'Selling New York' Season Finale: Showing-Off Gets the Exclusive
On the season finale of HGTV's "Selling New York," we learn that Manhattan's now-celebrity brokers have to demonstrate aggressively dedicated persistence to get the creme de la creme of exclusives.
Queen bee Michele Kleier of GHK Realty was prepared to sacrifice her daughters Sabrina and Samantha in order to score the exclusive on two full floors of the way-fabulous 995 Fifth Avenue. Two CORE brokers tag-teamed to get the exclusive on Chelsea's very own Parthenon.
With the pressure and focus off selling New York within the half-hour show (despite the show's name), this episode was a great way to end a semi-humdrum first season.
Here's how it played out:
TEAM KLEIER VERDICT: A Good Closing Win
You could say that Michele Kleier is the series' star, and being that star, she gets to hustle for the two full-floor compounds at 995 Fifth Avenue. Formerly part of the Stanhope Hotel, floors 16 and 15 are there for Kleier's talons. Floor 16 is listed for $28.5 million and is a whopping 8,360 square feet. The challenge? It's empty. So Michele hires interior designer Eric Cohler to make it a fabulous, livable home in less than two weeks -- so she can throw a killer party and get that bad boy sold. Her goal: To make sure top brokers and media know that this is "the most fabulous apartment in New York."
Lesson: According to design mastermind Eric, there is such a thing as controlled chaos. That means he will deliver a great space in time for the big soiree.
Best 'Get-the-Hell-Out-of-Here-Already': With Michele's nerves all aflutter at the controlled chaos, Eric turns to the camera and politely explains that the apartment is the bride just before a wedding and that Michele is the annoying groom. (Well, in so many words.)
Requisite Name-Drop for Top Level Caché: Michele's always-left-out husband, Ian, gets to say that he took a call from Queen Noor of Jordan, who had expressed interest.
A Finale Win: Michele turned it out in the end and her party-to-die-for scored her an all-cash buyer for the slightly less pricey floor 15. (Floor 16 is still available, people!) It wasn't without a stern scolding, though, from Extell Development's Raizy Haas. She wanted the cash in hand within 15 days, but eventually settled to get her hands on the dough within 30.
TEAM CORE VERDICT:A Great Short-Term Score!
CORE Group has enjoyed some cool properties this season, but they also got stuck with some pretty beige spaces that only reached the $1 million-to-$2 million mark. They end things perfectly ostentatiously with a straight-up authentically Greek Revival mansion in Chelsea. CORE duo Michael Graves and Kirk Rundhaug will do anything it takes to get Christopher Hyland, a quirky and hyper textile-designer to give them the exclusive on his $22.45 million, 4,000-square-foot loft in the Chelsea Mercantile. Before Graves and Rundhaug can even get the exclusive, though, they have to make sure Hyland is on board for giving up his dream home for something else (smaller and similar). After Hyland puts the duo through a series of tests (while seemingly having the time of his life), they ultimately succeed in getting the exclusive -- but for just six months. Hyland is ready to leave his Manhattan Parthenon for someone with equally over-the-top taste. Of course, first Rundhaug must open his peacock feathers to show off his own design knowledge and take us to see his tastemaker work at 54 Bond (formerly Bouwerie Lane Theater). Again, they just get it for six months, so they best be hurrying!
Awkward Description for an Apartment: When Hyland energetically describes his apartment as "pregnant with all sorts of possibilities."
A Happy or Hyper Character: Hyland, when he climbs in and lies down in a plunge tub. Hyland again when he leaps onto an elliptical for a dozen or so rotations.
Coolest Design Feature: At 54 Bond someone has a super-neat TV mounted on an easel! We felt as excited by it as Hyland!
And Finally, the Absolutely Most Out-of-Touch, Way-Off Way to Describe a Nearly $30 Million Home: When Samantha Kleier describes 995 Fifth Avenue as "quintessentially New York." Ummm, 8,000 square feet is not quintessentially New York. It is quintessentially enormous and unaffordable (albeit fabulous, too).