Reality TV show rents Jersey City house for $60,000 a month

By Adam Fusfeld | August 12, 2011 02:00PM

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From left: Keller Williams agents Laura Schwartz and Gershon Adjaye pictured at 361 1st Street in an episode of “Open House NY”

French reality television show “Angels of Reality” is descending upon
Jersey City for its third season, thanks to a last-minute lease
brokered by two Keller Williams agents.

The show, which takes a group
of reality TV stars and puts them up in a “dream house” as they pursue
careers in the entertainment industry, signed a six-week lease on a home at 361 1st Street in the historic downtown section for $60,000, production company Paradoxal confirmed.

“We were looking for something very large — at least five bedrooms —
with modern furniture and a private swimming pool in New York City or
as close as possible,” said Doryne Mercier, a production coordinator
on the show.

In late July, Paradoxal got in touch with Keller Williams NYC broker
Laura Schwartz to find a house for filming in the area by the second
week of August. Schwartz said the last-minute nature of the lease,
combined with the unique demands of a short-term rental for a big
house with a pool during the summer months made it a particularly
challenging assignment.

“We knew it would be difficult because we needed an owner that would
trust us,” Mercier said of the search.

But by Aug. 2, Schwartz, Adjaye and Paradoxal had inked a deal. Schwartz
solicited Keller Williams colleague Gershon Adjaye, who is licensed in
both New York and New Jersey, to show them his
listing, which was asking $30,000 per month, in Jersey City. Adjaye had been working with the owner for about four years on this house and several other properties he owns. He put the home on
display on “Open House NYC” three years ago, and rented it for $40,000
to ESPN about two years ago for the “Summer House” program that airs
on ESPNU, so its owner was accustomed to showcasing the house on television, he said.

The 1st Street house is 11,000 square feet and has a
1,200-square-foot roof deck and an indoor pool, Adjaye said. It has six bedrooms, seven bathrooms and was converted from a former meat smoking factory. The lease
runs from Aug. 8 to Sept. 28, according to Schwartz.

The show’s two previous seasons were held in Los Angeles and Miami,
but Paradoxal refused to give any information about the upcoming New
York season. According to the “Angels of Reality” website, the show will air in 40 half-hour episodes.