House Hunting in Croatia: A Modern Mountain Villa for $1.2 Million

This three-bedroom vacation home sits in the heart of Croatia’s mountainous Gorski Kotar region, a northwestern pocket of the country — known as the “green lungs” of Croatia — that stretches down to the Adriatic Sea.

Completed in 2019, the three-story house sits on a sloped quarter-acre lot and features the traditional wood construction often found in Gorski Kotar, which is known for its woodworking. The primary materials are locally sourced Siberian larch and iron, in keeping with the owner’s wish that the 2,368-square-foot house be constructed with sustainable materials by local laborers. Even the furniture and shelving were made by local craftsmen from solid wood. The exterior cladding is meant to shield the home from harsh Croatian winters.

“My guiding idea was longevity and resistance to the extreme weather conditions, because it’s Gorski Kotar after all,” said the owner, who asked not to be named for privacy reasons. “But I wanted it to be as natural as possible, with as few chemicals as possible, so that it blends into the pristine nature of the area.”

Designed with a minimalist Scandinavian aesthetic, the house features moss-covered cladding and floor-to-ceiling reflective glass windows that open the main living areas to views of the mountains. “It’s truly a Croatian product,” said Mirjana Micetic, a broker with Croatia Sotheby’s International Realty who has the listing.

Entering through the lower-level two-car garage, the basement has an entertainment lounge, sauna, bathroom and a wine cellar designed in the style of a Croatian tavern, Ms. Micetic said.

A pathway ascends from the driveway past a landscaped garden to the main entrance. On the ground floor, an iron fireplace separates the kitchen from the living room, which has wall-to-wall windows and a door that opens to the platform deck, heated pool and spa. The kitchen, also accessible through glass doors on the side of the house, has a table that seats 10.

The second floor, which cantilevers slightly over the deck, has three bedrooms with en suite bathrooms, the largest of which looks out to the forest through a wall of windows. A fire pit, barbecue, open dining area and garden are in the backyard.

The property is in the village of Ravna Gora, which sits between the larger towns of Delnice and Vrbovsko. Risnjak National Park is about 30 minutes away; Plitvice Lakes National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a popular hiking destination, is within an hour and half. Rijeka, a port city about 45 minutes west, is a melting pot of European influences with a growing tourism scene and an international airport. Zagreb, the Croatian capital, is about an hour northeast.

Croatia was one of a few European countries to react quickly to the coronavirus, ordering a full quarantine in mid-March that successfully tamped down the spread of the virus. The lockdown was lifted in May, and in June a flood of tourists and buyers poured into the country,

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‘Modern Family’ creator Steve Levitan seeks $16 million for Malibu beach house

Steve Levitan, the TV powerhouse behind shows such as “Modern Family,” “Stacked” and “Just Shoot Me,” is testing the waters in Malibu. His Cape Cod-style beach house just hit the market for $16 million.

a large building: The contemporary Cape Cod includes six bedrooms, seven bathrooms, a great room, lofted gym and multiple decks overlooking the ocean. (Mac Hayward)

© (Mac Hayward)
The contemporary Cape Cod includes six bedrooms, seven bathrooms, a great room, lofted gym and multiple decks overlooking the ocean. (Mac Hayward)

He’ll triple his money if he gets his price. Records show the Emmy-winning director-producer paid $5.4 million for the property in 2002.


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Spanning a quarter of an acre, the oceanfront abode descends down a bluff to Broad Beach — an exclusive stretch of sand with high-profile residents over the years including Frank Sinatra, Mindy Kaling, Walter Hill and Eli Broad.

Levitan made a few changes during his stay, renovating the oversized chef’s kitchen overlooking the ocean. Other highlights in the 6,700-square-foot floor plan include an interior courtyard, elevator, lofted gym and great room that opens to a beachfront deck.

Elsewhere are six bedrooms and seven bathrooms, including three detached guest suites and a three-room owner’s suite with two-story ceilings, a sitting area and private deck. Out back, multiple staircases descend to the beach near Lechuza Point.

Levitan, 58, earned an Emmy as a producer for “Frasier” and also received nominations for “The Larry Sanders Show” and “Just Shoot Me.” More recently, he co-created the shows “Back to You,” “LA to Vegas” and “Modern Family,” which ran for 11 seasons and ended earlier this year.

The listing is held by Tony Mark and Russell Grether of the Mark & Grether Group at Compass, Kimberley Pfeiffer of Compass and Donald Richstone of Coldwell Banker Malibu Colony.

This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.

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Lowe’s donates over $9 million to help keep homes safe and affordable in Charlotte

Lowe’s Home Improvement store is donating $9.25 million in funding, products and gift cards to organizations in Charlotte to keep “homes safe, healthy and affordable” amid the coronavirus crisis.

Lowe’s announced Tuesday it is making the donations in a combination of funding, products and gift cards to nearly 30 local charitable groups and businesses for affordable housing, skilled trades training and technology, the company announced Tuesday.

The Mooresville-based company is extending how it thinks about the word home, company executive vice president of human resources Janice Little said.

Little told the Observer the donations are another step in the company’s efforts to help with community projects. Lowe’s also has an employee volunteer program that has been focused on affordable housing and skilled trades over the last year.

“We really need to make sure that we can support all members of our community,” she said.

Some of the Charlotte hometown projects supported through the donation, according to Lowe’s, include:

? $1.67 million to Habitat for Humanity of the Charlotte Region to support home repair, new home construction and two new apprentices for its apprenticeship program. Even with the COVID-19 pandemic, Habitat Charlotte Region has moved 26 families into newly completed homes.

• $1.33 million grant to the city of Charlotte for its Safe Housing Home Rehabilitation Program in the Beatties Ford Road Corridor to help with home repairs. It also helps older residents age in place and low- and moderate-income families be able to stay in their homes.

• $1 million to the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library Foundation to create the Lowe’s Technology Lab at the new main branch offering technology help and classes.

? $50,000 donation to Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools Foundation’s Connect for Tech program to help close the connectivity gap for local students during the pandemic.

• $200,000 in gift cards to Charlotte Center City Partners for artists to maintain the Uptown Black Lives Matter and Beatties Ford Strong murals. More than 120 small businesses in South End and Uptown also received gift cards for personal protection and sanitizing supplies and to make repairs to adapt to new opening procedures.

Lowe’s also announced $55 million in grants this summer with the Local Initiatives Support Corp. to support minority-, women-owned and rural small businesses nationwide.

Since July, over 35 small businesses in Charlotte have been awarded more than $725,000 in grants.

Lowe’s has more than 2,200 stores and 300,000 workers in the U.S. and Canada.

Last week, Lowe’s announced $100 million in bonuses for hourly workers on Friday, raising it’s total commitment to workers and communities since the start of the health pandemic in March to $775 million.


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Sweetheart Kitchen Raises US$17.7 Million In Series C Funding Round To Launch New Brands And Kitchen Units Across MENA

4 min read

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

You’re reading Entrepreneur Middle East, an international franchise of Entrepreneur Media.

Cloud kitchen operator Sweetheart Kitchen has successfully secured €15 million (US$17.7 million) in a Series C funding round backed by strategic investors, led by the company’s founder and CEO Peter Schatzberg.

As a delivery-only multi-brand virtual kitchen, Schatzberg notes that the Dubai-based company is keen to invest their funding into supply chain technology, food design and hiring talent, as they had previously done, and which they plan to continue to do so. “Scaling units is certainly one important objective for us, but we are also investing in streamlining our processes and systems to achieve profitability.”

As a company that is only 15 months old, it’s noteworthy to point out its impressive milestones. The startup (which, according to a Wamda report, is backed by Germany’s Delivery Hero) has previously raised €21 million ($24.8 million) in a previous round. Thus, as of date, the startup has raised a total of $43 million. The brand boasts a portfolio of 30 brands, such as Wingo, Avocado Bravo and Affordabowls, among others.

That’s not to say that cloud kitchen startup hasn’t had their fair share of hurdles during the pandemic. Schatzberg comments, “Almost overnight, we pivoted from scaling volume and units, to demonstrating profitability through aggressive cost-cutting measures that would ordinarily take place in a mature enterprise.” They had to close live units in Kuwait, as well as make reductions, and lose cash flow as they were waiting to open a number of completed units, but was vacant due to citywide lockdowns. He adds, “Any incremental revenue we might have received as a function of the pandemic was more than offset by the various costs and challenges that the pandemic created.”

To utilize the time, the team focused internally on “controllership, efficiency, quality and profitability,” which Schatzberg says ignited the enterprise’s maturity more rapidly. With the new capital fusion, the team is gearing up to launch five additional brands, as well as have 12 units live in the UAE by the beginning of 2021, with more expansion into the KSA market in the second half of the same year. The team is also excited to scale across the region as they originally planned, starting with its relaunch in Kuwait. He concludes, “We plan on re-opening in January with seven kitchens, and on covering over 75% of Kuwait by the end of Q2 2021 with our new brands.”

‘TREP TALK ME: Peter Schatzberg, founder and CEO of Sweetheart Kitchen

What’s your advice to fellow entrepreneurs who are raising capital during this unprecedented time?

1. Ask yourself if you really need to raise capital right now

“Carefully consider whether you have the capabilities, business plan and determination to raise capital during a global economic downturn. Your time is precious, and rejection can be painful. Do not waste time trying to raise funds in this environment if you are not prepared to face

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Lowe’s gives $100 million more in bonuses to hourly employees

Shoppers wearing protective masks wait in line to enter a Lowe’s Cos. store in San Bruno, California, U.S., on Wednesday, May 20, 2020.

David Paul Morris | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Lowe’s said Wednesday it will give $100 million more in bonuses to hourly employees, as strong demand for home improvement continues.

It marks the sixth time the home improvement retailer has given additional pay to workers at its stores, distribution centers and support centers during the coronavirus pandemic. It gave bonuses to part-time, full-time and seasonal employees in March, May, July and August. It also increased pay by $2 an hour for the month of April. 

With the latest round, the home improvement retailer will have paid more than $675 million in additional pay to employees this year. It will pay the latest bonuses on Oct. 16. Full-time hourly employees will receive $300 and part-time and seasonal hourly employees will receive $150.

Also Wednesday, Lowe’s announced a cash tender offer for up to $3.5 billion of its outstanding debt securities. The company said the goal of the offer is to reduce its interest expenses and manage the maturities of its debt. 

Other retailers, including Walmart, Target and Kroger, have also given bonuses or increased worker pay during the pandemic. Walmart has given three rounds of bonuses and said it would remain closed on Thanksgiving to give employees time with their families. Target speeded along plans to raise its minimum wage to $15 an hour as it phased out a temporary, pandemic-related $2 an hour wage increase.

Customers have shopped at Lowe’s for DIY supplies, kitchen appliances and landscaping tools as they spend more time at home during the pandemic. The global health crisis has also inspired some Americans to move out of cities and buy homes in suburban or rural areas, a trend that analysts predict will drive long-term sales for home improvement retailers.

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$2.5 million glass house in Illinois blurs the lines between indoor and outdoor spaces

636 Division St., Barrington: $1,899,000 | Listed: Sept. 4, 2020

This five-bedroom home near Baker Lake in Barrington has 4½ bathrooms and melds contemporary interiors with elements of both a rustic farmhouse and industrial design. Built in 2015, the home’s custom glass entryway touts ceiling-to-floor windows that invite sunlight streaming into the dining and living rooms. Three stone fireplaces and heated driftwood floors throughout provide warmth, while the family room’s reclaimed wood beams and a showpiece-worthy reclaimed barn door lend a relaxed air to the home. The custom-designed Knapp kitchen features Carrara Marble countertops, a farmhouse sink and a walk-in pantry. A 400-bottle wine cellar, a sunroom with an outdoor television and a wood-plank ceiling, and a wet bar equipped with a dual kegerator tap elevate the home, while the primary bedroom suite includes a bathroom with a standalone tub and a shower with a full-body spray. A 4½-car garage completes the home.

Agent: Barbara Cullen of Baird & Warner, 847-909-4063

*Some photos are “virtually staged,” meaning they have been digitally altered to represent different furnishing or decorating options.

To feature your luxury listing of $800,000 or more in Chicago Tribune’s Dream Homes, send listing information and high-res photos to [email protected]

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Bushwick Row House With Glam Interior, Mantels Asks $1.489 Million

The straightforward Neo-Grec exterior of this Bushwick row house hides a rather exuberant interior. The 20-foot-wide house at 930 Bushwick Avenue is one of seven built in 1882.

Real Estate records show that all of the two-story houses in the row constructed by owner and builder Thomas Donahue were designed by architect M.J. Morrill, whose work can also be found in Park Slope and Bed Stuy. No. 930 lost its stoop sometime before the circa 1940 tax photo but otherwise shares decorative details with its neighbors, including brownstone bands and lintels and identical cornices.

It’s set up as a two-family with a one-bedroom garden apartment and an owner’s duplex above. The photographs in the listing are all of the duplex and show a bold interior with a layering of details from various eras. The parlor level has dark wood floors, white painted trim and Colonial Revival columned mantels in the front parlor and dining room. The parlor also sports a statement wall of red flocked wallpaper, what is likely an original Neo-Grec plaster medallion and more recent ornament on the ceiling, and built-in bookcases on either side of pocket doors that have moldings with corner blocks.

Save this listing on Brownstoner Real Estate to get price, availability and open house updates as they happen >>

The kitchen is more industrial in vibe than the glam of the other rooms with metal cabinets and shelving.

Upstairs there’s plenty of unpainted woodwork on display, including in the passthrough with built-ins between the two largest bedrooms. Those bedrooms also have mantels and at least one of them has the same rustic tile work as those downstairs. The mantels and tile throughout appear to be later replacements, possibly added in the early 20th century when the stoop was removed, or more recently.

There’s also a third bedroom with a closet that might work best for an office or storage. The single bath in the owner’s duplex is sleek with marble walls and floors, a soaking tub and white fixtures.

As noted, there aren’t any images of the garden rental in the listing but it’s got a living room at front, bedroom at rear and kitchen in between.

The rear garden is accessible from both units and has concrete paving and planting beds around the sides. Since the row is set back from the sidewalk there’s also a bit of front garden, also paved but with a tree and plenty of room for planters.

The property last sold for $345,000 in 2004. It’s now on the market for $1.489 million with Allison Dubuisson, John Gomes and Fredrik Eklund of Douglas Elliman. What do you think?

[Listing: 930 Bushwick Avenue | Broker: Douglas Elliman] GMAP

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Matthew Perry’s Malibu beach house seeks $14 million

A few months ago, Matthew Perry listed his penthouse in the sky. Now he’s selling his home in the sand. The “Friends” star recently put his Malibu beach house on the market for $14 million, records show.

a large bed in a room: The 5,500-square-foot home has a movie theater, hot tub and two stories of decks overlooking the ocean. (

© (
The 5,500-square-foot home has a movie theater, hot tub and two stories of decks overlooking the ocean. (

That’s $2 million more than the actor paid in 2011 when he bought the property from Scott Gillen, a high-profile developer who owns a slew of Malibu properties. Last summer, Gillen listed his 13-home portfolio in the coastal city for a combined $500 million.


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Perry’s place is covered in wood and glass. Spanning 5,500 square feet, it overlooks the ocean from two stories of modern indoor-outdoor living spaces.

A two-sided fireplace anchors the main level, separating a sunny dining area and modern kitchen from a living room with a ping-pong table. Dramatic beams top the entire space.

The primary suite covers most of the upper level, with a spa bathroom, lounge and private deck. In total, there are four bedrooms and 3.5 bathrooms, as well as a movie theater with tiered seating.

A wraparound deck set high off the sand lines the back of the home. Off to the side, a private patio encloses a hot tub.

Perry, 51, has kept busy since his days playing Chandler Bing on “Friends,” appearing on the shows “Mr. Sunshine,” “The Good Wife” and “The Odd Couple.” More recently, he played Ted Kennedy on the television miniseries “The Kennedys: After Camelot.”

Josh Flagg of “Million Dollar Listing Los Angeles” and Bobby Boyd, both with Rodeo Realty Beverly Hills, hold the listing.

This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.

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Mushroom-shaped house lists for $2.2 million in Texas

Depending on who you ask, the house looks like a giant mushroom or a landed UFO.

The owners prefer “the sand dollar house,” noting the resemblance from above. They’ve listed the distinctive home overlooking the Colorado River just upstream from Lake Travis outside Austin, Texas, for $2.2 million.

This distinctive house outside Austin, Texas is on the market asking $2.2 million. (JP Morales of JPM Real Estate Photography)

This distinctive house outside Austin, Texas is on the market asking $2.2 million. (JP Morales of JPM Real Estate Photography)

The iconic Lakeway, Texas, property dates to 1979 and was designed for the artist Eugenia Hunt by John Covert Watson, who studied architecture under Frank Lloyd Wright during the construction of the Guggenheim Museum in New York City.

The seller, Liz Bradford, told Austin 360 this summer that she first saw the property from a boat on the lake.

This distinctive house outside Austin, Texas is on the market asking $2.2 million. (JP Morales of JPM Real Estate Photography)

This distinctive house outside Austin, Texas is on the market asking $2.2 million. (JP Morales of JPM Real Estate Photography)


“I saw this amazing house on the lake and thought, ‘What in the world was that?” she told the news outlet.

The 2,240-square-foot home includes three bedrooms, two bathrooms and one half-bath, according to the listing.

This distinctive house outside Austin, Texas, is on the market asking $2.2 million. (JP Morales of JPM Real Estate Photography)

This distinctive house outside Austin, Texas, is on the market asking $2.2 million. (JP Morales of JPM Real Estate Photography)


The interior is just as distinctive as the exterior. The home features sleek white curved walls made of steel and gunite, a material typically used for swimming pools. There are tear-shaped skylights, helping to give the home its sand dollar-like appearance.

The living room has a floating wood bench off a curved wall and a kiva-like fireplace. The round kitchen is suspended over a deck.

This distinctive house outside Austin, Texas is on the market asking $2.2 million. (JP Morales of JPM Real Estate Photography)

This distinctive house outside Austin, Texas is on the market asking $2.2 million. (JP Morales of JPM Real Estate Photography)


All the rooms offer views of the lake. Sliding glass doors open to balconies, patios and stairs down to the water. The bedrooms sit on the lower level and also open to porches.

Michelle Jones of Compass holds the listing.

This distinctive house outside Austin, Texas, is on the market asking $2.2 million. (Compass)

This distinctive house outside Austin, Texas, is on the market asking $2.2 million. (Compass)


Bradford, the seller, told Austin 360 that she found the house was even more impressive than she expected when she first saw it from the lake.

“Every day, I walk up the spiral staircase … It still takes my breath away,” she told the website. “When visitors come to the front door, they have this same look.”

This distinctive house outside Austin, Texas is on the market asking $2.2 million. (Compass)

This distinctive house outside Austin, Texas is on the market asking $2.2 million. (Compass)

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Central Garden & Pet Announces Pricing of $500 Million of Senior Notes

Central Garden & Pet Company (NASDAQ: CENT) (NASDAQ: CENTA) (“Central”), announced today it has priced an offering of $500 million aggregate principal amount of 4.125% senior notes due 2030 (the “notes”), which represents an increase in the offering size of $100 million from the previously announced offering of $400 million. The sale of the notes is expected to close on October 16, 2020, subject to customary closing conditions. The notes will be unconditionally guaranteed on a senior basis by each of Central’s existing and future domestic restricted subsidiaries who are borrowers under or guarantors of Central’s senior secured revolving credit facility or guarantee Central’s other debt. Central intends to use the net proceeds from the offering to redeem its outstanding 6.125% senior notes due 2023 (the “existing notes”), and to pay related fees and expenses, with the remainder for general corporate purposes.

BofA Securities, Inc, J.P. Morgan Securities LLC and Truist Securities, Inc. will serve as joint book-running managers for the offering, and BMO Capital Markets Inc., KeyBanc Capital Markets Inc. and U.S. Bancorp Investments, Inc. will serve as co-managers.

Copies of the prospectus relating to the offering may be obtained by contacting BofA Securities, Inc, NC1-004-03-43; 200 North College Street, 3rd Floor, Charlotte, NC 28255-0001, Attention: Prospectus Department or by calling 1-800-294-1322; J.P. Morgan Securities LLC., c/o Broadridge Financial Solutions, Attention: Prospectus Department, 1155 Long Island Avenue, Edgewood, NY 11717 or by calling 1-866-803-9204; or Truist Securities, Inc., 3333 Peachtree Road NE, 9th floor, Atlanta, Georgia 30326, Attention: Prospectus Department or by calling 1-404-926-5906. The prospectus may also be obtained from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s website at

This press release does not constitute an offer to sell or a solicitation of an offer to buy any securities. Offers of securities will be made only by means of a prospectus filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The prospectus is part of a shelf registration statement that has become effective under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended. In addition, this press release does not constitute a notice of redemption with respect to the existing notes. Any such notice of redemption will be separately issued by Central when and if the existing notes are called for redemption.

About Central Garden & Pet

Central Garden & Pet Company is a leading innovator, producer and distributor of branded and private label products for the lawn & garden and pet supplies markets. Committed to new product innovation, our products are sold to specialty independent and mass retailers. Participating categories in Lawn & Garden include: Grass seed and the brands PENNINGTON®, and THE REBELS®; wild bird feed and the brand PENNINGTON®; weed and insect control and the brands AMDRO®, SEVIN®, and OVER-N-OUT®; fertilizer and the brands PENNINGTON® and IRONITE®; live plants from BELL NURSERY; outdoor cushions and pillows from ARDEN COMPANIES; and decorative outdoor patio products under the PENNINGTON® brand. We also provide a host of other regional and application-specific garden brands and supplies. Participating categories in Pet

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