HGTV’s “Selling New York” follows CORE agents as they navigate the country’s most competitive—and compelling—real estate market. Here’s our behind-the-scenes look at Episode 409, which first aired on December 15, 2011. For more SNY recaps, click here.
In “Big Decisions and Fast Deadlines,” CORE CEO Shaun Osher and top broker Doron Zwickel collaborated with developer Francis Moezinia of Rex Properties to bring a luxury rental building at 83 Franklin Street in Manhattan’s TriBeCa neighborhood to the market. The building’s high ceilings, high-end amenities and condo-like finishes made it a rarity in the Manhattan rental market, and pricing the apartments was tricky. Doron had to tour over a dozen other luxury rental apartments in the neighborhood in order to come up with competitive pricing for each of 83 Franklin’s 11 units.
Working with a hands-on developer isn’t always easy—and Shaun and Doron acted as the “voice of reason” when it came to identifying the perfect price range. While Francis was expecting around $9,000/month for the first apartments, it was ultimately decided that starting low at $8,500 would be the best way to get renters in quickly. According to Shaun, pricing is more of an art than a science, and it all worked out. A low-key open house event brought in a crop of candidates, and four weeks later 9 of the 11 units were rented — all for above the asking prices.
Keep on reading for some exclusive behind-the-scenes information about what didn’t make it into last night’s episode of “Selling New York” and what happened after the cameras stopped rolling!
1) TriBeCa’s industrial roots go deep. TriBeCa wasn’t always a downtown hotspot for trendy restaurants, celebrity sightings and exclusive real estate. In fact, 83 Franklin was originally a textile manufacturing facility, similar to many buildings in the formerly industrial neighborhood. Decades later these buildings became prized residential properties for their high ceilings, oversized windows and large open layouts. Even after its renovation, bits of 83 Franklin’s history and character remain.
2) The building is “decked out”…literally. Rental buildings in Manhattan are typically light on amenities, especially when they only have a handful of apartments. But at 83 Franklin, there is a lot more than meets the eye. The episode showcased the gym and children’s play room, and there is also a bike room, direct elevator access into the apartments and an expansive rooftop deck perfect for a party or relaxing. Another bonus: Each of the 11 units comes with a private storage room, a great perk in Manhattan, where closets carry more value than gold.
3) Renters flocked at warp speed. This TriBeCa development was poised to set records, and Doron didn’t disappoint: The entire building was almost fully rented out within a month. The penthouse took a bit longer (its price limited it to a fairly exclusive segment of the market) but it too has since been rented out. The building is close to the Financial District in Lower Manhattan, and many of 83 Franklin’s new residents work in the financial sector.
4) No rent is too high (well, almost). Most viewers probably suffered sticker shock when they saw the $9,000 to $22,000 monthly price tags attached to the apartments at 83 Franklin Street, but renting has long been the preferred way of life in Manhattan, and prices in prime buildings have been soaring, especially in popular downtown neighborhoods like TriBeCa. As Doron explained to us, especially in times of global financial uncertainty, renting is considered to be a low-risk commitment in comparison to purchasing an apartment. The Wall Street Journal explored this trend today.
5) The local favorites. An episode of “Selling New York” is always go-go-go, but everyone needs a break once in a while. It’s always fun to find out which neighborhood establishments become favorites of the cast and crew. During filming, the excellent La Colombe coffee shop on Church Street became everyone’s go-to for a necessary pick-me-up. The Pecan Cafe, a deli on Franklin Street and West Broadway, became a lunchtime obsession thanks to its mouth-watering Chicken Moroccan Sandwich.