Apparently, Africa Israel USA CEO Rotem Rosen didn't get the memo that fabulously expensive apartments in landmark Manhattan buildings are supposed to be marketed fairly quietly, with a type of muted reverence while still keeping an upturned nose. "If you have to ask..." etc. But the guy didn't hire Donatella Versace for nothing. Rosen spoke with The Real Estate about the condo conversion of the gorgeous old MetLife clock tower at 5 Madison Avenue, and he pretty much said what most luxury developers are afraid to admit for fear of being seen as tacky: This one's for the Russians. Oh, and Madonna:
“This is totally different [than the Plaza],” he said. “There are only 55 units [the Plaza has 181]. ... Our clientele is different, too. The clientele will be top celebrities. I cannot tell you the names we have already gotten calls from to get a unit, but you can imagine how many celebrities will want to live in this building.” “To give you an idea we connected with Versace through Guy Oseary and Madonna.” Mr. Oseary is a talent manager whose clients include Madonna and Alex Rodriguez.
Mr. Rosen would not reveal the names of the interested condo hunters since the developers are not in the position of taking reservations for units yet, but he said Donatella and her daughter will be living at the Clock Tower. Meanwhile, as one of the biggest real estate developers in Russia, AFI is anticipating a “huge amount of excitement from Russians.” “We have so many people in Russia who ask us, ‘Where should we move in New York City?’ So we will have a big upper edge with them,” Mr. Rosen said. “And they love the Versace brand.”
OK, it's Friday and we're one foot out the door and fuck it, we're just going to say it because we know you're thinking it: This is going to turn out to be a travesty, isn't it?
· Clock Tower to Plaza: Watch Us Get Russians (And Donatella!) [TRE]
· Meet the New 15 Central Park West [Curbed]
· Medusa on Madison: Versace To Design Clocktower Condos [Curbed]