Things have not been going well for Martha Stewart lately. Forget the time she spent in jail last year for lying about her role in a stock deal. Her latest book, “The Martha Rules,” released in October of last year, is enjoying tepid sales—it is currently number 6,533 on Amazon's best seller's list, two spots below “For Sinners Only: A Gospel of Grace for Ragamuffins.” Her reality show “Martha Stewart's Apprentice,” based on the Donald Trump vehicle of the same name, was cancelled by NBC after only one season. And now she and The Donald are locked in a war of words concerning her show's demise.
Of course, Stewart, one of the most successful businesswomen in the world, knows how to bounce back: borrow a page from her new nemesis and move into the real estate business.
Stewart's namesake company, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, has teamed up with homebuilder KB Homes to design and create Martha Stewart-inspired neighborhoods throughout the US. As part of the venture, MSLO will create a line of new interior and exterior home products such as floor coverings, bathroom fixtures and window treatments. The product line, to be called Martha's Choices, will be offered exclusively to KB Home homebuyers and will be available by spring of 2007.
Devotees of the domestic diva, however, won't have to wait that long to move into a Martha Stewart creation. The venture's first community will open in Cary, North Carolina on March 12, 2006 and a Martha Stewart-inspired neighborhood will come on line in Atlanta in late spring. Additional developments are being considered for Houston, Texas; Charlotte, North Carolina; Southern California; Orlando, Florida; Daytona Beach, Florida; and, perhaps most surprisingly, Las Vegas, Nevada, a city that doesn't spring to mind when thinking of Stewart signatures such as well-organized closets and freshly-baked blueberry muffins.
Then again, maybe Sin City is the perfect place for Stewart, a town where anybody can reinvent themselves.
“Central Harlem has already made it past the hump; it is already the next SoHo.”
Charlie Marcus, a former actor, in a New York Times article about the condo-conversion craze in Harlem. Marcus is converting two area brownstones into condominiums.
“Las Vegas is a high-profile city and, contrary to popular sentiment, what ‘happens in Vegas’ doesn't always stay in Vegas.”
Gina Jackson of condo development Sky Las Vegas, referring to the fallout of failed high-rise condominium projects in the city , in a press release.
“One word that came to mind is elephantiasis. It's the disease or syndrome of an individual or species that just before the crash there's this huge expansion in size.”
Robert Fishman, a professor at the University of Michigan, in a New York Times article about the proliferation of apartments measuring more than 10,000 square feet
“We made fortunes off of leverage [before going public], and you're not going to make fortunes in the public market off of leverage.”
Sam Zell, speaking at the Wharton Economic Summit, on the difficulties public real estate companies face relative to their private peers.
“Can we still really call America the land of opportunity when hotel workers who work full-time for profitable hotel companies cannot afford to make ends meet?”
Former vice presidential candidate John Edwards, as quoted in The New York Times, speaking to a meeting of Unite Here, the largest hotel union in the US.
“America just isn't big enough for Donald Trump.”
The opening sentence of a press release announcing Donald Trump's latest venture, Trump Island Villas on Canouan Island in the Caribbean.
“I don't know when the next distressed cycle is, but I see a lot of debt abuse and some of that will come back to roost.”
Apollo's Leon Black, speaking at a private equity conference in Frankfurt.