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Martha Stewart-Branded Developments: It’s A Good Thing?

Martha Stewart speaking at the 2019 Maricopa Home and Garden Show in Scottsdale, Arizona

Homemaking icon Martha Stewart could soon be involved in the making of actual homes.

Marquee Brands has hired real estate branding firm Brand Labs International to seek developers as partners in building housing bearing the brand Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, The Real Deal reports.

Stewart herself still runs the multichannel licensing and merchandising operation, but has not owned it since she took it public on the New York Stock Exchange in 1999.

Stewart will have a hand in designing whatever residences that will have her brand attached, though exactly what form the housing will take depends on what sort of developers Marquee chooses. Marquee and Brand Labs have had discussions with potential partners in the U.S., Europe and Asia, TRD reports.

In a statement provided to TRD, Stewart said that some of her own residences have "acted as laboratories" for the design she hopes to bring to the venture.

Martha Stewart Living thrived in its early years after its founding in 1997, with Kmart as its primary retail partner. But Kmart's slide into irrelevance, combined with Stewart's highly public financial crime case in the mid-aughts, irrevocably damaged the brand's value, Forbes reports.

Sequential Brands took Martha Stewart Living private for $353M in 2015 at more than a 20% premium of its listing price, only to eat a hefty loss when it sold the company to Marquee for $175M in April of this year, CNBC reports

Non-real estate brands getting into real estate have had a recent, if brief, history of successTRD reports, commanding an average 31% premium over non-branded units. In South Florida, two condo towers licensed to luxury car companies Aston Martin and Porsche have sold multimillion-dollar units in the past three or four years.