The Real Deal on the town…

TRD checks in with the Kleier clan, Core’s Shaun Osher, owner of the Grand Prospect Hall and celeb broker Michael Bolla

New York /
Feb.February 25, 2011 07:37 PM

The Real Deal has had an action-packed schedule. We hit up the Charity: Water event at 123 East 10th Street, the largest and priciest home available in the East Village, hosted by Rubicon Property. We stopped by Core’s cocktail party on the 17th floor of 812 Fifth Avenue, which was recently redesigned by architect Joseph Dirand. We also dropped by the Griffin Court condominium in Hell’s Kitchen, where Gumley Haft Kleier was hosting a viewing party of this week’s HGTV’s realty reality show “Selling New York.” Meanwhile, back at the office we let our fingers do the walking and got some nuggets.

Griffin Court’s “Sneak Preview Celebration” of its feature in a recent “Selling New York” episode, 454 West 54th Street

— We gabbed with “Selling New York” star Michele Kleier, president and chairman of Gumley Haft Kleier, who told us that adding a third firm (Warburg Realty) to the cast of the show was her idea. She said she balked after finding out that the series would be airing a wopping 39 episodes a season and urged the producers to pick an additional brokerage to help share the load.

— Kleier, who was joined by her daughter Samantha Kleier Forbes, an executive vice president with the company, dished that Extell is her “favorite developer.” (Kenneth Horn, a principal with Griffin Court developer Alchemy Properties, wasn’t too far away.) Mother and daughter were wearing matching pearl necklaces.

— Kleier Forbes’ son was in attendance — the youngster was seen mugging for the camera and charming the crowd.

Charity: Water event, hosted by Rubicon Property, 123 East 10th Street

Rubicon head Jason Haber told us that the owner of 123 East 10th Street, a $14.3 million townhouse that includes the neighboring property, was so taken with his company that she’s getting her real estate license and joining the firm.

— And speaking of people joining the firm: we heard that Hank Orenstein, a top seller at Prudential Douglas Elliman, left the firm to join Rubicon. Orenstein, also a licensed New York City tour guide, is known for blending his touring expertise with property viewings.

Core’s “Black & White Affair,” 812 Fifth Avenue, 17th Floor

— HGTV was at the event, shooting an episode for “Selling New York.” Shaun Osher, CEO of Core, told us that he “totally zones out” the camera crew when he is filmed for the weekly program, adding that the show has helped sales at the firm.

— Listing agent Emily Beare told us so far bachelors and couples without kids have looked at the unit — the current owner had the apartment’s third bedroom removed because he liked entertaining so much.

Architect Joseph Dirand, who redesigned the interior of the full-floor apartment, which is currently on the market for $12 million, told us he drew inspiration from his father, who was a photographer.

— Also spotted that night: the Post’s Jennifer Gould Keil.

Back at the office, The Real Deal jumped on the phone with some of the top headline-grabbers in real estate this week, who shared some interesting tidbits…

Michael Halkias, one half of the husband-and-wife team behind the Grand Prospect Hall in Park Slope, which has drawn controversy since announcing plans to build an 11-story hotel, gave us the scoop on his hospitality ambitions. Although he might not have experience running a hotel, Halkias said he’s “vistit[ed] hotels all over the place, the Caribbean, New York,” which is good enough experience in his book. “I have a heck of a lot of experience,” Halkias said. “I know what a hotel is about.”

— Also this week, we chatted with celebrity broker Michael Bolla, the
newly-minted senior managing director at Elliman,
who had some projections about Knicks newcomer Carmelo Anthony’s
apartment hunt. “I’m sure I’m one of 500 brokers representing him,” he said. “I did
speak to one of our contacts at the Knicks today to ask if Victoria
[Hoelver, Bolla’s second-in-command] was having an exclusive and I was
told that was very unlikely. It’ll be interesting to see because all
the brokers, I’m sure, are falling all over themselves.”

— Bolla, who placed Amar’e Stoudemire in his $37,500-a-month West
Village penthouse last year,
noted that the Knicks give all of their players housing in White
Plains. So with only a couple of months left in this regular season,
Melo might not choose a pricey Manhattan pad right away.

— Meanwhile, Bolla said he’s settling in nicely at Elliman, though he
apparently hasn’t been paying much attention to company gossip. Bolla
told us that he wasn’t aware that broker Tamir Shemesh had moved his team to
the Corcoran Group
until a few days ago, when someone mentioned it in
passing. As for the Bracha Group, which left to launch the first Manhattan franchise of Keller Williams, he said: “I don’t even know who [group head] Ilan Bracha is, really.”

Additional reporting provided by Sarabeth Sanders.

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