In 30 years since launching Jeffrey Beers International, architect and designer Jeffrey Beers has worked with his team of architects, interior designers, painters, sculptors and graphic designers on multi-unit residences, offices, hotels, restaurants, nightclubs and more.
They’ve worked with developers including Silverstein Properties, El Ad Group and Extell Development, and most recently with Gotham Organization’s newest food hall, Gotham Market at The Ashland in Brooklyn. For that project, the firm worked with UrbanGlass and KEEP to create a globe chandelier made with 180 hand-blown glass globes that stretches the length of a city block (glass design is one of Mr. Beers’ personal passions).
The recipient of four Gold Key Awards for design excellence, Mr. Beers chatted with Mansion Global about his best real estate advice, cities with investment potential and why his design preferences fall somewhere between Richard Meier and Donald Trump.
Mansion Global: Describe your dream property.
Jeffrey Beers: I enjoy a rich palette of materials. I’m not a stark Richard Meier-style modernist. And I love the water—I love sailing and would like to be on the water. I’d love to be on a cliff in the South of France, in a modern glassy house overlooking the Mediterranean.
MG: Do you have a real estate property that got away?
JB: I have a house in East Hampton, which I live in, and it’s a modern, contemporary house, but it’s unfortunately not on the water. I had my eye on a property overlooking Gardiners Bay, and it got away from me. Guess who bought it: Hugh Jackman, I believe.
That was a great, beautiful home overlooking the bay on a cliff.
MG: What does luxury mean to you?
JB: It means different things to different people—it could be opulent or over-the-top, or “Trump-esque.” But I believe very much in a tailored approach, that there’s a sense of real artistry and craftsmanship. The detailing—whether it’s in a suit, a suitcase or a home—that attention to detail is important. It leads to a timelessness. It’s about thoughtfulness and beautiful materials.
MG: What area do you think is the next hub for luxury properties?
JB: Boston is extremely on the map. We’re working on two developments there that I’m very excited about. One is being developed by Cottonwood in the seaport area. Singapore is a very interesting potential hub. And I visited Montenegro recently, and that’s an interesting part of the world. It’s starting to become a real development. It’ll be the Adriatic Riviera in the next five years.
MG: What’s the biggest surprise in the luxury real estate market now?
JB: I don’t know if it’s a surprise, but I think being more thoughtful, and “less is more,” is being more appreciated. People are clearing out clutter in their lives. We’re getting back to timelessness and simplicity.
MG: Where are the best luxury homes in the world and why?
JB: Off the top of my head, London comes to mind. Every time I go there, I love it. I’ve been super impressed by the new developments there —the bar keeps getting raised. There’s interesting stuff happening in Capri. In the apartment tower world, there are some amazing homes in New York.
MG: What’s your favorite part of your home?
JB: For me, the kitchen is the heart and the center of the home. I combined two apartments together, and in doing that, I made the center of the home—having designed 100 some odd restaurants—the kitchen. My outdoor spaces are great, too.
MG: What best describes the theme to your home and why?
JB: I pay great attention to the flow, the plan and layout, in terms of how you enter the apartment, where the private and public spaces are. It’s easy to navigate between the two. Lighting is key, too. I do all my own lighting, and it’s a very dramatic, /theatrical sense of lighting.
MG: Most valuable thing in your home?
JB: In one home, it was a fireplace, which we would use often. I think in my current home, it’s the backyard. Having a garden in the middle of Manhattan is quite lovely. And the memories created in those kinds of spaces are invaluable.
MG: What’s the most valuable amenity to have in a home right now?
JB: For me, a Wolf stove was it. Mine is a 60-inch, restaurant-grade stove with eight burners. That’s important to me, but I think what’s important overall is to be as technologically advanced as possible, to be as connected as possible.
MG: What’s your best piece of real estate advice?
JB: Location, location, location. Sure, you want to look for great bones, flow and spatial layout, but more than anything it’s really location.
MG: Where is the best area now for investing in luxury properties?
JB: Boston is leading the pack if you wanted to invest in a growing urban area. The demographic of buyers in Boston is high. These folks are well off and looking to move back into Boston—an urban, amenity rich, cool, fun city. The restaurant industry and retail industry will thrive as a result of the property market.
Silicon Valley is always important, and will continue to be.
MG: If you had a choice of living in a new development or a prime resale property, which would you choose and why?
JB: If you ask my wife, she’d probably want a new development, honestly. And I’m
one of the auteurs on five towers right now. But I personally grew up in Manhattan— I’ve been here all my life— and being near Central Park, or the West Village, those have important memories to me. I would probably lean more toward the area than the new development property.
MG: What area currently has the best resale value?
JB: Having lived in Manhattan all my life, I don’t think you can ever not fall back on Central Park South, it’s quite special. Parts of Brooklyn are really strong from a resale standpoint, but you want to get in on the ground floor in certain areas. If it’s an investment or a resale, those are areas you can do really well. It used to be the Upper East Side had incredibly value, but that’s not true anymore. It changes. We’re seeing costs per square foot much higher downtown in some places.
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