In a luxury condo market where many properties must compete for a limited number of buyers, developers are turning to international sources of rare and valuable woods, marbles, and bricks in order to add exclusive and sometimes last-minute touches to their properties, according to Stefanos Chen of The Wall Street Journal.

Dan Cobleigh, managing director at Madison Realty Capital, has sourced $3 million worth of calacatta marble from Cave Michelangelo, a quarry in Carrara, Italy famed as the marble source for Michelangelo’s “Pietà.” His firm will use the marble for sixteen kitchen islands and back splashes in the 1 Great Jones Alley condo in downtown Manhattan, currently under construction, which is expected to close $130 million in sales.

As of August, there were 65 luxury condo projects in the pipeline in Manhattan, down 23% from the same period last year, according to the data website CityRealty. “The elephant in the room is that the ceiling was reached in terms of demand for very-high priced units,” said Gabby Warshawer, the site’s director of research.

Read more >