A bridge between USA and Italy: Richard Tayar tells us about Columbus International
The real estate company that combines knowledge of the global market and the local expertise has arrived in Florence
Passion, research, market strategies. The Columbus International team has no equals and after New York, Miami and Milan they have chosen to open a new office in Florence.
Richard Tayar, founder and director of this real estate company specializing in consulting, brokerage and management, tells us why he chose the Tuscan capital, what Americans love about Italy and what he, who is Florentine by birth, likes about it.
Three values that identify Columbus International
We act as a bridge between the United States and Italy for a boundless real estate model, where knowledge of the global market is filtered through local expertise, with real estate agents rooted in the 4 main markets of reference: New York, Miami, Milan, Florence.
A real estate all-round: we deal with residential, commercial, luxury, always keeping up with standards and new trends, and a passion for design, furnishing and renovation. Feeling at home in the world, in a historical moment like this, means having control of every little step towards the property you choose, from the search phase to the first turn of the key at the front door.
A vast and stratified network, in addition to solid relationships with institutions and real estate personalities in New York and Miami, in the regions of Lombardy and Tuscany. This is the third strength that allows us to offer customized solutions to individuals, investment funds and be leaders in the real estate market between America and Europe.
Why did you choose to focus on Tuscany and in particular on Florence?
Regardless of my origins, Tuscany remains the first market destination for American investors, not to mention the interest generated by the presence of U.S. university campuses. Then, last year we set our eyes on Milan, to complete our idea of a bridge between two countries. Moreover, a good part of the Italians who reside in the North look more and more 'inside' the country, and therefore to Tuscany and its spaces - from vineyards to olive trees - generating a real estate track that other regions in the North do not register.
Richard, if you had to tell us about your Florence in three heart addresses, what would they be?
Il Cinghiale Bianco. A restaurant located on the ground floor of an ancient fourteenth-century tower in Borgo San Jacopo, one of the most characteristic streets of ancient Florence. I still cling to the memories of me as a child, when I would walk through the doors of the osteria and immediately feel at home. Every time I am welcomed into the restaurant for me it is like taking a journey back in time.
The Church of Orsanmichele. A place of great strength and charm. It is among the oldest churches in Florence in the Gothic style, it used to be a granary. It differs from the others thanks to its asymmetry and an architecture that does not follow traditional canons.
Villa San Michele. Surrounded by the hills of Fiesole, this ancient medieval monastery captures Florentine romanticism. Fourteenth-century artistry blends with the beauty of the region in a hotel as timeless as the city's cathedrals and art galleries are. The façade of Villa San Michele, attributed to Michelangelo, is surrounded by woods and terraced gardens, from which views of Florence and the Chianti hills can be seen. Fiesole is part of my childhood and my life. It is where I live when I return to Florence from the United States. I chose Fiesole as the venue for my wedding; it definitely has a special place in my heart and remains a great spot when it comes to having drinks with friends and clients.
Why do you think Americans are so in love with Italy? What do they like the most?
Many Americans have Italian origins and one of their peculiarities is that they can maintain strong ties with their roots. Some of my American clients of Italian origin are proud of that unbreakable bond. And it is thanks to the point of contact with Italy that many American investors discover Italy, its art and landscapes for the first time. Italy remains a favorite destination. All you should do is travel: postcard-perfect scenery and views, references to history and traditions, high-end cuisine, itineraries that combine wonder and a sense of familiarity. Having spent the last few months in Italy myself, I discovered several corners of Tuscany that I hadn't visited in the past. And this can only be good for the spirit of a real estate agent.
Americans like to spend more and more time in Italy, not just a few weeks on vacation. How is this trend evolving from your point of view?
When an American client discovers a territory as vast and rich as Tuscany, he lets himself be guided but cultivates his own critical sense that, sooner or later, leads him to look for properties or places that are never taken for granted, almost secrets. In part this happened to us at Columbus International, when, last summer, we enthusiastically obtained the exclusive assignment of Residenze Isole di Toscana, a unique project in the Italian panorama. This is a residential complex located at Marina di Scarlino, a renowned marina and luxury destination in the Tuscan Maremma. The project of 36 design apartments is
gathering interest from our American investors who had not yet discovered the so-called 'Tuscany by the sea'. Now, however, buying a beach house with breathtaking views of the Tyrrhenian Sea, towards Elba Island and the Tuscan Archipelago, is becoming a trend we are proud of, as we consider ourselves partly pioneers. There are customers who choose Tuscany as a point of support in the country of origin, to be able to return home with their families and make that place become a meeting place, where they can share together moments such as the olive harvest or the grape harvest: occasions of leisure and
family, lived in total bucolic tranquility.
What do Italians see as special about the American market?
The attraction that Italian clients have for the United States revolves mainly around the idea of an investment in real estate that allows them to diversify their portfolio and currency. America is still one of the world's superpowers and the two US markets that we follow closely, with local real estate agents, are very different from each other but at the same time they are examples of a real estate boom that not even the pandemic has been able to contain, if not at first. New York, so dynamic and European, is the business hub on which an investor also projects the future of his children. Miami, cosmopolitan and with record-breaking transactions, is preparing to become America's new technological hub, the Silicon Valley on the sea of surfing, carefree living, experimentation, luxury towers like the
Bentley on the beach at Sunny Isles.