By Josh Guberman
In the case of our Union Square Lofts project in New York City’s West Village, we decided to connect real estate with the fashion community.
After viewing the opulent and highly styled interiors of the model residences at condominium projects we have developed, many visitors often ask why we spend so much time and resources “outfitting” our luxury units. Frankly, we are surprised why this question is raised at all.
I suppose the real question is what the relationship is between funds invested in these finished units and the end result of a higher sales price or the “branding” of a specific building. The modeling of a select number of units in a condo project has been standard practice for many years. What has changed and evolved in the industry is the creativity, focus, and funds dedicated to the process.
At Core Development Group, we have always been at the forefront of the concept of “over building” and providing lush and grand finishes in our buildings. As the first luxury condo developer in Greenpoint Brooklyn, CDG delivered interiors that at the time were considered too luxurious and unnecessary to sell the apartments. Despite this, we offered wide plank select oak flooring, 8-inch crown molding and fine trim work, custom closet interiors, lavish marble bathrooms outfitted with high-end fixtures and whirlpool baths, handcrafted cherry Kitchens with laser cut granite counter tops, and stainless steel appliance packages. These luxury finishes were unheard of at the time in that emerging market.
We paired those finishes with custom model apartments that offered three distinct interior design styles: ultra modern, contemporary, and traditional. The interiors were intended to appeal to the differing and evolving tastes of buyers in this newly developed neighborhood. The materials selected were both attractive and affordable, part of a collaborative effort between CDG and the corporate divisions of the newly launched West Elm and longtime industry standard Pottery Barn. On that project we matched accessible pieces from these moderate brands with one-of-a-kind antiques, distinctive lighting fixtures, elegant paintings, beautiful flowers, orchids, and high-end glassware and furnishings. The result was a winning combination of warmth and good looks that turned these empty “spaces” into true homes. We were selected for the “featured home section” of the New York Times real estate section in July of 2003, and word of mouth, coupled with the beauty and integrity of the model units, helped sell out our Greenpoint projects in record time.
In the case of our Union Square Lofts project in New York City’s West Village, we decided to connect real estate with the fashion community. At the time of the sales launch, many fashion icons were developing home furnishings and furniture lines, or were experimenting with couture furniture prototypes. Under the watchful eye of celebrity stylist Nick Steele, we brought together the emerging designs of industry legends such as Calvin Klein, Donna Karan, Vera Wang, Tommy Hilfiger, and others to integrate their unique take on interior design into our project.
We teamed with the furniture house Maurice Villency and Andrew Martin (a U.K.-based purveyor of fine furniture and eclectic furnishings) to craft the ultimate “designer” loft. With each bedroom being devoted to the product of one designer, and glassware and tabletop designs by Vera Wang, the model unit was launched with great fanfare during several private and public parties and events.
The end result was that the model unit sold in four days and the project itself gained great prominence and stature because of both its architectural distinction and the pairing of these wonderful designers with the residences. The project sold briskly and we like to think that the unique approach (and risk!) taken with these wonderful designers for the model residences had a lot to do with the public’s remarkable response to the project.
We remain committed to the process of showcasing our luxury residences in the brightest possible light. It takes vision, dedication, passion, resources, and proper execution to realize a space’s potential. We look forward to many new and special forums to showcase our residences.
Core Development Group