Stephen G. Kliegerman
President of Development Marketing
BRONX BOMBERS: Bubbly brokers sip cocktails and socialize while checking out the new condo scene on the “Riverdale Rocks” tour.
CRY ME A RIVER: For $1.28M, you can buy into Riverstone, a 26-unit building in the Riverdale section of The Bronx.
By ADAM BONISLAWSKI
How do you lure a group of Manhattan brokers north? Well, you might try free food and booze, for starters.
That was the tack Halstead Property and Marketing Directors took in planning their recent “Riverdale Rocks” excursion. Designed to show off new developments currently rising in the Bronx neighborhood, the outing brought together agents from across the city for a four-building, 2 1/2-hour tour of the area. Ostensibly, the crowd had come to learn about the apartments, but there were a few other attractions, as well.
Foremost among them was the promised “Riverdale Rocks” party at the end of the tour - a much-anticipated (at least, if chatter on the tour bus was any indication) shindig at an area mansion (4960 Arlington Ave. - currently on the market for $4.995 million, if you’re interested). Said party boasted free appletinis, hors d’oeuvres (steak on a stick and miniature potato pancakes), a saxophonist playing over a pair of DJs and a shot at winning an iPod or a 42-inch plasma TV.
Most events were far more modest - earlier in the afternoon, at the sales office for Arbor - a new 127-unit development of one-, two-, three- and four-bedroom apartments ranging in price from $450,000 to $1.45 million - there had been wine, sodas and a sort of assemble-it-yourself bruschetta.
A similar spread (plus vegetable dip!) was on offer nearby at Riverstone, a 26-unit building at 3220 Arlington Ave., with two- to five-bedroom residences going from $1.28 to $2.33 million.
Also on the tour (but with, alas, nothing available in the way of gustatory delights) were the Riverdale Court and Shirley Woods developments - the former, a new 10-unit condo building with three- and four-bedroom apartments starting around $1.1 million, the latter a 12-unit building offering three- and four-bedrooms from $745,000.
A day later, in East Harlem, a different set of developments made a similar sort of pitch. Corcoran vice president Valerie Dominguez hosted a three-hour, nine-building tour designed to familiarize brokers with new buildings uptown. Appletinis weren’t on offer, but there was an iPod shuffle giveaway and lunch from Blue Nile Catering (salmon skewers, lamb chops and smoked trout and caviar roulades) at 118th Street’s La Casa Brava building, a 12-unit loft development with prices ranging from $435,000 to $650,000.
Several blocks south, at 227 E. 111th St., a $750,000 floor-thru two-bedroom penthouse was open for viewing at the Roosevelt Lane building.
Also on the tour were the Ivy Condominium at 249 E. 118th St. (two-bedrooms from $575,000 to $710,000), the Leah at 435 E. 117th St. (one- and two-bedrooms from $665,000 to $750,000) and The Bridges, a two-building development featuring one, two- and three-bedrooms (starting at $495,000, $695,000 and $905,000, respectively), straddling 124th Street at Third Avenue.
Further west, across from Marcus Garvey Park, was the FXFowle-designed 5th on the Park, a new development featuring 160 units ranging from studios to four-bedrooms (one-bedrooms start at $600,000, two-bedrooms at $785,000 and three-bedrooms at $990,000).
With clusters of new buildings rising in some of the city’s more remote neighborhoods, such tours give developers a chance to corral a number of brokers at once - helping them get the word out to the people who’ll be selling their buildings.
As for brokers, it’s a convenient way to familiarize themselves in one fell swoop with the latest product hitting a neighborhood.
And then, of course, there are the extra-curriculars. Impatience was in the air as the bus pulled up to the final stop on the Riverdale tour. Asked if they wanted to disembark for a closer look at the Shirley Woods development, a number
of the agents aboard demurred. A few cries from the back of the bus made it clear what was really on everyone’s mind.
“Let’s go to the mansion!”
Eventually, though, all but a few holdouts filed off the bus for a look. Appletinis and iPods would have to wait a few minutes more.
Thursday, July 12, 2007