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Million Dollar Listing NY S4E11: Ghosts of Real Estate Past

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: 6/24/2015.

As the fourth season of Million Dollar Listing New York nears its finale, it seems only fitting to bring back some of our favorite characters from episodes past. Like grumpy ol' Zach Vella, the developer who commissioned Fredrik to sell his condos at 11 North Moore last season. Now he's back in discussions with Freddy about his latest project at 290 West Street. The location is supreme: right next to Hudson River Park, with completely unobstructed views of the water and Lady Liberty. While the project is still (very much) under construction, the vision is clear. The lower half of the building will be split into apartments, and the upper half will be penthouses, leading up to the grandmother of all penthouses on the top floor. With 3,060-square-feet of living space, 22-foot ceilings, and a 1,600-square-foot rooftop terrace with a swimming pool, Freddy thinks he can get $5,000 per square foot for the pad. In fact, in what may be a Million Dollar Listing first, Zach suggests an average price-per-square-foot for the building of $2,900 (the average for the neighborhood is $2,500), and Fredrick says they can do better: $3,100 a square foot.

[514 Broome Street]

This week our pal Ryan is in Soho at 514 Broome Street. He likens the neighborhood to Iggy Azalea because "it's so fancy." Indeed it is, and so is the listing he's currently checking out: a free-standing townhouse. In Soho. Wha-wha-whattt? Commercial real estate developer Roger purchased the property in the late '90s and since that time has made significant improvements to it. Right now it stands as a 3,420-square-foot home, with three stories, two bedrooms and five bathrooms. (Does anybody else find it strange that there are more bathrooms than potential humans in the building?) The townhouse also comes with air rights, which means buyers can potentially build up and add even more levels onto it. Definitely a helpful selling point, but not at the price Roger is suggesting. He'd like to list it around $11-$12 million. Ryan convinces him that they'll have a much easier time listing it at $10 million, and then create a bidding war to drive the price up. Their wine glasses clink in agreement.

Speaking of old friends (that we love to hate), remember Ian Reisner? The guy who hired Luis and then basically spent the entire time berating him and forcing him to run menial errands? He's baaaackkk and is looking for Luis to collab with him on a new project at 230 Central Park South. He tells him, "You're no longer Rookie Ricardo, now you're Ricky Ricardo." How long have you been saving that one, Ian? Luis tells him he'd love to work with him again, but only if he treats the situation with more respect than last time. Aka his dog can't be pissing on the floor during showings, and he can't make Luis pick up his dry cleaning. OK, fine!

The project is another Billionaire Row listing, and Ian has worked long and hard to purchase three adjacent apartments that equate to one 3,000-square-foot apartment with unobstructed views of the park. Unfortunately the building is very old, which will make it hard to compete in such an oversaturated market. Unless... Luis floats the idea that if they were to do a complete buy-out of the floor, he could create a stunning $25 million apartment building with 75 feet of Central Park views. All they have to do is get the rest of the tenants out at a reasonable price, which is where Luis would come into play. Ian says, "This is the kind of stuff I love to roll the dice with," and they agree to the new plan. Sounds like these two will be working together for a long, long, long time.

The ever-diligent Fredrik is already beginning to show brokers around the development at 290 West. But construction has made the place look like a war zone, and Zach refuses to let him use any tools or mock-up materials (think 5 Beekman Street) to help him sell it, opting instead to put the money spent on such things as the building itself. Sure, that makes sense in theory, but the proof is in the pudding: because of the money Freddy got the Beekman development team to spend on life-size models, he already has half the building sold out. And so far at 290 West, he's having a hard time getting people to envision anything but scaffolding and what he calls "transportable poop machines" (i.e. Porta-Potties.)

While Ryan got plenty of bites on the Soho townhouse, it seems that most buyers aren't that excited by an extra 2,600-square-feet of air rights, thus most of them are finding the $10 million mark for a two bedroom a bit high. Being the "awesome" (his words, not mine) broker that he is, Ryan goes through his rolodex of boutique developers hoping to find somebody intrigued by the option of building up. And find somebody he did! After an initial offer of $10.5 million—which Roger quickly dismisses as being too low—he squeezes out an $11 million offer, and the deal is done. Huh. That was easy.

Step one in Luis and Ian's plan to take over an entire floor of 230 Central Park South: Get the rest of the neighbors out. In a seeming moment of kismet, the folks living in 12D were already looking to move downtown, and after a $3 million contract, they've packed up their things and are on their merry way. But the mystery man living in 12E/F is nowhere to be found. If Luis can't track him down and convince him to sell, they'll not only miss out on their elevator landing but will be one unit shy of stellar Central Park views. Luis begins pacing around his office in that panicked way as he runs all potential leads into the ground. Breathe in, breathe out, Luis.

[The coveted Central Park view from 230 Central Park South.]

Oh. My. Gawd. Turns out that the person Luis has been stalking in apartment 12E/F—some dude named Michael—is friends with a broker over at NestSeekers (you know, the same place Ryan works) and has reached out about the potential sale of his apartment. Apparently he isn't happy with the lowball number Luis and Ian are presenting him for his crib, and he wants Ryan to represent him as his broker. *BEAT DROP* This is epic. So basically, the only way for Luis to sell out the building is to negotiate a price through Ryan. I think I just died and went to fake reality TV drama heaven.

Sooo, I hate to admit it, but Fredrik is kind of a genius. Since Zach won't give him a gallery space to sell the 290 West development, he's created his own. On a boat. That is being chartered around the Hudson River while he slings the new property to a boat full of brokers and buyers. As Freddy says, "What better way to sell waterfront living then taking people out on the actual waterfront itself?" True dat. Joining Captain Freddy is Derek and their dear friend Lynn, who Freddy says he would probably marry if he weren't gay. Midway through the evening, Derek and Lynn pull Freddy away from his clients to go chat outside on the deck. "We have been talking," Lynn says as she looks back at Derek, "and we think that the three of us should have a baby." YAASSSSS!!!! Fine-a-frickin-ly. Freddy basically loses his sh*t and screams "Millaaaaa!" at the top of his lungs. What makes him so sure it's going to be a girl?

The elusive Michael, owner of units 12E/F in Central Park South, is back in town to discuss business. Ryan heads to his place for a tour and finds he's in the throes of a renovation. Normally somebody who has just embarked on such a project doesn't really want to move, but halfway through the job, he learned the the tallest skyscraper in Midtown Manhattan was being built right in front of his kitchen and bedroom windows. Ugh, so hard being a millionaire. The serendipitous situation is kind of perfect for everybody, as now Michael is less reluctant to move, Luis can have the buy-out he so desires, and Ryan gets to pinch them for every last penny. Are you following?

Ryan calls Luis to deliver the blow of a lifetime: he has a client looking to sell his apartment at 230 Central Park South, apartment 12E/F. Ever hear of it? Luis asks him, "What are you doing, Ryan?" But it's pretty clear what he's doing. He's doing exactly what Ian and Luis feared, and exorbitantly pricing the apartment at $10 million just because he can. He laughs maniacally over the phone like a crazy person and tells Luis to have a good day. "Real estate is a sport, and I smell blood," he says. Ummm... OK. You might be taking this a bit too far.

It's nightfall and Ryan is still riding high from the twisted real estate mind games he played earlier in the day. But karma is a bitch, and Ryan gets a hefty dose of it when he receives an unpleasant phone call. It's the broker representing his buyer at Broome Street, the $11 million Soho deal he had with Roger. Apparently the buyer got arrested, and the deal has to be called of. "Like, real arrested? Or like Justin Bieber arrested?" Ryan asks. He calls Roger to tell him the news, and he is not please. Not pleased at all. "Tomorrow morning first thing I'm getting on the phone with another broker!" Ryan laments that over $300,000 has just flown out the window, and angrily slams his cup of coffee down onto his leg, which then promptly spills all over his iPhone. So, that'll be another $500.

Will Ryan and Luis strike up a fair deal without killing each other in the process? Will Emilia move to Geneva and leave Ryan in the lurch? Will Fredrik... continue to do his Fredrik thing? OH GOD WHAT'S GOING TO HAPPEN?!?! Find out next week on the season finale.
· Million Dollar Listing New York [Bravo]
· All Million Dollar Listing coverage [Curbed]