The Germans Are Coming

(Sorry about the headline; I just couldn’t refrain from using it!)New York has had one crazy February!  From Fashion Week to Real Estate Trades; it seems that Deutschland is making a presence in the Big Apple—in großem Stil!!!

Last week, with the opening of Fashion Week, we in the real estate world received news that Karl Lagerfeld was putting his Gramercy Park Pad on the market for a million below what he paid for it in 2006.  Well, this caught my attention, so I ran some numbers, which looked too good to be true, sending them off to a few clients, and I made an appointment to preview the unit. Sadly, I received a call on Monday from the listing agent’s assistant that the unit was “on-hold,” therefore my appointment (scheduled for today) was canceled.  No big deal, I thought, these things happen.

Well, according to Women’s Wear Daily, Herr Lagerfeld said, “I never heard anything about such a price, nor has my business manager.”  So, I guess he wasn’t thrilled that his apartment was being splashed in the news, selling at a discount—in an oh-not-so-Chanel fashion.  Now I know everyone is probably shouting, “Typical NYC real estate broker!” blaming the listing agent for milking some free press for herself with a celebrity client, and that she thinks she’s Gottesmutter of the Manhattan real estate market.  But in her defense (I personally don’t know her), I will say, from my own experiences, when an agent works for a high-profile client, sometimes communication gets a little, well, cloudy, when dealing with the client’s entourage handling their real estate matters.  I’ve had my fair share of this adult game of “telephone” when it comes to über clientele—their peeps, so I think we should give her a little break…Who knows the real story anyway? I say, be open-minded about it all. We’re just people.

Speaking of people and being open-minded, the BIGGEST news in Gotham this week: Germans Buy New York Stock Exchange in $10B Deal.  Now this is has my mother (who doesn’t wear Chanel) in an uproar, spinning her into paranoia, which I really don’t get. First of all, she’s German—dual citizenship—she should be happy, but she’s not.  Secondly, if anyone was to buy 60% of the NYSE, I think the Germans would be the best buyer—best bet for us. In 2008, Mutti’s homeland was in worse shape than our dear ole’ USA, and somehow, they have seemed to rebound with growth in a rather stellar way. Probably because they’re so conservative, aka, frugal, I keep telling my “dualism” mom. Who really knows what all of this means—this merger…I don’t.  I’m just a real estate broker. 

I do know, part of me is sad that things have come to this, losing the majority share of the American-Icon-of-Capitalism, wondering if the US is in worse shape than what we, commoners, are being told (but so, so deeply feel); and part of me is intrigued, bordering happy actually, thinking hoping things will get better for all of us—in the long-term—very long-term—with Deutsche Börse (they do have a spectacular website—if that’s a sign for anything!).  Liebe Mutter: Be open-minded—bitte.

 Quote of the week:

“We live in a time beyond truth…”

I could not have said it better, Herr Lagerfeld!