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Inside the Financial District's Fanciest Freebie

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The Financial District may be gaining in popularity as a residential neighborhood, but come October 20th, someone will be able to say they didn't pay a dime for the new luxury condo seen above. But fear not, developers, someone is indeed picking up the bill: the suits at HGTV. This is the 1BR/1BA apartment on the 33rd floor of the W New York Downtown Hotel & Residences being given away to one random sweepstakes winner as part of the network's Urban Oasis special. The contest website has launched at, but folks can't enter until September 1st., but folks can't enter until September 1st. Today the press was invited to get a look at the apartment, which was designed by HGTV personality Vern Yip (and goes to the winner fully furnished). We headed way down south to the 58-story tower to kick the tires.

With the W Hotel on the lower floors getting ready to open and construction on the residences upstairs humming along, the tower was a buzzing hive of activity. The hallways and elevators were still pretty raw, which made passing through the apartment's front door into a calm, pristine environment even more jarring. The next big shock: The apartment wasn't nearly as space-age and sexed-up as we'd come to expect from the W. That's because Yip and HGTV's construction guru Jack Thomasson replaced everything but the drywall in order to start with a blank slate. No crazy Graft-designed interiors? Brad Pitt's going to be bummed!

Yip told us his aim was to capture NYC in an authentic way, and that included mixing the old with the new. Inside you'll find 19th-century marble lions and bits of brownstone ornamentation picked up at Harlem's Demolition Depot sharing space with translucent Philippe Starck Ghost Chairs and furniture designed by Yip himself (much of it with secret storage compartments to maximize the apartment's space). It all goes to the winner. Yes, even the lions. Note to the winner: Your dog may be terrified.

It's free with an asterisk: The winner will be required to pay the maintenance and taxes. The winner also gets a new Acura ZDX, so factor in some parking fees as well. The HGTV team didn't change the apartment's layout at all, and the floorplan and views (south to the Statue of Liberty, west to Battery Park City and New Jersey) match up with #33A, which was listed at $1.535 million. The 800-square-foot apartment's monthly maintenance and tax bills come out to a combined $1,402 per month. Not bad to share the rarefied air space of the Financial District's ultimate bachelor bad, right? Here's the floorplan, and good luck!

· Urban Oasis [HGTV]
· Million-Dollar FiDi Apartment Being Given Away in HGTV Contest [Curbed]
· W New York Downtown Residences []

W New York Downtown

123 Washington Street, New York, NY 10006 Visit Website