The Real Deal on the town

Music bigwigs show up for Blu Realty Group-sponsored charity event and MNS celebrates the opening of its new Chelsea office with a wine and cheese party

Blu Realty Group sponsors charity event above their forthcoming office at 120 Riverside Boulevard

From left: R&B artist Joe and Blu Realty Group co-founder Alon Chadad; Joe with guests from the National Committee For the Furtherance of Jewish Education, including chairman Rabbi Shea Hecht on the right; Blu Realty Group co-founders Alon Chadad and David Tobon

The Real Deal dropped in on a charity event last night benefiting Toys for Hospitalized Kids that was sponsored by Blu Realty Group in The Trump Place at 120 Riverside Boulevard (see photos above). The event was organized by the National Committee for the Furtherance of Jewish Education. The Empire Hotel Group’s Michelle Domb, who manages the Pearl Hotel in Midtown, hosted the event and spoke on behalf of the cause (note: clarification appended).

After the speeches, members of the Empire Hotel Group, including head Sam Domb, mingled with guests from the real estate industry as well as Blu clients — including music producer Kedar Massenburg and his colleague, R&B artist Joe — and the NCFJE, enjoying an impressive kosher buffet and open bar on the sky lounge and terrace.


While the younger-skewing crowd took in the Hudson River sunset, The Real Deal caught up with Alon Chadad and Moshe Balalo, two of Blu’s five founders that stood out from the crowd thanks to a couple of sharp suits (“Even when we’re not at work, we want to look the part,” Bolalo said), a couple of weeks in advance of the opening of the firm’s forthcoming second office at The Trump Place base.

As The Real Deal previously reported, Blu chose the UWS office location because much of its business is conducted in the buildings lining the Hudson River along Riverside Boulevard in the West 60s, such as the Avery and the Rushmore. For now, the windows are covered in blue paper with a letter introducing the firm to passersby (“whenever we walk by, we keep hoping to catch someone actually reading it,” Balalo said, but, so far, dedicated readers have been few and far between).

Once open, the office figures to be bustling, as Chadad, Balalo and company are now up to 50 agents, Chadad said, at least 20 of which will be stationed on the Upper West Side, with the remainder based out of The Broadway Offices Near 52nd Street.

“I can’t believe it’s already been six months,” Chadad said of the firm’s rapid growth in agent count. How have they grown so quickly? Thanks, in part, to good activity in the aforementioned West Side buildings, “and because the days move fast when you don’t get a chance to sleep,” Chadad said, taking a big sip of his vodka-soda. — Adam Fusfeld

The Real Deal checks out MNS new digs at 189 Eighth Avenue

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From left: Fabrizio Uberti Bona with guests at the Chelsea office, visitors enjoying some wine and MNS’ unconventional advertising campaign 

Also last night, The Real Deal ventured over to MNS’ wine and cheese party to celebrate the
opening of the residential brokerage’s new Chelsea office at 189 Eighth Avenue, between
19th and 20th streets (see photos above).

Sales director Fabrizio Uberti Bona estimated that there were around 64 residents and
brokers gathered at the new space. Bona said he was particularly proud of the eye-catching
design of the building, which has lightbox installations and incorporates video displays of
the neighborhood shot by local filmmakers.

Bona said he recently sold an apartment for an executive at the concert and ticketing
company Live Nation . The concert exec had wanted to sell it for $1.55 million, even though
it was worth less than that, but Bona managed to do a deal for it that was partway between
their two estimates. A short while later, Bona was looking for a gift for his wife and decided
to ask his client in the deal for a rare favor. And he was successful: the couple was able to
get in to a Beyonce concert.

Back to business, Bona said he saw a competitive edge for his firm setting up shop on
Eighth Avenue, since most other real estate firms are on Sixth and Seventh avenues. The
firm’s other offices are at 115 East 23rd Street and 165 Bedford Avenue in Williamsburg.

One goal of the new office, Bona said, is to engage the local community with weekly
Wednesday night events, like one recently that featured artwork by New York City subway
artist Enrico Miguel Thomas. Bona said that he is excited MNS will also be a sponsor of a
Fashion Night Out event at the Eighth Avenue location Sept. 8.

Even though there may be concerns about unemployment in the country, he’s hiring. The
company’s new office has 35 recenty hired agents. — Miranda Neubauer