Friday, June 24, 2016

CNN Money In Arcadia: "You may not have heard of this Beverly Hills"

Brand new CNN Money news video that is all about Arcadia: "Forty-five minutes north of Los Angeles is a place referred to as the Chinese Beverly Hills. CNNMoney's Vanessa Yurkevich tours the booming town of Arcadia, California."

For video click here.

About a year ago we posted the following edgier video content about Arcadia. It comes from a website that calls itself Vocative and is titled "How an Upscale California Suburb Became the “Chinese Beverly Hills.”

For this video click here.

Vocativ's verbiage: "The town of Arcadia, California, has gained the nickname “The Chinese Beverly Hills.” Peggy Fong Chen, who makes a living selling high-priced real estate in Arcadia, says that almost all of her buyers are from mainland China, and almost all of her clients pay for their multi-million dollar homes in cash. Many Chinese billionaires buy these homes along with exotic cars for their children attending American colleges. Others use these mansions for the less wholesome purpose of housing their mistresses. Whatever their reasons, the Chinese elite are buying up American real estate like never before–to the tune of $22 billion last year alone."

Then there is this fairly recent video from the BBC called "Why those in the Chinese Beverly Hills area are worried."

Video click here.

BBC: "China's economic challenges have implications far beyond the country's borders. For instance in the United States, wealthy Chinese tourists and immigrants have transformed Los Angeles' San Gabriel Valley. A generation ago, the area was predominantly white. Now it's majority Asian and Chinese businesses dominate the suburban landscape. But China's economic instability has many there on edge. Regan Morris reports from the area known as the Chinese Beverly Hills."

Once more. This one comes to us from Bloomberg Businessweek.

Video click here.

Bloomberg: "In South Pasadena, California, an estimated 1 or 2 homes will be demolished this year and replaced with mansions. Just a few towns away in Arcadia, that number jumps up to 150 homes. Many of the new residents come from China’s rising millionaires. Bloomberg Businessweek explores why."

The CNN Money video is new and currently running on their cable news outlets. The others are from mid to late 2015 and predate the recent Arcadia City Council elections.

Enjoy.

sierramadretattler.blogspot.com

42 comments:

  1. Quite a contrast between the CNN Money and Vocativ videos.

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  2. The Vocativ video was produced at the height of the madness. I live in Arcadia, above Huntington, where we have a somewhat more reasonable set of codes. Everywhere in Arcadia, even my area, there are new homes sitting vacant, unsold, for literally years. The developers continue to buy the older homes, tear down and build a ridiculously large homes and then they sit. In my area the lots are smaller and when they are finished, the house sits on most of the lot, no yard. They are also priced so high for the neighborhood. In my area homes are worth one to two million at the most. The new ones are priced at three and sit vacant. They lower the price and no bites. The Chinese money has dried up and the developers didn't get the message. Another green fence went up last week up the street from me.

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    1. Hmmmm... I have a friend in Sierra Madre who sold her house in less than a week, with several over bid offers, all from Chinese buyers.

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    2. Maybe they prefer the small town ambience and understated grace of Sierra Madre as opposed to the garish nouveau riche ostentation of much of what is available in Arcadia? Don't go making assumptions based on ethnicity. Often they are not true.

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    3. Investment properties. It is that empty neighborhoods problem everyone was talking about a few weeks ago.

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    4. 8:04 AM
      That's what I am saying all along. As soon as someone wants to sell their house, they don't care about the community anymore. Price is all that matters.

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    5. 8:09, maybe; it could just as well be that they are bargain hunting, and we're still cheaper.

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    6. How does one decide who should or should not be allowed to buy your home?

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    7. There's one of those things around 1708 Highland Oaks Drive, a huge template-made Macmonster, and it's been for sale for a long time.

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    8. It must be great to be in a position to turn down good offers for the benefit of your neighbors, but I don't think most people are in that economic bracket. We have participated in this community for many years, but if we had to sell, we would.

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    9. I think you could administer a lie detector to potential home buyers, but I am not certain they'd be into it.

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    10. 12:56
      It is called "greed", one of the seven deadly sins.

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    11. Nah. That's just stupid.

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  3. Maybe they should turn all those unsold McMansions in Arcadia into sober houses.

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  4. The video that gives the most realistic appraisal of what is going on in Acadia right now is the one with David Arvisu.

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    1. Thank God for David Arvisu and April Verlato.

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    2. How come no news organizations make videos about Sierra Madre? Are we that boring?

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    3. One of Sierra Madre's greatest blessings was that it wasn't all that desirable for a long time. We had been flying under the radar until developers ran out of room elsewhere.

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  5. Arcadia is what happens when a city government care about nothing but money.

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  6. Unrelated note. This isn't getting much press but the venerable bluegrass musician Ralph Stanley just died. Just a sad heads up.

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    1. Ralph Stanley achieved some pretty amazing things in his 89 years.
      http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2016/06/23/483315303/bluegrass-pioneer-ralph-stanley-dies-at-89

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  7. 168 new homes last year in Arcadia. It's just out of control. There is some hope as evident at last planning commission meeting,as they are making the property owners 'work it out' with the neighbors who don't want the over sized homes. Small victory, but a proposed 6400 home gets approved at 5900, still way to big for the area.

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    1. It's amazing that were has been any progress at all in Arcadia. Seemed like that place was done for, but there just may be a few streets that will survive.

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  8. Empty McMansions must make for quiet neighbors.

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  9. Also, check out the downtown LA skyline, 4-5 high-rise building craines. These are Chinese-owned building projects, too.

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  10. Some years ago the golf-hungry/happy Japanese were buying American golf courses, coveted ones such as the one on the coast in Monterey, CA. Economy tanked and they ownership was lost.

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  11. The ONLY thing that saved Sierra Madre from the Asian invasion was the crappy Pasadena School system. Now that the middle school has the Chinese language program, more Asians will buy in Sierra Madre. Just think 1 Carter and who will buy Adel's modern family homes. Almost every big dollar property in the past few years has been sold to Asians. They are buying up the R3 properties as fast as they come on the market.

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    Replies
    1. Agreed 8:52. Crappy schools and a kind of working class population protected the place.
      Do you think that the supportive housing at 22 West Carter, a stone's throw from One Carter, will give pause to any of the Mansion owners to be?

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    2. Carter has bad feng shui and that treatment center makes it even worse.

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    3. The Triangle of Death.

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  12. If you want a real big headache try reading the staff report on the city council agenda for next tues., consent calendar item 1. c.

    I do not understand a single word, but this must be costing us plenty. Something to do with employee health benefit liabilities.

    I won’t even try to understand the Budget Item #2 however I did see that all the city service fees are going up.

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    Replies
    1. You mean Measure UUT isn't taking care of that, either?

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  13. Chinese Beverly Hills is not the only place that they're 'parking' their cash. Other, much bigger cities are confronting this problem head-on. Look at London, Melbourne and Vancouver. All of these cities have sky-high home values and an abundance of vacant homes. These big cities are looking to impose a vacancy tax. Our council ought to listen to the residents who spoke a few weeks ago and get ahead of this issue by putting something into place now so that Sierra Madre doesn't become an Arcadia, San Marino, or Melbourne. Seriously, this shouldn't be hard.

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    1. If a problem can be solved by creating a tax, the city will be all for it.

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  14. The new build at 1145 E. Grandview (corner of Santa Anita) is on the market. The listing boasts "* 2 separate kitchens *." How is it that this works both ways? The "suites" at the Kensington are considered one dwelling unit because they have one kitchen between them, but the Grandview structure with 2 kitchens is not considered two dwelling units?

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    1. Code for one western kitchen, one wok kitchen. Interesting the online photos do not show the kitchen up close. Go to the open house this week-end. Not only is there the Chinese emersion at the middle school (moved over from Fields school I was told do to PUSD screw-up on the time-line with the building of the middle school), homes in North East Sierra Madre are listed as Arcadia school district.

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  15. Don't put San Marino in the same category as Arcadia. San Marino has gone to great lengths to preserve its residential character with strong codes and architectural purity standards that are usually strongly enforced.
    It only took a couple McMansion-esque homes in San Marino to be built a couple years ago for the entire Design Review Committee to be fired in San Marino. And residents showed up en masse to city council meetings to complain about the crappy couple of houses that had somehow slipped through the cracks. The San Marino police are even investigating one of the fired Design Review Committee members - raided his house and took his computers/hard drives.
    And San Marino has something else Arcadia lacks - a population made up of both Asians and non-Asians who largely are on the same page when it comes to preserving the architectural purity of the community. Chinese residents in San Marino are also more likely to be second and third generation here in America than Arcadia and less likely to have just come into a ton of money overnight. They used to say, "Let's not let San Marino turn into Monterey Park" and lately they say "Let's be sure not to let things go like they did in Arcadia."
    Even so, San Marino is starting to be a target by developers. And residents are doing everything they can to make sure San Marino remains an extremely hospitable place for McMansion flippers.
    Another thing San Marino has going for it is a City Council that is entirely devoted to maintaining and protecting building standards. There is no debate over "property rights" or such nonsense in San Marino.
    Arcadia should learn from San Marino and.preserve its special character of gorgeous ranch homes set on large properties. That is what makes Arcadia special.

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    1. I was driving through San Marino on a regular basis last year, and the single family hotels were going up left and right! Old Mill Road and Monterey has become a nightmarish corner. Perhaps these were some of the areas that slipped through the cracks?

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  16. Arcadia will never, ever learn a lesson. Too late, sadly.

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  17. I am trying to understand the cultural differences. To me, McMansions are ostentatious, and to use a very old fashioned word, vulgar. I am wondering if the concept of "gauche" exists in Chinese.

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    1. It's pretty easy to explain the reason for the Chinese desire for these mansions (as explained to me by a Chinese immigrant that owns one). It simply comes down to who can out do their family and friends, the bigger the house the more (apparent) wealth they have obtained, that is the driving force. Go into any of these places and you won't see much quality, it's all about as much square footage as possible. Kiss new single story ranch homes goodbye in Arcadia (except for the one next to Mrs Verlato's home). Guess lawsuits are only way to curb the madness.

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  18. I spent some time on Zillow. Here is how the sales shown there for Arcadia homes over $3,000,000 appear going back 2 1-2 years:

    01-2014 4
    02-2014 9
    03-2014 5
    04-2014 4
    05-2014 6
    06-2014 8
    07-2014 4
    08-2014 6
    09-2014 6
    10-2014 5
    11-2014 6
    12-2014 3


    01-2015 4
    02-2015 3
    03-2015 4
    04-2015 6
    05-2015 9
    06-2015 9
    07-2015 5
    08-2015 6
    09-2015 5
    10-2015 9
    11-2015 7
    12-2015 10

    1-2016 3
    2-2016 2
    3-2016 8
    4-2016 4
    5-2016 2
    6-2016 4

    So, comparing apples-to-apples, first 6 months 2014 = 36 sales, first 6 months 2015 = 35 sales, first 6 months 2016 = 23 sales. I realize this is not a very scientific study but I find it interesting nonetheless.

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