt McDonald, had advised; “when people ask me how they can get strong interest in their property, I always tell them to fix up their landscaping”. Studies showed that a design-wise, landscape investment of about 5% of a home’s value would result in as much as a 150% return. In most any market or region, a home on the market at $500,000 with an extra $25,000 invested in new landscape could result in an easy 7.5% / $12,500 of additional profit.

The Smart Money article suggested four distinct ways to invest in, and enhance, your home and property values – both for your own living as well as for future sale.

First – concentrate on Curb-Appeal – everything that can be seen from the street or during the approach to your home. Curb-Appeal is enhanced through landscape beds, staggered and layered height plantings (ground covers to taller shrubs), shade and special interest trees, walkways, pedestrian and vehicular arrivals and an attention to spacing, massing, scale, framing and accenting.

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Good Growth – Invest in Your Place

Posted by: Rick Pariani in News

One of our nation’s premier professional land planning and development institutions, the Urban Land Institute, says that “Growth is inevitable and desirable, but destruction of community character is not. The question is not whether your part of the world is going to change. The question is how”.

How indeed. In our neck-of-the-woods, significant change is underway. It is rapid – more so in the residential realm than commercial and mixed-use (but that too is following and will continue to do so). It isn’t whether change will come and when – it is already here on a daily basis.

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We live in a very mobile society. International travel for education and leisure is now commonplace. Travel, whether spur-of-the-moment short duration trips or well-planned group or individual extended excursions are becoming the norm for families and friends. People seem to gravitate, through curiosity and inquisitiveness, to the pursuit of new experiences. For many, the acquisition of these experiences is far more satisfying than being the beneficiary of gifts and material goods.
I believe that folks have many “a-ha” moments during their travels. I think that more and more people are developing an understanding and appreciation of the role that art, architecture, urban design and public space play in illuminating cultural connections and inspiring our lives.
The foremost architect / architectural theorist / urban planner, Leon Krier, is a champion of the European city and village as a model for community building. He has been quoted as stating, “The architecture of the city and public space is a matter of common concern to the same degree as laws and language. They are the foundation of civility and civilization”.
Usually, in a suburban context, the public realm is not surrounded and framed by interesting, modern or historic architecture. The suburban public realm can, however, be as diverse – albeit, more spacious and interwoven throughout the built elements of the community. It is visually and experientially evident and it is critical to defining a sense-of-place that distinguishes a community.
When you shop for that perfect place for your residence – be cognizant and alert to the natural character and spirit of the place as much as you are focused on the features and appointments of the home itself.
Of course, individual recreational parks, pocket-parks and trailheads, community social buildings and amenities are the anchors for the suburban public realm, in most master-planned communities. But in a more grand manner, the public realm of the community is displayed in its open space – its vistas and view corridors – its setting and backdrop – its natural complexion and its conservation of sensitive lands. Neighborhood sidewalks, paths, trails, bike lanes, fields and fairways, lakes and waterways and even the manner in which the streets and roads were threaded – all come together to showcase the public realm.
Each community and its collection of neighborhoods is different. Those whose public realm was consciously considered and designed into the fabric of the place are those that beckon and attract the most interest. They are the places that offer true respite – beyond the walls of the house.
Comfort and commons, comradery and community are the key attributes of great neighborhoods. When the public realm of a community is celebrated and cared for – values for everyone are enhanced.
Find the place that serves you the best – one that feels right – not just one that fits your budget. And, when you do find that special place, be a part of its public realm care and stewardship. When you do – you will protect yours and your neighbors values and you will enjoy a more balanced, healthy and happy lifestyle.
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St. Augustine’s regional history, local geography and diverse culture define, and importantly characterize – our place. Contextually, our place is far different than any other. Recognizing our context is the first step to preserving our unique attributes. We don’t need to be like everywhere else. As we grow our communities, we need to fuse the new with the old while insuring quality and originality.
History reigns over our region. St. Augustine is America’s original city. Some historians claim the actual First Thanksgiving was celebrated in the stronghold on September 8, 1565, over 450 years ago and at least 56 years before the Pilgrims in Massachusetts. A visit to the Old Town can inspire inquisitiveness. Return trips illuminate the stories of early occupation. Familiarity induces multiple explorations and discoveries and an appreciation of the city’s proximity and accessibility. Our authentic sense-of-place is evocative of the history and heritage of St. Augustine as America’s initial melting pot.

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Davidson Realty, Inc. and Realtor Shelley Nemethy are preparing to launch a World Golf Speaker Series to provide real estate related information to all WGV residents (and future residents)!

Each quarterly event will be held at Davidson’s headquarters in World Golf Village and include a featured speaker and refreshments provided by Bank of England.

The dates the 2017 World Golf Speaker Series are as follows:
Tuesday, March 7 (6-7 p.m.)
Tuesday, June 6 (6-7 p.m.)
Tuesday, September 5 (6-7 p.m.)

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Residents of Heritage Landing were recently treated by Davidson Realty Agent Mirtha Barzaga to an educational event that explored the past, present and future of the World Golf Village area. About 25 homeowners came out to enjoy the May 27 event in the community’s Heritage Room featuring speaker Rick Pariani, Vice President of Design and Development for Davidson Development.

“The story of World Golf Village includes more than 25 years of history. Every development, every golf course green and every home is part of that story, which is still being written,” said Mirtha. “Many thanks to Rick for coming out and sharing the past stories about World Golf Village and Heritage Landing, as well as insights about the future of the area.”

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Davidson Development is celebrating its’ 25th year as one of the First Coast’ premier development companies. The company was launched in May 1989 by Jim Davidson and Ed Gil after they purchased the development rights to World Golf Village from a partnership group formed in 1987.

An authority in the selection, planning, permitting, construction and marketing of long term, large scale mixed use real estate projects, Davidson Development has cultivated a reputation for smart real estate investments that continually yield high returns for investors.

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