On a recent Monday morning, the gentle peals of a ceremonial bell could be heard over the noise of construction at the new Vista condo in Long Island City.
A small group of buyers in contract to purchase units at the building were gathered at the Purves Street site, along with the Vista’s feng shui consultant Laura Cerrano, to bless their future home before it reaches completion.
For the past few years, it’s become increasingly popular for apartment buyers in New York to use the ancient Chinese practice of feng shui to evaluate potential apartment buys. But the Vista is taking the feng shui craze to the next level: The building is one of the only new condos in the city to be designed fully in accordance with feng shui principles, which aim to change a space’s energy through blessings and placement of rooms and furniture.
Cerrano advised the developers on every facet of the building. For example, the Vista does not have a fourth floor — since the number four can be considered bad luck — and the apartment entrances are configured to avoid facing other interior doors, which is believed to allow energy to escape. Craig Axelrod of the Emmy Companies, which is developing the 48-unit building along with Lions Group, said he doesn’t know of any other buildings that have gone so far to incorporate feng shui into their design.
At last month’s ceremony, Cerrano wore a hard hat while she scattered rice and burned sage at the construction site and asked buyers to write down their intentions for a new beginning in the building.
Axelrod, who attended and helped organize the blessing, said he felt the building’s feng shui emphasis would be attractive to potential buyers and help make the Vista stand out from other new condos.
“The newer generation of buyers … is more enthused about” feng shui, Axelrod said. “I thought it was something that was fun and different for people.”
So far, it seems to be working: According to building marketer Modern Spaces, the first 11 homes at the Vista sold in only 25 minutes after the “soft” sales launch in September.
A number of these early purchasers are interested in feng shui, said Jennifer Dorfmann, executive vice president and director of sales at Modern Spaces. For feng shui enthusiasts, the Vista is “like the motherland,” she said.
Jennifer Villani, who attended last month’s ceremony, said the Vista’s feng shui pedigree was one reason she decided to buy a fifth-floor unit there.
“Your home is your domain, it’s your safe place,” she said. “So to be able to have good energy surrounding that is great.”