(Bloomberg) -- For a Manhattan condo developer in a slowing sales market, the request from an international travel website was irresistible: Let us furnish 20 of your unsold units and offer our users a two-night stay.
In its search for empty apartments to decorate in New Year’s resolution themes, Booking.com found its canvas at 25 Broad St., a 308-unit rental building in the Financial District that developer LCOR is converting into for-sale condos. Starting today, the website’s users can book one of the Instagram-ready units and stay there this weekend for a $20.20 fee.
“We thought it was a great way to showcase the building,” said Anthony Tortora, a senior vice president at LCOR. “You don’t know where the next sale comes from, so there’s always an opportunity.”
Sales at LCOR’s project -- known as the Broad Exchange Building, and formerly the headquarters of Paine Webber -- started in April for about 100 of the units converted so far, which range in price from $850,000 for a one-bedroom to $5.3 million for a 2,400-square-foot penthouse with a terrace, Tortora said. About 30 of the homes have gone under contract.
For the promotion, a budding stand-up comic can book the “Find your Funny” suite, with a curtained stage, rubber chickens on a bedroom wall and the promise of a script-writing session with a comedy writer. A two-bedroom apartment -- for sale at about $1.7 million -- is reimagined as a fashionista’s closet and comes with money to spend at Nordstrom. And a unit listed for $2.085 million is equipped with exercise machines and a kitchen full of juicing ingredients, for those who resolve to get in shape.
It’s not a bad way to call attention to unsold condos in a borough that’s awash in them. An estimated 7,050 units are competing for buyers in Manhattan, according to a report this month by Halstead Development Marketing. The Financial District has about 1,000 of those units, most of which haven’t been formally listed.
The Booking.com venture is just temporary. The rooms will be dismantled by the end of the month.
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