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Selling New York: It's Uptown, So There Must Champagne

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HGTV's Selling New York rides along with brokerages CORE, Gumley Haft Kleier and Warburg as they try to sell fabulous properties fabulously. Here's our recap of how the NYC real estate industry is portrayed to the world, penned by Molly Reisner. Episode air date: 7/21/2011.

Selling New York was full of fizz in last night's episode where we party-hopped till the breaka-breaka 11pm at the very latest. Celebrations kicked off when one of our Mama Bear-iest brokers lands a multi-million exclusive on the (gasp!) Upper West Side. But will she be able to bag a buyer? The pressure pops like a just-uncorked champagne bottle as her colleagues wait in judgement (not really)! Then, the revelry continues when a brokerage plays up a seller's French starchitect connection, positioning his luxe apartment as a "pièce de résistance".

Stir up a strong cocktail (or mocktail if you've been drinking too much, I'm worried about you) because this recap is about to get straight-up slaphappy!

The Moet is flowin' something fierce when Michele Kleier hosts an open house at her exclusive listing at new (and sometimes confusing) condo building 535 West End Avenue . She thinks her $18.9 million manse (Hey! We just covered a $37.5 million unit in the same building) "could easily be on 5th Avenue" with it's pre-war recreated details and Upper East Side aesthetic. Even brokers "who never cross the park" are milling about this 6,637 sq. ft. 6 bed/6.5 bath behemoth:

It's just like my place minus 6,100 sq. ft. plus shoes in the file cabinet!

The good news continues for Mama Bear when she learns that Manhattan upper-crust magazine Avenue wants to interview her for a real-estate feature since "she knows everything about high-end apartments". Of course she plans on pimpin' her exclusive for some promising publicity. Mama gives Avenue Executive Editor Peter Davis a tour that leaves him monotonously wowing all over the place:

Mama's feeling the pressure to sell the exclusive once the article hits, since at least thirty thousand peeps will see the interview. Not to mention all her peers who are jabbering about the magazine thing at the "Real Estate Agent of the Year" shindig. A precious pic of someone taking a pic of Mama with her cubs. Don't get too close or she'll whip you with her exclusive!

The article garners interest with someone rich who sends his designer, Eric Cohler, over to check it out. Eric's brows tell Mama that "if I don't love it, I'm gonna say the truth."

But thank jeebus because Eyebrows approves of what Eyeballs see!

Next, we're plunged into another party?this one hosted by Extell, the company behind 535 West End. There's an award for the highest earning broker for their properties...and the Golden Contract goes to...MAMA BEAR! Of course this is another (yawn) champagne moment:

She sold almost $50 million of real estate for them, which is a lot of mani/pedi money! Extell is so buzzed that Mama sold the exclusive (to whom we don't know) in less than a month that the company awards her with a $9.7 million exclusive. Dayyyum, Mama! The Kleier empire is on fire!


OK, so this part of the episode isn't so much of a crisis as a love story! CORE agent Emily Beare brings her boss Shaun Osher to her 17th floor listing at 812 5th Avenue to brainstorm about the best way to market the tres special property. Y'see, the property was designed by, Joseph Dirand, a French starchitect who has transformed the 2BR/2BA into 2,250-square-feetof clean lines and stark contrast:

Em and Shaun marvel over the marbled "South of France" vibe. To me it's got a "West of Bland" feel, but then again, I keep my monitor on a semi-shaky stack of books.

Because the $12 million pad has a unique sensibility?not to mention the small problem that it's already failed to sell?Em is faced with an "uphill battle" to find a buyer who loves the aesthetic. The duo decide to fly Joe to NYC and use his design cache to help sell the artistic abode?which has this terrific terrace view:

Shaun doesn't just want Joe to come in and schmooze about his apartment, he also flirts with the idea of taking things to the next level of working with him on future projects. I smell a long-distance relationship brewing! Back at the office, Shaun gathers his team to strategize how to woo Joe into his arms. The plan?

First, to film a webisode of Shaun interviewing Joe and then to throw him a cocktail party in his honor at the apartment. All this attention is a surefire way to a man's heart. Here's Shaun and Joe talking intimately about design for the webisode. Note how they both prop their elbows on the ledge:

As an avid reader of UsWeekly, I can assure you this behavioral mimicking means they are totes into each other.

Next, Shaun takes Joe on a date to introduce him (AKA get his approval) to developer Henry Justin. Henry's got a penthouse duplex he's working on:

Henry is cautious, saying before he hops in business-bed with Joe, he needs "to test his mettle". The whirlwind day continues when Em hosts a chic soiree at 812 Fifth, replete with the Frenchiest of hors d'ouvres:

Shaun gushes that Joe "adds an incredible amount of value to the apartment" while all the women there orbit around the Frenchman and his on-purpose dangling bowtie style:

Post-party, Em has maybe buyers Mark Gardy and Karin Fisch lapping up a tour of the place:

She's hopeful for an offer and when you hope on this show amazing things an offer! The update informs that a week later she struck a deal for $10.6 million. Mon Dieu!

Episode grade: Two monster deals and a dashing, dimpled French artiste equals 4.5 out of 5 cackling Kleiers!

· Selling New York [HGTV]
· Selling New York coverage [Curbed]

812 Fifth Avenue

812 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY