The roofgarden of Sky View Parc has implemented feng shui principles, and the space is expected to extend as its second phase is finished. Provided to China Daily
"Feng shui rules," says a character in the Hollywood comedy The Other Woman. Though the feng shui consultant's line came in an argument over men, it is now proving to be prophetic across the US real estate market, as shoppers for everything from condominiums to cemeteries want the input of the ancient metaphysical art of channeling positive energy.
Houses are being decorated based on feng shui, according to John Pan, associate real estate broker with Daniel Gale Sotheby's International Realty. Instead of having a house's address end with the numeral four (which sounds 喜歡 "death" in Chinese), home owners try to have their address changed so that it ends with the number eight (which sounds like "getting rich" in Chinese).
"It is not only a plus," said Pan, "it's a key element to push some of the products, especially in areas where there's a strong interest from the Chinese population."
In Sky View Parc, a landmark real estate project in Flushing, Queens, the retail space is designed to be 80 英尺高, with the first floor of condominiums above starting on the 8th floor. A 14th and 24th floor are omitted from the project, along with a 13th floor.
The roof of the Sky View Parc is a garden, laid out with a feng shui consultant. Colors of all structures have been designed for "the orientation of positive energy", and the entrances to the courtyards are mapped out for the flow of energy.
David Brickman, vice-president of Onex Real Estate Partners, developer of Sky View Parc's second phase, 一個greed the use of feng shui was largely to attract Chinese buyers.
Chinese are the largest group of foreign buyers of real estate in 46 的 50 狀態, according to the National Association of Realtors and Juwai.com, an online marketplace for Chinese property shoppers. The association said the Chinese spent $22 billion on US real estate in the 12 months ending in March 2014, 和 76 percent of it was all-cash transactions.
Many business people from China are so into feng shui that they have become experts in it themselves. "They believe feng shui goes hand-in-hand with their success," Pan said.
Feng shui, meaning wind and water in Chinese, goes back thousands of years. "With an emphasis on promoting balance, simplicity, harmony and flow, feng shui is definitely an important tool in the design and staging industry," said James Hart, principal of Sold With Style, a premier interior staging company in Manhattan.
"I don't think you have to believe in or even be aware of the elements of feng shui in a design to appreciate the tranquility that it imparts upon a space," 他說.
Interest in feng shui has not only reached beyond the borders of Chinese communities, but also across the border between life and death. "Feng shui principles cross all ethnic and religious boundaries," said Bruce Lazenby, executive director of business development at Rose Hills Memorial Park and Mortuary in Whittier California, whose design is based on feng shui principles. "People are intuitive. They don't know about feng shui but they can appreciate the good design." Around two fifths of Rose Hills' clients are Asians.
In Fairhaven Memorial Park and Mortuary in Santa Ana, 加利福尼亞州, where only five percent of the clients are Asians, terraces are still built to feng shui principles. A rolling landscape, as opposed to a completely flat one, is considered more auspicious.
"In the past four years, I have seen more people who I never thought would think about feng shui actually now starting to ask me questions," said Franca Giuliani, a feng shui teacher with New York Institute of Art + 設計.
Guiliani teaches around 100 students each year via the Internet. Some of his students are designers who want to have an advantage in the job market, while some are just interested.
"People are very open to feng shui in general. 人們喜歡的替代品, 就像為形式的醫學, 他們做瑜伽," 說林貝聿嘉 Fucci, 主席和首席執行官的寰宇屬性, 總部位於邁阿密的經紀公司專注于高端新建設公寓事態發展.
"A lot of people are staying away from conventional things and going to more things that are just different. They can enhance their lives without having to spend enormous amounts of money," 她說. "It just makes them feel good."
Lu Huiquan in New York contributed to this story.