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Michael Shvo Defends White-Box Approach to Chelsea Loft

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It's been a long and multi-colored journey for landmark 650 Sixth Avenue, which was converted into condos in 2007. The building debuted with a white-box/gallery marketing concept (and a star turn) from the one and only Michael Shvo. But sales did not go well, bringing on a broker switch. And then another, complete with name change. And then one more, which brought the building back to its 650 Sixth Avenue roots and gave it a new tag as The Cammeyer. Now, the Journal's Josh Barbanel reports, sales have finally gotten rolling again. Current broker Shaun Osher of Core attributes that to some cosmetic sprucing up, including darkening the floors in the model unit, repainting the walls a "warm white" and the pillars "metallic gray," and redoing one white wall in "a warm brown for accent." So basically erasing Shvo's entire concept, which, Osher says, was trying to turn the building into something it wasn't. Oh yeah? Let's see what Shvo has to say about that!
Barbanel tracked down Shvo to give his two cents on his original marketing plan, and he ended up passing the whole buck:

Mr. Shvo, in an interview, said his concept for the project was "always a good one." Sales stalled, he said, because of delays in completing the renovation and problems in quality and finishes that were amplified because of the white-on-white aesthetic...."There is nothing more difficult to build than white space," he said. So Shvo just likes a challenge! Any response from the Osher camp? Osher tells the Journal only 20 units had closed since the building first went on sale, including some that didn't go into contract until after Shvo's departure. But now eight more units are under contract. Burn!
· Market Brings End to Apartment as Canvas [WSJ]
· 650 Sixth Avenue coverage [Curbed]

The Cammeyer

650 6th Avenue, New York, NY 10011