TOWN IN THE NEWS

Brokers who can sell anything

Real Estate Weekly, July 15, 2015



It’s not hard to blend in in New York City. With eight million people milling about in one of the world’s largest cultural melting pots, even the most unique amongst us are just a small piece of a very diverse fabric.

But what about properties that manage to stand apart from the vibrant metro landscape? So homes or buildings that fail to match their surroundings provide a challenge for those trying to sell them, or do their unique appearances help them attract buyers as well as attention?

Claudia Saez-Fromm, a salesperson at TOWN Residential, was charged with selling the famous “Black Apartment” in Chelsea alongside fellow TOWN associate, her husband Mark David Fromm. She told Brokers Weekly that selling one of a kind properties presented a rewarding, but hard to navigate endeavor.

“It was a challenge,” said Saez-Fromm. “Even though it is beautiful, it was very taste specific.”

You may recognize the Black Apartment. Located at 213 West 23rd Street, it has been featured in New York Magazine, an episode of Law and Order, and a Notorious B.I.G. music video. It has a 20x68 foot great room lit by five oversized south-facing windows. It also has a sleek open kitchen outfitted with stainless steel appliances and a wall-length built in bookshelf.

As currently configured, the loft includes an additional corner living area with three east facing windows, plus two very large storage rooms and four full walk in closets.

The stylish master bathroom has a deep soaking tub lined in sleek black tiles, and there is another full bathroom plus powder room.

With its excessive dark décor and exotic accents, it may not appeal to the average buyer.

“There were some art collectors that loved it but they couldn’t get their partners to like it,” said Saez-Fromm, recalling the struggle of unloading a far from cookie cutter home.

“We had couples that could not agree on it,” said Saez-Fromm. “The people that are definitely interested are going to be gutting it to their taste because it is actually the best deal on the market in Chelsea right now.”

In order to help move the property, Saez-Fromm had renderings drawn up of the apartment after it had been whitewashed. The digital images allowed potential buyers to picture the home as a clean slate for them to work with.

“The upside of this apartment is that you really get to design it the way you want to. The current layout really doesn’t need a lot of work aside from a paint job.”

Why not just adjust the property beforehand if it’s going to market? Saez-Fromm said that, in this particular case, the exotic look of the residence represented the “owner’s identity” and they could not bring themselves to alter it until it was no longer their own. 

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