Thursday, October 18, 2007
In West Chelsea on Wednesday, the new residential developments, close to the High line, opened their doors to the brokerage community for an extra long, 4 hour, open house tour. It was a big hit with the brokers, hundreds of whom were seen brushing shoulders with gallery hoppers, and making the rounds at all of the sales presentation centers. It was like an open air mall for some of the most luxurious & priciest homes on the planet.
It demonstrated great cooperation among these competing projects to gain mind share, as it recognized the contribution that the agents make to the business of selling real estate in Manhattan everyday too. A full afternoon and then some, was spent by the staffers coddling, feeding and kibitzing with the agents. Most of them that I spoke with really liked the leisurely pace, which at the same time was a very efficient use of their time in learning about the offerings.
The tour was designed to peak interest for seven buildings, some brandishing architectural pedigrees like Nouvel and Selldorf, going up in the area from 19th Street to 25th Street between 10th and 11th Avenues; creating a district of glass curtain walled modernism, rising up around Frank Gehry's iconic IAC headquarters. With the transformation of the High line finally underway, and a concentration of architecturally significant, luxury residences rising, a glossy new neighborhood is beginning to form. It is characterized by these typically smaller boutique buildings that offer large spaces and design style as standard equipment. Each one has to offer something special to draw people to this far west enclave, blocks away from subway lines and with an emerging infrastructure of parks an amenities that are still a couple of years away.