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Boston Common - Niche Media - A side of Boston that's anything but common.

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Artfully arranged narcissus bulbs dot the surfaces of Hall's studio. Confessions of a Power Broker not a bad racquet THIS AGENT-CUM-TENNIS COACH HAS A COMPETITIVE EDGE. R reveal Hall's ability to engineer a glamorous fundraiser for one thousand as seamlessly as designing an exquisite dinner for 10 guests. The showstopping display reflects Hall's prestigious client list, which has included Boston socialites (Madeline Redstone was his first patron), European royalty, and even a former United States President. He says that being part of the floral design team for Chelsea Clinton and Marc Mezvinsky's wedding weekend was the "professional highlight of my life. The rehearsal dinner was a spec- tacular extravaganza of sunflowers." In the meantime, the gentlemen at New Leaf Flores have been creating some drama of their own, making huge monochromatic arrangements with different shades of one hue—their take on fashion's ombre effect. Taylor and Lopez-Ospina say, "We're not hunting for the next new hybridized flower," but they do admit they "love using tropical leaves, xanadu, a kind of philodendron leaf, and elephant ears." They're enjoy- ing the showy beauty of the summer's hottest new local variety—butterfly snapdragons, which open up more than the typical snapdragon and have a stronger, sweet scent. Marc Hall Designs, 535 Albany St., 617-482-6272; New Leaf Flores, 599 Centre St., Jamaica Plain, 617- 522-1101; BC obb Silva's clients may be surprised that their real estate agent also happens to be Boston University's men's tennis coach, but always glad about it in the end. For Silva, real estate and tennis have a lot in com- mon. "I love the competition and negotiation of real estate sales," Silva says. "It's like a tennis match. I'm always strategizing how I can get this deal done, just as I would for how we can win this match" In his four years with William Raveis and previously with Re/ Max, Silva has shown buyers every kind of property available in Boston—from South End lofts to $10 million Back Bay mansions— but the one he would pay to walk through is 5 Commonwealth Avenue, the Gamble Mansion that was once the home of the Boston Center for Adult Education. "The current owners took it down to the studs and returned it to a single-family residence. It might be worth close to $30 million now," he says, adding that it's on the best block in the city, a street topped with 1 Commonwealth Avenue, where Fidelity's Peter Lynch owns a condo. Silva has sold all types of properties—and has dealt with all kinds of clients. He has a large online presence, so often he pulls in buyers from other parts of the country, such as a California client who is looking to purchase a building on Beacon Street in the $10 million range. One relocation client called him from Florida requesting a one-bedroom condo with some outdoor space in Back Bay. "She told me, 'I could go all the way up to $75,000—cash,'" Silva recalls. "I told her she's going struggle to live in that parking space. She was stunned." Designs with wild plants are a New Leaf specialty. While some buyers have unrealistic expectations, such as wanting everything to be perfect, Silva says that others just don't seem rational. In the middle of one deal, his client and the buyer got into "a Mexican standoff over a water heater," he says. "Neither of them would budge. I ended up buying a new water heater myself just to move the deal along. Buyers are being really aggressive right now." And that just might land them in some hot water. William Raveis, 118 Arlington St., 617- 312-3509; BC 129 varsity they're photography by eric levin (silva); cheryl richards (narcissus bulbs); courtesy of new leaf flores

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