Are Realty Reality TV Program Listings for Show?
The Real DealFebruary 23, 2012
A 4,000‐square‐foot apartment in Chelsea owned by Manhattan interior designer Christopher Hyland, has been relisted after 18 months off the market, but the textile guru’s not too keen on selling it, he told The Real Deal today.
The 12th‐floor loft unit, which first came on the market for $22.45 million in 2010 and was featured on “Selling New York” with Core broker Michael Graves and agent Kirk Rundhaug, was listed again yesterday for the same price with “Million Dollar Listing New York” star Ryan Serhant and Regis Roumila, both of Nestseekers, but is for sale only because “everyone wants to do TV shows about it,” Hyland said.
He claimed: “I don’t really care if I sell it. I’d just as soon not sell it. Brokers pursue me ad nauseam.”
The sprawling four‐bedroom unit, designed by Hyland and his partner Constantino Castellano in the style of classic Greek Revival and Pompeian, is certainly on‐camera material with its elaborate design, including a Gothic kitchen of hand‐carved oak.
It was showcased on the HGTV hit show in 2010 and will make an appearance on Bravo’s new TV show “Million Dollar Listing New York” later this year, Hyland said, though the appearance on Bravo could not be confirmed. “They’ve asked me to be in the show,” he said.
Even when Hyland appeared on the “Selling New York,” he seemed reluctant to give Core the listing, saying at the time he wasn’t even sure he wanted to sell.
“They approached me, called me practically every day,” Hyland said, conceding that while he loves the apartment, he was open to selling it because “life is an adventure.”
When asked if he would in fact sell the apartment if offered something close to the hefty asking price, Hyland said he wasn’t sure. “If the price is right…,” he joked.
Asked by The Real Deal if the apartment was actually on the market for the TV show, which is currently filming its first season, Serhant vehemently denied the suggestion.
“I would never list an apartment just to put it on TV,” he said. “I’m too busy doing actual business.”
The previous marketing of the apartment by Core was insufficient to reach the apartment’s prospective buyer base, Serhant said, claiming that the apartment had barely been shown in 2010.Showings will start next week this time around, and the Nestseekers broker is determined to find a buyer.
“It’s a very sellable apartment,” he explained, “and appraises very close to the asking price. There’s a premium for the décor. It took [Hyland] four years of renovations and no detail was left unturned. It just feels like a home.”
While Serhant admitted he had approached Hyland about the listing initially, he attributed that fact purely to the idea that he’s “always going after interesting properties.”
He said the pair had a connection because they’re both from the North coast of Boston. The fact that the apartment was on “Selling New York” was not a factor.
There’s no guarantee that Hyland’s apartment will make it onto “Million Dollar Listing New York,” Serhant said. No one at HGTV was immediately available for comment, but a spokesperson at Bravo said Hyland wasn’t on season one of the show.
A Core spokesperson said the listing was legitimate in 2010.
“We would never list something just for the sake of listing it,” she said. “We find that unethical.”
Another source with knowledge of the workings of “Selling New York” told The Real Deal that it was unlikely an apartment would be listed primarily for the purposes of the HGTV show.
“I can promise 100 percent that the stories are real,” said the source, who wished to remain anonymous because he was not authorized to speak about the program. “They all have to be factchecked. There are five different levels of approvals.”
One homeowner, who had an apartment featured on “Selling New York,” remained skeptical that a listing would be purely for show.
“There are so many great apartments in the city and so many of them are for sale, you don’t have to go after someone,” he said.
It is possible however, that apartments could be listed at astronomical prices for short periods of time on these shows to test the market, the source said. In his case, the apartment was over‐priced so as not to attract many buyers, he said, because at the end of the day, he really didn’t want to sell the place.
The Wall Street JournalFebruary 23, 2012
Professional poker player Phil Galfond is asking just‐under $4 million for his duplex penthouse apartment, which has a sculptural steel slide connecting the two floors, in Manhattan's East Village. Juliet Chung has details on The News Hub.
Gilt by Association
The New York TimesFebruary 23, 2012
IT was billed as “A Double Feature of Never Before Seen Paintings,” starring Eve Plumb, a k a Jan Brady, of “Brady Bunch” fame.
That may sound like a set-up for a “Saturday Night Live” skit (cue the theme song from the iconic 1970s show), but this was the big draw for an event in Chelsea on Wednesday night. Ms. Plumb, blond and charming in her black dress, was flitting about, explaining the inspiration for her artwork.
An art gallery opening? No, her work was hanging on the walls of a Chelsea penthouse, and the people hosting the event hoped that the condo would be the real star of the evening.
When the Broad Mill Development Group, the developers of Carriage House on West 24th Street, approached Ms. Plumb about displaying her Western scenes and “noir” series of black-and-whites based on old Hollywood films, she was thrilled.
“Anytime anybody wants to give you an art show you take it,” said Ms. Plumb, 53, who dabbles in art between acting jobs. She had suggested a tagline for the event: “Have a drink, buy some art, get a condo.”
That was a bit too direct for the developers. “I wanted to have some fun; let’s have some fun,” Ms. Plumb said. “I am not a serious person, and it is not serious art.”
A mix of developers, their friends, invited brokers and a few potential buyers strolled by her artwork Wednesday night in the 1,614-square-foot duplex, which features an outdoor hot tub in 835 square feet of outdoor space.
The exhibition was just the latest reminder that simply inviting people to come check out the real estate is no longer good enough. To lure high-net-worth prospects, creative — and often kitschy — events are now the bait for brokers and potential buyers.
Earlier this month, a building at 123 Third Avenue hosted a “bundled luxury event” called “Shop at the Top.” Held just a few days before Valentine’s, it was a one-stop shopping experience with high-end retailers, including La Maison du Chocolat, Aaron Basha jewelry, Illuminum perfume and the jeweler Yael Sonia. Guests sipped on wine and hors d’oeuvres while walking amid the retailers and popping upstairs for tours of four penthouses, priced from $3.6 million to $4.5 million. Roxanne Hulderman, a “celebrity psychic,” did readings in an upstairs bedroom of one apartment.
“We have to be very creative these days to showcase properties and cross-brand, and to think of any outside-the-box ways to bring traffic and attention to properties,” said Tom Postilio, a broker with CORE who attended the event.
While apartments over $10 million in New York are practically selling themselves — often to out-of-towners like the Russians, the Chinese and the Brazilians — some apartments below that level need a little more publicity.
Earlier this month, Mr. Postilio said, he was at a runway fashion show in a three-bedroom apartment with Hudson River views on the Far West Side, listed for $3.49 million. “I turned to my colleague and said, ‘Who would have ever thought that in 2012 we are selling real estate and we are at a fashion show?’ ” he said. “But you never know who might be in the audience. You just have to spark the interest of one buyer.”
As Mr. Postilio acknowledged, the efforts are intended to bring together high-end brokers and high-wealth individuals. Last week he introduced a $6.5 million penthouse at 211 East 51st Street at a party co-sponsored by Manhattan magazine, which brought along 50 of its top V.I.P.s, he said.
Last summer, Azure, a luxury cond-op on the Upper East Side, staged a book signing and reading with Soleil Moon Frye, a k a Punky Brewster, that was attended by almost 100 well-heeled mothers, according to Hundred Stories, the public relations company that organized the event with a group called DivaMoms. Last October, Azure hosted a show by John Grande, a photo-based painter whose works were inspired by cultural icons like Batman and the Playboy logo. The developers also teamed up last fall with the president of the company that publishes “America’s Top Doctors” to host an event, and drew more than 50 doctors from Mount Sinai and other local hospitals.
At the inauguration party for the Carriage House last June, Classic Car Club of Manhattan was invited to show off the building’s garage and hydraulic lifts by rolling in several posh cars, including a Lamborghini, a Ferrari and a Jaguar. The developers spent $15,000 on the opening, and since then about 35 percent of the apartments have gone into contract, with over half the building left to sell, said Joél Moss, the listing agent from Warburg Realty.
The unsold $3.6 million penthouse has become a frequent site for parties, said Eamon Roche, one of the developers. Wednesday’s evening of Ms. Plumb’s art, with martinis and prosecco flowing, was just the latest. “Basically, until they kick me out of this one I will probably have a party here every month or so,” he said. “I can’t afford to own it, but I can afford to throw a party here.”
Ms. Plumb moved with her husband to New York from Laguna Beach, Calif., two years ago to get a taste of living in the city. They are renting a two-bedroom on the Upper West Side with spectacular views, she said.
The party planners had filled one room of the lower level with Ms. Plumb’s Western landscapes — the “See the Pony” series “all have to have a blue sky, a horse and they are done in vertical strips,” she said. On the upper level her “noirs,” collectively called “Here Comes Trouble,” were arranged around the master bedroom. The names of those works include “Look Out Now” and “Feed the Dog.” (The pieces were on sale for $750 to $2,850 and will stay up through March.)
At evening’s end, she said she hadn’t sold any paintings but remained hopeful. Only one broker couldn’t restrain his curiosity about the “Brady Bunch” era of her life, she said. I admitted to her that when I watched the show I always identified with Jan and Peter, two middle children struggling for recognition and attention while the older siblings, Greg and Marcia, seemed to have it easy.
Ms. Plumb tried not to roll her eyes.
She said she understood why the developers had tapped her.
“Whatever gets people to look at your product, as long as you don’t have to take off your top, which is usually my criteria for projects,” she said, laughing heartily. “And at this point nobody really wants me to.”
This article has been revised to reflect the following correction:
Correction: March 4, 2012
The Big Deal column last Sunday, about brokers’ teaming up with sellers of high-end merchandise to attract wealthy buyers, described incorrectly the financial structure of Azure, a residential building on the Upper East Side. It is a cond-op, not a condo. The article also misidentified the club that was invited to show several classic cars at the inauguration of the Carriage House last June. It was the Classic Car Club of Manhattan, not Cooper Classic Cars.
New York PostFebruary 23, 2012
Award-winning starchitect Winka Dubbeldam, who designed the gorgeous, glassy, 11-story 497 Greenwich St., otherwise known as the Greenwich Street Project, has just put her sixth-floor home there on the market for $2.35 million.
Dubbeldam had previously been more interested in renting her condo, sources say, although it had briefly been on the market in 2010 for $2.39 million. The two-bedroom, 1 1/2- bathroom unit is 1,661 square feet with high ceilings, an open layout and sliding doors.
The doorman building, with a penthouse owned by artist Cindy Sherman, includes a gym, screening room, wine cellar, pool and Zen garden. There’s even a guest-suite duplex and 24-hour concierge.
One reason we love Dubbeldam: In one interview, she lists books as the most underrated object. “I still like their physical presence and having a wall full of them to browse,” she said.
Listing broker Jason Walker of Prudential Douglas Elliman declined to comment.
One pricey downtown condo is getting its share of close-ups.
Model Angela Martini, Albania’s representative in the 2010 Miss Universe competition, shot a video for her new Martini Bikini swimsuit collection at a 4,700-square-foot penthouse at TriBeCa’s 200 Chambers St. The unit, listed by Platinum Properties, is on the market for $17.995 million and features Andy Warhol and George Condo art, Marilyn Minter photographs and furniture including a $63,000 de Sede sofa. Also included is a $50,000 antique chandelier, which fashion designer Betsey Johnson swung from during a recent photo shoot.
Hot-shot real estate lawyer Adam Leitman Bailey — known largely for lawsuits he’s filed against condo buildings — dining at STK Midtown.
Irving Schneider, the 91-year-old real estate mogul and philanthropist, is still wheeling and dealing. Schneider, a longtime business partner of Harry Helmsley, just sold his high-floor co-op at 880 Fifth Ave. for $5.9 million — well above its $5.495 million asking price.
The three-bedroom, three-bathroom, 3,500-square-foot co-op is in an exclusive Emery Roth-designed, 21-story building that dates back to 1948. Schneider currently resides in Palm Beach, Fla.
The buyers are insurance executive Francis Mitterhoff and his wife, Charlotte, who purchased a lower-floor unit in the same building in 2005.
Listing broker Jacky Teplitzky of Prudential Douglas Elliman declined to comment.
We hear . . .
That multiple potential buyers are lining up to see Katy Perry’s $2.75 million TriBeCa penthouse at 65 N. Moore St., where showings began on Wednesday. The two-bedroom, two-bathroom, 1,500-square-foot unit is still described as a “romantic duplex” in the listing despite Perry and Russell Brand’s divorce. Prudential Douglas Elliman broker John Prince could not be reached for comment . . . That socialite Michelle-Marie Heinemann just bought her second apartment at 923 Fifth Ave. for $1.85 million . . . That Silverstone Property Group’s Martin Nussbaum bought the 17-story residential building at 247 E. 28th St. from Samson Management’s Arnold Goldstein for $53 million. Broker Steven Vegh of Multi Investment Group represented both sides of the deal . . . That 322 Meadow Lane in Southampton closed last week for $28.5 million. The 9,000-square-foot, six-bedroom, 6 1/2-bathroom mansion was listed for $32 million.
CurbedFebruary 17, 2012
HGTV's Selling New York rides along with brokerages CORE, Gumley Haft Kleier 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 Molly Reisner. Episode air date: 2/16/2012.
NEED. APARTMENT. NOW-ISH! Time was mildly of the essence in last night's Selling New York, when two buyers bustled around town trying to hone in on a home. First, a broker helps a couple from Atlanta land an Upper East Side apartment. But with a home still for sale in the ATL, can they bring the bucks up north? Then, with one inning left in the baseball season, an agent assists the wife of the Oakland A's manager (MONEYBALL, PEOPLE!) in locating a downtown loft. Will she score a home run or get benched for the season? Aaaand, you're welcome for all my terrible puns. Boil up a Hebrew National, grab a brewskie, and munch on this recap stadium style! Delicious, no? >>
CRISIS #1: BI-CITY COUPLE SEEKS TO REUNITE IN CHARMING UPPER EAST SIDE PAD
Sabrina Kleier-Morgenstern is happy—she gets to show buyer Debbie Pagano apartments in her fave nabe...the Upper East Side! The two ladies meet at Yura on Madison to discuss Deb's sitch, which is that her hubs just got transferred to NYC for a job. Deb's still living in Atlanta with their pooch and is trying to sell their house so she can move up here within the next few months. Her budget? A healthy $1.5 to $2 million. First stop is 900 Park Avenue (or if you want to get Upper East Sidey, The Parc 900 Condominium). Shall we take a glance at this $2.445 million unit? Spoiler: it's pretty snoozy.
Deb likes the location...and that's about it. The 14th floor is too high, the apartment's too modern, and she wants some charm gollydarn it! Naturally all of this is discussed during a heated dance-off, dj'd by the jukebox:
Next, Sab takes Deb down the street to 785 Park Avenue to tour a $2.3 million pre-war property.
The classic decoration and the layout scream peachy keen to Deb's sensibilities. "I love it!" Deb gushes. But...because there has to be a but...Deb wants to sell her Atlanta home before buying in NYC. Sab gets thrown for a loopety with this news but bounces back with a practical suggestion: find a place that has a rent-to-buy option! Liking that idea, Sab brings Deb and her man Grover (unfortch, not THE Grover from Sesame St.) to a $1.795 condo listing at 40 East 94th Street in Carnegie Hill. Will this be the one?!?
Deb and Grover both like the space, and are anxious to live under one roof again. Awww. Later, over scones at Sarabeth's, Sab has a load of good news/bad news to share with Deb. The bad? The sellers of 40 East 94th don't want to rent after all. The good news is that Sab scouted out a bunch of UES listings that are down with the rent-to-buy scenario. Deb says that she likes that idea so much, they've decided to offer the same option for their Atlanta house. Hmmm...if my landlord let me do that, I could own my place in just several decades!
I know you have burning questions about what happened with Deb's search. According to el update-o, many moons later Sab is still trying to find Deb the perfect pad. Guess that whole urgency to live in the same city has gone south of the Mason Dixon!
CRISIS #2: BASEBALL WIFE SCOUTS DOWNTOWN FOR DELUXE DUGOUT
CORE broker Kirk Rundhaug and buyer Kelley Melvin have a lunch date at sushi joint Haru. Outside of the restaurant, they manage to completely ignore this caricature offer. OPEN YOUR EYES TO THE MAGIC OF YOUR CARTOON SELF!:
Kells, wife of Oakland A's manager (this is the Moneyball team!) Bob Melvin, has ditched her old agent and wants to sign on Kirk for TEAM FIND US A COOL DOWNTOWN APARTMENT. Right now, Kells is living in her daughter's 1 bedroom with her daughter there. It's like a sitcom waiting to happen! Or maybe it did happen and was so bad it never got past the pilot. Bob will be returning Big Apple-side in a few weeks and she wants to secure a place before he arrives. With a budget of $2.5 million, somehow I don't think she'll have a problem. Kells wants a Soho or Greenwich Village loft-like feel, which is why Kirk takes her first to...Tribeca? A $1.995 million spot at 68 Thomas Street is first on the list:
Kirk scores points for the industrial vibe, but Kells wants Soho or G'wich Village, mmm'k? Struuuu-ike! Next, Kirk brings Kells with her daughter Alexi in tow to a chic Soho unit selling for $2.595 million.
Drink in the luxurious bareness:
The loft makes Kells' heart sing and she doesn't want to lose it but...she thinks she should look at a few more juuust to make sure it's the right pick. Kirk doesn't want to push Kelly to buy, but is concerned she'll lose out if she waits too long.
Off K & K go to another contender at 252 7th Avenue (aka the Chelsea Mercantile) to peek at a $2.495 million 2 bed/2 bath abode:
The more Kells looks around, the more she wants the Soho locale. Soho "really feels like home to me," she shares. Time to make a bid! Kirk gives Bob a call pronto and advises him to give a low offer at first to gauge the seller's price. Oooh, a counter offer of $2.475 million came in. Bob gets video chatted Jetson style with the news:
Kirk thinks an offer of $2.3 million is a fair comeback and Bob agrees. Which is good, because the offer was accepted! K & K celebrate the good news with some cheers'ing at Le Pescadeux:
Kirk gets the MVP treatment with a dinner invite at the Melvins' new Soho address. The update explains that the Melvins were so thrilled with their purchase, they've referred Kirk to friends. He's already picked up a new client from the deal. Go Captain Kirk!
Episode Grade: A dead-end search that gets stale and front row seats to a major league sale leave me ever so slightly buzzed with 2.5 cackling Kleiers.
CurbedFebruary 16, 2012
WILLIAMSBURG—268 Wythe Avenue, 91-93 Metropolitan Avenue, Louver House: whatever this building is called, somebody's finally buying there. In fact, reps tell us, the building is now 60 percent sold. StreetEasy shows three 2BRs available for $669,000 to $733,000. [CurbedWire Inbox]
ROOSEVELT ISLAND—Further movement at Cornell-Technion's future Roosevelt Island campus: a few major administrators have been appointed. According to a press release: "Professor Daniel P. Huttenlocher, Cornell University’s Dean of Computing and Information Sciences, has been named Cornell Vice Provost and founding Dean of the university’s historic tech campus, home of the Technion-Cornell Innovation Institute. Cathy Dove, currently associate dean in Cornell’s College of Engineering, will co-lead the campus as Vice President, and Technion Professor Craig Gotsman will serve as the founding director of the Technion-Cornell Innovation Institute." A hearty congrats to all. [CurbedWire Inbox]
NYC—And a hearty Launches & Releases welcome to CORE's Pinterest page. Notable because this is the first brokerage we've seen with its own Pinterest page, and because there's a section for Selling New York fans. [CurbedWire Inbox]
Brokers WeeklyFebruary 15, 2012
CurbedFebruary 14, 2012
CHELSEA—And finally, a quick dispatch from Chelsea's sometimes marketing-challenged Cammeyer. The Sixth Avenue building is officially 80 percent sold. The CORE blog also has a little more to say about the building's lobby, which includes "a box from huge panels of white Corian cut out by water jet to produce “tree branches,” their shadows projected onto the plain white walls by a simulated skylight." [CORE]
HauteLiving.comFebruary 14, 2012
With Valentine’s Day just a few weeks away, exclusive Matchmaker and founder of Samantha’s Table matchmaking, Samantha Daniels along with top real estate agent and Managing Director at CORE, Vickey Barron hosted a “Love and Real Estate” event on February 2. The two women brought together people who love real estate and who are looking for love so that they could meet each other, chat about great homes and hopefully find a match.
“Love and Real Estate” brought together a select group of both Daniels’s clients and as well as Barron’s single clients in the hopes of pairing some of the invitees together and at the same time create a very unique episode for “Selling New York.” Daniels, who is regularly seen on TV for her matchmaking expertise and insight, helped Barron select the attendees for a night of wine tasting, hors d’oeuvres and breathtaking views at one of Barron’s current listings at 256 West 10th Street, 6‐D.
The exclusive event is being filmed for HGTV’s hit show, “Selling New York,” which showcases high end unique real estate in NY. “Selling New York” is HGTV’s second highest‐rated program and offers viewers a rare glimpse inside Manhattan’s high stakes world of buying and selling luxury real estate.
CurbedFebruary 14, 2012
Happy Valentine's Day, everybody! In honor of this day of universal happiness and joy, where nobody is super sad and alone and just barely holding it together right now, we bring you a list of the best red and pink rooms of all time, an inordinate number of which seem to be located on Park Avenue. Unlike Valentine's Day candy, these listings will not be 50 percent off tomorrow. (Or perhaps they will be.)
Interior DesignFebruary 13, 2012
The boutique lobby, a new subspecies, has invaded. Fitted or retrofitted into predominantly midsize, midblock buildings, it is changing the game and the New York cityscape.
Through lobbies, the entire history of office and apartment buildings can be told. That history has been continuously written as architectural style moves on, but the speed of change has accelerated under the twin demands for improved technology and increased security. Also forcing change, a decade of front-page spectacles, such as the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, has trickled down to raise expectations everywhere.
What has occurred is the advent of lobbies as environmental art-meticulously detailed, conceptually complex works conceived to be original, individual, and unexpected rather than safely corporate. Microcosms within a building and within the design field, they represent big experimentation on a small canvas. They are cool.
Take the small lobby in a Ladies' Mile commercial building that Eran Chen converted into condominiums when he was a principal at Perkins Eastman. (He now heads his own firm, ODA-Architecture.) Around the concierge desk, he built a box from huge panels of white Corian cut out by water jet to produce "tree branches," their shadows projected onto the plain white walls by a simulated skylight. The branch motif repeats as carvings in the elevators. “Converting old buildings, I'm intrigued by showing the layering over the years," Chen says. "The idea was to create an extreme expression of the new inside the old, a contemporary white box inside a box of beautifully articulated 1906 masonry. The lobby is not an art piece per se, but it's definitely conceptual."
Many boutique lobbies feature actual art, like their bigger brethrendo, but the newcomers are not passive, like a gallery. Instead, they occupy a middle ground between art and architecture. At a glass tower built by Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates, artist James Turrell dissolved the lobby into a cavern of light, a mystic installation in the thick of the Manhattan hubbub. "The walls are just gyp," KPF principal Douglas Hocking says. "You can get so much done now with so little, just a core idea and a few materials. I've noticed a tendency toward less ostentation and more refinement, a reaction to ornate work."
Having long relied on acres of marble and granite to produce Karnak-esque moments of entry, designers are deploying light as a primary material. And they usually hide the source, so visitors occupy the glow and the color without seeing the bulb-miniaturization has advanced the cause. Many designers have also adopted Turrell's technique for walls: They taper to a thin edge, dematerializing them as shiding the cove. Matter cedes to luminescence.
LB Architects relied on light in redesigning a 1989 office building, Tower 45. On the side plaza, which acts as a pocket park, and in the lobby, senior designer Eric Lukenich suspended monumental illuminated rectangles at odd, jostling angles. These light trays animate both of the spaces.
Rather than treating lights as chandelier objects in the lobby of a1959 office building, Lukenich tucked fixtures into coves and pockets to showcase an array of features, including a wall of stacked textured marble. He composed his interior from shifting, asymmetrical blocks. Classic simplicity has given way to material and geometric complexity." We created a continuity from outside to inside, a procession that celebrates the entry into the building," project manager Elizabeth Dull says. "In such a small space, detailing was key-the transition between materials, how each should meet another."
In boutique lobbies, the attitude is liberating, the results are expressive, and the rules are few. Still, it's important to respect the bones of the spaces and to facilitate functionality without foregrounding its mechanics. What matters is invention at the service of beauty and effect, making the private more public and offering a visual gift to the street. From the front doors to the elevators, a total environment delivers an intensified experience. Unlike modernist forerunners, boutique lobbies are conceived not as prototypes but as a site-specific new reality.
Modern LuxuryFebruary 13, 2012
CurbedFebruary 10, 2012
HGTV's Selling New York rides along with brokerages CORE, Gumley Haft Kleier 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 Molly Reisner. Episode air date: 2/9/2012
Helping hands were extended in last night's Selling New York when two newbies dared to dip their careers and wallets into NYC real estate's raging waters. First, a fast-talking agent agrees to bring his sweet daughter-in-law under his wing for a crash course in real estate know-how. Will she ever be able to ditch her training wheels? Then, a potential buyer is more interested in her broker's under-renovation apartment than a move-in ready unit. Ethical drama ensues! Bring your GPS because that storyline is ALL OVER THE MAP. Feeling lost already? Hint: Scroll your mouse due south for the next 8 feet of recap routing!
First, click on the blue text >>
CRISIS #1: WILL RICHARD STEINBERG'S DAUGHTER-IN-LAW MAKE IT OR BREAK IT IN THE REAL ESTATE BIZ???
It's family dinner night at Orsay for Warburg broker Richard Steinberg. On the menu? His daughter-in-law, Jill Steinberg, asking her pop-in-law if she can work with him. Jill'll be taking her real estate exam and getting her license in a few weeks and wants some heels-on experience stomping around the real estate world. Richard had a feeling Jill would ask—and now, for the first time ever, his "I knew it" face exposed!
"I would be honored," says Richard—but she has to start at the bottom as his assistant. He explains she'll shadow him (AKA no talking, woman!) when he goes to pitch for a 10 condo exclusive at...
Williamsburgh Savings Bank. The one at 175 Broadway in Williamsburg, not the one at 1 Hanson Place in Downtown Brooklyn. There, he meets with The Dome Voyagers developers Juan and Carlos to check out the space and offer his services.
Check out the soaring lobby, and some manufactured meddling from Jill who's just trying to unsubtly make Richard look good:
Jill's untimely interruptions to Richard's pitch unsurprisingly earn her a "less is more" lesson from pops. Next, Richard takes Jill to Level 2 of Real Real Estate Experience with an apartment showing at 205 West 19th Street in Chelsea.
Richard leads a potential buyer through the layout of this $3.695 million beauty. Jill? She watches. And listens. And learns. FROM THE MASTER!
Why are these candles bent over? WHAT REALLY HAPPENED TO THESE STICKS OF WAX? CSI: Special Candle Unit needs to get on the case!
The buyer likes the size and the light, but not so much the open kitchen or bathrooms. Pass! Richard commends Jill on a job well done (of keeping her trap mostly shut). Richard has one more level for Jill to complete. There's an open house at 39 East 29th Street and SURPRISE! Richard makes Jill in charge of showing the $2.035 million listing.
Will Jill carpe the open house or crash n' burn? Jill handles questions, knows to call a regular bathtub a "soaking tub" and is all around pleasant and professional. Richard thinks Jill did a Steinbergtastic job and explains it's all about confidence. Back at Jill's home, the family is in a celebratory mood. Richard says that since the open house, there have been two offers and two contracts signed on units in the building. And, Jill passed her real estate test and is fully licensed. Even better? Richard wants Jill to work at Warburg and tap into the young families demographic.
All this good news is too much for Elmo—he has an unnoticed fainting spell with his eyes open. I know, why is no one paying attention to this?:
Where is Jill now? Well, she's got her own page on Warburg's site for starters. And the update shares that she's working on a Warburg initiative to sell NYC properties to overseas clients. Get it, girl!
CRISIS #2: BUYER WANTS WHAT THE BUYER CANNOT HAVE—HER BROKER'S PAD!
CORE agent Vickey Barron has one goal: to sell a recently renovated apartment at 280 Park Avenue South in Gramercy. Maybe it will be to potential buyer Irasema Alonso. She's been looking for just the right 1 bedroom in the nabe to snatch up, but she hasn't seen her dream digs. Will this $1.35 million unit compute with the Yale economics professor? "
"This apartment has everything I'm looking for" Irasema gushes. But it doesn't have cans of paint all over the place, ladders in the middle of the room and exposed wires! Irasema is intrigued when Vickey mentions she's renovating her own apartment which is right around the corner. Maybe she wants to renovate a place too! She asks Vickey if she can see her place. Weird, but OK! (And actually, it's apparently not the first time this has happened.) The ladies go down the block to Vickey's for a look at her $1 million unit, with $250k already sunk into renovations:
Could this tubing be the latest trending NYC amenity...a gerbil chute?! Because gerbils need indoor slides too:
Vickey's no amateur when it comes to reno'ing real estate—she's done 10 apartments in the last 18 years. Hello, side business! "Renovating takes vision, time and commitment" Vickey explains, which is why she doesn't encourage buyers like Irasema to embark on the headache of renovating places themselves.
It seems that all of Vickey's reno-bashing has only made Irasema want her apartment more! When the two sip some outdoor drinks, Irasema has lots to say. First, she wants to offer $1.215 million for the Park Avenue South pad. All cash, baby! Second, she'd rather buy Vickey's place for $1.3 million cash money.
Vickey seems almost annoyed at the offer:
Because she needs to focus on selling Park Avenue South, not wheel and deal her own stuff. Despite her negative reaction, Irasema still wants Vickey to think about her offer. So much so that when they grab some grub at Socarrat, Irasema asks about her apartment AGAIN. No dice. Vickey sticks to her ethical guns and says her responsibility is to sell her listing. Whose owners have counter-offered Irasema's bid with $1.250 million.
It seems that Irasema shied away from the counter offer since Vickey is showing the place to other buyers. She miiiight consider selling her own apartment once 280 is in the can... Hey! 280 got sold! Irasema goes to Vickey's now finished home to see the final product:
Dazzled by the design and layout, Irasema extends her offer again to Vickey. But it's not enough dough to put a dent in Vickey's reno costs. Bright side! Vickey agrees to be Irasema's broker and help her find the perfect spot to call home. Yay? Episode Grade: A cockles-warming tale of helping one's family mixed with a meandering story that kind of went nowhere leaves me lukewarm with 3.0 out of 5 cackling THE STEINBERGS ARE TAKING OVER THE SHOW!
NY Daily NewsFebruary 10, 2012
Looking for your own California oasis? It's near the corner of W. 23rd. St. and Seventh Ave., on top of the former McBurney YMCA building, so high above the street you'd never know it's there. But take the elevator up nine floors, and suddenly you're in Malibu - and out nearly $9 million.
With exposures in four directions, tons of floor-to-ceiling windows and no neighbors on the floor, the space feels like it has been airlifted from the west coast and placed on top of the Beaux Arts-style building. Dubbed the Chelsea Skyhouse in marketing materials, it was built in the mid-2000s when the lower floors were converted to condominiums.
"The beauty of the building is that no two floors were the same," said Shaun Osher, the CEO of CORE who represented the building's sponsor during the conversion. Each floor had different ceiling heights and features - one apartment in the building that once served as a gymnasium and running track has soaring ceilings.
The penthouse is 6,000 square feet inside, and got a whopping 7,000 square feet of outside space that is divided among three levels of terraces. A dramatic floating staircase rises up through a 30-foot atrium.
The space is currently configured with four bedrooms - all with access to outside terraces. Family room and library areas are separated with partial walls, and since the owners are art collectors, all were built reinforced to create a gallery-like space to display works.
But it is hard to take your eyes off the views. Looking west, windows frame the Frank Gehry-designed IAC Headquarters and the nearby iconic Chelsea Hotel. Look east and you can see the Metropolitan Life Tower's clock faces at 1 Madison Ave. You can also spot the Empire State building and views of the Hudson.
The apartment was staged with furniture by Interior Marketing Group (BRYAN SMITH FOR NEW YORK DAILY NEWS)
"People in the suburbs don't have backyards this big," said Emily Beare, a managing director with CORE who shares the listing with Christian Rogers. "You have the privacy of a townhouse but you get this view - and all this light."
(BRYAN SMITH FOR NEW YORK DAILY NEWS)
The space has been on and off the market - once for as high as $15 million. Beare and Rogers have held the listing for about a year, and think that the time is right for a sale as the demand in the city for large, high-end property continues to rise, and scaffolding that was up for exterior maintenance work has recently been taken down.
"This is like a living gallery," Beare said. "The apartment itself is a work of art."
VoeyurFebruary 10, 2012
Any single girl in New York can tell you: A good man — and a good apartment — are hard to find.
Lately, CORE managing director Vickey Barron has been helping clients do both.
She recently hosted an event at her listing at 256 W. 10th St. with matchmaker Samantha Daniels in the hopes of introducing her clients to their soul mates.
RELATED: How to prep your place for Valentine’s Day
“I can’t promise that I can find someone for you that will hold your hand through Central Park,” Barron said. “But I know that they have a great credit score, are employed and not wanted by the law.”
And, after enough bad OkCupid dates, that sounds like a pretty good catch.
Barron had Brooklyn-based design company WrecordsByMonkey make color-coded bracelets with a graphic based on the views from the West Village apartment. Attendees picked a color based on their neighborhood and had an instant ice breaker.
“It’s easy to ask someone where they live. Prewar or postwar? Condo or co-op,” Barron said.
Like most things dating, the beginning was awkward as men and women stayed in different areas of the apartment, middle-school dance style.
(NICO ARELLANO FOR CORE)
Drinks from the Natural Wine Company, small bites from Lievito Pizzeria and tiramisu from Dolce Vizio helped ease the discomfort. About an hour in, the crowd was buzzing and iPhones were out as people exchanged numbers.
Daniels, who invited about 20 of her clients to meet Barron’s invitees, was out mingling with guests.
“There’s the same sort of intangible chemistry in real estate that there is in dating,” Daniels said. “You can put people together that have things in common but if the chemistry isn’t there, it’s not going to work. It’s the same with apartments.”
RELATED: Best places in New York City for a kiss
This one has a swoon-worthy wood-burning fireplace, a 35-foot-long living and dining space and a west-facing balcony.
A few days later, Barron thinks that there were three matches made.
But unfortunately, for those who only fell for the apartment, it’s taken. The $2.825 million one-bedroom is in contract.
JezebelFebruary 10, 2012
Bravo has given the greenlight to a new show, Love Broker, in which two best friends — one a real estate agent, and one a matchmaker — set up male clients in New York City. It's not exactly "sign here and get an apartment and a girlfriend," but every now and then, it does happen: "Sometimes, after selling an apartment, we sign [the buyer] up to find their [life] partners," Love Broker's Jennifer Zucher says. The truth is, I suspect a lot of people wouldn't mind outsourcing this kind of stuff: Way way back in the day, we had limited choices in terms of living spaces — this cave or that one — and either you just hooked up with whomever wasn't your brother, or the elders told you where to live and who to hang with. Now we're so busy and the world is so big it's hard to figure all this shit out. Plus, real estate can be a major factor in love lives: Some people won't date other people based on their neighborhood/borough/commute time. And if Pretty In Pink taught us anything, it's that your feelings about someone can change when you see what kind of house they live in.
The folks at Core real estate have it all figured out — on Valentine's Day, they're throwing a singles event in a property that's up for sale. Vicky Barron, managing director of Core, points out a bonus to meeting real estate clients:
"I got them through the New York real estate process, so they all have a good credit score, they're employed and they're not wanted by the law," she joked.
UES broker and BFF matchmaker to star in new Bravo show, "Love Broker", Core tries to pair real estate and love by hosting matchmaking event [The Real Deal]
CurbedFebruary 09, 2012
Event: The re-unveiling of Penthouse B at 211 East 51st Street
In the House: Lots of CORE brokers, the ever-present Selling New York camera crew, and some downstairs neighbors eager for a closer look.
Dress code: Broker chic
Menu: We saw glasses and folks busy in the kitchen, but managed to miss all the actual nibbles.
Overheard: Lots of chatter about what the penthouse used to look like vs. what it looks like now.
What We Saw: The $6.495 million penthouse—our amateur photos in the gallery above. The people-free listing photos are here; last night, that TV was showing an ocean scene.
The Skinny: This penthouse has been on and off the market since 2008, when it first showed up asking $4.5 million. So what's changed? Everything, actually! The 3,175-square-foot duplex has been completely reconfigured.
We pulled the old floorplan from StreetEasy to compare (click to expand):
Interns Look to NYC Brokerages for Unpaid Work
The Real DealFebruary 07, 2012
Real estate agents are accustomed to working sans salaries, but a new crop of young people are willing to work without commissions, too. The New York Times reported that unpaid internships with residential brokerages in Manhattan are becoming more common.
For students who covet a career in the real estate industry and can afford a summer without pay, the idea of helping out brokers by copying keys, sending Evites, managing social media and preparing open houses is attractive — especially after spending weeknights seeing how these tasks contribute to the five‐ and six‐figure commissions agents on increasingly popular reality television shows earn.
“I initially got interested in real estate because I was watching HGTV”, said Maxine Fouladi, who interned at Core last summer for a small stipend and bonus.
But these interns don’t necessarily dream of a career brokering residential real estate deals, instead they consider the experience, at firms like Core and Gumley Haft Kleier, a way to get a head start in the general real estate industry, the Times said.
But Robert Morgenstern, an academic director at Schack Institute of Real Estate at New York University, questioned the need for students to take these internships. Early in an agent’s career “the pay is so infrequent, it’s almost like an internship already,” he said. " Why wouldn’t you just take the licensing course and become a salesperson?” [NYT]
Entering the World of Real Estate, for No Pay
The New York TimesFebruary 06, 2012
n past years, becoming a real estate agent was rarely a first-choice gig. For many people, it was a way to pay the bills while trying to break into another field. For some, it was a second career — or maybe a third or a fourth — tackled after the children went off to college, or earlier paths fell off a cliff.
But more recently the image of the real estate agent has moved away from racks of keys and dingy walk-ups. Sashaying into the limelight by way of reality television and eye-popping sales, the profession started to seem a bit glamorous — and compelling enough that some young people are willing to try it out for no pay.
Please welcome to the bottom of the food chain an ambitious group willing to do anything, earn nothing and wake up early on a Sunday to fluff the couch cushions at your open house: the real estate broker’s interns.
This is the height of the internship application season, and young people — at least those who can afford to work without receiving a meaningful paycheck — are weighing their options. Those who choose to spend the summer in the land of expensive apartments may enjoy these tasks: copying keys, sending out Evites, promoting the boss on Facebook and hiding a seller’s dirty socks when potential buyers come calling.
But there are some perks as well.
“On my second day of work, I was in a $28.5 million apartment,” said John Liss, 18, who was an unpaid intern at Gumley Haft Kleier last summer, and is now a licensed agent with his own listings.
Unfortunately, his cut of that million-dollar-plus commission would have been nothing.
Everyone has heard intern horror stories: A bright young English major spends the summer at a fashion magazine, wedded to a coffee urn, making dentist appointments for her manager without a dime to show for it. And the resistance to endless hours of free labor has lately been picking up steam. Two men who interned on the movie “Black Swan” and one former intern at Harper’s Bazaar filed lawsuits in recent months alleging that their arrangements violated wage laws, and in December, Schneider & Rubin, a law firm that specializes in representing interns, opened its doors.
Federal guidelines require that an unpaid internship (a term that comes from the first year of training that doctors receive after medical school) satisfy six criteria, including that the “trainees” must be taught things they might learn at vocational school or an academic institution, and that they not displace regular paid employees.
Even if training is given, however, some industry professionals consider interning with a broker a peculiar arrangement.
When professional agents start their careers in earnest, “the pay is so infrequent, it’s almost like an internship already,” said Robert Morgenstern, academic director of the continuing education programs at the Schack Institute of Real Estate at New York University.
“Why wouldn’t you just take the licensing course and become a salesperson?” he continued.
According to Ross Perlin, author of “Intern Nation: How to Earn Nothing and Learn Little in the Brave New Economy,” internships have become par for the course in the white-collar work force, but they are especially concentrated in fields like music, movies or media that have an “aura of glamour.”
“They’ve made it basically a requirement that you work unpaid for some period of time,” Mr. Perlin said. Young people, he added, “are told it’s more valuable to be doing something for free in a glamorous profession than it is for them to be working at Jamba Juice.”
Real estate brokers may not be stuck behind a desk, but the profession does have some less enchanting attributes, like being effectively on-call 24 hours a day, and going without one very substantial convenience: a salary. But on television shows like “Selling New York” on HGTV, those drawbacks don’t tend to pop out.
“I’m obsessed,” said Maxine Fouladi, 19, who interned at CORE Group NYC last summer under the managing director Emily Beare for a stipend and a small end-of-summer bonus. “I initially got interested in real estate because I was watching HGTV.”
Freddy James, a senior vice president of program development and production at HGTV, said viewers of “Selling New York” tended to react most strongly to the broker’s commission, prominently displayed in a little bubble on the screen, even more so than they did to the sticker price of a home.
“I see people say: ‘That’s my annual salary! How could they make that in just one sale!’ ” Mr. James said.
Not all broker interns are aspiring superagents. Many, like Mr. Liss, plan to go into real estate development after college and signed up to work for an agent as a way to get to know the business.
Regardless of what has drawn them in, a growing field of real estate professionals stand ready to take advantage of this new labor supply.
A Web site called Intern Profits, based in California, offers instructional videos on what companies can do with interns. “The Single Best Labor Force to Grow Your Real Estate Business!” a headline reads. “Why interns are much better than hiring cheap ‘offshore’ or third world country labor,” a bullet point boasts.
One of the founders, Dreama Lee, said in an interview that the company advocated only internships that provided valuable training in exchange for labor.
And then, of course, there are always opportunities available on Craigslist, where a broker at Bond New York recently placed an advertisement calling for “licensed real estate interns.” (At most firms, agents are independent contractors and are free to do their own hiring.) Inquiries about the advertisement lead to Noah Freedman, one of the company’s founders.
“I don’t know what an intern with a license would be,” said Mr. Freedman, who explained that he had not yet seen the ad. “That sounds a lot like a real estate agent to me.”
CurbedFebruary 06, 2012
CHELSEA—We're eagerly awaiting the debut of Walker Tower, the transformation of West 18th Street's Verizon building into 55 luxury condos. So are some Curbed tipsters, one of whom lingered outside the building long enough to snap a few shots of the window openings being broken into the building's East Facade. Excuse us while we daydream about being on the other side looking out.
MIDTOWN WEST—A reader with an eye on the far west side's Silver Towers reports in: "Apparently the Silver Towers has finally found a retail tenant. They have signs up on the entire 11th Avenue side stating "Coming Soon: Your Neighborhood Grocery Store". But, there is no company name for the store. And as far as coming soon, who really knows, Freedom News the other retail tenant at the Silver Towers has had their sign up for almost 6 months now with no sign of opening in the future." Know more? Intel welcomed in comments or to the tipline.
GatherFebruary 04, 2012
Tom Postilio, of CORE, is trying to sell a dated and overly decorated apartment in New York at 135 West 58th Street. The lighting is great, but the place needs to be restaged and repainted badly. A potential buyer commented, "It has a granny's attic feel on the third floor."
Warburg goes to the Liberty Tower where Deborah Lupard has had a listing that she inherited. It's been on the market for six months. The apartment is a bit quirky. There's a mural in the entryway that looks like a jungle. There is the butterfly bathroom... wallpaper everywhere with butterflies on it. Then the second bathroom has "commerce" wallpaper on it. Deborah shows the place, over 4,000 sq ft., to Robin Dolch who works for 100 Stories PR. She has a good contact with the New York Daily News that could be very helpful to selling the property.
Robin invites the reporter, Jason Sheftel, at the Daily News to cover the open house event. Robin and Deborah invite some of the best downtown restaurants, near the apartment Deborah is trying to sell, to serve food, wine, and desserts. The payoff for the food and beverage industry—coverage in the paper and connections to many brokers who may use them for catering in the near future. It's a great turn out and a good match.
Jason's review with the New York Daily News is wonderful. Deborah receives an offer on the apartment, but the buyer decides to rent the place. The seller is exploring their options.
Meanwhile, Tom goes to speak with Chuck and Pearl Mintzer, the sellers of the funky apartment. Tom has to break some hard news. He asks them to reduce the price of their apartment by $1 million, from $3.5 million to $2.5 million. Then he tells them they need to empty out their apartment, restage it, and paint it a more neutral color. The Mintzer's are not too happy. They ask him to prove his point of view. Tom takes the Mintzer's to see comps, and they finally agree to the price reduction.
Next up, Tom needs to sell the apartment. He calls a couple former clients that had looked at the apartment before and asks them to come and look at the place again. He gets good feedback. Marie Ann Mordeno had seen the place before but thought it was priced too high. She's interested in seeing the place again at the new price. She looks at it and loves it. She puts in an offer of $2.3 million, all cash, and she wants the home with the furniture and art included.
They counter at $2.4 million including the furniture and artwork that Pearl Mintzer had created. Marie Ann accepts the counter, and the apartment is sold.
Selling New York airs on HGTV Thursday's at 10:30p/9:30C.
CurbedFebruary 03, 2012
According to last night's Selling New York, six-month-old listings are knock-knock-knockin' on heaven's door, and not in a good way. BECAUSE THEY'RE ABOUT TO KEEL OVER, PEOPLE! But not before some quick-thinking agents try to put some buzz back into their butterfly bathrooms.
An agent saddled with a costly, aging Midtown listing tries to convince the owners to revamp and reduce the price. Then, a broker enlists the help of a PR pro to market her old news Financial District listing to a wider audience. Will these over the hill homes get some love or languish in listing limbo? Find out their fates in this do or die recap!
CRISIS #1: BROKER MUST CONVINCE MIDTOWN APARTMENT OWNERS TO PRICECHOP AND PURGE FUGLY DECOR CORE's show tuniest broker Tom Postilio is singin' the blues. Why? Because he's been trying to sell the triplex penthouse at 135 West 58th Street for some time and no takers. Hoping to lure a buyer (but probably just trying to prove his point that the price is too high), he takes potential buyer (and, ahem, undercover agent) Kleo Phili on a tour of the $3.495 million decorating challenged abode. Shall we?
Kleo admits she's "having trouble getting past the color and artwork" in the pad, and says the price would need to be lowered and the apartment emptied for her to consider it. I guess "sad, scared pony table" isn't her style:
Tom jets to meet the owners, Chuck and his artist wife Pearl Mintzer, at Ember Room for some straight talk over salads. He gently asks them to clean out the apartment for a staging, though Pearl thinks that will be too much of a pain.
Pearl's hair turns red when she's alarmed
Then Tom drops the big bomb and requests the Mintzers to shave off a cool million from the asking price. "I'm not happy about that at all," says Pearl. She thinks the place is fairly priced for the nabe, thought Tom counters with "the market dictates the price." Burn! To back up with evidence, Tom takes the duo to a comparable listing at...
425 West 53rd Street aka The Dillon. The $3.43 million penthouse is gorgeously staged and mercifully frees of clashing colors:
The Mintzers concede that the newer penthouse feels more spacious and can see why buyers would see the value in this 5 bedroom over their more cramped 3 bedroom. The result? PRICECHOP! P.S. We've been all over the reductions from the beginning.
With the go-ahead to re-list the unit at $2.5 million, Tom gets on the horn at a dramatic angle to share the news with previously interested buyers:
Oooh, it looks like a nice, older lady named Marie Ann Mordeno wants to see the property again now that the price is lowered! Tom takes Marie for a second look and she's feeling it. She's also feeling the furniture AND the art. So much so that she wants to put in an offer for the whole shebang.
Yes, even this armless Cleopatra piece has struck Marie's fancy:
Score one for Pearl!
Finally, Tom meets up with the Mintzers at the Hell's Kitchen Flea Market to check out the wares and chat about cha-cha-ching:
Marie's offer of $2.3 million in all cash is too low for Chuck and Pearl, but they're stoked by the ALL CASH part. And Pearl feels justified in her non-staging stance now that Marie wants all her goods. Everyone is a winner when, as the update informs, Tom negotiated the home + decor for $2.4 million.
CRISIS #2: AGENT WHIPS UP BUZZ TO SELL STALE FI-DI CO-OP
Warburg broker Deb Lupard has just inherited a listing at 55 Liberty in the Financial District. Which just happens to be where she had her very first listing in NYC. I smell a personal challenge! Deb brings PR pal Robin Dolch to the $3.395 million manse for a tour and to pow-wow about how to create some pizazz-worthy press.
Feast your peepers:
The owners really like, um, original wallpaper:
The maintenance is a not-so-paltry $8k a month, but Deb's all "we need to find someone who'll focus on the price of the apartment" and not the staggering monthly upkeep. Robin suggests having a SUPER WOW open house and is going to try to get the Daily News to do an exclusive article on the property.
Next, the gals lunch at Suteishi and brainstorm about the party. Robin comes up with "a taste of FiDi" as the event theme and they immediately secure free party food from the Suteishi manager. Shake your PR thang, ladies!
Let's go around the FiDi and see what free food Deb and Robin can magic up:
Everyone is so agreeable to free exposure!
Maybe if I go into La Maison du Chocolat and offer to twitter/facebook about my event (me eating mint creams on the couch), they'll give me chocolates to expose (to my mouth)?
It's time for the FiDi food district to shine at the open house! Deb takes Daily News reporter Jason Sheftell on a whirlwind tour through the feeding frenzy:
Post-party, Robin brings in a hot off the presses paper to Deb at Rita Hazan Salon where they proceed to read the article whilst enjoying pedis. Deb's real estate abilities and the unit get rave reviews in a 1 1/2 page spread:
"When stories get told, buildings get sold!" Robin enthuses.
Or not. As the update explains, there's an offer Deb's working on with the owner, but in the meantime another client is renting the space. And it looks like it's still on the market with a price snip at $3.145 million. Someone save this apartment from a listless listing! Episode Grade: Palatial pads, a chocolate moment and a happy ending with Pearl's personal style make this episode worth 4 out of 5 cackling for cocoa Kleiers
The New York PostFebruary 02, 2012
68 Thomas St.
Two‐bedroom, two‐bath duplex penthouse condo, 1,262 square feet, with 18‐foot ceilings,
dining area, oversized windows and private outdoor space with built‐in audio system,
automatic irrigation system and remote‐controlled retractable shade; building features
elevator. Common charges $847, taxes $842. Asking price $2,175,000, on market 32 weeks.
Brokers: Kevin Mallen and Michael Graves, Core, Brittany Fox, A.C. Lawrence and Louis
Caceres, Dwellworks Property Advisor
The New York PostFebruary 01, 2012
Chelsea $2.15 million
Bedrooms: 1 Bathrooms: 2 Square feet: 1,489
Common charges: $883
Fifteen floors above Seventh Avenue, this condo in the Chelsea Mercantile building (with a Whole Foods on the ground floor) offers “sparkling, open city views” to the east, along with high ceilings, “custom‐built” storage, an “open” chef’s kitchen with all‐new appliances, a
den/home office and a 29‐foot‐long living/dining space. Agent: Michael Garr, Core, 917‐ 689‐4504.
The New York PostFebruary 01, 2012
When it comes to a renovation — be it a kitchen, bathroom or an entire apartment — it’s natural to want it to reflect your needs and tastes. But you should also take the long view: In terms of resale, which renovations will hold their value and, more important, which might help or hinder a sale?
Having worked with both New York City buyers and sellers, broker Christian Rogers of Core observes, “It’s less about the bling than about quality work. Assume that everything you put in, you aren’t going to get back — but using high‐quality materials that aren’t taste‐specific can only improve the apartment and increase its value.”
There’s no definitive formula for calculating the value you get from specific renovations. But the 2010‐11 Remodeling Cost vs. Value report from Remodeling magazine notes that even with a minor kitchen reno — which in NYC averages $24,000 and includes replacing
cabinet fronts and counters and installing a midpriced sink and energy‐efficient stove — one can recoup nearly 87 percent of the costs.
“I can say from my discussions with brokers that it’s certainly worth it to renovate and modernize the kitchen and bathroom and use better‐quality appliances,” architect David Katz says.
In fact, an artfully done renovation can make the difference between something selling quickly — and, in some cases, for a hefty profit — or languishing on the market. Rogers gives an example of a three‐bedroom West Village combination, where the owner did a number of things right, including adding lots of storage in the kitchen, going with modern fixtures in the bathrooms, installing white oak floors that were “elegant, very neutral” and skim‐coating the walls.
“In a building where a typical three‐bedroom went for around $2 million, this apartment sold for $3.14 million,” says Rogers.
Another renovation that will pay off?
“Creating storage gives you a lot of bang for your buck,” says Doug Perlson, co‐founder and CEO of RealDirect brokerage. “New York apartments always have less closet space than you want. And it’s relatively easy and inexpensive.”
And experts are in agreement: When in doubt, opt for functional over frills. Says Martin Horner, principal of interior design and architecture firm Soucie Horner, “Trends come and go, but simple detailing and a neutral palette are timeless.”
A full‐scale kitchen renovation can run well into the six figures, especially when moving walls or plumbing fixtures. This tends to happen with prewar apartments, where the kitchen, once considered a room to be hidden from public view, is often a cramped space
that’s tucked away.
Today, the trend is toward open kitchens that meld into the living area. So, when Horner was tasked with renovating an Upper East Side prewar pied‐à‐terre in 2003, the tiny galley kitchen needed to be addressed.
“We took out a wall that separated the kitchen from the maid’s room,” Horner explains. “And we also took out a full bathroom, too. Normally, I wouldn’t lose a bathroom, but making the kitchen larger was more important.”
He created an under‐cabinet area for a washer/dryer — always a huge selling point — and added flourishes like a wine cooler and a professional range. The tiled floors were ripped out in favor of custom wood, which was seamlessly integrated with the original wood
flooring in the family room (formerly a dining room).
For those looking to do an upgrade rather than a full renovation, Danielle Fennoy, founder of interior design firm Revamp and a regular on HGTV, suggests replacing old appliances with stainless‐steel ones that “are middle‐of‐the‐road but look expensive.” Choose neutral
colors for the backsplash and counters, she advises, and “don’t go too over‐the‐top with tilework and knobs. If you want color, go for it where it’s easy to change, on the walls or the cabinet fronts.”
As for fixtures, “Don’t go just by looks, but by how they work,” Fennoy says. “If you have to do dishes every day, you want a faucet that works well. So, do your due diligence by reading reviews and go to showrooms and try them out.”
Architect David Katz was brought in when a client needed to get her tired Village apartment into shape to sell. One of the first spaces he tackled was the bathroom. “It had been poorly done 15 years earlier,” he explains.
The dated black bathtub and sink were replaced with new ones — including a pedestal sink — that were true to the prewar spirit of the original apartment.
“To redo a typical bathroom, it runs anywhere from $20,000 to $30,000,” Katz says. “That involves tearing down walls, redoing tiles. For this job, the budget started low but kept increasing as she took more interest in it.”
If you are looking to keep costs down, opt for clean, modern subway tile, which can start at $4 per tile (though hand‐crafted ones go up to $20), and install a pedestal sink, which creates the illusion of more space.
“Invest in good lighting and place it around the mirror not just above it, so you’re surrounded by light; it makes all the difference in the world,” Fennoy says.
She suggests that if you want to splurge, consider a recessed medicine cabinet that doesn’t project out over the sink. It will cost $1,000 to $1,500, plus about $200 for the cabinet, but it gives you much more space.
Which bathroom renovations — besides black tubs — should you avoid? “It’s usually a small space, so don’t go with busy tile patterns or a busy floor,” says Fennoy. “Remember, every single bit of tile has grout lines, so less is always better.
“And don’t do a rain‐head shower — most women don’t like them,” she adds. “And never ever change a bathtub into a shower if it’s the only one in the apartment. People with kids want a tub.”
According to an NYC buyer survey conducted by RealDirect, 87 percent indicated they wanted “ample closet space” (compare that to just 52 percent who chose “doorman”).
Though you can’t necessarily install a closet where there isn’t one, you can make an existing closet more user‐friendly.
Fennoy notes that in many apartments, “The closets are ill‐conceived and not intended for more than one person.” She typically creates shoe cubbies, adds double‐hanging rods and expands the floor‐to‐ceiling storage space. “When people open up the closet and see how organized it looks, that’s an easy sell.”
A closet renovation is obviously less expensive than other projects, but it’s not necessarily cheap. “The space was there,” Horner says of his client’s bedroom closets, “but we turned it into more of a dressing area.” He built out the two spaces — one had built‐in drawers,
another was designed for just shoes — switched out all the doors and added automatic lighting. The total — $13,000.
Where Not To Put Your Money
Custom window treatments. “People will spend tens of thousands on big, long, heavy drapes, and they’re actually detrimental to a sale,” Rogers says.
Millwork and custom built‐ins. “It’s very expensive to do well, and at the end of the day, the buyer might ask you to rip it out,” Katz says.
Venetian‐plastered walls. “Ninety‐nine percent of the time, it’s done terribly,” Rogers says.
Too much technology. “I’ve had people say, ‘Just give me a dumb house,’ ” Horner says.
Marble or terrazzo flooring in the living area. “This is not Miami,” Rogers says. “It’s an impediment to selling and at a significant cost.”
New bathtub. “It’s an easy thing to refinish a tub,” Katz says.
More Upgrades That Add Value
Home office. “One place had a long, narrow closet, and they opened up the wall, put doors on it and created a home office that became a very important point when they were selling,” Perlson says.
Lighting. “Mix things up for a better look and feel, using decorative and halogen lighting, sconces and pendants,” Horner says.
Entryway. “Carve out a small gallery space at the front, so there’s a sense of arrival in the home,” Katz says.
Central heat and air. “Very expensive, but if you are doing it, get a multi‐zone system,” Rogers says.
Sound systems. “People appreciate having the wiring work and speakers installed. In a weakened market, they’re willing to pay for plug‐and‐play,” Rogers says.
Solid doors with good hardware. “You know when a door feels flimsy,” Katz says.
“Changing out a door is relatively easy.”