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'Million Dollar Listing New York' recap: setting the stage for a Bethenny Frankel spin-off

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New listings, and new drama, abounded on this week’s episode

66 East 11th Street, one of the properties featured on this week’s episode of Million Dollar Listing New York.

It's season six of Million Dollar Listing New York, where three brokers—Fredrik Eklund, Ryan Serhant, and new guy Steve Gold—show the world what it takes to sell high-priced New York City apartments. Check in each week for recaps.

More drama, and thankfully, some new real estate were the focus of this week’s Million Dollar Listing New York. Let’s take a look at both!

Fredrik

Fredrik, alas, is still trying to sell the remaining units—the townhouse and the penthouse—at 25 Mercer Street. “My new building in Soho is a major concern for me right now,” says Fredrik. So he brings in his big guns: Bethenny Frankel, who stops by to check out the townhouse. “This looks really good,” says Bethenny. “It’s 100 feet long,” counters Freddy. “That’s what they all say,” Bethenny says. Um.

So here’s the thing: This vignette is clearly a setup to introduce the new reality show that Bethenny and Fredrik are going to be starring in. Later on, Bethenny tells Fredrik that she doesn’t want the townhouse; it’s too big, there’s not enough closet space (which, if you’ve seen her former real estate, you know is no joke), and she wants something she can redo.“I actually think we should do a business together,” says Bethenny. Of course she does.

Back to the real estate, though: Renee, the potential client from last week, is back, and asks Franklin to meet her in Tribeca. “She’s a supermodel and this is a super penthouse sold by a superbroker,” Fredrik enthuses. “It’s a match made in heaven.” Except for the fact that Renee has a huge list of demands and alterations for the apartment—and she wants those changes made for free. Fredrik isn’t sure he can do it.

We cut to Fredrik trying to convince Michael, the developer, to sell the penthouse for both slightly under the asking price and with Renee’s demanded—not proposed—changes. Unsurprisingly, Michael is pissed, but he agrees to do one or the other, not both. Renee won’t budge either. So Fredrik tries a Hail Mary: if Renee agrees to a 30-day, all-cash close, he’ll get Michael on board. Michael is into it! The development is sold! High kicks all around!

Ryan

Ryan’s team has already sold 73 of the 100 Brooklyn townhouses they’ve been commissioned to sell, and he’s heading to the Upper West Side for not one, but two listings—both of which are on West 87th Street near Central Park.

The first, located at 64 West 87th Street, was built in 1884 and has plenty of historic charm: there’s lots of original wood that the developer restored, three original fireplaces, and original Rococo ceiling. According to Ryan, it has “all the modern amenities … but parts of the house still feel like you’re back in the 1800s.” But that means it’s going to be pricey: The seller throws out $13 million as a starting price, and Ryan is—surprise!—not having it. There’s a lot of inventory on the Upper West Side, and some buyers will be turned off by the old features. Finally, the seller agrees to $11.5 million.

Also: the developer is taking forever, and Ryan cannot be late to his next listing appointment. Which, too bad: He’s going to be late. Ryan sprints down 87th Street to his next meeting, and the developer’s representative, Joseph, is not pleased.

So now we’re at the next townhouse, at 26 West 87th Street. It was built in 1910, and also has historic charm—plaster ceilings, lots of Mahogany, and the like. It’s also 20 feet wide and half a block closer to Central Park. The cons: there’s no elevator, no roof deck, and no real outdoor space. The developer is looking for $9.5-$10.5, which seems pretty realistic—though Ryan counters that without the roof deck and elevator, $9.999 woyld be their best bet. Joseph is sold! Ryan is surprised! This was surprisingly drama-free! “I own this block,” Ryan says as he gets in his SUV.

Next we seek him, Ryan is doing private showings at the pricier UWS house, but he thinks the potential buyers might be better fit for … the cheaper townhouse down the block. Does Ryan remain loyal to his client, and try to sell these folks on the pricier townhouse? Or does he look out for No. 1? (If you’ve watched this show for any amount of time, you’ll know the answer to that.)

Meanwhile, the developer of the pricier townhouse has seen Ryan’s other 87th Street listing, and he’s not too happy that there’s competition—and Ryan is handling it—for his listing. (Does he not know how real estate works?) Ryan tries to explain, but David the developer isn’t having it. “I really shouldn’t have to find out about this kind of thing online,” says David. “I don’t care how many listings you have, I care about my listing.” Ouch.

Steve

Steve has a new listing, finally! It’s in Greenwich Village, and it’s a three-story townhouse with an attached garage. (It’s part of 66 East 11th Street, the eco-friendly development that once counted Leonardo DiCaprio as a resident.) Steve’s friend Ian—who is, coincidentally enough, a broker with Town—is representing the developer, and tells Steve they want to sell the space raw. “I don’t think that’s the right move here,” says Steve, because they also want to sell it for $15 million—and no one is gonna pay $2,600/square foot for raw space.

Ian doesn’t want to hear that, especially when Steve proposes $10 million as the starting price. (“I know Ian, so I can be a little tough on him,” says Steve.) Steve won’t do $13 million because it’s unlucky; finally, they decide on $12.75 million, but only if Steve can sell it in 30 days.

But! There’s a wrinkle in the plan: Thanks to Steve’s concerns over the raw space, the developers now want it finished—so he doesn’t get the listing anymore, at least not for a while. Steve is pissed (he got renderings done!) but there’s nothing he can do. But Ian wants to meet him at the building later. For what, pray tell?

He goes there, and Ian wants him to sell the building’s third floor unit. It’s finished and it’s beautiful, with chiseled limestone, rift cut flooring, polished Quartzite counters, and other nice amenities. Steve’s into it, but it’s not a deal without a fight over the price: Ian wants to list for $9.5 million, but Steve thinks $8.95 million is more reasonable. Despite the photos you see here, the space is not staged, which Steve says is a deal-breaker for potential clients. “There’s a reason stagers get paid hundreds of thousands of dollars,” explains Steve. “It works.”

But Ian doesn’t think the developer will go for it, and apparently there was some communication breakdown over this; when Steve shows up for a showing with broker Dana Power (who, hmm, also works for Town!), it’s not staged, and Steve is embarrassed. When he calls Ian to complain, Ian taunts him a bit: “Why are you crying over the shit, bro? Just handle it!”

So much drama, so little time. What’d you make of this episode, readers?