Dozens of new McMansions are cropping up in an LA suburb with the usual wine cellars and marble-lined entry halls. What's turning heads: Asians are buying most of the properties and transforming Arcadia, Calif., into what some call the "Chinese Beverly Hills," the LA Times reports. In fact, the city of 56,000 has become 60% Asian and more pricey than an upscale enclave inhabited by Justin Bieber and the Kardashians. What's up? Local architects are building houses designed to attract Chinese money, mixing notions of feng shui with basic necessities of Chinese living (like having a separate wok kitchen where things get "oily and messy," says an Arcadia architect).
Among features attracting Chinese buyers: houses facing south, which some believe have better light and air flow. Even better, Chinese buyers are avoiding killer real estate prices in Beijing and Shanghai, gaining access to excellent schools, and parking their money where China's government can't touch it, Businessweek reports (the magazine notes that wealthy Chinese are doing this in other US cities, but more so in Arcadia). While the city is benefiting from all this money, there may be a downside: A letter to the Times complains that rising home prices are making houses "unaffordable for young families" and says new buyers don't live in their houses "for most of the year." (Read more Los Angeles stories.)