The Real Deal New York

Fun, and then some, at West Chelsea building

But some wonder if the club-inspired marketing worked too well

October 01, 2010 07:00AM
By C. J. Hughes

The Ohm
The Ohm

Nine months ago, Ohm, a new rental at 312 Eleventh Avenue in West Chelsea, purposefully aimed its marketing efforts at the people likely to be found on its surrounding blocks after midnight — partiers, particularly the Champagne-sipping, club-hopping variety, who, the thinking went, might like to crash near where they frequently went out.

From a leasing perspective, that strategy paid off handsomely. As of late September, the 288-unit tower, located at West 30th Street, had leased 75 percent of its apartments, or 216 units, according to officials with Douglaston Development, which built it. Even former Mets slugger Darryl Strawberry moved in.

But some tenants may have a hard time distinguishing between when to rip it up and when to chill out, according to a half-dozen residents of Ohm, who describe a pervasive party-hearty atmosphere in the building.

“On weekends, if you’re on an elevator, there will be a bunch of drunken women with beer spilled on the floor,” said Lloyd Cox, 42, who has lived in a one-bedroom there since June. A Web designer who works from home, Cox also criticized the messes frequently left behind after fêtes on the building’s second-floor terrace.

The noise levels have also definitely ticked up in the last few months, said Matt Burt, a 30-year-old anesthesiologist, who moved to his one-bedroom in April. Burt estimates that there’s at least a party per floor each weekend night, judging by the traffic in the elevators.

“I kind of moved here for a more lively area,” Burt said outside the Ohm on a recent morning as he made his way back from an overnight shift. “But the halls get loud.”

If Ohm — where one-bedrooms cost $3,050, though with two free months of rent — is attracting a sybaritic crowd, it’s perhaps expected. The huge lobby in the building hosts twice-monthly concerts, at which free beer and wine are often served.

And Nancy Packes Inc., the firm that’s marketing the building, has specifically targeted a fun-loving renter. That’s according to comments that managing director Seth Rosner made in January to the New York Times. “The club scene has been an enormous channel of applications thus far,” Rosner was quoted as saying.

That nearby club scene includes plenty of neighborhood venues at which to enjoy bottle service, like Bungalow 8, at 515 West 27th Street, and Marquee, at 289 10th Avenue.

For his part, Douglaston president Steven Charno dismissed claims that the building is hosting numerous random parties and said that a strict door policy is enforced to let in only those people who are invited by tenants.

Charno added that the complaints may be stemming from one large Fashion Week-related event held in a second-floor lounge. But he insisted the party was not out of control. “And we were very happy to have that here,” he said.

In fact, the concerts, which are coordinated through the Knitting Factory venue, will continue, he added.

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