MERKUR Development Holding GmbH has started construction of 42 apartments in Frankfurt-Niederrad. As part of existing development, the core of the listed office building at Herriotstrasse 5, dating from 1966, is being gutted and refurbished. The original plans were prepared by the ABB architectural practice (Otto Apel, Gilbert Becker, and Hannsgeorg Beckert).
Overall, 3,200m² of residential accommodation is being constructed as part of the neighbourhood development in the Lyoner Viertel. All apartments have full-height window elements leading to balconies. What’s more, 38 underground and 8 surface car parking spaces will be provided for residents. Following the grant of planning consent in the 4th quarter of 2021, completion of the construction work is scheduled for 1st quarter of 2023. The conversion is being managed by LMG Architekten from Kromberg in Taunus.
Marcus Hientzsch, Director of MERKUR Development, explained: “We are very proud of this project, which is important for the urban development of Frankfurt. In particular because here, in an existing building, we are able to create state-of-the-art, bright living accommodation in compliance with listed building and ESG requirements. In keeping with the outline plan, the monofunctional office buildings in Niederrad are being transformed, to create a lively, mixed-use district. Instead of demolition and redensification, our project on Herriotstrasse utilises the principle of repurposing an architecturally attractive former office building.”
Can buying a rectory answer your home purchasing prayers?
What is the best house to buy in a village if you’re planning a move to the countryside? The manor house, perhaps? Forget it, unless you are worth a small fortune.
A farmhouse? It will be miles from civilisation and likely to have too much land.
A chocolate-box cottage? Inclined to be dark and constantly in need of maintenance.
When the writer and film director Monty Whitebloom was faced with this dilemma 20 years ago, he came up with his answer — to buy the village rectory.
Georgian splendour: The Old Rectory in Yardley Hastings, Northamptonshire
‘We had been viewing houses in North Cornwall for three years and nothing was right, then we found the rectory,’ says Monty, 57, who is selling his Cornish rectory in Tregardock for £2.25million (johnbrayestates.co.uk).
‘We lived in London’s Soho at the time, which wasn’t great for our young kids. I wanted them to get air in their lungs and experience the wild outdoors.
‘I’m also sociable and this has been an ideal space to entertain friends in the village.’
Monty’s rectory, which dates from 1760, has the look of a Poldark film set. The five- bedroom house is sheltered by beech and alders, and in the five-acre garden there’s an old, gnarled oak tree, giving shade for summer teas.
There are good reasons why rectories such as Monty’s are so sought after. Built by the church as symbols of wealth and prestige, they range architecturally from Queen Anne to Georgian and the Victorian Gothic period. Some are architectural gems and invariably they are structurally robust.
Rectories are always close to the centre of the village, usually a stone’s throw from the church. Internally, they are likely to have high ceilings, huge windows and several reception rooms.
Nowadays, these features also make the rectory the ideal ‘forever’ home. It is big enough for a large family, with office space. Multi-generational living is a possibility and the gardens are usually substantial but manageable.
Rectories are good value, too. According to research by Jackson-Stops, the average selling price for one in 2022 was £371 per sq ft. That compares with £382 per sq ft for a chocolate-box village cottage.
Little wonder that estate agent tomtoms start beating whenever one comes on the market. ‘We recently had a beautiful old rectory at East Knoyle in Wiltshire for sale,’ says Annabel Blackett, of Strutt & Parker. ‘We had 50 viewers in quick succession and sold it for its asking price.’
If you are lucky enough to find a rectory you can afford, you get more house for your money. Demesne Hall, outside the Dales market town of Wolsingham, is an imposing rectory dating from 1848, with seven bedrooms and an annexe.
‘It is in the middle of good walking country,’ says Louise Olds, of Finest Properties, who is selling the house for £1.5million. ‘It has private gardens and would make a wonderful boutique hotel.’
In chapel-going West Wales, you find few rectories. ‘Manses are their equivalent,’ says Carol Peett of West Wales Property Finders. ‘These tend to be less architecturally extravagant and more austere-looking. But they are good, solid properties that make excellent family homes.’
Camrose is a four-bedroom former manse near Haverfordwest, Pembrokeshire, for sale with Savills (savills.com) at £495,000.
However, not everyone is besotted with these ecclesiastical piles. ‘Buyers come chasing the old rectory dream,’ says James Law of Stacks Property Search. ‘They tend to overlook the disadvantages.
‘They are often listed, which presents problems when you want to do home improvements. They have large expanses of single-glazed windows, which are the devil to keep clean, and heating the enormous rooms can be expensive.’
None of these drawbacks cut much ice with Monty Whitebloom. ‘I am only selling because our three children have grown up,’ he says.
‘Our rectory is sheltered from North Cornwall’s wicked winter storms, yet it is full of space and light. I love it.’
Modest four-bed 1950s house in one of the last undeveloped waterfront plots in millionaire’s playground Sandbanks goes on the market for £4m
A modest 1950s house is up for sale for a whopping £4million – because it is one of the last undeveloped waterfront plots in the exclusive enclave of Sandbanks.
The Breakers is a relatively unremarkable two-storey home from the front but it backs directly onto the award-winning Sandbanks Beach in Poole, Dorset.
The property has been used as a holiday home by the same family for more than 70 years but they have now decided to sell up.
The new owner will most likely demolish it so they have a blank canvas to create an ultra-modern mansion in keeping with most of the other properties on the sought-after peninsula.
Experts say a 5,000sq ft detached mansion could be built on the plot which would be worth £7.5million when complete.
The Breakers is a relatively unremarkable two-storey home from the front but it backs directly onto the award-winning Sandbanks Beach in Poole, Dorset
Experts say a 5,000sq ft detached mansion could be built on the plot which would be worth £7.5million when complete
To the back of the property is a stunning panoramic view of Poole Bay. It even has private direct access to the sandy beach from a gate at the bottom of the garden
In 2000, the area was named the fourth most expensive place to buy residential property in the world, behind Tokyo, Hong Kong and London
The Breakers has 1,295 sq ft over two floors with a dining room, lounge and kitchen downstairs and four bedrooms, although one is a box room, and a family bathroom
An image of the sitting room inside the modest 1950 property
The property is on Banks Road and sits in a long plot of land with trees shielding it from the road.
But to the back it has stunning panoramic views of Poole Bay. It even has private direct access to the sandy beach from a gate at the bottom of the garden.
Most of the waterside plots on the millionaire’s row have been redeveloped over the past 20 years making this sale a rare opportunity.
Sandbanks has been one of the most desirable places to live in the UK for more than 20 years and has attracted celebrities like Harry and Sandra Redknapp, TV football pundit Graeme Souness and interior designer Celia Sawyer.
The Breakers has 1,295 sq ft over two floors with a dining room, lounge and kitchen downstairs and four bedrooms, although one is a box room, and a family bathroom.
Robert Dunford, from estate agents Tailor Made, said: ‘There are so few plots left that you can literally step out directly onto the sandy beaches of Sandbanks.
‘The concealed location, set back form the road, offers owners privacy, whilst enjoying the beachfront location to the rear. The land is ultimately what someone is buying rather than the dated house that is located there.’
Then and now: The home was originally built in 1950 and has been used as a holiday home by the same family for more than 70 years but they have now decided to sell up
Another old image showing the property from a distance
Another view of the property in present day that backs directly onto the award-winning Sandbanks Beach in Poole, Dorset
An image of one of the four bedrooms in the two-storey home
Another image of one of the four bedrooms in the the £4m valued property
The Dorset property has access to the beach with stunning views
An image showing the kitchen of the 1950’s modest home
In 2000, the area was named the fourth most expensive place to buy residential property in the world, behind Tokyo, Hong Kong and London.
And that doesn’t seem to have slowed down in recent years. In March a 117-year-old waterfront chalet bungalow set a new record for the peninsula when it sold for £13.5million.
Dunford added: ‘The current home is simply not fit for purpose for modern day living, so I full expect to see an architectural masterpiece in its place, in the years ahead.
‘We are in such a fortunate position as agents to be able to offer for sale this detached home and experience the journey the buyer takes in making it their dream home.
‘We have already received offers, ahead of the best bids by date set, and we therefore expect this to be sold imminently.’
The Benefits Screenwriters Will Enjoy After The Strike Include Juicy Bonuses, Better Salaries & Limits On AI
From the first minute of this Wednesday, the screenwriters’ strike will become part of Hollywood history. The leaders of the screenwriters’ union, the Writers Guild of America (WGA), have ratified the agreement reached with the studios on Sunday. On Tuesday afternoon, WGA leaders endorsed the final text of the contract, putting an end to the 148 days in which the scriptwriters turned off their computers, and brought the entertainment industry to a halt.
The agreement has an estimated value of $233 million a year, a much higher figure than the $83 million that executives put on the table in the first round of negotiations. Hollywood, however, is still a couple of weeks away from returning to normal. Actors are still on strike.
The 11,500 members of the WGA will vote between October 2 and 9 on the collective contract that is on the table. The WGA’s negotiating committee made it clear it was pleased with the deal struck on Sunday, describing it as “exceptional.” Following the tentative agreement, the leaders of the organization began to explain the benefits contained in the new 94-page text, which will be in force for three years.
The deal will 5% increase writers’ basic pay in the first year of the contract’s term, 4% in the second year and 3.5% in the third. It also includes bonuses for hit shows online, and restricts the use of artificial intelligence. Now that WGA leaders have voted to recommend the tentative agreement, writers will be able to return to work, starting Wednesday.
Talk show writers are expected to be the first to return, as they were the first to walk off the job when the strike was called. These shows are set to go back on air in the first days of October.
As the scriptwriters requested, the new collective contract will offer protections against the emergence of AI in the industry. Under the deal, the tool cannot be used to write a script or rewrite a new version of one, not can it be credited as a writer instead of a human. Studios will not be able to force a screenwriter to use an AI program, such as ChatGPT, to assist with a script. The WGA will have the final say, on behalf of its members, on whether or not to allow creative materials to be used to train or develop artificial intelligence software.
The studios also agreed to a new model for residuals, the payment that is given to members of a production when a program is broadcast in a new market or platform. Under the new system, the bigger the viewership, the more a screenwriter will be paid.
This was one of the points that had stalled negotiations for weeks, as studios were adamant about not revealing audience numbers. In the new text, however, the studios will share with the union, through a confidentiality agreement, the total number of hours a title was streamed both domestically and internationally.
The new contract promises to compensate, from January 1, 2021, the screenwriters for a high-budget title that is considered a success. This is defined as any title that is viewed by 20% of domestic subscribers to a streaming service, such as Prime or Netflix, in the first 90 days of release.
Screenwriters will receive residual bonuses for series and films that meet this threshold. The bonus will be calculated with a formula that takes into account a production’s budget, the length of the series or film and the number of views. This means, for example, that writers of a widely watched TV series will pocket about $9,000 for a half-hour episode and $14,600 for an hour-long episode. For a feature film that has cost more than $30 million to produce, screenwriters can expect a bonus of $40,500.
Under the new contract, studios must also hire a minimum number of writers to develop treatments for a TV season. At least three writers will be needed for a six-episode show, while six is the minimum for a 13-episode show. Three of these writers may have the position of writer and producer.
The wins achieved by the WGA have raised the hopes of actors on strike. Currently, no negotiations are being held between the actors union SAG-AFTRA and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP), which represents Paramount, Sony, Universal, Walt Disney, Warner Bros., the major TV networks and streaming companies such as Netflix and Apple TV, among others.
Actors continue to picket outside Hollywood studios. The WGA has not called any demonstrations since Sunday, but the group’s leadership is allowing writers to show solidarity with their colleagues on the picket line.
On Tuesday, the creator of the TV show Mad Men, writer Matthew Weiner, accompanied his friend, actor Noah Wyle, at one of the protests. “We would never have had the leverage we had if SAG had not gone out,” Weiner told AP. “They were very brave to do it.”
The threat promises to extend the wave of strikes that the United States has been experiencing. The video game companies under fire are Activision, Electronic Arts, Epic Games, Take 2, as well as the corresponding divisions of Disney and Warner Bros.
“It’s time for the video game companies to stop playing games and get serious about reaching an agreement on this contract” SAG-AFTRA President Fran Drescher said in a statement. The studios must sit down at the negotiating table if Hollywood wants to see the light at the end of the tunnel.