Selling New York S6E4: A Tale of Fashion & Heartbreak on the West Side

CurbedDecember 28, 2012
HGTV's Selling New York rides along with brokerages CORE, Kleier Residential, and Warburg as they try to sell fabulous properties fabulously. Here's our recap of how the NYC real estate industry is portrayed to the world, penned by Angela Bunt. Episode air date: 12/27/2012.

Watch as we round out 2012 with Warburg's Leslie Modell Rosenthal and Core's Omar Jermaine, both trying to sell apartments on the West Side of Manhattan. One: a woman desperately trying to create buzz around a seemingly perfect apartment at 220 Riverside Boulevard, whose only flaw may be that it's a bit too West. And the other: a fashion designer-turned-broker eager to find the right fit for his fashion industry friends. With the couple's wishy-washy criteria, and the lack of trains that run all the way out to West End Avenue, it'll be a post-Christmas miracle if these two can sell the featured properties.

We begin this week's episode with Leslie Modell Rosenthal, associate broker at Warburg, who is struggling to move an apartment on 220 Riverside Boulevard. At $3.495M, the 3BR, 3BA apartment is gorgeous: beautiful wood floors, massive windows lining the dining room that showcase the Hudson River, not to mention the surround sound speakers and stainless steel appliances. The only trouble is it's been on the market for a couple of months (eons in Manhattan real estate-time) and is growing stale. With it being so far on the West Side, it's a bit of a tough sale and Leslie is getting frustrated. Hey, New York City -- can a girl get a subway that goes past 9th Avenue?

While Michael is super excited about having his own bathroom (finally, he can play Words With Friends while pooping in peace!), Susan says she can't part with their current eat-in kitchen, and it seems they are dead set on a pre-war pad. Which Leslie obviously already knew and is just grasping at straws in an effort to sell the place before the owner finds another broker.

Leslie has to come up with a quick and effective plan in order to stir up some buzz around the apartment and get an offer. She turns to her fashonista daughter, Missy, to help her come up with an idea. Something with food, drink and fashion... I know – a fashion show that Missy conveniently will model in! In all fairness, Missy is pretty hot.

The mother-daughter duo are going to tackle the event as a team: Missy will get the clothes, Leslie will get all her top broker friends to come. Oh God oh God oh God, I hope the Kleiers show up.

Yesssss. These girls sure know how to party! From the looks on their faces, I can't tell if they're already half-in-the-bag, or if they're on an adrenaline rush from earlier slipping hubby/father, Ian, a Roofalin so he wouldn't interrupt their ladies' night out.

Filled with brokers and buyers, the fashion show is seemingly a big success. But despite the large turnout and positive feedback, Leslie still receives no offers on the digs. She and her daughter lick their wounds over a glass of wine, and at the end of the episode we learn that the owners reject Leslie's advice to stage the apartment and do a *gulp* price drop. Cutting her losses, she moves on to other listings. Bummer! But at least the fashion show helped jump start Missy's modeling career, so, not a total loss.

Let's hope we have a bit more luck with our next broker, Core agent Omar Jermaine. Omar used to work in fashion and recently made the jump to real estate so he has ins in the biz. This is why it should come as no surprise when Omar gets a call from Andy Hilfiger, broski of Tommy, who is in need of an apartment in Manhattan for he and his wife, Kim. While Andy knows for sure that he doesn't want to live on the East Side, he is hazy on what type of apartment he wants: a townhouse? A loft? No worries, Omar's got it covered.

Move over, Maggie Kent, Omar here is giving you a run for your money when it comes to dreamiest brokers at Core. His looks, his voice, his quirky-yet-charming gap in between his two front teeth. I think I'm in love.

Tommy Hilfiger's brother (Adam? Alex? What's that dude's name again?) loves brownstones, and I love brown... stones, also. So the first stop on on the apartment hunt is a brownstone at 157 West 87th Street. The $4.175M crib comes equipped with 4BR and 6BA, a large dining room, french doors, and even has its very own man-cave! With a mixture of contemporary and classic styles, the apartment feels very cozy and homey.

Maybe a little too homey: Kim says they are looking for something smaller that will require less maintenance, but she still needs at least 2-3 bedrooms. Any more specifics that may help Omar in his hunt? Nope: "We'll know it when we see it," she says. No worries, Unfazed Omar has got it covered.

Eager to prove himself, he brings his clients to see a loft apartment at 110 West 25th Street. The $3.125M home is a 3BR, 3BA and seems to fit the bill based on Kim's earlier suggestions.

But Wife-of-Tommy-Hilfiger's-Brother just doesn't feel it. She likes it, but she doesn't like like it.

Third time's the charm, right? He brings them to a 2BR, 2BA, $3.5M property located at 419 West 55th Street. The open floor plan, ridiculous terrace, and out-of-control skyline makes this apartment feel less like a home and more like a slick NYC apartment. Plus, it has a den that could serve as a home recording studio for Andy's flourishing music career!

Omar thinks he's finally found the perfect spot for the couple, until Kim continues to crush his dreams. She's not really feelin' the terrace and Andy doesn't want to live on the Upper West Side, even though earlier in the episode he said that he didn't care. No matter—Omar will press on until he finds them the perfect place.

The next time we see the up-and-coming broker he's heading to Andy's downtown pop-up shop, Riff, to "close the deal," and even wore his lucky fedora for the occasion.

The Hilfigers tell Omar that they really appreciate all the work he's done, and while they really liked everything he showed them they need to prepare for Fashion Week and are going to put a hold on the apartment hunt for now. But... but... why? A befuddled Omar heads to the bar to drink away the pain of his first real estate rejection. Ah, Omar, the first cut is always the deepest.

We were depressed enough already from our holiday weight gain and Seasonal Affective Disorder, we don't want our television shows to bum us out even more! These poor brokers couldn't get one measly offer in this episode, so for that reason alone I'd give it a 2 out of 3 cackling Kleiers. BUT, because Omar is so hot, we'll throw in an extra one. So, this episode gets 3 out of 5 cackling Kleiers.