Brokers Weekly: Sometimes, the Bad Turns Good

By Roslyn Lo

When The Iconic Group first envisioned Arias, it was to be a luxury condominium, certain to succeed in the historic Park Slope section of Brooklyn as the housing market sizzled and the neighborhood couldn’t keep up with demand for snazy new homes. But then came the. crash and this sleek new building meticulously designed by Ismael Leyva — whose head-turning creations include Yves Chelsea, Place 57 and The Residences at One Central Park at Time Warner — was facing failure in the face. Then, it was decided to go rental.

And as they say, sometimes, bad things turn out good. Within three weeks of launching in April, a third of the units were leased. As of last Thursday, half the units were gone.

“As Arias was changed to a rental building from its original concept as a condominium, we wanted to ensure absorption early on, and demonstrating the unique amenities and features of the building to the, public was vital,” said Shloimy Reichman, a principal with The Iconic Group.

“Jacqueline Urgo, President of The Marketing Directors, and her talented staff of professionals have done an excellent job executing the program which is achieving results well ahead of original projections. Our relationship with The Marketing Direc¬tors is paying big dividends.”

At 12 stories, the 95 unit building at 150 Fourth Avenue is designed with a nod to classic Park Slope architecture, with a brick facade and glass curtain wall that blend into the neighborhood.

Leyva and the Iconic Group spared no expense on style, amenities and features. The two-story lobby has a modern feel, with high angular walls contrasting the highly stylized furniture. A warm color theme and pristine decor keep the contrasting shapes in harmony, for a welcoming effect.

It is staffed with a 24-hour doorman to at¬tend to residents around the clock. “There is a Zen-like inspiration, with earth tones, soft colors, and windowed corridors — it feels like a boutique hotel,” said Jacquline Urgo, president of the Marketing Directors, the building exclusive agent.

The homes keep with the modern trend, with white oak floors and high ceilings set¬ting a serene mood. There are floating glass balconies, oversized tilt and turn windows, Bosch washers and dryers, a video intercom system, and private patios.

The kitchens have modern, stainless steel appliances, including a refrigerator, built-in microwave, dishwasher, and oven. Polished white stone countertops and white oak cabinetry deck out both the kitchen and bathroom.

Beige stone lines the master bath’s walls, with porcelain floors, marble vanity, and polished chrome features. The thermostati¬cally controlled shower is a luxury in itself, with an oversized rain ceiling showerhead, deluxe soaking tub and radiant heat floors.

Outside the homes, Arias provides plenty of outdoors space for residents as part of a large amenity package.

The roof deck features the Arias Club 360, a terrace with a view of the Brooklyn and Manhattan skylines. Equipped with a fire pit, surround seating, private cabanas, outdoor shower, water feature, 600 s/f lawn, grills, and a bar, the Arias Club 360 is reminiscent of a luxury resort. In addition, the Arias Courtyard provides a putting green and outdoor garden for ample relaxation space. Arias also has a fitness center and yoga center, as well as a lounge where residents can play billiards, access a catering kitchen and bar, or watch movies from a plasma television by a fireplace. Relaxation aside, a pet spa cold and dry grocery storage, bike racks, and storage units are also avail-able for residents.

Urgo said one of the building’s greatest assets is the neighborhood. “Park Slope has been a destination for years,” she said. “It’s historic, convenient, and minutes away from transportation.

People love the restaurants, bohemian feel, culture, and dining. There are tons of places to go, from the Botanical gardens, Brooklyn museum, Prospect Park, Brooklyn Public Library, to Fifth Avenue.”

But perhaps its biggest asset of all is its accessability today to renters unable, or un¬willing to buy in today’s unsettled economy. Monthly rents start at $2,100 for studios, $2,600 for one-bedrooms and $3,600 for two-bedrooms.

“Ismael Leyva has designed some very prominent buildings,” said Urgo. “When we went rental, people really benefited from that level of design.”

See the full clip: Brokers Weekly – Sometimes, The Bad Turns Good – 6.15.11

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