Modern Spaces takes over for Elliman at LIC’s the Industry

Sep.September 08, 2011 12:15 AM
From left: Modern Spaces CEO Eric Benaim, Silvercup Studios CEO Alan Suna and President Stuart Suna and the Industry condominium

About one year after launching sales, the Industry condominium in Long Island City will get a new marketing team, as Modern Spaces gets set to replace Prudential Douglas Elliman at the 75-unit building next Monday.

Located at 21-45 44th Drive, the building was developed by brothers Alan, CEO and Stuart Suna, president, of the nearby Silvercup Studios. Alan said they chose the new marketers because the Sunas’ one-year contract with Elliman had expired and they wanted a brokerage with a more local expertise.

“We have nothing bad to say about Elliman,” Alan Suna said. “But our strategy was to go local. Modern Spaces is focused solely on the area… and they have a strong connection with the community,” he added. “Plus we’re local — we’ve been building here for 30 years.”

Elliman brokers Julissa Velez and David Chi marketed the building out of the firm’s Upper West Side and Midtown offices at 1995 Broadway and 575 Madison Avenue. Elliman’s only Queens office is in Bayside. In the past year, the new development team closed on 13 units and is in contract on two more, according to Elliman was not available for comment.

It comes as little surprise then, that, according to Modern Spaces CEO Eric Benaim, the local connection will be at the center of Modern Spaces’ campaign for the condo. Rather than adjust the prices of the studios and one- and two-bedroom apartments — which currently range from $399,000 to $819,000 — to spur sales, Modern Spaces will highlight how the Industry is part of the fabric of Long Island City.

“We want to reposition the building,” Benaim said, which already has residents moved in. “We want people to know that the same people that brought Silvercup Studios, an icon in the neighborhood, developed the building.”

Benaim “conservatively” estimated that Modern Spaces, which he said has grown to 30 agents from three in its three years of existence, has a hand in about 70 percent of real estate transactions in Long Island City. The firm also markets nearby new development the Yard, the View, and the Murano.

But Alan was not concerned that Modern Spaces would have trouble getting buyers to the Industry instead of one of its other new developments.

“People are going to shop everywhere anyway, but we expect [the Industry] to stand out on its merits,” Suna said.

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