As is our wont this time of year, it's time for us to hand out metaphorical hardware to the most deserving and important people, places, and things in the real estate, architecture, and neighborhood universes of New York City this past year. That's right, it's time for the Fifth Annual Curbed Awards! Strap in and enjoy.
Celebrity of the Year
3) Shalom Harlow: Kudos to this model for understanding the exact moment when you should cash out on your Bowery condo?when a pair of taller buildings are slated to box it in. Don't tell the buyer.
2) Hugh Jackman: The World's Sexiest Man bought the West Village's most ambitious listing?a Richard Meier-designed triplex in Meier's own 176 Perry Streey. The 11,000-square-foot slice of minimalism had been listed for as much as $40 million. Jackman nabbed it for $21M. Oh, and his skeleton is made of adamantium.
1) Alex Rodriguez. From the pricechops on his Trump Park Avenue pad, to the debate over whether or not it's hideous, to the 15 Central Park West rumors and reported mansion-hunting with Madonna, it was the year of A-Rod, even if his day job didn't go so swimmingly.
The Barbara Corcoran Lifetime Achievement Award
Awarded annually to Barbara Corcoran, this year for making to leap from Red Hook (her earlier investment nabe of choice) to the thriving neighborhood of Bedford-Stuyvesant. The one-woman gentrifying machine snapped up a three-story townhouse for $1.4 million in September. Noted The Real Deal at the time, "It was not immediately clear what Corcoran, an author and real estate investor, was planning to do with the 4,000-square-foot building." But such is the way of things in Babs-Stuy, and we'd have it no other way.
Broker of the Year
He represents the young, fashionable and fabulous. He's the youngest Corcoran hire and the firm's quickest promotion. He wants to be his own boss and play by his own rules. He negotiates deals via BlackBerry Messenger. He knows what BlackBerry Messenger is, unlike all you old fogies. He was elected to the condo board in his building. He's the rookie of the year. He's Lil' Shvo. He's Jared Seligman!
The Michael Shvo Gross Overexposure Award
Awarded annually to that person that wrote themselves into the headlines most frequently in the last calendar year. Given this year to the McSam Hotel Group's Sam Chang, aka The Destroyer, a voracious hotel builder who makes millions by accident and can't say no to building designs that are considered capital crimes in most nations. So ubiquitous, brokers apologize for working with him.
The Not Afraid To Court Controversy Award
Developer Joe Sitt of Thor Equities have continually shown they are not gun shy when it came to publicly feuding with key public officials, refusing to budge on the closing of bedraggled, but beloved, landmarks like Astroland or going so far as to engage in putting "FOR LEASE" signs on every building he owns in Coney Island on Christmas Eve. Friends, you have to have some seriously unafraid of controversy cojones for this sort of thing.
(Successful) Flippers of the Year
3) Erin Callan: While this wasn't the biggest deal of the year at flipper palace 15 Central Park West, it did come at the best time. The former Lehman Brothers CFO doubled her money not long after getting demoted and dumped by the soon-to-fail company.
2) Edgar Bronfman: More for volume than for profit netted. Heir/mogul Bronfman re-listed one famous UES property for $24 million two weeks after buying it for $19.5 million (it sold for $21 million), then pulled the same stunt again.
1) Scott Bommer: As the ripe luxury market first started to turn, this big-time hedgie sold his $46 million co-op at 1060 Fifth Avenue (purchased in January, above) for $48.9 million, even though the "duplex" is two unconnected units and the building's board has previously ruled against a combination. That's moxie!
Developer of the Year
3) Douglaston Development: Kudos to them for building a self-contained city in Williamsburg with Edge, but they're on this list for head honcho Jeff Levine's amazing soundbites throughout the year. Our fave: "For those who think the world's gonna end - fugedaboutit!...We'll be living, eating, breathing, and shitting long into the future."
2) Rockrose: Gave the Financial District the young horndog palace that is 2 Gold Street, brought Manhattan-type hype (and prices!) to Long Island City, for better or worse, with The View.
1) Related Companies: Opened the first new luxury residential building along the High Line, scored the Hudson Yards on the rebound and quietly brought Frank Gehry to...Hell's Kitchen?! Bravo.