It’s the “Million Dollar” smackdown.
In the blue corner — that’s the northwest — sits at the soon-to-complete 101 W. 14th St., a 44-unit luxury condo complex marketed by Bravolebrity Ryan Serhant.
In the red corner, directly across Sixth Avenue on the northeast: “Million Dollar Listing” castmate and longtime frenemy Fredrik Eklund is shilling a rival development, the 50-unit Förena (roll the “r,” like the Swedes do – it means “unite” in Eklund’s native tongue) at 540 6th Ave.
These buildings and their respective brokers are now facing off: vying for similar buyers, real estate glory and the prize of morphing a lackluster locale into a new hot ‘hood.
But it won’t be easy. Ask the agents to describe their respective buildings, and you’ll notice sumptuous similarities.
Both buildings are designed by top architects to function as urban oases. Serhant called out the interlocking curtain wall of the mostly glass façade, combined with 18-foot-high ceilings at 101 W. 14th. It’s a way to feel connected to the outdoors without stepping outside, he said.
“It keeps you incredibly protected from the elements, the sound, the weather,” he said of the project, where asks start at $1.25 million. “If we have to quarantine next year, you won’t feel claustrophobic.”
Eklund said Förena’s appeal is Zen-powered, with units asking $1.3 million.
“In a post-COVID world, people want convenience, calmness, privacy — a neutral Scandinavian color palette and a really robust amenity package.”
It’s a good thing residents are encouraged to look inward given the luxe buildings’ odd location. Both sit on the trafficky intersection of 14th St. and Sixth Ave. It’s an area surrounded by big-box retailers and fast food but Eklund and Serhant see something more. They argue that their buildings are perfectly poised at the confluence of three different ultra-desirable nabes: Chelsea, the Village and the Flatiron District.
Most, including Google Maps, would argue that Flatiron doesn’t come anywhere close to 14th Street — but neighborhood boundaries are notoriously malleable. Could it be CheVillFlat? It wouldn’t be the first time either broker tried out a snazzy nickname as a sales-booster before.
Remember “SoHY,” i.e., South of Hudson Yards?
Whatever you think of the nabe, Serhant rightly notes that a three-minute walk in any direction cues cute West Village restaurants, the farmers’ market at Union Square and endless Manhattan amenities.
“These units would be double the price [just a few blocks away],” he said. “People appreciate the value. You’re buying into the IPO of the area, and how the neighborhood will evolve.”
But Eklund bristles at those who diss the block.
“It isn’t a scummy corner,” he said. “You’re literally one or two blocks away from four parks.”
Other luxury brokers aren’t quite so bullish.
“I’ve never heard anyone say ‘I love the energy of 14th and Sixth — that’s a no-man’s land,” laughed Christie’s broker Kate Meier. “They seem thirsty. It’s like in ‘Mean Girls’ — stop trying to match fetch happen, Gretchen.”
Whether Serhant and Eklund succeed in creating a new luxury epicenter is yet to be seen. Regardless, you won’t be able to watch it unfold on TV.
Although real estate’s most spat-prone duo returned to “Million Dollar Listing New York” for its ninth season May 6, neither 101 W. 14th St. nor Förena were camera ready. That means the fiercest drama is happening off screen.
“It sounds like it was almost made for TV, but we didn’t film it,” Eklund said, “Our rivalry going 10 years back has blown up again, and [these buildings] are an indication of what’s coming.”
Personal life: Married, one daughter
Lives: In a just-bought Brooklyn brownstone
Spin-offs: “Sell It Like Serhant,” canceled after one low impact season
Books: Two, including a New York Times bestseller
Modeling past: Hand
Selling style: “I’m not selling glass, I’m selling enthusiasm.”
On himself: “I’m relentless. I get up at 4 a.m., and everyone that works with me gets their first text by 4.30 a.m. when I’m ready to go to gym.”
On Fredrik: “He doesn’t live here anymore.”
* 101 W. 14th St.
Developer: Gemini Rosemont
Architect: ODA New York (100 Norfolk, 241 Fifth Ave.)
Opening: Late 2021
Sales launch: May 2021
Notable amenities: Fitness center, courtyard, residents-only lounge, fully furnished outdoor roof deck with kitchen
Sell out: $173.69 million
Personal life: Married, with twins and a stepson
Lives: Between New York and Los Angeles
Spin-offs: Bethenny & Fredrik, canceled after one stormy season
Books: One, a New York Times bestseller
Modeling past: Porn
Selling style: “Stay away from anything gimmicky, because the product speaks for itself.”
On himself: “I’m very strategic about TV as the core vehicle for my business. Now I’m a cast member of both [MDLNY and MDLLA].”
On Ryan: Big pause. “I don’t want to give too much away. Let’s just save all of this.”
Developer: Landsea Homes & DNA Development
Architect: Morris Adjmi (250 Bowery, Wythe Hotel)
Opening: Late 2021
Sales launch: May 2021
Notable amenities: Technogym-equipped fitness center, residents’ lounge and kitchen with private aperitif lockers, Zen Garden + outdoor dining room/roof garden
Sell out: $126.8 million