“Risky Listing” throws retail leasing into reality TV: VIDEO

By Julie Strickland | October 30, 2013 01:52PM

The latest realty television show to delve into the high-dollar, drama-rich world of New York City real estate will examine an after-hours niche of the industry: sales and leasing of the Big Apple’s trendiest nightlife spots.

“Risky Listing” features a cast and crew from Picken Real Estate, a Gramercy Park-based commercial brokerage that specializes in nightclub, restaurant, bar and lounge sales and leasing in Manhattan and the Hamptons. The show premieres Nov. 19 on the Esquire Network and will air on Tuesdays at 9:00 p.m.

The show is anchored by the firm’s founder, Alexander Picken, who is particularly active in hot Downtown nightlife nabes like the Lower East Side and the Meatpacking District. Some of his notable deals include finding space for Pastis restaurateur Keith McNally’s ventures and securing celeb chef Myron Mixon’s 9,000-square-foot lease at 24 First Avenue for Pride & Joy BBQ.

Reality television and real estate are hardly strangers, with Bravo TV’s “Million Dollar Listing” in New York and Los Angeles and HGTV’s “Selling New York,” “House Hunters” and “House Hunters International.” But until now, the genre has for the most part focused on residential brokers.

Nightlife is a perfect starting point for reality television squaring a lens on the commercial side, broker James Famularo of New York Commercial Real Estate services told The Real Deal. Famularo, though familiar with “Risky Listing,” will not be on the show.

“That side of the industry is kind of rampant with people showing listings and never getting a response, or never getting a response and later finding out somebody went behind their back,” Famularo said. “It’s not much fun to work in because of the situation, but I guess it would make good drama.”

The business of nightlife real estate, he explained, is a completely different animal from more traditional office and retail dealings.

“In the real commercial world, we’re at our desks at 7 a.m. and god forbid you don’t return a call right away or answer on the first ring,” Famularo said. “But the nightlife thing, expect a response at like 10 or 11 at night.”

The Real Deal, fortunately, had little trouble reaching Picken during normal business hours, but he deferred to the Esquire Network for permission to speak about the show and his company. A representative for Esquire Network declined to make Picken available by press time.

In addition to Picken, cast members include Danielle Lacko, Michael Sottile, Jason Lewis and Hazm Aliessa, all brokers with the firm.