Million Dollar Listing NY Season 4 – Episode 11 by NotInStCyr
For those of you who’ve been worried about the possibility of Puffer Munkin getting shipped off to the land of cuckoo clocks – sorry, but there will be no resolution in this episode. This cliffhanger will probably get resolved in the finale. However, if you happened to hang around the commercial break, you would have seen a short clip showing Emilia and Ryan together at the premiere of “While We’re Young”. According to the IMDB, Ryan, who was formerly Evan Walsh on “As the World Turns” plays Hedge Fund Dave in Noah Baumbach’s latest movie starring Ben Stiller, Naomi Watts and Amanda Seyfried.
Fredrik is driven to 290 West by his driver, who’s been newly christened, “Big Al”. BTW, West is the name of the street, not the direction. This is the newest project by Zach Vella, the developer with whom Fredrik works the most. The new building will be divided into a few apartments and penthouses with floor-to-ceiling views of the city or the Hudson River. Zach shows Fredrik one of the penthouses under construction. The 1,600 sq. ft. duplex will have an outdoor terrace, a swimming pool and views of the Statue of Liberty. The developer feels that since the waterfront views will never be obstructed, he can ask up to $2,900/sq. ft. Surprisingly, Fredrik suggests they should up that to $3,100/sq. ft., and he starts to think about the marketing he’d like to do. Zach interrupts Fredrik’s starry-eyed monologue, because he’d rather put the money into the building. You may remember a few years back that Fredrik had to beg Vella to allow him to use his home for the launch party, probably because he was put on a low-budget leash back then, too. If he sells out the 290 West building, Fredrik stands to make a $3 million commission. Wowza.
Ryan is on his way to Soho, which he calls the Iggy Azalea of real estate. Okay. Roger owns a 3-story, 3,420 sq. ft. townhome that was built in 1930 and has 2 bedrooms, 5 baths, an elevator and a courtyard. Prior to the listing pitch, Ryan did a little research and discovered that Roger also owns the air rights above his home, which would bring the total amount of available real estate to 6,000 sq. ft. Apparently, invisible real estate is very valuable in New York. The seller, who looks like a tough nut to crack, has outgrown the townhome and wants to list it for $11.5 million to $12 million. Ryan doesn’t want to overprice the property and tells Roger that he could agree to the high price to get the listing and then, when no offers are forthcoming, come back and try to lower the price. Instead, Ryan would like to start at a lower number, with the understanding that he’ll negotiate for significantly more money above the asking price. Roger agrees to this strategy.
Luis has a meeting with Ian Reisner, the developer who treated him badly in the past. Reisner was an odd, obnoxious developer who took advantage of Luis’ eagerness to establish himself as a broker and harassed him constantly during a real estate deal a season or two ago. He made inappropriate gay innuendos, forced Luis to pick up his laundry and insisted on calling him “Ricky Ricardo”. Right off the bat, Reisner remarks that Luis is no longer “Rookie Ricardo” but “Ricky Ricardo”. Ugh. Luis asserts himself this time around and tells Reisner that he wants to be treated with respect, so no more Ricky Ricardo jokes. I would have just hit Reisner on the nose with a rolled-up newspaper.
Reisner bought three adjacent units in the 230 Central Park South building and wants to combine them to form one large apartment. Better yet, if the rest of the floor can be bought out, he’d have a 3,000 sq. ft. apartment with its own elevator landing and 75 feet of windows overlooking Central Park. Luis thinks such an apartment could be worth $25 million. Reisner wants Luis’ help in acquiring the remaining 2 apartments for about $6 million. Unlike developers like Zach Vella who build or redevelop buildings, Reisner just wants to corner the market on an entire floor of a building. I’m surprised this is possible without getting permission from TPTB of 230 Central Park South. You’d think that creating one extremely large apartment would change the building’s dynamics, making its owner an 800 lb. gorilla. Anyway, if Reisner succeeds, Luis could get a commission of $750,000.
As we’ve learned, the luxury real estate market in New York is very competitive because there’s a surplus of product. Developers are falling over themselves to offer the latest high-end amenities – like in-unit parking, private swimming pools and park-sized terraces – to attract buyers. So, when people are being asked to pay exorbitant prices for apartments that don’t yet exist, they really want to see something more than just renderings. Last week, Fredrik was able to rake in over $40 million in sales, because the developers of 5 Beekman followed his recommendations and spent $2 million to create a state-of-the art sales gallery that helped people see what they would get for their money. Vella’s refusal to invest in marketing ties Fredrik’s hands. The only thing he can do is to be upbeat and charming while helping brokers and prospective buyers gingerly pick their way around porta potties, puddles, cables, lumber and other construction debris on the site.
Ryan hasn’t been able to get any offers for the Soho townhome. The seller wants a lot of money for what is really a small, dark house. So, Ryan gets creative and contacts some boutique developers who might be interested in demolishing the structure, exploiting the air rights and using the 6,000 sq. ft. of buildable space. Unfortunately, when Ryan presents an offer for $10.5 million, Roger tells him that it’s a “snore”. Ryan contacts the prospective buyer’s broker and is able to get the bid raised to the more exciting amount of $11 million. For getting the deal done and enduring Roger’s pretentiousness, Ryan gets a $330,000 commission and a bottle of wine.
Luis has already bought one of the units in the Central Park South building, because the owner was getting ready to move anyway. However, he’s been unable to identify the owner of the last apartment on the floor. All he knows is that the owner travels a lot and rented the apartment out back in 2003. Fade to the NestSeeker’s office, where Ryan is approached by one of his colleagues, Ivy. Wouldn’t you know it — Ivy has a friend who wants a broker to represent him, because he’s gotten a low ball offer from Luis for his apartment at (wait for it….) 230 Central Park South. Yes, her “friend” is the elusive world traveler that Luis has been trying to track down. What a coincidence — and in a city of 8.4 million people! Oh Bravo. You must think viewers are really stupid. Actually – considering your lineup, I’m sure you do. Ryan calls this a “gift from God”.
No doubt, with visions of a prospective client getting impaled by a stray I beam in mind, Fredrik has decided to spend $20,000 of his own money to host a launch party. He’s hired a cruise boat that will swan around the Hudson River in front of 290 West to emphasize its water views. He’s also invited Derek, as well as his friend, Lynn. Fredrik tells us that he if he was straight, he’d marry her. Derek pulls him away from the party and asks him to step outside. With Lynn at his side and the Brooklyn Bridge in the background, Derek, paint-dappled perfection that he is, tells Fredrik that he and Lynn have been talking. Lynn interrupts him and announces, excitedly, that the “3 of us should have a baby!” For once, Fredrik is speechless. Soon, hugs, toasts, shouts of excitement and jumps for joy abound. The great egg hunt is over, and Milla Eklund is on her way. However, if they happen to have a son, they probably should name him “Brooklyn”.
Ryan meets Michael, the mysterious owner of the last remaining apartment on the floor that Reisner and Luis are trying to acquire. It turns out that Michael spends half of his year on a cattle ranch in Brazil. Nonetheless, he loves his 1,600 sq. ft. apartment, which he created from two units, and he’s been renovating for the past year. Unfortunately for him, new buildings under construction across the street will dramatically change his view. He also knows that as the owner of the last unit in a buy-out, especially an apartment with unobstructed Central Park views, he’s in an enviable position. He’s willing to sell, but he wants to make the developer overpay by $1 million. Ryan gets a blissful, Grinch-like smile on his face as he contemplates the “beauty of the buy-out”. He promises Michael that he’ll “swing for the fences”.
Ryan is in his car, still savoring the thought of having Luis over a barrel. Uh — that doesn’t sound right, but you know what I mean. As he calls Luis on his cell phone, Ryan says to himself, “You’re going to be glad you picked up the phone today”. Wow, another coincidence! Now, we’ve known Ronita – Luis’ long-suffering and indispensable assistant – to be loyal, wise and hard-working. Yet, she chose to slack off at the exact moment Ryan calls Luis, forcing Luis to answer the phone himself. Somewhere there is a Bravo memo that instructed its employees to assume viewers have the intelligence and gullibility of a duck-billed platypus. Actually, I don’t know if platypuses (platypi?) are particularly dumb. It just sounded funny. My apologies if any semi-aquatic, egg-laying mammals were offended. Speaking of mammals — Ryan tells Luis, who looks as if there’s something particularly unpleasant at the other end of the line, that he’d like to pick his brain about a listing he has — oh, on Central Park South. This stuns Luis into silence, so Ryan asks with great concern, “Are you there…did I lose you?” He explains to Luis that he has a client who owns the combination of 2 units on a floor that a developer is trying to buy out, and he’d like to price the property competitively. Luis is holding a certain finger out as Ryan gloats and ends the call. Luis then explodes and cries out, “you son of a b*tch!”. Ryan, on the other hand, is smiling. He says, “real estate is a sport, and I smell blood”.
Karma, on the other hand, is also a b*tch. It’s Ryan’s turn to get a call on his cell phone. According to Bravo’s timeline, this happened to happen right after Ryan and Luis’ conversation. OK, platypi, let’s play along. Oh look, it’s the broker for the buyer of the Soho property. He tells Ryan that the deal is off, because his client just got arrested. Hilariously, Ryan asks if he was “Bieber arrested” or “arrested arrested”. The broker assures him that his client is a jailbird. Uh oh. Ryan phones his wine-swilling client, Roger, who’s in a good mood and wants to know how is “favorite broker” is doing. Ryan tells him about the aborted deal. Roger is not pleased and is probably frowning into his wine glass. He wants to know, “What kind of buyer are you bringing me?”, as if Ryan had shown the townhome to members of the Medillin cartel. Before Ryan can answer or spin the situation, Michael vows to bring in another broker and hangs up. Enraged, Ryan tries to throw his cell phone on the floor of the car but succeeds in spilling coffee all over himself. Karma, let’s do lunch.
Vella commissioned renderings for the 290 West building. I had to show you this one. Just look at the floor-to-ceiling windows and the view of the Hudson River. If you squint and look to the far left, you can see the Statue of Liberty. Oh, did you notice the life-sized statue of a horse in the living room? If you’re űber wealthy, why wouldn’t you want a full-sized stallion in your apartment? At least I hope it’s a statue and not the nonexistent owner’s stuffed polo pony.
Don’t forget that Stars has launched her website –
We’ve got one more episode of MMLNY to close out this season.