It's Season 4 of Million Dollar Listing New York, where three brokers, Fredrik Eklund, Luis Ortiz, and Ryan Serhant, show the world what it takes to sell high-priced New York City apartments. Check in each week for recaps by Angela Bunt. Episode air date: 5/20/2015.
[Photo via Bravo.]
When Ryan helped real estate developer Yvonne sell out her Upper East Side condos earlier this season, she promised there would be more projects in his future. Well, that time has come, and the episode begins with Ryan on his way to her latest creation at the 554 East 82nd Street. According to Ryan, "People who are there [on East End Avenue] want to die there."
And this latest project is perhaps worthy of dying in: a six-story, four-unit building, with fireplaces, open floor plans, and top-of-the-line finishes. When Ryan comments that the heated floors will ensure that nobody ever has cold feet, Yvonne counters with: "Speaking of cold feet, when's the wedding?" Keep pushing, Yvonne, and you're going to get taken off of the B-list invites! With each unitsave for the third floorpriced between $4.5 and $4.75 million, Ryan begins to hatch his selling plan.
[Photo via Bravo.]
Another week, another amazing property in the West Village. In stark contrast to the quirky Pollock apartment we saw last episode, this week Freddy is touring a completely gutted townhouse which was previously a 10-unit apartment building. Built in 1860, the 7,000-square-foot townhouse now boasts six floors, six bedrooms and six bathrooms. Real estate developers Tom and Jared have enlisted the help of Fredrik to come up with the design and concept, including picking out the perfect finishings for the brand new crib. While the place has massive potential, the developers want to list it at $25 million. Fredrik scoffs. Even if you installed gold toilets in each bathroom, it's completely overpriced for the neighborhood. Freddy offers to bring in top-notch interior designers to help pick out the most expensive finishes they can find, and they shake on a price "somewhere between $20 and $25 million."
Ohhh, Luis. What are we doing to do with you? The first we see of the fiery young real estate broker is him jumping out of bed screaming "F*****ck!!!!" And then promptly stubbing his toe. He has a meeting with Gerard Longo, a very important real estate developer who he's been
stalking trying to get in touch with for months, aaaaaand his alarm didn't go off in time. He clammers around his apartment, jumps into his Maserati, and attempts to get from Manhattan to Brooklyn in 15 minutes. Not gonna happen. Cue Luis swearing in traffic for the 100th time in MDL history.
[Photo via Bravo.]
False alarm! Luis actually makes it to the appointment on time. (All that cussing for nothing.) He rushes in and immediately starts fangirl-ing out on Gerard, regaling him with stories he's heard about him around the real-estate campfire. "This one time, at broker camp..." Gerard is the mastermind behind The Townhouses of Cobble Hill, and is also the owner of the brokerage company that has already sold eight of the nine townhouses at full-ask. Luis tries to pitch Gerard on selling his final unit at 110 Congress Street. Gerard really doesn't need his help, and replies: "I don't want this to be an exercise in mental masturbation." But Luis insists that through his international network he can drive the price up to top dollar. Gerard says he'll think about it and give him a call.
Apparently Ryan's cold feet are beginning to thaw, and he invites newbie assistant R.D. into his office to hatch a plan of how to propose to Emilia. After a couple false starts from R.D."Underwater?" "On a jet ski?" "In a helicopter above the city?"they decide on Times Square. Wha wha whaaaat?! Ryan says he's going to shut it down so it's completely empty except for the two of them, and then pop the question. Now all that's left is to figure out how such a request is even humanly possible.
Although the West Village townhouse is still under construction, Fredrik decides to throw a party to kick off the selling process. He already recruited top interior designers Jordan and Karli to help come up with gorgeousand costlyfinishes. They need this townhouse to look as expensive as its price tag. But with mere hours to go before the party, he runs into one small snafu: the developers think the budget for the finishes are too high, and they haven't been approved yet. Uh oh, looks like Freddy is going to high-kick somebody in the ass. Ever the professional (except for that time he and Luis screamed at each other on the street last season), Freddy holds his crazy inside and remains calm on the outside. The party is packed, and it's time to start selling! Even if nobody knows what it's actually going to look like.
Unlike most of Luis's recent first dates, Gerard makes good on his promise to call. (Ooooohh, zing!) The two meet for lunch, and Luis is surprised to see that Gerard's brokerage team has also joined them for the meal. Awkward! Luis does his best to pitch to them his "Brooklyn as Europe" concept, but is ultimately silenced when hotshot broker Laura says, "Europeans love Brooklyn because it feels like Brooklyn... so why make Brooklyn feel like Europe?" Hmmm... you raise a good point.
The kickoff party for Ryan's project on the far eastern Upper East Side isn't until the evening, but he's already on the grind and heading to a listing appointment at the new development. Unfortunately he's stuck in traffic and can't get there before buyer Heather arrives for a tour. She's interested in the ground-floor apartment, but can't make the open house that night. Luckily, R.D. is there to pick up the slack. In one of the highlights of the season thus far, Ryan leads R.D. through an excruciatingly awkward apartment tour via Bluetooth, feeding him lines to give to the client. It's all very Roxanne/Cyrano.
Back at Luis's business lunch, the bread is starting to stale on the table as he fumbles over his plans to create buzz around the remaining Cobble Hill townhouse. "With buzz creates demand," he says. "I want everybody in this entire planet to be talking about Cobble Hill." Just the planet? I hear that outerspace market is out of control right now. Gerard tells Luis that as long as he doesn't mind sharing the marketing and commission with the team, he's welcome to try and sell the unit.
Ryan's launch party is underway. He's hosting it at a restaurant around the corner (yay! more free bread!), away from all the construction, and has invited the same people who attended the open house for Yvonne's previous UES development. Midway through the evening he receives a text with a full-ask offer on the ground-floor maisonette that R.D. toured earlier. Score! Ryan congratulates R.D. for losing his real estate virginity... now is he planning on splitting that commission?
With the go-ahead from Gerard and his brokerage team, Luis starts slinging the Cobble Hill townhouse. He begins with a launch party filled with journalists, bloggers, real estate writers, and probably the entire staff of Buzzfeed, who will undoubtedly turn the whole thing into a hilarious list filled with animated GIFs. Actually, it's less of a party and more of an awkward dinner, made even more awkward when Gerard's team walk in halfway through Luis's spiel. He urges members of the press to help him sell the townhouse by writing about it in a positive light. Uhh, it's been a while since college, but pretty sure the first rule of journalism is that you have to remain unbiased when reporting on something. (Slash, where the hell was my invite, Luis?) The evening is just beginning when Laura pulls Luis aside to question the effectiveness of his publicity tactics. "Why don't you trust me?" he asks, to which Laura replies: "Just bring me a contract."
Even though it's still veeeery under construction, Freddy has begun showing clients around the $22.5 million West Village townhouse. He and the developers have compromised on finishes, but unfortunately they won't be completed for a few months. In an effort to help his buyers visualize the finished product hein a completely genius movegives them viewfinders that have renderings inside. So instead of staring into an empty room, all they have to do is look into the viewfinder and "click click click." Freddy, you've outdone yourself. Despite his creativity, the consensus is that the price tag is too high. Especially for an unfinished product.
Ryan and his protégée, R.D., head to the belly of the beastTimes Squareto work out the logistics of the proposal. So far all Ryan knows for sure is that he needs to shut it down (good luck kicking Hello Kitty and Puss 'n' Boots out), come up with something cute to say, and then get on his knee and pop the question. OK, problem solved, right? Except they still have no idea how to actually go about clearing the area of tourists and hobos. A problem better solved in next week's episode.
· All Million Dollar Listing recaps [Curbed]