The Champlain Towers South Site Hits the Market, and Other News

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The Champlain Towers South site is for sale in Surfside two months after the collapse. 

The property that once housed the Champlain Towers South before its deadly collapse in June has officially hit the market. A private bidder already put forth a $120 million offer for the site earlier this month, and if approved by a local judge and receiver, would set the minimum expected bar for all bids. “Outside of the tragedy that has happened and the loss of life, this is a unique site,” Avison Young, who’s overseeing sales efforts, tells the Miami Herald. “You don’t have a property of this size on the ocean in Miami Beach, Surfside, or surrounding municipalities. We know that there are groups that are looking at all possibilities and options to build, whether it’s condominiums, hotels, or a combination thereof.” A memorial near the site will commemorate the lives of the 98 victims of the attacks, and only 68 percent of the site can be developed within the lot line thanks to local zoning regulations. 

The artist Pablo Atchugarry sponsors Uruguay’s first-ever contemporary art museum. 

Among the leading artists in Uruguay, Pablo Atchugarry has funded the development of the Museo Arte Contemporâneo Atchugarry designed by architect Carlos Ott. The project is an extension of Fundación Pablo Atchugarry—a program founded by Atchugarry that aims to spotlight visual arts within the South American country. Slated for completion in spring 2022, the museum complements the foundation’s sizable estate in Punta del Este and Atchugarry’s personal collection. Initially, the MACA was to exclusively carry Uruguayan art. “It’s a way to integrate nature and art,” says Atchugarry. “It’s going to be a real revolution for Uruguayan artists because it’s a tangible example of the transformative power of art.”

Ateliers Jean Nouvel’s new Museum of Art Pudong has officially opened in Shanghai.

On the outer banks of the Huangpu River, the Museum of Art Pudong by French firm Atelier Jean Nouvel has opened its doors. With such big-name cultural institutions as the Louvre Abu Dhabi and the National Museum of Qatar under his belt, the Pritzker Prize–winning namesake has earned a reputation for monumental projects. Crafted from solid white granite, the museum in Shanghai’s Pudong district features numerous exhibition spaces, a restaurant on a loggia overlooking the river, and two vertical screen-signs linked by laser beams at night.  One of the screens houses a gallery of large-scale mirrors fixed over two superimposed floors that host performances and installations during the day. In the evening, the screen becomes a display for video art. 

Shuttered Kmart stores are being turned into flea markets, funeral homes, and more.

The gradual closure of Kmart locations across the United States has spurred a series of unorthodox replacements, ranging from pharmaceutical companies and flea markets to churches and funeral homes. Following its merger with Sears in 2005, Kmart scaled up its aim to be an all-in-one retailer, but its real estate philosophy caused a widespread downturn in business when its customer base moved out to the suburbs and the company failed to follow. The present vacancy of Kmart’s former brick-and-mortar stores, which typically range from 40,000 to 140,000 square feet, offer vendors an unusual opportunity to occupy vast, big-box spaces at a reduced price, with a total of 230 million square feet up for grabs nationwide. 

Bentley’s priciest car in its 102-year history is reconstructed with a $2 million price tag. 

Salaciously coined “Blower Bentleys,” the original four models of Bentley’s hallmark cars have been reconstructed into 12 new vintage replicas. Dating back to the 19th century racing scene, many automobile giants capitalized on an emergent technology called the supercharger in an effort to enhance motor power. This form of vehicular technology was blueprinted by Mercedes Benz and enabled a greater burn of fuel—for Bentley, it was an upsize in its motor capacity from 4.5 to six liters. As an homage to the brand’s sporting legacy, Bentley recreated the racing arsenal from scratch by laser scanning their historic supercharged Motor stored in their collection and commissioned fresh parts that mirrored the exact make of their 1929 prototype. The fresh Blower Continuation Series car starts at $2.1 million and finds homes in Bentleys’ most erudite clients. 

A design competition rallies ideas for repurposing the Thompson Center in Chicago.

In an effort to sell the controversial James R. Thompson Center, city officials have selected seven finalists from a 59-person design competition aimed at repurposing the 17-story glass structure. Designed by architect Helmut Jahn, the building is notoriously inefficient with heavy operational costs often exceeding $100 million, and houses the governor and other state faculties who are scheduled to move into Chicago’s West Side next year. With preservation policies up in the air, the final selection of designers are toying with the center’s archaic program and are considering revamping it into a waterpark hotel or public school. A winner will be selected on September 14 by a panel of design and preservation specialists.    

Today’s attractive distractions:

Computer-generated New Yorker cartoons are as weird and wonderful as you’d expect.

Swiss cows are being airlifted from Alpine meadows ahead of an annual cow parade. 

Scientists discover “mini-Neptunes” beyond the solar system that may yield signs of life.

More brands are joining the “workleisure” bandwagon now that the style is here to stay.

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