Stephen G. Kliegerman
President of Development Marketing
Upping the ante with televisions in bathroom mirrors
When developer Izak Senbahar shaves in the morning, he has one eye on the razor and the other on a small TV that's built into his bathroom mirror. "While I'm shaving, I'm also looking at the news and what's going on in the market," he said.
Senbahar is such a believer in the TV mirror that his Alexico Group is installing them in the master bathrooms of the 129 residences in the Laurel — the new 31-story, glass-and-limestone residential tower the firm is developing at 400 East 67th Street.
The mirror TVs — which cost roughly $5,000 apiece, including installation, and seem to be one of a kind in New York at the moment — are the latest in a string of fancy boob tubes that developers are including in bathrooms and kitchens in new Manhattan construction projects to sweeten the deals.
Bathroom TVs, albeit the wall-mounted variety, can also be found at the Mark Hotel on Madison Avenue — another Alexico property — as well as at 995 Fifth Avenue, the old Stanhope Hotel, which Extell Development converted into 26 deluxe residential units. Meanwhile, the Carriage House, a forthcoming 24-unit condo development in Chelsea, will have 17-inch plasma screen TVs with built-in DVD players in all master bathrooms.
Developers are including state-of-the-art TVs in other rooms, too. At the Omni at 206 East 95th Street, developers put flat-screen televisions in every kitchen.
Stephen Kliegerman, executive director of development marketing for Halstead, said developers are simply looking to stand out. "What can I do to distinguish my job from someone else's?" he said. "Put a TV in the bathroom! It certainly is a sexy amenity."
Senbahar agreed. He's had his TV-cum-mirror for the past four years ("no shaving mishaps so far," he noted). He said he didn't know of any New York projects other than the Laurel, where residents are paying around $1,900 a square foot to move in, that had incorporated the technology. (Neither did several other new development marketers.)
So will the mirror TVs be a key selling point?
"I don't think it's a major selling point, but it is one of those delightful perks," said Joanie Schumacher, the Laurel's sales rep, who gave The Real Deal a demonstration of the devices in a model residence. "I think a lot of people want TVs in their bathrooms."
Sunday, June 01, 2008