Gramercy developer benches Shvo — sort of

By Candace Taylor | January 26, 2009 02:17PM

Shvo is not the only game in town at Gramercy, the 23rd Street condominium designed by Philippe Starck.

As developer Victor Homes looks to finish sales at its 206-unit building, it has brought in a “closer,” said Ran Korolik, a vice president at Victor Homes, although Shvo has a different take on the situation.

For a year and a half as the exclusive marketing and sales agent for the project, Shvo “did a decent job” selling 190 of the building’s 206 units, Korolik said, but “for the last few, it’s time for a change.”

Korolik likened the switch to bringing in a closer at the end of a baseball game.

“It’s not that my pitcher, Shvo, wasn’t good,” he said. “But sometimes you need a closer.”    

Shvo is still selling several apartments in the building for the sponsor, Korolik said, but Prudential Douglas Elliman’s Shadian Group, headed by vice president Tamir Shadian, is now handling the majority of the remaining 16 units (two of which Shadian says have gone into contract since his team took over the marketing several months ago), including eight penthouses.

That means that Shadian is now manning the sales office at the development, located at 340 East 23rd Street between First and Second avenues, Korolik said.

Sales at Gramercy official launched in May of 2007, and closings began in December 2007, according to Streeteasy.com. Units range from studios to three-bedrooms, and have sold for an average of $1,448 per square foot, the data company determined.

Korolik said he was impressed with Shadian’s work at Crossing 23rd at 121 East 23rd Street, where the situation was similar — the Shadian group was brought in at the end to help sell the remaining units.

Michael Shvo, president of Shvo, had a different take on the Gramercy situation.

In an email, Shvo said: “[Elliman] is not the exclusive sales agent for the building. They have a few penthouses for sale that belong to one of the partners in the building.” Shvo has been making news lately as rumors swirl about sizable company layoffs. The Real Deal recently reported that the sales office for a Shvo-marketed project, Rector Square in Battery Park City, was temporarily closed.

Korolik said that NJ-based Victor Homes headed by Moshe Shuster is a partnership, but that the remaining homes are being sold by the sponsor, not any one individual.