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: 7/7/2011.
Hi guys! It's been ages since we last hung out. You look a smidge sunburnt, but I have the perfect solution...watch new episodes of Selling New York! Aloe may help too. SNY is back, which means I'm back, which means, oh snap. You're about to get recapped!
Last night's episode was a reasonable-fest of batshit sanity that will make you feel like you've walked into a content-a-thon. In the first fairytale, a friendly HGTV exec (network cross-promo alert!) is in dire need of the perfect pad to house 12 competitors on a new interior design reality show. Then, a downright decent finance mogul lady wishes for a second home in the form of a Manhattan pied-a-terre. Come see dreams delivered and happily ever afters handed out like yogurt samples in this Welcome Back Recap Mid-Summer Special!
CRISIS #1: REALITY SHOW REQUIRES REAL ESTATE
HGTV exec Loren Ruch's got a new design reality show brewing (Design Star, if you're wondering) and, in an exemplary example of network-networking, goes on HGTV's Selling New York to find a rental apartment that can accommodate 12 wannabe Design Stars (AKA 11 future depressed people and 1 happy person). The apartment will also be where the designers compete in decorating and decohating.
He needs at least 3BRs, a lot of bathrooms, and enough room for TV equipment and nervous breakdowns. His budget? $50K...but that's for the entire cost of the two month production of the show. Ramen noodles for dinner, guys!
Warburg broker Deb Lupard and Loren cab it uptown to Washington Heights, where Deb has a tony townhouse to show him. Loren wants to know how big it is. His face when hearing it's 4,000 square feet and only $5K a month:
Deb's strategy is to show him the cheapest option first, and go from there. "Doesn't it look like a movie set?" Loren gushes. The cab bumps down the picturesque cobble stoned street at 443 West 162nd Street, where the duo hop out and hop into this 5BR/3BA beauty:
Loren loves the details, but it's too much built-in design for a show that needs a more tabula rasa kinda vibe. Plus, the upstairs bathroom is too cramped for private crying sessions. Next!
Deb and Lorenzo hi-ho back downtown to
The floor to ceiling windows are gorgeous, but they're heinous for design challenges. Loren needs more wall space, and daggit! He's not "going to settle unless it's absolutely perfect." Um, settling always involves mild to severe compromise, but maybe not on TV. Anyletswrapthisupways...
Deb is ready to heed that challenge (everything is a challenge in reality shows) and knead it into OPPORTUNITY. She brings Loren to one of the giant windows and points to a building in Brooklyn. Reader Challenge #1 of 1: Do you know which building it is?
If you answered One Brooklyn Bridge Park, you're right and have really good eyesight! Loren's kinda enthused about Brooklyn, but also needs it to be "a 10". Like Bo Derek 10.
After doggie paddling across the river, they check out this 4,638 square foot, 3BR/3.5BA slice of supreme luxury:
With a good ratio of windows to walls, Loren is wowed. Even Mother Nature signals her approval with this majestic scene from the terrace:
But Deb faces another Challenge - the apartment is for sale at $7.2 million. The building manager isn't sure they'll want to take it off the market for two months while the show shoots. Deb says she'll "have a nervous breakdown if it doesn't work" which is why we're all so happy when...
...she strikes a deal! Deb and Loren meet up for chocolates at Lily O'Briens, where she gives him the good news. In exchange for featuring the building on Design Star and forking over $50K, HGTV can rent the apartment. Wait a second...didn't Loren have $50K for the entire show? Details, shmeetails. Challenge Cleared!
CRISIS #2: BERMUDIAN BANKER JONESES 4 BANGIN' PIED A TERRE
Gumley Haft Kleier broker Sabrina Kleier Morgenstern is all sunny smiles because her new client is ready to pay upwards of $2 million in ALL-FREAKING-CASH for a pied-a-terre. The buyer, Anne Kast, cleans up real good banking it up in Bermuda and wants a little piece of the Manhattan skyline to call her own. Sab knows Anne "means business" since she's even brought along her BFF, fellow Bermudian Lynda Milligan-Whyte, along for BFFAAP (Best Friends Forever Apartment Approval Process). And hey! This episode even got some press in the Bermuda paper. How quaint!
Between Lynda and Anne's credentials, these women are pretty much running Bermuda. Natch, Sab hopes a sale with Anne will lead to more Bermuda-full prospective clients.
Sab first takes the ladies to 32 E. 76th St. where a $1.3 million 1BR/1BA awaits inspection. With 900 sq. ft. of airy space, it has more than enough room for Anne's private vault:
Anne thinks it's beautiful, and is open to the sleeping loft set-up. Looking out for her pal, Lynda quickly points out that it doesn't have a good view of the city. Anne's all "oh, yeah, I want a view!" So after ditching Lynda in the Bermuda Triangle, Anne and Sab go off to...
...another apartment on the Upper East Side. It's a lot more moneybags at $2.1 million, but comes with the view Anne's been dreaming about:
Sab is so excited to show Anne the terrace, and introduce Anne to her potential new neighbors. The Lovebirds! They're sweet but will definitely steal unattended carbs:
Will Anne think this 1,151 square foot 1BR/1.5BA is worth it? As they say in Bermuda, no. It's a little too much cash from her coffers. But not to despair, cuz Sab's got a new listing that happens to be in Anne's daughter's building at...
...The Sheffield on 322 West 57th St. Anne had looked there previously but wasn't finding anything spectacular. Maybe Sab has a sparkling gem up her sleeve?
Lynda returns for BFFAAP duty and we also meet Anne's feisty daugter, Elisabeth, who's down to live in the same building as her mom as long as they "maintain space" and she "respects my boundaries," aka never drops in unannounced and can only visit a maximum of twice a week.
Anne is "getting goosebumps" of excitement walking around the 1,179 square foot 1BR/1.5BA pied-a-can't-terre-me-away. Who wouldn't with a beeline view of Lady Liberty?:
In the bathroom, the ladies have a spontaneous foot-posing party on the heat-radiating tiles:
With Lynda's official stamp of BFFAA and Elisabeth's acquiescence to sharing an address, Anne is poised to place a bid. Later, Sab and Anne meet up for lunch and discuss numbers while subtly eyeing this giant, untouched steak:
Someone take a bite for crying out loud!
Anne wants the Sheffield for $1.5 million. Though a little low, Sab thinks the all-cash proposal will be an advantage. Because who doesn't want a truckful of dough to stow under the mattress? The cash works?Anne and Sab go to the closing to sign contracts on the accepted offer of $1.5725 million. According to the update, Sab is spreading her Kleier konnections in Bermuda, working with another client referred by Anne and Lynda.
Episode grade: Two for two deals signed but little excitement to find earns this episode 3 out of 5 cackling Kleiers!