The Chelsea apartment building where Katie Holmes is staying, in the wake of filing for divorce from Tom Cruise, is benefiting from all the attention it’s getting. One broker says that interest in his listing, at the Chelsea Mercantile, is five times what it was prior to the media frenzy taking hold.
“We went from showing once or twice a week to five showings today, four on Thursday and seven on Friday so far,” said Ryan Serhant of Nestseekers, who is listing a $22.5 million apartment at the building with his colleague Regis Roumila. “We may even have an open house this weekend, just to handle the traffic.”
Holmes filed for divorce on June 29. She and Cruise had been married nearly six years, and have a 6-year-old daughter, Suri, who is living with her mom at the Chelsea Mercantile.
It’s all “thanks to Katie,” Serhant said, adding that “celebrities boost exposure and brand value.”
He added, “When people know a building is good enough for a celebrity, it is automatically more valuable. You don’t pay $500 for Oliver Peoples sunglasses because they’re better, you pay that because Brad and Angelina wear them.”
Serhant’s listing, a 4,000-square-foot apartment at the Chelsea Mercantile — at 252 Seventh Avenue, between 24th and 25th streets — came online in February after an 18-month hiatus. So far, it has lingered on the market. The 12th-floor loft unit is owned by Manhattan interior designer Christopher Hyland. It was previously listed for $22.45 million, in 2010 and was featured on “Selling New York,” with broker Michael Graves, of Core, and Kirk Rundhaug, formerly of Core and now of Prudential Douglas Elliman.
Serhant insists that the recent surge in interest in the property is not from gawkers or nosy fans hoping to take a peek inside Holmes’ new building.
“We’re vetting everyone,” he said. “A broker called this morning and said her client called her and wanted a big apartment in Katie Holmes’ building after watching the news. The client is well known and very wealthy, but he didn’t know about the apartment otherwise — nor did he know he even wanted it.”
Hyland, who also publishes a high-end interiors magazine named Hyland, said the underrated building is being revived as a result of Holmes’ stay. “People are interested in the building in a way they hadn’t realized,” he said. “It’s a question of a sea-change.”
The Chelsea Mercantile had fallen out of the news, he said, despite its role as one-time home to other celebrities, such as Jane Fonda, Nick Jonas, Marc Jacobs and Kyle McLachlan.
As The Real Deal previously reported, since the beginning of June, the Chelsea Mercantile has leased out several units: A three-bedroom, 2.5-bathroom unit rented for $12,500 a month on June 13, according to Streeteasy.com. In addition, a one-bedroom, one bathroom unit, listed for $6,500 a month, was no longer available as of June 12. And a $8,995-a-month two-bedroom, two-bathroom apartment with 1,351 square-feet of interior space was no longer available as of June 13. It was not immediately clear which unit Holmes is occupying.
Rundhaug said a celebrity endorsement is commonly a motivating factor for buyers. “When I was selling and renting at 40 Bond,” he said, “people loved to know that they’d be living in building where celebrities were.”
Ricky Martin was reported to have lived at 40 Bond Street. The Olsen twins were also linked to the property.