As is our yearly tradition, it's time to make up a bunch of awards and hand them out to the most deserving and important people, places and things in the real estate, architecture and neighborhood universes of New York City! Yep, it's time for the Sixth Annual Curbed Awards!
Celebrity of the Year
3) Alex Rodriguez: Last year's #1 slips in the countdown but stays in the game. He finally sold his Trump Park Avenue pad (for $9.9 million, down from $14 million), rented at nouveau-riche power building 15 Central Park West and was spotted house-hunting in every new luxury condo building from the West Village up to Central Park.
2) Gisele Bundchen: Because life's not fair, the Brazilian beauty also managed to snap up West Village trophies over the years like they were 2-for-1 panty specials. This year, in a down market, she sold off two of them for handsome returns.
1) Madonna: Always an iconoclast, Madge got Gold Coast tongues wagging when her long-rumored Upper East Side housing hunt ended successfully?east of Lexington Avenue. (The horror!) Her $32.5 million mansion is a whopper no matter what Andrew Carnegie thinks of it.
The Barbara Corcoran Lifetime Achievement Award
Awarded annually to Barbara Corcoran, this year for invading the private space of our one guilty pleasure (reality TV) and making sure it got a full blast of Babs attitude. She also offered calming words in the darkest days of economic despair, and her fearlessness extended to never shying away from offering dubious advice. A bad year for some, but 2009 proved that it's a Babs world and we're all just paying rent.
Broker of the Year
His father helped make Tribeca, and Raphael De Niro tried to break it?into two pieces, that is. But whether or not his "North Tribeca" experiment is a success, young De Niro firmed up his rep as the go-to broker for those still willing to shell out too much money for hip, Downtown apartments. And by that we mean famous people.
The Michael Shvo Gross Overexposure Award
Awarded annually to that person that wrote themselves into the headlines most frequently in the last calendar year, this year's recipient is actually a thing: the Quarterly Manhattan Market Reports. The major brokerages' sales reports were looked to with increased interest this year, but like a season of Lost, in the end we learned very little. The numbers are always outdated, and even the reports' preparers give a disclaimer warning not to focus too much on the findings. But recession bloodlust led to the reports being treated as gospel, and the numbers were mined for all sorts of sensational headlines.
The Dolly Lenz Dollyism of the Year
"While 'affordable' may have tainted property in the past, I think it's the next chic term."
The Golden Tainties
Awarded to the top apartments singed by scandal.
3) The Museum Tower pied-a-terre auctioned away from Dan Wise, Arizona-based scamster. Dig the commode phone!
2) Disgraced attorney Marc Dreier sure had a nice slice of One Beacon Court, home to idling Bentleys as far as the eye can see. It, too, went the way of the gavel once its owner got locked up.
1) Though it hasn't sold, the PriceChopped penthouse at 133 East 64th Street belonging to one Bernie Madoff takes the cake for sheer ponziliciousness. Sailboat paintings sold separately, of course.
The Not Afraid to Court Controversy Award
Last year's pummeling of former business partner (and award runner-up) Kent Swig was just a warmup for developer Yair Levy, whose downfall was chronicled in spectacular detail as a pair of his condo conversions went bust. When famous authors are floating rumors that you've fled the country, you know it's been an interesting year. Capping 12 months of anticipation, he finally emerged from isolation to utter these words: "Even if I reach zero, I have enough experience to make money with no money. Rosebud..."
Developer of the Year
For weathering perhaps the worst real estate deal of all time and coming out laughably unscathed, Tishman Speyer showed in 2009 that it, like the Wu-Tang Clan, ain't nothing to fuck with. Even the Church of England will end up losing more money on Stuy Town than Tishman Speyer, which, according to our calculations, proves that the company is now more powerful than God. Jerry and Rob 4eva.